Origin and Evolution of Languages - Approaches, Models, Paradigms - Bernard Laks

Origin and Evolution of Languages - Approaches, Models, Paradigms - Bernard Laks

Colin Renfrew’s hypothesis on the Near-Eastern origin of the original Indo-European people: an evaluation

Origin and Evolution of Languages - Approaches, Models, Paradigms - Bernard Laks

Jean-Paul Demoule
University of Paris I

Description

When it appeared in 1987 1, the book of the British archaeologist Colin Renfrew, Archaeology & Language. The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins, did not come out of nowhere, contrary to what its significant media impact might lead one to believe. This chapter argues that it was situated within a continuous scientific tradition that goes back to the very origins of the Indo-European question and concludes that the considerable impact in the academic world and among the broader public of Colin Renfrew’s hypothesis, and its association with the defenders of the ‘big tree’, together with its genes, have made it into the currently dominant theory in Anglo-Saxon media, up to the point where the archaeologist James Mallory, a defender of the steppic hypothesis, considered his own cause to be provisionally lost, at least on the media front. In contrast, amongst strict Indo-Europeanists, whether they are linguists or archaeologists, at least amongst those who believe it to be possible to locate the original birthplace, notwithstanding different scientific traditions that are specific to each country, the steppic theory has the support of the majority.

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Citation

Demoule, Jean-Paul. Colin Renfrew’s hypothesis on the Near-Eastern origin of the original Indo-European people: an evaluation. Origin and Evolution of Languages - Approaches, Models, Paradigms. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 215 - 240 May 2008. ISBN 9781845535537. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=19032. Date accessed: 03 Dec 2021 doi: 10.1558/equinox.19032. May 2008

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