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Thread: Alphabet Soup -- Regional Languages Discussion.

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by surbakhunWeesste View Post
    I asked for your personal opinion on Bangani and it's speakers not on groups claiming Greek heritage, since you were in the vicinity, so I assumed perhaps you came across them.

    Given human history, that relies on many factors, economy, preference, terrain, companionship to name a few.

    Interesting note: Bangani is spoken in UttarKashi, an imp. holy area for Hindus because of the sources of Ganges and Yamuna.
    I mentioned Bangani in the context of Greek heritage. That's why it seemed like you were asking for my opinion on that claim. I don't hold any personal opinions. I go by the facts which I've already listed. I didn't get your reference to where it's spoken. How does it matter where Bangani is spoken ?

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pylsteen View Post
    Obviously Bangani is Indo-Iranian. Zollers work is not undisputed. If you look at the numerals, 10 is dosh, following expected satem changes.
    'OnkO 'dead, inanimate; a corpse'. <PIE ank- 'necessity, force'.
    'erkE' 'a louse, flea'. <PIE erek- 'louse'. OIA IikSa- 'nit, young Iouse'.
    'kOtrO' - 'a fight'. <PIE kat(e)ro- 'a fight'; OIA Satru 'enemy'
    kOrsNO 'to rub oneself, to scratch' <PIE kars- 'to scratch'.
    dOkO 'ten'. <PIE dek 'ten'. OIA dasa 'ten'.
    dOkru 'tear'. <PIE d(r)akru- 'tear'.

    These are some examples cited by Abbi who is my main source of data on Bangani apart from Zoller and Van Driem & Sharma. Zoller and Van Driem have fought at times bitterly over this issue and I find it necessary to consult a neutral third party. If you read my earlier comment, centum-satem isogloss breaks down even with Tocharian. Tocharian was the easternmost IE language but it was centum. Even if Bangani is Indo-Iranian, presence of centum elements is a big discovery (as big as Tocharian turning out to be centum)! And substrate level influence is pretty common all over India. Indo-Aryan languages have Dravidian substrates, Dravidian have munda substrates. So, centum elements in Bangani can be attributed to a centum substrate whatever be its origin (Greek or Tocharian). Most Bangani speakers are bilingual and speak Hindi. No surprise if they replace some of these lexical items with Hindi equivalents. This is what Hock and Abbi pointed out two decades ago. Online sources like wikipedia, ethnologue tend to be hand wavy about language issues. Read what encyclopedia britannica says about Bangani- https://www.britannica.com/topic/Ind...ges#ref1052597. Cardona cites the evidence minimally, discusses the claim about Bangani being centum and admits that the verdict is still not out.
    Last edited by sudkol; 08-27-2018 at 07:51 AM.

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  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudkol View Post
    'OnkO 'dead, inanimate; a corpse'. <PIE ank- 'necessity, force'.
    'erkE' 'a louse, flea'. <PIE erek- 'louse'. OIA IikSa- 'nit, young Iouse'.
    'kOtrO' - 'a fight'. <PIE k`at(e)ro~- 'a fight'; OIAs~Sa`tru 'enemy'
    kOrsNO 'to rub oneself, to scratch' <PIE kars- 'to scratch'.
    dOkO 'ten'. <PIE dek`m~ 'ten'. OIA dasa 'ten'.
    dOkru 'tear'. <PIE d(r)akru- 'tear'.

    These are some examples cited by Abbi who is my main source of data on Bangani apart from Zoller and Van Driem & Sharma. Zoller and Van Driem have fought at times bitterly over this issue and I find it necessary to consult a neutral third party. If you read my earlier comment, centum-satem isogloss breaks down even with Tocharian. Tocharian was the easternmost IE language but it was centum. Even if Bangani is Indo-Iranian, presence of centum elements is a big discovery (as big as Tocharian turning out to be centum)! And substrate level influence is pretty common all over India. Indo-Aryan languages have Dravidian substrates, Dravidian have munda substrates. So, centum elements in Bangani can be attributed to a centum substrate whatever be its origin (Greek or Tocharian). Most Bangani speakers are bilingual and speak Hindi. No surprise if they replace some of these lexical items with Hindi equivalents. This is what Hock and Abbi pointed out two decades ago. Online sources like wikipedia, ethnologue tend to be hand wavy about language issues. Read what encyclopedia britannica says about Bangani- https://www.britannica.com/topic/Ind...ges#ref1052597. Cardona cites the evidence minimally, discusses the claim about Bangani being centum and admits that the verdict is still not out.
    I got the reading for 10 as dɔś from Van Driem, who is very critical of Zoller, so we have a problem there with that word. Good to see a third party indeed. Still, I found Van Driem interesting. His overview of the language is here in this article.
    Bangani can be considered as an Indo-Iranian language, and must thus be satem as a result. This can be seen from many vocabulary items listed by Van Driem, such as śetɔ “white”, śing- “horn”, śɔ “hundred”, zimi “land, earth”.

    Still, the question is whether Bangani contains a group of words that must stem from a centum-substrate. The most interesting form IMO that Zoller provides is dOkru- "tear", it does not just contain a velar but also an initial d, which is very western. It doesn't occur in Sanskrit śru-, Lithuanian ašar, and also not in Tocharian A ākr.
    But then Van Driem assumes here that it actually reads dukhru and must be related to Bangani dukh "woe".

    About the centum-satem-isogloss itself: it is very important to take into account the structure of the Indo-European language tree in order to answer the question when it has to be dated. Besides Tocharian, Hittite is centum-like too, but in the case of Hittite, it must have developed independently within Anatolian, since Luwian developed satem-like developments. This means that when Anatolian had split off from the rest of Indo-European, the centum-satem-isogloss was not yet present. Tocharian is generally assumed to be the second branch to split off from the rest. If the centum-satem-isogloss had not yet occurred by then, it may have developed the velars like the centum-languages independently (and why not, it had numerous changes by itself in its language). If the centum-satem-divide occurred when Tocharian had not yet split off, the fact that a centum-language was spoken so far east is not problematic when the centum-satem-isogloss is interpreted as a centre-periphery phenomenon instead of a west-east divide. However, the problem with a centre-periphery model is that generally the centre is innovative and the periphery is archaic. This would mean that satemization was an innovation but centumization an archaism. But this can't be true, since at least in Hittite centumization was an innovation too. Therefore, I conclude (at least for myself) that the centum-satem-divide was still a west-east-divide that occurred after Anatolian and Tocharian had split off, and that those branches had their own developments.

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  6. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pylsteen View Post
    I got the reading for 10 as dɔś from Van Driem, who is very critical of Zoller, so we have a problem there with that word. Good to see a third party indeed. Still, I found Van Driem interesting. His overview of the language is here in this article.
    Bangani can be considered as an Indo-Iranian language, and must thus be satem as a result. This can be seen from many vocabulary items listed by Van Driem, such as śetɔ “white”, śing- “horn”, śɔ “hundred”, zimi “land, earth”.

    Still, the question is whether Bangani contains a group of words that must stem from a centum-substrate. The most interesting form IMO that Zoller provides is dOkru- "tear", it does not just contain a velar but also an initial d, which is very western. It doesn't occur in Sanskrit śru-, Lithuanian ašar, and also not in Tocharian A ākr.
    But then Van Driem assumes here that it actually reads dukhru and must be related to Bangani dukh "woe".

    About the centum-satem-isogloss itself: it is very important to take into account the structure of the Indo-European language tree in order to answer the question when it has to be dated. Besides Tocharian, Hittite is centum-like too, but in the case of Hittite, it must have developed independently within Anatolian, since Luwian developed satem-like developments. This means that when Anatolian had split off from the rest of Indo-European, the centum-satem-isogloss was not yet present. Tocharian is generally assumed to be the second branch to split off from the rest. If the centum-satem-isogloss had not yet occurred by then, it may have developed the velars like the centum-languages independently (and why not, it had numerous changes by itself in its language). If the centum-satem-divide occurred when Tocharian had not yet split off, the fact that a centum-language was spoken so far east is not problematic when the centum-satem-isogloss is interpreted as a centre-periphery phenomenon instead of a west-east divide. However, the problem with a centre-periphery model is that generally the centre is innovative and the periphery is archaic. This would mean that satemization was an innovation but centumization an archaism. But this can't be true, since at least in Hittite centumization was an innovation too. Therefore, I conclude (at least for myself) that the centum-satem-divide was still a west-east-divide that occurred after Anatolian and Tocharian had split off, and that those branches had their own developments.
    Now, we are talking! Centum-Satem classification is a very complex topic and it is not as simple as looking up wikipedia or ethnologue. That's why I wrote all those lengthy comments earlier. You are delving into the details which is good.

    Yes, Van Driem and Sharma in an earlier paper 'In search of kentum Indo-Europeans in the Himalayas' quash all of Zoller's fifteen proposed centum forms. I read that paper years ago and took a look just now. It's a really acrimonious paper with Van Driem accusing Zoller of spreading lies about Bangani being xenophobic at the VII Sanskrit conference at Leiden and also accusing Zoller's informant of lying about the data. In any case, if Van Driem is correct, then Bangani is satem like all other neighboring languages and there is nothing to discuss. If it is not, then there is something interesting to say about how these centum forms got into the language. Is it Greek influence or Tocharian influence ? What's the timeline of this influence ? And so on. FYI I am not on Zoller's side. I am still open to considering this more interesting hypothesis.

    There is a lot to respond in what you said about centum-satem. Of course, Anatolian is accepted as having all three series of stops as PIE. It is accepted as the first outgroup of IE. Hittite is another beast altogether and I have no clue about it. Hittite centumization is either an innovation or an areal phenomenon. Can you give me the reference to Luwian being Satem ? Tocharian is again very interesting but also very complicated since it's extinct and much depends on how the script is read. Tocharian A and B seem to differ in the aksharas they had for labiovelars. If Tocharian and Hittite chose centumization independently, then we still need an account of how lexical items in these languages compare to the ones in European centum languages. As a rule of thumb, the fewer the number of independent developments, the better the reconstructed phylogeny. This is the maximum parsimony criterion. All of this tells me that centum-satem is not a reliable genetic isogloss (similar to your conclusion about east-west isogloss, which I didn't understand btw, did you mean areal effect ? Your terminology of center-periphery is reminiscent of diffusion models). There are other innovations shared by languages on opposing sides of the centum-satem boundary.

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  8. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudkol View Post

    There is a lot to respond in what you said about centum-satem. Of course, Anatolian is accepted as having all three series of stops as PIE. It is accepted as the first outgroup of IE. Hittite is another beast altogether and I have no clue about it. Hittite centumization is either an innovation or an areal phenomenon. Can you give me the reference to Luwian being Satem ? Tocharian is again very interesting but also very complicated since it's extinct and much depends on how the script is read. Tocharian A and B seem to differ in the aksharas they had for labiovelars. If Tocharian and Hittite chose centumization independently, then we still need an account of how lexical items in these languages compare to the ones in European centum languages. As a rule of thumb, the fewer the number of independent developments, the better the reconstructed phylogeny. This is the maximum parsimony criterion. All of this tells me that centum-satem is not a reliable genetic isogloss (similar to your conclusion about east-west isogloss, which I didn't understand btw, did you mean areal effect ? Your terminology of center-periphery is reminiscent of diffusion models). There are other innovations shared by languages on opposing sides of the centum-satem boundary.
    Luwian palatalized the palatovelars into z (ts), which is reminiscent of satem-languages. It did however keep the labiovelars (Luwian kui- "who"); for examples see e.g. the Hittite dictionary from Kloekhorst (2008); Melchert has articles too. Although within satem-languages labiovelars eventually ended up as neutral velars, some of their effects are also seen in satem-languages, e.g. Lithuanian ugns “fire” < *ungni- < *(H)n̥gwni-, that contains /u/ instead of normal /i/, can only be explained if labialization was still present when the syllabic resonant n̥ became vocalic /Vn/.

    If one assumes that the centum-satem-divide took place after both Anatolian and Tocharian had departed from the rest, it looks a bit areal. In the "west", all palatovelars were depalatalized, in the "east" they probably turned into /tś/ or similar. Indo-Iranian is the most satem-branch. Within Balto-Slavic, Armenian and Albanian there are some instances of depalatalization before resonants that lack in Indo-Iranian (except before *r if no i followed; e.g. Skt. krtu- "force" vs. śrī- "beauty", see for example Kloekhorst article ). This depalatalization obviously preceded the satemization. It is of course interesting that the satemization occurred in the same area as the "ruki rule". Although these are not directly connected to each other, they both involve a tendency to palatalization.

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  10. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pylsteen View Post
    Luwian palatalized the palatovelars into z (ts), which is reminiscent of satem-languages. It did however keep the labiovelars (Luwian kui- "who"); for examples see e.g. the Hittite dictionary from Kloekhorst (2008); Melchert has articles too. Although within satem-languages labiovelars eventually ended up as neutral velars, some of their effects are also seen in satem-languages, e.g. Lithuanian ugns “fire” < *ungni- < *(H)n̥gwni-, that contains /u/ instead of normal /i/, can only be explained if labialization was still present when the syllabic resonant n̥ became vocalic /Vn/.

    If one assumes that the centum-satem-divide took place after both Anatolian and Tocharian had departed from the rest, it looks a bit areal. In the "west", all palatovelars were depalatalized, in the "east" they probably turned into /tś/ or similar. Indo-Iranian is the most satem-branch. Within Balto-Slavic, Armenian and Albanian there are some instances of depalatalization before resonants that lack in Indo-Iranian (except before *r if no i followed; e.g. Skt. krtu- "force" vs. śrī- "beauty", see for example Kloekhorst article ). This depalatalization obviously preceded the satemization. It is of course interesting that the satemization occurred in the same area as the "ruki rule". Although these are not directly connected to each other, they both involve a tendency to palatalization.
    If Luwian retained the labiovelars, then it's not really satemization right ? I've seen Melchert's stuff on Anatolian, haven't read them.

    I think ruki rule and palatovelars interact since palatovelars are realized as sibilants in Indo-Iranian. Ruki rule is also related to development of retroflex sounds in Sanskrit, something I am personally interested in. About the centum-satem divide, Tocharian was also in prolonged contact with Indic. So not clear why the areal effect doesn't apply there.

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  12. #27
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    Finally found the thread you mentioned discussing this topic, sudkol:

    Quote Originally Posted by sudkol View Post
    Who is this linguist who ruled out Greek ? I was typing off on this issue on a separate thread yesterday lol
    An American linguist, specialises in Latin, asked for their opinion on the Bangani words as an aside, didn't have a firm opinion (other than the words "clearly representing a Centum IE strata"). They kindly messaged back a week later after speaking to an associate of theirs who specialises in Greek, who felt an "unacceptably large" number of the basic lexicon in Abbi's survey (those less likely to being mutable) were ostensibly different from Koine/Hellenistic Greek.

    I did some looking into the matter myself, and it's not particularly clear. A couple examples (in order; Bangani (English), Attic Greek, TochB ):

    Dokru (tear) - Dakru, Akru (AG > TochB )
    Dukti (daughter) - Thugater/Kori, Tkacer (neither look close - This is actually a full cognate with Lithuanian, dukte!)
    Porko (ask/question) - Erotidis (something asked) / Dogos (subject under question) / Aiteo (demand), Park (TochB > AG)
    Doko (ten) - Deka, Sak (AG > TochB )
    Kotia (hundred) - Ekaton, Kante (AG and TochB look equally close)
    Korsno (scratch) - Knin/?Knisiks, Kars (TochB > AG)
    Kopo (hoof) - ?D'pli/Dili, Kolyi (TochB > AG)

    For reference, Bangani word list (Abbi), Woodhouse Attic Greek dictionary, Adams Tocharian B dictionary.

    Three caveats in advance:
    1) I am aware that sound laws have to be permitted, but this is just a rough lay comparison between the words.
    2) Couldn't find a reliable Ancient Macedonian dictionary. That would be preferable.
    3) Ditto for Tocharian A, though there appears to be less material regarding it than B online.

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  14. #28
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    Who is that linguist ? I am a linguist too trained in the US. Zoller is ambivalent about the source of centum layer in Bangani. It need not have been ancient Greek which was the standard. It could have been some centum dialect spoken by the common soldiery. The other source for centum in Bangani, as you point out, could have been Tocharian or some dialect of it. I wanted to know if this linguist is disputing the fact that these elements are centum or just saying that the source can't be Attic Greek.
    Last edited by sudkol; 08-27-2018 at 08:33 PM.

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    Excellent, glad to have more formally-trained linguists within our community.

    Quote Originally Posted by sudkol View Post
    I wanted to know if this linguist is disputing the fact that these elements are centum or just saying that the source can't be Attic Greek.
    Anyone with a cursory knowledge of IE would recognise these words as belonging to the Centum isogloss, so I'd strongly doubt the Greek specialist (the Latin linguist didn't provide a name) would argue these words aren't Centum IE - Said specialist was apparently unconvinced that the words are cleanly from Koine Greek and an "unacceptably large" number of the basic vocab deviated too greatly from it.

    I have no experience whatsoever with the Greek branch. Could be possible that another Ancient Greek dialect with a markedly different vocabulary contributed these terms to Bangani? Perhaps Koine Greek contains more Linear B terms and the dialects spoken in rural areas (or among the Ancient Macedonians) contained more proto-Greek descent terms?

    Might be worth directly reaching out to a linguist with a special interest in Greek for their take.

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    I've just emailed three senior linguists with current (or prior) expertise in Ancient Greek regarding their opinions on these words.

    Looking forward to their responses!

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