A reader recently wrote me an e-mail suggesting that my connection of archaic Latvian to proto-Indo-European construction was "tribal", which is nonsense. Here is what I wrote to him:
"I personally do not really care whether Latvian or Lithuanian is more archaic as a language. If I find something more archaic in Lithuanian than in Latvian, I use it, of course. There is no question that Lithuanian is also very archaic, as is Latvian.
The question of provenance is critical however to an accurate reconstruction of Indo-European. If you assume Lithuanian is in general more archaic, then you prevalently use Lithuanian rather than Latvian for Indo-European reconstruction. Obviously, if the premise that Lithuanian is more archaic is not true, then you are getting prima facie incorrect results - and that is my major point.
The linguists' reliance on Lithuanian - more or less ignorning Latvian - has led to some mainstream linguistic theories about Indo-European which in my opinion are simply false, based on my native knowledge of Latvian.
Let me take the example of case forms. Lithuanian is regarded to be older than Latvian for example because it has MORE rather than fewer case forms than Latvian, whereas my logic tells me that the more archaic a language is, the less complex its grammar should be, and the less case forms it should have. Differentiation of any kind results from the process of development of a language. An example is Latin, a much younger language, which has a bevy of case forms which developed over time - far many more case forms than exist in Lat(v)i(a)n.
Moreover, if certain case forms are allegedly more archaic, then it is up to the linguists to explain how other languages have lost such case forms or to show remnants of them in such languages. This the linguists do not do.
In Latvian, for example, locative case is shown simply by lengthening the end vowel of a word - and this is not always the same vowel. So that seems to me to be a very archaic - indeed, a more "primitive" method as it were - of showing location than a language which has become standardized and more differentiated in its formal structure of grammar.
Take a look at the following website page at LexiLine:
There you see the near grammatical identity of modern Latvian case forms with ancient Luwian Hittite (a language spoken and written nearly 4000 years ago) for the word "water". However, the linguist involved in writing the cited book on Hittite does not even mention Latvian once in his book. He is writing without competent knowledge of his field and is relying on sloppy research to boot.
Moreover, if the Lithuanian hypothesis were correct, then Lithuanian forms would have to be shown to be older than these Hittite forms, and that in my opinion can not be done.
This is just one example of many. It has nothing to do with tribal competition as you suggest, but is a simple matter of the evidence.
When you can find me a mainsteam linguist who can explain the Latvian-Hittite evidence on that website page to my satisfaction within current linguistic theory, let me know. Up to now, I have found no one.
Quite the contrary, the linguists stick to their false version of the nominative form for Hittite "water" i.e. "u-i-da-ar or u-wi-ti-ar", allegeging that this was a U-R form whereas all the other case forms in that same Hittite language were allegedly U-N forms, which is basically impossible. This is incompetent linguistics at its peak.
The reason for this stupidity is simply Western bias toward "water"-form words ending in R, whereas all the evidence in the East - for example, the names of rivers - clearly indicates that the prevailing ancient "water" form in nominative case ended in N.
e.g. Latvian UDEN- = "nominative form for water" whence
DON, TANais, DAN-UBE (UDEN-UPE - the words in Latvan mean "water-
river"), DN-IEP-(er). The older N form is widely prevalent in the
The less archaic form is found in the West and it is an R-form for "wat-ER", i.e. U-R rather than U-N.
WAT-ER, OD-ER (rather than UD-EN), WASS-ER, WES-ER, AD-ER, HYDRO- etc.
Consummate stupidity is then found as a result in the linguists' reconstruction of the Indo-European root for "water" which is alleged to be *wed- with examples given by them of the suffixed o-grade form *wod-or ir the suffixed zero-grade form *ud-ro.
This would mean that the 4000-year old Hittite *wod-on forms were less archaic than say English WAT-ER or German WASS-ER which of course is simply idiotic as a matter of the proven development of Indo-European from the East to the West.
We see this confirmed in the Germanic language, where the old Germanic god ODIN is not WOTAR or ODAR but rather WOT-AN or OD-IN. The N form is older.
Mainstram linguists do not understand the conceptual origin of language. The ancients did not start with a modern-like "abstract" concept for something that was "wet" - "wet" with what?? but rather derived their water-words from the SOURCES of water.
Rivers flowed in river beds - this is VADIN- (vein, duct, canal, river bed) in Latvian = UDEN = one variant form for water in flowing sources.
Other waters were found in wells whence Latin AQUA was the Latvian AKA "well".
Other waters were used for drinking, in Latvian IEDZER means "drink in" = EZER "lake".
The Latvian AVOT- "spring" looks very close to "WET- etc. etc.
Hence, the linguists have to contend with the fact that the word for "wet" in Latvian is NONE of these but is the words SLAPS which is identical with the word for "thirst".
If the Indo-European term for "water" actually derived from an abstract concept for "wet", then Latvian would have remnants of this visible in its very archaic language - but there is not a trace of this origin. Indeed, the concept of "wet" has nothing to do with the origin of terms for water, which is why "wet" in German is e.g. the unrelated NASS, etc.
The average linguist understands nothing of this. I have no quarrel with the Lithuanians or any other ancient tribe or group, but I do have a quarrel with the modern linguists, from whatever nation they may come. Most of them are incompetents.
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