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(Washington Post)   You, hear me. Give this fire to that old man. Pull the black worm off the bark and give it to the mother. And no spitting in the ashes   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 54
    More: Interesting, linguists, historical linguistics, bark, University of New Mexico, worms, National Academy of Sciences, fly ashes  
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8479 clicks; posted to Main » on 07 May 2013 at 11:01 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-05-07 10:00:49 AM
In addition to Indo-European, the language families included Altaic (whose modern members include Turkish, Uzbek and Mongolian); Chukchi-Kamchatkan (languages of far northeastern Siberia); Dravidian (languages of south India); Inuit-Yupik (Arctic languages); Kartvelian (Georgian and three related languages) and Uralic (Finnish, Hungarian and a few others).

I really don't know if I buy this as much as they claim.  I speak two languages fluently, English and Hungarian, and the latter isn't related to much Indo-European so it's a good cross language check.  And so far this is what I see as similar FTA (excepting umlauts etc cause I'm lazy):

Listed by the number of language families in which they have cognates.

7 - thou
6 - I
5 - not, that, we, to give, who
4 - this, what, man/male, ye, old, mother, to hear, hand, fire ,to pull, black, to flow, bark, ashes, to spit, worm



thou= te
I= en
not= nem
we= mi
to hear= halgat

After that there is, say, how "old" is "oreg" but I'm not sure if I should automatically think those are the same because how many old words are there that don't have this?  With narrowing down the field to just a few words that people argue did carry over, you're going to have a few that coincidentally seem kinda similar I'd think.

I do buy that very basic things like "I" and "we" probably haven't changed over the years much, but beyond that it's really hard to tell.  Hungarian for example is related to Finnish and Estonian but certainly not in a way that's obvious (it's not like Italian vs Spanish where a speaker of one could bullshiat their way through one of the others), it's mainly grammar and a few "old" words like body parts and nature/hunting.  I reckon if it's so hard to trace between two languages so related I'm having a sure as fark hard time figuring how you're going to trace "ashes" and "worm."

/the headline in Hungarian "Te, halgatsz.  Adjad eszt a tuzet annak az oreg embernek.  Huzzad a fekete kukacot le a keregrol es adjad az anyanak.  Es ne kopjel a hamuban!"
 
2013-05-07 11:04:18 AM
Shut your whore mouth when men are speaking.
 
2013-05-07 11:05:21 AM
FARK headline sounds like an old Lucasarts adventure game.
 
2013-05-07 11:05:53 AM
Here's another phrase they'd understand.

GET OFF MY LAWN.
 
2013-05-07 11:09:51 AM
I do know that "gold" is one of the few words that has remained unchained since the inception of English.  Always thought that fit quite nicely with White Man culture.
 
2013-05-07 11:10:42 AM
er, unchanged
 
2013-05-07 11:11:10 AM
"Linguists identify 15,000-year-old 'ultraconserved words'"

Cunning......
 
2013-05-07 11:14:24 AM
worm

Some Germanic languages use a variation of "maggot" everywhere other languages use "worm." So when they say these same words have been retained, do they mean "often but not always"?
 
2013-05-07 11:17:48 AM

FARK rebel soldier: worm

Some Germanic languages use a variation of "maggot" everywhere other languages use "worm." So when they say these same words have been retained, do they mean "often but not always"?


I hear it's amazing when the famous purple stuffed worm in flap-jaw space with the tuning fork does a raw blink on Hara-kiri Rock. I need scissors! 61!
 
2013-05-07 11:18:38 AM

DubtodaIll: er, unchanged


Dammit, I was all set to make a joke with Mr. T and his gold chains and a caption indicating the pity he felt for the fools with unchained gold...alas, it was not meant to be.
 
2013-05-07 11:19:39 AM
My hat is a fish.   Give that dog an accordian!
 
2013-05-07 11:20:02 AM
I don't see why this is special. Sounds like a soundbite from any one of our camping trips.
 
2013-05-07 11:21:50 AM
He who smelt it, dealt it.
 
2013-05-07 11:23:54 AM
Tundar zug-zug Lonna.

/nook unimpressed
 
2013-05-07 11:24:43 AM

PapaChester: FARK headline sounds like an old Lucasarts adventure game.


That's what I thought this was about.  Dance monkey;
lparchive.org

Linguistics is pretty cool though.
 
2013-05-07 11:27:46 AM
Asian hunter-gatherer caught sayof: "You, hear me! Give this fire to that old man. Pull the black worm off the bark and give it to the mother. And no spitting in the ashes!" I am post single and await your reply.
 
2013-05-07 11:31:39 AM
When the walls fell.
 
2013-05-07 11:34:05 AM
After reading TFA and this, the (sponsored link) misusing the word literally makes me even more mad.
 
2013-05-07 11:36:17 AM
I will not buy this record.  It is scratched.

My hovercraft is full of eels!
 
2013-05-07 11:37:18 AM

trippdogg: My hat is a fish.   Give that dog an accordian!


I saw some smoke it's time for lunch look at the street.

24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-05-07 11:45:20 AM
Sounds like something I'd do in a D&D game.
 
2013-05-07 11:50:08 AM
I think I just snow crashed...
 
2013-05-07 11:50:09 AM
.....surprizingly ... sammich, biatch ... not found! .....

/who knew?
 
2013-05-07 11:52:39 AM
Your mother likes the black worm.
 
2013-05-07 11:54:55 AM
Put the lime in the coconut.
 
2013-05-07 12:01:11 PM
FTA: "To spit" is also a surprising survivor. It may be that the sound of that word is just so expressive of the sound of the activity - what linguists call "onomatopoeia" - that it simply couldn't be improved on over 15,000 years.

They've got a point there.
 
2013-05-07 12:04:26 PM
I.. I. I.. I... I.. I want the knifffeeeee.....
Pllleeeeeassee......
 
2013-05-07 12:07:52 PM
Best URL ever?

/national/health-science/linguists-identify-15000-year-old-ultraconse r ved-words/2013/05/06/a02e3a14-b427-11e2-9a98-4be1688d7d84_story.html? blowmewherethepampersis.

Anyone else notice this?

/PCU is a great movie.
 
2013-05-07 12:08:30 PM

vudukungfu: Put the lime in the coconut.


Give him the stick -- NO DON'T GIVE HIM THE STICK.
 
2013-05-07 12:09:36 PM

HatMadeOfAss: Anyone else notice this?


Subby probably added that when the submission script spat his entry as a duplicate link.
 
2013-05-07 12:10:03 PM
I would figure fark is way up there, much like many other words that say like they sound.

One and two sound much like one and two things landing when tossed down.
 
2013-05-07 12:18:58 PM
I remember learning in a high school English class that the proto-Eurasiatic language that the article mentions most closely resembles modern Lithuanian. I thought that was neat.
 
2013-05-07 12:25:39 PM

Burr: "Linguists identify 15,000-year-old 'ultraconserved words'"


Were you there?
 
2013-05-07 12:27:17 PM

Burr: I hear it's amazing when the famous purple stuffed worm in flap-jaw space with the tuning fork does a raw blink on Hara-kiri Rock. I need scissors! 61!


What the fark are the ghosts of my dead Eurasian ancestors saying?
www.liveforfilms.com
 
2013-05-07 12:28:52 PM

sxacho: I remember learning in a high school English class that the proto-Eurasiatic language that the article mentions most closely resembles modern Lithuanian. I thought that was neat.


That's Proto Indo-European, which is not quite the same thing.
 
2013-05-07 12:30:35 PM
i2.photobucket.com

"You, hear me. Give this fire to that old man. Pull the black worm off the bark and give it to the mother. And no spitting in the ashes. "
 
2013-05-07 12:33:08 PM

tracer03: [i2.photobucket.com image 800x600]

"You, hear me. Give this fire to that old man. Pull the black worm off the bark and give it to the mother. And no spitting in the ashes. "


You forgot Tittysprinkles.
 
2013-05-07 12:36:25 PM
Nuclear Monk: You forgot Tittysprinkles.

Dammit.
 
2013-05-07 12:38:56 PM

Andromeda: In addition to Indo-European, the language families included Altaic (whose modern members include Turkish, Uzbek and Mongolian); Chukchi-Kamchatkan (languages of far northeastern Siberia); Dravidian (languages of south India); Inuit-Yupik (Arctic languages); Kartvelian (Georgian and three related languages) and Uralic (Finnish, Hungarian and a few others).

I really don't know if I buy this as much as they claim.  I speak two languages fluently, English and Hungarian, and the latter isn't related to much Indo-European so it's a good cross language check.  And so far this is what I see as similar FTA (excepting umlauts etc cause I'm lazy):

After that there is, say, how "old" is "oreg" but I'm not sure if I should automatically think those are the same because how many old words are there that don't have this?  With narrowing down the field to just a few words that people argue did carry over, you're going to have a few that coincidentally seem kinda similar I'd think.

I do buy that very basic things like "I" and "we" probably haven't changed over the years much, but beyond that it's really hard to tell.  Hungarian for example is related to Finnish and Estonian but certainly not in a way that's obvious (it's not like Italian vs Spanish where a speaker of one could bullshiat their way through one of the others), it's mainly grammar and a few "old" words like body parts and nature/hunting.  I reckon if it's so hard to trace between two languages so related I'm having a sure as fark hard time figuring how you're going to trace "ashes" and "worm."

/the headline in Hungarian "Te, halgatsz.  Adjad eszt a tuzet annak az oreg embernek.  Huzzad a fekete kukacot le a keregrol es adjad az anyanak ...


It involves a lot of looking at old writings and trying to identify where words came in from outside and looking a how various language constructs changed over time and similarities and differences between dialects and researching old population migrations and large empires and such which tend to have a major effect on an area's language.  For instance, the name/title Caesar found it's way into multiple languages, like German "Kaiser", Russian "Czar/Tsar", Arabic "Qaysar", Hungarian "Csaszar", etc., which, shows that, along with other evidence, that in Classical Latin "Caesar" would have been pronounced much like the German "Kaiser" rather than "Seeser" like in English.  Basically, trying to find places and dialects that it didn't change, or trying to find places that the word was injected into early on without changing later.

Also, saying that an Italian could bullshiat their way through Spanish, or visa versa, highly unlikely.  Grammar/declension/conjugation is all different.  Like saying a Frenchman should be able to bullshiat their way through Portuguese or Romanian, because, after all, they're all Romance languages as well.
 
2013-05-07 12:40:14 PM

tracer03: [i2.photobucket.com image 800x600]

"You, hear me. Give this fire to that old man. Pull the black worm off the bark and give it to the mother. And no spitting in the ashes. "


Sounds more appropiate in Prof. Farnsworths voice
 
2013-05-07 12:43:10 PM

DubtodaIll: I do know that "gold" is one of the few words that has remained unchained since the inception of English.  Always thought that fit quite nicely with White Man culture.


It's all about the wergelt.
 
2013-05-07 12:44:58 PM
Fire...BAD!!!!
 
2013-05-07 12:45:13 PM

God Is My Co-Pirate: DubtodaIll: I do know that "gold" is one of the few words that has remained unchained since the inception of English.  Always thought that fit quite nicely with White Man culture.

It's all about the wergelt.


You can pay the Danegelt, but you'll never get rid of the Dane.
 
2013-05-07 12:45:55 PM

Burr: tracer03: [i2.photobucket.com image 800x600]

"You, hear me. Give this fire to that old man. Pull the black worm off the bark and give it to the mother. And no spitting in the ashes. "

Sounds more appropiate in Prof. Farnsworths voice


Might also work in Bruce Willis's voice.

static.nme.com
 
2013-05-07 12:55:17 PM
"You, hear me! Give this fire to that old man. Pull the black worm off the bark and give it to the mother. And no spitting in the ashes!

It's an odd little speech. But if you went back 15,000 years and spoke these words to hunter-gatherers in Asia in any one of hundreds of modern languages, there is a chance they would understand at least some of what you were saying.

That's because all of the nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs in the four sentences are words that have descended largely unchanged from a language that died out as the glaciers retreated at the end of the last Ice Age. Those few words mean the same thing, and sound almost the same, as they did then. "


What can be made of this fact? It exists in total isolation. As far as any theory of structural linguistics is concerned it is right off the graph, and yet it persists. Old structural linguists get very angry when young structural linguists go on about it. Young structural linguists get deeply excited about it and stay up late at night convinced that they are very close to something of profound importance, and end up becoming old structural linguists before their time, getting very angry with the young ones. Structural linguistics is a bitterly divided and unhappy discipline, and a large number of its practitioners spend too many nights drowning their problems in Ouisghian Zodahs.
 
2013-05-07 02:28:12 PM

PapaChester: FARK headline sounds like an old Lucasarts adventure game.


That doesn't seem to work.
 
2013-05-07 03:04:46 PM
Call me skeptical. For one thing, they claim there is an Altaic family, which is very, very suspicious in the first place, then they claim to have 15,000 year old words... I'm not buying it.

BTW, part of the reason there is a huge Altaic controversy that still rages in linguistic circles is that the central Asian languages are from a steppe that has seen waves of conquest and migration, with attendant borrowing, so there is Mongolian in Turkish and vice versa. Also, altaicists tend to claim languages like Japanese and Korean with really, really terrible "evidence".

I can't say I'm not biased, I studied Old Japanese under an anti-altaicists (who formerly was a proponent but came to view the evidence as BS). But he did show us the evidence - the books with Altaic "etymologies" have things that are inconsistent with the actually internal developments of the claimed languages.
 
2013-05-07 03:07:38 PM
 
2013-05-07 03:12:40 PM

MBooda: Tundar zug-zug Lonna.


I loved that movie.
 
2013-05-07 04:09:57 PM

LrdPhoenix: Also, saying that an Italian could bullshiat their way through Spanish, or visa versa, highly unlikely.  Grammar/declension/conjugation is all different.  Like saying a Frenchman should be able to bullshiat their way through Portuguese or Romanian, because, after all, they're all Romance languages as well.


If I wasn't clear, I've had this discussion with my Italian/Spanish/French friends (diverse department I work in) and they said yes, if they got stranded in one of said countries or were required to tell you the jist of a newspaper article, they could do it for another close Romance language.  Similarly all my Dutch friends say they can get by just fine when they try German because the languages are so similar- they're not going to be spot on of course, but can get by and understand what's going on.

This fascinates me just because, as said, Hungarian and its relatives are just too different for their relation to be of any use to me should I meet someone who's Finnish or Estonian (our two nearest cousins in language).  English too has been meshed too much between the Saxons and the French to be easily understood in casual conversation (though it's really similar to Dutch- something I won't go into more detail here).

Of course one can then also discuss just where you draw the line between a dialect and a language proper, but that's probably a fairly hard line to draw.
 
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