Re: Older Balcanic Languages

From: Richard Wordingham
Message: 37693
Date: 2005-05-06

--- In, "rex_castilliae_araguensis"
<rex_castilliae_araguensis@...> wrote:

> Furthermore, my study of Greek has caused to me a lot of questions
> about the pre-Balkan and pre-Greek languages and Substrata. Can
> anybody answer me what was the nature of Illyric, Thracian,
> Pelasgic, Minoan, and other languages? Which were IE, which not, and
> what new IE sub-groups used to exist in that area. I am confused.
> Do Etruscan, Veneto, Messapic, Pelasgic, Minoan form any kind of
> pre-PIE indo-european Sub-group? heelp...

Indo-European: Illyrian, Thracian, Venetic, Messapic. Illyrian is a
very sketchily attested language, supposed to be closely related to

'Tyrrhenian': Etruscan, Minoan(?)

I don't think it is clear what 'Pelasgian' was - I don't believe we
have any inscriptions! Many think it was Tyrrhenian. There are also
believed to be traces of another IE language in Greek. I've a dim
recollection that this substrate has been called 'Pelasgian'.

There are claims that Tyrrhenian and Indo-European are closely related
- they are not generally accepted.

I'm not sure how useful a concept 'satem' is in the Greek area. Greek
had close connections with Armenian (satem), Indo-Iranian (satem) and
Phrygian (probably centum); some reckon that Phrygian is particularly
closely related to Greek. The relationship with Indo-Iranian may be a
matter of being near neighbours at some time. I sometimes wonder if
Greek is a satem langauge where the satem shift failed to happen -
compare the failed Romance palatalisation in some Sardinian dialects
and the failed 3rd palatalisation in the Krivechian Slavonic dialect.