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Ex Anatolia lux. The Linguistic Origins of Europe: Word-formation and Lexicon in Anatolian and Core Indo-European.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Ex Anatolia lux (Ex Anatolia lux. The Linguistic Origins of Europe: Word-formation and Lexicon in Anatolian and Core Indo-European.)

Reporting period: 2016-10-01 to 2018-09-30

The project carries out a systematic study of word formation and vocabulary of the Anatolian languages, spoken in different phases from the 16th to the 2nd century BCE in the Asian part of Turkey and part of northern Syria. A proper understanding of Anatolian, allegedly the first branch to split off from the Indo-European language family, is crucial for a better understanding of Proto-Indo-European (PIE), the reconstructed language from which all Indo-European languages descend, spoken by more than half of the world's population and including modern languages like English, German, French, Hindi. A thorough historical-comparative investigation of the position of Anatolian is still a distinct desideratum within the IE studies, and therefore, this is the core aim of the project with the implication of innovative theoretical and methodological perspectives. It is generally agreed that, in relation to Core IE, the Anatolian languages show a series of differences in the productivity of several derivational suffixes and in the meaning of words and lexemes, even if their forms fully or partially match each other. These differences are of major relevance for any attempt to identify the position of Anatolian, i.e. of what we can reconstruct as Proto-Anatolian on the basis of the evidence from the attested Anatolian languages as compared to the other IE languages. Such a study contributes to the identification and reconstruction of our roots as inhabitants of Europe and part of Asia as well as descendants of the peoples who arrived in Eurasia approxamitely around the 4th millennium BCE bringing new languages and culture which developed and partly survived until today.
The overall objectives of the project are three: a. to establish the relationship between the Anatolian languages of the second and first millennium BCE with respect to the common inherited as well as the innovative morphological and lexical material with the intention of covering the Proto-Anatolian state of affairs. b. to demonstrate how and to what extent a systematic classification and comparison of the word-formation and lexical development of Anatolian and the other IE languages respectively can enhance the understanding of the first phases of IE after the disintegration of PIE. c. to provide linguistic foundation for the archaeological results concerning the chronology of the last phase of PIE.
In order to meet the objectives of the project, the first research step consisted of a philological reading of Anatolian texts starting with the corpora of the ‘minor Anatolian languages’ (1st mill. BCE). This step aimed to make a selection of roots, suffixes and phraseological patterns that are attested in the Anatolian texts. In this way it has been possible to get an overview of Anatolian itself (1st objective). The most significant result of this phase has been published in 2017 and concerns the identification of a personal name diffused in all the best attested Anatolian languages, which also shows a semantic (but not a morphological) parallel outside of Anatolian. Then, I focused on the, in my view, more promising roots for comparison and I extended my analysis to Core IE by the comparative method (2nd objective), which enables historical linguists to reconstruct the structure of undocumented languages such as PIE. In particular, the comparative method has been applied to single root semantic developments and suffixes up to the level of phraseology, which allowed to add a stronger semantic element to the comparative linguistic analysis. In this phase the project lead to the identification of new semantic and morphological correspondences between Anatolian and some languages of Core IE, which will be published in two forthcoming papers. Moreover, the project lead to the support to the theory suggested by most archaeologists, which defines Anatolian as the first branch to split from the Proto-Indo-European. On the one hand, the identification of parallel semantic developments and, on the other hand, of certain morphological differences between Anatolian and some of the Core IE languages, which cannot be seen as independent innovations, strengthen the hypothesis whereby a significant amount of time occurred between the split of Anatolian from PIE and the split of the second IE branch from the residual PIE. In particular, the result of a study on the Anatolian Kinship lexicon and Marriage (forth.) offers some points of contact between the linguistic, literary, and archaeological findings on the Anatolian and PIE family structure. The results of the project have been disseminated and exploited: by giving a talk at 8 conferences; by submitting 3 papers (1 already published and 2 accepted for publication), 1 book chapter and 1 conference proceedings book; by organising an international conference; by undertaking two activities for the general public.
As expected, it has been possible to identify certain chronological, formal and semantic developments for Anatolian, sometimes also with metaphorical transfer and the formation of a number of patterns, which are in some cases exclusive to Anatolian. From this corpus a first selection of promising roots has been made. Moreover, a systematic investigation of Anatolian roots, which offer a significant development in Anatolian and Core IE, led in some promising cases to new hypotheses on the establishment of a chronological reconstruction of IE semantic paths and productivity of specific suffixes. Concretely, the comparison between Anatolian attestations and word formation with selected texts from Core-IE languages led to the identification of new semantic and morphological correspondences, which can be added to the material used by paleolinguists and archaeologists to define the proto-stage of the Indo-European languages.
The linguistic results of my project support that Anatolian first split off from the Proto-Indo-European language. Furthermore, it suggests that the semantic developments of Anatolian find in some cases a parallel in Core IE languages and sometimes in Tocharian. This gives new material to the hypothesis that Tocharian may be the second branch to split off from PIE. However, other cases show a close behaviour between Tocharian and other Indo-European languages and different from Anatolian.
Moreover, the project has contributed to the identification of new linguistic aspects shared by Europe and Turkey in prehistoric and protohistoric times, which is of extreme interest for the reconstruction of the arrival of the Indo-Europea peoples into Euroasia and of their mobility. The project's results will be useful to researchers in several fields such as linguistics, archaeology, history, philology.
poster of the conference The Split