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http://www.usatoday.com/tech/s...-language06_ST_N.htm


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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... and it already has a Wikipedia article (link).


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Koro is very distinct from other languages spoken nearby, and the researchers hypothesize it may have originated from a group of people enslaved and brought to the area, though more research is needed.

Koro is so different from other Tibeto-Burman languages that the researchers have not been able to identify any in the language family that are closely related to it. The people who live in the area speak Aka languages, also very rare, and learn Hindi and English to speak to outsiders.
Very interesting, Geoff, that it isn't related to any language that they know of.

I think I am going to take a course in this Koro! Wink
 
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it isn't related to any language that they know of.

I don't think that's what they mean. Koro is not closely related to the other two languages spoken in the area, but it has been classified as a Tibeto-Burmese language (link) which means it is related to a whole slew of languages. In another article I read, they stressed that Koro is not mutually intelligible with Aka and Miji (the other two languages in the area).


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Koro and Aka are related, but that's not very clear from the article.
 
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I assume this distance is due to population isolation. I wonder if there are identifiable genetic differences between linguistically distinct populations, as between majority Japanese and Ainu?


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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I wonder if there are identifiable genetic differences between linguistically distinct populations, as between majority Japanese and Ainu?

It is possible, but somebody would have to make a study of it to know for sure. An individual's or group's language is not determined by their genetic make-up. Japanese-Americans grow up learning and speaking US English, not Japanese The "brought in as slaves" is an interesting theory. There is an isolated Dravidian language spoken in Pakistan/Afghanistan/Iran called Brahui (link). If you look at the map in the Wikipedia article linked to, you'll see it is quite isolated from the other members of the Dravidian language family. One theory I've read is that the Brahui speakers are the descendants of Dravidian-speaking soldiers who were brought into the area.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
 
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Originally posted by zmježd:

An individual's or group's language is not determined by their genetic make-up.

Of course. I was curious about correlation, not causation.


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Of course. I was curious about correlation, not causation.

Yep, then, as I said, it's up to being investigated.


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I don't think that's what they mean. Koro is not closely related to the other two languages spoken in the area, but it has been classified as a Tibeto-Burmese language (link) which means it is related to a whole slew of languages.
Here's what the article said and therefore why I responded that way, but of course I am far from being a linguist.
quote:
Koro is so different from other Tibeto-Burman languages that the researchers have not been able to identify any in the language family that are closely related to it.
 
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Koro is so different from other Tibeto-Burman languages that the researchers have not been able to identify any in the language family that are closely related to it.

If Koro is a Tibeto-Burmese language then it is related to the two other languages in the area which belong to the same language family. Here's the same sentence with some familiar languages in place of the others:

Armenian is so different from other Indo-European languages that the researchers have not been able to identify any in the language family that are closely related to it.

Armenian is still Indo-European, but it is quite different from all the other Indo-European languages. So, it is related to them. Basque, on the other hand, is a lanuage isolate. It is not related to any other known language on Earth.


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What's with Armenian names always ending in "ian?"


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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What's with Armenian names always ending in "ian?"

Armenian -yan is a patronymic suffix (link). Not all Armenian names end in -ian, just as not all Slavic names end in -ov or -ski. I'm not sure, as I am no Armenian language specialist, but it's probably some kind of adjectival suffix, as many of the IE patronymic suffixes are in origin. When linguists first started studying Armenian, they assumed it was an Iranic language, like Kurdish, but they soon figured out it was its own branch. Phonologically it is interesting as it is the only IE language with glottalized stops (or ejectives, link). It shares this with several non-IE, Caucasian languages (link) in the general area near Armenia.


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I don't see a sound link for ejectives. Interesting stuff, z!


It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society. -J. Krishnamurti
 
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Originally posted by Geoff:
I don't see a sound link for ejectives.


Listen to ejectives in Quechua, K'ekchi, and Navajo.
 
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ejectives

The Na'vi (constructed) language (link) in the film Avatar has a few ejectives. There were some sound links at the bottom of the Wikipedia article I linked to above. Also, this web site (links) gives sound examples of clicks, implosives, and ejectives.


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Ahhh, this is sounding very much like the Saussure book I read. I remember mouthing all sorts of sounds as I was reading it on the train. Roll Eyes
 
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