Paired Horse and PIE breakup

S.Kalyanaraman kalyan99 at NETSCAPE.NET
Thu Nov 5 20:27:32 UTC 1998

> >Thinking the unthinkable, what if IE languages were already being> >spoken
in these regions 6,000 BC or even earlier and some other> invaders
> >brought the horse and disappeared? Why not? Haven't IE peoples invaded>
>each others' lands afterwards? Didn't other invaders disappear from> >history
with their language?[snip]> Antiquity, Sept 1995 v69 n264 p554(12)>    Horse,
wagon & chariot: Indo-European  languages and archaeology. David W.> Anthony.
[snip]> >    Wheels and the date of the Indo-European spread> Reconstructed
proto-Indo-European (PIE) represents a>    real ancient vocabulary that is
potentially of>    inestimable value to archaeologists. 

Everything seems thinkable, given the serious methodological problems of
matching archaeology and language, to establish chronology from, say, late 3rd
millennium BC. But the idea of starting with bronze-age lexemes seems
promising... Since there are lots of theoretical possibilities, let us also
look at some transportation lexemes and IE synonyms, from Carl Darling Buck to
formulate some statistically testable hypotheses:

anchor (10.89): jakor (Russ.), lenger, kotva, sidro (Scr.), akker (ON.)

sail (10.88): parus (Russ.), jedro (Scr.), seol (NIr.)

mast (10.87): macta (Russ.), stiebas (Lith.), albero (It.), mast (OHG)

raft (10.84): ud.upa (Skt.), plot (Russ.), sielis (Lith.), flox (OHG)

boat (10.83): nau, plava (Skt.), lodka (Russ.), bamac, cun (Scr.), scif, nacho
(OHG), linter, cymba, scapha (Lat.)

Axle (10.77): aks.a (Skt.), os' (Russ.), ahsa (OHG), eje (Sp.)

Yoke (10.78): yuga (Skt.), jaram (Scr.), joh, juh (OHG), giogo (It.)

Wheel (10.76): cakra (Skt.), koleso (Russ.), ratas, tekinis (Lith.), rad
(OHG), hvel, hjo_l (ON.), rota (Lat.)

Cart (10.75): va_s'a (Av.), ya_na, va_hana, anas (Skt.), povozka, telega
(Russ.), kola, taljige (Scr.), wagon, reita, carra (OHG), reio, vagn, kartr
(ON.), vettura, carro (It.), karr (Br.)

Street (10.73): rathya_, vi_thi (Skt.), ulica (Russ.), galve (Lith.), gazza,
stra_za (OHG); stroeti, gata (ON), via, plate_a (Lat.)

path (10.72): paO, advan (Av.), path, ma_rga (Skt.); stezja, tropa (Russ.),
takas (Lith.), pfad, sti_ga (OHG), sentiero (It.), gwenodenn, ravent (Br.)

road (10.71): frayana (Av.), adhvan (Skt.), daroga, put (Russ.), kelias
(Lith.), weg (OHG), vegr, braut, gata (ON), strada, cammino, via (It.), hent

There should be other lexemes (semantic clusters) which are as ancient in
cognate languages.Is there a linguistic method to isolate and date these
lexemes, consistent with, for e.g. the Sintashta archaeological finds of
solid-wheeled chariot fragments?

Same question goes for bronze-age terms for ores, refining, forging and
metals, since some hardened metal components are also integral to early
bronze-age transport systems.


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