The Paleolithic Continuity Theory (or PCT, Italian La teoria della continuità), since 2010 relabelled as the Paleolithic Continuity Paradigm (or PCP), is a hypothesis suggesting that the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE) can be traced back to the Upper Paleolithic, several millennia earlier than the Chalcolithic or at the most Neolithic estimates in other scenarios of Proto-Indo-European origins. Its main proponent is Mario Alinei, who advanced the theory in his Origini delle Lingue d’Europa, published in two volumes in 1996 and 2000.
The PCT posits that the advent of Indo-European languages should be linked to the arrival of Homo sapiens in Europe and Asia from Africa in the Upper Paleolithic. Employing "lexical periodization", Alinei arrives at a timeline deeper than even that of Colin Renfrew's Anatolian hypothesis.
Since 2004, an informal workgroup of scholars who support the Paleolithic Continuity Theory has been held online. Apart from Alinei himself, its leading members (referred to as "Scientific Committee" in the website) are linguists Xaviero Ballester (University of Valencia) and Francesco Benozzo (University of Bologna). Also included are prehistorian Marcel Otte (Université de Liège) and anthropologist Henry Harpending (University of Utah).
The Paleolithic Continuity Theory is distinctly a minority view as it enjoys very little academic support, serious discussion being limited to a small circle of scholars. It is not listed by Mallory among the proposals for the origins of the Indo-European languages that are widely discussed and considered credible within academia.
Other articles related to "paleolithic continuity theory, paleolithic, theory":
... Morris in Mother Tongue, a journal dedicated to the reconstruction of Paleolithic language, judging Alinei's theory as being Renzi (1997) sharply criticized Alinei's book, refuting ... Renzi argues that this theory would subvert firmly established concepts of Romance philology and dialectology, such as the concepts of substratum, vulgar Latin and so on ... Alinei's theory was again critically reviewed by Adiego Lajara (2002) Although some of Alinei's reflections on linguistic change are very interesting, it should be said that certain ...
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