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Europic and Afrasian

If the speakers of Europic were Neolithic farmers who came to Europe from the Near East, we should expect a close relationship between Europic and Afrasian (aka Afro-Asiatic), as implictly suggested by Vennemann, who proposed an "Atlantidic" (aka "Semitidic") substrate to explain some Germanic words of non-IE origin.

There's also the fact most Afrasian languages have a 3-vowel system like the one proposed for Europic, as the result of a collapse like the one proposed by Orel and Stolbova (1995), in which vowels e, o developed into i, u or the corresponding glides j, w. Then I assume the GVC was like this and not the way described by Jörg.

I agree with Jörg in the development from Europic to PIE, except in that Europic *a didn't developed into IE Ablaut vowel *e ~ *o in OEH and Indo-Iranian. So there's actually no need for a second vowel collapse. Also the reason why i, u didn't appear before resonants (in that case, the resonant shifted to the syllable onset) is that they were actually semivowels, so there's also no need for the RCL. Talskubilos 05:48, 17 July 2012 (PDT)

There are also (rare) cases of alternation of type *e ~ *i and *o ~ *u. I would imagine the Pre-PIE system of a type:
High i ə ~ 0 u
Low e a o
With a height opposition and a schwa being allophone of the zero grade. Then they merge: [e] with [ə] to *e and [a] with [o] to *o. How much probable would that be? MilyAMD 13:03, 16 July 2012 (PDT)


I cannot say you are wrong, but I don't consider Afroasiatic a likely candidate for the next closest kin of Europic.


No. You'd get */i/ ~ */e/ and */u/ ~ */o/ "ablaut" alternations that aren't observed in PIE, at least not in the same function as the familiar */e/ ~ */o/ ablaut. These alternations are a myth spread by the late Joseph Greenberg, nothing else. He tried to connect IE ablaut to vowel harmony systems found in languages of eastern Siberia, but this is impossible, especially considering that IE ablaut is not a vowel harmony system of any kind (you'd expect all morphemes to be in the same grade if it was, which is not the case).

--WeepingElf 13:22, 16 July 2012 (PDT)


I think you've got some pre-conceived ideas about the subject. Perhaps if you knew more about Afrasian, you'd change your opinion. Talskubilos 15:16, 16 July 2012 (PDT)


That's your opinion. --WeepingElf 06:10, 17 July 2012 (PDT)

Which is based on actual data. You also might notice I changed somewhat my views since yesterday. Talskubilos 08:02, 17 July 2012 (PDT)

So is mine. The difference is that yours is based exclusively on lexicon, which admits the hazard of being misled by loanword layers, while mine is based on morphology, especially matches between entire morphological paradigms, where loaning is unlikely. But it is just opinion vs. opinion, I have to admit. --WeepingElf 08:45, 17 July 2012 (PDT)

Ah! but these "loanwords layers" must be studied anyway, something which very few comparative linguists have done.

Also the problem with morpohology is that it isn't very stable over long periods of time (i.e. millenia), so it's of little value in long-range comparisons. Talskubilos 12:41, 17 July 2012 (PDT)

Sure, morphology can change a lot over long periods of time - but so does lexicon. I wouldn't say that morphology was "of little value" in long-range comparisons, to the contrary: it often provides the best evidence. Many language families were first established by morphological comparison; Indo-European is an example. WeepingElf 13:04, 17 July 2012 (PDT)

Ah, but the example you quoted isn't precisely long range. We're talking about language families seprated by millenia. Talskubilos 13:54, 17 July 2012 (PDT)

I don't see why a greater time depth requires a different methodology, though of course things bceome more difficult the deeper one is trying to look. --WeepingElf 02:21, 19 July 2012 (PDT)

This is precisely why morphology is quite useless on time depths of 10,000 years or more. Also regarding the GVC, I almost forgot about NWC (Abkhaz-ADyghe), which has a 2 vowel system a, @ together with an exteremly rich consonant inventory. At an early stage, front vowels caused the preceding consonant to be palatalized (Ce/Ci > [email protected]) while back vowels labialized it (Co/Cu > [email protected]).

It's conceivable some similar processes took place in Kurganic (the language of Kurgan people), which after all was in contact with NWC (leaving loanwords such as the numeral '2'), leading to the formation of so-called "labiovelars" and "palato-velars", although the latter could also arise (by contrast to Europic) from palatal consonants. Also possibly the IE Ablaut vowel e ~ o evolved from @. Talskubilos 03:40, 19 July 2012 (PDT)

Two points, one in which I disagree with Talskubilos, one in which I basically agree.

On the alleged unsuitability of morphology to long-range comparison:

Morphology is not quite useless on time depths of 10,000 years. It was morphology by which Afroasiatic was established; the lexical evidence actually doesn't really look that good (there are two mutually incompatible reconstructions - one by Ehret and one by Orel and Stolbova - which cannot both be right and may both be wrong, and indeed have similar problems as the two major reconstructions of Nostratic, or, for that matter, the Etymological Dictionary of the Altaic Languages by Starostin, Dybo and Mudrak). Lexical resemblances can easily arise by chance, and allow people like Arnaud Fournet to "prove" that Basque and Hurrian are Indo-European languages! In both cases, it is the morphology which shows the wrongheadedness of these attempts by utterly refusing to match.

On the GVC and the NWC developments:

Yes, this kind of thing apparently happened in pre-Proto-Europic. A velar next to a front vowel became a front velar ("palatovelar"), a velar next to a rounded vowel became a labialized velar. This is indeed the most likely origin of the three velar series (which Uralic and other Mitian languages lack; all three IE velar series appear to correspond to Uralic velars), and preserves information on the pre-Proto-Europic vowels.

Here is an example: Proto-Mitian *kulV- 'to turn' (with apparent cognates in Uralic and Altaic) > *kolV- (RCL) > *kʷolV- (velar affection) > *kʷala- (GVC) > PIE *kʷel- (ablaut).

An areal or ad/sub/superstratal connection with the developments in NWC is not at all unlikely. These languages were neighbours.

--WeepingElf 09:45, 19 July 2012 (PDT)

Surely, I was exaggeraring a little, but in such time depths (40,000 years or so won't be unusual among Eurasian languages) the weight of lexical correspondences becomes more and more preponderant. Of course, I'm referring to genuine ones, not the ones "discovered" by crackpots (for that matter, Arnaud also "proved" that Yeniseian was an IE language, LOL).

The case of the IE family is interesting, because not only lexicon, but also morphology point to it being the result of the "blend" of several Eurasiatic languages (i.e. paleo-dialects in Villar's model), were "Kurganic" (i.e. the Steppe paleo-dialect) is chronologically the most recent layer.

It's also worth noticing that the "3 velar series" didn't appear simultaneously, because in IE languages we only find 2, either palatals/velars (satem) or velars/labiovelars (centum). I've also simplified a little bit the pre-NWC vowel collapse from Chirikba's description (Common West Caucasian. The Reconstruction of its Phonological System and Parts of its Lexicon and Morphology, 1996). Talskubilos 05:05, 20 July 2012 (PDT)

I don't think that Mitian/Eurasiatic is anywhere near 40,000 years deep. Rather, I'd estimate the time depth at 12,000 to 15,000 years. Also, I think that lexical resemblances fade faster than morphological ones (through loanwords, semantic shifts, replacements of various kinds), though it is of course true that there is a much larger amount of data in the lexicon than in the morphology to start with. I also don't see why Indo-European should be a "blend" of several Eurasiatic languages. Surely, PIE had dialects; but it can be considered a single language from which all IE languages descend, and that language must have been spoken in the Late Neolithic (about 4000 BC), probably somewhere north of the Black Sea. Of course, all IE languages have borrowed from non-IE languages, but that doesn't invalidate the standard model.

Oh dear, we have been through these issues over and over again, and I am tired of all this. I don't see any chance that any of us two will persuade the other to be right. So why don't we just agree to disagree and end this pointless debate? --WeepingElf 12:55, 20 July 2012 (PDT)

Well, I'll say that the traditional monolythic PIE model is no longer valid and that also std chronologies are too low as compared to the ones supplied by genetics and archaeology. Talskubilos 15:47, 20 July 2012 (PDT)

That's your opinion. I do not see how it is supported by linguistic evidence. The standard model accounts for the known facts very well, as one would expect from a framework that is the result of 200 years of scholarly endeavour. --WeepingElf 08:57, 21 July 2012 (PDT)

As you say, the traditional PIE model coined by 19th century neogrammarians has worked quite well for almost 2 centuries, but nowadays it has become outdated because our knowledge of other language families, as well as science in general (i.e. not only historical linguistics), has improved enormously. This is why I'd encourage you to read the relevant literature, especially the works of Rodríguez Adrados and Villar (in Spanish), as this will surely help you to dispel some of your pre-conceived ideas (i.e. dogmas). Talskubilos 03:01, 22 July 2012 (PDT)

We are getting nowhere with accusations of dogmatism and pre-conceived ideas. I have read both Rodríguez Adrados and Villar (not everything they have ever written, but one book each) and found that they are not at all supportive of your ideas. Basically, their ideas are not very different from mine: PIE was more or less as it is assumed in the standard model, but related languages were spoken in Neolithic Central Europe. I may have missed some points, though (my Spanish is rather poor). --WeepingElf 03:31, 22 July 2012 (PDT)

I've reached to the conclusion that the "PIE" reconstructed by IE-ists doesn't actually represent the last common ancestor of all IE languages, but it's rather a cross-section through the most recent (post-Neolithic) stages of the IE family, part of which (but by no means all) can be attributed to the language of the Steppe people, which I call Kurganic. As Villar points out in his last book (2011), there's an enormous chronological gap (in the order of 10k-20k years) between the protolanguage (i.e. the real PIE) and the emergence of the historically attested IE languages. This would also give plenty of room for the evolution from an originally agglutinative to a highly inflecting morphology, as proposed by Rodríguez Adrados (of whom Villar was a former disciple). The main difference in our respective methodologies is that Villar studied ancient European and SW Asiatic toponymy and hydronymy, while I study IE lexicon.

On the other hand, I think the reconstruction of Kurganic itself, which includes many lexical and morphological items traditionally assigned to PIE, would be an interesting task on its own (notice that simply relabelling "PIE" as "Kurganic" doesn't work, given the considerable amount of IE items not related to Kurganic). Talskubilos 05:10, 22 July 2012 (PDT)

WHAT? It may be that Villar wrote such stuff (I haven't read his latest book), but that doesn't mean that it is true. Lots of rubbish have been published. If the "real PIE" was 10,000 or even 20,000 years old, the well-reconstructible terms for agricultural concepts, metals and wheeled vehicles would have to have been borrowed from language to language long after the breakup of PIE, and show irregular sound correspondences. They don't! Many other words would do so as well, and they don't. There simply is no way IE proper could be more than about 6,000 years old.

You claim that handbook knowledge was utterly wrong. That is a very bold claim. The handbooks represent the effort of hundreds of professional scholars who have worked on this matter for about 200 years; of course, there is still much left to find out and future revisions of the reconstruction are to be expected. But you show not the slightest respect towards this massive body of scholarship and think you can prove all of it wrong! Quite hubristic for an amateur like you, not? That way, nobody will take you seriously. You are making an utter fool of yourself. (I am also an amateur, but unlike you, I am respectful towards the professionals.)

As for the geographical names of Europe, they indeed seem to indicate that a language related to Indo-European was spoken there before the Indo-European family spread there, but it is not easy to find out since when, and there is no reason to project PIE itself into the Mesolithic or even the Upper Paleolithic. Your (and, apparently, Villar's) suggestion makes many more problems than sense. --WeepingElf 08:41, 22 July 2012 (PDT)

Of course, the lexicon relative to 'horse' and 'wheel' (but NOT the agriculture lexicon) comes from the language spoken in the Pontic Steppes, which I call Kurganic and would be the "latest common ancestor of some (but not all) IE languages", namely the Indo-Greek group (roughly equal to Adrados's IE III A). In other IE languages the Kurganic elements would be a superstrate over the previous layers, including the language(s) spoken by Neolithic farmers of the Danubian area, which also contributed to the usual "PIE" reconstruction, which would be a mix of elements of various origins found in the IE family.

Also Villar's "paleo-IE" (i.e. the real PIE) would be the proto-language of a phylum which besides IE would also include Altaic and possibly also other language families (although IMHO no language is 100% monophyletic). And as for OEH (or whatever else you call it), it doesn't represent a single but *several* different languages or paleo-dialects. This has been convincingly proved in Villar's last book: Lenguas, genes y culturas en la prehistoria de Europa y Asia suroccidental. Talskubilos 00:47, 23 July 2012 (PDT)

Instead of addressing my objection, you just repeat your assertions. That way, nothing is won. I think it boils down to the fact (as can be seen from the stuff you write on your blog) that you still haven't grasped the notion of regular sound changes. It is the way sound changes work by which one can tell inherited words from loanwords from related languages. Let's say that language A has borrowed from sister language B at time T. What you get are words that follow the sound changes of language B until T, and from then on those of language A. (The earlier sound changes of A do not affect the loanwords because they had already run their course.) The result is words that look different from what they would look like if they were inherited from Proto-AB. If the 'horse' and 'wheel' words were borrowed from one IE language into others thousands of years after they split, they would show such apparent irregularities in their sound changes. But the words found in the Indo-European languages do not show such irregularities.

As for the Old European Hydronymy, there certainly was a family of languages involved rather than a single language. The area simply is too large for a single language.

PS: I have seen what you had written on this page before you edited it away again. That wasn't nice, to put it mildly. --WeepingElf 07:22, 23 July 2012 (PDT)

I've deleted the following paragraph: You're also speaking as if I had commited a crime but I don't. At the same time you're insulting me and other scholars such as Rodríguez Adrados and Villar. You should at least read them before criticizing. Also the difference between "amateur" and "professional" isn't as important as one's skills as regarding work quality.

On the other hand, I know perfectly well what regular sound changes means, and this precisely where the traditional model fails. For example, the word 'horse' has irregular correspondences in some IE languages, namely Greek. There're also many other IE words with irregular sound correspondences (you can take for example De Vaan's etymological dictionary of Latin), as well as etymological doublets, etc. What this evidence tell us is that the sources of the IE lexicon are *multiple*, not just one. The IE family can't be the outcome of a single linguistic event but rather of several ones over the span of several millenia. Talskubilos 13:54, 23 July 2012 (PDT)

Also some phonemes commonly reconstructed for PIE, such as "voiced aspirated" and "palato-velar" stops can be challenged in the light of macro-comparative evidence. Talskubilos 14:56, 23 July 2012 (PDT)

I know that the Greek words for 'horse' and 'wheel' show vexing irregularities - but didn't you say that Greek was a lineal descendant of "Kurganic"? I.e., from your standpoint, these irregularities crop up in the wrong language.

What regards the "questionable" phonemes, there is indeed an ongoing discussion among Indo-Europeanists regarding their actual phonetic nature. But that doesn't mean that you have to throw out the child with the bathwater and discard the entire standard model - all that is necessary here probably is a reconsideration of the exact phonetic values of the relevant phonemes.

And I am not treating you like a criminal - I am treating you like what you are: an amateur scholar who fails to show the appropriate respect towards academic scholarship and works with questionable hypotheses. What regards Rodríguez Adrados and Villar, all I said was that according to my understanding of their works, they don't support your ideas, and that the existence of another author who supports an idea does not mean that that particular idea is right.

Frankly, I don't know why I waste so much time and effort on you. We are running in circles all the time, and I don't expect us to come to terms anytime soon. --WeepingElf 04:59, 24 July 2012 (PDT)

As I said before, you *must* read somebody's work before critizing it. In particular, I'd recommend you Villar's last book (it's worth a little less than 50€). It has nothing to do with the old book you already know.

And as for the supposed "wasting" of time, it's actually *me* who's doing my best to explain my ideas, because you're merely following *dogma* (that is, what you call the "standard model"). BTW, I didn't "discard" it as you accused me, but rather I've reformulated it in a more appropriate context. For example, mainstream IE-ists are heavily *isolacionists*, i.e. they only use internal IE data, while I use data from other language families, like macro-comparativists do. I also study substrates, which are ignored by most historical linguists.

But you're right we're running in circles, because the more you stick to dogma, the harder it's to me to prove the contrary. Talskubilos 08:40, 24 July 2012 (PDT)

As I haven't read Villar's latest book, I shall refrain from saying anything about it until I have had the chance to read it. What regards the usage of data from other families in the reconstruction of PIE, one has to be very cautious because it is not known yet which languages are related to IE (and at which level) and which are not. Substrata are also worth studying (and I do that), on this point we certainly agree. But I don't "stick to dogma". I just build on previous scholars' work, as a proper scholar ought to do, while you try starting from scratch. The biggest difference between us two, it seems to me, is that you claim to know what happened, while I am aware that I don't know what happened and try to find out as much as I can. I don't seriously expect to achieve any major breakthrough, though, the "bloody" amateur I am. --WeepingElf 13:43, 24 July 2012 (PDT)

Although we don't know a priori which other *existing* families are related to IE (although some scholars have already made a choice), we can study the various lexical layers embedded in IE and draw conclusions from it. This is why, for example, I see Kurganic as a superstrate in most IE languages (except possibly Anatolian) up to the point most IE-ists consider it to be the true "PIE". In fact, I'm willing to accept Kurganic as the best available approach to the ideal "PIE" 19th century's neogrammarians dreamed of, provided it's properly reconstructed (which includes the identification of Kurganic and non-Kurganic elements in IE).

I must admit that my own idea of an IE family made up from several languages which superimposed through multiple contact and replacement processes is a bit revolucionary, although by no means a "starting from scratch" as you suggest. For example, the multi-layer concept was first coined by Vladimir Georgiev for describing Lycian, an Anatolian language. Talskubilos 14:39, 24 July 2012 (PDT)

Surely, the standard model of PIE is a model which cannot capture every detail; the actual developments certainly were more complex. The standard model gives a very good account of the developments in Indo-Iranian and Greek, and a reasonably good account of the developments in the other non-Anatolian IE languages; but it does not cope with Anatolian well. Hence, one must at least posit a Late PIE as the common ancestor of the non-Anatolian languages which was similar to the standard model, and an Early PIE as the common ancestor of Late PIE and Anatolian, which was substantially different in its structure.

Languages related to PIE would certainly give insights on the history of IE itself, the same way other IE languages give insights on the history of, e.g., Germanic; but so far, we simply don't know which languages are related to IE. --WeepingElf 03:59, 25 July 2012 (PDT)

This approach would be better than a flat PIE, but IMHO this is still a simplification of the actual picture. And although you state "we don't know which languages are related to IE", some specialists such as Kortland and yourself have already made a choice. Of course, my own ideas are different. Talskubilos 14:39, 25 July 2012 (PDT)

The "Early and Late PIE" model is still simpler than what actually happened, sure; but most of the details this model misses are probably not reconstructible at all. Models are, well, models; they are always simpler than the real thing.

And while I am of the opinion that Uralic is the most likely candidate for the closest living kin of Indo-European, the matter is still uncertain, and I admit that the possibility exists that some other language family is actually closer, even though it does not look like that. What regards Kortlandt, I don't know how sure he is of the Indo-Uralic relationship. --WeepingElf 15:56, 25 July 2012 (PDT)

But Adrados' model is more refined than yours, thus contaning details which for you "are probably not reconstructible at all".

Also, at a purely lexical level, there're likelier candidates than Uralic to be relatives of IE, namely Altaic, Afrasian and Kartvelian, which together with IE would make up the Eurasiatic phylum. However, the question of actual *genetic* relationships is a thorny one, because there're hints that the IE family is (as in fact, most languages) the result of hybridization process(es), namely between the language(s) spoken by people from the Pontic Steppes (Kurganic) and the one(s) spoken in Neolithic Central Europe. But if we consider Kurganic as a *superstrate* over the other(s) layer(s), then the native core lexicon would belong to other varieties, to which would have contributed both the Neolithic farmers from the Near East as well as the indigenous hunter-gatherers. Talskubilos 07:43, 26 July 2012 (PDT)

I won't comment on Adrados because I have read only one book of him (in German translation; it was the Geschichte der europäischen Sprachen or something like that); he certainly has written more stuff I don't know and thus cannot comment on. Certainly, a more refined model than mine is possible.

Certainly, the IE languages of Central and Western Europe contain much stuff from the languages of Neolithic Central Europe; I never denied that. Sometimes it is difficult to decide whether a word was inherited from PIE (what you call "Kurganic") or borrowed from another branch of IE or a "para-IE" language. But I still think that most of those languages' core vocabularies are inherited from Late PIE, as most Indo-Europeanists would say. I still consider your "revolutionary" view of IE unwarranted.

I don't know what to think about the lexical similarities you perceive between IE on one hand and Altaic, Afrasian and Kartvelian on the other. The Altaic languages are IMHO quite likely to be related to Indo-Uralic. I also cannot say that IE could not be related to Kartvelian or Afrasian. This requires further studies. But as I have already said, and I hate to repeat myself, I think that morphology is more stable than lexicon, and more appropriate to long-range comparison, and here Uralic looks most similar to Indo-European of all language families that I am aware of.

But we are more and more digressing from the Europic hypothesis itself. The idea that the Linearbandkeramik people spoke a sister language of PIE does not rest on any assumptions regarding the external relationship of Indo-European to Uralic, Afrasian, or whatever. Europic could be related to anything. And I have to admit that I have no proof that:

1. The "Old European hydronymy" was bestowed on the watercourses by the Linearbandkeramik people. The names could be even older - or younger. (Krahe, who discovered this layer of names, assumed them to be Indo-European.)

2. The "Old European hydronymy" is from a language family related to Indo-European. The original meanings of those names are unknown, so we cannot really construct correspondence sets. (Vennemann, as you know, assumes those names to come from languages related to Basque.)

3. The Linearbandkeramik people spoke a language related to Indo-European. We don't know where exactly they came from, and even if their homeland was close to that of PIE, the languages may have been unrelated.

So the whole "Europic" thing may just be a lot of moonshine. It is just a working hypothesis which I consider plausible until it is falsified (and which I use to build my Hesperic conlangs). --WeepingElf 08:52, 26 July 2012 (PDT)

The book you mentioned is Adrados' last one, directed to the mass public and thus not representative of his earlier research work, of which I gave you some outlines. I also think you've missed a lot of relevant literature, including Nostratic research. And although many books are expensive and hard to find outside University libraries, there're some interesting articles online at as well as at BTW, I've got my own version of The Tower of Babel myth, of which the "Nostratic fable" would be a distorted view.

As regarding Kurganic (or colloqually speaking, "PIE"), there's no warranty it actually belongs to the same phylum than paleo-IE (i.e. the languages spoken in Neolithic Central Europe), so I won't exclude the possibility of a link between the former (but NOT the latter) and Uralic. However, among the Kurganic lexicon I've identified so far there're Vasco-Caucasian loanwords (some of which actually Wanderwörter) such as 'horse', 'wheel' and '5' which are the result of areal contact in the Pontic Steppes.

By contrast, the paleo-IE varieties of Neolithic Central Europe would include agricultural words such as 'plough' and 'barley' with affinities to Afrasian (especially Semitic), brought by farmers from the Near East à la Renfrew. In fact, the merger of palatals and dentals you proposed for Europic (and partly done in Semitic) would be representative of these Neolithic varieties.

There're still older paleo-IE layers from the languages spoken by Mesolithic hunter-gatherers, reflected in the ancient toponymy and hydronymy (colloqually speaking, "OEH") investigated by Villar, as well as in lexicon (e.g. the Germanic word for 'bear'). This is where I place the link to Altaic. Talskubilos 03:28, 27 July 2012 (PDT)

Of the two sites you gave, I know the first and have read many (though by far not all) of the papers found there. The second one wasn't yet familiar to me, but it looks interesting (though many of the papers are in Russian, which I don't know). Thank you!

You won't exclude a link between "Kurganic" and Uralic - fine. There is quite some morphological and lexical evidence for that (I found about 100 possible Indo-Uralic cognate pairs in Bomhard's Reconstructing Proto-Nostratic). What regards the OEH, we don't know the original meanings of those names, and thus cannot say much about the languages from which they originate. But I don't see how the "Europic" idea was incompatible with the "Indo-Uralic" one.

The languages you call "Paleo-IE" should not be called "Paleo-IE" as long as it is not certain that they are related to (what most linguists call) Indo-European (and if they are unrelated, such a name is out of the question because it seems to indicate that the languages are related to IE). I have proposed the name Aquan for this unknown entity. Unlike you, I conjecture (but of course do not know) that the OEH dates to the Neolithic. Why? Because it seems to indicate that a single quite homogenic language family was spoken in the relevant area, and it seems unlikely that such huge language families existed in Mesolithic Europe, which must have been a linguistic "crazy quilt" like pre-colonial North America. The landtaking of the Linearbandkeramik culture, in contrast, probably involved the spread of a single language family over a considerable area.

And certainly, if "Aquan" or whatever was spread by Neolithic farmers, there are even older layers - the languages of the Paleolithic and Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. --WeepingElf 11:48, 27 July 2012 (PDT)

I think "Paleo-IE" is a *appropriate* name, because these languages are actually part of IE, albeit at a substrate level. Also You're also treating "OEH" as if it were a single language when actual evidence points to the contrary (this is why I think you *should* read Villar's last book:,+genes+y+culturas+en+la+prehistoria+de+Europa+y+Asia+suroccidental), so there were Mesolithic as well as Neolithic hydronyms. Of course, all these layers have different *sound correspondences*. Talskubilos 03:23, 28 July 2012 (PDT)

Thank you for the book reference; it seems to be interesting. I'll see where I can find it. But I don't treat the OEH as if it was a single language. Rather as a language family. And there are certainly names around that are from various different layers. I haven't done much on it lately, but I am going to analyse Krahe's list of names to find out whether some bases and suffixes have geographically skewed distributions. I already managed to weed out several names that contain elements occuring only once or twice on the list, and are therefore probably from older layers. --WeepingElf 07:06, 28 July 2012 (PDT)

A good example of a paleo-IE hydronymy root quoted by Villar is *akW-ā, *ap-ā/*ab-ā, *up-ā/*ub-ā 'water, river', with different treaments of the original labialized velar (or "labiovelar"). As the reduction of labiovelars to labials (e.g. kW > p) is also found in Altaic and paleo-Germanic (i.e. the 'bear' word), I conclude these hydronyms must be Mesolithic.

I've also got the impression most of the IE stuff found in Nostratic comparisons (either Bomhard's or Dolgopolsky's) isn't from Kurganic but from paleo-IE. Thus would imply Kurganic is from an entirely different phylum and only contributed rather modestly to the IE lexicon, in despite of being regarded as the true "PIE" by most IE-ists. Talskubilos 02:34, 29 July 2012 (PDT)

As for your hydronymy example, these items could indeed be from several related but different languages. It would be nice to know their geographical distribution. But I don't see how the occurence of a sound change in several other language families (you mention Altaic and "Paleo-Germanic", whatever that may be; it also happened in parts of Italic and Celtic) shows that the hydronyms must be Mesolithic. That is an utter non sequitur.

What regards your model of Indo-European and its relationship to Nostratic, I feel about as much desire discussing it as Richard Dawkins feels about discussing young-earth creationism. That is, I consider it completely and utterly unwarranted. Not because I maintain "pre-conceived ideas" or am "dogmatic" as you claim, but because I have some understanding of the relevant matters which tells you that it makes more problems than sense. It is a very strong claim to call the entire academic mainstream biased, dogmatic and wrong-headed. Sure, linguists are just human beings with habits and passions, but bad ideas usually are weeded out soon because a sufficient number of scholars is not biased, and how likely is it that an amateur like you finds out that thousands of scholars, each of them more knowledgeable than the amateur in question, have all been wrong for two hundred years? The burden of proof lies on you, and it is great, and I seriously doubt that you are equipped to carry it. --WeepingElf 07:20, 29 July 2012 (PDT)

According to Villar, the root *akW-ā spread from the Italian peninsula (where it was borrowed into Latin aqua 'water') to Gaul, Germany and the Baltic. By contrast, he places the homeland of *ap-ā in the Balkans (or alternatively in Anatolia), from where it spread to other areas. And *ab-ā would be a Western variant of the former, found in Gaul. About *up-ā, he places it in Mesolithic Anatolia, from where it spread to the Baltic. And ub-ā would be a SW variant of the former, specially abundant in Iberian and Italy. In addition of these, there're also other hydronyms (don't forget Villar also studied toponyms), although less important.

Following his line, I also consider Altaic and the Mesolithic paleo-IE layer found in Germanic to be part of the same Eurasiatic phylum than these paleo-IE hydronyms.

Also your attitude reminds me of how Copernicus' and Galileo's theories were treated by the stablishment of their time. In fact, such ad hominem arguments actually reinforces my own position. And once again, you misquoted me: I never said all these scholars were "wrong" but rather they're working in an *isolacionist* framework, thus ignoring all linguistic data outside the IE family (as well as poorly attested or substrate IE languages), so their conclusions are bound to be *biased*. Don't forget also some of the most relevant advances in historical linguistics have been done by *amateurs* like you and myself. Talskubilos 09:42, 29 July 2012 (PDT)

No, it is you who takes refuge to ad hominem attacks, in comparing me with the Holy Inquisition. I have had enough of this and shall close this discussion. --WeepingElf 09:43, 29 July 2012 (PDT)