Re: [tied] Re: Views about Etruscan

From: erobert52@...
Message: 8761
Date: 2001-08-27

In a message dated 27/08/01 06:35:29 GMT Daylight Time, pva@...

of the scientific method. Simply stated, calling the basal language
group Tyrrhenian is yet another case of the tail waging the
linguistic dog.

Tyrrhenian is what the common ancestor of Etruscan, Lemnian and Raetic has
been called for most of the last century at least.

Still not to toss rock at a glass window but, if one were to use Indo
as you have, the implication is that the Indic language group is the
parent of PIE and that the Indic group is more similar to the so-
called Tyrrhenian group that other IE groups.
As far as Rhaetic is
concerned there are so few texts, that are so short, and date so late
that no one, with any degree of credibility, can ascertain its
relationship to Etruscan, other than at some undetermined point they
shared a common ancestor that was separate of PIE.

The term 'Indo-Tyrrhenian' goes back nearly as long, and was originated by
Kretschmer in the 1940's. There is no implication of a special relationship
with Indic at all. 'Indo' is shorthand for 'Indo-European' and the same
reasoning creates terms like 'Indo-Anatolian' and 'Indo-Uralic' which are in
common use. ''Tyrrhenian' and 'Indo-Tyrrhenian' are also used by linguists
irrespective of whether they believe in an Anatolian origin for Etruscan, or
indeed whether or not they regard the relationship between IE and Tyrrhenian
as provably a genetic one. (I myself adhere to the first point of view, but
not the second. This does not stop me from referring to the theory that they
are related as 'Indo-Tyrrhenian'.)

As you yourself imply, there *is* a genetic relationship between Raetic and
the other Tyrrhenian languages. The only matter of uncertainty is whether the
fact that Raetic is apparently less closely related to the other Tyrrhenian
languages than Etruscan and Lemnian are to one another is due to it
separating earlier from Common Tyrrhenian or due to it having had some sort
of Alpine substrate.

There have been assertions that Raetic and Etruscan are not related, for
example from Linus Brunner, but nobody else takes them seriously. And I don't
see how the dating of the Raetic inscriptions enters into it. They cover a
range of dates broadly similar to that covered by Etruscan inscriptions.
That's not to say I agree with Glen's chronology for the reconstructed
languages, but that's another matter.

Your earlier use of the word Pelasgian is not helpful. There is no evidence
relating the Pelasgians to any particular language and some ancient authors
were careful to make a distinction between Pelasgians and Tyrrhenians.

Ed. Robertson