JoatSimeon at aol.com JoatSimeon at aol.com
Thu Feb 4 07:58:22 UTC 1999

>tvn at cis.uni-muenchen.de (Theo Vennemann)

>Besides, to the extent that they are prehistoric (and even the Second
>Consonant Shift is prehistoric), no-one knows when they occurred.

-- if the Celtic ironworking loans underwent the first shift, then the first
shift must postdate the loans.  Since Germanic couldn't have acquired a Celtic
ironworking terminology until ironworking spread to Central Europe, that puts
a fairly precise date on the shift, QED.  No earlier than 700 BCE, probably a
bit later.

>These may all be defensible views. Wish you did not make them sound as if
>they were mine. E.g., I assume speakers of  early forms of Germanic to
>havelived in Northern Europe since about -4000.

-- well, compromise on 3500 BCE and we're square... 8-).

But these couldn't really be "early forms of Germanic"; they're just late
Indo-European.  There's no sign the northwestern IE stocks started diverging
before the 2nd millenium BCE, and plenty that they didn't.  Talking about
proto-Germanic before the 1600-1200 BCE range isn't very meaningful, IMHO.  Of
course, I'm just following Mallory and Adams, there.

More information about the Indo-european mailing list