Talk:Aquitanian language

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Adding to Category:Extinct languages of EuropeEdit

Aquitanian is thought to be a dialect related to Old Basque, not an ancestor of that language. The centre of the Basque language has always been the Pyrenees: it appears that Aquitanian was just an off-shoot of Basque in the Gascogne/Garonne plain. bogdan 10:49, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I was wondering about this, but the article was not clear; quote: "a more or less direct ancestor of Basque"; I have not read the literature and could not make the call. Alexander 007 10:51, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
My preference would be to add Thracian and Illyrian to that cat as well, but I do not think I can make the call yet. Alexander 007 10:53, 21 February 2006 (UTC)
Actually the Basque dialects still spoken in the Northern Basque Country must be dialects of Aquitanian. There's no real north-south divide though but an east-center-west one. See Basque language.
It's therefore probable that Aquitanian was the name of Basque north of the Pyrenees. Just that. Having probably different tribal/regional dialects, as it had in the south. --Sugaar 22:01, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Geographical locationEdit

I made some corrections re south of the Pyrenees. It was written in the line of all but Vascones were Celtic, but that's just a theory. The recent finding of Basque texts in Iruña-Veleia (territory of the Caristii, near the border with the Autrigones - west of modern Vitoria-Gasteiz) [1] confirms the theory of Basque continuity and makes obsolete the Celtic theory. --Sugaar 22:02, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

in latin?Edit

The most important of this is a series of votive and funerary texts in Latin which contain about four hundred personal names and seventy names of gods.

How, if it's in Latin, is it relevant to Aquitanian? Does this mean the Latin script? --Ioscius (talk) 13:17, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

I interpret this to mean the bulk of the text was in Latin, except that the names were Aquitanian. jnestorius(talk) 23:29, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Text in SpanishEdit

I've removed this text, which had already been commented out:

Some authors moved the linguistic border to the South

Algunos autores colocan la frontera lingüística tan al sur como Calahorra y otros colocan en territorio aragonés hablantes de aquitano. Nombres de lugares terminados en -ués/-ós han sido considerados provenientes del vasco (h)otz (frío). Esto demostraría la existencia de aquitanos o vascos en la zona norte de la provincia de Huesca. Los romanos incluso nombran la ciudad de Iliberris (moderna Elvira, en Granada), nombre con interpretación vasca evidente: *ili < hiri (ciudad) + berri (nuevo).

Todos estos datos deben tomarse con precaución, las fronteras lingüísticas en un territorio no tienen porque ser claras, ni la lengua hablada única. En principio, al sur de los Pirineos, no existen pruebas contundentes de la existencia de un grupo importante de hablantes de aquitano fuera de las zonas mencionadas del norte de Guipúzcoa y norte y centro de Navarra.

Esta idea está reforzada por la escasez de nombres geográficos antiguos que atestigüen esta presencia. También por los descubrimientos de Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza que dan una frontera genética bastante abrupta para los vascos hacia el sur, pero difusa hacia el norte, lo que podría indicar un desplazamiento hacia el sur de la población.

jnestorius(talk) 23:29, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

Aquitanian namesEdit

Properly speaking, Aquitanian isn't a language but an epigraphical corpus from where we can extract a list of personal names ans theonyms. While it's true most of these forms have Basque cognates, a few of them are close to Iberian. I've extended the name list, correcting some errors (Aquitanian -CO and -TAR don't have "obvious" Basque equivalents) and adding some Iberian counterparts. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Talskubilos (talkcontribs) 11:23, 15 April 2009 (UTC)


Ermm... since we can't read Iberian except for some educated guesses at the ethnonym -tar, how on earth can anyone postulate Aquitanian being *closer* to Iberian that Basque? I'm going to remove the Iberian stuff until someone comes up with an acknowledged source that tells us that. For heavens sake, you've included ATTA, BELEX and LAUR in there which are so clearly Basque it's like a poke in the eye and if I bothered to look, I could find at least 2 refs stating that Aquitanian ATTA, BELEX and LAUR are related to Basque aita, beltz and lau(r). Akerbeltz (talk) 22:39, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Akerbeltz, we CAN read Iberian, although we don't understand it. The Basque ethnonym -tar corresponds to -tani in Edetani, Lacetani, Aquitani, etc. etc. It has nothing to do with Iberian taŕ (Aquitanian TAR) which means 'man, male' and corresponds to Basque -ar 'male gender suffix' (Aquitanian HAR-, -AR)

There's an interesting isogloss within Aquitanian itself. There're forms with /h/ like HANNA, HAR-, HALS, HAVTEN, which have their corresponding ones with /t, d/: DANNA, -TAR, TALS, TAVTINN. The first ones have matches in Basque (anai, -ar, haltza, hauta) while the second ones match Iberian (tana, taŕ, tals, tautin).

Rodríguez Ramos, J. (2002): "Índice crítico de los formantes de compuesto de tipo onomástico en la lengua íbera". Cypsela 14, pp. 251-275 provides a comprehensive list of Iberian anthroponyms' compound elements (so far, the only reliable source for identifying Iberian words). All the Iberian formants I quoted are listed there. My source of Aquitanian names is Gorrotxategi (1984), already quoted in the article.

Yes, It's true than Aquitanian ATTA matches Basque aita, but at the same it's closer to Iberian ata (so it could be in both lists). And also Aquitanian BELEX matches Iberian beleś (but there is also bels, which matches Basque beltz). Aquitanian LAUR corresponds to the Iberian formant lauŕ, which has nothing to do with Basque lau(r) '4', which has a tapped /r/ (Iberian /ŕ/ corresponds to Basque /r/).

And Iberian sibilants /s/ and /ś/ correspond respectively to Basque /z, tz/ and /s, ts/. I could quote (and I'm going to do so) a couple of articles by Rodríguez Ramos about these correspondences (vibrants and sibilants).

I propose to include in the Iberian article a list of (possible) matches between Iberian formants and Basque, leaving a list of Aquitanian-Iberian matches (without Basque counterpart) in the Aquitanian article. Another possibility is to have BOTH lists in the Iberian article. Talskubilos (talk) 11:29, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

LOL sometimes I feel like a sheep headbutting a hedge. I know we can read the letters but since we cannot understand what the letters are saying, we are in no position, apart from the -tar suffix possibly (which incidentally does NOT infer maleness in Basque), we cannot make ANY statements about that word/ending X is related to Aquitanian/Basque Y. Hence, Iberian ATA can mean just about anything under the sun and we cannot say in any shape or form that it's closer to Aquitanian ATTA than the modern Basque development aita. We might as well infer a relationship to some random Babylonian word that reads ATA (not that people haven't tried that one). We can match Aquitanian (or indeed English, Spanish etc) words to random correspondences in anything from Tagalog to !Xu until we're blue in the face, it doesn't prove anything until we find a nice Iberian equivalant of the Rosetta stone.
In terms of the phonetics, yes, we can spot rough similarities, but again, we don't know what phonemes the Iberian graphemes represent so anyone making grand claims is on very thin ice.
So in conclusions, we can state that there are apparent similarities in the sound system (that is well documented in the literature) and that there are suggestions of a sprachbund (also documented) but beyond that, anything else is wild fringe theories. We can't relate two languages if we cannot understand one of them. Akerbeltz (talk) 11:45, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

> we are in no position, apart from the -tar suffix possibly (which incidentally does NOT infer maleness in Basque)

Aquitanian -TAR (Iberian taŕ) has simply nothing to do with the Basque ethnonym suffix -tar BUT with a FOSSILIZED suffix found in a few Basque words like kaldar 'ignoble', koldar 'coward', zatar 'ugly'. Hence I infer its former meaning (the one we find in Aquitanian) was 'male, man', corresponding to Basque -ar. As this is an unpublished research, it can't be in Wikipedia, but I tell you for the sake of the argument.

> Iberian ATA can mean just about anything under the sun and we cannot say in any shape or form that it's closer to Aquitanian ATTA than the modern Basque development aita. We might as well infer a relationship to some random Babylonian word that reads ATA (not that people haven't tried that one).

I suppose this is a joke, isn't it? The word atta 'father' is well attested in several IE languages of Europe, so there's a reasonable possibility for both forms to be related. We can't be an ostrich about that.

> We can match Aquitanian (or indeed English, Spanish etc) words to random correspondences in anything from Tagalog to !Xu until we're blue in the face, it doesn't prove anything until we find a nice Iberian equivalant of the Rosetta stone.

Actually, there are bilingual inscriptions, although unfortunately only a very few and very short. One example: A funerary incriptions reads as: HEIC EST SIT[...] / aŕe teki ar[...] followed by the name of the deceased.

From this and other non-bilingual funerary inscriptions which display the formula aŕe take X, we can infer that aŕe is 'here' and teki/take are forms of a verb 'to sit'. And Iberian ar is a form of the verb 'to be', commonly found after personal names to indicate ownership (this why it has been mistakenly confused with a "genitive suffix"). That is, Xar means '(I) am X's'. This can be corroborated by the equivalent Latin formula X sum '(I) am X's'.

My point is:

1) Aquitanian isn't properly a language but an epigraphical corpus which can reflect more than one just language variety.
2) Most Aquitanian names have a Basque counterpart, although in a few cases (LAUR, -TAR) not the same it's commonly thought.
3) Only a few items have Iberian counterparts but not Basque. Other ones can be from Gaulish, as Gorrotxalegi himself recognized.

> So in conclusions, we can state that there are apparent similarities in the sound system (that is well documented in the literature) and that there are suggestions of a sprachbund (also documented) but beyond that, anything else is wild fringe theories. We can't relate two languages if we cannot understand one of them.

I don't think Iberian could be understood if we don't make an effort in that direction (see above). Talskubilos (talk) Talskubilos (talk) 13:13, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

You cannot randomly match sequences when one language is one we can't understand. You would find as many random similarities between, say, the Iberian inscription and Indonesian. It proves nothing. Absolutely nothing. I know it's infuriating that we can't understand Iberian but that's the way it is. We can't really read Etruscan either. It *may* be that Proto-Basque holds the key to reading Iberian. I personally don't think so but by all means, feel free. But this is not the place to present speculation. End of. Akerbeltz (talk) 13:18, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

As a scientist myself, I only listen to SCIENTIFIC arguments, not to prejudices or political stuff like the one of some Vasconists like Trask, who did his best to deny ANY relationship between Basque and Iberian. Nor I think Proto-Basque would hold the key to understand Iberian (Basque and Iberian aren't very close relatives). Talskubilos (talk) 13:35, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

PS regarding HEIC EST SIT[...] / aŕe teki ar[...] - playing devils advocat, that proves nothing on its own. Ritual formulae are often radically different from language to language. Without having another biligual one that translates as "Jimmy sat here and composed this song", we cannot infer which of those words translates as sit or indeed if any of them mean sit. The Iberian may literally translate as "We consecrate the bones of" or "Peace be on"... Akerbeltz (talk) 13:23, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I'd call yours the "oystrich approach". Talskubilos (talk) 13:35, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

By labelling Trask as someone with a non-scientific approach to analysing and summarising the issue of genetic relationships between Basque and other languages you push yourself into a strange corners. I have no idea who you are and what your credentials are but amongs Vasconists, Trask is ranked right up there with Mitxelena et al as a Vasconist and a linguist. And sorry, but your arguments about ostriches and random similarities come across as anything but scientific. This is not the place for random, however interesting, speculations about stuff. Akerbeltz (talk) 17:50, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Gorrochategui claimsEdit

Response to comment on User talk:Kwamikagami: Funny, I've read Gorrochategui as well, including Estudio sobre la onomastica indigena de Aquitania and I fail to find this "clear support for the Aquitanian-Iberian link". For the most part, Gorrochategui's work concentrates on establishing the links between Aquitanian and Basque, not the relationship between Aquitanian and Iberian. He states that por el momento sólo nos hallamos seguros en la identificación y estudio de la onomástica, pues tenemos para ello la inestimable ayuda de una serie de nombres proprios escritos en alf. latino, sobre todo el bronce de Áscoli. Fancy that. So just because La onomástica aquitana y su relación con la ibérica makes a mention of both languages in the same breath does not mean it's a statement. Furthermore, All specialists in Aquitanian and Iberian overtly defend the relationship between several Aquitanian and several Iberian names... yes, NAMES. But that's all there is to it, thank you for echoing the literature for once. But as for the rest, it's guesswork.

And you're also off on Trask. For the most part, Trask summarises arguments tearing apart the Iberian link published by others such as Mitxelena and Tovar. Akerbeltz (talk) 20:11, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for intervening in this exciting debate between Akertbeltz and Talskubilos (or vice versa, the order has no second intention) in this and in other pages, but I think that it is better to keep the head cool and remember that old adagium on what wikipedia is and is not.
The main problem (and in that Akerbeltz is right) is that data for articles must come from reliable sources (I interpret that mainstrem theories must be the basis of the article, whereas secondary theories, but always from reliable sources not odd ideas, should have a clearly minor role; although thats "my humble opinion".
On the other hand, I "believe" that Akerbeltz knowledge on Iberian language bibliography is not as complete as he believes (again IMHO), as teher do are articles on the relation between Basque and Iberian, the relation between Aquitanian and Iberian and on the phonemes of Iberian, etc. etc. etc.
But the third problem is that neither Talskubilos data (read: his interpretation of the bibliography) is sometimes inaccurate or limited, and, what is worse, that some of his data seem to be original research. The table on relations between Basque, Aquitanian and Iberian is not Gorrochategui's but seems to be an own adaptation with "original" (or private) ideas in the selection and in the addition of terms. I suppose that Talskubilos knowledge of the wikipedia methods is incomplete and that mistakes what do has a place in the wikipedia and what is better placed in a personal web page or in an own publication.
As a matter of fact, Gorrochategui's paper do looks seriously at the alleged "relation" between Aquitanian personal names and the Iberian ones, but does not state it. Some words, he thinks seems to be Iberian loandwords to Aquitanian (but does not claim this to be the only possibility), whereas he thinks that iltun and beles could imply a strong linguistic contact ("un fuerte contacto lingüístico"), but only when we know more on Iberian ("si se comprobara su identidad [of the Iberian words beles and iltun] con las formas vascas aducidas"). So, neither an affirmative claim (as Talskubilos would like), but neither a dismiss.
In my personal opinion, Aquitanian-Iberian comparison may be mentioned in the article, but is very secondary and unsure. Does not deserve many space....
I would recommend an own article on Basque-Iberian theories, but hoping that that article would limit to reliable mainstream sources and not to opinions could be hopeless....
--Dumu Eduba (talk) 21:14, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
The comment on User talk:Kwamikagami was made for Tautintanes not for Talskubilos cause of a block warning not deserved. I agree with Dumu Eduba comments about this issue. Aquitanian-Iberian comparison may be mentioned in the article in the terms that published and reliable research accepts.
--Tautintanes (talk) 22:06, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I think your idea is interesting. About the bibliography on Iberian, there are several articles by Rodríguez Ramos whose references I'll add to the article. As for the table, yes, it's my elaboration, partly based on the existing bibliography and partly on my own research. I'm going to edit it to reflect better what Iberists think (according to published articles) rather than my own.

About personal names, Mitxelena, in his Fonética histórica vasca (1977), pp. 547-548, said: "En el terreno de la onomástica, y en particular de la antroponimia, hay, sin embargo, coincidencias innegables entre ibérico y aquitano y, por consiguiente, entre ibérico y vasco. Como ya he señalado en otros lugares, parece haber habido una especie de pool onomástico, del que varias lenguas, desde el aquitano hasta el idioma de las inscripciones hispánicas en escritura meridional, podían tomar componentes de nombre propios."

To Akerbeltz: Unlike Mitxelena, Trask was an anti-Iberist, because he not only disregard Iberian data but also denied the possibility of any relationship (whatever they might be) with Basque (and in general, of whatever language except Aquitanian). From a scientific point of view, this doesn't seems to be fair. Talskubilos (talk) 21:59, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Dumu, yes, I quite readily agree that my knowledge of Iberian issues is mostly restricted to where it touches on people trying to establish relationships to Aquitanian/Basque. I also concede quite readily that it is worth mentioning that there are certain similarities that are cited in the (serious) literature on clear-ish (the TAR suffix for example) and apparent similarities between Iberian and Aquitanian. I have repeatedly said so. I was consistently just trying to make the point that beyond that, most things drift into various degress of speculation and fantasy. As long as it's couched in careful terms and not "Iberian is clearly linked to XYZ" or "Aquitanian is closer to Iberian XYZ" that's fine with me and easy enougn to reference.
Talskubilos, Mitxelena talks about an onomastic pool. That's place names and personal names. I was never arguing about those, neither was Trask. I was merely objecting to statements that go beyong that. Akerbeltz (talk) 22:03, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Sorry but the only thing Trask was consistently against - as were Mitxelena et al - were people pulling out modern dictionaries of Basque and coming up with wild ideas about Basque being related to anyhing from Hungarian to Aynu. If you read some of the stuff as a linguist, it makes you weep. If anyone had shown Trask or Mitxelena some sound evidence that stacked up, they would have been delighted. Akerbeltz (talk) 22:06, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Akerbeltz, I can agree with you in the general terms. Perhaps it would be fair to state "Iberian X seems to be linked to Aquitanian Y", or "Aquitanian Y seems to be closer to Iberian Z", that is, presenting the actual data without making further inferences. The possibility of random resemblances exists even between Aquitanian and Basque, as in the -TAR suffix. Perhaps we can't say in Wikipedia that this suffix is more or less equivalent to Basque -ar and it's also found in a few words, but has nothing to do with the ethnonym -tar, as this is an original research, but if we say anything about it, it should be fair to point that having an ethonym suffix as being part of so many personal names looks quite strange. Talskubilos (talk) 22:30, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

First the main point: do not forget in the wording that the resembling between Aquitanian and Iberian is based on: 1) both make personal names in a similar way (well, that is poor evidence indeed, but important for the second point); 2) the resembling words between Aquitanian and Iberian happen to be part of the onomastic pools of both languages. Without these statements the idea may be misunderstood (it is not random comparison, but "words" (??) used in similar semantic contexts).
Minor points and comments (in other words, the important was the first paragraph). The article deals with Aquitanian language: theories on its relation with Iberian are secondary points, and should not be a major part of the article.
I agree with Akerbeltz that the problem with this subject is that stuff that do makes weep (I think that this stuff would suite better in an special of the Monthy Pyton, it's bizarre). Trask was tired of all that nonsense, legitimately, and I do not believe that he deserves a label as "anti-Iberist". Simply he believed that searching (and I suspect that specially debating) relations between Basque and Iberian was a waste of time.
Thirty years ago (or even twenty) there was a mainstream consensus (with some exceptions) that Iberian and Basque was not related.
Nowadays it is a respectable theory, may be even majority, that there do is some relation, but there is not a clear consensus about what is this relation. There are some ideas, some proposals, but there only a few Iberian words that can be compared with Basque with a minimum of certainty (but almost never indisputed). This uncertainty should be clear to the reader before any table or comparison, and, as a matter of fact, of the Aquitanian words, I believe that the only resembling Iberian word on which there is a minimum of consensus on the likelyhood that it has the same meaning on Iberian and Basque: LAVR 'four', but this consensus probably is a minor one (between a third or a half of the researchers???). (Popular words as iltun and beles are disputed, although many people would say that Iberian beles means "black", there is no internal Iberian argument). This is the sad true. It is not a consolidated knowledge, rather a work in progress.
BTW: What do seems to me outdated or absurd is the section on Basque relationships [2]. It is very confusing and mixes outdated ideas, minority ideas, etc. etc.
--Dumu Eduba (talk) 23:14, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

I think both of you are a bit confused about Aquitanian. In the first place, there's no consensus about it being the antecessor of Basque or a close relative of it. My own opinion is that behind Aquitanian inscriptions there are more than one dialect, because they show geographical variants like OMBE/VMME (Basque ume). Probably one of these dialects was the actual antecessor of Basque. It's also undeniable that a few Aquitanian forms have matches in Iberian but not in Basque. This is what inspired to Mitxelena the idea of an "onomastic pool". In my opinion, it could simply reflect the adoption of Iberian names by Aquitanian people or the presence of Iberian individuals among Aquitanian tribes.

In spite of our previous dicussion, where I gave the reasons because this is more than questionable (if not plainly absurd), Akerbeltz added the -TAR item to both articles, supposedly after Trask. You also propose Aquitanian LAVR (Iberian lauŕ) to correspond to Basque lau(r) 'four'. This is at least questionable, because the Basque word has a tapped /r/, while the Iberian one has /ŕ/, which sould correspond to Basque /rr/.

If you don't mind, I'm going to replace the paragraph referring to -TAR by the pair Iberian iltun/Aquitanian ILHUN/Basque il(h)un 'dark', because on this item there's a wide consensus (Mitxelena and Gorrotxategi among them) and update the tables. There's a good consensus about Iberian -lT- in words like that one to correspond to a lateral consonant more or less equivalent to proto-Basque FORTIS -*L- (see proto-Basque article)

I'll also add some bibliographical references on Iberian phonology, including some articles by Rodríguez Ramos, whose view is ALREADY explained on the text. Talskubilos (talk) 17:35, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Dumu, I agree with all you've said, including that weird table on relationships. Thing is, those crazy theories do float around out there, so it's probably best that they're there, stated and marked as being generally refuted.
Talskubilos, by all means add refs, but please put them into the text - just citing a book in the refs is somewhat frowned upon on Wiki these days, for good reasons. And I'd love to see where this "consensus" of yours comes from...
And sorry for sounding a bit shirty, but given the area that Aquitanian was spoken in, dialectal differences are a real surprise. -MB- is seen as an earlier form, simplified to -M-, big deal. The serious literature agrees that you can't quite draw a direct line between Aquitanian and Basque the same way you can between, say, Attic Greek and Modern Greek, but what they do agree on is that Basque comes out of the "pool" of Aquitanian, whichever variant of Aquitanian it exactly was. And fortunately, your personal theories are not our concern here - am I turning blue in the face? Nah, it's just the evening light... Akerbeltz (talk) 17:45, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

>And sorry for sounding a bit shirty, but given the area that Aquitanian was spoken in, dialectal differences are a real surprise. -MB- is seen as an earlier form, simplified to -M-, big deal.

Are you serious? In the first place, the area covered by Aquitanian inscriptions was actually larger than today's Basque-speaking. The inscription reading OMBE is north of the Pyrenees, and the one reading VMME was from Navarra. These two forms are dialectal variants of the same word, much like modern Basque on 'good', which is hun in the Zuberoan dialect, to quote a word with similar phonetics.

> And fortunately, your personal theories are not our concern here - am I turning blue in the face? Nah, it's just the evening light...

I don't think Trask's opinions about Iberian are worth mentioning in Wikipedia, in fact I don't think he should appear at all in the Iberian article, even as a biblio ref. He has wasn't interested in Iberian itself, and he only mentioned it in his works to deny any relationship with Basque. Talskubilos (talk) 20:50, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Don't be patronising, I know where Aquitanian was spoken and that it was spread across a much larger area. That's precisely my point, given such a huge area, NOT having dialectal differences would have been the surprise. Secondly, um(b)e and (h)on are not good for comparison. -mb- is an intervocalic group, -n is a word final consonant. Besides, what on earth does the development from VMBE to UMME have to do with *anything*? There's hundreds of languages which have done that. Early Gaelic comber become modern Gaelic comar... so?
Trask is just conveninet to cite when it comes to Iberian because he nicely sums up the evidence. And as someone who was on the Basque mailing list with Trask for many years, I object to you claiming this that and the next thing about his (des)interests. He would have thoroughly enjoyed someone coming up with serious linguistics to show that there *is* a link. Besides, he's a bona fide reference, I have yet to see you add a *single* in-line ref to someone not a crackpot. Akerbeltz (talk) 21:50, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

It's a pity there's still people around like yourself who acts more on prejudices than serious scientific arguments. Trask was no authority on Iberian and he has simply no place there. You even called Mitxelena and Gorrotxategi "crackpots"! Akerbeltz, I'm sorry to say the only crackpot here is you! You're even incapable of even quoting the Aquitanian form OMBE /onbe/ (not VMBE!!!!) correctly. You remind me of those bishops who refused to peep through Galileo's telescope. And if you want to see serious linguistiscs, wait until I publish my own research. Talskubilos (talk) 22:16, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

This is pointless, I did *not* refer to Gorrotxategi and Mitxelena as crackpots. I'm coming to the conclusion that you just don't really read anything but the stuff you've written yourself. Akerbeltz (talk) 22:48, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

I see you didn't understand my irony :-) I've corrected the mess you created in the article. My table isn't "speculative" at all, because it only reflects the similarity between some Aquitanian and Iberian onomastic items, the point which lead to Mitxelena to speak of an "onomastic pool" shared by both languages. Further observations (e.g. about a possible or not relationship between Iberian and Basque) aren't appropiate here and should go on the Iberian article. Talskubilos (talk) 23:22, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

I've merged the Aquitanian-Basque and Aquitanian-Iberian tables in a Aquitanian-Iberian-Basque one. This is closer to my original idea, but it's trimmed according to Wikipedia's standards, in particular for in-line references. Talskubilos (talk) 10:29, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

You haven't in-line referenced any of the table. I'm still waiting to see the ref that proves that any of these graphemes are related to the Aquitaninan/Basque terms. Akerbeltz (talk) 15:55, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Akerbeltz, I see your knowledge of Iberian is no better than the one of your beloved Larry Trask, because they aren't "graphemes" (a better designation would be "segments") but onomastic elements recognized by specialists as being part of compound personal names. Of course, the task of referencing very item in the list, along with my own remarks (as in the case of Trask's opinioun about TAR) will take some time.

BTW, you removed the stuff from the Iberian article about some non-onomastic Iberian items which could be related to Basque. I thin this goes against Wikipedia-etiquette. Talskubilos (talk) 22:17, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

I removed the statements about Iberian, since they were in a section on the relationship between Aquitanian and Basque. They belong in a separate section, suitably referenced with sources accepted as authoritative in mainstream Basque or Iberian studies, and with clear examples given of claims of any further similarities than onomastics. kwami (talk) 23:24, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Errr... the headline reads "relationships with other languages", not only Basque. But of course, you changed it to delete any reference to Iberian, despite the references I provided. Your clumsy editing is thus **CENSORSHIP** in its crudest form, so I'm forced to undo your changes. Now I'm rearranging the items in two separate tables,as they were before. Talskubilos (talk) 09:34, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Removing nonsense isn't censorship. Akerbeltz (talk) 09:55, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm keeping the Iberian material on the Aquitanian article to a minimum, but to remove it completely it wouldn't be fair. Talskubilos (talk) 10:01, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

This is NOT the place for it... you're coming close to edit warring. Akerbeltz (talk) 10:30, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

"Other languages" include Iberian as well, this is NPOV from Wikipedia etiquette. To present readers with a table each item in column A is equal to its corresponding in column B with the appropriate references is NPOV. But suppressing this evidence isn't NPOV. Talskubilos (talk) 10:41, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

If it was actually evidence, I might agree with you. Akerbeltz (talk) 10:45, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Then tell me how can I help you to understand it is. Talskubilos (talk) 10:47, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Given the nature of the topic, for any such pair to be viable you'll have to go to the trouble of finding a reference for each pair along the lines of "Iberian XYZ has been identified as being related to Aquitanian XYZ2" by an author who is known not to have worked off a modern Basque dictionary. As in, someone with a solid grounding in Basque and Iberian studies. Such as Gorrotxategi or Mitxelena. It's just too vague saying that there's a (suggested) pool of onomastics and then launch into a table like that assuming we *know* ATA is related to ATTA. Just working off similarity isn't going to do it.
Look at it this way, if I take your pairings of Iberian/Aquitanian, one might equally pair ATIN with Old Irish aitenn "juniper", ATA with Old Irish att "swell", BAISER with Old Irish bás "death" etc etc. See the problem? Akerbeltz (talk) 11:22, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

I'm documenting this as far as I can. But your argument is NOT valid, as random similarities can also run between closely related languages like Basque and Aquitanian. Remember the case of -TAR? Talskubilos (talk) 21:00, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

The argument IS valid. Basque is ultimately derived from Aquitanian or something very closely related. So Basque is either a "son" or a "nephew" of Aquitanian. Therefore the relationship is genetic and the similarities are NOT random but highly systematic. Iberian is unclassified because we don't know enough about it, certainly not enough to classify it. Therefore the surface similarities between Iberian and Aquitanian cannot be automatically seen to be genetic. So since Iberian is unclassified, it is equally stupid or admissible (depending on your POV) to compare its suface forms to Old Irish or Aquitanian... Akerbeltz (talk) 21:14, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Although the similarities between Basque and Iberian don't necessarily imply a genetic relationship, they were languages in contact, and there's evidence of at least a few loanwords from Iberian in modern Basque. I see your POV is biases because your only reference about the matter is Trask. Talskubilos (talk) 07:46, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

You sound like a broken record. I told you before that Trask is convenient to quote because he sums up the work of others. It saves me some of my valuable time to refer to Trask rather than several different sources, time that I need here to explain some very basic linguistic stuff to you...
Yes, Iberian and Basque were geographical neighbours and most likely in contact, but that does not mean that every Iberian word that happens to LOOK like a Basque word is therefore related to each other. Especially not since using such correlations does not help us one jot in understanding Iberian. If using "your" pairs helped us make sense of Iberian texts, then yes, there would be a point. But it doesn't.
And I'm going to ignore your stupid comments about Trask from now on. He's bona fide, you're an unknown quantity, so go away. Akerbeltz (talk) 09:28, 20 April 2009 (UTC)


What Gorrotxategi *actually* says on page 288 is that the name is clearly Iberian (...un nombre claramente ibérico...). He also discusses some big question marks around the question of whether this is simply an Iberian inscription in Aquitania or an Aquitanian loan from Iberian. He says La razón por la que incluyo este nombre en este repertorio consiste en una similitud de tratamiento de la sonante -l- final de tema con las sonantes aquitanas en la misma posición. Es un pena que no exista en aquitano ningún nombre terminado en -l. Not the best example to show a clear relationship which you're postulating. Akerbeltz (talk) 09:37, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

You'd better don't insult other people, Akerbeltz. This isn't not an Iberian inscription, but most likely an Iberian personal name in an Aquitanian inscription (remembers than they aren't actual texts but Latin inscriptions with onomastic items)... and you said you were teaching me linguistics....

I'm not postulating anything more than being objective about the evidence, something your beloved Trask was NOT, either unknownly (so he was a bad linguist) or knownly (so he was intellectually dishonest). And the evidence tell us that some items found in Aquitanian inscriptions look like Iberian, and they even could be actually from it. But this doesn't preclude the other evidence that shows Aquitanian is closely related to Basque. Talskubilos (talk) 09:47, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

IMHO, the huge mistake Trask did is the same reasoning you do: if Basque doesn't help us to understand Iberian, then they must be unrelated at all. So he sacrified every other evidence to serve this purpose: Basque and Iberian are unrelated. I personally don't think Basque and Iberian are close relatives, because otherwise we should be to understand at least a bit of Iberian, but there's no doubt SOME KIND OF RELATIONSHIP must have been existed, either as a distant genetic one, either as a contact or even a combination of the two. Talskubilos (talk) 10:00, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

The issue here is NOT about if they Iberian and Basque are actually related, but about how to present their similarities (my proposal) or to hide them (yours). Talskubilos (talk) 10:00, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Duh, yes, it's a funeral stela so the rest is in Latin. The fact that it was found in Aquitanian *territory* does not make the language on it Aquitanian. If you find a gravestone in London, the language on it does not have to be English. It could equally well be Latin or Hebrew.
So you say yourself that you don't think (gah, why are we discussing what YOU think...) they're genetically related. You postulate language contact. Yes, hooray, I agree. But we can't prove that most of your "pairs" are due to contact until we can read the Iberian meanings. End of. Akerbeltz (talk) 10:11, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

You took me wrong in everything. Point #1: The language of Aquitanian inscriptions is NOT Aquitanian but Latin with Vasconic onomastic items. There are no actual texts in Aquitanian, so if we spoke of an "Aquitanian language" it's because it's more convenient to us. Point #2: There are some items in Aquitanian inscriptions which are similar or even plainly Iberian, as in the case of VRCHATETEL. As these coincidences exist, I show them in my table. Point #3: I'm only showing those pairs which I don't think to be random similarities. This is why TAR doesn't appear beside the Basque ethonym -tar. Point #4: The exact relationship between Basque and Iberian isn't our concern here. We only can say that: 1)They can't be close relatives and 2)Their similarities could be due to a distant genetic relationship or to language contact. My personal belief is both of them. Talskubilos (talk) 10:37, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Pardon me for putting this bluntly but I'm short of time and running out of patience. YOUR views are totally irrelevant. Wikipedia is not about YOUR or MY views. It is a "summary" of what can be gleaned from 3rd party sources. So whether YOU think they're random or systematic relationships is irrelevant. Get it?
And the question of whether they're related or not IS of relevance because if they're not, it reduces the relevance of that table of yours on this page, especially the way its laid out. Akerbeltz (talk) 11:02, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Then I'll go to the point: that table is necessary to show the coincidences/resemblances which several specialists (Mitxelena, Gorrotxategi, Rodríguez Ramos) have already pointed out. The question of if they're actually related of not is beyond the scope of current research. That's where your comment after my table fits in. Talskubilos (talk) 11:14, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

I'd like to also remind you removed some stuff relating to non-onomastic items like s'alir, which most authors think it's related to Basque sari 'payment, price'. This would be a nice case of an Iberian loanword in Basque. Talskubilos (talk) 11:17, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Reference please, who says s'alir in Iberian has anything to do with payment? Akerbeltz (talk) 14:35, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

See what you've lost for having Trask as your only source of reference? Perhaps you'd like to read this: This is a PDF version of a printed book (only text, no pictures). Here, Núñez says: "un nombre ibérico pronunciado a la vasca, en este caso Urchatetelli". Talskubilos (talk) 06:35, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Merging with early BasqueEdit

I think I would be a good idea to merge this article with the one about "early Basque" (Euskera arcaico in the Spanish). Not only this save many cross-references but it will allow to include more epigraphical material which isn't Aquitanian, for example the inscriptions found at Soria-La Rioja with Vasconic personal names.

In this way, the Iberian material would be moved to the Iberian article. The idea would be to show what Mitxelena's pre-Basque is and how this has allowed us to recognize the language behind Aquitanian inscriptions as an archaic form of Basque, etc. etc. Talskubilos (talk) 16:41, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Bad idea. Proto-Basque is about a reconstructed form of early Basque, Aquitanian is about an attested language. And there is not article Early Basque on the English wiki. Akerbeltz (talk) 17:27, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

Ok, please read the "Euskera arcaico" article on the Spanish version of Wikipedia. The English Proto-Basque article doesn't speak at all of Mitxelena's "Pre-Basque" but Lakarra's Pre-Proto-Basque. Talskubilos (talk) 18:04, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

So what? This article is hardly the finished article and may well acquire a section on Proto-Basque per se at some point. I might even have time to do that if I didn't have to waste my time with your Iberian-Aquitanian obsession. Akerbeltz (talk) 19:58, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

I must reiterate my former suggestion for changing the article's title to "Early Basque", not only for coherence with the Spanish Wikipedia, but also because "Aquitanian" isn't actually a language but an epigraphic corpus. In this sense, the article is outdated. Talskubilos (talk) 13:47, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

This isn't the Spanish Wikipedia, get it? And in the English literature, this is called Aquitanian. If the usage changes, then we'll follow suit, so I suggest unless you have plenty of sources to back this up, you find something better to do with our time. Akerbeltz (talk) 19:01, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

Well, I think I have better things to do that arguing with stupid/stubborn people. Have a nice time! Talskubilos (talk) 11:02, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

¿Indo-European speakers who were possibly Neolithic colonists (5th millennium BC)?Edit

About the way it is now the phrase "before the arrival of Indo-European speakers who were possibly Neolithic colonists (5th millennium BC) or Celts (c. 1300 BCE)" I suppose it was intended to mean: that Basque (proto-proto-Basque) language is a remnant of people (colonist is maybe a bit too hard) who arrive to Western Europe on the 5th millenium; but to say that Indo-Europeans were the 5th millennium colonist seems wrong, as also the distinction between I-E and Celts (who of course were I-E). In fact any idea on the language of the first neolithic people in West Europe is a pure speculation, so it maybe should be deleted, but in any case the paragraph should be revised. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 10:09, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

on the table of pre-Basque reconstructionsEdit

I notice you’ve decided to match the attested Aquitanian element HAUTEN- with Modern Basque hauta in your table. My Basque dictionary (by Aulestia & White) glosses hauta not as the adjective ‘excellent’ but the noun ‘choice.’ For Pre-Basque, you reconstruct *hauta but surely a better reconstruction would be *hautana for this incorporates the nasal attested in the Aquitanian material and can be explained as the ancestral form of Modern Basque hauta by the well accepted categorical loss of Pre-Basque intervocalic lenis *n in Basque diachronic phonology. G.M.Gladehall (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 15:50, 6 July 2009 (UTC).

I am afraid that the comparison between HAVTEN and 'hauta' may be part of the original research material that added Talskubilos (who had little experience as wikipedian and mixed things). The table should be cleaned according to the available reliable sources (I am not sure of which parts of the table are really O.R. and what not, but I do not remember any text proposing HAVTEN > hauta, but only a mention in a forum).
In any case you are right that originally the word was something like "choice", but rather "select-ed" and from here the meaning "excellent". I suspect it is a Romance loanword, though. --Dumu Eduba (talk) 16:16, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

No, it isn't. Basque /hauta/ looks like an IE loanword from *teute: 'people'. Therefore Aquitanian /hauten/ is probably 'the chosen one(s)'.

You've got reason. This is "original research" (in Wikipedia's term), so I'm going to ammend the table. Talskubilos (talk) 13:03, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks !! --Dumu Eduba (talk) 13:53, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Age of metalEdit

Basque is a language from the age of the metal - slightly confusing, what does the source mean by that? Akerbeltz (talk) 20:41, 23 January 2010 (UTC)

Heraus and Aquitanian rhoticsEdit

Aquitanian heraus isn't related to Basque herauts 'boar' but to herrauts 'dust, ash', a confusion arising from a misinterpretation of Aquitanian ortography for rhotics, as Aquitanian /r/ stands for strong /rr/ and /rh/ stands for weak /r/.

Basque herauts, herautx 'boar' is one of these words which show an n/r alternation, as there're the forms herause, eresu, (h)erüsi, heusi, iñaus, iraus, ir(a)usi, i(h)ausi, ia~usi with the meanings 'heat of sow' or 'sow in heat'.

NPOV policyEdit

As in the Iberian article, there has been some reverting edits on this page, primarily based on the editor's opinion rather than bona fide sources. This is why I've put on NPOV banner. Talskubilos (talk) 09:16, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

A practical question, how on earth does one ref a deletion? Akerbeltz (talk) 11:12, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

Simple, you can't simply say "X is fringe" (although I agree on Morvan being so) without properly justify it, as this sounds arbitrary. Talskubilos (talk) 20:14, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

It seems like putting the NPOV tag is a new sport. Any claim on fringe can be discussed in the talk page. When the mainstream researchers do not consider to be even quotable an author and this is not a divulgativo author but with new revolutionary theories, we can suspect it is a fringe research.
For example, Morvan's etymological dictionary is utterly dissapointing (his first works at least had some interest). Its methodology quoting similarities now from one language, now from other, without any internal coherence control, is simply non valid.
Even if we restrict ourselves to only the major authors and theories, if I should consider whether I agree with the number and weight of references certainly I should put a NPOV tag in almost every article I read.
Last but not least, the explanation afforded to justify the NPOV tag is really very poor, specially since the "tager" agrees that Morvan is fringe. Looks a nonsense.

Dumu Eduba (talk) 11:39, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

Talskubilos, the thing is we have discussed Morvan at length before (perhaps on another Basque page though), it's not just a case of Morvan being a new face on the block that I've taken a dislike to. He had been added, debated and deemed fringe, to the extent that his stuff doesn't even merit debating on the page. As I said, if we clearly outlined every fringe theory that was ever made about Basque, there would be 16 volumes against 3 pages of reliable content. Perhaps, and I think I may have suggested this before, it is time to start a Fringe theories on the origins of Basque page. Ok, that would probably be shot down as POV but some page where we can banish all this stuff to because for the most part it just detracts from writing any decent page on a Basque language related topic because sooner or later someone mentions Circassian or Aynu... Akerbeltz (talk) 11:52, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
Don't forget that the editor that dare to write in an article on "Fringe theories on .... Basque" surely will get some libel suits. I remember a person who had to go before judge because the author of a decipherment on the Phaistos disk claimed that his criticism on an internet group prevent him to sell thousands and thousands of books..... Dumu Eduba (talk) 12:04, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
But what do you think of the idea in general? We can always find some bland name. Akerbeltz (talk) 12:11, 8 June 2010 (UTC)
We should wait until the academic literature give a name to the family or families, ant that those names get some kind of academic consensus. Dumu Eduba (talk) 10:05, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

The NPOV isn't about Morvan but repeated deleting of new contributions to this article. I don't think there's no need to write such an article about "finge theories". Including a simple cross-link to the Dene-Caucasian article, for example, would be NPOV. BTW, Circassian is part of the Abhaz-Adyghe family (NWC), so it belongs to Dene-Caucasian. Talskubilos (talk) 19:47, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Easy, "new contributions" should be based on reliable sources. Relation between Basque and Caucasian (any Caucasian language or family) is dubious and it is not believed by any Basque language reputed expert (not even as a maybe), rather those proposals have received very harsh criticisms. In the Dene-Caucasian theories there is nothing interesting on Aquitanian on or the relations between Basque and Iberian. Finally let's not forget that Dene-Caucasian theory is a demonstranda, so no language belongs for sure to it (at least for now)(IMHO there are other hypothetical macro-families that have much more probabilities to be right that Dene-Caucasian, even if I should not claim any of them to be more than a hypothesis ).Dumu Eduba (talk) 10:05, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

Dumu Eduba: Relation between Basque and Caucasian (any Caucasian language or family) is dubious and it is not believed by any Basque language reputed expert (not even as a maybe), rather those proposals have received very harsh criticisms. Me: But that isn't a reason to exclude it from Wikipedia, otherwise it would violate NPOV. To be fair, it should be pointed out Basque "experts" defend collectively what I term the "isolation paradigm", that is, that Basque can't be reliably related to any other language in the world, not even Iberian.

Dumu Eduba: In the Dene-Caucasian theories there is nothing interesting on Aquitanian on or the relations between Basque and Iberian. Me: I think otherwise, but this hasn't been yet the object of published (rather than "original") research.

Dumu Eduba: Finally let's not forget that Dene-Caucasian theory is a demonstranda, so no language belongs for sure to it (at least for now). Me: You'd better consult the article on Dene-Caucasian languages.

Dumu Eduba: IMHO there are other hypothetical macro-families that have much more probabilities to be right that Dene-Caucasian, even if I should not claim any of them to be more than a hypothesis. Me: Which ones? Talskubilos (talk) 11:37, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

First Dene-Caucasian is already quoted in the Wikipedia, even in the Basque language page. The standard scientific thought is that it is very dubious and many reviews have been published. To conclude that this is a problem with Basque "experts" and their alleged "isolation paradigm" is a prejudice. The real question is that any relation must be properly demonstrated. A few years ago a new language family was proposed (on Asian and American languages, Dené-Yeniseian languages) and was accepted without problems, because it was sound and soundly explained.
Second: as you say if there is something D-C interesting stuff on Basque or on Aquitanian it is still unpublished. So your own opinion states that (at least for now) it has no place in these articles.
I have read some of Bengtson works and at best there is still much work to do before his ideas get convincing (specially on Basque, where he has had to withdrawn many of his flawed proposals).
Maybe the question is not which macro-families I considered to be more probable, but why Dene-Caucasian deserves special consideration in the articles on Basque and related and maybe related languages, but no other macro-families which include Basque (specially if we are discussing the NPOV).
But of course the question is that whereas macro-families-doers have written much (or too much) on Basque, they have not studied Aquitanian. So, what is the point of taking into account them in this article. It is a waste of time. Their place is in the Basque language page. Dumu Eduba (talk) 12:10, 10 June 2010 (UTC)
There is a reason to exclude minor fringe stuff from Wikipedia. Some of it just doesn't deserve the publicity. The John F. Kennedy assassination article does not list ALL the theories, sane or insane. It lists the most credible/supported/common ones; some of the more fringy ones are relegated to John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories. And I'm certain that a lot never even make it onto that page because they're just too isolated. In some ways, Basque is the JFK of linguistics, it attracts theories like light does moths. An article like Aquitanian language or Basque language does not have to deal with EVERY theory under the sun, especially not if they're so far out of the mainstream that vasconists haven't even bothered to refute it.
As far as the macrofamilies goes, I simply avoid those pages. They're still so putative that you can spend a lifetime arguing a simple morph and still have no proof. As far as vasconists are concerned, Basque is an isolate, macrofamilies included. There may be something in the Iberian link after all, as we discovered not too long ago but so far it's mostly tantalising theories.
And lastly, WP:NOR calls for secondary and tertiary sources (in an ideal setting of course). Self-publication falls well short of that and while I know only too well that secondary sources on less common topics are a luxury we often do not have, something that's contentiuous better have them. So unless someone else in mainstream linguistics (not Antonio Arnaiz-Villena please) starts backing up Morvan, you will have a hard time getting him onto Wiki. Akerbeltz (talk) 12:23, 10 June 2010 (UTC)

But Morvan is already mentioned (although not correctly, I'll have to fix that) in the Basque language article, I agree he has no place in the Aquitanian one.

BTW, Vennemann's Vasconic substratum is a major crackpot theory and yet it has a Wikipedia article. One crude example: he takes Basque kanibet 'pocket-knife' (from Gascon ganivet, itself a Germanic loanword) as a proof the Germanic word (PGmc. *knīfa-z) is a loanword from "Vasconic". Talskubilos (talk) 09:41, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

Morvan is graced with a subclause because we had an edit war with someone who insisted on him being there and we got tired of deleting him. Vennemann has his own page because he IS a renowned linguist even if his Basque stuff is nuts - he was head of the School of Theoretical Phonetics at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich for decades and has a good track record in other topics. Morvan is a, well, fairly minor, unknown figure. A Google Scholar search returns 46 results for Morvan + Basque, Vennemann + Basque 446, Trask + Basque 1030, Michelena + Basque 968, Gorrochategui + Basque 215, just to give you an idea. Akerbeltz (talk) 10:09, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
PS You are right that the Vasconic Substratum page requires critical evaluation though, that's not a lack of willingness on the Basque topic editors' behalf, just a question of time I'm sure. There's not that many and we can't be everywhere, especially if basic stuff keeps flaring like it does on Basque related pages with annoying frequency. Akerbeltz (talk) 10:11, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
My experience is that any single of Vennemann's ideas, whatever the field, is riddled with problems (yes, including stuff like Silbenschnitt or "morphological naturalness" although this one goes back to Mayerthaler), so if there's an idea he supports, I'm automatically very suspicious. He also not above using some very despicable and unethical fallacious rhetorics such as suggesting (only slightly obliquely at best, I don't remember the exact phrasing he used) anti-Semitic tendencies in those who don't believe his Semitic etymologies – I'm not joking, I've witnessed it in person. That he's such a red flag for popular but dubious ideas is probably due to the fact that while he's got an advanced degree and impressive publication history and formerly had that notable position, is charming and a good speaker and rhetoricist who can appear very convincing even to colleagues who are not extremely well-versed in the relevant topic, what people don't realise is that he got his title in the US where the standards are different, and at least in this field, not nearly as high. He ranks high on my crank scale, which is all the more infuriating because he's got such a good reputation and cred almost everywhere, but it's not really deserved. (It's like: "OK, he's got some odd ideas about this area I know well, but his work in this other area seems to be solid seeing how often it is cited." Unfortunately, the phenomenon of "crank magnetism" appears to apply even in his case.) I've found out that just about every field of inquiry seems to have at least one well-known proponent like this, well-respected in the public and sometimes even among scholars outside the relevant specialties, but those who are intimately familiar with the relevant subfield usually just roll their eyes at the mention of his or her name because the person's ideas just don't add up with the evidence, however popular they may be. But – even in serious linguistic literature by scholars I have high opinions of – you see Vennemann cited everywhere. I've got nothing against the man, he's basically that friendly and imaginative uncle who likes to tell stories; he's no doubt an intelligent, hard-working and honest person. Just (please, please everyone) don't assume it's correct when you see something cited to him, as a rule.
Back on topic, the idea of an Aquitanian or Basque-like substrate in the south of France is not implausible, and if place-name elements like aran crop up in (say) the Provence, I'm not saying they cannot be linked to Basque, however they got there (originating from a Basque-related local language in antiquity or from outside the region). But Basque etymologies in regions as far afield as Northern Germany or Southern Italy are not really credible, and his attempts to discredit traditional German etymologies of German place-names are ludicrous. The so-called Old European hydronomy, as a pattern, is probably an artifact (a mirage) and it's just unbelievable that all of Europe ever spoke a single language, even immediately after the end of the Pleistocene, as there were several refugia even during the Last Glacial Maximum. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:41, 25 June 2014 (UTC)


The word atta is also attested in Latin and Gothic as father. Attas in Hittite also means father. Is it just a coincidence or...? 23:32, 20 October 2012 (UTC)23:32, 20 October 2012 (UTC)~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

See False cognate#"Mama and papa" type. Words of the shape (C)aC(C)a or (C)aC (where C can stand for any of the consonant sounds /t ~ d/, /p ~ b/, /n/ or /m/) referring to caregivers and elders (typically nasals for women, stops for men) crop up in loads of unrelated languages all over the world. They're easy to pronounce for little children, typically even their first words, and therefore called "elementary words", or Lallwörter in German. Compare Baby talk. Words of this type are sometimes borrowed, but they keep being formed anew, so their value for genetic language comparison is very limited. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 13:41, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
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