April 17, 2014

Basque-Iberian numerals

Basque-Iberian language family theory is back and very strongly so. Even such an staunchly pan-indoeuropeanist¹ fanatic like Villar has to admit to it, even reluctantly and trying to dismiss its relevance. 

The main argument is the recognition of Basque and Iberian numerals as very similar, including even the once suspect IE loan sei (six), which may in the end be Vasconic after all. 

Euskararen Jatorria has these days a whole series on the matter (in Basque and Spanish):


Ferrer 2009 scheme of Iberian numerals
Orduña 2011: Basque numerals (standard and variants)


So, totally dismissing that self-complacient and power-mongering cultural terrorist of Lakarra, and looking at the obvious facts, we have the following series of correspondences (iberian - Basque). I have transcribed Iberian transcriptional "s" as "z" and "ś" as regular "s", as it seems to correspond with modern and historical Basque spelling:
  1. ban - bat [bana: each, bana-tu: divide]
  2. bi(n) - bi²
  3. irur - (h)iru(r)
  4. lau(r) - lau(r)
  5. borz(te) - bost, borz, bortz³
  6. sei - sei⁴
  7. zizbi - zazpi
  8. zorze - zortzi, zorzi
  9. unknown - bederatzi
  10. abaŕ - (h)amaŕ⁵
Additionally we have also the correspondence (20) oŕkei - (h)ogei. With those numbers you can count up to 99 using the vigesimal system common to both languages⁵.

Less clear is whether there is a Basque-Iberian correspondence regarding the number 100 (ehun in Basque). Orduña argued for it but Ferrer rejected the claim. 

It is interesting that the form for 11 in Basque is irregular: amaika (regular would be hamabat but it does not exist in fact). Considering the abaŕ-ke-# form in Iberian, we can now track its origins surely to a shortening of abaŕkeban⁷. Amaika is also used to mean "a lot" in Basque, possibly because most peasants were not too much into numbers in the past.

________

Notes:

¹ Pan-indoeuropeanism: wild hypothesis that rejects that the Indoeuropean family expanded from any single origin and claims instead that it was preceded only by itself from the beginning of times. Oddly enough there are people (and I mean linguists) who believe in it, even if it makes no sense whatsoever. It is a convenient ideological way to deny any respect to other languages which may have been in the area longer, as may be the case of Basque or Dravidian. Winners write history and now it seems that also linguistic theories of the worst kind.

² Notice the obvious Vasconic influence in Latin particle bi-, which is used in many languages nowadays: binary, bilateral, bifocal, etc. 

³ Iberian syllabary would force borzt or even bortz to be  written borzte or similar, as there is no lone "t" sign, only "ta", "te", "ti", "to" and "tu", which can also be "da", "de", etc. Only in the scarce Ibero-Jonian (Greek) script transcription becomes much easier.

⁴ It was typically believed that the numeral sei (6) was an Indoeuropean borrowing (compare with Sp. seis, Lat. sex), possibly under the influence of Christian doctrine (the very word "sex" comes from the Latin numeral, in reference to the Hebrew chastity commandment usually listed under that number) but judging on the Iberian identical form this must revised. However it is true that there is an independent an maybe related IE pattern of similar cognates for this number whose PIE reconstruction is *swéḱs.

⁵ "ŕ" indicates strong r (alveolar trill /r/, as in Sp. "perro"), "r" indicates a soft r (liquid /ɾ/, as in Sp. "pero"). Hence you decline hamar as hamarra but laur as laura, even if both roots are written similarly in standard Basque, which has long abandoned the "ŕ" character for pragmatic reasons (still used but very rarely). 

⁶ This vigesimal system, unknown to most Indoeuropean languages (staunchly decimal), was adopted by Celtic and later by French, which still retains it for the numbers 70 and 90 and their derivatives. Other languages with vigesimal system are Danish, Albanian and a dialect of Slovenian spoken in Italy (all them IE languages); Georgian and Nakh also have it in the Caucasus region; some traditional numerical expressions in English ("score" and other usages) also seem to retain the memory of a vigesimal system. It is an important piece of evidence supporting the existence of a vasconic substrate in much of Europe.

Micro-update: Gascon and other old romances of present-day France also retained at least some expression of this vigesimalism. 

⁷ If -ke- meant "and" in ancient Iberian (Basque eta has been claimed to come from Latin et), can it be argued that the Latin particle -que (also meaning "and") has vasconic origins? In standard theory it comes from PIE *-kʷe but the evidence of its existence seems a bit feeble to my eyes, with almost no alleged derivate being even remotely similar to their alleged ancestor.

131 comments:

  1. Old French possessed a generalized vigesimal system : 60 was "trois vingts" (3x20), 300 was "quinze vingts" (15x20), ...

    Linguists are clueless about the origins of the vigesimal system in French and some of them believe it might just be a medieval thing though others - and rightly so IMO - believe it to be a remnant of a Celtic substrate (which might have been of more ancient Vasconic/old West European origin as you point it out).

    Other Romance languages of France also had a vigesimal system : old medieval Gascon texts show regular forms such as "cheys bints" for 120 (6x20). Such forms have disappeared as of today.

    As you mention, both in French and other Romance dialects of France, 80 "quatre-vingts" and 90 "quatre-vingt-dix" still are used, but that's only because in the 17th century, French grammarians believed such forms to be more appropriate. The French language is a very artificial one which owes much to grammarians and their choices : it looks like they favoured those remnants of the vigesimal system.

    Popular Oïlic and Oc dialects used the decimal system for 80 and 90. Just like French-speaking Belgians and Swiss people do when speaking standard French : "nonante" for 90.

    NB : In Gascon as spoken in Béarn, a curious phenomenon : "trescheys" (3x6) for 18.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to see you're alive, Heraus. I was wondering why you had gone so silent on the Internet, including your own blogs.

      "Old French possessed a generalized vigesimal system"...

      That's what I meant to imply in the note, although it may not be clear.

      Something I'm considering here is that, if Celtic arrived to most of France, Britain, etc. only with La Tène (not before 300 BCE in most cases), the Celtic language only had a few generations to establish itself before Latin took over. How strong can such a thin linguistic layer be? Enough to become dominant in parts of Britain and Ireland in historical times it seems and to expand to Brittany and Scotland from there. But shouldn't there be a lot of patches of people still speaking whatever they did before Celtic (possibly Vasconic)? Language sweep is not "instantaneous", although it can certainly happen locally in few generations.

      So when the Romans came, the populace was surely still speaking a patchy complexity of Celtic and residual pre-IE, surely Vasconic dialects, although politically they were "Celts" (Celtic city-states with tribal organization) because of elite domination, no doubt. Much as they were "Romans" soon after Caesar marched around with his legions. We know nearly nothing about that real linguistic complexity.

      Krutwig speculated that the expansion of Aquitania province northwards to the Loire with Augustus responded to a recognition of that substrate, which would have recovered somewhat once the Celtic political and military grip was dismantled. Again we know near to nothing about the real facts implicated.

      We know however that the latest bagaudae (there were several outbursts) was centered in the Basque Country and reached as far North as Central Gaul and as far South as the Ebro river, having occasionally the alliance of the Suebi. Many of these rebels spoke Basque for sure (actually that's how Basque survived to present day).

      "Other Romance languages of France also had a vigesimal system : old medieval Gascon texts show regular forms such as "cheys bints" for 120 (6x20). Such forms have disappeared as of today".

      That's interesting and I dare say revealing. I will add this info to the note above, thanks.

      "Popular Oïlic and Oc dialects used the decimal system for 80 and 90. Just like French-speaking Belgians and Swiss people do when speaking standard French : "nonante" for 90".

      I see. I knew about Waloon decimalism but not about the Occitan one. Obviously decimal has several advantages over vigesimal (easier for maths, for example), so I'd say that it is rather outstanding that vigesimal has survived in so many cases, which can only be attributed to substrate "conservative" influence.

      Delete
    2. "² Notice the obvious Vasconic influence in Latin particle bi-, which is used in many languages nowadays: binary, bilateral, bifocal, etc."

      20:
      bist - Kurdish
      bis - Hindi
      binti - Sardinian

      Delete
    3. Interesting. However Sardinian binti is directly derived from Lat. viginti (20), much as Italian vinti or Spanish veinte. This is regular in Sardinian genesis: "Latin initial 'v' becomes 'b' (vipera > bibera 'viper')". However the Latin original word should sound something like "wighinti".

      More interesting are probably the Indo-Iranian bis/bist words you mention. They remind me of Latin "bis" ("twice"). However again the IE etymology is dubious: from an archaic Latin duis (declined from duo. While this du-/b- change is rarely attested in Latin (duellum/bellum, duonus/bonus), it is clear that duellum (duel) is not the same as bellum (war) but actually implies a "dual bellum", so to say.

      However I could not find any etymology for them. Could you expand?

      Delete
    4. I correct: duellum is "poetic, archaic" for war, not duel, although all its derived forms in Romance and English mean exactly duel, i.e. singular fight between typically two men.

      Delete
  2. The yan tan tethera counting systems used by shepherds in Britain are vigesimal and probably come from a Brythonic language.

    Re: the form "bilateral" - my understanding was that this has many cognates in Indoeuropean, and that the form was dvi in Old Latin.

    Could the relationship be deeper than that though? IIRC there is linguistic evidence that societies develop the words for "one" and "two" much earlier than for three and beyond. How far fetched would the to suggest some deep ties between Basque and Indoeuropean and some deep time depth, perhaps in the Upper Paleolithic?

    What are the Basque adjectives for these numerals? In English "first" and "second" do not correspond with "one" and "two", but for higher numbers they all do (ie third -> three etc).

    It would be interesting to compare a map of the use (and former use) of vigesimal counting systems to a map of material cultures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Re: the form "bilateral" - my understanding was that this has many cognates in Indoeuropean, and that the form was dvi in Old Latin"

      I don't know about any cognates but the "official theory" seems to be that it comes from Lat. duo, via duis → bis, although it is often ill-explained and bi-like words in classical Latin are usually directly derived from duos (2), as duumvir, duoviri (the dual magistrates of Ancient Rome), dualis (dual), duplus (double), etc.. If that is that way, then it is an astonishing coincidence or convergence with Basque and Iberian.

      "How far fetched would the to suggest some deep ties between Basque and Indoeuropean and some deep time depth, perhaps in the Upper Paleolithic?"

      There are other words that suggest some sort of ancient Vasconic-PIE relationship but it is not strongly demonstrated, just hints. See for example my attempt at mass lexical comparison Basque-PIE-NE Caucasian-Dravidian, which suggests that Basque and PIE are closer among them than to the others. There are some linguists who do believe that Basque and IE are related: Forni, Fournet and possibly others. I tend to think that they are either right or at least onto something.

      Maybe Basque and IE have a common Paleolithic origin as you say or maybe they were neighbors once upon a time and shared vocabulary by sprachbund. It's probable impossible to decide among both options but either case implies a vicinity in the remote past. Where?

      "What are the Basque adjectives for these numerals?"

      1st - lehen but the others are all regular by addition of the suffix -garren: 2nd - bigarren, 3rd - hirugarren, etc.

      "It would be interesting to compare a map of the use (and former use) of vigesimal counting systems to a map of material cultures".

      Notice that vigesimal systems also exist in Africa (plenty), Asia and America. I just did not mention them because they are probably unrelated (or if there is a relation it must be extremely old). Just mentioned the Western Eurasian ones.

      In Europe (other than Caucasus) the correlation seems to overlap other alleged Vasconic substrate elements but with a more Westerly orientation probably. It seems a bit random though because Denmark should be IE speaking since Corded Ware times, while a pre-IE speaker region like Eastern Iberia does not retain anything like that, not even Mozarabic AFAIK, and it is instead found all around the Atlantic coasts. Maybe Viking (Danish) influence helped in this retention?

      Delete
    2. How far east to you think a Vasconic substrate would have gone? I would think the Bell Beakers would be a good proxy.

      Etruscan was vigesimal but I'm not aware of any links between Etruscan and Basque. I suppose some sort of earlier substrate could account for vigesimal features in either language or both.

      The Bell Beakers would be a decent explanation for Danish though. Didn't they make it to Jutland but not much further into Nordic lands? It would make sense for vigesimalism to be retained in Danish but not its neighbours.

      And yah, I realize vigesimalism (and decimalism and any other counting base) likely arose independentaly

      Re: the distribution of vigesimalism in Iberia, I'd think the Mediterranean coast would have experienced a lot of other influences that may have wiped out a lot of pre-existing Vasconic influence. There could have potentially earlier influences too.

      Delete
    3. And yah, I do realize that in a lot of cases different number bases likely arose independently. I highly doubt that the remnants of vigesimalism in a few Chinese dialects are related to Basque or Mayan for example. With two side-by-side cultures I think a common origin is more likely than not though.

      Delete
    4. "How far east to you think a Vasconic substrate would have gone? I would think the Bell Beakers would be a good proxy".

      It could be but BB influence in Italy is limited and I also think that there are some Vasconic elements further East in the Balcans (notably rivers Ibar and Hevros, compare with Iber(-us)/Ebro and Basque fluvial terms: ibar (river bank), ibai (river), ibon (creek)).

      The matter clearly needs more research but considering that Basques seem genetically continuous since Neolithic and the area of extension, I'd say that Vasconic is probably the family of the main European Neolithic with roots in Thessaly.

      "Etruscan was vigesimal but I'm not aware of any links between Etruscan and Basque. I suppose some sort of earlier substrate could account for vigesimal features in either language or both".

      Etruscan definitively seems unrelated to Basque. Maybe one or two words could be related but otherwise not. There's more correlation with Indoeuropean apparently, although nothing too strong either. Most relationships are with Greek, Albanian and Latin (which was very influenced by Etruscan). This together with some other evidence seems to support the notion that Etruscan is a "Pelasgian" language arrived to Italy in the Bronze Age.

      These "Pelasgians" could well be related to the Dimini-Vinca (Grey Ware) culture which replaced Early Neolithic (Painted Ware) in parts of the Balcans c. 5000 BCE (Northern Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and inland parts of Albania, and temporarily even in Bulgaria-Wallachia). That could explain a substrate (or maybe adstrate) influence into Greek and Albanian.

      It's plausible that they adopted vigesimalism from the First Neolithic substrate but it's also possible that Etruscan is more related to the Caucasian families which are also vigesimal.

      ...

      Delete
    5. ...

      "The Bell Beakers would be a decent explanation for Danish though".

      The BB phenomenon seems to have got a much lesser demographic impact than Dolmenic Megalithism (see here). If anything I'd relate a possible secondary expansion of Vasconic (and almost modern-like genetics) with Atlantic Neolithic and its intimately related Megalthic phenomenon. But if the First Neolithic is the main cause, then it'd be mostly a reinforcement. However in areas like Britain or Denmark, which remained apart from the First Neolithic, it was probably crucial.

      "I'd think the Mediterranean coast would have experienced a lot of other influences that may have wiped out a lot of pre-existing Vasconic influence".

      Actually nothing that we can clearly identify. SE Iberian seems a stronghold of Vasconic, having yielded much of the evidence via Iberian texts. There's always been speculation about whether the neo-Megalithic tombs (tholoi, artificial caves) and the urbanism/fortification associated to them could be a "colonial" phenomenon but so far no evidence points to it.

      Even in the Bronze Age, when it is very apparent that El Argar fell under the cultural influence of Mycenaen Greece (best space-time to locate some of Herakles' legends and Plato's narration of Atlantis, for whatever they may be true), the civilizations remain overall clearly different and so is their legacy (Iberian civilization and Classical Greece).

      The Mediterranean was not such a water "highway" yet. We are discovering some evidence of some Iberian long distance Chalcolithic trade with maybe Cyprus but nothing compared with (a) the Atlantic trade (amber particularly) or (b) the Bronze Age relations with Greece, based on their need for tin most likely, whose main source was in NW Iberia (Cornwall was not yet much exploited and all the rest was very scattered). Only in the Bronze Age some such trans-Mediterranean influences and intrusions become apparent, while the real colonial period begins only with Iron Age Phoenicians. All them together left a very limited impact, except a mysterious intrusive group in SW Iberia (Bronze Age), which probably is behind the later undeciphered Tartessian language.

      So excluding this mysterious Tartessian element and the more clear Luso-Celtic, Phoenician and Roman influences, I'd say all was relatively calm in the ethno-linguistic aspect in the peninsula since the Early Neolithic. Genetic evidence seems to support that continuity as well.

      Delete
    6. Where would you fit the Cardium Pottery culture into this?

      I agree with most of what you said, but I think mDNA is pretty weak evidence for linguistic or cultural continuity.

      I'm pretty skeptical of a relatively tranquil and homogeneous Europe in the Neolithic. That certainly wasn't the case in with agricultural societies the Americas pre-contact. I wonder how much terms for agriculture or waterways even overlap between different language groups in the Americas actually. A large Neolithic Europe sprachbund is a bit more plausible to me at least.

      What about the Thracian name of "Ister" for the Danube and Dniester? Would you think those are Vasconic? If suppose it lends weight to what you're saying, but it also presents problems in separating Vasconic from Indoeuropean if the early Indoeuropeans adopted "Old European" hydronyms very early in their Western spread. I worry too that some of these names may be similar out of pure coincidence, like how there is an Ibar river in western Sudan.

      Linguistics aside, it'd be nice if there were some earlier instances of R1b being identified in Europe, as that would settle a lot of debate re: demographic shifts IMHO.

      Re: the Tartessians, I thought there were phonetic links to Basque and Iberian at least?

      Delete
    7. "Where would you fit the Cardium Pottery culture into this?"

      Cardium-Impressed Pottery culture is the main (and arguably only) Southern or Mediterranean Neolithic vector. Of course things are bit more complex: various facies and subcultures, "epicardial" (which is most of its expansion in many areas), continuity of local Epipaleolithic tool-making traditions in many but not all sites, etc. It's complex and surely implicated the absorption of many aboriginal peoples along the way, beginning probably in Thessaly itself. But in essence it is the only vector that explains the apparent partial replacement in the Neolithic in the Mediterranean and, by extension, probably other areas in Western Europe where hybrid cultures show up (La Hoguette, Portuguese Megalithism, etc.)

      "I agree with most of what you said, but I think mDNA is pretty weak evidence for linguistic or cultural continuity".

      It's better than nothing we must admit. More so when we see that, while in some areas (Germany) there are radical changes in the mtDNA pool, in others (Basque Country) there is not such thing at all or only happens very late and less strongly (Portugal). When we have enough Y-DNA we can reconsider.

      In Eastern Europe we also perceive the Epipaleolithic arrival of Uralic peoples in the exotic presence of mtDNA C, it's not just meaningless and in my experience it shows a much better correlation with autosomal DNA than Y-DNA. However it is true that, in patrilocal conditions, Y-DNA should be a better proxy for language but well, that's what we have so far.

      Also there is at least one study (Bolognino 2013, doi:10.1126/science.1245049) about mtDNA relations between a farmer and a forager group in West Germany (Blätterhöhle), in it it is evidenced that while there is minor female flow from the foragers to the farmers (and only in that direction), they mostly remain segregated overall. This in spite of the Blätterhöhle farmer community being unusually very high in mtDNA U, suggesting a strong forager ancestry (maybe the reason why they shared the area and even the burial locality).

      So complicated to reject mtDNA as evidence, more so when autosomal DNA analysis seems to correspond grosso modo to what mtDNA tells.

      ...

      Delete
    8. ...


      "What about the Thracian name of "Ister" for the Danube and Dniester? Would you think those are Vasconic?"

      I don't know for sure. Ister can fit with the common iz- (iss-, eis-) name series for rivers and other water-related words (ice, PG: *īsą, probably another Vasconic loan to Germanic), which is strongly suspected to be vasconic, meaning in ancient times "water": itsaso (sea, where -aso means something like "ancestor" or maybe a respect suffix like -ji in India), izotz (ice, where -otz means cold), izurde (dolphin, where -urde means boar, pig), etc. However in this particular case there's another possible etymology more Paleo-European (i.e. a word apparently shared by Basque and IE) as is star (izar in Basque, *h₂stḗr in PIE). It's not water-related but who knows what did people have in mind back then. One could even think of an analogue to the West Asian Ishtar goddess, especially considering the meaning of ὑστέρα (uterus) in ancient Greek (from which "hysteria"). So well... open ending here.

      ... "it also presents problems in separating Vasconic from Indoeuropean if the early Indoeuropeans adopted "Old European" hydronyms very early in their Western spread".

      Vasconic should not have been spoken East of the Dniester. Also there are at least two IE branches (Anatolian and Tocharian) which are absolutely unrelated with the Vasconic substrate. If it shows up in them (and almost certainly in Indo-Iranian too), then it's not a Vasconic loan, although it may still be related to whatever sprachbund or common ancestry proto-Vasconic and the ancestor of PIE had ("Paleo-European").

      ... "there is an Ibar river in western Sudan".

      Is there? That sounds very intriguing but I could not find any confirmation on a quick search.

      "Linguistics aside, it'd be nice if there were some earlier instances of R1b being identified in Europe, as that would settle a lot of debate re: demographic shifts IMHO".

      I bet it would even heat up more the debate, knowing what has happened till now. But of course it should be interesting to find out.

      "Re: the Tartessians, I thought there were phonetic links to Basque and Iberian at least?"

      Tartessian is generally considered to be undeciphered, even if the script is similar to Iberian. However there have been some attempts to decipher it and Arnaiz-Villena thinks it's just an Iberian variant, while Koch, using a different interpretation of the script believes it Celtic. If you ask me, both have shown some signs of being not really scientific enough.

      A transcribed Tartessian text taken from Wikipedia:

      tᶤilekᵘuṟkᵘuarkᵃastᵃaḇᵘutᵉebᵃantᶤilebᵒoiirerobᵃarenaŕḵᵉ[en?]aφiuu
      lii*eianiitᵃa
      eanirakᵃaltᵉetᵃao
      bᵉesaru[?]an

      Judge yourself.

      Delete
    9. I was mistaken - it's the Ibra River in Sudan, not Ibar. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibrah_River

      In terms of Vasconic and the Dniester - wouldn't the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture be some form of Old European culture? They made it well past the Dniester and at least to the Dnieper.

      Delete
    10. I noticed after posting that I confused Diester and Bug (and hoped nobody would notice). I meant to say the Bug. Cucuteni probably did not really make much inroads to the Dniepr, which is in the Dniepr-Don cultural area but I don't know the exact details. Whatever the case they are the Easternmost potentially Vasconic population I can imagine in my Neolithic model.

      Notice anyhow that those "Danubian" cultures of the Black Sea area seem to have complex origins because for example in the area of Moldova, SW Ukraine, there was a previous "aboriginal Neolithic" culture (Dniestr-Bug culture, I believe) which Danubian Cucuteni superseded.

      Delete
  3. Hey Luis,

    There's currently an effort to record the counting systems in the worlds languages. See here:

    http://lingweb.eva.mpg.de/numeral/

    I haven't gotten around to searching through this database. However, I note that in addition to the above mentioned base-20 languages, Mayan and some Inuit (Northern Canada) languages also use a base-20 system.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hey, just remembered something else I just read today . . . the Ainu counting system is base-20.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm conscious about vigesimal systems in other geographies. I just did not think they were relevant here. The system may well have evolved several times.

      What is most interesting is that some Indoeuropean languages have adopted it in spite of IE having a decimal system, all them in the area of presumed Vasconic substrate. This stinks to substrate influence: people learning the new languages some times retained the old way of counting by inertia, altering that way (and in others surely) the new "pidgin" language.

      Delete
    2. "This stinks to substrate influence: people learning the new languages some times retained the old way of counting by inertia, altering that way (and in others surely) the new "pidgin" language."

      Particularly if the people counting the sheep were from the non-IE population (maybe in the same way in English the words for Sheep, Cow, Pig derive from Saxon while the words for mutton, beef and ham derive from French)?

      Delete
  5. "In Europe (other than Caucasus) the correlation seems to overlap other alleged Vasconic substrate elements but with a more Westerly orientation probably. It seems a bit random though because Denmark should be IE speaking since Corded Ware times, while a pre-IE speaker region like Eastern Iberia does not retain anything like that, not even Mozarabic AFAIK, and it is instead found all around the Atlantic coasts. Maybe Viking (Danish) influence helped in this retention?"

    Wouldn't maritime megalithism fit the time scale and distribution better?

    also the old counting system in parts of Britain

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yan_tan_tethera

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Wouldn't maritime megalithism fit the time scale and distribution better?"

      Only if you focus on the vigesimal trait. The main issue of this entry is the similitude, almost identity, of Iberian and Basque numerals (including the vigesimal system), what evidences that Vasconic existed outside of the Megalithic area (Eastern Iberia was only very weakly megalithic, although they shared the "collective" burial system in many cases, but mostly in natural caves).

      In my understanding, Dolmenic Megalithism only represents a secondary wave of the Vasconic spread, the main one being probably Thessalian-derived Neolithic (both Mediterranean and Continental branches). It was repeatedly eroded by "Pelasgian" (Vinca-like) and Indoeuropean (Kurgan) waves mostly, and now only survives as Basque, although it has left an irregular substrate legacy which is not limited at all to the vigesimal system.

      Delete
    2. "In my understanding, Dolmenic Megalithism only represents a secondary wave of the Vasconic spread, the main one being probably Thessalian-derived Neolithic (both Mediterranean and Continental branches). It was repeatedly eroded by "Pelasgian" (Vinca-like) and Indoeuropean (Kurgan) waves mostly, and now only survives as Basque, although it has left an irregular substrate legacy which is not limited at all to the vigesimal system."

      Ah right, so you think there were three layers: Levant (via Thessaly), Balkan and then Kurgan?

      (If I'm understanding you right.)

      Delete
    3. More like:

      1. Neolithic Thessalian (Vasconic)
      2. Post-Neolithic Pelasgian (related to Tel Halaf, with much more limited spread: Balcans, some spread to Italy, notably Etruscans)
      3. Chalcolithic Indoeuropean (Kurgan), which wiped out the other two but in several bouts, some of which are as late as historical.

      I am not sure about the exact origin of the first layer and I would not dub it "Levant". Although it's quite likely that it had some Egyptian or Palestinian-like element in it, the exact origin of the language(s) is not certain.

      One possibility, if we are to take Vennemann's "Semiditic" seriously, is that there were actually two languages (and not one) derived from the Thessalian Neolithic: a relative of Semitic via the mainland and a distinct one (Vasconic) via mostly the seas. However I fail to see the "Semitic" element in most cases and very especially I fail to see any major Semitic influence in Basque, which should be important if both languages shared the Thessalian origin or had any other kind of major relationship. Only very secondary words like burdin (iron) are actually of Semitic affinity in Basque and owe to Phoenician influence.

      So I'm very skeptical about any Semitic and hence Levantine affinity of the Vasconic family, regardless that such a route is probably important to explain some genetic elements in the European Neolithic.

      Of course, if Vasconic is not Paleolithic, then there should be a deeper complex Paleolithic layer before all them (layer 0). This is of particular interest because Vasconic and IE (in general, not just particular sub-clades) seem to share at least some vocabulary. This could well be from West Asia or Europe but implies at least some sprachbund or shared substrate influence before the expansion of both families. If it's a shared substrate influence, it could be from the same subset of "paleo-european", maybe a SE European branch of some sort.

      Delete
    4. "maybe a SE European branch of some sort."

      yeah.

      I don't have a clear view at all on the sequence but I don't think it was just neolithic Levant -> IE Kurgan. I think there was something else either earlier or in between or jumbled together.

      Delete
    5. "In my understanding, Dolmenic Megalithism only represents a secondary wave of the Vasconic spread, the main one being probably Thessalian-derived Neolithic (both Mediterranean and Continental branches). It was repeatedly eroded by "Pelasgian" (Vinca-like) and Indoeuropean (Kurgan) waves mostly, and now only survives as Basque, although it has left an irregular substrate legacy which is not limited at all to the vigesimal system."

      Presumably there would be links between Basque and the pre-Germanic substrate then. Have any been identified?

      Delete
    6. Yes but, other than Vennemann, it's only very scattered work AFAIK. For example compare Basque "(h)il" (to kill, to die) with English "kill" and "ill" and related Germanic forms, or the common tool prefix aitz-/aiz-/az- ((haitz means rock) in so many Basque tool names, and the mysterious non-IE origins of Germanic "axe" (and related non-English forms), as well as Latin "ascia" and English-specific adze. "Ascia" and "axe" may have originated at the same time (Corded Ware?) but adze seems more recent (English-specific).

      I just touch the matter now and then. It clearly requires methodical professional handling, I reckon, but at the very least Vennemann believes that there are such relations and I stumble on them more frequently than I would expect sincerely.

      Delete
    7. It's a pity that it hasn't been looked at more thoroughly by other scholars then. I do think Vennemann was on to something in a lot of cases, but in other cases his work has been pretty thoroughly discredited too. It's hard for a non-linguist like myself to know when to believe him and when not to.

      Delete
  6. Partly OT, but Celtic has a weird P/Q thing. Robert Graves (a poet not a linguist) though the Q-to-P shift had (pagan) religious significance.

    Celitiberians were Q Celtic, and so were Irish/Scottish. P were Brythonic, Gaulish, etc. Celtic linguists assume Iberia wasn't too important for Celtic, but maybe they are wrong.

    I forget a Graves theory (his book is impossible to read, but there are nuggets of insight in there). But switching P/Q sounds gives some interesting results;

    Like... Gascon/Vascon/Euskadi/Kaska

    also: Canaan/Phoenon/Punaan
    Crom/Kronos/Foran/Firaun/Vran/Bran

    Strange how the Irish and Arabs both have the same non-Hebrew non-Greek rendering of Pharaoh. 14th century faience shows up in Britain and I think Spain by the way. Odd.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not any expert in Celtic but it seems clear that Celtiberian is relatively old in the context of this family, what is consistent with their arrival in the context of Urnfields/Hallstatt (1300-700 BCE), which is quite earlier than the Celtic arrival to most of Western Europe (La Tène, since c. 400-300 BCE). That may explain why Celtiberian did no experience the Q-P shift, and also why they knew nothing about druidism (a late Celtic cultural import from Britain).

      I don't think the switch should have any religious meaning but rather was one of those things that happen in language evolution. Also I don't see any logic on what you say in the second half of the comment, really.

      Delete
    2. @Maju. Graves thought Druidism etc were modified adaptations/borrowings/reworkings of African and Mideastern religions.

      He was mostly a crank but he said he was a poet writing in the fine Celtic tradition of truth buried amid a mountain of gobbledygook (think James Joyce). I have spent 20 years trying to make sense of "The White Goddess," but each time I read a few pages I walk away with a new "aha" moment.

      Graves' silly idea was to take the Irish monks at their word in saying that "Crom Cruach" was really Moloch who was also called Cronos.

      He also understood that secrecy was important to all ancient religions. No one really said the names of their gods, but used codes, nicknames, numbers, etc. We moderns think the Tetragrammaton and Gematria are silly or bizarre, but they were a part of ancient culture.

      Graves thought the ogham alphabets concealed a religious secret about an invasion of Britain by P-Celts who brought a different god and religious system embedded in their modified alphabet.

      Delete
    3. Druidism to me is rooted in Armorican and British Megalithic tradition (as recycled by Celts). Armorican Megalithism appears rather "megalomaniac" and more elitist than other Megalithic traditions and much of that was incorporated to the British Neolithic, whose roots are partly from Armorica.

      "Crom Cruach" was really (...) Cronos".

      I can't really say. Kronos seems related to the Etruscan Karun (Charun), guardian of the underworld and therefore to Greek Karon (Charon), the infernal boatman. It strikes as strange to me that such deity had reached the West but who knows?

      As for the rest, what was a mystery then can only remain a mystery today.

      Delete
  7. @Maju, the chance for any certainty or even reasonable probability in knowing the people/events/practices behind those transmuted stories is probably lost forever.

    But we do have Y hg E in the British Isles. Maybe even some stray R1b hg with Med links. Someone should do a better phylogeny of those.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. E1b in Europe has two main origins: E1b-V13 from Neolithic Greece and E1b-M81 from North Africa via West Iberia. Almost all E in Europe falls in those two categories. The latter is mostly found in Western Europe while the former is more scattered but with frequencies correlated to the patterns of Neolithic expansion.

      Delete
  8. @Ryan
    "Linguistics aside, it'd be nice if there were some earlier instances of R1b being identified in Europe, as that would settle a lot of debate re: demographic shifts IMHO."

    It's a shame Cucuteni cremated everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That doesn't seem correct. The Cucuteni funerary rites are unknown (before the late period when they did perform burial, at least in some areas) and skulls and some other bones are occasionally found. Maybe they exposed their dead ones to Nature as many Native Americans did, with occasional preservation of the skull, as Papuans sometimes do. Some Indoeuropean cultures have also practiced corpse exposition: some Iberian Celts left their warrior's bodies to the vultures as the greatest honor, Zoroastrians/Parsis still practice general purpose corpse exposition where this practice is tolerated. For what I've read the Hadza simply abandon their dead to carrion eaters and it seems likely that a similar tradition existed among Aurignacian peoples, whose remains seem almost impossible to find.

      The only cremation tradition I recall within Danubian Neolithic belongs to a short-lived group of Bohemia whose name I don't remember. Cremation seems mostly something of later periods in fact, notably Urnfields and those areas in contact with them. In the Neolithic and Chalcolithic burial was the rule with very few exceptions. It is variations on the position of bodies, grave goods, the individual/collective dichotomy and most visibly the architecture of the tomb which mark the cultural differences.

      In any case, I don't know why that obsession with Cucuteni: the culture went extinct soon after IE (Kurgan) invasions and did not spread anywhere that I can detect other than their relatively small region in Ukraine and Moldavia. It's a dead end, except probably for local ancestry.

      Delete
    2. The Cucuteni did burn down their own villages every 60-80 years for some reason. Re: your point about Zoroastrians, I wonder if this burning was a religious practice with similar roots to Zoroastrian fire temples, possibly associated with early slash-and-burn agriculture?

      Delete
    3. I really don't know what to think about the alleged practice of village burning. Something I read is that they generated such huge fires that the earthwork of the walls crystallized as pottery. This seems very strange and I have even wondered if it was some way of consolidating mudbrick against rains and floods (some sort of primitive brick-making) rather than destroying the villages. But I don't know, really.

      Delete
    4. Returning to the Hochelaga example, Cartier initially visited it in 1535 he saw a walled town of 3,000. When he returned in 1541 it was gone. Land exhaustion is the proposed cause. My guess would be that they periodically abandoned their villages to go to more fertile sites, and then returned to them at a later date. There'd be no advantage to burning your old village down, but not a big disadvantage either. I don't know. Just throwing that out there. There's a certain symmetry to burning your fields when you arrive and then burning your village when you leave.

      Delete
    5. @Ryan
      "My guess would be that they periodically abandoned their villages to go to more fertile sites, and then returned to them at a later date."

      That sounds plausible. In which case maybe they didn't burn them when they left but when they came back as a quick way of clearing away all the undergrowth?

      Delete
  9. @Maju

    "That doesn't seem correct. The Cucuteni funerary rites are unknown (before the late period when they did perform burial, at least in some areas) and skulls and some other bones are occasionally found. Maybe they exposed their dead ones to Nature"

    Yes, I was mixing it up with the village burning. Exposure seems most likely. Either way, not a lot of burials for DNA testing.

    "In any case, I don't know why that obsession with Cucuteni: the culture went extinct soon after IE (Kurgan) invasions and did not spread anywhere that I can detect other than their relatively small region in Ukraine and Moldavia. It's a dead end, except probably for local ancestry."

    Maybe.

    I don't think there were Kurgan invasions in the usual sense at the point Cucuteni disappeared. I think before the development of cavalry / chariotry it was more of a raid-expand process where they raided near their borders causing the target population to move away and then expanded into the vaccuum vacated territory.

    So I don't think Cucuteni-Vinca disappeared I think they moved but not an expansion type move, more like refugees scattering in various directions - except in the direction of the raiders, east.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's no "Cucuteni-Vinca". Cucuteni is one thing and another Vinca. Cucuteni seems to be Danubian on Dniepr-Bug substrate with at most some lateral Vinca influence.

      There may have been a so-called Vinca script and there was a Karanovo-Vinca way-too-early Bronze, but Karanovo-Gumelnita was not anymore "Vinca" (intrusive Grey Pottery peoples) but Danubian (i.e. LBK, via Boian-Maritza), which I interpret as the pre-Vinca peoples restoring their identity under a new form (as "Danubian" and Balcanic Painted Pottery are closely related).

      The relationships of Vinca-Dimini with their neighbors were surely complex but, in general terms, the Grey Ware culture was not a pan-Balcanic culture but rather restricted to Serbia, Macedonia and Thessaly, although it occasionally made inroads elsewhere or its influence created mixed cultural zones, especially in the area around the Tisza.

      Vinca did survive in its core area of Serbia until Vucedol and in its other core of North Greece (Dimini, known as Rakhmani culture in this phase) until the Mycenaean Greek invasions of around 2000 BCE. I associate them with the blurry Pelasgian ethnic concept present in Homer, who associates them with Thessaly, although the concept later spread to other areas of Greece and even the Troy region.


      "I think they moved but not an expansion type move, more like refugees scattering in various directions"...

      Cucuteni survived as Foltesti, a Bronze Age Moldavian culture, although much shrunk in area from its previous extent. It's indeed interesting that Kurgan peoples did not initially conquer them (Cucuteni in general) in all their extension but rather surrounded their area, although they did conquer much of it eventually. But they ended up surrounded by Kurgan cultures and were eventually either absorbed or conquered.

      The refugee hypothesis sounds to me as wishful thinking. Of course some may have migrated but the bulk were either conquered, enslaved or retreated to the Carpathian foothills. Proposing a long distance migration would require some sort of material evidence and the many peculiarities of Cucuteni culture are, AFAIK, not found elsewhere.

      Cucuteni was not Vinca in any case.

      Delete
  10. 'There's no "Cucuteni-Vinca"'

    I am using Cucuteni-Vinca to mean the collection of advanced cultures whose territories along the western shore of the Black Sea were the first to come into contact with - and get displaced by imo - the IE expansion.

    "Proposing a long distance migration"

    I'm not proposing a long distance migration for the Cucuteni part. If they (or some of them at least) were displaced rather than conquered then the path of least resistance might have been into the forest zone to the west. If settled farmers moved into a forest zone to get away from horse riding raiders how might they adapt - semi-nomadic slash & burn farming maybe?

    nb the northern farming cultures like Globular Amphora and their lack of settlements. I think they were semi-nomadic forest slash & burners.

    If the Vinca were displaced in a similar way then the paths of least resistance to get away from the raiders would be different for them simply because of geography: maybe into Greece, maybe up the Danube or maybe long distance maritime migrations.

    The thing is if these earliest IE expansions aren't hordes of cavalry or chariots yet - because that technology wasn't developed yet - then it seems much more plausible to me they were raid & expand events instead and *if* that was the case then some of those displaced peoples had time to move away.

    north, south or west

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are many problems with the term "Cucuteni-Vinca": first of all they are mostly unrelated cultures with different origins, secondly the real center of that Balcanic civilizational stage is clearly the culture of Karanovo-Gumelnita, in Bulgaria, which is related to both but again in a complex manner, and was the main focus of IE raids (Vinca peoples may have collaborated with the raiders, although it's just a guess based on some Vinca-like expansion to Wallachia in the period after the Kurgan raids, when the conqueror cultures appear consolidated).

      "I'm not proposing a long distance migration for the Cucuteni part. (...) into the forest zone to the west".

      It's possible at low frequencies but please consider the Malthusian-like economic limits of the economic support that any given area can provide for any given development stage. Transylvania was already populated and much of it fell to the also Kurgan peoples of Cotofeni. Also, well... evidence?

      Slash and burn is no long term solution if the population grows and grows. Globular Amphorae look more like herders to me, just like their Corded Ware descendants.

      Vinca hypothetical refugees would have to migrate southwards, because their conquerors came surely from the North or NE. But most likely the bulk of the surviving population was simply conquered and subjugated to the new lords, as happened elsewhere. Incidentally I read long ago that the Minoan double axe symbol may have existed earlier in the group of Gradesnita-Krivodol (NW Bulgaria, SE Rumania), which was conquered by Cotofeni. In this particular case there may be a tenuous evidence for some metallurgist migrating southwards and maybe further research in this line may shed even more light on this matter.

      There is an apparent gap between the full collapse of these bronze-knowing Balcanic civilizations (Karanovo-Gumelnita, Gradesnica-Krivodol), c. 3300 BCE and the beginning of the Bronze Age elsewhere, but if we take Vinca into the equation (unsure if bronze tech survived there), then the dates begin to overlap: Vinca collapsed c. 2400 BCE and full Minoan Bronze is est. c. 2200 BCE, while in Troy seems older (maybe as early as 3000 BCE?)

      Sadly I lack the knowledge to fine-tune this possible overlap between the last earliest Bronze of the Balcans and the Early Bronze Age elsewhere. Seems an interesting issue to consider indeed.

      "The thing is if these earliest IE expansions aren't hordes of cavalry or chariots yet - because that technology wasn't developed yet"...

      Carts existed and were used in some Kurgan burials. They were also necessarily horse riders (you can't herd horses without riding them: they're just too fast and you won't be able to control them), although we can't judge how they fought (on horse or as mounted infantry?) Even before the stirrup (necessary for heavy cavalry, a Germanic invention apparently) there were cavalry units and also surely mounted infantry ones. These may not have been so important in the rugged Mediterranean terrain of classical Antiquity but in the plains of Northern and Eastern Europe, they may have played a greater role, if nothing else because of mobility.

      That said, horse-riding was surely not restricted to steppe raiders, in Chalcolithic Iberia at that very same time horse seems to have been a very common domestic animal (apparently Iberia is an independent horse domestication area, judging on genetics), up to the point of being the main source of meat in many locations.

      Not that I think it has any strict relation with the ability of refugees to get away, even on foot. The problem I see is where would they go to? Who would welcome them?

      Delete
    2. "There are many problems with the term "Cucuteni-Vinca""

      Fair enough, I'll try and use a less lazy term for what I mean i.e. the collection of advanced cultures of the western Black Sea region.


      "It's possible at low frequencies but please consider the Malthusian-like economic limits of the economic support that any given area can provide for any given development stage."

      Yes, I am thinking the population density of slash & burn would be less than settled farming but higher than foraging.



      "Slash and burn is no long term solution if the population grows and grows. Globular Amphorae look more like herders to me, just like their Corded Ware descendants. "

      Agree on both. Crops might not have been that productive so far north anyway but burning promotes new growth which feeds pigs - associated with globular amphora - the forest version of nomadic herding?


      "In this particular case there may be a tenuous evidence for some metallurgist migrating southwards and maybe further research in this line may shed even more light on this matter
      ...
      There is an apparent gap between the full collapse of these bronze-knowing Balcanic civilizations (Karanovo-Gumelnita, Gradesnica-Krivodol), c. 3300 BCE and the beginning of the Bronze Age elsewhere,
      ...
      Sadly I lack the knowledge to fine-tune this possible overlap between the last earliest Bronze of the Balcans and the Early Bronze Age elsewhere. Seems an interesting issue to consider indeed."
      ...
      The problem I see is where would they go to? Who would welcome them?"

      Exactly. They wouldn't be welcomed unless they were small groups with something very valuable to offer - like metal smithing. It's my usual wild speculation but the collapse of those early metal working cultures and wandering metal smiths showing up in various places seems too interesting not to consider.


      "They were also necessarily horse riders (you can't herd horses without riding them: they're just too fast and you won't be able to control them), although we can't judge how they fought (on horse or as mounted infantry?)"

      Yes I agree. You don't need the full cavalry / chariotry package to get a military advantage from horses. I'm using the minimalist argument - mounted infantry raiding - because it saves arguing over bridles and because I think the raid-expand model is the minimum needed to explain early IE expansions - and at the same time the raid-expand model implies time for domino effects.

      Delete
    3. "They wouldn't be welcomed unless they were small groups with something very valuable to offer - like metal smithing. It's my usual wild speculation but the collapse of those early metal working cultures and wandering metal smiths showing up in various places seems too interesting not to consider".

      I can't but agree in essence: the bronze metallurgists would be particularly valuable, although Gradesnita-Krivodol artisans were also great goldsmiths, what may even open more doors initially. Anyhow I'm not sure when exactly Ezero and Cotofeni begin to actually use bronze again but in all the synthesis I've read they are considered "Bronze Age" cultures. So maybe they have also something to offer to their new Indoeuropean overlords.

      It would seem to me that a Balcanic origin for the Bronze Age is not out of the question at all and that the usual notion of Bronze originating in West Asia may not be real. Of course secret-knowing individual metallurgists may have felt the need to migrate at any given time for whatever reasons, possibly political persecution and these would still have been able to spread the knowledge. But in that chronology the process only happened in south and SE direction.

      As for bridles, they can be made out mere rope:
      → simple halter: http://youtu.be/TNVeY7w1jDk
      → more elaborate bridle (2 vids): http://youtu.be/mMcX3ZQM9n4 , http://youtu.be/qXvKYjx68P4

      Make an image search for "simple rope bridle" and you will find a variety of designs.

      Such artifacts (or similar ones made of leather, possibly with some wood for the bite) would leave no archaeological record. We know that the Botai culture sometimes used nose rings for handling horses, what indicates that bridle-like designs were an early interest of steppe peoples. It can't be any other way, I suspect, because bridles seem very much necessary for horse riding. More elaborate bridles with clearly identifiable metal pieces would only appear later on but that's not the essential design, is it?

      For me this is a non-debate: horse herding = horse riding = bridle.

      Delete
    4. "As for bridles, they can be made out mere rope ... For me this is a non-debate: horse herding = horse riding = bridle"

      Yeah I agree but from what I've seen for some reason the debate seems to be hung up on the idea that you need *bitted* bridles hence people running round looking for horse teeth that have been ground down.

      All seems a bit crazy to me. There are dozens of videos on youtube showing they didn't need bitted bridles.

      Delete
    5. And what do all those people say about the graphic evidence of Magdalenian bridles:
      article 1

      article 2, including a drawing by the renowned Abbé Breuil of what seems to be a man on horse from Trois Fréres

      image of three Magdalenian horse heads with bridles

      Let's not forget that, as mentioned above, SW Europe is, genetically speaking, the second origin of modern horses and that they were clearly abundant in Chalcolithic times, judging on how often they were consumed as meat.

      That's "crazy": that there is so much evidence for a Late Paleolithic horse domestication in Europe and that it is being dismissed as some sort of "logical impossibility", arguing that those bridles are actually "muscles" or whatever.

      Delete
    6. "And what do all those people say about the graphic evidence of Magdalenian bridles:"

      A lot of these arguments seem to be over entrenched positions so I prefer to go around them.

      For my purposes i.e. that the raid and expand model is the minimum needed for an early IE expansion (and possible subsequent domino effect of adjacent peoples), all that is needed for riding horses to increase mobility and raiding distance is a rope around the neck - not even a bridle.

      http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com/horse-forums/attachments/horse-chat/126621d1348981463-i-lost-my-best-friend-166883_1553036269149_4586928_n.jpg

      There are youtube videos of five-year-olds riding horses with nothing but that.

      Delete
    7. That's pretty radical indeed.

      Delete
    8. Yeah, or not even a rope, just the horse hair

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nR9ehtTrp0c

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ud8v6y3Sh4

      Actually fighting while riding a horse like that might still be difficult but travelling long distances to raid cattle on foot and ride away again; I don't think that would be difficult at all for people who spent half their life on horseback.

      Delete
    9. Wow! I suspected that was possible but had never seen before, so I was unsure about how would they control the horse. Obviously it implies a lot of empathy on the part of the rider (and some also by the horse, I guess) but if you are used to that since childhood...

      Delete
    10. Yeah same. I'd read the argument online about bridles, stirrups and all the rest before and just accepted it but then one day following random links on youtube and bingo.

      "but if you are used to that since childhood"

      yes, the critical factor imo

      Delete
  11. "Slash and burn is no long term solution if the population grows and grows."

    It isn't, but IIRC there's pretty ample evidence for it in Neolithic Europe (and well past that even). Slash-and-char would have been a much smarter solution, but unfortunately that never developed in Europe.

    Neolithic Europe didn't really experience steady demographic growth either. The boom-bust cycles would be a natural consequence on relying on slash-and-burn.

    Grey - you're probably right. Burning down an old overgrown village would make sense, as would building on its foundations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could be either I guess. If the Cucuteni moved regularly because of soil depletion then each group might have multiple sites they lived on in sequence.

      So say for example it was four sites for ten years each and a site had twelve layers of habitation then instead of the sequence being:

      live at site
      burn - rebuild
      live at site
      burn - rebuild
      live at site
      etc
      repeated twelve times

      It might have been:

      live at site 10 years
      burn
      live at 3 other sites for 10 years each
      rebuild
      live at site 10 years
      etc
      repeated.

      (Which would be a pre-adaption to slash & burn forest farming (or herding).)

      Delete
    2. "So say for example it was four sites for ten years each"

      Although reading wiki again

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucuteni-Trypillian_culture

      it says the sites were inhabited for 60-80 years.

      (Speaking of wiki the page on Atlantic Megalithism seems to have disappeared.)

      Delete
  12. I know Basque bi > Latin bi is one of your pet ideas, though it's doubtless false.
    Note that several Basque numbers are known borrowings:
    - Basque bi < Latin bi < PIE *dwi (regular change)
    - Basque sei < Latin se(ks)
    - Basque zazpi < Latin septem with a rearrangement of pt as zp
    Only Basque bat and hiru are clearly native.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you even read the article? How can you explain then the pre-Roman Iberian numerals that are so obviously and strikingly similar to Basque ones (not just that but closely related often to known dated variants and even previously unexplained expressions like "eta abar" or "amaika")?

      It is Iberian which provides the best direct evidence for pre-Roman Basque numerals, not just bi (whose IE etymology is terribly fallacious: there's no PIE *dwi but *dwos) but also the more apparently loan-like sei.

      Delete
    2. Bi- and bin- (as in binary) are from the same root as English twice and twin. This sort of labialization of previously dental/alveolar consonants is common in Latin (cf. Latin foris vs. English door).

      Delete
    3. "Bin" is documented in Iberian, as shown in the table above, which allows for bi and bin, represented as bi(n). So bin-ary should actually be even greater support for the Vasconic loanword hypothesis in this case. Right?

      Delete
    4. I think it's clear, given the Iberian evidence, that the old theories of the Basque numerals as loanwords from Latin are clearly false.
      However, it's also clear that the PIE numerals in Latin are not in need of an external explanation. The change of Old Latin dw- to Classical b- is perfectly regular, although the spelling system of Latin, which did not distinguish -uw- from -w- (both were spelled -u-, as in trisyllabic monui 'I warned' vs. disyllabic ferui 'I boiled'). The cases like duo 'two' are from -uw-. Although the *dw- and *duw- were merged in some IE languages (like English and other germanic languages), in many languages a distinction between -uw- and -w- across different derivatives of PIE two was maintained. Thus 'twice', PIE *dwis, shows up as L. bis, Gr. dis, Avestan dvish, but the basic word for two shows up as L. duo, Gr. duo, Avestan duwaa.

      Delete
    5. As an Indo-Europeanist, I can say that it seems clear that the Basque words are confirmed to be non-IE by the Iberian; many doubted the connection for Basque bi anyway, since borrowing a prefix from another language to be your basic word for two is pretty nuts, and not found elsewhere. English speakers (with nearly as much Latin borrowing as the Basques) are not tempted to treat the prefix bi- as meaning simply 'two'.

      That said, the likelihood that the Latin is directly from substratum is also zero. The IE words for 'twice', *dwis, and the prefix form of 'two', *dwi-, both consistently show a difference from the plain word for 'two', *duwo-. Old Latin still had initial *dw-, spelled du-, but by Classical Latin, it became b-, and as you point out, this is found regularly for other words that originally began with *dw-; unfortunately, in Latin both -uw- and -w- were spelled u (cf. trisyllabic monui 'I warned' vs. disyllabic cerui 'deer'), so the spelling gives the false impression that Latin has an irregular split. The distinction between the two basic forms for PIE 'two' can be confirmed for many (non-Germanic) Indo-European languages by comparing 'twice' (L. bis, Gr. dis, Avestan dbish) with the quite different forms for 'two' (L. duo, Gr. duo, Av. duwaa). Hope this is helpful!

      Delete
    6. Your "regularity" is just three words (duellum, duonus and duis) and they all seem strange. Notably a duel (duellum) is not quite the same as a war (bellum), so I doubt this is part of the "regular" sound change. I am more perplex at duonus but I find instances of duV not becoming bV, such as dualitas (duality), closely related by formation to duellum. So it's not actually "regular" and I have some serious doubts about the reality of the phenomenon. It may be just a misunderstanding, real but irregular sound change or whatever.

      Sadly I'm not expert in Latin nor a linguist by profession, so I can't explore the matter further.

      What I know is that Italy was part of the wider European Neolithic of Thessalian origins, to where Basque, Iberian and in general the Vasconic language family, whose substrate is so apparent everywhere, seem to represent linguistically. There's room for uncertainty, I guess, in the specifics.

      Anyhow, can you tell me in which IE languages is the alleged PIE *duis attested? Because I can only find German and Latin and these alone do not justify a "PIE" classification but at most a "Western IE" one. There's also Sanskrit dvi but that means two, not twice, and is thought to be directly derived from *dwos.

      Delete
    7. On the last question, I found also Greek "δις", what I guess justifies for a quasi-PIE, at least it's something more that mere Germanic+Latin.

      Delete
    8. The fact that Iberian also shows some Latin or Indo-European looking numerals does not prove the borrowing(s) into Basque to be false. On the whole, it is quite clear that Basque has always been a receiver language. We only have a few dialectal words in Latin from Osco-Umbrian sister-languages, so the mere idea that Basque (or something close to it) could provide Latin with a basic numeral like two is just unacceptable. There is no cultural environment that could explain such an oddity.
      Besides we don't need to assume a single wave of borrowings into Basque.
      If we take the names of letters in Greek, we can see that some are typically Aramean: alph-a, bet-a, gamm-a etc with Aramean suffixal article -a, some are not: mu, nu, pi etc. So cultural influence is usually multifold and multiwave.
      At least three numbers show IE influence, bi, sei and zazpi.
      Note that IE numbers themselves are not free from similarity with Egyptian and Semitic numbers themselves. So we are here dealing with a Neolithic layer of traveling words of unclear origin.
      Nonetheless the fact remains that bi is a typical development of Latin origin from *dwi-

      Delete
    9. What the heck?! That's soooo dogmatic! Which would be the provider language to both Basque and Iberian? Not Latin certainly, not yet. Also Iberian civilization was clearly more developed that their recently arrived Indoeuropean neighbors, why would they borrow anything from them? The relationship between Iberian and local Celts was culturally similar to that of Etruscans re. Latins, to which they both gave literacy means, among other things. I mean: other than military Romans invented nothing: architecture and alphabet from Etruscans, ships from Phoenicians, even their gods were a mixture of Etruscan and Greek elements largely.

      Iberians almost necessarily were in relationship with Greeks, first in the El Argar period with the Mycenaeans and later in the Iron Age with the Massilians. They also were in relationship with Celts, although, for we can gather, mostly hostile (actually I suspect that the word "Celt", originally Greek "keltos", comes from the vasconic root kel- which is despective, for example: "keldo" means vagabond, miserable in Basque, because the Celts normally called themselves Gauls=Gaels, and that's also their Roman name).

      Do you have any evidence on how could both Basques and Iberians borrow numbers from Celts or Greeks?

      Two ("bi" in Basque and Iberian, with variants "bin", "biga", "bia", "bida") is in Greek dúo and in Celtic variedly dó, daou, div, daw, dwy, dà, dhà, dithis (proto-Celtic being *dwau).

      Six ("sei" in Basque and Iberian) is in Greek héxi, anciently hex (from which "hexagon" and such) and in Celtic chwech c'hwec'h, sia, sianar, sé. Definitely it does not come from either Greek nor Brythonic. There could be doubt about Gaelic, particularly Irish sé.

      "Zazpi" ("sisbi" in Iberian) does not look even remotely related to IE to me: Greek: hepta, Celtic: seizh, seacht, seachd, saith. In fact all the words seem closer to "sei" if anything than to zazpi. However one could well argue that sisbi and PIE *septm are cognates. This probably is an indication that proto-vasconic and proto-PIE are related by origin or at least were in contact (sprachbund) long ago.

      This we should call the Indo-vasconic hypothesis, which I tentatively spouse because there are plenty of other suspect cognate words, including numbers 3 and 8, the word for ash/dust, for bear, etc.

      Numbers are not features that are often changed in language, much less in bulk. For example one can perfectly track Spanish numbers to Latin and even to PIE itself, with at most minor substrate influences such as the change sex → seis. So if these numbers are (more or less) coincident in Vasconic and PIE, then there is strong reason to suspect some sort of shared origins.

      "Note that IE numbers themselves are not free from similarity with Egyptian and Semitic numbers"...

      Only 6 and 7 in fact, although one can even wonder about a possible relation between Amharic arat and PIE **kʷetwóres. All these may be a shared heritage with Northern Afroasiatic (or just Semitic) of some sort (but not with Southern Afroasiatic and probably not with Berber either), which should have its origins related to the Levant Neolithic.

      As we know now that R1a peoples must have migrated from around Iran northwards in the Epipaleolithic to first Neolithic period, West Asia is the place to find such interactions, most likely in relation with the Neolithic genesis. However the relationship is not apparent when we compare with Sumerian or Caucasian languages (maybe with Georgian 7: shvidi, if at all).

      "Nonetheless the fact remains that bi is a typical development of Latin origin from *dwi-"

      I keep all kind of doubts. Why didn't dualitas, for example, evolve into balitas? The du- → b- shift is not regular at all, and in 2/3 documented instances it looks also anomalous in other aspects.

      Delete
  13. I answer in several posts as your original answer is itself quite long.
    you wrote: What the heck?! That's soooo dogmatic! Which would be the provider language to both Basque and Iberian? Not Latin certainly, not yet.
    ***
    For what reason?? Latin or more generally Italic and Celtic were already present in Western Europe as early as -1000 BCE. So there's utterly no reason why unwritten IE languages would not be in contact with languages originally spoken in Spain at that time.
    A.
    ***
    you wrote: Also Iberian civilization was clearly more developed that their recently arrived Indoeuropean neighbors, why would they borrow anything from them? The relationship between Iberian and local Celts was culturally similar to that of Etruscans re. Latins, to which they both gave literacy means, among other things. I mean: other than military Romans invented nothing: architecture and alphabet from Etruscans, ships from Phoenicians, even their gods were a mixture of Etruscan and Greek elements largely.
    ***
    I'm afraid most of this is in fact irrelevant to the issues we're discussing.
    Besides Keltos is a Greek word with no clear meaning.
    It never applied to Celtic people in Antiquity.
    A.
    ***

    Iberians almost necessarily were in relationship with Greeks, first in the El Argar period with the Mycenaeans and later in the Iron Age with the Massilians. They also were in relationship with Celts, although, for we can gather, mostly hostile
    ***
    The first contacts probably were with Phoenicians.
    A.
    ***
    (actually I suspect that the word "Celt", originally Greek "keltos", comes from the vasconic root kel- which is despective, for example: "keldo" means vagabond, miserable in Basque, because the Celts normally called themselves Gauls=Gaels, and that's also their Roman name).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Latin and Italic were present in Italy, not Western Europe (as in West of the Alps and the Rhine). Some people have argued that Lusitanian might be somehow related to Italic but it's quite conjectural because not much is known of Lusitanian. The toponymy of the area seems largely Celtic, although D. Siculus calls them "Cimbri" (i.e. Germanic) and some other authors also differentiate between them and their Celtic neighbors.

      "I'm afraid most of this is in fact irrelevant to the issues we're discussing".

      You say later that "people didn't count". Well, I think that people did count (certainly up to ten and much more) but particularly those living in the most civilized areas. So why would these civilized peoples have to borrow their numbers from barbarian herder raiders from the North who at most would need to count sheep and cows? It just makes no sense. True that Celts developed their own quasi-civilization later on but that's only with La Tène.

      "Besides Keltos is a Greek word with no clear meaning".

      That's how Greeks called the Celts of Western Europe, plural Keltoi.

      The first recorded use of the name of Celts – as Κελτοί – to refer to an ethnic group was by Hecataeus of Miletus, the Greek geographer, in 517 BC,[9] when writing about a people living near Massilia (modern Marseille).[10] According to the testimony of Julius Caesar and Strabo, the Latin name Celtus (pl. Celti or Celtae) and the Greek Κέλτης (pl. Κέλται) or Κελτός (pl. Κελτοί) were borrowed from a native Celtic tribal name. (from Wikipedia: Celts, redirected from Keltoi).

      Massilian Greeks were quite obviously in much better relations with Ligurians and Iberians than with Celts (too warlike or just too pro-Phoenician?) and almost certainly their influence was decisive in the Ibero-Basque conquest of Catalonia and parts of Languedoc to the Urnfields/Hallstatt Celts c. 550, which is coincident with the foundation of Emporion.

      So the very name "Celt" comes from these events and is recorded by Hekateos just a few decades after they happened. Massilia, for the record, was founded c. 600 BCE, so it all happened in less than a century.

      "The first contacts probably were with Phoenicians".

      No. El Argar B (since c. 1500 BCE) clearly displays imported Greek burial custom in pithoi (on the other hand Iberian burial custom in tholoi was exported to Greece in that same period and also somehow -missionaries?, refugees?- dolmenic burial customs, still present in Iberia as well, made it beyond Greece then to West Asia and the Red Sea, and later to India and as far as Korea). There's also evidence of trade with the Eastern Mediterranean and although this pre-dates Mycenaean Greeks, it is quite apparent that these hijacked the routes after their conquest of Crete and later also Cyprus, becoming therefore masters of tin (as well as surely other valuable metals as well). This explains their "Sea Peoples" arrogant rampage against everything around: from Troy to the Levant and even, it seems, Egypt. Yes: the Sea Peoples were in essence the Greeks.

      Phoenicians only accessed this route after the collapse of Mycenaean Greece (Dorian invasions, Dark Age). According to their own accounts they quickly founded Gadir and Carthage c. 1100 BCE, although archaeology only confirms so far c. 900 BCE. They also claimed to have destroyed Tartessos, which seemingly had taken over the southern Iberian hegemony after the collapse of El Argar and Zambujal, but had a mind of its own.

      Delete
  14. You wrote:
    This we should call the Indo-vasconic hypothesis, which I tentatively spouse because there are plenty of other suspect cognate words, including numbers 3 and 8, the word for ash/dust, for bear, etc.
    ***
    The word hartz with a preserved laryngeal h is IMHO a clear proof that Basque got in contact with rather ancient forms of Celtic and Italic languages, at a stage when these languages still had the laryngeals exhibited in Hittite hartakkas "bear".
    in all cases this is not a cognate.
    A.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such an early stage we call Proto-Indoeuropean. C'mon! It cannot be Celtic nor Italic.

      In fact Q-Celtic of the kind observed in Iberia uses a in the line of mathan, mathúin, maghouin (the good one?). Only Brythonic (P-Celtic, not documented in Iberia) uses words related to hartz, but without " h. Latin ursus is just too evolved to even considering any possible direct relation.

      It's even possible that arth/art in Brythonic is a Vasconic loan, not provable but IMO quite plausible, notably considering that so many Western IEs, including Q-Celts, have taboo terms for the bear, which totally deviate from the original PIE root.

      "this is not a cognate."

      It looks like a very good one in fact: a Basque-PIE cognate with no possible Celtic, Italic nor Germanic intermediation. Any serious linguist would consider it quite plausible (and I know some who do). See:
      → http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2010/11/linguistics-more-on-shared-ie-basque.html
      → http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2010/11/some-more-linguistic-musings-bear-and.html

      Delete
    2. As I already pointed to some comparatists, Irish actually has a word like herbh "deer" from PIE Her-. So Irish actually has a couple of residual laryngeals still there.
      It is also clear that words like Helvet- also have laryngeals still there.
      The idea that laryngeals must be dead in Celtic or Italic is just false. Some were still there even in historical times, and we can prove it.
      The word *H2ert(a)k is a good IE word, so it makes no sense to claim that Celtic would borrow a Basque word, when the word has an excellent IE pedigree. The word is not a cognate and Basque just reflects an archaic phonetic stage.
      Besides your claim that Western IE's have taboo words for the bear is false. H2arkT-os is good PIE and Germanic bear is based on the word for "brown". Those with taboo words are Slavic people like medved "honey-eater". Latin ursus is odd, as one would expect arsus instead of ursus.

      Delete
    3. I don't say that laryngeals must dead in Celtic, I just know that they are dead in arth/art, which is the only "Celtic" word comparable to hartz.

      "it makes no sense to claim that Celtic would borrow a Basque word, when the word has an excellent IE pedigree".

      We can't test so clearly the vasconic pedigree of hartz but for that very reason we should assume it when in doubt. Roslyn Frank anyhow thinks it's related to hatzapar (claw), via hartz-abar (ten of the bear). Naturally Indoeuropeanist fanatics like yourself would claim that it's derived from Sp. "garra", supposedly from Celtic "gar" (leg, attested only in Breton) but the opposite is most likely true, although linguistic hybridization is likely in this case.

      "The word is not a cognate and Basque just reflects an archaic phonetic stage."

      Basque reflects the PIE stage, so hartz is almost certainly cognate of PIE *hŕktos.

      "your claim that Western IE's have taboo words for the bear is false."

      Slavic does, Germanic does, Q-Celtic does. Italic does not being the only one other than, arguably, P-Celtic. It's a very generalized trend.

      "Germanic bear is based on the word for "brown". "

      How is that not a taboo word? Instead of calling by "his real name", they call him by an euphemism: "the brown one". Exactly as the ancient Greeks did with Hades, whom they called Pluto: "the rich one". This arises from the superstitious fear of attracting the anger of the being if mentioned. It also happens in Judeo-Christian religion, etc. It's very common but interesting nonetheless.

      So I gather that Western IE lost the PIE word for bear, except the Italic variant ursus, that, as you reckon, is very unusually evolved. Assuming that ursus reflects the actual Western IE prototype word for bear, it is most strange that Brythonic and only Brythonic breaks the trend towards IE roots. The most likely explanation is that the Vasconic substrate revived the original form, better preserved in this family.

      Would it be the only Vasconic element, I could understand your rejection, but it is not at all. Instead Celtic loans to Basque are almost unheard of.

      Delete
    4. you wrote: "Naturally Indoeuropeanist fanatics like yourself"
      ***
      Don't you think that this is a bit childish?
      I could just as well call you a stalinist because anything that does not fit in your Vasconic grandiose scheme must be discarded, ignored and stamped out.
      Let me tell you that I'm not at all an orthodox IE-ist and least of all fanatical. You sound considerably more rigid in your own beliefs and decrees than I do.

      As far as the word bear is concerned, the same root bher "brown" also provides the word for beaver and mangoose, so it's more a nickname than a taboo word.

      Basque hartz cannot be a cognate of *h2'rkt-os. The oldest layer of PIE morphology has it that zero-grade like *H2rk-tos cannot be stressed on r. Besides -os formations are also a recent layer of word formations. It's an innovative feature that zero-grade like *H2rktos or *wlkwos can be stressed on r or l. It just does not make any sense that Basque would be cognate with such a recent layer of PIE morphology and prosody as shown in *H2'rktos (or more exactly *H2'rtkos according to Hittite hartakkas).

      Delete
    5. Look: there's way too many people looking at the facts only from a IE perspective and speaking only IE. That way everything becomes IE, even what makes no sense.

      It's not just poor science but also a vicious cycle of abuse re. those other peoples and languages who were pushed around by IE expansion, which nows even tries to deny them the most basic paleohistory, taking everything because victors rewrite history and, why not, also linguistics.

      So it's indeed pretty much fanaticism to imagine IE everywhere and Vasconic nowhere, to imagine that borrowing must be alwats IE → Vasconic and never, as would be logical at least in the case of substrate Vasconic → IE.

      Spice it with some blah-blah about how IE language was "superior" and you make Hitler cry of happiness in his tomb, really.

      Delete
    6. I do not understand the difference between all those "cycles" of similarly spelled PIE *harkts. A proto-word is jus an approximate and I won't discuss the details, but as you clearly understand the H was lost in all European IE languages which retain the root. So it is a clear case of shared legacy at the proto-PIE/proto-Vasconic evolutionary stage: long ago, either at the beginning of the Holocene or earlier.

      Maybe both just inherited from a wider network of languages which spanned Europe and/or parts of West Asia before Neolithic but it's clear that there are serious elements in common from before expansion, as Basque could not import (in any significant way) IE words before Urnfields and probably did not actually before the Roman Empire.

      Delete
    7. Look: there's way too many people looking at the facts only from a IE perspective and speaking only IE. That way everything becomes IE, even what makes no sense.
      ***
      yes, I agree but this kind of commonsense addresses no concrete issue. A.

      It's not just poor science but also a vicious cycle of abuse re. those other peoples and languages who were pushed around by IE expansion, which nows even tries to deny them the most basic paleohistory, taking everything because victors rewrite history and, why not, also linguistics.

      So it's indeed pretty much fanaticism to imagine IE everywhere and Vasconic nowhere, to imagine that borrowing must be always IE → Vasconic and never, as would be logical at least in the case of substrate Vasconic → IE.
      ***
      Vasconic is an ideological word. But nevertheless I would agree that Irish adarc "horn" has something to do with Basque adar. A.

      Spice it with some blah-blah about how IE language was "superior" and you make Hitler cry of happiness in his tomb, really.
      ***
      Stop invoking Hitler all the time. A.

      Delete
    8. I do not understand the difference between all those "cycles" of similarly spelled PIE *harkts. A proto-word is jus an approximate
      ***
      No this is false. A.
      A proto-word is not at all approximative.
      ***

      and I won't discuss the details, but as you clearly understand the H was lost in all European IE languages which retain the root. So it is a clear case of shared legacy at the proto-PIE/proto-Vasconic evolutionary stage: long ago, either at the beginning of the Holocene or earlier.
      ***
      No this is just false.
      i showed you a word of Irish which retains a laryngeal Herbh "deer". A.

      Delete
    9. It is true: "proto-words" are mere theoretical constructs: they are not real at all. Someone recently challenged me to attempt to, as blindly as possible, reconstruct Vulgar Latin out of modern Romances. The fact is that we would reach a lot of false "proto-words" and the reconstruction would only be a vague resemblance of Vulgar Latin, never mind classic Latin. If that happens in just 2000 years, imagine in 6000.

      "i showed you a word of Irish which retains a laryngeal Herbh "deer""

      Seems irregular, exceptional, so irrelevant. Even if it were regular, Irish does not retain the *hrktos word, so irrelevant again.

      Delete
    10. It is true: "proto-words" are mere theoretical constructs: they are not real at all. Someone recently challenged me to attempt to, as blindly as possible, reconstruct Vulgar Latin out of modern Romances. The fact is that we would reach a lot of false "proto-words" and the reconstruction would only be a vague resemblance of Vulgar Latin, never mind classic Latin. If that happens in just 2000 years, imagine in 6000.
      ***
      No, this is not a problem,
      it's well-known that proto-Romance as reconstructed from romance languages is not exactly the same as Latin.
      I'm afraid the problem is that you do not understand how comparative linguistics works or maybe even deny that it's a scientific field on its own. A.

      "i showed you a word of Irish which retains a laryngeal Herbh "deer""
      Seems irregular, exceptional, so irrelevant. Even if it were regular, Irish does not retain the *hrktos word, so irrelevant again.
      ***
      No this word (and some others) show that laryngeals were still existing in Celtic languages so a transfer of an archaic hartkos (in Celtic!) into Basque as hartz is possible. That's the point.

      Delete
    11. "it's well-known that proto-Romance as reconstructed from romance languages is not exactly the same as Latin. "

      I was saying Vulgar Latin, which is the true proto-Romance. You don't get real Vulgar Latin either: you get a mere approximation, sometimes better other times very poor. Same with PIE (or surely much worse because a lot more time has passed).

      Regarding to Irish: what is what you do not understand about Q-Celtic not retaining the *hrkts word?, what is what you do not understand about P-Celtic not retaining the initial h- in general and particularly in the word for bear, as neither Greek nor Latin do either? Why should I care about how deer is said in a language family that does not keep the *hrkts word?

      Only P-Celtic ha a word that either derivate from *hrkts or from Basque hartz. It does not keep the initial h- in any case, so it cannot be the ancestor of hartz by any logic. Hartz is not only similar to *hrkts in the initial h-: it is so similar in everything that it could even be the true proto-word itself! Not saying it is but it's clear that the Basque form is so extremely conservative re. *hrkts that, if we'd judge only on this word alone, Basque would be classified as IE and the most conservative of all them. So please stop trying to twist the actual hartz-*hrkts relationship as imagined loan: it's a relationship at the root, there's no other explanation that makes sense.

      Delete
    12. 1. I won't discuss the issue of Proto-Romance, though I restate that you're only thrashing an open door, as some competent people have already done the job of applying the comparative method to Romance languages in order to understand to which extent Reconstructed Proto-Romance differs from Classical Latin. No real issue.

      2. The PIE word is precisely *H2"rtkos not hrkts, which is your procustean idea.

      3. Apparently you're locked in false reasonings. So let's try to explain why you should "care how deer is said in a language family that does not keep the *hrkts word?"
      The PIE word *H2"rtkos was used several k-years ago; Several k-years later, we have Irish, etc at hand to look at. What happened in the meantime during those several k-years? The issue is: when did laryngeals muted out. According to your false reasoning, laryngeals only existed in PIE and instantly disappeared after PIE began to split. The correct answer is that they muted out independently in each branch at some time between PIE and now. What the Irish word shows is that laryngeals still existed in pre-historical Celtic because at least one word still has laryngeals in medieval Irish. So we can see that
      PIE *H2"rtkos > prehistorical Celtic *hartkos > only attested in Welsh as arth
      Note that Albanese has harusha "she-bear" with initial h !!!
      Basically there is no objection in having prehistorical Celtic *hartkos being borrowed into Basque hartz.

      4. Your approach is the only one that makes sense, because the foundations of your reasoning are false and flawed.

      5. As I wrote before, PIE *H2"rtkos is a recent layer of PIE morphology. It cannot be a cognate between Basque and PIE, whatever their exact relationship may be.

      Delete
    13. 1. I was challenged by a respected and veteran linguist to try to reconstruct Vulgar Latin (never mind Lating) out of modern Romances. I'm just repeating here her concerns about the ability to reconstruct an unattested (proto-)language out of available evidence only. Other linguists I know agree that proto-languages and proto-words, as found in etymological dictionaries and such are just approximative and cannot ever be "the real thing".

      2. For these reasons there's no "precise" PIE word. Also a lot of linguists today challenge the complex laryngeal system outlined a century ago or more for PIE. I feel that "h" is good enough here. In any case and for the sake of clarity, the usually listed "spelling" is *h₂ŕ̥tḱos, with too many abnormal characters for us to reproduce properly with our keyboards. I believe that *hrktos is close enough, maybe *hŕktos, if you wish to emphasize the strong R (which does not matter because it's not followed by vowel anyhow neither in *PIE nor in any attested form). The ending -os is actually highly dubious because other than Greek no IE language retains it. And we know that in Greek -os is a common word ending, so probably not PIE-inherited. My proto-word, judging on documented derived words, would rather go as *harkts, even closer to Basque hartz.

      Delete
    14. 3. I insist: Irish and Q-Celtic is irrelvant here: it does not retain *hrktos but created a new "taboo word" for the animal.

      "The issue is: when did laryngeals muted out."

      In general I do not know. But for the particular case of *hrktos, it is obviously something shared by Latin, Greek and Brythonic, so I'd say before 2400 BCE, when Greek was already diverging from the rest of WIE (judging on archaeological evidence, of course).

      "According to your false reasoning, laryngeals only existed in PIE and instantly disappeared after PIE began to split".

      It's not a matter I have studied in any depth. I just know that some linguists challenge PIE laryngeals or at least their hypothetical complexity.

      Judging only on the *hrktos evolution, it seems clear that only Hittite and Indo-Iranian retained the initial /h/. So Western IE in the wider possible sense (Italic, Armenian, Greek, Albanian, P-Celtic and even Baltic for the little it's preserved) lost it very soon in the case of this word. This is so widely pan-European that looks a Sredny-Stog II stage evolutionary step to me, so c. 3500 BCE.

      "The correct answer is that they muted out independently in each branch at some time between PIE and now".

      Not in this case.

      " What the Irish word shows is that laryngeals still existed in pre-historical Celtic"...

      Maybe Q-Celtic is the exception but it has no *hrktos or *harkts.

      "... because at least one word still has laryngeals in medieval Irish. "

      Maybe it regained it as a peculiar exception for ONLY that word. Linguistic evolution is pretty much chaotic, not Newtonian.

      "Note that Albanese has harusha "she-bear" with initial h !!!"

      Could not find it. But found ari, ancient ar, so the main word has lost the initial h-, exactly as all other European IE languages.

      "Basically there is no objection in having prehistorical Celtic *hartkos being borrowed into Basque hartz".

      The main objection is that you have absolutely no evidence of that "prehistorical Celtic", that you just want to believe it because you are a fanatic Indoeuropeanist. Attested Celtic (Brythonic) with the corresponding word does not support the hypothesis, nor do any other European IE languages. So 99.99% certain that you are wrong.

      5. "PIE *H2"rtkos is a recent layer of PIE morphology."

      If it's PIE it is not "a recent layer". PIE is what (we approximate) that the Kurgan peoples of the Volga spoke before 4000 years ago, with dialects surely, of course, but also with some important homogeneity. Soon after 4000 BCE, PIE exploded into many branches (I identify at least five back then, eight or so by c. 2500 BCE), stopped being PIE and began being something else: Anatolian, proto-Tocharian, proto-Indo-Iranian, WIE, etc.

      So it can only be Indo-Vasconic. And it's not the only word. What about hauts←→*h₂eHs-?

      Again we see that the initial h- (h₂) is lost in WIE and in this case also Indo-Iranian, but preserved in Hittite. Almost exactly what happens with *hrktos/hartz.

      By the way, I can't even find your alleged Irish "herbh", only fia, os, fíad (OI) for deer.

      Delete
    15. you wrote: 1. I was challenged by a respected and veteran linguist to try to reconstruct Vulgar Latin (never mind Lating) out of modern Romances.
      ***
      hm, hm,
      she knew you would fail to do so...
      Beware...
      A.
      ***

      I'm just repeating here her concerns about the ability to reconstruct an unattested (proto-)language out of available evidence only. Other linguists I know agree that proto-languages and proto-words, as found in etymological dictionaries and such are just approximative and cannot ever be "the real thing"
      ***
      That kind of reasoning would lead to the conclusion that Basque, French, English just do not exist, and are not "the real thing".

      Delete
    16. you wrote: For these reasons there's no "precise" PIE word.
      **
      wrong. a word is precise or it's not PIE.
      A.
      ***

      Also a lot of linguists today challenge the complex laryngeal system outlined a century ago or more for PIE.
      ***
      It's not complex unless you cannot count up to three or four.
      A.
      ***

      I feel that "h" is good enough here. In any case and for the sake of clarity, the usually listed "spelling" is *h₂ŕ̥tḱos, with too many abnormal characters for us to reproduce properly with our keyboards.
      ***
      I agree that IE-ist pedantism is an issue, but it does not render PIE false.
      Personally, I would promote cleaner and simpler ways. A.
      ***

      I believe that *hrktos is close enough, maybe *hŕktos, if you wish to emphasize the strong R (which does not matter because it's not followed by vowel anyhow neither in *PIE nor in any attested form).
      ***
      False, Albanian is harusha with -u- in between.
      And again, note that Albanian has initial h.... A.
      ***

      The ending -os is actually highly dubious because other than Greek no IE language retains it.
      ***
      False. -os is attested in Latin urs-us and Indo-Iranian ars^as. A
      ***

      And we know that in Greek -os is a common word ending, so probably not PIE-inherited.
      ***
      False. The ending -os cannot be separated from the stressed r,
      just as in wlkw-os "wolf", stressed zero-grade and -os declension are linked.
      That's what you don't seem to understand or accept. A.
      ***

      My proto-word, judging on documented derived words, would rather go as *harkts, even closer to Basque hartz.
      ***
      Your "proto-words" are only what you decree at free will, they are not acceptable.

      Delete
    17. you wrote: "Judging only on the *hrktos evolution, it seems clear that only Hittite and Indo-Iranian retained the initial /h/. So Western IE in the wider possible sense (Italic, Armenian, Greek, Albanian, P-Celtic and even Baltic for the little it's preserved) lost it very soon in the case of this word. This is so widely pan-European that looks a Sredny-Stog II stage evolutionary step to me, so c. 3500 BCE.
      ***
      How can you possibly repeat that when Albanian has harusha "she-bear"???
      Lost it very soon???
      Just a lie or self-delutional propaganda. A.

      Delete
    18. you wrote ""Note that Albanese has harusha "she-bear" with initial h !!!"
      Could not find it. But found ari, ancient ar, so the main word has lost the initial h-, exactly as all other European IE languages.
      ***
      FWIW, try Google-translate:
      Albanian: harusha = Basque hartzak aurkitu

      Delete
    19. you wrote: "If it's PIE it is not "a recent layer". PIE is what (we approximate) that the Kurgan peoples of the Volga spoke before 4000 years ago, with dialects surely, of course, but also with some important homogeneity. Soon after 4000 BCE, PIE exploded into many branches (I identify at least five back then, eight or so by c. 2500 BCE), stopped being PIE and began being something else: Anatolian, proto-Tocharian, proto-Indo-Iranian, WIE, etc."
      ***
      hhmmm, you so much love this theory so easy to refute, because it's BS. A.

      Delete
    20. you wrote: If it's PIE it is not "a recent layer".
      ***
      Each language contains different layers of different datings. Some features are recent, some are fossilized. The word *H2"rtkos is recent on two counts. Stressed zero-grade is recent, the -os word-formation is recent. This can't be really old.

      Delete
    21. you wrote: What about hauts←→*h₂eHs-?
      ***
      I think that PIE *kwo is a better comparandum for Basque hauts with *k > h and *o > a
      A.

      Delete
    22. http://www.ceantar.org/Dicts/MB2/mb15.html#MB.E
      earb
      a roe, so Irish, Early Irish erb, Old Irish heirp, *erbi-s,
      ***
      Actually, it's not herbh but heirp in Old Irish, but never mind, it has initial h-

      Delete
  15. you wrote: Do you have any evidence on how could both Basques and Iberians borrow numbers from Celts or Greeks?
    ***
    The evidence is the numbers themselves. They did not spring out of nothing.
    A.
    ***

    Two ("bi" in Basque and Iberian, with variants "bin", "biga", "bia", "bida") is in Greek dúo and in Celtic variedly dó, daou, div, daw, dwy, dà, dhà, dithis (proto-Celtic being *dwau).
    ***
    As i wrote before, it is quite clear that this word is a rather late borrowing of Latin bi-
    after the change dwi > bi occurred.
    A.
    ***

    Six ("sei" in Basque and Iberian) is in Greek héxi, anciently hex (from which "hexagon" and such) and in Celtic chwech c'hwec'h, sia, sianar, sé. Definitely it does not come from either Greek nor Brythonic. There could be doubt about Gaelic, particularly Irish sé.
    ***
    it makes utterly no sense to discuss nearly prehistoric borrowings with present-day words.
    Basque sei is too close to *se(k)s or *s(w)e(k)s to be unrelated.
    A.
    ***

    "Zazpi" ("sisbi" in Iberian) does not look even remotely related to IE to me: Greek: hepta, Celtic: seizh, seacht, seachd, saith. In fact all the words seem closer to "sei" if anything than to zazpi. However one could well argue that sisbi and PIE *septm are cognates. This probably is an indication that proto-vasconic and proto-PIE are related by origin or at least were in contact (sprachbund) long ago.
    ***
    The rather odd shape of Basque zazpi is usually explained by Basque phonological constraints which do not allow a word like *sept- to be kept, so it was changed to sesp- with s instead of t and metathesis ps > sp. There's nothing strange here, except that the Basque word has the vowel a instead of the expected e.

    Besides, we can see that Basque sei has initial s while zazpi has initial z, so they actually cannot have been borrowed from the same language at the same time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "As i wrote before, it is quite clear that this word is a rather late borrowing of Latin bi-
      after the change dwi > bi occurred."

      It's not dwi → bi but du- → b- which is claimed (what you say is just a misunderstanding). With three and only three examples: bonus, bellum and bis. Bellum is spooky because duellum is not war but duel, *duis is not really well attested for all I know and only duonus → bonus seems somewhat more likely (but there is some dance of sounds in the attested forms, notice how It. buono, Sp. bueno (i.e. Vulgar Latin at its very roots) retake the original duonus form but also the innovative b-.

      "it makes utterly no sense to discuss nearly prehistoric borrowings with present-day words."

      With attested words. I don't care if they are present or ancient, all I care is that they are attested. Reconstructions, "proto-words", are not evidence because they are speculations themselves.

      "Basque sei is too close to *se(k)s or *s(w)e(k)s to be unrelated."

      But you're going back to PIE and the fact that you need to go all the way back to PIE is significant in itself.

      "so it was changed to sesp- with s instead of t and metathesis ps > sp"

      Actually sisbi (zizbi in modern Basque writing) seems more consistent with Basque phonetics. The "p" is a extremely rare phoneme in Basque and almost invariably corresponds to an ancient "b" deformed by IE influence.

      *Sept- would regularly produce sepet- or sebet- in Basque, as happens with all those strange IE consonant clusters (librus → liburu). But that only happens in Semitic... how odd!

      Alternatively it could happen as in Spanish and just lose the -p- (septimus → siete, september → setiembre), much as the initial k- of knife or know is not anymore pronounced in English.

      "Basque sei has initial s while zazpi has initial z, so they actually cannot have been borrowed from the same language at the same time".

      I would think so as well. But what if they are not borrowings, at least not any recent borrowings? After all IEs arrived here only a few centuries before Iberian language was written, so there was no real time for so many different borrowings.

      Delete
    2. "As i wrote before, it is quite clear that this word is a rather late borrowing of Latin bi-
      after the change dwi > bi occurred."

      It's not dwi → bi but du- → b- which is claimed (what you say is just a misunderstanding). With three and only three examples: bonus, bellum and bis.
      ***
      No, Latin du just remains du,
      you need an extra vowel to have dwi > bi or dwe > be as in duellum > bellum.
      Besides even if we had only one instance, it would be ok.
      We have one instance of dwi, one of dwe and one of dwo, so we have more than enough evidence.
      Basically, your desire is to push aside all that evidence because you want the latin word of good IE descent bi- to be a (pre-)Basque loanword, thereby inverting the direction of borrowing. That's what's going on here. Denial of the obvious to make room for a dream.
      A.

      Delete
    3. you wrote: "I would think so as well. But what if they are not borrowings, at least not any recent borrowings? After all IEs arrived here only a few centuries before Iberian language was written, so there was no real time for so many different borrowings."
      ***
      well, if we take English marshall, the word is from French maréchal, which is Norse mar-skalk "horse-smith"
      So in very little time, Northmen invaded France, French got a word and gave it to English, this took less than two or three centuries.
      So your objection does not resist known facts.

      Delete
    4. "Latin du just remains du, you need an extra vowel"...

      I have only sought words with a vowel after du-, just like duo.

      Delete
  16. you wrote: Numbers are not features that are often changed in language, much less in bulk.
    ***
    Not that long ago, people did not count. So we may deal here with the moment when pre-Basque people began to count, for example as a result of commercial contacts with Phoenicians or Celts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People did count: they counted sheep, cows and horses, they counted moons (months) and days, etc. Probably they did not were as versed in math as we are but they did count. In fact counting and some maths are innate.

      Forget about Basques and think in Iberians, who were no doubt more advanced: they were building cities and trading with the Near East and Scandinavia 5000 years ago. Basques were at the IE level of civilization, Iberians were the only civilized people West of Malta, not as advanced as Sumerians but pretty advanced anyhow.

      Why would the barbaric IEs be able to count and not the Iberians. Seriously... this is getting almost racist, really.

      Delete
    2. you wrote: Why would the barbaric IEs be able to count and not the Iberians. Seriously... this is getting almost racist, really.
      ***
      Who is making racist comments? You keep repeating ad nauseam that IE people are just barbaric or retards, a blatant prejudice which in all cases is false, as all Europe came to be people by IE-speakers, but for a few pockets, like Basque, Etruscan to name a few.

      Besides to get back to numbers, it's perfectly possible to "count" without numbers. You can "count" sheep with notch-sticks without actually knowing how many of them there are. But that method tells you if one is missing or not. That's how people probably "counted" before arithmetics was invented.

      Delete
    3. I did not say "retards" nor I would even think of that. What I said is that they were barbaric (underdeveloped, rural) in comparison to Iberians (and not so much to ancient Basques). Instead you have repeated ad nauseam, as you put it, that IE language was more developed than the rest and particularly so at counting. This I find a most racist arrogant presumption because you are calling "retards" in fact to all non-IE peoples and particularly Vasconic ones, including the civilized Iberians. That's totally Hitlerian ethnocentric egomania, obviously false and absurdly obscene.

      For this time I'll eat my banana and move on but, seriously, reconsider your attitude.

      "You can "count" sheep with notch-sticks without actually knowing how many of them there are".

      LOL. Do you really believe that? You name those notches and make a number system, maybe a five-based one. But most people actually used their fingers and that's why decimal is so prevalent.

      Basic maths (2x5, 5x10 and such) is needed to count. In fact all our number systems are convenient multiplication table. Hence basic maths were never invented (and are demonstrated to be innate and show up spontaneously in toddlers. Counting with the help of fingers, notches or an abacus does not mean that you don't have names for numbers: you do, you keep things in your mind much better with a name for them.

      What you say, I don't know if it applied to H. erectus or chimpanzees, but we're talking H. sapiens here, right?

      Delete
    4. Apparently you cannot accept the mere fact that IE speakers, especially those living in Europe, were good farmers, good craftmen, good soldiers and good epic-writers and they probably had good and dedicated wives and mothers.
      There's nothing racist in just stating that.
      Just stop claiming that facts that sound unpleasant to your ears are racist and hitleric.
      Besides IE people in Europe were expanding in the temperate zone, where farming is best effective, so there's no racial superiority involved here. Basically all areas in the dry zone in Spain, in Italy and in Greece were doomed from a demographic point of view.
      This temperate versus dry divide also explains that standard French is based on the Parisian dialect, even though Provençal was actually more "civilized" as you say.
      Basically it's a climate and demographic issue. Once you're a farmer in the best area, it's only a matter of time until you win over neighbors.

      Delete
    5. I think that IE speakers were all kind of things, naturally, as they are now. But paleohistorically they seem mostly focused on war and conquest, and that is also the nature of their religion, one dedicated to praise the victors, the chosen of the gods. If you could read Basque, I would point you to a very good book by J.I. Hartsuaga which compares very neatly the Basque chthonic fertility religion of community with the IE celestial war religion of victory. Our Goddess was relegated to secondary places as Gaia (almost certainly a Vasconic name) or to rule the Netherworld as Hel, reserved for those who were not killed in battle. Our snake/dragon God was killed by the IE hero Apollo (later recycled into Christian saints) or displaced to the edge of the world in wait for Ragnarok. Only in Basque legends, transmitted orally till recently, they retained their primacy in all Europe. Out of Europe however we still see some of that in the Shaivite/Shakti variants of the Hindu religion (for which this dual God/Goddess is a mono-theos, either absorbing or excluding the other gods). This seems to be the core Neolithic religion, which also reverberates in East Asia (as does the Western Zodiac: very much altered) in the abstraction of Ying/Yang being the two aspects of the Dao.

      In the end it is as Hesiodos said: at the beginning it was Chaos (Dao) and Gaia and Eros emerged from it. All the rest, including Zeus/Indra/Odin, arrived later, at least from the perspective of the Neolithic faith.

      I for one await for Ragnarok as a (mythical, but every myth has a seed of truth in it) time of restoration and vindication of the communitary values that probably made life more meaningful in those days before the steppe conquerors arrived. As Baudelaire, I also hope that Prometheus rises to Heaven and throws Zeus down to the ground.

      The time of expansion is over: the size and capacity of Earth is finite: it's time to bury the axe (another Vasconic-derived word) and raise the sickle for a new harvest. Maybe.

      Delete
    6. The "temperate" climate in Europe was of relatively low productivity before the Medieval arrival of the heavy plow. It was this heavy plow technology which allowed the rise of Northern (mostly NW) Europe in the Middle Ages, displacing the Mediterranean, whose thin soils do not get real benefits from such technologies.

      Said that, the Basque Country itself benefited economically from these developments, both in the purely agricultural production aspect, and also because, after a long time of decay, Atlantic Europe became an axis of development and innovation, which, for good or bad, has involved us deeply.

      But in the past it was not at all like today and therefore the Mediterranean or in general the areas towards the South with better (warmer) climate, were more productive and also better connected. So the civilization began in the South (relative to Europe) and only much later expanded Northwards, when technology supported it (High Middle Ages and not a day before).

      The hegemony of France over Occitania probably owes more to military might and Machiavellianism than to any productive issue. What is now Southern France was conquered in various campaigns from Charles Martel the scheming to the Hundred Years' War going through the Crusade against the Albigensians. In all cases Southern France was more illustrated and progressive but somehow it lacked the military might and key alliances that could have allowed them to win. Too liberal (Bogomil, Protestant, even feminist before its time) the whole region was hated by the Neo-Roman Order and attacked once and again. Just the same as when the Visigoths were assigned Aquitaine and Tarraconensis to subdue the Basque bagaudae and their Suevi allies.

      It's a long class war going on and we, the Pyrenean peoples, are the underdog in it and the ones trying to approach the camp of social justice, freedom and people's power (not without contradictions, of course). It probably pre-dates the Romans but from historical records we can only document it since their imperial age.

      It's not a climate issue (Aquitaine and most of the Basque Country have excellent "temperate" but not cold climate) but one of millennial struggle between two visions of life and social order.

      Delete
    7. Anyway, these issues are quite unrelated to the issue of numbers.
      In all cases, I disagree with your prejudiced approach that the south was "civilized", whatever that really means, and the north was brutes.
      Even your "civilized" Iberians probably owed a lot to IE speakers and Anatolian Neolithic, whether it reached them by sea or by land.

      Delete
    8. "the north was brutes."

      They were just poorer. It is apparent in the lack of city development before La Tène and the fact that Germanics plundered those cities soon after they arose, resulting in Celtic doom, and later also causing major trouble to the better organized and defended Roman polity.

      "Even your "civilized" Iberians probably owed a lot to IE speakers and Anatolian Neolithic"

      IEs have nothing to do with "Anatolian Neolithic" or anything like that: their expansion clearly spread Eastern European genetics in Europe similar to those of the Mal'ta boy. IE expansion is the Kurgan expansion.

      Delete
    9. you wrote: "IEs have nothing to do with "Anatolian Neolithic" or anything like that: their expansion clearly spread Eastern European genetics in Europe similar to those of the Mal'ta boy. IE expansion is the Kurgan expansion."
      ***
      This is your decree.
      I disagree and it seems we cannot reach an agreement on this issue.

      Delete
  17. "Nonetheless the fact remains that bi is a typical development of Latin origin from *dwi-"
    you wrote: I keep all kind of doubts. Why didn't dualitas, for example, evolve into balitas? The du- → b- shift is not regular at all, and in 2/3 documented instances it looks also anomalous in other aspects.
    ***
    Because dualitas is an intellectual word, coined in Imperial Latin, to translate Greek.
    This is like claiming that Spanish o > ue is not regular because one can find words which do not have the change, but these words are recenter than those which have the change.
    You cannot compare that word with a sound change dw > b that occurred at some time in the second half of the first millennium, when Latin was hardly a literary language.
    the sound change dw > b is really cristal clear.
    Note that Latin also has the irregular *gwow > bos and Romanian is limba for lingua, so gw > b also exists in Romance languages.
    A.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not just dualitas, duo doesn't change either (it'd become bo), nor does duodecim, etc. It's clearly irregular and strange.

      "Spanish o > ue is not regular"

      sonito → sonido (sound).

      There are clearly exceptions which are old. The o→ue change also shows irregularities when considered as whole Vulgar Latin (proto-romance): Sp. bueno : It. buono, but Sp. nueve : It. nono. So there is irregular dielactality at play. I would not expect less as language evolution necessarily follows chaotic dynamics, just as the weather does. It is predictable to some extent (there is some regularity) but not always (butterfly effect).

      "... when Latin was hardly a literary language".

      But they had advanced maths, didn't they? [sarcasm implicit] ;-)

      And a bit more sarcasm: they could not be influenced by conquered peoples who initially spoke other languages. Even if there were no grammars nor grammatics, everything was regular and predictable and of course directly from PIE. Ahem!

      Delete
    2. you wrote: "Spanish o > ue is not regular"
      sonito → sonido (sound).
      There are clearly exceptions which are old.
      ***
      yes, in French siècle for seculum is irregular and probably caused by the fact the word siècle was mostly used in relationship with the Bible.
      It's possible sonido is a semi-learned word.
      A.

      Delete
  18. you wrote: "This we should call the Indo-vasconic hypothesis, which I tentatively spouse because there are plenty of other suspect cognate words, including numbers 3 and 8"
    ***
    Can you please develop this idea?
    A.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What idea Indo-Vasconic or the possible relation of vasconic and IE words for three ((h)iru(r)) and eight (zortzi)? On the latter I just see some sound similitude but vague enough to be dubious, considering the lack of other intermediate evidence. On the former, I just think that a quick mass lexical comparison Basque-PIE-whatever other languages of West Eurasia, shows that there is more similitude between these. I did it once with NE Caucasian and Dravidian → open office file and got that impression quite strongly: it dissipated all my doubts about the Basque-Caucasian hypothesis.

      Delete
    2. Logically, if we accept that Basque is a survivor of the primo-settlers in Western Europe, then the distance between Basque and PIE dates back to more than 30 kyears, so I don't expect anything obvious. Basque words with a striking similarity with IE words are most likely to be IE borrowings into Basque.
      hirur has nothing to do with PIE *trey-es or *ter. Nor is zortzi even remotely connectable with PIE *HoktoH. These words are clearly unrelated.

      Delete
    3. The words are not clearly related but hirur includes h-r, which can be likened to tr- in *treyes. Similarly zor(t)zi's -rtz- can be likened to *okto's -kt- group.

      It's highly speculative and requires a rather lax evolution but more than when comparing with most other languages.

      Another intriguing fossil is that only IE and Vasconic of all West Eurasian (and most global languages I checked) share: -ŕ- in the words for red and -w-r- in the words for water.

      Compare bizi (to live) with bios/vivus (life), ni (I) with mi/me (I), kume with cub, etc. I'm not a linguist and can't dedicate my life to these matters but there's certainly A LOT of suspect cases demanding more attention. Some are probably Vasconic substrate influences in just a handful or one of European IE languages but others point to a PIE connection, which must be very old.

      In my opinion every linguist studying European or Indo-European languages should be familiar with Basque because there's a lot to be researched here.

      Delete
  19. The following book is currently free
    http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415885928/
    The Prehistory of Iberia
    Debating Early Social Stratification and the State
    you may find it interesting to read.

    ReplyDelete
  20. you wrote: "I'm afraid most of this is in fact irrelevant to the issues we're discussing".

    You say later that "people didn't count". Well, I think that people did count (certainly up to ten and much more) but particularly those living in the most civilized areas.
    ***
    This is completely circular. There was a time when these people could hardly count.
    It's quite clear that numbers are a very late acquisition of mankind. Otherwise numbers across language families would be much more similar.
    A.
    ***

    So why would these civilized peoples have to borrow their numbers from barbarian herder raiders from the North who at most would need to count sheep and cows? It just makes no sense. True that Celts developed their own quasi-civilization later on but that's only with La Tène.
    ***
    What makes no sense is your highly derogatory approach of IE people and languages.
    If Basque is strewn with borrowings from IE languages, it's precisely because IE languages were more advanced.
    Besides, most of what is technical in Latin, apart from urbanism and infrastructures, is borrowed from Gaulish.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "This is completely circular".

      Yes it's getting annoyingly circular. I agree.

      "There was a time when these people could hardly count".

      But Indoeuropeans were smarter and could, even if they were just a horde of horse-riders in the middle of nowhere. Uh? I smell some implicit racism here.

      Do you realize what you're saying?: Basques, let alone Iberians, could not count, but we the superior Aryan race spread numbers through the World. It's so sick and stupid!

      "It's quite clear that numbers are a very late acquisition of mankind. Otherwise numbers across language families would be much more similar".

      Nobody has been able yet to reconstruct proto-World or proto-Human. Everything is different across languages except nursery words, which are reinvented by babies' babbling every generation. Babies are definitely not too interested in numbers, nor do they parents imagine that their first word,usually "amma" or "mamma", means 3.1416. So numbers also evolve, like every other word.

      "What makes no sense is your highly derogatory approach of IE people and languages".

      It's only self-evident that IE were in essence herder-warriors from the steppe. There's nothing in their culture that could imply that they were superior to any other people in any non-military way. Certainly not numbers.

      "If Basque is strewn with borrowings from IE languages, it's precisely because IE languages were more advanced".

      Neither one nor the other. Basque only has Latin and Romance loans. There's also absolutely no reason to imagine that "IE languages were more advanced". Why would they?

      The only one who is being derogatory and clearly rampaging in a racist or ethnocentric way is you. There's absolutely no reason to imagine any sort of non-military "superiority" on the side of IEs... at least not before the Roman Empire coalesced (manu militari, of course).

      Delete
    2. Well, I do not believe in the "horse-riders in the middle of nowhere" fairytale.
      My own theory is that IE languages spread with agriculture and possibly even slightly before that time.

      As regards numbers, if you read again what I wrote, i did not dismiss the idea that numbers are traveling words of unclear origin. So i did not mean that IE people learn to count before Basque or Iberian people.

      You wrote; "It's only self-evident that IE were in essence herder-warriors from the steppe."
      ***
      No, false. There's utterly nothing evident in accepting that theory. And as a matter of fact, I reject it. Maybe this is what causes misunderstanding.

      Delete
    3. "My own theory is that IE languages spread with agriculture and possibly even slightly before that time".

      Ah, that explains much of your beliefs. Sadly it's extremely unlikely, mostly because how did these languages arrive to Altai or India or even to Eastern Europe at all? The European Neolithic of Thessalian origins never arrived to those areas. Nor did Vasconic.

      "So i did not mean that IE people learn to count before Basque or Iberian people".

      You implied that. I'm glad that it seems to have been some sort of misunderstanding - I hope.

      "... numbers are traveling words of unclear origin".

      This can only be explained if there was some intense contact, what implies a sprachbund, a limited geography. A handful of merchants alone won't spread numbers nor any other word that is not the name of a novelty exotic item.

      "There's utterly nothing evident in accepting that theory. And as a matter of fact, I reject it. Maybe this is what causes misunderstanding".

      Probably. Sadly I have no more time to dedicate here to explain why the Renfrew hypothesis just doesn't work at all. See above: Thessalian Neolithic never crossed the Bug river.

      Delete
    4. Well, that's why I don't follow Renfrew's theory. My own approach is that PIE started to break up in at least three groups before Neolithic: an Anatolian branch, a Western branch and an Eastern branch.
      Only the Western branch spread thanks to Neolithic. The Eastern branch expanded only later when nomadism became possible.
      Basically that's what I've come to think.
      Incidentally, the different branches do not have the same words for Neolithic realia.

      Delete
    5. Does your Eastern branch include Indo-Iranian? Because otherwise it would be pretty much useless.

      And if it does, why don't we see anything IE-like in the Fertile Crescent (before the Hittites)?, not even a half-decent sprachbund with Sumerian, Elamite and such. Why don't we see anything Iranian-like? Why PIE was clearly in sprachbund with Uralic early on and Indo-Aryan with Ugrian?

      Also how could IE survive then the Kurgan expansions, which in your theory would represent another language and that often are associated with important destruction and radical cultural change? If you think that IE was Neolithic, how do you fit the massive and game-changing Kurgan phenomenon in the picture and the fact that early Neolithic peoples of Central Europe, among other places, only provide a small fraction of modern ancestry (unlike what happens with Basques)?

      The Neolithic theories of IE are a sieve with many and very big holes.

      Delete
    6. yes, the Eastern branch includes Indo-Iranian, plus Greek, Armenian and Balto-Slavic.
      No, the Kurgan expansion represents the expansion of the Eastern Branch.
      I've been claiming for some years that Hurrian and Urartian are actually IE languages.
      As far as genomics is concerned, people shifted gradually shifted to the new Neolithic way of life and adopted the intruding languages, so people were not replaced, they changed their way of life.

      Delete
    7. you wrote: And if it does, why don't we see anything IE-like in the Fertile Crescent (before the Hittites)?, not even a half-decent sprachbund with Sumerian, Elamite and such.
      ***
      Sumerian actually contains a lot of IE looking words, a clear one is S^E = se-ed < *seH1, gu4 = *gwow, etc

      Delete
    8. The mainline European Neolithic never reached Eastern Europe, certainly not beyond the Bug or Dniepr. Eastern Europeans hunter-gatherers joined the Neolithic stage gradually only (Dniepr-Don and other smaller cultures) on their own and not, as the rest of Europe, because there was any advancing wave of people from Thessaly (not Anatolia, actually some of their roots seem Palestinian in fact, judging from the amount of African genetics carried).

      This is the most outrageous error of Renfrew and one that you repeat, in spite of denying him.

      As far as genomics is concerned, as well as archaeology, people did not shift gradually except in Eastern Europe. Everywhere else there was a clear major impact of the Neolithic wave. I've come to accept it, even if I once thought otherwise, because the evidence is massive, you can too.

      Instead of arguing so much linguistics, read some paleogenetics in this blog or elsewhere, please.

      Delete
    9. The mainline European Neolithic never reached Eastern Europe, certainly not beyond the Bug or Dniepr. Eastern Europeans hunter-gatherers joined the Neolithic stage gradually only (Dniepr-Don and other smaller cultures) on their own and not, as the rest of Europe, because there was any advancing wave of people from Thessaly (not Anatolia, actually some of their roots seem Palestinian in fact, judging from the amount of African genetics carried).
      ***
      so what? I agree that PIE split before Neolithic.
      A.

      This is the most outrageous error of Renfrew and one that you repeat, in spite of denying him.
      ***
      No, because i consider PIE split before Neolithic. So my own approach is not the same as Renfrew. A.

      As far as genomics is concerned, as well as archaeology, people did not shift gradually except in Eastern Europe. Everywhere else there was a clear major impact of the Neolithic wave. I've come to accept it, even if I once thought otherwise, because the evidence is massive, you can too.

      Instead of arguing so much linguistics, read some paleogenetics in this blog or elsewhere, please.
      ***
      It seems to me that you're the one who rose all these issues, not me.

      Delete
  21. you wrote: "The first contacts probably were with Phoenicians".
    No. El Argar B (since c. 1500 BCE) clearly displays imported Greek burial custom in pithoi (on the other hand Iberian burial custom in tholoi was exported to Greece in that same period and also somehow -missionaries?, refugees?- dolmenic burial customs, still present in Iberia as well, made it beyond Greece then to West Asia and the Red Sea, and later to India and as far as Korea). There's also evidence of trade with the Eastern Mediterranean and although this pre-dates Mycenaean Greeks, it is quite apparent that these hijacked the routes after their conquest of Crete and later also Cyprus, becoming therefore masters of tin (as well as surely other valuable metals as well). This explains their "Sea Peoples" arrogant rampage against everything around: from Troy to the Levant and even, it seems, Egypt. Yes: the Sea Peoples were in essence the Greeks.

    Phoenicians only accessed this route after the collapse of Mycenaean Greece (Dorian invasions, Dark Age). According to their own accounts they quickly founded Gadir and Carthage c. 1100 BCE, although archaeology only confirms so far c. 900 BCE. They also claimed to have destroyed Tartessos, which seemingly had taken over the southern Iberian hegemony after the collapse of El Argar and Zambujal, but had a mind of its own.
    ***
    This does not make much sense. The Greeks, the IE branch called Greek, was hardly established in Greece in -1500, so it makes no sense to claim the Greeks can be located in Spain before they actually conquered Greece itself.
    And Sea people are certainly not "Greeks", unless you change the ordinary meaning of that word. Besides none of the sea people's name looks IE in the first place. It's possible sea peoples were a bunch of south-western Anatolian tribes, but in all cases, not Greeks.
    Phoenicians were first, and Greeks, I mean the real IE Greeks, only came later.
    A.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, they were established since c. 2000 BCE, judging on archaeological evidence. By 1425 or so they have already conquered Crete (linear B). It's true that they developed fast their first civilization and navigation skills but I guess that's probably because they co-opted much of their "Pelasgian" (or otherwise pre-IE) substrate.

      Alternatively you can think of Minoan influence but this civilization was actually being conquered by the Greeks at this date, so Greek influence is much more likely. The pithos is in any case used for burial both in both Mycenaean Greece and Crete in the Middle Helladic (c. 2100-1500), so it's clearly a Helladic borrowing by El Argar just because of the dates.

      "And Sea people are certainly not "Greeks", unless you change the ordinary meaning of that word".

      I have discussed the matter several times in the past with very much knowledgeable people and there seems to be certain serious consensus that the core of the Sea Peoples were Greeks, although Lycians for example were also in the pack and there may have been some others. The Philistines (Peleset) for instance were clearly Greeks stemming from their recent conquest of Crete (possibly Peleset is derived from Pelasgian). It was like a Viking Age of sorts for them.

      Greeks clearly destroyed Troy (as proclaimed by their national epic c. 1200 BCE), about that same time Ugarit was also destroyed and, relatedly, Mycenaeans settle or at least heavily influence (absorb culturally) Cyprus (pottery, architecture) and is also by that date that the Egyptians fight the Sea Peoples, including the Peleset. So around 1200 aggressive coalitions of Viking-like raiders which we can identify as organized around the Greeks plundered the Eastern Mediterranean. Even the Heaklean works place him here and there, although not in the Near East.

      It's possible that, as indicated in legends, they were also aggressively intervening in Iberia, even if it was a bit farther removed. It had lots of precious metals to take home as loot and the strategic complexities of the Route of Tin may have pushed them to intervene. It's indeed a pity that they did not write more back then.

      "It's possible sea peoples were a bunch of south-western Anatolian tribes"...

      Anatolians were by that time essentially Indoeuropean as well. The Hittite expansion had made everyone Luwian or something related. Lycians were almost certainly involved in the Sea Peoples' phenomenon but they were also IE.

      "Phoenicians were first"...

      Nope. Phoenicians only exploited the moment of weakness of Greece and replaced them in their down, probably with key Cypriot expert help. However, unlike Mycenaean Greeks, they did establish colonies and were the first who did so (at least that we can document).

      It should be very intriguing to anyone that, as soon as Greeks were down, Phoenicians rushed to found their very first colony, Gadir (or maybe second after Carthage) on the opposite side of the Mediterranean. They obviously knew what they were doing, what kind of riches they could get and where to find them. That's because they had precursors (possibly Cypriots and Minoans but certainly Greeks).

      Delete
    2. you wrote: ""And Sea people are certainly not "Greeks", unless you change the ordinary meaning of that word".
      I have discussed the matter several times in the past with very much knowledgeable people and there seems to be certain serious consensus that the core of the Sea Peoples were Greeks, although Lycians for example were also in the pack and there may have been some others. The Philistines (Peleset) for instance were clearly Greeks stemming from their recent conquest of Crete (possibly Peleset is derived from Pelasgian).
      ***
      this is basically bullshit.
      Peleset is only a very bad translitteration of what Egyptians actually wrote on their stelas. What is written is something that sounded like p-u-r-s-a-tch
      Once this reading is corrected, the whole pelasgian-philistine BS crumbles.
      These people are not "very knowledgeable", by my standard they are clowns.

      Delete
    3. Most people seem to think it is Peleset and has to do with Philistines and Greeks. Whatever the case the Philistine/Peleset (or whatever their name) are just a piece of the Sea Peoples naval military feats, which are all concentrated around 1200 BCE in the Eastern Mediterranean arch, from Troy to Palestine, and look very much Greek-centered.

      Delete
  22. @Trying to be: I'm not going to reply to you because it's absolutely impossible to ponder eight different comments in a row, most of them one-liners. It's bad manners and makes even moderating a very difficult task, never mind discussing them.

    I request from you in the future to be more compact and try to put your ideas in one or two comments. This is total madness: with dozens of scattered comments, and not even organized in a single discussion.

    Anyhow the discussion reached an dead end long ago.

    But really, try to keep your comments to a more compact format. Writing them in advance in txt format helps sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
  23. it seems that the system was and was extended after

    5+2 S BI -> zizbi - zazpi
    5+3 S Irur -> zorze - zortzi, zorzi

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, it's highly speculative but who knows!

      For the record, Krutwig speculated in a very different way with those very same numbers, inspired by the Scottish Mason mythology, which has biblical roots. Krutwig argued that the two pillars of Solomon's Temple, Jachin and Boaz, correspond way too closely with the Basque words: "jakin" (to know) and "boz, bihotz" (heart), and that the same symbolism is found hidden in the numbers 7 and 8, which, after you remove the initial "z", become: "azpi" (below, under) and "ortzi" (the personified sky or heaven, Urtzi or Uranos), which is coherent with the earthly/celestial association these two mythological pillars have in Freemasonry, and also with the hermetic doctrine of "as above so below" (or vice versa).

      Speculative no doubt but intriguing if you are inclined to speculation without script, as was the case of Krutwig.

      Delete

Please, be reasonably respectful when making comments. I do not tolerate in particular sexism, racism nor homophobia. Personal attacks, manipulation and trolling are also very much unwelcome here.The author reserves the right to delete any abusive comment.

Preliminary comment moderation is... OFF (keep it that way, please)