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[cybalist] Re: Old Europe and male-dominated IE?

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  • ivanovas@agn.forthnet.gr
    Stephanie Budin wrote: sbudi-@sas.upenn.edu (stephanie budin) wrote: original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/cybalist/?start=51 ... seems to ...
    Message 1 of 7 , Sep 29, 1999
      Stephanie Budin wrote:

      sbudi-@... (stephanie budin) wrote:
      original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/cybalist/?start=51
      > Or, in short, contemporary evidence seems
      > to suggest that societies which become patriarchal are more likely to
      > have begun egalitarian, not necessarily matriarchal, as Gimbutas
      seems to
      > imply.
      Actually,Gimbutas said something very similar to this in the
      introduction to 'the Language of The Goddess', speaking of supposedly
      'gylandric', that is egalitarian - term by R. Eisler, from The Chalice
      and the Blade - Neolithic societies.
      Otherwise I liked very much the idea of nomadic, egalitarian societies
      vs. patriarchic sedentary ones. Thank you for mentioning it.

      Sabine
    • markodegard@hotmail.com
      ... (morphologically) ... unfair. ... Once (non-Anatolian) IE started making animate nouns in -a as well as -o, the obviously useful lexical tool of being able
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 11, 1999
        > Hello, > I know it's a little late to answer to this, but I just reread your > message and somehow stumbled over this: > >and when the feminine did appear, it was clearly the
        (morphologically)
        > marked counterpart of the masculine gender. Still, to take this as > evidence of PIE discrimination against women would probably be
        unfair.<

        > I wasn't taking this as discrimination (I'm not very traditionally > 'feminist' at all, I love males!), I was just wondering how this might > have come about. Why give a thing a gender if there is no > linguistic/social/ political(?) need?

        Once (non-Anatolian) IE started making animate nouns in -a as well as -o, the obviously useful lexical tool of being able to make any noun feminine by changing the ending must have occurred to them quite early. At least, this is how I was told it most likely happened.
        > A society generally subscribing > the female under the male might have a reason for this (maybe just: we > got fed up with the old 'mother is everything' mode). But I was also > thinking of the model (I don't remember who invented the idea) of the > possibility of a moment in time when males realized how they could be > sure that offspring was their own (and by this - ! - owerthrowing > matriarchal law of succession): controlling the women (and their > lovers) resulting in an `owner-inferior' process etc...) > How do you think it came to be?
        The Indo-Europeans were pastoralists. They did the serious work. They decided where the next trek would be. They were often off on the steppe herding cattle, while the women and children were at some sort of base camp.

        Contrast this to an agricultural society where the men are around the women continuously, where the women share in the farming work. Admittedly agricultural societies can be just as patriarchal as others.

      • ivanovas@agn.forthnet.gr
        Hello, I know it s a little late to answer to this, but I just reread your ... marked counterpart of the masculine gender. Still, to take this as evidence of
        Message 3 of 7 , Oct 11, 1999
          Hello,
          I know it's a little late to answer to this, but I just reread your
          message and somehow stumbled over this:
          >and when the feminine did appear, it was clearly the (morphologically)
          marked counterpart of the masculine gender. Still, to take this as
          evidence of PIE discrimination against women would probably be unfair.<
          I wasn't taking this as discrimination (I'm not very traditionally
          'feminist' at all, I love males!), I was just wondering how this might
          have come about. Why give a thing a gender if there is no
          linguistic/social/ political(?) need? A society generally subscribing
          the female under the male might have a reason for this (maybe just: we
          got fed up with the old 'mother is everything' mode). But I was also
          thinking of the model (I don't remember who invented the idea) of the
          possibility of a moment in time when males realized how they could be
          sure that offspring was their own (and by this - ! - owerthrowing
          matriarchal law of succession): controlling the women (and their
          lovers) resulting in an `owner-inferior' process etc...)
          How do you think it came to be?
          Greetings from Crete
          Sabine



          gpiot-@... wrote:
          original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/cybalist/?start=49
          > ivanova-@... wrote:
          > original article:http://www.egroups.com/group/cybalist/?start=47
          > > Dear Indoeuropeans,
          > > I'd like to know very much your opinion of Marija Gimbutas' work,
          > > especially her book 'The Language of the Goddess'(In Germany: Die
          > > Sprache der Göttin, bei 2001). Archaeologists seem to frown
          > > continuously when they hear her name, but I admire her work very
          much,
          > > especially her ability to see (and show her readers) similarities in
          > > European Neolithic arts and their - non-language - meanings (she
          also
          > > adds Lithuanian - and other - folklore in places where I can see the
          > > similarity, very interesting). She opened my eyes to the fact that
          > > before humans used writing to convey their languages - for what
          reason
          > > ever - they had other, rather symbolic - means to express their
          > > religious beliefs or their adoration of nature and life.
          > > I find it especially important to note the fact that in the
          substratum
          > > 'Old European' regions men and women seem to have lived on in equal
          > > status, a fact that may have been one of the reasons for its
          longevity.
          > > But is it true that Indoeuropeans were male dominated as I have read
          > > again and again? If yes (judging from archaeological finds - but
          they
          > > are very much subject to modern interpretations): does this fact
          show
          > > in PIE/early IE languages?
          > > And I don't mean the fact that there was a male god 'ruling' the IE
          > > pantheon (because that's probably interpretation again), I'd rather
          be
          > > interested in more general proof (e.g.the use of a male pronoun if
          > > speaking about a mixed group or other 'male' generalizations).
          Somehow
          > > I'm not convinced of the 'male dominant' IE community yet.
          > > Looking forward to your opinions
          > > Sabine Ivanovas
          > > Crete
          > >
          > Dear Sabine,
          >
          > I greatly admire Gimbutas's imaginative visions, but I doubt if they
          reflect the historical reality. I am against making up mythologies to
          cover up our ignorance. The problem of associating the archaeological
          cultures of ancient Europe with "Indo-Europeans" or "Old Europeans"
          cannot be handled using the principle "one folk, one culture, one
          language, one pantheon" (to parody G. Kosinna). For all I know, the
          "Old Europeans" may have consisted mostly of ethnic groups speaking IE
          languages.
          >
          > As regards sexist elements in PIE, the very division of nouns
          > and adjectives into feminine and masculine is post-PIE -- something
          > that even many linguists fail to realise because of the prevalence
          > in academic teaching of the late-nineteenth-century reconstruction
          > of PIE as a three-gender language. One of the genders was animate
          > a.k.a. common, the other inanimate (or neuter). To be sure, there
          > were morphological devices (suffixes) for deriving nouns referring
          > specifically to women, and when the feminine did appear, it was
          > clearly the (morphologically) marked counterpart of the masculine
          > gender. Still, to take this as evidence of PIE discrimination
          > against women would probably be unfair.
          >
          > As for gods, *Die:us is indeed the best-preserved divine name,
          > which doesn't automatically mean that its bearer was the supreme
          > god of the PIE pantheon. Personifications of the "earth" term are
          > also well attested and who knows? Father Sky and Mother Earth
          > may have been a divine pair rather than a tyrant and his victim.
          >
          > Of course in their individual histories some of IE-speaking
          > communities evolved into strongly patriarchal and male-dominated
          > sociaties, with a cult of warriorship and warrior gods. But the
          > equation Indo-European = horse-riding + battle-axe-swinging
          > + male supremacy + ... looks completely false to me.
          > Piotr
          >
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