David L. White dlwhite at
Thu Mar 8 20:57:44 UTC 2001

> David L. White (21 Feb 2001) wrote:

>> Yes (or maybe), but it seems we are converging on the opinion that
>> the Lemnians had probably come from the mainland.  The basic rule is that
>> people can maintain their identity, ethnic or linguistic, if they feel
>> like it, and we are not much in a position to judge at this remove.

> True, and butting heads over medieval or modern examples won't accomplish
> much. But unless they fell onto the island like Hephaistos, the Lemnians had
> to come from _some_ mainland, plausibly Chalcidice. I must admit, however,
> that arguments against Thracian or Anatolian derivation are "ex silentio"
> and not particularly compelling.

        We agree.

>> Upon further reflection, I think the Semitic intermediary, if there was one,
>> was probably Carthaginian or Phonecian, since these folk are known to have
>> had markets in the area.  That the version with "ty", as opposed to "thou"
>> passed through some non-Greek intermediary is indicated by the lack of
>> aspiration.  Note also that it must be earlier.

> The aspiration in <Thouskoi> is difficult to explain. The term is not
> attested as early as <Tursenoi>, and its signification is apparently
> geographic 'residents of Etruria', not ethnic. Had <Thouskoi> been borrowed
> directly from Lat. <Tusci>, one would not expect aspiration. The Etruscan
> forms <Tursikina>, <Trsk> argue against original aspiration. Perhaps
> <Thouskoi> comes through Pelasgian, and the aspiration is a hypercorrection
> of the p-Italic form of the name, since we have Sabine <teba> 'hill', Oscan
> <tifa> id. < Psg. *the:ba.

        I have it on good authority (Eric Hamp) that English-like aspiration
occurs in some Pennine Italian dialects.  Perhaps an ancient version of this
is the source.  But what language is "Thouskoi" in?  Something similar, by
the way, appears to be going on with "Punic" versus "Phonecian", and I would
like to know what the story is there.

>> Whether the Umbrians would have borrowed a term for their neighbors from
>> Greek depends to some extent on how the neighbors got there.  If they
>> arose indigenously, not likely, but if they just happened to have barely
>> beaten the Greeks getting out to prime colonization real-estate, and the
>> Umbrians were in contact with the Greeks, such a borrowing does not seem
>> unlikely.

> I can't argue against that, since I have no direct evidence for the date
> of arrival of the Etruscans in central Italy. Helmut Rix once advocated a
> late date (late 8th c. BCE) on the grounds of the lack of separation of
> dialects in Archaic Etruscan. IMHO such evidence from dialects is extremely
> difficult to assess, since we have so very few Archaic texts longer than the
> stereotyped phrases of funerary, dedicatory, and possessive inscriptions.
> I think it very likely that the Umbrians were in central Italy before the
> Etruscans, but that leaves a window of several centuries for the arrival
> of the latter.

>> I am not merely contradicting (I'm having a argument?).  Where people can
>> flow, influences can flow, and where we see Etruscan influence on Lemnos,
>> we can't tell which it was.

> True. However, if Lemnos or its vicinity were the Etruscan homeland, one
> would expect to find a great deal more bearing the Etruscan stamp than one
> stele and some potsherds. (Ex silentio again, which is my default form of
> argument in these matters.)

> Again, if Lemnos were the "mother polity" of the whole sweep of Etruscan
> civilization from Campania to the Alto Adige, with its own colonies in
> Corsica, Languedoc, and Tunisia, one would expect some general
> acknowledgement of this by the classical authors.

        My view is that they were a small group, very open to foreign
influences, and that their later prevalence in Etruria is due to, dare I say
it, elite dominance.   I think we agree that a large group could not have
led an in effect secret existence in the Northern Aegean for several
centuries, even during the Dark Ages.  But classical authors are not in
general reliable for more than a few generations before their time, and for
what it is worth, there are some assertions (evidently accepted by the
Etruscan themselves) that they came from Anatolia.  A soujourn in
Thrace/Chalcidice/Lemnos would not cause this to be untrue.

>> I am grateful for these examples, especially the last one.  All I
>> had been able to come up with was "Herecele".

> Strictly speaking, <Herecele> for the usual <Hercle> is an example of
> anaptyche, like <Cluthumustha> and <Chaluchasu>. It is not parallel to the
> epenthesis (or apocope) postulated for *Etrs-/*Turs-.

        It is an example of an evidently unacceptable cluster being broken
up, which is all it was meant to be.  In one case breaking up is achieved
directly by inserting a vowel, in the other case indirectly by pre-posing a
vowel that creates a syllable boundary.  But the point is that we do have
evidence for some serious differences of opinion among the people of the
time and place about what was phonotactically acceptable.

>> Not counting the Lydians and the Aeneid.  /truia/ occurs in Etruscan, where
>> I would imagine it must be taken as a Greek borrowing.  But since Greek has
>> what might be called "invisible /s/" in some circumstances, /truia/ might
>> have been /trusia/.  That is not very far from either /trus-/ or /turs-/.
>> No, I am not saying "it is proven", but we have a very suspicious
>> coincidence here, especially once the Turshas are thrown into the mix.

> One problem here is that many of the forms involving 'Troy' have the long
> vowel /o:/, apparently belonging to the root: thus <Tro:s>, gen. <Tro:os>
> 'Trojan' (subst.); <Tro:ios>, <Tro:ikos> 'Trojan' (adj.). Forms with short
> /o/, diphthongized or not, are evidently later. Hence even if the original
> root had /s/, it must also have had a _long_ vowel or a diphthong preceding:
> *Tro:s-, *Trows-, or the like. This makes it even more difficult IMHO to
> connect 'Troy' with Turs-.

        Could this long vowel not be secondary, by compensatory lengthening,
/trosy-/ -> /trohy-/ -> /trooy-/, with /y/ later lost where not
re-analyzable as part of a suffix with /i/?  In any event, for there to be a
difference of opinion about whether some vowel is a short high vowel or a
long mid vowel is not unheard of, as seen in Vulgar Latin.  Length is not
necessarily that clear.  The lowering of Greek original long mids would have
to be later, but as far as I know there is no reason that this (somewhat
strange) development has to be especially early.  The lack of a distinction
between /u/ and /o/ also may well have something to do with borrowings at
different times by different peoples taking slightly different forms.

Dr. David L. White

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