Re: [tied] Re: Gimbutas.

From: Marc Verhaegen
Message: 3033
Date: 2000-08-09


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), then Greek, then 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).

Yes, there are different possibilities. Perhaps Germanic underwent more foreign influence, so that Gothic retained much less PIE grammar than Latin, Greek or Sanskrit? Perhaps the whole corded-bell beaker was purely Germanic rather than Balto-Slavic+Germ.+Celto-It., and Celto-Italic was another (earlier) wave, and Balto-Slavic was a late(r) invasion in M+E-Europe? or the beaker cultures were Celto-Italic and (your opinion?) Germanic was earlier than the beaker cultures?

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.

Do you think so? IMO the upper class can & does impose their language, at least after several generations. This is what we saw in Gallia (Latin replaced Celtic up to the Rhine, later the invading Germanic tribes replaced Latin in N & E Gallia up to line that connects the capitals of the bishoprics). Brussels 100 years ago was Dutch-speaking except for the palace & government (the bourgeoisie, as in all cities in N-Belgium, spoke both, but wrote in French), now it's mostly French-speaking, although in other N-Belgian cities the French-speaking upper class has disappeared. Only in England the Normans did not impose their language, but they were a very small minority. In France, French replaces all other dialects & languages. In Germany, Low-German is disappearing. In the Netherlands, Frysian has almost disappeared. In Great Brittain, Welsh is disappearing. The best example is perhaps that even Ireland speaks English.

 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.

Possible, but not likely IMO. If we may believe C-S's components, IE languages (3d component, Ukrainian centre) are genetically a minority in Europe, less than the Middle-East genes (1st component) or even the component with (2d component). IMO it's not very likely that this 2d component (centre in N- rather than S-Scandinavia) was due to the migrations of Goths, Franconians, Anglo-Saxons, Vandals, Longobards, Vikings... (although they must have left a lot of genes).

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.    Piotr

Thank you very much. I'll have a look.