IE, Genetic Data, Languages of Anatolia

manaster at manaster at
Thu Feb 25 18:30:08 UTC 1999

On Mon, 8 Feb 1999, Wolfgang Schulze wrote:

> Miguel Carrasquer Vidal schrieb:

> > I tend think of North Caucasian (NEC/NWC) as the
> > primary candidate for the original language of the steppe lands.
> > The Northern Caucasus is a "residual zone", in Johanna Nichols'
> > terminology.  It contains the linguistic residue of the peoples
> > that were once dominant in the neighbouring "spread zone" (the
> > steppe).

> Do you have any LINGUISTIC proof or at least some indications that would
> justify such an assumption? According to my knowledge neither West nor East
> Caucasian languages had ever been spoken in "the steppe". I would be eager to
> learn about your findings such as place names and other toponyms (I do not
> refer to so-called "North Caucaisan" loans into PIE because non of them has
> ever been substantiated).


I agree that Miguel is making statements for which there is little

> > At the outer layer we have Russian, then Mongol
> > (Kalmyk) and Turkic (Nogai, Karachai, Balkar etc.), then Iranian
> > (Ossetian), and the inner layer is formed by NWC and NEC.  This
> > suggests that before IE, the steppe was peopled by North
> > Caucasians.  And if there's indeed a genetic link between North
> > Caucasian, Yeniseian and Sino-Tibetan (the Sino-Caucasian
> > hypothesis), that's indeed what we would expect.


> Is it just to support (horribile
> dictu) Sino-Caucasian?

I don't know what Miguel views of Sino-Caucasian are, but I
do know that these kinds of speculations are precisely grist
to the mill of those, like Wolfgang, who are perhaps all
too eager to dismiss the SC theory w/o a proper evaluation.

I would like for the nth time to ask that people try to
distinguish between speculation and specific (published or
at least publishable) proposals.  Of course, this request
goes out to both sides...

> No serious specialist of either Sino-Tibetian or
> East/West Caucasian would ever defend such a hypothesis.... Quoting L.
> Bloomfield we may say: Sino-Caucasian belongs into the museum of superstition
> (and not onyl Sino-Tibetian)...

This is debatable, or at least it should be.  I have yet to
see any real debate of the SC hypothesis.  If there is any
competent comment on this hypothesis, pro or con, I would
appreciate references.


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