From: Piotr Gasiorowski
----- Original Message -----From: Marc VerhaegenSent: Tuesday, August 08, 2000 6:50 PMSubject: Re: [tied] Re: Gimbutas.
Marc: If Sherrat's maps on the corded>bell beaker dispersals are wrong (Cunliffe ed.1994 "Oxford ullustrated prehistory of Europe" OUP), other scenarios become more likely of course. Perhaps different waves out of Ukraine? (or, earlier, Anatolia?) What about common innovations in Balto-Slavic, Germanic & Italo-Celtic, not seen in Greek & I-I? If there are common innovations, they left first (but Slavic remained in contact with Ukraine), than Greek, than I-I?
Grammatically and phonologically B-Sl. is closer to Indo-Iranian than to Germanic. It is mainly shared vocabulary that connects it with Germanic, but words must have travelled easily across the N European Plain. I'd say that B-Sl. dialects were basically East IE but were drawn into the large North European convergence area where Proto-Gmc., Proto-Italic and Proto-Celtic also resided. Greek has many things in common with I-Ir., and some of them may be common innovations rather that shared retentions (if we knew what Armenian was like some 2500 years ago we would be able to compare like with like and determine the position of Armenian with respect to Greek and I-Ir. more accurately).
As for Corded Ware, its origin is certainly more complex than in Childe's and Gimbutas's theories: some steppe influence, but also continuous development at old TRB sites. There may be a grain of truth in the élite-dominance scenario, but in most cases an élite outnumbered by the locals doesn't manage to change their language. But perhaps it was the élite who didn't speak IE? Perhaps their influence was only cultural and they assimilated linguistically to their ex-TRB subjects? It would be Gimbutas a rebours. Food for thought.
Piotr: As Glen remarked, everybody loves Cavalli-Sforza. Curiously, Renfrew has come to love him too and now invokes C-S’s publications in support of a scenario entirely different from the Kurgan origins theory and incompatible with it. C-S has gratefully acknowledged Renfrew’s conversion and some sort of reconciliation or even “grand unification” may yet emerge from this new alliance, especially as they have a mutual enemy: the team of Oxford University's Institute of Molecular Medicine, whose analyses of mtDNA markers challenge the demographic theories of both Renfrew and C-S.
Marc: Do they have alternative gradients or other information?
I know of them only from press reports. I've located one of those articles on the Net; the style is perhaps a wee bit too popular but you'll get some idea of the gist of the differences.