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Thread: Languages of prehistoric Europe

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    Languages of prehistoric Europe



    What language or languages did the pre-Indo European cultures of Europe like LBK or Megalithic speak ?
    A good guess would be Proto-Basque or Iberian (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iberians), is there any relation between Basque and Iberian ?

    What did they call themselves ? what name did they use for their ethnicity ?

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    PM Taranis about this, he was really into Iberian, pre Celtic languages. http://www.eupedia.com/forum/members/28410-Taranis
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    Besides Basque, there is another riddle in Iberia.
    When the first Greek colonisers arrived, the eastcoast of Iberia spoke an non-IE language.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    Besides Basque, there is another riddle in Iberia.
    When the first Greek colonisers arrived, the eastcoast of Iberia spoke an non-IE language.
    that was Iberian, a different language than Basque, the Greeks called these eastcoast inhabitants and the people of modern day Georgia by the same name, Iberians, and some people based on this name similarity hypothesised a relationship between them, maybe the same ethnic group.

    Iberian shares elements with Basque, maybe even with Etruscan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iberians#Iberian_language)

    Haplogroup G2 was the dominant haplogroup in neolithic cultures of Europe, has concentrations in the eastcoast of Iberia, was found in Etruscan remains (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrsen...f_the_Caucasus) and of course in the Caucasus.

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    I think the (non-Indo-European) Paleo-Hispanic languages are isolates. There might have been something like a farmer macro-family, but in the Late Bronze Age this affiliation would have been quite difficult to discern. They seemed to have survived the Urnfield expansion unscathed, and their speakers adapted to the cultural changes as seen in the Tartessian graves, but the Roman expansion wiped them out.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    The inhabitants of "Iberia" in the Caucasus, like adjacent Colchis, were speakers of (archaic) Georgian. You have a few other languages in the same family (Laz for example). They were unrelated with the "Iberians" of the Iberian peninsula. You have a somewhat similar situation with the Albanians of the Balkans and the Albanians of the Caucasus. The latter had no relation with the former and spoke a Northeast Caucasian language (the same language family as modern Chechen).

    The Iberian language of Iberia was spoken from eastern Andalusia to the Languedoc (in southern France). It is possible that the language was related with Aquitanian (Old Basque), based on common vocabulary and similar phonology. As regards Tartessian, the evidence is far more scanty than with Iberian, but according to Joseph Eska (2014), it was probably an "Iberoid" language.

    Etruscan (which had relatives, in the shape of Raetian and Lemnian) was for sure not related with Basque or Iberian - everything (grammar, vocabulary, phonology) is so very different.

    As regards the situation in the rest of Europe (especially Central Europe), one can only wonder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Taranis View Post
    The inhabitants of "Iberia" in the Caucasus, like adjacent Colchis, were speakers of (archaic) Georgian. You have a few other languages in the same family (Laz for example). They were unrelated with the "Iberians" of the Iberian peninsula. You have a somewhat similar situation with the Albanians of the Balkans and the Albanians of the Caucasus. The latter had no relation with the former and spoke a Northeast Caucasian language (the same language family as modern Chechen).

    The Iberian language of Iberia was spoken from eastern Andalusia to the Languedoc (in southern France). It is possible that the language was related with Aquitanian (Old Basque), based on common vocabulary and similar phonology. As regards Tartessian, the evidence is far more scanty than with Iberian, but according to Joseph Eska (2014), it was probably an "Iberoid" language.

    Etruscan (which had relatives, in the shape of Raetian and Lemnian) was for sure not related with Basque or Iberian - everything (grammar, vocabulary, phonology) is so very different.

    As regards the situation in the rest of Europe (especially Central Europe), one can only wonder.
    Do you think the Germanic substrate hypothesis is best explained as an indigenous people influencing proto Germanic ? is there any common words from German and Basque ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by IronSide View Post
    Do you think the Germanic substrate hypothesis is best explained as an indigenous people influencing proto Germanic ? is there any common words from German and Basque ?
    Which part of the Germanic substrate hypothesis? Do you mean the "a substrate language left distinct vocabulary in Proto-Germanic" (probably accurate), "a large share (a third?) the lexicon of Proto-Germanic is actually borrowings?" (probably inaccurate), or do you mean, "Proto-Germanic was heavily influenced by a substrate language, including the triggering of Grimm's Law" (certainly wrong).

    As far as loanwords go, early Proto-Germanic had a heavy influence from Celtic languages, and to a much smaller degree from Scytho-Sarmatian languages (part of the greater Iranic language family, formerly widespread and today represented only by the Ossetian language in the Caucasus). You also had Latin loanwords, but these happened very late (after Grimm's Law was effective). In turn, Proto-Germanic heavily influenced both Proto-Slavic and Finnic (part of the Uralic language family).

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