Ultraconserved words and Eurasiatic? The “faces in the fire” of language prehistory

  title={Ultraconserved words and Eurasiatic? The “faces in the fire” of language prehistory},
  author={Paul Heggarty},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  pages={E3254 - E3254}
  • P. Heggarty
  • Published 5 August 2013
  • Linguistics
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Pagel et al. (1) claim support for a putative “Eurasiatic” macrofamily of languages and a dispersal ∼14,450 BP. Yet their “data”— claimed reconstructions of Proto-Eurasiatic wordforms in the Languages of the World Etymological Database (LWED)—are not actually data in any sense that either the natural sciences or mainstream linguistics would recognize. They are subjective interpretations, not amenable to independent validation or replication, and widely rejected as vacuous by specialists in… 

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    Nature Reviews Genetics
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