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Seeing language from the DNA
#91
(02-12-2024, 06:31 PM)Kale Wrote:
(02-12-2024, 06:24 PM)Rodoorn Wrote: I corrected it to educated guess, but without evidence it the Easter Island is as much valid  as every place on earth.

Or would you state that we don't need sources/evidence/ facts any longer?

Everything if fact free?

Who talked about nihilism?

There is no evidence of human occupation of Easter Island until well after the fall of Rome.
Earlier occupation is a requirement for Easter Island to have sourced PIE.
What are the odds we find sufficiently early occupation? <1%?
If so, Easter Island =/= homeland of PIE (by 99% confidence threshold)

Come on man! I stress the need for evidence to be valid.

I don't state it is regardless any place on earth.  But to be valid it needs evidence.

So don f$%% the shit up please. thanks
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#92
You forgot to carry the 2 in that equation...
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#93
Rodoorn: So, if I summarize, proto-Germanic = Sögel-Wohlde, Jastorf, Elb-Germanic i tutti quanti, Udolph, Kuz'menko, Euler, all the Great Magic Finn Circus, is it finished, gone, swallowed up forever? Too bad, I really liked reading this stuff about the quality of the soil in Thuringia, the ceremonial clothing of the ladies of the Unetician aristocracy, the style of Sögel-Wohlde swords, the pre-Germanic invading Scandinavia with the flint daggers, and so on. These thousands of posts, on at least three forums, over... how many years?... and then suddenly nothing, the cosmic void, the Great Nothingness, Nihil Negativum. Vertigo.

Everyone (except Rodoorn): I suggest you close this useless parenthesis, let Rodoorn float alone in his interstellar void, and return to the subject of this thread.
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#94
(02-12-2024, 02:31 PM)Orentil Wrote: This is getting all much to theoretical for me. Let's make a thought experiment and assume e.g. that one day we will find near the old place Vercellae, the battlefield of the Romans and the Cimbri a mass grave and would be sure that these are remains of fallen Cimbri.
As you know all very well it is still discussed if the Cimbri were a Germanic speaking tribe or Celtic speaking and the few names we have will never solve the riddle.
Let's assume in a Case A that the remains will turn out to belong overwhelming to haplogroup I1 and R1b-U106 with smaller amounts of R1b P312. Or in a second Case B that the remains are overwhelming R1b P312 and no or only small amounts of I1 and R1b U106. In case A, the PCA pointing into direction of later Danish people, in case B to Iron Age France.
Could this find solve the riddle of the language of the Cimbri, can we see the language from the DNA, at least with a reasonable probability? (Let's keep it simple and forget about a Nordwestblock language for the moment).

I at least would think that it could help in the discussion of the origin and language of the Cimbri, knowing that of course the scientific discussion would never ever stop ;-)

Thank you Orentil, concrete examples like this are very illustrative. 
My point has all the time been that we cannot predict language from the DNA. That is unscientific simply because language is not inherited in DNA. However, we can compare the genetic results to the framework of linguistic results. 

In this example, the scientific procedure goes like this:
1. We collect the genetic data of the assumed Cimbri samples. 
2. We collect the comparison data from all modern and post-Cimbri populations in the nearby regions.
3. We compare the genetic results with the linguistic framework: which modern populations are Germanic speaking and which not, and which ancient populations were Germanic speaking and which not.
4. We can calculate different kind of values, e.g. for assessing how great portion of every haplogroup (and its subhaplogroups) found in the Cimbri are known to be or known to have been Germanic speaking. Then we can present a rough estimation about the probability for the Cimbri having been Germanic speaking vs. non-Germanic speaking.

This is scientific. 
It is not scientific to claim that the Cimbri were Germanic speaking only because they had one certain haplogroup. That would be scientific only in a reality where language was indeed inherited in DNA. 

I know from experience (decades of trying to explain this to laymen) that this difference is very difficult to understand for people who have very black-and-white mind. Fortunately on this forum there are not so many of them.
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#95
(02-12-2024, 09:25 PM)Jaska Wrote:
(02-12-2024, 02:31 PM)Orentil Wrote: This is getting all much to theoretical for me. Let's make a thought experiment and assume e.g. that one day we will find near the old place Vercellae, the battlefield of the Romans and the Cimbri a mass grave and would be sure that these are remains of fallen Cimbri.
As you know all very well it is still discussed if the Cimbri were a Germanic speaking tribe or Celtic speaking and the few names we have will never solve the riddle.
Let's assume in a Case A that the remains will turn out to belong overwhelming to haplogroup I1 and R1b-U106 with smaller amounts of R1b P312. Or in a second Case B that the remains are overwhelming R1b P312 and no or only small amounts of I1 and R1b U106. In case A, the PCA pointing into direction of later Danish people, in case B to Iron Age France.
Could this find solve the riddle of the language of the Cimbri, can we see the language from the DNA, at least with a reasonable probability? (Let's keep it simple and forget about a Nordwestblock language for the moment).

I at least would think that it could help in the discussion of the origin and language of the Cimbri, knowing that of course the scientific discussion would never ever stop ;-)

Thank you Orentil, concrete examples like this are very illustrative. 
My point has all the time been that we cannot predict language from the DNA. That is unscientific simply because language is not inherited in DNA. However, we can compare the genetic results to the framework of linguistic results. 

In this example, the scientific procedure goes like this:
1. We collect the genetic data of the assumed Cimbri samples. 
2. We collect the comparison data from all modern and post-Cimbri populations in the nearby regions.
3. We compare the genetic results with the linguistic framework: which modern populations are Germanic speaking and which not, and which ancient populations were Germanic speaking and which not.
4. We can calculate different kind of values, e.g. for assessing how great portion of every haplogroup (and its subhaplogroups) found in the Cimbri are known to be or known to have been Germanic speaking. Then we can present a rough estimation about the probability for the Cimbri having been Germanic speaking vs. non-Germanic speaking.

This is scientific. 
It is not scientific to claim that the Cimbri were Germanic speaking only because they had one certain haplogroup. That would be scientific only in a reality where language was indeed inherited in DNA. 

I know from experience (decades of trying to explain this to laymen) that this difference is very difficult to understand for people who have very black-and-white mind. Fortunately on this forum there are not so many of them.
I fully agree with all four points of you and it is clear that in the end we just can speak about probabilities, I was of course fully aware that my two cases were very simplistic, I just wanted to make it not as complex as real life ;-)
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#96
(02-12-2024, 06:13 PM)Kale Wrote: Just to get some perspective. Where and when do you consider it possible (let's say with >1% probability) (by whatever standard of evidence you like) that for, let's take the most common and familiar subject of debate, PIE (take that loosely so as not to get sidetracked on the nitty gritty of what that constitutes) was spoken?

Here it is presently important to distinguish two stages: 
1. Early Proto-Indo-European = Proto-Indo-Anatolian.
2. Late Proto-Indo-European = all the rest, or sometimes without Tocharian.

To my knowledge, the best arguments still support the steppe homeland for LPIE. All the relevant arguments have been recently considered in Anthony & Ringe 2015:
https://www.academia.edu/10597023/Anthon...l_evidence

It has been possible to derive even the Anatolian branch from the steppe. Recently some geneticists have proposed the Caucasus Region, which could be correct, if language should always follow the majority ancestry component. But we know that this is not the case in our reality.

More important would be the linguistic evidence, but at that time depth and in this situation we still do not have undisputed winner based on paleolinguistic evidence. Results concerning distant relatedness or ancient contacts are contradicting: PrePIE could have been spoken in the northeast, close to Pre-Proto-Uralic; or it could have been spoken in the south, close to the Caucasian language families. So ancient times are probably forever beyond the reach of reliable linguistic methods, so it is possible that we will never get the answer. It means that all possibilities must be kept open.
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#97
We are delete the last posts because violate one us basic Term of Services: Personalization of discussion. I have write in other threads same thing and we keep in same direction in this thread. Please stay on topic and let’s build between all a sane discussion. 

This thread is being monitored.
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#98
Question to administrators: is it possible to reopen the thread "Locating Proto-Uralic"?
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#99
(02-12-2024, 10:35 PM)Jaska Wrote: Results concerning distant relatedness or ancient contacts are contradicting: PrePIE could have been spoken in the northeast, close to Pre-Proto-Uralic; or it could have been spoken in the south, close to the Caucasian language families.

I'm not versed in linguistics at all, so I defer to you to assess my understanding here.
Would a perfectly reconstructed proto-language really be accurate in such a way that if someone with complete knowledge of it, plopped back into the right village at the right time, would speak 100% identically to the people in that place? Or was there never a people that spoke that language 100% exactly, but people over a broader region and time would speak dialects that would be largely understandable by it?
If the latter, are the PPU and Caucasian contacts really contradicting? Could not broadly PPIE dialects have encompassed the whole region between them, and those on the frontiers have filtered the influences throughout the region?
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(02-13-2024, 03:42 PM)Kale Wrote:
(02-12-2024, 10:35 PM)Jaska Wrote: Results concerning distant relatedness or ancient contacts are contradicting: PrePIE could have been spoken in the northeast, close to Pre-Proto-Uralic; or it could have been spoken in the south, close to the Caucasian language families.

I'm not versed in linguistics at all, so I defer to you to assess my understanding here.
Would a perfectly reconstructed proto-language really be accurate in such a way that if someone with complete knowledge of it, plopped back into the right village at the right time, would speak 100% identically to the people in that place? Or was there never a people that spoke that language 100% exactly, but people over a broader region and time would speak dialects that would be largely understandable by it?
If the latter, are the PPU and Caucasian contacts really contradicting? Could not broadly PPIE dialects have encompassed the whole region between them, and those on the frontiers have filtered the influences throughout the region?

If you take modern romance language and apply the historical linguistic methods, you will get a reconstruction fairly similar to Vulgar Latin, all beit with the risk of anachronisms due to parallel evolution; we're lucky to see Vulgar Latin inscriptions (besides the vast body of classical Latin in all its periods) to test the historical linguistic reconstruction and to see the changes in real time.
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I'm not an artificial intelligence zealot, but out of curiosity I chatted a bit with ChatGPT (the open access version) about the topics covered here. Here is our conversation:
Quote:User: A question at the interface of linguistics and genetics. On some forums and blogs, a few enthusiasts seem convinced of the relevance of Y haplogroups to determine the place and culture of origin of certain language families. Thus, the question of the origin of the Uralic family ultimately merges with that of haplogroup N1a for them. What do you think of this methodology?

Assistant: The methodology that involves using Y haplogroups to determine the geographical and cultural origins of language families is subject to debate. It's important to note that linguistics and genetics are two distinct fields, although sometimes interconnected.

Y haplogroups are groups of genetic markers inherited from the Y chromosome, passed from father to son. These markers can be used to study the paternal lineage of a person. On the other hand, linguistics focuses on the study of languages and their evolution.

The idea behind using Y haplogroups to determine the origin of language families rests on the assumption that certain populations with similar Y haplogroups also share a common linguistic origin. However, this correlation is not always direct or unambiguous.

There are several points to consider:

Genetic Diversity: Y haplogroups can be shared by very different populations linguistically. Moreover, linguistic groups may share different Y haplogroups due to migrations, interactions, and cultural exchanges.

Independent Evolution: Languages and genes evolve independently, and the links between the two are not always direct. Different linguistic groups may adopt similar Y haplogroups due to migrations or interactions.

Complexity of Migrations: Human migrations are complex, and population movements can make it difficult to directly associate a Y haplogroup with a specific language family.

In conclusion, while the analysis of Y haplogroups can provide interesting insights into population movements, it should not be considered a definitive method for determining linguistic origins. A more holistic approach, which integrates linguistic, archaeological, and genetic data, is often necessary to obtain a more complete understanding of the origins of language groups.

User: And about the cradle of the Uralic language family, what would be your bet in the current state of knowledge?

Assistant: The origin of the Uralic language family remains a subject of debate among researchers, and there is no absolute consensus on its cradle. However, some theories have been proposed based on linguistic, archaeological, and genetic evidence. It's worth noting that my knowledge is based on information available until January 2022, and there may have been developments since then.

One theory suggests that the cradle of the Uralic language family lies in the Ural region, which stretches between Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. This theory is supported by linguistic similarities among Uralic languages, as well as archaeological and genetic findings. However, it's important to note that this region may have been the starting point, but it doesn't necessarily mean that all branches of the Uralic language family emerged from there.

Some researchers have also attempted to link genetic haplogroups with Uralic linguistic groups. For example, haplogroup N1a, mentioned in your question, has been associated with some Uralic populations. However, it's crucial not to oversimplify this relationship, as human migrations, cultural exchanges, and other factors can influence the distribution of haplogroups without necessarily reflecting linguistic origins.

In summary, while there are indications pointing to the Ural region as a potential cradle of the Uralic language family, there is no absolute certainty. Researchers continue to explore these questions by combining data from different disciplines to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the history and origins of this language family.

User: Another well-known amateur in the blogosphere would like to impose the idea of a North Siberian, or even peri-Arctic origin. Does this idea have any support among professional researchers, whether they are linguists or geneticists?

Assistant: The idea of a North Siberian or peri-Arctic origin of the Uralic language family has been suggested by some researchers, but it has not necessarily gained widespread consensus within the scientific community. Discussions on the origin of Uralic languages are complex and often involve interdisciplinary approaches combining linguistics, archaeology, genetics, and other related fields.

Some arguments in favor of a North Siberian origin include linguistic similarities between Uralic languages and certain Siberian languages, as well as archaeological and genetic evidence. However, it's important to note that theories about the origin of languages are often subject to revision as new data emerges.

To my knowledge, until January 2022, there was no firm consensus on the geographical origin of the Uralic language family, and different hypotheses were being explored. Researchers continue to conduct extensive research to better understand the links between Uralic languages, populations, and human migrations in the region.

If an amateur in the blogosphere suggests a specific theory, it's important to verify whether that theory is supported by serious research work and whether it has been examined and discussed within the scientific community. Academic debates and new discoveries can influence our understanding of language origins, and it's always prudent to consider different perspectives and sources of information.

User: A well-known amateur (primarily interested in history) refuses to grant any dignity to historical linguistics for investigating prehistoric languages. His argumentation is essentially based on the absence of written sources. What do you think of such a radical critique?

Assistant: The radical position that denies historical linguistics any dignity to investigate prehistoric languages due to the absence of written sources is questionable. Here are some points to consider:

Methodology of Historical Linguistics: Historical linguistics is a well-established academic field that uses various methods to reconstruct and study ancient and prehistoric languages. These methods include comparative analysis of related languages, historical phonetics, historical morphology, among others. While written sources can be valuable tools for studying historical languages, their absence does not necessarily mean that linguistic analysis cannot be conducted.

Comparative Methods: Historical linguistics often relies on comparisons between related languages to identify similarities and differences. For example, by examining lexical, phonetic, and grammatical similarities between related languages, linguists can reconstruct ancient linguistic forms and formulate hypotheses about their evolution.

Indirect Evidence: Even in the absence of direct written sources for prehistoric languages, there are other types of evidence that can be used to study them. This may include archaeological evidence, inscriptions on artifacts, place names, linguistic borrowings in modern languages, etc.

Interdisciplinary Approach: As mentioned earlier, historical linguistics is often complemented by data from other fields such as archaeology, genetics, anthropology, etc. This interdisciplinary approach allows for establishing links between languages and prehistoric cultures.

In conclusion, while the absence of written sources may present challenges for studying prehistoric languages, it does not render historical linguistics useless or irrelevant. Historical linguistics employs a variety of methods and evidence to reconstruct and understand ancient languages, contributing to our understanding of linguistic and human history.

User: Specifically regarding the spatiotemporal localization of proto-languages (their existence being admitted), is it reasonable to deny any capacity to Historical Linguistics?

Assistant: To deny historical linguistics any capacity to interrogate the spatiotemporal localization of proto-languages due to the absence of written sources would be an extreme and unjustifiable position. Historical linguistics, although it may encounter particular challenges when dealing with very ancient periods or languages for which there is no direct written documentation, nonetheless possesses methods and tools to address these questions.

Here are some points to consider:

Comparative Methods: Historical linguistics often uses comparative methods to identify links between related languages and to reconstruct ancestral linguistic forms, including proto-languages. By analyzing similarities and differences between related languages, linguists can formulate hypotheses about the characteristics of proto-languages and their geographical distribution.

Indirect Evidence: Even in the absence of direct written sources for proto-languages, there are other types of evidence that can support hypotheses about their spatiotemporal localization. This may include archaeological evidence, inscriptions on artifacts, place names, linguistic borrowings in modern languages, and so forth.

Computer Modeling: Computational modeling methods can be employed to simulate and study the evolution of languages over time and space. These approaches allow for testing different hypotheses about population movements, linguistic contacts, and other factors that influence the localization of proto-languages.

Interdisciplinary Approach: As mentioned previously, historical linguistics is often supplemented by data from other fields such as archaeology, genetics, anthropology, etc. This interdisciplinary approach expands the range of available evidence and refines conclusions about the spatiotemporal localization of proto-languages.

In conclusion, while the study of proto-languages may pose particular challenges, historical linguistics has methods and resources to interrogate their existence and spatiotemporal localization. Thus, it is unreasonable to completely deny its capacity to address these questions.
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(02-13-2024, 04:15 PM)Pylsteen Wrote:
(02-13-2024, 03:42 PM)Kale Wrote:
(02-12-2024, 10:35 PM)Jaska Wrote: Results concerning distant relatedness or ancient contacts are contradicting: PrePIE could have been spoken in the northeast, close to Pre-Proto-Uralic; or it could have been spoken in the south, close to the Caucasian language families.

I'm not versed in linguistics at all, so I defer to you to assess my understanding here.
Would a perfectly reconstructed proto-language really be accurate in such a way that if someone with complete knowledge of it, plopped back into the right village at the right time, would speak 100% identically to the people in that place? Or was there never a people that spoke that language 100% exactly, but people over a broader region and time would speak dialects that would be largely understandable by it?
If the latter, are the PPU and Caucasian contacts really contradicting? Could not broadly PPIE dialects have encompassed the whole region between them, and those on the frontiers have filtered the influences throughout the region?

If you take modern romance language and apply the historical linguistic methods, you will get a reconstruction fairly similar to Vulgar Latin, all beit with the risk of anachronisms due to parallel evolution; we're lucky to see Vulgar Latin inscriptions (besides the vast body of classical Latin in all its periods) to test the historical linguistic reconstruction and to see the changes in real time.

Again, pardon my ignorance, but I assume Vulgar Latin would have some degree of standardization (at least moreso than pre-literate HG/pastoralist societies would have), being parallel/influenced by written Latin, that would enable Vulgar Latin's reconstruction to be a more precise (reflective of a real language, because the language itself was more 'precise')?
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(02-13-2024, 05:11 PM)Anglesqueville Wrote: I'm not an artificial intelligence zealot, but out of curiosity I chatted a bit with ChatGPT (the open access version) about the topics covered here. Here is our conversation:

Quite the chatter box isn't it : )
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(02-13-2024, 06:19 PM)jdean Wrote:
(02-13-2024, 05:11 PM)Anglesqueville Wrote: I'm not an artificial intelligence zealot, but out of curiosity I chatted a bit with ChatGPT (the open access version) about the topics covered here. Here is our conversation:

Quite the chatter box isn't it : )

Indeed after the total neutral written question of Angles Wink , let's take this.

could someone pinpoint a proto language  in time and space without primary sources?

"Pinpointing a proto-language in time and space without primary sources can be challenging and often involves a considerable degree of speculation. A proto-language is a reconstructed common ancestor of a group of related languages. Linguists use the comparative method, comparing languages and identifying common features, to propose hypothetical reconstructions of proto-languages.

However, without primary written records or direct linguistic evidence from the time when the proto-language existed, the process becomes more speculative. Linguists may rely on linguistic evidence, such as sound correspondences and shared vocabulary, to make educated guesses about the features of a proto-language. Archaeological and anthropological evidence can also be considered to provide additional context.

For example, Proto-Indo-European is a well-known proto-language that has been reconstructed by linguists. Its existence is inferred from the similarities among various Indo-European languages. The reconstruction involves analyzing words, sounds, and grammatical structures shared among these languages.

In summary, while it is possible to propose reconstructions of proto-languages without direct primary sources, these reconstructions are speculative and should be considered hypotheses rather than definitive conclusions. They are subject to ongoing refinement and adjustment as new linguistic and interdisciplinary evidence becomes available."

I rest my case....

and all the best to you all!
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(02-13-2024, 06:39 PM)Rodoorn Wrote:
(02-13-2024, 06:19 PM)jdean Wrote:
(02-13-2024, 05:11 PM)Anglesqueville Wrote: I'm not an artificial intelligence zealot, but out of curiosity I chatted a bit with ChatGPT (the open access version) about the topics covered here. Here is our conversation:

Quite the chatter box isn't it : )

Indeed after the total neutral written question of Angles Wink , let's take this.

could someone pinpoint a proto language  in time and space without primary sources?

"Pinpointing a proto-language in time and space without primary sources can be challenging and often involves a considerable degree of speculation. A proto-language is a reconstructed common ancestor of a group of related languages. Linguists use the comparative method, comparing languages and identifying common features, to propose hypothetical reconstructions of proto-languages.

However, without primary written records or direct linguistic evidence from the time when the proto-language existed, the process becomes more speculative. Linguists may rely on linguistic evidence, such as sound correspondences and shared vocabulary, to make educated guesses about the features of a proto-language. Archaeological and anthropological evidence can also be considered to provide additional context.

For example, Proto-Indo-European is a well-known proto-language that has been reconstructed by linguists. Its existence is inferred from the similarities among various Indo-European languages. The reconstruction involves analyzing words, sounds, and grammatical structures shared among these languages.

In summary, while it is possible to propose reconstructions of proto-languages without direct primary sources, these reconstructions are speculative and should be considered hypotheses rather than definitive conclusions. They are subject to ongoing refinement and adjustment as new linguistic and interdisciplinary evidence becomes available."

I rest my case....

and all the best to you all!

Of course you would have noticed the only bit about actually pinpointing the location of a proto-language was this

Quote:Pinpointing a proto-language in time and space without primary sources can be challenging and often involves a considerable degree of speculation

The rest of it was about the difficulty in reconstructing a proto-language.

However this was produced by a box full of wire and sand : )
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