In 1989 I compared the Mande (Bambara-Malinke), and Tamil languages to use glottochronology to determine the date of separation for these languages. Below are a few of the cognates.
ENGLISH SUMERIAN MANDING TAMIL
chief kal,kala kele-tigi gasa(n)
field gan ga kalan
eye(l) igi akki
eye(2) ini,en nya kan
arrow kak kala kakam
granary kur k'ur-k'ur kutir
road sila sila caalai
father pap pa appan
lord manus mansa mannan
male mu moko maakkal
to recite sid siti
to buy sa sa cel
grain se se
seed gen ge 'to sprout'
The lexical evidence above supported the hypothesis that a genetic relationship exist between the Mande language which is a member of the Niger-Congo family , Tamil (Dravidian), and Sumerian. This linguistic data illustrates that a common cultural macrostructure is shared by these speakers which subsequently evolved along separate lines.
Given this genetic unity of these languages I call this group of Paleo-African languages situated in Africa and Asia B(lack) Af(rican), S(umerian, Draa(vidian), (E)lam: or Bafsudraalam subset of the Proto-Saharan Superset of languages.(Winters 1989)
The theory of borrowing in ancient time can not account for these morphological, lexicological and phonetic correspondences between Dravidian , Elamite, Egyptian, Manding and Sumerian, because of geographical discontinuity. This cognition illustrates a genetic relationship between the Bafsudraalam subset of the Proto-Saharan family of languages.
In Winters (l989) after a comparison of 100 lexical items from Manding and Dravidian indicated a cognate rate of 70 to 75 percent . The retention rate corresponds to a minimum separation of 1.18 millennia.
Using the standard rates of retention for glottochronology, the rate for corresponding Manding, Sumerian and Tamil terms together is 50 percent retention rate, and suggest a minimum length of separation of 2.29 millennia for the group as a whole.
But when we compare Manding-Sumerian the retention rate was 70 percent or a minimum length of separation of 1.18 millennia. A comparison of Sumerian-Tamil corresponds to a 57 percent retention rate or a minimum separation of 1.50 millennia.
The length of separations for these languages are far too recent. Formerly I believed that Sumerian had been absorbed by the Akkadian language much earlier then 2.29 millennia ago. I was wrong Sachs (1976) proved that Sumerian was still in use by the first century C.E. The fact that the retention rate for Sumerian and Mande is 1.18 millennia corresponds to the date for the end of Sumerian writing in Mesopotamia.
A. Sachs 'The Latest Datable Cuneiform Tablets'; Kramer Anniversary Volume,1976. the passage of time".
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Glottochronology and the relationship between Malinke-Bambara, Tamil and Sumerian
Posted by Dr. Clyde Winters at 7:32 PM
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