Eurasiatic languages

Eurasia is a table proposed by Joseph Greenberg macro family that includes essential language families and individual languages ​​of northern Eurasia. About this far-reaching proposal, there is the still partially broader Nostra tables. Greenberg's hypothesis has so far received only a low level of acceptance.

Eurasia table and its components

Joseph Greenberg developed in the early 1960s - parallel to and independently of the Nostra sufferers - be " Eurasian matic " concept, which goes back to earlier natural relationship hypotheses of other researchers, such as to Holger Pedersen. Explicitly, the Eurasian macro family for the first time in Greenberg's Language in the Americas from 1987 described (pp. 331-334 ). In the following years, Greenberg and Merritt Ruhlen continued to work on the comparison of the northern Eurasian language groups. In contrast to the Amerind Greenberg also has grammatical elements compared with the Eurasian addition to the investigation of related words with each other, their similarities are partly very convincing (especially when comparing Indo-European, Uralic and Altaic languages), and that are not easily explained by the concepts Sprachbund and borrowing can.

Finally 2000 ( Grammar ) and 2002 ( Lexicon ) appeared the sum of these researches in Greenberg's last two books, which were published and edited by Ruhlen ( Greenberg had already died in 2001 ).

The Eurasian macro family to Greenberg 2000-2002

  • Eurasia table Etruscan †
  • Indo-European
  • Ural- Jukagirisch
  • Mongolian
  • Tungusisch

Greenberg 2000 refers - in contrast to earlier designs - specifically the Etruscan with a. Striking is the positioning of the Korean -Japanese (along with the Ainu ). Rather than component of the Altaic, but as an independent branch of the Eurasian

Problem and acceptance

A hypothetical Eurasian proto-language would have to be at least 10,000 years old, as for example the age of the Proto - Indo-European is already estimated to be at least 5,000 years, that Proto - Uralic is rather recognized even older. However, one obtains time depths that must be applied for by now accepted major language families such as the Niger - Congo and Afro-Asiatic, both language families whose definition also goes back to Greenberg (see Joseph Greenberg and African languages).

In Mother Tongue VI (2001) John D. Bengtson gives a detailed positive review of the first volume ( Grammar, 2000). He concludes with the words: While one Could quibble about Certain details, there is no doubt did Greenberg 's grammatical evidence for Eurasiatic is a monumental achievement and a fitting capstone to his life 's work as the supreme linguistic taxonomist of all time. ( While one might argue about some of the details, there is no doubt that Greenberg's grammatical evidence for the Eurasian is an outstanding achievement and a fitting capstone for his life's work as the most important linguistic taxonomist of all time. )

Nevertheless, the Eurasian macro family has so far been accepted by only a minority of researchers. With the more comprehensive Nostra tables and other macro hypotheses dealt linguists, however, grapple with the hypothesis.

Relation to Nostra tables and Dene - Caucasian

The Eurasian expressly does not include the Afro-Asiatic language family, Dravidian and Kartwelisch; these three are, however, included in the tables with Nostra. Some Nostra sufferers, such as Allan R. Bomhard (2007), see table and now Eurasia Nostra table rather than competing models, but interpret the Eurasian as genetic subunit of Nostra tables, parallel to the Kartvelian, Dravidian and Afro Asiatic. Other Nostra sufferers keep the Afro-Asiatic for a parallel branch of Nostra tables, making it easier to approach the models "Eurasia table " and " table Nostra ".

Eurasia table as a subunit of Nostra tables

  • Nostra table Eurasia table
  • Kartwelisch
  • Elamo - Dravidian
  • Afro-Asiatic (partly conceived as a parallel branch of Nostra tables)

Another Eurasian macro family is going back to Sergei Starostin Anatoljevich Dene - Caucasian, which includes the individual languages ​​Basque and Burushaski, a few isolated ancient Near Eastern languages ​​, the language families Nordkaukasisch, Jenisseisch, Sino-Tibetan, and Na - Dene, the North American. Dene - Caucasian represents no competition for Eurasian, since there is no intersection between these macro groupings according to current research approach ( exceptions may Etruscan and Sumerian ).