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Paleo-Sardinian language: a relative of Basque?

01 Mar
Basque linguist J.M. Elexpuru discusses today at Noticias de Álava[es] the possibility that the lost pre-Romance language of Sardinia could be related to Basque, following the steps of Catalan linguist Eduardo Blasco Ferrer, who just published a book titled Paleosardo, le radici linguistiche de la Sardegna neolítica (Paleo-Sardinian, the linguistic roots of Neolithic Sardinia).
Ruins of a Sardinian nuraghe
Sardinia belonged to the Carthaginian Empire since the 6th century BCE and then passed to the Roman one in the 3rd century, remaining since then in the Romance linguistic area. However little is known of the history of the island before, except the famous nuraghe forts (similar to SE Spanish motillas) and that it was colonized (after some ill-known Epipaleolithic episode) within the Cardium Pottery culture in the Neolithic, probably from Central Italy.
However Dr. Elexpuru synthesizes this way the position of Blasco Ferrer:

… there was a migration from the Basque area in the Mesolithic (8000-5000 b.C.) which settled the island. There were surely other flows later on. Genetic research on mitochondrial DNA have revealed that haplogroup V, originary from the Basque-Cantabrian area, is very high in the central region. The language carried by the settlers, named Paleo-Sardinian by linguists, was the one spoken through all the Neolithic and Bronze Age in the island and still survived for some centuries to Roman domination in the central region, which was known as Barbaria. In some parts of the island the density of pre-Roman toponyms is well above 40%. 

He concludes mentioning some of the river and settlement names that are quite obviously Vasconic:  
  • River names: (h)aran, ardi, baso, berri, bide, ertz, goni (goi), gorri, iri, istil, iz, lats, lur, mando, on, orri, (h)osto, (h)otz, (h)obi, (i)turri, ur, zuri.
  • Village names: Aritzo, Ardaule, Asuni, Goni, Loiri, Luras, Olzai, Orgósolo, Ortueri, Osini, Turri, Ulassai, Uras, Uri, Urzulei…
I must say that all this would make better sense if Iberian and Ligurian could be somehow integrated in the picture. One reason is that haplogroup V is now known to be much more frequent and probably original not from the modern Basque Country nor even Gascony but from farther East: Catalonia probably. However now and again there are other rare or somewhat common lineages that appear shared between Iberia and/or the Basque Country and Sardinia (and sometimes also North Africa). 
One of the most common ones is Y-DNA I2a, a West Mediterranean and Pyrenean clade extremely common in Sardinia, which, if of Neolithic origin, would be the only such lineage quite frequent among Basques. But it could also be pre-Neolithic. 
Frequency of Y-DNA I2a, from Rootsi 2004
For the record, it was discussed  earlier in this blog (also here) the striking similitude of Basque and Sardinian (and some other European) carnival performances, all this in relation to the apparent paleo-European veneration of the bear and the continentally widespread shared root for this animal (hartz in Basque, almost the same in proto-Indoeuropean).
Also for the record I must mention that, in my not so humble opinion, the very word Sardinia seems to have a Basque etymology. Obviously it is derived from the pan-European word sardine but this term only makes etymological sense in Basque: sarda (fish school) + -gin (suffix of doing/making < egin) + -e/-a (nominative declension, like the article “the”).  It needs of a loss of a syllabe (would make sardagina) but I still think it’s plausible that sardine (and hence Sardinia) means school-doer or school-maker in Basque or a related language from old.
Whatever the case it is extremely difficult to deny the Basqueness of the toponyms listed above, even if I am sure that soon someone will come and contest such obviousness, based not on common sense but on twisted and ill-explained elaborations.
But what I still do not have fully clear is in which direction the Vasconic language spread. Of course the default hypothesis of an expansion from the Franco-Cantabrian region makes good sense but it is difficult to completely discard a Neolithic spread of the language family in the context of Cardium Pottery culture (and loosely related Atlantic ones, including Megalithism).
I also think that this Vasconic substrate is not something peculiar of Sardinia and that anyone who looks around with a keen eye and a half-decent knowledge of Basque language can’t but stumble once and again on Basque-like toponimy all around the western half of the continent.
Article found via Ostraka Euskalduna[eu]
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139 responses to “Paleo-Sardinian language: a relative of Basque?

  1. Octavià Alexandre

    March 1, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Also for the record I must mention that, in my not so humble opinion, the very word Sardinia seems to have a Basque etymology. Obviously it is derived from the pan-European word sardine but this term only makes etymological sense in Basque: sarda (fish school) + -in (suffix of doing/making < egin) + -e/-a (nominative declension, like the article "the"). So I believe that sardine (and hence Sardinia) means school-doer or school-maker in Basque.Not only this is the kind of pseudo-etymology a dilettante would make, but also the word 'sardine' is completely unrelated to Sardinia.This ethnonym is almost certainly related to the Shardan, one of the Sea Peoples quoted by Egyptians. Interestingly enough, this word is itself found in Basque sardana (L) 'daring', a word which has been unnoticed by Vascologists and comparative linguists. It looks to be related to Chechen-Ingush (a NEC language) sard-am 'curse, malediction'.

     
  2. andrew

    March 2, 2011 at 1:28 am

    "Of course the default hypothesis of an expansion from the Franco-Cantabrian region makes good sense but it is difficult to completely discard a Neolithic spread of the language family in the context of Cardium Pottery culture (and loosely related Atlantic ones, including Megalithism)."Your amivalence is well founded, in my opinion. Suppose that your instincts that Cardium Pottery was largely a cultural shift (with the demographic foundation of Vasconic regions being set earlier on in the Epipaleolithic), rather than a predominantly a demic one in the Neolithic itself, are correct. Cardium Pottery is still precisely the kind of major cultural upheaval that one might expect would lead to a language shift. Indeed, it was probably a more dramatic cultural change than those that gave rise to a shift to Indo-European and Hungarian languages respectively in Europe, and to Arabic in many places where it is spoken. Also, interactions at greater distances within the Cardium Pottery region might be more coherent at longer distances to sustain the original unity (particularly by the time that Sardinia's settlement attests to the development of functional short distance sea travel). At the very least, one would expect heavy borrowing of Cardium Pottery terms from that archelogical culture's source culture's language for Neolithic technologies, even if local words for other things could have been different. It also seems plausible that those local words would themselves would have some similarities from common Epipaleolithic era language roots, and from interactions of wide ranging hunter-gatherer groups that would produce areal borrowings, particular for terms for things not found locally.Similarly, to the extent that there were creolizations, one would expect independent creolizations including a Cardium Pottery language to have more than random similarity to each other, because people of the same language family whose languages are creoling with another language are likely to change in the same ways due to factors like easy of pronunciation and grammatical constructions that are easier or harder for new language learners to preserve. This is what was seen in the era of European colonization when creoles developed independently of each other.

     
  3. andrew

    March 2, 2011 at 1:30 am

    "This ethnonym is almost certainly related to the Shardan,"Why?

     
  4. Maju

    March 2, 2011 at 5:26 am

    "This ethnonym is almost certainly related to the Shardan"…This has been speculated about but it is not demonstrated in any way, specially as all other Sea Peoples are from the Eastern Mediterranean, mostly Greeks and other Indoeuropeans from Anatolia (Lycians). Hence a connection with the would-be capital of Lydia, Sardes, is much more likely. In any case, even if the Egyptian-mentioned Shardan ethnonym would refer to Sardinians, it would explain nothing of its etymology nor the etymology of the word 'sardine'. "in Basque sardana (L) 'daring', a word which has been unnoticed by Vascologists"…It was certainly unknown to me but let me remind you that sarda also means pitchfork (> sardeska: meal fork, "small pitchfork", retaining the Aquitanian dim. "-sko"), a rustic weapon. I have wondered if this "land" meaning of Basque "sarda" might be related to the "fish school" one, specially as the trident (a type of fork) was typically the tool and weapon of fishermen, notably in the Mediterranean. Sarda in this "fork" meaning is obviously related to sartu (to go/come/get in, to enter, penetrate, introduce) in a clear case of haplology: sartuta (introduced) > sarta > sarda, and of plain Basque etymology. "It looks to be related to Chechen-Ingush (a NEC language) sard-am 'curse, malediction'".Too remote and different in meaning to seduce me as truthful. Looks amateurish… :p

     
  5. Maju

    March 2, 2011 at 5:47 am

    "Your ambivalence is well founded, in my opinion".Thanks, I find difficult to take sides in this Neolithic/Paleolithic dichotomy. I clearly sympathize (find most likely, almost impossible to question) a Paleolithic origin for the genetic aspects of the debate. But languages can be easily changed, unlike genes… so a Neolithic flow is very possible. "Cardium Pottery is still precisely the kind of major cultural upheaval that one might expect would lead to a language shift".Yes indeed. But there was never any Cardium Pottery as such in Atlantic Europe (other than South Portugal). Not even Epicardial. So we still need of a secondary process to explain a linguistic penetration into the Atlantic. Megalithism could be that one even if, again, it is a cultural rather than mainly demic process. But then Portugal, rather than Eastern Iberia (proto-Iberians) or even SE France (proto-Ligurians), should be the origin of the second wave. It makes difficult to posit a link towards Sardinia (which is so strikingly Vascoid that those toponyms could well belong to the Basque Country itself and nobody would raise an eyebrow). So I am more and more wondering about the role of what is now SE France (proto-Ligurians) in the Chassey and derived periods (all them of strong Megalithic content). Chassey culture was in strong symbiosis with the North Italian culture of La Lagozza, what may help to explain the Vascoid elements in Italy, specially in the non-Megalithic North, and also the existence of a single unified Ligurian culture across the Alps (refuge area obviously) in proto-History. Pre- and post-Chassey cultures did influence Aquitaine and Dordogne, so it is a clear candidate for a Cardial linguistic flow from East to West, other than Portugal. However the nuraghe are most clearly related to SE Iberian cultures, what in turn makes these Sardinian elites (as the nuraghe motte-&-bailey are clearly aristocratic forts) closest relatives, at least in construction techniques, from Iberians, rather than Basques. But Iberian and Basque archaeological cultures are essentially unrelated in direct terms (some contact at the Ebro and Pyrenees in the late Iron and that's about it), so mediating cultures, either in Portugal or Occitania are needed. So the question marks are many and could be more easily explained maybe if Vasconic languages had a Neolithic origin somehow. But still, from 3500 BCE (arrival of Neolithic to the Basque area) to the Romanization of Sardinia, there are three millennia, more than what separates all Romance or Germanic languages from each other. So such strikingly Basque toponyms must mean an even more recent interaction of some sort or a highly conservative language (as happens in Iceland for example, another remote island).

     
  6. Maju

    March 2, 2011 at 6:00 am

    You say that Cardium Pottery Neolithic "was probably a more dramatic cultural change than those that gave rise to a shift to Indo-European and Hungarian languages respectively in Europe, and to Arabic in many places where it is spoken".The processes are not really comparable because all those you mention are elite warrior (aristocratic) invasions and farmers are not such thing. What I relate more with is with the Asutronesian expansion in ISEA, which was a farmer expansion it seems. However it is difficult to evaluate how comparable both processes are. Vast areas of Italy and SW Europe were not colonized, and that is specially true for SE France (Occitania), where colonies are totally lacking except near Monaco. Also we lack for a clear explanation on how the Mediterranean language migrated to the Atlantic, more so if we have to explain not just Basque and Aquitanian, which may be "forced" into relations with the proto-Ligurian area, but all of Venneman's Vasconic zone (which demands Megalithism and hence a central role for Portugal, if it has to be explained in Neolithic terms). "At the very least, one would expect heavy borrowing of Cardium Pottery terms from that archelogical culture's source culture's language for Neolithic technologies, even if local words for other things could have been different".This and the rest you say (about creoles for example) is indeed a good explanation of vocabulary similitudes between Iberian and Basque, if we do not subscribe to the hypothesis of shared phylogeny. The relations between Basque and Iberian all seem limited to individual words rather than grammar, what is proper of sprachbunds and substrates/adstrates rather than both languages belonging to the same family. The debate remains open, at least for me.

     
  7. Maju

    March 2, 2011 at 6:15 am

    As the Austronesian case has come out in my last post, I want to use it to underline the incredibly dumb oversimplifications that people, notably some geneticists but also from other disciplines, trying to reconstruct European Neolithic processes fall into some times. In the Austronesian case, the Lapita culture admixture scenarios and the "slow boat" process was carefully considered and, as most scholars involved were not personally affected (they were not Austronesians themselves) they could keep the head cold and think more or less objectively. In Europe it is too often the other way around: most involved scholars are either European or of European ancestry and also of Indoeuropean language. And while many, most hopefully, do try to stay calm and laid back and look at all angles of the matter, some do not and these typically manage (why?) to grab the sensationalist headlines in the press and "popular" blogs like Dienekes' or Razib's. These biased researchers like the infamous Patricia Balaresque (just a recent example) manage, with the help of some press and some reactionary bloggers to incredibly distort the perception of what actually happened or may have happened in European prehistory, very specially in the Neolithic. French restrictive laws on genetic testing do not help at all anyhow.

     
  8. Octavià Alexandre

    March 2, 2011 at 11:02 am

    "This ethnonym is almost certainly related to the Shardan"…This has been speculated about but it is not demonstrated in any way, specially as all other Sea Peoples are from the Eastern Mediterranean, mostly Greeks and other Indoeuropeans from Anatolia (Lycians).But Etruscans (aka Tyrsenoi/Tyrrhenian), originary from NW Anatolia, were also one of the Sea Peoples and they later came to Italy.In any case, even if the Egyptian-mentioned Shardan ethnonym would refer to Sardinians, it would explain nothing of its etymology nor the etymology of the word 'sardine'.It's rather obvious the word 'sardine' has nothing to do with this ethnonym."in Basque sardana (L) 'daring', a word which has been unnoticed by Vascologists"…It was certainly unknown to me but let me remind you that sarda also means pitchfork (> sardeska: meal fork, "small pitchfork", retaining the Aquitanian dim. "-sko"), a rustic weapon. I have wondered if this "land" meaning of Basque "sarda" might be related to the "fish school" one, specially as the trident (a type of fork) was typically the tool and weapon of fishermen, notably in the Mediterranean.Haye you even heard of homonymous words? One thing is sarda 'pitchfork' and another is its homonymous meaning 'group, flock; fish school', which is merely a variant of the more common saldo (the shift-ld- > -rd- is rather common in Basque, as in colchón > kurtxoin.Sarda in this "fork" meaning is obviously related to sartu (to go/come/get in, to enter, penetrate, introduce) in a clear case of haplology: sartuta (introduced) > sarta > sarda, and of plain Basque etymology.This is simply absurd. The verb sartu is formed from a root *sar- and the verbal suffix -tu, very frequent in Basque and ultimately borrowed from Latin."It looks to be related to Chechen-Ingush (a NEC language) sard-am 'curse, malediction'".Too remote and different in meaning to seduce me as truthful.Admittedly, there must have been a meaning shift, but in any case they aren't so "remotedly" related as you think.Looks amateurish… :pThis is precisely what I think about your 'fish school', 'pitchfork' pseudo-etymologies.

     
  9. Maju

    March 2, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    Unless you claim that the Teresh are the Ertuscans, there's no mention of them among the Sea Peoples. It is possible that the Teresh could be the Etruscans, the Sherden the Sardinians and the Sekelesh the Sicilians… but this is difficult to prove, really. Notably the Sherden are well documented in Egypt (as they eventually became part of the Pharaoh's guard and they wore characteristic horned helmets, wielding the most advanced hand weapon of the age: the Naue II type sword. If you could document that either (or preferably both) such defining elements are found among the archaeology of Bronze Age Sardinia, your claim would be more solid. I am not aware of any such finds in Bronze Age Sardinia and hence I consider your claim unlikely (not impossible but not to be a pillar of any further argumentation, as it is not proven at all). "It's rather obvious the word 'sardine' has nothing to do with this ethnonym".I do not think so: the similitude is so obvious and the root sar- repeats once and again through all the Basque vocabulary potentially related to fishing: sardine/-a, sarda (in both meanings) and finally (I just noticed) sare: net! And then there is the island… and that Catalan dance, the sardana (no idea how it may be related but it is highly suspicious). "Haye you even heard of homonymous words?"Sure. But homonymy must be demonstrated."… the more common saldo"Never heard of it. Sounds to salda: soup, an obvious Latin Borrowing.You need to twist the reality of words once and again to fit your ideas. This is no occasional fixing but a systematic vice you have, what makes me suspicious of your argumentation more and more. "The verb sartu is formed from a root *sar- and the verbal suffix -tu, very frequent in Basque and ultimately borrowed from Latin".What is "borrowed form Latin": sar- or -tu? (Highly skeptic in any case)."This is precisely what I think about your 'fish school', 'pitchfork' pseudo-etymologies".I am an amateur so you should not be surprised. But I do not claim that A meaning a is related to B meaning b, what is the most insultingly obvious case of amateurism, so typical of all the lists comparing Basque and Basque, Basque and Ainu, Basque and your-favorite-odd-tongue… Much less just because it is proto-North-Caucasian, a language family that nearly nobody recognizes to exist at all and, as far as I can tell, looks more like a recurrent fetish than anything useful at all in order to explain Basque language and the obvious and widespread Vasconic substrate all around.By systematically resorting acritically to PNC you are denying yourself the freedom to explore the Basque language, the Vasconic substrate, the languages potentially related to Basque such as Iberian (and even Caucasian languages, why not?)… on their own right. And you are trying to impose those authoritarian and seemingly capricious ideas on the rest… My "amateurish" etymologies at least are genuinely based on Basque and not exotic Orientalist fantasies.

     
  10. Maju

    March 2, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Erratum: "Basque and Basque" should read "Basque and Berber".

     
  11. Octavià Alexandre

    March 3, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Unless you claim that the Teresh are the Ertuscans, there's no mention of them among the Sea Peoples. It is possible that the Teresh could be the Etruscans, the Sherden the Sardinians and the Sekelesh the Sicilians… but this is difficult to prove, really.I disagree.It's rather obvious the word 'sardine' has nothing to do with this ethnonym".I do not think so: the similitude is so obvious and the root sar- repeats once and again through all the Basque vocabulary potentially related to fishing: sardine/-a, sarda (in both meanings) and finally (I just noticed) sare: net! And then there is the island… and that Catalan dance, the sardana (no idea how it may be related but it is highly suspicious).These are just similar sounding words but etymologically unrelated words."Haye you even heard of homonymous words?"Sure. But homonymy must be demonstrated.On the contrary, you're constantly quoting examples of them 🙂"… the more common saldo"Never heard of it. Sounds to salda: soup, an obvious Latin Borrowing.Try Elhuyar Hiztegia: http://www1.euskadi.net/cgi-bin_m33/DicioIe.exe (this is the online edition, I'm quoting from the printed one)saldo. iz. 1. (GN/Ipar.) Multitud, grupo de personas; grupo de animales, rebaño, manada, piara; [arrainak] banco. 2. (Z) (izen-sigtagmaren aurrean) Montón, cantidad grande; abundancia."The verb sartu is formed from a root *sar- and the verbal suffix -tu, very frequent in Basque and ultimately borrowed from Latin".What is "borrowed form Latin": sar- or -tu?The Basque verbal suffix -tu is in fact a Latin borrowing.Much less just because it is proto-North-Caucasian, a language family that nearly nobody recognizes to exist at all and, as far as I can tell, looks more like a recurrent fetish than anything useful at all in order to explain Basque language and the obvious and widespread Vasconic substrate all around.For practical purposes, Starostin's NC is more or less the same thing than Vasco-Caucasian.It's ironical you criticize so much Vasco-Caucasian and yet proclame there's a "widespread Vasconic substrate" which only crackpots like Vennemann see in their own imagination. I am an amateur so you should not be surprised. But I do not claim that A meaning a is related to B meaning b, what is the most insultingly obvious case of amateurism, so typical of all the lists comparing Basque and Basque, Basque and Ainu, Basque and your-favorite-odd-tongue…I'm affraid you've got little understanding of how historical linguistics really works. There's no problem in being a self-teaching person, but you must read a lot of books in order to grasp the inners of such a complicated subject as historical linguistics.By systematically resorting acritically to PNC you are denying yourself the freedom to explore the Basque language, the Vasconic substrate, the languages potentially related to Basque such as Iberian (and even Caucasian languages, why not?)… on their own right.You should be aware it has taken me several years of research and lots of hard work before reaching to the conclusion that Starostin's PNC is actually close to the common anecestor of Basque and many other languages, most of them only surviving as substrate loanwords.And you are trying to impose those authoritarian and seemingly capricious ideas on the rest… I'm not an authroritarian but in fact a highly cooperative person. This is precisely why I'm here, giving some you valuable information for free. 🙂

     
  12. Maju

    March 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    "I disagree".Feel free but it'd be nice if you could prove it or at least support your lack of doubts with some supporting indicators. There is absolutely nothing. All Sea Peoples that can be identified are Indoeuropeans from the Aegean or Eastern Mediterranean (Danaan, Lukka, Peleset/Philistines, Alashiyans/Cypriots, etc.) so it is logical to search for the rest in the same area unless there is some evidence saying differently. The Teresh for example could well be Troyans or Tyrians, while the Sekelesh could well be Cilicians and the Sherden could be related to Sardes or to Sidon… Or to any other place whose memory has been lost. What are the Meswesh for you, for instance? "The Basque verbal suffix -tu is in fact a Latin borrowing".How? I can't even imagine how that can be, specially with Latin verb infinitives ending in -ere and such (> Sp. -ar, -er, etc.) "For practical purposes, Starostin's NC is more or less the same thing than Vasco-Caucasian".Starostin's NC is not generally accepted. It's as valid, AFAIK as Starostin's Nostratic, etc. …

     
  13. Maju

    March 3, 2011 at 12:07 pm

    …"It's ironical you criticize so much Vasco-Caucasian and yet proclame there's a "widespread Vasconic substrate" which only crackpots like Vennemann see in their own imagination".I do not criticize "so much" Vasco-Caucasian. I do in fact think that there is a link with NE Caucasian (never seen any evidence relating NW Caucasian, so I tend to ignore this distinct family) but I find your systematics very much lacking:1. Starostin's North Caucasian is not widely accepted (because it lacks a solid demonstration)2. you love to propose Basque-Iberian derivations based on Starostin's PNC, which is not a valid reference: proto-languages are not valid references unless your work with them extends once and again to living languages: you never mention this word in Lezgian or Abkhazian, it's always PNC and always via Iberian, when the relation between Basque and Iberian has not been solidly demonstrated either. So it's a lot of building on thin air. Try working with real words of real living languages if you want to persuade me. Instead the obvious Basqueness of so many toponyms (and other substrate elements) is pretty much convincing in their own merits. Truth defends itself, stubbornly so. For example Nostratic and Dene-Caucasian are crackpot theories that have fallen in discredit because they were built without sufficiently good enough systematics (and based on total misunderstandings of Eurasian prehistory). The same is probably true with North Caucasian, a conjectural super-family or family that everybody finds unlikely (except Starostin himself). You think Vennemann is a "crackpot", well I think Starostin is instead. So we are even now. "You should be aware it has taken me several years of research and lots of hard work before reaching to the conclusion that Starostin's PNC is actually close to the common anecestor of Basque and many other languages, most of them only surviving as substrate loanwords".I'm willing to concede that you MIGHT be right. But AFAIK none of your work is published in any format (academic, self-publication or anything but a fragmentary inconsistent collection at your blog). Maybe if instead of falling once and again into pitched battles you'd publish (I do not care if it's no peer-reviewed because I'll judge your work on its own merits, not authority backing) and defend your theories with a bit less of arrogance (arrogance with new theories is totally "crackpotish", let me tell you) and more of respect, i.e. "this is what I think and it is because of this and that, judge yourself" – instead of "I am absolutely right and any alternative idea is crackpot junk – don't expect to even comprehend why" – maybe then somebody would listen to what you have to say. But you also have to listen to the rest. That's basic Machado: "your truth, not the truth"… "This is precisely why I'm here, giving some you valuable information for free".You are giving your opinions for free and I appreciate that generosity but you are also very much entrenched in your opinions, and that is what I find authoritarian: you are so persuaded of your own truth that all dialogue becomes futile.

     
  14. Octavià Alexandre

    March 3, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    "The Basque verbal suffix -tu is in fact a Latin borrowing".How? I can't even imagine how that can be, specially with Latin verb infinitives ending in -ere and such (> Sp. -ar, -er, etc.)What about Latin participles? ending in –tum?I do not criticize "so much" Vasco-Caucasian. I do in fact think that there is a link with NE Caucasian (never seen any evidence relating NW Caucasian, so I tend to ignore this distinct family) but I find your systematics very much lacking:1. Starostin's North Caucasian is not widely accepted (because it lacks a solid demonstration)Starostin's PNC is mostly based on NEC, a comparatively small group with a large internal variation. This is the reason why I think his reconstruction must eb actually closer to the actual Vasco-Caucasian.2. you love to propose Basque-Iberian derivations based on Starostin's PNC, which is not a valid reference: proto-languages are not valid references unless your work with them extends once and again to living languages: you never mention this word in Lezgian or AbkhazianSimply because comparing "living" languages like these ones isn't right thing to do. This is precisely why proto-languages are used instead.it's always PNC and always via Iberian, when the relation between Basque and Iberian has not been solidly demonstrated either.You sound like these academic folks you despise so much. Come on!Instead the obvious Basqueness of so many toponyms (and other substrate elements) is pretty much convincing in their own merits. Truth defends itself, stubbornly so.The big problem with toponyms is that, unlike common words, they have no meaning attached to them. Don't forget also ancient toponyms often are distorted due to imperfect transmission through different languages. The net result is too much noise to be distinguishable from random similarities.Also while "working within Basque" you tend to link similar sounding but sematically unrelated words like sarda 'pichfork' with his homonymous meaning 'group, flock', which I've demonstrated it's a mere variant of saldo. What can we expect of such kind of "comparisons"?You think Vennemann is a "crackpot", well I think Starostin is instead. So we are even now.The problem of Vennemann is he takes perfect IE words which are somewhat similar to Basque and then he pretends they come from a supposed "Vasconic" substrate.For example Nostratic and Dene-Caucasian are crackpot theories that have fallen in discredit because they were built without sufficiently good enough systematics (and based on total misunderstandings of Eurasian prehistory).Yes, I agree with you.The same is probably true with North Caucasian, a conjectural super-family or family that everybody finds unlikely (except Starostin himself).As a said before, Starostin's NC is more or less the same thing than Vasco-Caucasian, so we'd better forget about his original formulation, right?But you also have to listen to the rest. That's basic Machado: "your truth, not the truth"…Do you know what the word machado means? It's the Portuguese word for 'axe', a tool for chopping off what isn't useful.

     
  15. Maju

    March 3, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    "What about Latin participles? ending in -tum?"Precisely, that it is a participle to begin with. You are here forcing a Latin reading of something that either is genuinely Basque or has some other origin. It's not your fault only: there used to be a shameful school of Basque linguists claiming every other word and toponym, often with no reason at all, was Latin. You are just another victim of a biased system. "… because comparing "living" languages like these ones isn't right thing to do".Neither I nor most serious linguists (not that I am one but I agree with them here) will agree: proto-words are just hypothesis not facts. If you choose, for convenience, to work with proto-words, you must be a thousand times more careful and double check once and again. "You sound like these academic folks you despise so much. Come on!"Hahaha! That's for two reasons: (1) I am discussing with an academic person (you) and (2) I do not despise academics in general, just some of them at worst (or more correctly certain academic vices surely). I take quite seriously the consensus of the Academia, specially where I have no or just a very slight idea. A problem may be to be certain which is the consensus (and if it does exist) and if this one sins of excessive caution (what may be true in some cases). "The big problem with toponyms is that, unlike common words, they have no meaning attached to them".Some toponyms are indeed distorted and of obscure meaning but others are transparent. The ones listed in this entry for rivers are all with clear modern Basque meaning and I can also identify meaning in many of the village toponyms, and where I'm in doubt (probably because of my own ignorance), they are way too similar to Basque surnames to be just coincidence. "The net result is too much noise to be distinguishable from random similarities".I see no noise in the extensive list provided by Elexpuru: it's transparent. Naturally for someone who is likely to claim that Turri cannot be Iturri but some wacko PNC word via Iberian… well… claiming noise is highly convenient. Of course it can also be Romance for "towers". This one is indeed unclear and one would need to know the local geography to decide in either the Vasconic or the Romanic way. …

     
  16. Maju

    March 3, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    …"Also while "working within Basque" you tend to link similar sounding but sematically unrelated words like sarda 'pichfork' with his homonymous meaning 'group, flock', which I've demonstrated it's a mere variant of saldo. What can we expect of such kind of "comparisons"?"That comparison is so highly tentative that I have only proposed in this particular discussion and never before. Let's recapitulate:My main thesis in this aspect is that pan-European (?) word sardine (sardina or sardine in Basque) is of Vasconic etymology by mean of sarda (fish school) + -in (suffix of doing, "doer", "maker" – a well known suffix) + -a/-e (basic nominative declension). And I say that this word "sardine/-a" is ancestral to the toponym Sardinia. The Sardinian autochthonous name Sardigna or Sardinnya makes perfect sense with Basque phonetics as -in- makes always -ign- (Italian/French script) or -iñ- (Spanish script) or -iny- (Catalan or Sardinian script).As appendix to this thesis I have noticed that other words potentially related to fishing such as fork (sarda) and net (sare) share the root sar- (also in the word to introduce: sartu, which may be root of sarda -fork- in fact but hardly of the rest). BUT I am uncertain about their correlation and you may well be right it is just a coincidence. Just that I tend to be suspicious of coincidences and hence I must mention this strange coincidence. "Starostin's NC is more or less the same thing than Vasco-Caucasian, so we'd better forget about his original formulation, right?"I'd honestly prefer if you'd use proto-NWC or proto-NEC independently, as the correlation of these two families is at the moment highly conjectural. I'd also prefer if you would not need to force all connections via some sort of Iberian funnel but that you could establish a direct Basque-PNEC (for example) connection, consistently along many words (parts of a Swadesh list for example) and grammar, and then also contrast it with real words in Lezgian, Chechen or whatever (so we are reasonably sure that proto-words are not fictional elements but real stuff). Finally I'd appreciate if the meaning of words does not systematically change, no finger-stick or fish-water alleged "cognates", please, at least mostly not. "Do you know what the word machado means?"Nope but I know that I wrote the verse wrongly, totally changing the meaning. My bad. It is in fact: "your truth not, (but) the truth"…

     
  17. manju

    March 3, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Do you know what the word machado means? It's the Portuguese word for 'axe',Kannada word for axe, sickle is 'maccu'. Just a coincidence, I suppose.

     
  18. Octavià Alexandre

    March 3, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Precisely, that it is a participle to begin with. You are here forcing a Latin reading of something that either is genuinely Basque or has some other origin.Which one?It's not your fault only: there used to be a shameful school of Basque linguists claiming every other word and toponym, often with no reason at all, was Latin. You are just another victim of a biased system.Well, I've criticized myself many wrong Latin etymologies proposed by Vascologists, but in this case I'm quite sure they're right.Neither I nor most serious linguists (not that I am one but I agree with them here) will agree: proto-words are just hypothesis not facts.Proto-languages (there's no such thing as "proto-words") are nopthing more than a useful tool for comparative purposes. It's a pity some people tend to forget this."You sound like these academic folks you despise so much. Come on!"Hahaha! That's for two reasons: (1) I am discussing with an academic person (you)Sorry, but I've already told you I'm not an academic guy.Some toponyms are indeed distorted and of obscure meaning but others are transparent. The ones listed in this entry for rivers are all with clear modern Basque meaningOnce again, toponyms have no "meaning" attached. What do you see is they resemble to Basque words. They might be related or they might not, and other things being equal, it's more likely they aren't.And I say that this word "sardine/-a" is ancestral to the toponym Sardinia.This is simply ABSURD. Yours is a good example of why anybody without a specific training (either formal or informal) can't just jump in and make "etymologies".Of course it can also be Romance for "towers". This one is indeed unclear and one would need to know the local geography to decide in either the Vasconic or the Romanic way.The word 'tower' comes from Latin turris, accusative plural turres, so there's no doubt it's Romance. This is also valid for your "Vasconic" torre in Basque.

     
  19. Octavià Alexandre

    March 3, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    The Sardinian autochthonous name Sardigna or Sardinnya makes perfect sense with Basque phonetics as -in- makes always -ign- (Italian/French script) or -iñ- (Spanish script) or -iny- (Catalan or Sardinian script).You seem to ignore a basic fact of Romance languages. The original Sardinia had a "yod" j which palatalized the precedent nasal into ɲ hence giving Sardiɲa. This has nothing to do with its ortographic representation, which in Basque happens to be -in-.As appendix to this thesis I have noticed that other words potentially related to fishing such as fork (sarda) and net (sare) share the root sar- (also in the word to introduce: sartu, which may be root of sarda -fork- in fact but hardly of the rest). BUT I am uncertain about their correlation and you may well be right it is just a coincidence. Just that I tend to be suspicious of coincidences and hence I must mention this strange coincidence.There's no "coincidence", only that these words happen to be similar sounding, nothing more.I'd honestly prefer if you'd use proto-NWC or proto-NEC independently, as the correlation of these two families is at the moment highly conjectural.For practical purposes, Starostin's PNC is mostly based on proto-NEC, so in the framework of the Vasco-Caucasian hypothesis, all the other families (thus including NWC) are more or less remotedly related to NEC.I'd also prefer if you would not need to force all connections via some sort of Iberian funnelI don't know exactly what you mean, but I suppose you refer to Martinet's Law and Mitxelena's Proto-Basque, aren't you?.but that you could establish a direct Basque-PNEC (for example) connection, consistently along many words (parts of a Swadesh list for example) and grammar, and then also contrast it with real words in Lezgian, Chechen or whatever (so we are reasonably sure that proto-words are not fictional elements but real stuff).I'm affraid that wouldn't work. :-)I also remind you that reconstructed isn't same than "fictional".Finally I'd appreciate if the meaning of words does not systematically change, no finger-stick or fish-water alleged "cognates", please, at least mostly not.I'm affraid that contrarily to what you think (and this is one of the reasons I insist you should get a training), meaning shifts happen all the time. To name a classical example, Spanish trabajo, Catalan treball mean 'work' despite their Latin ancestor tripāliu(m) was a torture instrument. Interesting, isn't it?As I said earlier, you've got still a lot of things to learn, so please be a bit less arrogant. 🙂

     
  20. Maju

    March 3, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    "Kannada word for axe, sickle is 'maccu'. Just a coincidence, I suppose".It may well be a borrowing from Dravidian. In this case I'd leave the matter in Octavià's more erudite hands but it does not look to me like Machado as Port. axe has a Romance origin. The only Romance correlate I can think of is 'macho': male, and machete, which Wikitionary suggests to be related with macho but it's probably not. I'd think that we are before a case of borrowing into Portuguese from Dravidian and then into other languages from Portuguese ("machete" only). Makes sense, right?

     
  21. Maju

    March 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    "Which one?" – 3500 years ago there was not a single speaker of Indoeuropean West of the Rhine, the possibilities are just wide open. If you do not think it is an internal Basque trait, you can think for example of a Tartessian borrowing or whatever else (Ligurian, paleoscandinavian, paleobritish, paleobelgian, paleo-central-iberian, paleo-NW-Iberian, paleo-North-African, paleo-Italian, paleo…) But it does not need to be Latin. Claiming Latin when it's obviously not the case is intellectual laziness and a lack of imagination. "there's no such thing as "proto-words""You are using proto-words all the time. There are of course proto-words and they are characterized by carrying an asterisk ('*') before them (usually). "… are nothing more than a useful tool for comparative purposes"…Precisely. They are a convenient tool, not evidence."I'm not an academic guy"…Academic enough for me. You do have an academic title at least, right?I still appreciate your effort to mix with the plebeians and share with us. :)"toponyms have no "meaning" attached".Something like Aritzo may mean nothing to you but to me means clearly The Oak – in an inclusive or neighboring sense possibly (re. Basque declension -ok). Similarly a toponym like Kingston means 'King's Town' and a toponym like Buenos Aires means 'Good Airs' and Rio de Janeiro means 'River of January'.Toponyms have meanings indeed, even if sometimes we may not understand them anymore. People name (and rename) places because of a reason, and that reason is not some sound they fancy (at least not in most cases) but something that makes sense to them. Hence when the river Urbel (Burgos) got its name, the namers meant Blackwater (a common toponym also in other languages), etc. If Basque would have been lost we would not be able to decipher this one anymore but in this case we got lucky. "This is simply ABSURD". [Sardigna = Sardinia < sardina = sardine]Why? They sound identical and naming an island by a fish makes total sense, specially if the namers belong to a fishing culture that just discovered the island or that used to go there to capture such fish. We have the historical example of the Island of Bacallao (Cod Island), which was of course Newfoundland (the name did not stick but it might have). And there is Cape Cod in Massachusetts, etc. There were places names on whales (Balea Baia, now Red Bay in Labrador, also Walvis Bay in Namibia), on turtles (Galapagos islands), on eels (Anguilla), etc. So why would it be absurd to name a once remote island on its sardine fisheries? "your "Vasconic" torre in Basque"."My" what? I never made such claim. Please look for some other culprit. "The original Sardinia"…The Latin variant "Sardinia" (preserved in English but not in Romances interestingly enough) is probably not the original but just the Latin version of a much older name. An older name that had the palatal nasal, as in Basque "sardina" (and Sardinian, Italian, French, Catalan, Spanish… names for Sardinia) which could not be reproduced in the classical Latin sound array and was hence represented by "ni" much like Catalunya is represented in English (which also lacks the palatal nasal) as 'Catalonia'. This is so self-evident that I feel insulted intellectually to have to explain it. The palatal nasal is common in all SW Europe, Italy, the Western Balcans (and maybe other places I do not know about) and is surely a pre-Latin feature that penetrated Vulgar Latin but that was only expressed in written form later on. …

     
  22. Maju

    March 3, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    …"This has nothing to do with its ortographic representation, which in Basque happens to be -in-".This is not any mere ortographic representation it is a sound shift caused when I and N collude in the IN order. I only know of a single exception to this rule, which is the name Ainhoa (the silent 'h' is there for a reason). I do not know which is the specialized name for this kind of conditional sound shift (well, palatalization obviously) but it is soemething that happens in Basque with both N and L (Basque il = Sp. ill, Por. ilh, Cat. iny or Serbocroat ilj). Notice that the I vowel does not disappear, so it is not a mere ortographic indication: the I is pronounced always but also alters N or L before them. Eneko will always sound EN- and not EÑ- but its Spanish equivalent Iñigo will sound IÑ- even if written Inigo, as long as you follow Basque pronunciation rules. The use of Spanish Ñ in Basque is trivial because it always happens after I unless it's a loanword and N after I sounds like Sp. IÑ. Still some people use it anyhow. "There's no "coincidence", only that these words happen to be similar sounding"…That is a coincidence. Please check the meaning of this word in your dictionary, it derivates from 'to coincide' which means to be similar in some aspect (space-time but also qualities or attributes). "For practical purposes, Starostin's PNC is mostly based on proto-NEC"…Good to know but not too serious IMO. If you have two component families, the average of both should be intermediate not more similar to one than the other. I can't think of any reason (other than laziness) to give more weight to one than the other. They both should weight exactly the same. "I don't know exactly what you mean, but I suppose you refer to Martinet's Law and Mitxelena's Proto-Basque, aren't you?"I guess so. All I know is that you always claim that some word comes from PNC via Iberian something. This is as good as connecting with Na-Dene via Lezgian: I could not care less. One item is the Basque-Lezgian connection and another item is the Lezgian-Dene connection (assuming they do exist at all). This may seem silly but it is important for reasons of methodology."I'm affraid that wouldn't work. :-)"I'm afraid (with a single F, btw) that this demonstrates that your theory doesn't hold a reality check and hence needs a more careful work or be discarded. "I also remind you that reconstructed isn't same than "fictional"".It is the same as conjectural or hypothetical, as in not real but speculative. I'd say that calling them "fictional" may be a bit over the line but not as disparaged as you would think. 'Speculative' at the least. "I'm affraid that contrarily to what you think (and this is one of the reasons I insist you should get a training), meaning shifts happen all the time. To name a classical example, Spanish trabajo, Catalan treball mean 'work' despite their Latin ancestor tripāliu(m) was a torture instrument. Interesting, isn't it?"I know that these things do happen on occasion. But what you cannot do is to assume that they happen at your convenience. Hence, just for caution, they must be discarded when doing lexical comparisons (unless you can be as certain of the evolution as happens in the example here). This is not the case with Caucasian or pre-IE Western European languages so please, for your own sanity, abstain.

     
  23. Octavià Alexandre

    March 3, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    It is the same as conjectural or hypothetical, as in not real but speculative. I'd say that calling them "fictional" may be a bit over the line but not as disparaged as you would think. 'Speculative' at the least.I'd apply the word "fictional" to your PIE-Basque comparisons. If you think reconstructed proto-languages are irreal, then you should include also PIE.I know that these things do happen on occasion.No, they actually happen much nore often than you do. But what you cannot do is to assume that they happen at your convenience.If you assume semantic shifts are arbritrary, the you're simply wrong.Hence, just for caution, they must be discarded when doing lexical comparisons (unless you can be as certain of the evolution as happens in the example here). I don't think you're in a position to give me such "advice". :-)My own advice is you must still read a lot and learn many things before adventuring yourself in historical/comparative linguistics.Your "theory" which links Sardinia with sardine is simply ridiculous and doesn't deserve further comment.

     
  24. Octavià Alexandre

    March 3, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    The Latin variant "Sardinia" (preserved in English but not in Romances interestingly enough) is probably not the original but just the Latin version of a much older name.Any good book about the subject would tell you that Latin had no palatal sounds, so Romance ones derive from some combinations such as nj. That's all.Please don't get this as a persona offence, but your ignorance of simple facts like this is paramount.

     
  25. Maju

    March 4, 2011 at 6:11 am

    [Meaning changes along sound changes and geographic cultural migrations] "actually happen much nore often than you do".Maybe but then they are like the absolute god of certain Zoroastrian sect: you cannot say anything about it, nor worship it.. as god it is pretty much useless even if philosophically pretty. By using such stretching at your convenience you fall in the worst pit of linguistic amateurism. See for example this article for a good criticism. Also see this awful article for a good laugh when reading how Basque and Ainu "are related" (a total hoax or hallucination on high grade mushrooms). Specially I'd like to call your attention to comparisons like the ones which follow, which are not too different of what you do:Siko (to be born) – Zikoina (stork) o.OTasum (illness) – Eritasun (illness) [-tasun is a nominalizing Basque suffix, like English -ty, or -ness]Ona (father) – Onartzaile (authority)["authorizer" actually]Kotan (many) – Kote (village) [AFAIK kote does not exist in Basque but even if it existed…]Etc, etc. It's all that extremely weird, yet the author dares to claim afterwards: "For anyone having read the list, the connection should be utterly obvious"…Or rather not. Much less if you actually speak some Basque (I imagine it's the same for Ainu-speakers). So please, Octavià, do not do that. Remember that you are almost always easier to fool than most other people. "If you assume semantic shifts are arbritrary, the you're simply wrong".I'm not assuming anything but they may well be chaotic indeed ("arbitrary" implies intentionality "chaotic" implies the natural flow largely stochastic flow of things). You seem to be wishing to apply Newtonian (or Cartesian) logic but that is an obsolete way of thinking. With discrete Newtonian physics, we'd have no satellites for example. We cannot keep ourselves restricted to 19th or even 18th century way of doing things. "I don't think you're in a position to give me such "advice". :-)"I do not care what you think when you go arrogant and dismissive.

     
  26. Maju

    March 4, 2011 at 6:29 am

    "Your "theory" which links Sardinia with sardine is simply ridiculous and doesn't deserve further comment". It is a sound theory and you have only been able to attack it with what would seem seizures of rage and insultitis but not a single argument. First lesson of nonviolence: "convencer, no vencer" (persuade, not win). If you want to persuade you need to be pedagogical (invest time and well structured efforts) and also to show interest your counterparts by listening (not just in a formal way but paying attention and admitting they may be right). Often anyhow you will have to agree to disagree (normal) but that's no reason to go into emotional rampage or stupid arguments on who has the last word. "Any good book about the subject would tell you that Latin had no palatal sounds, so Romance ones derive from some combinations such as nj. That's all".I must disagree. I think that these sounds are from the pre-IE substrate via Vulgar Latin. It's not any modern evolution but pronunciation trends that existed already in antiquity. "Please don't get this as a persona offence, but your ignorance of simple facts like this is paramount".I do think it is a personal attack but regardless… I know of the theory that claims that the palatal nasal in romances is an evolution from NN. But it's very possible that reality is very different (including maybe an NN that was read as Ñ in classical or at least vulgar Latin). You cannot judge sounds subtleties only by letters. For example one would think that Madrid is pronounced like madrit by how it's spelled but in fact it's more like madrith. There are worse cases, Cádiz is pronounced Káii by the natives. So now imagine how would Latin be pronounced from Bulgaria to Morocco in the "year zero". Talking about an homogeneous Latin before Roman expansion is probably correct to some extent (though probably Roman Latin had a lot of Etruscanisms and Sabinisms, surely mocked in Alba Longa) but since Rome began expanding… this cannot be anymore the case in spite of all the efforts by the Roman state (and then the Catholic Church) to keep a standard frozen in time and space.

     
  27. Octavià Alexandre

    March 4, 2011 at 11:39 am

    You seem to be wishing to apply Newtonian (or Cartesian) logic but that is an obsolete way of thinking. With discrete Newtonian physics, we'd have no satellites for example. We cannot keep ourselves restricted to 19th or even 18th century way of doing things.Wow! You're confusing logic with Newton's Gravitiy Theory! Have you ever been to school, Maju?"Your "theory" which links Sardinia with sardine is simply ridiculous and doesn't deserve further comment".It is a sound theoryNo, it's simply absurd. and you have only been able to attack it with what would seem seizures of rage and insultit is but not a single argument.On the contrary, I've pointed you the existence of Basque sardana (L) 'daring' and that sarda 'group, flock' is a variant of saldo, but you prefer to ignore these facts and stick to your crackpot theory.First lesson of nonviolence: "convencer, no vencer" (persuade, not win). If you want to persuade you need to be pedagogical (invest time and well structured efforts) and also to show interest your counterparts by listening (not just in a formal way but paying attention and admitting they may be right).I wonder if you will ever be able to convince anyone of your 'sardine' theory. 🙂"Any good book about the subject would tell you that Latin had no palatal sounds, so Romance ones derive from some combinations such as nj. That's all".I must disagree. I think that these sounds are from the pre-IE substrate via Vulgar Latin. It's not any modern evolution but pronunciation trends that existed already in antiquity.Them I'd politely request you to provide the evidence which supports that.I know of the theory that claims that the palatal nasal in romances is an evolution from NN.Not exactly. The group nn (actually a geminate consonant) evolved to a palatal ɲ ONLY in some Romance languages (e.g. Spanish, Catalan) but not in others like Galician-Portuguese.But it's very possible that reality is very different (including maybe an NN that was read as Ñ in classical or at least vulgar Latin).I'm affraid this isn't possible (see above). But AFAIK the group nj (i.e. n+yod) became a palatal nasal in all Romance languages.You cannot judge sounds subtleties only by letters. For example one would think that Madrid is pronounced like madrit by how it's spelled but in fact it's more like madrith.Wow! You say one thing and then you contradict yourself in the next phrase. Do you know what the International Phonetical Alphabet (IPA) is? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Phonetic_AlphabetYou should be more grateful to me as I'm teaching you for free. 🙂

     
  28. Maju

    March 4, 2011 at 11:58 am

    "Have you ever been to school, Maju?… No, it's simply absurd"…Keep it up in the way of sound argumentation. ;)"Do you know what the International Phonetical Alphabet (IPA) is?"It's not in my keyboard (yes I know, so?)"You should be more grateful to me as I'm teaching you for free. :-)"Get lost you arrogant prick, you are teaching nothing… just wasting my time. 😦

     
  29. Octavià Alexandre

    March 4, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    This is not any mere ortographic representation it is a sound shift caused when I and N collude in the IN order. I only know of a single exception to this rule, which is the name Ainhoa (the silent 'h' is there for a reason). I do not know which is the specialized name for this kind of conditional sound shift (well, palatalization obviously) but it is soemething that happens in Basque with both N and L (Basque il = Sp. ill, Por. ilh, Cat. iny or Serbocroat ilj). Notice that the I vowel does not disappear, so it is not a mere ortographic indication: the I is pronounced always but also alters N or L before them.I'm affraid you're confusing the etymological origin of some palatal sounds with their ortographic representation. While in some cases they match, in general they don't. For example, Basque oilo 'hen' is usually pronounced as oʎo in despite the palatal comes from the usual Romance evolution of Latin ll (e.g. Spanish pollo /póʎo/ < Latin pullu(m)).Eneko will always sound EN- and not EÑ- but its Spanish equivalent Iñigo will sound IÑ- even if written Inigo, as long as you follow Basque pronunciation rules. The old form was Enneko, where nn simplified to n in Basque but evolved to ɲ in Spanish.The use of Spanish Ñ in Basque is trivial because it always happens after I unless it's a loanword and N after I sounds like Sp. IÑ. Still some people use it anyhow.Take for example Latin Hispania > Spanish España, which in Basque is written as Espaina. Here the use of the digraph in is a mere ortographic convention to represent the palatal nasal.

     
  30. Octavià Alexandre

    March 4, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    "Do you know what the International Phonetical Alphabet (IPA) is?"It's not in my keyboard (yes I know, so?)But you still can make "copy & paste" with it!"You should be more grateful to me as I'm teaching you for free. :-)"Get lost you arrogant prick, you are teaching nothing… just wasting my time. 😦You also owe me an apology for being so stubborn and rude. :-)) Violence is not welcome!

     
  31. Octavià Alexandre

    March 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

     
  32. Maju

    March 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    "You also owe me an apology"…Do I?"Violence is not welcome!"Am I punching your nose? WTF, "violence"?!"Take for example Latin Hispania > Spanish España, which in Basque is written as Espaina. Here the use of the digraph in is a mere ortographic convention to represent the palatal nasal"It is pronounced differently than in Spanish: the I is pronounced, even if slightly. It is an ortographic convention but also alters the sound of the original Spanish sound because in Basque there is no Ñ without I before it. "Also deleting my earlier post"…I have not deleted anything.

     
  33. Maju

    March 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    It went to spam, now it's back.

     
  34. Octavià Alexandre

    March 4, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    "You also owe me an apology"…Do I?Yes, for calling me "arrogant prick". 🙂Am I punching your nose? WTF, "violence"?!You know words can be used as a weapon. This is called verbal violence.It is pronounced differently than in Spanish: the I is pronounced, even if slightly. It is an ortographic convention but also alters the sound of the original Spanish sound because in Basque there is no Ñ without I before it.OK, but please notice this doesn't imply the origin of this sound was a group jn (i.e. yod+n) and much less than it predated Latin.I have not deleted anything. It went to spam, now it's back.OK, the matter is settled.

     
  35. Maju

    March 4, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    1. Verbal aggression may be nasty but it is not strictly violence. Violence is always physical. You cannot coerce someone or cause him/her death or true physical pain with mere words. For example: police is violence but TV is not, even Tele5 can only be that nasty because you can always turn it off. 2. You have been making personal attacks since many posts ago. I have been containing myself. You also provoked Arnaud in the other debate with base PAs until he went mad and I had to banish him. You are not any nice person but rather what in colloquial terms is said "a bitch": someone who is not so much interested in the truth as into "victory" (dancing over someone else's corpse). I'm very much aware even if I tend to give second opportunities and I have not commented till now. 3. You earned the "arrogant prick" epithet by acting immaturely and pretentiously, not just here. It is you who should apologize for behaving that way, for being insultingly arrogant, for looking shamelessly for personalized fights. 4. It's my blog, you are the guest. I have not deleted anything… yet. But you better behave.

     
  36. Octavià Alexandre

    March 4, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    1. Verbal aggression may be nasty but it is not strictly violence. Violence is always physical. You cannot coerce someone or cause him/her death or true physical pain with mere words.I disagree, because spoken words are physical enough.For example: police is violence but TV is not,But violence in films is still violence. even Tele5 can only be that nasty because you can always turn it off.Tele5 is a good example of TV-trash (I'm not sure how to translate Spanish telebasura into English).2. You have been making personal attacks since many posts ago.I've pointed out you should be a little less arrogant before making so stupid theories (e.g. the 'sardine' one). I also remind you a few months ago you recognized yourself you weren't a linguist. I hardly think that telling you the truth (i.e. you have no expertise on historical linguistics) can be considered as a "personal attack".You also provoked Arnaud in the other debate with base PAs until he went mad and I had to banish him.Arnaud has an impressive historial as a troll so I tried to warn you before it happened the unavoidable.You are not any nice person but rather what in colloquial terms is said "a bitch":As we say in Spanish, me la suda, amigo.Have a nice time.

     
  37. Octavià Alexandre

    March 4, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    someone who is not so much interested in the truth as into "victory" (dancing over someone else's corpse).I'm not interesting in killing anyone (even in a metaphoric way), as I'm also against ALL forms of violence (either from police or ETA, for example).

     
  38. Maju

    March 5, 2011 at 5:53 am

    Look: when you say, for example:"Your "theory" which links Sardinia with sardine is simply ridiculous and doesn't deserve further comment". … you are using 'verbal violence' because you frontally refuse to discuss the pros and cons of my theory. And that's what you have done through all the discussion: disqualifying instead of debating with content. It's 'infantile' in the negative sense of the word: immature, emotional and not constructive. You have not put a single argument forward against it, just dismissed it as outlandish, even if everything seems to fit in. …But in any case your (or mine or whomever's) "verbal violence" is never true violence because you can generally escape it unlike what normally happens with physical violence and because any damage is "moral" and not "material". If you think otherwise, unable to differentiate between different "violent" forms, degrees and even justifications, you probably will just justify violence eventually.But you are not a nonviolent character in any case (probably not anybody is, violence is part of our nature: only facing this we can face violence in realistic terms): you are too aggressive and emotionally reactive to be such thing. …"I hardly think that telling you the truth (i.e. you have no expertise on historical linguistics) can be considered as a "personal attack"".Insisting on that instead of putting forward alternative arguments or specific criticisms is clearly at ad hominem attack, a disqualification that you use once and again instead of reasoning, debating, explaining, criticizing the theory as such. As you seem unable to make any specific criticism of the sardine-Sardinia theory, you attack its author instead, what is lowly and self-disqualifying (mind you). It's I guess ok if you declare that scepticism on my qualifications now and then… You know I do not care much. But what is not acceptable is that you do that instead of debating. If you cannot or do not wish to debate the theory as such, you can always drop the conversation (nobody forces you to stay in). If you think that comment format is not good enough for your exposition, you are welcome to change it (email, write an entry in your blog…) But what you can't do is to replace the debate by PAs.

     
  39. Octavià Alexandre

    March 5, 2011 at 11:39 am

    As you seem unable to make any specific criticism of the sardine-Sardinia theory, you attack its author instead, what is lowly and self-disqualifying (mind you).I've already make some "specific criticisms" which you appear to ignore:- The words you think are etymologically related because they sound similar such as sardina, sarda and so on are no semantically connected in any way.- There's a Basque word sardana (L) 'daring'.- Basque sarda 'group, flock, fish school' is a mere variant of saldo.- You also hold (without any supporting evidence) that palatal sounds (and more specifically, the palatal nasal) are pre-Latin.

     
  40. Maju

    March 5, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Let's see: nothing in all such "criticisms" seems duly founded or with clear implications to me:"The words you think are etymologically related because they sound similar such as sardina, sarda and so on are no semantically connected in any way".My whole point is that they are (probably) connected. Simply shaking your head and saying "no" is no argument against it. "There's a Basque word sardana (L) 'daring'".Maybe but if anything it looks related to the other meaning of sarda: fork, and the possibly related verb sartu: to enter, introduce, get in, penetrate. I tried to address this point earlier. It'd be interesting to know how do you think the -(a)na suffix got there and how this word is relate to the famous Catalan folk dance of the same name. But in any case it seems quite meaningless, something only potentially connected to the whole matter."Basque sarda 'group, flock, fish school' is a mere variant of saldo".Or vice versa or they are not related at all. As I said before I never heard of "saldo" earlier, except in the Spanish version meaning something like "remainder" (accountancy). Saldo would seem more related to the verb sal(du), to sell and may well have a totally different etymology. By the way, I just noticed another odd Basque-English apparent cognate: sal(-du) – to sell. How interesting!"You also hold (without any supporting evidence) that palatal sounds (and more specifically, the palatal nasal) are pre-Latin".This is only a side debate but I'd think so. Otherwise how would you explain the widespread extension of such sounds all through Romance speaking areas – specially when Latin did not have such sound (but Basque does)?

     
  41. Maju

    March 5, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    To summarize, I'd say that your only real point is that "saldo" alternate word (all the rest does not matter) but arguing that sarda comes from saldo is inconclusive: the words would seem potentially related but the meanings do not overlap (saldo is for cattle and sarda for fish). However it'd be interesting to explore other possible meanings of the root sar- and the maybe related root sal-, which, verbally, mean to get in and to sell respectively, as we have already seen. Other interesting words in sar- are sari (prize, treasury, payment) but specially several of marine zoology. Following my dictionary:- sardatun: tuna which goes in school (atun = tuna in Spanish and sometimes in Basque too)- sardoi: large and dangerous sea fishAlso sardai (long stick used to pull down hazelnuts or other fruits), maybe related to sardana? I'll leave it at this because I cannot explore the whole matter on my own limited resources. But the potential connections are interesting, including the somewhat obscure origins of Catalan sardana dance where the Pyrenees meet the Sea: at the Empordá district.

     
  42. Octavià Alexandre

    March 5, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    "The words you think are etymologically related because they sound similar such as sardina, sarda and so on are no semantically connected in any way".My whole point is that they are (probably) connected. Simply shaking your head and saying "no" is no argument against it.You're again twisting my words, Maju. If I had said simply "no", you'd be right, but I said these words have no reasonable semantic connection."There's a Basque word sardana (L) 'daring'".Maybe but if anything it looks related to the other meaning of sarda: fork, and the possibly related verb sartu: to enter, introduce, get in, penetrate. I tried to address this point earlier.Sorry, but I think you wholy missed the point.It'd be interesting to know how do you think the -(a)na suffix got thereI don't think there's no such suffix. and how this word is relate to the famous Catalan folk dance of the same name.To the best of my knowledge they're homonymous words."Basque sarda 'group, flock, fish school' is a mere variant of saldo".Or vice versa or they are not related at all. As I said before I never heard of "saldo" earlier, except in the Spanish version meaning something like "remainder" (accountancy).Have you got a Basque dictionary? I've already quoted the corresponding entry, but I'm going to repeat it in this case you have it missed:saldo. iz. 1. (GN/Ipar.) Multitud, grupo de personas; grupo de animales, rebaño, manada, piara; [arrainak] banco. 2. (Z) (izen-sigtagmaren aurrean) Montón, cantidad grande; abundancia.As I told you before (and I'm tired of having to repeat myself), the shift l > r is quite common in Basque, even in loanwords such as colchón > kurtxoin.By the way, I just noticed another odd Basque-English apparent cognate: sal(-du) – to sell. How interesting!Iberian śali- (> Basque sari 'payment') is a quite common word in inscriptions. And although a connection with Germanic *saljan 'to sell' is possible, this is far from sure."You also hold (without any supporting evidence) that palatal sounds (and more specifically, the palatal nasal) are pre-Latin".This is only a side debate but I'd think so. Otherwise how would you explain the widespread extension of such sounds all through Romance speaking areas – specially when Latin did not have such sound (but Basque does)?In the case of the palatal nasal, I've already told you it originated from the evolution of consonantic groups like nj (n+yod), jn (yod+n) and in some languages also nn (geminate n). Other palatal sound have a similar origin.

     
  43. Octavià Alexandre

    March 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

     
  44. Octavià Alexandre

    March 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

     
  45. Octavià Alexandre

    March 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    To summarize, I'd say that your only real point is that "saldo" alternate word (all the rest does not matter) but arguing that sarda comes from saldo is inconclusive: the words would seem potentially related but the meanings do not overlap (saldo is for cattle and sarda for fish).Not really, as saldo can also refer to fish. So your argument isn't valid.You must also be aware no serious linguist would claim a word meaning 'fish' or 'fish school' is related to another one meaning 'fork', and much less any of them is related to the ethomnym Sardinian. Of course, you're free to think otherwise but I don't think you would ever be able to convince anyone.

     
  46. Maju

    March 5, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    "If I had said simply "no", you'd be right, but I said these words have no reasonable semantic connection".And where is the difference. I am saying that they DO have a reasonable semantic connection and you say that they do NOT have it without further explanation of any sort. So it's a simple NO in the end. "Sorry, but I think you wholy missed the point".I'm trying to explain where that "(L) sardana" dialectal form may come from. In any case it's obviously not related to sarda/-ina in the marine sense of the word it seems to me. And you are again just shaking your head anyhow. "I don't think there's no such suffix".Two negations in English make an affirmation but I believe you made an error and meant "I think there's no such suffix", right? (Just for clarification)Without the suffix how do you think that sardana might be related to sarda and sardina?"To the best of my knowledge they're homonymous words".What does "sardana" mean in Catalan? AFAIK nothing. "Have you got a Basque dictionary? I've already quoted the corresponding entry… [arrainak] banco" [Sp. for school]That last meaning does not come in my dictionary, only the one meaning group of sheep or other such cattle. But whatever. "the shift l > r is quite common in Basque"Not so common: I'm not aware that aldi (time, occasion) and ardi (sheep) are related for example and I find hard to think of other examples. You mention Sp. colchón > kurtxoin but that is NOT an internal Basque sound shift but a borrowing. And as linguist you are committing an error here, I believe, because the reason for the sound shift is that in this word, LT(X) would be nearly impossible to pronounce. Even in Spanish the L tends to be eclipsed (ko'chón) – so it's a very bad example. In Spanish itself there is a dialectal tendency to migrate the L into R, infamously popularized by that advertisement of certain pillow, pronounced "armoada". This may have in fact an Arab origin because in Arabic al- and ar- are also often interchangeable. So it's very possible that this kurtxoin thing has the phonetic mutation imported from Spanish and not being any Basque specificity. …

     
  47. Maju

    March 5, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    "Iberian śali- (> Basque sari 'payment')"…If I sell something to you, you (the purchaser) are the one paying me, right? Unsure but whatever."And although a connection with Germanic *saljan 'to sell' is possible, this is far from sure".It looks very much likely: same sound, same meaning, same Vasconic geography… ;)And the Iberian and PG phonetics are so identical, well just as Basque and English ones! Too much of a coincidence not to be for real. This is the kind of fish I love to get in my net. :D"In the case of the palatal nasal, I've already told you it originated from the evolution of consonantic groups like nj (n+yod), jn (yod+n) and in some languages also nn (geminate n). Other palatal sound have a similar origin".Sure, why not? But why did they appear in all the area not just in certain spots. Why this is not something dialectal, when formal Latin had nothing of it? The only answer can be that the tendency to produce such a sound was widespread before Latin in all the region and trespassed into it. "jn (yod+n)" is exactly the Basque reason for the palatal nasal, the same as "jl (yod+l)" is the Basque reason for the palatal lateral approximant (somewhat less widespread but still common enough).

     
  48. Maju

    March 5, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    "Sorry, but no serious linguist would link a word meaning 'fish' or 'fish school' with another one meaning 'fork'".That is not what I am saying: I am relating fish school (sarda) with sardine (sardina). Don't jump to where it does not belong. I have in a separate argument (but it seems you do not see the difference) pointed out that there is a number of words potentially related to fishing that share the initial syllabe sar-, what is suspicious. But that's another story. Better do not mix, please.

     
  49. Octavià Alexandre

    March 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    And where is the difference. I am saying that they DO have a reasonable semantic connection and you say that they do NOT have it without further explanation of any sort. So it's a simple NO in the end.The thing is the one who proposes anything (you in this case) has to provide evidence to support his/her thesis. In comparative linguistics, a good way to prove things is by showing parallels, that is, reliable examples of such "connections" in other languages. I'm trying to explain where that "(L) sardana" dialectal form may come from. In any case it's obviously not related to sarda/-ina in the marine sense of the word it seems to me.Of course they aren't, as this word is isolated in Basque. Fortunately, at times you seem to regain sanity. 🙂Without the suffix how do you think that sardana might be related to sarda and sardina?I don't think they're even remotdely related.arrainak] banco" [Sp. for school]That last meaning does not come in my dictionary, only the one meaning group of sheep or other such cattle.Then your dictionary isn't good enough (a bad starting point to study Basque). Mine is Elhuyar, which costed me around 40€."the shift l > r is quite common in Basque"Not so common: I'm not aware that aldi (time, occasion) and ardi (sheep) are related for example and I find hard to think of other examples.I forgot to say intervocally.And as linguist you are committing an error here, I believe, because the reason for the sound shift is that in this word, LT(X) would be nearly impossible to pronounce.Why so? I've no difficulty in pronouncing it myself.Even in Spanish the L tends to be eclipsed (ko'chón) – so it's a very bad example.Really? Where did you get that form? Surely not from Tomás Navarro Tomas' (aka TNT) Manual de pronunciación española, a classical handbook.In Spanish itself there is a dialectal tendency to migrate the L into R, infamously popularized by that advertisement of certain pillow, pronounced "armoada".Yes, that's right.So it's very possible that this kurtxoin thing has the phonetic mutation imported from Spanish and not being any Basque specificity.Interestingly, this form belongs to the Lapurdian dialect.Anyway, you haven't disproved my point that sarda 'group (of people), flock (of cattle), school (of fishes)' is a variant of the more common saldo.

     
  50. Octavià Alexandre

    March 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Sure, why not? But why did they appear in all the area not just in certain spots. Why this is not something dialectal, when formal Latin had nothing of it?Perhaps because Vulgar Latin had already a tendence towards palatalization even if Classical (or "formal) Latin didn't have them.The only answer can be that the tendency to produce such a sound was widespread before Latin in all the region and trespassed into it.Hardly that, given the enourmous linguistic diversity of the areas (please notice I'm using the plural) covered by Latin.That is not what I am saying: I am relating fish school (sarda) with sardine (sardina).Something which can be easily disproved, givem the existence of Basque saldo.Don't jump to where it does not belong. I have in a separate argument (but it seems you do not see the difference) pointed out that there is a number of words potentially related to fishing that share the initial syllabe sar-, what is suspicious.I see affraid expressions like "suspicious" or "curious" are typical of amateur linguists.But in order to prove meanings such as 'fish', 'fork' or 'enter' are related you need to draw parallel examples in other languages. This is what a serious linguist would do.

     

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