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Celtic and Afro-Asiatic

Author: Isaac, Graham R.
Publisher: Universität Potsdam Philosophische Fakultät. Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik 2007.
Edition/Format:   Downloadable archival material : English
Summary:
Extract: ... It is not remarkable that structural similarities between the Insular Celtic and some Afro-Asiatic1 languages continue to exert a fascination on many people. Research into any language may be enlightening with regard to the understanding of all languages, and languages that show similar features are particularly likely to provide useful information. It is remarkable that the structural similarities  Read more...
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Genre/Form: InBook
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Archival Material, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Isaac, Graham R.
OCLC Number: 651032975
Language Note: English.
Notes: Application/pdf.

Abstract:

Extract: ... It is not remarkable that structural similarities between the Insular Celtic and some Afro-Asiatic1 languages continue to exert a fascination on many people. Research into any language may be enlightening with regard to the understanding of all languages, and languages that show similar features are particularly likely to provide useful information. It is remarkable that the structural similarities between Insular Celtic and Afro-Asiatic languages continue to be interpreted as diagnostic of some sort of special relationship between them; some sort of affinity or mutual affiliation that goes beyond the fact that they are two groups of human languages. This paper investigates again the fallacious nature of the arguments for the Afro-Asiatic/Insular Celtic contact theory (henceforth AA/IC contact theory). It takes its point of departure from Gensler (1993). That work is as yet unpublished, but has had considerable resonance. Such statements as the following indicate the importance that has been attached to the work: "After the studies of Morris-Jones, Pokorny, Wagner2 and Gensler it seems impossible to deny the special links between Insular Celtic and Afro-Asiatic" (Jongeling 2000:64). And the ideas in question have been propagated in the popular scientific press,3 with the usual corollary that it is these ideas that are perceived by the interested but non-specialist public as being at the cutting edge of sound new research, when in fact they may simply be recycled ideas of a discredited theory. For these reasons it is appropriate to subject Gensler's unpublished work to detailed critique.4 In particular, with regard to the twenty features of affinity between Insular Celtic and Afro-Asiatic which Gensler investigated, it will be shown (yet again, in some cases): ...

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