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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 5:36 am 
Sumerul
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Circeus wrote:
Clearly you have no familiarity with the concept of evolutionary radiation.

I find it a bit silly to post a link to a biological topic, while we're discussing linguistics. Also, accusing people of "not having familiarity" with such a well-known topic is akin to name-calling. Tone it down please.


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 8:18 am 
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Moreover, invoking evolutionary radiation doesn't counter WE's point. Indeed, they asserted that a family spreading out is the major source of diversity, just not the only one.


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 11:19 am 
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Salmoneus wrote:
WeepingElf wrote:
Hmm, interesting. But there is another major branch of IE dominated by R1a: Balto-Slavic. Of course, Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian share a number of isoglosses, most prominently the satem shift and the ruki rule. Perhaps this "NW IE vs. Greco-Aryan" thing is vastly overrated as the "satem vs. centum" thing used to be. Indeed, the genetics seem to be more in tune with the "satem vs. centum" theory.

I think this is quibbling over minutiae.
Obviously, there are complications in dialectology: Greek lacks satem, Balto-Slavic lacks augment. Which of these occured first - and hence which is the 'genuine' 'genetic' commonality and which is the later sprachbund effect doesn't seem a really important question to me.


Sure, we have intersecting isoglosses, which point at an early IE dialect continuum. Hence, there is no reason to interpret the NW IE/Greco-Aryan isogloss as a primary bifurcation the same way 19th-century IEists interpreted the Centum/Satem isogloss, and the identification of this isogloss with Corded Ware and Late Yamnaya may be wrong.

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According to these maps, "South Yamna" (in the open steppe) was mostly R1b while "North Yamna" (in the forest steppe) was mostly R1a. R1b seems to have been brought into the Pontic steppe by the Khvalynsk culture, while Dniepr-Donets apparently was R1a.

I don't think any of that can be said with confidence - I think that site is just guessing.


Yes, the Eupedia maps are often wildly inaccurate. For instance, they place Khvalynsk too far south; and the Y-DNA haplogroups they associate with the various archaeological cultures (a notion as problematic as association of Y-DNA haplogroups or archaeological cultures with language families) are probably pretty much speculation. It is no good idea to rely on those maps, and I don't!

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More generally: I don't think it makes sense to talk of R1b being introduced to the steppe by Kvalynsk (which was not ancestral to Yamnaya anyway). What makes you think it wasn't already there? R1b is known from Italy from 14,000 BP, and from the Baltic by 7,000 BP. It was all over the place.

[really important detail: when people talk about R1a and R1b in the PIE sense, they're specifically refering to specific male lineages that would have diverged only a century or two before the PIE expansions - so they can't, for instance, represent a European substrate (R1b in general has been in Europe forever, but the specific PIE clades that now dominate western europe weren't).]


So when you said last Thursday that "R1b was brought to western Europe only by the Bell Beaker people" you meant a specific subclade of R1b that dominates western Europe today, and not R1b as a whole? Good that you pointed out this difference, because otherwise the statement above would flatly contradict that from Thursday.

But Khvalynsk not ancestral to Yamnaya? I was under the impression that Yamnaya evolved from Sredny Stog, and the latter when Khvalynsk merged with - or rather took over - Dniepr-Donets? Was I wrong? What is your idea of where Yamnaya came from, and what language they spoke?

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Now, if Indo-Iranian is R1a/Corded Ware, and Greek perhaps also, this does not leave many languages for R1b: basically just Anatolian and Italo-Celtic.

Fairness is not the motivating factor here, so this doesn't really matter. [although you can also include Germanic in the R1b category].

This seems like an accident of history. The "R1b" languages of western europe have been wiped out by Romance and Celtic. [assuming Basque wasn't an original fellow-traveller]. The "R1b" languages of eastern europe have have been wiped out by Slavic. The "R1b" languages of Siberia have been wiped out by... well, everyone.
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But Italo-Celtic IMHO originated in the Pannonian basin, even if those people were mostly R1a.
Were they?


Not sure, I have to admit. They may indeed have been R1b. But all this argumentation with Y-DNA haplogroups as indicators of prehistoric language families may be misguided and irrelevant, for reasons I have already laid out and won't repeat here.

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 2:43 pm 
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So let me explain what my thoughts are. First of all, I am definitely NOT proposing that IE came from Anatolia.

The focal point of dialectal diversity within IE is in the Balkans. There we had IE languages like Dacian, Thracian, Phrygian, etc. And we know more about them than just the names of these languages. Through various inscriptions we know that they were really Indo-European languagues. Also most of the existing IE language families like Greek, Armenian, Albanian, Balto-Slavic, Italic, Celtic and Germanic are (or were once) spoken close to the Balkans. But on the steppe there was just Indo-Iranian.

Also, all IE branches share some basic agricultural vocabulary. Cognate words for concepts like 'to sow', 'to grind', 'plough', 'yoke' and 'grain' exist in various eastern and western IE branches. But there is no evidence of any arable agriculture on the Pontic-Caspian steppe east of the Dniepr until after 2000BCE. Mallory made this point clearly in his paper 'Twenty-first century clouds over Indo-European homelands' (2013). So basically, any existing IE language family must have been west of the Dniepr at one time.

This is not a big issue since Yamna also extended west of the Dniepr. And there were predecessor cultures like Sredni-Stog and Dniepr-Donets that also extended west of the Dniepr and had contacts with the Balkan farmers. Also both Indo-Iranian and Tocharian were rich in Y-DNA R1a. It is commonly assumed that there was not much R1a on the steppe and that R1a is more of a forest-steppe / Corded-Ware haplogroup. So it is not crazy to assume that neither of these language families came from the eastern Pontic-Caspian steppe.

For Anatolian there is one additional issue. If Anatolian really split off before 4000BCE and went trough the Balkans, it is likely derived from the one of the Yamna predecessors in the west of the Pontic steppe. At this time, these predecessors had no or very little CHG admixture. In other words, Anatolian may be a branch that had no Caucasian influence whatsoever.


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 4:29 pm 
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It's instructive to look at the Anatolian reflexes of some of these words. For example, *seh₁-, which gives "sow" everywhere else, yields šāi- "press" in Hittite, and *h₂erh₃-, which gives "plough", yields ḫarra- "crush, grind". For "plough", Hittite apparently uses two verbs together, ḫārš- and terepp-, the former being related to ḫarra-, the latter being from PIE *trep- "turn". I don't know which verb you're referring to as "grind" though. It follows that the semantic development to agriculture-specific verbs happened later.

I don't know if you missed or ignored the earlier comments about how high apparent diversity in the Balkans does not necessarily point to an origin there, so I'll repeat it for you now: the apparent plethora of languages in the Balkans may well not be due to there actually being a lot of languages there - the poorly-known languages are not known well enough to be able to say for certain that they are not more closely related in some manner to each other, or to the other well-known languages. For example, Illyrian is often thought to be connected with Albanian. Moreover, even if there were many languages there, it could potentially be secondary, due to multiple waves of languages moving into the region.


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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 5:15 pm 
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WeepingElf wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:
WeepingElf wrote:
Hmm, interesting. But there is another major branch of IE dominated by R1a: Balto-Slavic. Of course, Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian share a number of isoglosses, most prominently the satem shift and the ruki rule. Perhaps this "NW IE vs. Greco-Aryan" thing is vastly overrated as the "satem vs. centum" thing used to be. Indeed, the genetics seem to be more in tune with the "satem vs. centum" theory.

I think this is quibbling over minutiae.
Obviously, there are complications in dialectology: Greek lacks satem, Balto-Slavic lacks augment. Which of these occured first - and hence which is the 'genuine' 'genetic' commonality and which is the later sprachbund effect doesn't seem a really important question to me.


Sure, we have intersecting isoglosses, which point at an early IE dialect continuum. Hence, there is no reason to interpret the NW IE/Greco-Aryan isogloss as a primary bifurcation the same way 19th-century IEists interpreted the Centum/Satem isogloss, and the identification of this isogloss with Corded Ware and Late Yamnaya may be wrong.

I don't see how this follows. The fact that there were areal effects between early IE languages doesn't mean that they all sprang equally from the head of jove. We can still talk about different languages being more and less closely related. In the case of PIE, we can I think relatively straightforwardly identify four groups: Anatolian; Tocharian; Northwestern (Italic, Celtic, Germanic - linked by shared developments (like -tt- > -st-) and a considerable amount of shared borrowing from a common substrate family); and "Southeastern" (Indo-Aryan, Armenian, Greek, Balto-Slavic).

Quote:
So when you said last Thursday that "R1b was brought to western Europe only by the Bell Beaker people" you meant a specific subclade of R1b that dominates western Europe today, and not R1b as a whole? Good that you pointed out this difference, because otherwise the statement above would flatly contradict that from Thursday.

Yes, sorry.
Actually, I think I meant two things:
- the steppe invasions brought the specific clades of R1b that are now prominent
- the steppe invasions changed R1b from "something that pops up now and then" to "something that claims up to 98% of the population in some areas".
Quote:
But Khvalynsk not ancestral to Yamnaya? I was under the impression that Yamnaya evolved from Sredny Stog, and the latter when Khvalynsk merged with - or rather took over - Dniepr-Donets? Was I wrong?

Short answer: nobody really knows.

Longer answer: AIUI, Yamnaya occupied the territory of earlier Khvalynsk and did indeed take some features from it, while also taking some from elsewhere (particularly Sredny Stog). But the genetics may be more complicated. I think it used to be thought to be straightforward, but now people aren't sure? Looking at it, it seems that the problem is that not only does Yamnaya have much more Caucasian ancestry than Khvalynsk, it doesn't look to be closely-related Caucasian ancestry? So they're both "europeans plus southerners", but the southerners in question may have been different. In which case, Yamnaya may be the result of someone else (most common theory: Sredny Stog) taking over Khvalynsk territory and fusing their cultures.

But given the relatively small number of samples and the probable complexity of the area (there seem to have been multiple migrations over the caucasus and maybe elsewhere), I'm not sure we can really say for sure.
Quote:


What is your idea of where Yamnaya came from, and what language they spoke?

Well, that's a big question!

On the small scale: it's probably complicated.

On the big scale, Yamnaya ultimate has four major elements: mesolithic European hunter-gatherers and a much smaller group of newcomers from Siberia formed an 'Eastern Hunter Gatherer' population on the steppe. There was then a huge migration from the Caucasus (or, at least, somewhere in the vicinity of the Caucasus, and presumably via the Caucasus). There was also a smaller but substantial migration from central european farming populations.

Yamnaya spoke, IMO, let's call it, "Indo-Germanic" - i.e. non-Anatolian PIE.

Where did that language come from? The most obvious answer is that it's an EHG language (everyone on the steppe would have spoken something similar). You probably want it specifically to be from Siberia, because that would allow your "Mitian" to be real. This seems very unlikely, though - the Siberians would only have been something like 10% of the founding population, and given that we're talking hunter-gatherers (i.e. not with a complex society that could easily accept a ruling class of invaders) it seems unlikely that they would have given their language to the area as a whole. More likely it's European - so perhaps even a relative of the Mesolithic european languages).

However, there's a problem there: Anatolian. Two problems, in fact:
a) so far there's no evidence of any influx of steppe genes into Anatolia to explain a migration of the Anatolian languages into the area. Particularly odd as we'd be talking about a less populous area transmitting its language to a more populous (and technologically developed) area, without seemingly any big invasion. So...?
b) the aforementioned evidence of Anatolian names already in the near east - most likely Syria! - already embedded in the populace contemporary to Yamnaya.

Neither of those is a deal-breaker. For the first, as I say, we may simply not have looked at the right Anatolians yet. We'll have to wait and see. For the second... well, it's not like guessing language from names has ever gone wrong before, is it? Particularly when there might have been any number of other, unattested, languages in the area. So it would be a big coincidence that there's a bunch of seemingly Anatolian names there, but not impossible, maybe? That said, while not dealbreakers, they should absolutely give us pause.

Then again, there's another problem on the other side. Because if Yamna didn't speak their ancestral EHG language... why not? In particular, their Y-DNA is almost all local, and their southern ancestry shows up through their maternal lines. More than that: their Y-DNA shows so little variation, for their population size, that they were clearly organised socially around competing patrilineal clans (ruled, their sites suggest, by a warrior elite). Their southern/western DNA must represent either mass migration of women (presumably either through trade or through raiding), or through big migrations of foreigners, in which the foreign women were integrated but their husbands and sons were either killed or sexually out-competed. So why would the big macho patrilineal warrior elites have adopted the language of either their foreign slavegirls or (in the other hypothesis) the bunch of wimpy foreigners who couldn't get dates? Again, this isn't a logical dealbreaker, but it's kind of weird!

However, that basically means we have a choice. Assuming that the anatolian evidence is broadly accurate, we can say either that:
a) the northern barbarians spread their language to the cities of the south, despite not spreading any technology or genes along the way (and they did it really early on!).
or
b) the southern farmers spread their language to the barbarians of the north, along with some female genes and probably some technology

Neither's a great bet, but I'll go with b). [if we suddenly discover that high-caste Anatolians are from the steppe, of course, then I'm reversing course in an instant...]

If we go with b), we're adopting an Indo-Hittite model, in which a family established in the south spread a branch north, and that branch happened to explode with the Yamnaya expansions.

Where would Proto-Indo-Hittite have been spoken? Well, that might depend on how a branch got to Ukraine. There are two options:
i) through the Balkans, and then through Sredny Stog
or
ii) through the Caucasus (and perhaps then through Khvalynsk?)

I'm guessing the latter. Why? Well, for one thing there are more Caucasian genes in Yamnaya than there are European Neolithic genes. For another, the route through Europe would mean going through some really high-population areas and leaving no trace. If I had to pick this option, I guess I might put pre-PIH in, say, the Vinca Culture, and have Anatolian as a back-migration into Anatolia. But: the general direction of migration in Anatolia seems to have been from east to west. And we know that there were big migrations of people from the caucasus and iran into and through the near east. And the earliest-attested Anatolian languages, Hittite and Luwian, were in southeast anatolia - and east of the Hatti - rather than the west. So an eastern, rather than western, origin seems to require the least handwaving, in terms of travel routes.

This would suggest that proto-indo-hittite was spoken somewhere in Transcaucasia - from whence migrations both to the steppe and into anatolia are attested.
Quote:

Not sure, I have to admit. They may indeed have been R1b. But all this argumentation with Y-DNA haplogroups as indicators of prehistoric language families may be misguided and irrelevant, for reasons I have already laid out and won't repeat here.
[/quote][/quote]

I would just say that this seems to me even stronger genetic evidence than usual: the fact that almost all males were directly descended from a small number of common tribal ancestors, probably within few enough generations that people could actually remember the names of each ancestor back to the founder makes it wholesale replacement of their language, even by a related dialect, much less likely in my opinion - though of course not impossible. We're looking at a relatively rapid set of migrations, with hardly any assimilation of local males and almost certainly no integration of locals into the ruling class - exactly when you'd most expect language to follow genes, IMO.

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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 5:48 pm 
Sanno
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On the topic of why there are many branches in the Balkans, several options present themselves:

a) it's the primary radiation point for PIE

b) it's a secondary radiation point for a PIE that originated elsewhere

c) it's a refuge area: there used to be many more PIE branches but most have been steamrollered by later migrations - specifically, by Celtic and Iranian, two highly aggressive cultures that came to dominate vast areas. As a result, in those areas the other branches didn't survive long enough to be attested. For instance, Howl mentions Iranian dominating the steppe. OK. But there's no evidence of Iranian (which probably originated near the Caspian in Sintashta) anywhere on the western steppe until the Scythian migration. Before that, the area was dominated by the Cimmerians - what did they speak? Clearly Indo-European, but the handful of attested names can't be definitively shown to be Iranian (and as they're the names of late-era ruler after the Scythian invasions, they may not be native Cimmerian anyway). Maybe Cimmerian was in its own branch - we'll never know. Now, some ancient sources suggest a connection between the Cimmerians and the Thracians - but Thracian survived to be attested, and Cimmerian (basically) didn't. So Thracian looks like a branch, and Cimmerian gets forgotten. Likewise, virtually no hint of any of the PIE languages of western europe before Celtic has survived (except maybe Lusitanian in Iberia). And absolutely no hint of the PIE languages spoken in Siberia!

d) the Balkans were a relatively advanced (so there's some writing) area adjacent to Greek and Roman civilisation (so there's lot of archaeology, and some ancient references and descriptions). Is it a great surprise that languages adjacent to Greece and Rome got attested when others didn't?

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 3:33 am 
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Howl wrote:
Also most of the existing IE language families like Greek, Armenian, Albanian, Balto-Slavic, Italic, Celtic and Germanic are (or were once) spoken close to the Balkans.

I thought the consensus is that Germanic has it's urheimat in Southern Scandinavia, and only in later times did they migrate to the South (the Goths most notably).


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 10:08 am 
Smeric
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Salmoneus wrote:
WeepingElf wrote:
Sure, we have intersecting isoglosses, which point at an early IE dialect continuum. Hence, there is no reason to interpret the NW IE/Greco-Aryan isogloss as a primary bifurcation the same way 19th-century IEists interpreted the Centum/Satem isogloss, and the identification of this isogloss with Corded Ware and Late Yamnaya may be wrong.

I don't see how this follows. The fact that there were areal effects between early IE languages doesn't mean that they all sprang equally from the head of jove. We can still talk about different languages being more and less closely related. In the case of PIE, we can I think relatively straightforwardly identify four groups: Anatolian; Tocharian; Northwestern (Italic, Celtic, Germanic - linked by shared developments (like -tt- > -st-) and a considerable amount of shared borrowing from a common substrate family); and "Southeastern" (Indo-Aryan, Armenian, Greek, Balto-Slavic).


You are battering an open door here; this is what I have been thinking all the time (except that I see Balto-Slavic as a kind of "bridge" between NW and SE). Surely, there was a gradually expanding and diversifying dialect continuum! As late as 1500 BC, it may have been possible to travel from the Rhine to the Indus without crossing any language boundary where mutually incomprehensible languages met - just isogloss bundles and dialects varying gradually from village to village. Yet, an Indo-European from the Rhine wouldn't have been able to converse with one from the Indus, of course.

Quote:
Quote:
So when you said last Thursday that "R1b was brought to western Europe only by the Bell Beaker people" you meant a specific subclade of R1b that dominates western Europe today, and not R1b as a whole? Good that you pointed out this difference, because otherwise the statement above would flatly contradict that from Thursday.

Yes, sorry.
Actually, I think I meant two things:
- the steppe invasions brought the specific clades of R1b that are now prominent
- the steppe invasions changed R1b from "something that pops up now and then" to "something that claims up to 98% of the population in some areas".


OK, that's perfectly clear now.

Quote:
Quote:
But Khvalynsk not ancestral to Yamnaya? I was under the impression that Yamnaya evolved from Sredny Stog, and the latter when Khvalynsk merged with - or rather took over - Dniepr-Donets? Was I wrong?

Short answer: nobody really knows.

Longer answer: AIUI, Yamnaya occupied the territory of earlier Khvalynsk and did indeed take some features from it, while also taking some from elsewhere (particularly Sredny Stog). But the genetics may be more complicated. I think it used to be thought to be straightforward, but now people aren't sure? Looking at it, it seems that the problem is that not only does Yamnaya have much more Caucasian ancestry than Khvalynsk, it doesn't look to be closely-related Caucasian ancestry? So they're both "europeans plus southerners", but the southerners in question may have been different. In which case, Yamnaya may be the result of someone else (most common theory: Sredny Stog) taking over Khvalynsk territory and fusing their cultures.

But given the relatively small number of samples and the probable complexity of the area (there seem to have been multiple migrations over the caucasus and maybe elsewhere), I'm not sure we can really say for sure.


Surely, Yamnaya is not of purely Khvalynsk descent; I never claimed that. According to this Eurogenes post, Khvalynsk is the biggest component in eastern Yamnaya at least, but there are also other components. What I conjecture is this: Khvalynsk people entered the Dnjepr-Donets region, merging with DD into Sredny Stog; from there emerged Yamnaya, who spread eastward, assimilated the "stay-at-home" Khvalynsk people and people from the northern foothills of the Caucasus (Maikop).

Quote:
Quote:
What is your idea of where Yamnaya came from, and what language they spoke?

Well, that's a big question!

On the small scale: it's probably complicated.

On the big scale, Yamnaya ultimate has four major elements: mesolithic European hunter-gatherers and a much smaller group of newcomers from Siberia formed an 'Eastern Hunter Gatherer' population on the steppe. There was then a huge migration from the Caucasus (or, at least, somewhere in the vicinity of the Caucasus, and presumably via the Caucasus). There was also a smaller but substantial migration from central european farming populations.

Yamnaya spoke, IMO, let's call it, "Indo-Germanic" - i.e. non-Anatolian PIE.


So far, we agree. Yamnaya spoke PIE3.

Quote:
Where did that language come from? The most obvious answer is that it's an EHG language (everyone on the steppe would have spoken something similar). You probably want it specifically to be from Siberia, because that would allow your "Mitian" to be real.


Well, Siberia, perhaps, or rather Central Asia. At any rate, it seems as if IE and Uralic have a common ancestor; otherwise, the morphological resemblances between these two are very hard to account of. And it seems as if the rest of "Mitian" shares some of them. Yet, I am not sure about all this.

Quote:
This seems very unlikely, though - the Siberians would only have been something like 10% of the founding population, and given that we're talking hunter-gatherers (i.e. not with a complex society that could easily accept a ruling class of invaders) it seems unlikely that they would have given their language to the area as a whole. More likely it's European - so perhaps even a relative of the Mesolithic european languages).

However, there's a problem there: Anatolian. Two problems, in fact:
a) so far there's no evidence of any influx of steppe genes into Anatolia to explain a migration of the Anatolian languages into the area. Particularly odd as we'd be talking about a less populous area transmitting its language to a more populous (and technologically developed) area, without seemingly any big invasion. So...?


A takeover by a small elite? The Eupedia maps associate Anatolian IE with an influx of R1b, but I am not sure this is correct. As we have found, those maps are not very accurate, but I at least think they didn't make up things in entirely unfounded ways.

Quote:
b) the aforementioned evidence of Anatolian names already in the near east - most likely Syria! - already embedded in the populace contemporary to Yamnaya.


Do those names have IE etymologies? If not, they may have been from a substratum that was spoken in Anatolia before the Hittites and their ilk moved in, and thus besides the point entirely.

Quote:
Neither of those is a deal-breaker. For the first, as I say, we may simply not have looked at the right Anatolians yet. We'll have to wait and see. For the second... well, it's not like guessing language from names has ever gone wrong before, is it? Particularly when there might have been any number of other, unattested, languages in the area. So it would be a big coincidence that there's a bunch of seemingly Anatolian names there, but not impossible, maybe? That said, while not dealbreakers, they should absolutely give us pause.

Then again, there's another problem on the other side. Because if Yamna didn't speak their ancestral EHG language... why not? In particular, their Y-DNA is almost all local, and their southern ancestry shows up through their maternal lines. More than that: their Y-DNA shows so little variation, for their population size, that they were clearly organised socially around competing patrilineal clans (ruled, their sites suggest, by a warrior elite). Their southern/western DNA must represent either mass migration of women (presumably either through trade or through raiding), or through big migrations of foreigners, in which the foreign women were integrated but their husbands and sons were either killed or sexually out-competed. So why would the big macho patrilineal warrior elites have adopted the language of either their foreign slavegirls or (in the other hypothesis) the bunch of wimpy foreigners who couldn't get dates? Again, this isn't a logical dealbreaker, but it's kind of weird!

However, that basically means we have a choice. Assuming that the anatolian evidence is broadly accurate, we can say either that:
a) the northern barbarians spread their language to the cities of the south, despite not spreading any technology or genes along the way (and they did it really early on!).
or
b) the southern farmers spread their language to the barbarians of the north, along with some female genes and probably some technology

Neither's a great bet, but I'll go with b). [if we suddenly discover that high-caste Anatolians are from the steppe, of course, then I'm reversing course in an instant...]

If we go with b), we're adopting an Indo-Hittite model, in which a family established in the south spread a branch north, and that branch happened to explode with the Yamnaya expansions.

Where would Proto-Indo-Hittite have been spoken? Well, that might depend on how a branch got to Ukraine. There are two options:
i) through the Balkans, and then through Sredny Stog
or
ii) through the Caucasus (and perhaps then through Khvalynsk?)

I'm guessing the latter. Why? Well, for one thing there are more Caucasian genes in Yamnaya than there are European Neolithic genes.


Fair. They came from the east, and did not mix with the European Neolithic much. (They were of course neighbours: Cucuteni-Trypillia, the easternmost outcrop of LBK, bordered on Yamnaya at the steppe boundary in Ukraine.) How far north did the Caucasian people extend in your model?

Quote:
For another, the route through Europe would mean going through some really high-population areas and leaving no trace.


No trace? Do the names "Usatovo", "Suvorovo" and "Cernavoda" mean nothing to you? There was a movement out of the steppe into the Balkan Peninsula in the late 5th millennium.

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If I had to pick this option, I guess I might put pre-PIH in, say, the Vinca Culture, and have Anatolian as a back-migration into Anatolia. But: the general direction of migration in Anatolia seems to have been from east to west. And we know that there were big migrations of people from the caucasus and iran into and through the near east. And the earliest-attested Anatolian languages, Hittite and Luwian, were in southeast anatolia - and east of the Hatti - rather than the west. So an eastern, rather than western, origin seems to require the least handwaving, in terms of travel routes.


The Anatolian languages were first attested in the east because those where closest to the Mesopotamian civilization, from where they adopted writing. You must not confuse unwritten languages with non-existant ons ;) AFAIK, the most divergent Anatolian language is Lydian - which is the westernmost. It is just that the "Paleo-Lydians", in contrast to the Hittites and Luwians, did not know cuneiform (or any other form of writing), so the language is only attested from much later when the Lydians learned to write from the Greeks.

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This would suggest that proto-indo-hittite was spoken somewhere in Transcaucasia - from whence migrations both to the steppe and into anatolia are attested.


And how do you account for the fact that the Caucasus is full pf non-IE languages then? It is the Caucasian route for which there are "no traces", as you claimed for the Balkan route. And how do you account for the close morphological resemblances between IE and Uralic under such a scenario?

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Not sure, I have to admit. They may indeed have been R1b. But all this argumentation with Y-DNA haplogroups as indicators of prehistoric language families may be misguided and irrelevant, for reasons I have already laid out and won't repeat here.


I would just say that this seems to me even stronger genetic evidence than usual: the fact that almost all males were directly descended from a small number of common tribal ancestors, probably within few enough generations that people could actually remember the names of each ancestor back to the founder makes it wholesale replacement of their language, even by a related dialect, much less likely in my opinion - though of course not impossible. We're looking at a relatively rapid set of migrations, with hardly any assimilation of local males and almost certainly no integration of locals into the ruling class - exactly when you'd most expect language to follow genes, IMO.


Apparently.

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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 2:14 pm 
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jal wrote:
Howl wrote:
Also most of the existing IE language families like Greek, Armenian, Albanian, Balto-Slavic, Italic, Celtic and Germanic are (or were once) spoken close to the Balkans.

I thought the consensus is that Germanic has it's urheimat in Southern Scandinavia, and only in later times did they migrate to the South (the Goths most notably).

True, but (1) Germanic languages are currently spoken close to the Balkan and (2) the ancestor of Germanic also must have been spoken some place close to the Balkans at one time during its journey to Scandinavia. So you are splitting hairs here.

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It's instructive to look at the Anatolian reflexes of some of these words. For example, *seh₁-, which gives "sow" everywhere else, yields šāi- "press" in Hittite, and *h₂erh₃-, which gives "plough", yields ḫarra- "crush, grind". For "plough", Hittite apparently uses two verbs together, ḫārš- and terepp-, the former being related to ḫarra-, the latter being from PIE *trep- "turn". I don't know which verb you're referring to as "grind" though. It follows that the semantic development to agriculture-specific verbs happened later.

It is clear PIE is not the language of a people who were farming for thousands of years. They coined a lot of new terms and borrowed others from 'substrate'. But they had those terms, like *seh₁'to sow' (~ Hittite šēliš 'grain pile; grain storage'), *h₂erh₃ 'to plough' (~ Hittite ḫārš 'to till the soil') and *melh₂ 'to grind' (~ Hittite malla 'to mill, to grind') So it is also not the language of the herding nomads who knew zero about raising crops. And that is my point.

KathTheDragon wrote:
I don't know if you missed or ignored the earlier comments about how high apparent diversity in the Balkans does not necessarily point to an origin there,

I did not miss it. The apparent diversity may not prove that the Balkans region had a heavy role in the formation and spread of IE. But it does make it likely.


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 4:04 pm 
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Howl wrote:
(1) Germanic languages are currently spoken close to the Balkan

Germanic languages are also spoken in North American and South Africa.

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It is clear PIE is not the language of a people who were farming for thousands of years. They coined a lot of new terms and borrowed others from 'substrate'. But they had those terms, like *seh₁'to sow' (~ Hittite šēliš 'grain pile; grain storage'), *h₂erh₃ 'to plough' (~ Hittite ḫārš 'to till the soil') and *melh₂ 'to grind' (~ Hittite malla 'to mill, to grind') So it is also not the language of the herding nomads who knew zero about raising crops. And that is my point.

And my point is the reflexes are inconsistent enough to point to non-agricultural terms in Indo-European that became agricultural terms only after the family started breaking up, which is consistent with migration from a non-agricultural region into an agricultural region.


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 5:41 pm 
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KathTheDragon wrote:
And my point is the reflexes are inconsistent enough to point to non-agricultural terms in Indo-European that became agricultural terms only after the family started breaking up, which is consistent with migration from a non-agricultural region into an agricultural region.

There is a consistent vocabulary for arable agriculture in IE. And that is not just my point. This point has also been made by J.P. Mallory. But let's take *h₂erh₃- 'to plow': Old English erian 'to plow'; Gothic arjan 'to plow'; Latin arō 'I plow', arātrum 'plow'; Greek aróō 'I plow', árotron 'plow'; OCS orjǫ 'to plow'; Lith arti 'to plow', arklas 'plow'; Irish airim 'I plow', arathar 'plow'; Armenian arōr 'plow' ; Tocharian AB āre 'plow'. There is nothing inconsistent about that. And why would a nomadic herder who does not raise crops know about such a thing as plowing?


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 5:49 pm 
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Congratulations, you've successfully named languages which are widely agreed to form a proper sub-group of PIE, and hence have only proven a meaning "to plough" for their common ancestor, which is not PIE itself.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 7:41 am 
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KathTheDragon wrote:
Congratulations, you've successfully named languages which are widely agreed to form a proper sub-group of PIE, and hence have only proven a meaning "to plough" for their common ancestor, which is not PIE itself.


The only branches that are missing in Howl's list are Indo-Iranian and Anatolian. And AFAIK, the western Yamnaya also practiced agriculture (think of it: Ukraine!), though pastoralism was more prestigious, and the eastern Yamnaya, having to deal with a harsher climate where crops work less well, apparently were pure pastoralists, which explains the (well-known) dearth of Late PIE agricultural terms in Indo-Iranian.

I see no way Howl's list speaks for a Balkan homeland of PIE, even of Late PIE, though.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 2:08 pm 
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WeepingElf wrote:
KathTheDragon wrote:
Congratulations, you've successfully named languages which are widely agreed to form a proper sub-group of PIE, and hence have only proven a meaning "to plough" for their common ancestor, which is not PIE itself.


The only branches that are missing in Howl's list are Indo-Iranian and Anatolian. And AFAIK, the western Yamnaya also practiced agriculture (think of it: Ukraine!), though pastoralism was more prestigious, and the eastern Yamnaya, having to deal with a harsher climate where crops work less well, apparently were pure pastoralists, which explains the (well-known) dearth of Late PIE agricultural terms in Indo-Iranian.

I see no way Howl's list speaks for a Balkan homeland of PIE, even of Late PIE, though.


I think Kath's point was that if Anatolian didn't share agricultural terms with Indo-Germanic, that would imply that Indo-Hittite was spoken outside the neolithic world. Which at that point in time would mean NOT Anatolia or Transcaucasia, and presumably not the Balkans either.

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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 3:37 pm 
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Yes, pretty much. In my eyes, the evidence is pretty clear for the adoption of agriculture slightly post-dating the breakup of PIE, which would explain both the inconsistent semantics between Anatolian and the rest of IE, and the consistency in the European branches.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 4:02 pm 
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KathTheDragon wrote:
Yes, pretty much. In my eyes, the evidence is pretty clear for the adoption of agriculture slightly post-dating the breakup of PIE, which would explain both the inconsistent semantics between Anatolian and the rest of IE, and the consistency in the European branches.


Fine. The Pontic steppe lies on the easternmost periphery of agriculture in the 4th millennium BC. Early PIE (pre-Anatolian) may have been spoken by the Sredny Stog culture, which apparently emerged from Khvalynsk (AFAIK no farming) taking over Dniepr-Donets (just beginning to adopt farming). While the word in question seems to have a cognate in Anatolian, it has a somewhat different meaning, and may have referred to hoeing rather than ploughing in Early PIE.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 2:12 am 
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It is my sincere wish that the most knowledgeable people in this thread decide to bundle their forces and create a podcast on PIE. It would be blissful.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 11:03 am 
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Howl wrote:
And why would a nomadic herder who does not raise crops know about such a thing as plowing?

Because he has business dealings with farmers? Modern nomads eat a lot of flour. And the word does not imply knowledge about ploughing; rather it implies knowledge *of* ploughing (or hoeing).

Moreover, the words for 'plough' show a lot of reformation; the significant commonality is the root for 'to plough' and the instument suffix used (*H₂tro or whatever).


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:27 pm 
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Richard W wrote:
Howl wrote:
And why would a nomadic herder who does not raise crops know about such a thing as plowing?

Because he has business dealings with farmers? Modern nomads eat a lot of flour. And the word does not imply knowledge about ploughing; rather it implies knowledge *of* ploughing (or hoeing).

Moreover, the words for 'plough' show a lot of reformation; the significant commonality is the root for 'to plough' and the instument suffix used (*H₂tro or whatever).


At least in the west, the Yamnaya people AFAIK also practiced farming and were sedentary (PIE has architectural terms which probably referred to more permanent structures than tents or yurts). So they did plough and of course had a word for that. The notion that the PIE speakers were Mongol-like nomads is a strawman which the opponents of the steppe hypothesis like to whack, little else.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:24 am 
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Richard W wrote:
Howl wrote:
And why would a nomadic herder who does not raise crops know about such a thing as plowing?

Because he has business dealings with farmers? Modern nomads eat a lot of flour. And the word does not imply knowledge about ploughing; rather it implies knowledge *of* ploughing (or hoeing).

Moreover, the words for 'plough' show a lot of reformation; the significant commonality is the root for 'to plough' and the instument suffix used (*H₂tro or whatever).

Not only this, some pastoralists also do a bit of agriculture on the side - e.g. many Kazakh clans, while they bought most of their grain from sedentary farmers, had winter quarters in the Southern parts of their annual migration ranges where they left people behind in summer who farmed a bit. And IIRC, pure pastoralism is actually a later development in the Eurasian steppes and pastoralism plus farming is the older stage.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 2:20 pm 
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Today I shall talk about two ideas about the origin of the thematic declension and the sigmatic nominative.

The thematic declension

It has been observed for long that most of the oldest thematic nouns are adjectives. My idea is that these adjectives in turn descend from genitives of athematic nouns in *-os which were reanalyzed such that the *-s of the ending was interpreted as a nominative ending and the *-o- as part of the stem, and the remaining cases formed accordingly from this new stem.

The sigmatic nominative

The PIE sigmatic nominative has been connected to the genitive by several scholars. My idea is that this genitive acquired use as a topic marker ('of the X' > 'as for the X'), developed a different ablaut, and was then reinterpreted as a nominate case after the old active-stative alignment of the language had given way to the split-ergative pattern we see in Hittite.

What do you think?

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:30 pm 
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The idea of an ergative origin has been proposed before, and I don't think it works. Just about the only thing it has going for it is that both nominative and genitive singulars end in *s, although I believe it was Kortlandt who also connected the neuter thematic nom-acc to his reconstruction of the athematic genitive plural in *-om. The shared *o in thematics is pretty much irrelevant. Incidentally, the ergativity in Hittite is clearly innovative! As far as I know, it's not matched in the other Anatolian languages, and its endings are just the nominative singular and plural of a derived noun in *-e/ont-.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:41 am 
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Kath, either you are reading inattentively, or you just like whacking strawmen. I wrote nothing of the sigmatic nominative emerging from an earlier ergative suffix. I only speculated that a genitive may have become a topic marker, neither of which has anything to do with ergatives. Also, I now admit that this idea perhaps isn't as good as I thought yesterday.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:45 am 
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Whether you call it a topic marker or an ergative case, it's the exact same development: genitive -> intermediary -> nominative, and I still don't buy it.


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