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Re: VMs: Zbigniew Banasik's "Manchu Theory"
--- Jorge Stolfi <stolfi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> My feeling is that it is still too early to evaluate
> Zbigniew Banasik's "Manchu Theory".
We may not get much more. I do largely agree with
> Positive aspects:
> - It is a testable and falsifiable theory, with a
> specific proposed language and a specific
> proposed alphabet.
Yes, the main positive item is that his work is
fully transparent. Whether the language is clearly
defined is an open issue, but that is something
that we will have to live with in any case.
> - Since Zbigniew still hasn't had the time to tell
> us how
> he arrived at his alphabet, it still seems
> rather arbitrary.
> For all we know, one could swap or change many
> of the letter readings,
> and still obtain many Manchu words that would be
> completely different
> from those shown, and yet as plausible as them.
To me, that is a major problem.
> Negative aspects:
> - Only a few words have been translated, and most
> of them have vague senses
> that could fit well in any place or any order.
The fact that so few words are translated would be
typical for a 'failed' or 'incorrect' translation
attempt. One can only fit so many words to an
incorrect hypothesis. It is a bad sign, but it
is not proof by itself, if the language is
largely unknown, as seems to be the case here.
So, we can't prove that he is wrong, but we can
say that we haven't got any convicing amount
of evidence that he is right.
Overall, I would find this solution less
convincing than that of Levitov, who shares
most of the 'positive aspects' with this one,
but does translate larger sections of text.
And no, I don't believe Levitov was correct.
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