[Indo-Eurasia] **The Farmer-Sproat-Witzel Model

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Sat Feb 10 19:38:42 UTC 2007

Dear colleagues,

Now that Asko has made his paper accessible on the net
it can be compared to the original Farmer-Sproat-Witzel paper of Dec. 
< http://www.safarmer.com/fsw2.pdf>
Or, at its original location, EJVS,  
<http://users.primushost.com/~india/ejvs/issues.html>, for the pdf see:

(EJVS, incidentally, will move to a new location  after a few weeks. I 
will keep you informed about it.)


It should perhaps be added here that, after the publication of Asko's 
paper in Japan, we offered him "CA" style treatment in EJVS, that is, 
for those who do not know the scheme:

The leading journal "Current Anthrolopogy" publishes important papers, 
but also invites immediate criticism by specialists that gets published 
along with the paper. The author then gets the last word, --  all in 
the same issue.

Our offer to Asko for "CA" treatment in EJVS  has never been answered.
Perhaps we can discuss the salient features now, 18 months later, on 


However, a *public* discussion by several of those who have been 
working on the Indus signs will be held at Stanford University on July 
11th, as a workshop on distinguishing scripts from non-scripts and on 
the issue of pseudo-decipherments. See:

<http://compling.ai.uiuc.edu/2007Workshop> =

As we have mentioned on the IER list recently, the Workshop arose out 
of our  work on the so-called Indus script. It is being sponsored by 
Stanford University in conjunction with the Linguistic Society of 
America (LSA) Summer Institute, which is being held at the same time.

Richard Sproat, of the University of Illinois and the Beckman 
Institute, and Steve  are organizing the Workshop on behalf of the LSA 
and Stanford. Partial funding is being provided by the National Science 
Foundation and an anonymous donor through our IER List.

Besides the seven invited participants, who are meant to represent a 
cross-section of script experts, computational linguists, and other 
researchers, the Workship will include input from the participants in 
the LSA Summer Institute. It is anticipated that the Workshop will also 
be open to the public.

Workshop Organizers:
Richard Sproat
Steve Farmer

Other Participants:
-  Jacob Dahl, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science
-  Kevin Knight, Information Sciences Institute, U. of Southern 
-  Asko Parpola, University of Helsinki
-  Gerald Penn, University of Toronto
-  Michael Witzel, Harvard University
-  LSA Summer Institute Attendees

We have a very innovative program in mind that will cover a number of 
issues that haven't before been formally discussed anywhere -- 
including potential computational means of distinguishing scripts from
non-scripts, automatic generation of pseudo-decipherments, and other 
issues of theoretical interest to those studying the early evolution of 

All of you who can make it to Stanford or who live in the Bay Area are 
warmly invited!


On Feb 10, 2007, at 12:27 PM, Asko Parpola wrote:

> I forgot to mention that my paper was published in:
> Transactions of the International Conference of Eastern Studies, No. 50
> (2005): 28-66, Tokyo: The Toho Gakkai (The Institute of Eastern 
> Culture),
> December 2005.  This is not mentioned in the PDF, which reproduces pp. 
> 28-66
> of the publication.
Michael Witzel
Department of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard University
1 Bow Street , 3rd floor, Cambridge MA 02138
1-617-495 3295           Fax: 496 8571
direct line:       496 2990
< http://users.primushost.com/~india/ejvs/>

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