On fertility, old Kurds, and sheep

H.M.Hubey hubeyh at MONTCLAIR.EDU
Wed Nov 11 08:07:32 UTC 1998

Artur Karp wrote:
> I read the long post on Sumero-Turkic cognates some time ago and have
> re-read it again. The Etruscan-Sumerian kind of lost itself in cyber-space.
> I'd be grateful if you sent it to me again.

It's attached to the end of email.

> If it were formulated so in earlier exchanges, I am certain no one would
> have protested: you would have had reasonable objections. Sometimes strong
> word (like <<false>>) or the use of Indicative, where Subjunctive is really
> meant, instead of helping communication might effectively block it.

One only points out what historical linguistics has agreed upon, that of
'regular sound change'. Those who read it have to reach the standard
conclusions or else argue why the stds of linguistics need change.

> It may be of interest to you (and to the other list members), that Dr. Jan
> Braun, Professor Emeritus from the Ancient East Studies Deptt, University
> of Warsaw, has been working since some time on a comparison of Sumerian and
> Old (VII-VIII C AD) Tibetan. He has already identified over 300 common
> lexemes. His list covers basic vocabulary, mostly verbs and it looks like
> it's going to grow. His first publication on the topic is in Polish; but he
> plans publishing his work in a book form in near future, and that is going
> to be in English.

Some of us should be looking forward to it. I will be.

If there is anyone interested in his present work (or
> earlier - on the genetic relationship of Elamitic and Dravidian), I could
> post Prof. Braun's address (he doesn't use e-mail).

Maybe you can post the results here :-)

> Dominique Thillaud protested when you said <<Turan is the Etruscan goddess
> of fertility>>. Within her discipline the lines dividing virgin-, nymph-
> and wife-goddesses are anchored in anthropological classificatory systems -
> and these should be approached with as much care and respect as any other
> system existing in the framework of human culture.

My apologies to her. I guess I got upset at someone else and she
to be there. I did not even notice the name, but then she might have
gotten more upset that I treated her differently because she is female.

> If someone mixed up in your presence the concepts of (e.g. compound, total
> and conditional) probability, you would surely try to straighten things up,
> which would be tantamount to defending the form of your discipline. I
> believe Dominique's insistence on defending hers was as much justified.

At this time range/difference, a semantic shift of that magnitude is
not significant if we compare it to what has happened to some other
words in, for example, IE languages.

> I admire her for having the courage to start writing in English.

I was not aware of anything of this sort. I just got on the list.
I also admire her posting in English, now that you have explained
it. I hope she accepts my apology, if she is still on the list.

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

If Etruscan was one of the pre-IE languages and if IE and AA were
created as a long-term mixture then it would not be impossible. Some
words could have sneaked into Latin and are probably unrecognizable.

But there are remarkable parallels between Turkic and Etruscan. I think
that some people (possibly Africans, maybe Nilo-Saharans) might have
been getting shoved around or were moving around in the Mediterranean
region around the time of the formation of IE and AA, and the Etruscan
and Turkic parallels are due to that. Of course, Etruscans melted into
Romans and the ones in Asia melted into the mass of peoples there. But
look at these remarkable and highly unlikely occurrences.

1. Etruscans were called Tursi/Tusci by Romans.
Nobody knows where the name 'Turk' really comes from.

2. Etruscans called themselves Rasenna or Rashna.
Asena or Ashina was the name of the Tribe/Clan that produced Royalty for
Turks. (Nasili(Hittite) is likely a cognate of this word.)

3. The River Tiber was where the Etruscans had their iron mines.
Turkish legends tell of their discovery of iron. The early 'Turks'
were either a tribe specializing in iron-working or were iron-workers.
Tibira is Sumerian for iron and 'temir' is Turkic for iron.
(Some years ago, and this is very significant, there was a report that
the Africans (east africans) had already been using the "Bessemer
process" of creating high-grade steel centuries before it became known
in the
west after the Industrial Revolution. I might have read a report that
might have been worked in East Africa very early, but I am not sure.)
Elteber was a Turkic title. I suspect this should be read as Teber-el
and referred to something like the local geophysicist who was in charge
of iron-finding and iron-making.

4. Etruscan legends tell of being descended from a she-wolf.
Turkic legends tell of being descended from a she-wolf.
Herodotus tells of people in 'Scyhia' turning to wolves although he does
not believe it. The werewolf story is today still an East-European myth.

5. The chroniclers report that the Turks had a custom of seizing the
king and threatening to kill them, and forcing him to blurt out in fear
many years he will rule. The concept of divinity for the king is not
there. The African tribes (Nuer? and others) had a similar custom of
the king after his appointed time was up. Being king was not such a nice
thing. BTW, 'er' apparently means "man", for example in "Nu-er". Other
like this can be found in Lahovary, and more on Africa can be found in

6. The Etruscan goddess of love/fertility was Turan.
Turan is always associate with Turks, but people think Iranians named
them. But if Troy is also from "tur" and Turan shows up in Etruria, and
"tuw" in Turkic has to do with 'giving birth, and begetting" and in fact
"tuurghan' means (she that gives birth), and since 'tud' is also a root
found in Sumerian having to do with birth and begetting, it is pointless
to argue this incessant Iranianism. Obviously Iranians invented their
myths (and Tur and Iraj and other sons) to explain the peoples of the
area like the ME myths of Shem and Ham, etc.

7. Nobody knows what Tarchon was to the Etruscans but it figures
prominently. The Tarkhan in Turkic history show up in the plural as
Tarkhat (a
notable non-Turkic plural formation) and they are leaders and kings. One
finds Tarkhunza in Anatolia. Who knows?

8. The few words of Etruscans like tul (stone),or qutu (vase), clan
(son), ril (age) easily have Turkic cognates, and some of these cognates
match Chuvash  (the lone l~r Turkic language found only in the west).

There is more, but this is time to quit and get back to some real work.

PS. It is obvious that most IEanists never consider peoples other than
IEans. Mostly that is because they do not know these languages. That is
one of the disadvantages of specialization. This is why mailing lists
where free flow of information is allowed is so good for everyone.

I especially join such lists so I can get relevant info from the
experts in their own fields.

> Many people explain the spread of agriculture through demic diffusion
> originating somewhere in Syro-Palestine or Mesopotamia. I'm sure if you
> can put a language tag, but the thrust seems more toward peoples
> like the Etruscans, Basques, Picts, etc.  That is, people before IE
> migrations.

If you have known people who know several languages but were not good
at any of them, you will note that they readily mix both lexemes and
syntax from several languages as they see fit. People like this are
usually formally illiterate. This is probably how complete new languages
can be created over several short centuries if the conditions are

> Well, the substratum could come from extinct languages that, unlike
> Etruscan, were not literate. Or they were literate and have not left
> traces that have been found. I don't think anyone would suggest that
> Germanic and Slavic are "pure" languages free of any non-IE influence.
> Certainly there are at least some Finno-Ugrian influences even in the
> oldest examples of these languages.

For some reason nobody I asked has been able to give any reason
for this, which I discovered quite accidentally since my knowledge of
Russian consists of about 100 words.

        karinca > sarancha
        kat > soid
        kaplak/kapak > sapokh
        kirk/kirik > sorug
        ko"pek/ko"bek >sabaka

There is probably more, but I don't know any Russian. We have the
unusual /sarik/  'sheep' in Tatar which then is from /kar/  'sheep' in
Uralic. Many more parallels can be found with Dravidian in Lahovary. So
all the proponents
of "regular sound correspondence" should tell us what to make of this.
Does this point to a very early contact between Turkic and Slavic
speakers? What time would that be? Is that say, 2,000 BC?

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