Renfrew's theory renamed as Vasco-Caucasian

From: OctaviĆ  Alexandre
Message: 49913
Date: 2007-09-16

--- In, "fournet.arnaud" <fournet.arnaud@...> wrote:

> The idea that Indo-Europeans might have come from Anatolia
> is as old as the word "indo-european" itself.
> and the link between Anatolia and Agriculture is old as well
> Renfrew said nothing new
> He said something forgotten for 150 years.
I think Renfrew's was right in stating the spreading of agriculture through Europe was linked to the spreading of languages, but wrong in that languages were IE. He overlooks too much linguistic data for his theory to fit in what we know about IE. Nor he even considered other non-IE languages as candidates.

The American linguist Johanna Nichols has made a lot of research about North-East Caucasian (NEC) languages. She has reconstructed (indepently of Starostin and Nikolaiev, who made their own in 1994: North Caucasian Etymological Dictionary) the basic proto-lexicon of this family, which shows it was an agricultural society. Hurrian and Urartian (grouped toghether as Hurro-Urartian), once spoken in Anatolian have been shown to be related to the NEC family (Diakonov & Starostin: Hurro-Urartian as an Eastern Caucasian language, 1986).

Other works link Etruscan (alongside with languages such as Raethic, Lemnian, Eteo-Cretan, Eteo-Cypriot and pre-IE Greek) with NEC and Hurro-Urartian. So the chances are all these languages descent from the ones spoken by the first agricultors of the Neolithic. The Italian amateur Marco Moretti has even made a reconstruction of Proto-Vasconic lexicon which shows it was a (somewhat distant) relative of Proto-NEC.

The so-called Vasco-Caucasian hypothesis puts the common ancestor of Proto-Vasconic and Proto-NEC (and, in the Macro-Caucasian variant, even of Burushaski and North-West Caucasian) in the early Neolithic or late Mesolithic, making it a good candidate for the agricultural spreading theory. In this, Vasconic (comprising Basque-Aquitanian, Iberian and other extinct languages spoken in Sardinia and the Alps) would be one of the earliest Vasco-Caucasian branches, possibly associated with the spread of Cardial Ceramics.

But other Vasco-Caucasian branches have also existed as well, even in the same Iberian peninsula. Possibly other substrata like the Nord-West Block or the pre-IE Germanic would fall in this. And I'm convinced that *akWa/apa isn't IE but Vasco-Caucasian.

I also recommend you to forget Vennemann. He seems more a TV-predicator than a linguist (I think it has something to do with German scholastic tradition). The only thing I would spare is his "Atlantidic", a supposed Afro-Asiatic substrate language akin to Berber (but not to Semitic!!!), probably linked to the spread of megalithism along the Atlantic coast.