18.721 hierarchy of language taxons?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 07:17:39 +0100

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 18, No. 721.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2005 07:13:59 +0100
         From: "Yuri Tambovtsev" <yutamb_at_mail.cis.ru>
         Subject: discussion on the hierarchy of language taxons

Dear Humanist colleagues,
     In my opinion hierarchy of the language subgroups, groups, families and
other language taxons is one of the most global, central, important and
leading in linguistics. However, linguistics journals do not bother to
publish the articles on this burning question.This is why, I'd like to ask
you to share with me your opinion on the hierarchy of the language taxons.
Or may be, you know a journal which could publish my article on the most
global, central, important and leading problem of linguistics? That is the
burden of the upper class journal. I noticed that monor and special
linguistic journals do not bother to publish articles on general problems
of linguistics. In my opinion, we should discuss the most general and
burning linguistic issues online. There are some problems which can only be
solved and are to be
solved by the community of world linguists. It could be done with the help
of a discussion online or in some linguistic journal.
     I think that linguistics lacks a strict, proper and unambiguous
definition of the hierarchy of the sets of languages, which are
usually called language branches, subgroups, groups and families. In other
words, linguistics lacks
the establishment of the strict, proper and unanimously accepted
ordered series of language taxons. In my mind, this series hierarchy
should begin with the smallest language taxon (like "a branch of
languages") and the biggest one (like "a community of languages").
Thus, we can propose to discuss in your journal the hierarchy of the
language taxons. By the smallest language taxon we mean the
language taxon, which includes the least number of languages. The
languages in this taxon must be closely connected or related either
genetically, or typologically. It is quite logical to begin with the
notion of a branch since it is the smallest language taxon. Actually,
the smallest is the tightest and the most compact language taxon.
Therefore, the biggest language taxon ("community of languages")
may be the loosest or the least compact one.
     In fact, we propose to define the following ordered series:
Let us see how interested the world linguists are in establishing good
order in linguistics. Are there any volunteers to discuss the hierarchy
of language taxons? If so, please, share your opinions with us
sending your e-mails to <mailto:yutamb_at_hotmail.com>yutamb_at_hotmail.com
Remain yours most sincerely
Yuri Tambovtsev, Novosibirsk Pedagogical University,
Novosibirsk, Russia
Received on Wed Apr 20 2005 - 02:23:26 EDT

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