Re: [tied] Picene

From: Antonio Sciarretta
Message: 14831
Date: 2002-08-30

>In a message dated 29/08/02 11:35:49 GMT Daylight Time,
>sciarretta@... writes:
>
> > Actually, for the Etruscans I follow the Erodotean migrationist
> > thesis, as the majority of the linguists including Rix do, I don't
> > know Pfiffig,
>
>Ambros Josef Pfiffig "Die etruskische Sprache", Graz: Akademische
>Druck- & Verlagsanstalt, 1969. Compared with many other works on
>Etruscan the contrast is striking. You get analysis and facts instead
>of opinions and conjecture. Everything he says is justified with
>reference with real inscriptions. There is no sleepwalking into
>IE categories of grammar, and mostly he manages not to rehash other
>people's mistakes. He clearly places Etruscan in the context of the
>historical and social realities which surrounded it; for example he
>realises that the extensive IE influence in the area of proper names
>says nothing about Etruscan's true nature.
>It is Pfiffig's analysis of the grammar and lexis of the language
>which is especially sober and thorough, but his position on Etruscan
>origins, for what it's worth, is that Etruscan ethnogenesis occurred
>in Italy, and comprised a Tyrrhenian component, pre-IE immigrants from
>the "east", and an (also recently immigrant) Italic component. I
>wouldn't have put it exactly like that myself.

Why people likes this "pre-IE" ? Wouldn't it be better "non-IE" ? or even
"post-IE" ? In other terms, we don't have evidence that the non-IE language
of ancient Mediterranean (and we have real evidence only of two, Etruscan -
if it is really non-IE as it seems - and Basque, in the West) are a
substratum and not an adstratum or even a superstratum. Actually, for both
it is much more likely a superstratum.

> > I just think that the toponymy of the Etruria can be explained without
> > the need of the Etruscan language itself, that is to say, it is more
> > ancient than the arrival of the Tyrrhenians-Etruscans
>
>I think that must be right. I look forward to seeing what you have to
>say about place names in S├╝dtirol/Alto-Adige and Trentino. My own
>feeling is that the Raetic language, attested as it was mostly in
>river valleys relatively accessible from the south, was a temporary
>and intrusive phenomenon, associated with a previous Etruscan
>military expansion and leaving little lasting trace except maybe the
>odd village called Toscana.

Very likely it is so. The theory that Raetic was together with Etruscan a
remnant of the Villanovian people is due to a nationalist point of view
defended mainly by the archeologists.

> > I think I have found a correspondence with some phonetic features of
> > the (Southern) Etrurian place-names. That would fit the notion of
> > such Pelasgians wandering in the Western Mediterranean and
> > particularly in Etruria during the Bronze age.
>
>I have a problem, however, with using words like Pelasgian because
>we cannot be sure exactly who might be meant. The ancients are not
>renowned for their grasp of geography. While it is clear that there
>were some people around in Italy who were distinct from the
>Tyrrhenians, and whom some people called Pelasgian, I don't see how
>these can be tied up easily with any other ethnic group that might
>have existed or come from elsewhere, like the Aegean or the Greek
>mainland. The same problem exists with the word "Lydian" in a
>non-Anatolian context. When does it mean "Etruscan" and when
>doesn't it?

It's a mainly matter of time. The Pelasgians are associated to the Bronze
age, the Tyrrhenians to the period of the "catastrophes" at the end of it
and after. Their arrival (for the Dionysian autochthonists,
'manifestation') in Tuscany is dated few centuries after 1000 b.C. A new
theory defended by Massimo Pittau would see the Lydians/Tyrrhenians leaving
around XII sec. b.C., staying in Sardinia for a while (2-3 centuries),
building the Nuraghes, being known as Tyrrhenians 'the people of the
towers' and then colonizing Tuscany subtracting it to the poor Umbrians. In
the classical sources, the oldest distinguish the two peoples, the most
recent say they were the same. I can provide a better reference to these
sources later.
I invoked the 'Pelasgians' in the toponymy only for linguistic reasons. Who
else could have produced such place-names which seem to be explainable
assuming that stop shift, the same that has been found for the pre-Greek
(but not pre-IE !) substratum ?
I am ready to change the term 'Pelasgians' into 'Tyrrhenians' if it will be
proved that Etruscan was an Anatolian IE language, in which *g>k, *d>t and
*b>p (and many other things). Actually, this point could be surprisingly
sustained by the IE etymology of the very name 'turris', if it derives from
*dheregh- 'thorn ?'.

Soon I will write about 'Ligurians' or, better, 'Liguro-Sicanians', another
fancy result of the application of my (actually Georgiev-Zamboni-Duridanov)
toponymy method.
But, again, who cares about the little Picenes ?

Thanks for posting,

Antonio