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The comparitive linguistics cover-up

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posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 10:57 AM
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Thanks for doing a little bit of "field-work".




Originally posted by vox2442
The gist of it would be along the lines of "why do Europeans feel the need to take credit for everything that's ever happened in the world?"

They were quite offended, and I left feeling a bit of a prick for even bringing it up.


The discussion does not imply any such thing...at all. I realize you probably know that, but I feel its important to make that clear for readers.

The rest on the history and languages of the Ainu is very interesting.




Don't mean to be rude, but I speak Japanese. I also read it and write it. A brief look at your list earlier - without bothering with a dictionary to check etymologies, I found that nearly half were closer to Japanese than Basque.


Thats not something Im denying. Nowhere did I claim that Basque is closer to Ainu than Japanese.



I am more than willing to say that yes, it is coincidental


A few hundred coincidences, you mean.



Explain to me how this example is a valid linguistic comparison. I'm all for the nude beach scene myself, but it seems that the author is -at the very least - trying to make a personal statement about his own feelings than a linguistic argument. There are others, if you look closely.


And there are also some exact and many near-exact matches if you look closely.

For me its a real streeeeeeeeeeeeeeeetch to imagine that these matches are coincidences. I speak several languages myself and I dont know of any such matches...except in languages that are related.



[edit on 14-6-2009 by Skyfloating]




posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 04:25 PM
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Originally posted by Byrd
I can undoubtedly come up with a nice long list of words in Chinese and Japanese both that match modern English


Oh really? Like what?



posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 01:22 PM
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I don't find it surprising that any two language may have noticeable similarities, especially from an audible perspective, no matter how remote or isolated they appear to be from each other. Speaking and being exposed everyday to several languages myself, I enjoy picking up on language similarities.

However, apart from sharing the same planet, surely this similarity can't be strong enough reason to conclude alone that two specific cultures are tied together when no other links are detirmined? Are we trying to suggest that where no other ties can be proven, a tie must still exist due to audible similarities between two languages? I wouldn't say that the likelihood is 0%, but...

It might prompt a further look but if linguistics is the last hope and it can appear to dismiss a link by known methods that make sense, then it makes sense to me. Anything more and it starts looking like clutching at straws.

I'm not denying that traditional linguistic methods should or should not be the sole method of linguistic studies overall here. I just cannot buy into the idea that two cultures with languages that differ in structure, and the cultures have no clear or ambiguous other ties, can be said to have their languages and therefore cultures linked due to words that sound the same. Yes I do believe in coincidences (to some extent).

Last note though: If we discovered another species living on a planet far far away, that speak using words similar to one or more of our languages, then this would be a very interesting topic for linguistics and I would like to prebook my ticket to be part of that forum.



posted on Jun, 16 2009 @ 09:09 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
Thanks for offering help on the basis that I dont know linguistics.

For now I´ll stick to maintaining that the Ainu-Basque connection is no coincidence because I know the languages surrounding the Basque culture.


But the Basque languages (there are several) aren't romance languages and the romance language influence on Basque isn't as great as one might think it is:
en.wikipedia.org...

There are also multiple Ainu dialects, but it's what is known as a "Linguistic isolate"; meaning that it's so old that its closest language relatives have died out:
en.wikipedia.org...



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 03:50 AM
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Originally posted by vox2442

Originally posted by Skyfloating
Well, at least to me the Japanese connection was clear because Im somewhat familiar with what Japanese looks like. Especially the -un, - su, -ki, endings reminded me of Japanese.

The reason I say that Ainu may predate Japanese is because some of Japanese Mythology corresponding with Ainu words.

In any case...Ainu being related to Japanese does not mean it is not related to Basque as well. Look at the list again...its only a partial list. Is all of that supposed to be a coincidence?



Well, I'm back.

I sketched out your idea for my Ainu friends. A faithful translation of what followed from the older one would earn me a red flag and a "courtesy is mandatory" message.

The gist of it would be along the lines of "why do Europeans feel the need to take credit for everything that's ever happened in the world?"


Where is Europe being credited with everything in the world here, anyway?



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 04:06 AM
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Originally posted by mike3
Where is Europe being credited with everything in the world here, anyway?


The idea that the Basque are somehow responsible for the linguistic development of the Ainu - and by extension, the cultural development of the Ainu, formed the basis of that sentiment.

I took it at face value. I assumed that there was something more behind it, but I didn't ask. I could ask him to elaborate tomorrow, but I'd just as soon enjoy my golf game, if it's all the same to you.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 05:10 PM
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Originally posted by Byrd
But the Basque languages (there are several) aren't romance languages and the romance language influence on Basque isn't as great as one might think it is:
en.wikipedia.org...


Yes, thats what I said. Basque is not latin-based. Nevertheless Basque has more in common with Ainu than the languages in its immediate proximity.




There are also multiple Ainu dialects, but it's what is known as a "Linguistic isolate"; meaning that it's so old that its closest language relatives have died out:
en.wikipedia.org...



Yes, true. But the points made in earlier points for the Basque-Ainu connection remain unadressed. Especially the idea that you could find similar between Chinese and English - which I dont think you can.



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 05:14 PM
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Originally posted by Ando_
I don't find it surprising that any two language may have noticeable similarities, especially from an audible perspective, no matter how remote or isolated they appear to be from each other. Speaking and being exposed everyday to several languages myself, I enjoy picking up on language similarities.


But you do not show any examples of unrelated languages having that many and that obvious similarities. And neither do other posters here who also say that such similarities can be found in any unrelated language.



However, apart from sharing the same planet, surely this similarity can't be strong enough reason to conclude alone that two specific cultures are tied together when no other links are detirmined? Are we trying to suggest that where no other ties can be proven, a tie must still exist due to audible similarities between two languages? I wouldn't say that the likelihood is 0%, but...


Apart from the language ties there are also genetic and archaeological ties, as already mentioned.


[edit on 17-6-2009 by Skyfloating]



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 06:22 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
Apart from the language ties there are also genetic and archaeological ties, as already mentioned.


Hang on... what?

Are we still talking about Ainu and Basque here? If so, I must have missed something. A bit more detail on the archaeology please?



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 10:37 PM
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I am still interested in anyone finding random similarities between English and Chinese or English and Japanese too.


I wonder if a future civilization, missing our current history, would ever debate the relations between the shared Japanese and English words tsunami, sushi, kamikaze, karaoke, etc.? I can't think of a single word common/similar in two languages, that means the same thing, and is total coincidence, but it is very easy to find hundreds of examples that were inspired by actual encounters.

[edit on 17-6-2009 by bsbray11]



posted on Jun, 17 2009 @ 11:22 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
Related:

Linguistic Matches between the Algonquin and the Celts


Personally, I think that culturally one would find a greater match between the Algonquin and the Vikings.



posted on Jun, 22 2009 @ 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by vox2442
Hang on... what?

Are we still talking about Ainu and Basque here? If so, I must have missed something. A bit more detail on the archaeology please?


Its all sourced in the OP...in addition to many more word-matches between the Ainu and the Basques.



posted on Jun, 27 2009 @ 09:40 AM
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Originally posted by NotTooHappy
I used to work with this Croatian woman. One day, she was on the phone with her husband. She was speaking in Croatian. I speak a little Russian and, because I could understand her, that's what I thought she was speaking. She got off of the phone and I told her that I didn't know Croatians spoke Russian. She said that they didn't, Croatians spoke 'Croatia'. I then told her that the two languages must be very similar because I could understand what she was saying. She very angrily responded, "Then the Russians speak Croatia!!!"


For some reason, this thread reminds of that.


They are both slavic languages. Since you can speak Russian im sure you can somewhat communicate in almost any eastern euro country. Well maybe except Romania since its a Latin language & possibly Hungary since I heard its a totally different language that's kinda on its own.



posted on Jul, 11 2009 @ 01:15 PM
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reply to post by Skyfloating
 


As Byrd and others have said, "word matches" are meaningless. Eurskara and Anyu Itak have similar words because, as Byrd said, human mouths can only do so much. The grammatical structure of the language is much more important. I think that you'll also find the words themselves are pronounced in a very different way (the Ainu use a pitch accent system, for instance).

Just because you have two language isolates doesn't mean that they're related. Basque, in fact, DOES have close relatives... it's just that they're the extinct languages of Iberia. Pretty much wiped out by the Romans, then the Visigoths.



posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 01:45 PM
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what do you people think about finno-uguric and altaic?

I personally find them very similar(i speak and am turkish) and whenever i look at finnish sentences i keep on noticing the similarities in making sentences and for example making sentences of 1 word long looks almost the same.

I know that turkish has over 1000 different verb "times", does finnish have something like this too?

Anyway, i wouldnt be suprised that the only reason these 2 are considered separate is because of hungarian and austro-hungarian propaganda to distance themselves from the turks. But then what is the actual reason why are both considered different language groups?

These days its known that the magyar came from somewhere in central asia or north central asia.

also a related question:

why are most turkic languages considered separate languages? When my father went to china and spoke with uyghurs he could talk with them with no problem. The only difference was that they sometimes used old turkic words instead of modern ones used in turkey. Couldnt we actually label most turkic languages under 1 banner and just call turkish a dialect instead?



posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 01:55 PM
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Originally posted by tomcat ha
what do you people think about finno-uguric and altaic?

I personally find them very similar(i speak and am turkish) and whenever i look at finnish sentences i keep on noticing the similarities in making sentences and for example making sentences of 1 word long looks almost the same.

As a bona fide linguist (sort of), I certainly believe the Altaic theory hold water. I speak Finnish, and when I look at Turkish I feel the same way, and the grammatical similarities between Japanese and Finnish are quite striking...



posted on Jul, 16 2009 @ 02:10 PM
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Originally posted by Skyfloating
Thanks for offering help on the basis that I dont know linguistics.

For now I´ll stick to maintaining that the Ainu-Basque connection is no coincidence because I know the languages surrounding the Basque culture. They are the romanic languages (I know some Spanish) and further afield English and German (I know German too).

The point is that Euskara, the Basque Language, has more similaraties with that of the Ainu than it does with the Languages of the immediately surrounding countries. To illustrate this, just a few words from the list, translated:


Ainu - Basque

Spanish - English - German

Kepsapa (Head) - Kepireska (Heads)

Cabezal - Head -.Kopf


Hera (to limp) - Herren (cripple)

Claudicar - Limp - Hinken


Hetuku (to grow up) - Gehitu (to grow up)

criarse - grow up - aufwachsen


Kayo (to cry out) - Kaio (Seagull)

Gaviota - Seagull - Möwe


You've missed a couple things, here, though. First, because we have so much written documentation about Indo-European languages, we have a very good idea about sound changes that happened to lead to these changes in sounds. There is also an orthographic issue (e.g., the 'c' in Spanish 'cabeza' is the same as the 'k' in German 'Kopf').

Second, you've done two things here. For the Ainu and Basque, you've gone with phonetically-similar words, but then used meaning to match the German/Spanish/English pairs. For example, if you looked for the Basque word for 'to cry out', it would likely be totally different than 'kayo'. Yes, I realize the meanings could be related, but you need to do one or the other; it isn't fair to compare based on meaning for one set of languages and sound for another. In fact, what we really want is linguists are cases where BOTH meaning and sound are similar (like your hera/herren example). For Indo-European languages, these are easy to come by (using Spanish, English and German again):

tú - thou - Du : you
madre - mother - Mutter : mother
etc....

These sort of "basic" words, primary vocabulary, also tend to change the least, so if you really want to demonstrate a relationship between Ainu and Basque, you should be more concerned with words like 'mother' and 'father' and body parts than 'seagull' and 'cripple'. Based on some googling, here's what I get:

English:
Basque - Ainu


Mother:
ama - hapo

Hand:
anat - tek

To cry:
negar egin - paraparak

There just isn't anything here to indicate that these languages are related at all...



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