After the protolanguage: Invisible convergence, false divergence and boundary shift
I discuss the processes involved in the birth of a language family: what kind of processes can happen or may have happened between the common protolanguage and the present-day languages. I do not consider the subject at a purely theoretical level, but rather through examples drawn from the Uralic studies. I name certain processes which have not (to my knowledge) previously been explicitly analyzed. I also argue that the taxonomic structure of a language family cannot be reliably reconstructed on the basis of the lexical level, and even less so if based on lexical retentions, which has been the common practice in lexicostatistic studies.