Re: Negau

From: tgpedersen
Message: 60521
Date: 2008-09-30

--- In, "Andrew Jarrette" <anjarrette@...> wrote:
> --- In, "tgpedersen" <tgpedersen@> wrote:
> >
> > -
> > The list was intended to be seen as evidence for borrowing.
> > Otherwise one would be claiming that people knew agriculture at
> > the time of the earliest language splits, which is obviously not
> > true.
> >
> >
> > Torsten
> >
> I see. By "earliest language splits" are you referring to the
> splits that led to the various branches of IE, or are you referring
> to a possible split that led to IE on one hand and Semitic (and
> maybe Kartvelian, Uralic, Yeniseian, etc.) on the other? I'm
> still a little confused: if agriculture in the Fertile Crescent
> began around 9500 BC according to Wiki, then you are saying that
> the split between IE and Semitic/etc. occurred before this? Or are
> the word correspondences between Semitic/etc. and IE purely the
> result of borrowing, and there was no split between these, they are
> completely unrelated (and therefore the earliest splits you refer
> to were intra-IE splits, and occurred before knowledge of
> agriculture, possibly explaining the lack of correspondence of
> agricultural terms between Indo-Iranian and western IE languages)?
> And if you _are_ referring to the intra-IE splits, how early did
> these splits occur? And when did Indo-Europeans acquire
> agriculture? Who taught it to them? And what people are the
> source of the common agricultural vocabulary in (at least western)
> IE? Is it the Semites? Perhaps there is a chronology of language
> development and agricultural development on the Internet?
> These questions may seem pointless, too many, and maybe confusing
> -- I just want to be informed and satisfy my curiosity so that I
> can fully understand these aspects of IE history. I don't think I
> will be able to do this by scanning the archives, since they are
> often about specific words rather than general IE history.

Very good questions.
Basically, I've accepted Peter Bellwood's theory on language and
'Peter Bellwood (2001, 2004) has developed a general hypothesis that
major language phyla are likely to be associated with the Neolithic
Revolution. His reasoning is first, that the spread of the Neolithic
toolkit is more likely to occur through demic diffusion than through
cultural diffusion, and second, that a sedentary population relying on
domesticated plants and animals will grow much faster than a nomadic,
foraging population. Thus, the populations located in the original
hearth areas will grow and expand, carrying their language with them.
Bellwood (2004) therefore maintains that the Indo-European languages
were brought to Europe during the Neolithic, and not the Bronze Age.
This theory is disputed by linguistic evidence however, for example
the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European words for the wheel and
metal working, technological developments that arose much later than
the Neolithic.'

'Major language phyla' is IE, AA, FU, Austronesian etc. and and as far
as I am concerned, the various similar-looking stems, which I can't
even reconstruct a common ancestor for, such as and
are the W├Ârter that designate those Sachen that were spread by
cultural diffusion to those groups who decided to switch to this new
technology, agriculture. In the case of the *Y.-p- and *Y.-p-r/l-
roots (for lack of better reconstructions), I think the fundamental
idea was that of a river and its two sides, which I why the root
occurs in words having to do with twoness, with splitting and
breaking, and with accompanying idea of the two sides being the realms
of life and death, respectively, an idea which becomes paramount in
the speculation of the ways things work, the religion, of agricultural
societies, which is why those two roots words occur in words for life,
sprouting and descendants/family.
The earliest example I can say something meaningful about is this
(from R.A. Blust "Notes on Proto-Malayo-Polynesian
phratry dualism". BKI 136 : 215-247
quoted in the group
message 48)

' *hipaR "opposite side of a river"

dipag "other side, opposite side" Mansaka
dehipag "the opposite side of
a canyon or valley" Manobo
difar "the other side, in the sense
of the side facing the speaker" Tiruray
'ifar "to cross over to the other side
(as of a river or street)"
se'ifar tamuk "to negotiate formally
the terms of a brideprice"
dipah "opposite bank of a river" Mukah
dipah "opposite bank of a river" Kayan (Baluy)
dipar "opposite side" Kelabit
dipah "either of the sides of a river" Uma Juman

"It thus seems likely that the dual divisions of
Proto-Malayo-Polynesian society were at least traditionally,
if not physically, associated with settlements on
either side of a river" (R. Blust)

and (E. Benveniste: Indo-European Language and Society)
' Unlike the word for 'sister', we have no means of
analysing the name for 'brother', apart from isolating
the final -ter itself, as in the case of 'mother'
and 'father'. But we can offer no explanation for the
root *bhra:-. It is useless to connect it with
the root *bher- of Latin fero because we know
of no use of the forms of this root which would lead
to the sense of 'brother'. We are not in a position
to interpret *bhra:ter any more than we can
*p&ter and ma:ter. All three are inherited
from the most ancient stock of Indo-European.

which I found odd: the *bh/p-r/l- root occurred in both IE and
Austronesian in both the sense 'getting across' (water) and 'relative
in the other moiety' (Gk. phrater)
In the Austronesian example, the injunction that brides should be
taken from the other side (of the river) meant that as rivers turned
into straits turned into seas, sometimes catastrophically (the
Floods), people had to learn high seas sailing, which lead to them
being mobile diffusers of various cultural items in connection with
agriculture, and I think they are the missing cultural link between
the cultures of the Far East and the cultures of the Middle East/
Europe, as they sailed the Indian Ocean (and possibly round Africa,
cf. the examples from Bantu, another language phylum spreading on the
technology of agriculture. But agriculture started in China, possibly
Sichuan; check the archives.

And that being so, whatever relationship might exist between phyla is
pre Ice Age; and then everyone was hunter-gatherer and God knows how
and when and where they went. I would give up on finding a Nostratic
for that practical reason, everything I claim about inter-phyla
similarity is about loans, not inheritance.