Tartessian.

John T. Koch, of the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, has a very interesting piece in History Ireland about a language I’d never heard of, Tartessian. He starts with some historical background:

For Greek and Roman writers, Tartessos was a place of fabulous natural wealth in silver and gold, situated somewhat vaguely in Europe’s extreme south-west, beyond the Pillars of Hercules. When Herodotus, ‘the father of history’, wrote around 430 BC, the kingdom of Tartessos had already ceased to exist and belonged to the pre-classical past before the rise of Cyrus the Great and the Persian Empire. […] Archaeologically, Tartessos is synonymous with the brief and spectacular ‘orientalising phase’ of the south-western Iberian Peninsula’s First Iron Age, around 750 to 550 BC. […] During the fifth century BC, the Iberian culture of Spain’s Mediterranean coast—which had ongoing access to Greek and Carthaginian trade—was to supplant Tartessos as the wealthiest and most dynamic zone of the peninsula.

Then he gets to the language:

One of the enduring consequences of the era of Phoenician influence—which had by around 800 BC progressed from trading outposts to full-blown colonies in southern Spain—was the adoption of alphabetic writing by the native population, first in the south-west. The number of known Tartessian inscriptions on stone is now about 90 and steadily rising with new discoveries. Concentrated densely in southern Portugal (the Algarve and Lower Alentejo), there is a wider scatter of fifteen over south-west Spain. […]

Thus far, the theory that Tartessian is partly or wholly Celtic has been advanced only with an understatement and tentativeness that has failed to break through the habitual inattention of Celtic scholars in Ireland, Britain and North America towards evidence emerging in the Iberian Peninsula. Most Celticists know that the Celtiberian language of the eastern Meseta during the last centuries BC was Celtic and that there were also numerous ancient Celtic place- and group names in the western peninsula (e.g. names ending in –briga ‘hillfort’ = Old Irish brí ‘hill’, for example). But that’s about as far as it usually goes.
When we approach Tartessian from the study of the better-attested Celtic languages—of Ireland and Britain and ancient Celtic Europe on the other side of the Pyrenees—it looks more rather than less Celtic.

Then he goes into detail, working from inscriptions like ‘Fonte Velha 5’: lokooboo niiraboo too araiui kaaltee lokoon ane nar´kee kaakiis´iinkooloboo ii te’-e.ro-baare (be)e teasiioonii. I have no idea how much credence to give to either his translations or his Celtic comparisons, and I’m hoping one or more of my readers will know something about this. (Thanks for the link, Trevor!)

Incidentally, the name Tartessos carried a deep ring from my past; I knew I must have run across it in my youth, probably before reading Herodotus in college, and a good guess was that it had been in the context of science fiction (which made up a huge proportion of my reading in those days); a little googling suggested that I had seen it in Poul Anderson’s “Ballade of an Artificial Satellite,” first published in the Oct. 1958 issue of the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (my very favorite sf magazine), which begins with a quote from Thorfinn Karlsefni’s Voyage to Vinland (“Thence they sailed far to the southward along the land, and came to a ness…”) and contains the lines:

Such clanging countries in cloudland lie;
but men grew weary and they grew sane
and they grew grown—and so did I—
and knew Tartessus was only Spain.

Poul Anderson was very good at using rare names and archaic words to evoke a sense of the grand and mysterious past; his 1965 story “Marque and Reprisal” (again in F&SF) implanted those words in my brain in a similarly unforgettable way. Anderson died in 2001, but some part of me will never believe that he’s gone.

Comments

  1. I think Tarthessos is mentioned in the Bible.

    “The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. ” Psalms 72:10-11

  2. It’s in the very nice survey of ancient North Mediterranean languages, at Language Log, a few years ago.

  3. Jongseong Park says:

    Biblical Tarshish also came to my mind. I remember it as Jonah’s intended destination, which some have speculated to be somewhere in Spain. But looking up Tarshish, I see that there are several competing hypotheses on its identification, including Sardinia.

  4. Евгений Войскунский, Исай Лукодьянов. Очень далекий Тартесс
    http://www.lib.ru/RUFANT/WOJSKUNOWSKIJ/tartess.txt_with-big-pictures.html

  5. As to Tarshish, I don’t know if and how those favoring Tarthessos explain the θ:ʃ correspondence.

  6. In de Camp’s 1952 sf novel The Glory That Was, some 27th-century Europeans who find themselves in Classical Greece (fortunately one of them’s a professor of Greek, and the other at least knows Modern Greek) pretend to be from Tartessos, because (a) it’s far enough away that no one will challenge them, and (b) Tartessians were thought of as fairly sophisticated for barbarians. Per WP, the book has been translated into Greek.

    Isketerol, one of the main antagonists of S.M. Stirling’s Nantucket trilogy (1998-2000) is a shipmaster from Tartessos; he later rises to be king of the city.

  7. “Aristides the Locrian being bit by a Tartesian Weezel, and dying, said, That it would have pleased him much better to have died by the biting of a Lion or Leopard, (since he must have died by something) then by such a Beast. He brooked in my opinion the ignomy of the biting much worse then the death it self.” (c) Claudius Aelianus “Various History”

    Other translations say that the philosopher was bitten by Tartessian cat, not “Weezel”.

    Tartessos – city of monster-cats!

  8. FWIW, I also had Tarshish in mind.
    Y, that’s not really a difficult issue. The original consonant may have been /s/ – ancient Greek and ancient Hebrew rendered them differently (post-consonantal /s/ is a problem for both)

  9. Maybe “Tartessos” and “Tarshish” might both reflect something like /tʃ/ cf. “Tissaphernes” for Cithrafarna.

  10. The “Tartessian is Celtic” theory hasn’t found much acceptance, I believe; the only high-profile linguist I know of who believes it is Terrence Kaufman, who isn’t an Indo-Europeanist. I recently had the opportunity to ask Michael Weiss about it, and he said he thought Koch’s methodology was flawed (e.g. some of his putative comparanda relied on sound changes which were known to be later). The ambiguities of the script (no word division, no voicing distinctions) make it very easy to read stuff into it. That said, a lot of people think there are Celtic names in the Tartessian inscriptions, which of course isn’t the same thing.

  11. Thanks, that doesn’t surprise me — I thought the script looked ambiguous enough you could probably find whatever you wanted in it.

  12. It’s an interesting script, though: half an alphabet and half a syllabary. For vowels and continuants it’s an alphabet, as these each are written with one letter, but when you get to the stops it becomes a syllabary, with separate signs for ke ka ku etc. (though redundantly followed by the vowel signs in Tartessian, but not in the other Paleo-Hispanic scripts). How or why they came up with this idea, no one knows.

  13. Old Persian cuneiform uses a similar system. There are three vowel letters a i u which represent both long and short phonemes (but short a is often elided after a consonant, long a never) and 13 consonant letters x c ç θ p f b y l s z š h. In addition, there are 14 syllabograms da di du ma mi mu ka ku ga gu ja ji va vi; the sounds of ki gi ju vu were not present in the language. Finally, the letters t n r are used before a and i only, with syllabograms for tu nu ru. It was common, but not universal, for the syllabograms to be redundantly followed by the corresponding vowel letter.

  14. SFReader wrote:

    “I think Tarthessos is mentioned in the Bible.

    “The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. ” Psalms 72:10-11 “

    Coincidentally, this verse may be heard in the coming days at Catholic churches (too few, I’m afraid) where Gregorian chant is sung. It is the offertory chant for the Feast of the Epiphany, traditionally celebrated on January 6 (though in many places the feast is transferred to the Sunday between January 2 and January 8).

    Here is an example of the Gregorian chant in Latin:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCJU7dtkho4

    Here is a vastly simplified version (for parishes with limited resources) of the same in English:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNHOJHIGpSY

    If you do a search on YouTube under Reges Tharsis you’ll also find polyphonic settings of the text by a number of different composers.

    Here is a setting by Palestrina during mass at St. Peter’s Basilica:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0f7aeJ-xfAg

    Even in the many parishes where the Gregorian chant is not sung the verse will still be heard as it forms a part of the Responsorial Psalm appointed for the day (Ps. 72:1-2, 7-8, 10-11, 12-13) to be sung or recited in the first half of mass.

    Happy Epiphany!

  15. Thanks, I’m listening to the Palestrina now!

  16. David Marjanović says:

    with separate signs for ke ka ku etc. (though redundantly followed by the vowel signs

    This particular example reminds me of the Old Latin usage of C before E and I, K before A, and Q before O and V…

    though in many places the feast is transferred to the Sunday between January 2 and January 8

    I didn’t even know that. But then, January 6 is a legal holiday over here… most widely called “Three Holy Kings”.

  17. This particular example reminds me of the Old Latin usage of C before E and I, K before A, and Q before O and V…

    Right; Etruscan did the same and is presumably where the Romans got the idea (and Greek inscriptions used qoppa before back vowels, and sometimes consonants, into the classical period). In fact some of the Tartessian signs look related to the Phoenician-derived velar letters, too, but with a different distribution — at least according to the charts at the Wiki page, ka looks like gamma, ke looks like kappa, and ki looks like qoppa. It seems strange that they would have deliberately extended this system to the other stops and no further, but maybe that’s what they did.

  18. The best preserved Tartessian site in the Iberian Peninsula is Cancho Roano : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancho_Roano
    It’s in Zalamea de la Serena*, near Quintana de la Serena, a village you can see in the map of “History Ireland”. As information, there are more than 300 km between Zalamea de la Serena and Cádiz.
    * This village is still more famous because of the play “The Mayor of Zalamea” written by Calderón de la Barca.

  19. “… Old Irish laigid, with several further examples in the Tartessian inscriptions: lakaatii ‘lies down’, lakeentii and lakiintii ‘they lie down’, and ro.laHaa ‘I have lain down’

    The connection may not be well-accepted yet, but that last one is quite the grammatical coincidence if they are not related.

  20. I have been aware of Tartessos at least since reading Rhys Carpenter’s Beyond the Pillars of Hercules (1966), refered to by Fernan Braudel in The Mediterranean in the Ancient World (trans. Sian Reynolds, 2001), which I read recently. Carpenter, as Braudel tells us, believed that the explosion of the volcano Thera, north of Crete, was the catastrophy refered to in the legend of Atlantis. An archaeologist recently discovered what he thinks is Atlantis in Las Marismas of southern Spain, but this is probably Tartessos.

    Tartessos has been called the Tarshish of the Canaanites, yes, though some have believed that was Tarsus in Asia Minor. Tartessian Celtic? Probably true at the time of Phoenician and Greek expansion westwards, but it’s a pity that inscriptions can’t give us the complete language, nor could they tell us the language(s) of the slaves in the mines.

  21. A little googling, which I should have done before posting, reveals that Tartessos is beneath Huelva, which name had been rattling about in the back of my mind as I wrote that post, and that the archaeologist claiming to have found Atlantis in southern Spain is a gadfly discredited by the local archaeological establishment. An old story.

  22. A paper just popped up in my academia.edu feed, Taršiš, Tartessos, Turdetania” by Mariano Torres Ortiz, unfortunately for me in Spanish.

  23. Presumably “Turdetania” doesn’t have the same ring in Spanish as it does in English.

  24. marie-lucie says:

    JC: the Turdetani are in the English Wikipedia

    So are their almost-neighbours the Turduli (mentioned in the same article and also located on the map of Pre-Roman Iberia).

  25. Thrussians?

  26. Matthew Scarborough of Consulting Philologist discusses this issue, concluding:

    As an outsider to Palaeo-Iberian epigraphy and being not uninformed but still rather unknowledgeable about the intricacies of Continental Celtic epigraphy and linguistics, I have formed the opinion from these papers that the decipherment of the inscriptions of the South-Western Inscriptions as Celtic is definitely not certain, but an IE solution might still be possible. Nevertheless, there remains a good deal of interpretive work on the script of these inscriptions yet to be done before anything more conclusive can be said.

    Lots of papers and theories mentioned in the post (and follow-up comments by David Marjanović).

  27. Imanol Duhalde says:

    “lokooboo niiraboo too araiui kaaltee lokoon ane nar´kee kaakiis´iinkooloboo ii te’-e.ro-baare (be)e teasiioonii”
    Clearly not celtic, not even close…
    “inkooloboo” reminds me of “inguru(a)”, which means “surround(ing)” in Euskara (Basque in Gentili). To me, this is the meaning of Tartessos = “tarte zoaz” (between the seas), which equates to An Island.
    This was expressed by Pausanias (2nd century AD) :
    “They say that Tartessus is a river in the land of the Iberians, running down into the sea by two mouths and that between these two mouths lies a city of the same name. The river, which is the largest in Iberia and tidal, those of a later day called Baetis and there are some who think that Tartessus was the ancient name of Carpia, a city of the Iberians.”

    loku-bu nire-abu du araini kalte logun ane nar-ke kaskiz inguru-bu ito robare ba tearsuna
    place-1 mine-1 I fish bad(ly) mud in ruin bad surrounding drown steal 1 imminent

    “The place where I fish is surrounded by mud and will soon drown”

    It clearly seems that this text is a witness of the fatal fate or Tartessos, and this is why the extant corpus is so small : the best part is underwater.

  28. David Marjanović says:

    Interesting. But instead of with modern Basque, have you tried to compare it with reconstructions of the last common ancestor of all Basque dialects, or “internal reconstructions” of what the ancestor of that ancestor may have looked like at the time in question? Such reconstructions exist and are published.

  29. PlasticPaddy says:

    @imanol
    Why not read the first part as
    lo cob(r)on iirabo to(c)arai? Ay, ka altero con(y)a, Nena!
    This looks like an early form of Hispano Romance.

  30. Imanol Duhalde says:

    This is precisely what I’ve done : I deliberately transcribed “arraiui” as “arrain” because “u” [w] is an old equivalent to [n].
    This is proven by worldwide linguistics comparisons.
    Futhermore, the [n] here is pronounced [ny] in Euskara ; in other words, it is written “arrain” in Latin script, but the typical Basque native pronouciation is “arrainy”.
    This is the same for “robare”, the genuine word is Euskara being “lapur”, the two stemming from an old “laubaure” are totally equivalent (Spanish “robar” is not indo-European so one have to assume it is Iberian).

    Nevertheless, it is a straight forward tentatve reconstruction made late at night, I’m pretty confident with the overall meaning, but if you have better ideas for some part, they are still welcome.

  31. PlasticPaddy says:

    @imanol
    You seem to be more serious than i thought. So here are some points for you to consider:

    1. Transliterated text:
    lokᵒobᵒoniirabᵒotᵒoaŕaiaikᵃaltᵉelokᵒonanenaŕ[–]ekᵃa[?]ᶤiśiinkᵒolobᵒoiitᵉerobᵃarebᵉetᵉasiioonii

    2. Context
    Is the text a funerary inscription? If so, the translation you give is not good (unless the deceased died by drowning in mud).
    3. loco, robar
    re loco:
    The Basque leku would seem to be a borrowing:
    There are two obvious possibilities:
    Latin: locus < *stlocus
    Celtic *lega
    You reconstruct Tartessian loko. if this form is from Celtic, why is the first o not an e? Is the inscription late enough to include a borrowing from Latin instead?
    re robar
    In Spanish this would appear to be a borrowing from Visigothic (or other Gernanic), i.e., compare German Raub. You seem to be saying the Spanish word (and Italian "rubare" ?) are borrowed from Tartessian or a related language instead.

  32. David Marjanović says:

    “u” [w] is an old equivalent to [n]

    …no. No, I’m sorry, you’re not making any sense here. Sound changes between [w] and [n] are extremely rare at best.

  33. John Cowan says:

    “Never argue with a pig. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.”

  34. David Eddyshaw says:

    Pessimist! Perhaps the horse will learn to sing.

    (Googling to confirm my evidently erroneous impression that this came from somewhere in the كتاب ألف ليلة وليلة, I see that it has at least been attributed to Mullah Nasruddin …)

  35. Imanol Duhalde says:

    John Cowan you shall take your advise for you because it’s clear any of you guys have linguistic bacground or even understand anything about languages.

    1) The correspondance between “arraiñ” and “arraiui” is obvious and does not need to be explained further.
    If you have some celtic or latin etymology, and feel the need to explain Euskara with an IE language, do no forget “arraño” means “eagle” in Euskara.

    Yes, W, F, U, B and N have documented correspondances between languages of the same family anywhere in the world ; just take a look to the arawakan language family.

    Where did I talked about sound change? I am talking about correspondance, let’s be clear, Euskara does not derive from Tartessian.
    They are two languages of the same Iberian family, that’s all, so this correspondance is not problematic.
    You’re making the assumption that Tartessian is a precursor to Euskara, and this is false. While archaic, Tartessian does not explain modern Basque, as you say.

    As for the supposed evolution of Euskara, I have to tell I do not agree with the theory.
    For example, the work of Koldo mitxelena is rather fancyfull and full of false asumptions.
    Mitchelena saw “harr” (worm) coming from an older “narr”.
    Well, let me tell you that is impossible : first, “harr” can give “narr”, but not the opposite ; second, “harr” is related to “txar” (bad, again “harr” can give “txarr” but the reverse is false) ; and the most important, showing that Mitxelena never properly reflected on Euskara : “beldarr” is “caterpillar”. Obviously, “beldarr” stemed from “harr”.

    I can go on and on with examples, that is not the point.
    The important point for you is that you all understand that Euskara is remarkably stable in time, that was advanced by many great linguists.
    So yes, we can say Aquitanian “sembe” is older than Euskara “seme” (child, seed), but even here that is not true. As M and B are equivalent, “sembe” correspond to “semme”.

    2) “leku” is older than “loku”, because the voyels variation is greater.
    But wait, I am not saying Tartessian stemed from Euskara.
    The two languages just stemed from an older one, and it is easy to reconstruct a form “leuku”.

    It is not a borrowing from Latin, PlasticPaddy, because Tartessian predated Latin.
    I suggest you take a look to the datations.

    The same for supposed wisigothic reconstructed form “raub”, it can’t explain Euskara “lapur”.
    If you can’t see the link between “lapur” and “robar”, I suggest you utter the words one after the other.
    So the obvious explanation is that the Germans came all the way from the south, not the opposite.
    In other words, Beaker Bell culture originated in south Gaul / Iberia, not the reverse.

    For “Celtic”, you’re being funnier than ever : how can the reconstructed form “landā” be the origin of “leku” or “loku”? (*lega is fancifull)

  36. David Eddyshaw says:
  37. PlasticPaddy says:

    @imanol
    Trask’s etymological dictionary has “The Romance diphthongs /ie/ and /ue/ are usually borrowed as /e/, as in leku ‘place’, from some Romance development of Lat. locum of the approximate form *lueco. Other Romance diphthongs are usually retained. ” You should write to the publishers and tell them he is wrong.
    Re lapur he has napur (OG) (=Old Gascon?). So it looks like the older form may have n.
    You have not addressed my points 1 (your arbitrary changes to the vowels used in the inscription) and 2 (the context). To explain point 2, if you are paying a stone carver, you will have him write : “Here lies Inyaki, beloved father of Izaskun and Itxaro…” and not “where I fish is drowned by the thief mud”. But maybe Inyaki was rich and eccentric.

  38. Stu Clayton says:

    Perhaps the horse will learn to sing

    Thanks for this excuse template, David E ! I had not heard of it. According to the following version, said to have been passed on by Idries Shah, the offer was made for the king’s favorite horse. Not just any horse. I’m still mulling over the possible implications of that detail:

    # In Persia many centuries ago, the Sufi mullah or holy man Nasruddin was arrested after preaching in the great square in front of the Shah’s palace. The local clerics had objected to Mullah Nasruddin’s unorthodox teachings, and had demanded his arrest and execution as a heretic. Dragged by palace guards to the Shah’s throne room, he was sentenced immediately to death.

    As he was being taken away, however, Nasruddin cried out to the Shah: “O great Shah, if you spare me, I promise that within a year I will teach your favourite horse to sing!”

    The Shah knew that Sufis often told the most outrageous fables, which sounded blasphemous to many Muslims but which were nevertheless intended as lessons to those who would learn. Thus he had been tempted to be merciful, anyway, despite the demands of his own religious advisors. Now, admiring the audacity of the old man, and being a gambler at heart, he accepted his proposal.

    The next morning, Nasruddin was in the royal stable, singing hymns to the Shah’s horse, a magnificent white stallion. The animal, however, was more interested in his oats and hay, and ignored him. The grooms and stablehands all shook their heads and laughed at him. “You old fool”, said one. “What have you accomplished by promising to teach the Shah’s horse to sing? You are bound to fail, and when you do, the Shah will not only have you killed – you’ll be tortured as well, for mocking him!”

    Nasruddin turned to the groom and replied: “On the contrary, I have indeed accomplished much. Remember, I have been granted another year of life, which is precious in itself. Furthermore, in that time, many things can happen. I might escape. Or I might die anyway. Or the Shah might die, and his successor will likely release all prisoners to celebrate his accession to the throne”.

    “Or…”. Suddenly, Nasruddin smiled. “Or, perhaps, the horse will learn to sing”. #

  39. Imanol Duhalde says:

    Thanks David Eddyshaw to clarify this, at least one person here knows what I am talking about.

    Plastic Paddy : of course he is wrong.
    You know if I obliterate every word thats is said to come from celtic or romance, there is no more Eukara lexical…
    Those people do not know the harm they are causing by telling to the sheeple such absurdities.

    No, Aquitanian did not take over Celts in France.
    First, it was Gaul, and it is precisely the opposite which happens (before there was even Gaul, of course).
    “mendi” do not come from celtic “penn”, otherwise we could call a dolmen “dolpen”.

    There is suffisant Euskaraz lexical containing the root “mend-” to affirm with certainty “mendi” is native :
    – Mendoi : tumulus (hur-mendoi : wave), no celtic equivalent ;
    – Mendotz : hillock, hillside, no celtic equivalent ;
    – Menderatu : to dominate, to subjugate, to subdue, to conquire, no celtic equivalent ;
    – Mendebalde : west, no worldwide equivalent…
    – Menda : pepper mint, no celtic equivalent ;
    – Almendra : almond, no indo-european equivalent, proto-greek… (almendrondo : almond(tree) ; almez : hackberry(tree))
    – Zemendi : november, no celtic equivalent ;
    – Zimendu : ciment, no celtic equivalent ;
    – Mendez and Mendoza, typical Iberian surnames without any etymology in indo-european, but transparently meaning “hillside” in Basque ;
    – Almendres megalithic site in England, clearly proto-celtic (5000 years old).

    Now for “leku” :
    Trumai ilaka (earth, land, the physical world) (Trumai).
    Lemulago (Earth, soil) (Pernambuco).
    Jauke (land, earth, soil, country) (Tehuelche).
    Taka (Earth) (Kallawaya).
    Laq’a (best soil, earth, Earth) (Aymara).
    Laká (Earth) (Maléku).
    Kä (Earth, place) (Guaymí or Ngäbere).
    Uraqi (land, earth) (Aymara).
    Tiksi muyu (Earth) (Quechua).
    Tik (earth, ground) (Burushaski).
    Dìqiú (Earth) (Chinese).
    Chikyū (Earth) (Japanese).
    Jigu (Earth) (Corean).
    Ki (Earth ; place, area ; location, ground) (Sumerian).
    Tegh (place) (Armenian).

    Now you have got not only “leku”, but also “tegi” (and “toki”), and as you can see those two words are related and accord well with many languages, not only Latin. Why everything have to come from Latin?
    It is quite possible Basque people are traceable from Altxerri time on (confidentely dated to 39 000 years B.P., thanks to the amazing paintings), when Latins are only known to appear 2 700 years ago.

    By the way, one word confidentely identified and well documented in Iberian language is “artica”, which means “uncultivated place”.

    Concerning “lapur” now : saying that just one word in Euskara had come from Latin or, worse, Celtic is quite insulting for the Basque people, but old Gascon? Are you serious?
    Gascon was a romance language, part of the occitan sprachbund, in fact the most divergent of it.
    This divergence is explained by the fact that the people, shifting to vulgar Latin, wanted to keep trace of their ancient language.
    So “napur” evolved from “lapur”, not the other way round.

    Now, allow me to present you my own etymology :
    “tšabur” or “labur” means “short”, which equates to lacking (in lenght), this correlates well with “lapur”, steal (to deprive, induce a lack).

    As you can see, the diverse forms imply an older “Łabur”, so the same for its correspondent “Łapur”, which then explains much better the initial “R” in Spanish.

    The same for Leku/Tegi/toki, all stemming from an older Łëkü.

    Now, the question remaining is : does “Łëkü” is the precursor for the words in all “Latin” languages?

    For your last question : I think if you are about to lose a city like Carpia to the ocean, yes you will carve it. It is well documented they were very wealthy. In fact, all legends refer to them as the among the richest people on earth, so, yes, maybe a little excentric.

  40. John Cowan says:

    I also find the “horse will learn to sing” attributed to Herodotus. Can anyone rule this out? Nasruddin stories are semi-infinite in number, but Herodotus has a fixed text, after all.

  41. David Eddyshaw says:

    @Imanol:

    You’re welcome. If I may continue to be helpful: you may wish to add Kusaal tɛŋ “earth, ground” to your list of lookalikes.

  42. @John Cowan: The Web seems to be unanimous that the attribution to Herodotus originates from (of all bizarre sources) The Mote in God’s Eye. It is not clear whether this was an error by Niven and Pournelle, or an in-universe error by the Motie who tells the story.

  43. David Eddyshaw says:

    It’s exactly the sort of thing Herodotus would have put in if he’d known the story. It would have appealed to him.

    Must read The Mote in God’s Eye again sometime. It’s one of those works with glaring obvious faults that is nevertheless so good at what it sets out to do that you just don’t care (like most of Isaac Asimov, to stick with the same genre.)

  44. @David Eddyshaw: I found that The Mote in God’s Eye stands up quite well on rereading. However, I would not suggest reading the sequel, The Gripping Hand more than once. It’s definitely an inferior novel, in several different ways. For one thing, the Pournelle to Niven ratio seems to have increased quite a bit relative to the first book.

    More fundamentally, it suffers from a difficulty that arises pretty much inevitably when one sets out to create a sequel to a certain type of story. Near the end of The Mote in God’s Eye, there is a scene where a group of Motie leaders are discussing what to do in the aftermath of the human’s visit. One of the younger Moties speaks up and says that interacting with the humans is going to mean a fundamental change in the way the Moties operate—a change that is inevitable and so should be embraced. The others call her Crazy Eddie, and she is hussled away, but as the rest of the Moties look around at one-another, they all know that she’s right. Crazy Eddie is finally going to win his eternal war against the Cycles. When or how exactly, they don’t know; but it’s coming.

    That’s a powerful ending, and it makes it difficult to tell a follow-on story when the message at the end of the original is, We don’t know exactly how, but from now on, things are going to be fundamentally different. The Gripping Hand—like the sequels to Neuromancer or, for that matter, The Matrix—was fundamentally unable to live up to that kind of open-ended yet epic conclusion.

  45. David Marjanović says:

    Dìqiú (Earth) (Chinese).

    …but that’s , meaning “earth” (as in “map” or “subway” for example), followed by qiú, meaning “ball” (as in “tennis”).

    In German, Globus is sometimes explained as Erdball (or replaced by it if a writer feels a need for ‘elegant variation’).

    Chikyū (Earth) (Japanese).
    Jigu (Earth) (Corean).

    Those are just dìqiú pronounced in a Japanese or Korean accent. Both of these languages are full of Chinese words, just as European ones are of Latin (and Ancient Greek) ones.

  46. PlasticPaddy says:

    @dm, de
    The word for place in KONGO appears to be sika. So these other words are only minor variations.

  47. David Eddyshaw says:

    Ah, no. An elementary error. KONGO sika is of course derived from the Kusaal zin’ig “place.”

  48. John Cowan says:

    I will also mention the 1993 and 20-years-later sequel The Gripping Hand. I wish they had retained the authors’ title The Moat Around Murcheson’s Eye, but I can see that the publisher would fear the two might be confused, harming the sales of the latter.

    But what really turns Mote/Moat upside down and shakes it is J. R. (as distinct from J. E.) Pournelle’s Outies, which is both written by and starring an actual anthropologist (though the two should not be confused) as opposed to that pseudo-anthropologist Sally Fowler. In this book we find out, for example, that while the upper classes of the Empire of Man speak English (why do sf writers insist on calling it Anglic?) and Russian, the interstellar gig economy is conducted in Tok Pisin. And of course the aristocrats are entitled assholes who crush middle-class Kevin Renner with their little fingers, but J. E. would never show you that.

    (The only planet we have is not a monoculture: why should other planets be? Gordon Dickson is the only sf writer I know of who constructed an actual rationale for monocultural planets, even though it is mystical more than somewhat. Pournelle’s prison planets are mixed, but that’s just an excuse for him and others to write endless civil war stories.)

  49. The Strugatskys have planets with different, well-described cultures (usually warring).

  50. Imanol Duhalde says:

    David Eddyshaw : thanks for this one, i think Gur languages have a lot to tell us about ancient Africa history, as they are amongst the oldest (if not the oldest) African languages.

    David Marjanović : that’s Lurbira in Euskara (Lur : earth ; bira : revolutionnary > Lurbira : Earth goddess, orb), where the sense “bira” precede “ball” (ultimately related), meaning Euskara is older than Chinese.
    This does add nothing to the point.
    Of course, Japanese and Corean words came frome Chinese, I just add them so as anybody can see a whole variation of the world “diqiu”, and get a better understanding of the sounds involved.

  51. PlasticPaddy says:

    @imanol
    Lists of “almost the same” words in different modern languages are more impressive if
    (1) there are more examples with the same correspondence in the different languages
    (2) the earlier versions of the languages also correspond at the time the people lived in the same area
    As an example for (1) I looked for other words borrowed from Basque to Castilian with l in Basque but r in Castilian (like your suggested lupar/robar). But what i find is l in Castilian, not r, e.g.,
    __
    silo “cave, granary pit” (cf. Basque zilo, zulo “hole” < Proto-Basque *süɫɦo); or, less likely, from Hispano-Celtic *silon "seed" (Coromines).
    zulo "hole" (cf. Basque zulo). Recent loanword
    See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Spanish_words_of_Basque_origin
    __
    For (2) when do you think Basque people lived in the same area as Chinese? Was the Chinese word the same then as it is now?

  52. Imanol Duhalde says:

    It is not “lupar” and never was, it is “lapur”.
    Sound correspondance is of prime importance in Euskara, and “lapur” correlates with “txakur” (dog), and, as I said, “labur” (short).
    So “lapur” / “robar” split is very old, but in anyway can not predate the first migration to England (i.e. deglaciation 12 000 years ago), as attested by English “grab”.
    The “o/u” group (German, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, Latin, Galician, Italian and Corsican) probably developped as a need to differ from the source, thus proving it is a loanword in those languages.
    Romanian is not of any help here, as it retained only the final (“fura” from “lapura”), but indicates the “a” of the second syllabe in Spanish postdates the Thracian split (3000 years ago), but predates German/Latin split (2700 years ago).
    So the form “raubar(e)” is quite modern, less than 3000 years old.
    Possibly the sound variation came under Etruscan influence.

    Concerning the initial “r”, as I told before, the original word started with a plain L (ł), which explains “gr” in English (grab) and even “tx” in “txakur” (initial łakwur), that’s why it became “r” in Spanish but the word precedes Castillan developpement as attested by German.

    For “silo” from “zilo”, I am glad that you’re not telling me the Euskal word “zilo” came from Latin.
    But “silo” is not a loanword, it is the same word.
    To understand this, imagine Iberian women marry with Latin men (soldiers), they mix and then the Castillan tribe appears.
    Some words like male characteristics (names for sun, god, or tools) will come from Latin, as for the grammatical constructions etc…, but still the mother will teach the children some of the native words, and yes “zilo/zulo” have to be one of thiese native words that the language will keep (farming was very important for the iberians).
    In fact, 25 % of castillan is (near) pure Euskara.

    Concerning the separation between Sino-Tibetans and Europeans, the split is estimated to around 60000 years ago.
    But at least two splits have been recently detected.
    That is consistent with the fact that the European population is essentially mixed, as we all know Indo-Europeans came later than Iberians or Etruscans.
    But Etruscan, and even Indo-European, are obviously much closer to Sino-Tibetan than Basque language (Euskara) is.
    To identify with confidence the link between Iberian and Sino-Tibetan, one has to go back to Nostratic (between 75000 and 250000 years old).
    So yes, precursors of Iberian and Sino-Tibetan lived in the same area, but 260000 years ago.

  53. David Marjanović says:

    Wow, what a long list of fact claims with no evidence or logic behind them. You don’t even recognize when other people mock you!

    Please, please start here.

  54. one has to go back to Nostratic (between 75000 and 250000 years old)

    You appear not to know what ‘Nostratic‘ means.

    Not even the most gung-ho Nostraticist would include Sino-Tibetan. Neither would they make any claims about a time-depth of 260,000 years. That’s a whole order of magnitude out. I thought that was a typo with too many zeroes, but you’ve put it several times. That’s nearly as old as the earliest fossils showing evidence of homo sapiens.

    So the language you appear to be making claims about is tantamount to proto-human.

    People here “know what you are talking about”, because they’ve encountered similar preposterous (well, not as preposterous) claims from amateurs before — in fact Hat has hosted several entertaining discussions. Basque seems to be a peculiarly fruitful source of claims — going back to Edo Nyland, a Canadian Forestry scientist, who took up historical linguistics in his retirement. He didn’t use the Comparative Method; he didn’t speak Euskara; he (similar to you) claimed all the ‘experts’ were ignorant.

    Could I ask what is your speciality, and what you’ve published to do with language origins? What is the source for your claim of a link between Iberian and Sino-Tibetan? Who has reconstructed the applicable languages at that kind of time-depth?

  55. January First-of-May says:

    But Etruscan, and even Indo-European, are obviously much closer to Sino-Tibetan than Basque language (Euskara) is.

    IIRC, this isn’t even the modern lumper opinion: Basque is included in Sino-Caucasian (or whatever they’re calling it these days), but Indo-European isn’t. (Etruscan can go either way.)

  56. Jen in Edinburgh says:

    I had no idea that izquierda was Basque – and yet now I know, it looks so obviously Basque. Hiding in plain sight…

  57. Imanol Duhalde says:

    Monkeys have always mock humans since the beginning of time.
    My goal is not to regress to monkey state, as you do, but to advance, like a real human tend to.

    Except when I mean “Nostratic”, you shall understand “Borean”, which is, all the world languages minus khoï-san and niger-congo.
    The “Nostratic/Eursaiatic” proposals you refer to are stupid : how include sumerian when you exclude sino-tibetan? Just tell me, Mr. know all.
    I spend the last 10 years comparing world languages, is it Ok for you? I also made glottochronologies, as linguistic without knowledge in history is null, the same for history without knowledge in linguistics. And last, I also compare with populations blood signature.
    If you think there is no logic behind it, it is because you simply doesn’t have the level, knowledge or intelligence to understand.

    ” Basque is included in Sino-Caucasian” and that is me who is the clown here? Yes, there are links between Japanese and Eukara, but only because of Ainu. Sino-Tibetan is as far to Basque as can be.

    Izquierda is not Basque, it is a loose loan of “ezkerrik da” (meaning “it is left(y)”).

  58. Except when I mean “Nostratic”, you shall understand “Borean”, which is, all the world languages minus khoï-san and niger-congo.

    And North Germanic! Don’t forget North Germanic!

  59. David Eddyshaw says:

    And North Germanic! Don’t forget North Germanic!

    Exactly! I was just about to point that out myself …

  60. David Marjanović says:

    when I mean “Nostratic”, you shall understand “Borean”

    Then why do you say “Nostratic”? Borean is simply not the same thing. Nostratic is supposed to be one branch of Borean.

    And last, I also compare with populations blood signature.

    Too bad for you that languages aren’t genetically heritable.

    ” Basque is included in Sino-Caucasian” and that is me who is the clown here? Yes, there are links between Japanese and Eukara

    …but Japanese is not Sino-Caucasian. It is Nostratic instead.

    I spend the last 10 years comparing world languages, is it Ok for you?

    LOL, no, why? I spent more than the last 30 years doing that, and I’m not even a professional!

  61. Imanol Duhalde says:

    “Then why do you say “Nostratic”? Borean is simply not the same thing. Nostratic is supposed to be one branch of Borean.”

    Well, nor really. The two branches of Borean are Dene-Daic and indeed, Nostratic.
    But as “Nostratic” is defined as “all langues related to Indo-European”, it is a monkeyish stupidity to exclude Basque from it. Basque is obviously macro-IE, so there is only one conclusion possible, Nostratic = Borean.
    But, you’re right, believe firmly in yesterday’s works, do not use your brain, and keep on telling me I’m the fool here.

    “Too bad for you that languages aren’t genetically heritable.”
    Really? Oh, that’s so sad I’ve wasted so much time… You know that is years I’ve learn to make the difference between a pure original language, like Basque (which IS genetically heritate, as you say), and a Creole-like language as Spanish which is loose vulgar Latin mixed on a “Iberic” substrate (loosely remembered). Also, spaniards blood signature represent this : a mixed population, closer to Italians (except of course Pô’s valley Etruscans descendants, much closer to Basque) than to aboriginal Iberians (i.e. Basque people). So you are wrong, once again, but well tried.

    “but Japanese is not Sino-Caucasian. It is Nostratic instead.”
    Of course it isn’t, it is a language isolate, as they say.
    But one thing well known is that it stemmed from Yayoi language (linked to Corean), on a Jomon substrate (Ainu-related language). So here, you could apply your precedent quote, but again you’ll lose, as Japanese blood signature is between Ainu and Chinese ones.

    “LOL, no, why? I spent more than the last 30 years doing that, and I’m not even a professional!”
    Maybe (surely) you don’t have the right hypothesis to start.
    “Science without Conscience is ruin of Inconscience”.

    “Except when I mean “Nostratic”, you shall understand “Borean”, which is, all the world languages minus khoï-san and niger-congo.

    And North Germanic! Don’t forget North Germanic!”

    No, what I’ve obviously forgot, and I was waiting for some to react, was Papua-New Guinea and Australian languages, from which NIger-Congo stemmed.
    And it is not North Germanic, but High German.

  62. David Eddyshaw says:

    Papua-New Guinea and Australian languages, from which NIger-Congo stemmed

    That explains the archaeological evidence showing that West Africa was settled from Australia. I’ve often wondered about that.

  63. PlasticPaddy says:

    @de
    The direction is wrong.
    hiri-motu boroma = pig
    English boar = wild pig
    KONGO mbulu = jackal
    Thus we see an original *mburuma meaning “wild animal that eats or is eaten” used by the NIKONGO before they settled PNG.

  64. David Eddyshaw says:

    @Plastic:

    Your linguistic argument is irrefutable. It’s a puzzle …
    The word is obviously cognate with the Nawdm búrgú “goat”, too.
    Ultimately it comes, of course, from ber (as the work of that great Scotsman Nicholas Marr has shown.)

  65. David Marjanović says:

    Oh, that’s so sad I’ve wasted so much time…

    Yes, you have. But you’re amusing us greatly, so not all is lost!

  66. Owlmirror says:

    I’ve learn to make the difference between a pure original language, like Basque (which IS genetically heritate, as you say),

    This is very interesting! But can you clarify? Are you saying that if a Basque child were raised from birth by Hungarian-only parents, that child would grow up to only speak Basque regardless of only hearing Hungarian from their parents, or would they speak both pure Basque and pure Hungarian, or would the language be a blend of Basque and Hungarian that neither Basque-speakers nor Hungarian-speakers could understand?

    Or do you mean that if the Basque child were raised in isolation by mute caregivers, only then would they speak pure Basque, and otherwise, the learned language would dominate?

    Or do you mean something else?

    I note that WikiP has a page for Language deprivation experiments. Huh.

  67. Imanol Duhalde says:

    “Oh, that’s so sad I’ve wasted so much time…

    Yes, you have. But you’re amusing us greatly, so not all is lost!”

    That was meant to be ironic, your’e the funny one out there.
    30 years and you are still at beginners level, when I’ve cracked all the codes in less than 10 years ; I assume you’re only a troll in this blog, and it is the last time I read or answer you.

    LOKUBUNIRABUTUARAUIUKALTILOKONANENAR’KEKAKIS’INKULOBUITE’EROBAREBITEASIONI

    “David Marjanović : This particular example reminds me of the Old Latin usage of C before E and I, K before A, and Q before O and V…”

    Well, you’re right, that looks clearly Latin…
    There is none of Latin case in this sentence, go back to school man…
    More importantly, not one Latin word, there is nothing Latin in it.
    Latin language wasn’t accumulative, do you know that?
    And there is no such thing as “old Latin”. Latin is old, that’s all, but that is for you. In language history, the time spawn by Latin is epsilon.

    “David Marjanović : …but that’s dì, meaning “earth” (as in “map” or “subway” for example), followed by qiú, meaning “ball” (as in “tennis”).”

    No, “de” is “soil, land, earth, place, field”, while “qiú” means “ball, sphere, globe, Earth, bowl”. Are you chinese, by any chance ? The equivalent of Earth in english can only expressed by “Dìqiú”.

    “David Marjanović : “u” [w] is an old equivalent to [n]

    …no. No, I’m sorry, you’re not making any sense here. Sound changes between [w] and [n] are extremely rare at best.”

    Again you were false, you clearly know nothing about languages and sound correspondances.

    “David Marjanović : Interesting. But instead of with modern Basque, have you tried to compare it with reconstructions of the last common ancestor of all Basque dialects, or “internal reconstructions” of what the ancestor of that ancestor may have looked like at the time in question? Such reconstructions exist and are published.”

    Who are you to talk about Basque language? It is as conservative as can be.

    Please do not answer me any more, take the time to think, you’ve got so much work to do. But I’m afraid linguistics do not fit you at all.

  68. David Eddyshaw says:

    “Imanol Duhalde” is an EXACT ANAGRAM of “Almeida Samo.”
    Coincidence? I think not.

  69. David Eddyshaw says:

    (AS, however, seems to be a genial sort, who is always patient with our misunderstandings and is ever happy to explain further. Are we dealing with an Evil Twin?)

  70. Imanol Duhalde says:

    “Owlmirror says:
    October 20, 2020 at 1:13 pm
    I’ve learn to make the difference between a pure original language, like Basque (which IS genetically heritate, as you say),

    This is very interesting! But can you clarify? Are you saying that if a Basque child were raised from birth by Hungarian-only parents, that child would grow up to only speak Basque regardless of only hearing Hungarian from their parents, or would they speak both pure Basque and pure Hungarian, or would the language be a blend of Basque and Hungarian that neither Basque-speakers nor Hungarian-speakers could understand?

    Or do you mean that if the Basque child were raised in isolation by mute caregivers, only then would they speak pure Basque, and otherwise, the learned language would dominate?

    Or do you mean something else?

    I note that WikiP has a page for Language deprivation experiments. Huh.”

    Well in fact, I’ve experienced it one time.
    There was a family standing in front of me at the restaurant, and the little boy keep repeating “kaysho” on ad on. Well, this is the way to say “hello” in Euskara.
    But they weren’t Basque.

    As for language deprivation, the experiment was made once by a pharaoh Psammetichus I, who asked a shepperd to keep children in isolation from birth, so as they could not hear a single word spoken.
    The pharaoh wanted to know if the first word which will come from the child would be Egyptian, of course.
    But in fact, when the children were able to speak, they opened their hands and uttered “Bekos”, which is the Phrygian word for “bread”.
    The pharaoh then concluded Phrygian language was older than Egyptian one, and has to be the original language.
    But one thing he didn’t know was that “bazkartu” means “have lunch” in Euskara, so old Basque “bäzkäs” is “lunch” or “food”.
    In other words, how the children would have known about “bread” ?
    They were clearly asking for food, so the first word they ever used was in Basque language.
    So yes, Eukara is older than Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic.

    Now is it a language inherit in human?

    Well, first, this was shown many times, the Bible can only be understood properly with Basque.
    1) The name : bible is a contraction equivalent to “beribil” (cyclic), which is precisely what it is all about : the cyclic character of existence, of history,…
    2) The snake-shaft of Moïse, which he called “Nahas”, from it stemmed Hebrew “nahas”, a kind of snake. In Euskara, “nahasti” means “reptile”.
    3) Jericho : the name is easily explained as “herri-txo”, which is “little country”. In other words, one of the oldest towns was explained as a whole little country, because it was so big for the time standards. It can also be related to the Euskal word for moon, “illargia”.
    4) Hebrew god Yareah/Yareak : this one clearly stemmed from “Illargia” (the Moon).
    5) Eba : a contraction of “e(mazte)-ba(t)”, meaning “woman-one”, i.e. “the first woman”. You have also the Greec equivalent Pandorra = bat-anderea (first Lady).
    6) Kain : “kaina” means “the mark, the sign” in Euskara.
    The list can go on and on, as you can figure it out.

    Second, the word for “Earth” in Eukara is “The Water land”, how did they knew ?
    Yes, today, it is very obvious for us Earth is the watery planet (70% of Earth surface is water), but in a such remote time where the word “Lur” appeared, it is quite unbelievable for us now.

    Your example of Hungarian is very interesting, because it is a blend language.
    One half appears Uralic, but the other half is unexplained, now just look at this :

    Egun(a) : day (Euskara).
    Egurats(a) : atmosphere (Euskara).
    Ég : sky (Hungarian).

    Eguzki(a) : sun (Euskara).
    Egy : one (Hungarian).

    Bost(eko)(a) : five (Euskara).
    Öt : five (Hungarian).

    Gurpil(a) : wheel (Euskara).
    Gurulni : to roll (Hungarian).

    Kotxe(a) : cart, chariot, wagon, car (Euskara).
    Kokci : cart, chariot, wagon, car (Hungarian).

    Madarikazio(a) : malediction (Euskara).
    Átok : malediction (Hungarian).

    Bake(a) : peace (Euskara).
    Béke : peace (Hungarian).

    Baiña : but (Euskara).
    Bár : but (Hongrois).

    Kortxo(ki)(a) : cork (Euskara).
    Kork : cork (Hungarian).

    Bizkar : back (Euskara).
    Vissza : back (Hungarian).

    Atzealde(a), atzera, atzeratu(a), atzeko(a) : rear (Euskara).
    Háttér, hátulsó, hátsó : rear (Hungarian).

    Mundu(a) : World (Euskara).
    Föld : Earth, land (Hungarian).

    Gibel(a) : liver (Euskara).
    Kɛbɛl : breast (Hungarian).

    Errege(a) : king (Euskara).
    Régi, öreg : old (Hungarian).

    Koro(a) : throne, crown (Euskara).
    Corona : crown (Hungarian).

    Elur-orein(a) : reindeer (Euskara). [snow-deer]
    Taránd : reindeer (Hungarian).

    Denbora : The Time (Euskara). [always definite]
    Idő(pont) : Time (Hungarian).

    Ordu(a)(n) : hour (Euskara).
    Óra : hour (Hungarian).

    Argizagi(a) : star (Euskara).
    Csillag : star (Hungarian).

    Mendixka : mound (Euskara).
    Bucka : mound (Hungarian).

    Apaiz, apez : priest (Euskara).
    Apa : father (Hungarian).

    Uids(a) : water (Euskara).
    Víz : water (Hungarian).

    Ozeano : ocean (Euskara).
    Óceán : ocean (Hungarian).

    Sudur(ra) : nose (Euskara).
    Orr : nose (Hungarian).

    Ukalondo(a), ukhondo(a) : elbow (Euskara).
    Könyök : elbow (Hungarian).

    Eta : and (Euskara).
    És : and (Hungarian).

    Baserri(a) : farm (Euskara).
    Ház : house (Hungarian).

    Garagardo() : beer (Euskara). [garagar(ra) : barley]
    Sör : beer (Hungarian).

    Irris(a) : rice (Euskara).
    Riz : rice (Hungarian).

  71. Imanol Duhalde says:

    “David Eddyshaw says:
    October 22, 2020 at 3:55 am
    “Imanol Duhalde” is an EXACT ANAGRAM of “Almeida Samo.”
    Coincidence? I think not.”

    Well, what exactly do you mean?
    Almeida means the “high land” in Arabic, and “samo” is “only” in Slovenian.

  72. PlasticPaddy says:

    “Kotxe(a) : cart, chariot, wagon, car (Euskara).
    Kokci : cart, chariot, wagon, car (Hungarian).”
    Note also
    Volkswagen (Euskara)
    Volkswagen (Hungarian)
    This shows that the early Volkswagen was developed already by the Basque people before being adopted by less mechanically skilled peoples.

  73. Imanol Duhalde says:

    “PlasticPaddy says:
    October 20, 2020 at 8:49 am
    @de
    The direction is wrong.
    hiri-motu boroma = pig
    English boar = wild pig
    KONGO mbulu = jackal
    Thus we see an original *mburuma meaning “wild animal that eats or is eaten” used by the NIKONGO before they settled PNG.”

    Jackal is eaten ??

    By the way, you have forgotten the source, which is Kalaw Lagaw Ya “bùrùm(a)” (pig).

    The link between “jackal” and “pig” is too much of a step for me, and Lingala “mbulú” (jackal) is older than Kikongo.

  74. David Marjanović says:

    “David Marjanović : This particular example reminds me of the Old Latin usage of C before E and I, K before A, and Q before O and V…”

    If you don’t understand the difference between a language and a writing system, I can’t help you.

    If you don’t understand that languages aren’t codes, I can’t help you.

    And there is no such thing as “old Latin”.

    There is such a thing as capital-O Old Latin. It is simply preclassical Latin. The oldest Latin inscriptions are seven hundred years older than Classical Latin, did you not know that?

    No, “de” is “soil, land, earth, place, field”

    , dì, “earth, ground, floor, land, field”, the opposite of 天, tiān, “heaven”. Used in such words as 地图, dìtú, “map”, or 地道, dìdào, “subway”.

    …no. No, I’m sorry, you’re not making any sense here. Sound changes between [w] and [n] are extremely rare at best.”

    Again you were false, you clearly know nothing about languages and sound correspondances.

    I was right: we found only one instance, in Arapaho – and that didn’t happen in one step, but through several intermediates.

    Who are you to talk about Basque language? It is as conservative as can be.

    Oh bullshit. The sound systems of Gascon, Euskara and Castilian have been spending the last 2000 years becoming more similar to each other.

    They were clearly asking for food, so the first word they ever used was in Basque language.
    So yes, Eukara is older than Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic.

    Wow, you actually believe that.

    If you actually believe that absurd little story, you’re too credulous to be a scientist, and I can’t help you.

    The name : bible is a contraction equivalent to “beribil” (cyclic), which is precisely what it is all about : the cyclic character of existence, of history,…

    “Bible” is Greek βίβλιον, which means “book”.

    Did you really not know that???

    I also find it very odd that you find anything cyclical about the Bible. The Bible tells a linear story from the beginning of the world to its end.

    3) Jericho : the name is easily explained as “herri-txo”, which is “little country”. In other words, one of the oldest towns was explained as a whole little country, because it was so big for the time standards. It can also be related to the Euskal word for moon, “illargia”.

    So much silliness! Why would the Hebrews dropped the [h]? Why would they have turned tx, [t͡ʃ], into [ħ]? (If you don’t know what that is, look it up.) Or alternatively, why would they have dropped both [h] from hil-hargi-, because that’s what the moon comes from in Euskara: “bright light”, and turned [ɰ] into [ħ]?

    You’re not even trying to make sense. You just say “look, how similar!”

    That’s not how it works.

    You need to find regular sound correspondences between the vocabularies of two languages.

    the Greec equivalent Pandorra = bat-anderea (first Lady).

    Not Pandorra, but Pandōra.

    Πανδώρα, from πᾶν, pān, meaning “all”, and δῶρον, dōron, meaning “gift”, which fits the story she’s in precisely.

    Your example of Hungarian is very interesting, because it is a blend language.
    One half appears Uralic, but the other half is unexplained

    The grammar is Uralic. The basic vocabulary is Uralic. Parts of the cultural vocabulary are West Turkic, others are Slavic, and smaller parts come from all around. There is not much that is unexplained about the Hungarian vocabulary.

    Ozeano : ocean (Euskara).
    Óceán : ocean (Hungarian).

    That word did not exist in Europe before Latin borrowed it from Greek, and medieval European languages borrowed it from Latin (directly or indirectly) after the Latin c [k] had become other sounds, including [t͡s] and [s], when followed by e or i.

    (I bet the Hungarian form is directly from the German one, which is pronounced exactly the same: long [o], [t͡s], long [a], no final vowel. German of course got it from medieval Latin.)

    You have not studied languages for 10 years. You have squinted at languages for 10 years to get the conclusions you wanted the whole time.

    Irris(a) : rice (Euskara).
    Riz : rice (Hungarian).

    You’re not even trying. Rice was unknown in Europe before the Middle Ages; all European “rice” words are borrowed, directly or indirectly, from Arabic. What next, will you compare words for “computer”? For “Internet”?

  75. PlasticPaddy says:

    @imanol
    I am glad that the step from jackal to pig is too much for you. Maybe you could look at other steps in proposed correspondences. Then you could consider mechanisms to explain remaining correspondences.For example, there is a place Kocs in Hungary where a certain kind of vehicle was produced. This vehicle and its name spread to many countries. In Ireland we say “biro” for a pen and “Hoover” for a vacuum cleaner. Also Volkswagen for a Volkswagen😊

  76. Imanol Duhalde says:

    “PlasticPaddy says:
    October 22, 2020 at 5:52 am
    “Kotxe(a) : cart, chariot, wagon, car (Euskara).
    Kokci : cart, chariot, wagon, car (Hungarian).”
    Note also
    Volkswagen (Euskara)
    Volkswagen (Hungarian)
    This shows that the early Volkswagen was developed already by the Basque people before being adopted by less mechanically skilled peoples.”

    Well, while pretending to be a joke (and as would say David (Einstein) Marjanović, “to mock me”), you’re not so far from the truth…

    Wagon/wagen clearly stemmed for Euskara “bagoi”, why? Because “goi” means “up”, and that what the use of the first wagons : to carry (“euskarri” in Euskara) things down, from a high point.
    Now, the nasalisation doesn’t exist in Basque, that is a clear Indo-European trait, and “bagoi” (older “wagoi”) became wagon/wagen.

    But the invention as attested by linguistics, can be confidentely attributed to ancestors of the Basque people.

    Now, “volsk” or “wolsk” is the ancient name of the Basque people (Euskaldun), when they were occupying much of west Europe, as attested by the oldest Greek sources (ˈwɔɫkae̯ [Strabo], which became “wasco” under Roman rule).

    So Volskwagen really means “wagon of the Basques”.

    That’s funny how the truth can get out, even from the most reckless spirits…

  77. Imanol Duhalde says:

    “PlasticPaddy says:
    October 22, 2020 at 6:23 am
    @imanol
    I am glad that the step from jackal to pig is too much for you. Maybe you could look at other steps in proposed correspondences. Then you could consider mechanisms to explain remaining correspondences.For example, there is a place Kocs in Hungary where a certain kind of vehicle was produced. This vehicle and its name spread to many countries. In Ireland we say “biro” for a pen and “Hoover” for a vacuum cleaner. Also Volkswagen for a Volkswagen😊”

    Hats off, on this example, I agree, Hungarian is older. “i” have to comme before “e”, so it appears you are right, and there is history behind it to prove it.

    Now, Basque people ancestors had chariots, this is proven by “gurdi” (chariot, carriage), related to “gurpil” (wheel), and ultimately to Sumerian “gigir”.
    We know that the prototypes of the carriage you mean have existed at least since the time of Vinca-Tordos and Sumerians, more than 5000 years ago. All these civilisations had ties to Iberians, as proven by linguistics.
    So what came first, the chicken or the egg?

  78. Imanol Duhalde says:

    “地, dì, “earth, ground, floor, land, field”, the opposite of 天, tiān, “heaven”. Used in such words as 地图, dìtú, “map”, or 地道, dìdào, “subway”.”

    That is precisely what I meant, dì means the “flat earth” as in a disc, than combined with “qiú” (revolution), gives the “planet Earth”. “dì” can never mean Earth in the sense you understand it. Obviously, Chinese is too much for your european mind. Ask a Chinese, but do not annoy me anymore on this one, you were wrong.

    “I was right: we found only one instance, in Arapaho – and that didn’t happen in one step, but through several intermediates.”
    You’re the whole science? you have found only one example, so there is none other? There are countless examples, and that is precisely how Iberian script worked : were you read “ui”, it can be “ñ”. If you can’t understand this, just do not pretend you know anything about linguistics.

    “Oh bullshit. The sound systems of Gascon, Euskara and Castilian have been spending the last 2000 years becoming more similar to each other.”
    You’re being more absurd than ever, explaining your vulgarity :Castillan and Gascon are Romance languages. The fact they have kept (poorly) Basque substrate is not of any help, as the real Euskal words are deterriorated, beyond recognition. In Euskara, they are called “lengoiak”, Basque language is called “hitzkuntza”, meaning there is no comparisons possible ; they are not believed to be “languages” stricto sensu.
    In fact, in light of Euskara, they can not be taken for real languages, merely they are creoles, with some bad Latin input on a bad Basque substrate.
    This is precisely what means “Gaztellano” (young-way).
    Those creoles can not be used in anyway for old Basque reconstruction, that would be an heresy.
    In other words, you don’t understand nothing to Euskara, so please stop insulting this beautiful language.

    “Wow, you actually believe that.

    If you actually believe that absurd little story, you’re too credulous to be a scientist, and I can’t help you.”

    Why not? Of course it shall be taken with precaution, but nonetheless it is an ancient source like others.

    ““Bible” is Greek βίβλιον, which means “book”.

    Did you really not know that???

    I also find it very odd that you find anything cyclical about the Bible. The Bible tells a linear story from the beginning of the world to its end.”

    Of course I know the academical explanation, then what ? Are you gonna believe everything that is said, can’t you use your brain just once? Why the name of an Hebrew collection of sacred texts would be in Greek?
    Otherwise, you should have said, it related more to “Babel” than to Greek “byblios”.
    Why would it have been simply called “book” ? Does this explanation satisfy you ? Me, not.

    “So much silliness! Why would the Hebrews dropped the [h]? Why would they have turned tx, [t͡ʃ], into [ħ]? (If you don’t know what that is, look it up.) Or alternatively, why would they have dropped both [h] from hil-hargi-, because that’s what the moon comes from in Euskara: “bright light”, and turned [ɰ] into [ħ]?

    You’re not even trying to make sense. You just say “look, how similar!”

    That’s not how it works.

    You need to find regular sound correspondences between the vocabularies of two languages.”

    “H” (as in Herri) is older to “j”, I repeat you don’t understand linguistics. H can give anything from N, nothing (as in Indo-European), TX or J (when aspired, becoming just like Hebrew J).
    I was referring Illargia because an old stone monument in a shape of a crescent moon have been found recently near Jericho.
    Otherwise, it is obvious Jericho came via “herri-txo”.
    Again, “tx” is older than “k”, it is very easy to obtain “k” from “tx”. This is obvious and does not need any explanation.

    “Illargi(a)” does not mean “bright light” at all, you stupid amateurish !
    It means “light of the night” (from “il(lun)-argi).
    Clearly, you never understood nothing of Euskara, so stop advancing your silly theories.

    “Not Pandorra, but Pandōra.

    Πανδώρα, from πᾶν, pān, meaning “all”, and δῶρον, dōron, meaning “gift”, which fits the story she’s in precisely.”

    Yes Pandora, which is even closer to my explanation.
    Your academical explanation is tentative at best, mine is better as Pandora was the equivalent to Eva for the Greeks, that is, the first woman.

    “The grammar is Uralic. The basic vocabulary is Uralic. Parts of the cultural vocabulary are West Turkic, others are Slavic, and smaller parts come from all around. There is not much that is unexplained about the Hungarian vocabulary.”

    False, Hungarian is Uralic superimposed on an unknown substrate, but I will bet for “Thracian”. I brought some of these non-uralic words to light, but there are many more.

    “That word did not exist in Europe before Latin borrowed it from Greek, and medieval European languages borrowed it from Latin (directly or indirectly) after the Latin c [k] had become other sounds, including [t͡s] and [s], when followed by e or i.

    (I bet the Hungarian form is directly from the German one, which is pronounced exactly the same: long [o], [t͡s], long [a], no final vowel. German of course got it from medieval Latin.)”

    Again, this is false, Greek “k” would never have give “z” as in Basque. And it is widely recognize that the word is of pre-Greek origin, meaning Pelasgian = Basque.

    “You’re not even trying. Rice was unknown in Europe before the Middle Ages; all European “rice” words are borrowed, directly or indirectly, from Arabic.”

    Lies, still lies, Arabic word for “rice” is ‘ars. Now tell me, how ‘ars can become “irrisa” ?

    Yes, Portuguese and spanish have some arabic words (esecially toponimics), but certainly not Euskara, not A SINGLE ONE.

    I strongly advise you to switch to another field where you’ll have better understanding, and USE YOUR BRAIN !

  79. Owlmirror says:

    Okay, Mr. Portokalos, how about the word “kimono”?

    “Kimono.” Good one. Kimono, kimono. Of course, “kimono” comes from the Greek word… “cheimonas,” which means “winter.” So, what do you wear in the wintertime… to stay warm? A robe. You see, “robe,” “kimono.” There you go.

    (χειμώνας == きもの/着物)

    Ref: Vardalos, Nia. “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. 2002.

  80. PlasticPaddy says:

    @om
    With deference to, and not wishing to preempt, our colleague Imanol, I would suggest a derivation of kimono from Euskara kima “horsehair” is equally plausible.

  81. “Русский язык и словесность на 3-м курсе читал некий Толмачев, внедрявший в студентов этимологическую премудрость. Образчиком его патриотического корнесловия может служить производство слова хлеб на разных языках: сначала, говорил он, когда месят хлеб, делается хлябь – отсюда наше хлеб; эта хлябь начинает бродить, отсюда немецкое Brod; перебродивши, хлябь опадает на-низ, отсюда латинское panis; затем поверх ее является пена, отсюда французское pain.
    Кабинет он производил от слов как бы нет, поясняя: человека, который удаляется в кабинет, как бы нет”.

    https://remi-jakovlevic.livejournal.com/2348.html

  82. Stu Clayton says:

    So Volskwagen really means “wagon of the Basques”.

    Finally something in this discussion I can wrap my head around !

    Encouraged by this, I surmise that “discussion” derives from “discus throwing” (biffing the ball of conversation to and fro).

    почему бы нет ?

    # While we were thus civilly biffing the ball of conversation to and fro, a sound which I can best describe as a DONK came in from the South side of Mason’s Yard. More or less simultaneously a sort of WANG occurred about three feet north of my belly button and a large pimple appeared in the door-panel of the Silver Ghost. # [Bonfiglioli, Don’t Point That Thing At Me]

  83. Speaking of the pharaoh’s language isolation experiment: When my youngest brother was less than a year old, we (meaning my father and I) decided that his babbling most resembled Hittite. So one of my brother’s nicknames in early childhood was Lugal Suppiluliumas.

  84. Owlmirror says:

    Are we sure that Hittite isn’t derived from Basque, or a Creole of Basque?

  85. Imanol Duhalde says:

    “PlasticPaddy says:
    October 22, 2020 at 9:20 am
    @om
    With deference to, and not wishing to preempt, our colleague Imanol, I would suggest a derivation of kimono from Euskara kima “horsehair” is equally plausible.”

    Are you visionnary by any chance? Because “kimono” is totally related to “ehuna”, “the cloth” in Euskara.
    But while “m” is a dead end, as I said, “h” can produce “n”, “m”, “ø” or “j”, so Ɂehun(a) came first. Yes, it is Basque, well seen.

  86. Imanol Duhalde says:

    It can be easily decomposed as kh-leb, while the first part equates “garia” (the wheat in Euskara), the second part have to come from “labekatu” which is “to bake” : gariak labekatzen > khleb (baked wheat).

  87. I brought some of these non-uralic words to light

    Perhaps you will be happy to know that a large bunch of the words you listed (ég, egy, öt, hát-, csillag, apa, víz, orr, könyök, ház) have been known to be Uralic for pretty much as long as it has been known that Hungarian is Uralic at all.

    all European “rice” words are borrowed, directly or indirectly, from Arabic

    I have been under the belief that only Ibero-Romance arroz etc. comes via Arabic, while the rest get them thru Greek oryza (ὄρυζα).

    The Arabic for ‘rice’, however, is ʔaruzz (أرز). There is a homographic word pronounced ʔarz, but it means ‘cedar’.

  88. From the Arabic-derived rice words, we get Italian risoni, for a kind of pasta that resembles rice. However, this pasta is better known (in Italian and certainly English) as orzo, which sounds like a cognate, but is actually the native Italian word for barley, going all the way back to Proto-Indo-European.

    (Or is there more going on here that I’m unaware of?)

  89. Of course there is — orzo is clearly from Basque osa ‘grama grass.’

  90. Imanol Duhalde says:

    “Owlmirror says:
    October 22, 2020 at 2:23 pm
    Are we sure that Hittite isn’t derived from Basque, or a Creole of Basque?”

    Not a creole, but a sister language :

    Euskara – arrano (eagle)
    Hittite – haaran (eagle)

    Euskara -Gurpil (wheel)
    Hittite – Ḫūrkis (wheel)

    Euskara – Jakin (to know)
    Hittite – Sākki (to know)

    Euskara – nuke (I – transitive)
    Hittite – Ūk (I)

    Euskara – Ziek, Zuek, Zuketz (you, singular), zuk (you, singular active)
    Hittite – Zīk (you, singular)

    Euskara – Bizkar (back)
    Hittite – Iskis (back)

    Euskara – Jaungoiko, Jainkoa (God)
    Hittite – Ši-ú-na, ši-ú-ni-iš (God)

    Euskara – Trumoi (thunder)
    Hittite – Tarhun (thunder)

    Eukara – urtigi, urthuki, urtiki.(to throw)
    Hittite – ūssiezzi (to throw)

    Euskara – Izarra (the star)
    Hittite – Ishara (goddess), Šittar (star)

    Euskara – Hartz(a) (bear)
    Hittite -Hartagga, ḫartaqqas, hartagas (bear)

    Euskara – Luze(a) (long)
    Hittie – Dalukis (long)

    Euskara – Mehe(a), argal(la) (thin)
    Hittite – Maklanz (thin)

    Euskara – Haundi(a) (big), garai(a) (high)
    Hittite – Sallis (big, high)

    Euskara – Subiranoa (sovereign), jauna (lord), jaubea, jabe(a) (owner)
    Hittite – Tabarna (lord)

    Euskara – Oreina (the deer)
    Hittite – Aliyana, a-li-ya-na (the deer)

    Euskara – Zathiarazi, Tšikitu (to split)
    Hittite – Iskallai (to split)

    Euskara – Bizi (to live), Bizitza (life)
    Hittite – Huiszi (to live), Huyshwatar (life)

    Euskara – Argi(a) (light)
    Hittite – Harkis (white)

    Euskara – Odol(a) (blood)
    Hittite – Eshār (blood)

    Euskara – Zikin(ia) (dirty)
    Hittite – Iskunanz (dirty).

    Euskara – Harri(a), aitz(a) (stone, rock)
    Hittite – Passilas (stone, rock)

    Euskara – Gara (Hill)
    Hittite – Kalmara (Mountain)

    Euskara – Erretu (to burn)
    Hittite – Urāni (to burn)

    Euskara – Hautsa (ash)
    Hittite – Hās, hāss- (ash)

    Euskara – Hodei(a) (cloud)
    Hittite – Tuhhuwais (smoke)

    Euskara – Gizona (man)
    Hittite – Pisna (man)

    Euskara – Aita(txoa) (father)
    Hittite – Attaš, attas, atti- (father)

    Euskara – Tšatigo, tšatigu (narrow)
    Hittite – Hatkus (narrow)

    Euskara – Samar(ra) (a little)
    Hittite – tēpawes (few)

    Euskara – Haur(ra) (child)
    Hittite – Hāssas (child)

    Euskara – Uids(a), Ur(ra) (Water), Edan (to drink)
    Hittite – wātar, witen (Water)

    Euskara – Ikuzi (to wash)
    Hittite – Ekuzi (to drink)

    Euskara – Ibar(ra) (Valley)
    Hittite – Hari (Valley)

    Euskara – Ibai(a) (River)
    Hittite – Hapas (River)

    Euskara – Isuri (to flow)
    Hittite – Ārszi (to flow)

    Euskara – Izotz(a) (ice), Izoztu (to freeze)
    Hittite – Ekan (ice), Ekāizzi (to freeze)

    Euskara – Euri(a) (rain)
    Hittite – Hēus (rain)

    Euskara – Belar(ra), Bazka (Grass)
    Hittite – Wēlku (Grass)

    Euskara – Lore(a), Lili(a) (Flower)
    Hittite – Alil (Flower)

    Euskara – Aho(a) (Mouth)
    Hittite – Ais (Mouth)

    Euskara – Beso(a) (Arm)
    Hittite – Pāi (Arm)

    Euskara – Hirri(a), Uri(a) (Town)
    Hittite – Uru (Town)

    Euskara – Hartu (to take), Gorde (to keep)
    Hittite – Harzi (to hold)

    Euskara – Itsusi(a) (ugly, sick)
    Hittite – İdālus (bad).

    Euskara – Eta (and)
    Hittite – Ca, ya (and)

    Euskara : Sustrai(ak), Erro(ak) (Root)
    Hittite – Sūrkas (Root)

    Euskara – Baserri(a) (Farm-house)
    Hittite – Peŕ, pir (house)

  91. Imanol Duhalde says:

    “Brett says:
    October 22, 2020 at 4:41 pm
    From the Arabic-derived rice words, we get Italian risoni, for a kind of pasta that resembles rice. However, this pasta is better known (in Italian and certainly English) as orzo, which sounds like a cognate, but is actually the native Italian word for barley, going all the way back to Proto-Indo-European.

    (Or is there more going on here that I’m unaware of?)”

    Well, the problem for you is that Euskara (Basque language) has two words for rise : irrisa and arroza, so if irrisa came from ‘ars (which I repeat is only imaginable in your fairies world), from where came arroza ?
    Now let’s assume you’re just, as David …, a basque hater, look at those ones :
    Arici (rice) (oldTamil).
    Arisi (rice) (Tamil).
    Do Dravivian words came from Arabic too ?
    Do you know the academical explanation is not by way of Arabic, but Tamil ?

  92. Imanol Duhalde says:

    “languagehat says:
    October 22, 2020 at 4:44 pm
    Of course there is — orzo is clearly from Basque osa ‘grama grass.’”

    Of course not, but Orzo is definitely related to Latin “oriza” (rice).

  93. David Marjanović says:

    I have been under the belief that only Ibero-Romance arroz etc. comes via Arabic, while the rest get them thru Greek oryza (ὄρυζα).

    The explanation I’m familiar with is that Ibero-Romance kept the article on as usual, while Italian left it off as usual. But if the /i/ doesn’t even occur in Arabic, and the word starts with /ʔ/ instead of /r/, Greek as the direct source (for Italian) suddenly seems a lot more likely.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Again, “tx” is older than “k”, it is very easy to obtain “k” from “tx”. This is obvious and does not need any explanation.

    That’s one of many things you have exactly backwards.

    Why the name of an Hebrew collection of sacred texts would be in Greek?

    Are you serious? The entire New Testament is in Greek! And even centuries before that, there were many Greek-speaking Jewish communities (for example in Alexandria) that used the Greek translation, the Septuagint, as their holy scripture.

    Why would it have been simply called “book” ? Does this explanation satisfy you ? Me, not.

    Me, yes, because that was the only book most people ever came into contact with.

    Do Dravivian words came from Arabic too ?

    No, why? Arabic got them from some language in India or other, presumably not even directly but through Persian (and likely Greek as the next step). A Dravidian language as the ultimate source makes perfect sense.

    Tell me, though: is this professional linguist a Basque-hater?

  94. Owlmirror says:

    Perhaps you will be happy to know that a large bunch of the words you listed (ég, egy, öt, hát-, csillag, apa, víz, orr, könyök, ház) have been known to be Uralic for pretty much as long as it has been known that Hungarian is Uralic at all.

    There seems to be an obvious answer: Uralic is a sister language of Basque. Or as a wise woman once said: “It’s no use, young man, it’s turtles Basque all the way down!”

  95. David Eddyshaw says:

    As we have established that Basque is inherent in the human genome (suck it up, Noam!) it is natural enough that any protolanguage is going to be highly influenced by, if not essentially identical to, Basque, the Ultimate Substratum. Even KONGO.

  96. Trask! thou shouldst be living at this hour.

  97. ə de vivre says:

    Liddell and Scott give Strabo as the first attestation of ὄρυζα, which would be too early to come from Arabic. Looks like Greek got it from an Iranian language (one that wasn’t Middle Persian, which used a form with /n/, *brinǰ, whence Turkish “pirinç”), which got it from Sanskrit. Arabic gave its word to the Iberian languages, but the rest of Europe got its word from Greek.

  98. Lars Mathiesen says:

    Egurtzegi uploads his papers to github.org — any reason why there isn’t a linguistics section of arXiv?

  99. Some linguists use Zenodo for papers, and raw data as well. Unfortunately, Academia.edu got established early as the place to go, but now it is getting worse and worse, perhaps for lack of profitability.

  100. David Marjanović says:

    Trask was living through way too many such hours and thoroughly sick of it!

  101. Imanol Duhalde says:

    That’s right…
    Mendi as a first name is found in Euskadi as in Africa.
    But as the Euskal name means “mountain”, the Mende name means “nose”.
    To me, those senses are ultimately related, but none of you will see the link, as usual.
    Mende is older than Basque, period.

  102. PlasticPaddy says:

    @imanol
    You seem to approach your study with objectives and assumptions which strongly bias and limit your findings:
    A1 language is heritable and changes only as a result of genetic mixing
    A2 it is useful to compare single words in any two languages and a “successful” comparison is always significant and never occurs by accident
    A3 some modern languages are older than others, and words are borrowed only from an older language to a younger one
    O1 to establish that the Basque language is “older” than other languages spoken in Europe
    O2 to show, or at least state forcefully, that anyone who does not share your assumptions and objectives is misinformed or is trying to misinform others.
    You admitted that kotxe could have flowed to Basque from another European language. Now look at gurpil. You know that this is gurdi+bil, a special kind of wheel made from two Basque words. Does the Hittite word mean the same kind of wheel or allow the same kind of breakdown? You could also look more critically at some of your other finds😊

  103. Imanol Duhalde says:

    David Marjanović :

    Little talking is for losers and fools, so here you have it all :

    Hįhą (horned owl) (Assiniboine).
    Hinhan (horned owl) (Lakota, Dakota).
    Hįją, hin-jan (horned owl) (Ho-Chunk). Hį : feather.
    Hiⁿdaⁿ (horned owl) (Otoe).

    Wimba (horned owl) (Catawba).

    Clearly the same word, from languages of the same family (Siouxan).
    You have here all the correspondances : H > W ; H > B ; N > M and … H > D ; H > J.

    Hope you will see how retarded (linguistically talking) you are, otherwise I think there is no more to be done.

  104. I think there is no more to be done.

    I agree. Can we all perhaps just agree to disagree and let this discussion die a natural death?

  105. Imanol Duhalde says:

    PlasticPaddy says:
    October 23, 2020 at 7:28 am
    @imanol
    You seem to approach your study with objectives and assumptions which strongly bias and limit your findings:
    A1 language is heritable and changes only as a result of genetic mixing

    Sadly for you, I’ve never said or implied this, I was just answering a prank who told me the total opposite.
    A part of the language is transmitted by the mother side, another by the father side, and the third part come from the surroundings.
    Now, it is not inherited, but a predisposition to, is.
    It is easy to understand that a person with two maternal language (shall I rather say, one maternal, one paternal) that will grow in a country where none of the two are spoken, will developp a language of his own.
    If this person is succesful in history, then a new language is created.
    Nevertheless, you still have a path you can follow.
    Now, nothing is easy in linguistics, and you have to take everything into consideration.
    Some languages will influence others, of course, but arguing there is no transmission along the way is stupid.

    A2 it is useful to compare single words in any two languages and a “successful” comparison is always significant and never occurs by accident

    I am not that kind of dumb, sorry…
    But when I’ve got more than thousand cognates between two languages, I begin to investigate.
    Now, I will give you the answer : genetically, as you said, Hittite and Euskara are poorly related (at least 39000 years of separation, but probably closer to 45000).
    But Hittite herited much of it from Hatti, not mentioning Hurrian, and those two are much more closest to Basque, as you could have seen this little list was selective, nevertheless it is easy to reconstructed proto-words, a proto Hittite-Euskara clearly predating Indo-European.

    For example :

    Euri(a) – rain (EUskara).
    Heus – rain (Hittite)

    You obtain Heułi(a).

    For this special word, your(s) argument(s) fail, as proven for example by French « pluie », this proto-word is not tentative but close to the real one, so as you can see this correspondance appears to be exact.
    Now, I’m not saying all my list is O.K. But this one clearly is.

    Now, another from the same list, where you’ll get better understanding of what my point is.
    As many people know, the Basque word for « light » is « argi ».

    Argi(a) (light, bright) (Euskara).

    Ārkwi (bright, white) (Tocharian B).
    Ārki (bright, white) (Tocharian A).

    Harkis (white) (Hittite).

    Here you can see, Euskara act more as a proto-langage (genuine word for „white” is „zuri(a)” in Euskara).
    But now than I’ve added Tocharian, are you still gonna tell me this was not the genuine Hittite word for „white” ?

    A3 some modern languages are older than others, and words are borrowed only from an older language to a younger one

    Toponymy clearly shows Basque have been spoken since at least 39000 years in this corner (see Altxerri cave).
    Castillan could not have exist before Latin invasion, so it started to developp a mere 2000 years ago.
    So yes, Basque is at least 37000 years older than Spanish.
    There is nothing you could do about it.
    I am not the only voice for this case, tons of works have been written on the subject.
    I suggest you to have a look.

    So yes O.K. a Spanish word entering Basque language, one can still dream…
    One day a dumb spanish young man told me ṪikiṪa (little girl) came to Euskara lexical via Spanish.
    I had to explain the poor man that « txiki » mean « little, small » in Euskara and have no equivalent (except maybe English « chick ») in Indo-European languages, and that the final « txa » (more exactly « tša » is a typical Basque suffix, the contraction of « txatxoa » – vulva) means “feminine”, there was nothing to do to convince him.
    But even those die-hard defenders of their language end up accepting there were wrong, you know.
    Now yes, there are obvious loan words in Basque, more than 90 % coming from Greek and having ties to sciences (« fagocita » for example).

    But here, I do not agree with you, Euskara is not necessarily older than Greek.

    O1 to establish that the Basque language is “older” than other languages spoken in Europe

    I never said that. Look just above !
    Yes, there is Greek, but also Hungarian, Estonian and Finnish (and Sammich). Each of these languages can pretend being the oldest language spoken in Europe nowadays.
    Now, if we are talking of which have been spoken for the longest time-period ion the soil of Europe, meaning which was here first, I guess you know the answer…

    So you see, you’re confusing two things.

    And you obliterate the obvious foregivers of many words in your cherrish languages (for example many Latin words came via Etruscan, many Greek words came from Minoan, and old Ligurian is virtually unknown).

    O2 to show, or at least state forcefully, that anyone who does not share your assumptions and objectives is misinformed or is trying to misinform others.
    You admitted that kotxe could have flowed to Basque from another European language.

    Yes it was borrowed, but not from spanish.

    Now look at gurpil. You know that this is gurdi+bil, a special kind of wheel made from two Basque words. Does the Hittite word mean the same kind of wheel or allow the same kind of breakdown? You could also look more critically at some of your other finds

    Hey, DO NOT TALK FOR ME, please.
    ‘You know ?’ I know it isn’t that !
    Are you serious ?
    Gurpil from gurdi ?
    You really think the chariot preceded the wheel ? What is wrong with you ?
    Gurpil, like gurdi, are based on the same root gur-, this is obvious.
    But gurpil is older.
    First, it is much more often used as « gurpila » (Gurpiľa, the wheel), but it has its variant « kurpil(a) », too.
    While this is the word for the true WHEEL (the one you know of), as related to « gurdi » (chariot) and Sumerian « gigir » (id.), there is also an older word, probably referring to the mill-wheel : « errota » or « arroda » also means “wheel” in Euskara.
    Now, for the link between « GURPIL » and « HURKIS » : well, that is something you Indo-Europeans are not aware of, called voyel harmony, that put me on the way.
    Hittite is said to belong to IE, nevertheless it is clearly on the fringe of the family and it has, like Basque, voyel harmony.
    Now, it is easy (for me, not for you, obviously) to reconstruct a proto-word which is :
    KwÜŁ-KWÏŁ, cognate of Komi-Zyrian « gegir », and from it you will see WHEEL.

  106. So language isn’t heritable after all? And I was thinking we could search the human genome for the mutations responsible for sound changes.

  107. Seriously, can we let this go? I realize y’all are having fun with this guy, but enough’s enough. It’s getting tiresome.

  108. John Cowan says:

    Here’s the intro of Larry Trask’s Basque page:

    Welcome to my Basque page. I’m a linguist with a special interest in the Basque language, and I’ve tried to make available here some useful information on Basque. I think I can guarantee that the information you’ll find here is accurate and free of the errors, misconceptions, and just plain lunacies that so often turn up in published sources of information on the language.

    These pages are under development [not since 2004, alas], and comments, suggestions, and corrections are most welcome; you can e-mail me here. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, I’ll be happy to try to answer a brief question, or to provide a reference to published work where you can find answers to longer questions.

    But please note: I do not want to hear about the following:

    Your latest proof that Basque is related to Iberian / Etruscan / Pictish / Sumerian / Minoan / Tibetan / Isthmus Zapotec / Martian

    Your discovery that Basque is the secret key to understanding the Ogam inscriptions / the Phaistos disc / the Easter Island carvings / the Egyptian Book of the Dead / the Qabbala / the prophecies of Nostradamus / your PC manual / the movements of the New York Stock Exchange

    Your belief that Basque is the ancestral language of all humankind / a remnant of the speech of lost Atlantis / the language of the vanished civilization of Antarctica / evidence of visitors from Proxima Centauri

    I definitely do not want to hear about these scholarly breakthroughs.

    Oops, I just noticed Hat’s stricture. I’ll say no more.

  109. I note with pride that I quoted that passage in 2003!

  110. Imanol Duhalde says:

    Okay Bahamonde.

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