Monday, August 29, 2011

More on Proto-Anatolian and “Chaldean”

The Proto-Eastern-Anatolian family
Several languages once spoken in Eastern Anatolia are genetically related. It is well-known that Hurrian is closely related to Urartean, which acts as the substrate of modern Armenian. This has been conclusively proved by Diakonov. Several other languages have been proposed to belong to the same group:
- Kassite. For example the supposedly Hurrian person name Anum-Herbi involves Herbi, a word not attested in Hurrian but which means En-Lil ‘Sky-god’ in Kassite. King Names like Bur-yaš ‘the lord of the land’ involves nouns similar to Hurrian: ebri ‘lord’ and eše ‘earth’.
- Eteo-cypriot. This language has been repeatedly compared with Hurro-Urartean and it definitely has similarities with Eastern Anatolian languages. Cf. articles by Petit.
- Kaftiu. Because of some connections with Biblical Caphtor(im) and Crete this word Kaftiu has often been proposed to relate to Crete. But another possibility which is more coherent with Egyptian lists of place names is that Kaftiu relates to Cilicia, not Crete.
In that respect it is interesting to compare Kaftiu with a radical Kaft- with the word Chaldean. In later times Chaldean came to mean Assyrian but this word originally applied to Urartean people. It is noteworthy that in Hebrew Chaldean has a lateral fricative śin in Kaśd(im). It is probable that the word Kaftiu contains the same root as Chaldean, Kaśdim, Kassite. To this list the ethnonym Kaska can be added as well.
In a coming post the position of Etruscan on the map will be discussed.

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