Etruscan / Pelasgian

philjennings at philjennings at
Sat Apr 28 02:10:09 UTC 2001

A series of leading questions:

Is the -assos part of Parnassos, Halicarnassos, etc. thought to be from the
Pelasgian substrate?

Or is it from a different, later, Anatolian substrate?

Is the -assa of Tarhuntassa recognized to be the same suffix worked by
the Greeks into -assos?

Isn't Tarhuntassa securely located as a neighbor to Kizzuwatna?
(I envision this about as far east as the borders of southwest Asia
Minor can be stretched.  I have heard that Tarhuntassa = later Tarsus.)

How old a god is Tarhun(d/t)?  Could he possibly be pre-Anatolian (ie.
Pelasgian on the theory that Pelasgian <> Anatolian)?

But I think the answer must be no.  Tarhun(d/t) is as Anatolian as St.
Brigid is Irish.  In that case, did the founders of Tarhuntassa append
a foreign -assa suffix to give their city name "class?"  (I'm from
Minneapolis so I'm familiar with this practice.)

Rather than this, Is there not sufficient evidence here and elsewhere,
that the -assa suffix is Anatolian as well as Pelasgian?

Given the location of Tarhuntassa and its obvious Anatolian-ness, can't a
strong case be made for a bond between Anatolian and the substrate
everybody's talking about here?

I suspect Dr. White has given my "right-fork" theory of Anatolian-Pelasgian
connectedness a death-blow, but alas I am too elementary in my thinking
processes to understand what he meant by:

>As for the Pelasgians being a "right fork" of the IE-Anatolians who passed
>into Greece, if their language had phonetically aspirated /t/s (and presumably
>/p, k/), which is necessary to explain how Anatolian /t/ could appear as Greek
>/th/, would we not find "Chorinthos", "Pharnassos", and even (farther afield)
>"Tharthessos"? To invoke aspiration merely to explain the Greek /th/ for
>Anatolian /t/ (or even /d/), conveniently ignoring unwanted side effects, is
>not acceptable. What language in the world aspirates /t/ only after /n/? None
>that I ever heard of.

Apparently it is my burden to explain the Greek /th/ for Anatolian /t/ or
/d/, but I don't know why.  (And certainly I don't know how!)

Dr. White also explains the wide dispersion of -assos names (like Tartessos) as
possibly due to later Greek mediation.  It is in fact extreme to think of early
Pelasgians in Spain.  But the name Tarhuntassa came and went before the Greeks
came snooping very far into Asia Minor.  Some kind of pre-Greek dispersion
really did happen.

I am friendly to the idea of a dispersion of an originally unified linguistic
community into Italy, Greece and Asia Minor.  I can see why those focused on
Asia Minor might talk of Anatolians, and those focused on Greece might talk of
Pelasgians.  I'm sure the people directly involved would have been surprised to
hear themselves described by either term.

Anatolian is sometimes held to be so early that it is on sister-sister terms
with the entire remainder of IE.  Perhaps Pelasgian can have the distinct
qualities Kilday gives it, if it is acknowledged as a third sister, close
enough to Anatolian to be joined at the hip.  (Er, "joined at the assos?")

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