Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

Long-range protolinguistics (was Re: Q (Caucasian Elf))

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg.rhiemeier@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 27, 2001, 0:56
Danny Wier <dawier@...> writes:

> Jörg Rhiemeier:
[Quendian etymologies of English words]
> Pre-IE European roots? This link might interest you: > >
Yes, I am going to mine it for PQ roots! [Veneti, Guanches, etc.]
> It would help to look at genetic data from various people of Western Europe, > especially the Basques and the Celtic peoples (including Galicians). There > are some major distinctive features, though I don't remember what. > > Concerning language affiliations, a Basque-Aquitanian family seems possible;
I think this is quite well established by now.
> that could explain who might've inhabited Europe prior to Aryan invasions > from the southeast...
Pre-IE Europe probably contained a bewildering variety of languages. [glottalic theory of PIE]
> Gamqrelidze and Ivanov's theory! (Which I agree with by the way; Armenian > and the Germanic languages are the best testaments to that. I reflected > that in my Calistan conlang.) There may be a gap in the chart; traditional > /p/ or "reformed" /p`/ is poorly attested and may not be an integral of IE > phonology.
Traditional /b/, that is.
> > In my conworld (where Quendian seems to be related to IE and > > Kartvelian), the change from glottalic to intermediate might have > > happened before IE and Quendian parted from each other, but after > > Kartvelian began going its own way. Or IE and Quendian "deglottalized" > > independently. > > I'll admit it right off; I'm pro-Nostratic. Afro-Asiatic's membership is > dubious, and its inclusion is opposed by Starostin among others. But IE and > Uralic are very close for "unrelated" languages, and we know that the > Ural-Altaic theory was in vogue for a while (and has now obviously been > resurrected due to Nostratic). Kartvelian has a strikingly similar noun > declension scheme as Indo-European (as does Uralic).
I am also quite fond of the Nostratic hypothesis; but I also think that Afro-Asiatic membership is doubtful. It is rather a sister group of Nostratic. There are several problems with including AA into Nostratic: 1. The comparisons are methodologically unsound, because for lack of a useable reconstruction of Proto-AA, what is being compared is Proto-Semitic. 2. Proto-Semitic is about the same age as Proto-IE, and Proto-AA about as old as Proto-Nostratic itself, I think. 3. There can be little doubt that Proto-AA was spoken in or near Ethiopia, quite far off the area where Proto-Nostratic might have been spoken (somewhere in the Black Sea/Caucasus/Caspian Sea area). 4. AA seems to lack the morphological features characteristic of Nostratic, such as MTS pronouns, -m accusative, etc. Regarding the noun cases of Kartvelian, there seem to be some odd shifts and reversals. How did it come that -m marks the accusative case in IE and Uralic, but the *ergative* in Kartvelian? This flip is paralleled by the fact that the object agreement markers in Kartvelian resemble the present/aorist personal endings in IE, while the object agreement markers resemble the perfect personal endings, which are by some interpreted as old stative personal endings (< older object agreement markers?). What happened in Kartvelian to turn the entire system upside-down? In my PQ, I have -m for objective case (which marks transitive objects and subjects of non-active intransitive verbs - alignment in PQ is active), subject agreement markers on -m, -t, -s, and object agreement markers on -w, -j, -0. PIE might once have had something similar, if one accepts Lehmann's idea that it also had active alignment earlier. Thus, I'd say that Quendian is more closely related to IE than to Kartvelian.
> Ural (now grouped with the small Yukaghir family of Siberia), Altaic (which > probably does include Korean and Japanese) and Dravidian (and its likely > ancestor, Elamite) seem to make up a fairly tight group of families, an East > Nostratic branch perhaps.
It seems that Uralic sits at the "hub" between IE, Altaic and Dravidian. I haven't seen any pairing of two of the latter at the exclusion of Uralic, but Uralic-IE, Uralic-Altaic and Uralic-Dravidian have all been proposed and discussed.
> (West would be IE and Kartvelian and *maybe* AA.)
Quendian would go there as well, perhaps as the "missing link" between IE and Kartvelian. At least, that is what linguists in Ill Bethisad are discussing. (BTW: In Ill Bethisad, all sorts of crackpot theories are in circulation about Quendian as well. A popular one is that the Elves came from Atlantis long ago; others try to link Quendian with Basque, Sumerian or just about anything else, even proposing that the Elves were North American Indians who somehow wound up in western Europe.)
> Sumerian's place in this is uncertain, and any relationship to Basque or > anything else (except possibly Inuit-Aleut)
Inuit-Aleut makes sense, but I won't buy Greenberg's proposal that the whole Amerind "family" is Nostratic. Etruscan, OTOH, seems to fit into Nostratic nicely. [vowel systems snipped]
> > I also came up with this system for my own version of Pictish. > > Which might be a relative of Basque. But nothing is known about the > language except the Ogham inscriptions mostly in Ireland and Britain which > only list proper names.
Yes, my own idea of Pictish is also that it is remotely related to Basque. Jörg.


Danny Wier <dawier@...>