Re: [tied] was Picenes

From: Antonio Sciarretta
Message: 15966
Date: 2002-10-06

At 10:16 04.10.2002 -0400, you wrote:
>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.

I am rather lost.
If Pfiffig said so, it means that he (also) thought that Etruscan had
aspirated voiceless instead of voiced stops ?
Because if, according to the usual scenario, Etruscan did not have B,D,G in
its phonetic system, then either an independent creation of their alphabets
from the Linear B that did not have signs for B and G (this is another
question related to the Pelasgian problem), or an early usage of some Greek
alphabet would have given the same result: no beta, delta, gamma, but signs
for the aspirated instead. So there would be nothing to explain.

> > 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.

OK, and the fact that there are various signs for <f> should confirm that
it was a sign for a borrowed sound

>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.

Quite interesting, would you go further with your speculation ?

> > 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.

Yes, but maybe the original assertion was only an attempt to fit the
substratist point of view, according to which there has been this pre-IE
language covering the Mediterranean prior to Greek, Italic, etc. So
everything that cannot be explained with the known historical languages,
are attributed to some exotic people, of which of course there is no
evidence in the written sources. My view is that there are substrates we
can trace, but they are also IE: Pelasgian in Southern Greece and the
Aegean islands, Picene and Liguro-Sicanian in Italy, etc. No need for
Basque, Caucasian etc. that, in my opinion are superstrata instead, the
Caucasian if related to Etruscan as your theory says, the Basque and the
Iberian having inserted in a Celtic or - more likely - Villar's
Lusitanian/Alteuropäisch domain.

> > 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?

I just take the notion of Pelasgians that the classical writers had, i.e.,
a stock of sailors coming from the East and having colonized some regions
of Italy, mainly Southern Etruria, likely "before the War of Troy". I add
the results of Georgiev about the pre-Greek substrate, which in his opinion
is IE (including -inthos, -ssos, Thebae, Larissa, etc.) but can only be
attributed to a non-Greek, likely centum, language that probably had a stop
shift *B,D,G > P,T,K (like his Thracian, but this was clearly a satem
language) and a particular vocalization of sonants, etc. He calls this
substrate "Pelasgian" because Pelasgians were said in the mythology the
inhabitants of Peloponnesus before the Argivi/Achaei, of Athens before the
late arrival of the Ioni, and of Crete, the islands, etc.
I have tried to trace this stratum in the place names of Southern Etruria
and maybe it works - it's up to the reader to decide -. The main doubt I
had is to distinguish between Etruscans/Tyrrhenians and Pelasgians, that
were often - but not always - confused in the classical sources. But my
current point of view, thanks also to this discussion, is that they were
clearly distinct and that the Pelasgians preceded the Tyrrhenians of quite
a while (and the former gave the name to the latter !).

As for the Ligurians, I think we shall separate the celtized Ligurians of
the historical times, from the ones who are responsible of the toponymy of
the region called Liguria. I start from the consideration, cited in
Palmer's book on the Latin language, that there are some names like Aetna
in Sicily, Rutuli in Latium, Liternum in Campania which have been explained
by means of known IE roots, but after having assumed a peculiar *dH > t.
Let us call this stratum "Sicanian", not to be confused with the
"Siculian", who was a Western Italic language close to Latin. Now, the
similarities between the toponymy of Sicily to those of Liguria are known:
Entella, Eryx, Segesta is a topos in literature. If we assume that the old
Liguri were, together with the Sicanians, the remnant of a larger branch
having occupied the Tyrrhenian coast of Italy, we can explain at least the
name of Padus fl., that would be the Ligurian counterpart of the Celtic
Bodincus fl. that, according to Pliny, was another name for the same river Po.
Then, 0) IE *bhedh- 'to dig', 1) A-grade (so, it was an A-language, i.e.
*o > a) *bhadh-, 2) dissimilation of aspirated --> *bhad-, 2) stop shift
*pad-, et voila the name Padus, while Bodincus is likely Celtic (i.e.,
Gaulish or Lepontic) for *bh>b, *dh>d and the suffix -inco-. Other place
names fit in this speculation, you will see them in a next web page of mine.