Graeco-Phrygian group! Feb 15, 2011 14:52:02 GMT -5
Post by Emperor AAdmin on Feb 15, 2011 14:52:02 GMT -5
via another forum
02-09-2009, 09:51 PM
After the work of Claude Brixhe in the Phrygian language (Brixhe-Lejeune 1984) linguists generally agree that this language (the tongue of the ancient Phrygians extinct long time ago) is the closest relative of the greek language. Their exact relation is that of two daughters of the same precursor that we shall name Graeco-Phrygian language .
Here's what eminent linguists like Brixhe, Masson, Mallory, Adams, Renfrew , Woodard and Fortson have said:
I hope that you have noticed the Phrygian inscription "Midai Lavagtaei Vanaktei" ... it's translation into ancient greek is "Μίδᾳ ΛαFαγέτι Fάνακτι" ("Midai Lawageti Wanakti" = "to king and people's leader Midas").
The similarity with the Greek is trully astonishing !!!
Greek and Phrygian are both Centum indoeuropean languages of the East group. Centum of the East group means that their precursor has abandoned the Steppe Homeland a little before the "Satem" innovation (a couple of centuries after 3000 BC). This means that the Graeco-Phrygian language was spoken somewhere in the Balkans after 3000 BC and before 2000 BC , when the Greeks were already infiltrating Greece.
The best candidate for the Graeco-Phrygian group is the Bubanj-Hum II culture in south Morava and Kosovo (ca. 2800-1900 BC). Around 2500 BC a part of this culture's population migrates southward and settles in Pelagonia (northwestern Macedonia , Supljevac-Bakarno Gumno culture) and north Epirus (Maliq culture , Albania , south of lake Ohrid). The part that remained in situ will maintain some of the Bubanj-Hum II elements , but will also later receive further "Balkan" influence both Northern (Baden , Urnfield , Lausitz) and Eastern (Crna Voda III , "Thracian"). The final result will be it's transition to the Mediana group near Niss after 1900 BC , when most of the earlier Bubanj-Hum II territory will pass in the Bubanj-Hum III phase (starting ca. 1900 BC) showing elements of both Thracian and Dalmatian influence (Bubanj-Hum III is the cultural precursor of the historical Dardanians , a mixed Thraco-Illyrian population). The Bubanj-Hum III populations will gradually displace the Mediana versus south and versus west. The final result is that the Phrygians of the Mediana group will continue to be relatively contiguus to the northern Greek population that long before had moved southwards to Epirus & Macedonia.
The link between proto-Greeks and Bubanj-Hum II culture is archaeologically documented. A number of elements that the proto-Greeks brought with them in Greece can be traced a bit earlier in Bubanj-Hum II and in it's southern extensions in North Epirus and Pelagonia. These elements are:
1) The Pseudominyan Gray Ware . It's a kind of pottery that first appears in Bubanj-Hum II , migrates in Pelagonia & North Epirus where it "matures" in Minyan Ware , that is the Ware that has infiltrated Greece during the "coming of the Greeks" and Schlieman has traced in Orkhomenos of Boetia (and thre for named it after the legendary local king Minyas).
2) The Megaron structures and the Apsidal Houses. The first were the habitations of the Mycenaean chieftains until the adoption of the Minoic Palatial structures , meanwhile the latter were a new shape of common dwellings different from the earlier Rectangular ones. Both these structures can be traced in the Gradac hill of Vucedol (very close to the modern city of Skopje) around 2500 BC , that is around the time that Bubanj-Hum II migrants have passed from there uriong their southward expansion.
3) The Earliest "Centaurus Figurine" has been found in Bubanj-Hum I culture (ca. 3000 BC) and this probably means that the proto-Greeks have adopted their "centauric myths" during their stay in Bubanj-Hum II and brought with them in Greece.
4) As we said above the remnant Bubanj-Hum II culture will finally evolve in the Mediana Group of Niss which much later (around 1200 BC) will invade Macedonia. At the same time we have the historical certainty that the Phrygians (with a language that has many similarities with Greek) have indeed invaded Macedonia and Epirus at the same time.
So starting to diverge as different dialects of the same Graeco-Phrygian precursor when the proto-Greeks have moved southwards around 2500 BC , Greek and Phrygian must of have been mutually intelligible before evolving into distinct unintelligible languages. Let's consider the relation of Italian and Spanish. Both languages originated as regionally different dialects of Late Vulgar Latin. Most linguists agree that the two languages were mutually intelligible until sometime around 700 AD , meanwhile they were already unintelligible around 1700 AD. From other similar examples we arrive at the same conclusion: The "latency period" during which two dialects evolve in different languages is about 1000 years. Applying the same criterion in the Graeco-Phrygian case we can hypothesize that starting from 2500 BC the two languages were mutually intelligible until some time around 1500 BC.
The proto-Greeks from Maliq initiate to infiltrate Greece proper around 2100 BC (arriving at Lerna in the Peloponnesus around 1900 BC) , meanwhile the Pelagonian proto-Greeks will remain in Pelagonia for a couple of centuries and , later , around 1800 BC due to Balkan pressure will move southwestwards settling in the territories that the south Greeks have abandoned.
The division of the Early Greeks between : "Early invaders" (Maliq IIb) and "Pelagonian dwellers" who lateron moved southwestwards to Epirus is the geographical-historical basis of the "Risch & Porzig classification of the Greek dialects" :
As you can see the "Early invading" Greeks are linguisticaly belonging to the "South Greek group" and will evolve in the Mycenaeans during the second half of the second millenium BC and after 1000 BC will give birth to the Attic-Ionic and Arcadocypriot dialects. The "Pelagonian dwellers" that stayed in the north are the linguistical "North Greeks" and form the bulk from which Macedonians , Epirotans , Aeolians , Dorians and NW Greeks will stem. As you can see above the separation of the Aeolic and Doric dialects is calculated by Risch & Porzig around 1200 BC , the time that the Phrygians will descent to north Epirus and Macedonia pushing the northern Greeks southwards. The final result is the "Dorian Descent" , the arrival of the Thessalians in Thessaly from Thesprotia and the arrival of the Macedonians , Magnetes and Perrhaebians in West (mountainous) Pieria and Perrhaebia. Shortly later , Thracians will drive away the Magnetes from coastal Pieria south of the river Peneus.
In the same time the descending northern Greeks will press the south Greeks (ex Mycenaeans) prompting their migration in the Aegean islands and the coast of Asia Minor. Lesbos and the nearby mainland will become Aeolian , meanwhile the Aegean islands and southcentral Asia Minor coast will become Ionian.
In this situation :
1) The Macedonians are neighbours of the culturarely advanced Phrygians and will be massivelly influenced by them both culturarely and linguisticaly (Brixhe's model of Phonological osmosis)
2) The Dorians end up in the Peloponnese where they will be influenced by pre-Dorian Greek elements that will inevitably "southernize" proto-Doric Greek into classic Doric.
3) Lesbian Aeolic will be massively influenced by the nearby Ionians , meanwhile the "Helladic" Aeolian of the Thessalians and Boetians will maintain many similarities with the Western daughters of Northern Greek (Doric , Macedonian , Epirotan etc)
The whole history and "arborization" of the initial Graeco-Phrygian group can be seen in the following graphic. The circles represent "Isochronic lines" , that is are indicators of time , meanwhile the horizontal axis represents geographical location (north vs. south) and eventual migrations in this direction.
After presenting the general context above we can now speak of some specific linguistic considerations.
1) The original Graeco-Phrygian group being a "dialect" of Late Centum Proto-Indoeuropean used the "VOICED & ASPIRATED" consonants [*bh,gh,dh] , which in "standard" Greek will become "DEVOICED & ASPIRATED" [ph,kh,th or pre-late Classic greek φ,χ,θ] , meanwhile in Phrygian -as in every other Paleo-Balkan language- will become "VOICED & DEASPIRATED" [b,d,g or pre-late classic Greek β,γ,δ].
2) The main reason for which the ancient Macedonian idiom has been "accused" as non-Greek in the past is that it shares the "Balkan trend" of "voiced & deaspirated" forms instead of the "standard" Greek "devoiced & aspirated" one. For instance , in Macedonia the name Φίλιππος has been found also writen as Βίλιππος or the month names Ξανδικός and Ὑπερβερεταίος instead of their "standard" Greek forms Ξανθικός and Ὑπερφερεταίος. Finally , the greek word Χθῶν ("Earth") is the "standard" greek analog of the Phrygian Γδονα (Mygdonia) , yet the other "standard" greek words for "Earth" Γῆ/Γᾶ/Γαῖα/Γόνα and Δῆ/Δᾶ/Δόνα/Διώνα seem to derive from Γδῶνα rather than Χθῶν (or if you like have followed parallel paths with Phrygian). In the same time , there are clear indications that the Macedonian idiom didn't use the "Balkan trends" exclusively. For instance , in Pieria (the Macedonian homeland) the toponyms Φυλάκη and Λείβηθρον as well as the rivername Βαφύρας have not only perfectly greek etymology (as every other toponym and hydronym of the Macedonian homeland), but also perfectly greek phonology.
3) Interestingly , these "apparently non-Greek" trends have been found in all the greek dialects , often in the Northern ones and rarely in the Southern ones. For instance , the only case this feature appears in Attic is in the bird that Aristophanes names Κεβλήπυρις , instead of "Standard" Greek Κεφαλήπυρις. The northern Greek dialects on the other hand are full of examples of this trend. For instance , Doric βώνημα , Κόροιβος , Elean βρα , Aeolic Βοῖβη (a lake linked with Apollo Φοῖβος) , instead of their "standard" forms φώνημα , Κόροιφος , φρατήρ , Φοῖβη. In the same time , the above mentioned "Macedonian" month names are also found in other northern greek tribes : Ξανδικός was also a (Aeolian) Perrhaebian month , meanwhile Ὑπερβερεταίος was also a Cretan Doric month.
After this consideration it is more accurate to say that the "Paleo-Balkan trends" are very frequent in the Macedonian dialect of Greek , less frequent in the other northern Greek dialects , and very rare in the South Greek dialects. So rather than a distinction between "Greek" and "non Greek" features it is better to speak of a continuous and decreasing (moving from north to south) frequency of "balkan trends" within the Greek dialects. The Macedonian high frequency is explained by the fact that the Macedonians in High Pieria were the only Greek tribe that has maintained a strong contact with the Phrygians , during the period of Phrygian advanced culture (1100-900 BC) in the Central Macedonian Plain. This "cultural gradient" was the reason why "Phrygian trends" were admired and emulated by the Macedonians (Claude Brixhe's model of "phonological osmosis").
But it is erroneous to consider ALL the Macedonian "balkan trends" as Phrygian loans , but it is more accurate to consider some of them as loans and some of them as "internal northern Greek developments". Afterall , the Dorians were driven away by the Phrygians and were already in Peloponnesus around 1100 BC when the Phrygian culture has started to flourish. Knowing also that the Illyrians have moved south of the lakeland after 1050 BC , we can be almost certain that the Doric "balkan trends" have been brought to Peloponnesus from the north as "Northern Greek trends" rather than "non Greek loans".
4) At this point a reasonable question should be : "Why didn't the southern Greeks affected by these "Balkan trends" ?"
To answer that we must view the geographical situation of the Bubanj-Hum II culture (Graeco-Phrygian) and it's relation with the other Paleo-Balkan indoeuropean speaking groups around 2400 BC
As you can see the proto-Greek group can be divided in a "Northern" and a "Southern" variant. The Northern variant is completely insulating the Southern one from the other Inner Balkan groups , meanwhile it self is in contact with both the emerging proto-Phrygian group and the Paeonian one. The Phrygian group on the other hand is in contact with both the Paeonian group and the Italo-Celto-Illyrian group ( and we've seen above that Phrygian shares some isoglosses with Latin). In the same time , the Southern Greek group is in contact only with the anatolian group.All this permites us to postulate:
1) Graeco-Phrygian used the VOICED & ASPIRATED PIE [*bh,gh,dh]
2) Deaspiration [b,d,g] was a "Balkanian innovation" that has affected all the Inner Paleo-Balkan IE languages and also affected completely Phrygian.
3) This happened in a time when proto-Phrygian was still mutually intelligible with proto-Greek and in close contiguity with the northern Greek group. So the Phrygian acted as a vehicle that partially "Balkanized" the northern greek group phonologicaly.
4) In the same time , the "insulated" Southern Greek group was in contact with the culturarely advanced Anatolian group who is characterized by a "DEVOICED & DEASPIRATED" Set [p,t,k] (example Hittite nepis = "sky" compared to Latin nebula and Greek nephele or Hittite tehhi = "I place" compared to Greek tithemi and Sanskrit dadhami ).
This means that the PIE Set [*bh,dh,gh] of the "insulated" southern Greek group has interacted with the Anatolian [p,t,k] Set and formed the "standard" Greek Set [ph,kh,th] and this influence became stronger when the proto-south Greeks have reached Greece proper where a stronger interaction with the pre-Greeks took place.
All the above indicate that the Proto-Greek group was devided in a southern Greek group with a Set [*bh,dh,gh >> ph,th,kh] and a northern Greek group exposed to the "Inner Balkan" Set [*bh,dh,gh >> b,d,g]. The final "standardization" of the south Greek phonology was due to the cultural advantage that the South Greeks (Mycenaeans) gained over the Northern Greeks who entered the south Greek cultural sphere, which made the latter adopt the phonology of the former by the same mechanisms (cultural gradient , admiration , emulation - "phonological osmosis") that made the Macedonians later to adopt more "Phrygian" trends during their interaction.