On Non-Linguistic IE Languages
<<*GK: The Indo-European problem is not simply a linguistic problem. It is a
"total package" deal. Languages don't function in a theoretically convenient
vacuum. They are intimately bound up with a host of other things, things
about which other sciences (archaeology, genetics, ethnography, history etc.
etc.) can tell us a great deal....>>
Then George wrote:
<<*GK: In my opinion a "fragmentation" into the families we know is just as
difficult to explain on purely linguistic grounds (even to my limited
knowledge thereof) whether you begin the process in 5000 BC or in ca. 4200
Now, it's one thing to say IE's history is not purely linguistic. It's
another to say that the basic linguistics behind IE languages is wrong. The
"fragmentation" of IE is NOT difficult to explain on linguistic grounds. And
it may be ONLY your "limited knowledge" that tells you it is.
The whole concept of an "Indo-European family of languages" is STRICTLY a
linguistic concept - it has no other existence. The relatedness between the
Irish, Italian, Hittite and Sanskrit is 0% an archaeological or ethnographic
concept and 100% a linguistic concept. Linguistics created the concept of
the common ancestry of IE languages and without it there is nothing to look
for, NO "IE problem" to solve. The fragmentation is just fragmentation and
In fact, the "fragmentation" of IE is NOT ONLY explained on linguistic
grounds, that fragmentation also supplies the very basis of the idea of IE
languages. It's out of those fragmented languages that earlier pre-written
"IE" languages can EVEN be premised to have existed.
So if your archaeological evidence is going to be saying anything about
pre-written IE, and you have some new idea about how those languages
"fragmented", you might as well get to that first. Because linguistics is the
the one and only source of what you are talking about.