Proto-Afrasian Lexicon Confirming West Asian Homeland: Pastoralism
Alexander Militarev (Russian State University for the Humanities,
Journal of Language Relationship, № 1, 2009 - p.95-106
Abstract: The article presents one more step towards the equation of the culture of speakers of Proto-Afrasian, reconstructed on the basis of paleolinguistic data, with the early Neolithic Post-Natufian culture of the Levant. According to the glottochronological method of S. A. Starostin, Proto-Afrasian is dated back to approximately 10 000  — the same period as Post-Natufian (supposed to be the cradle of agriculture and livestock breeding on the planet), as far as radiocarbon dating tells us. The article offers evidence for the presence of a layer of pastoral lexicon in Proto-Afrasian, in the form of 26 reconstructed names for large and small cattle and various other pastoral terms. The lexical data are preceded with a brief summary of the current state of affairs in Afrasian historical linguistics, as well as a description of the author’s methodology of linguistic analysis and his approach to combining linguistic and archaeological data in order to solve the “homeland” issue for proto-languages.
Keywords: Afrasian (Afro-Asiatic) languages, comparative lexicology