“14000 BP. Deep in the Altai Mountains of Southern Siberia, about this date, a wall of water 1,500 feet high surged down the ChujaRiverValley at 90 miles per hour. How does one deduce such a hydrological cataclysm? A. Rudoy, a Geologist at Tomsky State Pedagogical Institute, points to giant gravel bars along the ChujaRiverValley. These are not the inch-sized ripples we see on the floors of today’s rivers; these are giants measuring tens of yards from crest to crest. Only a catastrophic flood could have piled up these ridges of debris. Rudoy postulates that, during the Ice Ages, a huge Ice Dam upstream held back a lake 3,000 feet deep, containing 200 cubic metres of water. When the Ice Dam suddenly ruptured, all life and land downstream was devastated. (folger, tim, “The Biggest Flood”, Discover, 15:36, January 1994.) But other thoughts intrude: were the heaps of Mammoth Carcasses, the Siberian “IvoryIslands;” and those anomalous Stone tools mentioned earlier under Archaeology the consequences of similar Siberian Floods?” (Science Frontiers #92, March-April 1994. William R Corliss.)
So there I am trying to hunt down the Sumerian homeland of which I think there is more tan one but anyway, I come across this quite bozarre site where I found the excerpt. The first claim they make is that the welsh came from Siberia 30,000BP. Are the kidding or what? Wales only has a population of 3 mil so how they can deduce such a genetic relationship I do not know. I understand they can but I see it of no real relevance.
On agglutinative languages.
It can be shown that the distribution of many typological features of languages is not random but geographically (relatively) restricted. E.g., ergative-absolutive languages show up basically in the Caucasus, in North America, Mesoamerica, Australia: Basque, Berber, Dyirbal, Eskimo-Aleut, Kurdish, Mayan, Mixe-Zoque, Samoan, Tagalog and many other Austronesian languages, Sumerian, Tibetan, Caucasian without Kartvelian. Since agglutination is inheritable, we may thus ask if the agglutinative languages are also concentrated in certain regions of the world. Unfortunately, since there is no complete list of agglutinative languages (but cf. Shibatani/Bynon 1999), the following overview may be
Uralic (Collinder 1957)
Altaic (Turkic, Mongolian, Manchu, Korean, Japanese) (Ramstedt 1966; Poppe 1960; Sohn 2001; Miller 1971 [with review Menges 1974])
Eskimo-Aleut (Mithun 1999)
Paleo-Siberian (Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Yukaghir, Yeniseian, Gilyak) (Comrie 1981)
Ainu (Tamura 2000)
Tibeto-Burman (van Driem 2001; also some Chinese languages like Wu; Old Chinese?Clauson?)
Basque (Hualde/Ortiz de Urbino 2003)
Caucasian Languages (Klimov 1980)
Punjabi (Bhatia 1993)
Ossetic (Thordarson 1989)
Kurdish (Wurzel 1997)
Cushitic Languages (Saeed 1993)
Bantu Languages (Guthrie 1971)
Dravidian (Kirshnamurti 2003)
North American Indian Languages (von Sadovszky 1996; Kroeber 1999)
Mesoamerican Indian Languages (Campbell 1997)
South American Indian Languages (Derbyshire/Pullum 1986)
Malaysian (Lynch/Ross/Crowley 2002)
The following ancient languages were also agglutinative:
Pre-Indo-European (Lehmann 2002; Greenberg 2000)
Proto-Indo-European (Brunner 1969)
Etruscan (Pfiffig 1969)
Tocharian (Krause/Thomas 1960)
Sumerian (Thomsen 1984; Edzard 2003)
Elamite (Khacikjan 1998)
Hurrian (Wegner 2000)
Urartian (Diakonoff 1971)
Hattic (Girbal 1986)
Kassite (Balkan 1954)
Gutian (Hallo 1957)
Lullubi (Speiser 1931)
From this brief list, we can conclude:
All known Mesopotamian languages (excluded the later Semitic languages like Akkadian, Rhaetic, Amoritic, Ugaritic, etc.) were agglutinative.
The geographical distribution of the agglutinative languages is more or less identical with the languages that have been suspected in the past to be related to Hungarian and thus have been researched in my “Etymological Dictionary of Hungarian” (Tóth 2007b): Roughly speaking, they extend from the Ice Sea to the Southern Seas leaving huge “gaps” only in certain parts of India (e.g., no member of the Mon-Khmer family is according to my knowledge agglutinative).
Therefore, agglutination is not only inheritable, but agglutinative languages seem to cover a more or less coherent territory with a huge extension both in space and in time. Although not all languages are sufficiently documented, it is possible to show the genetic relationship of typologically related languages with Bouda’s concept of “Brückensprachen” (“bridging languages”) (cf. Bouda 1963). These are languages that connect both genetically and typologically related languages that are geographically (nowadays) distant. The concept of bridging languages is the more useful because, as already stated, languages can change their typological structure during their evolution. E.g., Old Chinese was agglutinative (as, e.g., Wu Chinese still is), while it is now isolating. The same may be true for the Mon-Khmer languages (cf. Shorto/Sidwell/ Bauer 2006, p. 590ss.). The special problem with India is that many of the hundreds of languages are not even researched yet.
The notable language that is not agglutinative is the Mon Khmer family. I don't really know what this could support other than how I have little chance of understanding all this.
Edited by SlimJim22, 30 August 2010 - 08:20 PM.