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Thread: Albanian Linguistics

  1. #111
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    Albania Kosovo
    Quote Originally Posted by Johane Derite View Post
    Albanian is the only surviving IE language that is neither Satem nor Centum. Its astounding how much it is not even taken into account when analysing the IE situation, especially since its in the middleof Greece, Rome, Danube, etc all critical points for IE phenomenon.

    “Thus, the three-way IE reconstructed voiced ~ voiceless ~ voiced aspirated system of obstruents has been reduced, as in many IE dialects, to a double opposition: voiced ~ voiceless; and the outcomes of the three dorsal series suggest that Albanian, like Luwian, may have originally retained this three-way opposition intact and therefore is neither centum nor satem, despite the clear satem-like outcome of its palatal dorsals in most instances.

    The evidence for this is the palatalization of original PIE labiovelars, but not plain velars, before front vowels.”

    B 2018 De Gruyter
    “Handbook of Comparative and Historical Indo-European Linguistics
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  2. #112
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    Albania Kosovo
    (Image) Albanian is one of the 9 main living branches of the Indo-European languages.


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  4. #113
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    " Not one of the peoples with whom we have to deal in this book has such a claim to the epithet “Balkan,” as the Dardanians. Not only because their territory lay in the heart of the Balkans, but also because they appear as the most stable and most conservative ethnic element in the area where everything was exposed to constant change, and also because they, with their roots in the distant pre-Homeric age, and living on the frontiers of the Illyrian and Thracian worlds, retained their individuality and, alone among the peoples of that region, succeeded in maintaining themselves as an ethnic unity even when they were militarily and politically subjugated by the Roman arms. "


  5. #114
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    I can imagine that this has already been posted here:

    “And, furthermore, that some people have a sex life and others don’t just because some are more attractive than others. I wanted to acknowledge that if people don’t have a sex life, it’s not for some moral reason, it’s just because they’re ugly. Once you’ve said it, it sounds obvious, but I wanted to say it.” — Michel Houellebecq

  6. #115
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    Linguist E. Hamp argued that the Greek language originated in the Caucasus due to its Indo-Iranian and Armenian affinities. While Albanian shares a large number of unique words only with Greek, it has negligible relations with Indo-Iranian & Armenian suggesting different origins.





  7. #116
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    Some of what I'm about to say might sound controversial to some, this is largely due to the topic having repeatedly been the focus of identity politics, so keep in mind that I have literally no horse in this race. I'm merely following the linguistic data, there is no "double-entendre".

    The placement of Albanian within the IE language tree is one of the thornier issues of Indo-European linguistics. It is comparable to the placement of Armenian, yet another solitary branch of IE that has also (1) been identified as an IE language relatively late and (2) defies consensus with regards to its classification. There is also a high degree of certainty for an association with one of the earliest languages in the region it encompasses, again much like Armenian (which has often been compared to Phrygian).

    I will begin by stating that the "centum-satem" discussion is overhyped. This is but a single isogloss, and not much can be gleaned from it by analysing a language that is not only contemporary but that basically is the last branch to show up in the written record. To give you an example of what I'm talking about, try picturing a scenario where present-day Romance languages are attested not only late within the written record but also in a situation where we have minimal information on Latin (both in its classical and vulgar forms) and Italic. Consider the widespread spirantisation in Romance languages, the very word "centum" will suffice as it yielded French cent /sɑ̃/, Italian centoɛnto/, Portuguese centosẽ.tu/, Spanish cientoθjento/ and so on and so forth... In such circumstances I have very little doubt that many linguists would label Romance "satem", or at the very least you'd see a debate similar in nature to what is going on with Albanian.

    So you can only guess how informative this isogloss is when dealing with a language like Albanian, that is to say a language that is attested late in the written record and where internal reconstruction is the only method that provides some sort of diachronic insight. If we are to speak of isoglosses, the centum-satem divide is not the most useful one, the more important ones are lexical and "allow" us in a somewhat consistent manner to place Albanian under the same node as Germanic (take the following tree from Ringe et al. 2002):



    Which is not very informative to say the least. Ringe and Warnow tend to discard this a bit too liberally in my view, but ultimately the common ancestor is bound to be fairly remote possibly going back to the second half of the 3rd millennium BCE. More importantly, the tree does not include any of the Paleo-Balkan languages and with good reason which is what we are going to talk about now...

    The only thing that is certain is that Albanian derives from one of the "Paleo-Balkan" languages, a purely geographic and non-genetic label that comprises Illyrian, Thracian, Dacian as well as the more obscure languages (Pæonian, Mysian, etc). The main obstacle is the paucity of data for all of these, thanks to the largely illiterate nature of their societies we know next to nothing about the languages spoken by the Illyrians, the Dacians and the Thracians. The meager remnants consist in a few words, some toponyms here and there and some onomastic/theophoric elements.

    I won't get into a long-winded argument here, because I doubt you'd want to read that, but judging from the small amount of data available the most likely scenario points towards a relationship with Illyrian. The strongest argument here in my view is the fact that the few Illyrian toponyms and words we know of can be etymologised with Albanian glosses. Most importantly, many of those Illyrian words are Messapian, such as Brentēsion (present-day Brindisi) < Messap. brēndon "deer's head" parallel to Alb. bri "horn" < Proto-Albanian *brina or Messap. *biles "son" parallel to Archaic Albanian bilë meaning "daughter". This is important because Messapian is bound to represent a more archaic stage of Illyrian, and so if Messapic words can be etymologised with Albanian glosses then the connection is almost certainly due to a genetic relationship considering both the temporal gap and the large amount of phonetic change that took root in Albanian.

    This does not necessarily mean that Albanian is a straightforward descendant of Illyrian, just that the two might share a common ancestor. A positive answer is impossible anyway since we do not know whether Illyrian was a single language or a set of dialects (possibly even mutually unintelligible). If, for some reason yet unknown to us, the Illyrian connection turned out to be an illusion produced by the scarcity of data, Dacian would be a close second. From an internal standpoint, Arbëreshë is the most archaic variety of Albanian still spoken, Tosk as a whole is archaic while the Gheg dialects are innovative (rhotacism is one example). This does suggest that Proto-Albanian, prior to the split between Tosk and Gheg, was spoken closer to the NErn dialect zone (encompassing Kosovo) and that the language spread southwards. This seems to be mitigated by the fact that the oldest layer of Greek loans in Albanian is NW Greek and that the Romance vocabulary seems to be more closely affiliated to Eastern Romance (though this too is a point of contention). Ultimately, the real question is whether Illyrian, Dacian, Thracian and others Paleo-Balkan languages (such as Pæonian) were related, this is a question that cannot be answered thanks to the scarcity of data. If I had to pick, the most likely theory in my view would posit the derivation of Proto-Albanian from the ancient Dardanian language with this Illyrian dialect being related to Dacian at the very least, this in my view would be a good trade-off which would explain some of the contradictory elements you've just seen in this paragraph and which I do not think are mutually exclusive.

    In the end, the origin of the Albanian language is one of those cases where the genetic data will probably prove more useful than the linguistic data, we can only do so much with so little evidence. Taking the genetic data into account, the presence of lineages like E-V13 and J2b2-L283 that have experienced large founder effects in the Balkans starting from the end of the 3rd millennium BCE and the latter being attested in a BA Croatian dating to the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE (the time-frame associated with the arrival of the Illyrians) favours a relationship with Illyrian, coupled with the close genetic similarity of Albanians to Mainland Greeks which indicates a similar ethnogenesis along the lines of what we see in Greece deriving ~70% of their ancestry from a source similar to Balkans_IA (assuming they can be used to proxy Illyrian ancestry) with the rest being chiefly Slavic:



    All in all, the genetic evidence does strongly favour a link with the Illyrians. And I'd expect this to be vindicated once we get to see Illyrian remains.


    By the way this map:

     


    Is completely nonsensical. There's no way the PIE homeland was located south of the Caucasus, let alone in present-day Georgia. And it's even less likely that the Mycenaeans came from Anatolia. That's the paradox you see, thanks to centuries of near-autistic focus on Indo-European studies we can place the homeland of this language with near-absolute accuracy on the Pontic-Caspian steppe even though at the same time we are much less certain about the location and exact classification of its Albanian descendant.
    Last edited by Agamemnon; 07-17-2019 at 02:28 AM.
    ᾽Άλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
    κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
    νῆα κατισχέμεναι: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι πιστὰ γυναιξίν.


    -Αγαμέμνων; H Οδύσσεια, Ραψωδία λ

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  9. #117
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    Before one moves forward on this messapic language....one needs to clarify that messapian belongs to the Iapygian people along with 2 other tribes, Daunians and Peucetians.....did they all speak messapic ?
    The Daunians are the most numerous by far of these 3 tribes.

    Then, linguistics state messapic is closer to greek than etruscan
    And Tosk is purer than Gheg

    There is too much "imagination" in people to ever find the truth.

    Where do the 14 epirote tribes fit into this .....did they speak a branch of messapic or purely NW Greek
    Last edited by vettor; 07-17-2019 at 03:04 AM.


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