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Kentum/satem (was: The future of Sturnan)

From:Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Date:Monday, April 29, 2002, 7:00
 --- Christopher wrote:

> Yes. (Yes.) Not yet, but there was for Sturnan once. Probably > southeastern Europe (but I'm just guessing at what I'll do for the > conculture).
Then you ought to have a look at Albanian and remnants of old Balkan languages like Thracian, Illyric etc.
> What do kentum and satem mean?
"Kentum" and "Satem" both mean "100" (in Latin and Sanskrit, both derived from PIE *khmthom. They are used to make a primary division of the Indo-European languages into two categories: satem languages and kentum languages. Originally, this division seemed to correspond with a division into north-western (kentum) and south-eastern (satem) languages. But then Tocharian was discovered, clearly a kentum language but spoken in a north-western region of China, and the whole theory had to be modified. The most widely supported theory (the so-called "gulf theory" now makes the following distinction: - the satem languages constitute the more innovative group, that is located more or less in the centre of IE territory; - the kentum languages, located at the periphery, broke off earlier from the family; they didn't take part in the innovations of the satem languages and more or less preserved the original IE phonology. The kentum languages include: the Germanic languages, the Italic/Romance languages, the Celtic languages, Greek, Hittite, and Tocharian. The satem languages include: The Indian and Iranian languages, the Slavonic languages, the Baltic languages, Albanian, and Armenian. Another group, the Paleo-Balkan languages (Illyrian, Phrygian, Messapic, Venetic, Thracian, and a few others) are almost unknown to us, except for a few inscriptions. They seem to have characteristics of both kentum and satem languages, though (if I'm informed well) usually they are rather connected with the latter. My own Hattic language (and its relatives) follows the gulf theory. It fills the empty place at the northern periphery, between Tocharian and the Germanic languages. Hoping to be of service, Jan ===== "You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." --- J. Michael Straczynski __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Everything you'll ever need on one web page from News and Sport to Email and Music Charts


BP Jonsson <bpj@...>