November 25, 2010

Linguistics: more on the shared IE-Basque word for bear (*h₂ŕ̥tḱos and hartz)

I was speculating the other day on the possibility that certain Indoeuropean terms meaning bear could have a Vascoid substrate as they resemble a lot the Basque word for bear: hartz. However I was soon corrected by a reader, Waggg, who indicated that there is strong evidence for a proto-Indoeuropean root *h₂ŕ̥tḱos and that variants of this word are widespread in Indoeuropean languages from both Europe and Asia.

I did accept the correction but my doubts remained: why of all animals only the word for bear appears to be an Indoeuropean loanword into Basque? Not even the name of the horse (the animal most characteristically associated with IEs) is such a borrowing (it is zaldi in Basque). Could it be that the word was introduced into proto-Indoeuropean before this linguistic family experienced expansion? 

Another unclear issue is why the Basque word hartz has the /h/ at the beginning if it was a borrowing from Celtic arth? This initial h, which is silent in southern dialects but aspired in the North, is generally accepted to be a residue from an original /k/ (or /g/), which seems attested in ancient Aquitanian epigraphy. It would just make no sense whatsoever to have it added to this suspicious borrowing.

So I asked linguist Roslyn M. Frank (University of Iowa), who speaks Basque more fluently than I do, and she just replied attaching some notes with permission to publish. I reproduce them here in their totality (just boldfacing the last paragraph, which is maybe the most relevant one):

[Notice: minor corrections added in Nov. 28 by suggestion of author]

Unquestionably, the reverent attitude of these two bear keepers underlines the fact that the bear was deeply respected among the Basques. He was treated with similar reverence across both America and Eurasia in times past, as is evidenced in the case of rites for the dead bear celebrated until recently in Lapland, Alaska, British Columbia and Quebec. "All across North America, Indians have honored bears. When northern hunting tribes killed one, they spoke to its spirit, asking for its forgiveness. They treated the carcass reverently; among these tribes the ritual for a slain bear was more elaborate than that for any other food animal (Rockwell 1991:2)." As Shepard (Shepard and Sanders 1992: 80) has observed, there is evidence of a wide and ancient distribution of bear ritual. It is present in virtually every country of Western and Eastern Europe, in Asia south to Iran, and among many of the Indian nations of the United States, even into Central and South America. For example, the Asiatic Eskimos held that during the festival of the slain bear, the bear's shadow-soul could hear and understand the speech of humans and men, no matter where they were (Shepard and Sanders 1991: 86), while the Tlingit said, "People must always speak carefully of bear people since bears [no matter how far away] have the power to hear human speech. Even though a person murmurs a few careless words, the bear will take revenge" (Rockwell 1991: 64). The Basque bear keepers' words echo a similar belief in the bear's ability to understand human speech. And, far from describing him as a cuddly pet, the Basques' comments, represent the bear as a familiar yet awesome being, in a fashion comparable to that of northern peoples for whom he is "un animal intelligent, habile, humain, familier et redouté” (Mathieu 1984: 12).

Among Finno-Ugric peoples and Native American groups, the bear is viewed as omnipotent and omnipresent. He has the power to hear all that is said. For this reason hunters would avoid mentioning the bear's real name, choosing rather to address him with euphemisms. That these were the qualities attributed to the European Celestial Bear and his earthly representatives, can be demonstrated in social practice by the semantic taboo existing among Slavic and Germanic peoples which led them to avoid mentioning the bear's real name, an avoidance pattern which, in all likelihood, stemmed from a profound adherence to the tenets of this shamanic cosmovision. The substitute term utilized in Slavic languages was "honey-eater," while Germanic tribes preferred to call him the "brown one," an expression that gave rise eventually to the English word "bear," linked etymologically to the words "brown" and "bruin" (Praneuf 1989: 28–32).[1]

In contrast, it would appear that other European peoples kept the original etymon for "bear", although they may well have avoided using it when they were in the presence of the animal or when they were hunting him. For example, there is the example of the name of the main character found in the Basque cycle of oral tales, Hartzkume. The word is a compound formed by (h)artz "bear" and -kume "offspring, baby." The set of Indo-European cognates for bear includes words such as ours (French), art (Irish), arth (Welsh), arz/ourz (Breton), arsa (Avestan) and rksa (Sanscrit) as well as arktos (Greek) (Buck 1988: 186). As is well known, from the Greek etynom arktos comes our word Arctic, the region lying towards the two Sky Bears (cf. Krupp 1991: 232).

Because of the phonological nature of the Basque word for bear, (h)artz (pronounced more or less like the second element in the English expression "fine arts"), linguists such as Holmer have argued that the word must be identified with the set of cognates found in languages classified as Indo-European. But in Basque, according to Holmer, the etymon is "conserved in a more archaic form than in any other Indo-European language (Holmer 1950: 403). In summary, the semantic relationship holding between the Basque word for bear and those found in the Indo-European languages cited above suggests that, in the case of this item, we are dealing with a wide spread archaic semantic artifact embedded still today in many IE languages. The IE etymon, because of its phonological similarity to the Basque item, could be traced back to a much older European linguistic substratum, one dating back to 4000 B.C., that is, to a period contemporary with bear ceremonialism and the point in time when the projection of the Bear Son stories skywards began to take place. Similarly, this chronology would situate the semantic artifact in Europe prior to the emergence of modern Indo-European languages, as a pre-Indo-European phenomenon that coincided with the rise of megalithic peoples and their fascination with the heavens.[2]

Original footnotes:

[1] Specifically the IE etynom is bher-, "bright, brown," gave rise to the Old English form bera, and eventually to the Modern English word bear. The word "bruin" is a cognate of this group, often used in English to refer not to the color "brown" but to bears themselves (Cf. Watkins 1969: 1509).

[2] Praneuf (1989:28) cites the following western variants of the same etynom: Hindi rich, Gypsy rich, Persan khers, Kurd hirç, Sariqoli of Pamir yurkh, Pactau of Afganistan yaz, as well as two eastern European representatives that are remarkably similar phonologically to the Basque item (h)artz, namely, the Armenian arch or ardch and the form ars found in Caucasian, although the Caucasian form refers to a "bear cub" rather than to a "bear." Thus, further evidence for Holmer's hypothesis concerning the archaic nature of the Basque word is found in the similarity holding between the reflexes of the etynom in the eastern and western extremes of the geographical zone, e.g., in Armenian and Caucasian and in Basque. I would like to thank Ryan McGonigle who first brought the Armenian item to my attention several years ago. As an aside, it would appear that the Basque word began with an aspirated /h/. This sound has been lost in the southern dialects of the language.

Also she explained:
As for the 4000 BC time frame, that was simply a rough date, but one that IE linguists often assign to PIE.

126 comments:

  1. Interesting - but I don't quite understand the timing:

    this chronology would situate the semantic artifact in Europe prior to the emergence of modern Indo-European languages, as a pre-Indo-European phenomenon that coincided with the rise of megalithic peoples and their fascination with the heavens

    I understand 4000BC is of course pre modern IE languages - but it is rather late in the formation of IE. In other words, if Basque came in contact with (or even caused) an early IE or pre-IE root form, then it should have been so about 1,000 - 2,000 years earlier - no? Also, the emphasis on bear hunting seems something decidedly pre-neolithic, to me...

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  2. Sure, why not? This seems to be just the theory or hypothesis she came up with but the exact timing is certainly arguable and I'm sure she will agree with such flexibility.

    Actually all the bear cosmology, even if it does seem to have a correlation with the likely interest in astronomy of Megalithic peoples' seems something more archaic. After all Megalithic peoples were agriculturalists/pastoralists/fishermen, not anymore hunter-gatherers (at least not most of the time).

    In no moment it is implied anyhow that Basque (or Vascoid) directly contacted PIE (that maybe only happened after the first IE expansion) but that the term was widespread in Europe (and maybe parts of Asia?) because of these religious/cosmological reasons. There could have been other languages participating in this sprachbund. IDK, compare with a word like Christ or Allah, which is similar today among so many different peoples in spite of speaking totally different languages.

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  3. Indeed interesting.
    It seems strange on such distances but I guess it's still possible.

    A little detail. It is said : "The substitute term utilized in Slavic languages was "honey-wolf""

    Isn't this a mistake?
    In Russian, "bear" is said medved (medv- ed-), obviously "honey-eater" (which makes more sense), both the IE roots are easy to recognize.

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  4. In Kannada, bear is karadi. If you consider k>h then haradi sort of looks similar to hartz.

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  5. Your input, Manju, is most interesting, thanks.

    In the maybe related Finnic karhu/karu there seems to be another proposed etymology (personal communication with many "unsure"s and "have to ask again" to Finnish colleagues) but the whole structure of these forms is certainly suggestive of an ancient shared origin in something like *kar-something. The k>h change in proto-Basque has already been mentioned and should be no surprise, more intriguing would be a similar change, maybe k>h>loss of consonant in PIE.


    Wagg said: "Isn't this a mistake?"

    Maybe, I can't say for sure. She may have been thinking on the conjectural connection between Basque otso (wolf) and Finnish otso (bear, poetic form). But it's maybe a correct alternative etymology - I just do not know enough Slavic to say.

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  6. It certainly makes sense that some words from a pre-IE substrate would have remained in IE, and bear is the kind of word that would make sense to survive, since liturgical language is often the most ancient (compare "Amen" in English from the Coptic substrate in Hebrew).

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  7. Just for the record, it is maybe interesting to mention, using the same Nostraticist/Sino-Caucasicist resource that Manju used the alleged proto-Sino-Caucasian etymology of (eu) hartz and the few "attested" cognates:

    Proto-Sino-Caucasian: *ẋHVrć̣V́

    North Caucasian: *ẋHVr[ć̣]V
    (only attested in Nakh and Dargwa, NE Caucasian languages - remember that "North Caucasian" is a controversial super-family itself)

    Yenisseian: *ẋa(ʔ)s (˜k-) - attested in Kottish hāš only.

    Kott is an extinct Yenisean language once spoken in Siberia and apparently related to Ket. It became extinct in the 1850s and only one grammar exists. As no other such cognate seems to exist in Dene-Yenisean, I'd consider this somewhat suspect of borrowing from some other language and in any case the easternmost ancient extension through the steppes/taiga of this ancient word.

    Proto-Basque: *har̄c (which reads like modern hartz in the Basque quasi-phonetic alphabet).

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  8. And continuing with the same resource, it's interesting it proposes a different PIE root: *rtk' but a most close "Eurasiatic" one: *HVrtkV.

    Out of IE languages only two macro-Altaic ones are provided:

    Proto-Altaic: *i̯àrgi ( ˜ -o)

    Proto-Tungus-Manchu: *iarga (leopard): Spoken Manchu: jarǝhǝ, Jurchen: jara, Nanai: jarga, Udighe: jagä

    Proto-Korean: *írhì (wolf): Modern Korean: iri, Middle Korean: írhì

    While it's impossible to absolutely discard a relationship, they do seem a bit forced.

    So in general I'd say that the case seems strong for a West/South Eurasian widespread term, adopted by PIE before expansion.

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  9. "But it's maybe a correct alternative etymology - I just do not know enough Slavic to say."

    It's not specially Slavic, but proto-IE.
    The usual root for honey is something like *mélh₁-it- (Latin "mel", Hittite "milit", Welsh "mêl", etc... ) but sometimes the root for mead *médhu (a beverage using honey, a.k.a. hydromel, a.k.a. honey wine), was used to name 'honey' (Russian "mëd" (old church Slavonic "meda" = honey), Tocharian B "mit" = honey, Sanskrit "madhu" = honey (and nectar), Lithuanian "medùs" = honey (-> "midùs" = mead)).

    As for ed-, just think of Latin "edo" ("I eat", from edere), Russian "eda" (food) or Lithuanian edu ("I eat") or simply "to eat" in English.

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  10. "As for ed-, just think of Latin "edo" ("I eat", from edere), Russian "eda" (food) or Lithuanian edu ("I eat") or simply "to eat" in English".

    Ok.

    Curiously: Basque edan: to drink. O_O

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  11. Some quick note: Roslyn Frank read the conversation and wrote telling that the "honey-wolf" expression is indeed an error, that she meant "honey-eater".

    She made a lot of other interesting comments that I will detail later on. The 4000 BCE date is a minimal one also.

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  12. "Roslyn Frank read the conversation and wrote telling that the "honey-wolf" expression is indeed an error, that she meant "honey-eater"."

    OK, thanks. That's what I assumed.

    "She made a lot of other interesting comments that I will detail later on. "

    Good to know. It'll be interesting to read.

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  13. I've made some minor corrections to the original text following Roslyn's directions.

    She also said, though I chose not to add to the main article the following:

    The name Beowulf is thought to be a kenning for 'bear' (or perhaps better stated an 'avoidance term') that translates as "honey-wolf" in Old English. I managed to create an ingenious new compound 'honey-wolf'. Please apologize to your readers for me. I should have reread what I sent you before I sent it.
    Bee-Wolf

    Henry Sweet, a philologist and early linguist specializing in Germanic languages, proposed that the name Beowulf literally means in Old English "bee-wolf" or "bee-hunter" and that it is a kenning for "bear".[1] This etymology is mirrored in recorded instances of similar names. Biuuuwulf is recorded as a name in the AD 1031 Liber Vitae. The name is attested to a monk from Durham and literally means bee wolf in Northumbrian.[2] The 11th century English Domesday Book contains a recorded instance of the name Beulf.[2]

    On a slightly different note, we have the fact that in recent years the Celtic hero Arthur has been linked repeatedly by serious scholars, to the mythical figure of the 'bear' and by extension to the 'Bear Son' tales.To mention only two well known works:

    Lajoux, Jean-Dominique. 1996. L'homme et l'ours. Grenoble: Glénat.

    Pastoureau, Michel. 2007. L’ours. Histoire d’un roi déchu. Paris: Ed. Seuil
    .

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  14. Why of all animals only the word for bear appears to be an Indoeuropean loanword into Basque? Not even the name of the horse (the animal most characteristically associated with IEs) is such a borrowing (it is zaldi in Basque).

    Youy're wrong, because Basque zaldi HAS an IE etymology from the root *g(W)old- 'foal, young of an ass': http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/response.cgi?single=1&basename=/data/ie/piet&text_number=+296&root=config

    This is probably derivated (with a suffix) from PNC *gwalV 'horse': http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/response.cgi?single=1&basename=/data/cauc/caucet&text_number=1125&root=config

    ALso the "Dene-Caucasian" (or Sino-Caucasian) proposed by Bengtson is WRONG, as PNC *XHVr[tç']V 'marten; otter' and Yeniseian *Xas (˜ k-) 'badger' refer to small mammals (there's also Altaic *karsi 'fox, marten').

    It has been suggested that the IE word for 'bear' is related to a verb root 'to destroy', found in PNC *HarGG(w)V 'to break, destroy, be broken': http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/response.cgi?single=1&basename=/data/cauc/caucet&text_number=1724&root=config

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  15. Another unclear issue is why the Basque word hartz has the /h/ at the beginning if it was a borrowing from Celtic arth? This initial h, which is silent in southern dialects but aspired in the North, is generally accepted to be a residue from an original /k/ (or /g/), which seems attested in ancient Aquitanian epigraphy. It would just make no sense whatsoever to have it added to this suspicious borrowing.

    There're Basque words with a non-etymological /h/ (e.g. harma 'weapon'). What's clear is that hartz (found as HARS in Aquitanian inscriptions) had already /h/ at Roman times.

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  16. "You're wrong"...

    Hi, Octavià. I think this is much better said "you may be wrong" or "I think that you are wrong". It's linguistics after all: slippery terrain by its very nature and therefore we are all issuing opinions, and only very rarely judgments in such absolute terms.

    But I appreciate your opinion as knowledgeable and bright linguist, even if not the style.

    "because Basque zaldi HAS an IE etymology from the root *g(W)old- 'foal, young of an ass'"

    Looks tentative to me. Interesting but I do not see anywhere how can you be so strongly convinced. After all there are several sound changes(gw>z specially but also some vocalic changes) and it's not even the same meaning. The "Nostratic" (Ataic, Uralic) alleged cognates actually refer to young animals in general, rather than equids.

    Also no Celtic, Latin or Germanic "middleman" term is provided.

    The alleged NE Caucasian cognates do refer to horses but are even more distant from Basque (loss of d and no z still anywhere) so this cannot be explained by Vasco-Caucasian theory. It still needs Celtic (or Latin, or Germanic non-existent intermediary).

    It's interesting as exploration outline but far from conclusive, IMO.

    "ALso the "Dene-Caucasian" (or Sino-Caucasian) proposed by Bengtson is WRONG"

    Agreed here (always my opinion anyhow). I argued above that the *XHVr[tç']V and very similar PIE *h₂ŕ̥tḱos conjectured roots seem to be a West Eurasian (with South Asian links maybe) phenomenon and is not clearly related to any language East of Kott(ish) by the Steppes, being this one anomalous within Yenisean.

    My underlying speculation here is that Nostratic and Sino-Caucasian are probably wrong (at best they reflect some sprachbund through the steppes) and that we are more likely (because of the geographic constrictions of prehistoric human demographics and Eurasian geography) to find geographically organized superfamilies, at least to some extent. For example I would suspect that most West Eurasian languages have never arrived from East Asia (or vice versa), the main exception being arguably proto-Uralic. Similarly the only language family that looks African by origin is Afroasiatic. All the others should derive from the same early proto-language (or proto-languages in intense sprachbund) of some 30-50 Ka ago. Some doubts anyhow exist about which are the exact origins of PIE (East European, South Asian, Central Asian?) but in general it seems to belong in that group, rather than being "exotic".

    "It has been suggested that the IE word for 'bear' is related to a verb root 'to destroy', found in PNC *HarGG(w)V 'to break, destroy, be broken'".

    Sounds cool, funny. I like it that sense at least.

    But would I look for cognates in Basque, I'd look at the root har-:
    · harri: stone (pre-IE *khar- proposed often)
    · haritz: oak (suffix hitz: word, speech quality?)
    · har(tu): to take, to get
    · har: there (loc.)

    What say Caucasian peoples?

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  17. "There're Basque words with a non-etymological /h/ (e.g. harma 'weapon'). What's clear is that hartz (found as HARS in Aquitanian inscriptions) had already /h/ at Roman times".

    I was essentially referring to standard Basque (Euskara Batua or Batua for short). In Bizkaiera there are no written Hs at all I believe. If any advantage carries Batua for etymological purposes is that it has tried to stay genuine to the Basque core of linguistic purity (central dialects), so to say, as understood by Euskaltzaindia (Basque Language Academy).

    But your comment is very interesting in any case.

    I'm not really sure which are the premises of the alleged /k/>/h/ sound change but I understand that the famous inscription "aherbelts deo" ("to the black he-goat god" in Latin and Basque) shows sound oscillation between k and h (akerbeltz modernly) but it's not clear to me which direction was dominant. Can it be a never consolidated dialectal variant?

    I understand that for some changes to become consolidated a lot of ephemeral and/or localized changes must exist too. This is just common sense, right?

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  18. Maju said,

    "But would I look for cognates in Basque, I'd look at the root har-:
    · harri: stone (pre-IE *khar- proposed often)"

    Where did you find it posited that pre-Proto IE had a form *khar- "stone"? I think this is the modern Armenian word for "stone."

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  19. Hi, Octavià. I think this is much better said "you may be wrong" or "I think that you are wrong". It's linguistics after all: slippery terrain by its very nature and therefore we are all issuing opinions, and only very rarely judgments in such absolute terms. But I appreciate your opinion as knowledgeable and bright linguist, even if not the style.

    Hi, Maju. I didn't use the conditional because you expressed such a strong opinion: "Not even the name of the horse [...] is such a borrowing".

    Looks tentative to me. Interesting but I do not see anywhere how can you be so strongly convinced. After all there are several sound changes(gw>z specially but also some vocalic changes) and it's not even the same meaning.

    The initial velar became palatized (assibilated) at a later stage. This phenomenon, although apparently not recognized by Vascologists, is quite common in part of the Basque lexicon, even including Romance loanwords. Another example I mentioned before is txar 'bad' from *-gar.

    Also the meanings 'ass', 'horse', 'poney', etc. belong to the same semantic field.

    Also no Celtic, Latin or Germanic "middleman" term is provided. The alleged NE Caucasian cognates do refer to horses but are even more distant from Basque (loss of d and no z still anywhere) so this cannot be explained by Vasco-Caucasian theory. It still needs Celtic (or Latin, or Germanic non-existent intermediary).

    This word is only attested in Germanic and Sanskrit, neither Celtic nor Latin have it. But it possibly existed in Ligurian (aka "Italoid" or "Sorotaptic"), an IE substrate language which has been studied by scholars like Joan Coromines or Francisco Villar.

    Agreed here (always my opinion anyhow). I argued above that the *XHVr[tç']V and very similar PIE *h₂ŕ̥tḱos [...]

    IMHO the similarity between these two words is probably accidental.

    "It has been suggested that the IE word for 'bear' is related to a verb root 'to destroy', found in PNC *HarGG(w)V 'to break, destroy, be broken'".

    Sounds cool, funny. I like it that sense at least.


    This relationship was first suggested by IE-ists. I merely translated to PNC :-)

    But would I look for cognates in Basque, I'd look at the root har-:

    Do you know what does "homonymy" mean?

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  20. I was essentially referring to standard Basque (Euskara Batua or Batua for short). In Bizkaiera there are no written Hs at all I believe. If any advantage carries Batua for etymological purposes is that it has tried to stay genuine to the Basque core of linguistic purity (central dialects), so to say, as understood by Euskaltzaindia (Basque Language Academy).

    Basque /h/ is only preserved in North Dialects, although there're evidence Biscayan had it in the Middle Ages. Unfortunately, Euskaltzaindia choose to keep only initial and intervocalic /h/ in Batua, but not the ones which indicate aspiration of the precedent consonant. I'm also affraid Euskera Batua isn't a good start point to make linguistic research.

    I'm not really sure which are the premises of the alleged /k/>/h/ sound change but I understand that the famous inscription "aherbelts deo" ("to the black he-goat god" in Latin and Basque) shows sound oscillation between k and h (akerbeltz modernly) but it's not clear to me which direction was dominant. Can it be a never consolidated dialectal variant?

    IMHO, the form aker, probably from *ap and *-ger 'bad', is a borrowing from a related variety which displaced the Aquitanian (=Proto-Basque) one, which has no modern descendents.

    It looks like Proto-Basque *h arose from a former strong plosive (most often k:) through an intermediate aspiration stage: *k: > *kh > *h. I call this "Martinet's Law" because it's very similar to the model proposed by the French linguist André Martinet in 1955. Unfortunately, this hasn't been yet acknowledged by academic Vascologists.

    harri: stone (pre-IE *khar- proposed often)

    The root is actually *kar- 'hard', which I relate to PNC *GwerV 'stone'.

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  21. @Ebizur:

    Pre-IE is not proto-IE but non-IE. Pre-IE in Europe and equivalent (highly Indoeuropeanized) contexts refers to the languages that existed before IE expansion, including survivors like Basque, Caucasian languages, Dravidian, Burushaski...

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  22. "Hi, Maju. I didn't use the conditional because you expressed such a strong opinion: "Not even the name of the horse [...] is such a borrowing"".

    Ok. My bad then.

    I could not see any sort of relation with PIE *h₁éḱwos or any other nearby IE variant such as horse or caballo.

    So it is not any apparent borrowing, at least on first sight. You come with an interesting alternative PIE/NEC potential cognate. Fair enough, but it's a proposal and not a demonstration.

    "Also the meanings 'ass', 'horse', 'poney', etc. belong to the same semantic field".

    Yes but that also applies when you compare leopards and bears, something I considered dubious above and that you also considered unclear in a different case later:

    "ALso the "Dene-Caucasian" (or Sino-Caucasian) proposed by Bengtson is WRONG, as PNC *XHVr[tç']V 'marten; otter' and Yeniseian *Xas (˜ k-) 'badger' refer to small mammals (there's also Altaic *karsi 'fox, marten')".

    So it is important (in order to feel safe of the interpretation) the most strict meaning identity. As I said above this happens with the NEC cognates but they are more distant than the PIE one and therefore we lack a transmitter.

    I think you may be on something but not so solidly as you would like to make it look.

    "But it possibly existed in Ligurian (aka "Italoid" or "Sorotaptic"), an IE substrate language"...

    I am of the opinion that there is absolutely no reason to claim Ligurian as IE and I think it is likely to be related with Basque and Iberian in fact. As in the case of Basque and Caucasian languages we see this language's speakers clinging to the mountains as refuge, and their archaeology has clear pre-IE roots as far as I can discern.

    The linguistic evidence is nearly zero, sadly enough.

    "I argued above that the *XHVr[tç']V and very similar PIE *h₂ŕ̥tḱos [...]

    IMHO the similarity between these two words is probably accidental".

    I do not believe in coincidences, much less when they make total sense.

    "Do you know what does "homonymy" mean?"

    Of course. I am just suggesting.

    My (weak) interest in the har- root is that it seems to show up once and again in connection with what seem "sacred" or "most important" elements of what could be a Prehistoric world-view: stone, oak, bear.

    As I have told you before, you cannot solve the puzzle of European/West Eurasian languages (before IE and Semitic expansions) without considering all the pieces. What I do is to take Basque on its own right, and not just assuming without sufficient justification it is a mere dialect of a most controversial proto-North-Caucasian, as you do without sufficient justification IMO.

    It is complementary to other approaches and has its own merits. We should not just simply assume that Basque is a dialect of PNC or NEC but it's clear that it's a different language with at least 7000 years of different history, more than IE as we know it. And it may be even older (i.e. Paleolithic).

    So it's important to consider Basque on its own context: Basque itself, related Iberian and other Vasconic substrate indicators through West Europe (and wherever).

    ...

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  23. "Unfortunately, Euskaltzaindia choose to keep only initial and intervocalic /h/ in Batua, but not the ones which indicate aspiration of the precedent consonant. I'm also affraid Euskera Batua isn't a good start point to make linguistic research".

    You have to understand that I am not any linguist with a degree and that most of my readers can't read/speak/understand Basque. So using Batua as reference, with all the shortcomings it has, is a necessary simplification. You can always expand from there if need be.

    As for th and so on, it was a simplification considered necessary, yet you are welcome to illustrate us when this "lost" (dialectal) phonetics may be relevant.

    "IMHO, the form aker, probably from *ap and *-ger 'bad', is a borrowing from a related variety which displaced the Aquitanian (=Proto-Basque) one, which has no modern descendents".

    Sounds unlikely to me, specially as the word is documented in Iberian (with /k/). I also mentioned before (another post) the possibility that aker (he-goat) and ahari (ram) (<*akari?) might be related, with Lat. aries being a derived term maybe, via Ligurian/other Vasconic substrate.

    "It looks like Proto-Basque *h arose from a former strong plosive (most often k:) through an intermediate aspiration stage: *k: > *kh > *h. I call this "Martinet's Law" because it's very similar to the model proposed by the French linguist André Martinet in 1955. Unfortunately, this hasn't been yet acknowledged by academic Vascologists".

    It makes sense to me. Just that I would consider the unidirectional arrows to be at times/places bidirectional or even totally reversed, as the aherbelts case seems to indicate.

    "The root is actually *kar- 'hard', which I relate to PNC *GwerV 'stone'".

    Ok, in this I concede. I had seen it as *khar- maybe to indicate Basque har- but it's fine either way.

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  24. Just a word about the issue of proto-NEC (as PNC seems little more than that) *XHVr[tç']V. One of the animals related is badger, which is the other mammal most typically related to bear (excepting maybe the wolf and this one only because of similar status in the food chain). Badger in Basque is azkonar (and similar) and is typically considered to be a derivate from hartz (hartz + dim. -(s)ko).

    Also I want to say that what keeps together (if anything other than sound similarity) the har- words in Basque is something like the quality of strength. In this sense your PIE/PNC mention of a potential root in "PNC *HarGG(w)V 'to break, destroy, be broken" makes total sense, except that I do not really feel the need for the second syllable -GG(w)V in the case of Basque and that my emphasis would be more in "passive strength", solidity, sturdiness, a characteristic that can well share stone (harri), oak (haritz) and bear (hartz).

    However I reckon that haritz breaks the rule for lacking strong R (ŕ or rr). On the other hand har(-tu) (to get, to take) has it, as indicated in the compound harremanak (relations: the-take-give-s literally). So maybe it is actually related to that PNC/proto-NEC root, after we exclude haritz and include hartu, because both to take and to break seem to imply some sort of affirmative "violence" (but notice the more relaxed and pragmatic proto-Basque meaning if hartu is the key verb to track).

    Just thinking loud in any case.

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  25. Last post this row (I promise).

    What I'm cautiously proposing in my "thinking loud" exercise of the previous post(s) is a proto-Basque *har- (maybe harri not just as stone but also as verb - -i, -n and -tu are the three infinitive forms in Basque) that meant to take/get but also more broadly active manipulation of the environment and, in this sense, not really different from PNC *HarGG(w)V (to break, destroy) but with a more thief/crafter than warrior attitude in it.

    The bear is certainly a "taker" and the stone is something you "take" an use to "take" stuff from the environment.

    ...

    Besides a note: it has also been proposed that ar (male) is related to this *har- root (specially in hartu), because, in spite of the loss of initial h (it does retain the final strong R: i.e. arra: the male), because of the parallel with eme (female) and eman (to give).

    Also for the readers not familiar with Basque specially, verbs that are very similar in sound to the hypothetical proto-verb (above) *harri would be for instance:

    jarri: to put, to set
    ekarri: to carry or bring from [its opposite eraman, lit. 'variant of to give', seems a more recent development with the preffix era- (mode) which is used similarly to English phrasal verbs to modify the meaning of the main verb] - related to ekai (matter, burden, similar to gai also matter).

    I don't mean here that these three verbs are related just using them as examples to illustrate how such verbs do exist in Basque. There are many others in -i (jaitsi, ipini, ibili, etc.) but I chose these two because the accidentally also end in -arri.

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  26. Maju said,

    "Pre-IE is not proto-IE but non-IE. Pre-IE in Europe and equivalent (highly Indoeuropeanized) contexts refers to the languages that existed before IE expansion, including survivors like Basque, Caucasian languages, Dravidian, Burushaski..."

    It is ridiculous to postulate the existence of particular "Pre-IE" words or morphemes unless you have evidence that Indo-European languages have spread at the expense of a single pan-West Eurasian "Pre-IE" language family. From which morphemes of which attested languages has such a "Pre-IE" form as *khar- been reconstructed?

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  27. Pre-IE is a loose term. It does not presuppose anything but that IE expanded over something else (which can well be a plurality of language families, in sprachbund or not).

    In the context of Europe, specially the western half or so, it's often interchangeable with Vasconic but "pre-IE" just makes less assumptions. It refers to generic substrate in Indoeuropeanized areas and never to proto-IE (or pre-proto-IE).

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  28. "Also the meanings 'ass', 'horse', 'poney', etc. belong to the same semantic field".

    Yes but that also applies when you compare leopards and bears, [...]

    Don't be ridiculous. The animals I listed before are all equids.

    What I do is to take Basque on its own right, and not just assuming without sufficient justification it is a mere dialect of a most controversial proto-North-Caucasian, as you do without sufficient justification IMO.
    The problem is you take IE loanwords as if they were "Vasconic", much in th same way Vennemann does.

    I am of the opinion that there is absolutely no reason to claim Ligurian as IE and I think it is likely to be related with Basque and Iberian in fact.
    There're probably two Ligurian languages, a non-IE and an IE one.

    Sounds unlikely to me, specially as the word is documented in Iberian (with /k/).
    AFAIK, Iberian had no /h/ nor followed Martinet's Law.

    "It looks like Proto-Basque *h arose from a former strong plosive (most often k:) through an intermediate aspiration stage: *k: > *kh > *h. I call this "Martinet's Law" because it's very similar to the model proposed by the French linguist André Martinet in 1955. Unfortunately, this hasn't been yet acknowledged by academic Vascologists".

    It makes sense to me. Just that I would consider the unidirectional arrows to be at times/places bidirectional or even totally reversed, as the aherbelts case seems to indicate.

    Not so. Basque aker must be a borrowing and not a native word.

    Badger in Basque is azkonar (and similar) and is typically considered to be a derivate from hartz (hartz + dim. -(s)ko).
    No, this is a Celtic loanword from *tazgo- 'badger' (> Latin taxō) with loss of initial t- (no /h/ in any dialect). And the forms azkonar, azkunar, azkenarro have the male "suffix" -ar.

    Also I want to say that what keeps together (if anything other than sound similarity) the har- words in Basque is something like the quality of strength. In this sense your PIE/PNC mention of a potential root in "PNC *HarGG(w)V 'to break, destroy, be broken" makes total sense, except that I do not really feel the need for the second syllable -GG(w)V in the case of Basque and that my emphasis would be more in "passive strength", solidity, sturdiness, a characteristic that can well share stone (harri), oak (haritz) and bear (hartz).
    Sorry, but this doesn't make any sense.

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  29. @Octavià:

    I do not understand why you take a modern scientific category (equids) and apply it to linguistics, much less why would this be different from another modern scientific category such as carnivores.

    For an IE loan to have arrived into Basque before Latin or Celtic did (i.e. before c. 1200 BCE) we need a carrier. What do you propose? Be clear because this prehistory understanding is critical.

    A mere cognate between PIE and Vasconic does not automatically mean loan into Basque: it can be something much older. This should be clear for someone who postulates that Basque is nothing but a North Caucasian dialect (?) that migrated to the far west (thousands of years before IE began its expansion and even yet several more millennia before it arrived to the Pyrenees).

    In order to claim conclusively that something is as an IE borrowing into Basque/Vasconic, you need a plausible vehicle. Typically these are either Celtic or Latin but guess that Greek or Germanic can do too.

    Your proposal for zaldi breaks all these rules, so I cannot accept it as such. However I can conjecture that they represent different branches of a shared root (where? maybe in a shared pan-European common phylogeny/substrate/sprachbund dating to either Gravettian or Neolithic times).

    That is exactly what Frank proposes for hartz/arctos/etc. Crucial in this seems to be that she and others find the Basque word hartz more archaic than the PIE and PNC ones (and not derived).

    Similarly I find that zaldi in comparison with your PIE and PNC words looks rather archaic than derived, very specially for the loss of D in Caucasian languages, what almost makes the cognate nature unrecognizable - would it not be for the PIE reconstruction, which actually seems intermediate, in spite of the different meaning.

    All this to me says that there was once some sort of *zhwaldV evolving into *GwVldV in the East and into *zaldi (for lack of a better proto-word) in the West. At that time PIE was just one of many languages, possibly related by a shared origin spoken in Europe and parts of its periphery.

    This is more parsimonious than the most implausible loan from PIE you are defending.

    "Basque aker must be a borrowing and not a native word".

    Highly skeptic. I'd rather think that it's better to consider Basque or any other language for what they actually used to be: a dialectal continuum and not some sort of fossilized academic standard. We need to begin to apply chaos theory to linguistics, and stop assuming everything comes in neat distinct blocs.

    "this is a Celtic loanword from *tazgo- 'badger'"

    Well, this I leave to linguists to debate. Just to mention that I borrowed the idea from Frank's papers on the bear mythology and linguistic implications.

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  30. I do not understand why you take a modern scientific category (equids) and apply it to linguistics, much less why would this be different from another modern scientific category such as carnivores.
    What nowadays we call "equids" where very similar animals to ancient people. However, this isn't so for "carnivores", which is a broader concept.

    A mere cognate between PIE and Vasconic does not automatically mean loan into Basque: it can be something much older. This should be clear for someone who postulates that Basque is nothing but a North Caucasian dialect (?) that migrated to the far west (thousands of years before IE began its expansion and even yet several more millennia before it arrived to the Pyrenees).
    For puerly geographical reasons, nobody would consider Basque as being "North Caucasian". "Macro-Caucasian" or "Vasco-Caucasian" would be more appropriate terms.

    In order to claim conclusively that something is as an IE borrowing into Basque/Vasconic, you need a plausible vehicle. Typically these are either Celtic or Latin but guess that Greek or Germanic can do too.
    I disagree. Apart from historical attested languages like the ones you mentioned, there's evidence of other members of IE family which are poorly attested or not attested at all, only surviving in the form of loanwords. And Italoid/Sorotaptic is one of them.

    Your proposal for zaldi breaks all these rules, so I cannot accept it as such. However I can conjecture that they represent different branches of a shared root (where? maybe in a shared pan-European common phylogeny/substrate/sprachbund dating to either Gravettian or Neolithic times).
    There's no need to suppose that IMHO. And the same argument can be applied to hartz.

    This is more parsimonious than the most implausible loan from PIE you are defending.
    No, it's actually on the contrary.

    "Basque aker must be a borrowing and not a native word".
    Highly skeptic. I'd rather think that it's better to consider Basque or any other language for what they actually used to be: a dialectal continuum and not some sort of fossilized academic standard.

    This dialectal continuum was broken after Romanization in the High Middle Ages, and it looks Basque absorbed part of the lexicon of its sisters. Given that the Proto-Basque form was aher, aker must be one of these loanwords.

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  31. Similarly I find that zaldi in comparison with your PIE and PNC words looks rather archaic than derived, very specially for the loss of D in Caucasian languages, what almost makes the cognate nature unrecognizable - would it not be for the PIE reconstruction, which actually seems intermediate, in spite of the different meaning.

    There's no such loss of *-d-, as this is a suffix which was added in IE. And the meaning isn't really so different (i.e semantic latitude is narrow).

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  32. "This dialectal continuum was broken after Romanization in the High Middle Ages".

    Not sure what you refer to, I presume that to the loss of Iberian language(s) and Aquitanian Basque (or rather the Garonne variants of Vasco-Aquitanian). But the dialectal continuum has remained till the 20th century (and even today) in the remainder Basque-speaking areas.

    ""carnivores", which is a broader concept".

    I know, but the animals are not that dissimilar in looks and behavior. It is not impossible that words may have shifted meaning when earliest proto-languages migrated in the depths of the Paleolithic ages. It remains conjectural but the same has to be when you find a "Nostratic" phylogeny where most of the cognates mean not anything related to equids but just small or young animal in general (cub, whelp in English).

    So my elaboration, removes the Nostratic conjecture (more for practical reasons than absolute impossibility) and focus on European-specific cognates, what is what I think you do too. However you claim a IE origin that I fail to see clear for lack of vehicles of transmission.

    "For puerly geographical reasons, nobody would consider Basque as being "North Caucasian". "Macro-Caucasian" or "Vasco-Caucasian" would be more appropriate terms".

    It's possible. But in previous debates at your blog, you have made more than once to derive Basque terms from PNC and that (because of diversity or conjectures about the Neolithic frame of expansion of proposed Vasco-Caucasian), to effectively work as if Basque (and Iberian) were mere dialects evolved from PNC, without any reconstruction of any more balanced proto-Vasco-Caucasian, which IMO should be the first thing to consider.

    "Apart from historical attested languages like the ones you mentioned, there's evidence of other members of IE family which are poorly attested or not attested at all, only surviving in the form of loanwords. And Italoid/Sorotaptic is one of them".

    Well, maybe I should have used the term "Italic" instead of Latin, its only historical survivor. Whatever the case, a clear case for a vehicle for the loan(s) should be proposed. AFAIK, Basques were only in intense contact with Celtic and then Latin Indoeuropean, with whatever reserves for the Lusitanian case (which I tend to think as a branch of proto-Celtic of pre-Q Celtic if this term can be used).

    I do not expect any direct contact with IE before 2400 BCE and that only at the Rhine and via the Bell Beaker phenomenon. In order to consider these, we'd need to know if any Western IE preserves the *GwaldV form with the LD consonantic group (so fowl is not valid, IMO) and preferably in a form close to zaldi. The LD group is in fact the only thread that may relate zaldi with *GwaldV, plus maybe the persistence of final vowel, also lost in fowl (actually if you compare fowl and zaldi only the L is consistent, enough? I say no). So we wold be better with some evidence that it existed in West IE and not just in always conjectural PIE.

    ...

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  33. ...

    "No, it's actually on the contrary".

    This is the kind of non-discussion where we cannot proceed further. Why would be more parsimonious to make the Basque form zaldi derive from *g(W)old- (equid whelp) or *gwalV (horse)? It is obvious that these two proto-words are more closely related to each other than to Basque:

    *g(W)old- <> *gwalV [1 or 2 changes: loss/gain of D, plus maybe change in the last vowel]

    *g(W)old- <> zaldi [2 or 3 changes: key consonant change at beginning, two vowel changes]

    *gwalV <> zaldi [2-3 changes: same as above plus loss/gain of D]

    If we only consider consonantic changes then the tree is:

    Z'LD' <> GW'LD' <> GW'L'

    But GW'LD' has a meaning shift, what to me indicates that it's a borrowing from some third language where it still meant horse (as in Basque and NEC, and not small equid). So I would seriously consider a, for instance, Dniepr-Don (or Danubian or even Gravettian) ancient word like *GwaldV or even *ZhaldV. PIE and P-NEC would then be the eastern variants, and Basque would be the remaining Western one.

    Considering that horses were known to Dniepr-Don peoples and that they influenced Northern Europe, contacting Megalithic peoples, some time before Indoeuropeans did (i.e. in the context of Funnelbeaker and Pitted Ware), this is not impossible, I'd say.

    "Given that the Proto-Basque form was aher, aker must be one of these loanwords".

    *aher > aker seems to argue against such loan but rather speaks of sound shift, really. We only known that Aherbelts was spelled with H (instead of K) in one slab. This may have been a Garonne dialectal variant or even an error when transcribing to Latin alphabet. It's not conclusive evidence of anything alone.

    Maybe we are also in relation to aker/ahari ambiguity (they are both males of ovi-caprids and the terms may have been interchangeable to some extent in the past). This we would hardly ever be able to discern but it's clear that these kinds of subtle changes in meaning happen all the time in living languages (specially when you change the dialectal zone), so we should expect them to happen in the past too.

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  34. "There's no such loss of *-d-, as this is a suffix which was added in IE".

    You are taking the (arbitrary) stand that the PNC word *gwadV is older, a claim that lacks any evidence to support it.

    We have three words in three language families that seem cognates, the logical default is to think that all them descend from the same unknown common root and in any case, the Caucasus does not look like the place where this word in particular would coalesce. I'd rather look in the steppes, but Vasconia also has a long history with horses anyhow (just visit Ekain, for instance).

    So for me there is loss of D in PNEC *gwalV and the proto-European word should have it.

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  35. Erratum *gwadV should read *gwalu in the first paragraph. My bad.

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  36. "There's no such loss of *-d-, as this is a suffix which was added in IE".

    You are taking the (arbitrary) stand that the PNC word *gwalV is older, a claim that lacks any evidence to support it.


    Not so, as PNC is for sure older than PIE. There's also evidence of Vasco-Caucasian loanwords right into PIE. And it's also more reasonable to assume a suffix -d- was added at some stage than the contrary.

    For puerly geographical reasons, nobody would consider Basque as being "North Caucasian". "Macro-Caucasian" or "Vasco-Caucasian" would be more appropriate terms".

    It's possible. But in previous debates at your blog, you have made more than once to derive Basque terms from PNC and that (because of diversity or conjectures about the Neolithic frame of expansion of proposed Vasco-Caucasian), to effectively work as if Basque (and Iberian) were mere dialects evolved from PNC, without any reconstruction of any more balanced proto-Vasco-Caucasian, which IMO should be the first thing to consider.


    Some the sound correspondences among NEC languages point to PNC is actually a much older entity than commonly thought and hence closer to the actual (still unreconstructed) Proto-Vasco-Caucasian.

    "Apart from historical attested languages like the ones you mentioned, there's evidence of other members of IE family which are poorly attested or not attested at all, only surviving in the form of loanwords. And Italoid/Sorotaptic is one of them".

    Well, maybe I should have used the term "Italic" instead of Latin, its only historical survivor. Whatever the case, a clear case for a vehicle for the loan(s) should be proposed.


    This is why I've proposed Italoid/Sorotaptic, which according to their discoverers Coromines and Villar, was somewhere between Baltic and Italic in the IE dialectal cloud.

    Apart from zaldi, there're also other possible loanwords from that source in Basque.

    AFAIK, Basques were only in intense contact with Celtic and then Latin Indoeuropean, with whatever reserves for the Lusitanian case (which I tend to think as a branch of proto-Celtic of pre-Q Celtic if this term can be used).

    Contrarily to some scholars, I think Lusitanian wasn't a Celtic language (as it keeps PIE *p) but a dialect of Italoid (see Blanca M. Prosper: Lenguas y religiones prerromanas del occidente de la Península Ibérica for more information).

    "This dialectal continuum was broken after Romanization in the High Middle Ages".

    Not sure what you refer to, I presume that to the loss of Iberian language(s) and Aquitanian Basque (or rather the Garonne variants of Vasco-Aquitanian). But the dialectal continuum has remained till the 20th century (and even today) in the remainder Basque-speaking areas.

    Logically, I'm referring to the Aquitanian dialectal continuum.

    My point is that the form aher was found in Proto-Basque (as only this variety had h), while aker belonged to another variety which became extinct in theHigh Middle Ages (probably for socio-economical reasons). I suppose their speakers were Pyrenaic shepherds which became Euskaldunized or Romanized; in the first case part of its lexicon would have been borrowed by Basque.

    *aher > aker seems to argue against such loan but rather speaks of sound shift, really. We only known that Aherbelts was spelled with H (instead of K) in one slab. This may have been a Garonne dialectal variant or even an error when transcribing to Latin alphabet. It's not conclusive evidence of anything alone.

    As I said in earlier posts, from the available evidence we know that ONLY Proto-Basque had /h/ (coming from the aspiration of a former stop), so aher must be a genuine Proto-Basque form. And there's no way to derive aker from it.

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  37. I have to say here that Wikitionary proposes a quite different PIE ancestor for foal: *pōlh-, which would be behind Catalan poltre and hence Spanish potro (foal) too but also pollo (chicken, same root as poultry), via more genuine Latin origin pullus. Among the cognates it's listed Armenian ul, goat - go figure!

    I like the concept of diffuse Western IE but we have to work with what we do know of Western IE. Otherwise I would have to assume I can also imagine all kind of things for a diffuse Vascoid out of the blue. It's too speculative to be valid, we need some evidence that supports the proposal.

    "And it's also more reasonable to assume a suffix -d- was added at some stage than the contrary".

    Well, I was already speculating if the term zaldi would have something to do with conjectural Paleolithic concepts of time and space (aldi/alde). So I'm already in the mood to think (z)aldi as more natural than (z)ali as "ali" only suggests me Ali Baba, which is not any genuinely Basque concept.

    But it's arguably not the best logic. Where does your logic (i.e. "more reasoanble") lay?


    "And there's no way to derive aker from it".

    It is if the k>h transition was never finished in this case, maybe because of the related term ahari (in order make the two terms more clear one kept the archaic form), something that seems common sense in a farmer context, where such distinction seems important.

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  38. I have to say here that Wikitionary proposes a quite different PIE ancestor for foal: *pōlh-, which would be behind Catalan poltre and hence Spanish potro (foal) too but also pollo (chicken, same root as poultry), via more genuine Latin origin pullus. Among the cognates it's listed Armenian ul, goat - go figure!
    Mallory & Adams reconstruct *pelH- 'to bear young'. I guess this is a Vasco-Caucasian loanword from PNC *bHaɮɮi (˜ -ǝ-) 'young one, young (of animals)', which gives Basque berri 'new' (formerly 'young'). Semitic has also a similar root *pVlw/y- 'foal, small of domestic animals'.

    "And it's also more reasonable to assume a suffix -d- was added at some stage than the contrary".

    But it's arguably not the best logic. Where does your logic (i.e. "more reasoanble") lay?

    I beg your pardon, but I think you should get yourself more comfortable in historical linguistics.

    "And there's no way to derive aker from it".

    It is if the k>h transition was never finished in this case, maybe because of the related term ahari (in order make the two terms more clear one kept the archaic form), something that seems common sense in a farmer context, where such distinction seems important.

    Definitely not. Basque ahari derives from Proto-Basque *an-ali (this l can be secured from the Baztanese forms aalzain, altzai 'shepherd of rams', a compound with zain 'guard'). This is a compound whose first member *an- can also be found in *an-unts > ahuntz 'goat' or *an-unne > ahuña, ahüñe, aume, auma 'goat kid'.

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  39. "I beg your pardon, but I think you should get yourself more comfortable in historical linguistics".

    You should document your claims if you are so sure. Do not hide behind a diploma or some arrogant dismissive sentences! That's disrespectful with the rest.

    There is no particular reason for -d- being a "suffix" (an insertion): it needs to be justified.

    "Basque berri 'new' (formerly 'young')".

    Uh? I understand this is an speculative claim, because I am NOT aware that berri ever meant young. The closest word by sound (in Basque) is probably barru, barren (inside, interior), though I guess you'll argue it's just coincidence and has a different etymology from nothing less than P-NEC (made to look PNC). I'd argue it has instead to do with an intuitive relation with the fact that all new comes from inside something else (in plants and animals at least) and in this sense it may actually have meant (also) "young" at some point in the deep past.

    [At this point I'd ponder if Basque berri (new) could be related to English berry and Germanic equivalents, with a Vascoid etymology and not the proposed PIE one *bhes-, or maybe a hybrid creole between bhes- and berri - most Germanic cognates have R, in the North, the South and the West].

    "Definitely not. Basque ahari derives from Proto-Basque *an-ali (this l can be secured from the Baztanese forms aalzain, altzai 'shepherd of rams', a compound with zain 'guard')"

    Is there any such profession as "shepherd of rams"?! Anyhow, I'd say here the final soft R of ahari is the one transformed into /l/ because of the need, it seems, to differentiate from artzain, which means normal shepherd (of sheep, ardi).

    The etymology looks a little bit forced, IMO (al- or ahal- would be more natural roots than "an-ali").

    Why would we have to take this proposal instead of its obvious Latin cognate, aries, which does not have a clear IE root and hence is likely to be of Vasconic or otherwise pre-IE origin? Beats me!

    I would propose a aker<>*aher<>ahari<>*aari<>aries. All five words are documented, even the ones with the *: *aher in the Aquitanian slabs and *aari or just *ari in the modern southern Basque dialects (albeit written ahari). We even have akiŕ in Iberian to further document the extension of the term beyond Basque senso stricto.

    What's the problem with a proposed etymology from *ahar, where -ar is the usual Basque word/suffix for male and *ah- is the same as in ahuntz (goat, normally female, maybe with an unclear suffix -untz***)?:

    ahar > aher > aker
    ahar > ahardi (ahar+ardi: billy-sheep) > ahari > aari > aries

    I mean: if it's a dog, it bites you.

    [***Note: *untz could relate directly to untzi: rabbit and (h)ontzi: vessel, both in the cup and ship meanings, maybe related to milking. But I don't want to make this a central issue in my reasoning, just a side note, your -ume proposed origin might also be ok, though it's a bit less obvious].

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  40. You should document your claims if you are so sure. Do not hide behind a diploma or some arrogant dismissive sentences! That's disrespectful with the rest.
    Sorry, what I meant is that you seem to lack some of the basic knowledge anybody who wants to devote to historical linguistics shoudl have. I'd recommend you read Trask's book on Basque.

    There is no particular reason for -d- being a "suffix" (an insertion): it needs to be justified.
    It's just more common among languages to derive words by adding new elements than substrating them.

    "Basque berri 'new' (formerly 'young')".

    Uh? I understand this is an speculative claim, because I am NOT aware that berri ever meant young. [...] I'd argue it has instead to do with an intuitive relation with the fact that all new comes from inside something else (in plants and animals at least) and in this sense it may actually have meant (also) "young" at some point in the deep past.

    Perhaps not so deep as you think. You also might be interested to know that PNC *ts’ænʔV 'new' gave Basque sehi, which means 'servant' in some dialects but 'child' in Biscayan, which has also the form sein, both derived from Proto-Basque *śeni.

    Is there any such profession as "shepherd of rams"?This is what says Azkue's dictionary (a good startpoint for making linguistic researches): "pastores especiales de carneros".

    Anyhow, I'd say here the final soft R of ahari is the one transformed into /l/ because of the need, it seems, to differentiate from artzain, which means normal shepherd (of sheep, ardi).
    No, because the Lapurdian dialect has the variants ahari-zaiñ, ahar(t)zain, with the same meaning than the Baztanese forms.

    The etymology looks a little bit forced, IMO (al- or ahal- would be more natural roots than "an-ali").
    Perhaps you didn't know that Proto-Basque intervocalic *-n- disappears in Basque.

    Why would we have to take this proposal instead of its obvious Latin cognate, aries, which does not have a clear IE root and hence is likely to be of Vasconic or otherwise pre-IE origin? Beats me!
    With the available data, I consider the resemblance between the Basque and Latin words as coincidental.

    What's the problem with a proposed etymology from *ahar, where -ar is the usual Basque word/suffix for male
    Because this word has actually a STRONG rhotic: -arr. Remember that modern Basque ortography doesn't mark the strong rhotic at word-final because of its very high occurrence (the soft rhotic in that position is very rare.)

    and *ah- is the same as in ahuntz (goat, normally female, maybe with an unclear suffix -untz***)?
    This is actually *an- (see above).

    maybe with an unclear suffix -untz***)?:
    This isn't a "suffix" but a compound element.

    *untz could relate directly to untzi: rabbit and (h)ontzi: vessel, both in the cup and ship meanings, maybe related to milking.
    By no means, they're homonymous words!

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  41. ... "you seem to lack some of the basic knowledge anybody who wants to devote to historical linguistics shoudl have".

    That is by default. In fact I do not write much on linguistics. It is a matter within my interests but it's rather at the margins. However as anyone attempting to understand the past, I have sometimes to deal with linguistic history (documented) and prehistory (not documented and largely conjectural and based on opinions, best guesses).


    "I'd recommend you read Trask's book on Basque".

    I've read something but can't remember much right now.

    "It's just more common among languages to derive words by adding new elements than substrating them".

    Sure, when you add meaning to the root word. But not when you keep the meaning and just change the pronunciation. I know that dialectality is crazy, too chaotic, but it's a fact of life. And in this concept I include the private speech variants which are the ones that constitute the dialects and the language after all. And one tendency in speech is to "swallow" phonemes for mere laziness. There are patterns, for example IE languages tend to "eat" the vowels, while Basque instead tends to add them (librus > liburu) but others are just quasi-random.

    So I find most reasonable that a word would lose a D just because. Sadly I do not know which are the logic of cacophony in NE Caucasian, so I can't say how much sense does this make. Is the consonant group -LD- common in NE Caucasian?

    ...


    "the Lapurdian dialect has the variants ahari-zaiñ, ahar(t)zain"

    I think aaltzain is then an r>l sound change. Seems obvious, right?


    "Perhaps you didn't know that Proto-Basque intervocalic *-n- disappears in Basque"...

    No I do not know. I know there are many theories around but I never heard of this one before.

    "Because this word has actually a STRONG rhotic: -arr".

    Good objection.

    I'd like to know if this can also be a product of concept-exchange. Unlike what you say, I feel that final soft R is also common in Basque and even the Ŕ/R contrast serves to tell words apart sometimes (when declined only but that's most of the time anyhow). So maybe it's just part of the divergent evolution. The similitude in form and meaning is too strong, specially if we accept K<>H and include Lat. aries in the equation.

    "By no means, they're homonymous words!"

    Maybe, probably, but that you can only say with such certainty if you already KNOW the etymologies for a FACT. Do you? ;)

    Do you read the Speculative Grammarian? I only do very rarely but I laughed a lot with the article titled "How to do fieldwork in proto-Indoeuropean?"

    The article had one single sentence as content:

    "1. Find a native speaker". :)

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  42. That is by default. In fact I do not write much on linguistics. It is a matter within my interests but it's rather at the margins. However as anyone attempting to understand the past, I have sometimes to deal with linguistic history (documented) and prehistory (not documented and largely conjectural and based on opinions, best guesses).
    I think if you're'd like to be competent in the matter you've still got to learn a lot of things. In fact, IMHO the learning process actually never ends.

    So I find most reasonable that a word would lose a D just because. Sadly I do not know which are the logic of cacophony in NE Caucasian, so I can't say how much sense does this make. Is the consonant group -LD- common in NE Caucasian?
    It looks like other names of animals presumably borrowed from (Vasco-Caucasian) substrate languages have a similar suffix, for example Celtic *molto- 'ram, wether' (Catalan moltó, French moutton) is actually from *mol-t-.

    I think aaltzain is then an r>l sound change. Seems obvious, right?
    No, because Proto-Basque intervocalic *-l- became -r- (soft) in Basque.

    "Perhaps you didn't know that Proto-Basque intervocalic *-n- disappears in Basque"...

    No I do not know. I know there are many theories around but I never heard of this one before.

    This was stablished by Koldo Mitxelena more than 40 years ago in his magna opus "Fonética Histórica Vasca". You should read this or perhaps better, Trask's version in his own book.

    I'd like to know if this can also be a product of concept-exchange.
    If your question is actually about phonosymbolism in these words, my answer (from the available data) is negative. I've discovered an interesting case which I'm going to comment on my blog.

    Maybe, probably, but that you can only say with such certainty if you already KNOW the etymologies for a FACT. Do you? ;)
    Unrelated meanings such as 'goat', 'rabbit' or 'vessel' are sure indicators of homonymy, which is the first enemy of any historical linguist.

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  43. "Unrelated meanings such as 'goat', 'rabbit' or 'vessel' are sure indicators of homonymy"...

    How is a she-goat different from a vessel: it has milk inside, just like a tetrapack! Before you can say that these are unrelated meanings, you have to get into the Neolithic mentality. Obviously for you a goat and a bottle are different things but maybe not so much in reality.

    Rabbit seems more difficult to relate, admittedly... unless rabbit skins were used in particular to make such leathery vessels (skins, Sp. pellejos), what we can't confirm at all.

    "It looks like other names of animals presumably borrowed from (Vasco-Caucasian) substrate languages have a similar suffix"...

    Wouldn't then we be before a regular sound change. A change that also excludes IE from the NEC for without D.

    I do not understand the Celtic example, anyhow. If both PIE and Basque share the D "suffix" (as happens in your *g(W)old example), then Celtic should also have it, right. But then you seem to suggest that mol is the original Celtic name, suffixed only because of Basque substrate (unsure, could not find the Celtic proto-word, only that it's thought to be of Gaulish origin and that all derived terms have the -t- and no one lacks it).

    "... because Proto-Basque intervocalic *-l- became -r- (soft) in Basque".

    We know nothing of proto-Basque, do we? The last one who said something was kicked on the mouth by certain findings at Iruña-Veleia. It is true that intervocalic L is rare in Basque however (except after I, when it's palatized) but there are exceptions (I can think right now of "ale"). All I'd dare to claim is that the intervocalic L is uncommon in Basque.

    It may be a similar case with intervocalic N, which is mostly preserved when it could be palatized (lots of -inV- words). Is it possible that there was a tendency to palatize these sounds (adding an I therefore)?

    Anyhow the case (altzain) does not include any intervocalic L but the much more common L before consonant.

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  44. How is a she-goat different from a vessel: it has milk inside, just like a tetrapack!
    No, milk is produced by goats, not "contained" inside them. So I'm affraid your analogy is an absurd one :-(

    "... because Proto-Basque intervocalic *-l- became -r- (soft) in Basque".

    We know nothing of proto-Basque, do we?

    Proto-Basque phonology was recontructed by Mitxelena mainly on the basis of the behaviour of Latin loanwords into Basque. Proto-Basque had actually two lateral sounds: a soft *l and a strong *l:, more like a geminate. In modern Basque, the soft one became r and the strong one became l.

    For nasals, Proto-Basque had a soft *n and a strong *n:, which respectively became zero and n. However, in the case of the former, things are a little more complicated, as in some words *-Vni became -in and also nasalized the surrouding vowels in the Roncalese and Zuberoan dialects.

    I do not understand the Celtic example, anyhow.
    Yes, I can see you didn't :-)

    My point is these words aren't PIE at all, but loanwords from some substrate language (but not closely related to Basque) which added the dental suffix. That's all.

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  45. In some cases, the output of Proto-Basque *n: is a labial m instead of the regular n, although this hasn't been reognized by academical Vascology.

    For example, after /u/ as in -ume 'child, cub' (mostly found as a compound element) and zume 'osier' come from earlier forms *un:e and *sun:e.

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  46. "milk is produced by goats, not "contained" inside them"

    I'm not going to argue this further but really "produce milk" is a modern concept. Actually now that I think of it Basque uses a modulated verb (eragin) to mean produce... but so does Latin, it seems to me, by the very fact that it has the particle pro- at the beginning.

    I just watched on TV the milking a goat (and earlier a camel as well) and really the impression is that they carry a big bag of milk ready to be drunk.

    I know it sounds absurd for a modern mentality but more difficult it seems to me to derive untz from ume (which means human child, not even animal whelp and requires to shift 67-75% of the word anyhow). I'd rather make "human" to derive from ume if anything really.

    "Proto-Basque phonology was recontructed by Mitxelena mainly on the basis of the behaviour of Latin loanwords into Basque".

    I'll read Mitxelena's work some day but I have the impression from your short explanation that he's deducing a proto-Language from the type of sounds that Basque dislikes, what is in itself not at all any evidence of how was proto-Basque but only what kind of sounds are cacophonous for Basque internal logic.

    For example we know that -br- (or -tr- or -gr-... or -bl-, etc.) is cacophonous in Basque and that it's typically to be shifted into -bVr- as happens in liburu... (however we also see persistence in more recent loans like greba < grève - so there's also irregularity). This does not allow us to reconstruct a proto-Basque with -br- and such but rather suggests that Vasconic has always been refractive to such type of sounds.

    We do not find such sounds in Iberian either, do we?

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  47. "as in -ume 'child, cub'"

    I would not easily accept ume as cub - kume is cub, whelp. Both words are obviously related but they are different as well. The usual suffix for whelp of non-humans is -kume too (arkume, katakume, etc.)

    "and zume 'osier' come from earlier forms *un:e and *sun:e"

    Une does exist today (fraction of time or space) but it's unrelated to willows.

    I find all this highly speculative, because, as I said earlier, we know nearly nothing of ancient Basque or even related Iberian. At best we have fragmentary knowledge of how these were in Antiquity some 1800-2200 years ago.

    I understand that there is justified repulsion in linguistic circles, at least at international level (Spain is probably different, sadly) towards reconstructing based on proto-Languages, which themselves are little more than speculation. But you all the time resort to proto-words, what is totally crazy IMO.

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  48. I would not easily accept ume as cub - kume is cub, whelp. Both words are obviously related but they are different as well. The usual suffix for whelp of non-humans is -kume too (arkume, katakume, etc.)
    IMHO, they're both variant of the same word.

    "and zume 'osier' come from earlier forms *un:e and *sun:e"

    Une does exist today (fraction of time or space) but it's unrelated to willows.

    I should have said respectively: *un:e > ume and *sun:e > zume.

    I understand that there is justified repulsion in linguistic circles, at least at international level (Spain is probably different, sadly) towards reconstructing based on proto-Languages, which themselves are little more than speculation. But you all the time resort to proto-words, what is totally crazy IMO.
    I disagree. Protoforms and consistent sound correspondences is out tool to gain insight into ancient languages.

    Using modern words like you do is simply unscientific and amateurish.

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  49. "Using modern words like you do is simply unscientific and amateurish".

    Not "unscientific". In linguistics real words (modern or otherwise attested either by toponymy or historical texts) are the FACTS on which one can build good science. Proto-words are constructs and they necessarily imply a degree of opinion and erudite guess. They are NOT FACTS and hence any "science" based on them is at best feeble and at worst pseudo-science.

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  50. PS- I do not mean you cannot use proto-words at all, as long as they are properly construed from careful inference from various cognates in different real languages/dialects/other direct evidence. What I mean is that one has to be extra-careful and double-check all the time for possible incongruences with reality, to which proto-words do not necessarily belong.

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  51. Out of IE languages only two macro-Altaic ones are provided:

    Proto-Altaic: *i̯àrgi ( ˜ -o)

    Proto-Tungus-Manchu: *iarga (leopard): Spoken Manchu: jarǝhǝ, Jurchen: jara, Nanai: jarga, Udighe: jagä

    Proto-Korean: *írhì (wolf): Modern Korean: iri, Middle Korean: írhì

    While it's impossible to absolutely discard a relationship, they do seem a bit forced.

    Yes, this word would nicely fit into the PNC root *HarGG(w)V 'to break, to destroy, to be broken' I mentioned before.

    After some research, I've found out the more plausible connection for PIE *h2ºrt-k´-o 'bear' would be PNC *gwe:rdV (*gwe:t'V-rV) 'a beast or bird of prey', reflected in Etruscan velthur > Latin voltur and Greek blosyrós 'terrible, fearsome'.

    I deal with this in more detail in my own blog: http://vasco-caucasian.blogspot.com/2011/06/vultures-and-bears.html

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  52. The notion of all this being related to 'pardo' (modernly a second word for 'brown' in Spanish), via Greek 'párdos' makes sense to me. At least potentially. It is said in Spanish "bestia parda" (brown beast literally but in fact meaning terrifying beast or monster). It's an interesting link to explore.

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  53. Quoted from Corominas: pardo. Extraído del latín PARDUS, gr. párdos 'leopardo'. Empleado más tarde en forma compuesta leo pardus (en combinación con leo 'león') se creyó que pardus era un adjetivo referente a las manchas de color negruzco que distinguían el leopardo del léon, y se extendió su empleo al caballo, a otros animales y, finalmente, a cualquier cosa.

    That is, Spanish pardo 'brown' is a semantic reanalysis as an adjective of Latin pardus 'leopard' from its use in the compound form leo pardus id. This would be an example of a "totem" word, that is, an expression used to name an animal to which they attributed magical qualities. In this case, the same "totem" word was used in different languages to name temible animals such as the leopard and the bear.

    Of course, Altaic *járgi is also a "totem" word but from a complete different etymology.

    It's also worth noticing the traditional association (in the mind of many IE-ists) between the Germanic word for 'bear' with *brūn-a- 'brown', which IMHO is unjustified, as its etymology aims to another direction: Altaic *bí:re 'a k. of predator (wolf)', PNC *XXHwej-rV 'dog' (oblique form), Berber *?a-bajrru 'fox', etc. In this case, it's no "totem" word but one for canids.

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  54. I didn't think of it before, but it's possible the relation between "totem" words and colours as in Spanish pardo were motivated by a religious taboo. This supicious arose when I discovered Arabic ʕurāʒ- 'hyena(s)' (another "totem" word related to PNC *HarGG(w)V) is phonetically similar to Afrasian *wVrak' 'yellow, green'.

    IMHO, 3 different "totem" words phonetically similar (one of them identical) to colour names can't be due to chance.

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  55. It seems to me that the Berber connection is a bit far fetched. Not absolutely impossible but rather unlikely. We find that Slavic and at least some Celts use the "mdevev" form, which is a clear case of circumlocution, so it's only logical to consider that Germanics, who are in between, did the same by different means.

    But sometimes I really settle for shrug because it's not something we can know for sure. And in this sense, I'd value more the statistical method provided that the measure of sounds and genuineness of chosen word panels are good enough. Whatever the validity of criticisms, Greensberg really had a point. There seems to be way too much to speculate about in the comparative method or the internal reconstruction one, even if it is always good to double-check and triple-check, if human resources allow.

    Also I tend to hush off the connections with "Altaic". Altaic itself is ill defined (sometimes includes Japanese and Korean, sometimes it does not - I only accept the latter category as valid) and is anyhow so remotely in geography, prehistory and genetics from European and other West Eurasian languages that any reference to it makes me think of cheating or at least sloppy logic.

    Bear may have been in any case a loanword from Baltic or Balto-Slavic or a very early development in proto-Germanic, as it still preserves the vowel between B and R, like Lit. bèras, Sanskrit babhrú... but unlike brown, brün, etc.

    Tentatively I'd think it is a Corded Ware period development and that, while in the continent the form mdevev (or the preservation of the archaic pan-European arktos/ursus) eventually suceeded, in the proto-Germania (Scandinavia essentially) this other fashion persisted instead.

    I think that linguists too often forget that any living language has huge diversity, specially when it expands, with different areas using different variants that may or not influence future derived languages. Real live languages, specially in non-literary contexts, are anything but monolithic: they are in fact dialect continuums. And it is this diversity which eventually may cause differences between later derived languages.

    So many of the differences between languages that we see today, for example in Indoeuropean, existed even before population and language divergence as such. This bear word may be one. It is probably one in fact.

    "I didn't think of it before, but it's possible the relation between "totem" words and colours as in Spanish pardo were motivated by a religious taboo".

    I do not understand why would this be. I'd rather think that, excepting the most basic palette, many color words change quite randomly. Beige, fuchsia, cyan, the various meanings of the word purple (originally red, go figure!), the transition from rubia (a red tincture) to rubio (blond, yellow haired) in Spanish... and many other modern examples account for this but as linguist I am sure you are aware of many more and more basic ones in various languages.

    Similarly pardo should have evolved as you said first: by confusion of meaning: from "brutal, hydeous" to a mere "brown", maybe via "spotted" in Italian (gattopardo, leopardo).

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  56. It seems to me that the Berber connection is a bit far fetched. Not absolutely impossible but rather unlikely.
    On the contrary, to me this is an old Vasco-Caucasian root for canids which also includes Spanish perro.

    We find that Slavic and at least some Celts use the "mdevev" form, which is a clear case of circumlocution, so it's only logical to consider that Germanics, who are in between, did the same by different means.
    I don't think so. You should also known that Balto-Slavic has also a genuine word for 'bear' *tlāk(ʷ)-, etymologically related to canid words in other languages: http://newstar.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/response.cgi?single=1&basename=/data/ie/piet&text_number=+++646&root=config

    Also I tend to hush off the connections with "Altaic". Altaic itself is ill defined (sometimes includes Japanese and Korean, sometimes it does not - I only accept the latter category as valid) and is anyhow so remotely in geography, prehistory and genetics from European and other West Eurasian languages that any reference to it makes me think of cheating or at least sloppy logic.
    From my own research, I don't think is "so remote" as you think (pre-conceived ideas are bad for science) but rather the nearest relative to IE, both descending from an ancient continuum.

    Bear may have been in any case a loanword from Baltic or Balto-Slavic or a very early development in proto-Germanic, as it still preserves the vowel between B and R, like Lit. bèras, Sanskrit babhrú... but unlike brown, brün, etc.
    To me, 'bear' is a genuine Germanic word whose etymology I've suggested before. But the word 'brown' might have been derivated from it at some earlier stage, given its wider diffusion.

    So many of the differences between languages that we see today, for example in Indoeuropean, existed even before population and language divergence as such. This bear word may be one. It is probably one in fact.
    Most IE languages have inherited the word 'bear' from PIE, but in others it was replaced because of taboo (e.g. medvedev) or simply the common IE one failed to replace the pre-IE one (e.g. Germanic).

    I do not understand why would this be. I'd rather think that, excepting the most basic palette, many color words change quite randomly. Beige, fuchsia, cyan, the various meanings of the word purple (originally red, go figure!), the transition from rubia (a red tincture) to rubio (blond, yellow haired) in Spanish... and many other modern examples account for this but as linguist I am sure you are aware of many more and more basic ones in various languages.
    IMHO, one of the possible origins of colour words are animals.

    Similarly pardo should have evolved as you said first: by confusion of meaning: from "brutal, hydeous" to a mere "brown", maybe via "spotted" in Italian (gattopardo, leopardo).
    Not "confusion" but semantic reanalysis. Also Italian is more conservative with regard to the original meaning, but I don't think it had a bearing on the Spanish word.

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  57. "... which also includes Spanish perro".

    Perro is indeed similar phonetically to bear (b<>p is hyper-common). You may be on something indeed.

    "From my own research, I don't think is "so remote" as you think (...) but rather the nearest relative to IE, both descending from an ancient continuum".

    I did not mean linguistically but in all other aspects. There's nearly nothing connecting peoples of Altaic language and peoples of IE language excepting the intermittent contact area of Altai and surroundings.

    I cannot judge the linguistic matter but, if you are correct, then either pre-IE migrated to East Asia somehow (when? how?) or pre-Altaic migrated to East Europe (when?, how?). And either linguistic migration included no or almost no genetic flow.

    Do you have a tentative chronology for this matter?

    [Bear word] "or simply the common IE one failed to replace the pre-IE one (e.g. Germanic)".

    It is an interesting idea but it has weird and rather chaotic implications:

    Linguistic connection across Western Europe, as you have mentioned Spanish perro (residual Iberian or Germanic borrowing, a deformation of bear?) or Berber words as well. But then you also mention Altaic: how can it be connected to both Altaic and Berber at the same time?

    Is it a trans-ethnic word from the Paleolithic domestication of the dog some 40 Ka ago? I believe that's impossible. Can it be from a second dog domestication event, maybe Neolithic? Hmmm... If so, how is it related to Basque zakur (if at all)?

    Or is it a IE word (I may deduct from your idea of close IE-Altaic connection) that was extended only by Medieval Germanics both to Spanish and Berber? Most unlikely but had to mention.

    Or is it a "Iberoid" (Tartessian?) word diffused by the Megalithic area, both northwards and southwards from the original area in SW Iberia?

    Or is it actually a Paleolithic word (but then has to be at least Gravettian, otherwise there's no good chance for the Berber and Altaic connections) that has been preserved across cultures?

    But again how does this relate if at all with Basque "zakur", as Basque language and culture was necessarily involved in all those possibilities?

    The only case where there is no Basque connection is if it is a recent Germanic scatter (explainable, as Germanic warriors were the military elite and therefore would use dogs for hunt and war. Is there any documentation of maybe Vandals or Alans using something like "bear/perro" for dogs?

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  58. I did not mean linguistically but in all other aspects. There's nearly nothing connecting peoples of Altaic language and peoples of IE language excepting the intermittent contact area of Altai and surroundings. I cannot judge the linguistic matter but, if you are correct, then either pre-IE migrated to East Asia somehow (when? how?) or pre-Altaic migrated to East Europe (when?, how?). And either linguistic migration included no or almost no genetic flow.
    I've got the impression at least part of the IE lexicon has a Central or even East Asiatic origin. For example, PIE *ku(w)o:n 'dog' is a loanword from Sinitic *khWi:n id., reflecting the early domestication of dogs in East Asia around 9,000 BC.

    Linguistic connection across Western Europe, as you have mentioned Spanish perro (residual Iberian or Germanic borrowing, a deformation of bear?) or Berber words as well. But then you also mention Altaic: how can it be connected to both Altaic and Berber at the same time?
    A Germanic loanword is out of the question. Consider also these words:
    PNC *XXHwej-rV 'dog'
    Berber *?a-bajrru 'fox'
    Spanish perro
    Altaic *bi:re 'a k. of predator (wolf)'

    It looks like the word was originally applied to canids and then shifted to 'dog' in the Caucasus and Iberian Peninsula.

    Notice also the Basque native word for 'dog' is (h)or, which has a straightforward IE etymology. Basque zakur, actually an assibilated variant of kakur, is by no means native. I analyze it as a compound *ka-kurr, where the second element is comparable to dialect Swedish kurre 'dog' and English cur. Possibly an output from the same Vasco-Caucasian root.

    I'm going to explain this in more detail in my blog, but 'dog' words (and in general the ones for canids) usually evolved from names of small mammals. A good example would be Yeniseian *kulup 'hermine' ~ Semitic *kalb- 'dog'.

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  59. "... reflecting the early domestication of dogs in East Asia around 9,000 BC"...

    This was suggested some years ago but then challenged after researchers found that there was even greater diversity in African dogs. The conclusion was that simple measures of diversity were misleading if they did not take into account street dogs, no doubt the most diverse. In Europe only pedigree dogs were measured originally, what caused confusion.

    At this moment we have the archaeological datum of dog skulls in Belgium c. 40 Ka ago and the genetic data that suggests a more recent common origin for at least small dogs in West Asia in the Neolithic (from the Syrian wolf, smaller and more docile than the grey wolf). But the debate is wide open.

    In any case the alleged domestication in East Asia is not defensible with today's data.

    "It looks like the word was originally applied to canids and then shifted to 'dog' in the Caucasus and Iberian Peninsula".

    But do you even realize the brutally huge continental and millennial concepts your are trying to join here? From the Pacific to the Atlantic all across Eurasia!

    You really need to come with a very good explanation if you are to defend that.

    "Notice also the Basque native word for 'dog' is (h)or, which has a straightforward IE etymology".

    Really? How come I fail to see it? What happened with PIE *k̑u̯ōn?

    "Basque zakur, actually an assibilated variant of kakur, is by no means native. I analyze it as a compound *ka-kurr, where the second element is comparable to dialect Swedish kurre 'dog' and English cur. Possibly an output from the same Vasco-Caucasian root".

    This is so far fetched that it deserves no further comment.

    Zakur is obviously related to zakil (penis), zakar (rough, residue - probably the root of zahar: old), zakin (remnant, bit). It'd seem the archaic root zak- would seem to mean something about roughness, decay or breaking but hard to decipher.

    "A good example would be Yeniseian *kulup 'hermine' ~ Semitic *kalb- 'dog'".

    That's a very bad example because Semitic and Yenisean are unrelated. And in fact they have totally different geographical origins: one in Africa (Afroasiatic) and the other in NE Asia (Altaic). Hard to see how you can get them together... ever.

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  60. Btw, there is an Iberian lead piece in Ibero-Jonian (so hard to mistake how it reads) from El Cigarralejo, Mula (Murcia) that reads:

    IUNTEGENZ
    ZAKARBIKZOZ
    LAGUTAZ...

    We have here the word 'zakar', as mentioned above, related to 'zakil', 'zakur', etc. clearly documented in Iberian.

    When I presented my transliteration of this text in full to a native Basque speaker many years ago, he told me laughing: it's not Basque from Ondarru (his hometown) but from Lekitto (the nearby one) I could not say...

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  61. In any case the alleged domestication in East Asia is not defensible with today's data.
    It's possible the domestication of dogs actually happened in several places at different times, although I've got no evidence on this. But waht I'm sure it's the PIE 'dog' word was borrowed from Sinitic and not the other way around.

    Really? How come I fail to see it? What happened with PIE *k̑u̯ōn?
    The initial velar became aspirated by Martinet's Law, and final -n became a FLAP -r.

    But do you even realize the brutally huge continental and millennial concepts your are trying to join here? From the Pacific to the Atlantic all across Eurasia!
    I didn't say ALL the 'dog' words had one and the same etymology. I was specifically referring the PNC and Spanish ones.

    Zakur is obviously related to zakil (penis), zakar (rough, residue - probably the root of zahar: old), zakin (remnant, bit). It'd seem the archaic root zak- would seem to mean something about roughness, decay or breaking but hard to decipher.
    Sorrty, but this is pseudo-linguistics.

    That's a very bad example because Semitic and Yenisean are unrelated.
    But we're talking about words, not the languages themselves.

    And in fact they have totally different geographical origins: one in Africa (Afroasiatic) and the other in NE Asia (Altaic). Hard to see how you can get them together... ever.
    The Semitic word has no Afrasian cognates.

    We have here the word 'zakar', as mentioned above, related to 'zakil', 'zakur', etc. clearly documented in Iberian.
    By no means. Iberian sakaŕ (a better transcription of the Ionic alphabet) is cognate to Basque zahar 'old', although probably the Iberian word actually meant 'big' (there was a semantic shift in Basque), and it's found in the compound anthroponym Sakaŕ-iskeŕ 'Big Hand', opposed for example to Adin-iskeŕ 'Old Hand'.

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  62. Thinking it over, I'd prefer to link PIE A *h2ºrtk´-o- 'bear' to PNC *HarGG(w)V 'to break, to destroy, to be broken' as indirectly suggested by IE-ists and leave PIE B *pºrd- 'panther, leopard' with PNC *gwe:rdV (*gwe:t'V-rV) 'a bird or beat of prey'.

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  63. So IMHO we've got two different totem words here:

    PNC *gwe:rdV (*gwe:t'V-rV) 'a bird or beast of prey'
    PIE B *pºrd- 'panther, leopard'
    Altaic *k(`)é:rdu 'a k. of bird of prey'
    (South) Dravidian *karaɖ-i 'black bear'

    PNC *HarGG(w)V 'to break, to destroy, to be broken'
    Altaic *jàrgi (˜ -o) 'wild beast of prey (wolf, leopard)'
    PIE A *h2ºrtk´-o- 'bear'
    Arabic ʕurʒāʔ-u 'hyena' (this has been suggested by Dolgopolsky)

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  64. "The initial velar became aspirated by Martinet's Law, and final -n became a FLAP -r".

    Octavia Alexandre's law...

    Anyhow, with so many changes in a single syllabe word you can make anything "happen" (or pretend it happened).

    "I didn't say ALL the 'dog' words had one and the same etymology".

    You did mention Altaic and Berber (and also Spanish and other IE and NE Caucasian and what not). All that can only fit in some sort of macro-super-ultra-mega-pan-Nostratic.

    ""Zakur is obviously related to zakil (penis), zakar (rough, residue - probably the root of zahar: old), zakin (remnant, bit). It'd seem the archaic root zak- would seem to mean something about roughness, decay or breaking but hard to decipher".

    Sorrty, but this is pseudo-linguistics".

    Self-obvious internal reconstruction is "pseudo-linguistic" and your super-mega-para-Nostratic links is "serious"? C'mon!

    There is a point in the extreme convolution of wacko theories, no matter how "academic" they pretend to be, in which a kid comes out from the crowd, points at the naked emperor and laughs.

    And then everybody else laughs too. So try to keep your "theories" within the bounds of common sense, please, if you want not to be laughed at.

    "But we're talking about words, not the languages themselves".

    But words exist in contexts, which are languages and their connections. If you are not proposing language relatedness, then you must explain how the word spread around.

    In the case of East-West Eurasian connections before the Copper Age, there seems to be a big barrier problem. And even after it, they seem rather implausible.

    "The Semitic word has no Afrasian cognates".

    I do not care: you proposed a Berber term and then also a Semitic one. You are just pulling strings wildly on mere coincidence of sound and vague remote hypothetical coincidence of meaning.

    And that is your problem, not mine.

    "sakaŕ (a better transcription of the Ionic alphabet)"

    Why is it a better transcription? There is another letter for S, which is identical to modern Greek capital sygma. This is the other sibilant which I always transcribe as Z (it could be something else, like sh, but definitively not S).

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  65. You did mention Altaic and Berber (and also Spanish and other IE and NE Caucasian and what not). All that can only fit in some sort of macro-super-ultra-mega-pan-Nostratic.
    That is, Vasco-Caucasian. :-)

    Self-obvious internal reconstruction is "pseudo-linguistic"
    Unrelated meanings = homophonic words.

    In the case of East-West Eurasian connections before the Copper Age, there seems to be a big barrier problem. And even after it, they seem rather implausible.
    Nomadic shepherds on horseback could travel long distances and apparently this is what happened with Altaic-speaking people. They also domesticated the horse so most 'horse' Wanderwörter are from Attaic.

    I do not care: you proposed a Berber term and then also a Semitic one.
    Both unrelated to each other.

    You are just pulling strings wildly on mere coincidence of sound and vague remote hypothetical coincidence of meaning.
    On the contrary, while I look for related words in distanly related languages (this is a long-range comparison), you look for unrelated words in the same language, i.e. Basque.

    Why is it a better transcription? There is another letter for S, which is identical to modern Greek capital sygma. This is the other sibilant which I always transcribe as Z (it could be something else, like sh, but definitively not S).
    In the academic word you like to ignore s much, Iberia sibilants are trasncribed as ś and s, respectively corresponding to Basque (t)s and (t)z.

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  66. "Unrelated meanings = homophonic words".

    So for you dog and mink have more relation than dog and leftovers? Or dog and penis? Have you ever owned a dog?!

    You allow 'pardo' to evolve from fierce into brown but zak- cannot evolve (with the corresponding suffix) into different but related words, all related to roughness, aggressiveness, brutality.

    Not to mention English phrasal verbs... and how their unrelated meanings hide however the same etymology. How does to tell apart (notice the difference) relate in meaning to to tell (say to someone)? What about idioms like Wikipedia's excellent example: "to kick the bucket", which has nothing to do with "to kick" or "bucket" (like Spanish "estirar la pata" but less obvious).

    You dogmatism is very weak. We are not discussing unrelated languages here, where the principle does apply but the very same language, where it may not, specially for a language which may have so old distinct roots (so far it is still an isolate) that in principle it has no connection to any other language, much less those distant in space.

    Unless you can prove it otherwise, of course. But you do not: you just assume and claim that Basque is a derivative of Proto-NE Caucasian, what is far from demonstrated (and IMO extremely unlikely).

    "Nomadic shepherds on horseback could travel long distances and apparently this is what happened with Altaic-speaking people".

    They could but did they? Attila apart, no Turkish/Altaic invasion is known West of Vienna ever. And by then they used Persian and Arabic as official languages.

    Inversely we know of no Indoeuropean flow into the Altaic homeland east of Lake Baikal. The only possible connection is via Uralic languages (both IE and Altaic would be derived from proto-Uralic or something like that).

    Also this achievement of horse-riding happened many millennia after the dog was domesticated. And also the IE word *kwon is unrelated to perro, etc.

    "On the contrary, while I look for related words in distanly related languages (this is a long-range comparison), you look for unrelated words in the same language, i.e. Basque".

    On the contrary, while I waste my time trying to correct your vices by looking at obviously related words in Basque (at least likely so) you managed to make so many far fetched claims of conjectural connections dog-mink-leopard-horse through the vastness of Eurasia and Africa that well... I'd suggest you the reality check of discussing with some peers of your discipline.

    "Iberia sibilants are trasncribed as ś and s, respectively corresponding to Basque (t)s and (t)z".

    Fuck the academic word if they dare to break the common sense of calling S as S and /s/.

    I transliterated, as anyone would logically do, to Basque spelling because it is phonetic and because it is the only plausible candidate for a relative (even if maybe remote) of Iberian. I cannot care less if (some) linguists enjoy increasing confusion.

    In no language "S" is read as /Z/! So you and your peers better come to your senses and land back onto planet earth --- or nobody is going to take them seriously ever. Who do you guys think you are to alter the common sense of stuff?! Gods or something?! Then go to the Olympus and leave us alone on planet Earth, thanks!

    I am very angry at such academic idiocy, really, who was the jerk who decided to insult all the common people with such esoterism?! He deserves guillotine, no less!

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  67. You allow 'pardo' to evolve from fierce into brown but zak- cannot evolve (with the corresponding suffix) into different but related words, all related to roughness, aggressiveness, brutality.
    Your point of view of explaining Basque from Basque itself is an isolacionist one, just the same than academic vascologists' such as Joseba Lakarra.

    Your dogmatism is very weak. We are not discussing unrelated languages here, where the principle does apply but the very same language, where it may not, specially for a language which may have so old distinct roots (so far it is still an isolate) that in principle it has no connection to any other language, much less those distant in space.
    Speaking of dogmatism, look who's calling! The expression "in principle" is an apriorism in its full right.

    Also, properly speaking, there aren't "unrelated languages" but "distantly related" ones, as all the languages descend from the same Proto-World ancestor. However, in many cases this relationship is too far to be detectable.

    you just assume and claim that Basque is a derivative of Proto-NE Caucasian, what is far from demonstrated (and IMO extremely unlikely).
    I think there're more or less distant relatives, that's all. Areguably there're many lexical parallels between them.

    "Nomadic shepherds on horseback could travel long distances and apparently this is what happened with Altaic-speaking people".

    They could but did they? Attila apart, no Turkish/Altaic invasion is known West of Vienna ever. And by then they used Persian and Arabic as official languages.

    Don't forget we're studying prehistoric events. What I'm doing is to question your conceived ideas on the spread of Altaic languages by pointing out that a) they doesmticated the horse and b) they were nomadic shepeherds.

    nversely we know of no Indoeuropean flow into the Altaic homeland east of Lake Baikal. The only possible connection is via Uralic languages (both IE and Altaic would be derived from proto-Uralic or something like that).
    Bullshit. IMHO, both IE and Altaic share a common inheritance from the Upper Paleolithic, and besides that, there were also later contacts between them and also with Vasco-Caucasian languages.

    Also this achievement of horse-riding happened many millennia after the dog was domesticated. And also the IE word *kwon is unrelated to perro, etc.
    I didn't say they were related. They're just two different words for 'dog' unrelated to each other.

    On the contrary, while I waste my time trying to correct your vices by looking at obviously related words in Basque (at least likely so)
    Come on! This is the pot calling the kettle back.

    you managed to make so many far fetched claims of conjectural connections dog-mink-leopard-horse through the vastness of Eurasia and Africa that well... I'd suggest you the reality check of discussing with some peers of your discipline.
    Did you hear of "macro-comparative linguistics"?

    I transliterated, as anyone would logically do, to Basque spelling because it is phonetic
    Wrong. Unlike IPA z, which is a VOICED consonant, Basque z is a voiceless laminal sibilant much like s in Portuguese and southern dialects of Spanish.

    and because it is the only plausible candidate for a relative (even if maybe remote) of Iberian
    LOL. And you said Basque is "in principle" an isolate.

    Who do you guys think you are to alter the common sense of stuff?! Gods or something?! Then go to the Olympus and leave us alone on planet Earth, thanks!
    I'm afraid it's YOU who have to go to the school. :-)

    am very angry at such academic idiocy, really, who was the jerk who decided to insult all the common people with such esoterism?! He deserves guillotine, no less!
    Yes, let's ignorance rule the world!

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  68. A little off-topic. I'm now re-reading Koch's book and I've found out his translations are wrong. Unfortunately, he ignores Iberian epigraphy and he has overlooked the obvious isoglosses between Tartessian and Iberian.

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  69. I'm not "isolationist", I just say that, like every other language Basque has internal dynamics that you have to address firs of all. I also say that Basque has been spoken in the area from at least the Megalithic period, what is now more than 6000 years, making it almost as old on its own as Indoeuropean as a whole.

    It is still possible that it has been spoken for even longer time as a distinct language but at least 6000 years ago in any case. Its existence must also be understood in the context of Megalithic or Paleolithic continuity (Basque PC not that idiotic IE PC rant) and you cannot pull NEC or whatever other (apparently unrelated or only remotely related) languages out of the hat without providing solid explanations (not just linguistic ones, always questionable, but of general prehistoric nature as well).

    The root zak- (or any other) could come from anywhere (for example, if Basque is non-native, from the long lost pre-Basque substrate) but it's appearance in so many different Basque words is a clear signature of at least likely shared origin.

    "The expression "in principle" is an apriorism in its full right".

    Precisely: the a priori state of knowledge, or the state of the art, as they say in English, of linguistic science, is that Basque is an isolate.

    I'm all for finding out SOLID connections if possible but not ANY connection at ANY cost.

    "Also, properly speaking, there aren't "unrelated languages" but "distantly related" ones"...

    You are probably right in this but that is only a philosophical or logical deduction, because the relations between most languages and language families have not been established at all or with any certainty.

    "What I'm doing is to question your conceived ideas on the spread of Altaic languages by pointing out that a) they doesmticated the horse and b) they were nomadic shepherds".

    They domesticated the horse on their own? Explain that to me in archaeological terms or give up. I'm not going to swallow up this just because you have some linguistic suspects (not yet declared guilty).

    There is at the moment no such understanding of steppe prehistory: IEs or cultures around them which soon after became IE did it in the arch between Ukraine and West Khazakstan.

    "They're just two different words for 'dog' unrelated to each other".

    In Indoeuropean? Why not to explain perro/bear from a substrate or something, because this is extremist Indoeuropean (all is Indoeuropean: bow to Herakles!)

    "This is the pot calling the kettle back".

    Maybe is more like the kettle shooting back at the pot. You began this one.

    "Did you hear of "macro-comparative linguistics"?".

    No. Must be very novel or marginal because it has no Wikipedia page.

    ...

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  70. ...

    "Wrong. Unlike IPA z, which is a VOICED consonant, Basque z is a voiceless laminal sibilant much like s in Portuguese and southern dialects of Spanish".

    I know how the letter S is pronounced in proper Spanish and also in English and Italian (/s/) and it's not at all like Basque Z.

    Basque Z is much like English Z, though maybe not exact. It is correct to compare with some pronunciations of S in Andalusian but that is not /s/.

    Whatever the case, what's the problem with all you: I am using a phonetic alphabet, one that might well represent the sounds of Iberian, put up with that, and begin using the Basque phonetic alphabet yourselves. Not so hard.

    We do not even know how Iberians pronounced the Z (which is in any case not S), but it is easy to assume that the second sibilant letter represents either Z or X (sh).

    What's the problem with linguists and their ivory towers?!

    In any case you are all the time insisting in using "ś" for regular S and "s" for the second sibilant, which could be like Basque Z or X (sh).

    And that does not make sense because an S is an S is an S... just like the damn fucking rose.

    "LOL. And you said Basque is "in principle" an isolate".

    It is... in principle (which means it can be altered, discussed, not that it cannot be challenged, that'd be "by principle" - not sure if you are mistaking both concepts). And, if it is related to Iberian, then Vasco-Iberian or Vasconic is an isolate.

    While the relation to Iberian may be apparent (at times, at other times not so much or even not at all, so the debate is open), the relation to any other languages is vague, diffuse and confuse at best.

    So if you wish to talk of "Vasco-Caucasian" as something factual the first thing you'd need to do is to DEMONSTRATE its reality. So far I see Vasco-Indoeuropean as at least a similarly likely candidate. None of them look related at any recent time: the Neolithic time frame is at least highly dubious.

    "Yes, let's ignorance rule the world!"

    No! But how is it wiser to use the letter S to mean something that is not S in most languages? This is just stupid arrogance!

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  71. I'm not "isolationist", I just say that, like every other language Basque has internal dynamics that you have to address first of all.
    But this is very far from leaping unrelated words which happen to sound similar like you do.

    I also say that Basque has been spoken in the area from at least the Megalithic period, what is now more than 6000 years, making it almost as old on its own as Indoeuropean as a whole.
    Properly speaking, the language spoken at time would some ancestor of Basque, not Basque itself. Don't forget languages evolve in time.

    The root zak- (or any other) could come from anywhere (for example, if Basque is non-native, from the long lost pre-Basque substrate) but it's appearance in so many different Basque words is a clear signature of at least likely shared origin.
    There's no such "root". These are several unrelated words which happend to being with the same sounds, that's all. You know, homonymy happens in many languages, and Basque isn't an exception. A good linguist should be capable of differentiating homonymous words.

    They domesticated the horse on their own? Explain that to me in archaeological terms or give up. I'm not going to swallow up this just because you have some linguistic suspects (not yet declared guilty).
    Well, archaeology tells us that horse domestication happened in the Eurasian Steppes. Quoted from Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestication_of_the_horse): "Some of the most intriguing evidence of early domestication comes from the Botai culture, found in northern Kazakhstan. The Botai culture was a culture of foragers who seem to have adopted horseback riding in order to hunt the abundant wild horses of northern Kazakhstan between 3500-3000 BCE. Botai sites had no cattle or sheep bones; the only domesticated animals, in addition to horses, were dogs."

    In Indoeuropean? Why not to explain perro/bear from a substrate or something, because this is extremist Indoeuropean (all is Indoeuropean: bow to Herakles!)
    I never said perro was IE! In fact, this is quite impossible, as this word is isolated even in Romance.

    Basque Z is much like English Z, though maybe not exact.
    Bullshit. Basque is voiceless while English is VOICED. Period.

    Whatever the case, what's the problem with all you: I am using a phonetic alphabet, one that might well represent the sounds of Iberian, put up with that, and begin using the Basque phonetic alphabet yourselves. Not so hard.
    The problem is there's no such thing as a "Basque phonetic alphabet". Basque ortography (like all ortographic systems) is a matter of convention, and for transcribing Iberian sibilants the convention is ś and s. This is as good (or as bad) as the Basque letters, but it was the choice of different people, Iberian epigraphists on one side and Basque academists on the other.

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  72. "But this is very far from leaping unrelated words which happen to sound similar like you do".

    That you do not understand the relation of meaning, does not mean that they are not related. Also I have illustrated with modern English examples how different meanings can arise from the same root.

    How do Dios and Adios relate in Spanish? It is obvious... but in 4000 years this obviousness may have been totally lost. And they are totally unrelated by meaning... unless you know the cultural clue.

    All this should not surprise a linguist, really. The "rule" you are appealing to is a rule for words in different languages, not in internal reconstruction.

    "There's no such "root"".

    It is so OBVIOUS! Only a linguist (luckily not all) may fail to see that, it seems to me.

    ...

    Botai culture is not from the ancestral Altaic area. We know that that area of West Kazakhstan was later (Andronovo culture) an Indoeuropean (surely early Indo-Iranian) hub. It might have not been IE at the time of the horse domestication but it was by no means Altaic either (Turkic language only arrived there c. 2000 years ago, in a quite well documented process).

    ...

    "I never said perro was IE!"

    My bad maybe. You have pulled so many strings that I'm getting messed up.

    Ah, sure, you claimed that alleged Basque "hor" (dog?) is IE. However the common word is zakur or its affective form txakur. This one you also claim is IE or I do not know what...

    Whoa, what a mess!

    "Bullshit. Basque is voiceless while English is VOICED".

    A too subtle pointless distinction, as each person pronounces uniquely.

    "and for transcribing Iberian sibilants the convention is ś and s".

    But they are WRONG if you describe /s/ as "ś" and use "s" or some other sound.

    If you ivory tower linguists are WRONG, you either admit you are WRONG or you stop communicating with the plebe altogether.

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  73. So if you wish to talk of "Vasco-Caucasian" as something factual the first thing you'd need to do is to DEMONSTRATE its reality. So far I see Vasco-Indoeuropean as at least a similarly likely candidate. None of them look related at any recent time: the Neolithic time frame is at least highly dubious.
    I'm affraid "Vasco-IE" is little supported by evidence (you could argue as well Basque ancestors were aliens who landed off from an UFO).

    About Vasco-Caucasian chronology, one thing is when it was as a differentiated macro-family (i.e. Proto-VC), and another one is when the ancestor of Basque was itself differentiated. So although Proto-VC must be pre-Neolithic, Basque itself looks like the result of a Neolithic expansion from the PVC homeland.

    For example, Basque sagu 'mouse' is arguably related (Bengtson) to PNC *tsa:rggwy: 'weasel, marten' and Burushaski *tɕargé 'flying squirrel'. But as we find similar forms in Kartvelian (Megrel) tʃ’uk’ and South Dravidian tɕikk- 'mouse', I conclude that these 'mouse' words developped in the Neolithic from an older root of wider semantic latitude.

    But the story doesn't ends here. There's an IE root *k´ormon- 'weasel; ermine, stoat' which can be readily linked to the above VC root (think of *ts > *k´ and *ggw ~ *m . This word has cognates in Altaic (e.g. Tungus-Manchu *gurma-/*gurna- 'hare, squirrel, ermine'), as well as in Basque erbiñude 'weasel' ( a compound with another root I won't discusss here). This word is clearly older than 'mouse' and probably also VC, but could it also be considered as genuinely Basque? I'm not sure :-)

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  74. That you do not understand the relation of meaning, does not mean that they are not related.
    Sorry, but yours is a fallacious argument. You lump together homonymous words all the time!

    Also I have illustrated with modern English examples how different meanings can arise from the same root.
    Sure, there're documented cases of semantic shifts like Spanish pardo, but certainly this isn't the case of these Basque words.

    Botai culture is not from the ancestral Altaic area. We know that that area of West Kazakhstan was later (Andronovo culture) an Indoeuropean (surely early Indo-Iranian) hub. It might have not been IE at the time of the horse domestication but it was by no means Altaic either (Turkic language only arrived there c. 2000 years ago, in a quite well documented process).
    This is at least debatable, by no means it's a fact. Don't forget also horseback riders have a great mobility and could travel long distances.

    However the common word is zakur or its affective form txakur.
    Coming from an earlier kakur, also attested in Basque. However, as regarding its phonetics it doesn't look as a native Basque word at all, but probably comes from an extinct language spoken by nomadic shpeherds of the Pyrenean ara.

    A too subtle pointless distinction, as each person pronounces uniquely.
    Sorry, but you're confusing phonetics and phonology. A little basic training in linguistics would make you no harm!

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  75. It might be related to kakur ~ zakur or not (probably not), but there's a Latin inscription in Nafarroa with the theonym ITSACURRIN-E (the -e ending is the dative case suffix).

    Interestingly, we've got a similar Ekuŕin-e in Tartessian (rothics were apparently reversed in that script), which Koch "analyzes" as 'Horse Queen' (LOL). As somebody has pointed out in the Internet, he disregards the distinction between rothics and sibilants and he ignores Iberian epigraphy as well.

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  76. Ikurrin(a): ensign, modernly banner, flag. From ikur(-ra), sign, simbol. (???)

    However I do not think ITSAKURRINE can be related to zakur (dog) because it begins with ITS(A)-

    I can think of many combos including:
    - ITSA (the Sea without the honorary suffix -aso), surely related to the particle IZ- (presumably water). [Other options are (h)itz(a): word, speech; itxi: to close; etxe: house, home - depending on how they used the Latin letters back then]
    - -KOR (tending to: emankor: generous (from eman: to give)).
    - -IN (short from -GIN: maker, doer).

    It may be an offering to a Sea deity.

    "Interestingly, we've got a similar Ekuŕin-e in Tartessian (rothics were apparently reversed in that script), which Koch "analyzes" as 'Horse Queen' (LOL)".

    LOLOLOL!

    What a nonsense: equos regina, ROLFMAO! Koch blacklisted forever. You can't say that and survive.

    If both words have to be related I'd say ikurrin (ensign) but ekurrin(e) acturally sounds more like ekarri (to carry, btw notice the... erm... coincidence.. with English) declined in some odd Iberian form.

    Would need a context to say more.

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  77. PS- don't tell me now that ŕ is not RR. If it is not, then it's your fault for mistyping it.

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  78. Ikurrin(a): ensign, modernly banner, flag. From ikur(-ra), sign, simbol. (???)
    These are neologisms coined by Sabino Arana from the causative verb irakurri, erakurri 'to read' (PNC *=HǝχχVr- 'to know; to perceive')

    - ITSA (the Sea without the honorary suffix -aso), surely related to the particle IZ- (presumably water).
    IMHO, Basque itsaso < *(g)itsa-śo is a compound from a root meaning 'salt(ed)' plus another meaning 'liquid' (e.g. lau-so 'mist').

    It may be an offering to a Sea deity.
    Unfortunately it's found on dry land, many miles away from the sea.

    What a nonsense: equos regina, ROLFMAO!
    What does ROLFMAO mean?

    Unfortunately, for Koch r and ŕ are the same thing, just as s and ś. His complete ignorance of Iberian epigraphy actually ruins his work.

    PS- don't tell me now that ŕ is not RR. If it is not, then it's your fault for mistyping it.
    That's so in Iberian, but apparently the Ionian and the Tartessian script got rothic signs reversed.

    There's an interesting study of Tartessian inscriptions made by an amateur. He/she concludes that Tartessian was a P-Celtic language akin to Gaulish: http://personal.telefonica.terra.es/web/irea/principes.html

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  79. Btw, there is an Iberian lead piece in Ibero-Jonian (so hard to mistake how it reads) from El Cigarralejo, Mula (Murcia) that reads:

    IUNTEGENZ
    ZAKARBIKZOZ
    LAGUTAZ...

    Although containing Iberian anthroponyms, the language doesn't seem to be Iberian at all with these -s endings.

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  80. I'm not sure if ikurrina is a neologism (it is for flag but for 'ensign' as well?) but in any case has a legitimate root: ikur (sign, symbol). It was just one among many examples I mentioned of possible alternative etymologies in any case, I could not resist with ekurrine being one of the words.

    "MHO, Basque itsaso < *(g)itsa-śo is a compound from a root meaning 'salt(ed)' plus another meaning 'liquid' (e.g. lau-so 'mist')".

    Gatz is salt, not gits- T

    The etymology of Itsaso is confuse but almost without doubt has the respect suffix of -(a)so, also found for elder relatives (amaso, aitaso, etc.)

    Seagoing peoples always had a deep respect for the Sea. And Basques must have been seagoing either if they are of Paleolithic or Neolithic origin.

    It is generally thought that there is a connection with IZ- (izotz: ice, izurde: dolphin, izerdi: sweat) but IZ- also has the meaning of to be (izan: to be, izen: name, etc.) and IZ as water is undocumented out of these unclear longer words.

    But whatever the name Basques needed not to invent a word for Sea, coastal peoples do not do that, only inland peoples need to give word o what they did not know of before (or at least was not part of their daily lives).

    "Unfortunately it's found on dry land, many miles away from the sea".

    Not really important. The first engraving of a European vessel with rudder ("timón de codaste" in Spanish, in old times also timón "a la navarresa" o "a la bayonesa") is found many miles away from the sea in a monastery of what is now Navarre.

    It's not many thousand of miles, right?

    "What does ROLFMAO mean?"

    Misspelled: ROFLMFAO is "rolling on the floor laughing my fucking ass off". It implies something extremely funny.

    "That's so in Iberian"...

    Iberians never used Roman alphabet (except maybe some late coins?). And I'm pretty sure that they used the Greek sigma for our S and not something else.

    "There's an interesting study of Tartessian inscriptions made by an amateur. He/she concludes that Tartessian was a P-Celtic language akin to Gaulish"...

    I've read it and discussed it before: it's junk.

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  81. "Although containing Iberian anthroponyms, the language doesn't seem to be Iberian at all with these -s endings".

    We cannot even be sure that there was one single Iberian. Most likely not but several languages or at best a dialect continuum. While this Ibero-Jonian lead of Mula resembles Basque, another one from Girona (oddly enough) does not and seems to represent a totally different language.

    The only explanation I could think for "Murcian" Iberian being closer to Basque than "Gironan" one is that Murcia kept better the Azilian legacy, not being really affected by later Tardenosian and Neolithic flows. I cannot think of any other reason, sincerely - but I reckon I am probably wrong in this: it's too extreme. It'd mean that some Iberians would be Basque-related and others maybe not at all or more distantly so even if being closer in geography.

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  82. I'm not sure if ikurrina is a neologism (it is for flag but for 'ensign' as well?) but in any case has a legitimate root: ikur (sign, symbol).
    Both were coined by Sabino Arana. In fact, he invented a whole bunch of modern Basque words.

    Gatz is salt, not gits-
    Yes, but the root *(g)its- also exists in Basque, for example in giza-urde, gizurde 'dolphin' (= 'sea pig').

    The etymology of Itsaso is confuse but almost without doubt has the respect suffix of -(a)so, also found for elder relatives (amaso, aitaso, etc.)
    I'm afraid this is another case of homonymy.

    While this Ibero-Jonian lead of Mula resembles Basque, another one from Girona (oddly enough) does not and seems to represent a totally different language.
    Yes, that's right. In the Catalan area, Iberian was a superstrate to other language(s), possibly Italoid/Sorotaptic and maybe also Celtic.

    I've read it and discussed it before: it's junk.
    At least it's slightly better than Koch's. BTW, he didn't literally said ekuŕine was 'horse queen' but he compared to the Gaulish theonym epona in the expression epona regina.

    We cannot even be sure that there was one single Iberian. Most likely not but several languages or at best a dialect continuum.
    I disagree. Most inscriptions show a rather uniform language with little dialectal variation over a large territory. This is consistent with De Hoz suggestion that Iberian was a kind of lingua franca (originally used by a warfare aristocracy) than the language of the autochtonous population.

    I cannot think of any other reason, sincerely - but I reckon I am probably wrong in this: it's too extreme.
    Yes, you are. :-) Also "El Cigarralejo" lead foil is a singular case because besides un-Iberian but rather Celtiberian-like morphology (-(so)s, -ue, -bos) the text contains Iberian personal names and even whole sentences in Iberian, thus reflecting a bilingual Celtic/Iberian situation.

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  83. I've read it and discussed it before: it's junk.
    This is precisely what I think of Vennemann's "Vasconic".

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  84. No, "ikur" is not any Aranism, please!

    "Yes, but the root *(g)its- also exists in Basque, for example in giza-urde, gizurde 'dolphin' (= 'sea pig')".

    The only root apparent there is giz(a)-: human, social. And it's not "gits" much less "its" but "giza", as attested in many other words: gizaki, gizarte, gizon...

    There may have been a convergent evolution here between IZ- and GIZA-. This is as good as the case of euskara (from eutsi) and eskuera (from esku): both mean the same but the original has been altered in some sort of wordplay to make the derived term. Another thing is which one of the two variants is the original but it is obvious that one produces the other by wordplay.

    "I'm afraid this is another case of homonymy".

    Prove it.

    "Yes, that's right. In the Catalan area, Iberian was a superstrate to other language(s), possibly Italoid/Sorotaptic and maybe also Celtic".

    Maybe. But in turn Western IE was superstrate to Iberian/Basque or something else pre-IE (but surely related to Iberian, Ligurian and Basque somehow). Some have even argued that the IE dialects never really were spoken but by the elites and that's why Catalonia was so easily re-Iberized in the 6th century BCE (just with a bit of Massilian monetary/military/political help, I suspect).

    "At least it's slightly better than Koch's".

    I must say that I did not even click the link yesterday as I thought this guy was the same as some other whom I read in PDF and thought he was making up most of the script transliterations and such. I still have to read this guy but I know that if Tartessians/Turdetanians would have spoken Celtic, we'd know from Roman sources and toponimy.

    It's clear they did not, what does not exclude that the occasional text in Tartessian alphabet might be Celtic. However I do even question the celticity of some so-called Celtiberian texts, so go figure.

    The problem IMO is that most linguists (pro or aficionado) do not speak Basque, being only minimally fluent in Indoeuropean languages (or maybe the occasional "exotic" but non-European one like Arab or Japanese), so they tend to walk easy paths.

    Easy paths don't bring you far.

    "BTW, he didn't literally said ekuŕine was 'horse queen' but he compared to the Gaulish theonym epona in the expression epona regina".

    Sounds like he was pretending erudition. I'm sure he first though as I did: "equos regina", and then decorated it so as not to be so insultingly ridiculous.

    ...

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  85. ...

    "I disagree. Most inscriptions show a rather uniform language with little dialectal variation over a large territory. This is consistent with De Hoz suggestion that Iberian was a kind of lingua franca (originally used by a warfare aristocracy) than the language of the autochtonous population".

    Can't judge. But the same people use this kind of lingua franca, they also write in vernacular languages. You see texts in Basque side by side with those in Romance, you see documents in Germanic Frankish and early French alongside others in Latin... etc.

    Also the territory of Iberian language is not that large: from East Andalusia to Valencian Country, essentially the same extension as the El Argar kingdom in the Bronze Age, plus the Catalan extension northwards, surely a product of Massilian political intervention (anti-Celtic and anti-Phoenician).

    I can imagine that there were two or three Iberians: Argarean Iberian in the SE, Valencian Iberian (closely related to the previous) and Catalan Iberian (many question marks here).

    ""El Cigarralejo" lead foil is a singular case because besides un-Iberian but rather Celtiberian-like morphology (-(so)s, -ue, -bos) the text contains Iberian personal names and even whole sentences in Iberian, thus reflecting a bilingual Celtic/Iberian situation".

    No Celts in Murcia ever, please! And no, to me it does not sound Celtic at all. It sounds oddly "Basque": IZGENU, ANDINUE, BIANDINGOŔZAŔ ... BEIGUL, TARIKEDELBABINEDITARKE... NELA, BANALBAZUZBELIGINELA, etc.

    This is NOT Celtic and this sounds a lot like Basque, verbs and declinations included:
    - ginela
    - ba zuz (ba zoaz)
    - ditarke
    - bi andin gor zar (zahar)
    - (h)an dinue
    - izgenu (hitz genu)

    etc.

    For me it is crazier than for you (of all places in Iberia Murcia is the less likely for this kind of "Basque connection" a priori) but it's so obvious that it is painful.

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  86. No, "ikur" is not any Aranism, please!
    Yes, it is. You can consult Euskalzaindia's dictionary (Diccionario General vasco) here: http://www.euskaltzaindia.net/oeh/jaisteko_gunea

    The only root apparent there is giz(a)-: human, social. And it's not "gits" much less "its" but "giza", as attested in many other words: gizaki, gizarte, gizon..
    I'm afraid this has nothing to do with dolphins. :-)

    The thing is Basque has many roots which only show in compounds. Also you tend to confuse completely unrelated words which happen to sound similar. This isn't how historical linguistics works, my aficionado friend.

    The problem IMO is that most linguists (pro or aficionado) do not speak Basque.
    I actually think it's actually an advantage, for he/she won't try to "translate" Iberian with the help of Basque.

    Easy paths don't bring you far.
    Yes, Using Basque to "translate" Iberian, for example. :-)

    Also the territory of Iberian language is not that large: from East Andalusia to Valencian Country, essentially the same extension as the El Argar kingdom in the Bronze Age, plus the Catalan extension northwards, surely a product of Massilian political intervention (anti-Celtic and anti-Phoenician).
    I strongly disagree. There're also hints that at least in the south there was a military conquest. Tou can't continue to ignore Iberians were a warfare aristocracy rather than peaceful merchants.

    Can't judge. But the same people use this kind of lingua franca, they also write in vernacular languages.
    This is conradicted by actual evidence. There're almost no bilingual texts, and also Latin replaced Iberian around BC, even it surely continued to be spoken some centuries more.

    No Celts in Murcia ever, please! And no, to me it does not sound Celtic at all. It sounds oddly "Basque": IZGENU, ANDINUE, BIANDINGOŔZAŔ ... BEIGUL, TARIKEDELBABINEDITARKE... NELA, BANALBAZUZBELIGINELA, etc.
    Sorry, but the morphology (word endings) is un-Iberian.

    Imagine a document written in Romance with names of Basque-speaking people and also verbatim statements from them. This is a hypothetical bilingual situation which I think is similar to what happened there.

    This is NOT Celtic and this sounds a lot like Basque, verbs and declinations included:
    I'm afraid that true Iberian morphology (not "declinations") is quite different from the Basque ones.

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  87. So dolphins are not human-like nor social to you? They are to me an to most people. Dolphins, particularly the widespread bottlenose species, are extremely intelligent social beings that have little, if anything to envy from human intellect and sociality. This must have not gone unnoticed to prehistoric or even historic peoples of the coasts, including Basques.

    "I actually think it's actually an advantage, for he/she won't try to "translate" Iberian with the help of Basque".

    It's a total disadvantage because they miss every connection and then they go nuts and claim it's Celtic or whatever. To discuss Iberian you need to know not just some linguistics and Iberian texts but also have a good knowledge of Basque and the various Vasconic-like theories (notably Vascoid toponimy, which is so abundant everywhere but also suggested remnant words and grammar issues).

    Everything else is just noise and confusion.

    "Yes, Using Basque to "translate" Iberian, for example".

    You need something to compare with. Using Basque to translate Iberian is clearly insufficient but comparing with similar Basque forms when 80% of a text (as happens with that of El Cigarralejo) sounds Basque is just natural and almost guaranteed to produce some results.

    Sadly Ibero-Jonian texts are not too common but they are clearly the most clear ones.

    "There're also hints that at least in the south there was a military conquest".

    Nonsense.

    "Iberians were a warfare aristocracy rather than peaceful merchants".

    There's no such thing as "peaceful merchants: Vikings were merchants, Phoenicians were merchants, Greek were merchants... and all were quite violent, militarized and aristocratic. If there's a model to proto-Iberian El Argar society and also later Iberian civilization thats should be Greece (because of the many prehistorical and historical contacts). And Greece was a militarist aristocratic (or at least oligarchic) society, let's not fool ourselves. Similarly Celts or Romans are often depicted as more purely military societies but neither was so extremely aristocratic and both evolved into mercantile societies.

    That distinction you make is not valid or just up to a point (10-20% of value maybe). Were Iberians aristocratic? Yes. Militaristic? Yes. Civilized traders? Also. And you find all this in El Argar already, plus a tendency to ally and exchange culturally with Greeks (first Mycenaeans, the Phocaeans).

    "This is conradicted by actual evidence. There're almost no bilingual texts"...

    Then it was not a mere lingua franca but a popular language spoke in all aspects of life: a true vernacular tongue.

    "Sorry, but the morphology (word endings) is un-Iberian".

    The text is unmistakable because it is in Ibero-Jonian. I am unsure of which are your reasons to think it is not Iberian but there's hardly any more Iberian region than Murcia-Almeria (El Argar core area) and hardly any more clear text as those in Ibero-Jonian.

    "Imagine a document written in Romance with names of Basque-speaking people and also verbatim statements from them. This is a hypothetical bilingual situation which I think is similar to what happened there".

    It's Murcia, not Vasconia! And it is a lead, not a slab, so this is probably a practical text: a letter or notebook of sorts, not votive, ritual or even royal proclamation at all.

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  88. Please continue debate on Iberian and Basque here.

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  89. So dolphins are not human-like nor social to you? They are to me an to most people.
    If you think so, that's right, but please don't speak for other people.

    The Basque word for 'dolphin' is actually a compound 'sea-pig', that's all. The Basque word for 'man', gizon is actually from *gdonjo-, a derivated from *gdon- 'earth'. That is, 'man' is 'earthly'.

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  90. "The Basque word for 'man', gizon is actually from *gdonjo-, a derivated from *gdon- 'earth'. That is, 'man' is 'earthly'".

    LOL. You may think that and I respect it (well, not much admittedly) but... c'mon! You cannot expect anyone to believe that. The same as with sea, man (or rather human, as it's the case in Basque) does not need to be derived from anything.

    Giza (adj. human, social) > gizon (man), gizaki (n. human being), gizarte (society), etc.

    Earth is Lur and, if anything, it'd be related to Ur (water). Nothing to do with with giza/-on.

    "The Basque word for 'dolphin' is actually a compound 'sea-pig', that's all".

    Well, first of all "urde" is firstly "boar", not truly "pig" ("zerri", "txerri", surely related to Spanish "cerdo" - the "seta" etymology is nonsense, we are before an Iberian or Basque word here).

    Second, as you have insisted many times there are two words for dolphin: 'gizurde' (human boar) and the much more common 'izurde' (presumably water boar, from proposed 'iz-': water, not sea).

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  91. LOL. You may think that and I respect it (well, not much admittedly) but... c'mon! You cannot expect anyone to believe that. The same as with sea, man (or rather human, as it's the case in Basque) does not need to be derived from anything.
    I'm afraid yours is the same isolacionist approach of academic Vascologists.

    Earth is Lur and, if anything, it'd be related to Ur (water).
    Not really. Also notice their rothics are different.

    Nothing to do with with giza/-on.
    Of course, the fact the word 'man' in Basque has a celtic etymology doesn't imply 'earth' also has.

    Giza (adj. human, social) > gizon (man), gizaki (n. human being), gizarte (society), etc.
    Not exactly. giza- is a "combinatory" variant of gizon in some compounds.

    Well, first of all "urde" is firstly "boar", not truly "pig"
    Actually it's both.

    ("zerri", "txerri", surely related to Spanish "cerdo"
    Yes, that's right. You should be aware that some 'pig' words only designate the domesticated animal, but others also include the wild species. IMHO, the first are potential Wanderwörter, while the second ones tend to be native (e.g. IE *pork´-o- vs. *sū-).

    the "seta" etymology is nonsense, we are before an Iberian or Basque word here
    Mi no entender nada.

    Second, as you have insisted many times there are two words for dolphin: 'gizurde' (human boar) and the much more common 'izurde' (presumably water boar, from proposed 'iz-': water, not sea).
    Both words are actually one and the same, as initial g- is sporadically conserved before i (e.g. gisats (B) vs. the wider attested isats 'broom') but disappears in most dialects.

    According to my dictionaries, the recorded forms are: gizaurde (*L), izurde (B,G), izurda (B), ixurda (B), izurdi (L) 'dolphin'.

    I insist this is a root *(g)isa- 'sea' parallel to the one of itsaso < *itsa-śo.

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  92. The isolationist accusation is one that is not appropriate at all. It'd be legitimate if I was isolationist (so far the academic consensus is that Basque and Iberian are isolates) but I am not.

    I can't be isolationist when I'm claiming Vasconic substrate all around West Europe, I can't be isolationist when I'm supporting Basque-Iberian connections, I can't be isolationist when I am interested in possible connections of Basque with distant language families of West Eurasia like proto-Indoeuropean, NE Caucasian, etc. And, mind you, I have discussed some in previous posts.

    I'm open-minded but your single-minded attitude is not helpful: for you all must be "Vasco-Caucasian" (understood as Basque being a dialect of NE Caucasian, something nobody else has dared to claim so far) and that's it and everything that steps out of your preconceptions is wrong.

    No way!

    [Lur/ur] "... notice their rothics are different".

    True. I stand mildly corrected.

    "the word 'man' in Basque has a celtic etymology"...

    That's the kind of nonsense you end up coming with: when you don't seem to be able to find a NEC etymology, you resort to IE. Your horizon is so narrow!

    For a word to be genuinely Celtic, it has to have an IE etymology. Otherwise it is a strong candidate for Vasconic-substrate influence. Remember that Celts were the avant-guard of IE expansion in West Europe and that, therefore, they absorbed a lot of substrate terms (Celtic as creole).

    "giza- is a "combinatory" variant of gizon in some compounds".

    I disagree: gizon is derived from giza (quite obviously). Otherwise it'd not be giza- but gizon(e)- the prefix. Like in "gizonezko komuna" (men's toilet).

    "Mi no entender nada".

    Look up "cerdo" in Wikitionary :D

    Zerri/cerdo is probably the Neolithic Iberian word for pig (attested in the La Almagra complex, arguably quite early, along with olives and rabbits). When Neolithic and pigs arrived to the Basque area it stuck but urde (boar) remained as well and the neologism basurde (wild boar) was coined.

    The word is not attested elsewhere AFAIK, so it is not a wanderwort but a regional Iberian/SW European one. It's not like you find that in Eastern Europe, as happens with hartz (bear).

    "Both words are actually one and the same, as initial g- is sporadically conserved before i (e.g. gisats (B) vs. the wider attested isats 'broom') but disappears in most dialects".

    Maybe. But it's very odd.

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  93. PS- As for gizon, the commonly accepted etymology is giza-on, where on is probably apocope of ondo: at, near, close to (as you can find in toponyms like baiona: near the river: (i)bai on(do)a). So gizon should mean by the society/humankind, implying that women took a less prominent social role.

    Alternatively the more simple interpretation where on means just good (on), so "good human". This would be a machista expression that could make some sense when we consider that woman is emakume (female cub or whelp, eme kume, or maybe child of female : emeko ume), which also sounds somewhat machista.

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  94. I can't be isolationist when I'm claiming Vasconic substrate all around West Europe
    But you're so by insisting Basque can't have external loanwords.

    'm open-minded but your single-minded attitude is not helpful: for you all must be "Vasco-Caucasian" (understood as Basque being a dialect of NE Caucasian, something nobody else has dared to claim so far) and that's it and everything that steps out of your preconceptions is wrong.
    Sorry, but this is utterly FALSE. If you would have read my blog, you'd learn the first person who grouped together Basque, (North) Caucasian and Burushaski was the Polish geographer Bogdan Zaborski around 1970. 20 years later came Bengtson who coined the term "Vasco-Caucasian" or "Macro-Caucasian".

    "the word 'man' in Basque has a celtic etymology"...

    That's the kind of nonsense you end up coming with: when you don't seem to be able to find a NEC etymology, you resort to IE. Your horizon is so narrow!

    My etymology is perfectly valid unless you could prove the contrary.

    PS- As for gizon, the commonly accepted etymology is giza-on,
    "Commonly accepted" means REFERENCES. Give them, please!

    Zerri/cerdo is probably the Neolithic Iberian word for pig (attested in the La Almagra complex, arguably quite early, along with olives and rabbits). When Neolithic and pigs arrived to the Basque area it stuck but urde (boar) remained as well and the neologism basurde (wild boar) was coined.
    LOL. Do you have a time machine to hear people speaking?

    The word is not attested elsewhere AFAIK,
    For your information, there's PNEC *dʒa[r]q’V 'sow, pig', which is obviously related.

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  95. "But you're so by insisting Basque can't have external loanwords".

    It can have them: but you must demonstrate. For example: liburu, ostikada... come from Latin. But bi in Latin comes from Vasconic, as so many other Latin words, probably via a Ligurian-like substrate.

    Notice that the Italian connection is suggestive of a Neolithic origin of Vasconic, btw, with the Cardium Pottery culture/complex. Because Paleolithic origin would exclude Italy instead.

    "If you would have read my blog, you'd learn the first person who grouped together Basque, (North) Caucasian and Burushaski was the Polish geographer Bogdan Zaborski around 1970. 20 years later came Bengtson who coined the term "Vasco-Caucasian" or "Macro-Caucasian"".

    Ok, Bentson and Zaborsk too. But they are wrong as well, as far as I can tell. Why because I find more connections with PIE (notice that not West IE) than with NEC when using the statistical method. So most probably the process of divergence was like:

    Proto Western:
    >NEC
    >proto-European
    >>PIE (IE)
    >>Vasconic (Basque, Iberian, etc.)

    But well, open to other ideas as long as they pass the statistical (mass comparison) test.

    All this is anything but written on stone. But neither is your "Vasco-Caucasian" theory.

    "My etymology is perfectly valid unless you could prove the contrary".

    Which actual language is Basque-like "gizon" attested in Celtic? Only in Brythonic (gwr, gwaz),which is, we know, the most Basquizied form of living Celtic (at least that's what I get from mass comparison). So most likely gwaz comes from giza/-on, or perhaps from the merging of gizon and the only proto-Celtic attested root of this kind: *wiros.

    Q.E.D.

    ""Commonly accepted" means REFERENCES. Give them, please!"

    Try debating the matter in the Basque Country...

    Call it a folk etymology if you wish but for me is more solid that your Begtsonian esoteric junk.

    "Do you have a time machine to hear people speaking?"

    As much as you do. Some stuff is obvious and what I said about zerri and urde is clearly so.

    You do not get Urdaibai, Urdazubi, etc. from pigs but from boars, and so on.

    "For your information, there's PNEC *dʒa[r]q’V 'sow, pig', which is obviously related".

    Maybe (real examples that support the proto-word?). That could be supportive of a more or less Caucasian origin of Tartessian or Iberian (and maybe Basque) but I'd need a demo of that proto-word even existing at all. How do Chechens say pig? Boar? Lezgins? How was that in Hattic, Sumerian, Hurrian? Surely it is attested in some of these ancient languages.

    We'd need to research the matter in depth.

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  96. But bi in Latin comes from Vasconic,
    Sorry, but you're wrong. You've already been told this is freom PIE *dwi.

    But well, open to other ideas as long as they pass the statistical (mass comparison) test.
    I'm afraid your "statistical test" is little more than useless.

    How do Chechens say pig? Boar? Lezgins? How was that in Hattic, Sumerian, Hurrian? Surely it is attested in some of these ancient languages.
    Have you ever been to Starostin's site: http://newstar.rinet.ru?

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  97. "You've already been told this is freom PIE *dwi".

    But I'm sure you are wrong in this, specially because it's not the only Vasconic element we find in Latin and Italian toponimy.

    Latin two is duos, which is different, even if maybe remotely related, via PIE, to Vasconic bi. There's no "*dwi" (someone made that up for their convenience).

    "I'm afraid your "statistical test" is little more than useless".

    Useless is the way you bend all the evidence towards your pre-determined goal, that's not science because you cannot make a prediction and blindly test it. With statistical methods you get mathematically exact results that you can then compare with each other, call them affinity indexes. You can organize such affinity indexes hierarchically... and then refine the tree with the comparative method maybe, pruning what is not genuine.

    "Have you ever been to Starostin's site: http://newstar.rinet.ru?"

    Yes. Have you before making your claim? Because if we rewind:

    ... you said: "PNEC *dʒa[r]q’V 'sow, pig'"

    But real NEC per that site is:
    Batsbi: buruḳ
    Tsezi: beƛo
    Ginukh: boƛi
    Bezhta: büƛö
    Gunzib: buƛu
    Lak: burḳ
    Lezghian: wak 1
    Agul: wak: 1 (Fit.)
    Rutul: wak 2 (Khniukh.)
    Tsakhur: wok 1
    Kryz: wak 1
    Budukh: wǝk 1
    Archi: boIƛ̣: 1
    Udi: boq:I 1

    And even Starostin's proto-NC is different, he says it is: *wHārƛ̣_wǝ, very different from your *dʒa[r]q’V.

    Actually all that buruk, boq, wak and such seems to me related to Latin/Greek porcus/-os, which admittedly may have a PNEC root or connection via Neolithic peoples maybe (a root different from cerdo/zerri in any case).

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  98. "You've already been told this is freom PIE *dwi".

    But I'm sure you are wrong in this, specially because it's not the only Vasconic element we find in Latin and Italian toponimy.

    Certainly not this one. :-)

    Useless is the way you bend all the evidence towards your pre-determined goal, that's not science because you cannot make a prediction and blindly test it. With statistical methods you get mathematically exact results that you can then compare with each other, call them affinity indexes. You can organize such affinity indexes hierarchically... and then refine the tree with the comparative method maybe, pruning what is not genuine.
    Unfortunately, your "statistical" comparisons don't work because you leap together unrelated words. This is a negative review of your work.

    And even Starostin's proto-NC is different, he says it is: *wHārƛ̣_wǝ, very different from your *dʒa[r]q’V.
    The first root is the source of Basque urde.

    Actually all that buruk, boq, wak and such seems to me related to Latin/Greek porcus/-os, which admittedly may have a PNEC root or connection via Neolithic peoples maybe (a root different from cerdo/zerri in any case).
    Yes, PIE *pork´-o- is a Vasco-Caucasian loanword from that root.

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  99. Which actual language is Basque-like "gizon" attested in Celtic?
    The answer is Gaulish gdonio- (see Delamarre's Dictionnaire de la langue gaulois).

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  100. @ Maju
    “Latin two is duos, which is different, even if maybe remotely related, via PIE, to Vasconic bi. There's no "*dwi" (someone made that up for their convenience)”.
    Latin “two” is “duo”, nominative case masculine and neuter, accusative masculine (rare) and accusative neuter. “duos” is “accusative case”. “twi-“ is presupposed from “bi-s” “twice”.

    @ Octavià
    “Which actual language is Basque-like "gizon" attested in Celtic?
    The answer is Gaulish gdonio- (see Delamarre's Dictionnaire de la langue gaulois)".

    “gdonio-“ remembers me Greek “khthonos”, the man like who is linked to the Earth. If Basque “gizon” was linked, we should think to a word diffused in many languages and certainly very disturbed in its transmission.

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  101. “gdonio-“ remembers me Greek “khthonos”, the man like who is linked to the Earth. If Basque “gizon” was linked, we should think to a word diffused in many languages and certainly very disturbed in its transmission.
    I don't think so. The Greek and Celtic words are regularly derived from PIE, but Basque must have borrowed from Gaulish.

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  102. gizon (c. exc. Z), gixon (B G), gízun (Z LN). n. ‘man’, ‘person’. CF giza-. 15th cent. Dimin.
    gixon (B HN LN S).
    OUO. Second form by P30. Last form by P71. CF by W10, W2.2; this is the only word
    in the language which undergoes both these processes. Probably attested in Aq. as
    CISON- in male names. [CHECK THIS {See e.g. M. 1961a: 50}]


    This is from Trask’s dictionary. Of course I haven’t your knowledge of Basque language, but, by a linguistic point of view, I think a little likely that Basque “gizon” derives from Gallic “gdonio-“. The development of an epenthetic vowel which retains the accent is against every linguistic rule. It would already be a great finding if Basque “gizon” was linked with IE “dheģhom-/ģhedhom-“, and it isn’t said. More likely a derivation from the metathetic form of the late IE tradition and not from the most ancient:

    Hittite tēkan “earth”
    Toch A tkam “earth”

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  103. Let's begin with Octaviá:

    "Gaulish gdonio-"

    How is this better than Breton? We know by now that this word has two forms in Celtic "fir" and variants (Goidelic) and "gwaz" and variants (Brythonic).

    This would put the gdonio location (where? "Gaulish" is so widespread!) in line with Brythonic languages. It is therefore logical conclusion that this is a borrowing from Basque/Vasconic substrate into some variants of Celtic. Specially because the lack of a clear IE root the closer to gizon the farther from the alleged *wiHrós root it is. In fact gdonio has nothing to do with the PIE root at all and clearly speaks of a Vasconic substrate word.

    This is interesting but why you insist in always forcing things to be from IE to Basque, even when the opposite is much more likely? Because you have prejudices: the typical prejudice that wants to believe that Basque was always just spoken more or less in its current extension. Instead we know that it is and has been for millennia a receding language, the kind of language (or language family or dialect continuum) that should leave a lot of substrate words in the newcomer IE languages, be them Celtic or Romance.

    "Unfortunately, your "statistical" comparisons don't work because you leap together unrelated words".

    No. You always consider meaning, you don't pair dog with mink or thumb with leg... only "amateurs" do that, right? (sarcasm intended)

    With Swadesh lists for example (not my favorite kind of list but well) you compare words in pairs by meaning you never compare one and I or louse and hair.

    "The first root is the source of Basque urde".

    It's not a root but a reconstructed proto-word of uncertain reality. I think it relates more closely to porkos, specially after looking at the REAL WORDS in NE Caucasian languages, but whatever.

    Notice anyhow that the PNC root factors also NW Caucasian, which in fact I would consider for this word more closely related to IE (line of sus, swine) but only tentative. In any case for this word West Caucasian and East Caucasian do not seem related, so factoring them together to create a single "proto-word" is not something I'd dare to do (Starostin does at his own risk but I do not have to accept the result).

    You haven't still explained how you managed to change *wHārƛ̣_wǝ into *dʒa[r]q’V. A root that you claim to be ancestral to "urde" into one that you claim ancestral to "zerri" and "cerdo".

    If you are mildly self-honest (remember that the easiest one to deceive is yourself), you have to admit that your PNC or PNEC is like the magician's tall hat, where you can get rabbits, flowers, handkerchiefs and whatnot... but all that is nothing but mere illusion.

    I just hope you do not believe in your own "magic", in the reality of your own tricks because that's the way of the fool... a very sad way, even if now and then someone insensibly laughs.

    "PIE *pork´-o-"

    Or rather PIE "*sū-"?

    PIE was not that extended, so I don't believe all these different words are PIE but rather, at least some, IE borrowings from other substrate languages.

    As far as I understand (because of the words in Hindi, Armenian, etc.) *sū- is the true PIE word and porkos (porcus, pig) instead a borrowing.

    So we have the (1) IE sus line; we have the (2) SE European porkos line (of possible NE Caucasian origin, similar words attested in this family); we have the (3) cerdo/zerri SW European/Iberian specific line, and we have the (4) urde Basque-specific line.

    This finding alone should provide for a good quality linguistic article. It is quite solid stuff, I understand, though how porkos/porcus migrated to English pig is something yet to evaluate (direct Latin loan?) and also how porkos migrated from Greece to Latin may need some consideration (but Latin keeps the original IE sus, so porcus is most likely a Greek secondary loan).

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  104. @Gioello:

    The "twice" form does not seem to demonstrate anything: it's clearly from 'two' and suffix '-ice' but the /u/ sound is preserved as w, much like the /u/ sound of duos is preserved in 'duunviros' or the more common 'dual'. In both cases the /o/ is lost but the /u/ is retained.

    And in order to obtain 'bi' form 'duos', you need a massive sound change and also that Basques would abandon their original word for 2 and take a lesser "Latin" prefix (and not the true form "duos" or similar) instead. It is all extremely unlikely... a practical impossibility in fact. Much more logical is to think that early (proto-)Latin speakers took that particle somewhere: in Central Europe before flowing into Italy or more likely in Italy itself.

    "“gdonio-“ remembers me Greek “khthonos”, the man like who is linked to the Earth".

    It is "khthonios" and it means: "Of or pertaining to the inhabitants or gods on the Underworld" or "in, under, or beneath the earth".

    Nothing about "man" anywhere and it is an adjective, not a noun.

    Sorry but truly a bad connection... at least if "gdonio-" has indeed to mean "man", as Octaviá says, and not "underworldish".

    Octavia said in this regard: "The Greek and Celtic words are regularly derived from PIE"...

    I must say that I do not think so (see above) and we are probably before a Basque borrowing and maybe convergence with the proto-Celtic *wir (as in Welsh gwr). The intrusion of initial /g/, of /z/ (in Breton "gwaz"), of /n/ in "Gaulish" gdonio- (if related at all), all suggest influence of Basque 'giza' and 'gizon'.

    Also (for all), please notice the similarly constructed word jaun (lord, sir, mister), from 'jas' (lineage, caste, clan) and suffix '-on' (possibly meaning "good" or "beside": 'ondo', as happens in gizon). It may be also involved.

    "I think a little likely that Basque “gizon” derives from Gallic “gdonio-“".

    Please! What do we know now of "Gallic “gdonio-“"? Nigh to nothing (Octaviá please release more info: context specially, location too).

    But worse: we know that proto-Celtic is *wir (>fir and variants in Goidelic), related to Latin vir and PIE *wiHrós. All these cannot produce "gdonio-". So "gdonio-" is not any genuine IE word but some borrowing or whatever else. A possible (and I'd dare say likely) source for this borrowing is Basque "gizon", as you well say, attested since Antiquity.

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  105. Maju, I have no prejudice against Basque. I have said to you in another occasion that I have sympathy towards them. I am only searching for truth, in linguistics like in genetics.
    1) I haven’t said that there is a link between Basque “bi-“ and Latin. The words that Basque took from Latin are well known and we can see an Etymological Dictionary. As you are seeing, I am almost sceptical about all these etymologies. But that Latin “bis” derives from “*dwi-s” like “bellum” from “*dwellum” and that these are Indo-European words is well known by linguists.
    2) That “gdonio-“ does mean “man” in Gallic was said by Octavià and I must believe to him: I haven’t the dictionary he cited and from this I did my hypothesis.
    3) Greek χθόνιος is the adjective of χθών and does mean what you say, but from the word χθών “earth”, as I have said before, derive in many Indo-European languages the words for “man”, and the same could have happened for the Gallic “gdonio-“ (always believing to what Octavià says).
    4) As I have said, the IE root for χθών is “dheģhom-/ģhedhom-“, a word that suffered a metathesis: we have the most ancient (in the meaning that were the first to separate from the others) IE languages (Hittite and Tocharian) which continue the first form and the others the latter. From the latter derive many IE words for “man” in the meaning I have explained before. Of course IE languages had many other words for “man”, one was wiHrós (like you say), but also “Hner (Greek ανήρ, Skt nàr-, but also Latin, from Osco-Umbrian, Nero), so diffused also in Euphratic.
    5) For the link “earth”/”man” in the IE languages see: J.P. Mallory and D:Q Adams, The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World, 2006, page 120.

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  106. "But that Latin “bis” derives from “*dwi-s” like “bellum” from “*dwellum” and that these are Indo-European words is well known by linguists".

    There's no PIE *dwi-s, that's my whole point: there is a PIE *dwos and that is it.

    "That “gdonio-“ does mean “man” in Gallic was said by Octavià and I must believe to him"...

    If I believed everything someone said... The first rule of the surviving free thinker is not to believe all you read. Octavià has said many things anyhow that do not seem correct or are doubtful, so I'm asking for further info in any case so I can make up my mind with knowledged of what is actually going on: how many times and in what contexts is this word attested, why do some think it means "man", etc. It's not like there Gaulish is much better known than, say, Eteocretan... other than by the fact of being related to living Celtic languages such as Irish, Welsh, etc.

    "Greek χθόνιος is the adjective of χθών and does mean what you say, but from the word χθών “earth”, as I have said before, derive in many Indo-European languages the words for “man”"...

    I call to question the accuracy and wisdom of such speculation. Demonstrate it before you continue with this, please. IMO "earth" and "man" are totally unrelated words (logically) and that is also the case in all IE languages I know of.

    "For the link “earth”/”man” in the IE languages see: J.P. Mallory and D:Q Adams, The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World, 2006, page 120".

    Google books.

    He says that the PIE word for earth is *déĝhöm, while Starostin claims a bunch of different roots for each different language (what a joke!):*bhudhm-/*bhudhn- or *er or *dg'hem- or *tēres- or *mag(')h- or *tal-(/-e-) or *ghem-. According to that PIE had some 7 different "roots" for the same meaning of earth, what is ridiculous but allows for all kind of nonsense claims.

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  107. PS- I do not see where Mallory claims that 'man' derives from 'earth', definitively not in page 120. Can you point us to the right page if it exists at all?

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  108. In many IE languages, the word 'man' is derived from 'earth', in the sense of 'earthly'. That's a fact.

    Please! What do we know now of "Gallic “gdonio-“"? Nigh to nothing (Octaviá please release more info: context specially, location too).
    I refer you to Delamarre's book.

    But worse: we know that proto-Celtic is *wir (>fir and variants in Goidelic), related to Latin vir and PIE *wiHrós. All these cannot produce "gdonio-".
    Because this is a completely different root meaning 'male'.

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  109. Today is my birthday, so I'm in a happy mood. :-)

    This is interesting but why you insist in always forcing things to be from IE to Basque, even when the opposite is much more likely? Because you have prejudices: the typical prejudice that wants to believe that Basque was always just spoken more or less in its current extension.
    No, the problem is your actual knowledge of IE languages is poor, so you fail to recognize a genuine IE root every now and then.

    As far as I understand (because of the words in Hindi, Armenian, etc.) *sū- is the true PIE word and porkos (porcus, pig) instead a borrowing.
    Yes, that's right.

    o we have the (1) IE sus line; we have the (2) SE European porkos line (of possible NE Caucasian origin, similar words attested in this family); we have the (3) cerdo/zerri SW European/Iberian specific line, and we have the (4) urde Basque-specific line.
    There're still another 'pig' only attested in Eastern languages and presumably borrowed into Kartvelian: *g´hor- 'young pig'.

    IMHO, Also (4) and (1) have the same origin.

    You haven't still explained how you managed to change *wHārƛ̣_wǝ into *dʒa[r]q’V. A root that you claim to be ancestral to "urde" into one that you claim ancestral to "zerri" and "cerdo".
    These are two different roots.

    It is quite solid stuff, I understand, though how porkos/porcus migrated to English pig is something yet to evaluate (direct Latin loan?)
    English pig has a totally different etymology: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=pig

    and also how porkos migrated from Greece to Latin may need some consideration (but Latin keeps the original IE sus, so porcus is most likely a Greek secondary loan).
    No. Greek and Latin have their own native reflexes of both words.

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  110. "I refer you to Delamarre's book".

    That's like nothing to me because I do not own the book. So please provide the context: location(s) of the inscription and whatever other relevant details.

    Else I must think that you are cheating again and making claims that are not relevant: half truths are worse than plain lies.

    "Because this is a completely different root meaning 'male'".

    Cheating again.

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  111. In despite of your abusive tone, I've uploaded a scanned copy of Matasović's Proto-Celtic dictionary to Google Docs: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B2u9JXUPX7SUMGViZWMyMTEtNDIzYi00MTMzLWFjZTMtNmM0NjUzNjNhNTE0&hl=ca

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  112. My apoligies if you were offended for anything I said. Whatever the case, even if the manual you uploaded is surely of interest, I am unsatisfied.

    In page 162, comes *gdonyo- as 'human, person' (not 'man'). The initial asterisk indicates that it is a reconstructed word and not an attested one. It is not Gaulish not any other attested Celtic but theoretical proto-Celtic.

    It is related to several real words in various Celtic languages but what matters to us (as it was claimed it was Gaulish) is the suffix -xtonio, attested in Vercelli (Piemonte, Italy), which was the capital of a Ligurian tribe (the Libici or Lebecilli). The author proposes that -xtonio should be read as -gdonio... but the author seems to be already many miles away from reality, since he seems to believe that the Ligures spoke Gaulish.

    This is the problem with resorting to authority: authority is often wrong. Always question everything.

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  113. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  114. In page 162, comes *gdonyo- as 'human, person' (not 'man').
    Yes, that's right. Only in sexist societies 'man' equals 'male'.

    The initial asterisk indicates that it is a reconstructed word and not an attested one.
    It's no wonder because this is a Proto-Celtic dictionary.

    It is related to several real words in various Celtic languages but what matters to us (as it was claimed it was Gaulish) is the suffix -xtonio, attested in Vercelli (Piemonte, Italy), which was the capital of a Ligurian tribe (the Libici or Lebecilli). The author proposes that -xtonio should be read as -gdonio... but the author seems to be already many miles away from reality, since he seems to believe that the Ligures spoke Gaulish.
    It's not a matter of "belief", but of actual evidence, because the inscription is written in Gaulish.

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  115. "... because the inscription is written in Gaulish".

    Might be but how do I know? You have provided no evidence, no data that we can scrutinize, for example a transliteration of the whole inscription (probably not too long) or a link to wherever it is posted online.

    Don't worry, I did YOUR WORK and found it. It reads:

    AKISIOS ARKATOKO[K]MATEREKOS TOSO KOTE ATOM TEVO-XTONION KONEU

    ... accompanied of this Latin inscription:

    FINIS CAMPO QUEM DEDIT ACISIUS ARGANTOMATERECUS COMUNEM DEIS ET HOMINIBUS ITA UT LAPIDE[S] IIII STATUTI SUNT

    Allegedly they mean the same.

    "Only in sexist societies 'man' equals 'male'".

    The question is that "man" is not the same as "person, human being". Man is "human male" and only by denial of femininity it can become 'human in general'.

    As for sexism, I understand that using "man" for "person" or "human being" is sexist, as it denies women, makes them linguistically a mere annex or extension of men. And go to your district's feminist association but they are going to say the same, I am minimally educated in such matters, you know.

    The question anyhow is: is "TOSO KOTE ATOM TEVO-XTONION KONEU" Gaulish? I don't know enough to say, so I throw this to people more familiar with Celtic languages.

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  116. The question is that "man" is not the same as "person, human being". Man is "human male" and only by denial of femininity it can become 'human in general'.
    On the contrary, the expression "human being" was coined in modern times to avoid the ambiguity of "man".

    But surely the ancient Basque were sexists, bceause they applied the word to males, not humans in general. :-)

    The question anyhow is: is "TOSO KOTE ATOM TEVO-XTONION KONEU" Gaulish? I don't know enough to say, so I throw this to people more familiar with Celtic languages.
    If the language is the same than other Gaulish inscriptions, then it must be Gaulish.

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  117. Actually if you read the text directly it's not all that clear (see here). It uses an anomalous script I can't clearly identify and some letters are erased.

    ... KOLIO
    KOT--TOMTEVOX
    TONI--NEV

    Where the "-" indicate erased letters, some of which are critical to the reading of "xtonion".

    Other readings are possible in any case. Not any solid evidence. I'd dare say after this that not any evidence at all.

    Question everything.

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  118. "If the language is the same than other Gaulish inscriptions, then it must be Gaulish".

    That is more a question than any answer. How do you know that "the language is the same than other Gaulish inscriptions"? It is not like we know too much about ancient Gaulish, really.

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  119. TEVO-XTONION
    The peoples of North Italy used an Etruscan alphabet and the Etruscan language didn’t know sound consonants, then “tevo-xtonion” is for “deuo-ghdonion” or similar (a Genitive Plural of a Dvandva-compound: see K. H. Schmidt, How to define Celtiberian Archaisms?, Palaeohispanica 10 (2010, p.482).
    The language of Vercelli (Italy) is very conservative. If it is Celtic, it is an ancient Celtic. Lepontian is one of the oldest form of Celtic or Pre-Celtic. I have always supported the theory that the most ancient form of Celtic language found all over the world is the “Stele di Novilara” (the Marche, Italy).
    I have always supported the theory that it isn’t said that Celts are from Central Europe. They could have come also from Italy, where the brother peoples (Italic Peoples) remained.
    It isn’t said that Ligurians were Celts. They could be an autonomous branch of IE ( the river Polcevera comes from *porķo-bhera, with your word *porķo- that isn’t only a “pig” but also a” fish”). The last findings (see 1000 Genome project) are demonstrating that R-U152 is in origin above all Ligurian and the Tuscans tested, the only Italians, are the most ancient and varied).
    All these data is in favour of my theory of an Italian refugium of R1b and other haplogroups (Y and mt) and of Indo-European languages, at least the western ones.

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  120. How do you know that "the language is the same than other Gaulish inscriptions"? It is not like we know too much about ancient Gaulish, really.
    I think you're misinformed, for there're amny other inscriptions, as well glosses, toponymy, etc. This is why I've referred you to Delamarre's book.

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  121. @Octavià: We all know that Gaulish was not a literate language and that has left maybe a large number of scattered inscriptions like Iberian and such but not enough to clarify all we'd like not even remotely. It is not like even the most knowledgeable expert in Gaulish (assuming it was a single language, what I doubt) could speak and write as the people who know Latin or Sumerian do, almost as fluent natives.

    Besides inscriptions and toponimy there are some longer texts but they are not well understood often. So...

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  122. @Gioello: thanks for your opinion on the "Gaulish" inscription. I appreciate specially your indication of the script being Etruscan, the issue of how and why those phonetic changes and such and also your recognition of the language as unclearly Gaulish if at all.

    Still the original text is not quite as transcribed but even more blurry.

    I do not think you have any reason to claim an Italian origin for Celts. In fact I do not think Italics are ultimately from Italy either. You tend to want everything to be Italian and that's the heart and not the cold mind speaking. Beware!

    "It isn’t said that Ligurians were Celts. They could be an autonomous branch of IE"...

    Actually those who claim Ligurian as IE tend to think so. However the likely fact is that Ligurian was, if anything, related to Iberian and Basque, probably a remnant of the Cardium Pottery or Magdalenian languages. This I think mostly based on archaeology: there's no IE intrusion in the historical Ligurian territory before Massilia and Rome. Like Basques further West, they probably regrouped around the mountains, in that case the Western Alps and Ligurian mountains.

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  123. We still know Gaulish a lot more than Iberian.

    BTW, Basque is full of Iberian loanwords, so it's no wonder amateur people thinks they're close relatives.

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  124. Hahaha! And all the numbers too. Yeeepa!

    A mere coincidence no doubt. -.-

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  125. Unfortunately we don't know the precise meaning of these Iberian words beside their similarity to Basque words.

    The only exception is ban 'one, this'.

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  126. So you're basically saying that, because you don't want to be perceived as vasco-Iberist or as someone who uses Basque as some sort of "dictionary" to help decipher Iberian, you renounce to attempt to solve the Iberian puzzle and prefer to leave things in the muddy darkness, where maybe you are comfortable enough as to speculate on proto-something vague and remote connections.

    Beats my common sense: it's the kind of thing someone not straightforward and sincere would do. I'm not interested in that kind of convoluted courtly or scholarly games and, if you are, you are not interested in debating with me.

    Whatever the case, we have a lot of proposed connections between Basque and Iberian, most of them sounding quite good. And that's more than we can say for any other language or language family worldwide, with the partial exception of the Vasconic substrate loanwords in Celtic, which are many many.

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