In a message dated 01/01/04 18:45:01 GMT Standard Time,
etherman23@... writes:

> I personally think we need to take it one step at a
> time. Too often a bunch of languages are tossed
> together and presumed to be related. Then you hunt
> and peck through long wordlists looking for words
> that look like they might be related.  In my opinion
> we should start with a couple languages that look
> close to PIE and try to reconstruct a parent language
> (of course we needn't start with PIE, but there's
> more knowledge about it than other reconstructed
> languages). My own view is that Etruscan is probably
> the most closely related language to PIE (Etruscan,
> Lemnian, and Rhaetic are probably all related but
> Etruscan is the best attested and understood of the
> three).
> ...
> I do have a link to a website that you'd be
> interested. I don't agree with everything there but
> it definitely worth looking at.

Isn't this assumption doing the same thing as you are
accusing other people of? Perhaps what you really want
to do in your binary comparison of Etruscan and IE is
to *find out* whether there is a genetic relationship
between Etruscan and IE, *or not*.

In doing so you might want to avoid some of the
mistakes made by the author of the website you mention:

a) Failing to produce parallels between Etruscan and IE
for two-thirds of the roots "reconstructed" for the
imaginary conlang known as "Indo-Tyrrhenian".

b) For most of the Etruscan parallels actually adduced,
relying on the glosses of Adolfo Zavaroni which were
arrived at by a purely etymological looks-like-IE
process and are supported by *no other* Etruscologist,
not even others with an IE fixation, and which are
therefore totally useless for proving a relationship
with IE because this would be a completely circular

c) Assuming that words which are clearly borrowings
are actually inherited. Yes, Etruscan is *full* of
words for cultural objects which have parallels in IE
languages. So what?

d) Failing to pay any attention to the internally
reconstructable historical development of Etruscan and
its *proven* relatives Raetic and Lemnian (more than
just "probably ... related"), or to the quantity of
evidence from attested inscriptions by drawing
extravagant conclusions from hapax legomena, or from
words that don't even exist in the form cited.

e) Throwing away inconvenient evidence undermining the
alleged regular sound correspondences and dismissing
objections by pleading "Occam's razor".

f) Ignoring the inevitable mathematical implications
of vague semantic and phonological matches and cherry
picking single matches from multiple roots with the
same meaning in PIE or from only a few of its hundreds
of daughter languages.

I could go on, but you get the idea. For alternative points
of view see:


> I'd also put Afrasian close to PIE. So I've been
> studying these three languages and group them
> together in what I call Indo-Mediterranian. I've
> found about 15 words that appear to be cognates in
> all three languages (Etruscan and PIE have even more,
> and PIE and Afrasian will likely have much much more).

Fifteen isn't a lot, but if they all stood up to scrutiny,
they might be an interesting start. What are they?