By Roger Blench, Matthew Spriggs
Archaeology and Language I represents groundbreaking paintings in synthesizing disciplines which are now noticeable as interlinked: linguistics and archaeology. This quantity is the 1st of a three-part survey of leading edge effects rising from their mix. Archaeology and old linguistics have principally pursued separate tracks until eventually lately, even if their ambitions could be very comparable. whereas there's a new wisdom that those disciplines can be utilized to counterpoint each other, either rigorous methodological wisdom and precise case-studies are nonetheless missing in literature. Archaeology and Language I goals to fill this lacuna. Exploring a variety of options constructed by means of experts in each one self-discipline, this primary quantity offers with wide theoretical and methodological concerns and gives an quintessential historical past to the aspect of the reports offered in volumes II and III. This assortment bargains with the debatable query of the beginning of language, the validity of deep-level reconstruction, the sociolinguistic modelling of prehistory and the use and price of oral culture.
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Extra info for Archaeology and Language I: Theoretical and Methodological Orientations (One World Archaeology)
Trask (1995), for example, has recently analysed in considerable detail the evidence for a traditional hypothesis linking Basque to Caucasian languages and concludes that it depends in almost every case on a misuse or defective analysis of the Basque language materials. Thurgood (1994) has shown that the hypotheses, such as Benedict’s Austro-Tai, that link together the major language phyla of SE Asia are based on ancient loanwords. Between near-global hypotheses and accepted phyla stand more modest proposals that link together two phyla that already have a history of observed similarities.
Finding an informant for a language is easier and far less costly than mounting an archaeological expedition to search, for example, for the origins of food production. An experienced linguist can often elicit a range of GENERAL INTRODUCTION 11 basic and key cultural vocabulary in a few hours, whereas excavations often take years. Historical linguists are often tempted to throw off hypotheses on the origins of food production far more quickly and perhaps more casually than would be permissible within other academic frameworks.
Elsewhere its inversion, ‘archaeolinguistics’, has been proposed, although Hegedüs has used this for one of her phases of deep-level reconstruction. No doubt a consensus terminology will emerge during the next decade. Another type of methodological problem is raised by Blench in his chapter on the terminology of crabs, turtles and frogs in Africa and their relevance for models of prehistory. The riverine fauna here appear as an example of a more general problem for historical linguistics: the problem of sound-symbolism for genetic linguistics.
Archaeology and Language I: Theoretical and Methodological Orientations (One World Archaeology) by Roger Blench, Matthew Spriggs
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