Volume 4  No. 1


December 2013








New issues of he Macro-Comparative Journal are on-line




 A Comparative Survey of Chinese and Yeniseian tonogeneses  

Arnaud Fournet


Abstract: The paper compares the tonogenetic properties in the touchstone cases of Chinese and Yeniseian languages, where the nature of tonogenetic phonemes is well-known or little doubtful.  


 A Comparative Approach of Balto-Slavic Tonogenesis

Arnaud Fournet


Abstract: The paper deals with the particular subset of Proto-Indo-European phonemes called laryngeals. It is generally hypothesized that PIE had three or four such laryngeals, the nature of which has been studied mostly in respect with their segmental features. In the paper, Balto-Slavic data and tonogenesis are analyzed so as to determine which tonogenetic features can be retrieved for the laryngeals hypothesized in PIE. The second part of the paper compares the tonogenetic properties of PIE laryngeals with the processes attested in Chinese and Yeniseian languages. This source of information on the phonetic nature of PIE laryngeals has never been harnessed before.


 Assessing Laurent Sagart’s approach of Sino-Austronesian

Arnaud Fournet


Abstract: The paper assesses the Sino-Austronesian family proposed by Laurent Sagart. This idea raises several issues. The first point is that there exists no reconstruction of Old Chinese, that would account for all Chinese dialects. What exists is reconstructions of Pre-Proto-Mandarin, but they cannot account for a number of divergent dialects, especially Min. What is more, it is obvious that the “reconstruction” of  “Old Chinese”, used by Sagart in his comparison with Austronesian, seriously fails to account for Chinese dialects in the first place. Several words which Sagart reconstructs with the same word-final *-a(ˀ) have neither the same tone nor the same vowel nucleus in present-day dialects, and quite certainly none of them had *-a(ˀ) as main vowel in Old Chinese.