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Thread: Origin of the Italics

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    Origin of the Italics

    I was reading this https://www.academia.edu/377059/The_...c_and_Germanic again and its very clear that Celtic and Germanic were closely neighbouring way back before the shifts that define them happened. This is vocab mostly only shared by those two IE branches. Italic does not generally share them. So it dates to a period when Celto-Italic peoples had geographically split so that the branch heading towards Celtic but not Italic was geographically close to the pre-proto-Germans. This shared Celto-Germanic vocab seems to be high status stuff relating to war, power and ritual/religion. Dating the vocab is tricky but it is noticeable that the shared vocab includes riding horses and wagons.

    What are the implications for Italic?

    My general feeling now is the early beaker phase coming from the west was non-R1b and non-IE and only combined with these after 2550BC. We also have limited but pretty clear evidence, if representative, that Remedello lacked steppe genes or R1b associations so it cannot be the origin of the apparent P312-Italic link. My overall feeling for the arrival of the Italics into Italy is now that its no earlier than late beaker and may even be post-beaker.

    However, for some reason Italic does not share the Celto-German vocab which dates back deep to a time before most of the shifts that define those language - the pre-proto period. That suggests it was not in contact with the branch leading to Celtic by the time this vocab was being shared or if it was just was not interested.
    Last edited by alan; 11-09-2015 at 04:41 PM.

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    I hear that proto-Celtic and Latin show a lot of similarities.

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    That is true, and Italic languages also show some similarities to Lusitanian. See the discussion we are having in the thread "R1b-L51 - Results discussion".
    --------------------Ken

    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
    I hear that proto-Celtic and Latin show a lot of similarities.

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    The way I would read it is that the Celto-Italic branch divided fairly early - a lot of the Celto-Germanic vocab is pretty fundamental stuff - leaving the branch leading to Celtic more in contact with pre-proto-Germanic than with pre-proto-Italics.

    However this gets stranger when you look at the archaeological evidence. There are many connections between Italy and the area north of the Alps 2200-1000BC. So if the Celtic shifts happened immediately north of the Alps then why would Italic have not shared innovations with it? It almost is suggestive that the area just north of the Alps was not Celtic way back in the pre-proto-phase deep in the Bronze Age.

    Another thing is normally Germanic and its pre-proto versions of the Bronze Age are placed no further south than north Germany, extending into Denmark and northwards. So if pre-proto-Celtic was in contact with pre-proto Germanic but not in contact with pre-proto-Italic then this tends to suggest to me that fairly early in the Bronze Age the pre-proto ancestors of the Celts lived quite far north neighbouring the pre-proto-Germans and separated from the ancestors of the Italics. Certainly either geography, chronology, some intervening group or some combo of all three seem to have separated off the pre-proto Italics from the Celts during the pre-proto period when Celtic and Germanic shared so much crucial vocab.

    its just a pity the Celto-Germanic vocab shared at their pre-proto stages is not possible to closely date. One thing is clear from that vocab is that there are some specifics of the military-ritual elite end of society that the ancestors of the Celts and Germanics shared from a common source that they shared with no other branches of IE, not even the Italic part of the Celto-Italic branch. Its something important to consider - why did the pre-proto ancestors of the Germans and Celts, despite not being originally on the same branch, have this shared vocab apparently focused on an apparently shared elite end social structure of military and ritual power that was generally not shared with any other branch. Almost as if they had no other neighbours.

    If this vocab is not an ancestral Celto-Italic thing (which given its absence in Italic seems clear) but is found in Celtic and Germanic the simplest deduction might be that it came from the pre-proto-Germanics into pre-proto-Celts. This seems to be supported by some strange cases of the same vocab having echos in Finnish. Alternatively the pre-proto Celts and pre-proto-Germans shared social innovations. Either way there was a period when the pre-proto-Celts gained identical vocab and social-military-ritual institutions as the the pre-proto-Germans that were not shared with the Italics.

    Archaeologically the earliest rational window seems to be when a Celto-Italic beaker culture partly overlap with pre-proto-Germanic corded ware or battle axe peoples in the area between the Rhine and Elbe and beyond. However, it should be noted that the beaker people didnt always overlap with Corded Ware people in central Europe. There were areas of central Europe where there is no CW substrate under beaker in places like Hungary and surrounding areas.

    So, perhaps the ancestors of the Italics were located in the part of central Europe bell beaker distribution that did not overlap with CW while the Celts ancestors lived in the area where beaker overlaid CW and where the ancestors of the Celts and Germans lived close to each other.

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    Very interesting, and to me this difficulty in categorising clear branching between western IE is not a problem but a solution- which imho is staring us in the face. Germanic, italic and Celtic, as well as other not-quite classifiable languages like Ligurian , Venetic and Lusitanian (are they Celtic, Italic or "para-Celtic" ?) can be described by the fact they have a common ancestor (putatively the early P312); compounded by Germanic having additional direct ancestry from the steppe (U106, R1a). These did not just split at 2500 or 2000 BC but had ongoing contact and mutual developments in a peer-polity manner . Even italic was in contact as late as urnfield period.

    The classic family tree diagrams do not capture this; but I humbly believe my little concoction does.
    Id be happy for feedback. This is still a rough version; and I'll do one soon incorporating Germanic ; and I'll make it "3D".


    image.jpeg
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    Last edited by Gravetto-Danubian; 11-10-2015 at 11:42 PM.

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    I think the tree aspect does have validity but its complicated hugely by the fact that original kinship on the tree such as Celtic and Italic had according to most experts was then followed by a period where they split and Celtic had more intense relationships with Germanic than Italic. All branches would have a similar combination of the initial tree branch position complicated by later geographical sideways contact. I still believe the basic tree scheme is correct though. even if it is limited to telling on the start of any branches story.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan View Post
    I think the tree aspect does have validity but its complicated hugely by the fact that original kinship on the tree such as Celtic and Italic had according to most experts was then followed by a period where they split and Celtic had more intense relationships with Germanic than Italic. All branches would have a similar combination of the initial tree branch position complicated by later geographical sideways contact. I still believe the basic tree scheme is correct though. even if it is limited to telling on the start of any branches story.
    Yes the comparative method which feeds the tree model is definitely correct; it's just that most trees miss all the detail on the middle, thus fall short of establishing the real relationship between language groups like italic and Celtic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan View Post
    ... look at the archaeological evidence. There are many connections between Italy and the area north of the Alps 2200-1000BC. So if the Celtic shifts happened immediately north of the Alps then why would Italic have not shared innovations with it?
    The Alps are a mighty barrier, such as would encourage separate language development. But in my view the arrival of the Etruscans also played a key role. They created a linguistic barrier between what is now Northern Italy, in which languages such as Ligurian and Venetic developed (presumably from the common ancestor of Celtic and Italic), from central and southern Italy in which Italic developed.

    Passes through the Alps allowed the development of (the Celtic language) Lepontic in the southern foothills of the Alps. We find written records of it from c. 600 BC, the range of which fits the Golasecca culture, which was a trade gateway between Hallstatt and the Etruscans. The Golasecca culture began in the 8th century BC, developing from the local Bronze Age culture. This can be traced back to a variety of Urnfield that arrived in the 13th century BC, which is therefore often presumed to be the vector of the first Celtic language south of the Alps.

    Yet if we go further back in time we reach the Bell Beaker sites of Sion on the upper Rhône and Aosta in the southern Alps. They received a sudden influx of new, eastern Bell Beaker material c. 2425 BC (see p. 97). So here we have an earlier wave which could have brought Celtic to the southern Alps. If so, the continued use of trans-Alpine trade routes would keep those Celts of the southern Alps in touch linguistically with the developing core of Proto-Celtic north of the Alps as it gradually turned into Gaulish. Yet Lepontic seems best classified as a separate language from Gaulish.

    CelticTree.JPG

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik View Post
    I hear that proto-Celtic and Latin show a lot of similarities.
    Peter Schrijver gives a list of the common features of Celtic and Italic in https://www.academia.edu/13749183/Pr...nguage_contact

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    Here is a map from Wikipedia of the languages of Iron-Age Italy (click to enlarge):

    Iron_Age_Italy.svg.png

    The languages in shades of grey are Italic.

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