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Thread: Genetic Origins of Minoans and Mycenaeans

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    Quote Originally Posted by Demetrios View Post
    OK, thanks for the clarification. I now totally understand it. In any case, the English pronunciation of "J" closely renders the "dz" sound. For example we say, Jessica, which is phonologically close to "Dzessica" (not real spelling, just for the sake of an example). "dz" can also be compared to "tz", right? In English, it's not like the Spanish "J", where Jiménez would be pronounced as "h", or this for example, https://translate.google.gr/#view=home&op=translate&sl=es&tl=en&text=Jim%C3%A9 nez.
    It's not a "djuh" sound like the English J is--it's an entirely different sound. It's a "dzuh" sound--like a hard Z. I think in some dialects it's a little bit less harsh and intense, something more like "tsuh". It's not a sound that exists in English natively--the only word I can think of that has a similar sound that is commonly used in English (albeit a loan from Slavic) is tsar/czar, but tsar might not be as harsh. Maybe tsi fly is another.

    So the word for hand in Armenian is pronounced like "dzer" or "tser".

    EDIT: Google has an audible translation. It's in a weird tense for some reason and the voice sounds very robotic, but you can kind of get the gist of the "dz" sound:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=how+...nd+in+armenian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Demetrios View Post

    PostScript: Sorry for being short, i am just leaving for vacation in a few minutes. Maybe i will find internet there as well. You must have returned from yours, right?
    Yes, sorry for not having replied for a bit. I have been traveling and now am in the process of moving, so I wasn't really keeping an eye on the forum as much! I hope that you're enjoying your vacation!

    I'm curious what your thoughts on Thracian (and Dacian) languages are. What do you think their relationship was to other subfamilies--I've seen Greek, Armenian, Iranian, Baltic, and Illyrian all mentioned in relation to Thracian languages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Demetrios View Post

    You write, "
    Armenian is a satem language, and I don't see how it can be closely related with the Greek one. Influence and common origin are two different things.".
    Armenian is actually obscure in terms of the centum/satem division. In any case, what you have to understand is that the Graeco-Armenian grouping is in the end a hypothesis. I have even pointed to that myself in a previous comment, https://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/34414-Genetic-Origins-of-Minoans-and-Mycenaeans/page53?p=583888&viewfull=1#post583888 (10th paragraph/segment). And in the case of Armenian you also have to consider another possibility that @Maciamo had written, namely "The language (Armenian) was later satemised due to the long influence of Indo-Iranian languages, for example during the Mitanni (Indo-Aryan ruling class) period (c. 1500-1200 BCE) and during the Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BCE) when the region was part of the Satrapy of Armenia (the first historical state to be called 'Armenia')". The first scenario would require an early proto-Armenian migration, while the second falls in line with any scenario/hypothesis. Therefore indeed, influence and common origin are two different things, and in the end nothing is certain.

    Furthermore, take note that the Phrygian language for which we have plenty of records, is classified as Centum.
    Were the Anatolian languages centum or did they exist outside of those categories? Either way, this could maybe support your theory of an original Anatolian Armenian...perhaps it just had a satem overlay. Then again, the Anatolian similarities/influence could come from Luwian (and maybe Hittite) too. The Luwian influence is quite widely accepted.

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    Anatolian languages were centum, and not only but they are considered archaic with the possible date of split circa/maximum 4000bce. It corresponds with the split of R1b PF7562 from its sibling R1b L23. As far as I know there's not found any PF7562 in Yanmaya sites of Caspian steppes.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Piro Ilir View Post
    Anatolian languages were centum, and not only but they are considered archaic with the possible date of split circa/maximum 4000bce. It corresponds with the split of R1b PF7562 from its sibling R1b L23. As far as I know there's not found any PF7562 in Yanmaya sites of Caspian steppes.
    Interesting, PF7562 is my branch too. I'd give you an up-vote, but I'm currently out for the day.




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    Quote Originally Posted by Piro Ilir View Post
    Anatolian languages were centum, and not only but they are considered archaic with the possible date of split circa/maximum 4000bce. It corresponds with the split of R1b PF7562 from its sibling R1b L23. As far as I know there's not found any PF7562 in Yanmaya sites of Caspian steppes.
    Okay, because I thought I also read that they existed outside of the centum/satem binary?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyuiopman View Post
    Okay, because I thought I also read that they existed outside of the centum/satem binary?
    You are right. Luwian shows all three dorsal consonant rows survived separately in Proto-Anatolian. This means it is non-centum, and is one of the reasons that more and more linguists are beginning to consider satem as more conservative and centum as an innovation.
    "As we have already stressed, the mass evacuation of the Albanians from their triangle is the only effective course we can take. In order to relocate a whole people, the first prerequisite is the creation of a suitable psychosis. This can be done in various ways." - Vaso Cubrilovic

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    You write, "It's not a "djuh" sound like the English J is--it's an entirely different sound. It's a "dzuh" sound--like a hard Z. I think in some dialects it's a little bit less harsh and intense, something more like "tsuh". It's not a sound that exists in English natively--the only word I can think of that has a similar sound that is commonly used in English (albeit a loan from Slavic) is tsar/czar, but tsar might not be as harsh. Maybe tsi fly is another.
    So the word for hand in Armenian is pronounced like "dzer" or "tser".
    EDIT: Google has an audible translation. It's in a weird tense for some reason and the voice sounds very robotic, but you can kind of get the gist of the "dz" sound:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+say+hand+in+armenian".
    OK, i see what you mean.

    You write, "I'm curious what your thoughts on Thracian (and Dacian) languages are. What do you think their relationship was to other subfamilies--I've seen Greek, Armenian, Iranian, Baltic, and Illyrian all mentioned in relation to Thracian languages.".
    My linguist friend Philippos Kitselis has written a great article (http://www.palaeolexicon.com/Thracian) on this. Here is the segment that relates.

    "The language of the Thracians
    The Thracian language is scarcely attested and survives only through few inscriptions and glosses recorded by ancient authors. This makes its classification within the Indo-European languages very difficult. Was it a centum or satem language? Was it closer to Greek or Baltic languages? Was Dacian a Thracian dialect or a closely related language? Those are the issues that we’re gonna discuss below.

    Back in time, it was believed that Thracian, Illyrian and Phrygian shared a development which showed that they were still closely related in late prehistoric times: a 'sound-shift' which had affected the occlusive consonants ('stops') of Indo-European. We know now that Phrygian was a centum language, however, Thracian and Dacian have one of the main satem characteristics, the change of IE *k and *ĝ or *g to s and z. Some other satem characteristics though are doubtful or completely missing which leads us to the conclusion that the development of satem characteristics was a late change in central or residual dialects of Indo-European, such as Thracian and Dacian. That means that although Thracian was a satem language in classical years, proto-Thracian might have been centum. Those partially satem characteristics and the similarities of Thracian to the Baltic group suggest that an ancestral Thraco-Dacian people was settled in Dacia until part of it migrated into Thrace.

    Another big issue within Thracology is whether the people of Dacia were Thracians or not. It might have been that the Thraco-Dacian area was inhabited by tribes, speaking closely related tongues, with differences that are enough to classify them as different languages and not dialects. For example differences between the ancient place-names of Dacia and Moesia on the one hand and Thrace on the other indicate that the native idioms of the two former areas diverged somewhat from those of the latter in vocabulary and word formation. In Dacia name of towns are formed with the suffix -deva/-dava while place names ending in -bria, -para, -sara are confined in to southern Thrace. On the other hand, evidence seems to indicate divergence of a 'Thraco-Dacian' language into northern and southern groups of dialects, not so different as to rank as separate languages, with the development of special tendencies in word formation and of certain secondary phonetic features in each group. In ancient times, Strabo states that the Dacians spoke the same language as the Getae and later he states that the Getae spoke the same as the Thracians, which means that more or less Dacian was Thracian. However, Strabo was a geographer not a dedicated linguist that we can rely on with full confidence. For practical reasons, Palaeolexicon is grouping Dacian within Thracian, without however taking a definite side on the nature of Dacian (dialect or sibling language).

    The position of Thracian within the IE languages is also uncertain. There is evidence, that links Thracian to Ancient Greek, Albanian as well as the Baltic languages. It is easier however to start with what Thracian was not.
    a) Thracian was not Phrygian (or the opposite). In the past many linguists grouped Thracian in one group with Phrygian (Thraco-Phrygian). However, Phrygian is a centum language with such an affinity to Greek that it is evident both languages had a common pre-historic background.
    b) Thracian was not Illyrian. A grouping of Illyrian with the Thracian and Dacian language in a “Thraco-Illyrian” group or branch, an idea popular in the first half of the 20th century, is now generally rejected due to a lack of sustaining evidence, and due to what may be evidence to the contrary. Also, the hypothesis that the modern Albanian language is a surviving Illyrian language remains very controversial among linguists.

    So, what about Baltic?
    In the 70s Ivan Duridanov presented a respected work, where he proposed the connection of Thracian with the Baltic languages. Indeed a number of cognates seem to exist between Thracian and the Baltic languages, e.g: Thr. Sautes = lazy ->Latv. Sautis = lazy man, Thr. Zibythides = nobble Thracians ->Lith. Zibute = shining. Although the cognates are many, no conclusive evidence exists that can support a very close relation between Thracian and Baltic. Also, the few Thracian inscriptions that exist are not apparently close to Baltic.

    What about Ancient Greek?
    Sorin M. Olteanu, the Romanian thracologist who suggested that early Thracian was a centum language that later changed to satem, proposed the connection to Ancient Greek, though a number of cognates (including a substratum of words in Romanian). One example of the remote kinship of Greek and Thracians is a word that appears in the inscription of Flavius Dizalas, son of Ezbenis (IGB b4.2338). Ζραικῆς (referring to a Thracian strategy) as rendered in Greek, read as Zrayka in Thracian and could have been the native Thracian word for the ethnonym “Thracian”. Based on the theory of the late satemization of Thracian and the IE sound-laws, the semi-satem version of Zrayka should be ġrayk(o) (same root as one of the ethnonyms of the Greeks). The question that remains in such cases is, whether such evidence signifies remote kinship or a generic common Indo-European ancestry? The discovery of ~300 inscribed ceramic items from Zone, Samothraki has reignited the discussions about the relationship of Thracian with Greek. However, most inscriptions remain unpublished leaving us with nothing else than speculations. In fact, the language of the inscribed objects remains unknown and could even be unrelated to the language spoken in Thrace proper.

    What about Albanian?
    Even though, Illyrian has been the first language to be compared to Albanian, Thraco-Dacian is the strongest contestant. A number of linguists have been examining the possibility of Albanian being a descendant of a Dacian relic. The initial Roman conquest of part of Dacia did not put an end to the language, as free Dacian tribes such as the Carpi may have continued to speak Dacian in Moldavia and adjacent regions as late as the 6th or 7th century AD, still capable of leaving some influences in the forming of Slavic languages. According to the hypothesis of Hasdeu (1901), a branch of Dacian continued as the Albanian language. A refined version of that hypothesis considers Albanian to be a Daco-Moesian dialect that split off before 300 BC, and that Dacian became extinct. Strong evidence to this theory is the shared substratum of words in Romanian and Albanian.
    ".

    You write, "Were the Anatolian languages centum or did they exist outside of those categories? Either way, this could maybe support your theory of an original Anatolian Armenian...perhaps it just had a satem overlay. Then again, the Anatolian similarities/influence could come from Luwian (and maybe Hittite) too. The Luwian influence is quite widely accepted.".
    The Anatolian languages have had their own divided camps of linguists. There are linguists who view Anatolian (especially Luwian) to have preserved the three-row velar consonant distinction from Proto-Indo-European, rendering it outside the centum/satem division. While there are others such as Hrozný and Melchert who view Anatolian as a "centum" branch. As Melchert wrote, "The three-way contrast of dorsal stops in Luvo-Lycian is due to a conditioned split of palatovelars before their merger with velars, not an unconditioned three-way contrast preserved from Proto-Indo-European. Anatolian is thus, as per already Hrozný, “centum” (Melchert 2012a).". Furthermore, Hittite shows no assibilation of palatovelars (satemization), but there are also those who propose that the centumization that is observed in Hittite occurred only after the breakup of Proto-Anatolian (which would be closer to PIE).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johane Derite View Post
    You are right. Luwian shows all three dorsal consonant rows survived separately in Proto-Anatolian. This means it is non-centum, and is one of the reasons that more and more linguists are beginning to consider satem as more conservative and centum as an innovation.
    Interesting! Not that I don't believe you, but do you have a source for the satem being more conservative? I'd like to learn more about this theory!

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    Nice to have you back, Demetrios! I hope that you enjoyed your vacation.

    I'll read your friend's whole article when I get time.

    From the excerpt that you linked, it'd be interesting if Thracian was connected to Balto-Slavic, because Balto-Slavic is often thought to have been connected to Indo-Iranian, and there is a theory that the Cimmerians spoke a language that was a midway point between Thracian and Indo-Iranian.

    I wonder how sure they even are that all the Thracian and Dacian languages were indeed from one or two language families. For example, the article addresses Phrygian being connected with Thracian. If I'm not wrong, Macedonian was linked to Thracian too, but of course that's now thought to have been a Hellenic language or a dialect of Greek (which seems obvious--Phillip and Alexander were Macedonians/Greeks).

    I don't have any opinion on Albanian being Illyrian or Thracian, but from a geographic standpoint, Illyrian seems it would make the most sense.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Demetrios View Post

    What about Albanian?
    Even though, Illyrian has been the first language to be compared to Albanian, Thraco-Dacian is the strongest contestant. A number of linguists have been examining the possibility of Albanian being a descendant of a Dacian relic. The initial Roman conquest of part of Dacia did not put an end to the language, as free Dacian tribes such as the Carpi may have continued to speak Dacian in Moldavia and adjacent regions as late as the 6th or 7th century AD, still capable of leaving some influences in the forming of Slavic languages. According to the hypothesis of Hasdeu (1901), a branch of Dacian continued as the Albanian language. A refined version of that hypothesis considers Albanian to be a Daco-Moesian dialect that split off before 300 BC, and that Dacian became extinct. Strong evidence to this theory is the shared substratum of words in Romanian and Albanian.
    ".
    This assertion rests on the very disputable, if not already obsolete, assumption that Romanian stems from Dacian. While some Romanians might have partial Dacian ancestry, the Romanian language probably moved there from South of the Danube in the Middle Ages.

    And in addition to linguistics, note that Albanian and Moldovan Y-DNA lines have almost nothing in common, while there is very little in common between Albanians and Romanians. And among the few paleo-Balkan lines they do share, the ones that have been researched best were clearly in the Western Balkans Classical or Late Antiquity.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    You write, "Nice to have you back, Demetrios! I hope that you enjoyed your vacation.".
    Thanks mate. Although i am still away, but i do have internet now.


    You write, "I'll read your friend's whole article when I get time.

    From the excerpt that you linked, it'd be interesting if Thracian was connected to Balto-Slavic, because Balto-Slavic is often thought to have been connected to Indo-Iranian, and there is a theory that the Cimmerians spoke a language that was a midway point between Thracian and Indo-Iranian.".
    Yeah, i also found this very interesting. Unfortunately, like the article points to, most of the Thracian inscriptions haven't been published for mainstream analysis yet, and we don't even know if the said inscriptions are indeed Thracian and not some other language. In the end, further research is needed. Hopefully we will have some progress soon, but i wouldn't be surprised if an early Balto-Slavic language existed in the broader region of Dacia-Thrace, among others.

    You write, "I wonder how sure they even are that all the Thracian and Dacian languages were indeed from one or two language families. For example, the article addresses Phrygian being connected with Thracian. If I'm not wrong, Macedonian was linked to Thracian too, but of course that's now thought to have been a Hellenic language or a dialect of Greek (which seems obvious--Phillip and Alexander were Macedonians/Greeks).".

    In the case of Thracian and Dacian, this falls in line with what i wrote in the previous paragraph, namely that additional evidence and research is required. But like Kitselis pointed to, Strabo wrote that they spoke the same language. But it is still obscure whether they were dialects of the same language or sibling languages. The unfortunate thing is that we haven't discovered a single Dacian inscription yet, in contrast to the case of Thracian, in order to be able to make an accurate assessment. Very few material remains of Dacian.

    In the case of Phrygian, the article actually writes the exact opposite, namely that Thracian was not a) Phrygian and b) Illyrian. The fortunate thing with Phrygian is that we have some 200 inscriptions (much more than we have for Thracian) of it beginning from the 8th century BCE, that show strong affinities to Greek.


    In the case of Macedonian, it was also obscure academically in the past, with a number of suggestions being presented as to its classification, most of which viewed it as a Hellenic (either dialect of Greek or closely related to Greek) language with probable influence from Thracian, Illyrian, and Paeonian. Today though it is pretty much evident that ancient Macedonian was a NW-Doric Greek dialect, in affinity with the dialects of Epirus, Aetolia, Acarnania, Locris, and Phocis. There are 4 available inscriptions written in the local ancient Macedonian dialect that point to this fact, one of which has become mainstream, namely the "Pella curse tablet",
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pella_curse_tablet. In addition to the inscriptions, we also have a collection of ancient Macedonian words by the 5th century CE grammarian, Hesychius of Alexandria, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesychius_of_Alexandria, preserved in his work "Alphabetical Collection of All Words/Συναγωγὴ Πασῶν Λέξεων κατὰ Στοιχεῖον". In total, we have some 350 ancient Macedonian preserved words with their vast majority being Greek. Furthermore, the NW-Doric Greek dialect of the ancient Macedonians is also validated by
    ancient authors such as for example the Roman historian Titus Livius who in his "Ab Urbe Condita Libri/History of Rome" (Book 31, Paragraph 29) writes the following, "Aetolos, Acarnanas, Macedonas, eiusdem linguae homines" which translates as "The Aetolians, the Acarnanians, the Macedonians, men of the same speech". Lastly, a Thracian influence isn't that much extreme to consider, bearing in mind that ancient Macedon had considerably different confines prior of the Classical era. It is generally assumed that the ancient Macedonians began from Argos Orestiko, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argos_Orestiko (let me remind you of the "Argead dynasty" as well, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argead_dynasty, which also originated from the Peloponnesian Argos). Argos Orestiko also compliments their evident NW-Doric Greek dialect in addition to being within the broader original confines of all Dorians (as well as those of the proto-Greeks), namely the Pindus mountain range.

    Later, in the Archaic and Classical eras, Macedonians expanded eastwards, therefore they surely must have encompassed some earlier Thracians, but they weren't significantly influenced as the evidence shows.

    You write, "I don't have any opinion on Albanian being Illyrian or Thracian, but from a geographic standpoint, Illyrian seems it would make the most sense.".

    I am not absolute either on the matter, other than viewing Albanian as a palaeo-Balkan Indo-European language. Everything else are just hypotheses. As for geographic distribution, it is only suggestive not indicative of Illyrian affiliation, and besides, the modern distribution of Albanians is not that which was 1000-1200 years ago. Furthermore, the widespread assumed homeland of proto-Albanians is placed within the confines of the Roman province of "Moesia Superior" which was inhabited by Thracians, Dacians, Illyrian and Thraco-Illyrian (Dardani) peoples. Therefore geographically it isn't that extreme to consider proto-Albanian as stemming from a Daco-Moesian dialect. But my personal view deviates a little from Kitselis' article, and certainly i don't hold a view that relates Carpi (supposed NE-Dacian tribe) to proto-Albanians, and neither does Kitselis from what i gather. I also, haven't excluded a Thraco-Illyrian, or an Illyrian origin for that matter.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    You write, "This assertion rests on the very disputable, if not already obsolete, assumption that Romanian stems from Dacian.".
    Not really. Greek also has a considerable substrate of pre-Hellenic non-IE words. That doesn't mean Greek stems from a pre-Hellenic non-IE language. It is evidently a Hellenic IE language stemming from the same PIE source as the rest of the members. The same can be true for Romanian, which evidently stems from Latin (unless you are a supporter of Carme Jiménez Huertas' hypothesis -
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPI_Y4hdIaU). The only question is from which palaeo-Balkan language does the common Romano-Albanian substrate comes from. Maybe it comes from more than one language. After all this region was their (Thr., Illy., Dac.-Moes.) common boundary.

    You write, "While some Romanians might have partial Dacian ancestry, the Romanian language probably moved there from South of the Danube in the Middle Ages.".
    I agree. This is also called the Romanian "Immigrationist theory". By the way, this view supports a close regional origin of the two and the evident common origin for the substrate of words found in both Romanian and Albanian, since it would place proto-Romanians closer to the widespread assumed homeland of proto-Albanians, namely the Roman province of "Moesia Superior" (that included central Serbia, Kosovo, and the northern regions of modern North Macedonia-including Skopje). By the way, "Moesia Superior" encompasses much of Gegëria (Gheg-speaking region of Albanians). Here is also a map of the Roman province "Moesia Superior", which was inhabited by Thracians, Dacians, Illyrian and Thraco-Illyrian (Dardani) peoples.

    Furthermore, the name of the region derives from the Moesi, a Thraco-Dacian people who lived there before the Roman conquest. Last, the Albanian Daco-Moesian hypothesis was first set out by Georgiev in the early 60s, and has not been seriously contested. In the end though, i am not really a proponent of the Albanian Daco-Moesian hypothesis. A Thraco-Illyrian/Illyrian Dardanian hypothesis would also be acceptable to me. Unfortunately it is the absence of evidence for most of these languages that limits us from coming to safe conclusions.


    You write, "
    And in addition to linguistics, note that Albanian and Moldovan Y-DNA lines have almost nothing in common, while there is very little in common between Albanians and Romanians.".
    Not that genetics dictate linguistics, but can you be more precise in terms of the Y-DNA haplogroups you refer to because i have a different view, especially for the case of Romanians.

    You write, "
    And among the few paleo-Balkan lines they do share, the ones that have been researched best were clearly in the Western Balkans Classical or Late Antiquity.".
    Which do you term palaeo-Balkan Y-DNA haplogroups? And also, do you know of many Thracian, Daco-Moesian, and Illyrian tested samples from the Classical era?

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