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The basic reasoning is set forth in Ehret 2002, The civilizations of Africa : a history to 1800 in ch. 2. It is based on the claim that there was a civilization living in NE Africa, that they were the speakers of Afro-Asiatic (not Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan or Khoisan), and that their activities can be detected to some extent via archaeology. The physical ...


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You have raised very strong objections to the proposed dating of Afro-Asiatic. As you say, the only basis for the 14000 figure is “glottochronology”, that is: the unfounded superstition that all languages develop at the same rate and that languages shed vocabulary with the same natural regularity as the breakdown of radioactivity, in short a false analogy ...


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An old question, but one which I feel is worth answering for the benefit of other people interested in Semitic etymologies. The answer below me is excellent in stating that the root-and-pattern system enables speakers to more easily recognize allophones, but probably the most important contribution of root-and-pattern morphology to consonant evolution is ...


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