David L. White dlwhite at
Sat Mar 17 16:22:22 UTC 2001

        It's time (past time) for Demon David (Destroyer of Self) to get the
thrashing he so fully and richly deserves.

> Demon-David, Destroyer of Self:
>   Your grip on Greek historical phonology leaves somewhat to be
> desired.  /s/ was never lost after /r/ and /l/.  All the rigamarole you go
> through over /rs/ versus /rrh/ is therefore a complete waste of time
> for all concerned.  In the future, please, spare us.

        I will try.  (A distinctly un-devastating rejoinder.)

>         The reason that we find not /tursk-/ but /turs-/ as the Greek form
> is, fairly obviously, that /turs-/ was the native form.

        Is it?  What language is suffixal /k/, not to mention suffixal /i/,
from?  Some recent comments, if I have understood them correctly, seem to
indicate that is /k/ was Etruscan, in which case the question "why not
/turskenoi/?" is quite valid.

>         It looks like everything in sight is now becoming a "/turs^-/
> word" in your deluded imagination.

        It is not as if I am trying to connect /turs^/ with "Veia", after
all.  More to the poinst, it appears that the subtlety of my argument about
"Tarchun" has not been appreciated.  We begin with two propositions of quite
uncertain validity,
plus one fact:

        1) That "Tarchun" is to be connected with /tors^/.
        2) That the Etruscans (or at least an elite among them)
            came from Anatolia.
        3) Tarchun was the first Etruscan city.

        Now if both these propositions are true, we have an explanation for
why the first Etruscan city should bear the name "Tarchun".  If they are not
both true, then there is only a one in seven chance that the first Etruscan
city would just happen to bear the only name among seven that is conceivably
relatable to /tors^/.   Thus it would appear that there is a 6 out of 7
chance that both propositions are true.  This sort of argument is surely not
traditional, but that is irrelevant to its validity.

> Your argument that /tarkwini-/ (which is Latin, not Etruscan, please be more
> careful) is [one of them] is highly strained, not least by the fact that
> Etruscan "ch" represents /kh/, not /x/.

        It is fairly normal for aspirates to have voiceless fricatives as
allophones, or such sound changes as we see in Greek would not get off the
ground.  Furthermore, the variation we see in "mach" '5' versus "muvalch"
'50' suggests an original rounded /x/ (or at least [x]), as it is a lot
easier to motivate loss of [x] than loss of [kh].  The very common occurence
of "chv" after sonorants, particularly /l/ and /r/, suggests a unitary
phoneme that had to be spelled as a sequence owing to the nature of the
spelling system.  Etruscan "Tarchun" could quite possibly go back to such a
thing, which in some cases might have been a later development of /s^/, for
phonetic reasons which have been given before.

> Furthermore, if the /turs^-/ word had survived as /tarkhw-/ [or anything] in
> Etruscan, what reason would they have to re-borrow it from Greek as /truia/?

        The various changes it went through rendered the original word
(/tursik-/?) no longer recognizable as the same word as /troia/ by the time
"the glory that was Troy" came along in a Greek guise.  So they engaged in a
relatively straightforward re-borrowing.  Stranger things have happened.

        While I am at it, I may note the the nativist view has Etruscan
civilization developing in Etruria in response to Greek (and Phonecian)
contacts in Campania, since it is only there that such contacts can be
found.  Perhaps I am missing something here, but would it not make more
sense for a civilization that developed in response to Greek contacts in
Campania to develop in Campania, not Etruria?  The something I am perhaps
missing might be said to be the wealth in metals of Etruria, but Campania
had its own wealth in agriculture.  In any event, I think there is an
awkward gap to be jumped. It makes more sense to think that a small group of
Northern Aegeans, inspired to get out of a somewhat precarious existence
there, hit the colonial jackpot at the beginning of the colonial age,
beating the Greeks (and Phonecians) to prime territory, and so impressing
the natives with their superior culture that assimiliation is positively to
be expected.

Dr. David L. White

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