Sunday, December 28, 2014

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The Vikings are here!

It took some time, but it is finaly here! A browsable old Norse dictionary including the runes is available under the languages section. On top of that you get a proto-Kartvelian word list as a bonus. Meanwhile a massive update with a browsable Tocharian B dictionary is on the way.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Eteocypriot dictionary!

A new dictionary is available under the Aegean-Anatolian branch of the language tree called Eteocypriot. Eteocypriot is an unknown language (or languages) that appears in various Cypriot documents. Even though it is possible to read it, the language(s) is not understood and therefore the "dictionary" (it is more of a word index actually) has no meanings attached to its words. Basic commentary regarding the inscriptions is available, but work is still in progress.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The black sea deluge, the Samothracian language and a new ancient Macedonian inscription

There are new articles available on the articles section:
  1. The great deluge - a pre-Abrahamic version of the flood as told by the people of Samothrace
  2. One more ancient Macedonian inscription?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

One more ancient Macedonian inscription? - updated 2014-07-20

(this article has received an update, presented below the original post from the 2014-07-15, on the 2014-07-20)

Since 1930 thousands oracular lamellae inscriptions have been found in Dodona. Most of them are very short and fragmented. However some are complete and since the visitors usually wrote the questions in their own dialect (or asked local writers to do it for them), they offer a great opportunity for studying those ancient Greek dialects. The northwestern Greek dialect is dominating, since Dodona is located in the region it was spoken, however there are several inscriptions that are of special interest. One of them took the attention of Julian Mendez Dosuna, who released a monograph about the Dodonean lamellae few years ago. The inscription reads:
Ζεῦ καί Διώνα ᾖ ἔσσονται παῖ-
δες ἐκ τᾶς γυναικός Κεβαλίωι
τᾶς νῦν ἔχει κ[α]ι ζώσοντι;
Zeus and Dione,
will Kebalios have children from his current wife? Will they live?
Now this inscription is full of peculiarities: a) it is not Attic-Ionic (e.g. ζώσοντι instead of ζώσουντι, Διώνα / τᾶς instead of Διώνη / τῆς), b) it is not Doric (ἔσσονται / ζώσοντι instead of ἐσσέονται / ζωσέοντι), c) it is not Boeotian (for a number of reasons like for example Zeus would be written Δεῦ, ἔσσονται / ζώσοντι would be ἔσσονθη / ζώσονθι) and d) it is most probably not Thessalian (for a number of reasons again, one of them being the dative Κεβαλίωι instead Κεβαλίου).

So what is it? Dosuna says that those peculiarities are to be found as exceptions in Thessalian inscriptions, but there are good reasons to believe the inscription is not Thessalian, but Macedonian. There is no doubt that the name Κεβάλιος is a dialectal form of a name deriving from κεφαλή “head”. Hesychius equates the orphan κεβαλή with κεφαλή in his dictionary. The use of β in the place of φ is a typical characteristic of Macedonian.

Dosuna underlines that a single anthroponym cannot be a definite criterion for the dialectical classification of an inscription, but all those peculiarities together speak strongly for a distinct Greek dialect - possibly Macedonian. If that is the case, this would be the third longer Macedonian text (the other two being the Pella katadesmos and the Arethousa text) available to us. Dialectical inscriptions from Macedonia exist, however their small length does not allow any safe conclusions.

The inscription is unfortunately not widely known. Until recently the inscription was still unpublished and it's current status remains unknown. In the beginning of the year the library of the archaeological institute in Athens published two volumes called «Τα χρηστήρια ελάσματα της Δωδώνης των ανασκαφών Δ. Ευαγγελίδη» which should contain the inscription. We don't have it in our hands yet, but if anything new comes up, you'll know it immediately.

Source: Julián Víctor Méndez Dosuna - Παρατηρήσεις στις νέες πινακίδες της Δωδώνης, Studies in Greek Linguistics 27, 2007

UPDATE 2014-07-20

Apparently the inscription is now published (Dakaris, Vokotopoulou & Christidis, No2493A, Dodona Museum, 871) and is dated to the 4th century BC. It is presented by J. M. Dosuna (2012) as a dialectal inscription that might represent written Macedonian.

The name Κεβαλινός, that is essential in the context, enjoyed a certain popularity during the Hellenistic period all over Greece. Emilio Crespo (2012) makes some very important comment on the name regarding it's phonology. He considers it to be a hybrid, that is to say it mixes together a Greek and a Brygian¹ treatment of the inherited aspirates. Below you'll find his analysis:

Κεβαλῖνος derives from the root *gʰebʰ(e)l- witnessed in OHG gebal ‘skull’ (see Chan traine, DELG s.v. κεφαλή). The first plosive in Κεβαλῖνος is in keeping with what is expected in Greek, but its second consonant presents the characteristic Macedonian voiced plosive instead of the expected voiceless aspirate of other Greek dialects. The regular phonetic outcome would be Κεφαλῖνος in Greek and *Γεβαλῖνος in the supposed Brygian. Κεβαλῖνος is not a borrowing from Brygian *Γεβαλῖνος, but the result of a partial phonetic interference on Greek Κεφαλῖνος. In other words, we can recon struct the following sequence of changes for Greek:

  1. inherited form: *ghebʰ(e)l-;
  2. pre-Mycenaean devoicing of inherited voiced aspirates: kʰepʰal-;
  3. post-Mycenaean dissimilation of aspirates (Grassmann ’s Law): kepʰal-;
  4. partial phonetic interference caused by a non-Greek Indo-European language in which the inherited aspirate plosives lost their aspiration: kebal(īnos).

If this chronological sequence of changes holds, the conclusion to be drawn is that the influence of the supposed non-Greek language on the Macedonian dialect of Greek is post-Mycenaean. It should be noted that Κεφαλῖνος  is not the Brygian outcome, but a hybrid that mixes together a Greek and a Brygian treatment of the inherited aspirates. This means that Κεβαλῖνος is not a lexical item borrowed as such by Greek, but a Greek word that underwent the transfer of a plosive as a result of the phonetic interference caused by the consonant that the same word had in another language spoken in the same community. 

1. Brygian is the hypothetical language spoken by the remaining Phrygian population in the Balkans. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The great deluge - a pre-Abrahamic version of the flood as told by the people of Samothrace

Today we're going to talk about another flood story, not widely known to the public. Most of you probably know there are about 200 flood stories out there including Noah, Gilgamesh, Manu, Deucalion and so on. This one is different for a number of reasons. Let us explain:

  • It claims it predates the other floods that hit other people.
  • The flood is not initiated by some god for punishing humanity, instead the victims are asking the help of their gods.
  • It narrates more or less the flood known among geologists as the Black Sea deluge.
  • It mentions an unknown pre-historic language.

So, who tells us about it? It is the people of the island of Samothrace, through the narrations of Diodorus Siculus

Greek English (by C. Oldfather)
Περὶ δὲ τῶν κατὰ τὴν Ἑλλάδα καὶ τὸ Αἰγαῖον πέλαγος κειμένων νῦν διέξιμεν, τὴν ἀρχὴν ἀπὸ τῆς Σαμοθρᾴκης ποιησάμενοι.

ταύτην γὰρ τὴν νῆσον ἔνιοι μέν φασι τὸ παλαιὸν Σάμον ὀνομασθῆναι, τῆς δὲ νῦν Σάμου κτισθείσης διὰ τὴν ὁμωνυμίαν ἀπὸ τῆς παρακειμένης τῇ παλαιᾷ Σάμῳ Θρᾴκης Σαμοθρᾴκην ὀνομασθῆναι.

ᾤκησαν δ´ αὐτὴν αὐτόχθονες ἄνθρωποι· διὸ καὶ περὶ τῶν πρώτων γενομένων παρ´ αὐτοῖς ἀνθρώπων καὶ ἡγεμόνων οὐδεὶς παραδέδοται λόγος.

ἔνιοι δέ φασι τὸ παλαιὸν Σαόννησον καλουμένην διὰ τοὺς ἀποικισθέντας ἔκ τε Σάμου καὶ Θρᾴκης Σαμοθρᾴκην ὀνομασθῆναι.

ἐσχήκασι δὲ παλαιὰν ἰδίαν διάλεκτον οἱ αὐτόχθονες, ἧς πολλὰ ἐν ταῖς θυσίαις μέχρι τοῦ νῦν τηρεῖται.

οἱ δὲ Σαμόθρᾳκες ἱστοροῦσι πρὸ τῶν παρὰ τοῖς ἄλλοις γενομένων κατακλυσμῶν ἕτερον ἐκεῖ μέγαν γενέσθαι, τὸ μὲν πρῶτον τοῦ περὶ τὰς Κυανέας στόματος ῥαγέντος, μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα τοῦ Ἑλλησπόντου.

τὸ γὰρ ἐν τῷ Πόντῳ πέλαγος λίμνης ἔχον τάξιν μέχρι τοσούτου πεπληρῶσθαι διὰ τῶν εἰσρεόντων ποταμῶν, μέχρι ὅτου διὰ τὸ πλῆθος παρεκχυθὲν τὸ ῥεῦμα λάβρως ἐξέπεσεν εἰς τὸν Ἑλλήσποντον καὶ πολλὴν μὲν τῆς Ἀσίας τῆς παρὰ θάλατταν ἐπέκλυσεν, οὐκ ὀλίγην δὲ καὶ τῆς ἐπιπέδου γῆς ἐν τῇ Σαμοθρᾴκῃ θάλατταν ἐποίησε·

καὶ διὰ τοῦτ´ ἐν τοῖς μεταγενεστέροις καιροῖς ἐνίους τῶν ἁλιέων ἀνεσπακέναι τοῖς δικτύοις λίθινα κιονόκρανα, ὡς καὶ πόλεων κατακεκλυσμένων.

τοὺς δὲ περιληφθέντας προσαναδραμεῖν εἰς τοὺς ὑψηλοτέρους τῆς νήσου τόπους· τῆς δὲ θαλάττης ἀναβαινούσης ἀεὶ μᾶλλον, εὔξασθαι τοῖς θεοῖς τοὺς ἐγχωρίους, καὶ διασωθέντας κύκλῳ περὶ ὅλην τὴν νῆσον ὅρους θέσθαι τῆς σωτηρίας, καὶ βωμοὺς ἱδρύσασθαι, ἐφ´ ὧν μέχρι τοῦ νῦν θύειν· ὥστ´ εἶναι φανερὸν ὅτι πρὸ τοῦ κατακλυσμοῦ κατῴκουν τὴν Σαμοθρᾴκην.
We shall now give an account of the islands which lie in the neighbourhood of Greece and in the Aegean Sea, beginning with Samothrace.

This island, according to some, was called Samos in ancient times, but when the island now known as Samos came to be settled, because the names were the same, the ancient Samos came to be called Samothrace from the land of Thrace which lies opposite it.

It was settled by men who were sprung from the soil itself; consequently no tradition has been handed down regarding who were the first men and leaders on the island.

But some say that in ancient days it was called Saonnesus and that it received the name of Samothrace because of the settlers who emigrated to it from both Samos and Thrace.

The first and original inhabitants used an ancient language which was peculiar to them and of which many words are preserved to this day in the ritual of their sacrifices.

And the Samothracians have a story that, before the floods which befell other peoples, a great one took place among them, in the course of which the outlet at the Cyanean Rocks was first rent asunder and then the Hellespont.

For the Pontus, which had at the time the form of a lake, was so swollen by the rivers which flow into it, that, because of the great flood which had poured into it, its waters burst forth violently into the Hellespont and flooded a large part of the coast of Asia and made no small amount of the level part of the island of Samothrace into a sea;

and this is the reason, we are told, why in later times fishermen have now and then brought up in their nets the stone capitals of columns, since even cities were covered by the inundation.

The inhabitants who had been caught by the flood, the account continues, ran up to the higher regions of the island; and when the sea kept rising higher and higher, they prayed to the native gods, and since their lives were spared, to commemorate their rescue they set up boundary stones about the entire circuit of the island and dedicated altars upon which they offer sacrifices even to the present day. For these reasons it is patent that they inhabited Samothrace before the flood.

Note that Pontus refers to the Black sea. Another interesting detail is the pre-Greek/pre-Thracian language of the island, whose words apparently partially survived until Diodorus time. We don't get any information about them, but it is worth to mention that one of their gods was called Kasmilos, a name that bears a striking similarity with the Anatolian (Hattic specifically) god  Ḫasammil. Beekes (2004) dedicates a whole article on the Kabeiroi making the following statements in his abstract.

R.S.P Beekes -  ‟The origin of the Kabeiroiˮ, 2004 Leiden
It is argued that Kadmilos, one of the Kabeiroi, has a typical (non-IE) Anatolian name. And further that the name Kabeiroi itself is a variant of Kabarn-oi. New insight in Pre-Greek shows that this word is a typical Pre-Greek name, and that the original form is *Kabar(y)-. This shows that the old connection with Semitic (kabìr- ‘great’) must be definitely given up.'

Of course, the Kabeiroi might have been gods that were imported by the Anatolian farmers, who in turn started to move because of this flood. We can't really know.

Now, in case you wonder when this event took place, geologists date it around 7500 B.P or 5500 B.C. The hypothesis on this event was first published on New York Times, the 17th of December 1996. You can read the article here:

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The index of pre-Greek toponyms has been released

We're happy to announce the release of the index of pre-Greek toponyms. You will find it in the languages page, under the tab "other dictionaries". The commenting is still laconic, but we will add more information on the way. As always, work is always being done in the background. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Proto-Albanian word list released

We are glad to announce the first part of the Proto-Albanian word-list. This is just a small body of words, but more are going to be added gradually. It is well documented and has lexical comparisons. You will find the dictionary under the Palaeo-Balkan languages in the language tree.

Also, don't miss our latest article: Zurna, davul and other ancient Anatolian instruments

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Zurna, davul and other ancient Anatolian instruments

After so many language shifts, something that was well preserved from bronze age Anatolia is the terminology of musical instruments.

Our first pick is the Turkish zurna, which is a wind instrument. It derives from the PIE word *krn 'horn' and is first attested as the musical instrument zurni in cuneiform Luwian. Other Indo-European examples are the Anc. Greek σύριγξ, Mod. Greek ζουρνάς, Sanskrit śrṅga and of course Old English horn (proto-Germanic *hurnaz). If it does not derive from the Luwian zurni, Turkish got it through Persian.

Davul is the drum accompanying the zurna. This one is a bit controversial as it includes etymologies of various backgrounds, including Arabic. Albanian daulle 'tambour', Latvian dauzities 'beat, drum' and Indo-Iranian tab(e)la 'small hand drum' speak strongly for an Indo-European origin. To that we may add the presence of Lydian daul- 'pressure' in kandaules 'dog bane'. For sure it requires more investigation.

Moving away from the Indo-European world, the Hattic word zinar is sometimes erroneously considered the root for zurna. Zinar is usually a stem in compound words denoting a string instrument. It survives in Armenian as ӡnar or knar 'lyre, harp' and Hebrew kinnor. Greek has also inherited κινύρα 'string instrument', a substratum (pre-Greek) word related to the Hattian zinar. A lot can be said about the last one, but we'll save it for another post.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Turkic dictionaries are now browsable

As you might have noticed, the Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Turkic dictionaries have been searchable for some time. They are now also available for browsing, letter by letter.

Friday, March 7, 2014

New language article available: The Hattians and the Hattic language

It has been almost 1 1/2 year since we released the Hattic dictionary, but unfortunately there has been no language presentation. Although there're more things to add, this is probably the richest article on the Hattic language you will find online.



Saturday, March 1, 2014

Pre-Greek studies volume I

Today, we kick off with a series of articles called "Pre-Greek studies", focusing on the language pre-history of the Helladic region. We've got a great contribution by Giampaolo Tardivo, regarding the Pre-Greek language and its relation to its neighbouring non-Indo-European languages in Anatolia and Caucasus.

Read the article here: Promitheus or Amirani
or download the PDF: G.P. Tardivo - Promitheus or Amirani

Pre-Greek studies volume I: Prometheus or Amirani

G.Paolo Tardivo - Prometheus or Amirani / Προμηθεύς ἤ ამირანი

PDF download: G.P. Tardivo - Pre-Greek studies Volume 1

First, let me thank the Paleolexicon team, whose website I have often visited. I would like to briefly illustrate a new theory of the probable relationship between Pre-Greek and some other ancient and modern languages in and around Anatolia.

It is well known that the Greek lexicon contains a considerable number of sub-strata words. Additionally, Greek historians themselves wrote about a “flourishing civilized area in the Ægean Sea”, a powerful kingdom in the isle of Crete. Nevertheless, minor settlements in the Cyclades also arose. Many words were and still are enigmatic in any form and have yet to be convincingly explained. For many long decades and indeed for nearly two centuries, despite several attempts, linguists have dramatically failed to establish the origin of these words.

Sir Arthur Evans discovered tablets during the excavation of Knossos’ palace. Over time two kinds of writing have emerged: Linear A and (Linear) B. The latter was deciphered by an architect, Michael Ventris and his mentor John Chadwick; whilst Linear A has not been cracked yet. Even in the third millennium, experts continue to believe in an isolated language or, at best, in a minor extinct ancient language group.

Fresco from Thera (Santorini)

I devoted my last decade to studying what’s happened to the Ægean area in the Bronze Age, where originally Pre-Greek people come from, and, more important, if any phylogenetic relationship with some languages of the  Anatolian plateau may be existed.

A comparison with neighbourhood Semitic(-Hamitic) language is been attempted since then, relationship between Greeks and Near East cities starting earlier in history; despite that, except for borrowing lexical items, no serious glottochronological origin can be proven.

After Linear B and Hittite decipherment, scholars went to a more deep and clear studies on Indo-European language family. Indo-European studies bearing two centuries of good investigation in the linguistic field; and I can say, it is the more robust and accurate research ever.

To read R. S. P. Beekes (Leiden Uni., NL) brief (PDF, available on-line): “Pre-Greek. The Pre-Greek loans in Greek – 3rd  version, January 2007”, is really worth it. It is a quick introduction on phonological ground; some of his assumption are incorrect; nevertheless, his synchronic point of view still are – as a whole – quite good. In any form, basic feature are seen and shared with R. A. Brown, L. R. Palmer in “...... The existence in the syllabary of a system of opposition plain : palatalized : labialized to the neglect of the oppositions voiceless : voiced : aspirate, which are essential to Greek, strongly suggests that the ancestral form of the syllabary was created for a non-Indo-European language (LP 19. 29). Such phonemic systems are found inter alia among Caucasian languages”. With this words, despite Palmer’s Luwian connection, an initial suspect is looked at. There is a psychological block toward ancient languages to be historically related with unfamiliar languages to scholars.

My research paper it aims to find the correct solution to etymologically unsolved question in Greek language. How do I know if I hold the right answer? Anything based on Science must be LOGIC; in Linguistics such Logic is called RULES; a list of words must follow the same rule in its articulatory environment; rules may change due to position, accent, or the like.

There are several problem within comparative system I propose to, notably the North Caucasian family; which still be rejected in any aspect, from phonology to syntax; there are huge differences between Western Caucasian (Adyghe, Abkhaz-Abaza and extinct Ubykh) and Nakh-Daghestanian or Central-Eastern family (30 languages grouped in 7 branches). Both groups lacks of early attested sources, linguistic reconstruction is rather probable.

My investigation expand to three ancient poorly attested languages, such as Hattic  (a pre-Hittite and non-IE language), and Hurro-Urartian (non-IE and non-Semitic).

Against this hypothesis, mostly scholars are sceptic still. At a glance, it appear to them as ‘a réprise’ of dismantled old theories. In somehow, their critic are correct when and where appropriate. I deeply myself try to see phonological rules and to reject any folk etymology; nevertheless, I see no reason to discharge a priori, before to check if a Pre-Greek word has or has not a chance to meet a counterpart somewhere else; most important are RULES as correct way to demonstrate its validity.

I briefly explain what the issues are:

  1. Caucasus is mountain chain, also a “Mountain of tongues”, more than 60 languages are spoken over there; two main kind of ethnic division must be considered: Indigenous and settled. For the first type, a second sharp division include three or two linguistic families (West Caucasian, Nakh-Daghestanian, South Caucasian [with Georgian]); meanwhile IndoEuropean, Uralic, Altaic, Semitic are waves of population over the centuries.
  2. Linguistic typology shows an abyss between languages / groups / families; phonologic inventory may vary even in dialects of the same language. Morphology and Syntax are no less relevant than phonological feature. In any form, in North Caucasian (both, Western and Nakh-Daghestanian) languages, ERGATIVITY is a distinctive mark.
  3. Except for Georgian, Armenian and – for a short period of time – Albanian [do not confuse Albania in the Balkans with Caucasian Albania, now Azerbaijan], any other language in Caucasus area has not written record. The research hardly can be proven correct. Reconstruction is very tentative.
  4. About three ancient languages I quote earlier, lexicon is limited to few words, also repetitive in inscriptions, and sometimes, doubtful in interpretation and meaning. Their relationship with North Caucasian (Western and Central-Eastern), despite several attempts, it is not widely accepted. Further evidence needed in order to establish a secure glottochronology or common roots.

On top of that, despite all related problems, some other tests are faced: The Ægean area. If it is problematic to reconstruct a linguistic family, how can we solve problems through problems? Does it seems a very bad hypothesis to deal with. In my mind, based on knowledge I have with, and historical facts I add to, I begun to elaborate a new theory from scratch; any previous attempt made by other scholars is completely revised. So, the second problem I could face is the Ægean mystery; where everything vanished, except for Pre-Greek lexicon in Greek.

Thera fresco

In the past, only Paul Kretschmer had had the idea to sieve IE words from non-IE; hence, the substrata idea slowly emerged from dust and darkness. Kretschmer’s idea itself was baffled in Academic world. Only R. A. Brown (1985), R. S. P. Beekes progressed with the concept of a substrata language; and then I begun to compare with some linguistic families in the distance radius or geographically close to Crete and Ægean sea. 

Another problem may raise in Greek context is: Source. Hesychius is deeply neglect among philologists, hardly they look at his lexicon as tool. But, an insight to the massive word-list he provided with, it put the research paper in the right column. Hesychius is not the only source to get from, some words are well attested since Mycenæan time; one of them is βασιλεύς. In 1945, A. J. Van Windekens wrote “Le Pélasgique. Essai sur le langue indo-européenne préhellenique”, his conclusion for βασιλεύς was a connection with Sanskrit bháːs- ‘lumière, éclat, majesté, puissance / enlightened’; unfortunately, in Linear B tablets such word was written qa-si-re-u [= gwasileús]; and I found not casual the idea of Adyghe language, in its lexicon it still be in use: gwasă or gwašă ‘princess’,  so, Pre-Greek and Adyghe shows a common root in *gwasV-, and perfect agreement in semantic field. There are several rules may it appears alien to Indo-Europeanists, simply because – in all respect – old syllabic structure CVCV(CV) was the original form of all those languages; and then, each language developed from it. It also is not a coincidence that synchronic and diachronic analysis are side by side, like Ἀκακαλλίς goddess, hence:

The word is known from other sources:
  1. ἀκακαλίς ‘gall of the oriental tamarisk (Dsk. 1, 89)’.
  2. ἀκακαλλίς ‘narcissus (Eumakh. Ap. Ath. 15, 681e)’.
  3. ἀκακαλλίς ‘juniper (Ps. - Dsk. 1, 75)’.
  4. κακαλλίς =  νάρκισσυς (H., κ 292).

This word has no known etymology. The sequence -κ__κ- is a clear pointer of its non-IndoEuropean origin, as is also the fluctuation between -λίς, -λλίς, and the prosthesis and/or apheresis of initial α-. In mythology Akakallis is one of Pasiphae's daughters, thus indicating the strong links between this word and Crete (R. A. Brown 1985, pp. 26-27).

Hardly I can keep away a connection with Tsezi gagali ‘flower’; two kind of observation are held:
  1. No opposition voiced ~ voiceless.
  2. Aphaeresis (or Apocope) in both cases: synchronic and diachronic.

So, Pre-Greek: α-, Ø- (αC-,#C-)
Caucasian languages: Ø- (#C-)

A feature like that, it appears in so many lexical items. The reason why, is not clear yet, but I suspect α- is used for grammatical purpose. Unfortunately, such rule is not applicable to all lexical items, if they are too short, like ἄχνη ‘straw’;  in this case a different rule shall be apply within. Again, it is not a coincidence that in Bezhta naχu means ‘straw’; and the rule is: metathesis. Unlikely other more common rules, metathesis is always rejected among scholars; only few of them begun to explore the reason why it occur. Metathesis is a very universal common phenomenon, very underestimate in phonology; however, Blevins & Garrett and E. Hume give us a clear explanation of sounds affected from; and the result, it is more regular than we expect: only l, r, m, n, s are involved. 

Greek culture must be seen as a continuity of Cretan one, and to bear in mind that, some words already had an explanation through mythology; in this case, its original meaning is not directly exposed to the reader. A comparative system reveal the name truthfulness; like Pre-Greek ἀράχνη and Kryz (Lezgian group of Nakh-Daghestanian family) bab ruχ «spider» ← litt. ‘old woman’ + ‘to weave’. The Greek tale is about a competition between a weaver (her name was ἀράχνη) and Ἀθήνη goddess, and then ἀράχνη was condemned to be a «spider» forever.  Semantically speaking, the word ‘spider’ in Greek (Latin arāneo) –  mythology and comparison –  reveal the exact equation of ‘spider ← the weaver’.

My research paper carry on a lot of informations and data, and then, archaeology is also involved as supported proof of, thus the two discipline thesis’ give further evidence of Bronze Age way to live. Sometimes two phonologically similar words in Caucasian and Pre-Greek has – apparently – different meaning; but, archaeological description give us the reason why they fit in; like  “Rock tombs, Bay of Matalla, southern Crete. The deepest tombs, directly above the beach, at the lower left end [of the picture], are partly flooded by sea-water, sign of recent subsidence on this part of the Cretan coast. Further to the west, on the steep coastal cliffs to the south of Levka. On water-level marks at considerable height indicate recent elevation of this parts of the island”1; that’s why Pre-Greek κύδαρ [a typical Pre-Greek word in -αρ] ‘burial, funeral’ agree with Chamalal qːitw’ ‘precipice’; the connection is explained by Cretan burial custom. When and where is possible, a complete set can demonstrate how close languages are:

Pre-Greek: δεύω ‘make wet’
Hurrian: tab-, taw- ‘to pour, to cast’
Hattic: *tewuu- in tewuuʃne ‘drink-offering’
Akhwakh: =et w’- ‘to drop, to drip, to flow’.

In some occasion, Pre-Greek has a good counterpart with Hurrian and/or Urartian and/or Hattic; so, no exact match with North Caucasian languages.   I quote ὄβριμος, ὐβρις, βρί, βρῖ ‘strong’, much more the same as Hattic *ure, *uri ‘stark, mächtig, kräftig / strong’, and Hurrian  wuru, puru ‘ib.’.

Furthermore, Semitic loanwords are not ignored, like νῶροψ, -οπος ‘flashing’, a long vowel  with circumflex accent may bear an approximant like /w/, exactly the same as Akkadian nawāru(m)  ‘to be(come) bright, shine’, also with Hebrew and  Chaldee  נור [nūr] ‘fire’,  ניר [nēyr] ‘a light’ <   נר [nēr] ‘ib’.

Anatolian bull-leapers

This short introduction is wrote for illustrate new theory. Such theory is welcomed and constantly under supervision of Academics in Italy, UK, Canada. So, my research paper it goes thicker and revised daily. In any form, it is not exhaustive, a lot of proposed etymology still are doubtful. Nevertheless, hundreds of words are investigated, as result, regular sound change has been observed.

Hopefully all the job done should lead to Linear A final decipherment, Pre-Greek is a tool to better understand – not only the Greek itself – all the problems related to.

For any query, you can directly write to the website contact email.

The author.
G. Paolo


1. Hans Georg Wunderlich “The secret of Crete”, op. cit.; ved. Bibliografia.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Status on some dictionaries

It feels like it is time for a status report on some of the languages. Here they come:

- Hattic:
  • Presentation is being prepared
  • Cuneiform rendering support planning
- Hurrian:
  • Ongoing word verification
Homeric Greek:
  • Final word verification
- Urartian:
  • Ongoing dictionary enrichment
- Old Persian:
  • Baby steps are being taken
- Old Norse:
  • Dictionary preparation
  • Rune support preparation
- Proto-Indo-European:
  • Soon to be released / ongoing review.
- Proto-Turkic:
  • Soon to be released / ongoing review.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy new year! Palaeolexicon version 2 is here!

The 'red button' was pressed in Hatay, Turkey on the 6th of January 2014. It was about time, even though there was a week's delay. Version 2 of Palaeolexicon is here! Reminiscent of the old version, but improved in every sense. Those who have followed the blog, are probably aware of the new features. The rest can review our previous posts, although it doesn't take time to discover the new features.