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Re: [tied] IE & linguistic complexity

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  • Mark Odegard
    From: Piotr Gasiorowski Hypothesis 2 avoids such pitfalls and that s why I prefer it, though unlike Renfrew I see no good reason to move PIE all the way back
    Message 1 of 7 , Nov 1, 2000
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      Hypothesis 2 avoids such pitfalls and that's why I prefer it, though unlike Renfrew I see no good reason to move PIE all the way back to Anatolia. A Danubian homeland with the Linear Pottery colonists providing the human material for the "population wave" would be just fine, as far as I'm concerned. The fact that PIE was a language of considerable grammatical complexity would square best with its original position as a member of a rather old and well-established dialectal network in "equilibrium mode", as Dixon ("The Rise and Fall of Languages") puts it, disturbed and fragmented but not completely destroyed in the transition to the early Neolithic. The subsequent simplification of the daughter languages would have resulted from spread and contact effects, as the author (Jonathan Adams, I presume) correctly remarks.
       
      Piotr

      As I currently think about it, Colin, Lord Renfrew of K. might have some of it right, in that the pre-PIEs likely inhabited Anatolia ca. 7000 BCE. But his big book was written before any of us knew about the Euxine event, or even about the 'in publication' bits about the climate and hydrology of the Euxine region ca. 5500  BCE. And the historical linguists tells us they were either up there somewhere from Kiev to Samara, or north of the Carpathians south of a line drawn by Berlin and Warsaw.
       
      My book (EIEC) gives a map for LBK Linearbandkeramik Linear Band pottery. It's the Seine, from its mouth to the big bend of the Loire, to the Seine's headwaters, and thence the upper Danube into Middle Europe, ending approximately where the Northern Bug branches off from Warsaw.
       
      LBK seems to the the earliest archaeological horizon this far north. The ice age kept people out of it before then.
       
      It seems that Europe got quite warm ca 3500 BCE or earlier. It's as if a close, tight-knit linguistic community suddenly and peacefully moved northward into the newly warm northern climes. Or to say it another way, the linguistic community fell apart quite peacefully.
       
      Then the world got cold again, ca. 3150 BCE (Oetzi gets covered by the glacier). And Greece and Thrace become habitable again (presumably because of increased rainfall, but maybe because they are into transhumance of goats  and sheep).
       
      Did Oetzi speak PIE?
       
       
       
       
       
       
    • Piotr Gasiorowski
      The term pre-PIE is meaningless unles you can offer a linguistic definition for it. Reconstructable PIE, i.e. the ancestral language of the family, is what
      Message 2 of 7 , Nov 1, 2000
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        The term "pre-PIE" is meaningless unles you can offer a linguistic definition for it. Reconstructable PIE, i.e. the ancestral language of the family, is what was spoken at the time of the primary split, and that isn't likely to have taken place as early as Renfrew suggests. Internal reconstruction within PIE may give us some insight into its earlier history, but its limitations are well known: for each PIE alternation there will typically be several imaginable scenarios that may have led to it.
         
        If PIE resulted from a split-and-diverge process that had begun, say, in Anatolia before 7000 BC, then the root of the IE family tree would be a node in a larger phylogeny, and if we knew any non-IE outgroup belonging to the same extended family, we could attempt to reconstruct pre-PIE stages of the process on a comparative basis. "Tyrrhenian" may or may not represent such an outgroup; its tiny size, the poor documentation of Etruscan (not to mention "Lemnian" and Rhaetic) and the immense time depth between the putative "Proto-Indo-Tyrrhenian" node and historical Etruscan militate against a reliable comparative reconstruction.
         
        If, on the other hand, PIE emerged from a rapid "punctuation" in a local linguistic area, terminating a long-lasting state of equilibrium (such an area may have originally covered the Balkans together with Anatolia and the entire Near East), the comparative method would be of little use in reconstructing its remoter ancestry, but comparison within the area would nevertheless reveal a regional "prototype" (consisting of shared diffusional traits) -- the sort of typological convergence that can be observed in Australia, South Africa or North America. This, rather than shared ancestry, may be what links PIE with Etruscan, and further with Semitic or Kartvelian.
         
        Piotr
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Wednesday, November 01, 2000 9:49 AM
        Subject: Re: [tied] IE & linguistic complexity

        As I currently think about it, Colin, Lord Renfrew of K. might have some of it right, in that the pre-PIEs likely inhabited Anatolia ca. 7000 BCE. But his big book was written before any of us knew about the Euxine event, or even about the 'in publication' bits about the climate and hydrology of the Euxine region ca. 5500  BCE. And the historical linguists tells us they were either up there somewhere from Kiev to Samara, or north of the Carpathians south of a line drawn by Berlin and Warsaw.
         
        My book (EIEC) gives a map for LBK Linearbandkeramik Linear Band pottery. It's the Seine, from its mouth to the big bend of the Loire, to the Seine's headwaters, and thence the upper Danube into Middle Europe, ending approximately where the Northern Bug branches off from Warsaw.
         
        LBK seems to the the earliest archaeological horizon this far north. The ice age kept people out of it before then.
         
        It seems that Europe got quite warm ca 3500 BCE or earlier. It's as if a close, tight-knit linguistic community suddenly and peacefully moved northward into the newly warm northern climes. Or to say it another way, the linguistic community fell apart quite peacefully.
         
        Then the world got cold again, ca. 3150 BCE (Oetzi gets covered by the glacier). And Greece and Thrace become habitable again (presumably because of increased rainfall, but maybe because they are into transhumance of goats  and sheep).
         
        Did Oetzi speak PIE?
      • John Croft
        ... though unlike Renfrew I see no good reason to move PIE all the way back to Anatolia. A Danubian homeland with the Linear Pottery colonists providing the
        Message 3 of 7 , Nov 1, 2000
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          Mark Odegard wrote to Piotr's point:

          > Hypothesis 2 avoids such pitfalls and that's why I prefer it,
          though unlike Renfrew I see no good reason to move PIE all the way
          back to Anatolia. A Danubian homeland with the Linear Pottery
          colonists providing the human material for the "population wave"
          would be just fine, as far as I'm concerned. The fact that PIE was a
          language of considerable grammatical complexity would square best
          with its original position as a member of a rather old and well-
          established dialectal network in "equilibrium mode", as Dixon ("The
          Rise and Fall of Languages") puts it, disturbed and fragmented but
          not completely destroyed in the transition to the early Neolithic.
          The subsequent simplification of the daughter languages would have
          resulted from spread and contact effects, as the author (Jonathan
          Adams, I presume) correctly remarks.

          Mark
          > As I currently think about it, Colin, Lord Renfrew of K. might have
          some of it right, in that the pre-PIEs likely inhabited Anatolia ca.
          7000 BCE. But his big book was written before any of us knew about
          the Euxine event, or even about the 'in publication' bits about the
          climate and hydrology of the Euxine region ca. 5500 BCE. And the
          historical linguists tells us they were either up there somewhere
          from Kiev to Samara, or north of the Carpathians south of a line
          drawn by Berlin and Warsaw.
          >
          > My book (EIEC) gives a map for LBK Linearbandkeramik Linear Band
          pottery. It's the Seine, from its mouth to the big bend of the Loire,
          to the Seine's headwaters, and thence the upper Danube into Middle
          Europe, ending approximately where the Northern Bug branches off from
          Warsaw.
          >
          > LBK seems to the the earliest archaeological horizon this far
          north. The ice age kept people out of it before then.
          >
          > It seems that Europe got quite warm ca 3500 BCE or earlier. It's as
          if a close, tight-knit linguistic community suddenly and peacefully
          moved northward into the newly warm northern climes. Or to say it
          another way, the linguistic community fell apart quite peacefully.
          >
          > Then the world got cold again, ca. 3150 BCE (Oetzi gets covered by
          the glacier). And Greece and Thrace become habitable again
          (presumably because of increased rainfall, but maybe because they are
          into transhumance of goats and sheep).
          >
          > Did Oetzi speak PIE?

          I don't go back to the movement of PIE out of Anatolia as does
          Renfrew. I am convinced there is no evidence of an IE or a PIE
          horizon in Anatolia prior to the arrival of the Anatolian languages
          (Hittite, Luwian, et al), which seems to have occurred 23-2200 BCE.

          There is, however, the evidence of the proto-Tyrrhenian language,
          which I believe did come out of Anatolia (despite what Glen says).
          This is, I believe, the origin of Tyrrhenian, Pelasgian, Lemnian,
          Etruscan and may be the substrate to Luwian, Lydian and Carian.
          Certainly there was a single cultural provnce stretching between
          western Anatolia into Gimbutas's Old Europe. These I believe were
          the Neolithic farmers, from Sesklo to Starcevo, and ence to Vinca and
          the others.

          In the mesolithic Danubian Gorge culture which preceeded Danubian
          LBK, there is clear evidence of a process of neolithicisation along
          its North West frontier. I believe LBK came from the indgenous
          Danubian Gorge people adopting a farming technology from their
          neighbours and applying it to the lighter loess soils to the north
          and west. There is much evidence for this hypothesis. If this is so
          then Danubian LBK is not "Out of Anatolia" and Renfrew is wrong.

          By the way, a similar series of events seems to have occrred on the
          Pontic steppe a la Bug-Dneister and Don-Donetz mesolithic cultures
          both undergoing neolithicisation from Old Europe in the same way.
          The position of Tripolye at this stage I feel is questionable.

          The Renfrew OoA hypothesis as applied to the neolithic period
          therefore is not possible on the cultral evidence. But a version of
          it does apply to the Mesolithic.

          For instance there is clear evidence that pre-Neolithic Palestinian
          Kebaran and later Natufian were the substrata for the development of
          Anatolian mesolithic cultures (Beldabi and Belbasi). There is also
          clear evidence that the meslithic of Greece at Franchthi cave came
          across from Western Anatolia. Furthermore, the Danubian Gorge
          mesolithic at Lepinski Vir and elsewhere shows clear Aegean
          afinities. Finally Murzak Koba (the predecessor of Grebeniki and
          hence Bug-Dneistr and Don-Donetz) also shows affiliation to the the
          Danubian Gorge mesolithic culture. Here we have a clear line of
          derived cultures stretching from the Pontic steppe all the way back
          to Africa. This I believe is the archaeological evidence for
          Nostratic. It also explains the archaic features linking PIE with
          Proto-Tyrrhenian that Glen claims to have found. This movement is
          very old, extending from 18,000 through to 7,000 BCE (i.e. pre-Black
          Sea event), and does show a movement north from Palestine into
          Anatolia, and thence out of Antolia into the Balkans and points north.

          If this is so, then all the mesolithic cultures of the Balkans and
          the Pontic Steppe were part of a single language phylum. Kuban and
          LBK could have been cognate languages. Which one was the PIE
          ancestor, I don't know. There is a difficlty getting LBK languages
          out as far as Andronova and Yamanaya cultures (seen as Proto-
          Tocharian and Proto-Indo-Iranian), but hey! it may be possible!

          I'd be interested in others comments.

          Regards

          John
        • John Croft
          ... say, in Anatolia before 7000 BC, then the root of the IE family tree would be a node in a larger phylogeny, and if we knew any non-IE outgroup belonging to
          Message 4 of 7 , Nov 1, 2000
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            Piotr Gasiorowski wrote:

            > If PIE resulted from a split-and-diverge process that had begun,
            say, in Anatolia before 7000 BC, then the root of the IE family tree
            would be a node in a larger phylogeny, and if we knew any non-IE
            outgroup belonging to the same extended family, we could attempt to
            reconstruct pre-PIE stages of the process on a comparative
            basis. "Tyrrhenian" may or may not represent such an outgroup; its
            tiny size, the poor documentation of Etruscan (not to
            mention "Lemnian" and Rhaetic) and the immense time depth between the
            putative "Proto-Indo-Tyrrhenian" node and historical Etruscan
            militate against a reliable comparative reconstruction.
            >
            > If, on the other hand, PIE emerged from a rapid "punctuation" in a
            local linguistic area, terminating a long-lasting state of
            equilibrium (such an area may have originally covered the Balkans
            together with Anatolia and the entire Near East), the comparative
            method would be of little use in reconstructing its remoter ancestry,
            but comparison within the area would nevertheless reveal a
            regional "prototype" (consisting of shared diffusional traits) -- the
            sort of typological convergence that can be observed in Australia,
            South Africa or North America. This, rather than shared ancestry, may
            be what links PIE with Etruscan, and further with Semitic or
            Kartvelian.

            These two theories need not be mutually incompatible.

            Personally I see a phylogenic linkage between Semitic, Kartvellian,
            Proto-Tyrrhenian, PIE in operation (Nostratic). There is evidence, I
            believe, for a "prototype" with shared diffusional traits extending
            with this group to cover Khattic, Hurro-Urartuean, Proto-Euphratean,
            some of the Caucasian languages and possibly Elamo-Dravidian. This
            is linked with the original discovery of farming, which I believe on
            the basis of the evidence to have been a breakthrough achieved by
            Caucasian speakers. It is, I believe, what explains some of the
            Semitish trend Glen sees in PIE (for eg. "wine" in the various
            languages from Semitic, to Kartvellian, Hurrian, Tyrrhenian to PIE).
            The other evidence for Semitish I see as being their common Nostratic
            inhertance.

            I see evidence of a second "prototype with shared diffusional
            traits" existing between Uralic, Altaic and various "Paleo-Arctic"
            (including Innuit) languages, but with phylogenic connections between
            Uralic and Yukaghir. This is what seems to give a "best fit"
            explanation of the genetic and archaeological evidence, and seems, I
            understand, even to be accepted by the bulk of the Altaicists.

            Whether this is true or not at this stage is not clear (the time
            lines we are talking about are so far back that it becomes difficult
            at this orizon to separate between your hypothesis 1 and 2 there
            Piotr.

            Regards

            John
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