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Re: [tekumel] Scientists post readings of ancient Babylonian poems online

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  • Andreas Baede
    Every country has at least one newspaper like that :-)
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 1, 2010
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      Every country has at least one newspaper like that :-)

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      >> That sort of "science-stuff" doesn't get reported in the 'Daily Mail'.
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      > Unless it causes cancer or is linked to illegal immigrants
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    • Sauvagine
      The specifics of how historical linguistics can back date antecedent languages has already been worked out. I would point out that a language constructed
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 1, 2010
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        The specifics of how historical linguistics can "back date" antecedent
        languages has already been worked out. I would point out that a language
        constructed through historical analysis is called a "proto-language", hence
        you get things like "Proto-Indo-European", but that's me being a linguistic
        pedant. Also, I'm going to abstain from snarky comments about certain
        specific news media outlets, but rest assured they are there, and they are
        snarky.
        I will point out, however, that historical linguistics has considerable
        accuracy. I've actually studied linguistics in my pinball-course through
        majors in undergrad, and this little bit of linguistic history (not to be
        confused with historical linguistics) is one of my favorites. Before we
        found samples of Hitite, historical linguists had actually created a
        Proto-Hitite. It was all entirely conjectural however, because historical
        linguistics had never really been tested. When we found actual Hitite
        samples, we discovered that there were errors and overlooks, but overall the
        accuracy was about give-or-take 90% to 95%. If somebody went back in time
        to the Hitites and spoke Proto-Hitite to them, it'd be a tough row to hoe
        but it would've sounded like a really, really weird dialect.
        Mind you, this was done with no samples of the language - purely a
        theoretical projection. There were considerable errors, don't get me wrong,
        but given the lack of data and the fact that it was the first real test of
        the discipline, it was pretty spot on. When working with a language about
        which we not only have considerable information, but we also know a good
        deal about languages precedent and subsequent, I'm pretty confident in their
        ability to determine pronounciation.

        --
        Edmund Wilfong

        "In a little while you will be alone in shoreless space, to wander its
        limitless solitudes without friend or comrade forever - for you will remain
        a thought, the only existent thought, and by your nature inextinguishable,
        indestructible. [...T]here is no God, no universe, no human race, no
        earthly life, no heaven, no hell. It is all a dream - a grotesque and
        foolish dream. Nothing exists but you. And you are but a thought - a
        vagrant thought, a useless thought, a homeless thought, wandering forlorn
        among the empty eternities!"
        -The Mysterious Stranger, Mark Twain

        "Welcome to reality. The paradise of repressed dreams."
        -The Psychiatric Clinic for Abused Cuddly Toys

        On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 2:11 AM, Andreas Baede <croesawu@...> wrote:

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        > Every country has at least one newspaper like that :-)
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        > >> That sort of "science-stuff" doesn't get reported in the 'Daily Mail'.
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        > > Unless it causes cancer or is linked to illegal immigrants
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