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And the problem of IE
Paintings in the Chauvet Cave, France (32,000-30,000 BP)
Some questions about IE and a common origin of language
The modern theory on the origin of languages considers language grou ings around the conce t of common descent! For e"am le, the so-called #ndo-$uro ean (#$) languages are regarded to
have originated from a core of languages originally s o%en some&here in the ste es of $urasia, and that they s read as far as from #ndia to the 'tlantic coast of $uro e! (o&ever, this model seems to ignore the very nature of language! )anguage has the ro erty to *e *orn, maintain itself, and s read, not &ith genetic means *ut mainly through the mechanism of imitation! The &ords &hich com rise a language are memes, *asic information units, and the mechanism *y &hich memes s read is mainly socio- sychological, *ased on the e"change of information *et&een grou s of eo le, &hich may have a com letely different genetic origin! #n fact, the #$ theory contradicts itself &ith the assum tion of common origin! #f Proto-#ndo$uro ean (P#$) &as s o%en throughout an e" anded area, some 3+00 years ago, *ecause of the initial large distri*ution it &ould have differentiated so much in modern times that any original similarities could not *e tracea*le! #n other &ords, the similarity itself *et&een #$ languages em hasi,es the im ortance of *orro&ing through the mechanism of imitation, &hile an ultraconservative mechanism for language is much more difficult to *e e" lained! ' art from any sort of nationalist as irations &hich o ulari,ed the #$ theory in the first lace, the grou ings &hich the theory offers are more li%e a logical modeling and classification, using rules of &ord modification &hich are articularly a*stract and am*iguous, rather than *ased on hysical reality! -n the other hand, the similarities *et&een &ords of different languages can *e e" lained more clearly *y means of linguistic e"change and restoration of cultural *alance *et&een o ulation grou s, not necessarily ad.acent to each other! The uniformity &hich a ears in such a large scale and range of time can only *e e" lained *y a ty e of interaction &hich is not necessarily local! For e"am le, the similarity in /omance languages is e" lained *y the /omani,ation of these languages, in 0ermanic languages &ith a sort of 10ermani,ation,2 in the #ndo-#ranian languages &ith an 1'ryani,ation,2 and so on! #n turn, the )atin language had *een largely (elleni,ed, &hile the 0ree% language &as heavily -rientali,ed through contacts &ith the earlier cultures of $gy t, 3eso otamia, 3inoan Crete, and the &ider region of eastern 3editerranean! This rocess of homogeni,ation, in other &ords,
&as each time achieved &ith the *orro&ing of &ords and language standards from a lingua franca of an isoglossic continuum! 4e might focus our attention on some original cradle some&here in the region of central 'natolia, northern 5yria, northern 3eso otamia for the origin of the #$ linguistic continuum, &ith a *road ada tation of 5emitic &ords and language ty es (other&ise &e should acce t 1 arthenogenesis2 for #$)! (o&ever, as &e have seen, this it is not even necessary! The 16ortherners,2 or 17 landers,2 moving across the fringes of the civili,ed 5outh, (from &hich they may have also genetically evolved) &ere *orro&ing constantly and consistently cultural and linguistic elements! These elements need not *e restricted to &ords for ne& o*.ects of daily use! They may &ell include a &ider range of &ords and notions &ith res ect to gods, &orshi , social organi,ation (e!g! the &ord 1vasileus2 (1%ing2) in 0ree%,) science (&ords for letters and num*ers), ro erty, as &ell as the very conce ts of e"istence (the ver*s to have, to *e, ersonal ronouns, and so on)! Perha s, such a hy othesis may seem far-fetched! But if &e *ear in mind that the first eo le did not a ear in the Pontic 5te es, and that the first cultures gradually a eared in the 5outh (from at least the 8th millennium B!C!$ in the Fertile Crescent), &e have a good first indication a*out the region &ere civili,ation &as *orn! 6evertheless, &e may consider the su*se9uent involvement of the 16ortherners!2 But culture is al&ays transmitted from the advanced to the more rimitive civili,ation, and language is a cultural element! 5o, &hen are t&o or more languages more closely related: 4hen t&o &ords sound similar to each other, or &hen these cultures share the same meanings, even if &ords e" ressing these meanings don2t sound the same: #t may seem difficult to understand such a distinction *ecause &e are used to attri*uting more im ortance to 1race2 and genes! But it has al&ays *een ideas, *eliefs, and meanings &hich formed the strongest *onds in societies! 5o even if &e consider a common language as a fundamental er9uisite for our 1race2 against another, language itself connects or divides us &ith its o&n cultural elements and messages, even if they may not seem or 1sound2 the same!
The ‘discovery’ of Ι
#n the ;<th century, $uro ean visitors to #ndia *egan to suggest similarities *et&een #ndian, #ranian and $uro ean languages! #n ;+=3, Thomas 5te hens, noted similarities *et&een #ndian languages, s ecifically 5ans%rit, and 0ree% and )atin! 'nother account to mention the ancient language 5ans%rit came from Fili o 5assetti! 4riting in ;+=+, he noted some &ord similarities *et&een 5ans%rit and #talian (these included devaḥ>dio 10od,2 sar aḥ>ser e 1ser ent,2 sa ta>sette 1seven!2 #n ;<?@, 3arcus Auerius van Bo"horn noted the similarity among #ndo-$uro ean languages, and su osed that they derived from a rimitive common language he called 5cythian! (e included in his hy othesis Butch, 'l*anian, 0ree%, )atin, Persian, and 0erman, later adding 5lavic, Celtic, and Baltic languages! The hy othesis rea eared in ;@=< &hen 5ir 4illiam Cones first lectured on the stri%ing similarities *et&een three of the oldest languages %no&n in his timeD )atin, 0ree%, and 5ans%rit, to &hich he tentatively added 0othic, Celtic, and Persian! #t &as Thomas Eoung &ho in ;=;3 first used the term #ndo-$uro ean, &hich *ecame the standard scientific term through the &or% of Fran, Bo , &hose systematic com arison of these and other old languages is the *eginning hase of #ndo-$uro ean of #ndo-$uro ean studies as an academic disci line! The classical
com arative linguistics leads from this &or% to 'ugust 5chleicher and Farl Brugmann! Brugmann2s reevaluation of the field and Ferdinand de 5aussure2s develo ment of the laryngeal theory may *e considered the *eginning of 1modern2 #ndo-$uro ean studies! The generation of #ndo-$uro eanists active in the last third of the 20th century (such as Calvert 4at%ins, Cochem 5chindler and (elmut /i") develo ed a *etter understanding of mor hology and, in the &a%e of FuryGo&ic,2s ;8+< ' o honie, understanding of the a*laut! 'n e"am le follo&s of a reconstructed &ord (the ver* to *ear) in #$ languagesD
The ver* to 1*ear2 # Eou FHro(h ₂) FHresi *haruṃ *hare *aram *ari *eirim *eirir hero hereis fero I orto fers I orti fJre fJres *Krt *ierst *eriu *eri P#$ (industani Persian #rish (Celtic) 0ree% #talian French 0erma n )ithuanian
(e>5he># t 4e Eou They
FHreti FHromos FHrete FHronti
*hare *hareṃ *haro *hareṃ
*arad *arim *arid *arand
*eirean n *eirimid e *eirean n *eirid
herei heroum herete heroun
fert I orta ferimus I ortiamo fertis I ortate ferunt I ortano
fJres fJrons fJre, fJrent
*iert *Kren *Krt *Kren
*eria *eriame *eriate *eria
Lhtt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>#ndo-$uro eanMlanguagesN 's &e can see, the reconstruction is ro*lematic *ecause it is *ased on the 0ree% language (unless 0ree% is the oldest #$ languageO) The French version comes from the )atin one, &hich in turn, most ro*a*ly, comes from the 0ree% one (in )atinD fero, fers, fert, ferimus, fertis, ferunt)! #t2s really easier to regard Persian (or even Celtish) as earlier than P#$ *ecause in these languages the ver* seems to *e in the less evolved form (this is even more o*vious in 5ans%rit or 'vestan)! 5o the #ndo-'ryan clade must *e older than P#$, and the $uro ean clade younger! The most ro*a*le ans&er to this ro*lem is that the reconstruction is &rong, for t&o good reasons! Firstly, it sounds sim ler (younger) than some of the languages, and secondly *ecause it is nonfalsifia*leD there is no &ay to test if the reconstruction is right or &rong *ecause P#$ do not e"ist anymore!
The problem of !eolithic continuity in Eurasia
#f #$ languages didn2t e"ist in the 6eolithic, &e could trace their ancestors *y studying already esta*lished cultures during that time! But the lac% of common P#$ &ords for agricultural roducts seems to oint to the fact that the #$s invented agriculture inde endently! 5o it is refera*le to ma%e a .ourney in time follo&ing the dis ersals of the first farmers and their ossi*le genetic traces, rather than e" ecting language shift, during the 6eolithic!
3a of the &orld sho&ing a
ro"imate centers of origin of agriculture and its s read in rehistoryD the Fertile
Crescent (;;,000 BP), the Eangt,e and Eello& /iver *asins (8,000 BP) and the 6e& 0uinea (ighlands (8,000P<,000 BP), Central 3e"ico (+,000P?,000 BP), 6orthern 5outh 'merica (+,000P?,000 BP), su*-5aharan 'frica (+,000P ?,000 BP, e"act location un%no&n), eastern 6orth 'merica (?,000P3,000 BP)!
The 6eolithic seems to *e characteri,ed *y three main as ectsD it a ears inde endently in different regions, it sho&s remar%a*le continuity in each different region, and it e" ands &ithin a relatively short eriod of time (concerning roducts if not eo le)! 4hether the 6eolithic 1/evolution2 &as accom anied *y cultural or genetic con9uest is a su*.ect still de*ated! 'n interesting factor &ith res ect to genetic re lacement during the 6eolithic is that of diseasesD Throughout the develo ment of sedentary societies, disease s read more ra idly than it had during the time in &hich hunter-gatherer societies e"isted! #nade9uate sanitary ractices and the domestication of animals may e" lain the rise in deaths and sic%ness follo&ing the 6eolithic /evolution, as diseases .um ed from the animal to the human o ulation! 5ome e"am les of diseases s read from animals to humans are influen,a, small o", and measles! #n concordance &ith a rocess of natural selection, the humans &ho first domesticated the *ig mammals 9uic%ly *uilt u immunities to the diseases as &ithin each generation the individuals &ith *etter immunities had *etter chances of survival! #n their a ro"imately ;0,000 years of shared
ro"imity &ith animals, such as co&s, $urasians and 'fricans *ecame more resistant to those diseases com ared &ith the indigenous o ulations encountered outside $urasia and 'frica 5o the first Cro- 3agnon inha*itants of $uro e may have *een re laced and a*sor*ed *y 6eolithic ne&comers, in the same &ay that the former had re laced the 6eanderthals, some 3+,000 years ago!
The revious icture sho&s a distri*ution of $arly 6eolithic cultures in $uro e! Lhtt D>>&&&!eu edia!com>euro e>neolithicMeuro eMma !shtmlN There is a lot of research going on &ith res ect to genetic mar%ers for the first cultures of $uro e, suggesting an origin from the )evant and the 3iddle $ast, as &ell as from 6orth 'frica, *ecause the oldest mar%ers can *e traced thereD
The dis ersal of 6eolithic culture from the 3iddle $ast has recently *een associated &ith the distri*ution of human genetic mar%ers! #n $uro e, the s read of the 6eolithic culture has *een associated &ith distri*ution of the $;*;* lineages and (a logrou C that are thought to have arrived in $uro e from 6orth 'frica and the 6ear $ast res ectively! #n 'frica, the s read of farming, and nota*ly the Bantu e" ansion, is associated &ith the dis ersal of E-chromosome ha logrou $;*;a from 4est 'frica! Lhtt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>6eolithicM/evolutionN The 6eolithic in $uro e *egins a ro"imately in the @ th millennium B!C! #t overla s &ith the 3esolithic and the Bron,e 'ge in 4est $uro e, as cultural changes moved from the southeast to north&est at a*out ; %m>year! #f this is the case, it &ould have ta%en a*out 2,000-3,000 years for agriculture to reach from 0reece the 4est coasts of $uro e! 5ome 6eolithic communities in southeastern $uro e lived in heavily fortified settlements of 3,000-?,000 eo le (e!g!, 5es%lo in 0reece), &hereas 6eolithic grou s in $ngland &ere small ( ossi*ly +0-;00 *efore the arrival of the #$s! 'rchaeologists seem to agree that the culture of the early 6eolithic is relatively homogeneous, com ared *oth to the late 3esolithic and the later 6eolithic! The diffusion across $uro e, from the 'egean to Britain, too% a*out 2,+00 years (<,+00 BC$- ?,000 BC$)! #n general, coloni,ation sho&s a 1saltatory2 attern, as the 6eolithic advanced from one atch of fertile alluvial soil to another, *y assing mountainous areas! 'nalysis of radiocar*on dates sho&s clearly that 3esolithic and 6eolithic o ulations lived side *y side for as much as a millennium in many arts of $uro e, es ecially in the #*erian eninsula and along the 'tlantic coast! 4ith some e"ce tions, o ulation levels rose ra idly at the *eginning of the 6eolithic until they reached the carrying ca acity! This &as follo&ed *y a o ulation crash of 1enormous magnitude2 after +,000 BC$, &ith levels remaining lo& during the ne"t ;,+00 years! Po ulations *egan to rise after 3,+00 BC, &ith further di s and rises occurring *et&een 3,000 and 2,+00 BC$ *ut varying in date *et&een regions! eo le) and consisted of highly mo*ile cattle-herders! 5o even at this early stage &arfare &as not un%no&n,
4e see that there &as a tremendous gro&th of arrival of Co
o ulation in $uro e as early as the < th
millennium BC$, *ut it &as follo&ed *y a $uro ean 6eolithic 1Bar% 'ge,2 &hich lasted until the er and Bron,e age ne&comers, ro*a*ly the #$s!
B6' studies are hel ful in reali,ing migration atterns! )ater E-B6' *ased studies suggest a mosaic of numerous small-scale, more regional advance2 from the 6ear $ast, there &ere distinct o ulation movements, re lacements, and o ulations movements emanating from ort the 1Pioneer model,2 &here*y su*se9uent e" ansions overlying revious ranges! /ather than a single, large-scale 1&ave of different arts of the 'egean and 6ear $ast, over a eriod stretching from the 6eolithic to the Classical Period! -verall, E-chromosome data seems to su heterogeneous grou s of 6eolithic farmers coloni,ed selected areas of southern $uro e via a rimarily maritime route! 5u*se9uent e" ansion of agriculture &as facilitated *y the ado tion of its methods *y indigenous $uro eans, a rocess es ecially rominent in the Bal%ans! The data from mtB6' is also interesting! The vast ma.ority of mtB6' lineages (<0P@0Q) have *een dated to have either emerged in the 3esolithic or Palaeolithic, &hereas only 20Q of mitochondrial lineages are 6eolithic! Patricia Balares9ue summari,es that, R#n total, this means that more than =0Q of $uro ean E chromosomes descend from incoming farmers! #n contrast, most maternal genetic lineages seem to descend from hunter-gatherers! To us, this suggests a re roductive advantage for farming males over indigenous hunter-gatherer males during the s&itch from hunting and gathering, to farming!S htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>6eolithicM$uro e 5o, did the overall o ulation synthesis in 6eolithic $uro e form &hat 3ari.a 0im*utas referred to as 1-ld $uro e,2 *efore the arrival of the #$s: Their arrival is strongly related &ith the E-B6' ha logrou /! 5ome researchers no& suggest that su*-ha logrou /;* (the revalent ha logrou in 4est $uro e) could *e of 6eolithic origin! #f this is also the case for ha logrou /;a ( revalent in $ast $uro e), then there &ill *e no s ace left for an #$ invasion after the 6eolithic! (o&ever, some of the times concerning B6' lineages are still controversial!
The ma sho&s the distri*ution of Cardium Pottery Culture! The earliest #m ressed 4are sites, dating to <,?00-<,200 BC$, are in $ irus and Corfu, &hich eventually e"tended from the 'driatic sea to the 'tlantic coasts of Portugal and south to 3orocco (many other sites &ill *e no&adays su*merged! 6orth&ard and &est&ard all secure radiocar*on dates are identical to those for #*eria +,+00 BC$, &hich indicates a ra id s read of Cardial and related culturesD 2,000 %m from the gulf of 0enoa to the estuary of the 3ondego in ro*a*ly no more than ;00P200 years! This suggests a seafaring e" ansion *y lanting colonies along the coast! -lder 6eolithic cultures e"isted already at this time in eastern 0reece and Crete, *ut they a ear distinct from the Cardial or #m ressed 4are culture! The ceramic tradition in the central Bal%ans also remained distinct from that along the 'driatic coastline in *oth style and manufacturing techni9ues for almost ;,000 years from the <th millennium BC$! $arly 6eolithic im ressed ottery is found in the )evant, and certain arts of 'natolia, including 3e,raa-Teleilat, and in 6orth 'frica at Tunus-/edeyef, Tunisia! 5o the first Cardial settlers in the 'driatic may have come directly from the )evant! -f course it might e9ually &ell have come directly from 6orth 'frica, and im ressed- ottery also a ears in $gy t! 'long the $ast 3editerranean coast #m ressed 4are has *een found in 6orth 5yria, Palestine and )e*anon! Printed Cardium Pottery seems to e" and more (?,000-3,+00 BC$) and lasts until a*out 2000 BC$, &hen it is su erseded
*y the Terramare Culture! The latter is thought to have *een cataly,ed *y the invasion of the first #talic #$s, in ;200 BC$! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>CardiumMPottery -lder than Printed Cardium Pottery is the 5es%lo civili,ation (Thessaly, $astern 0reece)! #ts oldest fragments lace the civili,ation2s develo ment as far *ac% as <,=+0 BC$ &ith a T>- <<0 year margin of error! The data availa*le also indicates that the domestication of cattle has ta%en lace at 'rgissa as early as <,300 BC during the Pre-Pottery 6eolithic! The culture of 5es%lo is crucial in the e" ansion of the 6eolithic into $uro e! Bating and research oints to the influence of this culture to other Balcanic, &hich seem to originate here, and &ill *e these &hich &ill stimulate the *irth of the im ortant Banu*ian 6eolithic current! 'lso, it is thought that the differentiated settlements of re-5es%lo can *e, at least artly, res onsi*le for the origin of the 3editerranean 6eolithic (Cardium ottery)! The 1invasion theory2 states that the 5es%lo culture lasted more than one full millennium u until +,000 BC$ &hen it &as violently con9uered *y eo le of the Bimini culture! The Bimini culture in this theory is considered different from that found at 5es%lo! (o&ever, Professor #oannis )yrit,is rovides a different story ertaining to the final fate of the 15es%loans!2 (e, along &ith /! 0allo&ay, com ared ceramic materials from *oth 5es%lo and Bimini utili,ing thermoluminescence dating methods! (e discovered that the inha*itants of the settlement in Bimini a eared around ?,=00 BC$, four centuries *efore the fall of the 5es%lo civili,ation (ca! ?,?00 BC$)! )yrit,is concluded that the 15es%loans2 and 1Biminians2 coe"isted for a eriod of time! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>5es%lo The revious analysis sho&s a remar%a*le continuity (and unity at a large e"tent) for the first 3editerranean cultures! There seems to *e a continuity *rea% in a*out +,000 BC$, *ut the cultures &hich a ear after&ards seem to continue the traditions of their redecessors! 'nother interesting site in 0reece is )erna (in the Pelo onnese, 5outh 0reece), &hich is nota*le for several archaeological sites, including an $arly Bron,e 'ge structure %no&n as (ouse of the Tiles, dating to the $arly (elladic eriod ## (2+00P2300 BC)! )erna &as occu ied in 6eolithic
times, as early as the +th millennium BC$, then &as a*andoned for a time *efore the se9uence of occu ation from the $arly Bron,e 'ge ((elladic eriod through the 3ycenaean)! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>)erna 4hat is im ortant to note here is that the ne& )erna occu ation, after the initial a*andonment of the site, started in the middle of the 3 rd millennium BC$, *efore the *egining of the 3ycenaean civili,ation! (o&ever, there is no continuity *rea% in *et&een! This suggests that the 13ycenaeans2 &ere already in 0reece during this eriod, erha s ushing *ac% the initiali,ation of the 3ycenaean civili,ation a*out ;,000 years or so! #f this is true then the 1#talics2 may have *een in #taly long *efore the su osed date of ;200 BC! (This date &as considered as true also for the arrival of the first 0ree%s, *efore the deci herment of the 3ycenaean ta*lets &hich sho&ed that the language &as already 0ree%)! 5o it seems that as research goes on, the hy othesis of the arrival of 1#$2 *ecomes more and more 1marginal!2 4hat is rather ama,ing is the fact that the 6eolithic /evolution in $uro e seems to have follo&ed a maritime route, as seen in the case of the Cardium Pottery e" ansion all across the 3editerranean coasts of $uro e! 4hat is even more ama,ing is the fact that Paleolithic a"es &ere found on Crete, suggesting that seafaring e"isted in the 3editerranean more than a hundred thousand years earlier than thought! 3any researchers have hy othesi,ed that the early humans of this time eriod &ere not ca a*le of devising *oats or navigating across o en &ater! But the ne& discoveries hint that these human ancestors &ere ca a*le of much more so histicated *ehavior than their relatively sim le stone tools &ould suggest! htt D>>ne&s!nationalgeogra hic!com>ne&s>20;0>02>;002;@-crete- rimitive-humans-marinersseafarers-mediterranean-sea> 4hether the eo le on Crete at this remote ast &ere (omo 5a iens or *elonged to a revious s ecies ((omo (eidel*ergensis for e"am le), is more or less secondary! 4hat is im ortant is the fact that humans seem to have *een a*le of seafaring much earlier than reviously thought! For e"am le, o*sidian from 3ilos (an 'egean island) &as a commodity as early as ;3,000 years ago! 3ilos natural glass used for ra,or shar 1stone tools2 &as trans orted &ell *efore farming *egan, and later there &as no early farming village in the 6ear $ast that didn2t get o*sidian! The
material &as trans orted for thousands of miles! (o&ever the mining of o*sidian did not lead to the develo ment of ermanent ha*itation or manufacturing on the island! #nstead, those in search of o*sidian arrived *y *oat, *eaching it in a suita*le cove and cutting ieces of the volcanic glass from the 9uarries! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>3ilos Furthermore, large fish *ones have also *een found, for e"am le in Franchti Cave, Pelo onnese, 5outh 0reece, a characteristic of dee -sea fishing! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>FranchthiMCave 5o, if during the <th millennium BC$ there is an e" edition going on throughout the 3editerranean, these first sea-farers &ere ca a*le of long-distance voyages *y sea, even *y using rimitive sea vessels or rafts! #f &e imagine ho& early this date is, and if &e ush it even earlier in the )evant, &ere the first coastal cities a ear from a*out the ;0 th millennium BC$, there isn2t any s ace left for an 1#$ invasion,2 some +,000-<,000 years after&ards! The transformation of 1-ld $uro e,2 &ith farmers and female figurines, into a 16e& $uro e,2 of #$ &arlords and male 0od statues, as &as envisioned *y 3ari.ia 0im*utas, does not accord &ith anything! Figurines of male 0ods have already *een found in 3inoan Crete, so it seems that the assage from female to male oriented societies is something &hich has to do more &ith religious ractices than &ar-li%e attitude! (4hat a*out the 'ma,ons:)! The distri*ution of modern languages in $uro e can *e more or less identified &ith the distri*ution of the first 6eolithic civili,ations (this is very o*vious in the case, for e"am le, of the 6ordics, &ith a ossi*le *ra%e in continuity during the first half of the 3 rd millennium BC$)! 4e can add to this o*servation that farmers are characteri,ed *y sta*ility and endurance! But &ere the #$ &arlords that finally im osed their rule and language on the local agricultural o ulations of $uro e: This doesn2t seem to *e the case, *ecause the a*sence of common &ords for agriculture in the #$ languages suggests that the #$s invented agriculture inde endently! 5o this may suggest that they &ere not &arriors, at least not in the *eginning, *ut herders and farmers!
The origin of ‘%urgans’
htt D>>s;++2382;+!onlinehome!us>tur%ic>*tnM'rcheology>0im*utas>0im*utas3FurgansTo$uro e$n!htm The #$ theory &as in a large e"tent *ased on common *urial ractices! The related *urials mounts are called %urgans! The &ord 1%urgan2 is a Tur%ish &orld *orro&ed from /ussian and it means 1fortification2 (so its origin is not even #$)! Furgans &ere *uilt in the $neolithic, Bron,e, #ron, 'nti9uity and 3iddle 'ges, &ith old traditions still active in 5outhern 5i*eria and Central 'sia! The Furgan hy othesis ostulates that the Proto-#ndo-$uro eans &ere the *earers of the Furgan culture of the Blac% 5ea and the Caucasus and &est of the 7rals! The hy othesis &as introduced *y 3ari.a 0im*utas in ;8+<, com*ining %urgan archaeology &ith linguistics to locate the origins of the Proto-#ndo-$uro ean (P#$) s ea%ing eo les! #n 0im*utas o&n &ordsD
RThe colla se of -ld $uro e coincides &ith the
rocess of #ndo-$uro eani,ation (i!e!
RFurgani,ationS) of $uro e, a com licated transformative rocess leading to a drastic cultural change reminiscent of the con9uest of the 'merican continent! 'rcheological evidence, su orted *y com arative #ndo-$uro ean linguistics and mythology, suggests a clash of t&o ideologies, social structures and economies er etrated *y trauma-inducing institutions! The Proto- or $arly #ndo-$uro eans, &hom # have la*eled RFurganS eo le, arrived from the east, from southern /ussia, on horse*ac%! Their first contact &ith the *orderland territories of -ld $uro e in the )o&er Bnie er region and &est of the Blac% 5ea *egan around the middle of the +th millennium BC! ' continuous flo& of influences and eo le into east-central $uro e &as initiated &hich lasted for t&o millenniaU The Furgan tradition re resents a star% contrast to the civili,ation of -ld $uro e &hich &as, in the main, eaceful, sedentary, matrifocal, matrilineal, and se" egalitarian! The Furgans &ere a &arli%e, atriarchal, and hierarchical culture &ith distinctive *urial rites that included it graves &ith tent- or hutli%e structures of &ood or stone, covered *y a lo& cairn or earthen mound! Their economy &as essentially astoral &ith a rudimentary agriculture and seasonal, transient settlements of semi-su*terranean housesU The Furgan tradition *ecame manifest in -ld $uro ean territories during three &aves of infiltrationD # at c! ?,?00-?,300 BC, ## at c! 3,+00 BC, and ### soon after 3,000 BC! This chronology does not re resent the evolution of a single grou *ut of a num*er of various ste e eo les &ho shared a common tradition, e"tending over *road tem oral and s acial arameters! Furgan # eo le &ere from the Volga ste eW Furgan ##, &ho &ere culturally more advanced, develo ed in the 6orth Pontic area *et&een the )o&er Bniester and the Caucasus mountainsW Furgan ### eo le &ere again from the Volga ste eUS 5he also states that, RThe ta%eover in 0reece &as a arently analogous to that of east-central $uro e &hich entailed a transformation of the *asic social structure and administrative system *y the esta*lishment of a ruling class in hill forts! ' study of the hysical ty es of the o ulation sho&s that the Furgan &arrior grou s &ere not massive in num*ers and did not eradicate the
local inha*itants! They came in small migrating *ands and esta*lished themselves forcefully as a small ruling elite!S
The ro*lem &ith the %urgan hy othesis is, first of all, that the name 1%urgan2 is Tur%ish, *ut the Tur%ish eo le are considered of 'ltaic, not #$ origin! Furthermore, the E-/;a (&hich is considered as P#$) distri*ution, leaves 4est $uro e aside, &hich means that 4estern $uro eans are not to *e considered #$! The revious ma corres onds &ith the follo&ing thesisD RThe ancient environmental records suggest that at various times over the last ;+,000 years, ma.or changes in hunter-gatherer o ulations are li%ely to have occurred over large areas due to climatic changes! #t may *e that an initial &ave of re-coloni,ing hunter-gatherers carried this grou of languages out of the #ce 'ge refuges into central $uro e and &estern 'sia, &ith the later s read of farming and migrations of &arrior cultures resulting in a further linguistic dis ersion! The general hy othesis that ast climate changes strongly affected linguistic atterns can also merge into more traditional e" lanationsW sudden climate change could have *een the rimary
cause of migrations of #ndo-$uro ean s ea%ing 6eolithic farmers or horse-riding &arriors! #f it can *e assumed that technology &ords such as 1&heel2 and 1co er2 &ere initially resent at the oint of divergence of #ndo-$uro ean languages, then this dates the =,200 years ago climate event as the time for migrations of farming grou s or of horse-riding &arriors! The com eting theories can *e mani ulated *oth to sho& that they are incom ati*le and to sho& that they can *e com limentary! 4hatever the truth might *e a*out #ndo-$uroen ean languages, the genetic evidence strongly indicates that the #ndo-$uro ean s ea%ing eo les of $uro e have *een resent since their ancestors arrived from 'frica via south&est 'sia!S htt D>>&&&!human.ourney!us>indo$uro e2!html The oint is that a *unch of &arli%e savages is not enough to e" lain language shift! Throughout history &e %no& that it is the advanced civili,ation the one &ho gives its culture and language to the less advanced! Bar*arians gallo ing on horses cannot do anything more than to finally settle do&n and acce t local rocesses! 4e %no& that the (ittites (the first eo le that left a &ritten record of the su osed #$ language) &ere heavily -rientali,ed *y the local (attians! But if the reconstructed languages of ancient 'natolia ()u&ian for e"am le) sho& a strong Caucasian affiliation (endings in Pli for e"am le are very common even in today2s Caucasian ersonal and lace names), the (ittites didn2t change much the character of the local civili,ation! $ven if the 0ree%s did it for a &hile, &e %no& that the contem orary language of 'sia 3inor is the Tur%ish language! 4e &on2t e"amine here the origin of the Tur%s, *ut &e may e"amine the origin of the Tur%ish &ord 1%urgan,2 in other &ords 1tumulus!2 ' tumulus is a large megalithic construct found in certain early 6eolithic societies! They have *een uncovered along the 'tlantic coastline in northern $uro e, in countries such as France, 5 ain, Portugal and #reland! These megaliths have also *een found in southern 5candinavia, rimarily in 5cania and Fal*ygden! #n Benmar% there are numerous older megaliths, less advanced that the versions else&here, thought to *e monuments mar%ing communal *urial laces! The constructs redate the $gy tian yramids, dating *ac% to circa <,000- 3,000 BC$, de ending on lace of construction! Before the large farming reforms of the ;8th century there &ere su osed to have *een at least ;0,000 of the older megaliths in Benmar%!
The ractice of *uilding these monuments is con.ectured to have originated in #reland or on the 'tlantic coast of France &here the oldest and largest versions of the monuments has *een risen! The ne&est of those monuments are located in 5candinavia, *ut ale in so histication and com le"ity &hen com ared &ith the megaliths along the 'tlantic coast! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>Cham*erMtumulus 5o the first 1%urgans2 a eared in the &est coast of 'tlantic $uro e, not in the 5te es of modern day 7%raine! $ven the &hole *urial ractices that go &ith tumuli may have *een *orro&ed *y ste es eo le, &ho called these megalithic structures %urgans! But the invention &as not theirs! Bolmens are also common in $uro e *ut they are s read all around $urasia! The oldest %no&n are again found in 4estern $uro e, in the ?th millennium BC! (o&ever, the largest concentration of dolmen in the &orld is found in the Forean eninsula! Bolmens are also found in #ndia and in the 3iddle $ast! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>Bolmen 'll these structures are called megaliths! The standing stone tradition is very ancient in the 3iddle $ast, dating *ac% from 3eso otamian times! 'lthough not al&ays 1megalithic2 in the true sense, they occur throughout the -rient, and can reach + metres or more in some cases (such as 'der in Cordan)! This henomenon can also *e traced through many assages from the -ld Testament! 't a num*er of sites in eastern Tur%ey, large ceremonial com le"es from the 8th millennium BC have *een discovered! They *elong to the inci ient hases of agriculture and animal hus*andry! )arge circular structures involving carved megalithic orthostats are a ty ical feature, e!g! at 6evali Cori and 0o*e%li Te e! 'lthough these structures are the most ancient megalithic structures %no&n so far, it is not clear that any of the $uro ean 3egalithic traditions are actually derived from them! ' semicircular arrangement of megaliths &as found in #srael at 'tlit Eam, a site that is no& under the sea! #t is a very early e"am le, dating from the @ th millennium BC! #n $uro e megaliths are, in general, constructions erected during the 6eolithic or late 5tone 'ge and Chalcolithic or Co er 'ge (?,+00-;,+00 BC$)! Perha s the most famous megalithic
structure is 5tonehenge in $ngland, although many others are %no&n throughout the &orld! $"cavation of some 3egalithic monuments (in Britain, #reland, 5candinavia, and France) has revealed evidence of ritual activity, sometimes involving architecture, from the 3esolithic, i!e!, redating the 6eolithic monuments *y centuries or millennia! Caveats a lyD #n some cases, they are so far removed in time from their successors that continuity is unli%elyW in other cases, the early dates, or the e"act character of activity, are controversial! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>3egalith The oint here is that *oth 5tonehenge and the Pyramids &ere *uilt according to an old tradition, most ro*a*ly of Paleolithic origin, &hich &as more li%ely invented inde endently in many laces! But it also seems that there really had *een a cult associated &ith megalithic constructions, either for religious or astronomical ur oses (or *oth)! 's far as $uro e is concerned, the s ace and time distri*ution of megaliths sho&s a cultural trend moving from the 4est to the $ast! 't the time of the construction of the shaft graves in ancient 3ycenae, the megalithic tradition should have s read all across $uro e and even further! 5o it may not *e a ro riate to consider the later %urgan graves as the initial oint to trace the origin of the 1#$2 culture!
Innovations in the Eneolithic and the &ron'e Age
htt D>>&&&!eu edia!com>euro e>neolithicMeuro eMma !shtml
(iddle &ron'e Age migrations
Various theories have *een ro osed, &hich ostulate &aves of migration during the 3iddle Bron,e 'ge in the 'ncient 6ear $ast! 4hile the turmoils that se arate the )ate Bron,e 'ge from the $arly #ron 'ge are &ell documented, theories of migration during the 3iddle Bron,e 'ge (20th century BC$) have little direct su ort! 5ome suggestions connect these alleged 1mass migrations2 &ith the coming of the 0ree%s, moving from their former settlements into south and central Bal%ans dis lacing the former non-0ree% inha*itants of 0reece! -thers ma%e reference to a su osed migration of the (ittites to their earliest %no&n home in FXlte e during the same osed migration of the (ittites, eriod! (o&ever, ne&er theories contradict the notion of su
suggesting that a Proto-#ndo-(ittite language dates *ac% to the ?th or =th millennium BC$! #n 'natolia, archaeological evidence sho&s that many cities sho& destruction during this time! The great trading city of Fanesh ()evel 2) &as also destroyed! From there in the hill country *et&een (alys the destruction layers from this time tell the same story! Further &est near the Bardanelles the t&o large mounds of For ruoren and Tavsanli, &est of Futahya, sho& the same signs of *eing ra,ed to the ground! The destruction even crossed into $uro e in &hat is no& Bulgaria! The migration *rought an end to Bulgaria2s early Bron,e 'ge, &ith archaeological evidence sho&ing that the Eunacite, 5alcut,a, and $sero centers had a sudden mass desertion during this time!
#n 0reece, from the Bardanelles, the refugee invaders moved into the mainland, and the Pelo onnese sa& *urnt and a*andoned cities on ar &ith the much later Borian invasion &hich destroyed the 3ycenaean civili,ation! 't this time, ;800 BC$, destruction layers can *e found at many southern 0ree% sites, &hile many other sites are deserted! This destruction across 0reece also coincided &ith the arrival of a ne& culture that had no connection &ith the $arly (elladic civili,ation, &ho &ere the original inha*itants! This invasion into 0reece &as related &ith the s read of 13inyan2 &are throughout 0reece around ;800 BC! (o&ever, this has *een dis uted through e"cavations at )erna sho&ing that 3inyan &are had a redecessor! The advent of 3inyan &are coincides &ith domestic rocesses reflective of the smooth transition from $arly to 3iddle Bron,e 'ge culture! Furthermore, it is interesting to note that 6orthern 0reece esca ed destruction, as &ell as southern 'natolia, &hich during this time sho&ed no distur*ances! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>3iddleMBron,eM'geMmigrationsM('ncientM6earM$ast) $ach time in history &hen &e have great movements of eo le &e may e" ect a 1domino effect2 created *y the successive dis lacement of o ulations! #f the (ittites invaded (or e" anded in) 'natolia then it2s very ro*a*le that eo le living in 4estern 'natolia (dis laced *y o ulations from Central 'natolia &here the (ittites settled do&n) moved further to the 4est, either through the Bos orus or through the 'egean, &ith some of them settling in 0reece! But if 6orthern 0reece &as left untouched *y these movements of eo le coming from the Bos orus and the Bardanelles, &hile in Bulgaria &e do see destruction, the ne& comers in Central and 5outhern 0reece must have come *y sea! Furthermore, 5outh 'natolia seems untouched *y destruction! 4as )ycia (5outh 'natolia) rotected *y the 'ssyrians or the $gy tians of this eriod: (o&ever, the ne&est evidence suggests continuity, and that the (ittites may have already *een in 'natolia! But it is also interesting to 9uote some of the foundation myths of the 0ree%s reaching that eriod! #t &as Banaus, &ho su osedly settled in 'rgos (in the Pelo onnese), coming from $gy tW Cadmos, &ho settled in The*es, Central 0reece, coming from PhoeniciaW the 3inyans, &ho settled in -rchomenos, Central 0reeceW and so on! 5o &hat is going on here may not *e a mass migration *ut a o&er shift! 6e& rulers may have come in 0reece at this time, ceding
o&er to the 1Pelasgians,2 the a*origines, and founding the 3ycenean civili,ation! #n this case, it is hard to imagine that they &ere the first 0ree% s ea%ers! Because, one the one hand, they must have *een .ust a fe& eo le &ith their relatives, and, on the other hand, the laces &hich they are su osed to have come from ($gy t or Phoenicia) can hardly *e considered #$! Furthermore, as &e2ve seen, 6orthern 0reece doesn2t sho& distur*ance at this time! 5o the 13ycenaeans,2 couldn2t have come from the 6orth! -nce more, as in the 6eolithic, regional continuity seems to *e a more ro*a*le scenario!
Chariots and horses
' ro"imate historical ma of the s read of the chariot, 2000P+00 BC$ T&o of the o*.ects often lin%ed &ith the #$s are chariots and horses! The earliest fully develo ed true chariots %no&n are from the chariot *urials of the 'ndronovo (Tim*er-0rave) sites of the 5intashta-Petrov%a $urasian culture in modern /ussia and Fa,a%hstan from around 2000 BC$! This culture is at least artially derived from the earlier Eamna culture (considered as the rototy e for the #$ homeland)! #t *uilt heavily fortified settlements, engaged in *ron,e metallurgy on an industrial scale and racticed com le" *urial rituals reminiscent of rituals %no&n from the /igveda and the 'vesta! The 5intashta- Petrov%a chariot *urials yield the earliest s o%e-&heeled true chariots! The oldest testimony of chariot &arfare in the ancient 6ear $ast is the -ld (ittite 'nitta te"t (;=th century BC$), &hich mentions ?0 teams of horses at the siege of 5alati&ara! 5ince the te"t
mentions teams rather than chariots, the e"istence of chariots in the ;=th century BC is uncertain! The first certain attestation of chariots in the (ittite em ire dates to the late ;@th century BC$ ((attusili #)! ' (ittite horse- training te"t is attri*uted to Fi%%uli the 3itanni (;+th century BC$)! The chariot and horse &ere introduced to $gy t *y the (y%sos invaders in the ;<th century BC! #n the remains of $gy tian and 'ssyrian art, there are numerous re resentations of chariots, &hich dis lay rich ornamentation! The $gy tians invented the yo%e saddle for their chariot horses in c! ;+00 BC$! The *est reserved e"am les of $gy tian chariots are the four s ecimens from the tom* of Tutan%hamun! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>Chariot 'nother related &ord, the &heel, comes from the -ld $nglish &ord h&eol, h&eogol, from Proto0ermanic Yh&eh&lan, Yh&eg&lan, from Proto-#ndo-$uro ean Y%&e%&lo-, an e"tended form of the root Y%&el- 1to revolve, move around!2 Cognates &ithin #ndo-$uro ean include 0ree% Z[Z\]^ (%_%los), 5ans%rit cha%ra, -ld Church 5lavonic %olo, all meaning 1circle2 or 1&heel!2 $vidence of &heeled vehicles a ears from the mid-?th millennium BC, near-simultaneously in 3eso otamia (5umerian civili,ation), #ndus Valley (3ohen.odaro), the 6orthern Caucasus (3ay%o culture) and Central $uro e, so that the 9uestion of &hich culture originally invented the &heeled vehicle remains unresolved and under de*ate! The ).u*l.ana 3arshes 4ooden 4heel, the &orld2s oldest %no&n &ooden &heel, dating from +,2+0 ` ;00 BP as art of 0lo*ular 'm hora Culture, &as discovered *y 5lovenian archeologists in 2002! The earliest &ell-dated de iction of a &heeled vehicle is on the Bronocice ot, a c! 3+00- 33+0 BC clay ot e"cavated in a Funnel*ea%er culture settlement in southern Poland! The &heeled vehicle s read from the area of its first occurrence (3eso otamia, Caucasus, Bal%ans, Central $uro e) across $urasia, reaching the #ndus Valley *y the 3rd millennium BC! Buring the 2nd millennium BC, the s o%e-&heeled chariot s read at an increased ace, reaching *oth China and 5candinavia *y ;200 BC! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>4heel
' num*er of hy otheses e"ist on many of the %ey issues regarding the domestication of the horse! 'lthough horses a eared in Paleolithic cave art as early as 30,000 BC$, these &ere truly &ild horses and &ere ro*a*ly hunted for meat! (o& and &hen horses *ecame domesticated is dis uted! The clearest evidence of early use of the horse as a means of trans ort is from chariot *urials dated c! 2000 BC$! (o&ever, an increasing amount of evidence su orts the hy othesis that horses &ere domesticated in the $urasian 5te es (Bereiv%a centered in 7%raine) a ro"imately ?000-3+00 BC$! /ecent discoveries on Botai culture suggest that Botai culture settlements in the '%mola Province of Fa,a%hstan are the location of the earliest domestication of the horse! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>BomesticationMofMtheMhorse #$ &ords for 1horse2 includeD P#$ Ye%&o-, 0ree% (h)i os, )atin e9uus, 0aulish e os, e9os, -ld #rish ech, 4elsh a Cornish e*ol (a colt), Breton e*eul (a colt), 0othic aih&a-, -ld $nglish eoh, -ld 6orse .obr, -ld 5a"on ehu-, -ld (igh 0erman eha-, hierogly hic (ittite asu, asu&a, )ycian es*edi (cavalry), Tocharian ' yu% (a horse), Tocharian B ya%&e, 5ans%rit acva-, 3itanni 'ryan asvasanni (a sta*leman), 'vestan asva- (a horse), -ld Persian asa-, Thracian es*, esvas (a don%ey, a horse), Phrygian esb (a don%ey), -ld Baltic Yasbu-, )ithuanian asbva (a mare), -ld Prussian as&inan (mare2s mil%)! htt D>>indoeuro!*i,land!com> ro.ect> honetics>&ord3!html (ere &e may note t&o things! First, concerning the &ord for 1&heel,2 &e see that the #$ root Y%&e%&l-, means *oth 1vehicle2 and 1circle!2 This &ord is considered roof for the common origin of the #$ languages *ecause it seems that P#$ used the same &ord for a 1&heeled vehicle!2 (o&ever, as &e .ust said, the &ord also means 1circle!2 But if a 1vehicle2 is erha s a later, $neolithic, invention, the 1circle2 is a fundamental notion, &hich must have *een 1invented,2 or conceived, *y humans in the early Prehistory! $ven the fact that 1#$2 languages use the &ord for 1circle2 together &ith the &ords for 1&heel2 and 1vehicle,2 certainly e" resses continuity in these notions! 4hy the #$s first a ear at the time of &heeled vehicles and not at the time &hen the notion of a circle &as conceived for the first time: But erha s it is more lausi*le to assume
that the &heel &as an invention (in fact one of the greatest in human history) of some eo le, &ho gave the corres onding name to all the rest! 's far as the &ord for 1horse2 is concerned, &e face again the same dilemma! For e"am le, the &ord 1i os2 in 0ree% is very ro*lematic! 6o other &ords in 0ree% contain a dou*le , e"ce t &ords roduced *y the &ord 1i os!2 #n fact, the dou*le consonant im lies a foreign origin of the &ord (since there isn2t a 0ree% etymology of the &ord)! 5o most li%ely it is a loan into the 0ree% language, and from 0ree% it assed to )atin, and so on! This assum tion can *e further *ased on the fact that many 1#$2 languages contain another, more common, &ord for 1horse!2 #t is horse in $nglish, alogo in modern 0ree%, cavallo in #talian, ferd in 0erman, loshadb in /ussian, %on in Polish, ar%lys in )ithuanian, ghora in #ndian! The &ord seems to have *een reserved in Persian (as*)! This sho&s that, in all ro*a*ility, it is a loan &ord! The original &ord, therefore, could have *een #ranian *ut all others use a different &ord! #t seems that the horse 1asva,2 or 1esvos2 is the rototy e &ord that the first horse tamers used! 5o it refers to a s ecial *reed of horse, not the common one, *ut the 1racing2 or 1&arrior2 horse! 5o *oth the 1%&e%&lo- &heel2 and the 1e%&o- horse2 may not P#$ *ut loan &ords! The #$ languages have their o&n &ord for horses, *efore the 1e% &os,2 the &arrior-horse, &as introduced to them *y another culture! 'lso, the fact that they all use the same &ord *oth for the &heel and the circle, this certainly means that it is a loan &ord! -ther&ise &e should su at the time &hen humans first conceived the notion of a 1circle!2 ose that 1P#$2 e"isted even
The ‘&ron'e "oad’
htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>Bron,eM'ge #t is very hard to imagine that eo le gras ed the notion of a circle at the time &hen the first &heel &as invented! But they could have identified the notion of a circle &ith the real o*.ect, the &heel! But *oth &heels and horses as a means of trans ortation are t&o of the greatest discoveries of all times, such as ottery and agriculture! 'nd &ords or notions re resenting great inventions and innovations tend to *ecome glo*al! 5o they are not the *est e"am les for a 1common origin!2 The discovery of *ron,e &as such a great innovation! Bron,e initiated a ne& age &hich *ares its name (the Bron,e 'ge)! 5tone use, in the revious eriod, had *een &ides read all around the glo*e, so &e consider that stone technology &as invented inde endently, and this is &hy different eo les have their o&n &ord for 1stone2! The same ro*a*ly is also true for *ron,e technology! The &ord 1metal2 is common *oth in $nglish and in 0ree% (1metallo2), *ut metallurgy in general &ould have *een an art racticed *y different eo le in different &ays! (o&ever, Bron,e gave *irth to a ne& era! Vessels &ere no& made *oth of clay and of *ron,e, the first coins &ere cut, shi s and &agons used arts made of *ron,e, and *ron,e &ea ons or items re laced stone a"es or *one needles!
Bron,e is an alloy made of co
er and tin! Tin is rather scarce! 4e see its distri*ution on the er de osits &ere found in central
revious ma ! Com aring the t&o revious ma s it is interesting to note that the ma.or tin de osits &ere found in 4est $uro e, &hile significant co $uro e and the Bal%ans, as &ell as in the Caucasus region! The diffusion of metallurgy seems to follo& a route from the 6orth to the 5outh (# &ould also add from the 4est to the $ast as far as tin is concerned)! The im ortance of tin to the success of Bron,e 'ge cultures and the scarcity of the resource offers a glim se into that time eriod2s trade and cultural interactions, and has therefore *een the focus of intense archaeological studies! (o&ever, a num*er of ro*lems have lagued the study of ancient tin such as the limited archaeological remains of lacer mining, the destruction of ancient mines *y modern mining o erations, and the oor reservation of ure tin o*.ects due to tin disease or tin est! These ro*lems are com ounded *y the difficulty in rovenancing tin o*.ects and ores to their geological de osits using isoto ic or trace element analyses! Current archaeological de*ate is concerned &ith the origins of tin in the earliest Bron,e 'ge cultures of the 6ear $ast!
The am*er route 's early as 2+00 BC, $r,ge*irge (the mountainous *order *et&een 0ermany and the C,ech /e u*lic) had *egun e" orting tin, using the &ell-esta*lished Baltic am*er trade route to su ly 5candinavia as &ell as the 3editerranean &ith tin! Prehistoric commercial routes *et&een 6orthern and 5outhern $uro e &ere defined *y the am*er trade! The 'm*er /oad &as an ancient trade route for the transfer of am*er from coastal areas of the 6orth 5ea and the Baltic 5ea to the 3editerranean 5ea overland *y &ay of the Vistula and Bnie er rivers! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>'m*erM/oad By 2000 BC, the e"traction of tin in $ngland, France, 5 ain, and Portugal had *egun and tin &as traded to the 3editerranean s oradically from all these sources! $vidence of tin trade in the 3editerranean can *e seen in a num*er of Bron,e 'ge shi &rec%s containing tin ingots such as the 7lu*urun off the coast of Tur%ey dated ;300 BC &hich carried over 300 co &eighing ;0 tons, and a ro"imately ?0 tin *ars &eighing ; ton! 6ear $astern develo ment of *ron,e technology s read across Central 'sia *y &ay of the $urasian 5te es, and &ith it came the %no&ledge and technology for tin ros ection and e"traction! By 2000 to ;+00 BC 7,*e%istan, 'fghanistan, and Ta.i%istan a ear to have e" loited their sources of tin, carrying the resources east and &est along the 5il% /oad crossing er *ars
Central 'sia! This trade lin% li%ely follo&ed an e"isting trade route of la is la,uli, a highly ri,ed semi- recious *lue gemstone, and chlorite vessels decorated &ith tur9uoise from Central 'sia that have *een found as far &est as $gy t and that date to the same eriod! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>TinMsourcesMandMtradeMinMancientMtimes
htt D>>&&&!archatlas!org>Trade>Trade! h 'nother recious item, )a is la,uli, &as *eing mined long *efore *ron,e in the 5ar-i 5ang mines and in other mines in the Bada%hshan rovince in northeast 'fghanistan as early as the @th millennium BC, )a is *eads have *een found at neolithic *urials in 3ehrgarh, the Caucasus, and even as far from 'fghanistan as 3auritania! #t &as used for the eye*ro&s on the funeral mas% of Fing Tutan%hamun (;3?;P;323 BC)! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>)a isMla,uli
-*sidian ancient trade routes $ven older is the o*sidian trade route! -*sidian, a *lac% volcanic glass, &as first recogni,ed *y Colin /enfre& and his colleagues C!$! Bi"on and C!/! Cann in the ;8<0s as a uni9uely sensitive indicator of rehistoric trade, *oth *ecause of the great desira*ility of this material *efore the use of metals, and also *ecause the trace-elements it contains are usually diagnostic of individual sources! The earliest evidence of long-distance trade in o*sidian occurs during the late-glacial eriod, in the still-o en landsca es *efore the s read of forests, &hen it circulated among $ i alaeolithic hunting and foraging grou s around the Fertile Crescent! T&o chains of connection are already evidentD o*sidian from the Bingdl region of south-east Tur%ey reached #ra9i Furdistan (via the (illy Flan%s route), and o*sidian from the Ca adocian area of central Tur%ey &as carried across the Taurus to the middle $u hrates and the northern )evant (the )evantine Corridor)! htt D>>&&&!archatlas!org>-*sidian/outes>-*sidian/outes! h
The 5il% /oad From the 2nd millennium BC ne hrite .ade &as *eing traded from mines in the region of Ear%and and Fhotan to China! 5ignificantly, these mines &ere not very far from the la is la,uli and s inel (1Balas /u*y2) mines in Bada%hshan and, although se arated *y the formida*le Pamir 3ountains, routes across them &ere, a arently, in use from very early times! The Tarim mummies (related to the #$ Tocharians), have *een found in the Tarim Basin, in the area of )oulan located along the 5il% /oad 200 %ilometres (;2? miles) east of Eing an, dating to as early as ;<00 BC and suggesting very ancient contacts *et&een $ast and 4est! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>5il%M/oad
An )Anatolian*+ isogloss in the ,rd millennium &CE
' ro"imate e"tent of the Corded 4are hori,on &ith ad.acent 3rd millennium cultures 's &e have already seen (in the case of the 0ree% island of 3ilos) o*sidian &as also trans orted via sea routes! The trade routes of o*sidian and la is la,uli redate the advent of metallurgy! But most li%ely these routes &ere used (and &ere also e" anded) for co er, tin and *ron,e trade! Therefore, during the 3rd millennium BC$ (or a*out 3200 BC$ &hen the Bron,e 'ge *egins), &e should e" ect a vast net&or% of trade routes, from 6orth&est $uro e and the #*erian Peninsula to 5outheast $uro e, and from 'natolia and the 3iddle $ast to #ndia, as far as China! The first e" ansion of the #$s coincides &ith the $arly Bron,e 'ge! This should not *e considered coincidental! Peo le follo&ed the trade routes, e"changed roducts, found .o*s, and ado ted ne& cultural ideas! 4hat is im ortant to note here is that across main trade routes there is al&ays a lingua franca (let2s say an 1international2 language) formed for the need of communication *et&een eo le s ea%ing different languages! This common language can *e the language of one grou (the more advanced), or an amalgam containing elements from many different languages! 5o &e may consider a clustering of grou s of eo le, along the 1Bron,e /oad,2 &ith some language of their o&n, sharing this language &ith the languages of other
grou s! This &ay, the clustering *ecomes *igger and *igger, until &e have larger grou s of eo le sharing a 1unified2 language! This can hardly *e considered as a 1common origin2 of these grou s! /ather, it is an assimilation rocess, an acculturation aradigm, regardless of genetic identity! 0ene distri*ution may *e found to *e analogous to language distri*ution, *ut the o osite is not necessarily trueD ' common language sometimes means a common genetic heritage, *ut al&ays a common cultural identity! 5o &here did the first #$s come from: Buring the ? th millennium BC$, all $urasia &as inha*ited from the 4est to the $ast, and from the 6orth to the 5outh! The current model for the origin of the #$s suggests an initial clustering of (#$) tri*es living in the Pontic 5te es! But &hen these tri*es dis ersed, they should have moved along the trade routes of the time! Furthermore, &e may e" ect that this e" ansion too% time! For e"am le, it &ould ta%e ;000-2000 years ntil the emergence of the 3ycenaean civili,ation (&hich is considered Proto-0ree%!) This time s an is enormous, ta%ing into account the fact that &hen 1 rimitive2 tri*es of eo le come in contact &ith advanced civili,ations they tend to assimilate the advanced culture, literally drain it! 5ee, for e"am le, the case of the (ittites- they identified themselves &ith the name of their redecessors ((attians)! 'nother e"am le is the first 0ermanic tri*es &hich invaded /ome! Clovis and the Francs a*sor*ed the /oman civili,ation in such an e"tent that they finally changed their language into )atin! 'nd so on! 5o ho& do &e e" ect the Pontic tri*es not *eing su*.ected to the rocess of acculturation, as they su osedly entered the civili,ed and &idely o ulated Bal%ans, 'sia 3inor and the 3editerranean, 6orth 3eso otamia and #ndia, not to mention the megalithic cultures of 6orth and 4est $uro e (5tonehenge &as not *uilt *y 1#$s2)! $ventually, &hen &e find 1stri%ing2 similarities in a grou of languages, &e should first sus ect that these similarities are related to a 1formal2 voca*ulary, shared *y many eo le in a large area! This doesn2t mean that clusters of languages (&hich could also have a common genetic origin) don2t occur! But these language grou s form themselves gradually, and then interact &ith other language grou s to form *igger clusters! 'lso, these grou s have to interact across a road, a trade route, a &ell-%no&n ath &hich ma%es migrations ossi*le!
There is a &ell-%no&n e"am le of such a mass migration! #t is called the 5eima-Tur*ino henomenon! 5eima-Tur*ino refers to *urial sites dating around ;+00 BC found across northern $urasia, from Finland to 3ongolia! The *uried &ere nomadic &arriors and metal-&or%ers, travelling on horse*ac% or t&o-&heeled chariots! These nomads originated from the 'ltai 3ountains! #t is con.ectured that changes in climate in this region around 2000 BC and the ensuing ecological, economic and olitical changes triggered a ra id and massive migration &est&ard into northeast $uro e, east&ard into China and south&ard into Vietnam and Thailand across a frontier of some ?,000 miles! This migration too% lace in .ust five to si" generations and led to eo les from Finland in the &est to Thailand in the east em loying the same metal &or%ing technology and, in some areas, horse *reeding and riding! #t is further con.ectured that the same migrations s read the 7ralic grou of languages across $uro e and 'siaD some 38 languages of this grou are still e"tant, including (ungarian, Finnish, $stonian and )a ish! (o&ever, recent genetic testings of sites in south 5i*eria and Fa,a%hstan ('ndronovo hori,on) &ould rather su ort a s reading of the *ron,e technology via #ndo-$uro ean migrations east&ards, as this technology &as &ell %no&n for 9uite a &hile in &estern regions! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>5eima-Tur*inoMPhenomenon 5o this grou %e t their o&n language &ithout re lacing the languages in areas they invaded! But &hy the #$s, in their turn, &ere so successful: Pro*a*ly, *ecause they %ne& not only ho& to use ne& technologies (horses, chariots, advanced *ron,e &ea ons), *ut also ho& to im ose and maintain o&er! 'nd the latter as ect came from assimilated %no&ledge of the advanced cultures of the 15outh!2 But &ho &ere these civili,ations, and &hat &as their status: #n the 3 rd millennium BC$, &orld o ulation is estimated to have dou*led in the course of the millennium, to some 30 million eo le! The revious millennium had seen the emergence of advanced, ur*ani,ed civili,ations, ne& *ron,e metallurgy e"tending the roductivity of agricultural &or%, and highly develo ed &ays of communication in the form of &riting! #n the 3rd millennium BC, the gro&th of these riches, *oth intellectually and hysically, *ecame a source of contention on a olitical stage, and rulers sought the accumulation of more &ealth and more o&er! 'long &ith this came the first a earances of mega architecture, im erialism, organi,ed a*solutism and internal revolution!
The civili,ations of 5umer and '%%ad in 3eso otamia *ecame a collection of volatile city-states in &hich &arfare &as common! 7ninterru ted conflicts drained all availa*le resources, energies and o ulations! #n the -ld Fingdom of $gy t, the $gy tian yramids &ere constructed and &ould remain the tallest and largest human constructions for thousands of years! 'lso in $gy t, haraohs *egan to osture themselves as living gods made of an essence different from that of other human *eings! $ven in $uro e, &hich &as still largely neolithic during the same eriod of time, the *uilders of megaliths &ere constructing giant monuments of their o&n! #n the 6ear $ast and the -ccident during the 3rd millennium BC, limits &ere *eing ushed *y architects and rulers! The significant )ate 6eolithic and $arly Bron,e 'ge Cycladic culture (3200-2000 BC$) is *est %no&n for its schematic flat female idols carved out of the islandsb ure &hite mar*le centuries *efore the great 3iddle Bron,e 'ge (13inoan2) culture arose in Crete, to the south! ' distinctive 6eolithic culture amalgamating 'natolian and mainland 0ree% elements arose in the &estern 'egean *efore ?000 BC, *ased on emmer &heat and &ild-ty e *arley, shee and goats, igs, and tuna that &ere a arently s eared from small *oats! $"cavated sites sho&ed signs of co &or%ing! $ach of the small Cycladic islands could su erort no more than a fe& thousand eo le,
though )ate Cycladic *oat models sho& that fifty oarsmen could *e assem*led from the scattered communities! 4hen the highly organi,ed alace-culture of Crete arose, the islands faded into insignificance, &ith the e"ce tion of Belos, &hich retained its archaic re utation as a sanctuary through the eriod of Classical 0ree% civili,ation!
'n ancient enteconter (fifty-oared shi ) The 3inoans (2@00-;+00 BC$) &ere traders, and their cultural contacts reached far *eyond the island of Crete (and the 'egean islands)- to $gy t2s -ld Fingdom, to co er-*earing Cy rus, Canaan, and the )evantine coasts *eyond, and to 'natolia! #n late 2008, 3inoan-style frescoes and other 3inoan-style artifacts &ere discovered during e"cavations of the Canaanite alace at Tel Fa*ri, #srael, leading archaeologists to conclude that the 3inoan influence &as the strongest foreign influence on that Caananite city state! Certain locations &ithin Crete em hasi,e it as an 1out&ard loo%ing2 society! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>3rdMmillenniumMBC The connection *et&een 3inoans and the Canaanites suggests a &ell- esta*lished sea trade, and that, in all ro*a*ility, the Canaanites learned sea-faring from the 3inoans, long *efore the a earance of the Phoenicians! The 3inoans can hardly *e considered #$s (although some suggest an 'natolian #$ connection)! But, in any case, the oint is that during the 3 rd millennium BC$ there &as an esta*lished sea trade, made *y long-distance sea vessels (if not yet enteconters) across the $astern 'egean, and even further all across the 3editerranean (ho& else could tin ore reach the 3iddle $ast and $gy t from 4est $uro e and 5 ain:)! 5ome eo le *elieve that the first #$ languages &ere s o%en in 'natolia ('sia 3inor)! This is related to the 'natolian (y othesis! (o&ever, the oint is thisD $ven if there &as a core of
languages, later to *ecome the 1#$2 languages, outside 'natolia, this region, together &ith 5outheast $uro e, the Bal%ans, 0reece and the $ast 'egean, &as in direct contact &ith the first great civili,ations- the $gy tians, the 5umerians and 'ssyrians, the 3inoans and the 1'egeans'natolians!2 'ncient 'natolia &as the 1*ig mar%et2 *et&een the 1civili,ed 5outh2 and the 1 rimitive 6orth!2 5o this must have *een, in general, the lace &here the cultures of the 5outh and of the 6orth &ere meeting, a*sor*ing and e"changing material and cultural roducts! Thus ancient 'natolia in the 3rd millennium BC$ could *e identified as the lace of an 1'natolian isogloss,2 a lingua franca, &hich &as used for trading ur oses! This language &ould include terms for agriculture, shi ing, sciences, astronomy, numerals (later on the al ha*et s read from 'natolia through the Phoenicians), gods, notions a*out religion, o&er and ro erty! Therefore, the 1#$2 languages, even if they didn2t originate in 'natolia, they &ere in close contact &ith the region, they &ere in a constant e"change of material and cultural as ects, and they follo&ed the trade routes all across $urasia, as civili,ation s read across the 3editerranean and the Persian gulf! #t &as along this routes, and than%s to &hich, that the #$ languages s read, and &ere, in all li%elihood, formed! 'fter the colla se of the Bron,e 'ge (;200 BC$), the (ittites &ere lost, the )u&ians %e t on inha*iting 'natolia in laces such as )ycia and )ydia, the 0ree%s emerged more o&erful than ever, $gy t and 'ssyria regained o&er, and Persia &as to *ecome the great su er o&er of the classical times! Continuity &ith the revious eriod is remar%a*le! $ven the (ittites &ere not lost if they &ere )u&ians in the first lace! The so- called invasion of the 1sea eo le,2 &hich a ear at the time of the Bron,e 'ge colla se, may or may not have *een res onsi*le for this colla se! 6evertheless, the aforementioned continuity suggests either that the colla se &as caused *y internal conflicts, or that the 1sea eo le,2 invaded, ravaged, and left! )anguages in most cases had already formed a long time *efore, so that if any 1sea eo les2 decided to stay in the 1con9uered2 territories, they &ould ado t the native language!
A memetic origin of language
' meme is Ran idea, *ehavior, or style that s reads from erson to erson &ithin a culture!S ' meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, sym*ols, or ractices that can *e transmitted from one mind to another through &riting, s eech, gestures, rituals, or other imita*le henomena! 5u orters of the conce t regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-re licate, mutate, and res ond to selective ressures! The &ord meme &as coined *y /ichard Ba&%ins in 1The 5elfish 0ene,2 as a conce t for discussion of evolutionary rinci les in e" laining the s read of ideas and cultural henomena! $"am les of memes given in the *oo% included melodies, catch- hrases, fashion, and the technology of *uilding arches! Pro onents theori,e that memes may evolve *y natural selection in a manner analogous to that of *iological evolution! 3emes do this through the rocesses of variation, mutation, com etition, and inheritance, each of &hich influence a meme2s re roductive success! 3emes s read through the *ehavior that they generate in their hosts! ' field of study called memetics arose in the ;880s to e" lore the conce ts and transmission of memes in terms of an evolutionary model! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>3eme Therefore, language should *e treated as a meme, not as a gene! The mechanism through &hich language evolves is imitation! 4e learn a language *y imitating its s ea%ers and *y *eing taught *y them the ro erties of that language! 4e %no& that throughout history rimitive civili,ations imitate the advanced ones! -f course, &ho is 1 rimitive2 and &ho is 1advanced2 is relative, *ut the oint is that it is great ideas &hat finally con9uers the &ord, neither the genes nor the *rains of the eo le! #t is &ithin this conte"t of meme *ehavior that &e must treat human social *eing and language in articular!
(odern relative gene research
The t&o revious ma s sho& the .ourney of man%ind, according to the -ut of 'frica hy othesis! E-B6' is related to male, &hile mtB6' is related to female lineages! #t is *elieved that similarities in languages corres ond to similarities in genes! This may *e true *ut the o osite can *e hardly true! 'cculturation e"ceeds genes and e" ands so much as to cover linguistically o ulations that may have never *een in direct, or e" eriencing significant, genetic contact! (o&ever, &e &ill e" ose here some ma s related to se arate human E-B6' ha logrou s, &hich may reveal ossi*le cultural and linguistic connections!
(a logrou # (30,000- 2+,000 eBP) is rimarily a $uro ean ha logrou , and is considered a uni9ue indigenous $uro ean ha logrou ! #t re resents a*out a fifth of the o ulation of $uro e! #t can *e found in the ma.ority of current $uro ean (su*clade #;) and 5outh $ast (su*clade #2) $uro e! o ulations &ith ma"imum in 6orth
$uro ean refuges during the last glacial ma"imum ()03), a*out 20,000 years agoD The 5olutrean (*ro&n), and $ igravettian ( ur le) cultures! #t is *elieved that during the )03, ha logou # &as divided in 6orth and 5outh $uro e, so that su*lades #; in 5candinavia and #2 in 5outheastern $uro e diversified *y isolation! (o&ever, it is not %no&n &hich ha logrou the 5olutrians *elonged to! #n any case, this distri*ution sho&s an a ro"imate 5outh&est- 6ortheast division of $uro e! 'fter the )03, the $uro ean o ulation should have reunited, or %e t se arated *y ne&comers from the $ast!
(a logrou 0 (30,000-;?,000 EBP) 5o far there is availa*le archaic E-B6' from the culture of )inear Pottery ()BF) in 0ermany, and from the culture of Cardium Pottery in #taly, in the south-&est of France and in southeastern 5 ain! 'll these sites have yielded 02a eo le, &hich is currently a o&erful element that agriculture has emerged and s read *y eo le of this ha logrou ! The greater genetic diversity of ha logrou 0 is located *et&een the )evant and the Caucasus, a good indicator for the region of origin of this ha logrou ! #t is *elieved that early 6eolithic farmers s read from the )evant 4est to 'natolia and $uro e, as &ell as $ast to 3eso otamia and 5outh 'sia, and 5outh to the 'ra*ian Peninsula and 6orth-6orth $ast 'frica! The taming of the shee , goats and co&s is considered to have ta%en lace in the mountainous region of eastern 'natolia, including the Caucasus and the Aagros mountains! Today 02a su*grou is located mainly in the mountain areas of $uro e! This may *e *ecause the Caucasians farmers searched for a hilly terrain similar to that of their original homeland, suita*le for goats! But it is much more li%ely that the 02a farmers sought refuge in the mountains to avoid intruders from the Bron,e 'ge, as &ere the #$ $uro eans!
(a logrou C (a logrou C a ears at the same time as ha logrou # (f30,000 EBP)! #ts concentrations sho& a further division *et&een The 16orth2 and the 15outh!2 The su*clade C; can *e descri*ed as 1'ra*ic,2 or 13iddle-$astern,2 &hile the su*clade C2 can *e descri*ed as 13editerranean'egean,2 and is related to the indigenous Bron,e 'ge! o ulations of 'natolia and the 'egean 5ea! (a logrou C &as ro*a*ly transferred from the 3iddle $ast to $uro e *y immigrants during the
(a logrou / (a logrou / (3?,300-;8,800EBP) is considered the 1ha logrou of the #$s!2 5u*clade /;a ro*a*ly came from the $urasian ste es, and is associated &ith the culture of the 5cythians and the e"tension of the first #$s! /;* may have originated in the same region as /;a or alternatively in the 5outh Caucasus region! $uro e is dominated *y /;* in the 4est, and /;a in the $ast!
The t&o revious ma s sho& the ossi*le e" ansions of /;a and /;* ha logrou s! /;a is thought to have *een the dominant ha logrou among the northern and eastern Proto-#ndo$uro ean language s ea%ers that evolved into the #ndo-#ranian, Thracian, Baltic and 5lavic *ranches! The Proto-#ndo-$uro eans originated in the Eamna culture (3300-2+00 BC$)! Their dramatic e" ansion &as ossi*le than%s to an early ado tion of *ron,e &ea ons and the domestication of the horse in the $urasian ste es (circa ?000-3+00 BC$)! The southern 5te e culture is *elieved to have carried redominantly /;* lineages, &hile the northern forest-ste e culture &ould have *een essentially /;a-dominant! The first ma.or e" ansion of /;a too% lace &ith the &est&ard ro agation of the Corded 4are (or Battle '"e) culture (2=00-;=00 BC$) from the northern forest-ste e in the Eamna homeland! This &as the first &ave of /;a into $uro e- 0ermany, the 6etherlands and 5candinavia! The Corded 4are /;a eo le &ould have mi"ed &ith the re-0ermanic #; and #2 a*origines, &hich resulted in the first #ndo-$uro ean culture in 0ermany and 5candinavia, &hich resulted in the first #ndo-$uro ean culture in 0ermany and 5candinavia, or erha s Proto-Balto-5lavic! The migration of the /;* eo le to central and 4estern $uro e left a vacuum for /;a eo le in the southern ste e around the time of the Catacom* culture (2=00-2200 BC$)! The forestste e origin of this culture is o*vious from the introduction of corded ottery and the a*undant
use of olished *attle a"es, the t&o most rominent features of the Corded 4are culture! The e" ansion of /;* eo le into -ld $uro e &as slo&er, *ut roved inevita*le! #n 2=00 BC$, *y the time the Corded 4are had already reached 5candinavia, the Bron,e 'ge /;* cultures had *arely moved into the Pannonian ste e! They esta*lished ma.or settlements in the 0reat (ungarian Plain, the most similar ha*itat to their ancestral Pontic 5te es! 'round 2+00 BC$, the &estern *ranch of #ndo-$uro ean /;* &ere oised for their ne"t ma.or e" ansion into modern 0ermany and 4estern $uro e! By that time, the /;* immigrants had *lended to a great e"tent &ith the indigenous 3esolithic and 6eolithic o ulations of the Banu*ian *asin! #t is dou*tful that the Bell Bea%er culture (2=00-;800 BC$) in 4estern $uro e &as already #ndo$uro ean *ecause its attri*utes are in erfect continuity &ith the native 3egalithic cultures! Buring the same eriod Bron,e 'ge ste e cultures s read from 0ermany to&ards #*eria, France and Britain! #t is more li%ely that the *ea%ers and horses found across 4estern $uro e during that eriod &ere the result of trade &ith neigh*oring #ndo-$uro ean cultures, including the first &ave of /;* into Central $uro e! #t is e9ually ossi*le that the Bea%er eo le &ere /;* merchants or e" lorers &ho travelled across 4estern $uro e and *rought *ac% tales of riches oorly defended *y 5tone 'ge eo le and &aiting to *e con9uered *y the more advanced #ndo-$uro eans, &ith their *ron,e &ea ons and horses! 4hat is undenia*le is that the follo&ing 7netice (2300-;<00 BC$), Tumulus (;<00-;200 BC$), 7rnfield (;300-;200 BC$) and (allstatt (;200-@+0 BC$) cultures &ere lin%ed to the diffusion of /;* to $uro e, as they a*ru tly introduce ne& technologies and a radically different lifestyle! Lhtt D>>&&&!eu edia!com>euro e>neolithicMeuro eMma !shtmlN The revious analysis is very clarifying, concerning migrations of eo le! (o&ever, these are routes of gene flo&, not culture! The reason &hy it is su osed that this gene flo& &as also accom anied *y ne& languages (the first #$ languages of $uro e) is the simultaneous change in the &ay of living! The ro*lem, ho&ever, is &ho really changed his &ay of living! #f the 4est re- #$ inha*itants of $uro e &ere an isolated o ulation, then the #$ ne&comers should have already ado ted ne& &ays of living, though contact &ith the regions 5outh of the Caucasus, &ere the civili,ed &orld &as to *e found at this time! 5o the #$s should have *rought &ith them an 1'natolian,2 advanced lifestyle! -ther&ise, &e cannot imagine &hy the original inha*itants of
$uro e ado ted a ne& life and a ne& language! But it is &orth noting that the 1 re-#$2 inha*itants of $uro e &ere not rimitive at all! They should have already *een in contact &ith 5outh $uro e and the 3editerranean, &here advanced cultures e"isted since the 6eolithic! 5o this &ould *e the first time in human history &hen the advanced civili,ation (the indigenous eo les of $uro e) imitated the rimitive one (the #$ hordes)! Therefore, in my o inion, it is e9ually ossi*le that the Proto-$uro ean languages &ere formed at this stage, through the interaction *et&een the 1old culture2 and the 1ne& *lood!2 This is also su re lacing an 1older2 one! orted *y the fact that all aforementioned lineages date from a*out the same time (f30,000 EBP or so)! Therefore, there &asn2t any 1ne&2 lineage
The origins of language
To trace the origin of language, it2s *etter to follo& not genes *ut memes! 4hat memes really are (and if they do e"ist) is a difficult 9uestion! /ichard Ba&%ins considered them something more than the analogue of the 1selfish gene!2 5ocial *ehavior involves atterns &hich may *e related to gene ro erties (re roduction, transmission, sustaina*ility, diversification, etc!) *ut &hich are not *iological! 5o they &ere called memes! 3emes are units of s ecific information, to ut it this &ay, *ut their territory and im lications may *e enormous! 3emes and meme com le"es include ideas, *eliefs, fashion, songs, oems, &ords and languages, and notions such as 1human,2 1life and death,2 10od and the afterlife!2 4e &ill follo& here the train of thought of 5usan Blac%more, from her *oo% 1The 3eme 3achineD2 RThere are at least three issues here! -ne is &hy &e tal% at all - in other &ords, &hy human *eings ac9uired language in the first lace! The second is ho& &e ac9uired language - ho& the human *rain *ecame structured the &ay it did! The third is &hy, having ac9uired language, &e use it so much! # am going to tac%le the last 9uestion first, artly *ecause it is easier, and artly *ecause the ans&er &ill hel us &ith the much more controversial 9uestions of ho& and &hy language evolved! 5o ho& did &e get this uni9ue a*ility: Bid it a ear all at once in some gigantic luc%y lea of sudden evolution: -r did it a ear gradually along &ith our slo&ly gro&ing *rains: 'nd &hen
did language first a ear: Bid )ucy indulge in early social chit-chat: Bid (omo ha*ilis give names to their tools and inventions: Bid (omo erectus tell stories round their fires: 6o one %no&s for sure! 4ords do not leave fossils, and e"tinct languages cannot *e *rought *ac%! There are, ho&ever, a fe& clues! 5ome archaeologists *elieve that &e can deduce much a*out hominid language a*ilities from their artefacts and *urial ractices! -nly ;00 000 years ago there occurred the 7 er Paleolithic /evolution, a time of sudden (in archaeological terms) diversification of hominid activity! For t&o million years or more the only hominid artefacts had *een sim le stone tools, the stone fla%es ro*a*ly used as cho and hand-a"es made *y (! erectus! #t &as not until the 7 ers and scra ers *y (! ha*ilis, er Paleolithic that (! sa iens *egan to
leave *ehind evidence of deli*erate *urial of the dead, sim le ainting and *ody adornment, trading over long distances, increasing si,es of settlements and an e"tension of tool-ma%ing from stones to *one, clay, antlers and other materials! The vie& that this dramatic change coincides &ith the sudden origins of fully develo ed language is, according to /ichard )ea%ey, common among archaeologists! (o&ever, it is *ased only on s eculation! -ften our o&n thin%ing is so *ound *y the language &e learned as children it is almost im ossi*le for us to s eculate accurately a*out &hat can and cannot *e done in the &ay of art, tool-ma%ing or trading, &ith &hat level of language a*ilityU Perha s the *est &e can conclude for no& is that language did not a ear suddenly, as some linguists have suggested! The evolutionary changes &hich ma%e modern language ossi*le a ear to *e strung out over a long eriod of hominid history! 'lmost certainly )ucy &as inca a*le of s eech, and (! erectus could not have had much of a conversation around the fire! Finely controlled s eech and fully modern language is unli%ely to have a eared until at least the time of archaic (! sa iens, little more than ;00 000 years ago! That said, the *igger 9uestions remain unans&ered! 4e cannot tell &hether the larger *rain gradually made language ossi*le, or the *eginnings of language gradually forced the increase in *rain si,e! 4e only %no& that the t&o evolved together!S ' 1 roto-language2 may have *een s o%en since the 7 er Paleolithic, *ut a fully develo ed
language, &ith rich voca*ulary and com le" grammar, can only have a eared after the
a earance of the first organi,ed societies, &ith evolved notions a*out ro erty (and overtyO), freedom and slavery, social status and hierarchy, the ur ose of life and the meaning of death, god and the su ernatural! )anguage is the human &ay of information conservation (re roduction and transmission)! 4hen &e communicate, &e constantly and, mostly unconsciously, re roduce and transmit memes (ideas), &hich re resent, much more than ersonal feelings, *eliefs, ideologies, and social status! 5o that the *elief in a 1common origin,2 &hich is fundamentally *ased on common language, re resents a unifying cultural entity, far *eyond s ace, time and *lood!
The spread of language as meme transmission
Blac%more goes on to give us some clues a*out the evolution of languageD R#n his *oo% The )anguage #nstinct, 5teven Pin%er e" licitly a lies evolutionary thin%ing to the develo ment of languages, loo%ing at heredity, variation and the effects of isolation in allo&ing sets of variations to accumulate! (o&ever, he does not use the idea of a selfish re licator to understand language revolution and not does he e" lain &hy language evolved in the first lace! Perha s the ans&er seems too o*vious - that it &as *iologically ada tive! But, as &e shall see, this is not necessarily the right ans&er, and memetics can rovide ne& t&ists to the argument! 'n e"am le is the s read of inventions! Pro*a*ly the most im ortant of all binventionsb in human history &as that of farming! 'lthough there are still many arguments over the details, archaeologists generally agree that *efore a*out ;0,000 years ago all humans lived *y hunting and gathering! Bating from around that time, finds in the 3iddle $ast include grains that are larger, and shee and cattle that are smaller than their &ild relatives and resuma*ly domesticated! Farming then s read in a great &ave, reaching laces li%e #reland and 5candinavia *y a*out ?+00 years ago! Cust ho& many times food roduction arose inde endently is not %no&n for sure although ro*a*ly at least five times and ossi*le many more! #n fact, it seems that farming did not ma%e life easier, nor did it im rove nutrition, or reduce disease! The British science &riter Colin Tudge descri*es farming as 1the end of $den!2 /ather
than *eing easier, the life of early farmers &as utter misery! $arly $gy tian s%eletons tell a story of a terri*le life! Their toes and *ac%s are deformed *y the &ay eo le had to grind corn to ma%e *readW they sho& signs of ric%ets and of terri*le a*scesses in their .a&s! Pro*a*ly fe& lived *eyond the age of thirty! 5tories in the -ld Testament descri*e the arduous &or% of farmers and, after all, 'dam &as thro&n out of $den and told b#n the s&eat of thy face shalt though eat *readb! By contrast, modern hunter-gatherers have *een estimated to s end only a*out fifteen hours a &ee% hunting and have lenty of time for leisure! This is des ite the fact that they have *een ushed into marginal environments far oorer than those in &hich our ancient ancestors ro*a*ly lived! 4hy &ould eo le the &orld over have given u an easier life in favor of a life of toil and drudgery: Tudge assumes that agriculture arose *ecause it &as favored *y natural selection and therefore loo%s for a genetic advantage! (e suggests that *ecause farming roduces more food from a given area of land, farmers &ill roduce more children &ho &ill encroach on neigh*oring huntergatherer2s lands and so destroy their &ay of life! For this reason, once farming arrives no one has the lu"ury of saying R# &ant to %ee the old &ay of life!S (o&ever, &e %no& from the s%eletons of early farmers that they &ere malnourished and sic%ly! 5o &as there really a genetic advantage: 3emetics allo&s us to as% a different 9uestion! That is, &hy farming ractices &ere successful as memes: #n other &ords, ho& did these articular memes get themselves co ied: The ans&ers might include their *enefits to human ha iness or to human genes, *ut are not confined to those ossi*ilities! 3emes can s read for other reasons too, including less *enign ones! They might s read *ecause they a ear to rovide advantages even &hen they do not, *ecause they are es ecially easily imitated *y human *rains, *ecause they change the selective environment to the detriment of com eting memes, and so on! 4ith a meme2s eye vie& &e as% not ho& inventions *enefit human ha iness or human genes, *ut ho& they *enefit themselves! Turning to more modern technology, from the invention of the &heel to the design of cars, there is lenty of evidence that innovations evolve in the sense that they arise from &hat &ent *efore! #n The $volution of Technology, 0eorge Basalla develo s an evolutionary account of the &ay in &hich hammers, steam engines, truc%s and transistors have come a*out! Playing do&n the
im ortance of heroic inventors he em hasi,es the gradual rocess of change through imitation and variation! For e"am le, many features of &ooden *uildings &ere re roduced in stone *y the 0ree%s, the first iron *ridge *uilt in the late ;@@0s &as modelled on &ood&or%ing ractices, and even the hum*le lastic *uc%et often still sho&s signs of its origins in metal! Transistors &ere only gradually miniaturised and radio signals very gradually transmitted further and further! htt D>>&&&!%ee andshare!com>doc>?;30;?=>*lac%more-meme-machine- df-.une-;2-20;2-;-+<m-3-;-meg #n fe& &ords, Blac%more tells us that inventions came not to ma%e our lives easier *ut to facilitate the re lication of the corres onding memes! #n other &ords, memes don2t re roduce our ideas *ut their o&n! )et2s thin% a*out it for a &hileD 4e say that &e have a cause in life, &e need to get *etter and *etter, to do good, to serve our country, to &orshi our gods, to rotect our o&n %ind, and so on! 5o, &hat &e really rotect is not ourselves *ut &hat &e *elieve in, our ideas! 4e may even sacrifice ourselves for these *eliefs and ideas! 'nd &e communicate &ith a form of language for this servitude! /ecent finds in Co*e%li Te e, 5outh Tur%ey, suggest that, more than ;0,000 years ago, eo le *uilt religious monuments even *efore agriculture &as invented! 3ass roduction of everyday commodities *egan &ith the need to feed and accommodate ilgrims, &ho visited this lace for reasons of &orshi ! The more recent inter retation of the first cave aintings in France and 5 ain suggests the same thingD The animals de icted in the caves &ere not .ust ray, *ut re resentations of a s irit &ord! #n other &ords, &e aint in order to feed ourselves in a 1non- *iological2 level! This is the role of language! 4e use it as an instrument of communication, *ut it is much more than this! ' voca*ulary is an a*stract &orld of sym*ols &hose meanings sur ass *y far their mere sound inter retations! 5o the 1common origin2 of similar cultures is not found in the imitation of sounds *ut in the faithful re roduction of meanings!
Imitation versus inference
#t is fundamental to understand that language is a meme, and that memes s read through imitation! 4hen &e reali,e this, &e also reali,e that similarities in languages do not a riori suggest common (*iological) origin! /ather, &e should firstly investigate rocesses of
acculturation, in the conte"t of meme flo& and imitation! For e"am le, eo le imitate others as a means of e" ressing no*ility, and higher social status! Therefore, similarities *et&een &ords for 1 o&er2 in different languages mean a 1universally2 acce ted sym*olic voca*ulary of the corres onding &ords! 4hat is also im ortant to reali,e is that most of this voca*ulary asses in our language and in our minds unfiltered, s ontaneously! 4hen the 0ree%s, for e"am le and according to the myth, sa& horse-riders for the first time, they called them 1centaurs,2 *ecause they *elieved that they &ere creatures, half men- half horses! The centurions of the /oman $m ire in turn had %e t this tradition of 1divine horse-riders,2 and the &ord has *ecome a synonym for e"treme o&er! This rocess of inference su orts and am lifies imitation, as 5cott 'tran e" lainsD
R-n the memeticist vie& there is no true imitation &ithout re lication, and no true re lication &ithout imitation! The %ey oint a*out imitation is not that it triggers or elicits or roduces or re roduces information! /ather, it *oth causes re lication as &ell as rovides the information to *e re licated! The rocess of imitation causes re lication *y including, as art of the information it rovides, instructions for co ying the information! This entails that the information carried *y a re licator &ill al&ays contain instructions for co ying the instructions! The *uilding lan incor orates the *uilder! To illustrate the oint, Ba&%ins offers a thought e" eriment that com ares t&o games involving re resentation of a Chinese .un%! #n the first game, a child is sho&n a icture of a Chinese .un% and as%ed to dra& it! ' second child is then sho&n the dra&ing *ut not the original icture, and is as%ed to ma%e her o&n dra&ing of it! ' third child is as%ed to ma%e a dra&ing from the second dra&ing, and so on do&n the line! By the time several uns%illed dra&ings are com leted, the last dra&ing in the series &ill ro*a*ly differ so much from the first that it &ould *e unrecogni,a*le as a Chinese .un%! There is too much 1mutation and drift2 to sustain the design! #n the second game, the first child is taught, *y (&ordless) demonstration to ma%e a model of Chinese .un% &ith origami, the art of a er folding! The first child then demonstrates to a second child ho& to ma%e an origami .un%! 's the s%ill asses do&n the line, it2s a good *et that an
inde endent .udge &ill recogni,e later roductions as more or less faithful versions of the original model! #f, in the first game, the child also learned *y demonstration to dra& the .un%, later roductions might *e as recogni,a*le as in the second game! 'nd if, in the second game, the child &ere given no demonstration of the art of a er folding *ut sim ly sho&n a finished roduct, then later roductions &ould li%ely *e as unrecogni,a*le as in the first game!S 6o& &e reali,e that more im ortant than com aring 1cognates2 (similar &ords) in different languages is to understand &hat the similarities re resent, *y inference of the syntactic structureD R6otice that for language you o*viously need a very rich rior inferential structure, including much *uilt-in information content, to *e a*le to infer the same rule from stri%ingly different *ehaviors, or different rules from remar%a*ly similar *ehaviors! For e"am le, (;) RCohn %issed 3aryS has nearly the same underlying syntactic structure as (2) RThe dog *it the cat!S Both are transitive sentences &ith ractically identical hrase structure! By contrast, (3) RCohn a eared to Peter to do the .o*S has a very different underlying syntactic structure than (?) RCohn a ealed to Peter to do the .o*!S 5entence (3) involves a recursive structure of t&o em*edded sentences &ith su*.ect-control (Cohn a eared to Peter -I Cohn does the .o*), &hereas sentence (?) involves a recursive structure of t&o em*edded sentences &ith o*.ect-control (Cohn a ealed to Peter -I Peter does the .o*)! 4hat Rself-normali,ingS instruction could ossi*ly *e read off these R henoty icS surface forms that &ould .ustify including (;) and (2) under the same Rgenoty icS rule *ut (3) and (?) under different ty es: The language learner2s tas% is not to imitate and induceW it is to use the surface form of sentences to test the a lica*ility of ree"isting and o*servationally Rinvisi*leS syntactic structures, such as transitive hrase structure and su*.ectcontrolled versus o*.ect-controlled em*eddings!S htt D>>sitema%er!umich!edu>satran>files>humanMnatureM0;! df # am not a s ecialist on the su*.ect, *ut # %no&, for e"am le, that there has *een a syntactic shift in the 0ree% language regarding the su*.ect-o*.ect-ver* order, &hich in modern 0ree% is su*.ectver*-o*.ect! This has to do not only &ith a change in the re roduction of the language, *ut also
&ith a change in the code of ho& to re roduce it! This may *e considered a fundamental change, caused either *y contact &ith a different language, or *y rocesses &ithin the conte"t of the same language! 4hat # &ant to note here is the im ortance of such changes &hen &e com are different languages! Ta%e the &ord 1vehicle2 for e"am le, &hich is reconstructed as 1% &e%&lo2 in P#$! The im ortance of the correlation is not that it sounds li%e 1circle2 in $nglish or 1cyclos2 in 0ree%, *ut that it also means 1&heel2 in *oth languages! This means that des ite any ossi*le *orro&ing of the sound of the &ord, *oth languages sho& the same attern of unfolding the meaning of the &ord! They *oth identified a 1&heel2 &ith a 1circle!2
The conquest of altruism
They say that eo le are altruistic in order to rotect their genes! But the reason &e are %ind and generous to others is not .ust to ma%e money, feed ourselves, or allure the o osite se"! 4e do it *ecause &e feel that, finally, it2s *etter to *e li%ed than *eing disli%ed! #n fact, all our social *ehavior revolves around the center of *alance of this di ole! 'nd this is &hy, throughout history, the victor al&ays sho&s generosity to the defeated! #n Blac%more2s &ords, R7ntil no& there have *een only t&o ma.or choices in accounting for altruism! The first is to say that all a arent altruism actually (even if remotely) comes *ac% to advantage to the genes! -n this vie& there is no 1true2 altruism at all- or rather, &hat loo%s li%e true altruism is .ust the mista%es that natural selection has not managed to eradicate! That is the socio*iological e" lanation! The second has *een to try to rescue btrueb altruism and ro ose some %ind of e"tra something in human *eings- a true morality, an inde endent moral conscience, a s iritual essence or a religious nature that someho& overcomes selfishness and the dictates of our genesW a vie& that finds little favor &ith most scientists &ho &ant to understand ho& human *ehavior &or%s &ithout invo%ing magic! 3emetics rovides a third ossi*ility! 4ith a second re licator acting on human minds and *rains the ossi*ilities are e" anded! 4e should e" ect to find *ehavior that is in the interests of the memes, as &ell as *ehavior serving the genes! 3agic is no longer re9uired to see &hy
humans should differ from all other animals, nor &hy they should sho& far more coo erative and altruistic *ehaviorU The essential memetic oint is this- if eo le are altruistic they *ecome o ular, *ecause they are o ular they are co ied, and *ecause they are co ied their memes s read more &idely than the memes of not-so-altruistic eo le, including the altruistic memes themselves! This rovides a mechanism for s reading altruistic *ehavior!S Blac%more gives an e"am le ho& altruistic *ehavior revailsD R#magine t&o early hunters &ho go out &ith *o&s and arro&s, leather 9uivers, and s%in clothing, and *oth come *ac% &ith meat! -ne, let us call him Fev, shares his meat &idely &ith surrounding eo le! (e does this *ecause %in selection and reci rocal altruism have given him genes for at least some altruistic *ehavior! 3ean&hile 0av %ee s his meat to himself and his o&n family, *ecause his genes have made him some&hat less generous! 4hich *ehaviors are more li%ely to get co ied: Fevbs of course! (e sees more eo le, these eo le li%e him, and they tend to co y him! 5o his style of 9uiver, his %ind of clothing and his &ays of *ehaving are more li%ely to *e assed on than 0avbs - including the altruistic *ehaviour itself! #n this &ay Fev is the early e9uivalent of the meme-fountain, and he s reads memes *ecause of his altruistic *ehavior!S This means much more than a sim le *iological 1founder effect!2 #n this case a *iologically &ea%er erson may revail *ecause he>she is more gentle and %ind &ith others, sho&ing a *ehavior &hich may also lead to survival and re roductive advantage &ithin the conte"t of natural selectionD R# have already argued that the *est imitators, or the ossessors of the *est memes, &ill have a survival advantage, as &ill the eo le &ho mate &ith them! 5o the strategy bmate-&ith-the-*estimitatorb s reads! #n ractice, this means mating &ith those eo le &ho have the most fashiona*le (and not .ust the most useful) memes, and &e can no& see that altruism is one of the factors that determined &hich memes come to *e fashiona*leU 5o, not only might genes for altruism *e favored *ut, *y the 9uir%s of history, other genes might *e affected! For e"am le, let
ose that there &as some genetic com onents to Fev2s choice of *lue feathers (differences
in color vision, for e"am le)! Blue-feathered arro&s *ecame o ular *ecause they first a eared on Fev, and Fev &as a generous erson! 6o& eo le not only co y the feathers, *ut they referentially mate &ith eo le &ho have the fashiona*le *lue-feathered arro&s! Thus, the genes for referring *lue feathers may no& have an advantage, and, if the fashion &ere maintained for enough generations, gene fre9uencies might start to change!S Finally, &ho &ins is altruism itself! 4e are altruists *ecause &e are com elled to *e nice, so that &e re roduce the meme of altruism! But &hat a*out the 1selfish gene:2 4e say, R0ive this to meW #t2s is mine!S But &hat &e really receive is al&ays an act of altruism on *ehalf of the donor! But &hat are the im lications as far as language is concerned: )anguage consists not only of 1&ords for survival!2 )anguage is mainly a mechanism to s read, let2s say, fashion! Certainly &e must have a &ord for 1hel ,2 *ut &hat history teach us is that our favorite stories and myths tell a*out the final 1glory of man%ind!2 5o let2s no& come to the ro*lem of the foundation of language! 4hy all con9uered civili,ations tend to imitate the language of the con9ueror: #s it .ust *ecause they need it in order to find .o*s: #nitially yes! But as &ealth accumulates, the oorest eo le *egin to imitate the fashions of the richer! 6ot only they try to dress li%e the u er class, *ut also they *egin to read te"ts in 1formal2 languages, li%e the Bi*le in )atin or (omer in 0ree%! 3any &ords of our modern voca*ulary concerning 1higher2 notions are nothing more than a fashiona*le &ay to intellectually e" ress ourselves! 4hen, for e"am le, &e say that the universe is 1ma.estic,2 &e use a French &ord that &as used to identify social no*ility (in turn a )atin &ord)! The &hole ac%age of the #$ theory of languages could *e nothing more than a fashion, serving the need of a common 1no*le2 origin! #n fact this is the meaning of 1common2 in this conte"t! 'nd altruism defines the trend to use such 1glorious2 &ords, as to identify similarities! #t is &ithin this conte"t that &e should treat cognates among languages! The &ord Ye9&os, for e"am le, is a &ord of a no*le *reed of horse! 's soon as some eo le used horses not as an everyday commodity *ut as a sym*ol of o&er, they used the corres onding name to identify not the animal, *ut the sym*ol! 4e have already seen that the 0ree% &riting of the &ord 1i os,2 s ea%s out that is a loan! 5o it is not the semantic henoty e *ut the altruistic fashion of language that con9uered the &ord!
The phenomenon of acculturation
'cculturation e" lains the rocess of cultural and sychological change that results follo&ing meeting *et&een cultures! The effects of acculturation can *e seen at multi le levels in *oth interacting cultures! 't the grou level, acculturation often results in changes to culture, customs, and social institutions! 6oticea*le grou level effects of acculturation often include changes in food, clothing, and language! 't the individual level, differences in the &ay individuals acculturate have *een sho&n to *e associated not .ust &ith changes in daily *ehavior, *ut &ith numerous measures of sychological and hysical &ell-*eing! Cultural assimilation may involve either a 9uic% or gradual change de ending on circumstances of the grou ! Full assimilation occurs &hen ne& mem*ers of a society *ecome indistinguisha*le from mem*ers of the other grou ! The transactional nature of acculturation is articularly nota*le in the evolution of languages! #n some instances, acculturation results in the ado tion of another country2s language, &hich is then modified over time to *ecome a ne&, distinct, language! For e"am le, (an,i, the &ritten language of Chinese language, has *een ada ted and modified *y other near*y cultures, includingD Ca an (as Fan.i), Forea (as (an.a), and Vietnam (as Chg-nhm)! 'nother common effect of acculturation on language is the formation of idgin languages! Pidgin is a mi"ed language that has develo ed to hel communication *et&een mem*ers of different cultures in contact, usually occurring in situations of trade or colonialism! For e"am le, Pidgin $nglish is a sim lified form of $nglish mi"ed &ith some of the language of another culture! Lhtt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>'cculturationN
The notion of a idgin (or creole) language is e" lained furthermoreD #t is often osited that idgins *ecome creole languages &hen a generation of children learn a idgin as their first language, a rocess that regulari,es s ea%er-de endent variation in grammar!
Creoles can then re lace the e"isting mi" of languages to *ecome the native language of a community (such as the Chavacano language in the Phili ines, Frio in 5ierra )eone, and To% Pisin in Pa ua 6e& 0uinea)! (o&ever, not all idgins *ecome creole languagesW a idgin may die out *efore this hase &ould occur! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>Pidgin
' lingua franca (also called vehicular language) is a language systematically used to ma%e communication ossi*le *et&een eo le not sharing a mother tongue, in articular &hen it is a third language, distinct from *oth mother tongues! )ingua francas have arisen around the glo*e throughout human history, sometimes for commercial reasons (so-called 1trade languages2) *ut also for di lomatic and administrative convenience, and as a means of e"changing information *et&een scientists and other scholars of different nationalities! The term originates &ith one such language, 3editerranean )ingua Franca! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>)inguaMfranca
3a of $uro e and the 3editerranean from the Catalan 'tlas of ;3@+
The 3editerranean )ingua Franca &as a
idgin language used as a lingua franca in the
3editerranean Basin from the ;;th to the ;8th century! The literal meaning of lingua franca in #talian is 1Fran%ish language,2 and this descri tion &as e"tended to any language used *y s ea%ers of different home tongues to communicate &ith one another! #ts other name in the 3editerranean area &as 5a*ir, deriving from a /omance root meaning to %no&! Based mostly on 6orthern #talian languages and -ccitano-/omance languages in the eastern 3editerranean at first, it later came to have more 5 anish and Portuguese elements, es ecially on the Bar*ary coast (today referred to as the 3aghre*)! 5a*ir also *orro&ed from Ber*er, Tur%ish, French, 0ree% and 'ra*ic! This mi"ed language &as used &idely for commerce and di lomacy and &as also current among slaves of the *agnio, Bar*ary irates and $uro ean renegades in recolonial 'lgiers! (istorically the first to use it &ere the 0enoese and Venetian trading colonies in the eastern 3editerranean after the year ;000! (ugo 5chuchardt &as the first scholar to investigate the lingua franca systematically! 'ccording to the monogenetic theory of the origin of idgins he ioneered, lingua franca &as %no&n *y 3editerranean sailors including the Portuguese! 4hen Portuguese started e" loring the seas of 'frica, 'merica, 'sia and -ceania, they tried to communicate &ith the natives *y mi"ing a Portuguese-influenced version of )ingua Franca &ith the local languages! 4hen $nglish or French shi s came to com ete &ith the Portuguese, the cre&s tried to learn this 1*ro%en Portuguese!2 5o the )atin language, as the lingua franca of the time, *ecame the language of the Portuguese and the 5 anish, not only through direct military contact, *ut also *y a rocess forming a creole language in Portugal and 5 ain, also containing 5emitic linguistic elements! The French eo le (Fran%s) &ere also )atini,ed &ith an o osite rocessD they assimilated the culture of the /oman &hich they had con9uered! This language reached $ngland during the eriod of the 6orman invasion! The $nglish language &as already influenced *y )atin after the /oman con9uest of 5outh $ngland, and it &as again influenced *y the same language through the 6ormans! $nglish of course had already *een a 0ermanic language, further 0ermani,ed *y 5candinavians &ho invaded 6orth and $ast $ngland *efore the 6ormans! # am not a s ecialist to %no& ho& much
these 5candinavians &ere influenced *y the already )atini,ed 5outh $ngland, *ut .udging from the 6ormans, &hich &ere also of 0ermanic origin, $nglish must *e considered a language significantly influenced *y )atin, one &ay or another (&hich is a ositive factor, adding to its richness)! 6evertheless, the main oint here is that all eo les of 4est 3editerranean $uro e still s ea% the /oman lingua franca, not *ecause of their common genetic origin, *ut *ecause of cultural assimilation! But let us no& go a ste *ac%&ards! 4hat could *e the relationshi *et&een )atin and 0ree%: 4e %no& that *efore the /omans it &as the 0ree%s &ho e" anded their language throughout the $astern 3editerranean, on the coasts of 'sia 3inor and in their colonies in #taly and even further to the 4est! #f no& &e go a ste further in the ast, could &e say that the 0ree%s s o%e a language, &hich &as a 1lingua franca2 of $ast 3editerranean, during erha s as far *ac% as the 2nd, or even the 3rd, millennium BC$: #n 'sia 3inor, this &as the case until the arrival of the Tur%ish tri*es! #n #taly 0ree% &as s o%en (at least in the 5outh) until the rise of /ome! But &e %no& that the /oman language &as significantly influenced *y the 0ree% language! 5o, according to such an e"am le, the 0ree%s did the same as the Portuguese did ;000 years or so after&ards! The 0ree% language could have already *een a hy*rid language, a 10reco-'natolian2 lingua franca, &hich &ould have already s read across the $astern (and in 3editerranean, till the /omans 1 assed on the torch!2 ' eo le have their o&n se arate linguistic elements! But language is a o&erful drive for cultural elements! #f a eo le are isolated then their language &ill also *e isolated! (o&ever, as soon as they come in contact &ith the culture of their &ider area, then inevita*ly their language &ill a*sor* all linguistic elements related to conce ts &hich until then &ere un%no&n! 'nd, as &e have already seen, these &ords may include not only technical 1semantic2 terms, *ut also intrinsic 1syntactic2 terms and forms! From there on&ards, the linguistic changes &ill *e ado ted *y local languages and &ill *e further transformed *y them! -ne could say that, a art from the s ecial characteristics of its to ology, a language is al&ays found some&here inside the linguistic continuum of ast and future 1su er-cultures,2 &ithin &hich any language is to *e found! $ven if in the recent ast languages &ere segregated *ecause arts of 4est)
of nationalism, this is not the case in revious times! 6omadic tri*es, as the #$s initially &ere, may have a hyletic conscience, *ut this is very different from nationalistic ideology! For this reason, rimitive eo le are rone not only to raiding, *ut also to a*sor*ing the cultures they meet! Furthermore, than%s to their high mo*ility, this early nomadic tri*es &ould also have *ecome an e"cellent factor for s reading the cultures they &ould have met, together &ith their o&n culture! They seem li%e an agent a*sor*ing, s reading and homogeni,ing culture along its ath! This latter case fits erfectly &ith the case of the #$s! 3ost li%ely *eing a conglomerate of eo le &ith different languages &idely distri*uted all across the northern art of $urasia, they &ould have moved to&ards all directions, &est&ards and east&ards, along the trade routes found on the *oundaries of more so histicated cultures, follo&ing the e" ansion of them, until, at some time they decided to invade! But invasion does not mean con9uest! #n order *oth to invade and con9uer one needs so histicated methods of military and olitical organi,ation! -nly through their contact &ith the more advanced civili,ations could they learn these advanced methods! 'nd this contact should have *een long enough so that they could assimilate all the related o*.ects and notions, through ada tation and imitation! This does not mean that the #$s &ere not innovators, at least from some time on&ards, *ut the oint is that &e cannot move on, follo&ing their dis ersals, if &e don2t ta%e into account the rocess of acculturation!
4hen the acculturation rocess is not symmetric *ut evolves under the influence of a dominant civili,ation, so that the dominant language over&helms the other ones, then language shift occurs! This rocess ta%es lace through the founder effect, &hen a ne& land is coloni,ed *y ne&comers (the $uro eans in 'merica, for e"am le)! 'n e"am le of the rocess offers the case 3alta! Before the ;830s, #talian &as the only official language of 3alta, even though it &as s o%en *y only the u official language alongside 3altese, &ith #talian *eing dro er classes, &ith 3altese *eing s o%en *y the lo&er class! (o&ever, $nglish &as then added to the mi", and &as made a coed as official! 5ome no& *elieve that the $nglish language has since gro&n in the country and no& threatens the status of 3altese!
The num*er of s ea%ers of #talian there has increased from &hen the language &as official! ' trend among the younger generations is to mi" $nglish and #talian voca*ulary atterns, in ma%ing ne& 3altese &ords! For e"am le, the 3altese &ord for li*rary &as originally 1*i*l.ote%a,2 *ut this has since *een dis laced *y 1li*reri.a,2 formed from the $nglish 1li*rary,2 and an #talian attern ending! #n addition to mi"ing $nglish &ith #talian, 3altenglish is a commonly occurring amalgam of $nglish and 3altese! This involves using $nglish &ords in 3altese sentences, or adding $nglish voca*ulary into 3altese! Trends sho& that $nglish is not only *ecoming the language of choice for more and more eo le, *ut is actually transforming the 3altese language itself! 3altese is related to the Phoenician language and to the 'ra*ic con9uest! #t is uncertain &hat language &as s o%en in 3alta *efore this eriod, at the time of the *uilders of the forst megalithic structures on the island! 6evertheless, 3alta has at least t&o su*strataD ' 5emitic and an #talian (#$), and, as it seems, it is gaining a ne& su er-stratum, an $nglish one! 3ost revalent E-Bna ha logrou s are found at the follo&ing fre9uencies in 3alta D /; (3+!++Q including 32!2Q /;*), C (2=!80Q including 2;!;0Q C2), # (;2!20Q), $ (;;!;0Q including =!8Q $;*;*), F (<!@0Q), F (?!?0Q), P (;!;0Q)! This gives to the 3altese, a*out ;0Q Paleolithic ((a logrou #), 20Q 13iddle-$astern,2 or 13editerranean,2 ((a logrou C), and 3+Q 1#$2 ((a logrou /)! origin! (o&ever, the 3altese language at the moment is more related &ith C ha logrou , so that the corres ondence *et&een language and genes is once again vague! (o&ever, Forster and /enfre& o*serve that there is a correlation of language shift &ith intrusive male E chromosomes *ut not necessarily &ith intrusive female mtB6'! They conclude that technological innovation (transition from hunting-gathering to agriculture, or from stone to metal tools) or military ro&ess (as in the a*duction of British &omen *y Vi%ings to #celand) causes immigration of at least some males, &ho are erceived to *e of higher status than local males! Then, in mi"ed-language marriages &ith these males, rehistoric &omen refer to transmit the 1higher-status2 s ouse2s language to their children, yielding the language>E-chromosome correlation seen today! Lhtt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>)anguageMshiftN
The arro/ of acculturation
7 to this oint, the main o*servation is that language, and culture in general, is transmitted from the more advanced to the less advanced civili,ation! $ven if &ords still sound the same, the notions of these &ords should have *een transformed, according to the meanings of the more advanced culture! -f course, an advanced civili,ation could *e one that is sim ly 1advancing2 in a territory &here a ma.or civili,ation of the ast declines! The ne&comers, in this case, &ill serve as a means of genetic rene&al, as &ell as 1vehicles2 of s reading the culture of the old civili,ation, together &ith their o&n ne& ideas and technologies! 6evertheless, &e should not forget that this rocess of acculturation ta%es lace &ithin the conte"t and the limits of lingua franca, &hich &ould com*ine linguistic elements of *oth the old and the ne& civili,ation! The degree of such an interaction *et&een cultures de ends on the 1cultural difference2 *et&een them! #n the case of the first $uro eans &ho reached 'merica, a arently this difference &as enormous, against the 'merican #ndians! This is true not *ecause the #ndians &ere not civili,edthe ',tecs and the #ncas already had great civili,ations, including astronomy, art, and yramids! But their military technology &as almost 6eolithic, &hereas the $uro eans &ere on the verge of the #ndustrial /evolution! Furthermore, the sea distance *et&een 'merica and 4est $uro e &as a one &ay route for the $uro eans! 7nder these terms, all odds &ere against the natives of 'merica, and the conse9uent cultural shift to&ards the $uro ean cultures and languages &as inevita*le! #n other &ords, the $uro eans regarded themselves advanced enough not to imitate the native cultures *ut instead to transform them according to their o&n! But &hen &e go *ac% in time, let2s say +000 or <000 years ago, conditions &ere very different! 't that time, the advanced cultures &ere to *e found in the 3iddle $ast and $gy t! #n 6eolithic and $neolithic $uro e, advanced 6eolithic cultures had already evolved, and had already s read 6orth&ards, through the first trade routes (am*er, o*sidian, la is la,uli, and so on!) The use of metals, &riting, com le" social, religious and olitical organi,ation &ere all invented in the $ast! Considering no& 6orthern tri*es living on the fringes of the civili,ed &orld, s anning at least from the Cas ian 5ea to $ast $uro e, it is very hard to imagine that all these eo le, se arated in many different hyletic grou s, s o%e the same language! 4e might consider one of these 16orth dialects2 revailing little *y little over the other ones, *ut this is an even more dou*tful
considerationD ' small grou of eo le at this early stage &ith no real social and olitical organi,ation &ould have *een more li%ely a*sor*ed *y the first advanced culture they &ould have invaded!
The road of civili'ation
This is the significance of a 1cultural road!2 #t is not a 1 oint2 some&here in the ma , *ut instead it re resents an e"tended area, a cultural ,one, &here different languages merge, either through direct contact or through loan &ords, forming a idgin lingua franca, &ith dialects converging and diverging in the s an of time! #f there ever &as a 1P#$2 language, it is im ossi*le to consider it outside this conte"t! #t &ould have either *een a*sor*ed *y the linguistic continuum of one or another more advanced culture, or it &ould have already diverged across the cultural road! Therefore, a 1Big Bang2 theory is not afforda*le in linguistics, much more since the 1Big Bang2 theory in hysics *ecomes more and more o*solete! For some eo le it may seem unimagina*le to e" lain an isogloss (such as #$) &ithout reference to a 1common origin!2 5ome centuries ago it &ould *e im ossi*le, for the same eo le, to .ustify slavery &ithout reference to racial su eriority! 'ny&ay, &hat matters here is that 1race2 is not a *iological *ut a cultural entity (in other &ords it is a meme)! This reference to cultural identity and race had al&ays *een a reason for social stratification, as &ell as an e"cuse for enslaving other 1inferior cultures!2 But even in *iology, the fittest is not al&ays the strongest! Bisease may %ill as easy a 1s%inny little guy2 as a heavy &eight cham ion! Fitness is a matter of ada tation! #n the case of sociology, fitness reflects u on education! )iteracy is *ased on &riting, and learnedness is reflected on %no&ledge of the arts and sciences (including technology in modern times)! 'll throughout history, culture &as al&ays transmitted faster than eo le! 'll myths and legends confirm this fact! The meanings and &ords associated &ith a culture reached far- a&ay lands, much *efore the eo le of these lands started moving or migrating to the land &here the myths had originated from! They &ere already 1 re ared2 *efore the contact! The first 1#$s2 &ere not canni*als, *ut they &ere illiterate *ar*arians! That2s &hy they identified themselves &ith the names of the cultures they met! They learned ho& to read and &rite, ho& to &orshi the 1real gods,2 ho& to rule, and ho& to fight &ith olitical means! 'll across the isogloss of the /oman $m ire this is &hat ha ened! But this 4est 3editerranean isogloss &as a 1cultural current2
&hich had reviously moved from the $ast! #n all ro*a*ility, &hen this $astern, 'natolian isogloss, occurring sometime during the 2 nd or 3rd millennium BC$, &ill *e e" osed, its similarities &ith the #$ languages &ill *e stri%ing! 'nd &hat is more im ortant, these similarities should *e searched for in the direction of acculturation, not common genes!
The IE theory put to the test
;==3 reconstruction of $ratosthenes2 ma (2@<P;8? BC$) #t is interesting to note the ignorance, revealed in the revious ma , a*out the real e"tent of the &orld, in ancient times! 6orth $uro e is su osed to *e occu ied *y 1Celts,2 6orth $urasia *y 15cythians,2 and the Cas ian 5ea flo&s into the 10reat -cean,2 at the end of the &orld! #f &e go *ac% 3000 years, from the time of $ratosthenes to the time of the first #$s, the e"tent of the &orld &ould have seemed even smaller and more o*scure! (o&ever, the first routes had already *een sha ed *y eo le, for the need of trading, hunter-gathering, and herding! $ven if eo le didn2t have ma s, they could rely on landmar%s, the moon and the sun, the stars, their instincts, or sim ly follo& already e"isting trac%s!
This rocess of gradual movement of eo le dee er and dee er in un%no&n lands and &aters &as accom anied *y their artifacts and ne& technologies that they *rought &ith them, as &ell as their languages! (umans have al&ays *een e" lorers, and it is remar%a*le ho& far &e often find the first eo le had advanced! $ven *efore the first Bron,e 'ge civili,ations in the 3iddle $ast, 6eolithic $uro e had already *een settled, from the 'tlantic coast to the $astern $urasian ste es! But should &e consider a referred oint in time and s ace for the origins of most of these eo le (1natives2 and 1ne&comers2), or had &e *etter follo& a much more gradual and fundamental rocess, incor orating the vast continuum of eo les and languages as much as ossi*le:
The Anatolian hypothesis
The 'natolian hy othesis ro oses that the dis ersal of Proto-#ndo-$uro eans originated in 6eolithic 'natolia! The hy othesis suggests that the s ea%ers of the Proto-#ndo-$uro ean language (P#$) lived in 'natolia during the 6eolithic era, and associates the distri*ution of historical #ndo-$uro ean languages &ith the e" ansion during the 6eolithic revolution during the seventh and si"th millennia BC!
The main ro onent of the 'natolian hy othesis &as Colin /enfre&, &ho in ;8=@ suggested a eaceful #ndo-$uro eani,ation of $uro e from 'natolia from around @000 BC &ith the advance of farming *y demic diffusion (1&ave of advance2)! 'ccordingly, most of the inha*itants of 6eolithic $uro e &ould have s o%en #ndo-$uro ean languages, and later migrations &ould at *est have re laced these #ndo-$uro ean varieties &ith other #ndo-$uro ean varieties! The main strength of the farming hy othesis lies in its lin%ing of the s read of #ndo-$uro ean languages &ith an archaeologically %no&n event (the s read of farming) that is often assumed as involving significant o ulation shifts! Lhtt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>'natolianMhy othesisN
)anguage-tree diverge and corres onding times, according to 0ray and 't%inson Further su ort for the 'natolian hy othesis comes from a study *y /ussell B! 0ray and iuentin
B! 't%inson! 's they say,
R#n stri%ing agreement &ith the 'natolian hy othesis, our analysis of =@ languages &ith 2,??8 le"ical items roduced an estimated age range for the initial #ndo-$uro ean divergence of *et&een @,=00 and 8,=00 years BP!S Lhtt sD>>researchs ace!auc%land!ac!n,>*itstream>handle>2282>;0<++>nature02028! df Q3Fse9uenceQ3B3N 6o matter &hat &as the method used in the revious study, there are some facts that contradict the 'natolian hy othesis! 3ari.a 0im*utas in her revie& of /enfre&2s theory, said among other thingsD R'ccording to /enfre&, the first #ndo-$uro ean languages came to $uro e from 'natolia around <000 B!C!, together &ith the first domesticated lants and animals! This, he suggests, is the %ey to the solution of the #ndo-$uro ean ro*lem! (e has not raised the crucial 9uestion of descri*ing the culture and, more im ortant, the religion and social structure of these early agriculturalists! 6o evidence is offered that the 6eolithic culture of $uro e (in my terminology non-#ndo-$uro ean 1-ld $uro e,2 ca! <+00- ca! 3+00 B!C!) &as #ndo-$uro ean in the sense heretofore understood! #t is difficult to furnish arguments for such a hy othesis &hen every tem le and tom*-shrine, every statue and &all ainting, every ainted sherd and inscri*ed cult o*.ect &e discover cries out to us that this culture of art, of love of life, and of *alanced artnershi stood in o osition to all of &hat &e %no& as #ndo-$uro ean!
#f the earliest agriculturalists of $uro e &ere #ndo-$uro ean-s ea%ers, &hy are *asic agricultural terms non-#ndo-$uro ean: 'nd &hy is the terminology associated &ith religious &orshi , es ecially the names of goddesses, nota*ly non-#ndo-$uro ean: #t is astounding that /enfre&, long the leading voice of antimigrationism in rehistoric $uro e, no& s ea%s of antimigrationism in rehistoric $uro e, no& s ea%s of the migration of farmers from east to &est and from southeast to north&est! #ndeed, this is the route of diffusion for the food- roducing economy! 5mall immigrant grou s of small-statured 3editerranean eo le &ith shee and grain may have arrived on the 0ree% mainland *y *oat across the 'egean from 'natolia during the first half of the @th millennium B!C and from there moved north to
3acedonia and even as far as the Car athians! But the agriculturali,ation of the north and &est of southeastern $uro e &as a rocess of acculturation, a mi"ture of local o ulations and traditions &ith rominent influences from the southeastU $uro e from the *eginning of agriculture to the Christian era consists of t&o very different strata, -ld $uro ean and #ndo-$uro ean! 4hat is understood today as 14estern civili,ation2 is derived from the merging of the t&o! # see many t&o-&ay acculturative rocesses! The main ingredients of every #ndo-$uro ean culture in $uro e may *e descri*ed as su*stratal and su erstratal! There &as a collision of t&o ideologies, t&o religions, and t&o social systems! #ndo-$uro ean culture did not sim ly evolve from -ld $uro ean civili,ation, and the same a lies to 'natolia and #ndia (on the transformation of $uro ean and 'natolian culture ca! ?+00-2+00 B!C! and its legacy, see 0im*utas ;8=0-=;)! /enfre&2s 1%ey to the solution2 of #ndo-$uro ean origins- ma%ing non-#ndo$uro ean agriculturalists s ea% Proto-#ndo-$uro ean- is a gross distortion of $uro ean and 'siatic rehistory!S Lhtt D>>&&&!scri*d!com>doc>?<00;<@8>/enfre&-C-'rchaeology-am -)anguage-The-Pu,,le-of#ndo-$uro ean--rigins-;8==-Curr-'nthro-Vol-28-5canned-#magesN #n fact, if the first #$s &ere farmers from 'natolia, the le"icon of agricultural terms should *e the same for all #$ languages! But this is not the case! This suggests that the first #$s &ere not farmers, unless they invented agriculture inde endently! Furthermore, the 6eolithic 1invasion2 to $uro e from the $ast seems to have sto ed in 5outheast $uro e! This is logical *ecause Central and 6orth $uro e, heavily forested, &ould not have *een an ideal lace for a farmer! This is &hy these regions, in many cases, seem to have assed directly from the 5tone 'ge to the Bron,e 'ge! /eacting to criticism, /enfre& revised his ro osal to the effect of ta%ing a ronounced #ndo(ittite osition! /enfre&2s revised vie&s lace only Pre-Proto-#ndo-$uro ean in @th millennium BC 'natolia, ro osing as the homeland of Proto-#ndo-$uro ean ro er the Bal%ans around +000 BC, e" licitly identified as the 1-ld $uro ean culture2 ro osed *y 3ari.a 0im*utas! (e thus still situates the original source of the #ndo-$uro ean language family in 'natolia around @000 BC! /econstructions of a Bron,e 'ge P#$ society *ased on voca*ulary items li%e 1&heel2
do not necessarily hold for the 'natolian *ranch, &hich a ears to have se arated from P#$ at an early stage, rior to the invention of &heeled vehicles!
"egional continuity )in language+
#t is seems that the di ole 1-ld $uro e2- 16e& (#$) $uro e2 is highly olari,ed, ignoring erha s a succession (1&aves2) of eo le and languages, &ith continuities and discontinuities, throughout the eriod of #$ languages2 evolution! $uro e, for e"am le, &as not uninha*ited *efore the arrival of 6eolithic farmers! #t &as not uninha*ited even at the arrival of (omo 5a iens! But &e %no& that the 6eanderthals, the revious inha*itants of $uro e, &ere more or less re laced *y modern humans! Bid the same thing ha en &ith the first Paleolithic Cro- 3agnons: 4ere they totally re laced *y more &ell- ada ted farmers from the $ast: 'nd &ere, in turn, these farmers re laced *y more advanced Bron,e 'ge #$ invaders from the 5te es: (o&ever, the history of language is much more com licated than an invasion-re lacement model! #f #$ revailed in their territories, then &e should also e" ect to find su*strata of all the revious inha*itants, so that in many cases the roots of &ords may not *e #$ (even if they no& sound familiar to us)! The 1#$2 languages of the ne&comers must have heavily a*sor*ed isoglosses s o%en across coastal and inland roots, at least from the 6eolithic on&ards! The Paleolithic Continuity Theory (PCT), or the Paleolithic Continuity Paradigm (PCP), is a hy othesis suggesting that the Proto-#ndo-$uro ean language (P#$) can *e traced *ac% to the 7 er Paleolithic, several millennia earlier than the Chalcolithic or at the most 6eolithic estimates in other scenarios of Proto-#ndo-$uro ean origins! #ts main ro onent is 3ario 'linei! The PCT osits that the advent of #ndo-$uro ean languages should *e lin%ed to the arrival of (omo sa iens in $uro e and 'sia from 'frica in the 7 hy othesis! The frame&or% of PCT is laid out *y 'linei in four main assum tionsD ;! Continuity is the *asic attern of $uro ean rehistory and the *asic &or%ing hy othesis on the origins of #$ languages! 2! 5ta*ility and anti9uity are general features of languages! er Paleolithic! $m loying 1le"ical eriodi,ation,2 'linei arrives at a timeline dee er than even that of Colin /enfre&2s 'natolian
3! The le"icon of natural languages, due to its anti9uity, may *e 1 eriodi,ed2 along the entire course of human evolution! ?! 'rchaeological frontiers coincide &ith linguistic frontiers! The continuity theory dra&s on a Continuity 3odel (C3), ositing the resence of #$ and non#$ eo les and languages in $uro e from Paleolithic times and allo&ing for minor invasions and infiltrations of local sco e, mainly during the last three millennia! 'rguing that continuity is Rthe archeologist2s easiest ursuit,S 'linei deems this Rthe easiest &or%ing hy othesis,S utting the *urden of roof on com eting hy otheses as long as none rovide irrefuta*le counter-evidence! Lhtt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>PaleolithicMContinuityMTheoryN 5o let2s follo& no& 'linei2s vie&s in his o&n &ordsD
The mass invasion of #$ &arriors according to 3ari.a 0im*utas Firstly, 'linei critici,es 3ari.a 0im*uta2s %urgan hy othesis a*out the origins of #$D RUBy lacing the arrival of the #$s in the ?th millennium, and the rocess of transformation from Proto-#$ to se arate language grou s in the 3rd, the su*se9uent rocess, *y &hich the se arate language grou s &ould evolve into the ma.or attested languages, &ill inevita*ly ta%e lace in the ## and # millennium that is in the Bron,e and #ron 'ge! 'lthough most #$ s ecialists
are still reluctant to admit it, this chronology, as &ell as the scenario *ehind it, can no& *e considered as altogether o*solete! The evidence collected *y archaeology in the last thirty years, in fact, over&helmingly rove the a*sence of any large scale invasion in $uro e, and the uninterru ted continuity of most Co er and Bron,e 'ge cultures of $uro e from 6eolithic, and of most 6eolithic cultures from 3esolithic and final Paleolithic!S
The three earliest 6eolithic cultures of $uro eD the Bal%ans Com le" (che9uered), the #m resso>Cardial 4are (*lac%) (*oth V## millennium B!C), and the )BF (grey) (V millennium B!C!) 'linei also critici,es /enfre&2s 'natolian hy othesis as follo&sD /enfre&2s theory (6eolithic Biscontinuity Theory)U is undou*tedly su erior to the traditional #nvasion Theory, as far as it does eliminate the myth of the P#$ Blit,%rieg against the eaceful -ld $uro eans! (o&ever, for the rest it creates more ro*lems than it solvesD (;) 'rchaeology roves that most $uro ean 6eolithic cultures directly continue earlier 3esolithic cultures, and even in those areas &here intrusions are archaeologically
ascertained, the 3esolithic
o ulations &ere 9uic%ly involved in the acculturation
rocessD there is no real discontinuity *et&een 3esolithic and 6eolithic! (2) The t&o 5outhern $uro ean areas, &here 6eolithic cultures do sho& infiltrations from the 3iddle $ast, are recisely the areas &here non-#$ linguistic traits are most evident and im ortant, as every linguist &ho is familiar &ith the linguistic record of ancient (and modern) #taly and 0reece &ill readily admit! 4hich oints recisely to the contrary of &hat the 6BT im lies, namely that the 5outh of $uro e should have received the strongest influence from the P#$ coming from the 3iddle $ast! To e" lain the real linguistic situation, in fact, the 6BT assum tion must *e sim ly reversedD the 3iddle $astern farmers introducing 6eolithic into 5outhern $uro e &ere recisely the non-#ndo$uro ean grou s res onsi*le for the non-#$ element of the area! (3) 's far as the 6orth and the 4est of $uro e are concerned, the 6BT is o*liged to assume that #$ 1arrived2 there long after the first 6eolithic cultures! (o&ever, that eriod is recisely the one in &hich archaeology detects no trace &hatsoever of discontinuityD there is, for e"am le, a*solutely no trace of the 1arrival2 of the Celts in 4estern $uro e (&hich sim ly means that they &ere al&ays there), and as to 0ermanic eo le, it is re osterous to thin% that the farmers of the )BF, Proto-0ermanic according to the 6BT, &ould *e motivated to s read north&ard to 5candinavia and to 6or&ay, &ould ado t the 3esolithic fishing tools and dee -sea fishing techni9ues and ha*its of the rich 3esolithic s eciali,ed fishing cultures of that area, &ithout ado ting, ho&ever, any art of their fishing terminology, and es ecially &ithout ado ting any of their lace namesD the &hole 5candinavian to onymy is either 0ermanic or 7ralicO -*viously, the convergence *et&een the continuity of 6orthern eo les, fishing cultures and technologies, and the 0ermanic or 7ralic character of terminologies and lace names oint to continuity of language, .ust as it does in the 7ralic area!S 'linei *ases his theory on the notions of continuity, conservation and eriodi,ation! 'n e"am le of the latter notion is the follo&ing oneD
(e says that R#f #$ &ords for 1dying2 (coming from P#$ Y-mer) *elong to the P#$ le"icon, &hile for 1*urying2 there are different &ords in most #$ languages, this must *e seen as evidence that *y the time ritual *urying *egan, in 7 er Paleolithic, #$ grou s &ere already differentiated!S
R5imilarly,S he says Rif the name of several &ild animals, among &hich that of the *ear (P#$ Yr%jo-s), *elong to the P#$ le"icon, this means that these animals *elonged to the cognitive and cultural &orld of #$ re-religious Paleolithic hunters! Conversely, the so called 1noa2 names of the *ear (i!e re lacing the ta*ooed &ith the real one) in the Celtic, 0ermanic, Baltic and 5lavic
languages, all different from one another, can only indicate that *y the time religious concern for hunted animals connected &ith totemism emerged in 7 er Paleolithic (along &ith the earliest attestations of *ear cult), #$ languages &ere already differentiated!S $ach language grou seems to have a common &ord for the *ear, &hich is different *et&een grou s! This *asically means that these grou s &ere already se arated *efore they encountered *ears, and since *ears are to *e found all over $urasia, these language grou s must have *een se arated since the *eginning! This of course does not oint to a chronology *ut to the fact that erha s there has never *een a common origin of these languages (instead they have already e"isted as distinct grou s since the time, let2s say, of a su osed common roto-language)!
Furthermore, it seems that these grou s of languages had se arately invented or ado ted agriculture, *ecause, as 'linei sho&s, the *asic agricultural terms in #$ languages are differentD RThe shar differentiation of farming terminology in the different #$ languages, &hile a*solutely une" laina*le in the conte"t of /enfre&2s 6BT, rovides yet another fundamental roof that the differentiation of #$ languages goes *ac% to remote rehistory! This is admitted even *y a fe& traditionalistsD as Francisco Villar &rites, Rin the common L#ndoeuro eanN language a le"icon connected to farming does not e"ist or hardly e"istsk and kthe common #$ terminology for farming is so scarce to allo& a dilemma to riseD it is ossi*le that the #$s2 %no&ledge of farming &as modest, LUN *ut it is even ossi*le that they had no %no&ledge of farming at all!S 4hile this finding can *e easily e" lained &ithin the PCP, it *ecomes a huge ro*lem once 6eolithic intrusive farmers have *een assumed to *e the Proto-#$sD RThis hy othesis clashes &ith the 6eolithic thesis LUN according to &hich #$s &ould essentially *e the inventors of farming, &hich &ould *e the most im ortant and characteristic activity of their society,S and R#t is unthin%a*le that the eo le &ho invented and diffused farming &ould not have a rich and s ecific le"icon to designate the elements and the techni9ues of farmingS!S 'linei also relates archeological to linguistic evidence to sho& that the su the 1#$2 grou s) &ere already in their historical lacesD osed homeland of
P#$ &as .ust the *irth lace of Tur%ish- 'ltaic tri*es, &hile the Balto-5lavs (as &ell as the rest of
R-n the ste es of $astern $uro e, a cons icuous and &ell-%no&n 6eolithic-Chalcolithic frontier se arates the farming cultures of Bug-Bnestr, Tri olye '#, Tri olye '##, 0orods%7satovo, Corded 4are and 0lo*ular 'm hora in 7%raine, from the astoral, horse-raising and horse-riding cultures of 5urs%-Bne r, Bne r-Bonec, 5eredny 5tog>Chvalyns%, Eamna (%urganO) and Catacom*s, in the Pontic ste esD this is the frontier that moved 3ari.a 0im*utas to envisage the e ochal clash *et&een the eaceful autochthonous non-#$ farmers of the 1-ld $uro e,2 and the &arli%e intrusive #$ &ho su*merged them! #n the light of the PCP and of the availa*le linguistic evidence, instead, this frontier corres onds to an earlier linguistic hylum frontier *et&een an already se arated and flourishing eastern 5lavic o ulation of farmers to the 4est, and &arli%e Tur%ic astoral nomadic grou s to the $ast, &hich &ould *e res onsi*le, among other things, of the t&o innovations of horse raising and horse-riding! )inguistically, the ne& inter retation has the advantage of e" laining (') the anti9uity and the 9uantity of Tur%ic loan&ords recisely for horse terminology in *oth *ranches of 5amoyed, in the 7gric languages, as &ell as in 5lavic languages, and (B), more generally, the 9uantity of Tur%ic agro- astoral terms in 5outh-$astern $uro ean languages, including (ungarian, &hich &ould have *een *rought into its resent area recisely *y the %urgan culture! #nterestingly, the uninterru ted continuity of 'ltaic ste e cultures, from Chalcolithic to the 3iddle 'ges, can *e sym*oli,ed recisely *y the %urgans themselvesD for on the one hand, the custom of raising %urgans on *urial sites has al&ays *een one of the most characteristic features of 'ltaic ste e nomadic o ulations, from their first historical a earance to the late 3iddle 'ges! -n the other, the /ussian &ord %urgan itself is not of /ussian, or 5lavic, or #$, origin, *ut a Tur%ic loan&ord, &ith a very &ide diffusion area in 5outhern $uro e, &hich closely corres onds to the s read of the %urgan culture!S Finally he *ases his theory on genetic dataD R#n genetics, the school founded and led *y )uca Cavalli 5for,a has made fundamental discoveries a*out the relationshi *et&een genetics and linguistics, such asD
(') The areal distri*ution of genetic mar%ers largely corres onds to that of the &orld languages! (B) )anguage differentiation must have roceeded ste *y ste &ith the dis ersal of humans ( ro*a*ly (omo sa iens sa iens)! (C) #nde endent geneticists &or%ing on B6' have recently ascertained that that =0Q of the genetic stoc% of $uro eans goes *ac% to Paleolithic!S Lhtt D>>&&&!continuitas!org>intro!htmlN The Paleolithic Continuity (y othesis (or Paradigm) ushes the origins of a common 1P#$2 language *ac% into the remote ast of (omo 5a iens! #f the Cro- 3agnons ainted horses in caves 30,000 or 3+,000 years ago then certainly these animals &ere discovered and ro*a*ly e" loited a long time *efore the #$s! (#t2s really hard to e" lain &hy the 0ree%s had the myth of the Centaurs, &ho &ere half human- half horse, if they originated in the 5te es, a homeland familiar &ith horse- riding)! Furthermore, the high degree of a*straction in the cave aintings suggests that the Cro 3agnons &ere so histicated enough to have evolved a com le" language (at least containing roots for im ortant o*.ects and fundamental notions)! To su ose, ho&ever, that the languages s o%en in $uro e during the Paleolithic evolved into
modern #$ (or sim ly $uro ean) languages is rather far-fetched! For e"am le, there are languages s o%en outside $uro e (the #ndo-#ranian clade for e"am le) that e"hi*it similarities &ith $uro ean languages *ut have nothing to do &ith the $uro ean Paleolithic! #f #ndo-#ranians also e"isted during the Paleolithic, ho& can &e e" lain the similarities: Furthermore, the /omani,ation of 5outh $uro e too% lace in historical times, certainly much later even than the Bron,e or #ron 'ge! #sn2t it more a ro riate to consider that the /omance languages loo% ali%e *ecause of their /omani,ation rather than a common origin in the Paleolithic: $ven if eo le lived in $urasia during the Paleolithic, even if a core of these eo le s o%e the same language &hich e" anded all through $urasia, the time distance is so great that these languages should *e not similar at all in modern times! Therefore, if the #$ model finds it hard to e" lain conserved similarities after ++00 years from the time of the original mother- language, it is much harder to e" lain these similarities after ;+000 years or so!
The Eurasian theory
#n the same line of thought, it has *een suggested that not only #$ *ut also other grou s of languages evolved from a common source of $urasian origin, some ;+000 years ago! 3ar% Pagel is a ro onent of this thesis! 'ccording to him, all #ndo- $uro ean languages derive from a roto-language that &as ro*a*ly s o%en a*out ;+,000 years ago, also including a*out @ language families todayW modern day Tur%ish, 7,*e% and 3ongolian in the 'ltaic family, Chu%chi-Famchat%an, s o%en in northeastern 5i*eria, Bravidian, s o%en in 5outhern #ndia, #nuit-Eu i% s o%en in the 'rctic, Fartvelian, &hich evolved into 0eorgian, and 7ralic, &hich is the mother of Finnish and (ungarian, and of course, most other $uro ean languages, too! htt D>>&&&!d&!de>indo-euro ean-languages-came-from-a-common-root-a*out-;+000-yearsago>a-;<@8<800 'ccording to this thesis, RThe search for ever dee er relationshi s among the &orld2s languages is *edeviled *y the fact that most &ords evolve too ra idly to reserve evidence of their ancestry *eyond +,000 to 8,000 yU 3ost &ords have a*out a +0Q chance of *eing re laced *y a ne& non-cognate &ord (a &ord2s linguistic half-life), roughly every 2,000- ?,000 y, consistent &ith the *elief that &ords lose traces of their ancestry 9uic%ly! -n the other hand, 9uantitative modeling indicates that some 1ultra-conserved2 &ords e"ist that might *e used to find evidence for dee linguistic relationshi s *eyond that time *arrierU 4ords used more than once er ;,000 in everyday s eech &ere @- to ;0-times more li%ely to sho& dee ancestryU some &ords, such as the numerals, ronouns, and s ecial adver*s (e!g!, #, you, here, ho&, not, there, &hat, t&o, five) are re laced far more slo&ly, &ith half-lives of once every ;0,000, 20,000 or even more yearsU 4e use this frame&or% to redict &ords li%ely to *e shared among the 'ltaic, Chu%chi-
Famchat%an (sometimes called Chu%ot%o- Famchat%an or Chu%chee-Famchat%an), Bravidian, $s%imo thereafter referred to as #nuit-Eu i%) (5# Te"t), #ndo-$uro ean, Fartvelian, and 7ralic language families! These seven language families are hy othesi,ed to form an ancient $urasiatic
su erfamily that may have arisen from a common ancestor over ;+ %ya, and &hose languages are no& s o%en over all of $urasiaDS
Pagel et al!, according to their method, also reconstruct the follo&ing hylogenetic tree of $urasian languagesD
Paget concludes that, R-ur results su
ort the findings that human language can achieve a
remar%a*le degree of re lication fidelity among its highly used &ords, and es ecially so for some arts of s eech! #f the $urasiatic su erfamily is around ;+-%y old, then traces of the sounds from a redicta*le su*set of &ords have remained associated &ith their articular meanings inde endently in se arate *ranches of this su erfamily since the end of the last ice age! This finding is all of the more sur rising given that &ords are culturally transmitted re licators, assed many thousands of times from s ea%er to s ea%er every generation, and su*.ect to the otentially corru ting influences of com eting &ords, *orro&ings, and sound roduction errors!S Lhtt D>>&&&! nas!org>content>early>20;3>0+>0;>;2;=@2<;;0!full! dfThtmlN This is an interesting im lication! #f &e regard language as the sum of all its memes, and if these memes mutate in the same sense that genes do, then it is ossi*le not only to reconstruct the initial roto-language *y running *ac%&ards the mutations, *ut also, *y considering mutation rates, to find a date for the roto-language! 5till, according to this model, &e regard language as isolated, so that there is no voca*ulary flo& from one language to another! To ma%e things &orse, in the case of language shift the &hole methodology colla ses! $ven if some &ords (e!g!
numerals, ersonal ronouns, the ver*s to *e, to have, etc!) in a language are so im ortant that they maintain a high conservation status, the same holds for all languages and, most ro*a*ly, for the same category of &orlds! But again, if so, ho& come that some im ortant &ords are retained &hile others aren2t: The sim lest e" lanation is that the im ortance of a &ord changes &ith time, so that it is very difficult to acce t that some &ord that is im ortant no& &as also im ortant ;+000 years ago!
The !ostratic theory
The 6ostratic hy othesis originates &ith (olger Pedersen in the early 20th century! The name 16ostratic2 is due to Pedersen (;803), derived from the )atin nostrates 1fello& countrymen!2 The hy othesis &as significantly e" anded in the ;8<0s *y 5oviet linguists, nota*ly Vladislav #llich5vitych and 'haron Bolgo ols%y, *y Bomhard (200=), and it has received rene&ed attention in $nglish-s ea%ing academia since the ;880s! The language families ro osed for inclusion in 6ostratic vary, *ut all 6ostraticists agree on a common core of language families, &ith differences of o inion a earing over the inclusion of additional families! The three grou s universally acce ted among 6ostraticists are #ndo$uro ean, 7ralic, and 'ltaic! 6early all also include the Bravidian and Fartvelian language families! Follo&ing Pedersen, #llich-5vitych, and Bolgo ols%y, most advocates of the theory have included 'froasiatic!
There are a num*er of hy otheses incor orating 6ostratic into an even *roader linguistic 1megahylum,2 sometimes called Borean, &hich &ould also include at least the BenHPCaucasian and erha s the 'merind and 'ustric su erfamilies! The term 5C'6 has *een used for a grou that &ould include 5ino-Caucasian, 'merind, and 6ostratic! 'llan Bomhard and Colin /enfre& are in *road agreement &ith the earlier conclusions of #llich5vitych and Bolgo ols%y in see%ing the 6ostratic 7rheimat (original homeland) &ithin the 3esolithic (or $ i aleolithic) in the Fertile Crescent, the stage &hich directly receded the 6eolithic and &as transitional to it! )oo%ing at the cultural assem*lages of this eriod, t&o se9uences in articular stand out as ossi*le archeological correlates of the earliest 6ostratians or their immediate recursors! Both hy otheses lace Proto-6ostratic &ithin the Fertile Crescent at around the end of the last glacial eriodD • The first of these is focused on the )evant! The Fe*aran culture (c! ;=,000 to ;2,+00 BC) not only introduced the microlithic assem*lage into the region, it also has 'frican affinity s ecifically &ith the -uchtata retouch techni9ue associated &ith the microlithic (alfan culture of $gy t (contem oraneous &ith the Fe*aran culture)! The Fe*arans in their turn &ere directly ancestral to the succeeding 6atufian culture (;3,000 to 8,=00 B!C!$), &hich has enormous significance for rehistorians as the clearest evidence of hunters and gatherers in actual transition to 6eolithic food roduction! Both cultures e"tended their influence outside the region into southern 'natolia! For e"am le, in Cilicia the Bel*asi culture (;3,000P;0,000 BC$) sho&s Fe*aran influence, &hile the Beldi*i culture (;0,000P=+00 BC$) sho&s clear 6atufian influence! • The second ossi*ility as a culture associated &ith the 6ostratic family is the Aar,ian (a*out ;=,000-=,000 years BC$) culture of the Aagros mountains, stretching north&ards into Fo*istan in the Caucasus and east&ards into #ran! #n &estern #ran, the 32lefatian culture (;0,+00P8000 BC$) &as ancestral to the assem*lages of 'li Ta ah (8000P+000 BC$) and Ceitun (<000P?000 BC$)! 5till further east, the (issar culture has *een seen as
the 3esolithic recursor to the Feltiminar culture (++00P3+00 BC$) of the Fyrgy, ste e! #t has *een ro osed that the *road s ectrum revolution of Fent Flannery (;8<8), associated &ith microliths, the use of the *o& and arro&, and the domestication of the dog, all of &hich are associated &ith these cultures, may have *een the cultural 1motor2 that led to their e" ansion! Certainly cultures &hich a eared at Franchthi Cave in the 'egean and )e ens%i Vir in the Bal%ans, and the 3ur,a%-Fo*a (8;00P=000 BC$) and 0re*en%i (=+00P@000 BC$) cultures of the 7%rainian ste e, all dis layed these ada tations! Bomhard (200=) suggests a differentiation of Proto-6ostratic *y =,000 BC$, the *eginning of the 6eolithic /evolution in the )evant, over a territory s anning the entire Fertile Crescent and *eyond into the Caucasus (Proto-Fartvelian), $gy t and along the /ed 5ea to the (orn of 'frica (Proto-'froasiatic), the #ranian Plateau (Proto-$lamo-Bravidian) and into Central 'sia (Proto$urasiatic, to *e further su*divided *y +,000 BC$ into Proto-#ndo-$uro ean, Proto-7ralic and Proto-'ltaic)U 4hile the 6ostratic hy othesis is not endorsed *y the mainstream of com arative linguistics, 6ostratic studies *y nature of *eing *ased on the com arative method remain &ithin the mainstream of contem orary linguistics from a methodological oint of vie&W it is the sco e &ith &hich the com arative method is a lied rather than the methodology itself that raises eye*ro&s! Critics argue that &ere one to collect all the &ords from the various %no&n #ndo-$uro ean languages and dialects &hich have at least one of any ? meanings, one could easily form a list that &ould cover any conceiva*le com*ination of t&o consonants and a vo&el (of &hich there are only a*out 20Y20Y+l2000)! 6ostraticists res ond that they do not com are isolated le"ical items *ut reconstructed roto-languages! To include a &ord for a roto-language it must *e found in a num*er of languages and the forms must *e relata*le *y regular sound changes! #n addition, many languages have restrictions on root structure, reducing the num*er of ossi*le root-forms far *elo& its mathematical ma"imum! These languages include, among others, #ndo-$uro ean, 7ralic, and 'ltaicm all the core languages of the 6ostratic hy othesis! To understand ho& the
root structures of one language relate to those of another has long *een a focus of 6ostratic studies! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>6ostraticMlanguages
The ‘Sprachbund’ theory
' s rach*und, (1federation of languages2 in 0erman), also %no&n as a linguistic area, area of linguistic convergence, diffusion area or language crossroads, is a grou of languages that have *ecome similar in some &ay *ecause of geogra hical ro"imity and language contact! They may *e genetically unrelated, or only distantly related! 4here genetic affiliations are unclear, the s rach*und characteristics might give a false a earance of relatedness! 'real features are common features of a grou of languages in a s rach*und! #n contrast, a s rachraum, also %no&n as a dialect continuum, descri*es a grou of genetically related dialects s o%en across a geogra hical area, differing in their genetic relationshi only slightly *et&een areas that are geogra hically close, and gradually decreasing in mutual intelligi*ility as distances increase! The idea of areal convergence is commonly attri*uted to Cerne. Fo itar2s descri tion in ;=30 of 'l*anian, Bulgarian and /omanian as giving the im ression of having one grammar &ith the three le"icons! The Bal%an 5 rach*und com rises 'l*anian, /omanian, the 5outh 5lavic languages of the southern Bal%ans (Bulgarian, 3acedonian and to a lesser degree 5er*ian), 0ree%, and /omani! 'll these are #ndo-$uro ean languages *ut from very different *ranches! Eet they have e"hi*ited several signs of grammatical convergence, such as avoidance of the infinitive, future tense formation, and others! The same features are not found in other languages that are other&ise closely related, such as the other /omance languages, in relation to /omanian, and the other 5lavic languages, such as Polish in relation to 3acedonian! -ther e"am les of a 1s rach*und2 include, 5umerian and '%%adian in the 3 rd millennium BCW the Baltics (northeast $uro e), the 5tandard 'verage $uro ean area, com rising /omance, 0ermanic and Balto-5lavic languages, the &estern 7ralic languages, together &ith the aforementioned languages of the Bal%ansW the area in the Caucasus (though dis uted)!
Lhtt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>5 rach*undN 5o a 1s rach*und2 is another term for an isogloss or a cultural area! ' 1s rachraum,2 in contrast, is a grou of languages sharing similarities *ecause of common (genetic) origin! The #$ theory is in fact a 1s rachraum2 theory! -n the other hand, 1s rach*und2 theories are, or should *e, rimarily *ased on acculturation! But this is the common misconce tion- that similarities in languages e" ress similarities in genes! $ven the 6ostratic theory is *ased on a common origin, some&here in the )evant, &here it is su osed that eo le s read from, s reading *oth their genes and languages! But the main fact, as &e have seen, is that culture s reads inde endently of eo le! #n reality, the ma.or #$ grou s of languages *elong to 1s rach*unds!2 5o &hy is it su osed that the similarities in #$ languages stem from a lace of common origin, instead of common acculturation rocesses: 3ost ro*a*ly, there &as an 'natolian isogloss during the 3 rd millennium BC$, &hich &as transferred to the 4est during the 2nd millennium BC$! This isogloss, as far as #$ languages are concerned, consisted of the 'natolian clade of #$ languages, the languages of the )u&ians in 4estern, the Palaians in 6orthern, and the (ittites in Central 'natolia! These 'natolian languages &ere in direct contact *oth &ith the 3iddle $ast (3eso otamia and the )evant) and $gy t, and the areas north of the Caucasus! )et2s not forget to mention the 3inoans and their thalassocracy during this eriod! 'n isogloss of 5emitic languages *ased on '%%adian is %no&n from &ritten te"ts! But the first &ritten #$ language, that of the (ittites, comes only from the 2 nd millennium BC$! The (ittites re laced the (attians, the latter of &hich are considered *y some linguists Caucasians! The (ittites (&hich could have strong connections &ith the Caucasus themselves) &ere significantly influenced *y the (attians, and, as they even identified themselves as the natives of the land of (atti, &e may conclude that they had *een in 'natolia for a significant eriod of time *efore &e find their first &ritten records! This means a rather gradual rocess during &hich they assimilated the culture of 'natolia! The Palains could have also *een of Caucasian origin! The )u&ians altogether may *e considered the 1indigenous2 inha*itants of 'natolia, including )ydians, )ycians and others in the 4est coast of ancient 'natolia!
4ithin the conte"t of such a linguistic continuum, &e should as% ourselves &ere these first 1#$2 'natolians came from, since &hen they had *een in 'natolia, and for ho& long they had *een in contact &ith the cultures of the 5outh ($gy tians and 5umerians-'%%adians)! #t &ould also *e interesting to consider a 1)u&ian2 influence on the cultures of the 5outh (*y the (urrians for e"am le)! This landsca e is formed *y an amalgam of languages, *elonging to the great families of the &ider region, 5emitic, Caucasian, and )u&ian- 'natolian 1#$!2 #f &e do identify the 'natolians &ith the first #$s, then &e must admit that they &ere nurtured &ithin a multi-lingual environment, so that their languages should reflect this oly hony! 5emitic deities, ne& technologies and eo les from the 6orth, together &ith the native 'natolian cultures, all *lended together, must have consisted the mentality and languages of that time! #t is very hard, and rather unfair, to consider that these languages &ere .ust a 1gift2 from #$ invaders from the ste es! 3ost li%ely, on the contrary, the eo le from the 6orth &ould have *een largely influenced *y the more advanced cultures of 'natolia and the )evant, the first eo le to *ecome traders and seafarers in human history! 3ost, if not all, of related &ords, together &ith the earlier agricultural terms, &ere theirs, even if suffi"es are found to sound 1#$!2 This culture s read &est&ards in $uro e, either *y trade and settlement, or *y invaders in 'natolia &ho then entered $uro e! 6evertheless, &e shouldn2t e" ect significant migrations far from trade routes! 'nd it is there, along these routes, &here unified languages flourish! )anguage is a cultural roduct, not one of genes! The 1common origin2 of languages, therefore, should *e searched for in cultural centers, not genetic ools! 'natolia offers an e"cellent candidate for such a center! #t is a 1hots ot2 in the right lace at the right time, *et&een the 1eternal2 cultures of the 5outh and the 1dynamic2 ones of the 6orth! These t&o &orlds collided in 'natolia, and it &as the result of such a collision that *rought a*out the first #$ languages! /enfre&2s mista%e is not found in the lace of common origin *ut in the time frame! #t is meaningless to suggest an early s read of #$ languages in $uro e in the 6eolithic, for the same reason &e *ased our arguments on! There can2t *e a unified grou of languages &ithout a unifying factor! 'nd this factor is offered *y the first great civili,ations and the corres onding trade routes and cultural centers they created! The time frame is, more or less, the 3 rd millennium
BC$! Therefore, a corres onding connection &ith the 6eolithic, or even more &ith the Paleolithic, as some have suggested, is irrelevant!
/ecent human evolution, in the sense of an e"odus 1-ut of 'frica,2 too% lace during the last glacial eriod ()0P), ;;0,000-;2,000 EBP! 3ost li%ely, it &as after the mountain To*a eru tion (@0,000 EBP) that a sustaina*le o ulation e" anded all across the lanet! #t is *elieved that all modern humans descent from an initial o ulation of +000, or even less, individuals! #n the future, it may *e found that these fe& eo le &ere .ust the descendants of modern $urasians, returning to $urasia after a necessary stay in 'frica (due to climate change)! 4hen they returned, they met human s ecies &ho had remained in $urasia under harsh conditions! This is &hy inter*reeding too% lace in a relatively small scale! (o&ever, recent studies suggest more and more that the history of human evolution is much more com le" that it &as once *elieved! The last glacial ma"imum ()03) too% lace a ro"imately 2+,000- 20,000 years ago! This &as another eriod &hen $urasia &as mostly covered *y ice! (umans once again had to retreat to &armer climates in the 5outh, in the )evant for e"am le! The Eounger Bryas (a sudden cold s ell) occurred *et&een a ro"imately ;2,=00 and ;;,+00 years BP! #t &as the first farmers, a*out ;0,000 years ago &ho re-inha*ited $uro e one again! 6aturally, they inter*red &ith the remaining in $uro e Paleolithic Cro-3agnons! 5o, the rocess of evolution has never *een a 1surge and destroy2 o eration! 'da ta*ility demands coo eration in the end! The same goes for language! #t esta*lishes itself and is transmitted through imitation and 1altruistic2 methods! #n other &ords, the learned ones o*serve, learn, *ecome o ular and transmit their cultural memes, including voca*ulary! )anguage is included in a mechanism of cultural ada ta*ility! This is &hy language, and culture in general, flo&s from the advanced civili,ation to the 1 rimitive2 one! #t should *e, therefore, reali,ed that language 1s ea%s louder than &ordsD2 5 eech *ecomes a force much more o&erful than the minds of those &ho s ea%! This is &hy similarities *et&een different languages e" ress fundamentally the mechanisms of imitation, not genetic recom*ination!
#t is not %no&n &hen &e may consider that humans evolved com le" s eech, in order to e" ress not .ust sounds of nature *ut also com licated notions a*out sym*olic o*.ects! $ven if humans had a rimitive form of s eech during, let2s say, the Paleolithic, it must have *een only in relatively recent times &hen they could have *een a*le to ossess an evolved voca*ulary in order to communicate advanced notions re resenting forms of com le" social organi,ation (science, religion, olitics, art, etc!)! 4e may say that the great ste for language too% lace more or laess ;0,000 years ago, &hile language as &e %no& it should have evolved in the last +000 years or so, after the a earance of &ritten s eech! From this oint on&ards, eo le could not only s ea% fluently, *ut they could also &onder &hat s eech is! #n the *eginning is s eech! /eason is ho& &e incor orate s eech in order to name things, to understand the &orld and to communicate! 5 eech flo&s from erson to erson and from civili,ation to civili,ation, in a rocess, more or less, automatic and incessant! #n other &ords, &e ado t voca*ulary and ideas long *efore &e rationali,e the &hole rocess! This is &hy so many different languages seem so much ali%eD they have assimilated the common roots of ra& sounds and crude notions, throughout the history of human s eech! (ere, &e &ill summari,e the conclusions &e2ve reached concerning the origin of languageD )anguage is a cultural henomenon! #t is *orn and transmitted *y imitation, and revails *y means of memetic altruism! 5o &hat is im ortant a*out the origin of languages is a common cultural descent, not a hysical homeland! 4hen modern languages started to s read, the laces &here they settled &ere already inha*ited *y eo le s ea%ing other languages! But &hat really made some languages more modern than others &as not .ust the horse and the chariot! #t &as the ne& o ortunities they re resented in the s read of civili,ation!
)anguage is an e" ression and indication of an advanced and literate culture! 'll throughout history, &hen rimitive cultures come in contact &ith advanced cultures, the former imitate the latter! #n recent history, &e %no& that &hen the first 0ermanic tri*es invaded and con9uered /ome, they ado ted Christianity, #m erialism (1im erium2l o&er), and the /oman language!
The $nglish language, a 0ermanic one, survived, *ecause /ome never con9uered all $ngland! -ther&ise, the legacy of /ome &ould have s read &ith its language all over the &ord no&adays! 5till, the $nglish language is significantly influenced *y )atin, and 5 anish, a /omance language, is the second most o ular (in num*er of native s ea%ers) language in the &ord, after the )anguage of the Chinese! -f course, Chinese has no chance to *ecome a lingua franca at the moment! But if #$ languages survived as a unified cultural entity, they did this *ecause they re resented, or corres onded to, a lingua franca, at some stage in history! This is *ecause even if they had all together s read from an original homeland, the s an of time &ould *e devastating for their unity, unless, of course, they had the o ortunity of re-unification or constant contact all along a 1cultural road,2 an isogloss, or s hach*und, if you refer! ' 1common origin2 refers mainly to a cultural entity, not to hysical s ace! This should *e clear *y no&! The ada tion of culture is a multi-lingual and a*ove nations rocess, even if nations identify themselves &ith a 1language2 in retros ect! 'natolia of the 3 rd millennium BC$, as &e have seen, is a 1hots ot2 for the origin of #$ languages (no matter ho& o*solete this term may *e), standing in *et&een the civili,ed 5outh and the dynamic &orld of the 6orth, roviding a 1&or%sho 2 for a ne& language, as &ell as the first sea-farers to dis erse it! The ste es eo le, if they really &ere the transmitters of the ne& culture and language, &ould not stand a chance if they had not learned the mechanisms of social organi,ation, economic institutionali,ation and olitical im osition *eforehand! They &ould seem li%e a virus imitating and ta%ing the form of its host &herever they &ould go! Therefore, my ersonal o inion concerning the &hole su*.ect of the origin of language is that the search of a 1common origin2 is more or less futile! ' 1 roto-language2 is more li%e a model of ta"onomy rather than a hysical entity! $ven if &e regard that a roto-language had already evolved at the time *efore the 1e"odus2 from 'frica, this roto-language &ould most ro*a*ly involve many different dialects or languages, not to mention that after the dis ersal these dialects &ould have evolved se arately and differently, so that any original similarities &ould have *een lost!
#n any attem t &e ma%e to e" lain similarities *et&een different languages &e are al&ays faced &ith the same ro*lem of se aration in s ace and time! )anguages diverge and converge *ut not around a common origin in hysical s aceW rather they cluster around a rototy e-language! This is &hat ha ens no&adays &ith modern $nglishD 3ore and more languages assimilate loan &ords from $nglish and in some cases $nglish *ecome the main language at the e" ense of native ones! #t2s not a matter of common originW it2s *asically a matter of fashion! 'nd this is e"actly the main as ect of memes! They revail and e" and *y imitation! 5o the 9uest a*out the origin of language is a .ourney into the survival of the related memes! 6ames for 0ods, social institutions, literature and science are used to denote social status, so &e should e" ect that &hen a rimitive eo le assimilates a more advanced one not only &ill they acce t o&er, *ut also all the voca*ulary that goes &ith it! #t is not a coincidence that most of scientific &ords are of 0ree% or )atin origin, and &e should e" ect that also the al ha*et and the metric system as &ell as &ords that have to do &ith advanced states of *eing (the ver* to *e, or the ersonal ronoun #, for e"am le) are more or less learned &ords, loans, from one or more advanced civili,ations in the ast! # *elieve that there never &as a roto-language (at least not outside the conte"t of a rototy elanguage)! 4e may cluster *asic grou s of macro-families of languages, such as Balto-5lavic, Tur%ic-'ltaic, 0reco-Phrygian, Celt-#*erian, /omanic languages, #ndo-#ranian, 0ermanic languages, &e may even find similarities *et&een them, *ut this is as far as it goes! (o& do &e e" lain language isolates for e"am le: $ven if the first Cro-3agnons that entered $urasia 30,000-?0,000 thousand years ago could s ea%, even if this language &as a non- diversified common language s o%en *ac% in 'frica, the time ga is so huge that it is really a*surd to consider something more than a rhetorical a roach! # mean, the -ut-of-'frica hy othesis is more li%e a model of thin%ing itself, rather than anything elseD 3ost li%ely even the 6eanderthals could s ea%W and *efore them, our o&n ancestor, (omo $rectus could have evolved some form of roto- language! 5o # really thin% that *efore &e ma%e any attem t to reconstruct a languagetree, or even *etter a 1language- shru*,2 &e should first trace the limits!
's far as the #$ theory is concerned, # *elieve that a model of cultural assimilation (rather than a common origin model) is more ro*a*le in order to correctly inter ret the similarities in #$ languages! The area of the su osed homeland of the #$ theory is so vast that an isogloss could never have formed! 4e %no& in *iology, for e"am le, that a virus occu ies and e" ands into a host *y imitation! 5o even if there &ere tri*es of eo le in the 1 rimitive 6orth,2 not necessarily s ea%ing the same languages, &hen they invaded and e" anded into the 1civili,ed 5outh,2 they &ould act more or less li%e viruses, a*sor*ing the e"isting cultures and their linguist elements, along the 1road of civili,ation,2 so that the emerging unified culture and language &ould have *een roduced through this rocess of 1con9uering and assimilating,2 not *y e" ansion from a common origin, &hich in fact &ould have torn the unity a art! 5ome eo le *elieve that there are some &ords &ith a high status of reservation! This is *ecause, they say, these &ords are very im ortant or *asic! The first s ea%ing humans &ould have imitated natural sounds (the &ord 1cro&2 for e"am le imitates the sound made *y this *ird)! #t &as the linguist 3a" 3Xller &ho suggested &hat he called the Bing-Bong theory, that all things have a vi*rating natural resonance, echoed someho& *y man in his earliest &ords! 5imilarities *et&een 1fundamental2 &ords could *e e" lained this &ay! 5o if even the most com le", multi-sylla*le &ords are roduced *y such fundamental sounds, &e &ould e" ect a high level of similarity *et&een different modern languages! -n the other hand, there are &ords e" ressing a*stract notions (not natural sounds)! $ven if the first humans could s ea%, &e should not e" ect them to have had a voca*ulary for advanced, a*stract notions, not until recently! But &hen did humans ac9uire the a*ility of such a so histicated and 1 hiloso hical2 mind: 4as it at the time of Plato, of the 5umerians, of the first cave- ainters, or has this never ha ened, even today: By this # don2t mean that any attem t to reconstruct language is vain! But # *elieve that the search of a roto-language should move a&ay from a dogma of monogenesis! This is *ecause of the &ay &e thin% a*out things, not *ecause things are made this &ay! The 1Big Bang2 theory in hysics gives little *y little its lace to the multi-verse theory! #t is as difficult to e" lain homogeneity in hysics as in linguistics! ' ra id e" ansion or dis ersal, an inflation model in glossology, might solve the ro*lem of language homogeneity! But it is during interaction &hen
languages *egin to sho& common features! #f t&o &ords (in different languages) sound ali%e, this can *e .ust a coincidence! #f they have the same meaning, then these t&o cultures share the same %ind of mentality! #f they *oth sound ali%e and have the same meaning then this can2t *e a coincidence! But the &ay &e inter ret this correlation is highly su*.ective! #f &e assume that, in the latter case, the t&o cultures must have a common origin then &e may find it hard to follo& their dis ersal &ithout losing anything of the original sound and meaning of the cognate &ord! #f &e assume that it &as only the &ord that traveled from one culture to the other then &e may *e a*le to trace a common origin inde endent of the t&o cultures! 5o it2s not eo le &ho s ea% the truthW #t2s the truth of language itself!
Appendi01 An Archetypal origin of language
Common origin doesn2t e" lain in the *est &ay similarities *et&een different languages! Vast divergences &ould have accumulated since the dis ersal of these languages from the su osed homeland, so that the *est &ay to e" lain these similarities is *y assuming contacts *et&een these languages at a later stage! #n fact, &e don2t even need the assum tion of an initial *irth lace, since the similarities could have accumulated &ith loans through the rocess of acculturation! $ven so, some eo le *elieve that some &ords may *e e"ce tionally conservative, and *ase the theory of common origin on these &ords! But as &e have seen, even these 1significant2 &ords can *e e" lained as loans! Furthermore, the meaning of &ords changes, so that it is meaningless to search for a causal correlation, even if the &ords sound ali%e!
The memetic nature of language
)anguage consists of memes, not genes! 5imilarities in &ords sho& the im ortance of imitation in the rocess of acculturation! 4ords such as religion, deity, democracy, humanity, and so on, e" ress a o&erful sym*olism &hich is transmitted from culture to culture &ithout the necessity of direct contact! 'll revious &ords are loans from the )atin to the $nglish language, inde endently of any genetic relationshi *et&een these languages! #n fact these &ords have *ecome common for very different eo le all around the &orld!
Therefore, if &e &ant to construct a model dividing languages into grou s &hich e"hi*it similarities, &e should *e *ased on meme, not gene, 1mar%ers2! Furthermore, if there e"ists a common lace of origin, this &ould *e a cultural center or ,one, not a lace of a common gene ool! By follo&ing mutations to e" lain the s read of languages is &orthless, since these mutations are shared *y all eo le! #f human%ind originated in 'frica, so that &e carry the same genes &ith modern day 'fricans, then this has nothing to do &ith languages, *ecause most, if not all, modern notions a*out things and the &orld have evolved in a relatively recent time! #n other &ords, the similarities *et&een different languages testify a unification rocess in modern times, even if this rocess started in anti9uity!
Theory of archetypes
The o&er of sym*olism &as understood early in human evolution! Cave aintings manifest an astounding degree of a*straction! (umans &atched the s%y and the stars and they had the a*ility to &onder a*out all the miracles of the s%y and the earth around them! #n all cultures there are recurring atterns concerning notions a*out life, death, re*irth, the s irits, natural henomena, the destiny of humans! 3yths involving cultural heroes &ho save humanity after a great natural disaster are &ides read and they seem to reflect a dee er human need of ur ose and salvation! 'll humans *elieve in 0ods, no matter ho& they name them! #n other &ords, these archety al atterns e"ist inde endently and they corres ond to dee er functions of the human 1 syche!2 Carl 0ustav Cung develo ed an understanding of archety es as universal, archaic atterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious and are the sychic counter art of instinct! They are autonomous and hidden forms &hich are transformed once they enter consciousness and are given articular e" ression *y individuals and their cultures! Being unconscious, the e"istence of archety es can only *e deduced indirectly *y e"amining *ehavior, images, art, myths, religions, or dreams! They are inherited otentials &hich are actuali,ed &hen they enter consciousness as images or manifest in *ehavior on interaction &ith the outside &orld! Cung descri*ed archety al eventsD *irth, death, se aration from arents, initiation, marriage, the union of o ositesW archety al figuresD great mother, father, child, devil, god, &ise old man, &ise old &oman, the tric%ster, hero and archety al motifsD the a ocaly se, the deluge, the creation!
'lthough the num*er of archety es is limitless, there are a fe& articularly nota*le, recurring archety al images, Rthe chief among them *eingS (according to Cung) Rthe shado&, the &ise old man, the child, the mother !!! and her counter art, the maiden, and lastly the anima in man and the animus in &oman!S 'lternatively he &ould s ea% of Rthe emergence of certain definite archety es !!! the shado&, the animal, the &ise old man, the anima, the animus, the mother, the child!S There are scientists &ho even relate archety es &ith the genetic codeD 5tevens suggests that B6' itself can *e ins ected for the location and transmission of archety es! 's they are co-terminous &ith natural life they should *e e" ected &herever life is found! (e suggests that B6' is the re lica*le archety e of the s ecies! 5tein oints out that all the various terms used to delineate the messengers- tem lates, genes, en,ymes, hormones, catalysts, heromones, social hormones- are conce ts similar to archety es! (e mentions archety al figures &ho re resent messengers such as (ermes, Prometheus or Christ! Continuing to *ase his arguments on a consideration of *iological defense systems he says that it must o erate in a &hole range of s ecific circumstances, its agents must *e a*le to go every&here, the distri*ution of the agents must not u set the somatic status 9uo, and, in redis osed ersons, the agents &ill attac% the self! /ossi suggests that the function and characteristic *et&een left and right cere*ral hemis heres may ena*le us to locate the archety es in the right cere*ral hemis here! (e cites research indicating that left hemis herical functioning is rimarily ver*al and associational, and that of the right rimarily visuos atial and a erce tive! Thus the left hemis here is e9ui ed as a critical, analytical, information rocessor &hile the right hemis here o erates in a 1gestalt2 mode! (enry alluded to 3aclean2s model of the tri artite *rain suggesting that the re tilian *rain is an older art of the *rain and may contain not only drives *ut archety al structures as &ell! The suggestion is that there &as a time &hen emotional *ehavior and cognition &ere less develo ed
and the older *rain redominated! There is an o*vious arallel &ith Cungbs idea of the archety es 1crystali,ing out2 over time! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>CungianMarchety esn$arlyMdevelo ment (ere &e may ma%e a distinction *et&een 1 rototy es2 and 1archety es!2 Prototy es are common atterns, esta*lished at some time in the course of history and transmitted from culture to culture! 'rchety es, on the other hand, are more fundamental! They e"ist inde endently from tradition, they are not transmitted, *ut instead they re-e"ist in the human syche as 1guiding atterns2 of *ehavior! (5o &e may relate memes to 1 rototy es,2 not archety es!) #n order to connect them &ith language rocesses, &hether or not &e may trace their im rints on genes, &e may assume that the human syche, all over the &orld and throughout the ages, is e" ressed &ith certain atterns of *ehavior, &hich may *e traced and redicted! 's far as language is concerned, &e may say that eo le manifest the same atterns of s eech, inde endently of race or culture! 'll languages, for e"am le, consist of ver*s, nouns and ad.ectives, tenses and cases! 4e may even ma%e a ste further to suggest that not only the meanings *ut also the sounds of some &ords are of archety al origin! The &ord for the circle, for e"am le, %y%los in 0ree%, %i%el in Ce&ish, may reveal an archety al image of 1roundness,2 e" ressed *y the re etitive and closed form of the &ord! (o&ever, it might *e useless to go so far! Common atterns of linguistic *ehavior do not necessarily lead to similarities in the sounds of &ords! But the meanings e" ressed &ith voca*ulary could *e reduced to fundamental conce ts, regarding humans and their e"istence (the myth of cataclysm, the coming of the ro het, the memory of a lost aradise, and so on!) #n other &ords, &e2d *etter see% the truth hidden *ehind these meanings not in hysical s ace, *ut in the same structure of the human syche and the *rain! Therefore, &hen &e trace cognate &ords *et&een different languages, &e should &onder &hat these similarities e" ress in the conte"t of the 1collective voca*ulary2 of human culture, rather than e" ect a *iological 'dam (and $ve) for us all! (6ot to mention that 'dam and $ve e" ress an archety al cou le!)
Symbolic representations in language
The term totem is derived from the -.i*&a &ord ototeman, meaning 1onebs *rother-sister %in! The founder of a French school of sociology, omile Bur%heim, e"amined totemism from a sociological and theological oint of vie&! Bur%heim ho ed to discover a ure religion in very ancient forms and generally claimed to see the origin of religion in totemism! #n ;8;< an 'merican ethnologist, Fran, Boas, suggested that totemism e"hi*ited no single sychological or historical originW since totemistic features can *e connected &ith individuals and all ossi*le social organi,ations, and they a ear in different cultural conte"ts, it &ould *e im ossi*le to fit totemistic henomena into a single category! Boas &as against systemati,ing and thought it senseless to as% 9uestions a*out the origins of totemism! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>Totem htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>Totemism The totem seems to re resent a sym*ol of unity! ' totem also re resents the s iritual form of a common o*.ect or animal! 5o it lin%s the natural &ith the su ernatural &orld! 5till a totem e" resses archety es *ut its re resentations may vary from lace to lace and from time to time!
-f articular interest &ithin $uro ean rehistory are the remnants of the earliest %no&n artistic de ictions and in articular the female statuettes %no&n as Venus figurines, the resence of
&hich &as evident in their dis ersal across vast regions of $uro e! 'lthough there are re orted dates for Venus figurines ranging from 28,000-;?,000 years B!P, *y far the ma.ority of the Venus figurines a ear *et&een 23,000 and 2+,000 B!P! The forms of aesthetic art that emerged during the 7 er Palaeolithic are divided into arietal art such as cave &all aintings, engravings and relief scul ture and mo*iliary art such as figurines and orta*le o*.ects (Fagan, ;88=)! The earlier mo*iliary art focused on vulvas, animal de ictions and human figurines, generally of the female form (Collins and -nias, ;8@=D;;, cited in Bic%son ;880)! The animal statues and other mo*iliary art &ere *y no means as revalent as these so-called female Venus figurines, &hich featured rominently over vast e" anses of $uro e and &ere found from the /ussian ste e to south-&est France and northern 5 ain, covering a distance of over ?000 %m! 6umerous similarities and correlations seem to occur across different sites, seemingly ointing to a some&hat universal sym*olism and a sense of uniformity throughout $uro ean female figurines! 'lthough asserting that the central archaeological message and the mythology of the 0ravettian grou has to do &ith &oman, Bel orte &arns against all- encom assing generali,ations &ith regard to these matters and asserts that the conce t of &oman ersonified in the figurines is not homogenous and alludes to various roles and re resentations (e states that these diverse roles included &oman as generator of lifeW as generator of leasure, and as a sort of central a"is around &hich are organi,ed different manifestations of thought and e" ression! Venus Figurines in Prehistoric $uro eD The $mergence of 'rt and Belief *y Cian 3acFhiarais - 200; -ne of the main assum tions &hich #$ theory &as *ased on is the re lacement of female figurines-sym*ols of fertility *y male ones re resenting o&er! (o&ever the female figurines a eared s ontaneously! Therefore their re lacement &ith male ones could also *e inter reted as a naturally occurring evolutionary rocess at some time &hen societies assed from a female*ased agricultural to a male-*ased society revolving around &ealth and o&er! #n modern times, religious Christian sym*ols have re laced older ones &ith the sym*ol of the cross! But the first
Christians &ere not the eo les &ho gave their language to the /omans! 6ot to mention that Cesus is not an 1#$ deity!2
htt D>>stancarey!&ord ress!com>20;2>0;>02>the-mamas-the- a as-in-*a*ies-*a**ling> #nterestingly enough, # found on the net the revious list relating the &ord for mother and father in different languages of the &orld! #t is o*vious that these &ords have a universal character, tres assing *y far the limits of individual languages! $ven the natives in 6e& 0uinea use the same &ord as the Bas9uesO But should this similarity *e inter reted as roof for common (*iological) origin of all languages, or does it im ly common archety al origin:
The horse and the /heel The &ord for the common horse, as &e have seen, is different in modern 1#$2 languages, &hile the &orld for the 1official2 horse remained the same! (ere &e see that it is the sym*ol of the animal that ersists rather than the animal itself! The &ord 1i os2 in 0ree% is certainly a loan
&ord! 6o etymology can *e found in the 0ree% language leading to a &ord &ith dou*le ! The original &orld could have *een 1is os,2 *ecoming 1i os2 after the re lacement of the 1s2 &ith a 1 !2 # &on2t try to find an etymology for 1is os,2 *ecause if the &ord &ere 0ree% it &ouldn2t have changed in the first lace! 3ost ro*a*ly it is a loan &ord that &as given *y the first horse riders to all other eo les! By the &ay, the Tur%ish &ord for horse is 1at,2 similar to the 0ree% &ord 1ati!2 5hould &e e" ect a common origin for the 0ree% and Tur%ish languages, or had &e *etter testify another &ord that &as *orro&ed *y *oth of them: )et2s no& come to the case of the circle! The &ords 1circle2 and 1&heel2 or 1&heeled vehicle2 are *elieved to stem from the same P#$ root 1veclo,2 19ue9los,2 or something li%e that! (o&ever, there is a self-falsifying argument here! #f the #$s had identified a &heel &ith a circle, then all other eo les should have done the same! #n other &ords &e should e" ect common &ords for *oth the &heel and the circle in other languages too! #n fact this is the case! For e"am le, the Eiddish &ord for 1circle2 is 1%i%el2 or 1%i%eleh2 (htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>Fi%e)! 'nd this is very much e" ectedD the sym*ol of a circle is one of the most o&erful all throughout human history! #t is related &ith the 5un, the 3oon, the motion of the stars, the seasons, the circle of death and re*irth! #t is the same sym*ol &hich &as identified &ith one of the most significant inventions of all times- that of the &heel (or even the 1chisel2)! Therefore, &e see that the &ord for 1circle2 is not a rivilege of #$s! #t is a universal one, &ell-rooted in the collective memory of human 5 eech, shared *y imitation, and *y many different cultures in many relative &ays! 4e have already tal%ed a*out the ossi*ility of heavy loaning *et&een the 1#$2 languages, in the conte"t of acculturation! The #$ languages could *e .ust dialects of a lingua franca, s o%en along 1roads of culture!2 This may have ha ened more than once! 'll, let2s call them 1formal,2 &ords, as &ell as significant syntactic notions (e!g! notions a*out the $go, the 5elf, 0od, the 5u ernatural, the Father and the 5on, the 5un and the 3oon, the ver* to *e, the names of letters, num*ers, etc!), could *e loans! # am a&are, for e"am le, that in my mother tongue (0ree%) the &ord for 1horse2 is *oth 1i os2 and 1alogo!2 # am not a s ecialist to say if the latter &ord is also #$, *ut it is o*vious that there is a discrimination *et&een the t&o &ords! #n fact the &ord 1i os2 is not in common use (it is regarded o*solete), and it is only used in com ound &ords, li%e 1i odromio2 (hi odrome)! 5o it seems that there is a 1native2 &ord (alogo), such as the &ord
1horse2 in $nglish, and a 1su erim osed2 one (i os)! (#n fact the &ord 1horse,2 from the Proto0ermanic Yhursa-, is of un%no&n origin!)
The bear and the /olf 4e sa& *efore that according to rofessor 'linei, the reason &hy #$ use different names for the *ear is *ecause they re laced the common name &ith a totemic one! 'ccording to him, this is roof of a Paleolithic origin of these languages, *ecause there is evidence that totemism had already evolved during that time! (o&ever, they do share a common &ord for the &olf! 4hy a 1totemic2 &ord for the &olf, &hich &ould give different names to the animal in different languages, never a eared: The sym*olism of &olves cannot *e considered less im ortant than the sym*olism of *ears! #n this case, the most logical e" lanation is that this grou of languages originally inha*ited an area &ith &olves *ut not *ears! 5o this area &as not the ste es! #t must have *een further to the south &ere *ears don2t e"ist (*ut &olves do)! #f &e try to *ias this sim le conclusion *y adding a totemic factor &hich changed the name for the *ear for some cultures then &e can2t e" lain &hy this didn2t ha en for the other cultures, and also &hy it didn2t ha en for the &olf, as &ell as for all other im ortant animals &ith cognate &ords! But if there really &as a totemic &ord for a corres onding animal, this &ord should in fact stay the same! #t is the sym*ol that ersists more than the sound! #n other &ords, it is the astronomical reference to the *ear sym*ol that e" lains the similarity *et&een the 0ree% and the /oman language (3egali 'r%tos in 0ree%, or 7rsus 3a.or in )atin, meaning the Big Bi er), &hile other languages &here com letely una&are of this sym*olism!
Cave paintings Cave aintings are aintings found on cave &alls and ceilings, and es ecially refer to those of rehistoric origin! The earliest such art in $uro e dates *ac% to the 'urignacian eriod, a ro"imately ?0,000 years ago, and is found in the $l Castillo cave in Canta*ria, 5 ain! The e"act ur ose of the aleolithic cave aintings is not %no&n! $vidence suggests that they &ere not merely decorations of living areas, since the caves in &hich they have *een found do not have signs of ongoing ha*itation! They are also often located in areas of caves that are not easily
accessi*le! 5ome theories hold that cave aintings may have *een a &ay of communicating &ith others, &hile other theories ascri*e a religious or ceremonial ur ose to them! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>CaveM aintingnTheoriesMandMinter retations
Cave aintings have *een found all over the &ord, suggesting that rehistoric art &as common during the Paleolithic, and that it &as invented inde endently! 4hat is mysterious a*out the aintings is that they are not sim le re resentations of the related animals, *ut they also include a*stract 1 oints2 or 1&ave-lines!2 For e"am le, the revious cave ainting in the $l Castillo Cave has numerous red discs on its &alls! -ne &as dated to ?0,=00 years ago! htt D>>&&&!ne&rafael!com>a*stract-cave-art> #t has *een suggested that the a*stract formations re resent 1images2 &hich someone sees during a state of trance! 'll ancient religions tried to reach the 1s irit &orld,2 &ith the hel of s ecial dancing ceremonies and the use of sychotro ic su*stances! Buring these ceremonies the hysical &orld met &ith the s iritual one, and as the magician, or saman, came in contact &ith the s irits, he ac9uired the o&er of healing! 5o little *y little, the 1 syche2 of the animal, or of the o*.ect de icted, *ecame as im ortant as its everyday use! 3uch later, the discovery of the first tem le-li%e structures in 0o*e%li Te e dating *ac% to the ;0th-=th millennium BC, sho&ed that &orshi may have evolved even *efore agriculture! The first routes of ilgrims could have
*een as im ortant as the first trade routes! The megalithic cultures of $uro e, for e"am le, may have *een founded *y religious grou s, travelling long distances for s iritual ur oses, long *efore the advent of agriculture in these areas! Therefore art, religion, and culture in general, haven2t evolved as a free- time *y- roduct, *ut as a dee er need of the human soul!
The 9uestion &hich is raised here is the classical dilemmaD 6ature or 6urture: #n the case of identical t&ins &e may e" ect that *ehavior, initially e" ressed through genes, can *e altered in a different environmental conte"t! But here &e are interested &ith the archety e of 1dualism,2 mainly! The archety al myth of the 1 sychic t&ins2 is that of Castor and Pollu" (or Polydeuces)! They &ere t&in *rothers, together %no&n as the Bios%ouri *y the 0ree%s, or 0emini *y the /omans! Castor &as mortal *ut Pollu" &as the divine son of Aeus, &ho seduced )eda in the guise of a s&an! 4hen Castor &as %illed, Pollu" as%ed Aeus to let him share his o&n immortality &ith his t&in to %ee them together, and they &ere transformed into the constellation 0emini! The air &as regarded as the atrons of sailors and &ere also associated &ith horsemanshi ! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>CastorMandMPollu" The heavenly t&ins a ear also in the #ndo-$uro ean tradition, as the 0ree% Bioscuri, the Vedic 'shvins, the )ithuanian 'pvieniai, the )atvian Bieva deli, the 5icilian Palici, The 0ermanic 'lcis (gods), the /oman /omulus and /emus, the 'nglo-5a"on (engest and (orsa! -2Brien reconstructs a horse goddess &ith t&in offs ring, ointing to 0aulish $ ona, #rish 3acha, 4elsh /hiannon, and $ddaic Frey.a in the tale of the construction of the &alls of 'sgard, seeing a vestige of the *irth of hi omor hic t&ins in )o%i in the form of a mare giving *irth to eight-legged 5lei nir! The myths surrounding (engest and (orsa could come from a common source, since they &ere descendants of 4oden and (engest2s name meant 1stallion2 (in 0ermanD (engst) 5ha iro oints to 5lavic Volos and Veles, and collects the follo&ing com arative ro ertiesD sons of the 5%y 0od, *rothers of the 5un 3aiden, association &ith horses, dual aternity, saviors at sea, astral nature, magic healers, &arriors and roviders of divine aid in
*attle, divinities of fertility, association &ith s&ans, divinities of dance, closeness to human *eings, rotectors of the oath, assisting at *irth, founders of cities! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>BivineMt&ins 's &e see the re ertoire of characters attri*uted to the 1divine t&ins2 is rich! But in most cases &e see a connection *et&een this &orld and the divine one! Furthermore, the mating of humans &ith divine horses reminds of the myth of the 3inotaur! This union *et&een the divine and the animalistic roduces the &orld of humans, half logical and half instinctual! Therefore the similarities *et&een these myths in different cultures oint to the archety al influence of the corres onding sym*ols (of the divine and of the earthly), &hich .oin to form our natural &orld!
The acculturation hero
The notion of the hero- acculturator in tradition is analogous to the founder effect in *iology! 's in the latter case, &here a small grou of settlers founds a ne& colony &ith their genes, so in the case of a cultural founder effect, the founding culture settles in the minds of the foreign o ulations it encounters &ith its myths, traditions and as ects of social *ehavior! ' classic e"am le of an acculturation hero is that of Prometheus! #n 0ree% mythology, Prometheus defies the gods and gives fire to humanity, an act that ena*led rogress and civili,ation! #n another of his myths, Prometheus esta*lishes the form of animal sacrifice racticed in ancient 0ree% religion! #n the 4estern classical tradition, Prometheus *ecame a figure &ho re resented human striving, articularly the 9uest for scientific %no&ledge, and the ris% of overreaching or unintended conse9uences! #n articular, he &as regarded in the /omantic era as em*odying the lone genius &hose efforts to im rove human e"istence could also result in tragedy! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>Prometheus 3yths of culture heroes are &ides read in traditions all over the &orld, and they are also related &ith creation or founding myths! ' rototy e, let2s call it this &ay, of the culture hero is the 5umerian 0ilgamesh, the fifth %ing of 7ru%, reigning ca! 2+00 BC! (e is the central character in the $ ic of 0ilgamesh, descri*ed as a demigod of su erhuman strength &ho *uilt the city &alls
of 7ru% to defend his eo le from e"ternal threats, and travelled to meet the sage 7tna ishtim, &ho had survived the 0reat Beluge! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>0ilgamesh ' strong iece of evidence against the common origin of languages is the fact that different eo les have different cultural heroes! The archety al figure may*e the same *ut each eo le created their o&n myth to e" ress their o&n origins and identity! $ven if this divergence is e" lained as loss of collective memory &ith the addition of ne& cultural elements, this again is roof against common origin! #n 4estern civili,ation, the most im ortant cultural hero has *ecome Cesus! (e incor orates the myth of resurrection, and (is name is shared among very different cultures all over the &orld! 5hould the similarity of his name in many different languages *e inter reted as evidence for the common origin of these languages: 'nd if not, &hy do &e e" ect that cognates in different languages of (is redecessor, Aeus, should *e inter reted li%e&ise:
'nimal sacrifice is the ritual %illing and offering of an animal to a ease or maintain favour &ith a divine agency! 5uch forms of sacrifice are ractised &ithin many religions around the &orld and have a eared historically in almost all cultures, including those of the 5umerians, (e*re&s, 0ree%s, /omans, 0ermanics, Celts, ',tecs, and 3ayans! /emnants of ancient animal sacrifice can also *e found in various contem orary ractices, the %a aros and shechita of Cudaism and ḏa*ihah of #slam, for e"am le! 5acrificial rituals could *e initially regarded as acts of redem tion involving the sacrificial animal, &hich lost its life for the needs of the hunter! But the ritual certainly attained a more sym*olic meaning, *ecause the animal is slaughtered not only to *e eaten, *ut also to redeem the eo le from their sins! 'lso, the ritual could transform itself into a ure meta hor, as in the case of (indu te"ts, li%e the 'tharva Veda, &here it is stated that true Vedic sacrifices &ere of fruits and grains, that had meta horical names of animals! -ne e"ce t reads Rthey made sacrifices of rice, *utter, etc!, and never %illed the co&s, the *est friends of man, the givers of medicines!S htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>'nimalMsacrifice
's far as horse sacrifice is concerned, many #ndo-$uro ean religious *ranches sho& evidence for horse sacrifice, and com arative mythology suggests that they derive from a Proto-#ndo$uro ean (P#$) ritual! The reconstructed myth involves the cou ling of a %ing &ith a divine mare &hich roduced the divine t&ins! ' related myth is that of a hero magically t&inned &ith a horse foaled at the time of his *irth, suggested to *e fundamentally the same myth as that of the divine t&in horsemen *y the mytheme of a 1mare-suc%led2 hero from 0ree% and medieval 5er*ian evidence, or mythical horses &ith human traits (qanthos), suggesting totemic identity of the #ndo-$uro ean hero or %ing &ith the horse! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>(orseMsacrifice (orse *urials have *een found all across the $urasian ste es, from the ? th millennium on&ards, in Tur%ic, #ndo-'ryan and Chinese cultures! #n these instances, the horse re resents a sym*ol of o&er! #n later times chariots &ere also found in graves *uried together &ith the ruler! The invention of *oth horse riding and chariots can *e naturally attri*uted to eo les that lived in o en lands, such as the ste es, so that the hysical terrain &as suita*le for such activities! (o&ever, the sym*olism of o&er certainly didn2t stem from these regions! Po&er doesn2t sim ly mean res ect and o*edience to the ruler, *ut it is al&ays accom anied *y sym*ols of ro erty and &ealth! Furthermore, the ruler must sho& great de"terity not only &hen riding *ut also &hen ruling according to some rules &hich are manifested in com le" forms of organi,ation! $ven if the &ord for horse is of P#$ origin (if not Tur%ic as the &ord 1%urgan2), the sym*ols of o&er, as &ell as many of the related &ords came from the civili,ed &orld of the time! 3ost &ords in the $nglish language related to social organi,ation and olitics (including the &ords civili,ation, organi,ation, society and olitics) are loan &ords from 0ree% and )atin! 5hould &e e" ect that the 0ree%s too% this advanced voca*ulary from 1P#$,2 or that it &as an inde endent invention (or a shared voca*ulary *y advanced cultures), no matter &here the origin &as: That the 0ree%s or the /omans are considered #$, doesn2t e" lain the cause of a common origin at all!
!on$ locality in evolution
(o& non- locality and the notion of 9uantum entanglement could *e incor orated in the search a*out the origin and evolution of languages: The 1Big Bang2 a roach of a common origin in hysical s ace should *e regarded o*solete! 4hat &e really need here is a 1multiverse2 theory in languages! #n other &ords, &e need a linguistic continuum in s ace-time in order to e" lain similarities *et&een different languages, in the conte"t of cultural assimilation! This doesn2t mean that a grou of languages cannot s read out and evolve from a common source! But this source is first of all one of a cultural nature so that it shouldn2t *e treated as limited in s ace and time! 6on- locality can *e e" lained in a sim le &ay *y the revious diagrams! )ocal interactions (first diagram) ta%e lace directly *et&een t&o events, ' and B! The non- local connection is sho&n in the second diagram! The events ' and B do not interact directly *ut they are connected through event -! Things in free fall reach the ground simultaneously, not *ecause they are interacting &ith each other *ut *ecause they are connected through the gravitational field! #n the case of languages, this 1field2 is re resented *y an isogloss &hich s reads all over the lace and guides things to move! These things are eo le, roducts, ideas and languages! 5o this is a 1cultural2 field &hich acts as the unifying factor *ringing, among other things, languages together! #t is &ithin this conte"t that &e can really e" lain similarities *et&een languages! -ther&ise &e are constantly faced &ith arado"es! 4hy, for e"am le, some languages have the same &ord for the &olf *ut not for the *ear: #f &e acce t as a ossi*le e" lanation that some languages used a totemic &ord so that they differentiated, it is the totemic &ord that should *e common *et&een
different languages! 5ym*olic meanings related to deities and the su ernatural are e" ected to *e common in many different languages (for e"am le, the &ord for 0odlBeus, the under&orldl(ades, the horselhi os, hi odrome, etc!)! Therefore, any similarities should *e related to the corres onding sym*olic re resentations, &hich e" ress common notions and meanings! 6on-locality in languages sim ly means that languages can communicate in such an indirect manner (&ithout necessarily an influ" of ne& eo le), &ithin the cultural conte"t of their time!
-ne of the *est e"am les to illustrate non-local effects on languages (in this case in the form of symmetry) is the centum-satem com lementarity! The terms centum versus satem languages is derived from the &ords for the num*er 1one hundred2 in a traditional re resentative language of each grou D )atin centum ( ronounced >%>entum) and 'vestan satem! The hy othetical area of origin of satemi,ation according to the inventor of the idea, von Brad%e, is sho&n in dar%er red ( revious figure), &hich ha ens also to *e the range of the 5intashta>'*ashevo>5ru*na cultures! The isogloss only a lies to the arent language &ith the full inventory of dorsals! )ater sound changes &ithin a s ecific *ranch of #ndo-$uro ean that are analogous to one of the centum or satem changes, such as the alatali,ation of )atin % to s in some /omance languages or the merger of Y%ʷ &ith Y% in the 0oidelic languages, are e"cluded!
The CentumP5atem isogloss is no& understood to *e a chronological develo ment of Proto#ndo-$uro ean! Centumi,ation removed the alatovelars from the language, leaving none to satemi,e! #n addition there is residual evidence of various sorts in satem languages of a former distinction *et&een velar and la*iovelar consonants, indicating the earlier centum state! #t is therefore clear that centumi,ation &as follo&ed *y satemi,ation! (o&ever the evidence of 'natolian indicates that centum &as not the original state of Proto-#ndo-$uro ean! /ecent evidence from )u&ian indicates that all three dorsal consonant ro&s &ere maintained se arately in Proto-'natolian, and the Centumi,ation o*served in (ittite only occurred after the *rea%u of Common 'natolian! htt D>>en!&i%i edia!org>&i%i>Centum-satemMisogloss The centum-satem distinction is very ro*lematic! First of all, the &ord for 1one hundred2 is a 1dou*le2 one! $%a-sau in (indi! #f &e %ee *oth arts, then &e have something li%e e%ato (in 0ree%)! But &e leave aside the first art, &e have something li%e sto (in /ussian), or sad in Persian! #t doesn2t re resent a dee er symmetry *et&een these grou s of languages, *ut .ust a choice *et&een t&o arts of the &ord! The shift from centumi,ation to satemi,ation, denotes e"actly the a*ortion of the first art! To give a hint of the dee er symmetry is for e"am le the &ord 1$hun2 in Bas9ue and 1Cent2 in Catalan, thus $hu(s)-cen(t)! #t is intriguing ho& close the Bas9ue &ord for one hundred is &ith the $nglish one (0othic hund, -ld (igh 0erman hunt)! #ncidentally, the fact that all three dorsal consonant ro&s &ere maintained in Proto-'natolian, indicates that 'natolia seems to *e the most ro*a*le lace of common origin! 'gain this means not genetic *ut cultural origin, therefore it refers to an isogloss! #t &as through this isogloss, serving, as &e assumed during the 3rd millennium, as a 1mar%et lace2 for ne& languages to meet, unify and evolve! #n the state of entanglement, in hysics, a system consisting of t&o arts e"hi*its symmetry *et&een these arts! #f one art has s in 1u ,2 the other art &ill have instantaneously s in 1do&n!2 For our ur oses, 1instantaneity,2 can *e sim ly inter reted as inde endence! # don2t have a re resentative e"am le of such symmetry *et&een t&o different languages *ut # am a&are
of a common case of misinter retation in my native language, 0ree%! #t has *een su
&ords in 0ree% containing the suffi" -inth- are of re-0ree% origin! For e"am le, lace names such as Corinthos (Corinth)! (o&ever, there are many e"am les of common &ords in 0ree% &hich are not lace names! 5uch an e"am le is the &ord 1anthos2 (flo&er)! #n addition to the ossi*ility that such &ords are com le" (the suffi" -then- in 0ree% sho&s location), these &ords may have even *een roduced *y reversal! Ta%e for e"am le the follo&ing airs of &ordsD $ntos (inside)- ethnos (nation), otnios (*eloved)ontios (distant), %rateros- %arteros (mighty), startigos-stratigos (general), argos (fast)- agros (field)! #n some cases *oth &ords of the air have the same meaning! 5o there is a natural rocess roducing the -inth- &ords &ithin the conte"t of the language itself! 4hat is also interesting, the &ords for 1flo&er2 in 0ree% are 1anthos2 and 1louloudi!2 The last &ord must *e of 'natolian origin! (o&ever, the 0ree% &ord for flo&er 1should2 *e 1floros,2 in accordance &ith the same &ord in other #$ languages, for e"am le flo&er in $nglish, fleur in French, fiori in #talian! 6evertheless, this &ord e"ists in modern 0ree% *ut has attained a different and negative meaning! 5o this is a case of meaning reversal! #t seems that &ords 1float around,2 as in a state of 1su er- osition,2 a*ove a 1semantic field,2 until they are ic%ed u *y some eo le at some time, &ith a similar or different meaning! (o&ever, similarities are al&ays found after com arison, not *eforehand! 5o, each time &e regard some similarity, &e also attri*ute some meaning to e" lain the similarity! The &orld for 1me,2 for e"am le, is common *et&een #$ languages (mich in 0erman, meh in #talian, mou in 0ree%, mu.he in (indi, etc!)! But should &e inter ret this as roof of common origin .ust *ecause of sound similarity: -f course, someone &ould say, this &ord has al&ays had the same meaning! But, to give another relative e"am le, the &ord 1ego2 (&hich has the same meaning as 1#2 or 1me2 in 0ree%) is not of $nglish origin! #t is a loan &ord &ith a very s ecific, 1scientific,2 meaning! 5o ho& do &e %no& that the &ord 1me2 or 1#2 didn2t evolve in different languages in the same &ay, to reserve a common meaning for some s ecial status of 1*eing,2 &ithin the conte"t of an isogloss: The revious similarity, concerning the ersonal ronoun 1me,2 is stri%ing! But since there are many different &ays to e" ress ersonal ronouns (for e"am le, I am, it *elongs to me, this is mine, this is my cat), &e should e" ect a high degree of differentiation of these ronouns during
the millennia after the su
osed initial s lit of the corres onding languages! 5omeone could say
that this is e"am le of a high degree of conservation for some s ecial &ords! But, to consider another 1s ecial2 case, the ver* to *e has not *een reserved in the same grou of languages! #t is the same in /omance languages and 0ree% ()atin esse, 0ree% esti>einai) *ut different in 0ermanic languages! 4hy 1me2 is reserved in these languages *ut 1# am2 is not: This, once again (as in case &ith the &olf>*ear com arison) may indicate an earlier s lit for these languages! But, as have *een assumed in this essay, *oth 1me,2 and 1# am2 if related &ith an elevated state of *eing, they manifest a high level of self- a&areness and a great amount of res ect for e"istence! #n fact, &e shouldn2t treat the &ord 1#2 less im ortant than the &ord 10od,2 so that the similarity *et&een different languages for the former &ord may *e e" lained in the same &ay as the similarity for the latter &ord! #soglosses again attain great im ortance if &e &ant to e" lain such similarities!
.anguage paradigm shift
(ere &e may ose the follo&ing 9uestionD #f, on one hand, archety es e"ist then &hy &ords of fundamental notions are different in different grou s of languages: -n the other hand, if all languages (even in a rimitive form) have a common origin then &hy, once again, &ords of fundamental notions are different in different grou s of languages, or &hy similar &ords haven2t differentiated: The reason could *e that the diversification of language grou s sho&s a deli*erate act of different cultural identification! Therefore, the se aration of linguistic grou s is a rocess that goes *ac% in the rehistory of languages! The reason &hy grou s of modern languages have similarities is mainly *ecause of the ac9uisition of a ne& identity in recent times &ithin the conte"t of acculturation! (o&ever, the main motives of language evolution remain the same! Peo le are not *orn articulate *ut they learn ho& to s ea%! This is the *est roof that languages are not *orn in a common *irth lace *ut they are formed in a common culture! Peo le learn the &ords they use and their meanings, &ithout as%ing if these &ords are 1native2 or 1foreign2 in the first lace! This is &hy a ossi*le common origin is *asically cultural, not genetic, denoted *y the similarities in the meanings of languages, &hile similarities in sounds have to do &ith a su erficial and assive act of imitation!
)anguage shift means that a grou of eo le or a &hole country *egins to s ea% another language! #f &e don2t consider an e"tinction event, &here the ne&comers e"terminate the local o ulation, then language shift is a gradual rocess, ta%ing lace *ecause of some *enefits for the local o ulation! 0ermanic tri*es &hich invaded and con9uered /ome, at least those that stayed and didn2t leave, ado ted the /oman language, for olitical and religious ur oses! The Fran%s, &hich *ecame the French, is such an e"am le! The o&er of language is much stronger than the o&er of genetic relationshi ! #f this is understood *y current theories a*out the origin of languages, then language shift &ill *e .ust a su*-grou ing &ithin a *roader conte"t defining a aradigm shift in the &ay &e regard and treat language! 5imilarities *et&een languages if not treated su erficially, reveal the o&er of acculturation, through the rocess of imitation! $ven if languages can *e categori,ed in different grou s &ith res ect to common genetic origin, the rocess of acculturation is so strong that even if the &ords 1mam2 and 1dad2 are of archety al origin, atterns of imitation have evolved so much that the rototy e &ord 1 ater2 has ended to denote authority, even 0od (imself, not the familiar, *eloved, erson of our childhood! To e" ect such &ord similarities to *e related &ith our ancient linguistic or genetic ast is &rong and o*solete, in the same sense that &e no longer call *irds dinosaurs, even if it is assumed that they used to *e such in the remote ast!
The rocess of cultural assimilation and the ro*lem of #$
Chris Tselentis, 0<-Can-;?, 'thens, 0reece
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