Iberian and Uralic
Supected Finno-Ugric-like elements in the Iberian language
(and maybe even Altaic ones)
Quería aportar un artículo que a mi me parece interesante sobre una visión a gran escala, sobrepasando el territorio europeo, de los raíces del ibero (y también el euskera). Como interesado me da muchas veces la sensación que por el ejemplo el euskera viene de Marte (‘language isolate’). Pocos científicos se atreven a reflexionar cual es su evolución en tiempos prehistóricos. En este sentido la hipotesis de que el pre-proto-euskera es el idioma del refugio glacial durante el Pleistoceno y que tiene bastante en común con los idiomas de otros refugios glaciales de los Alpes, de los Balcanes, del Caucaso, me parece como geólogo atractivo.
El autor defiende en este articulo una reflexión que va en la mis dirección, y si le hemos entendido bien quiere humildemente fomentar esta línea de investigación sin considerarse un gran experto en los temas tratados.
En los primeros textos en godo, en el Pater nostrum, aparece la palabra ‘atta’ para ‘padre’, igual que en turco, y evidentemente en euskera como ‘aita’. Como ya indica el nombre de este blog, en Veleia aparece ‘ata’. Si son genéticamente relacionado nos dirán los especialistas, pero parece imposible ser casualidad.
Dejamos al autor introducir su trabajo:
Much has been – and is still being – written about the ancient language of the Iberians, and even much more about the Basque language. The latter is still largely being considered a language isolate, by some even in a pretty absolute sense, while Iberian is often studied in a context of a possible relatedness to Aquitanian – which is almost universally accepted to be a precursor of historic Basque.
Great progress has been made in both fields over the last 50 years. While Basque studies have reached a certain maturity – except on the question of its origins, Iberian studies have almost come to a standstill (which doesn’t keep people from writing a lot about it) due to a lack of more inscriptions, and especially the lack of true bilingual ones: it often looks like the discipline is waiting for a ‘Rosetta stone’ while not much more by ways of lexicon or structure, let alone grammar, can be extracted from what is available.
On the other hand, Basque studies are being hampered by non-linguistic, mainly nationalistic preconceived ideas that Basque’s uniqueness cannot be doubted and that any attempt to relate it to other languages is tantamount to sacrilege. A prejudice strengthened by the failings of classic ‘vasco-iberismo’ and other ‘vasco-xyz-ismos’.
In a certain sense, this paper is a plea for widening the horizon in different ways: first, to get rid of prejudices and look at a wider linguistic context, second, to take into account historical, demographic, geographic, climatologic and other useful data, not necessarily the proven ones, but also the hypothetical and plausible, that provide a framework for the wider linguistic context.
I am well aware of the fact that sticking one’s neck out this way may be risky for established professionals with an academic reputation at stake. This is why I, as a non-professional linguist, want to present these ideas, however unproven or unprovable for the time being they may be, in order to get specialist researchers to consider more adventurous avenues of investigation, without falling in the trap of the ‘miracle translators’ of Iberian like J. Alonso García, J.L. Román del Cerro and others who firmly believe in ‘vasco-iberismo’ and stretch it far beyond the core of truth it likely contains, besides demonstrating an absence of insight in historical linguistics. A special case is that of Paul Arnold, who recklessly used modern Basque (with Latin-derived loanwords included) to ‘translate’ Cretan Linear-A texts: I mention this because it cannot totally be excluded that Linear-A texts might be in an Iberian-like language, because Crete is on the presumed migration path of the Iberians. If so, this would be another case of far overstretched and misunderstood ‘vasco-iberismo’, in addition to lack of knowledge of the Basque language’s known history.
The method I propose is based on the idea, on which I lay no claim of originality, that language evolution has to be seen as a network phenomenon that is not just linguistic but also human (migration, conquest, contact, mixing, …) and that the pure genealogical tree model needs lots of rather drastic improvements, as demonstrated e.g. by Germanic. The application to the context at hand is exposed in 1. Introduction and 2. Underlying hypothesis.
As to ‘proving’ the resulting ideas/theses put forward in this paper, suffice it to say that, strictly speaking, working hypotheses don’t have to be proven, only that it is sufficient that they cannot be disproved. – and that wouldn’t be a small feat in this case.
The general approach of this article is to paint a wide panarama with broad brush strokes, entering into details only here and there, whenever needed to underpin its plausibility. At the same time it is an invitation to all to fill in the gaps and/or provide more or better evidence, or come up with alternatives.