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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Venneman's exposition of Vasconic substrate in Western Europe

Found at Iruinaoka's page at YouTube, which also includes many videos on Iruña-Veleia, most of them in Spanish language.

However linguist Theo Venneman's exposition is in English, even if his German accent and poor sound quality make sometimes difficult to follow. Turn volume up, adjust balance and be patient... or look for a better quality video/book/paper. I apologize in advance for that poor quality, which is annoying, but I cannot do anything about it.

Video 1: greeting in Basque, introduction on Basque known and speculated history (Upper Paleolithic) and vigesimal system in Basque, Western Romance, Gallic and Germanic:

Video 2: Verbs: difference between to be at/in/on (egon) and to be something (izan). Accents.

Video 3: Loanwords: kinfe (< ganibet), silver (< zilar), star (< izar), andra (lady, woman), grand (< grandi < handi)...

Video 4: More loanwords: cheese (< Käse < gazta < gatz = salt), bust and bush. Toponimy: Lech.

Video 5: Toponimy:  

Is- (Isar, Isère, IJzer, etc.), from Iz- found in compound words like izurde = dolphin ("water boar"), and ur- (from ur = water).  

Aran (valley), from which: Arn- in Germany/Austria, -earn in Scotland.  

Ibaso (ancestor river?) -> Ybbs, Ibar (river bank) -> Eber-, Iberus/Ebro...

Suffix -oz (place?)

Video 6:

Toponimy: -os.

Heint/haint (German): today, from hi naht ('this night'), construction similar to Basque gaur (gau: night + (hau)r: this), also reported by Caesar in Gaulish.

Coherence between linguistics and genetics.

See also:
  • Theo Venneman's homepage
  • B. Oyharçabal's Power Point presentation (including many of the same graphs used by Venneman in his exposition): direct download.
  • R. Mailhammer's The Prehistory of European languages (PDF)


Notes: I must say that I do not necessarily agree with every single etymology but I do with the bulk of them at least. 

I must also say that I miss mention of some Vascoid roots I considered on my own, some very apparent, for instance:
  • The obvious bi- Latin particle for two or double (as in bilateral, bipartite, etc.), which is not Indoeuropean and is terribly consistent with Basque bi: two.
  • Professional suffix -er/-ero, very similar to Basque -ari, which is used the same way but has a clear Basque etymology: ari (auxiliary verb of action, used in present/past continuous), arin (fast, quick), aritu (to hurry).
  • English verbal infinitive particle to (as in to be, to do...), which sounds identical to the most common verbal infinitive suffix in Basque: -tu (sometimes found as -du for cacophony avoidance). Other verbal endings are -n and -i. This one is a bit conjectural. 
  • English ash, Basque auts (ash, dust).
  • English kill and ill, strikingly similar to Basque il(-du) (pronounced like ill), meaning 'to die' (intransitive) or 'to kill' (transitive).
 More conjectural:
  • English black, compare with Basque bel-(tz) (black), which is at least coincident in the two main consonants. However there is a Germanic-IE etymology as well from *blegh (to burn, shine) but this is the same root as blanco/blanche (white) and blank. Conjectural.
  • Arguros and argentum, silver in Greek and Latin respectively. Possibly from Basque argi (light, shiny/bright, to shine), would be a loanword from the Bronze Age possibly. The only Eastern IE word is Sanskrit arjúna (not silver but white) but may well be unrelated or a borrowing via Mycenaean Greek. Conjectural.
  • Possibly mountain (V. Lat. montanea) and mound. While this is argued to be an IE word, Eastern alleged cognates appear without the intermediate -n- and mean different things (such as shore in Albanian mat). I conjecture it may be from Basque mendi (mountain) instead, in turn from mende (power, might), rel. mendebalde (West: 'part under power' or maybe 'under the mountain') and possibly from a very archaic West Eurasian root *man, as in manna, man, Lat. manus (hand), meaning power or potency.
  • Coincidences of declined to be: Basque zara (you are), English are, Spanish eres (you are). Also notice the similitude between IE *is (to be) and Basque izan (to be). Also coincidence in the second person but dancing between singular and plural: Basque zu (singular 'you' but distinct from hi: thou), English thou, German du, Latin tu. These and maybe others might point to a common very old origin of Basque and IE or to the affection of PIE by a Basque-related language such as NE Caucasic/Hurro-Urartean/Sumerian (conjecturally the language of Eastern Gravettian). Alternatively some may be influences of IE into Basque but most look as deep phylogenetically rooted in Basque.

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