Re: [tied] obscure languages - Kaskian, Hattic,

From: geoffpowers@...
Message: 14074
Date: 2002-07-19


My apologies for any apparent misunderstandings.

I'm fully aware that your original question was specifically
with reference to Kaskian, and not Hattic, though I was
unaware of your web reference, as I've been a member of
TIED for only a short time, and have not as yet worked my
way through the archive. The web-reference I posted was
the only link I've recently come across of research in the
area and time-frame in question - not much of a lead, I grant

References in academic journals tend to be listed on the
internet as 'abstracts' only, and one very seldom finds the
full text of a relevant article, but I will keep looking, as this
is an issue I would like to follow through for my own benefit.

The Kaskians (also known as Gasga/Gashgash) dwelt on
the NE coast of Turkey and in the mountainous hinterland
to the east of present day Sinop. They have been linked
ethnically (and it is presumed that there is also a linguistic
link) to the pre-Indo-Hittite population of Anatolia from circa
3000 BC. As you have plainly stated there is no /written/
evidence for the Kaskian language or for the above conclu-
sion. My own slender resources do not cover this area in
any historical detail. It was for this reason that I referred you
to the various works listed.

In Ch.2 p.42-3 of a work I cited previously, 'The Abkhazians'
(ed. Hewitt), the Kaskians are treated as one element of a
linguistic continuum located around the south-east, east and
north-east shores of the Black Sea. This conclusion has been
reached on the basis of ancient toponyms and hydronyms.

A modification of this theory suggests either migration from
Anatolia to the NW Caucasus at a remote date or FROM the
NW Caucasus TO Anatolia. A positive link between Hattic
and NW Caucasian is already proven beyond reasonable doubt.
I personally support the 'linguistic continuum' model, though in
all honesty I have to confess to an inadequate knowledge of
the historical geography of NE Anatolia

One much-cited linguistic 'clue' to the relationship of the Kaskian
language is the presence of the toponymic/hydronomic element
-ps(y)- (= water, river in Abkhaz), e.g. Aripsa, the name of a city/
fortress in NE Anatolia, also the ancient name for the R. Chorokh,
which was Apsara, earlier still called Akampsis. The ps(y)- element
is also wide-spread in the area of W. Georgia I referred to, in the
hydronyms Supsa and Lagumpsa and similar. This suggest that
the original population of W.Georgia, ancient Colchis, was almost
certainly not Kartvelian in origin.

Assyrian sources state that Kaskians were still living in NE Anatolia
in the 8th century and only a part participated in any migration
to the NW Caucasus (if such a migration did indeed take place). Those
remaining are presumed to have been absorbed into later populations.

Archaeology also supports southern connections of NW Caucasians,
who are held to be the originators of the Maikop Culture.

References in other works - Diakonov, 1968, p.13: Gordeziani, 1975,
pp. 8-10: Inal-Ipa, 1976, pp.11 & 117. (I'm not aware that any of these
works is availble in an English translation, but you may come across
extracts translated into English quoted in other works.)

As promised, I will post other information and references as I find them.