Re: Here is your trash, fools!

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a sophomoric, intellectually sterile exercise in letting clever people enjoy themselves without having to feel less clever

If that's not the apogee of Unfogged mouseover texts, I don't know what is.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 3:41 PM
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1: Minneapolitan FTMFW!


Posted by: Rah | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 5:10 PM
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It wasn't a a sophomoric, intellectually sterile exercise! I just had a big sandwich and then put on an ugly sweater!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 5:25 PM
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A sophomoric, intellectually sterile exercise for the discriminating news consumer.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 5:29 PM
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Funnily enough it didn't take long to forget it was made of snippets and to think of it as simply a story. But I stopped reading it anyway, because it wasn't that great a story.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 5:31 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 5:40 PM
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People who read, almost absentmindedly, the most sophomoric, intellectually sterile shit.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 6:22 PM
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It pains me that I'm not the only one who's pained by the sophomoric, intellectually sterile shit. I thought at least that other people were, er, earnest about all this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 6:42 PM
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I like the exportability of "I just had a big sandwich and then put on an ugly sweater!" to all manner of reversal-revelations. Thank god! It's not cancer, I just had a big sandwich and then put on an ugly sweater!

Oh no! She doesn't love me after all! I just had a big sandwich and then put on an ugly sweater!

Don't be fooled by his sweet talk and pretty stories about mountains of gold and cocaine. I just had a big sandwich and then put on an ugly sweater.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 6:43 PM
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Polynesian populations were not heavily involved in the settling of the Americas. They just had a big sandwich and put on a heavy sweater.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 6:46 PM
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I also liked the excerpted page more than I expected to.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 6:46 PM
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11: So did I. Distracting, it is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 6:48 PM
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How'd heavy get in there?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 6:48 PM
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10: Heh. I decided to read that article. So far it's just noting (without citations) that diffusionism is not taken very seriously by modern archaeological theory. They have evidence, however, for a significant instance of diffusion! Further updates as events warrant.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 6:49 PM
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Oh wait. You might be talking about the excerpted page of the pulpy neo-noir. I meant the Calvin and Hobbes discussion. Sorry for any misunderstanding.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 6:50 PM
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Of course, they're not like those diffusionists:

Theories of transoceanic diffusion, of course, have been the scourge of anthropological archaeology for nearly half a century—largely for good reason. The "literature" of transoceanic contact consists primarily of a profuse amalgam of wild, ill-supported theories mostly proposed by self-trained "archaeologists."

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 6:52 PM
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They are not fans of Thor Heyerdahl, either.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 6:58 PM
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Ah, and here come the sweet potatoes. They seem to buy it:

the closest wild relative of this domesticate is only found in the New World and recent archaeological findings of sweet potato remains in unequivocal prehistoric contexts in South America and Polynesia have vindicated the long-held diffusionist case for at least one prehistoric contact between Polynesia and South America

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 7:04 PM
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I read Kon-Tiki at a very young and impressionable age. It took me a long time to come to grips with the fact that in some respects he was basically a more grounded Erich von Daniken with massive energy and a taste for adventure. Fun to have around, but not someone to take very seriously.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 7:07 PM
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You don't take Erich von Daniken seriously?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 7:13 PM
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Drifting boat hypothesis.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 7:14 PM
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Lots of stuff about the Chumash plank canoe or tomolo: most sophisticated type of boat found in indigenous North America and possibly the Western Hemisphere, essential component of complex hierarchical society known from ethnohistorical sources, much debate about origins of this level of societal complexity, but early use of tomolo is pretty reliably dated to AD 400 to 700 and possibly earlier. All contemporary scholars of Chumash prehistory see the tomolo as a purely indigenous development.

On the Polynesian side, it seems plank canoes were widespread wherever Polynesians settled, although in places with abundant timber such as Hawaii dugout canoes made from whole logs with just a few planks added were more common. The implication is that this technique goes way back, although the only dates actually cited are "at least as early as ca. A.D. 800–1200" in the Marquesas.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 7:54 PM
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20: Carl Sagan aptly summing up von Däniken.

Every time he [von Däniken] sees something he can't understand, he attributes it to extraterrestrial intelligence, and since he understands almost nothing, he sees evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence all over the planet.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 7:55 PM
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22: it doesn't look like the other Chumash scholars take particularly kindly to the idea that they didn't develop the plank canoe.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 7:58 PM
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24: There should be a term that specifically describes the bristly emotional attachment that many anthropological and sociological scholars seem to develop for the groups they study.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:01 PM
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25: fandom?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:02 PM
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Parallels between Chumash and Polynesian cultures: construction techniques, fishhook style, increase in presence of large fish remains around the same time the tomolo and the new fishhook style appear.

However: Why no sails? (Or outriggers, etc.) Could be evidence against contact, but maybe the Chumash, lacking a "truly oceanic culture," didn't see the need; they didn't adopt sails after Spanish contact either. Lack of adequate material to make sails could also be a reason.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:04 PM
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24: Indeed, they do not. However:

The main obstacle to acceptance of Polynesian contact with the New World is the perception of a daunting physical barrier between the closest outposts of Polynesia and North and South America. This perception is largely an artifact of outdated notions of Polynesian voyaging capabilities held by North American archaeologists and not by most Polynesia scholars.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:06 PM
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And:

The skills of Polynesians in watercraft construction, sailing, and navigation, recognized and well-documented by the earliest European explorers, were overlooked and nearly forgotten by American scholars during the early twentieth century amidst ill-conceived speculation about Polynesian prehistory that culminated with Heyerdahl's theories in 1952.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:07 PM
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They go on to cite a bunch of more recent research along a number of lines demonstrating the considerable achievements of Polynesian navigators, culminating with this:

Unbeknownst to many North American archaeologists, Polynesia scholars have all but proven that the Pacific was initially settled through intentional voyaging by people with sophisticated craft and advanced navigational skills.

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:09 PM
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26: If your favorite ancient culture was a band, which would it be?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:09 PM
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31: The Way Outs


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:15 PM
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25: Yeah, it's a really widespread (and unfortunate) phenomenon.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:23 PM
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25: "human nature"?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:25 PM
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Ah, here comes the linguistics. With a bonus reappearance by the sweet potato that casts serious doubt on any "drift" hypothesis:

The case for the sweet potato representing direct contact between South America and Polynesia has always included a linguistic component as diffusionist geographers have long pointed out that the word kumara (or a dialect variant) means "sweet potato" in both Peru and Polynesia

Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:27 PM
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Okay, all attested Southern Chumash dialects have a term cognate to tomolo to describe the plank canoe. There are also a couple of other "canoe" terms: one literally meaning "stripped wood" referring to a dugout canoe, and another with the word for "tule" added to tomolo and referring to a canoe made of tule. The latter is a little problematic, since the putative loanword describing the new item seems to have turned into the default term and the older version of the item is described by a modification of it, but this is by no means unheard-of and Jones and Klar do some hand-waving in the direction of the prestige associated with the tomolo after its development or introduction.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:38 PM
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The proto-Southern-Chumash form that can be reconstructed from the dialect reflexes is *tomolo'o or *tomolo', which is semantically opaque and morphologically odd; a word this long word ordinarily be easily divisible into shorter morphemes, but this one isn't. This is a very strong indication of a loanword.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:42 PM
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It's the Xerox of canoes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:47 PM
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I admit I didn't anticipate the thread taking this turn.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:53 PM
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Turning to Polynesian, there are several factors that make it a plausible source for a loan: (relative) geographical proximity, a much more limited consonant inventory (meaning that consonant values are likely to be well-preserved in Chumash), and a morphology marked by long words and substantial compounding.

So is there a plausible Polynesian form for the source of the Chumash borrowing? Yes! Many of the Central Eastern Polynesian languages have a term meaning "tree" or similar that can be reconstructed as Proto-Central-Eastern-Polynesian *tumuraakau, a transparent compound of Proto-Polynesian roots meaning "origin" or "base" and "wood" or "tree." The operation of regular sound changes in some dialects turned this into *tumuRaa'au. (I don't know exactly what the R means in this context, but in this sort of notation capital letters often stand for proto-phonemes whose exact phonetic realization is obscure.) Jones and Klar propose "tree trunk" as the meaning of this form; this is one of the more dubious parts of this discussion, but semantics is always tricky in these things, and it's certainly plausible enough. They also propose that there is an additional sense of referring to "the source for wood from which useful items could be made, produced, or obtained," which I find rather unsupported by the evidence they cite.

From *tumuRaa'au it's only a short leap to *tomolo'o via a few intermediate changes that are quite reasonable and well-attested cross-linguistically.

This is all very plausible and in accord with standard procedure in contact linguistics, and I find it pretty convincing. I am of course relying only on the methodology and trusting in the accuracy of the data, since I know nothing about these languages myself.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:54 PM
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39: I would have put it in the other thread, but that one already has 450-odd comments. Plus this one is fresher.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:56 PM
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From *tumuRaa'au it's only a short leap to *tomolo'o …

But these forms are specifically marked as unacceptable!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:58 PM
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This is all very plausible and in accord with standard procedure in contact linguistics, and I find it pretty convincing.

I'm finding the liveblogging of it fairly convincing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:58 PM
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This continues to be fascinating.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 8:59 PM
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But these forms are specifically marked as unacceptable!

No, they're marked as reconstructions. Historical linguistics uses different conventions from synchronic linguistics.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:01 PM
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I wonder about the contention that tomolo is morphologically odd; do they give examples of how words normally break down in chumash?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:04 PM
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45: I know! Isn't that hilarious?!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:08 PM
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40: *R stands for any liquid, ie. there's no obvious reason to choose either *r or *l, but it was one of those.


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:12 PM
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46: Someone who does not buy it. (Post titled, "How Not to Do Comparative Linguistics".)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:14 PM
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OT: In case the Chicago people are interested, Dillo Day is Saturday --- a free outdoor concert at Northwestern.

I'm new to the area so haven't seen it before and I don't know if its existence is common knowledge.


Posted by: BA | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:15 PM
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Next there's a similar discussion of the equivalent term for "plank canoe," as well as the generic term for "boat," in Gabrielino, the language of the Chumash's neighbors to the south who were the only other people in North America to use plank canoes. These terms, ti'at and tarayna respectively, clearly have no connection to the Chumash terms, which is unsurprising since Gabrielino is a Uto-Aztecan language unrelated to Chumash. However, they don't have any detectable etymology within Uto-Aztecan either, and Jones and Klar make a strong case that they derive from Polynesian terms as well. Ti'at could come from one of two terms reconstructed as *tia, one of which means "to sew" and the other of which means "post" or "stake." (These are probably ultimately related within Proto-Polynesian, judging from the semantics.) Either term could plausibly be associated with a boat made out of planks sewn together and involving various posts and stakes as part of its construction; the Hawaiian cognate kia is widely used to mean "mast." Tarayna likely comes from *taRai, "to carve," with the nominalizing suffix *na added to mean "carved thing."

These terms strongly suggest that the Gabrielinos got their plank canoe technology directly from the Polynesians rather than from the Chumash, as is generally assumed. It also suggests more tentatively that since they, unlike the Chumash, may not have already had a word for "boat," they may have adopted the whole concept from the Polynesians. It's generally thought that they arrived in the area from further inland around the time this would have been going on, so this is fairly plausible although necessarily somewhat speculative.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:17 PM
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48: Thanks. I figured it was something like that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:17 PM
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I wonder about the contention that tomolo is morphologically odd; do they give examples of how words normally break down in chumash?

Yes; they use the word for "dugout canoe" (or "boat" more generically) as an example. The word is axipenesh, which is easily interpretable as an instrumental prefix axi, "to work wood," a root pen, "to be stripped," and a resultative suffix -sh. The resulting meaning is "stripped wood."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:23 PM
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49: I'm with Joel, barring any evidence that anyone in Polynesia ever called a canoe a 'useful tree'. But maybe I should read the article myself. (But why bother when we have teo to do it?)


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:24 PM
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Multiple discussions of Guns, Germs, and Steel at Crooked Timber has convinced me that anthropologists are crazy people. They may not stand out from other academics in that way, however.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:24 PM
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53: Aha, I get it. They wanted to use Chumash principles of word-formation, so they asked the Polynesians if instead of *waka (too short) they could use something similar to 'stripped wood', and the Polynesians said 'I suppose you could call it "useful tree"'. Voila!


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:32 PM
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The post linked in 49 sort of looks like it's criticizing a simplified, straw-man version of the argument teo is describing in 40 and 51.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:32 PM
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Also, 'work wood' = axi. Axe-y!


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:34 PM
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56: Both the post in 49 and teo in 40 say the Polynesian word means something like "tree trunk", not "useful tree." So I don't see why it's so weird. If Polynesians were teaching the Chumash to build the canoes, probably they would have used both their words for "boat" and for "tree trunk" in the process. It doesn't seem surprising that the wrong one got adopted, does it? (I don't know anything about linguistics, or about how convincing the arguments for a loan-word are, I just don't see the counter-argument as very compelling....)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:35 PM
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"Normally, you'd expect Polynesian linguistic evidence to come from a specialist in Polynesian, or at least Austronesian. Not Celtic."

This begins a list of reasons why the lingusitic evidence itself is suspect. Unimpressive!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:35 PM
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60: Yes, the old "argument from non-authority".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:38 PM
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59: this would be more convincing if the boat in question were a dugout - ie. more transparently still a tree trunk. But they already had dugouts.


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:40 PM
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How closely do loan-words usually match their original meanings? Do we think the two groups, if they met, would have had extensive enough contact to thoroughly learn each other's languages? I'm just trying to imagine communication among groups that barely understand each other. Maybe the Polynesians referred to the already-existing Chumash dugout boats by their word for "tree-trunk", and the Chumash picked that up but applied it to the new form of boat. It's a just-so story, but it doesn't seem implausible to me that loan-words would frequently get mis-adopted in this way. Does it turn out not to happen in practice?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:44 PM
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59: Both the post in 49 and teo in 40 say the Polynesian word means something like "tree trunk"
No they say it's 'tree'. Jones and Klar want it to be 'tree trunk'.


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:45 PM
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62: But their word for dugout only applied to the nappy type, so there was a niche for this new word.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:50 PM
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63: Oh, all kinds of semantic drift happen. I'm not saying this isn't possible, I just don't think the evidence is that great and there are too many just-so stories on the fringes of historical linguistics anyway.


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:52 PM
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Google Scholar isn't turning up much following up on Jones and Klar. Is a lack of citations in this field an indication that most people think they're wrong?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:53 PM
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67: well, isn't this an article in a popularizing rag?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:54 PM
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68: This one [PDF] was published in Anthropological Linguistics, which I'm assuming is a proper journal? Google Scholar turns up some things that cite it, but at a quick glance the only direct follow-up seems to be the one by Atholl Anderson which is available on Jones's web page (along with a response).


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:59 PM
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67: There may well be hundreds of articles undergoing lengthy peer-review for Oceanic Linguistics as we speak. If there is a thing slower than academic publishing, I don't know what it is.


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 9:59 PM
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The post linked in 49 sort of looks like it's criticizing a simplified, straw-man version of the argument teo is describing in 40 and 51.

It is. The post is working off of a summary article in a popular rag that seems to seriously distort and misrepresent the arguments in the article.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:01 PM
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70: Oh, right, I forget that most people aren't in fields where preprints are systematically distributed online and indexed by Google.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:02 PM
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70: Sadly, academic publishing doesn't even have the "vaster than empires" excuse.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:02 PM
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The link the Jones's web page provides a link to the article (listed as "American Antiquity 2005") as well as to some criticisms and responses. Anderson's critique and the response to it are definitely worth reading; I haven't looked at any of the others yet.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:04 PM
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This Anderson article is seriously interesting stuff. Linguistics, archaeology, speculation about how the El Niño/Southern Oscillation might have altered sailing conditions, computer simulations of the capabilities of canoe designs... it's fun how interdisciplinary it all is.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:05 PM
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72: Some subfields of linguistics are like that. But the intersection of Austronesian/Oceanic and historical linguistics is a little Sargasso Sea. (But in the Pacific).


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:08 PM
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btw, the American Antiquity article makes reference to a forthcoming article in Oceanic Linguistics laying out the linguistic case in more detail. This was in 2005, so I have no idea if it's been published yet. It may have ended up as the Anthropological Linguistics article linked on Jones's website.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:12 PM
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When do the Nephites and Lamanites arrive?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:12 PM
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The debunking makes uncritical reference to the theory that the sweet potato was deliberately brought to Asia, which wikipedia leads me to believe is fairly controversial.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:13 PM
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Huh. Also, Google Scholar sucks at finding citations. I didn't realize that. (I usually use a more specialized database for things in my field....)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:13 PM
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79: All of the articles seem to accept it as gospel, which I found a bit surprising.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:13 PM
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The sweet potato actually releases chemicals that cause humans who come into contact with it to want to distribute it widely. 100% true fact, guaranteed.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:18 PM
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"Written responses to our proposal from Oceanic scholars have been generally positive" should have been followed by "and the lurkers support us in e-mail".


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:21 PM
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I don't actually have a dog in this fight, but I think it's interesting to watch disputes like this. Basically, I think Jones and Klar make a very strong case on the linguistic evidence; the rest of their evidence is a lot weaker. The weakest part is the chronology, but as they stress in their response to Anderson there's very little precision in the chronology at either end for this period.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:22 PM
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"We appreciate both his open-mindedness and the fact that the issues he raises are so simple to rebut."

Oh, snap!

(This is fun reading.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:24 PM
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Reading the Anderson and the response to Anderson: man, I love the language of academic bitch fights.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:26 PM
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Pwned!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:30 PM
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"We appreciate both his open-mindedness and the fact that the issues he raises are so simple to rebut."

Fantastic. One step away from saying "We appreciate both his open-mindedness and his empty-headedness".

I think it's Stigler or someone who had a collection of these things, including one that went, "I understand Professor X's reasons for holding this view --- until six or seven years ago I thought much the same thing myself".


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:33 PM
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It does seem, just from staring at a map, that Anderson's claim that any sort of boats were capable of reaching Hawaii but not of reaching California is a little suspect.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:33 PM
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89: yeah his timing and navigation arguments strike me as pretty unconvincing.

From the response:

While the process of dismissing nearly all dates acquired by researchers prior to the 1990s under the pretense of improved analytical rigor seems somewhat suspect to us...

Yeah, motherfucker! We said it!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:36 PM
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An article from the UC Berkeley News which gives some background on how they met and started working on the idea. Apparently it was not accepted for publication in Current Anthropology.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:41 PM
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What's tomorrow nights paper going to cover? And is this going to be on the final?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:43 PM
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Seriously fuck the reading group, this is like the unfogged seminar series! Awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:44 PM
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I don't understand how "most [of the nine[!] peer reviewers] were supportive of publication" and yet the paper was not published, but this must be another of those odd cultural differences within academia.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:47 PM
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94: I don't understand it either, especially since it eventually got accepted by American Antiquity, which is a quite well-respected journal itself.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:50 PM
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The editor's decision with respect to the reviewers' verdicts notwithstanding, how in the world were there nine reviewers?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:52 PM
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Yeah, it's weird. My experience with academic publishing is that if you get a really unreasonable reviewer, and ask the editor for another, and that one is more supportive, the supportive one trumps the original one every time.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:53 PM
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It's all very strange, indeed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:54 PM
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96: The editors sent it to nine people to review?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:54 PM
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In this case it sounds like it may have been the editor who was unreasonable.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:54 PM
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I can imagine the editor sending it to a referee who said "this isn't really my field, maybe you should send it to..." and having a few rounds of that, but I wouldn't count all of those as reviewers. If nine people really reviewed it, that's just weird. Maybe the editor was fishing for a particular opinion.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:56 PM
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Well, given the controversy and Heyerdahlishness, maybe the editor just really, really didn't want to wade into it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 10:57 PM
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Wow, there's a lot of sweet potato literature. Birds might have carried sweet potato seeds? [What is the air-speed velocity...] (This also suggests the Quechua word that bears similarities to the Polynesian one was introduced by Spaniards.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 11:03 PM
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I'm reading Jones's chicken DNA paper now.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 11:05 PM
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And apparently there's a paper called "The banana as a key to early American and Polynesian history" by one Robert Langon (wasn't that the Dan Brown symbology dude?), but even going through a university proxy I don't seem to have access to it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 11:06 PM
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Langdon, that is. The Journal of Pacific History, 1469-9605, Volume 28, Issue 1, 1993, Pages 15 - 35. Unavailable to me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 11:07 PM
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The chicken thing looks very convincing to me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-28-09 11:17 PM
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Wow, Jones has a ton of stuff on his website.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-29-09 12:02 AM
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He seems to have rather diverse scholarly interests.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 05-29-09 12:15 AM
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