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Thread: Etruscan and Germanic

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    Etruscan and Germanic



    Well, let's be clear right from the begining, I won't propose nor defend any theory about the origins of the Etruscans and the Germans based on daring speculations about their haplogroups. I just happened to be reading Bonfante's "The Etruscan Language" earlier today, and noticed a few interesting features which both languages have in common:

    - they have the very rare [f] phoneme.
    - they have plural in -er/-ar/-ur
    - they have a genitive singular in -s.

    Well, it might be - and probably is - pure coincidence. I havn't read all the book, maybe I'll find something else in the vocabulary section, maybe not.

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    is there any link?

    I find it interesting,
    although I disagree, I would like to read it.

    i heard about the Helveti/Eluveitie possibility, but Germanic first time
    ΟΘΕΝ ΑΙΔΩΣ OY EINAI
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    ΝΕΜΕΣΙΣ ΚΑΙ ΤΙΣΗ ΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΟΥΣΙ ΔΕ

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    Divine blindness conquers them
    Hybris (abuse, opprombium) is born
    Nemesis and punishment follows.

    Εχε υπομονη Ηρωα
    Η τιμωρια δεν αργει.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Can you take two unrelated languages, one from America and one from Africa and see what similarities you can find. Just to make sure you really found something in common, in German and Etruscan, to bother with it.

    One explanation could be that original European language substratum is showing up in both.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kentel View Post
    Well, let's be clear right from the begining, I won't propose nor defend any theory about the origins of the Etruscans and the Germans based on daring speculations about their haplogroups. I just happened to be reading Bonfante's "The Etruscan Language" earlier today, and noticed a few interesting features which both languages have in common:

    - they have the very rare [f] phoneme.
    - they have plural in -er/-ar/-ur
    - they have a genitive singular in -s.

    Well, it might be - and probably is - pure coincidence. I havn't read all the book, maybe I'll find something else in the vocabulary section, maybe not.
    Well, I've looked at the issue and I see more of a connection between Etruscan and Klingon. But perhaps we sometimes see what we want to see. Linguistics can be very tricky, even for professional linguists, and I'm just an interested amateur.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    Well, I've looked at the issue and I see more of a connection between Etruscan and Klingon. But perhaps we sometimes see what we want to see. Linguistics can be very tricky, even for professional linguists, and I'm just an interested amateur.
    OK, I take it: which are the connections between Etruscan and Klingon ? :)

    Well, to be honnest, my remark was completely amateurish, I was just reading the book and found these similarities rather curious - I have heard many theories about Etruscan connections with many languages and people, none of which looked really serious. As a matter of fact, I had the same reflex as Le Brok : could it be the consequence of a substratic influence on both languages ?

    In order to find out, there are many details to check, which require a thorough comparison of Etruscan and proto-Germanic as far as the [f] and the flexion are concerned. And you're definitely right, linguistics can be very tricky, hence my first assumption is that we are dealing with pure coincidences. Nevertheless, I will give it a try, who knows ? :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yetos View Post
    is there any link?

    I find it interesting,
    although I disagree, I would like to read it.

    i heard about the Helveti/Eluveitie possibility, but Germanic first time
    My source is "The Etruscan Language : An Introduction" by G & L. Bonfante. The book is very factual and doesn't try to connect Etruscan with anything - or yes, it compares very thoroughly Latin and Etruscan, which is very interesting. It tends however to connect the Etruscans with the Villanovian culture, implying that their language is substratic and pre-IE, albeit not being definitive about that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kentel View Post
    Well, let's be clear right from the begining, I won't propose nor defend any theory about the origins of the Etruscans and the Germans based on daring speculations about their haplogroups. I just happened to be reading Bonfante's "The Etruscan Language" earlier today, and noticed a few interesting features which both languages have in common:

    - they have the very rare [f] phoneme.
    - they have plural in -er/-ar/-ur
    - they have a genitive singular in -s.

    Well, it might be - and probably is - pure coincidence. I havn't read all the book, maybe I'll find something else in the vocabulary section, maybe not.
    Modern Standard German (as well as most central and southern dialects, including Swiss German) has indeed the cross-linguistically extremely rare affricate /pf/. It corresponds to /p/ in other Germanic languages, including English. As an example, compare German "Apfel" with English "apple". However, word-internally, in most positions (the word "Apfel" is a bit of the exception from the rule here ), the /pf/ was historically de-affricated to /f/. An example of that would be German "Waffe" versus English "weapon", or German "schlafen" versus English "sleep", and not *Wapfe and *schlapfen.

    In German, this occured in concurrence with the Upper German consonant shift, by which Proto-Germanic *t became the affricate /ts/, and Proto-Germanic *k became the affricate /kx/. While the former also occured in Standard German (eg. German "zwei" or /tsvaɪ/ versus English "two"), the latter however did NOT occur in Standard German, it only occured in some Upper German dialects (like Swiss German).

    As for Etruscan, would suggest that the Etruscan Phi <φ> represented the same affricate /pf/? I thought the consensus opinion was that it represented an aspirated /pʰ/, just like in Archaic Greek (in that scenario, Theta and Chi in Etruscan were pronounced as /tʰ/ and /kʰ/, respectively). If Phi was pronounced as /pf/ the question would arise what Theta and Chi were pronounced as, so, in my opinion, this may not even be a coincidence, but two entirely different sounds altogether!

    Another problem - for Etruscan to have any influence (subrate-wise) - is the timing and the geography: the Upper German consonant shift started occured at the conclusion of the migration period (only the continental, West Germanic languages participated in it, and only the southern dialects of German execute it fully). By that time Etruscan was long-since extinct. Additionally, the area of German where /pf/ is used does largely not match up with the area where Etruscan was spoken in Antiquity (Gaulish, mostly, if people didn't speak Proto-Germanic?). The only area of overlap is South Tyrol, if Raetian (the Etruscan-ish language that was spoken there in the Antiquity) is included.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Thank you for your answer, Taranis, I'll try to answer to your objections regarding an hypothetic etruscan/germanic connection.

    - [f]: the sound is generally germanic and not IE (Grimm's Law), I wasn't talking about the affrication process in Old High German (an interesting matter, by the way), here we are talking about the mere [f] phoneme.

    - The greek Phi is indeed an aspirated p. According to Bonfante, this sound is not native to etruscan, it is a borrowing (from greek obviously). Etruscan does have a simple [f] sound, not symbolized by the φ but by a kind of square 8. Incidentally, this square 8 cut in two produced the Latin "F". Still according to Bonfante, the [f] sound in Latin is caused by a substratic influence, either from Etruscan, or from a third substratic source.

    - Hence, we are now talking about Proto-Germanic and Etruscan, not about Old High German and Etruscan, thus the time span fits.

    My guess is that, wherever the germanic F comes from, it is certainly substratic. Etruscan is a substratum language, although not from the same geographic area (Proto-Germanic is located in Denmark). Hence, as Le Brok proposed, either we are dealing with a substratum common to both (but from where ?) or this is a coincidence. I just find that 3 common features of this amplitude is a little bit too much for a coincidence, but, yes, linguistics can be tricky...

    Your remark about Raethicwas interesting, à propos, but what do we know about this language ?

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    Since you probably don't have Bonfante's book at hand, here is how the flexion looks like

    The word is clan "son" (see also Irish...)

    SINGULAR

    Nom/Acc: clan
    Gen: clen-s
    Dat: clen-si
    Acc Def.: ?
    Loc: *clen-thi

    PLURAL
    Nom/Acc: clen-ar
    Gen: *clen-ar-s (clenars)
    Dat: clen-ar-aśi (clenaraśi)
    Def.Acc.: ?
    Loc: *clen-thi

    I just remembered something, in Latin too you can have a -s for the genitive, in the 4th declension : manus/manūs. I don't remember the PIE explanation for this one, but it looks pretty much like another Etruscan influence.

    And if you analyze it as an agglutinative construction, not as a PIE ending, you have an -r ending in domin-or-um (Gen.Pl.) or rosa-r-um too... Well, maybe I speculate too much.

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    Taranis is back?

    YEAHHHHHHHHH

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kentel View Post
    My source is "The Etruscan Language : An Introduction" by G & L. Bonfante. The book is very factual and doesn't try to connect Etruscan with anything - or yes, it compares very thoroughly Latin and Etruscan, which is very interesting. It tends however to connect the Etruscans with the Villanovian culture, implying that their language is substratic and pre-IE, albeit not being definitive about that.

    I know about villanovan culture, and I believe the same,
    Vilanovan at least for me is a Non IE although IE already passed in Italic peninsula,
    lately I am comparing toponyms of areas around val-camunico Trento South Tyrol etc North Italy
    what still holds me back is the Falisκi (I think North of Tiberis river) are considered to spoke Italian IE language, and the known Venetic share Germanic similarities.
    'Την των Φαλισκων πολιν πολιορκουντες οι Ρωμαιοι' Plutarch.
    and at least Faliscan can not be overpassed,

    besides it is hard to find val-camunico ancient genetical data.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kentel View Post
    Thank you for your answer, Taranis, I'll try to answer to your objections regarding an hypothetic etruscan/germanic connection.

    - [f]: the sound is generally germanic and not IE (Grimm's Law), I wasn't talking about the affrication process in Old High German (an interesting matter, by the way), here we are talking about the mere [f] phoneme.

    - The greek Phi is indeed an aspirated p. According to Bonfante, this sound is not native to etruscan, it is a borrowing (from greek obviously). Etruscan does have a simple [f] sound, not symbolized by the φ but by a kind of square 8. Incidentally, this square 8 cut in two produced the Latin "F". Still according to Bonfante, the [f] sound in Latin is caused by a substratic influence, either from Etruscan, or from a third substratic source.

    - Hence, we are now talking about Proto-Germanic and Etruscan, not about Old High German and Etruscan, thus the time span fits.

    My guess is that, wherever the germanic F comes from, it is certainly substratic. Etruscan is a substratum language, although not from the same geographic area (Proto-Germanic is located in Denmark). Hence, as Le Brok proposed, either we are dealing with a substratum common to both (but from where ?) or this is a coincidence. I just find that 3 common features of this amplitude is a little bit too much for a coincidence, but, yes, linguistics can be tricky...
    I do not necessarily think so, because the sound change /p/ > /f/ is cross-linguistically extremely common:

    - it occurs independently in the Celtic languages, in Goidelic (where word-initial *w- yields *f-), and in Brythonic (where *s yields *f in certain environments), yet Proto-Celtic (as well as Gaulish and Celtiberian) lacked the phoneme.
    - in Proto-Italic, *f was yielded from earlier Proto-Indo-European *bʰ- and *dʰ- (always word-initially, word-internally the situation is more complex).
    - Greek developed an /f/ sound from the earlier /pʰ/, and this sound change occured probably during the Hellenistic period.
    - Its also found in the Semitic languages several times independently, including the Ethiosemitic languages, as well as in Arabic. Modern Hebrew also has developed this, at certain positions in the word.

    So, I would not ascribe this to substratic influence.

    With regard for the sound represented by the 8-shaped letter, I don't necessarily think that it was an /f/, it could also have been - in my opinion - a voiced /v/ or even a bilabial /β/. You have to consider that both Phoenician and Latin sources transcribe it as "b", for example the name "Tiberius". In the bi-lingual (Etruscan and Phoenician) Pyrgi inscription it is spelled "ΘE8ARIEI ϜELIANAS", while in the Phoenician the name is spelled as "TBRJ WLNŠ" By the way, Latin "f" is derived from the Etruscan - and in turn, archaic Greek - letter Digamma (Ϝϝ), not the Etruscan "8" (in turn, its somewhat plausible that the 8-shaped letter is derived from "B").

    Your remark about Raethicwas interesting, à propos, but what do we know about this language ?
    Relatively little except from short inscriptions that were found in the area of South Tyrol, and which show that this was a language similar to Etruscan, very much unlike the other parts of the Alps.

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    my defense :

    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    I do not necessarily think so, because the sound change /p/ > /f/ is cross-linguistically extremely common:

    - it occurs independently in the Celtic languages, in Goidelic (where word-initial *w- yields *f-), and in Brythonic (where *s yields *f in certain environments), yet Proto-Celtic (as well as Gaulish and Celtiberian) lacked the phoneme.
    Exactly, hence, at the time when Etruscan was spoken, there was no [f] in Gaulish.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    - in Proto-Italic, *f was yielded from earlier Proto-Indo-European *bʰ- and *dʰ- (always word-initially, word-internally the situation is more complex).
    ... under the influence of Etruscan, according to Bonfante (and may be others, I'll check). And it is attested already around 600 BCE on the Prenestine Fibula (as far as it is authentic, at least).

    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    - Greek developed an /f/ sound from the earlier /pʰ/, and this sound change occured probably during the Hellenistic period.


    It occured apparently at the end of the koine period, eg during the christian era; maybe Yetos can tell us more about this.


    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    - the Semitic languages several times independently, including the Ethiosemitic languages, as well as in Arabic. Modern Hebrew also has developed this, at certain positions in the word.


    Yes, but you don't have it Akkadian (Babylonian), hence not in proto-semitic either.

    Therefore : 1- at the time when Etruscan was spoken, there was no [f] anywhere but in Latin and in Proto-Germanic, and 2- F is native to Etruscan and not to PIE, as far as we know (see next posting)...

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    With regard for the sound represented by the 8-shaped letter, I don't necessarily think that it was an /f/, it could also have been - in my opinion - a voiced /v/ or even a bilabial /β/. You have to consider that both Phoenician and Latin sources transcribe it as "b", for example the name "Tiberius". In the bi-lingual (Etruscan and Phoenician) Pyrgi inscription it is spelled "ΘE8ARIEI ϜELIANAS", while in the Phoenician the name is spelled as "TBRJ WLNŠ" By the way, Latin "f" is derived from the Etruscan - and in turn, archaic Greek - letter Digamma (Ϝϝ), not the Etruscan "8" (in turn, its somewhat plausible that the 8-shaped letter is derived from "B").
    That's quite impossible since Etruscan had no voiced stops nor fricatives at all, so the [v] hypothesis is excluded (it had not even the [z] sound). This absence of voiced consonants (except for the standard series l, m, n, r) tends to indicate that the unvoiced ones are native.

    The structuralist point of view about the emergence of [f] is that language sounds change through slow internal processes (de-aspiration + spirantisation in Latin f.ex., and even that way you don't get an [f] from a dh or a bh).

    IMO sounds do not show up out of the blue. If Latin transposed *dh and *bh to f, it was because the natives of Italia did not have corresponding sounds, and used the ones they had at their disposal, hence the f. Since we can reasonably consider that Etruscan were among these indigeneous populations, then we have it right under our eyes : it does have an [f] and no dh nor bh. Moreover, from the articulatory point of view, an evolution from dh/bh to f is unlikely and unlogical - I would accept, à la rigueur, an evolution from ph to f, and I'm not quite sure about this.

    You have it the other way round in Iberic, which adapted the Latin [f] as an [h] - since there was no [f] in Iberic either.

    If you listen to a French or a German guy speaking English, you can see such adaptation processes: many of the English sounds are not present in German nor in French, and are replaced by others - in a rather funny was, as a matter of fact.

    This is a natural process, and it is certainly the one which occurred for all the dramatic sound changes which we can spot. Therefore, the emergence of Latin f under substratic influence is the most realistic solution, and I'm quite sure that it occured the same way in Germanic.

    There are several attested sound adaptations of that kind:among others, most linguists agree that the retroflex consonants of the Indian languages are the result of Dravidian substratic impact. That's just logical: why should people begin to use such very specific sounds as retroflex consonants, if they were not already acustomed to them ? Well, you still have some linguists claiming that it happened that way, without external causes, just under the effect of internal mecanics.

    Sound changes are not gratuitous, linguistics are not just mecanics, the human factor is a reality. There were people living in Europe before the arrival of the IE, and they had their linguistic habitudes.

    Now, the Greek case which you point is interesting, and I'd very much like to hear Yetos' point of view about the evolution of the phi/
    Last edited by Kentel; 09-10-14 at 23:40.

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    Ph and F

    one has a frigative h

    hmm ikkos and ippos ? (equus hephew)

    myceneans said ikkos
    we see frigative
    archaic 700 BC greek is ippos

    after archaic we abandon of F Q and sanpi in Greek, although they might be pronounced in some Areas

    same time is the turn of Di- as God divine to Th- Theos, although it was kept for Zeus,
    among Mycenean and Greek is sea people times,

    conserning the k kh and chi

    we see ουκ ουχι οχι,
    because Greek ι has a small frigative γ?
    or because proto k in Ουκ had a small h ουκ(h)?
    in such case we speak about koine and much later

    the genitive with -s exists in some types/forms (κλιση) in possesive case in Greek as in many IE
    Last edited by Yetos; 10-10-14 at 05:52.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kentel View Post
    That's quite impossible since Etruscan had no voiced stops nor fricatives at all, so the [v] hypothesis is excluded (it had not even the [z] sound). This absence of voiced consonants (except for the standard series l, m, n, r) tends to indicate that the unvoiced ones are native.

    The structuralist point of view about the emergence of [f] is that language sounds change through slow internal processes (de-aspiration + spirantisation in Latin f.ex., and even that way you don't get an [f] from a dh or a bh).

    IMO sounds do not show up out of the blue. If Latin transposed *dh and *bh to f, it was because the natives of Italia did not have corresponding sounds, and used the ones they had at their disposal, hence the f. Since we can reasonably consider that Etruscan were among these indigeneous populations, then we have it right under our eyes : it does have an [f] and no dh nor bh. Moreover, from the articulatory point of view, an evolution from dh/bh to f is unlikely and unlogical - I would accept, à la rigueur, an evolution from ph to f, and I'm not quite sure about this.

    You have it the other way round in Iberic, which adapted the Latin [f] as an [h] - since there was no [f] in Iberic either.

    If you listen to a French or a German guy speaking English, you can see such adaptation processes: many of the English sounds are not present in German nor in French, and are replaced by others - in a rather funny was, as a matter of fact.

    This is a natural process, and it is certainly the one which occurred for all the dramatic sound changes which we can spot. Therefore, the emergence of Latin f under substratic influence is the most realistic solution, and I'm quite sure that it occured the same way in Germanic.

    There are several attested sound adaptations of that kind:among others, most linguists agree that the retroflex consonants of the Indian languages are the result of Dravidian substratic impact. That's just logical: why should people begin to use such very specific sounds as retroflex consonants, if they were not already acustomed to them ? Well, you still have some linguists claiming that it happened that way, without external causes, just under the effect of internal mecanics.

    Sound changes are not gratuitous, linguistics are not just mecanics, the human factor is a reality. There were people living in Europe before the arrival of the IE, and they had their linguistic habitudes.

    Now, the Greek case which you point is interesting, and I'd very much like to hear Yetos' point of view about the evolution of the phi/
    I'm really not convinced (at all?) that sound changes are driven entirely (or even overwhelmingly, rather the opposite) by substratic impact, and that its very well possible for sound changes to happen without external influence. A good (hilarious, even) example would be the voiceless lateral fricative /ɬ/ in the Welsh language, which is absent from other Brythonic (indeed, all other Celtic) languages, and which probably did not evolve in Welsh until some time in high Middle Ages. If we say sound changes are entirely substrate-driven, one has to argue that, since /ɬ/ is cross-linguistically a fairly rare phoneme, one has to posit something fairly absurd here, like arguing that there was a Native American adstrate in medieval Welsh...


    With regard for Proto-Germanic, the problem is the timing: the change /p/ > /f/ in Proto-Germanic was no doubt part of a chain shift, ie.:


    /p/ > /f/
    /t/ > /θ/
    /k/ > /x/ (later /h/)


    /b/ > /p/
    /d/ > /t/
    /g/ > /k/


    /bʰ/ > /b/
    /dʰ/ > /d/
    /gʰ/ > /g/


    The other issue is that Grimm's Law applies to Celtic loanwords, i.e. they were borrowed before Grimm's Law came into effect:


    *Wolkos (the ethnic name "Volcae") > Walxaz ('foreigner')
    *dūno- (fortified settlement) > *tūnaz (English "town")


    ... so if the change in Proto-Germanic was really due to substratal influence, this would have occured after circa 500 BC (earliest possible date for Grimm's Law), which totally doesn't add up, in my opinion.


    In my opinion, substrate-driven sound changes are plausible, yes (I would agree for your proposal regarding the retroflex sounds in the Indic languages), but I don't think this to be the driving factor for most sound changes. I do not think, for example, that the Upper German consonant shift was substrate or adstrate-driven at all.


    With regard for Etruscan, as I said, the evidence is there the 8-shaped sound represented a voiced labial (bilabial or labiodental) fricative in Etruscan. Its generally assumed, as you said, that Etruscan had no voiced plosives or fricatives, but I don't think that I'm convinced because there's evidence for the opposite (the name "Tiberius" is a good example, since here, you have the evidence from both Latin and Phoenician, languages which both possessed the phonemes /p/ and /b/, and which approximated the sound by transcribing it as /b/). Its utterly plausible in my opinion that voiced phonemes in Etruscan were rare. Look into the reconstructed phonology of Middle Egyptian (as per Allen, 2000) for a language with a somewhat comparable phonology.

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    Grimm's law states that, under certain conditions, PIE p* is adapted as an f in Germanic. You postulate (as most linguists do) that, by way of purely mechanistic evolution (assimilations and dissimilations), you finally end up with an [f].

    Now my question is : why ?

    Why in Germanic your *p becomes an f, and why not in the other languages ? Structuralist linguistics has no answer to that. Or yes it has : "by chance". By the haphazardly succession of assimilations and dissimilations, you finally end up with an f.

    And there is the difference : I don't believe in chance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    Modern Standard German (as well as most central and southern dialects, including Swiss German) has indeed the cross-linguistically extremely rare affricate /pf/. It corresponds to /p/ in other Germanic languages, including English. As an example, compare German "Apfel" with English "apple". However, word-internally, in most positions (the word "Apfel" is a bit of the exception from the rule here ), the /pf/ was historically de-affricated to /f/. An example of that would be German "Waffe" versus English "weapon", or German "schlafen" versus English "sleep", and not *Wapfe and *schlapfen.

    In German, this occured in concurrence with the Upper German consonant shift, by which Proto-Germanic *t became the affricate /ts/, and Proto-Germanic *k became the affricate /kx/. While the former also occured in Standard German (eg. German "zwei" or /tsvaɪ/ versus English "two"), the latter however did NOT occur in Standard German, it only occured in some Upper German dialects (like Swiss German).

    As for Etruscan, would suggest that the Etruscan Phi <φ> represented the same affricate /pf/? I thought the consensus opinion was that it represented an aspirated /pʰ/, just like in Archaic Greek (in that scenario, Theta and Chi in Etruscan were pronounced as /tʰ/ and /kʰ/, respectively). If Phi was pronounced as /pf/ the question would arise what Theta and Chi were pronounced as, so, in my opinion, this may not even be a coincidence, but two entirely different sounds altogether!

    Another problem - for Etruscan to have any influence (subrate-wise) - is the timing and the geography: the Upper German consonant shift started occured at the conclusion of the migration period (only the continental, West Germanic languages participated in it, and only the southern dialects of German execute it fully). By that time Etruscan was long-since extinct. Additionally, the area of German where /pf/ is used does largely not match up with the area where Etruscan was spoken in Antiquity (Gaulish, mostly, if people didn't speak Proto-Germanic?). The only area of overlap is South Tyrol, if Raetian (the Etruscan-ish language that was spoken there in the Antiquity) is included.
    I agree with the most you say, or write -
    just a remark: you, as most people and linguists among them, seem linking too tightly phonetic habits with language practice; but we saw more than a time that old habits spanned over languages shifts for phonetics (see french dialects, castillan(s), breton dialects and so on...
    and the today expression of the second mutation in german southern dialects is not the same everywhere and the apparent centre (node) of diffusion could be between East Switzerland and West Austria, not in South germany?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kentel View Post
    Grimm's law states that, under certain conditions, PIE p* is adapted as an f in Germanic. You postulate (as most linguists do) that, by way of purely mechanistic evolution (assimilations and dissimilations), you finally end up with an [f].
    /p/ becomes always /f/. The only exceptions are word-internally, where they are modified (later?) by Verner's Law /β/, /ð/, /ɣ/. There's a dissenting view there, however, where people suggest that Verner's Law occured before Grimm's Law, but I can't say I'm convinced of that.

    Now my question is : why ?

    Why in Germanic your *p becomes an f, and why not in the other languages ? Structuralist linguistics has no answer to that. Or yes it has : "by chance". By the haphazardly succession of assimilations and dissimilations, you finally end up with an f.

    And there is the difference : I don't believe in chance.
    I might remind you that the sound change /p/ > /f/ is cross-linguistically fairly common. To give you another Indo-European example, it also occured from Old Persian middle Persian to new Persian (ancient the Greeks called them "Persoi", while the modern endonym for the language is "Farsi").

    With regard for the sound change in Germanic, what we can do a relative chronology:- Celtic (and also Iranic) loanwords are subject to Grimm's Law. Latin loanwords clearly are not (they are subject to the Upper German consonant shift, however, eg. Latin "cuprum" > German "Kupfer"). This means the sound change must have been complete by the time that the Romans expanded their border to the Rhine.
    - the oldest possible direct attestation of Grimm's Law would be the Negau helmet from Slovenia (circa 200-300 BC) with the personal name "Harigastiz". Beyond that, it comes from the first century AD (Germanic names recorded by Graeco-Roman geographers like Pliny and Strabo). So, Grimm's Law must have occured some time before that (circa 500 BC to 200 BC, hence).

    These are our constraints. If, as you argue, sound changes are driven by some cause, then my question would be: what was this cause? We would have to look for an answer in the time frame in question. I gave the example of the lateral fricative in Welsh. What event could have been responsible for this in medieval Welsh? I can't think of any particular one, and I cannot think of a particular event in iron age northern Europe in that time frame, either.


    I concede though that the concept that sound changes do "just happen by chance" is unsatisfying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post


    I might remind you that the sound change /p/ > /f/ is cross-linguistically fairly common. To give you another Indo-European example, it also occured from Old Persian middle Persian to new Persian (ancient the Greeks called them "Persoi", while the modern endonym for the language is "Farsi").
    in fact that continued by time,

    we know anciet, damn I can not right it, Fersefona persefone but first F looks oposite to left,
    and after centuries we Parthia Pars

    so such case reminds me sanpi and pi, one must be either pf or ph but deserted leaving behind only pi and fi

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    /p/ becomes always /f/.
    With regard for the sound change in Germanic, what we can do a relative chronology:- Celtic (and also Iranic) loanwords are subject to Grimm's Law
    I suppose you are talking about borrowings from Celtic to Germanic ? But if a word has undergone the effects of Grimm's Law, then it is Germanic, and the Celtic word is a loanword from Germanic. As a matter of fact, this is how loanwords are spotted.

    ex: PIE *bhrāgo → PGmc. *brōka (OHG bruoh) → Gaul. bracca "breeches".

    Therefore, I don't see how you can work a relative chronology of Grimm's Law out of that. If Grimm's Law apply, the word is Germanic and is not a borrowing. If it doesn't apply, then the word is a borrowing from another language (Celtic f.ex.).

    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    I might remind you that the sound change /p/ > /f/ is cross-linguistically fairly common.
    It is definitely not common : "the sound f is an infrequent sound [...] it is absent in all the IE languages outside Italy before the Roman Empire, except in Germanic [...] the sound f is absent from all the pre-IE languages of Europe, and it must be from Etruscan that i penetrated into the other languages spoken in Italy." (Bonfante p.78).

    Even if ph → f is not an unnatural evolution, it should be triggered by something in the substratum. It is admitted, f.ex. that the french palatalisation has been triggered by the Gaulish substratum (as well as many other central features of French phonetics). I have not checked the case of the Welsh ll, but as far as I know it occurs only in Northern Welsh and in Icelandic, and it is not a typical Celtic nor Germanic sound. So...

    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    - the oldest possible direct attestation of Grimm's Law would be the Negau helmet from Slovenia (circa 200-300 BC) with the personal name "Harigastiz". Beyond that, it comes from the first century AD (Germanic names recorded by Graeco-Roman geographers like Pliny and Strabo). So, Grimm's Law must have occured some time before that (circa 500 BC to 200 BC, hence) [...]. These are our constraints. If, as you argue, sound changes are driven by some cause, then my question would be: what was this cause? We would have to look for an answer in the time frame in question.
    I cannot see clearly how you come up with the date of 500 BC for the bottom limit of your Grimm's law time span, and I don't understand which help the Negau helmet provides us in this respect : this item bears a name which, if it is Germanic, testify that in 200 BC Grimm's law applied already. It doesn't tell us anything about when it came into use.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    I concede though that the concept that sound changes do "just happen by chance" is unsatisfying.
    Exactly. And now, if you seek for an explanation, you will see that there are not many possibilities. Even Meillet in his Caractéristiques des Langues Germaniques was already writing about substratic influence. And in the case of Germanic, I think it is huge. But I don't claim that it is Etruscan :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kentel View Post
    I suppose you are talking about borrowings from Celtic to Germanic ? But if a word has undergone the effects of Grimm's Law, then it is Germanic, and the Celtic word is a loanword from Germanic. As a matter of fact, this is how loanwords are spotted.

    ex: PIE *bhrāgo → PGmc. *brōka (OHG bruoh) → Gaul. bracca "breeches".
    Yes, I meant that Celtic loanwords into Germanic have undergone the shift of Grimm's Law (and, don't worry, I know how loanwords are spotted). And you've picked a particularly bad example, since in my opinion its impossible to tell in which direction this borrowing goes (Celtic, as you may know, merges non-final *ō > *ā, while Germanic does just the reverse).

    For better examples, I gave two better ones earlier in this thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    The other issue is that Grimm's Law applies to Celtic loanwords, i.e. they were borrowed before Grimm's Law came into effect:


    *Wolkos (the ethnic name "Volcae") > Walxaz ('foreigner')
    *dūno- (fortified settlement) > *tūnaz (English "town")
    As you can see, these loanwords are subjected to Grimm's Law (*k > *x, *d > *t). With *tūnaz you also have modern German reflex "Zaun" or /tsaʊn/ ('fence'), which is subject to the Upper German consonant shift.

    Another example of a Celtic loanword would be *rīk- (found in personal names, such as "Friedrich" or "Geiserich"), from Celtic *rīgo- ("king", eg. Gaulish "-rix", Irish "rí", I might remind you that the sound change *ē > *ī is in itself a distinct Celtic feature, if you compare this with the cognates in Latin, "rex", and Hindi "raja"). Again, here you have *g > *k, which was part of Grimm's Law.

    For Iranic, a hilarious example would be the word "warg" ('wolf', re-borrowed from Anglo-Saxon into modern English thanks to JRR Tolkien). Here, the merger of *l and *r is diagnostically a feature of the Indo-Iranic languages (cf. Sanskrit "vrka", but Lithuanian "vilkas", etc.). Here, the *g is the result of a cumulative effect of Grimm's Law and Verner's Law.

    [QUOTE]Therefore, I don't see how you can work a relative chronology of Grimm's Law out of that. If Grimm's Law apply, the word is Germanic and is not a borrowing. If it doesn't apply, then the word is a borrowing from another language (Celtic f.ex.).

    It is definitely not common : "the sound f is an infrequent sound [...] it is absent in all the IE languages outside Italy before the Roman Empire, except in Germanic [...] the sound f is absent from all the pre-IE languages of Europe, and it must be from Etruscan that i penetrated into the other languages spoken in Italy." (Bonfante p.78).
    Let me say this. I just disagree with Bonfante. Neither is "f" a particularly infrequent sound (the lateral fricative of Welsh is certainly a much more exotic sound, and the affricate /pf/ in German is even more exotic!), nor is, to me at least, the sound change *p > *f an unexpectable one.

    Even if ph → f is not an unnatural evolution, it should be triggered by something in the substratum. It is admitted, f.ex. that the french palatalisation has been triggered by the Gaulish substratum (as well as many other central features of French phonetics). I have not checked the case of the Welsh ll, but as far as I know it occurs only in Northern Welsh and in Icelandic, and it is not a typical Celtic nor Germanic sound. So...
    As I said, *p > *f occurs three times independently in the Semitic languages (in South Semitic, Arabic and Hebrew).

    I cannot see clearly how you come up with the date of 500 BC for the bottom limit of your Grimm's law time span, and I don't understand which help the Negau helmet provides us in this respect : this item bears a name which, if it is Germanic, testify that in 200 BC Grimm's law applied already. It doesn't tell us anything about when it came into use.
    The 500 BC date I gave is an approximate date, specifically for the begin of iron-working in northern Europe. The Proto-Germanic word for "iron" (including its English reflex) is in itself a Celtic loanword (*īsarno-). I might add that there are people (Wolfram Euler, 2006, ". Sprache und Herkunft der Germanen - "language and origin of the Germanic peoples) who disagree with that view, Euler places Grimm's Law even later, that is, in the 1st century BC. Euler postulates so to incorporate the case of the Cimbri and Teutones, but I don't find it compelling. The fact that there is not a single example of a Latin loanword subjected to Grimm's Law suggests to me that by the time the Romans came into contact with Germanic speakers, Grimm's Law was completed.

    Exactly. And now, if you seek for an explanation, you will see that there are not many possibilities. Even Meillet in his Caractéristiques des Langues Germaniques was already writing about substratic influence. And in the case of Germanic, I think it is huge. But I don't claim that it is Etruscan :)
    My point merely is that with a lot of these sound changes, I do not see the outside trigger to drive them. The way I see it, for the substratic hypothesis to work out you require that the "substrate" occurs in iron age northern Europe, which - to me - seems implausibly late. If you say that Grimm's Law and Verner's Law occured much earlier (say, way back at the start of the Nordic Bronze Age, this is where I would expect a pre-Indo-European substrate if one follows this idea :) ), you fail to explain how the Celtic loanwords (which, as I said, cannot reasonably date from before the start of the iron age, otherwise you get a chicken-and-egg problem) were subjected to it as well.

    Is it unsatisfying to say that the mechanisms that drive such sound changes are poorly understood? Yes, absolutely, and you have a point there, but I do not see the substrates as the main mechanism.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yetos View Post
    I know about villanovan culture, and I believe the same,
    Vilanovan at least for me is a Non IE although IE already passed in Italic peninsula,
    lately I am comparing toponyms of areas around val-camunico Trento South Tyrol etc North Italy
    what still holds me back is the Falisκi (I think North of Tiberis river) are considered to spoke Italian IE language, and the known Venetic share Germanic similarities.
    'Την των Φαλισκων πολιν πολιορκουντες οι Ρωμαιοι' Plutarch.
    and at least Faliscan can not be overpassed,

    besides it is hard to find val-camunico ancient genetical data.
    when do you think germanic shared with venetic or raetic or camunic .................where the Taurisci of Noricum already influenced by Germanic , even though they also wher ein eastern slovenia?

    http://www.academia.edu/2649621/GUST...SI-ID_2092243_
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    Yes, I meant that Celtic loanwords into Germanic have undergone the shift of Grimm's Law (and, don't worry, I know how loanwords are spotted). And you've picked a particularly bad example, since in my opinion its impossible to tell in which direction this borrowing goes
    PIE *g → Germ. [k] → Celt.[k] : borrowing from Germanic to Celtic, no wonder here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    (Celtic, as you may know, merges non-final *ō > *ā, while Germanic does just the reverse).
    There is no *ō in bhrāgo. Maybe you are referring to the one in the PGmc. reflex brōka, but the rule applies to PIE, not to borrowings from an IE language to another (if it did, intervocalic [k] should have yielded [g] in Gaulish as well). The evolution here is perfectly regular. PIE *g → Germ. [k] and PIE *ā → Germ. ō.


    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    For better examples, I gave two better ones earlier in this thread:
    *Wolkos (the ethnic name "Volcae") > Walxaz ('foreigner')
    *dūno- (fortified settlement) > *tūnaz (English "town")
    *dūno and *tūnaz are both the reflexes of a common root *dūn-, there is no borrowing here. If there were, then either both words would beging with a *d (borrowing from Celtic) or with a *t (borrowing from Germanic).

    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    Another example of a Celtic loanword would be *rīk- (found in personal names, such as "Friedrich" or "Geiserich"), from Celtic *rīgo- ("king", eg. Gaulish "-rix", Irish "rí", I might remind you that the sound change *ē > *ī is in itself a distinct Celtic feature, if you compare this with the cognates in Latin, "rex", and Hindi "raja"). Again, here you have *g > *k, which was part of Grimm's Law.
    Grimm's law does not apply here : gaulish has already a [k] in -rix (or riks) as in Latin rex. Thus the word is a regular borrowing from Celtic to Germanic,

    All in all, I don't see the point : there are indeed borrowings from Celtic to Germanic and the other way round. Now what is your next move ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    Let me say this. I just disagree with Bonfante. Neither is "f" a particularly infrequent sound (the lateral fricative of Welsh is certainly a much more exotic sound, and the affricate /pf/ in German is even more exotic!), nor is, to me at least, the sound change *p > *f an unexpectable one.
    Many events are expectable, they don't necessarily happen, and *p → f didn't happen more times than it did happen. But why did it happen here and not there ? This is the critical question I'm asking here.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    The 500 BC date I gave is an approximate date, specifically for the begin of iron-working in northern Europe.
    Let's summarize: according to your calculation, Grimm's Law took place between the begining of iron-working (500 BC, ie Jastorf Culture I guess) and the attestation of the Negau helmet (200 BC). If I understand you well, you rely on germanic borrowings from celtic, which have not undergone Grimm's Law, in order to connect it to iron-working (ie Celtic) Hallstatt culture.

    But, the date of the germano-celtic contact may have occurred much earlier and not be related exclusively to iron-working cultures. There have been many debates about that, and the doubt is growing.

    And there is no celtic borrowing having undergone Grimm's Law. If two cognates in Germanic and Celtic have evolved regularly according to their own laws, then it just shows that they have a common etymon.



    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    My point merely is that with a lot of these sound changes, I do not see the outside trigger to drive them.
    for the *p > *f you can posit the existence of the f in the substratum, that's the simplest way, or the existence of aspiration, or a higher use of constrictives, or the absence of *p.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    The way I see it, for the substratic hypothesis to work out you require that the "substrate" occurs in iron age northern Europe, which - to me - seems implausibly late. If you say that Grimm's Law and Verner's Law occured much earlier (say, way back at the start of the Nordic Bronze Age, this is where I would expect a pre-Indo-European substrate if one follows this idea :) ), you fail to explain how the Celtic loanwords (which, as I said, cannot reasonably date from before the start of the iron age, otherwise you get a chicken-and-egg problem) were subjected to it as well.
    Celtic loanwords are impossible to date, unless they are culturally related (isarnon), and they may have occurred at any time. The iron-age is not a limit whatsoever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    Is it unsatisfying to say that the mechanisms that drive such sound changes are poorly understood? Yes, absolutely, and you have a point there, but I do not see the substrates as the main mechanism.
    Ok, and this is were I am waiting you :) Which alternative do you suggest ? Note that I am open-minded, I admitt that there may be other factors at work, I just don't see which ones, all suggestions are welcome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kentel View Post
    PIE *g → Germ. [k] → Celt.[k] : borrowing from Germanic to Celtic, no wonder here.

    There is no *ō in bhrāgo.
    This is exactly my point. In the Celtic languages, earlier *ō disappears and becomes *ā word-internally (word-finally, *ū). In the Germanic languages, the reverse occurs (regardless of position in the word), *ā > *ō. Additionally Proto-Germanic also executes *o > *a, which was likewise a late development (since, again, Celtic loanwords are subjected to it, e.g. the Gaulish ethnonym *wolkos > Germanic *walxaz 'foreigner').

    Maybe you are referring to the one in the PGmc. reflex brōka, but the rule applies to PIE, not to borrowings from an IE language to another (if it did, intervocalic [k] should have yielded [g] in Gaulish as well). The evolution here is perfectly regular. PIE *g → Germ. [k] and PIE *ā → Germ. ō.
    *dūno and *tūnaz are both the reflexes of a common root *dūn-, there is no borrowing here. If there were, then either both words would beging with a *d (borrowing from Celtic) or with a *t (borrowing from Germanic).
    I agree that it would be with a *d if the borrowing occured after Grimm's Law was effective, but this is exactly what I'm arguing: Celtic loanwords were largely borrowed before the sound shift of Grimm's Law occured and as a result shifted accordingly.

    Grimm's law does not apply here : gaulish has already a [k] in -rix (or riks) as in Latin rex. Thus the word is a regular borrowing from Celtic to Germanic,
    It actually does. You have examples like Gaulish "Biturīges" or "Rigomagus", or Old Irish "ríge" (rule, kingship) versus Dutch "rijk", Swedish "rike", German "Reich". You have an evolution from Celtic *rīgjo- > Proto-Germanic *rīkja-

    All in all, I don't see the point : there are indeed borrowings from Celtic to Germanic and the other way round. Now what is your next move ?
    My point is that you can establish a relative chronology:

    1) Sound changes from Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic (other than Grimm's Law and Verner's Law, for example the dissolution of the syllabic resonants)
    2) Celtic and Iranic borrowings into Proto-Germanic
    3) Grimm's Law and Verner's Law (I'm personally a fence-sitter on the chronology of these two :) )
    4) Latin borrowings into Proto-Germanic (after 1st century BC)

    I might say, I do agree with Euler's concept of the "Germanic parent language" (or "Pre-Proto-Germanic" or "Proto-Germanic before Grimm's Law"), but I disagree with Euler on the timing of the language: in my humble opinion his "Pre-Proto-Germanic" is an accurate description of the language that would have been spoken earlier, during the Bronze Age (and perhaps start of the iron age).

    Many events are expectable, they don't necessarily happen, and *p → f didn't happen more times than it did happen. But why did it happen here and not there ? This is the critical question I'm asking here.
    I'm saying that I do not have the answer for that, I'm merely saying that the timing can be established.

    Let's summarize: according to your calculation, Grimm's Law took place between the begining of iron-working (500 BC, ie Jastorf Culture I guess) and the attestation of the Negau helmet (200 BC). If I understand you well, you rely on germanic borrowings from celtic, which have not undergone Grimm's Law, in order to connect it to iron-working (ie Celtic) Hallstatt culture.
    No, I'm relying on Germanic borrowings from Celtic which have undergone Grimm's Law. That is precisely my point

    But, the date of the germano-celtic contact may have occurred much earlier and not be related exclusively to iron-working cultures. There have been many debates about that, and the doubt is growing.

    And there is no celtic borrowing having undergone Grimm's Law. If two cognates in Germanic and Celtic have evolved regularly according to their own laws, then it just shows that they have a common etymon.
    Is it really a common etymon if it is subject to regular sound laws from Proto-Indo-European to Celtic (e.g. *ē > *ī) or from Proto-Indo-European to Indo-Iranic (e.g. merger *l > *r). I think not.

    for the *p > *f you can posit the existence of the f in the substratum, that's the simplest way, or the existence of aspiration, or a higher use of constrictives, or the absence of *p.
    The problem is, again, the timing. I'm saying that Grimm's Law (and Verner's Law) did not occur from Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic (where I would perfectly expect the substrate scenario you describe above, let me be very clear about that), but considerably later.

    Celtic loanwords are impossible to date, unless they are culturally related (isarnon), and they may have occurred at any time. The iron-age is not a limit whatsoever.
    They cannot have occured at any time. If you are thinking of Indo-Iranic loanwords, they could have at an earliest point occured with the incursion of Scytho-Sarmatian tribes into the Pannonian basin. If you accept that, then the iron age is a very real limit.

    Ok, and this is were I am waiting you :) Which alternative do you suggest ? Note that I am open-minded, I admitt that there may be other factors at work, I just don't see which ones, all suggestions are welcome.
    I'm suggesting that this - most sound changes perhaps - must be internally driven (inside the language itself, or more accurately, from its speakers - lets not forget that languages are always about people who speak them. :) ) and not primarily substrate- or adstrate-driven.

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