Hi Alexander:
My questions are listed below.
----- Original Message -----
From: Alexander Stolbov
To: nostratic@yahoogroups.com
Sent: Saturday, May 11, 2002 3:16 AM
Subject: Re: [nostratic] Re: Origins of I-E

----- Original Message -----
From: "gerryreinhartwaller2001" <waluk@...>
To: <nostratic@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Friday, May 10, 2002 9:40 PM
Subject: [nostratic] Re: Origins of I-E

> Aren't you basing the "steppe hypothesis" on morphological & cultural
> evidence?

Actually every hypothesis suggests a zone for searching the IE homeland
depending on the features which are accepted as the early IE ones. The
question is : "Where is the most probable location of people who meet the
following demands: ... ?" Put instead of dots your ideas about the people
who spoke PreIE and its daughter languages and you'll get the answer. Your
own answer.
GRW:  QUESTION:  How are you defining the "people" you are searching for?  Are you defining them by morphological/physiological traits or "mental traits" that can be determined by the products found in the archaeological record (art work, animal husbandry, farming, clothing etc.)?  IOW, when you assess "migration" is it of a "pure" morphological group?  Hope this is clear; it might not be.  Let me try again:  are you telling me to select a list of criteria such as: nomadic, no potters wheel, fancy leatherworking for horse trappings, elaborate felt appliques, presence of calendrics, etc. and then add a "pin" to the Euroasian map?

As to the "steppe hypothesis" (better - steppe hypotheses), the basic idea
behind it is specific adaptation of early IE to the life under the steppe
conditions (livestock breeding with the tendency to nomadism as economical
basis, using domesticated horse, some later - invention of the spoked wheel
and light chariots) accompanied by the specific cultural complex (kurgans,
sceptres, stone axes, unusual clothes, no potter wheel etc.). The linguistic
evidences of borrowings from and into other languages are also of a great
importance here.
GRW:  I like that -- adaptation to a specific environment i.e. steppe conditions.  Thus the vocabulary of a steppe dweller is fairly different from someone living at Hierakonpolis or Babylon or the deserts of Egypt.  This adds a new dimension to the linguistic corpus, doesn't it?  Why would a "culture" have a potter's wheel if it had no access to clay?   Or build houses of timber on a desert? 

If you don't agree principally with these characteristics of early IE, you
will not accept steppe hypotheses, naturally.
GRW:  Yes, I agree with most of what you are saying above.  Do you have a workable definition for the steppe hypotheses?

>Your placement of the IE homeland at Middle Volga does
> sound a bit "Russocentric"
A strong counterargument, isn't it?
BTW, my homeland is St.Petersburg, not Russia.
GRW:  [with wrinkled forehead] Huh?  Do you live in Florida?  Seriously,  I thought St. Petersburg was the intellectual capital of Russia.  From wence Vadim Masson hails.  Did St. Petersburg successfully secede from Russia?

> but nevertheless, how does your
> information match the genetic maps (Cavalli-Sforza for example)?
I find genetic mapping very interesting and useful for some problems of
ethnogenesis. However, I'm afraid, in the case of the steppe belt this can't
help. There were dozens of mighty waves of migrations in both directions
during millennia there. After every next wave not so much remains from the
previous one. What can give a genetic map reflecting the present situation?


GRW:  Valery Alexeev always claimed that all early groups were genetically mixed. Is this what you are claiming as well?