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Re: Ancestors and descendants (analogy)



Nick Pharris wrote:

>Goody!  I'm about to go for my doctorate in historical linguistics.

You are?! Cool!

>Ah, but unless they retain some characters and vocabulary in common with 
>Romanian (and the rest of Romance), how would you know that they are derived 
>from Romanian?

Perhaps I should have stated this in my (very hypothetical) situation, that
Romanian was proven to be ancestral to Slavic. We could come up with a
scenaraio of a few transitional languages that show the progression, and
which happen to be intermediate geographically. Incidentally, as this
phenomenon of geographical species replacement occurs in biology, what is
it called?

>I'm not so sure; historical linguists tend to insist on pretty strict 
>monophyly.
>
>Again, if it retains so many more features in common with the rest of
Romance 
>than it has in common with "Slavic", would cladistic analysis show it as the 
>sister to "Slavic"?

As long as it can be proven that it is basal, with the transitional
languages comprising ever closer out-groups, then wouldn't that be sufficient.

And to João and Dan, thanks for your comments. My scenario though was
highly idealized, w/o taking into account absorption of foreign loan-words.
Anyway, while vocabulary may be affected, word and sentence structure is
less so.

Raymond Thaddeus C. Ancog
Mines and Geosciences Bureau
Philippines