Miguel Carrasquer Vidal mcv at WXS.NL
Sun May 10 19:52:24 UTC 1998

"Paul K. Manansala" <kabalen at MAIL.JPS.NET> wrote:

>> "Altaic peoples" in the Ukraine 4000-3500 BC?  Impossible.
>> The first signs of r-Turkic tribes (Huns, Xiongnu) moving into the
>> Eastern steppe are from the last centuries BC.  Before that, there is
>> abundant and overwhelming evidence (e.g. written records in
>> Khwarezmian, Sogdian, Saka (Khotanese), Scytho-Sarmatian and
>> Bactrian, borrowings into Finno-Ugrian and Slavic lgs., etc.) that
>> the steppe (both Eastern and Western) was inhabited by Iranian
>> peoples.
>You are quite incorrect.  First of all, I was referring primarily to
>anthropological remains. Many of the early steppe people were biologically
>similar to modern and ancient Altaic speaking peoples but not to modern or
>ancient Iranians.

Do these "modern Iranians" include the Ossetes, the Yaghnobi or the

Modern Turks of Turkey speak an Altaic language, yet "biologically"
they are similar to ancient Anatolian populations speaking
Indo-European (Anatolian, Phrygian, Greek) languages.  I hear nobody
claiming that the Hittites were Altaic...

>The fragmentary evidence of Iranian writings in the steppe mean
>nothing.  No more than early fragmentary Arabic writings in Indonesia or
>China.  There is  evidence of Altaic archaeological culture
>in the steppe and also linguistic evidence in local languages.

The evidence is not fragmentary.  The Iranian languages (Khwarezmian,
Khotanese etc.) are unique to the steppe-zone, constituting a
separate Eastern branch of Iranian, represented today by Ossetic
[modern Scytho-Sarmatian], Yaghnobi [modern Sogdian] and Pashto and
the Pamir languages [modern Bactrian].  They are quite unlike the
Western Iranian languages [Farsi, Kurdish, Baluchi].  Arabic writings
in Indonesia and China are just standard Arabic and indeed mean
nothing, linguistically.

What is an "Altaic archaeological culture"?  What evidence in which
local languages?  Why are all the ancient loanwords in Finno-Ugrian
from Iranian or Tocharian, not Altaic?  How do you explain Tocharian
in the Tarim basin?

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
mcv at

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