DOI: https://doi.org/10.20535/2410-8286.143784

METHODOLOGICAL ALGORITHM FOR DIACHRONIC INTERPRETATION OF NOSTRATIC *mar-a “tree” (based on the data taken from Bomhard’s “A Comprehensive Introduction to Nostratic Comparative Linguistics: With Special Reference to Indo-European”)

Yan Kapranov

Abstract


The article discusses the methodological algorithm for diachronic interpretation of the Nostratic etymon *mar-a “tree” represented in the A. R. Bomhard’s “A Comprehensive Introduction to Nostratic Comparative Linguistics: With Special Reference to Indo-European. The paper elaborates the definition of the Nostratic etymon as a hypothetical language-ancestor, established based on the comparison of the degree of affinity with the available reconstructed etymons at the level of every Nostratic language family (Altaic, Afro-Asiatic, Dravidian, Indo-European, Kartvelian, and Uralic). The author comes to the conclusion that Bomhard used the three research stages to identify the Nostratic etymon. At the first stage (the level of the language family) the comparative-historical method is used with the procedures of internal (etymon(s) / proto-form(s) at the level of the language group) and external (comparison of etymons / proto-forms reconstructed for certain language groups in order to reconstruct etymon / proto-form at the level of the language family) reconstruction; the step-by-step reconstruction method. At the second stage (the level of macrofamily) the mass comparison method is used. It helps to involve the already reconstructed etymons at the level of every Nostratic language family into comparison. At the third stage, a specially developed method of diachronic interpretation is used. An attempt tries to prove that the diachronic interpretation of the Nostratic *mar-a “tree” is confirmed by the analysis of language data. The paper considers two methodological procedures: 1) the comparison of a sufficient number of common morphs (or allomorphs) in comparable languages, i.e. the establishment of similar rules for combining regular phonetic correspondences; 2) the semantic similarity of common morphs (or allomorphs) in comparable languages.


Keywords


methodological algorithm; diachronic interpretation; Nostratic etymon; Nostratic proto-language; Nostratic macrofamily

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References


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