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In 1951 Pedersen published his glottalic theory, which postulates the equivalence of B/D/G and P/T/C.Since this is currently found in Welsh and Gaelic and was published as a fact by William Watson in 1926 it is difficult to see why it had to be published again as a theory. One cannot say as much for glottochronology, 'an approach in historical linguistics for estimating the time at which languages diverged, based on the assumption that the basic (core) vocabulary of a language changes at a constant average rate.' Glottochronology, like lexicostatistics, is a pseudo-science embedded in pseudo-mathematical logic.The Yan Tan jingle, used to count sheep by 20s, is a good example.Names of numbers are not ‘basic vocabulary’, though the words for ‘1’ and ‘2’ are probably early.
This lack of consensus is both striking and a sign of serious disjunction at the heart of this discipline.
The head, ceann, is the rounded top of a Highland loch.
The knee, glun, and the elbow, uileann, are V-shaped pens or traps with a wide opening at one end.
To which point in the evolution of language does this list apply? Swadesh List of 200 words All, and, animal, ashes, at, back, bad, bark, because, belly, big, bird, bite, black, blood, blow, bone, breathe, burn, child, cloud, cold, come, count, cut, day, die, dig, dirty, dog, drink, dry, dull, dust, ear, earth, eat, egg, eye, fall, far, fat [grease], father, fear, feather, few, fight, fire, fish, five, float, flow, flower, fly, fog, foot, four, freeze, fruit, give, good, grass, green, guts, hair, hand, he, head, hear, heart, heavy, here, hit, hold [take], how, hunt, husband, I, ice, if, in, kill, know, lake, laugh, leaf, leftside, leg, lie, live, liver, long, louse, man [male], many, meat [flesh], mother, mountain, mouth, name, narrow, near, neck, new, night, nose, not, old, one, other, person, play, pull, push, rain, red, right [correct], rightside, river, road, root, rope, rotten, rub, salt, sand, say, scratch, sea, see, seed, sew, sharp, short, sing, sit, skin, sky, sleep, small, smell, smoke, smooth, snake, snow, some, spit, split, squeeze, stab [pierce], stand, star, stick, stone, straight, suck, sun, swell, swim, tail, that, there, they, thick, thin, think, this, thou, three, throw, tie, tongue, tooth, tree, turn, two, vomit, walk, warm, wash, water, we, wet, what, when, where, white, who, wide, wife, wind, wing, wipe, with, woman, woods, worm, ye, year, yellow.
Apart from its random and imaginary content, the Swadesh list has two flaws which between them condemn 11 per cent of these words before we start.