In a message dated 04/01/04 00:50:53 GMT Standard Time,
etherman23@... writes:

> > 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.

Lemnian has long been accepted as related to Etruscan
by mainstream Etruscologists. Pallottino (in "The
Etruscans", readily available and highly recommended)
gives a number of obvious parallels between standard
Etruscan and the Kaminia stele. It seems reasonable to
conclude that other Lemnian fragments are written in a
language closely related to Etruscan. See Carlo de
Simone's "I Tirreni a Lemnos" (Firenze 1996). For
Raetic, Helmut Rix's proof in "Rätisch und Etruskisch"
(Innsbruck 1998) seems pretty conclusive to me, and
also has some useful pointers to the historical
development of Tyrrhenian.

> Just the other day I had to abandon an idea for just
> the reason you just mentioned. As you probably know
> Etruscan forms genitives 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.

Yes, -l "genitive" is indeed an innovation. However, I
think you will also find that -s "genitive" is an
innovation too and is an extension of an earlier
ergative or agentive. The historical genitive in
Etruscan is -n, found in early inscriptions, the
standard Etruscan adjective suffix -na, and in names,
particularly Raetic ones.

> Here's my list of words that deserve further
> scrutiny.
> ...
> 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.

I shall come back to you on the list of words after I
have had a chance to consider them at greater length.
In general I would advise anybody interested in
Etruscan to avoid like the plague using the internet
as a resource. The one exception I would make is
Adolfo Zavaroni's site which provides valuable info on
the inscriptions themselves. However, any suggestions
he makes about interpretations and meanings should be
completely ignored. The two word lists you have chosen
are, as it happens, mostly not too bad. This is because
they are mostly rehashings of the traditional thinking.
But they make no distinction between words whose
meaning is absolutely beyond doubt, e.g. <ais> = "god",
and those words whose meanings are pure speculation.
Also the traditional point of view, despite its
adherence to the combinatorial method, has accumulated
some questionable conclusions over the years. For
example <thar> = "there" appears repeatedly in
vocabulary lists (although not in the lists you
mention), and is even listed in normally more reliable
authorities who should know better. However there is no
basis for believing that <thar> is even a word in
Etruscan. At the very least you should find yourself a
copy of Pallottino's "Testimonia Linguae Etruscae" which
has a fairly representative collection of inscriptions,
and check any conclusions against the inscriptions the
word or feature appears in. There are more extensive
collections such as Fowler & Wolfe's "Materials for the
Study of Etruscan" (but beware of typos), or if you
want to spend 100 euros, Helmut Rix's "Etruskische
Texte" (Tübingen 1991). The best Etruscan grammar
is still by far, IMO, Joseph Pfiffig's "Die etruskische
Sprache" (Graz 1969). Note also that Damien Erwan
Perrotin (author of the "Dictionnaire Etrusque" that
you mention) has moved away from his previous
position of assuming a relationship between Etruscan
and IE, and of course the parallels he lists with IE
languages need to be taken with a pinch of salt.

All the best for now,