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Thread: Did Indo-European, Vasconic and Caucasian languages etc. spawn out of Afro-Asiatic?

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    Did Indo-European, Vasconic and Caucasian languages etc. spawn out of Afro-Asiatic?



    I know this sounds like a very weird observation/theory/hypotheses. But I am an amateur linguist and archaeologist. But over the years reading about Afro-Asiatic languages from other linguists and observing their functions and other language groups myself, I made a bizarre conclusion. Could it be actually possible that Afro-Asiatic is not a language group but actually a Para-language group - and is actually "allo-genetic"?

    Here, I state several different points/reasonings for why this could be possible:

    1. Due to Afro-Asiatic's glottalization, linguists can determine it is one of the oldest language groups in the word, with an age of at least 10,000-20,000 years old. Far surpassing the oldest known language and language isolate, Sumerian. (Note: It would be pretty naive to think that a language this old did not influence other surrounding languages.) Although, the first identified Afro-Asiatic language: Egyptian - was not spoken until approx. 4,700 years ago. (Also - Proto-Afroasiatic - Taken from wikipedia: it is believed by scholars (proto-Afro-Asiatic) to have been spoken as a single language around 12,000 to 18,000 years ago.)

    2. Afro-Asiatic languages have a very small and simple vowel system. In older versions of certain Afro-Asiatic languages (i.e. Arabic, Berber, Egyptian, Hebrew, Phoenician etc.), vowels were not included in alphabets/inscriptions, and only consonants were. They also lacked many diphthongs/semivowels and digraphs. These features are very unusual for linguistics and suggest that the pre-Afro-Asiatic language was very homogeneous and confined to and originally spoken by a small, isolated group of humans. If Afroasiatic was a para-language group, this could possibly explain why it has such unusual features for a language group and seems a lot more simple and primitive (in comparison to surrounding language groups).

    3. Linguist G.W. Tsereteli suggests, Afroasiatic is an allogenetic rather than a genetic group of languages. (
    as I mentioned earlier. Taken from Wikipedia: Although Egyptian is the oldest Afroasiatic language documented in written form, its morphological repertoire is very different from that of the rest of the Afroasiatic, in general, and Semitic in particular. There are multiple possibilities: Egyptian had already undergone radical changes from Proto-Afroasiatic before it was recorded, the Afroasiatic family has so far been studied with an excessively Semito-centric approach, or, as G. W. Tsereteli suggests, Afroasiatic is an allogenetic rather than a genetic group of languages.)

    4. Some linguists have pointed out that some of the numerals in Afro-Asiatic language sound bizarrely very similar to numerals in other languages. Especially number 6 and number 7. For example, number seven in Coptic Egyptian is "šašfe
    " (shashfe) while in extinct Iberian language, number seven is "sisbi" and in the Basque language, number seven is "zazpi" (ssasspi). In Etruscan, seven was "semf". (Also, Other transliterations of Egyptian dialects for no. 7: sefekhu, sáfḫaw ("sauvau") sound like English/Germanic "seven", as well.) Another example is number six: "sei" in Basque, "śei" (shei) in Iberian, "śa" (sha) in Etruscan, and "so" in Coptic Egyptian. (the ancient Egyptian transliteration of six, "sisu", also sounds strikingly similar to the French pronunciation of "six".)

    Theo Vennemann, a German linguist, has also pointed out similarities in Germanic languages with Semitic languages. Especially the six and seven numerals: "shesh" (six) and "shevah" (seven) in Hebrew sound strikingly similar to Germanic languages - especially Standard German: "sechs" (six) and "sieben" (seven).


    One thing is for certain: While many theories may be wrong; including mine- Surely, this all can't be coincidence?


    So in simpler terms: could it be Afro-Asiatic is really the ancestral language group of the Caucasoid/Europid race? Which spawned all the other language groups: (i.e. Indo-European, Caucasian, Etruscan, Vasconic, Iberian etc.)

    ANALYSIS: So if this theory were to be true; and Afro-Asiatic is allo-genetic and is actually a para-language group: this could suggest that all other language groups spoken by Caucasoids/Europids; are actually sub-branches of the Afro-Asiatic language (themselves) that broke off/separated early: and hence, formed their own grammar and evolved/developed their own etymologies independently. (In other words: Indo-European, Vasconic, Caucasian, Etruscan etc. may actually be subbranches of Afro-Asiatic: just like Berber, Cushitic, Egyptian, and Semitic. And are actually not language groups at all. But are siblings to those Afro-Asiatic subgroups and are Afroasiatic linguistic subgroups themselves.)

    At first, this sounds ridiculous and unbelievable. But if you look at the similarities between Afro-Asiatic and surrounding languages; as well as the age of Afro-Asiatic in comparison to other languages. (i.e. proto-Indo-European, approx 5,000 ybp is almost the same age as i.e. Egyptian.) Then, this theory may not sound as far-fetched. Especially if Afroasiatic is allogenetic - As the linguist G.W. Tsereteli may have suggested before (and may he have actually been onto something?)

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    One of the problems I see with AA/Semitic deep comparisons is that due to the peculiar history of the early Afro-Asiatic speakers in West Eurasia, similarities with other languages might simply be wanderwörter or even a type of early literary superstrate owing to the mobility and early literacy of the Semites. I think one ought to be extra careful with Semitic comparisons for those reasons.

    That said your proposition isn't that new or outrageous. It's not commonly accepted in English language scholarship, but there is for example Sargent, France's most famous Indo-Europeanist, who believes that IE is nestled within the AA phylum. There's not much international interest in his works though, and I'm unsure whether his major works have been given translations at all.

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    Excellent response. Is this "Sargent" a "Bernard Sargent"?


    I will have to look into him.

    Again, thanks for the civil and very informative response.

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