Re: European isolates
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, January 15, 2005, 18:38|
On Saturday, January 15, 2005, at 06:14 , Thomas R. Wier wrote:
> Ray Brown:
>> Aw - does it have to be even remotely a cousin of IE? Why must
>> Basque & Etruscan remain the only European isolates?
> Actually, I think it's generally accepted that the pre-Latin
> languages of Spain were non-IE, and probably not Afroasiatic
> or related to Basque either.
Yes - I realize that Basque & Etruscan are strictly not the only European
'isolate' - I wasn't being entirely serious :)
Also, of course, both Basque and Etruscan must have had cognates. We
simply do not know what they were - tho an inscription found on the island
of Lemnos/ Limnos appears related to Etruscan; see:
Yes, the pre-Latin, pre-Greek and pre-Phoenician language of Spain hasno
appearance of being IE nor has it any obvious resemblances to Basque. I
think some still postulate an Afroasiatic origin, but there is no tangible
> Depending on whether we count
> Asiatic Russia as European (given the arbitrariness of the
> continental divide),
The Ural mountains are the boundary :)
> we might also include Gilyak, spoken in the Russian Far East.
An Asian isolate - and I suspect there are several other examples of Asian
But to return to Europe, some hold that Pictish was non-IE. The still
undeciphered 'Minoan' (the language of Linear A) shows no obvious
relationship to IE, Semitic, Etruscan or other known language; and there
are non-IE languages, attested in writing, on Cyprus and Crete, known as
Eteocypriot and Eteocretan respectively. For Eteocretan, see:
Yes, I know all sorts of people have claimed to have deciphered Linear A,
Eteocypriot, Eteocretan and even the Phaistos Disk - but, alas, none so
far are really credible.
"If /ni/ can change into /A/, then practically anything
can change into anything"
Yuen Ren Chao, 'Language and Symbolic Systems"