Re: [tied] was Picenes

From: erobert52@...
Message: 15919
Date: 2002-10-04

Ciao Antonio

In a message dated 03/10/02 17:53:59 GMT Daylight Time,
sciarretta@... writes:

> 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 ?

Pfiffig's theory on this is as follows: Although the Etruscans
during their hegemony in Italy were well acquainted with the
Greek alphabet of the time, their own alphabet came into
existence as part of the general replacement of Linear B by an
alphabetic alternative. This would account for the lack of signs
for B, D and G. (Or at least B and G anyway). This hypothesis
is also supported by the Caere syllabary which does not does
not have a row beginning with L-, but it does have R- (like
Linear B). The Etruscans therefore had their alphabet already
before the Greek colonisation of Cumae.

> 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 don't think this is a problem. There is an <f>, which was
borrowed from the Lydian alphabet around the 6th century BC to
render the labiodentals found in the indigenous Umbrian
anthroponyms and toponyms, which had been rendered prior to this
by the digraph <vh>, and this new symbol was to be used alongside
the bilabial <phi>. Only people got confused and spelled things
'wrong'. There is a lot of confusion between <f>, <ph>, <v>, and
<h> in Etruscan inscriptions.

One may also speculate that Etruscan may originally have
possessed glottalic consonants, which can sometimes sound
like aspirated pulmonic consonants to the untrained ear, or at
least they sound a bit like that in Ingush at any rate. Given that
the Umbrian plebeians didn't have glottalics when the Etruscans
came to rule over them, I imagine these sounds didn't last long.

> I suggested for the theories of Massimo Pittau, professor at
> the University of Sassari, his pages
> and
> (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)'.

And Etruscan <sar>, Sanskrit <dasa>! And yet he says that
therefore the conclusion that Etruscan is IE "si vede
facilmente". I don't think so.

> 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:

I am going by Diakonoff and Starostin, who are not always
reliable, who simply say "Note that also Greek pyrgos 'tower' is
like many other Greek substratum words, borrowed from Caucasian".
They initially relate this to the Urartian <burgana>, but then
in an addendum they withdraw this, saying "U[rartian] _burg-ana_
means 'pillar, column', not 'tower' as assumed earlier, hence the
comparison ... cannot be upheld". This is uncharacteristically
cautious of them. However, Melikishvili glosses <burgana> as
"fortress, fortification", and Laroche mentions Hurrian
<parkuluhuli>, "lapicide" which may be relevant.

> 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.

So, your Pelasgians are a non-Italic IE people who became
resident in Italy before the Etruscans. Is there a way of
distinguishing between them and the Kelto-Ligurians?