Other linguistic and archaeological theories
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1.5.1. A common development of new hypotheses has been to revise the Three-Stage assumption. It is actually not something new, but the come back to more traditional views, reinterpreting the new findings of the Hittite scripts, trying to insert Anatolian into the old, static PIE concept.
1.5.2. The most known new alternative theory concerning PIE is the Glottalic theory. It assumes that Proto-Indo-European was pronounced more or less like Armenian, i.e. instead of PIE *p, *b, *bh, the pronunciation would have been *p’, *p, *b, and the same with the other two voiceless-voiced-voiced aspirated series of consonants. The IE Urheimat would have been then located in the surroundings of Anatolia, especially near Lake Urmia, in northern Iran, hence the archaism of Anatolian dialects and the glottalics found in Armenian.
NOTE. Those linguistic and archaeological findings are supported by Th. Gamkredlize-V. Ivanov (1990: “The early history of Indo-European languages”, Scientific American, where early Indo-European vocabulary deemed “of southern regions” is examined, and similarities with Semitic and Kartvelian languages are also brought to light. This theory has been criticized by Meid (1989)
1.5.3. Alternative theories include:
I. The European Homeland thesis maintains that the common origin of the IE languages lies in Europe. These theses are more or less driven by Archeological. A. Häusler (1981, 1986, 1992) continues to defend the hypothesis that places Indo-European origins in Europe, stating that all the known differentiation emerged in the continuum from the Rhin to the Urals.
NOTE. It has been traditionally located in 1) Lithuania and the surrounding areas, by R.G. Latham (1851) and Th. Poesche (1878: Die Arier. Ein Beitrag zur historischen Anthropologie, Jena); 2) Scandinavia, by K.Penka (1883: Origines ariacae, Viena); 3) Central Europe, by G. Kossinna (1902: “Die Indogermanische Frage archäologisch beantwortet”, Zeitschrift für Ethnologie, 34, pp. 161-222), P.Giles (1922: The Aryans, New York), and by linguist/archaeologist G. Childe (1926: The Aryans. A Study of Indo-European Origins, London).
- The Old European or Alteuropäisch Theory compares some old European vocabulary (especially river names), which would be older than the spread of Late PIE dialects through Northern Europe. It points out the possibility of an older, pre-IE III spread of IE, either of IE II or I or maybe some other Pre-IE dialect. It is usually related to the PCT and Renfrew’s NDT.
- The Paleolithic Continuity Theory posits that the advent of IE languages should be linked to the arrival of Homo sapiens in Europe and Asia from Africa in the Upper Paleolithic. The PCT proposes a continued presence of Pre-IE and non-IE peoples and languages in Europe from Paleolithic times and allowing for minor invasions and infiltrations of local scope, mainly during the last three millennia.
- NOTE. There are some research papers concerning the PCT available at <http://www.continuitas.com/>. Also, the PCT could in turn be connected with Frederik Kortlandt’s Indo-Uralic and Altaic studies <http://kortlandt.nl/publications/> – although they could also be inserted in Gimbutas’ early framework.
- On the temporal relationship question, Mallory & Adams (2006): “How early a solution is admitted depends on individual decisions regarding the temporally most diagnostic vocabulary. That the vocabulary is clearly one reflecting at least a Neolithic economy and technology, i.e. domesticated plants and animals, ceramics, means that it cannot be set anywhere on this planet prior to c. 8000 BC. Although there are still those who propose solutions dating back to the Palaeolithic, these cannot be reconciled with the cultural vocabulary of the Indo-European languages. The later vocabulary of Proto-Indo- European hinges on such items as wheeled vehicles, the plough, wool, which are attested in Proto-Indo-European, including Anatolian. It is unlikely then that words for these items entered the Proto-Indo-European lexicon prior to about 4000 BC. This is not necessarily a date for the expansion of Indo-European since the area of Proto-Indo-European speech could have already been in motion by then and new items with their words might still have passed through the continuum undetected, i.e. treated as inheritances rather than borrowings. All that can be concluded is that if one wishes to propose a homeland earlier than about 4000 bc, the harder it is to explain these items of vocabulary”.
- The PCT is, in turn, related to the theories of a Neolithic revolution causing the peacefully spreading of an older pre-IE language into Europe from Asia Minor from around 7000 BC, with the advance of farming. It proposes that the dispersal (discontinuity) of Proto-Indo-Europeans originated in Neolithic Anatolia.
- NOTE. Reacting to criticism, Renfrew by 1999 revised his proposal to the effect of taking a pronounced Indo-Hittite position. Renfrew’s revised views place only Pre-Proto-Indo-European in 7th millennium BC Anatolia, proposing as the homeland of Proto-Indo-European proper the Balkans around 5000 BC, explicitly identified as the “Old European culture” proposed by Gimbutas.
As of 2005, Colin Renfrew seems to support the PCT designs and the usefulness of the Paleolithic assumptions. He co-authored a paper concluding: Our finding lends weight to a proposed Paleolithic ancestry for modern Europeans The above quotation coming as results of archaeogenetic research on mtDNA where 150 x greater N1a frequency was found. The first European farmers are descended from a European population who were present in Europe since the Paleolithic and not coming as a wave of Neolithic migration as proposed in Renfrew’s NDT.
- Talking about these new (old) theories, Adrados (1998) makes an interesting remark about the relevance that is – wrongly – given to each new personal archaeological ‘revolutionary’ theory: “[The hypothesis of Colin Renfrew (1987)] is based on ideas about the diffusion of agriculture from Asia to Europe in [the 5th millennium Neolithic Asia Minor], diffusion that would be united to that of Indo-Europeans; it doesn’t pay attention at all to linguistic data. The [hypothesis of Gamkrelidze-Ivanov (1980, etc.)], which places the Homeland in the contact zone between Caucasian and Semitic peoples, south of the Caucasus, is based on real or supposed lexical loans; it disregards morphological data altogether, too. Criticism of these ideas – to which people have paid too much attention – are found, among others, in Meid (1989), Villar (1991), etc.”.
II. Another hypothesis, contrary to the European ones, also mainly driven today by a nationalistic view, traces back the origin of PIE to Vedic Sanskrit, postulating that it is very pure, and that the origin of common Proto-Indo-European can thus be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization of ca. 3000 BC.
NOTE. Such Pan-Sanskritism was common among early Indo-Europeanists, as Schlegel, Young, A. Pictet (1877: Les origines indoeuropéens, Paris) or Schmidt (who preferred Babylonia), but are now mainly supported by those who consider Sanskrit almost equal to Late Proto-Indo-European. For more on this, see S. Misra (1992: The Aryan Problem: A Linguistic Approach, Delhi), Elst’s Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate (1999), followed up by S.G. Talageri’s The Rigveda: A Historical Analysis (2000), both part of “Indigenous Indo-Aryan” viewpoint by N. Kazanas, the “Out of India” theory, with a framework dating back to the times of the Indus Valley Civilization.
III. The Black Sea deluge theory dates the origin of the expansion of IE dialects in the genesis of the Sea of Azov, ca. 5600 BC, which would in turn be related to the deluge myth, which would have remained in oral tales until its description in the biblical story of Noah’s Ark, the Hindu Puranic story of Manu, through Deucalion in Greek mythology or Utnapishtim in the Epic of Gilgamesh. This date is generally considered as rather early for the PIE spread under frameworks which include the Urheimat near the Black Sea.
NOTE. W.Ryan and W.Pitman published evidence that a massive flood through the Bosporus occurred about 5600 BC, when the rising Mediterranean spilled over a rocky sill at the Bosporus. The event flooded 155,000 km² of land and significantly expanded the Black Sea shoreline to the north and west. This has been connected with the fact that some Early Modern scholars based on Genesis 10:5 had assumed that the ‘Japhetite’ languages (instead of the ‘Semitic’ ones) are rather the direct descendants of the Adamic language, having separated before the confusion of tongues, by which also Hebrew was affected. That was claimed by Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (18th c.), who stated in her private revelations that the direct descendants of the Proto-Indo-European Adamic language were the main Indo-Iranian dialects.