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Outside of the box / Re: Croatian toponyms
« Last post by Daniel on Today at 11:52:59 AM »
It is hypothetical, which is to say, by hypothesis. And a widely accepted one in linguistics.

LinguistSkeptic, your reply here isn't really contributing anything and as far as I can tell is only intended to be argumentative. If you have a sincere question about this (like why Proto-Indo-European is considered a reasonable hypothesis-- a topic I've taught classes on), that would be appropriate to ask, although probably best to start your own topic on it rather than sidetracking this one.
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Historical Linguistics / Re: Was Latin ever a spoken language?
« Last post by Daniel on Today at 11:50:29 AM »
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Have I convinced you?
No, in fact, you've given me much less reason to take your comments here seriously. Making things up is different from widely used scientific methods, and in this case direct historical evidence.

If you have something to contribute that is on topic and serious, please do. If not, please don't post just to be argumentative.

You're welcome to believe whatever you want (dragon language was spoken in Rome, we never landed on the moon, the earth is flat), but there is literally documentation of Latin being spoken in Rome. There are some complicated details (already discussed) like stylistic questions, which could lead to a relevant and interesting conversation. But being 'skeptical' to this degree is nonsensical. There's evidence, and if you simply ignore it, there's nothing more to discuss.
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Outside of the box / Re: Croatian toponyms
« Last post by FlatAssembler on Today at 11:46:05 AM »
Daniel, I really don't understand you. FlatAssembler pretends to know some ancient hypothetical unattested language, and uses it to explain away the Croatian toponyms. And you are assuring him he is doing the right thing. What's wrong with you guys?
Proto-Indo-European is "hypothetical" and "unknown"? Are you really THAT ignorant?
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Historical Linguistics / Re: Was Latin ever a spoken language?
« Last post by FlatAssembler on Today at 11:43:38 AM »
WTF are you smoking?
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Outside of the box / Re: Croatian toponyms
« Last post by LinguistSkeptic on September 19, 2017, 07:12:38 AM »
Daniel, I really don't understand you. FlatAssembler pretends to know some ancient hypothetical unattested language, and uses it to explain away the Croatian toponyms. And you are assuring him he is doing the right thing. What's wrong with you guys?
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Historical Linguistics / Re: Was Latin ever a spoken language?
« Last post by LinguistSkeptic on September 19, 2017, 07:05:12 AM »
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Heroes oblivioni numquam dantur.
"Heroes never give themselves to oblivion."? I don't think that has the same meaning as "Heroes are never forgotten.".
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How can somebody think Latin doesn't exist, I have no idea. I mean, you can read countless pages of text on it, it was described by the grammarians in every detail, you can hear it spoken today…
So, where is all that evidence? How about this: "In Dragonland, they speak a language called Fifteeny. And it's a well-known thing there. You can read countless pages of text written on it. And they have linguists who have described that language in the biggest possible detail. If you don't believe me, go to Dragonland and hear for yourself." Have I convinced you?
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Outside of the box / Re: Croatian toponyms
« Last post by Daniel on September 17, 2017, 08:54:21 AM »
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I think you didn't understand what I was trying to say. Once you appear to be able to assign etymologies to randomly generated nonsense words, that means your methodology is wrong. And I think that's exactly what's going on in the minds of those who claim to be able to explain all of the Croatian toponyms.
That's different from what you said. But, sure, fair enough, if someone thinks they can identify the meaning of any random word...

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How exactly? Does the fact that the element *puk reappears in many Croatian hydronyms prove that the hydronym Bosut doesn't actually come from *bhogj (which is the mainstream etymology)? I think that Bosut might have actually meant "strong waterer" (PIE *bel-sewh1-nt), and that it's in fact related to hydronyms such as Sava, Sutla and Sunja. Mainstream etymology connects it to the hydronym Bosna.
Theories must be falsifiable. That is, there should be some imaginable evidence that could show it to be false. Otherwise they aren't predicting anything. And often we do falsify theories but finding such evidence. However, there are cases where we cannot easily find that evidence (say, by sending a probe into a black hole) and therefore are not yet (or potentially ever) able to actually falsify the theory. In that case we must look for another way to falsify it, or just accept that we cannot actually, in practice, falsify it, at least at this time.

With etymologies, we can only do so much. There are certainly some problems (it's easy to find them: find the hard ones, then go a few thousand years earlier, and keep going until you can't) that we probably won't ever be able to solve, at least without finding new data.

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And do you think that I am doing pseudoscience instead of the actual science?
No, I didn't say that. I was just commenting that, basically, you can't negotiate with the facts. If they don't support an answer (at this time, perhaps ever) then there's not much you can do. It's great to explore new methods, but at some point you will indeed hit a wall you just can't get past. I don't know if the Croatian toponyms (well, probably some of them!) fit into that category. But you can't bend the rules either way. You can look for new evidence and new arguments, of course.
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Outside of the box / Re: Croatian toponyms
« Last post by FlatAssembler on September 17, 2017, 06:43:20 AM »
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There's no direct relationship between those two positions. Someone might have the right answer, and they might claim they do. Many others do not. Just like many other domains.
I think you didn't understand what I was trying to say. Once you appear to be able to assign etymologies to randomly generated nonsense words, that means your methodology is wrong. And I think that's exactly what's going on in the minds of those who claim to be able to explain all of the Croatian toponyms.
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In general, like most of science, all you can really do is falsify the wrong etymologies.
How exactly? Does the fact that the element *puk reappears in many Croatian hydronyms prove that the hydronym Bosut doesn't actually come from *bhogj (which is the mainstream etymology)? I think that Bosut might have actually meant "strong waterer" (PIE *bel-sewh1-nt), and that it's in fact related to hydronyms such as Sava, Sutla and Sunja. Mainstream etymology connects it to the hydronym Bosna.
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That doesn't mean alternative methods are better.
And do you think that I am doing pseudoscience instead of the actual science?
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Outside of the box / Re: Croatian toponyms
« Last post by Daniel on September 16, 2017, 02:53:01 PM »
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Someone who claims to be able to systematically "explain" all the Croatian toponyms (and there are such people, most of them knowing almost nothing about linguistics) is more than likely a pseudoscientist.
There's no direct relationship between those two positions. Someone might have the right answer, and they might claim they do. Many others do not. Just like many other domains.

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I think that valid explanations include demonstrating that the same or similar element reappears in some (descriptive) meaning or tracing the elements back to a proto-language, ideally both.
Sure. But those are hypotheses rather than "evidence" per se. It's very hard to prove etymologies, as I've said a lot here. (In general, like most of science, all you can really do is falsify the wrong etymologies.)

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But the problem is that "experts" on Illyrian languages agree on almost nothing about the Illyrian grammar or phonology. They don't agree even on whether it was a centum or a satem language. And the things they agree on appear completely baseless to me. For instance, most of the "experts" agree that PIE *bh turned to *b in Illyrian. And, if so, how exactly would you explain away the element *puk in the Croatian hydronyms (if not from *bhogj)?
Sounds like a hard problem (for empirical reasons) to me, not like the wrong methodology. There are some things we will never know. That doesn't mean alternative methods are better.
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Language Acquisition / Re: Does knowing the regular sound changes help?
« Last post by FlatAssembler on September 16, 2017, 11:16:11 AM »
I remember that, when I was starting to learn English, I was learning spellings by remembering a Croatian word that would be spelled the same way. For instance, for the spelling of the word "bicycle", I would remember a "Croatized" pronunciation bee-tsee-kle.
I am pretty sure I had a big advantage compared to native English speakers when learning to write English, because I already knew what vowels and consonants were, I knew what a digraph was, I knew what a consonant cluster was, and native English speakers usually don't know that when learning how to write.
Nowadays it's so automatized to me that I sometimes catch myself not being able to recite the letters of a word, yet I am able to write it correctly.
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