Latin perfects and Fluent Etruscan in 30 days!

Damien Erwan Perrotin 114064.1241 at
Wed Aug 11 16:37:34 UTC 1999

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal wrote

>An instance of this is Sumerian tapiru (metal-worker),
>probably borrowed to an otherwise unknown IE-like tongue.

>Could you expand?

Tapiru is a Sumerian word whose precise meaning is "craftman working
copper by hammering it". It is very likely to be a loanword since
Sumerian does not have pollysyllabic roots and tapiru can not be
analyzed as a compound. It is very similar to an IE root with a very
similar meaning *dhebhros (craftman) found in Latin faber and Armenian
darbin (smith). As the Sumerian word does not fit into the general
system of the language it is unlikely we have there a chance
ressemblance. This could be a loanword from Guti, the language of a
Zagros tribe some suspect to have been Indo-European, but as we know
only their name, this cannot be proven. Another hypothesis was to
suppose this word was borrowed along with the copper-working thechnics.
This technic was brought in Mesopotamia by the Halaf culture, whose
center was in Northern Iraq, but originated  (the thechnic) in Eastern
Anatolia, around Catal Hüyük and Arslantepe.
Anatolia has been seriously proponed as the homeland of the
Indo-European tongues (Renfrew, Gamkrelidze) or of their ancestors
(Sheratt). It is possible that the first metal-workers of Anatolia were
speaking something close to IE, hence the curious look of the Sumerian
word for this kind of craftman. It could also have gone down from the
Steppe through the Caucasus, but this is unlikely as copper metalurgy
was rather late in the Pontic Region (around -3000 against -6000 in

Of course, all this is highly hypothetical.

Damien Erwan Perrotin

[ Moderator re-transcription:
  Anatolia, around Catal H{\"u}y{\"u}k and Arslantepe.
  --rma ]

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