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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 10:38 am 
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I take things Kloekhorst says with a pinch of salt and a very critical eye, since he's said several things which I think are utter bullshit.


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 10:47 am 
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 11:57 am 
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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 12:44 pm 
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Im not aware of ther being reflexes of h2 & h3 in Hittite but Id like to see how the author reconstructs words with laryngeals in between consonants. e.g. if the word for father is /pqter/ or something like /pəqter/ instead. Im not sure how we know what the values of the letters were in lycian anyway ... couldnt they have been like the Romans etc who used letters for more than one sound?

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 2:39 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 11:52 am 
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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2018 2:28 pm 
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Well, some of the pre-stages the Leiden model assumes are plausible, such as an original R(Ø)-S(é)- in the amphikinetic accusative, and it's even possible that the nominative there had S(Ø) as well, but that's strictly speaking beyond the comparative method.


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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 9:46 am 
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I shall address three matters in this post.

1. Alwin Kloekhorst has . As you may know, Lydian, one of the younger Anatolian languages, has a strange-looking dative singular ending, -λ (this is the conventional transcription of a Lydian letter which probably represented a palatal lateral). Various explanations have been suggested, such as the Proto-Anatolian adverbial suffix *-li (as in Hittite language designations), or a connection to the Hittite pronominal genitive -êl. Now Kloekhorst suggests that PIE *y has simply become λ in word-final position in Lydian, so the Lydian ending is just the regular development of the PIE dative singular *-ey. Sounds nice, but I don't know how good this really is.

2. I have recently looked around at . Looks interesting, but doubtful. This is Carlos Quines, the Spanish guy who brought us "Modern Indo-European" (regularized PIE proposed as a European auxlang), who examines the origin of PIE in context of genetics and archaeology. Some of his ideas are definitely non-canonical. For instance, he doubts that the Corded Ware culture, conventionally associated with Northwest IE, was IE at all; rather, he assumes a Uralic language here! This is mainly based on genetics: he claims that R1b was the dominant Y-DNA haplogroup of the PIE speakers, while Corded Ware was mostly R1a. R1b would have been brought to western Europe by the Bell Beaker people, whom he has as descendants of Yamnaya bypassing Corded Ware. All this is hard to stomach, and I am very doubtful. I have grown weary of language-genetics connections of this sort - language shifts (i.e., populations switching to another, more prestigious language) happen all too often (I have first-hand experience of this, being grown up in a Northern German village that was shifting from Low to High German). Also, AFAIK, Bell Beaker originated in the Iberian Peninsula, and probably has nothing to do with IE (other than seeding NW IE languages with loanwords from Vasconic or whatever).

3. I am trying to figure out who spoke PIE0, PIE1, PIE2 and PIE3, respectively, and when. I think that PIE0 (the "pre-Caucasianization" - see for instance for the concept of a Caucasian substratum in PIE) stage close to Proto-Indo-Uralic - may have been the language of the Khvalynsk culture north of the Caspian Sea ca. 5000 BC. These were either pastoralists or still hunter-gatherers. The Khvalynsk culture later merged with - or rather took over - their western neighbours, the Dniepr-Donets culture north of the Black Sea, who were argriculturalists, resulting in what one could call "Pre-Yamnaya". (Is this Sredny Stog, or is Sredny Stog an offshoot of Dniepr-Donets that had not taken over by Khvalynsk? Help would be appreciated!) The language of Dniepr-Donets is unknown, but it may have been related to the Abkhaz-Adyghean languages of the Northwestern Caucasus, and brought such things as ejectives, the three-way split of the velars, and a reduced vowel system (the Great Vowel Collapse) into PIE0 which thus changed into PIE1, spoken north of the Black and Caspian Seas around 4500 BC. This would change into PIE2, the common ancestor of PIE3 and Anatolian, spoken by the Early Yamnaya around 3500 BC, with the rise of ablaut and a shift from agglutinating to fusional morphology (and the ejectives shifting to implosives). An offshoot of PIE1 moving west could have been Aquan, the language of the Old European Hydronymy (which I explore in my Hesperic conlangs). PIE3 would be later Yamnaya around 3000 BC; this is the ancestor of the non-Anatolian IE languages and the PIE found in the mainstream handbooks.

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 6:31 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2018 6:37 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 11:27 am 
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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 2:25 pm 
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I am very skeptical about theories in which the Caucasian languages influenced PIE. These theories always serve to give PIE more of a profile like the Caucasian languages of today. But we don't have a clue what those languages were like more than 5000 years ago. And I don't believe in linguistic refrigerators that keep the phonetic structure of a language the same over millennia.

And who were those mythical Caucasian females that the people on the Pontic-Caspian steppe supposedly mated with? Everyone in the Caucasus mountains had a genetic component, called ANF (Anatolian Neolithic Farmer) that was not present in the people on the steppe.

Also, if IE came from the steppe and language change must always be accompanied by genes, then how did Hittite get to Anatolia? There are no steppe genes in the Hittite samples.


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 4:27 pm 
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nota bene: there are no Hittite samples. There are a small number of samples from the Hittite polity (some of which iirc have been argued to have steppe influence), but none of them are from clearly ethnically Hittite, high-caste burials; they may therefore be Hattians, who formed the majority of the ancestry of most people in the "Hittite" empire.

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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 7:49 am 
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 8:21 am 
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PostPosted: Sat May 26, 2018 9:12 am 
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While I agree with the principle that there's no reason to assume sudden change in the Caucasus without evidence, I think your argument there's a little weak. After all, Mayan and Na-Dene aren't the only families to show considerable typological uniformity after thousands of years of divergence. Another classic example is Romance, where the languages have maintained a great deal of -in some cases quite detailed - similarity despite 1500 years of divergence.

The problem is, Romance DIDN'T maintain that typological similarity. It innovated it, across the whole of the continent at once. No sane reconstruction of Proto-Romance would look anything like attested (even vernacular) Latin!


But of course, there's no specific reason to think that that happened in the Caucasus. The typological divergence between Caucasian families discourages the idea of a recent sprachbund, while Caucasoid features in PIE encourage the idea of at least some areal similarities, if not genetic connection, in the distant past.



Howl: in the specific case of the Hittites, yes, we know that there were ethnic distinctions in the polity. Most of the core area ruled by the Hittites had, until a short time before, been ruled by the Hattians - hence the name of the Hittites, which comes from foreign names for their country as "land of the Hattians" - who were a non-IE group. The Hattians were conquered by the Hittites. We know there was preservation of the Hattian religion and (at least in liturgical contexts) language well into the Hittite era. So it's not at all surprising that if you randomly pick five (iirc) people from the Hittite era who weren't from the ruling class, you wouldn't get any obvious Hittite genes.

If the Hittite ruling class don't look IE, that's more surprising (as long as they aren't very late, since the Hittite ruling class was iirc in turn Hurrianised later on). What would be more surprising still would be early Hittite samples from Nesh, or samples from other Anatolian groups where there isn't such a clear multiethnicity.


The potentially disruptive news, btw, is that some people believe that there are seemingly Anatolian names found in Eblaite records of the inhabitants of "Armi", an unknown, presumably highland Anatolian, polity. This would be really important, because those names would be found in Anatolia at a time contemporary to Yamnaya culture north of the steppe, and apparently not looking like a distinct recent migrant class. Given the lack of any obvious migration from the steppe before then, and the lack of anything obviously migrationy about the alleged Anatolians in Armi, that would not only prove a much earlier separation between PIE and PA (effectively we'd be firmly in Indo-Hittite territory, conceptually), but would also make the prehistory of the language really puzzling. Given the very low levels of steppe genes in anatolia, and the high level of non-steppe genes on the steppe, it would suggest that Indo-Hittite developed south of the caucasus and then migrated north, either via the caucasian piedmont*, or more radically through europe (radical because this could even put LBK back on the table as Indo-Hittite**).

*culturally this has always been suspected - there seems, for instance, to be a development from mesopotamian ziggurats to armenian mound tombs to steppe kurgans, as well as some transmission of metallurgical culture. But there's no obvious genetic pathway for this (it turns out Maykop, the obvious link, wasn't that genetically related).

**the radical theory there would be that mesolithic europe was indeed Indo-Hittite, that Anatolian is a back-migration from Europe, and that an influx of farmer women brough the language to the steppe. However, since the cultural and genetic ties to europe are even weaker than those to the caucasus, this seems less intuitively likely.

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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 8:03 am 
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I don't believe that language always has to follow the genes. For example, there are numerous cases in history where an invading people eventually ended up speaking the language of the native people. And mechanisms like elite dominance and the need for a lingua franca make it possible that a population takes up a new language without a massive transfer of genes. Of course the speakers of the new language still have to be present in the population, and they will leave a genetic signal. But that signal can be more subtle. Now, this gives more leeway for competing models for the spread of languages. But that is just the consequence of acknowledging that we can't know more about the past than what we really do know.

And if I ignore genetics and potential links to other language families for a moment, I would say that a Balkan origin of PIE is the best model. The biggest diversity of PIE dialects (Celtic, Italic, Illyrian, Dacian, Thracian, Phrygian, Greek, Balto-Slavic) can be found in and around the Balkan, while the steppe just has Indo-Iranian. Also, the Balkan has the neolithic technologies and population density to support the major linguistic expansion that PIE went through.

But the farmers on the Balkan came from Anatolia. And a southern origin of PIE would make it very hard to explain the obvious commonalities with Uralic and the Altaic language families. So for me, PIE must have been an EHG language. And then the best candidate for a PIE origin would be the EHG communities just east of the Balkan. We know that these communities entered Balkan from the late 4th millennium BCE onwards. And this ties in neatly with the 'through the Balkan' models of Anatolian.


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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 10:19 am 
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 2:01 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 5:18 pm 
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A correction: the only people we can be pretty sure derive from the Corded-Ware Culture are the Indo-Iranians. Indo-Iranians seem culturally and genetically derived from the Sintashta of the Caspian steppe - the people who developed fire cults and chariots. But Sintashta weren't in-situ descendents of Yamna. Instead, the Sintashta seem culturally AND genetically (and so probably linguistically) derived from CWC! Specifically, Sintashta (like modern indo-Iranians) show greatly elevated levels of western european farmer and hunter-gatherer genes; they clearly replaced the older, 'pure' steppe culture in the area. (they also show cultural traits from the west, like a sudden interest in metalwork).


So, what happened seems to be:
- very early (early Yamnaya or pre-Yamnaya) steppe people invaded northern europe. They absorbed some local genes and technologies, creating CWC. Other steppe people remained on the steppe.
- centuries later, CWC people migrated back onto the steppe, overrunning the 'native' steppe folk. The most famous of these were the Sintashta, but other steppe groups (like the Srubna to their west) seem genetically very similar, so Sintashta seems just to be a particularly succesful part of a general migration.
- the Sintashta - now armed with chariots and metal weapons, and seemingly more mobile than their predecessors - invaded India and Iran

But also worth mentioning: the Sintashta, or another late (i.e. CWC-derived) steppe culture very genetically close to Sintashta, invaded Armenia, replacing the Hurrians. And likewise, the Sintashta or a very similar steppe culture invaded Greece - the Mycenaeans are basically what you get if you mix minoans with sintashta (or, say, Srubna).


So what we're left with thinking, I think is that CWC was the OPPOSITE of Northwestern. Instead, it looks more directly associated with Graeco-Aryan!

[A superficial demonstration: the graeco-aryan branches are all associated with R1a, as is CWC. Whereas italo-celtic, like pre-CWC steppe cultures, were R1b]


But of course, it's worth remembering how few IE languages have survived. Other than Balto-Slavic (whose location until the last thousand years or so is totally unknown), no IE language family "originally" spoken north of the caucasus anywhere between Greece/Bohemia and Kazakhstan (i.e. Indo-Iranian Sintashta) (aside from a few scant attestations of Thracian) That's a vast area! And likewise, we don't have any IE language originally spoken in Western Europe - that entire area has been overrun by speakers of Italic, Celtic and Germanic (which itself is attested relatively late) - the earlier languages of Iberia, France, Britain and possibly even Germany are unknown.
[And of course we have no representatives of the IE migrations into Siberia (except possibly Tocharian?), and only a few dead relics of the IE migrations into anatolia.]
So any ideas of early IE dialectology are lacking most of the evidence they'd need...

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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 9:26 am 
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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.

According to , "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.

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. But Italo-Celtic IMHO originated in the Pannonian basin, even if those people were mostly R1a. Languages do not always go together with Y-DNA; there are two possibilities how populations with different Y-DNA haplogroup profiles may end up speaking the same language: language shift and language transmission through the maternal line (i.e., Mom and Dad speaking different native languages, and the children picking up Mom's language).

All this brought me to a new idea, of which I don't know yet what it is worth: Late PIE (PIE3 in my Adradosian numbered stage scheme) was spoken not by the Yamnaya but by the Corded Ware culture! Early Yamnaya/Pre-Yamnaya (earlier than CW) would have been Early PIE (PIE2), and Late Yamnaya (contemporary to CW) a different branch ancestral to Anatolian. Aquan, the hypothetical language of the Bell Beaker people, may belong there, too. I used to place Aquan as a branch that branched off even earlier than Anatolian, but the main characteristic feature of Aquan - the dominance of the vowel */a/ and the absence of qualitative (not so sure of quantitative) ablaut - can be explained by secondary loss of the distinction between *e, *a and *o - three vowels which would have huddled closer together in Early than in Late PIE, anyway. (Of course, we know so little about Aquan that we cannot really classify it - it is not even certain that it has anything to do with IE!)

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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 1:09 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 6:41 pm 
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2018 2:35 am 
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