Paired Horse and PIE breakup

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 11 13:44:32 UTC 1998

Admittedly, the common vocabulary for wheeled transport is a problem
for my theory (not as much as for Renfrew's version, of course).  If
wheeled transport was invented c. 3500 BC, there is still a gap of
two millennia between my date for PIE breakup and the wheel.

There is of course the possibility that future archaeological finds
may push the date a bit further back [we are dealing with perishable
wooden, non-metallic, artifacts after all], but it seems unlikely
that wheeled transport existed before 4000 BC, and 5500 BC is too
much to hope for.  But at the same time, what I am arguing for is an
early Indo-European-speaking area which had not yet expanded into its
present area (France, Great Britain & Ireland, Italy, Spain, Central
Asia, Iran, N. India had not yet been Indo-Europeanized by 3500 BC).
We can roughly compare the area occupied by IE between 5500 and 3500
with the present area of the Romance languages, and likewise the
linguistic distance between the IE languages at the time (Romance is
some 2000 years old).  Now there are plenty of examples of tecnical
vocabulary that has spread across the Romance area since the fall of
the Roman Empire, which might be confused for original Proto-Romance
(i.e. Latin) words is we didn't have Latin to know they weren't.

   Two important factors can be given consideration while
   comparing "Romance Language area" to PIE area:
   1) Increase in mobility in the Romance language
   area. The Roman empire made that improvement.
   The roads and bridges (wonder of the ancient
   world with true arches) built by Roman engineers.
   The number of wagons, boats, chariots and so on
   increased a lot.
   2) Increase in communication by Writing.
   People could read the common Roman script
   throughout the Romance language area.

   These two factors gave rise to a communications
   revolution and may be the reason why Romance
   languages are mutually understandable in that
   wide area for this long time.

   These two factors are absent in the Late
   Common IE area. Hence, for the wheeled wagon
   transport common vocabulary to develop,
   the Late Common IE will be in much more
   compact area compared to Romance language area.
   No writing and less mobility makes
   the Common IE in a small area around 3500 B.C.
   (Wheels are found only in and after 3300 BC).

   What about my thinking on a possible
   scenario? (after Dr. Vidal's posts,
   esp. Hittite, I read Macqueen's The Hittites also)
   Proto-Hittites left for
   Anatolia around 3500 B.C. There is
   2000 years to develop Hittite.
   Indo-Greeks left for their destinations
   around 3000 B.C. The first literatures
   in Greek is 8th century BC (Homer)
   and in Sanskrit is 1000 BC (cf. recent Indology
   postings). There is 2000 years for
   the Greek or Sanskrit literature
   to develop. Also, this scenario allows for
   making Hittite the aunt of the
   sisters - Greek and Sanskrit.

   N. Ganesan

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