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Re: Interesting pre-Greek article

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Thursday, September 22, 2005, 17:09

R A Brown wrote:

> Jörg Rhiemeier wrote: > > Hallo! > > > > [...] > > > > Yes. I used to think of Etruscan as a language distantly related > > to Indo-European as well, but after reading _The Etruscan Language_ > > by G. & L. Bonfante I abandoned that view. There are NO lexical > > cognates, nor does the morphology resemble Indo-European in any > > meaningful way. The languages are utterly different. > > Exactly! I have no doubt at all that Etruscan is non-IE.
Yes. It is clearly NOT Indo-European, not even an "aberrant" member or an "early divergent" one. IIRC, Bomhard treats it as such in his book on Nostratic. This doesn't mean that Etruscan is not Nostratic, but if it is, its membership has to be established independently.
> > And Glen Gordon's "Indo-Tyrrhenian" as he peddles it in the > > Cybalist and Nostratic-L mailing list is misguided. > > Yep. > > > He seems to have built it around a single "cognate set", namely > > PIE *kWetWor- `4': Etr. _huth_ - but the latter probably meant > > `6', not `4', > > IMO it did mean 6. The argument for _huth_ = 4 is very weak.
Yes. It hinges on a place name, _Yttaria_ for a town that is named _Tetrapolis_ in Greek. There are three unproven assumptions in this: 1. Both names mean the same. (There are plenty of cases of names of the same place in different languages meaning entirely different things.) 2. _Yttaria_ is from a language related to Etruscan. (How do we know?) 3. _Yttaria_ contains a morpheme *yt(t)- that is cognate to _huth_. (Again, how do we know?) On the other hand, we have that pair of dice, which together with some other facts almost necessitate the conclusion that _huth_ means `6'.
> >and you can give a set of "sound changes" for *any* > > single pair of words. One cognate is no cognate. > > You can - and when you remember that Y.R. Chao showed how /ni/ --> /A/ > is one of the Chinese 'dialects', almost any sound change can be > demonstrated for a single word. I agree, one cognate is NO cognate.
Exactly. It's trivially easy to construct "sound laws" that connect Greek _theos_ with Latin _deus_. Of course, thousands of other words then just won't play ball. And if /ni/ can go to /A/ ...
> [snip] > > > The term "Pre-Indo-European" is ambiguous. Some authors use it for > > an ancestor of Proto-Indo-European reconstructed internally; > > That would seem to me a very tentative language. But what was before > ProtoIE was not, by definition, IE :-)
Yes. It might be "Indo-Uralic", "Eurasiatic", "Nostratic", or whatever, but not Indo-European.
> Before ProtoGreek one had various IE dialects spoken by settlers, > traders or whatever around and in parts of the Aegean, and non-IE > language(s) in most of the Aegean area. It was from the meeting of these > languages that Greek developed in the Aegean area; ProtoGreek means "the > first form of a language we can start to call Greek (as distinct from > other forms of IE)".
> Similarly, how are we to know the different strands or threads which > came together to give rise to the ProtoIE dialects in the first place? > > >however, > > the more common usage is to refer to the linguistic landscape of > > Europe or some other area that existed before the spread of Indo- > > European. > > Logical - tho I just use the term pre-IE. > > >Similar problems with "pre-Greek". > > Unfortunately so :=(
Greetings, Jörg.


R A Brown <ray@...>Etruscan numerals (was: Interesting pre-Greek article)