Re: [tied] Re: Armenian.

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 7975
Date: 2001-07-19

Armenian is a Satem language; in fact it's more consistently Satemic than any other branch. I suggest that until ca. 2000 BC, pre-Hellenic, pre-Armenian and Proto-Indo-Iranian dialects (as well as ancestors of minor groups such as Phrygian, which was closer to Greek, Thracian, Getic and perhaps Albanian) formed a Sprachbund north of the Black Sea and the Caucasus, with Greek splitting off before the Satem palatalisation and some other eastern features began to spread. Some early innovations affected Greek, Armenian and Indo-Iranian but did not diffuse into other neighbouring groups such as pre-Baltic/Slavic. As regards Armenian, some scholars propose a very early migration date, not later than the middle of the second millennium BC. Werner Winter (1997) argues that the most likely derivation of Hurrian es^s^i- 'horse' is from an ancestral form of Armenian e:s^ (now meaning 'donkey' but reflecting *eis^- < ek^wo-; the shape of the Hurrian word rules out Anatolian or Indo-Aryan origin). If so, however, the date of Proto-Armenian/Hurrian contacts would likely have preceded the borrowing of Indo-Aryan horse-breeding and horse-training jargon by the Hurrians, and the area where the contacts occurred may have been well to the northeast of historical Arme (= Armini, attested in the mid-8th c. BC), possibly in or near the Caucasus.
----- Original Message -----
From: cas111jd@...
Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2001 4:45 PM
Subject: [tied] Re: Armenian.

Yeah, I know. I'm just looking at it from history and archaeology. I
see no way that they could just appear out of nowhere in the post-
Assyrian period.

As far as the Greco-Armeno-Iranian language isoglosses, I've always
wondered if their was some substata of pre-IE poplations across this
area whose common language features can help explain that
commonality. Otherwise we might surmise that the early Greeks were in
close contact with the proto-Armenians and Iranians of the Pontic
steppe. However, with the Greeks peeling off first for the sunny
south, followed a millenium later by the Iranians, then about three
or four centuries later by the Armenians? I suppose the Armenians
would have followed in the wake of the Cimmerians and Scythians from
the north Caucasic steppe?