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New Indo-European Language Discovered
Sci-News.com ^ | 6-19-2012 | John Shanks

Posted on 06/21/2012 5:14:04 PM PDT by Renfield

A linguistics researcher at the Macquarie University in Australia has discovered that the language, known as Burushaski, which is spoken by about 90,000 people who reside in a remote area of Pakistan, is Indo-European in origin.

Prof Ilija Casule’s discovery, which has now been verified by a number of the world’s top linguists, has excited linguistics experts around the world.

An entire issue of the eminent international linguistics journal the Journal of Indo-European Studies is devoted to a discussion of his findings later this month.

More than fifty eminent linguists have tried over many years to determine the genetic relationship of Burushaski. But it was Prof Casule’s painstaking research, based on a comprehensive grammatical, phonological, lexical and semantic analysis, which established that the Burushaski language is in fact an Indo-European language most likely descended from one of the ancient Balkan languages.

Prof Casule said that the language is most probably ancient Phrygian.

The Phrygians migrated from Macedonia to Anatolia (today part of Turkey) and were famous for their legendary kings who figure prominently in Greek mythology such as King Midas who turned whatever he touched into gold. They later migrated further east, reaching India. Indeed, according to ancient legends of the Burushaski (or Burusho) people, they are descendants of Alexander the Great.

Tracing the historical path of a language is no easy task. Prof Casule said he became interested in the origins of Burushaski more than 20 years ago.

“People knew of its existence but its Indo-European affiliation was overlooked and it was not analyzed correctly. It is considered a language isolate – not related to any other language in the world in much the same way that the Basque language is classified as a language isolate,” he added.

The remoteness of the area that was independent until the early 1970s when it became part of Pakistan, ensured Burushaski retained certain grammatical and lexical features that led Prof Casule to conclude it is a North-Western Indo-European language, specifically of the Paleobalkanic language group and that it corresponds most closely with Phrygian.

Prof Casule’s work is groundbreaking, not only because it has implications for all the Indo-European language groups, but also provides a new model for figuring out the origins of isolate languages – where they reside in the linguistic family tree and how they developed and blended with other languages to form a new language.


TOPICS: History; Science
KEYWORDS: afanasevo; alexanderthegreat; anatolia; aryaninvasion; aryans; burushaski; china; epigraphyandlanguage; godsgravesglyphs; indoeuropeans; indusvalley; indusvalleyscript; kashmir; language; macedonia; pakistan; phrygia; phrygian; phrygians; taklamakan; tarimbasin; tocharian; tocharians; xinjiang

Map of Burushaski speaking areas (llmap.org)

1 posted on 06/21/2012 5:14:12 PM PDT by Renfield
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To: SunkenCiv

Ping


2 posted on 06/21/2012 5:14:43 PM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Renfield
Prof Casule said that the language is most probably ancient Phrygian.

Well. I'm certainly glad that's settled. Now perhaps we can get on with things.

3 posted on 06/21/2012 5:18:23 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: hinckley buzzard

Beam TV broadcasts in that area and the old language will die out quick.


4 posted on 06/21/2012 5:28:34 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: Renfield

Wasn’t he an old-time 1st-baseman for the Sox — Lenny Burushaski?


5 posted on 06/21/2012 5:37:44 PM PDT by mikrofon (Bats Right...)
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To: Renfield
Very interesting. Phrygian itself is odd because it was spoken in western Asia Minor but it is not part of the Anatolian branch of Indo-European (Hittite, Luwian, Palaic, Lydian, etc.), but was brought in from the Balkans.

Herodotus has a story (2.2) about the Egyptian king Psammetichus wanting to know which was the oldest language, so he had two babies raised by a shepherd who was told not to utter any words in their presence but to take note of the first word they said. One day the children came to him and said "bekos" (accent on the "o"). Psammetichus investigated and discovered that bekos was the Phrygian word for "bread," and so he concluded that Phrygian was the oldest human language.

If it's in Herodotus, it has to be true.

The question is how a relative of Phrygian would wind up in Pakistan. The Persians used to transplant populations--conceivably they could have transplanted some Phrygians to that area. But that only works if the language is a descendant of Phrygian--it may be more like a cousin.

6 posted on 06/21/2012 8:46:16 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Renfield

7 posted on 06/22/2012 3:56:24 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: Verginius Rufus; blam; SunkenCiv; muawiyah

Good logical deduction. They could be also from Alexander’s armies?


8 posted on 06/22/2012 5:01:50 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: Cronos
By the time Al Iskander got that far East his armies were made up of mostly non-Greek units brought in from Anatolia, Persia, etc.

That doesn't rule out a Balkan language showing up, but it's more likely that Balkan language would have already been transplanted (along with the women) to the East by the Persians, and then again by Al Iskander.

So, a double-whammy.

Rather like Hungarian ~ which has several major roots. The Dravidian component had to have been transplanted to a number of places first because that is one big hike! Or sled ride, or maybe donkey trip, or goat wagon trek!

9 posted on 06/22/2012 6:51:24 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Cronos
Well, Alexander did settle colonists at various locations in central Asia--but this does seem a little out of the way. And would he have recruited men from Phrygia for a settlement?

The Phrygian religion included the cult of the Great Mother goddess Cybele, served by priests who castrated themselves.

Midas was a king of Phrygia. Maybe they should look for ruins of ancient muffler shops in this part of Pakistan.

There are more than 70 known inscriptions in Old Phrygian from the 8th to 4th centuries B.C., and about 110 in Late Phrygian from the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. The language seems to have died out about the 5th or 6th century.

10 posted on 06/22/2012 6:52:19 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: muawiyah

The idea that the Uralic or Finno-Ugric languages (Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, and others) and the Dravidian languages have any connection seems to be a minority view. The homeland of the Uralic languages and the homeland of the Dravidian languages, even assuming the latter were more widespread before the Aryan invasion of the Indian subcontinent, are pretty far apart. The only distant language which is sometimes thought to be related to Dravidian is Elamite, and that seems to be unproven.


11 posted on 06/22/2012 8:44:41 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

Harappan is thought to be connected to Dravidian and Elamite too, but it’s also unproven.


12 posted on 06/22/2012 1:14:50 PM PDT by G8 Diplomat
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To: Renfield; Cronos; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; decimon; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; ...

 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Thanks Renfield for the topic and ping, this has been another great week for topic variety, if only they'd post themselves! ;')

Thanks Cronos for the additional ping and the posts:
Prof Casule said that the language is most probably ancient Phrygian. The Phrygians migrated from Macedonia to Anatolia (today part of Turkey)... They later migrated further east, reaching India. Indeed, according to ancient legends of the Burushaski (or Burusho) people, they are descendants of Alexander the Great.
Phrygia's single dynasty lasted about three generations (based on the number of royal burial mounds). There's nothing I remember regarding ancient accounts of Phrygian migration east (other than their crossing over into Anatolia) -- but Alexander's campaign of conquest moved a lot of genes (ahem) around. During his long campaign in Central Asia, he was holed up in Balkh for the winter, and by spring had received roughly 250,000 reinforcements, mostly from Greek populations in and out of the former Persian Empire borders. The "Black Pagans of Hindu Kush" are an isolate, claim descent from Alexander's army, and continue to worship Apollo. Maybe this is the same group?

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


13 posted on 06/22/2012 3:15:30 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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To: G8 Diplomat
I don't think they have any direct evidence for the language spoken by the creators of the Indus Valley civilization (of which Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro are the most notable centers), but associating them with the later Dravidian languages is a logical guess--the Dravidian family is the largest of the non-Indo-European languages in India.

The way to become famous forever would be to decipher the Indus Valley script. If it were easy it would have been done already.

14 posted on 06/22/2012 8:49:55 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Renfield
This theory doesn't seem to be getting much traction. If you look at the English-language Wikipedia article on Burushaski, they list Casule's writings in the bibliography, but treat the language as an "isolate" (no proven connections to any other language). One theory even has it related to some North American Indian languages (Athabaskan family). It could be related to a language spoken by 100 people in Siberia. The German-language version of the Wikipedia article is more definite: "attempt to make it an Indo-European language is not convincing."

The grammar and forms don't resemble any of the Indo-European languages I have studied. I think if it were descended from Phrygian the Indo-European features would be a lot more obvious.

15 posted on 06/22/2012 9:16:27 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

I did read the wikipedia entry and did come to basically the same conclusions as you did.


16 posted on 06/23/2012 4:32:18 AM PDT by Renfield (Turning apples into venison since 1999!)
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To: Verginius Rufus

I don’t like this Indo-European theory either. I like the hypothesis that Burushaski is Dene-Caucasian (of which Athabaskan is a part), much better.

Here’s some random info on the language:

http://www.few.vu.nl/~dick/Summaries/Languages/Burushaski.pdf


17 posted on 06/23/2012 3:26:02 PM PDT by G8 Diplomat
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black pagans hindu kush
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18 posted on 06/24/2012 5:30:32 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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http://www.researchonline.mq.edu.au/vital/access/manager/Repository?exact=sm_creator%3A%22Casule%2C+Ilija%22


19 posted on 04/05/2014 10:15:04 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Obama is now making Jimmy Carter look like Attila the Hun. /focus/news/3138768/posts)
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