Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Grimm's Law = 'one of his fairy tales'?

Historical linguists are all but obligated to jump up and down about wildly speculative popular publications claiming to have unravelled Proto-World or whatever. The latest to come through the ether is this, and the author seems to be posting a massive work piecemeal (and in a whole set of languages at once!) But you gotta like it when a pretty slick website asserts:
One of Grimm’s “laws” for example was …. just another of his fairy tales!
... and without any explanation from the 'over 800 pages' of prose the author has. I'll be staying tuned to this site, hoping to learn the truth, or maybe get entertained. If we get a page a day, this'll go on for years.

It's hard to say for sure with the little snippets we have so far, but it looks like the author is pursuing the pseudo-scholarly angle du jour on the distant linguistic past -- popular now in the far north of Europe -- positing a big influence of a Finno-Ugric substrate on the development of modern western European languages.

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