May 29, 2011

Dolgopolsky on the two homelands of PIE

A classic study of the problem, which makes the two most important linguistic points:
  1. Lexical borrowing between PIE and Kartvelian/Semitic languages places the early PIE homeland in the Near East
  2. The maximum dialectal diversity within IE in the Balkans places the secondary PIE homeland in Southeastern Europe
My only point of disagreement with Dolgopolsky's model is that the secondary Balkan homeland was responsible only for the European IE languages (and Armenian) but not for the eastern migration of the Tocharians and Indo-Iranians.

I have argued elsewhere in my blog about the West Asian origin of these Asian IE branches; a Balkan origin for them seems unlikely at the moment, due to the lack of Y-haplogroup I and of the "Southern European" component among the eastern Indo-Europeans. Of course, we must wait to see what surprises archaeogenetics may have in store for us.

Mediterranean Language Review 1987 3:7-31

The Indo-European Homeland and Lexical Contacts of Proto-Indo-European with Other Languages

A. Dolgopolsky

Link (doc)

23 comments:

  1. My only point of disagreement with Dolgopolsky's model is that the secondary Balkan homeland was responsible only for the European IE languages (and Armenian) but not for the eastern migration of the Tocharians and Indo-Iranians.

    Then how do you explain the a lot of commonalities shared between all non-Anatolian IE languages which Anatolian IE languages lack and vice versa enough to split the IE language family into two primary branches: Anatolian and non-Anatolian? There is also the centum-satem division which too seems to betray your western/eastern division.

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  2. While the geographical evidence (dialectal diversity) in favor of the Balkans relates to Late PIE, this does not exclude that the same area is also the homeland of Early PIE. This is noteworthy because the diversity reflected today and in historical and neolithic times is partially due to the geography and different climate and sustenance zones, and would have been present from the beginning. This makes it possible that IE traders and settlers from a particular region (say, e.g., NE Greece/ NW Turkey above the Sea of Marmara) into Anatolia mag have spoken a highly local dialect that had already evolved for a couple of thousand years, there, thus providing the illusion of a much earlier parting then Late PIE.

    The Balkan scenario also makes contact to Proto-Semitic (or Afro-Asiatic), Proto-Hurro-Urartian, and Proto-Kartvelian possible, if either or several of these were originally more wide-spread in the west of Anatolia or along the southern (and even southeastern) Black Sea shores, considering mercantile contacts (and why wouldn't they have been, if we start out with the assumption that Anatolia was originally not PIE?).

    Most proclaimed proto-Semitic loan words are irrelevant, if they simply relate to early agricultural/technological terms (thus with unknown prior origin and expected to be carried with agriculture into the Balkans, anyway). And that they do.

    And, most importantly, note that the direction of borrowing into all the remaining languages is from PIE to them, as you would expect from early trade missions going into Anatolia. Not the other way round, as you would expect from an Anatolian homeland.

    In summary, I think Chart 2 of this (oldish but in most parts very good) book chapter is not defensible upon further analysis, and the Balkan homeland proposition is still fair game.

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  3. Then how do you explain the a lot of commonalities shared between all non-Anatolian IE languages which Anatolian IE languages lack and vice versa enough to split the IE language family into two primary branches: Anatolian and non-Anatolian?

    If that is the case (and according to Ryder and Nicholls it may not be), then it's quite conceivable that the earliest split occurred in the Near East itself. Actually that's quite possible, and is perhaps related with the 8.2 kiloyear event that must've spurred increased population mobility and may have broken the Proto-Indo-European community at around the time that Bayesian phylogenetics tells us it broke up.

    There is also the centum-satem division which too seems to betray your western/eastern division.

    No one considers the centum-satem division as a primary division within IE any more.

    In summary, I think Chart 2 of this (oldish but in most parts very good) book chapter is not defensible upon further analysis, and the Balkan homeland proposition is still fair game.

    A Balkan homeland could save the Kartvelian contacts (if one assumed that early Anatolia was Proto-Kartvelian), but I really don't see how it could save the Semitic ones. I can kinda see early Semitic contacts between the Aegean and the Near East as a possibility, but you seem to prefer a north Balkan PIE homeland, and it is very difficult to envision substantial contacts with that region.

    Moreover, the Balkan PIE homeland also seems inconsistent with the genetics (haplogroup I and "South European" component).

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  4. Seems like takes us back to the issue raised by Jean in an earlier thread that borrowing from Semitic across all IE languages has strong incompatibility with an older (than proto-Semitic at 5000 BP) Anatolian origin with farmers, due to the relative recency of Semitic, though of course, it's not much better with a recent Pontic Steppe pastoralist origin.

    Certainly, it would be hard to see any motive force for a recent post-farming expansion of IE from Anatolia. If we have trouble postulating an advantage for steppe pastoralists over farmers, an advantage of Anatolian farmers over earlier farmers with the same crop package seems even more difficult (perhaps climate wiping out an earlier, non-IE wave of farmers? But then, why does it occur everywhere at the periphery of the IE range?).

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  5. Dieneke, you wrote before that the era of Proto-Indo-European and the era of Proto-Semitic have no correspondence in time and that Proto-Semitic is about three thousand years later in time than Proto-Indo-European. But this article explains most of the lexical correspondences between Proto-IE and Proto-Semitic as borrowings from Proto-Semitic to Proto-IE. How is that possible if Proto-IE and Proto-Semitic weren't contemporary at least during a period of their existence.

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  6. Seems like takes us back to the issue raised by Jean in an earlier thread that borrowing from Semitic across all IE languages has strong incompatibility with an older (than proto-Semitic at 5000 BP) Anatolian origin with farmers, due to the relative recency of Semitic, though of course, it's not much better with a recent Pontic Steppe pastoralist origin.

    This is a common error; the age estimate of Proto-Semitic corresponds to the first breakup of the language family into daughter languages, and is in no way incompatible with the presence of its speakers for a very long time before that event. For example, the breakup of the Romance language family in late Antiquity is not inconsistent with the presence of Romance speakers in Italy a long time before (in the form of Latin, the undifferentiated mother tongue).

    it's not much better with a recent Pontic Steppe pastoralist origin

    It's not much better, it's much worse, since a "Pontic steppe" origin is incompatible with either Kartvelian or Semitic cultural contacts.

    Certainly, it would be hard to see any motive force for a recent post-farming expansion of IE from Anatolia.

    Not sure what you mean by that. The spread of farming was certainly not a one-off event.

    There are multiple layers of the Neolithic, from the aceramic phase, to early pottery, to full-blown village-type settlements of the traditional type. The Near East continued to be an area of technological innovation (e.g., in metallurgy) long after the initial Neolithic, so I certainly see no problem with population movements out of the area from the earliest Neolithic down to the Bronze Age.

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  7. This is a common error; the age estimate of Proto-Semitic corresponds to the first breakup of the language family into daughter languages, and is in no way incompatible with the presence of its speakers for a very long time before that event. For example, the breakup of the Romance language family in late Antiquity is not inconsistent with the presence of Romance speakers in Italy a long time before (in the form of Latin, the undifferentiated mother tongue).

    But unlike Latin, here you are talking about not hundreds of years but thousands of years. It is inconceivable for a geographically widespread language like Proto-Semitic to show no branching for thousands of years. The only plausible solution to this problem is to hypothesize that earlier branches of Proto-Semitic were completely wiped out by its later branches and non-Semitic languages. There are some similar examples in the history of languages.

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  8. It is inconceivable for a geographically widespread language like Proto-Semitic to show no branching for thousands of years.

    Were you alive 8,000 years ago to know that Proto-Semitic was "geographically widespread"?

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  9. Were you alive 8,000 years ago to know that Proto-Semitic was "geographically widespread"?

    Borrowings into Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Kartvelian from Proto-Semitic give us some important clues about the geographical range of Proto-Semitic.

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  10. Borrowings into Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Kartvelian from Proto-Semitic give us some important clues about the geographical range of Proto-Semitic.

    That's an incomplete sentence. What are the clues? Proto-Kartvelian and Proto-Indo-European occupied neighboring regions in West Asia. Why does that mean that Proto-Semitic must've been "widespread"?

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  11. This is a common error; the age estimate of Proto-Semitic corresponds to the first breakup of the language family into daughter languages, and is in no way incompatible with the presence of its speakers for a very long time before that event.

    True. So I guess this requires that proto-semitic sort of hangs around without much of a change in its fundamental sound system for 3000 years? Or else the borrowings wouldn't look much like the proto-Semitic reconstruction at the time of the date of the breakup. But I don't really have enough linguistic knowledge to assess that.

    I would guess that an application of the reconstruction methods you have blogged as applied to the Indo European languages and the Semitic languages to the wider Afro Asiatic family would help also verify the above, by giving a maximum ceiling for Proto-Semitic rather than a minimum age prior to breakup, which would be valid (or at least valid insofar as we accept the method to be valid generally).

    The Near East continued to be an area of technological innovation (e.g., in metallurgy) long after the initial Neolithic, so I certainly see no problem with population movements out of the area from the earliest Neolithic down to the Bronze Age.

    A reasonable statement, but these seem less likely to affect a wide population or linguistic replacement across the entire IE swathe.

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  12. From the borrowings of words that are reconstructed from only Semitic roots and with only Semitic rules from Proto-Semitic into both Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Kartvelian and the agriculture-related contents of those borrowings, we can conclude that Proto-Semitic occupied many strategic locations in the Fertile Crescent that were instrumental in the beginning and early spread of agriculture. I don't think that a language with a small geographical range can make those impacts.

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  13. There is a possibility that early Semitic was the official language of a very early bioculture-state(such as Natufians)and thus they maintained a frozen form of early Semitic as the official language/lingua franca uniting various Semitic speaking folks/liturgical language(see the case of nowadays Coptic in Egypt, Hebrew in Israel, Aramaic amongst eastern Christians and even standard Arabic in the Arabic speaking countries acting as a frozen 6 th century dated lingua franca)and as consequence the PS loanwords into PIE were most likely wanderwörters and not diret loanwords(as the case of Kartvelian shwid 7 from a northwestern-and not proto-Semitic language)before its breakup This results in glottochronology methods being flawed
    On the otherhand the words for 6-7 in Semitic are shared by the other 2 norafrasan branches(Libyc and Egyptian)and sporadically by some southafrasan languages(not at a proto level and thus could be mere laonwords from egyptian/berber/semitic) please see below(even the isolated Guanche language conserved those norafrasan numerals)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guanche_language
    7 satti *set sat sat sat (sá) sat *sa *sah
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Egyptian_numerals
    *sáfḫaw ‹ sfḫ.w (masc.)
    *sáfḫat ‹ sfḫt (fem.) seven šašf(masc.)
    šašfe (fem.)
    Interestigly "sab" means also index finger(7th finger)in Semitic (Arabic sabbabat)
    Also there is a possibility that the borrowing did take place not between proto indo-hittite and proto semitic but between proto indo-hittite(halaf+çatalhöyük bioculture) and pre-proto-semitic(natufian culture)or early norafrasan??(the difficulity is that the author speaks of a genuine proto semitic form, thus we should first know about the reconstructed proto norafrasan numerals)
    According to Gamkrelidze&Ivanon the breakup of PIE dated to the 5-4 th millenium BC, such date would fits the best with Proto Semitic(dont forget that the Bayesian analyzis did not include all 70 Semitic languages and especially languages such as Gurage,Ugaritic,Meriotic as well as earlier Semitic substratum in Sumerian[the so called Kish language]as well as Eblaic)date
    "All the foregoing draws on the earliest areal data to date the period when
    Proto-Indo-European existed as a linguistic system to no later than the fifth to
    fourth millennia B.C., the date that must be given to the beginning of the ProtoIndo-
    European dialect dispersal."
    Add to that ,the fact that the pie was very vast and populated by farmers(wich increases language erosion contrary to languages spoken by pastoralists or languages spoken by farmers but in small area)
    "The Proto-Indo-European linguistic area must be placed in the BalkanTurkmenia
    region proposed above"
    "in some part of it where interaction and contacts between Proto-Indo-European and the Semitic and Kartvelian (SouthCaucasian) languages could have taken place, since these languages show layers
    of interborrowings and a number of structural traits pointing to interaction over a long period. The fact of Indo-European-Semitic-Kartvelian interaction points to a Proto-Indo-European homeland in the restricted area within the Near East where such contacts could have occurred, and hence rules out the Balkans as a possible center of Proto-Indo-European dispersal.
    Proto-Indo-European, Kartvelian, and Semitic show a distinctive isomorphic structure in their consonantism, which displays three series of stops, defined as glottalized (or pharyngealized, for some of Semitic), voiced, and voiceless (see 1.2.5 above)."
    Furthemore according to the same authors, some of the Semitic loanwords into IE were not at an PIE level(please see below)so there is a possibility that proto Semitic words were borrowed to proto nodes(like proto Italic-Germanic and from there they were borrowed to Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian...??)please see below

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  14. "PIE * ghait'- 'kid, goat' : Sem. *gady- 'kid, goat': Akkad. gadu 'kid', Hebr.gegf, Aram. gagya, Arab. gady- 'goat' (see Illic-Svityc 1 964:3). In IndoEuropeanthe word is restricted to one dialect area, Italic-Germanic (Lat.haedus, Sabine faedus, Goth. gaits, OIcel. geit, OE gat, Engl. goat, OHG geiz: Porzig 1954: 1 14 [ 1 964: 172]). The fact that an ancient Semitic loan is found in the western Indo-European languages is extremely significant for determining the original Indo-European territory. The borrowed Indo-European word shows several departures from normal Indo-European phonetic structure
    (combination of Series I and Series 11 stops in a single root, accessive consonant"
    "PIE *bhar(s)- 'grain, groats' : Sem. *burr-/*barr- 'grain, threshed grain' : Hebr. bar 'threshed grain', Arab. burr- 'wheat', S.Arab. (Soqotri) bor, (Mehri) barr 'grain, wheat' (Hrozny 1913:38; see Moller 191 1 :34, Illi��-Svity�� 1 964:4-5, Fronzaroli 1 969:VI.296, 1973:21 -22, D. Cohen 1 976:87). The borrowed nature of the word in Indo-European is shown by the *a root vocalism. In IndoEuropean
    this is a regional word, restricted to the Ancient European dialects:Lat. far, gen. farris 'spelt' (Triticum spelta), Osc., Umbr. far, Goth. Barizeins 'made of barley', ' krithinos', OIcel. barr ' grain, barley', OE bfre (Engl. barley), cf. Olr. bairgen 'bread', Serbo-Cr. bar 'type of millet' : see Porzig 1 954: 1 09 [ 1964 : 1 64-65]. The areal restriction of the word in Indo-European shows that it was borrowed into a specific dialect grouping, the one that later yielded the Ancient European dialects (Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Slavic) and must have originally been in contact with Semitic in some part of the Near East""PIE * phelekhu- 'poleaxe, axe' : Sem. *p-I-k ' split apart; axe ' : Akkad.pila��ku 'axe', pulluku (Form 11) 'kill (with an axe), chop ', Syr. pelka 'axe ',Mand. pfna ' axe' , Arab. fala��a ' split apart': see Zimmern 1917: 12, Wtist 1 956: 17 -23 (with further references), Brockelmann 1 966:576, l1li��-Svity��
    1 964:6. The word has an unusual root structure not typical of native IndoEuropean forms. The Semitic word entered the Greek-Armenian-Aryan dialect group and subsequently underwent regular development in these dialects,showing the characteristic satem reflex of palatal *fh in Indo-Iranian. The Semitic word could have entered the Greek-Aryan dialect grouping in some part of the Near East; see also 11.6.5.14 above."

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  15. Okay, again, I am not very much interested in Indo-European studies...only as it relates to the non-Indo-European languages it has had contact with...but here goes.

    So are we to surmise that Proto-Indo-Europeans crossed the Caucasus and then spread around the eastern side of the Caspian Sea and back down south?

    When and where did the split between Iranian and Indo-Aryan occur...in Turkmenistan or further west?

    I ask because I have been reading a lot of what Michael Witzel proposes and he does not seem to subscribe to Indo-Iranian coming from the Near East, but from the north or Northeastern side of the Caspian. Andronovo, Afanasevo, Yaz, and, eventually, the BMAC which is where Witzel considers the split of Indo Aryan and Iranian to have occured...are all Considered as Indo Irainian cultures...they are well to the northeast of the Near East.

    What happens with the Yamna and Srubny Stog cultures long held to be Proto-Indo-Europeans???

    What would cause the Proto Indo-Europeans, to en masse, migrate north across the Caucasus from eastern Anatolia?

    I know that is a lot of question, but trying to understand your points of view on this.

    I have found a post from another blog I want to introduce for opinions...see next post.

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  16. ...I really don't see how it could save the Semitic ones. I can kinda see early Semitic contacts between the Aegean and the Near East as a possibility, but you seem to prefer a north Balkan PIE homeland, and it is very difficult to envision substantial contacts with that region.

    Moreover, the Balkan PIE homeland also seems inconsistent with the genetics (haplogroup I and "South European" component).


    Dienekes,
    The Semitic loanwords are basically all agricultural, and they are widespread in the area into other languages. I just envision them as being part of the technical vocabulary that the agriculturalists (whatever language they spoke) brought into the Balkans.

    I would have to think a bit more about how serious the haplogroup issues are; one possibility is of course that any farmers and trades people that back-migrated into Anatolia early on came from very close-by regions and had a largely Westasian genetic makeup.

    I am not married to the Balkan origin hypothesis - I just think it can explain a number of things (like the paucity of Anatolian language loanwords into PIE, and the directionality of PIE loanwords into the other regional languages).

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  17. "It's not much better, it's much worse, since a 'Pontic steppe' origin is incompatible with either Kartvelian or Semitic cultural contacts".

    The problem dissappears if IE originated north of the Caucasus. The contact region then becomes the Caucasus itself. Anatolian IE languages, such as Luwian, Hittite, simply moved south through the mountains into Kartvelian-speaking regions and further south into Semitic-speaking regions. That would explain:

    "Proto-Kartvelian and Proto-Indo-European occupied neighboring regions in West Asia".

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  18. The problem dissappears if IE originated north of the Caucasus. The contact region then becomes the Caucasus itself.

    I don't see Semitic anywhere near the Caucasus 8,000 years ago. Hell, it's not anywhere near it (except for Diaspora Jews) today, and there are good chances it's moved south-north in the Near East since its first appearance, so I don't see how that could work.

    Also, an origin North of the Caucasus would imply more evidence for language contacts with North Caucasian languages, not with Kartvelian.

    So are we to surmise that Proto-Indo-Europeans crossed the Caucasus and then spread around the eastern side of the Caspian Sea and back down south?

    I don't really see any strong evidence that the Proto-Indo-Europeans ever crossed the Caucasus. The areas north of the Greater Caucasus are lands inhabited by non-IE people.

    The Proto-Indo-Europeans must've originated south of the Greater Caucasus, and, indeed, south of the Proto-Kartvelians of the southwestern Caucasus region and northeastern Anatolia. There was no movement "around the Caspian", only movements "south of the Caspian", across Iran, and into the BMAC.

    What happens with the Yamna and Srubny Stog cultures long held to be Proto-Indo-Europeans???

    I see no evidence that these were Indo-European, let alone Proto-Indo-European. As I've mentioned before, the first Indo-Europeans attested on the European steppe are Scythians (Iranic-speakers) coming from the east. I tend to think of the early (pre-Iranic/pre-Turkic) steppe groups as speaking a language of their own that may have contributed (mixed with forest Siberian Mongoloid groups) into the formation of Proto-Uralic.

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  19. Hi, Dienekes

    You may have opined about this elsewhere.

    But what do you think of this book?

    David W. Anthony, The Horse, The Wheel and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World (2007).

    The Wikipedia article about the Yamna Culture states, based on Mr. Anthony's book, "The Yamna culture is identified with the late Proto-Indo-Europeans (PIE) in the Kurgan hypothesis of Marija Gimbutas. It is one candidate for the Urheimat (homeland) of the Proto-Indo-European language, along with the preceding Sredny Stog culture, now that archaeological evidence of the culture and its migrations has been closely tied to the evidence from linguistics."

    I am starting to realize Indo-European study is dizzying. I see my other post did not make it...oh, well.

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  20. "I don't see Semitic anywhere near the Caucasus 8,000 years ago."

    In the proposal terryt suggests, you would have a Kurgan hypothesis Pontic Steppe PIE ca. 6000 years ago, the migration into first the North Caucasus and then the South Caucasus and finally to Mesopotamia; a journey that would conclude about 4500 years ago when Semitic Akkadian was starting to be spoken in Mesopotamia and would then spread via Akkadian speakers to other Semitic languages.

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  21. "In the proposal terryt suggests, you would have a Kurgan hypothesis Pontic Steppe PIE ca. 6000 years ago, the migration into first the North Caucasus and then the South Caucasus and finally to Mesopotamia"

    And I think that is the simplest explanation for the early splits.

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  22. both the points are baseless.

    1. lexical borrowings only indicates 'time of contact' not origins. furthermore in other regions lexical borrowings have been 'replaced' over and over again. assuming the least civilized regions as origins due to lack of dynamism and 'modernity' is senseless. e.g. koreans and northern chinese use various popular english terms and phrases despite having no contact with the english.

    2. completely baseless, lowest diversity is in plains and the highest in mountainous regions. other areas of lower diversity are desertlands amd river-sides ..

    I y-dna arrived in eastern europe only recently along the danube and then after the russians allowing immigration from conquered lands, and not to forger, israel after wwii.

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  23. 1. Lexical borrowing between PIE and Kartvelian/Semitic languages places the early PIE homeland in the Near East
    2. The maximum dialectal diversity within IE in the Balkans places the secondary PIE homeland in Southeastern Europe

    1.Biblos -> 2.Pre-Sesklo + Cardial

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/​wikipedia/commons/8/81/​Cardial_map.png

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