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Lunar_Strain
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Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2005 9:29 pm
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Location: Sweden
PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 12:17 am 
 

HIDE_TEH_LUNIX wrote:
Just got in today 'A Guide to Old English—Seventh Edition', already mastered the pronunciation and learnt to decline regular weak masculine and neuter words. I love it how this book really is no nonsense, from the start they throw IPA symbols around and start throwing cases without telling you what a dative case is. This was the main complaint of the book in the reviews of the site I bought it at, hahah. I also love it that at the end of a chapter they simply give you titles of texts you by now should be able to read instead of wasting book-space by publishing them in the book, as they are surely findable on the internet and in this way they can include more.


If you speak Dutch, I'm just gonna guess you know a little bit of Frisian(?).

And if you know Frisian, Old English should really be a piece of cake for you; The two languages are (or were at one time) VERY similar to each other.
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Napero wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
Yes. Our Germanic brethren in the Northland never wore bear or wolf fur. =/

Yes they did, but they scavenged them from animals that had died naturally. "Viking" is actually an archaic word for "Vegan".

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greysnow
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:52 am 
 

Lunar_Strain wrote:
(...), but how can we say that just because we've compared two alphabets together and apply sounds from one we know to the one we're trying to decipher are correct? Perhaps I'm wording my explanations wrong, but it seems to me that anthropologists are vasing it off of Akkadian; Just because they use the same alphabet doesn't mean that the letters used in both languages make the same sound. (...)
All in all, I just think that making assumptions due to similarities in alphabets is inconclusive; You cannot accurately "reconstruct" a 'dead' language this way, or at least, these are my theories.

Your caution against simply equating sign-values is of course completely right, in scientific principle. But I'm sure the decipherers of Hittite were aware of that. They just worked by hypothesis, as indeed all science does. When they recognized Akkadian cuneiform signs in a new-found tablet from Hattusha, their first impulse was the most simple hypothesis to employ the sound-values they already knew from Akkadian and just see if it made sense. Luckily, it did; and it did make such a lot of sense that the coincidence factor was rendered so improbable that the decipherers could claim with a good conscience that they had found the correct solution.
But this is really just an abstract of the real events. The whole story is more complicated. An Akkadian cuneiform sign can have up to ten values or more, depending on the time and place where it was used, and you have to make either educated guesses which sound-value was intended, based on archaeological and historical knowledge, or just try them all.
But that doesn't invalidate the findings, as one might think. Context is important. When the combination of readings of a string of, say, four different cuneiform characters has a hundred theoretical values, some readings can quickly be excluded because e.g. value A of sign 1 and value Q of sign 2 never occurred together in the same period in Akkadian, and it is probable that the Hittites when they learned to write from the "Akkadians" (i.e. Babylonians or Assyrians) took over a complete functional writing system as used in one period in time. The remaining readings have to be tested against context, and the larger the context, the more quickly nonsensical readings can be found out and excluded, at least when you already have a working hypothesis that the language might be Indo-European.
Additionally, in a Hittite text, many cuneiform characters don't have sound-values at all; instead, they have to be read as ideograms (for example in names of deities) or as determiners (i.e. the sign just says: "now follows the name of a city / a deity / a king"). The ideograms and determiners helped with the deciphering of the language, since they also were much the same as in Akkadian and allowed a glimpse into the meaning of the text, i.e. providing immediate context without the long road through interpretation of sound-values and words. And, if you're especially lucky, you might find a bilingual text and get all the context you could ever want.
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HIDE_TEH_LUNIX
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:02 am 
 

Lunar_Strain wrote:
HIDE_TEH_LUNIX wrote:
Just got in today 'A Guide to Old English—Seventh Edition', already mastered the pronunciation and learnt to decline regular weak masculine and neuter words. I love it how this book really is no nonsense, from the start they throw IPA symbols around and start throwing cases without telling you what a dative case is. This was the main complaint of the book in the reviews of the site I bought it at, hahah. I also love it that at the end of a chapter they simply give you titles of texts you by now should be able to read instead of wasting book-space by publishing them in the book, as they are surely findable on the internet and in this way they can include more.


If you speak Dutch, I'm just gonna guess you know a little bit of Frisian(?).

And if you know Frisian, Old English should really be a piece of cake for you; The two languages are (or were at one time) VERY similar to each other.
Alas, but alas. Frisian is a language heavily in decline and even those of the Frisian ethnicity in Holland usually are brought up speaking Dutch and learn Frisian as a second language in school. Also, though what became English and what became Frisian split up later than what become English and what became Dutch. Due to most Frisians living in Holland and if they speak Frisian, they also speak Dutch, Frisian has for a great deal moved towards Dutch and is now closer to Dutch than to English. Old Frisian is extremely related to Old English of course, but few Frisians speak Old Frisian, comparable to the difference of Latin and French.

I do say that Old English is a very beautiful language for what I have learnt from it thus far, though I am still completely unable to properly conjugate the past tense of any verb.

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Lunar_Strain
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 4:58 pm 
 

greysnow wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
(...), but how can we say that just because we've compared two alphabets together and apply sounds from one we know to the one we're trying to decipher are correct? Perhaps I'm wording my explanations wrong, but it seems to me that anthropologists are vasing it off of Akkadian; Just because they use the same alphabet doesn't mean that the letters used in both languages make the same sound. (...)
All in all, I just think that making assumptions due to similarities in alphabets is inconclusive; You cannot accurately "reconstruct" a 'dead' language this way, or at least, these are my theories.

Your caution against simply equating sign-values is of course completely right, in scientific principle. But I'm sure the decipherers of Hittite were aware of that. They just worked by hypothesis, as indeed all science does. When they recognized Akkadian cuneiform signs in a new-found tablet from Hattusha, their first impulse was the most simple hypothesis to employ the sound-values they already knew from Akkadian and just see if it made sense. Luckily, it did; and it did make such a lot of sense that the coincidence factor was rendered so improbable that the decipherers could claim with a good conscience that they had found the correct solution.
But this is really just an abstract of the real events. The whole story is more complicated. An Akkadian cuneiform sign can have up to ten values or more, depending on the time and place where it was used, and you have to make either educated guesses which sound-value was intended, based on archaeological and historical knowledge, or just try them all.
But that doesn't invalidate the findings, as one might think. Context is important. When the combination of readings of a string of, say, four different cuneiform characters has a hundred theoretical values, some readings can quickly be excluded because e.g. value A of sign 1 and value Q of sign 2 never occurred together in the same period in Akkadian, and it is probable that the Hittites when they learned to write from the "Akkadians" (i.e. Babylonians or Assyrians) took over a complete functional writing system as used in one period in time. The remaining readings have to be tested against context, and the larger the context, the more quickly nonsensical readings can be found out and excluded, at least when you already have a working hypothesis that the language might be Indo-European.
Additionally, in a Hittite text, many cuneiform characters don't have sound-values at all; instead, they have to be read as ideograms (for example in names of deities) or as determiners (i.e. the sign just says: "now follows the name of a city / a deity / a king"). The ideograms and determiners helped with the deciphering of the language, since they also were much the same as in Akkadian and allowed a glimpse into the meaning of the text, i.e. providing immediate context without the long road through interpretation of sound-values and words. And, if you're especially lucky, you might find a bilingual text and get all the context you could ever want.


I understand; But I still think it's inaccurate. It's like saying Runic inscriptions are written in Etruscan simply because of the similarity in carving letters -- Or that the Old Turkic carvings are in Old Norse!
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Napero wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
Yes. Our Germanic brethren in the Northland never wore bear or wolf fur. =/

Yes they did, but they scavenged them from animals that had died naturally. "Viking" is actually an archaic word for "Vegan".

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greysnow
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 2:26 am 
 

Lunar_Strain wrote:
I understand; But I still think it's inaccurate. It's like saying Runic inscriptions are written in Etruscan simply because of the similarity in carving letters -- Or that the Old Turkic carvings are in Old Norse!


No! The cuneiform signs in Akkadian and Hittite don't just look similar by coincidence, they're completely the same! It's like the fucking Latin alphabet used for English and Spanish!
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Lunar_Strain
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 3:14 pm 
 

I know that!

But what I'm saying is, the letters may be one and the same, but the sounds they make/words they form and the pronunciations may be an entirely different language and not the same as Akkadian, hence the references in my last post. ;P
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Napero wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
Yes. Our Germanic brethren in the Northland never wore bear or wolf fur. =/

Yes they did, but they scavenged them from animals that had died naturally. "Viking" is actually an archaic word for "Vegan".

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greysnow
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:36 pm 
 

Lunar_Strain wrote:
I know that!

But what I'm saying is, the letters may be one and the same, but the sounds they make/words they form and the pronunciations may be an entirely different language and not the same as Akkadian, hence the references in my last post. ;P


Sure they make different words than in Akkadian. Sorry, I'm obviously quite thick today, I don't seem to understand what you're getting at. :P Do you contest that Hittite has been adequately deciphered?
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Lunar_Strain
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:03 pm 
 

greysnow wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
I know that!

But what I'm saying is, the letters may be one and the same, but the sounds they make/words they form and the pronunciations may be an entirely different language and not the same as Akkadian, hence the references in my last post. ;P


Sure they make different words than in Akkadian. Sorry, I'm obviously quite thick today, I don't seem to understand what you're getting at. :P Do you contest that Hittite has been adequately deciphered?


:lol: It's not problem, but yes, I do question as to whether or not the "Hittite" language is indeed adequately translated. I feel that just due to similarities in alphabet does not constitute similar sounds/words in a language.

Another Example: Arabic and Persian. Both use similar alphabets but Persian is NOT Arabic; It is called "Farsi". Same with Ottoman Turkish; It used the Arabic alphabet, but it most certainly was not Arabic.
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Napero wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
Yes. Our Germanic brethren in the Northland never wore bear or wolf fur. =/

Yes they did, but they scavenged them from animals that had died naturally. "Viking" is actually an archaic word for "Vegan".

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greysnow
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 2:34 pm 
 

Lunar_Strain wrote:
:lol: It's not problem, but yes, I do question as to whether or not the "Hittite" language is indeed adequately translated. I feel that just due to similarities in alphabet does not constitute similar sounds/words in a language.

Another Example: Arabic and Persian. Both use similar alphabets but Persian is NOT Arabic; It is called "Farsi". Same with Ottoman Turkish; It used the Arabic alphabet, but it most certainly was not Arabic.


Ah, ok. I'm of course aware about Arabic, Farsi and Ottoman Turkish, as different languages, using the Arabic script. But this example in fact applies to what I mean. All basically use the same sound respectively for an Arabic letter, with some exceptions, namely where Farsi and Turkish speakers have difficulty producing a specific Arabic sound, such as 'ain. But for example the Arabic letter that is pronounced b in Arabic has the same pronunciation in Farsi and Turkish too. So the principle is about the same as with Latin script for English and Spanish, and as with the Akkadian cuneiform for both Akkadian and Hittite.

There are not just similarities in alphabet. It's the same script. And nobody expects the same words in two languages just because they use the same script. Akkadian and Hittite are two completely unrelated languages.
Perhaps I can make myself clear with a fictional parallel. Say a missionary speaking English comes to the Amazon rainforest somewhere where the local language has never been written. To write it, he just uses Latin script, putting the closest values in English to the sounds he encounters in the Amazonian language. That is what actually happened with Hittite; the Hittites didn't have a script when they came in contact with Mesopotamian culture and used the existing Akkadian one, bending it here and there to fit their necessities.

So the first translators of Hittite did already know the pronunciation of Hittite words, they just had to connect them to Indo-European to be able to translate them too.

Where would they have gone wrong, in your opinion?
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Kicker_of_Elves
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 2:58 pm 
 

This thread rules!!!

As for Mors_Gloria's suggestion about the Celtic languages being unique, I'm not knowledgeable enough to have an opinion one way or another, but it made me think of something I read years ago about the Germanic languages: namely, that there were certain common words (I think the roots for "earth" and "hand" were among them, but I can't remember) that had no identifiable basis in PIE roots. The theory was that Northern Europe, being one of the last areas conquered by the Indo-Europeans, still had a strong culture of pre-Aryan people living there, and that Germanic was in some ways a creole language of Indo-European and the existing languages. This would explain some of the other peculiarities of Germanic, like a simplified case system. Anyways, the Celtic people are also known to be invaders of land inhabited by pre-Aryans (Stonehenge!)... perhaps there's a similar theory involving their language family.

PS- Basque is one of the surviving languages thought to be a remnant of these pre-invasion peoples.

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greysnow
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:44 pm 
 

Kicker_of_Elves wrote:
(...) namely, that there were certain common words (I think the roots for "earth" and "hand" were among them, but I can't remember) that had no identifiable basis in PIE roots.

And you will find the same phenomenon in about any IE branch.

Kicker_of_Elves wrote:
The theory was that Northern Europe, being one of the last areas conquered by the Indo-Europeans, still had a strong culture of pre-Aryan people living there, and that Germanic was in some ways a creole language of Indo-European and the existing languages.

That is the way the phenomenon came about, yes. It's only to be expected that a language that supersedes another will take at least a few words from it, and in some cases will be more heavily influenced.
Two caveats:
One, "Aryan" strictly applies only to the Indo-Iranian Branch of IE, since they called themselves "arya", which, ironically enough if you know that the Nazi party used the word for their policies, means "hospitable". The application of "Aryan" for all Indo-Europeans smells a bit today because of that.
Two, not every language influenced by another is a creole. The word "creole" has an accepted definition in linguistics, which is: a pidgin that has become a first language for at least a handful of speakers. In pidgins, all or most grammatical structures of the language(s) from which it is derived are completely destroyed. That was not the case with Germanic. It is a little simplified, yes, but too many of the old IE features are left for it to have undergone pidginization, which is a prerequisite for creolization.

Speaking of Basque, there is a phenomenon called "Ancient European Hydronymy": Apparently, many names of rivers and lakes in Western and Central Europe, from ca. France to Poland, are related, as if from a single language. That language is not IE. The names don't fit in with IE structure and known IE words for rivers and lakes and such, nor do they fit in with any other known language, except maybe (a big maybe) Basque.
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Kicker_of_Elves
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:31 pm 
 

greysnow wrote:
One, "Aryan" strictly applies only to the Indo-Iranian Branch of IE, since they called themselves "arya"


I just didn't want to type Indo-European every time. That, and I'm a Nazi.

greysnow wrote:
The word "creole" has an accepted definition in linguistics, which is: a pidgin that has become a first language for at least a handful of speakers. In pidgins, all or most grammatical structures of the language(s) from which it is derived are completely destroyed.


I can't think of the right word- I know English has gone through the process a couple of times.

greysnow wrote:
Apparently, many names of rivers and lakes in Western and Central Europe, from ca. France to Poland, are related, as if from a single language. That language is not IE. The names don't fit in with IE structure and known IE words for rivers and lakes and such, nor do they fit in with any other known language, except maybe (a big maybe) Basque.


This stuff really interests me. Of course, there's a good chance there were many different language families in Europe other than the one Basque belonged to, so the words don't need to match up to anything related to Basque. Do you have any examples of such names?

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Svartalf
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 7:43 pm 
 

Lunar_Strain wrote:
Another Example: Arabic and Persian. Both use similar alphabets but Persian is NOT Arabic; It is called "Farsi". Same with Ottoman Turkish; It used the Arabic alphabet, but it most certainly was not Arabic.


Yeah, the languages are all completely different; Arabic is a Semitic language, Turkish is most closely related to languages thousands of miles to the East of Turkey in C. Asia, and Farsi is more related to Pashto and Urdu, which is sort of a hybrid of Farsi and Hindi, an Indo-European language.

It's a great topic!

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greysnow
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:02 am 
 

Kicker_of_Elves wrote:
I just didn't want to type Indo-European every time. That, and I'm a Nazi.

Well, either you're trolling me on a bit, in which case: :scratch: or you're serious, in which case: :ugh:

Kicker_of_Elves wrote:
greysnow wrote:
The word "creole" has an accepted definition in linguistics, which is: a pidgin that has become a first language for at least a handful of speakers. In pidgins, all or most grammatical structures of the language(s) from which it is derived are completely destroyed.


I can't think of the right word- I know English has gone through the process a couple of times.

No, the word you're looking for is creolization, and it has been applied to the English of Norman times, with the same loose meaning of "creolized" that some people have used for Germanic. And it has been wrongly applied, if you take the accepted definition of "creole" as used today in linguistic research. English was simplified in Norman times, yes; but the beginning of simplification could already be seen in late Old English times; and the way English was simplified (or simplified itself) had nothing to do with the way a creole seems like a simplified version of its mother language.

Kicker_of_Elves wrote:
greysnow wrote:
Apparently, many names of rivers and lakes in Western and Central Europe, from ca. France to Poland, are related, as if from a single language. That language is not IE. The names don't fit in with IE structure and known IE words for rivers and lakes and such, nor do they fit in with any other known language, except maybe (a big maybe) Basque.


This stuff really interests me. Of course, there's a good chance there were many different language families in Europe other than the one Basque belonged to, so the words don't need to match up to anything related to Basque. Do you have any examples of such names?

Certainly: (names of rivers only)
(Slight correction to my post above: the phenomenon also spreads to Scandinavia, the British Isles, the Baltic countries and Northern Italy as well as to continental Western and Central Europe.)

  • an element *alb- in: Aube (France, < *Alba); Alm (Austria, I think) < *Albina; Alfenz (Austria), Lafnitz (Austria), and Aubance (France), all < *Albantia; Elbe (Czech Republic, Germany) < Albis; Albula (Italy). There is an Old Norse word elfr "river" which also seems cognate.
  • an element *war-/*var- in: Vara (Italy); Wern (Germany) < *Varina; Farar (Scotland) < *Varar; Wörnitz (Austria?) < *Varantia; Varusa (Northern Italy). Some IE languages have a word for "water" that seems cognate with it: Sanskrit varî, Tocharian A wär, Old Norse vari; so this might be an IE root after all, or one that has been imported into a number of IE languages, but the suffixes used to expand the root to form river names look funny and un-IE in some cases, e.g. Varusa, Varar.

You're right about these roots not necessarily being cognate to Basque since, as you said, there were probably quite a few language families in Europe before IE times. It is a remote possibility, more a speculation, but I haven't seen any evidence yet personally.
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Lunar_Strain
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 2:56 pm 
 

Svartalf wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
Another Example: Arabic and Persian. Both use similar alphabets but Persian is NOT Arabic; It is called "Farsi". Same with Ottoman Turkish; It used the Arabic alphabet, but it most certainly was not Arabic.


Yeah, the languages are all completely different; Arabic is a Semitic language, Turkish is most closely related to languages thousands of miles to the East of Turkey in C. Asia, and Farsi is more related to Pashto and Urdu, which is sort of a hybrid of Farsi and Hindi, an Indo-European language.

It's a great topic!


Turkic languages are descended from the Altaic language family.
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Napero wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
Yes. Our Germanic brethren in the Northland never wore bear or wolf fur. =/

Yes they did, but they scavenged them from animals that had died naturally. "Viking" is actually an archaic word for "Vegan".

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greysnow
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 3:44 pm 
 

Lunar_Strain wrote:
Turkic languages are descended from the Altaic language family.


The validity of the Altaic hypothesis is frequently questioned. I don't think it has a lot going for it either. It rests on structural similarities between the Turkic, Mongolian and Tungusic languages, but a) structural similiarities can come about by prolonged language contact, and b) related languages are not necessarily structurally similar (compare Russian and English, for example). You can only detect/prove/reconstruct a language family relationship by comparing basic vocabulary and setting up regular sound correspondences, and that is where the Altaic hypothesis fails, in my opinion. It's better to err on the side of caution before making unwarranted claims, and the Altacists are a little too rash for me with their assumptions.
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Lunar_Strain
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:43 pm 
 

greysnow wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
Turkic languages are descended from the Altaic language family.


The validity of the Altaic hypothesis is frequently questioned. I don't think it has a lot going for it either. It rests on structural similarities between the Turkic, Mongolian and Tungusic languages, but a) structural similiarities can come about by prolonged language contact, and b) related languages are not necessarily structurally similar (compare Russian and English, for example). You can only detect/prove/reconstruct a language family relationship by comparing basic vocabulary and setting up regular sound correspondences, and that is where the Altaic hypothesis fails, in my opinion. It's better to err on the side of caution before making unwarranted claims, and the Altacists are a little too rash for me with their assumptions.


It's moreover alot of people jumbling all these Asiatic peoples into the Altai Mountains Area; Especially the groups of peoples who are deemed as Nomadic due to the history we know about them; All Turkic peoples have generally been Nomadic, and even Turks claim to have some from the Altai areas of Siberia; What you say has alot of validity, but with the way Turks are about their apparent "Turkishness" (As they put it), majority of people just give them what they want to make them happy.

Or so, this is -- again -- my opinion. :lol:
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Napero wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
Yes. Our Germanic brethren in the Northland never wore bear or wolf fur. =/

Yes they did, but they scavenged them from animals that had died naturally. "Viking" is actually an archaic word for "Vegan".

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greysnow
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:53 pm 
 

Lunar_Strain wrote:
It's moreover alot of people jumbling all these Asiatic peoples into the Altai Mountains Area; Especially the groups of peoples who are deemed as Nomadic due to the history we know about them; All Turkic peoples have generally been Nomadic, and even Turks claim to have some from the Altai areas of Siberia; What you say has alot of validity, but with the way Turks are about their apparent "Turkishness" (As they put it), majority of people just give them what they want to make them happy.

Or so, this is -- again -- my opinion. :lol:


Well, the Turkish languages are indeed said to have originated around the Altai mountains (originated meaning that is where they're first reported), but of course that doesn't mean that they're linguistically related to anyone in that neighborhood.

The tendency of linguists, especially in the comparative field, to suck up to politicians is well documented. Comparative linguists deal with a perceived ethnic past and play a part in forming national ideologies. It's a shame to my favorite discipline, really.
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Lunar_Strain
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:15 pm 
 

greysnow wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
It's moreover alot of people jumbling all these Asiatic peoples into the Altai Mountains Area; Especially the groups of peoples who are deemed as Nomadic due to the history we know about them; All Turkic peoples have generally been Nomadic, and even Turks claim to have some from the Altai areas of Siberia; What you say has alot of validity, but with the way Turks are about their apparent "Turkishness" (As they put it), majority of people just give them what they want to make them happy.

Or so, this is -- again -- my opinion. :lol:


Well, the Turkish languages are indeed said to have originated around the Altai mountains (originated meaning that is where they're first reported), but of course that doesn't mean that they're linguistically related to anyone in that neighborhood.


Interesting. I'll look into this subject matter more, as it intrigues me; Is it possible Celtic and Germanic could have been reported in eastern lands before their ultimate 'appearance' in Europe?

I ponder this due to the fact that the book I'm currently reading ("Celtic Myths And Legends" by T.W. Rolleston; Very good book!) states that the first Celtic inhabitants from Ireland came from -- in their mythology -- The "Land Of The Dead", otherwise known as Spain (Celt-Iberian connection?). Well, Spaniards are said to come from Iberia -- which is not only a Peninsula connecting Europe to North Africa, but a sliver of land in the Caucasian Mountains -- near Armenia, Georgia, etc.

Did the Celts truly originate here? I shall look into this further.

greysnow wrote:
The tendency of linguists, especially in the comparative field, to suck up to politicians is well documented. Comparative linguists deal with a perceived ethnic past and play a part in forming national ideologies. It's a shame to my favorite discipline, really.


Well said, my friend. If we were to speak face to face, people'd have a hard time shutting us up. :lol:
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Napero wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
Yes. Our Germanic brethren in the Northland never wore bear or wolf fur. =/

Yes they did, but they scavenged them from animals that had died naturally. "Viking" is actually an archaic word for "Vegan".

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greysnow
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:29 am 
 

Lunar_Strain wrote:
Interesting. I'll look into this subject matter more, as it intrigues me; Is it possible Celtic and Germanic could have been reported in eastern lands before their ultimate 'appearance' in Europe?

Not that I know of. To my knowledge Germanic tribes are first reported in Southern Scandinavia, and Celtic tribes in a broad strip of Western and Central Europe reaching from Southern France, extending through Southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Northern Italy to about the region of today's Czech Republic.

Lunar_Strain wrote:
I ponder this due to the fact that the book I'm currently reading ("Celtic Myths And Legends" by T.W. Rolleston; Very good book!) states that the first Celtic inhabitants from Ireland came from -- in their mythology -- The "Land Of The Dead", otherwise known as Spain (Celt-Iberian connection?). Well, Spaniards are said to come from Iberia -- which is not only a Peninsula connecting Europe to North Africa, but a sliver of land in the Caucasian Mountains -- near Armenia, Georgia, etc.

Did the Celts truly originate here? I shall look into this further.

Yes, there are two regions called Iberia; the Iberian Peninsula is supposed to have its name from the river Ebro, which would preclude an origin of the name further east. Some think that the word Iberia in the Caucasus comes from the tribal name Tiberani, but that doesn't look very convincing to me. Whatever, I think it's more likely a coincidence, really. The names both first appear in Greek geographic texts of the first millennium BCE, I think. I wouldn't put it past the (ancient) Greeks (not meant as an insult, Mors :) ) to give both peoples the same name because of some superficial similarities in looks or custom.

Anyway, Celtiberia was the outcome of Celtic migration to the Iberian Peninsula, not the other way round. An interesting double naming that isn't the result of coincidence is Galicia in Northwestern Spain and Galicia in Southern Poland/Western Ukraine; both names are Celtic, cognate with "Gaulish" (Latin gallicus). Galatia in Asia Minor belongs here too -- it was named after Celts who had migrated there from the Balkans, and is the origin of the name Galata(saray).

As for the "Land of the Dead", well, I suppose just about every local folklore has some legend like that in it; could have been some unhospitable part in Central Europe in this case. Or it has to do with the Celtic religion, of which I know very little. In any case, I don't set much store by such legends. It makes for great sword & sorcery, but that's about it for me.

Lunar_Strain wrote:
greysnow wrote:
The tendency of linguists, especially in the comparative field, to suck up to politicians is well documented. Comparative linguists deal with a perceived ethnic past and play a part in forming national ideologies. It's a shame to my favorite discipline, really.


Well said, my friend. If we were to speak face to face, people'd have a hard time shutting us up. :lol:


You know, there is a story, I think by Julian Barnes, where people wake up in a lavish hospital after they die, with all the food, drink and drugs they could wish for, sex available at the press of an intercom button etc. During the story it comes out that this world is only a sort of limbo where the dead have the opportunity to satisfy all their unsatisfied desires from their lives, and when they have no more desires left they disappear into nothingness; a temporary paradise, so to speak. Anyway, some nurse or manager in this facility says at some point in the story (I rephrase): "You know, the linguists are the most annoying bunch. They stay here for century after century, learning all manner of languages, arguing all the time, and they simply won't go away." :)
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Lunar_Strain
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:21 pm 
 

greysnow wrote:
As for the "Land of the Dead", well, I suppose just about every local folklore has some legend like that in it; could have been some unhospitable part in Central Europe in this case. Or it has to do with the Celtic religion, of which I know very little. In any case, I don't set much store by such legends. It makes for great sword & sorcery, but that's about it for me.


I don't think they referred to it in the sense that it was like.. a place where men go after death; I'm unsure (I'll have to re-read the section of the book where it is explained) as to why it is given such a title, but it is basically summarized as the place where the Celts CAME from when they inhabited, in this case, Ireland; Says they came from Spain to Ireland.

But, if you're at all Familiar with Celtic writings, there's always some sort of Magical presence in every land. Almost every "Mound" or "Dun" in Irish literature is a Fairy Mound and leads to a Fairy Kingdom in fairyland (See Táin Bó Cúailnge from the Ulster Cycle, or anything in Ossianic literature -- The Ossian Cycle is particularly well-focussed on Fairyland and their relations with the Gael). I don't necessarily think it means they identify Spain as being a realm of dead souls, but more of a dead culture; It seems Celtic -- or in this case, yet again -- Gaelic culture changes drastically in Ireland; Nationalism is huge amongst pre-christian Celts (Not to say that upon the arrival of St. Patrick and Christianity it changed in anyway) and Irish literature is full of heroes fighting battles with impossible odds and winning (But not without consequence) or losing their lives all in defense of Eire, not only because it is their land, but because it is a commonplace that sets their identity as Celts.

Again, I HIGHLY recommend "Celtic Myths And Legends" by T. W. Rolleston for a better understanding of the poetic Celt. :)



greysnow wrote:
You know, there is a story, I think by Julian Barnes, where people wake up in a lavish hospital after they die, with all the food, drink and drugs they could wish for, sex available at the press of an intercom button etc. During the story it comes out that this world is only a sort of limbo where the dead have the opportunity to satisfy all their unsatisfied desires from their lives, and when they have no more desires left they disappear into nothingness; a temporary paradise, so to speak. Anyway, some nurse or manager in this facility says at some point in the story (I rephrase): "You know, the linguists are the most annoying bunch. They stay here for century after century, learning all manner of languages, arguing all the time, and they simply won't go away." :)


I'll have to read this when I finish my current material. :)
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Napero wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
Yes. Our Germanic brethren in the Northland never wore bear or wolf fur. =/

Yes they did, but they scavenged them from animals that had died naturally. "Viking" is actually an archaic word for "Vegan".

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greysnow
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:30 pm 
 

Lunar_Strain wrote:
I don't think they referred to it in the sense that it was like.. a place where men go after death; I'm unsure (I'll have to re-read the section of the book where it is explained) as to why it is given such a title, but it is basically summarized as the place where the Celts CAME from when they inhabited, in this case, Ireland; Says they came from Spain to Ireland.

Hm, but I don't think the Celts came to Ireland from Spain. I think the Route through France and Britain is more likely.
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Lunar_Strain
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:17 pm 
 

greysnow wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
I don't think they referred to it in the sense that it was like.. a place where men go after death; I'm unsure (I'll have to re-read the section of the book where it is explained) as to why it is given such a title, but it is basically summarized as the place where the Celts CAME from when they inhabited, in this case, Ireland; Says they came from Spain to Ireland.

Hm, but I don't think the Celts came to Ireland from Spain. I think the Route through France and Britain is more likely.


It may be. However, this is what has been gathered from actual texts in Gaelic literature; They, apparently, claim Spain as their origin (Being of strong Irish-Gaelic nationality and blood, I strongly dislike this idea, and even I was disbelieving when first reading it; I do not like to view my Celtic forefathers as being a possible race from Iberia, and having possibly mixed with Asiatic or Semitic ethnicities -- I strongly believe we are purely European in origin.)
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Napero wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
Yes. Our Germanic brethren in the Northland never wore bear or wolf fur. =/

Yes they did, but they scavenged them from animals that had died naturally. "Viking" is actually an archaic word for "Vegan".

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Kicker_of_Elves
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 2:56 am 
 

Lunar_Strain wrote:
I do not like to view my Celtic forefathers as being a possible race from Iberia, and having possibly mixed with Asiatic or Semitic ethnicities -- I strongly believe we are purely European in origin.)


Slightly derailing the thread, and in no way trying to be a Politically Correct Douche, you do realize that *all* European peoples have their origin in Africa, right?

EDIT: Even going less far back than that, that the Indo-Europeans originated from the Middle East-ish area...?

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greysnow
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:49 am 
 

Well, I've read it up in Wikipedia, and it seems that indeed there was migration from Spain to Ireland in neolithic times. That seems to be before the time of the Celts though, who at that time were probably confined to Central Europe.
IE did not originate in the Middle East, as far as I know. Almost any place in Europe has been suggested, but this is the first time I hear about a Middle East origin.
Don't worry about sounding politically correct. I do it from time to time, and it's not painful at all. ;)
Lunix, so you got the "purity virus" too? :p Actually, I wouldn't mind if Morgan fucking Freeman was my father, he's so much cooler than any IRA spokesman I've seen on TV. :p
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Kicker_of_Elves
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 4:39 am 
 

Yeah, my mistake. I think I was getting confused with the first farming/civilization and all being in Iraq or whatever. Most hypotheses have them originating fairly far east/southeast, in any case, do they not?

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greysnow
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 5:38 am 
 

Kicker_of_Elves wrote:
Yeah, my mistake. I think I was getting confused with the first farming/civilization and all being in Iraq or whatever. Most hypotheses have them originating fairly far east/southeast, in any case, do they not?

Well, one hypothesis that seems to be a favorite is a dispersion region just north of the Black Sea, so that is fairly east for Europe, yes. But there's no real proof, it's all conjecture, since PIE was not a written language (barring stuff that may be found in the future), we don't have any material evidence like pottery etc.
I said "dispersion point" above because, if you take the word "origin" at its literal meaning, the origin of all humanity is indeed in Africa. Call me fussy, but I like to be precise here, especially since the culture that can be reconstructed from PIE vocabulary seems to point to a nomadic or half-nomadic culture, which implies that the original tribe/people/whatever that spoke PIE could have migrated around quite a bit.
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Lunar_Strain
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 1:35 pm 
 

greysnow wrote:
Well, I've read it up in Wikipedia, and it seems that indeed there was migration from Spain to Ireland in neolithic times. That seems to be before the time of the Celts though, who at that time were probably confined to Central Europe.
IE did not originate in the Middle East, as far as I know. Almost any place in Europe has been suggested, but this is the first time I hear about a Middle East origin.
Don't worry about sounding politically correct. I do it from time to time, and it's not painful at all. ;)
Lunix, so you got the "purity virus" too? :p Actually, I wouldn't mind if Morgan fucking Freeman was my father, he's so much cooler than any IRA spokesman I've seen on TV. :p


Well, not in the sense that I'm in any way a Nazi sympathizer or have "Aryan" ideals.

I just have a strong love for my heritage and our "continent" of origin. :P

Edit: Actually, now after further reading, it seems I have no choice to accept the fact that we Celts are not singularly Indo-Aryan in origin. Sure, we branched off and went through the Mid' East and up through Anatolia into Europe, but it mainly seems that we originated in North Africa -- which explains the Irish claim of origins in Spain.

Also seems that the Celtic language -- more or less, Proto-Celtic (Even though traces still live in today in modern Gaelic) seems to have shared certain syntax and even phonology with a language that may have been the Predecessor to many Afro-Asiatic languages (One of them being the Egyptian language! Some Berber dialects are listed among these as well), and Berber tongues (As just mentioned.). So, despite our being Caucasian now, it only means that our North African ancestors migrated and merged with the White Megalithic peoples of Europe.

This book just gets better and better.. ("Celtic Myths And Legends" by T.W. Rolleston. :P)
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Napero wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
Yes. Our Germanic brethren in the Northland never wore bear or wolf fur. =/

Yes they did, but they scavenged them from animals that had died naturally. "Viking" is actually an archaic word for "Vegan".

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Lunar_Strain
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:54 pm 
 

Get this thread movin' again! It's too interesting to let it die!
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Napero wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
Yes. Our Germanic brethren in the Northland never wore bear or wolf fur. =/

Yes they did, but they scavenged them from animals that had died naturally. "Viking" is actually an archaic word for "Vegan".

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Khroshan
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 9:01 pm 
 

Lunar_Strain wrote:
Oh.. Romas are fascinating.

Yes, I do recall their origins in India (I have heard Theories they may be descendants of the ancient Aryans who conquered the Indus Valley civilizations?), and their ethnicities are jumbled around, varying country to country, I suppose (Unless I'm mistaking 'Roma' for Gypsies of the same name.).



There is now pretty much conclusive evidence that the Indus Valley civilization was actually established by Aryans, and not invaded/destroyed by Aryans as previously theorized by racist British propagandists. The Rig Veda was composed during an earlier period of the Indus civilization.

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Lunar_Strain
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:16 pm 
 

I'd like you to provide some info' on this. I'd like to do some reading on the subject, as the Indus Valley civilizations have always fascinated me.

Edit: Ea Taesse makes me think of the Indus Valley language. Haha.
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Napero wrote:
Lunar_Strain wrote:
Yes. Our Germanic brethren in the Northland never wore bear or wolf fur. =/

Yes they did, but they scavenged them from animals that had died naturally. "Viking" is actually an archaic word for "Vegan".

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greysnow
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:51 am 
 

Lunar_Strain wrote:
Also seems that the Celtic language -- more or less, Proto-Celtic (Even though traces still live in today in modern Gaelic) seems to have shared certain syntax and even phonology with a language that may have been the Predecessor to many Afro-Asiatic languages (One of them being the Egyptian language! Some Berber dialects are listed among these as well), and Berber tongues (As just mentioned.). So, despite our being Caucasian now, it only means that our North African ancestors migrated and merged with the White Megalithic peoples of Europe.

This book just gets better and better.. ("Celtic Myths And Legends" by T.W. Rolleston. :P)

No, no! You're falling for some Nostratic nonsense! Celtic is a branch of Indo-European. The predecessor language that you're referring to could be Proto-Afro-Asiatic. Afro-Asiatic is a real proven language family, containing the Semitic, Egyptian, Berber, Tchadic, Kushitic and Omotic languages, but any further relationship with Indo-European has not been proven.

Similar syntax and phonology are traits that can arise in totally unrelated languages; for the purpose of detecting a historical relationship between languages they're useless.

And a note on Comparative/Historical Mythology/Linguistics/Archaeology/Anthropology: popular authors sometimes draw far-reaching conclusions from combining poorly understood papers from two or all of these fields. The truth is that these disciplines can't do much for each other. Ruins and shards dating from the time before script was invented don't talk; myths and legends can travel between unrelated languages; languages can be used by people of more than one ethnicity.
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Last edited by greysnow on Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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greysnow
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:52 am 
 

Khroshan wrote:
There is now pretty much conclusive evidence that the Indus Valley civilization was actually established by Aryans, and not invaded/destroyed by Aryans as previously theorized by racist British propagandists. The Rig Veda was composed during an earlier period of the Indus civilization.

Proof?
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