Home » Uncategorized » CAES Vol 1 № 3

CAES Vol 1 № 3


Editor’s foreword

Think pieces:

Whether is it possible to prove genetic unrelatedness of certain languages?

Alexander Akulov


In contemporary linguistics there is a presupposition that we can prove only genetic relatedness while unrelatedness can’t be proved. When they speak about proves of relatedness then relatedness means “to belong to the same stock” but when they speak about unrelatedness, then appears idea that all existing languages are related since they are supposed to be derivates of the same proto-language and so we can’t prove unrelatedness but can just state that a language doesn’t belong to a stock. Relatedness is equivalence relation described in set theory, relatedness necessarily supposes grouping of elements of a set into equivalence classes which aren’t interjected. Contemporary linguistics knows 7102 languages which are grouped into 234 stocks; if there would be no possibility to distinguish languages then even a single stock hardly could be assembled. Possibility of proving of unrelatedness is necessary tool of any classification: unrelatedness can be proved as well as relatedness.

Key words: languages unrelatedness; historical linguistics; comparative linguistics; logic; abstract algebra; set theory


Why conclusions about genetic affiliation of certain language should be based on comparison of grammar but not on comparison of lexis?

Alexander Akulov


In contemporary linguistics there are an obsession of discovering genetic relationship of certain languages by comparison of lexis and a tendency to ignore grammatical/structural issues. If certain morphemes are considered it is done almost the same lexical way, i.e.: only material exponents are compared and no attention is paid to the fact that grammar is positional distribution of meanings. Using such methodology we can prove that completely unrelated languages are relatives, for instance: we can ‘prove’ that Japanese and Chinese are relatives. Another notable fact is that different scholars using this methodology attribute same language to completely different stocks: Sumerian is considered as a relative of Kartvelian, of Uralic, of Mon-Khmer or Sino-Tibetan; Ainu is considered as a relative of Altaic, of Austronesian or Mon-Khmer. These facts are evidences that comparison of lexis is a completely irrelevant method and that genetic classification should be based on analysis of structural issues.

Key words: historical linguistics; comparative linguistics; typology in comparative linguistics; typology


Folk-history in Post-Soviet states and its influence on official history

Yelena Kolesnikova


There are two basic types of folk-history: 1) folk-history about enigmatic issues of ancient civilizations, 2) nationalistic folk-history. The first type is mostly spread in the West while the second in the East. In USSR official history was just a set of dogmas: conceptions were changed not due to discovering some new facts but just due to zigzags of ideology. Due to this fact in mass consciousness wasn’t formed right notion of historical methodology: history was considered just as a set of different versions. It was good background for folk-history. The most notable issues of Post-Soviet folk-histories are: Ukrainian and Turkic folk-histories: they both harshly ignore facts and methodology; also they both influence on academic history. In this aspect Ukraine is closer to Turkic world and to the East rather than to Europe while Russia is closer to the West since in Russia folk-history has no influence on academic history.

Key words: folk-history; Post-Soviet folk-history; nationalist folk-history


History of Ainu causatives

Tresi Nonno


In modern Ainu there are two types of causatives: plain causative (-e/-ka/-ke/-re/-te) and indefinite/respectful causative (-ar/-yar). Among forms of plain causative there is group that originated directly from verb ki “to do”, “to perform”, “to act”: *ki > ke > te > re > e (forms -ke/-te/-re/-e appeared due to different positional assimilatison). Suffix -ka seems to be contraction of verb kar “to make”, “to do in order to get a result”; this kar most probably initially was compound of ki “to do” and ‘ar “very”/”intensively”; so this form is resultative causative. Indefinite causative -ar/-yar is direct derivative of ‘ar “intensively”, i.e.: initially it was intensifier rather than causative marker. Plain causative *ki seems to be the most ancient causative that appeared in Middle Jōmon yet, indefinite causative appeared later and resultative causative obviously appeared closer to Yayoi epoch.

Key words: Ainu language; Ainu language history; Jōmon Ainu language reconstruction; causatives; Ainu causatives

history of Ainu causative

On the etymology of word ama (海人・ 海女・海士)

Tresi Nonno


Word ama seems to be of not Japanese origin due to the following reason: kanji by which word ama is written (海人・ 海女・海士) are read according to irregular way of reading; in Okinawa such divers are named umi-n-chu, in Izu peninsula they are named kaito, both names mean “people of sea”, both are transparent for speakers of correspondent idioms, while word ama is completely dim from the point of view of Japanese language. From the other hand in Ainu language there are the following words: am-pa “to carry” lit.: “to grab and go”; am-us-pe – “crab”, lit.: “being that grabs”. It seems highly possible that the same root (i.e.: am “to grab”) is in word ama. Initially word ama had the following appearance: ʔam ʔwa “people who grab [shellfishes]” / “people with claws” and later it became ʔamma, ʔama and finally ama.

Key words: ama divers; Ainu language history; history of Japanese language; Japanese history



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