--- In Nostratica@yahoogroups.com, erobert52@... wrote:
> 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*.

That's what I'm hoping for. It *appears* to me that they are related,
but my Indo-Mediterranian is a work in progress. It might be that
I'll have to ultimately reject the idea.

> 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".

This bothered me as well.

> 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?

I don't know that it's always so clear what's borrowing and what's
inherited. That's why I'm trying to limit myself to words that appear
in all three language families. I'm also going to try to avoid overly
complex phonological changes.

> 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.

When was this proven? I mean the source material is pretty scanty. We
don't have anything approaching a complete grammar of Etruscan, let
alone Lemnian and Rhaetic.

Of course I'm still learning about this stuff. I'm definitely an
amateur working on this in my spare time. Just the other day I had to
abandon an idea for just the reason you just mentioned. As you
probably know Etruscan forms gentives with -s and -l. That's pretty
close to the genitive -s of PIE (of course both languages also have
vowel components that crop up here and there). PIE also has ablatives
in -s and -d. So I was thinking that this -l and -d might be related,
as they're both dental and I suspect that the PIE genitive and
ablative both have a common origin relating to gender (-s for animate
and -d for inanimates, which can be seen most clearly in pronouns).
In Etruscan, moreover, -s is used for male names and -l for female
names. It's also likely that -s was used for animate nouns and -l for
inanimates (at least in an earlier stage). This looked like a
promising connection and I was hoping to find more examples where PIE
d corresponded to Etr l. But I had to give up this wonderful theory
when I discovered that genitives in -l were a late innovation. They
don't appear in early source materials. I still think it's promising
that both languages have genitives in -s.

> 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.

That's why I'm going to stick with regular correspondences and clear

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

Here's my list of words that deserve further scrutiny. For the most
part I've relied on Ehret's reconstruction of PAA. I've actually
avoided consulting Pokorny for PIE since his book isn't held in
really high regard. I've been using Szemerenyi and my dictionary
(which traces roots back to PIE when possible). For Etruscan I've got
two sources from the Internet that more or less agree with each
other. One is from Patrick Ryan's Proto-World page and the other is
the "Dictionnaire Etrusque" which, unfortunately, I no longer have
the URL for.

In the following list the words are listed in the order PIE, PAA,
Etr. I've given an English gloss at the end. Not all of them have the
same exact meaning, and in the interests of saving time I won't list
a meaning for each word. Except perhaps PAA these should be pretty
simple to look up if you want to investigate them. I'm also pretty
limited by ASCII as to transcribing some of these symbols so I hope
they're clear.

1) abha ?ab apa father
2) horos Hrt arac bird
H is a voiced pharyngeal fricative. The PAA is based on Egyptian, so
it's less secure than I would like.
3) atta Hit ati father/mother
4) aiwon h-ayw avil life/time
h- is an unvoiced pharangeal fricative
5) k'o (?) kaa ca this
I question k'o because I actually did get it from Pokorny, but I'm
not sure where he derives it from.
6) kap/ghabh/kabh k'ab/gaf cap to take (hold of)
Is it significant that PIE and PAA both have variants for this word?
7) ker kur (to dig out, to cultivate) car, cer to make (grow)
8) g'hau (to cry out) (> Eng. god) ghaaH cautha (sun-god) to
cry out
The PAA gh is a voiced velar fricative
9) kwel(?) xwayl clan offspring
I'm a bit uncertain about the PIE root.
10) keup ghwib cupe hollowed out container
I'm very uncertain about this one. Cupe might be a borrowing from
Greek. I'm also uncertain about the PAA root.
11) par fir fir, farth to bring, to bear
The PAA semantics relates to bearing fruit.
12) hanti h-ant hanthin front
13) ndheri naj hinthin below
The initial h in Etr is tough to explain. Perhaps by analogy on
hanthin, but I doubt it. Maybe hinthin represents a trace of ablaut
14) tos, tod, ta: -d- (here, there) ta this
15) leit laas lein, lup to die
Would probably have to go back to a lei root.
16) medhu ma(a)d (to flow) math mead
In some daughter languages the PAA word comes to mean honey.
17) nepo:t naf (breathe, > living relative),ngaan (boy) nefts
This seems pretty weak even to me. Lemnian, IIRC, also has nafoths.
18) po: pah-, peh-(to take into the mouth) puth (well) to
19) sen shan san old
20) septm saf semph seven
21) do: dar(to grasp, to handle) tur, tuthi to give
22) tauros tsawr, cawr(?) theuru bull
23) dwo tsan, can thu two

I guess I had more candidates than I'd thought. Obviously there are
complications. PIE has root determinitives that aren't always
obvious. Similarly PAA often used derivational suffixing and it's not
always clear what the suffix means (Ehret does, however, make an
attempt). It's also not always straighforward to find correlations in
sounds. (22) and (23) present good examples of this. PAA has ts/c
initially in both words, but PIE had t and d(w). As regards to vowels
there's the question about ablaut. Was it present in Indo-
Mediterranian? If so, how would this effect the vowels in the
daughter languages.

I'd be interested in your opinions. Especially if any of the Etruscan
words can definitely be shown to be borrowings.