Are Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Austro-Nesian related?

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FlatAssembler
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Are Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Austro-Nesian related?

Postby FlatAssembler » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:48 pm UTC

I personally wouldn't assume an especially close connection between Indo-European and Uralic, as most of the people who try to reconstruct some older proto-language do, but between Indo-European and Austronesian. Look at the pronouns. Most of the proto-languages have a nasal in the 1st person singular, while both Indo-European and Austronesian have a velar. In PIE, it's *egjoh2, in PAN, it's *aku. Then look at the PAN Swadesh list. Doesn't it seem to you that PIE *r corresponds to PAN *l, that PIE *s corresponds to PAN *q and that PIE *d corresponds to PAN *d?
*treys (three)-*telu (three)
*romk (hand)-*lima (hand/five)
*ser (to flow)-*qalur (to flow)
*skend (skin)-*qanic (skin)
*stembh (to walk)-*qaqay (foot)
*smew (smoke)-*qabu (ash)
*serw (to watch)-*qalayaw (day)
*bheh2s (to talk)-*baqbaq (mouth)
*dwoh1 (two)-*dusa (two)
*dyews (sky)-*daya (upwards/height/sky)
*danu (river)-*danaw (lake)
Another potential cognate on the Swadesh list might be PIE *men (to think) and PAN *nemnen (to think), by the metathesis. I'd guess some people here know more about PIE than I do, and I am pretty sure there are some people here who know more about PAN than I do, so what do you think?

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Re: Are Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Austro-Nesian related?

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Oct 28, 2017 11:23 am UTC

*skend (skin)-*qanic (skin)
*stembh (to walk)-*qaqay (foot)
*smew (smoke)-*qabu (ash)

all seem very weak to me. The first shows no evidence of the PIE k in the PAN and the only similarity in the second is the initial s/q, none of the others seem to correspond. The third of them would probably need a m/b correspondence which doesn't appear elsewhere.

More generally, the vowels also seem to be unpredictable and some of those have quite big semantic shifts (to watch/day) and the morphologies have no relation whatsoever (and this is usually a better indicator as it's less prone to chance). I'm pretty confident in saying the case for Indo-Austronesian is weaker than Indo-Uralic but, well, that's already not great.
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Re: Are Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Austro-Nesian related?

Postby FlatAssembler » Wed Nov 01, 2017 7:19 pm UTC

Well, you should keep in mind that, for example, English tooth and German Zahn are cognates, even though, on the surface analysis, only the first phoneme appears to correspond.

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Re: Are Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Austro-Nesian related?

Postby Carlington » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:06 am UTC

Even beyond the excellent points given by eSOANEM, look at the proposed timelines for both language families. PIE looks to have been in its original homeland around 6000 years ago, and our best bet is that that homeland was somewhere around the north end of the Black Sea.
At the same time, 6000 years ago, PAN seems to have been centred in Taiwan, or maybe southern China. That's quite a distance for the purported common ancestor to have covered!
On top of all this, it would make sense for this common ancestor to have started between the two locations, which suggests somewhere in Russia or Central Asia, so then we would need to explain how language got there to begin with.
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Re: Are Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Austro-Nesian related?

Postby Pfhorrest » Thu Nov 02, 2017 12:32 am UTC

I don't see why that poses a particular difficulty. There were humans, presumably speaking something or another, all over the world (including even the Americas) by as early as a few tens of thousands of years ago. There being someone speaking something somewhere between the PIE urheimat and that of PAN is pretty much a given, as is having enough time for people to spread from there. The only question is whether any specific people spoke a language thereabouts that spread and evolved into PIE and PAN.
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Re: Are Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Austro-Nesian related?

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:06 am UTC

FlatAssembler wrote:
Well, you should keep in mind that, for example, English tooth and German Zahn are cognates, even though, on the surface analysis, only the first phoneme appears to correspond.


Sure, but we can tell they're still cognate on the basis of a much larger number of good correspondences. If you're basing your claim of relation on such poor correspondences you've got a pretty weak hypothesis. To compare, let's look at the same words you use but within PIE:

English - Latin - Greek (transliterated) - Avestan or other Iranian (transliterated) - Sanskrit (transliterated) - English cognate (if current word not cognate)
three - treîs - trēs - θri - trí
hand - kheír - hir (rare) - zasta - hásta - lost in germanic (not sure where you got *romk from btw)
five - pénte - quīnque - paṇca - páñcan
flow - rhéō - serum(?) - Persian rōd - srávati - strean (the root *srew "to flow" is only tentatively connected to *ser "thread")
skin - pelos - pellis - Ø - Ø - film (the etymology of English skin is unclear beyond proto-germanic with a bunch of plausible verbal roots all of which have good cognates)
walk - there's little evidence for a common word for "walk" (except perhaps verbal senses of the root *ped- which is usually retained as foot) and the root you give doesn't appear to be attested outside Germanic so expecting such a long-range cognate's doubtful
foot - poús - pēs - pada - pada
smoke - again, there's little evidence for a root like the one you give outside of Germanic
ash - ázō - areō - Ø - ā́sa - not much evidence for single root here; it's usually just a participle of burn or dry
watch - I'm assuming you meant *sekw "to see" as the root here? I can't find any reference to a *serw. It's attested outside Germanic, but only in Anatolian *sṓgwos and Albanian shoh
day - Ø - foveō - dažaiti - sáhati - (from *dhegwh "to burn", Latin diēs is a false cognate from *dyew "to shine")
talk - phēmí - for - Ø - bhāṣā - ban
mouth - Ø - ōs - aosta - ǎsan - Old English ōr
two - dúo - duo - duua - dvá
sky - Zeús - diēs/Iovis - dyaoš - dyu - Tīw (seems to have originally been very much more in the sense of heaven than sky)
river - *déh2nu also seems to have originally been a deity and only appears in Indo-Iranian (as Avestan dānu and, via Scythian, the various Black-Sea rivers, and Sanskrit dā́nu) and Celtic (*Dānowyos which gives us Danube via Latin)
lake - lákkos - lacus - Ø - lay (also loch via celtic, note, not English lake)

There's a bit of centum/satem shenanigans going on, but generally the correspondences are much clearer than yours. That's the sort of correspondences you should be aiming for, and bear in mind that, unlike your choice of the words you could "find" correspondences in, these are essentially random choices from the Swadesh list. If there is an Indo-Austronesian family, you should be able to find correspondences for randomly selected Swadesh words reasonably often and that does not appear to be the case.

Your correspondences are of low quality and some rely on roots that cannot be reliably reconstructed. Given this, and the strong grammatical differences, I do not think you have any evidence that cannot be more plausibly explained as coincidence.

Edit: I want to add that your correspondences don't need to be 1-1, in PIE for instance we have Greco-Latin k <-> Indo-Aryan k but also tš/š/s. You should be able to relate a couple of phonemes to a couple in the other languages in a way that works in most cases. You don't need to know what the conditioning is for the various different results, but you should be identify the usual outcomes.

Edit 2: I've also made a spreadsheet with the Swadesh lists of both PIE and PAN in it (but only giving those entries with solid reconstructions in both families). It should allow you to better make comparisons.
Attachments
Indo-Austronesian Swadesh list.xls
(43 KiB) Downloaded 15 times
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Re: Are Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Austro-Nesian related?

Postby patzer » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:51 pm UTC

Carlington wrote:Even beyond the excellent points given by eSOANEM, look at the proposed timelines for both language families. PIE looks to have been in its original homeland around 6000 years ago, and our best bet is that that homeland was somewhere around the north end of the Black Sea.
At the same time, 6000 years ago, PAN seems to have been centred in Taiwan, or maybe southern China. That's quite a distance for the purported common ancestor to have covered!
On top of all this, it would make sense for this common ancestor to have started between the two locations, which suggests somewhere in Russia or Central Asia, so then we would need to explain how language got there to begin with.

The obvious answer would be that speakers of a branch of PIE migrated east from the Indian subcontinent into either southern China or Indochina, and this group would be the speakers of the proto-Austronesian language.

It isn't an exact timeline, but doesn't sound too far-fetched
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