Re: [tied] Re: Armenian.
From: Piotr Gasiorowski
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
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 -----
Sent: Friday, July 20, 2001 10:24 PM
Subject: [tied] Re: Armenian.
Your saying, then, that Armenian may indeed have made the
the Caucasus. It's hard to have Azerbaijan function as the place
proto-Armenian differentiated itself unless this is what you are
As for dates, I'm a little confused; is it 1st millennium or
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).