Darwin-L Message Log 5:16 (January 1994)

Academic Discussion on the History and Theory of the Historical Sciences

This is one message from the Archives of Darwin-L (1993–1997), a professional discussion group on the history and theory of the historical sciences.

Note: Additional publications on evolution and the historical sciences by the Darwin-L list owner are available on SSRN.

<5:16>From SMITGM@hawkins.clark.edu  Wed Jan  5 11:52:09 1994

To: darwin-l@ukanaix.cc.ukans.edu
From: "Gerard Donnelly Smith"  <SMITGM@hawkins.clark.edu>
Organization: Clark College, Vancouver WA, USA
Date: 5 Jan 94 09:52:14 PST8PDT
Subject: Indo-European Homeland

Just finished reading the long debate concerning historical
linguistics and would appreciate clarification.  Seems the debate
rests on  the assumption that Grimm's First Sound Shift incorrectly
devoices "p," "t," and "k".  This error, apparently corrected by
Gamkrelidze and Ivanov, places the origin of the Indo-European
language in western Asia rather than Central Europe.  Gamkrelidze and
Ivanov argue that Renfrew's study of the dissappearance of the
megalithic cultures support their argument, although there is little
archeological evidence that shows an esablished culture in western
Asia for the time period they postulate for the origin of Indo-
European. Supposedly future DNA studies will validate their theories.
Both geographical locations are based on the distribution of "salmon,"
"turtle," "beech," plus words denoting argriculture technologies and

My question:  If, as argued by Gamkrelidze and Ivanov, the Indo-
Europeans developed the chariot as early as the third millennium
B.C., would it not be possible for a small aggressive population to
dominate the surrounding non-wheeled cultures, thus imposing their
langauge?    In other words, does the spread of horse-draw
technology either support or undermine the theory under discussion?

Dr. Gerard Donnelly-Smith            e-mail: smitgm@hawkins.clark.edu
English Department                   phone:  206-699-0478
Clark College
Vancouver, WA  98663

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