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Pre-IE languages in Europe

From:Tom Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Saturday, January 9, 1999, 12:44
Sam Bryant wrote:

> Andrew Smith wrote: > >For a start the Indo-Europeans would not have been able to spread so > >widely without their horse-drawn chariots. Perhaps they only survived in > >places where they had the advantage without horses (Asia minor, Greece, > >Iran) and the rest of Eurasia speaks non-IE. > Speaking of which, could anybody name any reference on the languages spoken in europe > prior to Indo-european invasions (and their associated peoples)? (IIRC, > basque is supposed to be a remnant of one; and the non-IE words in greek and > germanic might be from others.)
As far as I know, there's very little direct evidence about any of the languages that were spoken then. Some have claimed that Basque is the last remaining language spoken by the Neanderthals, or those people who painted the caves in Lascaux and Altamira. Of course, not knowing any other languages from that area, that's hard if not impossible to prove. I believe Pictish, a language spoken in what is now Scotland, is thought to be preindoeuropean, but IIRC, it died out sometime during late antiquity, with only a handful of carvings and the like as direct empirical evidence for any posited relationships with other languages. Does anyone know anything more detailed than this? ======================================= Tom Wier <twier@...> ICQ#: 4315704 AIM: Deuterotom Website: <> "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero." "Only the educated are free." - Epictetus =======================================