The lower segment of a coin, below the main design, generally separated by a line and often containing the date, designer initials, and mintmark. A trial piece, struck in a metal other than that used for coinage estimate: Eye appeal - that visual quality of a coin's appearance that sets it above similar coins, a fresh look, hard to express it but you know it when you find a coin with great eye appeal.
Mainly they proved themselves incompetent by claiming that the linguistic AIT had been proven with genetic evidence.
The problematic aspects of the genetic picture they painted, I leave to specialists to deal with. Meanwhile, however, a different development is undermining the AIT, and it is one I am more competent on. There, mainly in private discussions with Leiden professors of linguistics, I learned about the big new theory within the AIT camp: But two other things are emphatically in common and stand out: During a westward trek, it "converted" a NW-Caucasian population, which may then already have been restricted to its present speech area, but which may just as well have filled up the East-European or Central-Asian steppes.
This theory, pioneered by Frederik Kortlandt and presently supported by Alan Bomhard, John Colarusso and the influential Leiden school of Linguistics, has its skeptics and enemies.
Nonetheless, it has become the most coherent and battle-ready version of the AIT. It is what the OIT is up against. So, I sat down to consider alternatives that respect all the data on which this theory is based.
The Tibetan alternative Then already, I remarked that both ergativity and consonant clustering were as much characteristics of ancient Tibetan.
These traits have disappeared in the related modern Chinese though consonant clusters are still prolific in ancient Chinese and receded in modern Tibetan, e.
But in ancient Tibetan, preserved for us by the conservative spelling in the Tibetan script, they were vigorously alive. Indeed, their putative homeland in Bactria-Sogdia borders on Tibet.
Moreover, even a slightly more westerly Homeland might have been in touch with Tibetan through a westward Tibetan expansion. It has been established that NWC and its probable offshoot Basque, another result of a long-distance migration, from the Caucasus to Sardinia, then France and Spain is related to the Sino-Tibetan family.
Indeed, NWC may have come about as just such a westerly colony of emigrant Tibetan settlers. Given that the latter family is only spoken in East Asia Tibet, China, Burma and is a demographic heavyweight, it is unlikely that it moved from the Caucasus, an inhospitable place where we find only linguistic left-overs e.
Rather, it is North-Caucasian that moved westwards starting from Tibet. Regardless of that still-disputed link between NWC and Sino-Tibetan, it suddenly struck me that I had failed to realize the importance of Tibetan all these years. It should then be eminently possible to find at least lexical and possibly deeper linguistic exchanges between the two.
I do not mean between Tibetan and any Indo-European language: The implication is that some Tibetan words have crept into the pan-IE vocabulary, showing up in evolved form in Latin or Germanic. Conversely, some PIE-origin words should show up in Tibetan. In effect, to prove the Tibetan-PIE thesis, a few of such words are no less than necessary.
The only way to avoid this necessity is if there was a steep status difference between PIE and Tibetan. It is likewise not inconceivable that the Tibetan mountaineers looked up to the proto-Harappan civilization incarnated by PIE.
Even then, Tibetan may still have conferred some words transmitted by any native population to any conquerors or immigrants: Anyway, the search is on. It seems that somehow I still had not freed myself from the AIT prejudice that discards Tibetan from consideration on the same grounds as Algonquian or Maori:English.
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