[tied] Re: Skiri Bastarnae

From: tgpedersen@...
Message: 10230
Date: 2001-10-15

--- In cybalist@..., "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@...> wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: tgpedersen@...
> To: cybalist@...
> Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2001 2:08 PM
> Subject: [tied] Re: Skiri Bastarnae
> > Unless you consider eg. English (and the other "North Sea
Germanic languages") to be Creole.
> I don't. Why should I? Some people speak about the "partial
creolisation" of *Middle* English as a result of contacts with Old
Norse and Norman French. This is, however, loose and controversial
usage. At any rate it must not be interpreted as a "pidgin -> creole"
scenario (which involves the structural complication of a rudimentary
contact language, rather than contact-induced simplification).
English did not originate as a trade pidgin.
And why must it not? Norman England, especially in the North, where
the language was creolized most, consisted of Norse- Saxon- and
Celtic-speaking villages. In such a society, with villages with
different languages, the only linguistic (and other) contact takes
place on the markets. On those markets Low German-speaking Hanse
traders bought wool (this was the only place the Hanse did not stay
in the towns, but did retail trade on the markets). The Anglo-Saxon
intelligentsia had been eliminated. These are textbook conditions for
a trade language to appear.
And, to clarify, if the simplification of Middle English should be a
different beast from classical creolization, it is the former I wish
to invoke as a model for the origin of Germanic.
Something like this:

English Germanic
Substrate Celtic ?
Basis Norse, AngloSaxon Several IE dialects
Adstrate Norman French "30%-language" (forget the number)

> > I am now in the unhappy predicament of having to choose one
source over the other on the descent of the Goths: Jordanes and
Procopius, having met Goths, being perhaps of Gothic descent, and
even having to deal with them on a daily basis, and Piotr
Gãsiorowski, acute-minded linguist, writing 1600 years later. Which
should I choose? I once someone who studied history. She told me the
subject of methodology was the hardest.
> Do you really need a hint? Linguists are better qualified to judge
in such matters than native speakers. I don't know about Denmark, but
very few Poles know or care where Polish came from and how it
I think a good deal of Goths knew who they were and where they were
coming from. The rest I think I will leave uncommented.
> > Yes, the lure of "similar-sounding". Where would we all on this
be without it?
> The most significant progress in historical linguistics came when
scholars learnt to distrust this lure.
> > Would I be thinking wishfully, if I assumed the (Pre-)Goths,
> (or whoever) called their language *got-isk- ?
> The Goths apparently called it *gutiska-, but I asked about
unattested **getisk- and attested <geta->, the Getae's term for
themselves (with no umlauting environment -- why not <gota->?). You'd
have to invent a whole battery of ad hoc "laws" to produce these

Let's see. If I can get rid of the annoying -a-, we would have
(assuming the original self-name is *got-) for the language *got-isk-
> *götisk- > *getisk with back-formation on the name of the people.
Cf. O. Da. dan "Dane", but German Däne < *dani(?). Apparently a back-
formation from *dan-isk-. We've discussed this before. Apart from
doing a trick on the -a-, this involves umlaut and unrounding. The
former "law" might have been there, the latter is not uncommon.
That's no battery.
> > Piotr