Re: [tied] Re: Dating PIE

From: Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
Message: 10440
Date: 2001-10-19

On Fri, 19 Oct 2001 10:29:40 +0200, "Piotr Gasiorowski"
<gpiotr@...> wrote:

>From: "george knysh" <gknysh@...>
>> *****GK: ... Interesting though that these should have borrowed the
>> term while Hittite did not. I suppose the L/L
>> borrowing substituted for something else since these
>> languages would not have waited for the Mitannians to
>> give them a word for designating horses. I'm wondering
>> if the Hittite Sumerogram and the replaced L/L horse
>> word might have been some kind of poetic
>> circumlocution (in a substrate non IE language?).
>> Seems like a lot of letters for a "basic" animal.
>> "swift as the wind" or something like that.******
>The point is that the horse became a familiar animal in Asia Minor only when
>the Indo-Aryans introduced it. We don't know that the Hittite words was NOT
>*asuwa-, *azuwa- or the like. The Sumerogram masks the actual Hittite term,
>just like the use of "&" for "and" or "14" for "fourteen" in English
>conceals the alphabetic spelling. It isn't "a lot of letters" -- it's just
>three cuneiform characters.

To clarify, the three cuneiform characters (pronunciation in Hittite
unknown) might as well, and less confusingly [though not as
conveniently], be written 208-366-328 [using the Labat-Borger Akkadian
signlist] or 302-329-233 [using the RĂ¼ster-Neu Hittite signlist]. The
Akkadian pronunciation we know was /si:su:/, not a lot of letters.
The "lot of letters" comes from the tradition of pronouncing the signs
in the original Sumerian [we know for certain that *that* was *not*
how the Hittites pronounced it], where the word was <ans^e kurra(k)>,
"foreign donkey" (<ans^e> = donkey, <kur> = mountain, <-ak> =
Genitive; something "of the mountains" being in Sumerian a general
term for foreign, exotic, non-native).

>> *****GK: I think this is entering very slippery
>> ground. Are you saying that many of the "mysterious"
>> terms in Hittite etc. which some deem non IE could
>> actually be IE words lost in every other IE language?
>> The reverse seems far more likely. One of the problems
>> (if I am not misreading you)would be to explain why
>> the other IE languages should have deemed it necessary
>> to replace the words kept by Hittite etc. with new
>> ones. And are Anatolian terms always related in their
>> narrower context? Not always from what I've seen.*****
>It's just a matter of relative probability. If PIE split into two dialects
>(let's call them Proto-A and Proto-B) at a very early date, the chances that
>a term would survive in Proto-A or Proto-B alone were roughly equal. Now
>let's imagine that Proto-A is Proto-Anatolian and Proto-B is the parent of
>all the non-Anatolian languages. A term surviving in proto-B would be quite
>likely to survive in several lower-order branches, since its total
>extinction would require several independent losses. So, on the whole, a PIE
>word would be more likely to survive only in Anatolian than, say, only in
>Iranian or only in Celtic. This reasoning is intuitive rather than strict,
>but I hope you see what I mean.

Przepraszam, Piotr, I don't. Don't you mean "So, on the whole, a PIE
word would be LESS likely to survive only in Anatolian..."?