Linguists

Bh. Krishnamurti bhk at HD1.VSNL.NET.IN
Sun Jan 18 12:40:30 EST 1998


At 22:12 17/01/98 -0600, you wrote:
 >It boggles my mind to see seemingly rational
>people deriving a proto language existing thousands of years before and
>hundreds of generations  ago spread out
>over great land areas and through millions of people, based on
>assumptions,and then adding more assumptions to it -
>How in the world can one scientifically prove these assumptions ??
>How can one be so confident of assumptions - without logically
>proving that it is the only possibility ??.
>Linguists have a ingenious solution - they just call these initial
>assumptions as "rules" - then there is no necessity for any scientific
>proof, only consensus from fellow researchers is necessary.
>Subrahmanya

Dear Subramanya:
Do you really know how the comparative method and historical reconstruction
work? It has taken over a hundred and fifty years  to do it and the system
is scientifically testable. How could a man land on the moon so many
thousands of miles away during this century? If that  has become possible
because of many sciences working together, reaching the Proto-language  has
also become possible in the same way and in the same sense. The man who
landed on the moon apparently did  not survey or see the whole surface of
the moon. So a comparativist does not reconstruct the whole language with
its dialects and culture history of thousaands of years. But he has clues to
show how varied the proto language was with the comparative method.
        Anyway, what is your problem with linguists? Tell us a specific
problem, where you find proof lacking. Genuine historical linguists have no
problem enlightening you on thier method. I wish you sent your posting to
Histling. They would have taken up the challenge better than the Indology
group which has some linguists but not many of that kind.
        From your name, I understand you must be a Kannada (or Tulu =
Kannada culturally) native speaker. I have just guessed. If you were a
Tamil, you would be Subramanyan, and if you were  a Telugu, you would be
Subra(h)manyam. Am  I right? How did I guess? There is a pattern in naming
in different South Indian languages and there are few exceptions. The
cultural pattern is my proof. I would be correct in the above guess 95% of
times. I will tell you more about the accuracy of reconstrcuting
Proto-Dravidian if you are interested.
Sincerely,
Bh. Krishnamurti
H.No. 12-13-1233, "Bhaarati"
Street No.9, Tarnaka
Hyderabad 500 017, A.P.
India
Telephone (R)(40)701 9665
E-mail: <bhk at hd1.vsnl.net.in>
Note:Please note what follows hd is digit 1 and not letter l.
In vsnl the final character is letter l and not digit 1.



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