Re: [tied] Re: Armenian.

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 8021
Date: 2001-07-20

Highly uncertain as the whole matter is, I'd tentatively admit that a cross-Caucasian route is an attractive solution for Armenian (for the _language_, I mean). The dense non-IE substrate in Armenian suggests the linguistic IE-isation of a local population, which would also account for the exotic flavour of Armenian, and especially the sweeping phonological modifications it underwent in its prehistory.
The chronology would be like this:
Pre-Armenian Satemic-speakers, arriving from the North Pontic region, are entrenched somewhere in Caucasia (Azerbaijan?) by ca. 2000 BC (give or take a century, but early enough for the Hurrians to meet the Proto-Armenians well before the arrival of the Indo-Aryan avant-garde in the Middle East). They engage in intensive linguistic contacts with the local population, and Proto-Armenian acquires a large local substrate. Indo-Iranian influence is weak at this stage. There follows a long period of independent development. About the 8th c. BC, the expansion of the Cimmerians, Scythians and Medes makes the Armenians look for new opportunities, and the decline of Urartu is just such an opportunity. They migrate towards the plateau round Lake Van, and within a century or two northeastern Asia Minor becomes thoroughly Armenised.
----- Original Message -----
From: markodegard@...
Sent: Friday, July 20, 2001 10:24 PM
Subject: [tied] Re: Armenian.

Your saying, then, that Armenian may indeed have made the trip over
the Caucasus. It's hard to have Azerbaijan function as the place
proto-Armenian differentiated itself unless this is what you are
saying. As for dates, I'm a little confused; is it 1st millennium or
2nd millennium BCE for the Azerbaijan sojourn? With proto-Indo-Iranian
being sometime about 2000 BCE, you'd think this would also more or
less apply to Armenian too (this gets us into the advent of chariots).

Whatever the origin of the Armenian language, the Cavalli-Sforza stuff
points to language-replacement (and not population replacement).