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Thread: Evidence for the Proto-Indo-European-Euskarian Hypothesis

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    Evidence for the Proto-Indo-European-Euskarian Hypothesis

    Any thoughts on this? I can't access the book, so I can't say much. But how would this theory square with ancient DNA from Europe, and especially Iberia, if it needs any squaring?

    This book presents a new reconstruction of Proto-Basque, the mother language of modern Basque varieties, historical Basque, and Aquitanian, grounded in traditional methods of historical linguistics. Building on a long tradition of Basque scholarship, the comparative method and internal reconstruction, informed by the phonetic bases of sound change and phonological typology, are used to explain previously underappreciated alternations and asymmetries in Basque sound patterns, resulting in a radically new view of the proto-language. The comparative method is then used to compare this new Proto-Basque with Proto-Indo-European, revealing regular sound correspondences in basic vocabulary and grammatical formatives. Evaluation of these results supports a distant genetic relationship between Proto-Basque and Proto-Indo-European, and offers new insights into specific linguistic properties of these two ancient languages. This comprehensive volume, which includes a detailed appendix including Proto-Basque/Proto-Indo-European cognate sets, will be of general interest to linguists, archeologists, historians, and geneticists, and of particular interest to scholars in historical linguistics, phonetics and phonology, language change, and Basque and Indo-European studies.
    Advances in Proto-Basque Reconstruction with Evidence for the Proto-Indo-European-Euskarian Hypothesis

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    I haven't read this, though I remember Forni's attempt in reconstructing Basque as an IE language. For that, he needed to assume lots of phonetic lenition and deletion of sounds in pre-proto-Basque, and that is a weak spot if you only have Basque data to work with imo.

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    I agree with Pylsteen. I too thought immediately of Forni, and of the destruction by Kassian of Forni's theory: "In any case, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Gianfranco Forni for his contribution. Methodology of historical linguistics is not sufficiently advanced yet and such amateur theories are a good testing area that helps us to improve our methods". "Amateur", haha, I like Kassian!
    I'm not myself a professional linguist, but I'm wondering: how is it possible to re(?)-construct anything like a proto-Basque, while it's undebatable that actual Basque is an isolate? Would it be possible to reconstruct Latin if French was the only surviving romance language? Well... we have to read this book. By the way, this lady has some connection with Max Plank, it's not a good sign.

    edit: according to the preview pdf, the methodology seems very close to Forni's one, doesn't it?

    edit edit: btw these attempts to prove that Basque is of IE descent are anything but new. A thesis devoted to this attempt was even supported a few years ago at the University of Pau, if I remember correctly. This work was a pure sham, but nationalism does not care about scientific seriousness. That said, Blevins does not seem to be Basque.
    Last edited by anglesqueville; 12-16-2018 at 04:57 PM.
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    Although the reconstruction of proto-Basque largely depends on inner reconstruction, some developments can be induced from e.g. Latin borrowings.
    Back to Forni, when I read it, I thought, wow, interesting; it seems possible. But it still requires a lot of fitting and it is not more likely than other less demanding hypotheses.

    I haven't read Blevins, but does she writes about Basque as a possible relative of PIE instead of a descendant? Then that is a difference with Forni. I would have to read it first before commenting on it. Don't have the time now.

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