On fertility, old Kurds, and sheep

H.M.Hubey hubeyh at MONTCLAIR.EDU
Tue Nov 10 07:09:19 UTC 1998

Artur Karp wrote:

> However, the sentence: <<That is also false. Romans called the Etruscans
> Tusci/Tursi. Turan was a fertility goddes of Etruscans. Remarkably, /tuw/
> is the root for
> birth and begetting in Turkic.>> made me curious. [There is no reason why
> an old Pole should be worse in this respect than any old Kurd. Or less
> sententious.]

The main problem (in problems of this type and generally in every kind
of problem) is that we can all use only the tools and knowledge we have
and not those we do not have. It is quite understandable that you should
be able to spot words which are IE, Polish, Indic etc because that is
what you know. It is also quite easily understandable when others do
similar things. But what should also be remembered is that this happens
all the time and over centuries. We do not have the knowledge that
in books that we did not read. So it is easily understandable if an
Altaic scholar with a narrow view, or one who has studied a little
and Chinese and thinks of everything in terms of that not to know that
Turan does not only exist in the minds of Iranians or that Iranians
and Chinese did not invent everything. However, this attitude persists
among scholars. What is worse is that it leads to circular thinking
"we know X-people had nothing, so there is no need to look" and since
people don't look, it is not amazing that they don't find anything. But
then, it leads to "nobody has found anything, so they had nothing",
then leads to the original attitude.

It also shows up in another fallacy; anytime you see a word written
for the first time someplace, the word becomes a possession of that
language. So if you see Turan written 200 BC in Behistun it
becomes an "Iranian". So it is standard practice to attribute almost
any word in Turkic, Uralic etc to Iranian or Chinese and if not, then
to Arabic.

The only time anything can be done is if by luck this word can be
shown to be some other place, like Etruscan or Sumerian and NOT IE.

> <<Turan was a fertility goddes of Etruscans>>.
> If I get it rightly, this statement allows you to identify Etruscan tur-
> and Turkic tuw-. The reasoning here hangs obviously on the equation
> "fertility - birth and begetting". Let me note a couple of what might be
> elementary problems here:

I don't know if you read the two long posts in which you could see
(1) a short list/example of Sumero-Turkic cognates and (2) a shorter
list of Etruscan-Turk parallels. Much of whatever you need can be
found from that point on.

> 1) Even if Turan were a fertility goddess, it doesn't follow that her
> name's morphological structure must be tur-an;
> 2) Even if Turan were a fertility goddess and her name's morphological
> structure were tur-an, it doesn't follow that her name must mean
> "fertility" [in fact, the meaning of her name is thought to be something
> closer to "Dispenseress" - which may agree with her nymphic (Aphrodite,
> Venus) nature; Dominique Thillaud would certainly know better and more].

If Turan is Etruscan (and/or if Etruscan may be related to Sumerian,
or proto-Euphratic) then we have a reasonable grounds for looking for
roots of Turan in proto-Euphratic (and thus Turkic) or in Sumerian.

I merely pointed out that 'tu' or 'tuw' is the root in Turkic having
to do with 'birth', and 'begetting'. Almost miraculously, 'tuwurghan'
or 'tuurghan' really does mean 'she that gives birth'. Now it could be
that 'tu' might be related to a long set of words having to do with
sex, penis, pointed objects, etc. But after 5,000 years anything can
happen to a language. If we had a dictionary of Etruscan, Sumerian
and Turkic from 3,000 BC until now, say, every 100 years, we would
not have any problems, but since we don't have it we have only partial
data to go on.

> I would only be glad if my suspicions were not confirmed.
> But as it is, there is too much hypothetical element - too many ifs
> involved here, for anyone to be so easy (and vehement) about connecting the
> Turanians with Turks via the Etruscan goddess of fertility.
> And this is precisely the context in which protests start to appear.

I think you did not read the other posts.

> And: pardon me, that aside with sheep was not at all funny, especially
> considering that it also was entirely without value as an argument or
> illustration.

I thought at the time it was quite appropriate since from my point of
view the original post did not sound much like anything except heckling
from an ignorant high-school dropout street bum. There are PhDs and
physicists here (and probably) many engineers and computer scientists
I can assure you that most of them understand quite well what distance,
space, metric space, probability theory, diffusion equation, etc mean.

Under the circumstances some ignorant laut making fun of a serious
(and obviously something to him totally incomprehensible) concept/idea
deserves an appropriate (equal and opposite) remark.

This is how the demagogues (and religious fanatics) manage to rule and
suppress science and free speech. It is simply through the power of
the easily exciteable ignorant masses.

Anyone is free to disagree. How you disagree does matter.

> Regards,
> Artur Karp, M.A.

Best Regards,
hubeyh at montclair.edu =-=-=-= http://www.csam.montclair.edu/~hubey
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