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PostPosted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:24 pm 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:46 am 
Smeric
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 4:59 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:32 pm 
Sanno
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Incidentally, another thing I meant to add regarding genes, though not directly important to languages: apparently the Mesolithic population would have been dark-skinned, dark-haird, and frizz-haired - sort of african in appearance, although not closely related to africans. However, unusually by modern standards, the Mesolithic samples mostly seem to have blue eyes (which iirc developed at some point during the neolithic or early mesolithic, because the earlier samples don't). The Neolithic immigrants would have been paler, as would the Caucasians (so the old racist idea of a white 'Caucasian' race may actually be accurage). It may be that the slightly darker skin of mediterraneans reflects the much lower extent of Indo-European genetic colonisation of this area. Or it could be the later trans-mediterranean exchanges, or the progressive development of even paler tones in the baltic and scandinavia.

Also worth noting: apparently the IE conquests weren't one-way. Later IE steppe populations, including Indo-Iranians, seem to be closer to pre-IE europe - so when the IEs invaded Europe, there was also a smaller flow in the opposite direction (one idea is that maybe many later-generation migrants decided to return to their homeland?).

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:44 pm 
Smeric
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I would add that widespread public education is another factor in the learning of non-heritage languages. Of course these are not problems in and of themselves but in combination with the language policy of the country.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 11:20 am 
Smeric
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I recently came across a description and analysis of the Germanic strong verb system from the viewpoint of language contact - specifically with Semitic. The author (Mailhammer) of the book in question () doesn't seem to explicitly state how this contact was meant to have taken place, since he doesn't seem to question Germanic having its origins in northern Europe, and he also singles out Punic as a likely contact language. To me, the only way this theory of Semitic contact can be seriously entertained is if you assume that an otherwise unattested Semitic language was spoken in northern Europe before Germanic arrived, and was completely assimilated by this pre-Germanic. But that in of itself seems to have issues of plausibility, and I'm not convinced how realistic the whole notion of Semitic contact is in the first place. What do you guys think?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:32 pm 
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I've always found it dubious myself, but I've seen claims that there was a Semitic language spoken in pre-Celtic Ireland (I suppose as a way of explaining certain grammatical features like a VSO word order). I'm not sure how one would reconcile Proto-Germanic contact with Punic while at the same time accepting that Proto-Germanic was spoken in Northern Europe while Punic is in North Africa.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:20 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 5:16 pm 
Smeric
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The Semitic substratum hypothesis is IMHO utter bullfrogs. The Germanic strong verbs are inherited from PIE (with some analogical extensions such as schreiben schrieb geschrieben, where a pattern from rhyming strong verbs was transferred onto a Latin loanword), and have nothing to do with anything Semitic. The Insular Celtic languages have only one thing in common with Semitic: they are VSO, which is not all that rare. Whatever similarities can be found in Semitic and Insular Celtic syntax are typological correlates of VSO word order and found in VSO languages all over the world. Who claims a Semitic substratum in Mesoamerica, or the Philippines?

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2015 8:16 pm 
Sanno
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Contact with Punic is conceivable anywhere from Spain to Britain. There were obviously Punic cities in Spain (eg Cadiz), Punic explorers did reach Britain, and apparently there's considerable evidence of Punic trade routes extending there, either in person or through intermediaries. However, outside of regions of Spain, and maybe small areas of Cornwall, Brittany or the Scillies, it's not plausible to think there was sufficient Punic settlement to have any lasting impact on the languages (much less than, eg, Latin-speaking settlement in Britain). Nor do I think there's any particular reason to look for one, given the languages.

A semitic language in the Germanic areas of northern europe before Germanic reached them would seem... silly? It's not completely impossible, as the Punic civilisation were great seafarers and explorers, and MIGHT (at least in Phoenician form) have arrived there before the Germans. But you'd think someone would have mentioned it at some point - they mentioned circumnavigating Africa, after all, and Carthage recorded reaching Britain. You'd think a huge Phoenician settlement in Denmark or wherever would have been worth making a note of... and certainly archaeologists should have found it.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 2:29 am 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:43 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:19 am 
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It may be I'm imporperly informed, but it seems there's no archaelogical evidence of any people associated with Semitic in Europe during the time Germanic emerged, even though it also seems Semitic is much older than Germanic.

Has there been any theory as to what (Proto-)Germanic ultimately derives from? It seems to have emerged rather late in history, given that Common Germanic is dated up to the 4th C. AD.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:44 pm 
Smeric
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I consider it unlikely that Punic traders, even if they reached the North Sea, were a strong enough force to alter the structure of the Insular Celtic languages, or of Proto-Germanic, to such a degree as the proponents of the Semitic substratum hypothesis claim.

As for the Insular Celtic "conjugated prepositions": I don't know whether they have analogues in Semitic, or in other VSO languages elsewhere in the world.

The bottom line: There is no evidence of a Semitic language anywhere in Northwestern Europe.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 1:02 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 3:01 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 3:58 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 6:29 pm 
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Adúljôžal ônal kol ví éža únah kex yaxlr gmlĥ hôga jô ônal kru ansu frú.
Ansu frú ônal savel zaš gmlĥ a vek Adúljôžal vé jaga čaþ kex.
Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:26 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:52 pm 
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But the river tripped on her by and by, lapping
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I'se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay!


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:20 am 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 12:57 am 
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 4:22 am 
Avisaru
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Adúljôžal ônal kol ví éža únah kex yaxlr gmlĥ hôga jô ônal kru ansu frú.
Ansu frú ônal savel zaš gmlĥ a vek Adúljôžal vé jaga čaþ kex.
Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 7:36 am 
Avisaru
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 28, 2015 8:08 am 
Smeric
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Urbanisation did take its toll as well, yes. Basically nowhere was majoritarily urban before the 20th century. And the non-standard language varieties of France were still going strong in the early 20th century, before widespread urbanisation and television usage.


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