was Picenes

From: Antonio Sciarretta
Message: 15900
Date: 2002-10-03

Ciao Ed (since you know some Italian...)
I bring back this discussion (it was about Picenes) on the cybalist, since
we had some requests

I strongly encourage you to keep with your work on the relationship between
Etruscan and HU/ND, which seems to be a very good direction.

About the fricatives, I am realizing that it is a question of great
importance. Let assume that our "suspicion" is correct, and that the
letters of the Etruscan alphabets usually transcribed with <tH, pH (f),
kH>, were voiced stops instead. This would explain many borrowings
especially from Greek, but also Italic/Etruscan correspondences.
How came that the Etruscan did not take the corresponding Greek signs for
the voiced and used the aspirated ? Has someone on the list any idea ? The
first Arcaic Greek scripts should go back to XI century. If it was first
brought in Italy by the Georgiev's "Pelasgians" (whose language lost the IE
voiced stops but acquired the aspirated in a different process than the
Greek), instead of by the Rhodians or Chalcidians, the Etruscans at their
arrival could have found an alphabet without signs for <b,d,g> and then
could have taken the signs for the aspirated, that they did not have, for
their voiced stops. Another problem is <f>, which in any case should have
been in the Etruscan phonetic system, because it is present in all the
Italic languages and the Etruscan needed it to borrow at least personal
names, place names, etc. But in this case, isn't there one alphabet sign
missing ?

I suggested for the theories of Massimo Pittau, professor at the University
of Sassari, his pages
http://web.tiscali.it/pittau/Etrusco/etrusco.html and
http://web.tiscali.it/pittau/Sardo/studi.html (for those who can read Italian).
The article in which Pittau talks about the Etruscan numerals is
but I can tell you in advance that his argumentation is extremely
unconvincing, as you can see from his conclusive table where he relates
<thu> to Sanskrit <tva>, <zal> to some Germanic <zwa>, <ci> to some Iranic
<sih>, <huth> and <quattor>, <makh> and <magnus> 'five=the big (hand)'.

In general, Pittau is not an IE-ist, but a scholar of Romance languages,
usually very precise and accurate when he talks about Sardinia and
Sardinian. I read two books of him, one about the place names of Sardinia.
He relates the well known "Proto-Sardian" stratum to the staying of the
Etruscan in the island (say, XI-IX c.) before to land in the Umbri's (and,
in my opinion, Pelasgi's) Etruria. In general he allows himself for any
comparison between words of unknown origin in Latin and Greek, but also
word with clear IE etymology, because in his opinion Etruscan and, then,
"Proto-Sardian" were more or less the same.

Which is the evidence for Greek "pyrge" being of Caucasian origin ? This
word is very important for my reconstruction, because it is considered as
one of the clearest evidences of the features postulated for this Pelasgian
language: 0) zero grade *bhRgh- 'high, elevated', 1) dissimilation of
aspirated stops --> *bRgh-, 2) vowelization of sonant /r/ --> *burgh-, 3)
stop shift --> *purg-.
It is the same process that, in my opinion, gave the name <turris> 'tower'
and then <Tyrrhenian> from the root IE *dhergh|s-
'spike, thorn', which fits the semantics. Here is the process as I
reconstructed it:

>0) zero-grade *dhRgh-s-, 1) dissimilation of the aspirated stops -->
>*dRgh-s-, 2) sonant /r/ vowelized
>as /ur/ --> *durg-s-, 3) shift /d/>/t/ --> *turgs-, 4) simplification of
>the cluster --> *turs-, which gave the name of the *Turseni. Then, it can
>be the name given by the Pelasgians to the Etruscans, who called themselves
><ras-na> or something similar, a word that is related to Hurrian according
>with your table. But where the Pelasgians saw the turres of the Tyrrheni ?
>If the Pittau's Sardinian connection fits, those turres were the nuraghes.