Re: 40 LexiLine Newsletter How Old are the Baltic Languages?
> From Anne Beidler:Dear Anne,
> I love your answers, but sometimes I weary of your condescending
> tone. Thanks anyway for all the great work you do.
I am sorry for the sometimes condescending tone, but it derives from
my constantly facing the vast ignorance and stupidity of mainstream
To understand my attitudes, one has to have some short knowledge of
1) I could read and write at age 3
2) I skipped the first grade of school because I had already read all
the textbooks required in elementary school up to the sixth grade -
the teachers often did not know what to do with me - when the other
kids wanted to know the answers to homework questions, they came to
me - not the other way around
3) Stanford is the toughest college to get into today in America, I
went to law school there
4) Upon graduation I was an associate at what I considered to be the
best law firm in America, brain by brain (Paul, Weiss, et al. see
5) My mentors were, inter alia:
- the late John Kaplan, Prof. of Law, Stanford Law School, a legend
for his brilliance at Harvard who roomed with Derek Bok (later
President of Harvard) - we were good friends until he passed away in
- the late Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Dietrich Andre Loeber of the Kiel
Law School whose father was a Supreme Court Justice on the Latvian
Supreme Court - we were good friends and stayed in touch until his
passing just one week ago
- Peter Haje, Counselor of AOL TIme Warner and former General Counsel
and Executive Vice-President of AOL Time Warner, the world's largest
I have been surrounded by brilliant people all of my life and count
many as my friends - these are MY peers.
This does not mean I am infallible, but anyone who does not recognize
my intellectual capability - as many other brilliant men have - is in
my eyes, due to this inability - which is also a function of the
level of brainpower available - of lesser rank. With respect to these
persons, I am, yes, "a snob".
So what I am I to say about what I face in academica today on the
subjects that I write about. My question truly is - who are these
people? What is the actual extent of their knowledge and their
abilities? How much do they really know? And how much of what they
write in their journals is just repetition from their mentors?
Who are the people in academia out there who feel competent to judge
my work and ideas? What special competence do they bring to the
subjects that I study? What analytical powers mark their work, if any?
I find that many quite normal students have "lernt their lessons
well" (i.e. they have learned to regurgitate that which they have
been taught in their schooling, without ever thinking for themselves)
and I find further that many of these persons - being blessed of no
particular abilities or talents - have then struggled up the career
ladder and have somehow, somewhere managed to obtained a
professorship at some institution (or have inherited their father's
business) and now think that these achievements have given them an
intellect which they previously never had when they were younger.
The same people who were once no match for me in school now suddenly
think that their acquired positions have made them smarter. I am now
to come to THEM for the answers. Hah! It is a joke, nothing more.
As in the Wizard of Oz, the world seems to operate under the
principle that you need a "paper" (documents - or paper money - will
do) attesting to your capabilities - but issued by whom? Without such
a paper, your thoughts are not worth discussing - that is the modern
It is not the case that anyone in academia has ever proven the
fundamentals of what I write to be wrong - rather, they think that
what they are doing is "right" and that any contrary theory must
necessarily be bunk by consequence. That is an attitude of mainstream
scholarship which I equate with ignorance and stupidity of the first
rank. How can I refrain from being condescending to a group of people
whom I simply regard to be intellectually inferior?
A brain of equal intellect you see would look at the IDEAS and
discuss the EVIDENCE for or against any theory. WHO you were and WHAT
POSITION you had would play no role, since these matters are
irrelevant to the truth of any matter in question. But that is not
the way the world works. Rather, "authority" is the name of the game.
People look to "titles", "academic standing", "connections", etc.
But, in spite of that, a higher intelligence never bows to a weaker
one and so much of what I write appears condescending because I
simply do not acknowledge the intellect of most of my detractors.
They simply do not have the brainpower necessary to judge my work.
- Regarding the Wizard of Oz, Andreas Szabo <silva@...> asks:
Andis Kaulins wrote:
> As in the Wizard of Oz, the world seems to operate under thesuch
> principle that you need a "paper" (documents - or paper money - will
> do) attesting to your capabilities - but issued by whom? Without
> a paper, your thoughts are not worth discussing - that is the modernWhat scene or chapter where?
The film "Wizard of Oz" is based on a book by L. Frank Baum
Take a look at this website about the Wizard of Oz which explains
everything regarding brains and diplomas, courage and medals, and
good-heartedness and testimonials:
That website contains quotes from the film (1939) - where the Wizard
of Oz is performing his three - and only - miracles in the film:
[The brainless straw Scarecrow gets a brain - quoting the Wizard of
"Why, anybody can have a brain. That's a very mediocre commodity.
Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the Earth or slinks
through slimy seas has a brain. Back where I come from, we have
universities, seats of great learning, where men go to become great
thinkers. And when they come out, they think deep thoughts and with
no more brains than you have! But they have one thing you haven't
got - a diploma. Therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me
by the Universitatus Committeatum E Pluribus Unum, I hereby confer
upon you the honorary degree of Th. D...that's Doctor of Thinkology."
[The cowardly Lion gets a medal - quoting the Wizard of Oz]
"As for you, my fine friend, you're a victim of disorganized
thinking. You are under the unfortunate delusion that simply because
you run away from danger you have no courage. You're confusing
courage with wisdom. Back where I come from, we have men who are
called heroes. Once a year, they take their fortitude out of moth
balls and parade it down the main street of the city and they have no
more courage than you have. But they have one thing that you haven't
got - a medal. Therefore, for meritorious conduct, extraordinary
valor, conspicuous bravery against Wicked Witches, I award you the
Triple Cross. You are now a member of the Legion of Courage."
[The tin man lacks a heart and is given a loudly ticking clock
hanging on a golden chain - quoting the Wizard of Oz]
"Back where I come from, there are men who do nothing all day but
good deeds. They are called phila-, er, er, philanth-er, yes, er,
good-deed doers, and their hearts are no bigger than yours. But they
have one thing you haven't got - a testimonial. Therefore, in
consideration of your kindness, I take pleasure at this time in
presenting you with a small token of our esteem and affection. And
remember, my sentimental friend, that a heart is not judged by how
much you love, but by how much you are loved by others."
Many educated people think that the Wizard of Oz is for children only.
They do not realize that what children love about the Wizard of Oz is
his understanding of much of the adult world, for which the brainless
scarecrow, the cowardly lion and the heartless tin man are metaphoric
- Simon Moss <simon_1969_uk@...> writes - with a bit of
pardonable (for a real pardon you need a document) "CLD" Carrollian
>taking all this into account, can you use your brain
>power to answer my questions regarding your theories
>regarding the Ark of the Covenant that I sent you
>several weeks ago.
Another thing that I have learned about your average man is that the
average man seems not to understand the language of cordiality and
good will but that the only way to get through to many average people
and scholars is to reply to them "in kind". Am I right?
As far as I know, the essential core of your questions is already
answered by materials that I have long had posted online and that are
available to any agile, willing, interested and perspicacious
These materials are found at:
http://www.lexiline.com/lexiline/lexi000.htm - and numerous following
You first have to read those materials in detail and understand them -
including the sources that are referred to in those materials,
before we have a basis for any discussion of any kind.
Since even your average Old Testament university scholar knows next
to nothing about even the source materials referred to, much less my
work, you have a tough job ahead of you.
P.S. I will not answer every question posed to me if I find it not be
relevant to the core issue of an inquiry.
It would be a waste of my time.
- Dear LexiLiners,
Bob Sand has asked me some questions about Latvian dictionaries,
indicating that he had gone to his library but had been unable to
find one. I thank him for this question because it has given me the
opportunity to do research and find new sources.
THE MAIN HISTORICAL LATVIAN-GERMAN DICTIONARY
Although numerous Latvian dictionaries are available at online
bookstores and in large public libraries, the main historical
dictionary - by far - for any study of Latvian is the four-volume
Latvian-German Historical Dictionary (Lettisch-deutsches
Karlis (Karl) Mühlenbach and Janis (John) Endzelins (cited as
Muehlenbachs-Endzelins, Mîlenbahs-Endzelins) Riga, 1923-1932, I-IV
including supplementary volumes published later (Riga, 1933-1939) by
Endzelins after Muehlenbach's passage.
ELECTRONIC ONLINE VERSION IN PREPARATION
An electronic online version is being prepared. See
according to which circa 75000 headwords (main entries) were included.
LIBRARY AVAILABILITY OF THE DICTIONARY
The dictionary is available e.g. at the Latvian National Library
Milenbahs Karlis. Latviesu valodas vardnica =
Wörterbuch : 4 sej. / Karlis Milenbahs; red., papild. un
Janis Endzelîns. - Rîga, 1923-1932.
See http://www.amazon.de/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000BLSTM/ and
5000565 (either copy this link which will not wrap in Yahoo or use
the "snip" (short-form) url for the same URL)
The Library of Congress the four main volumes at
The German National Library in Frankfurt has the main volumes and
supplements as photo reprints at
ONE COPY of the DICTIONARY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF KIEL
There is a copy of this dictionary at the University of Kiel Library
in Germany and I have used that version for much of my work over the
past 30 years.
click on Slavistik, then on Baltistik, then on Lettische Philologie
(at number 820) and then on Allgemeines (at number.350)
This is a typical needle in the haystack system for indexing -
typical for libraries.
Here are relevant Kiel University Library entries - although the
books are available ONLY in the central reading room and can not be
borrowed. I personally photocopied all volumes for my own use some 30
years ago but these copies were sadly destroyed a few years ago
- K. Muelenbacha Latviesu valodas Vardnica
- Standort: Zentralbibliothek
- Signatur: R 132
- Katalognummer(n): sla 820.350 / Lettisch / Wortschatz
siehe auch: sla 820 / Lettisch
How often do you find this dictionary used and cited in mainstream
linguistic work online? very seldom. The mainstream linguists talk
endlessly about Indo-European as if they had a clue, yet Pokorny's
alleged Indo-European Etymological Dictionary has only three
citations (that I have been able to find) to this main historical
Latvian dictionary , at
INCOMPETENCE IN MAINSTREAM LINGUISTICS due to ignorance of LATVIAN
To put it bluntly, the work of the linguists on Latvian lexicology
with regard to the reconstruction of Indo-European is next to
worthless because most linguists simply have NOT used the main
sources at hand. They ignore Latvian because they know nothing about
Mainstream linguists cite to Latvian terms sparingly if at all (see
for Latvian and Hittite
because they know nearly NOTHING about the lexical components of the
language and apparently have no access to the most important source,
which is this dictionary. I am afraid that many mainstream linguists
are - for Latvian - ignorant incompetents - and this includes most of
the LATVIAN linguists themselves, who write endlessly about grammar
but know next to nothing about historical lexicology in Latvian.
GERMAN BORROWING OF LATVIAN TERMS
An interesting citation to this dictionary is found at
Deutsches Rechtswörterbuch (DRW)
home page http://www.rzuser.uni-heidelberg.de/~cd2/drw/
Erklärung: anberaumter Zahltag.
sprachliche Erläuterung: zum Wort vgl. K. Mühlenbach, Lettisch-
deutsches Wörterbuch III (Chicago 1955) 25.
Belegtext: ["kommt in alten rig. landvogteyl. Rechnungen vor, sogar
noch in einer von 1578, wahrscheinlich in der Bed. von Wartezeit von
lett. pagaidiht warten. Wenn die Stadt Riga in vorigen Zeiten ihre
Bauern des Winters mit Korn und Heu unterstützte, so erhielten sie
solches von der Landvogtey, wo es auf Kerbstöcken bemerkt wurde.
May des folgenden Jahres hielt der Landvogt die] pageide, [da denn
jeder Bauer, welcher einen Vorschuß genommen hatte, sich mit
Kerbstock einfinden und das Geld abtragen mußte"]
Datierung: 1578 Fundstelle: Gutzeit,Livl. II 320 [weitere Angaben:
For those of you who read no German, this citation is to a word in
German which is clearly taken from a Latvian word meaning "wait,
provisional, temporary", and relating to agricultural subsidies which
were issued in winter and as such marked on wooden sticks. The "wait"
or "loan" based on those markings then had to be repaid in the
LATVIAN INFLUENCE ON GERMAN LANGUAGE IN THE BALTIC
An interesting recent dissertation on the influence of Latvian on
German in the Baltic is found at
ZUM EINFLUSS DES LETTISCHEN AUF DAS DEUTSCHE IM BALTIKUM
by Ineta Polanska (from Ogre, Latvia), published in Bamberg, 2002
which is available online at
(pronunciation font does not work for the .pdf - on my PC)
Polanska cites liberally to Mühlenbach-Endzelins and has the honor of
apparently being the only linguist online to do so.
Her section on specific German borrowings from Latvian with
etymologies - at pages 195 through 321 - is of particular value.
This is a SUPERB work and a rare exception in mainstream linguistics,
pointing to the linguistic world of the future in which the great
antiquity and historical value of the Baltic languages - especially
in lexicology and etymology - will ultimately be recognized, not just
for German borrowings in the Baltic, but for Indo-European