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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:28 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 10:53 am 
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:38 pm 
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Why I no longer believe in the Vinča script

I used to think of the as an ancient script in which a Europic language related to Aquan and IE was written. The idea of a relationship to Aquan and IE is gone with the Europic hypothesis as a whole, which I abandoned two weeks ago.

But I now also doubt that these signs are a script representing a language at all. Why? Because these symbols do not look anything like an ancient script. All early scripts are logographic, and all those scripts consist of more or less pictorial signs visually representing the meanings of the words they encode. So the sign for 'bird' looks like a bird. Abstract concepts are symbolized by pictures of associated items, such as an eye for 'to see', or water for 'to drink'. This is true for Egyptian hieroglyphics, for instance, also for the oldest stages of Sumerian and Chinese. Abstract signs come into play after the script has shifted from representing words to representing syllables or phonemes, which of course have no shapes (unless you are a synaesthete of the right sort).

Of the Vinĉa artifacts, only the look like this. And these tablets do not look at all like anything else in the Vinča cultural province, to a point that their authenticity has been questioned. All other items show engravings which are almost always entirely abstract. This is not what one would expect from such an old script.

Also, all true writing systems usually have the glyphs aligned in lines, as the glyphs represent either words or sounds aligned linearly in time. This is also true of some Vinča "inscriptions", but not of many others. There are, however, some interesting items, such as a spindle whorl found at Mitrovica (Kosovo) which bears the same "inscription" on both sides. Yet, even though I don't have a better interpretation, I seriously doubt that these strange marks are a writing system.

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PostPosted: Thu May 18, 2017 4:23 pm 
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Though I'd share what I'd gleaned from two epochal pre-prints just out. I know you may know this already, but since the thread's here we may as well mention it.

Let's try bullet points...


- some WHGs [Western Hunter Gatherers - blue-eyed, dark-skinned people who spread from the Balkans and Italy to dominate all of Europe] migrated into Anatolia at some point
- farming spread in the middle east. When farmers reached Anatolia, they picked up some WHG genes - not a lot, just a bit.
- farmers migrated from northwest anatolia into the Balkans.
- they replaced 98% of the WHG population in the Balkans (except around some marshy riverbanks).
- they expanded rapidly into central and northern Europe (i.e. LBK). They were less succesful at annihilating the natives there, probably because their agriculture was less suitable for the area and unfarmable areas retained WHG populations
- they also expanded along the mediterranean coastline, into Iberia (i.e. Cardial). Crucially, Cardial and LBK were in fact closely related and all from northwest anatolia - it's proposed that they were the same people but split in the Balkans.
- the UK apparently had some farmers from Iberia (etc). It seems likely that this Cardial form of the culture was associated with megaliths (from Orkney to Sardinia).
- however, all these neolithic farmers were so extremely similar to one another that it can be hard to tell which are which.
- curiously, however, southern Greece was NOT originally peopled in this way. Instead, it had farmers who DIDN'T have WHG genes - i.e. who didn't come through Anatolia, but were probably from the Levant via Cyprus. However, these people were eventually swamped out by migrants from northern greece

- Greece and the Balkans had low-level genetic contacts with the Steppe millennia before the kurgan invasion.
- however, nowhere else did. In particular, the Globular Amphora Culture, right next to the steppe, was completely genetically isolated from it. Steppe genes didn't enter gradually, but in a massive replacement.

- as we thought before, the later neolithic saw more WHG genes. In some places, where the farmers were more dominant, this was sex-neutral. However, in other areas it was overwhelmingly male WHGs who bred into the farming lines. Central European late Neolithic genes were in some places up to 50% WHG in the male line, but less than 5% WHG in the female line.

- Iberia retained stronger WHG genetic ties than elsewhere.

- Iberian Bell Beakers predate those elsewhere.
- IBBs look pretty much like ordinary neolithic iberians. BB was probably a domestic innovation. Although I don't think the paper tested any North Africans, who may have looked pretty similar at that time. Also, there are some traces of steppe ancestry in northern spain already.

- Bell Beakers everywhere else do NOT look like neolithic Iberians. In fact they seem to have NO noticeable Iberian ancestry. BB spread culturally, not through migration - so far as we can see, not even through elite migration.

- Instead, non-Iberian BBs look like steppe invaders, much like Corded Ware. In particular, non-Iberian BBs seem dominated by R1b in the male lines.

- BB spread to the UK, probably from the Lower Rhine. European and UK BBs look effectively identical. They did not migrate from Iberia.
- the BB invasion of the UK was the UK part of the steppe invasions. They replaced "at least 93%" of the native neolithic population. R1b was complete absent before, but immediately after represents 95% of all men in Britain. [this fell to 75% by the Middle Bronze Age]

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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 5:21 am 
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Relevant: http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/ ... nyone-else


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:00 am 
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:24 am 
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I should add that I no longer consider it very likely that Europe had anything like 20 to 30 stocks at any time in its prehistory. Pre-colonial North America is not really a good model, the conditions there are different - it is most importantly less connected to other parts of the world than Europe. Also, the number of 50 stocks in North America is based on conservative "splitter" classifications and thus may be too high anyway.

Sure, we have three apparently mutually unrelated language isolates in ancient Spain, but in the Mesolithic the population density would have been lower, which would lead to a guess that the linguistic diversity was lower, too. So perhaps one or two stocks in Mesolithic Spain, and not much more than perhaps a dozen stocks in all of Mesolithic Europe. Also, one, two or all three of the Paleo-Hispanic languages may have entered the Iberian Peninsula in the Neolithic or later! Basque perhaps did not originate in northern Spain but on the French side of the Pyrenees. Iberian may be a result of the Cardial Neolithic demic expansion. And Tartessian - well, some people consider it a Celtic language, which would eliminate it from the roster of Paleo-European languages altogether.

Certainly, the margin of error is huge, though. Mesolithic Europe may have been dominated by one or two large families, or splintered into more than a dozen little units.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:30 pm 
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Let me try a preliminary overview of what may have happened linguistically in prehistoric Europe. Nothing of what follows can be considered certain, of course; all of this is just material for discussion, and may be falsified by things I do not know yet. Comments and critiques are welcome.

0. It is unknown when the first languages were spoken in Europe, depending on to which degree Homo heidelbergensis or Homo neanderthalensis had language (they probably did have some kind of language, but perhaps less sophisticated than ours). Most likely, these languages were wiped out after the arrival of Homo sapiens, when their speakers died out. There is only a remote possibility that some words pertaining to European nature and wildlife were borrowed by Homo sapiens.

1. For our purposes, then, the linguistic prehistory of Europe began with the arrival of Homo sapiens in the Upper Paleolithic, c. 45,000 BC. Homo sapiens came from the east, on two routes, one along the Mediterranean coast, one north of the Black Sea and the Alps. So we get two great families, let's call them Paleo-Mediterranean and Paleo-Transalpine, which may in turn have been branches of a single large family rooted in the Near East, but could just as well have been utterly different.

2. During the Upper Paleolithic, Paleo-Mediterranean diversifies more and more; perhaps, later immigrations from the Near East or North Africa, add even more languages. Paleo-Transalpine also diversifies, but as the climate worsens, most of Europe north of the Alps is more and more depopulated, and most branches of Paleo-Transalpine vanish.

3. At the Last Glacial Maximum, ca. 20,000 to 16,000 BC, only two branches of Paleo-Transalpine are left, one in southern France, and one north of the Black Sea; we may call them Paleo-Atlantic and Paleo-Pontic, respectively. These two may have descendants even today, namely Basque of Paleo-Atlantic, and Abkhaz-Adyghean (Northwest Causasian) and Nakh-Daghestanina (Northeast Caucasian) of Paleo-Pontic. (Alternatively, these could be Mediterranean languages that went north in the Mesolithic, see point 5.) Of course, after all those millennia after separation, these are now utterly different language families, to the point that a time-travelling linguist would no longer be able to find clear evidence of relationship. Meanwhile, Mediterranean Europe holds perhaps up to a dozen different families, their common descent from Paleo-Mediterranean no longer discernible.

4. After the Glacial Maximum, Europe north of the Alps is gradually repopulated by Paleo-Atlantic and Paleo-Pontic speakers. It is hard to say where they meet, but probably somewhere in Central Europe. Meanwhile, linguistic diversity in Mediterranean Europe remains quite high, at 5 to 10 families that would be discernible to a time-travelling linguist.

5. The ice age ends about 9600 BC, and Europe enters the Mesolithic. Paleo-Atlantic speakers settle in the British Isles (then not yet islands) and in western Scandinavia, while Paleo-Pontic speakers settle around the Baltic Sea. Some Mediterranean groups probably venture northwards; maybe Basque and one or both of the North Caucasian families are carried northward by them, if they are not survivors of Paleo-Atlantic and Paleo-Pontic, respectively. Meanwhile, another family, Mitian spreads from a centre in Central Asia, and reaches the easternmost recesses of Europe.

6. The European Neolithic begins about 7000 BC, with the arrival of the first European farmers from Anatolia. In the following 2000 years, a demic expansion of agriculture into the Balkan Peninsula, Central Europe and the Mediterranean coasts takes place. This results in the spread of two large Neolithic language families, one north, one south of the Alps. We could call these Danubian and Cardial-Impresso, respectively. The Iberian language of pre-Roman eastern Spain could be a part of the Cardial-Impresso family. These two families could be branches of one larger unit, but this is uncertain. The westernmost branch of Mitian diversifies in the Pontic-Caspian steppe, giving birth to Macro-Indo-European and Macro-Uralic.

7. Around 4500 BC, the first "Kurgan wave" of Macro-Indo-European speakers spreads westward through the Lower Danube region into Central Europe, eclipsing most of the Danubian family. Their language becomes Aquan, the language of the Old European Hydronymy. At about the same time, Macro-Uralic spreads across northeastern Europe in the framework of the Pit-Comb Ware culture.

8. Around 3500 BC, the second "Kurgan wave" carries Proto-Anatolian to the eastern parts of the Balkan Peninsula, from whence it later enters Anatolia.

9. Around 3000 BC, the third "Kurgan wave" spreads Indo-European languages into the Balkan Peninsula and Central Europe, and also eastward into Central Asia. Aquan speakers are pushed westward into France, the British Isles, the Iberian Peninsula and northern Italy. At the same time, Uralic proper spreads in the northeast, eclipsing the other Macro-Uralic languages.

10. In the Bronze Age, Indo-European and Uralic displace most other European languages. The Aquan family perhaps holds out longest in the British Isles, where it may become the language of a civilization that underlies the Celtic and Germanic traditions of Elves, the Greek traditions of Hyperborea and the Homeric Phaeacians, and perhaps Plato's Atlantis. The Germanic nautic terminology may be from this language, and it may have exerted a substratum influence on Insular Celtic. Alas, no clear archaeological evidence of such a civilization has been found yet. Basque holds out in southwestern France and the western Pyrenees, Iberian in the east and Tartassian in the southwest of the Iberian Peninsula. Etruscan seems to be a younger stratum than Aquan in Italy; it perhaps arrived from northwestern Anatolia around 1200 BC (the Roman foundation myth may actually relate the arrival of the Etruscans (pre-republican Rome was ruled by an Etruscan nobility) from Troy). There are also non-IE languages on Crete (Minoan, Eteocretan) and Cyprus (Cypro-Minoan, Eteocypriot). In the Caucasus, we have the three Caucasian families. The rest is (literally!) history.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:17 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:13 am 
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Lol. I really have a hard time following what happens in Basque country. I hear at the same time one thing and its contrary.

From what I have understood, the spanish side of the Basque country may have been populating by peoples from Novempopulia, so modern Basque people may not be exactly the same as the vascones (or ouaskonooi).


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:44 am 
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:51 am 
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I admit that what I posted is speculation, and I expected you to pick it mercilessly apart. Yet, I won't take ignoramus et ignorabimus ad aeternum as an answer,which pretty much seems to sum up your position on prehistoric languages ;). The migration patterns are based mostly in Manco, Ancestral Journeys, which is of course a popular science book of whichever quality (it may especially be utterly out of date in this fast-moving science!), and on what you posted here. I am neither an archaeologist nor a geneticist, and only an amateur linguist, so I can't tell how good it all is. It may be all wrong!

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:31 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:57 pm 
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:02 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:13 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:39 pm 
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Apparently, , which probably also means that their language belongs to a stock spread during the "Neolithic Revolution". Thus Basque would in my model neither be a Paleo-Mediterranean nor a Paleo-Atlantic language but a Neolithic Mediterranean ("Cardial-Impresso") one. Under such a scenario, a relationship between Basque and Iberian also seems plausible; there are some hints at such a relationship, but Iberian is difficult the evidence is not clear.

ADDENDUM: This also means that Vennemann's Vasconic hypothesis, according to which Basque is the last surviving member of a language family that spread across all of western Europe in the Mesolithic, is almost certainly wrong (I never was sold to that, anyway). The extinct relatives of Basque are to be sought on the Iberian Peninsula (#1 candidate; Iberian, for whose relationship to Basque there is some evidence) and elsewhere in the Mediterranean.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:36 am 
Sumerul
Sumerul
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Joined: Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:03 am
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Location: Netherlands


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:42 am 
Sanno
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 5:00 pm
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Location: One of the dark places of the world

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But the river tripped on her by and by, lapping
as though her heart was brook: Why, why, why! Weh, O weh
I'se so silly to be flowing but I no canna stay!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:29 pm 
Smeric
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Location: Braunschweig, Germany
To get back to the main subject - European Homo sapiens languages before Indo-European - I am trying to find out whether the Neolithicization of the British Isles was demic or not. and seem to say "yes", but things do not seem to be all that clear, and these sources may be out of date, human genetics being such a fast-moving science that usually produces less than clear (at least to laypeople like me) results. If the Neolithic way of life was brought to the British Isles by immigrants from Central Europe, the languages of Neolithic Britain and Ireland would probably be related to those of the LBK people, whatever languages those may have spoken.

(I am asking this because I am going to redo , the language family of the "British Dwarves", and considering making it a Para-Kartvelian language, as I the LBK language to be like.)

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