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Linguistic musings: Basque and Proto-Indoeuropean

18 Jan
I’m going through the Swadesh lists for the Western and South Eurasian languages, in order to see if a shared origin (what makes sense from the viewpoint of Prehistory) can be supported with linguistic data of some sort.
By the moment I have gone through the Basque and Proto-Indoeuropean Swadesh lists (with some small sections taken off because they only seem to generate confusion, at least to me). And I notice that  there are at least some rather clear cognates between Basque and PIE:
I compared 111 words, of which 20 look rather likely cognates and some other 13 or 14 are possible remote cognates. That makes c. 30% of possible cognates, what is surely well above my expectations (I had spotted some likely cognates earlier but did not expect so many).
The clear cognates are (eu-PIE):
(2) zu – *túh [you – sing.]
(4) gu – *wéy [we]
(5) zu(ek) – *yū [you – pl.] [notice that 2 and 5 are messed up in both Basque and IE]
(24) hiru – *tréyes (??) [three]
(49) suge – *h₂engwi [snake]
(65) hezur – *h₃ost-, *kost- [bone]
(76) aho – *h₁oh₁s- [mouth]
(77) hortz – *h₃dónts [tooth]
(86) heste – *eh₁ter- [gut]
(103) jaki(-n) – *ǵneh₃-[to know]
(149) izar – *h₂stḗr [star]
(168) hauts – *h₃és-no-, *h₃és-i- [ash]
(170) bide – *pent- [way, road]
(178) egu, egun – *h₂eǵh- [day]
(180) bero – *gʷʰer- [warm]
(184) zahar – *senh₁ó- [old]
(202) -n – (h₁?)en [in, on]
(207) izen – *h₁nḗh₃mn̥ [name]
Add to these at least the verb to be (not in the list): iza(-n) – *es(t)-
And add also two special cases from the list, yet quite clear:
(92) edan (to drink) – (93) *h₁ed- (to eat)
The change of meaning is quite acceptable, specially if we imagine the common ancestor to mean “to ingest” without liquid or solid connotations.
The other case is PIE (171) *gʷerh₃- (mountain), which I am almost persuaded it has something to do with Basque gora (up, upwards), which has a clear Basque etymology (goi-ra). It may be a coincidence or a strange case of lending but this has been haunting me for more than 20 years now since I learned some Serbocroat words, including gora (mountain) and gore (up, upwards). And now comes back in form of PIE reconstruction.
The less clear, potential, cognates would be as follow:
(28) luze – *dluh₂gʰós [long]. This I have generally suspected as a loanword from some IE language to Basque, but the main reason for this suspicion is that it begins like the usual IE words for long (long, largo, etc.) with an L-. There’s nothing else, however the connection seems more real when you go to PIE.
(33) labur, motz – *mreǵʰú- [short]
(50) har – *wrmi [worm]
(57) erro – *wréh₂ds [root]
(62) azal – *pel- [skin]
(68) adar – *keg-, *ḱer- [horn]
(71) ile – *pulh₂- [hair] [this one seems to be related to 62, maybe *Vl(e) meant once skin and hair alike (or as conceptually highly related words) – we can still discern an open vowel (a/e) in 62 and a closed one (i/u) in 71]
(72) buru – *gʰebʰelo- [head] [where *gʰeb- corresponds with the other proposed root *kaput, and -bʰelo- would correspond with Basque buru]
(78) mihi – *dn̥ǵʰwéh₂s [tongue] [probably not but still I do see some similitude]
(104) gogo(tu) – *tong- [to think] [here the Basque list reads pentsatu but this is no any genuine Basque word: gogo as noun means psyche, mind, soul, desire, and gogotu means to wish but also any other mental function, however it’s been partly replaced by Spanish loan pentsatu for rationalist uses mostly]
(172) gorri – *h₁rewdʰós [red] [I have before mentioned the importance of the sound R in West Eurasia to describe the color red: it’s not universal but it’s much more common than in East Eurasia or anywhere else I could check]
(179) urte – *yeHr-, *wet- [year]. Check also (194) PIE *wed [wet]. In Basque urte is clearly related to the water (ur) cycle and watery (not wet but close enough) would be urti.
(180) lehor – *ters- [dry]
Now the disclaimer: this are nothing but a bunch of notes for my (and potentially also your) interest. No theory is proposed, no systematics is being used, it is just a free exploration.
However I was drawn to this exercise, which is just the first two rows of  many others, because I suspect that West and South Eurasian languages (excluding Uralic and Afroasiatic, which are of different origins) may share a common origing c. 50 Ka ago. Specially if both IE and Dravidian infiltrated South Asia after the Neolithic.
On the contrary I dislike quite strongly pan-north-Asian conjectural superfamilies, specially Sino-Caucasian, which makes no sense whatsoever on light of all I know about Prehistory.
In any case, something to chew on.

Update: Octavià mentions a couple of references of other (presumably more knowledgeable) people who have in the past suggested a Basque-IE connection:

Arnaud Fournet, Comparing Basque and Proto-Indo-European: a preliminary phonetic survey. He finds some of the same connections I mention here but he goes further into terrains that are too obscure for me to assess properly.

Arnaud Etchamendy has a whole site dedicated to “demonstrate” that Basque is Indoeuropean (a bit too far in my opinion but anyhow).

I must say that, against my own expectations, a preliminary survey  I made of Basque, IE, Dravidian and NE Caucasian, seems to reinforce the idea that Basque and IE are related, more than to the other considered languages. See comments section for some more details (all this is very raw and tentative admittedly).

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285 responses to “Linguistic musings: Basque and Proto-Indoeuropean

  1. Andrew Oh-Willeke

    January 18, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Notably, all of your proposed cognates are pre-agricultural and lack obvious geographical affinities. This would point to hunter-gatherer substrate influences, rather than post-Neolithic borrowing by IE. Of course, there is also the difficult task of showing that these are not borrowings by Basque from IE. If Proto-Celtic swadesh matches are closer than PIE matches, particularly on the same roots, a borrowing from Celtic rather than a common origin, would be supported.I think your 50kya common origin is absurdly distant in time. This would be the time depth from Australian aboriginal languages to the oldest known languages of Europe (e.g. Basque and NW Caucasian, Sumerian, and Coptic). Presumably, all Eurasian languages are related at a time depth of 75000-100000 years, and all European languages (except perhaps Uralic) go back 50000 years. The best case for PIE puts its genesis at the 4th to 6th millenium, presumably either as a highly diverged branch of a language somewhere in the vicinity, or as a creole of two or more languages (or more likely both) with new words for its own technological innovations related to horses, and I've never heard anyone make a case that it is older than the 10th millenium – with those theories relying on some dubious foundations. If there was a simple branching relationship to one other language fmaily, somebody would have nailed it by now. Uralic, Paleo-Siberian, Daubian Neolithicese, Elamite, Sumerian, ancient Anatolian, Pelaponese-Minoan, Basque, Etruscian and Caucasian languages, as well as Harappan, and perhaps lost hunter-gatherer languages of Europe could have been close enough in the right time frame to add to the stew. Dravidian, to the extent that it is not Harappan in origins, is too young to contribute. There is no sign that Afro-Asiatic ever made it that far in that time frame. Likewise, there is no evidence of Altaic languages that far West in that time frame.Basque is surely older than IE, and it is reasonable to assume that members of its language family were widely spoken in large swaths of Europe at some point in the pre-IE era, possibly into the Bronze Age for large swaths of territory. But, language drift even over say 18,000 years would be immense, and there are enough shifts in material cultures and population contacts with outsiders in that very long period that it is hard to provide any real solid reason to believe that it is even this old, let alone surviving across the population influxes of the LGM in any form remotely recognizable. I could easily imagine Basque being a mere 8,000 BCE or 6000 BCE era language, but recognize the considerations that argue for an older origin in Iberian fisher/coastal peoples. I could also see 12,000 BCE parallel to North Africa, as an inviting date.I think that the jury is out on how persistent the ergative language feature is. My money would be on the oldest languages in the New World generally being ergative, agglutinative, having many cases (or many grammatic "genders") with semantic content, and producing toponymns, and having more than a bare bones combined consonant/vowel/tone/click/sound rule set. I also think that more than base ten numbers are linked to urbanization independent of a base ten number area (e.g. you see it in both Sumerian and Mayan), rather than common descent.

     
  2. Octavià Alexandre

    January 18, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    I'm sorry to disapoint you, but you're the 4th or 5th people I've known to compare Basque and PIE and the results are always nasty!In fact, almost all your comparisons are wrong (Basque isn't remoptely close to PIE), except bide, which is a loanword from *pent-. And gorri is also a loanword but from *kreuH- 'blood, gore'.

     
  3. Jesús Sanchis

    January 18, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    The main problem with this rather useless comparative work is the very concept of 'cognate', which is used so loosely that it loses all possible meaning or functionality. Sentences like "there are at least some rather clear cognates between Basque and PIE" are empty of meaning.

     
  4. Maju

    January 19, 2011 at 5:22 am

    First, the professional linguists (thanks for visiting and commenting):@Octavià:"I'm sorry to disapoint you, but you're the 4th or 5th people I've known to compare Basque and PIE"…I was not aware. I have not found their work online…"… and the results are always nasty!""Nahasti borrasti" (confusing mix in Basque) maybe – sorry could not help with the trans-lingual wordplay. "In fact, almost all your comparisons are wrong (Basque isn't remoptely close to PIE)"…That's what I'm not so sure about. However it may be substrate influence into PIE and not genuine phylogenetic stuff… but I do find a 30% of potential cognates a too high mark to ignore and disregard so easily. "except bide, which is a loanword from *pent-. And gorri is also a loanword but from *kreuH- 'blood, gore'".Via what? Orcish?! Neither word exists in Latin as such nor I think they do in Celtic. Ancient Basque and PIE never had any contact AFAIK: PIE existed in Samara Valley and Basque in SW Europe, tens of thousands of km. away from each other, not contacting at all until c. 2400 BCE when both cultural areas expanded at the expense of the troublesome "Danubians".At that time PIE did not exist anymore but was already Western IE (root of Germanic, Italic, Celtic) what was contacting with Ancient Basque and Ligurian near Strasbourg and Aachen. And the curious thing is that I do see many other candidates, not to mention that I forgot to list Hartz-Arctos, already mentioned here. …@Jesús:"The main problem with this rather useless comparative work is the very concept of 'cognate', which is used so loosely that it loses all possible meaning or functionality".This criticism I may take as valid. I really meant: "possible cognate or words that sound similar and share meaning" (what implies likely cognate but obviously requires greater research to cut corners and make the whole matter consistent). I'm not going to make these possible reconstructing efforts because that is work for the professionals, not the amateurs like myself. And anyhow I am not yet anywhere near such stage of understanding. These are just preliminary notes that I throw into shared human consciousness for whatever they are worth. Feel free to use or discard.

     
  5. Maju

    January 19, 2011 at 6:02 am

    @Andrew:"Notably, all of your proposed cognates are pre-agricultural and lack obvious geographical affinities. This would point to hunter-gatherer substrate influences, rather than post-Neolithic borrowing by IE".Absolutely. I hate to say this but you make better sense here than the linguists-with-a-pet-theory posting after you. Why? Because of open-mindness. Which is exactly what brought me to make this effort first of all. I'm beginning to get bored of seeing plausible Basque-IE (often PIE but not Western IE) cognates and just ignoring them as "loanwords" (how?) or "coincidences" (too many). "If Proto-Celtic swadesh matches are closer than PIE matches, particularly on the same roots, a borrowing from Celtic rather than a common origin, would be supported".Absolutely as well. Actually one of the reasons was that I did take some time weeks ago (where did I put my notes?) comparing Basque and Celtic Swadesh lists. I only reached up to 100 before leaving the task but I do have such control (more later). "I think your 50kya common origin is absurdly distant in time".Yes but it's the actual oldest possible age for all West Eurasian languages' origins. In the IE/Basque case a Gravettian link is possible (c. 22-28 Ka) but this also applies to the NE Caucasian/Basque case, which may or not be related (NEC and PIE are from the same are, Basque is not). "This would be the time depth from Australian aboriginal languages"…Actually I'd say Australian colonization and languages is a bit older (60-70 Ka) but yeah. Alternatively Vascoid languages could have arrived to the West in the Neolithic. This is something I do not know yet. "… the oldest known languages of Europe (e.g. Basque and NW Caucasian, Sumerian, and Coptic)"…Coptic is Afroasiatic, hence African by origin. My list of likely genuinely West Eurasian (not just European) is: Vascoid (Basque, Iberian, Ligurian), Tyrsenian (Etruscan, Lemnian), Hattic and its likely relative NW Caucasian, NE Caucasian and its likely relatives: Hurro-Urartean and Sumerian and Kartvelian (mysterious and isolated). Add Indoeuropean and Dravidian (and it's possible relative Elamite) but these have clear South Asian connections and maybe even ultimate origins. Afroasiatic and Uralic are not genuinely West Eurasian but "recent" (Epipaleolithic and Neolithic) arrivals from the Nile Basin and Siberia respectively, as far as I can tell. "Presumably, all Eurasian languages are related at a time depth of 75000-100000 years, and all European languages (except perhaps Uralic) go back 50000 years".I'd agree with that very roughly, yes. I think that it's more likely to find connections between languages existing in the same region (West Eurasia) for some 50 Ka. than between Basque and Mandarin, sincerely. So if Bengtson can go all around claiming that Chinese and Basque are related (I am still trying to practice that theory with the Cantonese owners of the shop in front of my home… to no avail – they have learned to say "agur" but that's all), I do not see why I cannot explore a more reasonable hypothesis. …

     
  6. Maju

    January 19, 2011 at 6:03 am

    …"The best case for PIE puts its genesis at the 4th to 6th millenium"…Absolutely. Samara valley – archaeology strongly supports that. "presumably either as a highly diverged branch of a language somewhere in the vicinity, or as a creole of two or more languages (or more likely both)"…A creole would be an interesting idea. I can imagine that at such a crossroads (between the various Caucasian families, then surely spoken also in Ukraine and the Don basin), the Uralic peoples of the North and the mysterious Botai people by the east, it must have shared a lot. However as the archaeology of the are is ill-known before c. 5500 BCE, we cannot analyze the matter on material grounds further (pity). "Dravidian, to the extent that it is not Harappan in origins"…I think that Dravidian is "Harappan" (IVC) in origins. Otherwise it's hard to explain how some Balochi speak IE (Baloch) and others speak Dravidian (Brahui), while having exactly the same genetics. It does not look like the Brahui arrived from anywhere else but that they are Balochi who never got indoeuropeanized. This makes a good case for Dravidian being a "Neolithic" language. "Basque is surely older than IE"…All languages are exactly the same age, as they all evolve from something spoken earlier up to the first uttered words ever. But if you mean that Vascoid was extended by parts of Europe long before IE expanded, then I must agree. "I think that the jury is out on how persistent the ergative language feature is".It could well be a recent evolution. We have no evidence for ergative in Basque prior to early Modernity. On the other hand we have only scant evidence on Basque before that, no full texts or anything like that before the Huguenot Bible. "I also think that more than base ten numbers are linked to urbanization independent of a base ten number area (e.g. you see it in both Sumerian and Mayan), rather than common descent".To mathematics and astronomy rather than urbanization. I'm sure that the builders of Stonehenge must have used advanced numeral sciences, yet not a single city is known to have existed in all the islands until the Romans. The issue is: how old is astronomy. Magdalenian evidence certainly supports at least some astronomy back then (solstice/equinox aligned caves, almost all that have any art, moon count calendars, etc.)In any case for safety only numbers 1-5 should be compared (though I'd dare say that 10, 20 and 100 can be informative too in many cases, for example Basque hogei – Breton ugain, 20).

     
  7. Maju

    January 19, 2011 at 7:48 am

    As for Celtic, I'm rescuing for this my notes which reach up to number 95, where I got really tired and dropped the matter. Somewhat coincidental with the previous list are only: – 2 and 5 (the "thou/you" stuff)- 24 (only with Brythonic, which is closer to the Basque form: *kiru)- 50 PC *k(w)irmi – PB *kar [this one could be directly related to har, specially as har should be originally *kar in Basque too]- 65 *askurno (Bryt., but notice the similitude with horn/cornus)- 68 adarc (Gael.) – 71 PIE *puhl > *wolto > blev, blew (Bryt.) [not really closer to Basque ile]- [76 *as (but only "Proto-Celtic", not really spoken anywhere – disergard as artificial linguistic construct)]- 92 evañ, evet, eva (Gael. with the "to drink" meaning, interesting because it implies it changed meaning in Celtic too in the Basque direction).That's all for the first 95 words: 4, 28, 33, 49, 57, 62, 72, 76, 78 and 86 look like not mediated by Celtic in any case: 10/19. Additionally there are words in Celtic that look Vascoid-related but not via PIE:- 1 and 4 (the I/we thing but different from PIE *wey)- 7 and 9 (the this/here thing, very Vascoid)- 10 there- 32 PBryt. *ziki – Basque txiki (<*ziki)- 37 Bryt gwas, gwaz – Basque gizon- 38 Bryt den, dyn – Bas. dena- 39. ume – bugei (Breton)- 55. hasi – had, hasenn, had (Bryt)- 63. ? okel – kig, cig, kua (Bryt. *kika)- 74. begi – lagad, lagas, llygad (Bryt.)- 75. sudur – *srogna (Gael.)- 84. hego – askell/asgell (Bryt.)- 85. sabel – *bolgo (specially Gael.)- 94. ? koska egin – krogiñ (PC *kna-yo-)So there are like 14 extra words in this limited sample that are related between Vascoid and Celtic (either subfamily but specially Brythonic) but not with PIE. So it's very balanced in favor of some intense contact Vascoid-Celtic but not necessarily in the Celtic>Basque direction, actually many words seem to have taken the opposite one (substrate probably). There are also a large number of words that only seem to relate at the Basque-PIE level and never at the Celtic one.

     
  8. Maju

    January 19, 2011 at 8:05 am

    As appendix, some English/proto-Germanic words which look Vascoid but not via Celtic nor PIE:- 'blood' (<PG *blodam), compare with Basque 'odol'- ear (confusingly claimed <PG *auzo but this is only true for Gothic, all North and West Germanic are in the "ear" line), compare with Basque 'belarri'- belly (<PG *baelg) compare with Basque 'sabel' (this one also relates to some Celtic words: *bolgo but not to PIE *uderos).

     
  9. manju

    January 19, 2011 at 8:24 am

    If I understand correctly PIE is constructed from multiple IE languages but Proto-Basque is constructed from a single language. Considering the sound changes of all branches and making extrapolation PIE could be imagined as 4000-5000 years old. However, with only one branch, I would say constructed proto-Basque could not more than 1500-2000 years old. With this argument I would say comparison is not possible.

     
  10. Maju

    January 19, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Yes. I seldom use "proto-Basque" for that reason, except where I need to indicate a reconstructed/proposed sound change such as k->h. Octavià above uses Proto-North-Caucasian (PNC) instead as if it was "proto-Basque" but Basque itself is not even considered in the proto-language reconstruction and the existence of a single North Caucasian family is highly controversial, notwithstanding the also controversial or at least unclear relation with Basque. So, while I do think that NE Caucasian probably has some remote relation with Basque, I cannot follow his model for lack of Basque-NWC-NEC comparison in the reconstructed proto-language. It's like making a PIE out of Greek and Latin alone, ignoring Sanskrit, Germanic and Tocharian, you know. "However, with only one branch, I would say constructed proto-Basque could not more than 1500-2000 years old. With this argument I would say comparison is not possible".We cannot provide a date for Basque because we lack of a second language to compare and establish a bifurcation point. Languages do not appear suddenly out of nowhere but evolve more or less gradually or abruptly from previous versions, so, if Basque-2.0 is only 2000 years, there was a Basque-1.9 3000 years ago, a Basque-1.8 4000 years ago and so on until the origin of language. While it's true that the comparison is not strictly parallel, as we are not doing glottochronology but just identification of sound-and-meaning affinity, it is totally valid. Alternatively you can compare with each of the IE living languages but that's a lot of effort and should surely provide not better results except for those languages in contact with Basque (Western IE essentially: Germanic, Celtic and Italic).

     
  11. Octavià Alexandre

    January 19, 2011 at 11:57 am

    "I'm sorry to disapoint you, but you're the 4th or 5th people I've known to compare Basque and PIE"…I was not aware. I have not found their work online…I could give you some references if you wish…"except bide, which is a loanword from *pent-. And gorri is also a loanword but from *kreuH- 'blood, gore'".Via what? Orcish?! Neither word exists in Latin as such nor I think they do in Celtic.You apparently forgot other poorly attested IE languages such as Italoid (aka Sorotaptic).I seldom use "proto-Basque" for that reason, except where I need to indicate a reconstructed/proposed sound change such as k->h.But you can't simply ignore the research made by Mitxelena and others.Octavià above uses Proto-North-Caucasian (PNC) instead as if it was "proto-Basque" Not so. What I do is to compare (Proto-)Basque with Starostin's PNC.but Basque itself is not even considered in the proto-language reconstruction and the existence of a single North Caucasian family is highly controversial,Surely many people thinks so because of the time-depth and issues involved the comparison.notwithstanding the also controversial or at least unclear relation with Basque. So, while I do think that NE Caucasian probably has some remote relation with Basque, I cannot follow his model for lack of Basque-NWC-NEC comparison in the reconstructed proto-language.Vasco-Caucasian is much older than PIE. But there're a number of reasons which make Starostin's PNC an older entity than commonly thought and thus closer to the actual (unreconstructed) Proto-Vasco-Caucasian. Don't forget also Burushaski is also included in this macro-family.IMHO, the first farmers of the Near East spoke Vasco-Caucasian languages. According to the genetic research made by Cavalli-Sforza and others, these Neolithic farmers emigrated to Europe bringing with them new species, techniques and also their own languages, from which Basque descends. Also PIE has many Vasco-Caucasian cultural loanwords relative from the Neolithic, which PIE speakers opicked up from their neighbouring farmers.Sumerian also looks like Vasco-Caucasian, and I've also detected a VC substrate in Semitic.

     
  12. Maju

    January 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    "I could give you some references if you wish…"Please do."You apparently forgot other poorly attested IE languages such as Italoid (aka Sorotaptic)".Very poorly attested as far as I can see, again no easy to find online references – looks worse than Pictish. I first thought you might mean Italic languages such as Sabine or Umbrian but seems you might be thinking in something like Lusitanian. In any case, it's lack of evidence rather than evidence, a most speculative matter unless it can be demonstrated (extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence). "But you can't simply ignore the research made by Mitxelena and others".I can because I am an ignorant amateur (you will excuse me for that, I hope). But mostly because all I've read is not too solid – after all there's too little to reconstruct a proto-Basque other than spoken Basque (several dialects but all too similar), toponimy and a handful of Roman era anthroponyms and theonyms. For example I find the claim that ancient Basque lacked the sound M totally incredible. Iberian (excepting NE Iberian) may have lacked it but I see no reason to extend this logic to Basque: how did you say "mendi"? "bendi"? "ama" was "aba"?, "eme" was "ebe"? "eman" (to give) was "eban" (to slice, cut). And then why words like ibai have not become imai, ibili has not become imili, etc? On the other hand the lack of P, F, etc. is way too obvious and the K>H shift has been argued to me in rather convincing form, though, as I have said on occasion, it may have been a K<>H irregular flow rather than unidirectional shift. Whatever the case, we can discard authority if we think they were wrong. Kepler would have never discovered anything if he had remained stuck to Platonian geometry. Sometimes is best to throw all you think you know to the trash bin and start all over. "Not so. What I do is to compare (Proto-)Basque with Starostin's PNC".In previous conversations with you I understood that you argued once and again that Basque and all Vascoid languages (Iberian, etc.) were just derived forms of PNC which arrived to Western Europe in the Neolithic, emphasizing that there was no need to reconstruct a proto-Vasco-Caucasian because PNC was old and diverse enough. However I may have got you wrong, my apologies if so. "Surely many people thinks so because of the time-depth and issues involved the comparison".AFAIK the problem of North Caucasian is specially that of NW Caucasian phonetic, which is simply too strange to allow linguists to work properly, right? Additionally, a the language family has been pushed to near extinction, the reconstruction seems complex. In any case, my few excursions into NWC I found nothing that looked like NEC. However I did find NEC-Sumerian and NEC-Basque connections, even if weak. I'd say that something with such a strange phonetics as NWC is not likely to be a relative of Basque, whose phonetics are quite "clean" (five vowels and so on). But this is not a conclusive argument admittedly. …

     
  13. Maju

    January 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    …"Don't forget also Burushaski is also included in this macro-family".Hypothetical super-family. For me the big question is: can you demonstrate that Burushaski or Chinese or whatever is related to Basque? So far I have seen nothing of that. Only with NEC. Because you know "burusaski" in Basque means "head-basket" but in Burushaski it means nothing like that, so on first sight they are not related. Then a quick useful tool is comparing the first numerals, for which this site is a great tool, and we have:Basque: bat bi hiru lau bostHunza hik altó iskí wálti shindí Yasin hek altó iskí wálte cendíNo relation at all, at least I can't see it. I can relate hek with Armenian mek or Balochi/Iranic yak, Sanskrit eka, etc. Or even some Dravidian words like okati. Alto? Sure with "alter ego", sounds IE again but not Basque (bi, beste for other). Iskí? Not closer to hiru than treyes certainly, etc. I have not explored yet further but so far the numbers' test is horribly negative. We can try with Chinese or NWC, I have failed to find any connection yet however. "IMHO, the first farmers of the Near East spoke Vasco-Caucasian languages".IMNSHO there were at least three groups: Anatolian, Zagros and Levantine. The Zagros one would be derived from East European Gravettian, via the Caucasus (Zarzian culture), so these may have indeed spoke NEC and also be at the origin of Hurro-Urartean and Sumerian. As for the Anatolian and Levantine groups things are not so clear, specially as we have the PPNB flows and then also the Black-Grey pottery invasions, etc. There may have been a number of languages and at least one of them (PPNA probably) was Afroasiatic, eventually leading to Semitic (CAPC). As for the rest I'd explore the possibility of Tyrsenian (Pelasgian) and Hattic/NWC being related. I'd also try to find out where does Kartvelian belong to in all this mess. But I do not think that the Anatolian group is closely related to NEC/Eastern Gravettian, though at some point all West Eurasian languages are related. …

     
  14. Maju

    January 19, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    …"According to the genetic research made by Cavalli-Sforza and others, these Neolithic farmers emigrated to Europe bringing with them new species, techniques and also their own languages, from which Basque descends".That's a misunderstanding (sometimes bordering religious fanaticism) I and others are trying to correct and or relativize to its own proper size. The apportion of "Neolithic" lineages among modern Basques is trivial (5% or so) and even in more impacted areas like Valencia, it's not more than 20-30%. Modern research once and again confirms this low importance of Neolithic flows, which is confirmed AFAIK by archaeology in the Mediterranean case, with most Cardium Pottery sites being continuous with Epipaleolithic in culture and technology. However languages may have caused a greater impact than genes and material culture. I am open to that possibility. Yet I find most strange that of all three West Asian Neolithic groups, the only one where a connection is clear is the most distant one: the Zagros group with its Sumer and NE Caucasus connection. This is not probably a Neolithic flow westwards but a Paleolithic flow westwards and eastwards from Central Europe surely."Also PIE has many Vasco-Caucasian cultural loanwords relative from the Neolithic, which PIE speakers opicked up from their neighbouring farmers".This I think may be plausible. But even if it's sprachbund and not phylogenetic connection, it's something it cannot be ignored. However, as Andrew underlined, the words involved do not look neolithic stuff but older or at least random stuff. "Sumerian also looks like Vasco-Caucasian, and I've also detected a VC substrate in Semitic".That's interesting. Semitic after all coalesced in contact with (likely) NW and NE Caucasian languages like Sumerian, Hurrian and Hattic. I can imagine a sprachbund between these three areas in Neolithic (not necessarily substrate: it can be just contact influence). It is important to understand that there was not one single "ur-Neolithic people" but at least three, one of which (Zagros) is particularly connected to East Europe, another (Palestine) probably influenced by Egypt (Afroasiatic) and finally one in Anatolia, with various diffuse connections. There could have been even more.

     
  15. Maju

    January 19, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Btw, Octavià, check Dravidian because the two alleged borrowings from IE into Basque you argued for, are also clearly congnate in Dravidian (Telugu):170 – road – (eu) bide – (PIE) *pent- (tel) bATa172 – red – (eu) gorri – (PIE) *h₁rewdʰós – (tel) erra And in this last one notice the similitude with Basque erre (to burn) and Tamil eri (to burn). And this is, it seems only, the tip of the iceberg. I'll get back to Dravidian because it is a very interesting third language, which seems to have iportant connections in vocabulary with both PIE and Basque (and sometimes with both at the same time). Btw, does any of you philologers have a decent Swadesh list for proto-NW- and proto-NE-Caucasian (as separate families I prefer). It's very complicated to work with so many different languages and incomplete word lists.

     
  16. Maju

    January 19, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    And the last "update" before my batteries go dry is that:(Method): I compared Basque (eu), PIE, Archi (a NEC language from Daghestan) and Telugu (a major Dravidian language). While Basque and Telugu lists had all words, PIE and Archi did not, so in the end I could only compare across all four families with 39 words for which all them had representatives in the Swadesh lists. The results suggest a quite stronger connection between PIE and Basque than the others, NEC is connected with all other three at middle levels and Dravidian is the more weakly connected. (Results): Total of 39 words located in all four lists. Non-additive relations:9 – EU-IE6 – NEC-DR4 – all four4 – EU-IE-NEC4 – IE-NEC3 – EU-DR3 – IE-DR2 – EU-NEC-DR2 – EU-NEC1 – EU-IE-DR1 – IE-NEC-DRAdditive bilateral relations (except "all four")14 – EU-IE9 – IE-NEC8 – NEC-DR8 – EU-NEC6 – EU-DR5 – IE-DRSo, if a phylogeny would be constructed based on such limited comparison, the result would be that:1. Dravidian would be the first one to break apart (T=2)2. NEC would be the second one (though maybe kept some stronger sprachbund after the separation with all others, specially with proto-Dravidian) (T=1.5)3. The last division appears to be PIE-Basque at T=1. Of course a lot of confirmation work would be needed. But that's what the draft exercise tells me.

     
  17. Maju

    January 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Correction to previous post: 39 are the words that showed at least one apparent match, some words did not display any match at all and I forgot to mention them: I count 7 of these now (total of comparable words across all four lists: 46).

     
  18. Octavià Alexandre

    January 19, 2011 at 9:13 pm

    "I could give you some references if you wish…"Please do.Try these ones: http://www.etchamendy.com/http://www.scribd.com/doc/34070533/DIA-02-Comparing-Basque-and-PIE-v2"You apparently forgot other poorly attested IE languages such as Italoid (aka Sorotaptic)".Very poorly attested as far as I can see, again no easy to find online references – looks worse than Pictish. I first thought you might mean Italic languages such as Sabine or Umbrian but seems you might be thinking in something like Lusitanian.Yes, Lusitanian is likely a Italoid dialect. You're right about online references, but unfortunately you've got to recurr to printed books and articles. As in other Paleo-Hispanic languages (e.g. Iberian), there's no much literature outside Spanish specialists, the main one being Francisco Villar from Salamanca University. Also the Catalan filologist Joan Coromines also made some research on Italoid (which he called "Sorotaptic") even to the point of publishing a lead foil inscription found in Amélie-les-Bains, Roussillon (Banys d'Arles in Catalan).For example I find the claim that ancient Basque lacked the sound M totally incredible. Iberian (excepting NE Iberian) may have lacked it but I see no reason to extend this logic to Basque: From my own research, it looks like Proto-Basque had merged nasals into n. By contrast, Iberian didn't differentiate (at least in writing) between m and b.how did you say "mendi"? "bendi"? Yes, that's right. The following n caused initial *b- to be nasalized."ama" was "aba"?, "eme" was "ebe"?Definitely not. Academic vascologists would respectively reconstruct *anba and *enbe, but I'd prefer *anna and *enne."eman" (to give) was "eban" (to slice, cut).No. The verb 'to give' was probably *e-oan- ~ *e-uan-, coming from an earlier *e-goan- ~ *e-guan- by assimilation g > b, as the last form is found in Iberian.And then why words like ibai have not become imai, ibili has not become imili, etc?Because there's no nasal there.In previous conversations with you I understood that you argued once and again that Basque and all Vascoid languages (Iberian, etc.) were just derived forms of PNC which arrived to Western Europe in the Neolithic, emphasizing that there was no need to reconstruct a proto-Vasco-Caucasian because PNC was old and diverse enough.No, what I said is the PNC recontructed by Starostin is actually closer to the unreconstructed Proto-Vasco-Caucasian that commonly thought, so it's a good aproximation.AFAIK the problem of North Caucasian is specially that of NW Caucasian phonetic, which is simply too strange to allow linguists to work properly, right? Additionally, a the language family has been pushed to near extinction, the reconstruction seems complex.Vjacheslav Chirikba made his doctoral thesis about NW Caucasian. Unfortunately this is another offline resource (I've got to buy the book).Because you know "burusaski" in Basque means "head-basket" but in Burushaski it means nothing like that, so on first sight they are not related.Surely I must take this as a joke.Please do me a favour and forget about casual language comparison and Chinese.

     
  19. Andrew Oh-Willeke

    January 20, 2011 at 12:25 am

    "not a single city is known to have existed in all the islands until the Romans."Depends on how you measure it. There were fishing and huntiojng villages in the British Isles are pre-Neolithic. For example Thatcham in Berkshire was a mesolithic hunting camp and more or less continously inhabited since then.Abingdon in the English county of Oxfordshire was a 33 hectare settlement around 6000 years ago.Marazion in Cornwall was settled and may have had tin mines for 4000 years.Camulodunum aka Colchester aka Colonia Claudia Victricensis was a substantial Celtic settlement that may have been the capital of a British Celtic Kingdom that far predated the Romans and was appropriated by them until it was razed in in Boudica's rebellion in AD 60.Thus, there were some fairly decent sized habitations by the time you get to the late Celtic/pre-Roman era, and whether or not they were truly cities comes down to a matter of definition as much as anything.

     
  20. manju

    January 20, 2011 at 3:44 am

    170 – road – (eu) bide – (PIE) *pent- (tel) bATaThe Kannada equivalent is baTTe. Borrowed form Prakrits (Jain or Buddhist legacy…thus Indo-Aryan).My thoery the sedentary civlization of South Dravidian linguistic family in the South was the result of Indo-Aryan and Dravidian speakers but controlled by Dravidian chieftains (with the exception of Maharashtra).Why do you compare Proto IE words with independent languages?

     
  21. Maju

    January 20, 2011 at 6:32 am

    @Octavià: thanks for the links. The second one specially is very interesting, even if I can only accept easily less than half of Fournet's cognates (just had a quick read anyhow). Many of the "good ones" are the same ones I located, what is in itself encouraging. Interestingly I had not perceived the cross-relation between eye and to see:"Basque *begi ‘eye’ ~ PIE *s-pek- ‘to see’""Basque *i/e-kusi ‘to see’ ~ PIE *Hokw ‘eye’"Which may well be correct. Etchamendy's theory may well point to some interesting elements but in any case, it's clear that Basque is not IE, even if it may be related in several ways.I must say I was very surprised to get quite higher Basque-IE correspondences than Basque-NEC ones in the exercise above, I actually expected the Basque-Caucasian connection to be stronger or at least similar, and the NEC-IE connection also to be stronger or at least similar. But seems not. …The issue of Italoid is certainly intriguing. Out of Iberia Lusitanian is generally considered "Illyrian" or proto-Celtic (i.e. prior to the P>Q shift of "Goidelic"). I understand that recently Venetic was "demonstrated" to be closer to Italic than to Illyrian proper and I also realized recently that Mycenaean Greek looks almost more like Latin than like Greek. So this matter of "Italoid" is indeed an intriguing line of research but with many blanks to be filled. However in the Basque case, we see no historical proto-Celtic or "Italoid" in the area of contact, unless we'd consider Arverni to be that (they are claimed to be among the oldest Celtic peoples of the area, so they probably arrived with Urnfields or Hallstatt, not La Tène). But by the south, the product of these migrations was Celtiberians, who are totally Q-Celtic. So in principle Basques were surrounded by genuine Celts and not "Italoids". The Ligurians seem to be restricted to their historical area by the West or more likely parts of it (as other peoples are called Celtici, Gallaeci, etc. clearly indicating their Gaelic language and identity). So to me they look more like either: (a) proto-Celts (i.e. Celts but with their language in a very early stage prior to the P>Q shift, so they would have arrived possibly in the Urnfields period) (b) Celticized Italic language peoples (not much difference, right?) I'd dare suggest that the most genuine (conservative) Western IE was Italic and that's why we see a lot of other scattered languages that approach it without being clearly it, because of incomplete divergence. Alternatively, proto-Italic may have been the language of Unetice culture, which was central to Bronze Age Western Indoeuropeans of Central Europe, influencing all the other groups, notably Celts. There are other possibilities I guess but in any case it does not look like it can be a pretext to force-feed PIE "loanwords" into Basque.

     
  22. Maju

    January 20, 2011 at 6:59 am

    "Academic vascologists would respectively reconstruct *anba and *enbe, but I'd prefer *anna and *enne".Ah, alright. Like the famous "senbe" (seme: son), which is probably the origin of all this speculation. Is there any other "evidence" at all? Because senbe may actually be a case of indoeuropeization at the Celtic border (notice the similitude sen(be)-son). On the other hand seme seems related to Latin semen (seed) and to seed and sow itself (PIE *suh₂-kéh₂-) and of course to son (PIE *suHnús). However as there is a proposed etymology for these words in PIE (<*sewH- to give birth) and not in Basque, this is surely a case of IE loanword into Basque. I'm of the opinion that eman (to give) and eme (female) are related (and probably also ar (male) and hartu (to take), assuming irregular loss of h in ar, what is reasonable, considering har is worm, of obvious sexual connotations). So I'm not sure I like all those ideas on the origin of "m-words" in Basque. It's "a theory" but is it sufficiently substantiated more like a mere conjecture based on a couple of hints? I understand it's the latter. "Because there's no nasal there".Ok, that's logical. I had the wrong idea that it was b>m and not nb>m. But there's only one example of "nb" digraph in all Basque "literature" AFAIK so…Wait! Then why do we have Anboto? The chief peak of Biscay and Araba (not the highest but the most "magical" one). And enbata (sea storm)? Notice that, unlike in Spanish, Basque language feels no need to make nb > mb and in fact tends to pronounce Spanish mb as /nb/ ("ambos" sounds /anbos/). So even less persuaded now. "Surely I must take this as a joke".It is a joke but a serious one. After that I made a mini-research with numbers and there's no obvious connection. I'll check the Swadesh list when possible but I do not expect any particular likelihood other than generic "proto-Western".The problem is that the "Vasco-Caucasian" proposal has been created as a catchall box for those languages which did not fall in the Nostratic proposal, but once you discard Nostratic (a most unlikely idea) you can proceed to study the connection between languages dispassionately, without prejudices. In this sense, I'd expect Burushaski to be related to Dravidian more than to any other language (but haven't checked yet: it's just a geographically-based hunch)."Please do me a favour and forget about casual language comparison and Chinese".No way! If you cannot establish direct connections between Chinese and Basque, Bengtson and the others are wrong (this is my application of The Emperor's Clothes story, my all-times Grimms' favorite: there are no clothes and I am the kid laughing at the Naked Emperor). The Chinese-Basque link or lack of it is the only thing that can show that these two languages are related or not. If other languages are also related (or not) that's an independent thing. I also do not think Tibeto-Burman compares well with Basque, so it's not just the peculiar monosyllabism of Chinese: it is that those languages derive from an older distinct root. As I say there's no archaeological support for any Basque-Caucasian-Sino-Tibetan link of any sort. So you better have the most solid and bullet-proof of all linguistic theories ever because there is absolutely nothing else that could support it.

     
  23. Maju

    January 20, 2011 at 7:06 am

    @Andrew:"Depends on how you measure it".Generally historians apply three elements:1. The existence of a wall (that's what defined a town in the Middle Ages)2. Size3. Social stratification (the main argument against considering Jericho the oldest town or city, as it was not hierarchized – but had a wall and was large enough)"Abingdon in the English county of Oxfordshire was a 33 hectare settlement around 6000 years ago". Looks pretty big. Wasn't it walled? You read much about the megaliths but little about the towns, also in Iberia. Yet it's the towns and cities which actually create the human geography, economy, politics, etc.

     
  24. Maju

    January 20, 2011 at 7:09 am

    @manju:"The Kannada equivalent is baTTe. Borrowed form Prakrits (Jain or Buddhist legacy…thus Indo-Aryan)".Are you sure?What about red?"Why do you compare Proto IE words with independent languages?"I'd use proto-languages but I can't find them in Swadesh list form. So I'm being forced to work with what I can find, sadly enough. So I took a random representative from each family, maybe not the best one? Definitively next time I compare with NEC I'll use Chechen because it's much better documented.

     
  25. manju

    January 20, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Are you sure?100%!What about red?No idea. Well, the PD construction appears to be 'er-'. Not found in either Kannada or Malayalam.

     
  26. Octavià Alexandre

    January 20, 2011 at 11:59 am

    I've quoted Fournet and Etxemendi's merely for didactical purposeses, as they're crackpot theories.I must say I was very surprised to get quite higher Basque-IE correspondences than Basque-NEC ones in the exercise above, I actually expected the Basque-Caucasian connection to be stronger or at least similar, and the NEC-IE connection also to be stronger or at least similar. But seems not.The fact is although Basque has many IE loanwords, its core lexicon isn't remtedly similar to IE.Ah, alright. Like the famous "senbe" (seme: son), which is probably the origin of all this speculation. Is there any other "evidence" at all? Because senbe may actually be a case of indoeuropeization at the Celtic border (notice the similitude sen(be)-son).AFAIK, Basque sein, sehi < Proto-Basque *śeni is related to PNC *ts’ænʔV 'new'.I'm of the opinion that eman (to give) and eme (female) are related (and probably also ar (male) and hartu (to take), assuming irregular loss of h in ar, what is reasonable, considering har is worm, of obvious sexual connotations).Excuse me, but these "etymologies" are nothing but amateurish work.Basque -ar 'male' is from Proto-Basque harr, -arr (without asterisk as it's attested in Aquitanian inscriptions), which corresponds to Iberian taŕ, with loss of initial t- due to Martinet's Law.And har 'worm' derives from Proto-Basque *han-arr, whose nasal consonant is still reflected in the forms hãr (Z), ãr (R).

     
  27. Maju

    January 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I fail to see how can you argue that these are loanwords when you cannot propose another vehicle but a hypothetical "Italoid" for which almost nothing is known and which in any case should be similar to Italic and/or pre-Q Celtic (which are clearly not the vehicles in most cases). Essentially you seem to be claiming (implicitly) that Basque was existing in vicinity of PIE some 6000 years ago, then losing contact for some 3000 years or so. We know that was not the case almost for sure. "Excuse me, but these "etymologies" are nothing but amateurish work".I'd say it's not worse that some "profesional" work I have to read now and then. Linguistics is just not or barely scientific, sorry about that but it's the truth."Basque -ar 'male' is from Proto-Basque harr, -arr (without asterisk as it's attested in Aquitanian inscriptions), which corresponds to Iberian taŕ, with loss of initial t- due to Martinet's Law".Maybe it is that way. But I would not be surprised if you are wrong. The problem with regular sound shift laws is that they are oblivious to dialectal diversity and change through space and time: they assume a perfected standard A evolving into a perfected standard B by means of perfectly regular sound changes. However we know from real life that actual change is much more chaotic and irregular. It's like applying Newtonian mechanics to climate: it doesn't work. You need chaos science to make any sense of it. "And har 'worm' derives from Proto-Basque *han-arr, whose nasal consonant is still reflected in the forms hãr (Z), ãr (R)".Erronkera (R) is extinct and if something have in common Xiberuera (Z) and Erronkera (R) is that they both belong to the Pyrenean super-dialect of Basque, one of three major branches, possible residual of greater linguistic diversity in the past and, for some, each being a different language on their own right. "I've quoted Fournet and Etxemendi's merely for didactical purposeses, as they're crackpot theories".Well, as Fournet and I reached independently to some similar conclusions, it seems obvious that he cannot be that wrong – nor can be I. Of course we could be two crackpots to commit the same heretic error but we have committed it independently. As for Etchamendy (not Etxemendi, each one writes his/her surname as he wants to), I have not yet gone through his evidence, so I cannot give an opinion. But I like Fournet's approach because it's at least to some extent the same one I tried (though he's obviously better prepared). …

     
  28. Maju

    January 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    "AFAIK, Basque sein, sehi < Proto-Basque *śeni is related to PNC *ts’ænʔV 'new'"…I see. I doubt whether to argue this matter but sein only exists in Bizkaiera (Western macro-dialect, which may have included Cantabrian in the distant past). But what I'm noticing is that the prefix sen- seems to mean "relative", as in "senar" (husband) or "senide" (relative). So, whatever the exact etymology we may be before a "male relative" meaning:The sound affinity of sein/seme with son/semen is so extreme that I'm all for a IE connection in this case though not sure how. Sen however also means lucidity, common sense, character. And may also be at the origin of senar and senide, as well as related to Catalan seny and Latin senatus/-or/-il, and generic IE "senior" (*senh₁ó-: "old") in turn potential cognate of zahar (Basque for "old")as mentioned in the main article.It's difficult to make sense in this case because a lot of words with more or less related or unrelated meaning in both IE and Basque oscillate around the same very narrow sound range. There's something here and is something criss-crossing Basque and IE but what exactly, I'm unsure.

     
  29. Andrew Oh-Willeke

    January 20, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Abingdon's wall was built ca. 100 BCE; pre-Roman by a century or two.But, walls in any case, certainly aren't absolutely necessary to the definition of a city. The Indus River Valley civilization's cities never had them (except for a couple small frontier trading post/garrisons in SW India), yet they had planned street systems, a common water and sewer system, and large populations. And even major New World cities of the Aztecs and Incas lacked walls as well, and the only places in the colonial New World to have walls were small trading post/garrison towns like those of the Harappans.

     
  30. Octavià Alexandre

    January 20, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    I fail to see how can you argue that these are loanwords when you cannot propose another vehicle but a hypothetical "Italoid" for which almost nothing is known and which in any case should be similar to Italic and/or pre-Q Celtic (which are clearly not the vehicles in most cases).I've already summarized the work of two reputed linguists about this language, so please don't keep saying such things 🙂Essentially you seem to be claiming (implicitly) that Basque was existing in vicinity of PIE some 6000 years ago, then losing contact for some 3000 years or so. We know that was not the case almost for sure.I've said nothing of the kind. Proto-Basque was in contact with Celtic in the Iron Age,and surely also with Italoid not much before.Linguistics is just not or barely scientific, sorry about that but it's the truth.I strongly disagree. Sure, historical linguistics isn't an exact science like mathematics, but it's still a science. But the real problem is many supposed-to-be "professionals" make amateurish work.Maybe it is that way. But I would not be surprised if you are wrong.Then prove it 🙂The problem with regular sound shift laws is that they are oblivious to dialectal diversity and change through space and time: they assume a perfected standard A evolving into a perfected standard B by means of perfectly regular sound changes.The concept of "regular" sound changes comes from 19th century's Neogrammarians. I'd prefer instead predictable, a statistical notion."And har 'worm' derives from Proto-Basque *han-arr, whose nasal consonant is still reflected in the forms hãr (Z), ãr (R)".I forgot to say these two dialects keep nasality in the form of nasal vowels.But what I'm noticing is that the prefix sen- seems to mean "relative", as in "senar" (husband) or "senide" (relative).No "prefix" but first compound element.The sound affinity of sein/seme with son/semen is so extreme that I'm all for a IE connection in this case though not sure how.To the best of my knowledge, these resemblances are chance ones.Sen however also means lucidity, common sense, character. And may also be at the origin of senar and senide, as well as related to Catalan seny and Latin senatus/-or/-il, and generic IE "senior" (*senh₁ó-: "old") in turn potential cognate of zahar (Basque for "old")as mentioned in the main article.The IE root *sen- 'old' is behind these words, but they're completely unrelated to the Basque ones.

     
  31. Maju

    January 21, 2011 at 5:30 am

    "I've said nothing of the kind. Proto-Basque was in contact with Celtic in the Iron Age,and surely also with Italoid not much before". IMO Vascoid languages were in contact with Western IE (proto-Celto-Italic and to lesser extent proto-Germanic) since c. 2400 BCE at the Rhine/North Seas ethnic border. And possibly even within the Vascoid territory punctually as the Bell Beaker phenomenon (originally IE probably) scattered around. However it's difficult to see how they could influence Vascoid languages to any great extent – because there was no elite dominance (as with Latin) nor high cultural exchanges like could happen today via the media and the internet. At most there was lesser border interactions that should have never altered the core language the way it seems to have happened. We cannot confuse in any case proto-Western-IE with proto-IE. I have already listed a number of PIE-Basque apparent cognates which are absent in Western IE (Celtic, Italic). Italoid is just a pretext. Because it would in any case be part of the same Celto-Italic branch and hence we should see the same words in Celtic and/or Italic or mostly so. We do not. So there is a Basque-IE contact before Western IE expansion, even before Rhine borderland and Bell Beaker lesser interaction, even before IE reached Central Europe at all. There is Basque-IE contact before or at the Samara valley stage, some 8000 years ago. And that requires an explanation.

     
  32. Maju

    January 21, 2011 at 6:06 am

    "Then prove it".Firs you prove "Martinet's law". You cannot prove that either. That's why I cast doubt. "The concept of "regular" sound changes comes from 19th century's Neogrammarians".That's exactly part of the problem: it's a 19th century neoclassical concept. "I'd prefer instead predictable, a statistical notion".I can agree with this preference. But statistics are not "laws" nor "rules", just tendencies. "I forgot to say these two dialects keep nasality in the form of nasal vowels".Do you think this may be related to nasality in Catalan, East Catalan specially? "To the best of my knowledge, these resemblances are chance ones".I do not believe in coincidences when they accumulate the way these do. Sorry: too much. "The IE root *sen- 'old' is behind these words, but they're completely unrelated to the Basque ones".How can you be so sure?Probably because you already claimed the opposite: "Basque sein, sehi < Proto-Basque *śeni is related to PNC *ts’ænʔV 'new'". But is that true? I can take that as possible PNEC, though a *tsijV forms looks even more likely on light of what I can find online:In Lezgian languages "new" is:/t͡sʼiji/, /t͡sʼajif/, /t͡sʼiji/In Avar-Andic "new" is: cija-b, ciw, ci-da, cijo-m, ciu, ciju, ci-w, cinu-b, cihu-bNot particularly close nor informative on its own right. Not even related to Basque "new" (berri), nor there is any other word in Basque where 'sen-' or 'sem-' means "new". Instead we do have this particle meaning 'relative', surely 'male relative', ("senar", "senide" and archaic "senbe", modern "seme"), and lucididty ("sen" as distinct word and in some derivatives). And we have similarly sounding IE words:1. *suHnús (son, from *sewH-, to give birth, potentially related to NEC words for "new"), specially "ciw" and similar Avar-Andic words. 2. Lat. 'semen' (seed), surely from the same root as (1)3. *senh₁ó- (old, elder), which oddly enough might also come from *sewH-, meaning "grandfather", "patriarch", or maybe just "born" or "first born", rather than just "old". My previously suggested correlation with Basque 'zahar' (old, possibly from 'zakar': bad, and related to 'txar': bad) may hence be wrong (too shallow). Because the equivalent of elder in Basque is agure (< agur-tu: to greet, to respect). Whatever the case, sen in Basque seems more related to IE than anything else I can perceive.

     
  33. Octavià Alexandre

    January 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    IMO Vascoid languages were in contact with Western IE (proto-Celto-Italic and to lesser extent proto-Germanic) since c. 2400 BCE at the Rhine/North Seas ethnic border. And possibly even within the Vascoid territory punctually as the Bell Beaker phenomenon (originally IE probably) scattered around.I don't think there was anything like Celto-Italic, and Italoid was somewhere between Baltic and Italic. Some people have suggested Bell Beaker might be associated with a pre-Celtic IE language, perhaps Krahe's "AltEuropäische" or even Italoid itself.We cannot confuse in any case proto-Western-IE with proto-IE. I have already listed a number of PIE-Basque apparent cognates which are absent in Western IE (Celtic, Italic).Sorry, but to me most of your "cognates" aren't real ones. Most of them don't even sound similar. I don't want to discourage you, but comparative linguistics doesn't work that way.Firs you prove "Martinet's law". You cannot prove that either. That's why I cast doubt.I've already done this is on my blog. Have you any specific objection to that?"I forgot to say these two dialects keep nasality in the form of nasal vowels".Do you think this may be related to nasality in Catalan, East Catalan specially?I don't get your point. Catalan has no nasal vowels whatsoever.Probably because you already claimed the opposite: "Basque sein, sehi < Proto-Basque *śeni is related to PNC *ts’ænʔV 'new'".That's right, because the original meaning of Proto-Basque śeni (the asterisk isn't needed because it's actually attested in Aquitanian inscriptions) and Iberian śani was 'son' or 'child'.Instead we do have this particle meaning 'relative', surely 'male relative', ("senar", "senide" and archaic "senbe", modern "seme"), That's right. This is a root *śenn- 'family': senar 'husband' is from *śenn-aŕ 'male of the family'; senide 'relative' is from *śenn-ide 'kin of the family' and so on.and lucididty ("sen" as distinct word and in some derivatives).Not so. This is a homonymous word of Romance origin (e.g. Catalan seny).1. *suHnús (son, from *sewH-, to give birth, potentially related to NEC words for "new"), specially "ciw" and similar Avar-Andic words.Possibly PIE borrowed it from some Vasco-Caucasian language spoken by Neolithic farmers.2. Lat. 'semen' (seed), surely from the same root as (1)Not sure.3. *senh₁ó- (old, elder), which oddly enough might also come from *sewH-, meaning "grandfather", "patriarch", or maybe just "born" or "first born", rather than just "old".Definitely not, and it's important you realize why. 'Born' and 'grown up' > 'mature, old' are in fact opposite concepts.As an example, Basque adin 'age; judgement' is a loanword from Iberian adin, probably 'mature, old', from PNC *=VdʑV 'to grow'.Because the equivalent of elder in Basque is agure (< agur-tu: to greet, to respect).Basque agure 'old man' and guraso 'parents' are probably IE loanwords from *g´erH- 'old man'. And agur is probably from the same root *kurr- than gur-tu, kur-tu 'to kneel, to bow, to revere', from PNC *=ig(w)Vr 'to bend, to fold'.

     
  34. Maju

    January 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Graphs quickly googled that include Italo-Celtic or Italo-Celto-Germanic (where Balto-Slavic is the other Western IE branch): http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v426/n6965/images/nature02029-f1.2.jpghttp://dienekes.110mb.com/articles/ieorigins/colin_renfrew.jpghttp://rootsofeurope.ku.dk/billeder/blokseminarer_gaesteforelaesninger/2009-07-14_heggarty_alternativ_stamtraesmodel.bmp/http://www.sas.upenn.edu/sasalum/newsltr/summer96/BRANCH.JPGhttp://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/lrc/books/tree.gifGenerally Italic and Celtic are considered the main survivors of the West-Central European group emanated from Corded Ware (this is shared with Germanic and Balto-Slavic) and later apparent in Tummuli and Urnfields culture. However Hallstatt seems already only Celtic or Celto-Illyrian, to the exclusion of Italic peoples, already in Italy by that time. "Italoid was somewhere between Baltic and Italic"Interesting idea (Latvian-Latin). Still it would mean that conjectural borrowings of Italoid into Basque would be present in either of these two other subfamilies or both. Are they?"Some people have suggested Bell Beaker might be associated with a pre-Celtic IE language, perhaps Krahe's "AltEuropäische" or even Italoid itself".Possibly at their origins, it'd be proto-Celto-Italic-Illyrian or just proto-Western, if Germanic also comes from that bunch. But Bell Beaker is a trading guild and/or religious sect and not a real culture. In Portugal they became "Tartessian" or whatever they were in Portugal back then, etc. There's no relevant cultural transfer associated to Bell Beaker, the same that Hebrew (or even Greek) did not spread with Christian burial rituals. "Sorry, but to me most of your "cognates" aren't real ones. Most of them don't even sound similar".Not even those in the main list? I reckon that some are questionable but how can anyone challenge for instance:(65) hezur – *h₃ost-, *kost- [bone](76) aho – *h₁oh₁s- [mouth](77) hortz – *h₃dónts [tooth](86) heste – *eh₁ter- [gut](103) jaki(-n) – *ǵneh₃-[to know](149) izar – *h₂stḗr [star](168) hauts – *h₃és-no-, *h₃és-i- [ash](170) bide – *pent- [way, road](178) egu, egun – *h₂eǵh- [day]It seems evident that even some regular rules can be inferred here like h3 reflecting Basque H, while h2 and h1 do not. You can also see ts <> tz but st <> z"I don't want to discourage you, but comparative linguistics doesn't work that way".I do not pretend much, just offering my considerations. We are after all tracking something very thin (extremely old) that can only be inferred by statistical sound comparison (always for same meaning words). "I've already done this is on my blog. Have you any specific objection to that?"Link?"I don't get your point. Catalan has no nasal vowels whatsoever".Catalan as spoken in Barcelona and all the coast is extremely nasal, almost like Texan English and the nasalization happens at the vowels indeed. Catalan is the most nasal of all Iberian languages by far. Just so I'm sure to be right. Wikpedia says: "A nasal vowel is a vowel that is produced with a lowering of the velum so that air escapes both through nose as well as the mouth". And that's exactly what your typical Catalan does all the time forcing a lot of vowels into modified forms for that reason alone. English speakers, specially in the USA also do that. It's at least extremely rare in Basque but I take your word for Xiberuera and Erronkera, as these are strongly influenced by Occitan (of which Catalan is a dialect). What I was wondering anyhow is if this reflected not just Occitan influence but a sound cline along the Pyrenees maybe.

     
  35. Maju

    January 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    "That's right, because the original meaning of Proto-Basque śeni (the asterisk isn't needed because it's actually attested in Aquitanian inscriptions) and Iberian śani was 'son' or 'child'".How do we know? Do we have a translation? (We do not) Cannot it mean husband, relative or some other attested sen- word? Why not?I know that the answer can only be because XX says so. But that's not any valid answer. "This is a homonymous word of Romance origin (e.g. Catalan seny)".Romance or Latin? (senator, senil, senior) Or maybe an older/distinct IE origin/connection as attested in the various PIE words mentioned already. I doubt that Catalan had such strong influence in Basque. The opposite is possible instead considering the toponymy of NW Catalonia (specially) and the fact that Basque is attested at Huesca, near Lleida, as late as the 13th century. But I'm not even saying this is a Basque influence in Catalan. Most likely both words come from a common root, possibly IE but ill-explained at this stage. A candidate can be Latin but there are other possibilities. "1. *suHnús (son, from *sewH-, to give birth, potentially related to NEC words for "new"), specially "ciw" and similar Avar-Andic words.Possibly PIE borrowed it from some Vasco-Caucasian language spoken by Neolithic farmers".Maybe but then how it arrived into such important Basque kinship (and other) terms? What I am exploring is more interesting: the three language families have possibly a shared root, albeit a remote one, long before Neolithic. "2. Lat. 'semen' (seed), surely from the same root as (1)Not sure".Me neither (that's why I said "possibly"). A possibility is that the root is the same at proto-European (i.e. the conjectural shared root of IE, NEC and Basque) and then sen as lucidity made its way into Basque from Western IE (senior or similar) and semen evolved instead from Vascoid seme (son > seed makes all the sense)….

     
  36. Maju

    January 21, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    "'Born' and 'grown up' > 'mature, old' are in fact opposite concepts".Not really: everyone is born, young or old. And an ancestor is always "first born" as is the elder of any kind (unless honorific). What you say "elder son" in English is said "primogénito" in Spanish. Both have a conceptual element of birth (son, -génito) however they indicate the oldest of all sons, not the youngest one.It's not so simple. Black and white are opposite maybe but eng. black and sp. blanco are apparently from the same root. In any case the conservatism of these words is amazing, so almost everything is possible. "Basque adin 'age; judgement' is a loanword from Iberian adin, probably 'mature, old', from PNC *=VdʑV 'to grow'".I believe we have discussed this before and I think adin comes from adi (to listen, pay attention). Related term is aditu (which literally means "listened" but has the sense of "learned", "wise"). It is possible that the Iberian term is related but the conjectural PNC *=VdʑV (to grow) actually looks much more like "hazi" (to grow), logically. "Basque agure 'old man' and guraso 'parents' are probably IE loanwords from *g´erH- 'old man'".Gurasoak (does not exist in singular form) has the kinship suffix -aso (arbaso, amaso, aitaso, even itsaso probably considered a relative once upon a time). Gurasoak's preffix is probably "gura" (desire, wish), though it may be shortening of gure arbasoak, where "arba-" has been lost (our ancestors > "ourestors"). Agure comes from agur(tu) and not the other way around. It needs no IE explanation at all and can be argued instead to be related with agindu (to command) and agintari (manager, boss). Also in ag- is ageri: to seem or look like. I think you argue for IE borrowings all the time because otherwise your "precioussss" PNC-Basque conceptualization can suffer. What I'd suggest is to integrate IE into it, because it seems to me it is a much needed thing to do. "gur-tu, kur-tu" Hmmmm…Much more likely they come from gura (desire, wish). You cannot just throw away all balls to the IE outfield because that's really cheating. Essentially you are saying: Basque does not exsist, even before Latin and Romance influence it was like 80% Indoeuropean already. And that is simply not true.

     
  37. Octavià Alexandre

    January 21, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Catalan as spoken in Barcelona and all the coast is extremely nasal, almost like Texan English and the nasalization happens at the vowels indeed. Catalan is the most nasal of all Iberian languages by far.I live in Barcelona and also speak Catalan, and I can't assure my language has no nasal vowels like French or Portuguese, much less US English. Where did you get such rubbish?

     
  38. Octavià Alexandre

    January 21, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    "Italoid was somewhere between Baltic and Italic"Interesting idea (Latvian-Latin). Still it would mean that conjectural borrowings of Italoid into Basque would be present in either of these two other subfamilies or both. Are they?Of course not, because that's meaningless. The things is (according to Coromines' and Villar's research) Italoid shares iglosses with both Baltic and Italic.I don't want to sound harsh, but sometimes you sound too amateur, so to speak. 🙂A possibility is that the root is the same at proto-European (i.e. the conjectural shared root of IE, NEC and Basque) and then sen as lucidity made its way into Basque from Western IE (senior or similar) and semen evolved instead from Vascoid seme (son > seed makes all the sense).Sorry, it doesn't make any sense.I believe we have discussed this before and I think adin comes from adi (to listen, pay attention). Related term is aditu (which literally means "listened" but has the sense of "learned", "wise"). Basque is full of homonymous or quasi-homonymous words, a nightmare for any linguist (even professional ones).It is possible that the Iberian term is related but the conjectural PNC *=VdʑV (to grow) actually looks much more like "hazi" (to grow), logically.One thing doesn't preclude the other.Gurasoak (does not exist in singular form) has the kinship suffix -aso (arbaso, amaso, aitaso, even itsaso probably considered a relative once upon a time).This "suffix" (rather a compound element) is acually -so. Of course, itsaso 'sea' has a homonymous compound element.Gurasoak's preffix is probably "gura" (desire, wish), though it may be shortening of gure arbasoak, where "arba-" has been lost (our ancestors > "ourestors").Definitely not. Basque gura is related to non-native kutun (B, G) 'beloved', possibly from IE *gheldh- 'to desire'. I think you argue for IE borrowings all the time because otherwise your "precioussss" PNC-Basque conceptualization can suffer. What I'd suggest is to integrate IE into it, because it seems to me it is a much needed thing to do.I've been researching the origin of Basque from some years, so I think I've probably got a better idea than yourself, who I remind you, recognized you weren't a linguist. I think you argue for IE borrowings all the time because otherwise your "precioussss" PNC-Basque conceptualization can suffer. What I'd suggest is to integrate IE into it, because it seems to me it is a much needed thing to do.All the attempts to relate the core lexicon of Basque with IE have failed. If I've quoted a few is only for didactical purposes: this is the way things shouldn't be done. Unfortunately, you've put yourself on the crackpot side."gur-tu, kur-tu"Hmmmm… Much more likely they come from gura (desire, wish).I'm affraid they've got a different kind of rhotics 🙂

     
  39. Maju

    January 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    You hear the people speaking Catalan or Spanish with Catalan accent too, mostly in the media, and they nasalize all the time. Basically a Catalan accent is made up of nasalizations and contracted diphthongs. In French the only nasal vowel is "u" (/ü/), right? French is to me much less nasal than Catalan but they open the mouth too little anyhow. …"Of course not, because that's meaningless".It's very much meaningful: if neither alleged closest relative of the ghostly Italoid has the controversial words (not even a fraction of them), then Italoid probably did not have them either. So "of course not" means I am right in this issue. You seem to think you can get away hypothesizing an influence through a language that cannot be tested in any way. That's actually as good as the "Orcish" influence I winked about earlier: it's cheating and/or wild speculation (about the same thing – the only difference being in consciousness or intent). "I don't want to sound harsh, but sometimes you sound too amateur, so to speak".You don't sound harsh, you sound snobbish. Of course I'm amateur in linguistics. And I take that as a potential virtue, because that makes me free from the burden of pseudo-knowledge others have. "Sorry, it doesn't make any sense".It makes as much sense as any other speculation on the matter. The only sure thing is that there is a number of IE and Basque words that are related by sound and meaning in a most interesting and intriguing criss-cross fashion. "Basque is full of homonymous or quasi-homonymous words, a nightmare for any linguist (even professional ones)".Depends. Homonymous words might be more related than you care to admit, at least in many cases. It can also be a paradise for a linguist with an open mind. "One thing doesn't preclude the other".It should: because of sound change regularities and meaning consistency!If *=VdʑV <> hazi ("to grow" in "PNC" and Basque), then *=VdʑV cannot produce adi nor adin nor aditu. Because it's clear that (1) = <> h(2) dʑ <> zSo: (1) = <> ∅ (2) dʑ <> d… is wrong. And anyhow, it's obvious from inside Basque that adi, aditu and adin are related. Probably sen- and seme are not understandable with a purely Basque internal logic, what may or not mean they are borrowings of some sort, but the adi-adin-aditu class is extremely transparent and therefore genuinely Basque, the same that gora comes from goi-ra, etc. "This "suffix" (rather a compound element) is acually -so".In this you are probably right. Not that it changes a thing (actually makes the gura- etymology more clear). "Of course, itsaso 'sea' has a homonymous compound element".I'm not sure. Itsaso may be related to iz- (presumably meaning water or sea), to Germanic zee/sea and little more. To be homonym it'd have to be a variant Greek thalassos but the derivation is almost forced. So I'd say that the suffix -so is probably meaning that the sea is an ancestor or otherwise spiritual being tha requires similar respectful addressing.

     
  40. Maju

    January 21, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    "Basque gura is related to non-native kutun (B, G) 'beloved', possibly from IE *gheldh- 'to desire'".Nonsense. Gura is not related to kuttun (never just kutun: it's one of those words that always has the palatalized diminutive, like txiki – small > Sp. chico/a). Kuttun, is slang in any case and looks rather modern. It is probably as untrackable as moinoino, pottolo, etc., all quasi-onomatopeyic "children words", words that mothers and grandmothers make up as they go… a related example is ttunttuna, that still retains the Spanish origin "tonta", "tontita" (= "silly"). It's even possible that kuttun(a) may derive from ttunttuna. I would not be surprised at all. Gura instead looks in the quite genuine sound group of gar, gari, gernu, giro, gor, gorri, gora, gu, gure, gura…None of these words looks like deriving from any other language, nor they can be confused even if mispronouncing dialectally: they are all allophones, except maybe gure/gura, which might be exchanged. However its's unlikely that they are related (our – wish)."I've been researching the origin of Basque from some years, so I think I've probably got a better idea than yourself, who I remind you, recognized you weren't a linguist".Don't continue on this line if you don't want your pretty academic title to be used as toilet paper. It's just too easy to demolish your discipline: it's not rocket science nor anything of the like, really. And I know too many people with a degree who know nearly nothing about what they are supposed to know. I'm not saying that's you but not everything can be learned from books and long dead authorities. I'd say it's a lot better to get yourself immersed in the living reality of the language if possible, and also to ignore other languages firs and foremost in order to understand the language from inside, not trying to fit everything with an specific outside as you do. Ironically you end up saying it's all IE and not PNC, what is like WTF!"All the attempts to relate the core lexicon of Basque with IE have failed".Maybe. That sounds more interesting. What would you consider "the core lexicon" of a language. I'm not persuaded it's Swadesh lists as such (some sectors look like stuck in there with a lever) but something very close, right? "I'm affraid they've got a different kind of rhotics"I meant agure, agur, agurtu… Still I'd dare say that rhotics can change from flap to thrill. You say agure but also agurra, yet they are from the same obvious root (agur). If you want to make a distinction (I do not), the agur(tu) and gur(tu) do relate but agure relates to gura or gure, never gur(tu). I'd say that r/rr are not always dichotomic and when they do not serve to mark a difference, they can be exchanged (at least sometimes). Otherwise agure/agurra cannot be explained. The law must be broken because reality demands it.

     
  41. Octavià Alexandre

    January 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    You hear the people speaking Catalan or Spanish with Catalan accent too, mostly in the media, and they nasalize all the time. Basically a Catalan accent is made up of nasalizations and contracted diphthongs.Sorry, but Catalan has no nasal vowels whatsoever. But perhaps you're confusing nasality with another phonation like velarity, as Catalan has a velar /l/ much like English "dark l".In French the only nasal vowel is "u" (/ü/), right?No, that's wrong. French has a lot of nasal vowels, as you can see in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_phonology#VowelsOf course I'm amateur in linguistics. And I take that as a potential virtue, because that makes me free from the burden of pseudo-knowledge others have.Sorry, but I think the one who has "pseudo-knowledge" is you. For example, trying to convince a Catalan-speaker that his language has nasal vowels is pretty ridiculous.

     
  42. Octavià Alexandre

    January 21, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    "I've been researching the origin of Basque from some years, so I think I've probably got a better idea than yourself, who I remind you, recognized you weren't a linguist".Don't continue on this line if you don't want your pretty academic title to be used as toilet paper. It's just too easy to demolish your discipline: it's not rocket science nor anything of the like, really.Firstly, I'm not an academic linguist, and secondly, historical linguistics isn't a game anybody is able to play.And I know too many people with a degree who know nearly nothing about what they are supposed to know. I'm not saying that's you but not everything can be learned from books and long dead authorities.This is precisely why I've got my own blog: to give people information what academic linguistics won't tell them.It's very much meaningful: if neither alleged closest relative of the ghostly Italoid has the controversial words (not even a fraction of them), then Italoid probably did not have them either.Sorry, but I misunderstood you. Now I see you meant "cognate formsof these words". Well, if these languages inherited the same word from PIE, you might expect to have cognates in the other families.Interestingly enough, Latin itself has loanwords from Italoid, as it preceded Italic in the Italian Peninsula. According to Villar, Latin words with /a/ instead of the expected /o/, e.g. mare 'sea' might be borrowings from Italoid.Another likely Italoid I've discovered is vagus vs. native vehō, vehiculum, from PIE *weg´h- 'to carry'.

     
  43. Octavià Alexandre

    January 21, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    "One thing doesn't preclude the other".It should: because of sound change regularities and meaning consistency!But Basque adin 'age' was surely borrowed from Iberian!!but the adi-adin-aditu class is extremely transparent and therefore genuinely Basque, the same that gora comes from goi-ra, etc.Sorry, but they look as two homonymous words: one meaning 'age' and another one 'intelligence'.I'm not sure. Itsaso may be related to iz- (presumably meaning water or sea)Not **iz- but (g)iza- in gizaurde, izurde 'dolphin' (lit. 'sea-pig').to Germanic zee/sea and little more.Possibly distant relatives from a root whose origin meaning was 'salt'.So I'd say that the suffix -so is probably meaning that the sea is an ancestor or otherwise spiritual being tha requires similar respectful addressing.Bullshit. This is like equating Proto-Germanic *saiwa-z 'sea' with *saiwalo 'soul'. Similar sounding but completely different meaning."Basque gura is related to non-native kutun (B, G) 'beloved', possibly from IE *gheldh- 'to desire'".Nonsense. Gura is not related to kuttun (never just kutun: it's one of those words that always has the palatalized diminutive, like txiki – small > Sp. chico/a).Kuttun, is slang in any case and looks rather modern.Expressive features doesn't prevent this word from having an etymology.You must be also aware that Basque has many loanwords from one or more extinct languages whose phonotactics is different to the one of native words. Some of these variants seem to have survived up to the High Middle Ages, probably spoken by nomadic shepherds and/or other minority groups stigmatized by the dominant society (e.g. the so-called "agotes").

     
  44. Maju

    January 22, 2011 at 5:31 am

    Nasality in Catalan is vocalic, I'm sure. O becomes almost U or rather NG but not by articulating at the lips or throat but by pronouncing it at the back palate and allowing much of the air to get through the nose. And the same happens with all vowels except probably I You pronounce Pujol as PngJAngL, where ng is the vowel nasalization (my best approximation using Latin letters). And it's the same with every word I know of. You just have to listen to any speech of Maragall…"For example, trying to convince a Catalan-speaker that his language has nasal vowels is pretty ridiculous".I'm surprised that you did not notice: it's extremely nasal. But guess Texans do not notice either…

     
  45. Maju

    January 22, 2011 at 6:22 am

    "Sorry, but I misunderstood you. Now I see you meant "cognate forms of these words". Well, if these languages inherited the same word from PIE, you might expect to have cognates in the other families".Right. Thanks for understanding this part. However I do not understand how what follows has any relation. I do think that you give credit to "Italoid" for words which may well have non-IE origin (particularly mare). And also to explain subtle vocalic changes a/e which may well respond to mere dialectal variation. Kind of something artificial we had to introduce here to keep using neoclassical linguistics instead of accepting the reality of chaos dynamics also (and maybe with particular intensity) in linguistics. "But Basque adin 'age' was surely borrowed from Iberian!!"That it is also attested in Iberian does not mean it is a borrowing or a strict borrowing (the word may have been flowing forth and back through some Basque and Iberian dialects, for example). We do not understand well if Iberian was one or several languages, we do not understand well how it relates to Basque or rather the various Basque dialects that must have existed back then, as there was no Batua (standard Basque) either. I do not need Iberian to explain adin or aditu in Basque, I only need the root adi (attention) and related verbs adi egon and aditu. More transparent adi derivates are: adierazi (to express), adimen (intelligence: lit. "attention capability"), aditu (n., wise, expert), adiskide (friend, where -kide means peer, fellow, partner, so "attentive partner"). Stranger terms are adina when it means "as much as" and aditz (verb, -(h)itz is word). These two may be unrelated. "Not **iz- but (g)iza- in gizaurde, izurde 'dolphin' (lit. 'sea-pig')".That cannot be: giza means "human" (adj.) -> gizaki (human being), gizon (man). Giza also looks like a "proto-Basque" grammatical modification by which "iza(n)" (being) becomes human "giza", probably related to "gu" (we). The g- meaning "we" is common in verbs (gara, gaude, genbilen…), so no surprise here. So giza is probably gu+iza(n) in a very archaic way of grammar now totally lost (except in verbs): being like us. If I mentioned iz- as water or sea, it is because I have read it elsewhere, specially in relation with toponyms. Sincerely I am not totally convinced but when you cannot think of anything better, you have to yield.

     
  46. Maju

    January 22, 2011 at 6:22 am

    "This is like equating Proto-Germanic *saiwa-z 'sea' with *saiwalo 'soul'. Similar sounding but completely different meaning".I do not see why water and soul are "different". Everyone who understands the very basics of astrology or alchemy knows that soul and water are almost the same thing in such imaginary universes that are what existed before Science. Just because you cannot understand how water, moon, soul, death, darkness and hair relate, doesn't mean that they are not related. It just means that you have prejudices on how words relate to each other, mental barriers of your own. "Expressive features doesn't prevent this word from having an etymology".Ttunttun probably. "You must be also aware that Basque has many loanwords from one or more extinct languages whose phonotactics is different to the one of native words. Some of these variants seem to have survived up to the High Middle Ages, probably spoken by nomadic shepherds and/or other minority groups stigmatized by the dominant society (e.g. the so-called "agotes")".Agotes, Cagots, Gafos, Chrétiens, etc. were NOT nomadic. They were maybe Occitan exiles from the Albigensian Crusade and were sedentary. They are not known to have ever spoken any language different than their hosts' (Romances, Basque, Breton). The only peculiarity is that they were extremely segregated, probably a Catholic imposition of some sort as a revenge for their "heressy" (though this is controversial, because really, nobody knows for sure who were originally these Cagots). If Basque has rare languages' influence that's surely not attributable to the Cagots. It'd be more likely if it had influences from whichever pastoralist community brought the stone ring burial practices to the Pyrenees in the Iron Age or from whatever was spoken in the Chalcolithic civilization of Vila Nova de Sao Pedro in Portugal (probably not Tartessian, which I rather associate with the intrusive "horizons" of the SW) or… but in any case it's more likely a pre-IE, non-IE matter.

     
  47. Octavià Alexandre

    January 22, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Nasality in Catalan is vocalic, I'm sure. O becomes almost U or rather NG but not by articulating at the lips or throat but by pronouncing it at the back palate and allowing much of the air to get through the nose. And the same happens with all vowels except probably ISorry, but I disagree. I'm sure what you call "nasality" in Catalan is actually another phonation feature. Real nasal languages are Portuguese and French, specially the latter.I do think that you give credit to "Italoid" for words which may well have non-IE origin (particularly mare). And also to explain subtle vocalic changes a/e which may well respond to mere dialectal variation.Sorry, but I think you didn't understand my point.That it is also attested in Iberian does not mean it is a borrowing or a strict borrowing (the word may have been flowing forth and back through some Basque and Iberian dialects, for example).In that case, adin 'age' would be it would be hazi 'to grow' the one borrowed from another Vasco-Caucasian language.I also insist that adi 'attention' and adin 'jugdement' have nothing to do with adin 'age'. They're homonymous words."Not **iz- but (g)iza- in gizaurde, izurde 'dolphin' (lit. 'sea-pig')".That cannot be: giza means "human" (adj.) -> gizaki (human being), gizon (man).Once again it's a case of homonymy. Basque gizon 'man' is surely a loanword from Celtic *gdonjo- 'man', a derivate of *gdon- 'earth'.There's no problem with being an amateur, but you've got still to learn a lot before making useful hypothesis. 🙂

     
  48. Maju

    January 22, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    "it would be hazi 'to grow' the one borrowed from another Vasco-Caucasian language".Hazi sounds much more like the *PNC *word you mentioned, that's clear. It would not be a borrowing but a cognate, right?"I also insist that adi 'attention' and adin 'jugdement' have nothing to do with adin 'age'. They're homonymous words". Adimen – judgement. They are not homonymous first of all because they have a very logical connection: age = learning/experience/wisdom. They are almost the same thing. "That cannot be: giza means "human" (adj.) -> gizaki (human being), gizon (man).Once again it's a case of homonymy. Basque gizon 'man' is surely a loanword from Celtic *gdonjo- 'man', a derivate of *gdon- 'earth'".Please, you can only twist things so much. How come can you appeal to a conjectural giza- to explain iz- and then reject the only Basque words that begin that way. Your obsession for explaining Basque in terms of PNC (and very specially IE "borrowings") only gets you confused. Time for reality check: first of all try to explain Basque as Basque, from Basque. Not always possible but often it is. And often it is correctly explained that way – though surely there will be a handful of exceptions ( which would need careful demonstrations as correspond to all exceptional claims). When you have finished explaining Basque from Basque, you still have a lot to explore in Iberian, IE languages, PIE and Caucasian languages, etc… and probably also in languages already lost, including ancient stages of Basque or Vascoid only retained in fossil forms. But you cannot put the cart before the oxen. First you need a theory of Basque from Basque, and not a theory of Basque from Orcish, PNC or whatever else – unless you can solidly demonstrate it first, what you (or anybody else) have not done. "There's no problem with being an amateur, but you've got still to learn a lot before making useful hypothesis".You must mean distorting reality in the most convoluted ways to fits one's preconceptions. No, thank you. I prefer to sin of amateurish boldness than of erudite self-satisfying decadence.

     
  49. Octavià Alexandre

    January 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Hazi sounds much more like the *PNC *word you mentioned, that's clear. It would not be a borrowing but a cognate, right?My point is both adin and hazi are outputs of the same root bur in different languages.Adimen – judgement. They are not homonymous first of all because they have a very logical connection: age = learning/experience/wisdom. They are almost the same thing.Possible, but not sure. In any case, this words deserves research."That cannot be: giza means "human" (adj.) -> gizaki (human being), gizon (man).Once again it's a case of homonymy. Basque gizon 'man' is surely a loanword from Celtic *gdonjo- 'man', a derivate of *gdon- 'earth'".Please, you can only twist things so much. How come can you appeal to a conjectural giza- to explain iz- and then reject the only Basque words that begin that way.It isn't conjectural,as the form gizaurde is attested in the Lapurdian dialect. This giza- 'sea' is clearly homonymous to giza- 'man' in compounds, as 'human pig' doesn't mean any sense.Time for reality check: first of all try to explain Basque as Basque, from Basque. Not always possible but often it is. And often it is correctly explained that way – though surely there will be a handful of exceptions ( which would need careful demonstrations as correspond to all exceptional claims).I understand your point, but I'm sorry to disagree.

     
  50. Octavià Alexandre

    January 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

     

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