Re: Neanderthal "voice boxes"?

John A. Halloran (
23 Jan 1997 17:59:09 -0700

In article <> Michael McBroom <> writes:
>> The 2000 BC date is associated with the hypothesis that PIE was
>> spread by a small conquering elite who took advantage of expertise in
>> breakthroughs in weaponry (mainly the wheeled, horse-drawn chariot). In

>Ah yes. I liked this one too. Some years back an alternative agrarian
>model was put forth. My apologies, I don't recall the linguist who
>first suggested this, although I think I still have a photocopy of the
>article around here somewhere. Are you familiar with this theory? That
>the cradle for the IE languages was not the Russian steppes but more
>likely Asia Minor? The argument was most compelling, but I haven't read
>on the subject pro or con in any great depth.

It was not a linguist, but an archaeologist, Colin Renfrew, who wrote a book
as well as a Scientific American article about his agricultural
wave-of-advance model. But farmers entered Greece so early from Anatolia that
there must have been a later conquering wave such as described above to
explain the horse-technology words that all I-E languages have in common.

The language that first spread into Greece and Europe may have been an earlier
form of PIE. Etruscan has been hypothesized as related to Hittite, so an 8th
millenium Anatolian language may have been the ancestor both of Etruscan and
the more northerly PIE that adopted horse technology.


John Halloran