Etruscan Language Topics Introduction
Author: Igor Pirnovar

Truth about the decipherment of the Etruscan language
Etruscan language has a story to tell         ( Zilath, purth,   Mulvanica )

Introduction to linguistic issues

Empirical science can aid linguists and historians
Employing OT (object technology) in linguistics
Flat vs structured organization is like vocabulary vs grammar
Recognizing general language structures and their use
The grammatic aspects of a language historically

Four phases of language evolution     (   I. ,       II. ,       III.,       IV. )
A more complex grammar is typical for older languages
The characteristic of a linguistically old language
Introducing Prefix/Suffix rules
Prefix/Suffix rules explained
Prefix/Suffix rules are used less and ... in younger languages
How is this helping the study of Etruscan language
Slovene word "klicati" not of Slavic origin

(Etruscan verb suffixes may indeed be the closest to Slavic)
Semantic aspects of a structured language

Many Etruscan words are easy recognizable to Slavs
What's wrong with Etruscologists' dictionary

Etruscologists see only Greek and Latin
Excluding everything but Greek, Latin and the unknown
Did Etruscans really get their alphabet from Greeks?
Not all Etruscan scripts should be read as Greek     ( Med / honey )
Legend of symbols in Etruscan transcripts


 

Truth about the decipherment

At first glance it looks that Etruscologists have already done most of the work cataloguing and explaining the Etruscan words found on their inscriptions. Unfortunately, they have ignored a large body of research and evidence in relationship to Slavic and Venetic languages. In fact they laboriously continued to build an incomplete and distorted image of Etruscans, as if they cared more about the principles of the to Etruscans hostile ancient Romans and the medieval clergy and historians, than about finding the real truth about them.

We should not forget that most of larger Etruscan literary and other kinds of written documents did not survive Roman and later Medieval times. However, archaeological finds are undeniably revealing that Etruscans were highly educated, literate and very crafty people. It indeed is highly unlikely, that they wouldn't have created such written documents.

For whatever reasons, all that is left, of what used to be a very literary rich world, are things that survived under the ground escaping arrogant ancient conquerors, medieval witch-hunters, and political or plain human vandalism of later times. Most of these artifacts are of sepulchral origin, inscriptions on either gravestones, tombs, sarcophagi, urns, or other items that were placed with the deceased in their final resting place, to be used in the after life. Obviously, with a few exceptions the vocabulary discovered on the items found in these circumstances is rather limiting, and at first Etruscologists believed this vocabulary was nothing more than a listing of the Etruscan names of those buried in the excavated graves and tombs.

The sepulchral nature of most of the Etruscan texts, together with political circumstances of the times when archaeology rediscovered Etruscans, i.e. the times which badly influenced then emerging, hence hardly impartial Indoeuropean theories, preconditioned and set the Etruscologists to a very unhealthy predetermined frame of mind, which resulted in their absolutely inadequate and very superficial study of the language. Moreover, the Etruscologists to this day ignore the overwhelming evidence of the presence of Venetic i.e. Slavic residue in the Etruscan language, only because their conviction supports not only the outdated but plainly incorrect view that Slavs only arrived into European theatre over 500 years after Etruscans sized to exist. It is not surprising that subsequently they produced almost useless Etruscan glossaries and dictionaries with which they originally could not have obtained any meaningful translations, hence they hopelessly declared Etruscan not to be an Indoeuropean language.

It was only after a very innovative and resourceful Slovene scholars published a surprisingly successful discernment of quite a few Etruscan scripts, that Etruscologists started to publish their interpretations too. One may wander, how did the Etruscologists suddenly arrive to those meanings for the words that not so long ago for them were nothing more than a bunch of meaningless names. Though Etruscologists have taken a rather inflexible and much different position on subject of gender and the number i.e. singular and plural, as well as the declination and conjunction rules, which incidentally may have prevented them to see more than just personal names in most of the Etruscan vocabulary, we will take into account both views, theirs as well as a more open and inclusive ones.

Here, I wish to concentrate more on what they refused to consider, and explain that particular point of view. So bear with me for a while, because this, indeed, is an interpretation based on the Slavic, rather than on Greek, Latin or on Germanic languages, preparing you for the things to come. Later I'll try to expand the above list to also include Hittite and Sanskrit languages as much as my humble knowledge will permit, but will regrettably still entirely miss all the North African and the Ancient Semitic languages from Asia Minor.

This is a good place to begin talking about the Etruscans and their Language. However, let us first make a very short mental detour and have a look around Etruria, to the north, in the Po river valley, and all the way up into the Alps. Also it would be beneficial to consider the relationships between the major players in the area and the broader historical facts, that most likely had a lasting effects on the Etruscans. We are not going to discus all the Etruscan contemporaries, but their immediate neighbours and perhaps their relatives, after all, they might had even been settled in what we call Etruria, long before those, who came as Anatolian, Asian or African immigrants, and the Sea Peoples, i.e. those who in Italy became known as the Etruscans, much like earlier all across the Aegean islands and on the Peloponnese similar migrants turned local populations into what we know as the Sea People and the Greeks. Hence, it may be that Greeks and Etruscans are rather closely related. Yes, I know that this is not what they teach in schools and universities, but more and more often one can find similar opinions, especially questioning the Greek origins, are forming even among the academics. The answer to all these questions may indeed also be hidden along with the Etruscan mysteries and perhaps even within their respective languages, of course, including the Greek!

Hence, it is my hope that the efforts to arrive at a better decipherment of the Etruscan language will, along the way, help to significantly improve the odds to finally identify, who exactly were the Sea Peoples or those who came with them, to give the Etruscans their most hard to crack language or dialects as well as their identity. Contrary to some who would like to convince us that the Etruscans are a distinct homogeneous nation perhaps from Anatolia, or Europeans from the Pannonian plains, or even native Mediterraneans, it becomes clear that most of the linguistic evidence supports the views of many well known historians and linguists, that we can only be sure the Etruscans were a mixture of different peoples from North Africa, particularly Egypt, Asia Minor, East Aegean, from Anatolia proper, Anatolian islands, with some traces pointing even to India proper. There are no definitive answers yet anywhere and many attempts were made to tie the Etruscan newcomers to as diverse points of origins, as Hungarian and ancient Semitic nations.

[the former (Hungarian origins) - by the famous scholar Mario Alinei in the book called Etrusco. Una forma arcaica di ungherese and the latter in the book entitled Il popolo che sconfisse la morte by the equally known and famous scholar Giovanni Semerano, where one can find the following interesting observation: "... etrusco da una koine mediterranea di linguaggi semitici. ( ... the Etruscan language is a kind of 'koine' for Mediterranean Semitic languages.)"].

Unlike for the identity of those linguistically hard to crack Etruscans, we obviously may tie a reasonable linguistic imprint in the Etruscan language and even some Etruscan archaeological information to the indigenous Venetic population of the neighbouring territories, and I can seriously argue, also to Veneti within the Etruria itself.

As a matter of fact, I have found, in addition of the undeniable traces of Venetic i.e. Slavic linguistic sediments in the Etruscan language, also some rather convincing evidence, that as well the opposite holds true. Namely, that not only can be Venetic influences found in both the Etruscan as well as the early Greek languages, but so did both the Etruscan and Greek languages shaped the Slovene language to be so typically distinct from the rest of the south Slavs. At the same time, despite the fact that later Hungarian invasion split them up, the Slovenian, Slovak, and the Czech languages retained a very distinctly similar melody as well as some typical common vocabulary which without a doubt ties us back to our common history which includes ties to Etruscans, and of course eloquently testifies of our common Venetic, and later Caranthanian (Carinthian), ancestry. This is not to deny or undermine that obvious Greek and even some Etruscan influences can also be found in other Slavic languages, nevertheless, as numerous archaeological finds of that era, as well as later Roman records, testify, Central European Veneti those living in the territories of Noricum and later Carinthia had particularly close ties with Etruscans, Greeks and Anatolians, undeniable and obvious evidence of which can also be found in the language to the Etruscans geographically the closet Slovenians.

Hence, it makes sense, to see how all these lands were connected. Much has already been written about Villanovan and Este cultures, as well as Venetia, even by Etruscologists. Evidently there existed extensive relationships between Veneti there and Etruscans. However, I wish to look beyond Venetia and show a connection between northern Italy, central Europe, Hittites and beyond existed long before the Trojan war for very sound economical reasons. Many historians pointed out the significance of the connection between Baltic and northern Adriatic. However, we now know that this was also an area the Hittites had been visiting from the early bronze age on, and that they had a far more pressing merchandise in mind than the amber, namely the Bohemian tin - a vitally important ingredient for the production of bronze, not found anywhere near Anatolia or Mesopotamia for that matter.

The most convenient path from Anatolia to the Central European tin mining centres was via Northern Adriadic, through the Alpine passes, and along the Soca river valley, as well as along the eastern Alpine slopes, which was in fact a half of the by then very well established and famous European route known as the Amber way from the northern Italy to the Baltic coast on the North. From Bohemia the easiest way back to Anatolia was all the way downstream by the Danube river into the Black Sea. I am convinced, that this route had already been in use for almost a 1000 years before the Hittite empire started to flourish, by others to supply the Mesopotamians.

Therefore, we can see that the lands that became Etruria were well connected with the rest of world throughout the Bronze Age perhaps as early as 3500 BC, i.e. likely before the Etruscans settled here, which also happens to coincide with age of the world oldest (5300 years old) and perfectly preserved wooden wheel discovered near the Slovenian capital Lublana (Ljubljana).

Without dwelling on who was first, or weather one was there at all, I believe the Etruscan language has a story to tell, that some may not like to hear.

 

Etruscan language has a story to tell

Let us then plunge into the Etruscan world, and pretend we can hear them speak to us in an eerily familiar, yet for some reason, hard to understand tongue. It looks, that we know the words, but in the dictionary we've got, their meanings seem to be incorrectly assigned to them. Using these dictionaries, some sentences come out rather reasonable but others make absolutely no sense. Suppose we then start to create our own entries for the words that are obvious to us but make no sense in the dictionaries we use, however, for a significant number of words we can not be sure where did they cam from, and hence should be treated as suspiciously translated in our dictionaries.

This basically explains, how I first started to look at the Etruscan texts that sounded almost like I knew the language, and yet ...
Soon we find out that the Etruscans spoke two or more languages and many dialects of which only one is an a language of our ancient ancestors. However, as centuries went by the Veneti in Etruria either accepted the language of the Etruscan aristocracy as their own, or moved away to the north, where they as highly educated and skilled craftsmen that they had become under the influence of Etruscan metal workers, monument builders and masters of the chisel from Egypt and Asia Minor, had no trouble integrating into a much more homogeneous indigenous Venetic society, whose customs and language were far more familiar than those of the wealthy newcomers that came by the sea and under the leadership of their protectors the aggressive Sea Peoples, who in the past four or five hundred years turned from peaceful settlers into the despotic Etruscan aristocracy.

But as history teaches us, even later about four or five centuries after that, the Etruscan dominance came to an end, when Romans took advantage of a prolonged Etruscan struggle with Greek colonies from the south, and gradually started to occupy one Etruscan city after another, until Romans conquered all the Etruscan lands, enslaving its population. They actually resettled most of the Etruscans as highly skilled slaves all over the Europe to perform for them the work hardly anyone else in Roman empire was qualified for. The Etruscans hence vanished from European scene as a nation, nevertheless they left a significant imprint on all the populations everywhere where they built their monumental constructions for Romans, like amphitheatres, aqueducts, roads, bridges, citadels and settlements one of them also being the City of Londinium (London), as well as the predecessor of its famous London Bridge across the Thames. No wander we in addition to the significant traces of Etruscan language on the languages of the nearby nations, also find an Etruscan word here and there in French, English, German and other West European languages.

 

Zilath (zilaO), purth & maru

When slightly less than two thousand years later, the magnificent Etruscan monuments were unearthed in Italy, books written mostly by West Europeans, about Etruscans started to appear. In one of these books, though, I found the following statement:

In Etruria it is likely that at any one time there would also have been a wide range of political regimes... Kingship and tyranny have already been discussed; otherwise the norm was some form of oligarchy. Under the latter the main offices of the state, held probably annually were those of "zilath, purth" and "maru", which are mentioned in many inscriptions, but most of them admittedly of a late date.
My excitement for explanations like the one above, has long since been gone. I gradually came to understand that the meaning of the words Etruscologists are so proudly revealing as the result of their methodologies is actually derived from the Slavic interpretations. Though, we should be happy that any kind of methodology at all was able to produce even a remotely accurate account for the distant culture, it is rather sad, however, that nobody will admit the facts came from the sources, that officially should not had even existed at the time, for which only with their help we were now able to obtain this knowledge! Let's see how could have this happened, and what did the Etruscologists wrote in their dictionaries for the words from the above quote about the so called Etruscan "state offices and the officials", from which then they further concocted or manufactured an elaborate, perhaps even a reasonable view of Etruscan system of government and their political order.
Etruscan English
"zilath" a magistrate – (Latin: praetor)
"purth" name of magistrate or magistracy; dictator
"maru" name of magistracy
On what basis did they arrive to these meanings? Especially their almost equating the meaning of "zil-" with that of "maru" and "purth-"? To everyone who knows any Slavic language it is immediately obvious that the words "zilath, zilaO, zilc, zilch" are are words of Slavic i.e. Venetic origin, in fact similar to the Slovene, Serb, Croatian, Macedonian, Czech, Polish, Russian or to any other Slavic language with the root / stem "žit', žil". In fact in the Slovene language the word "živeti, žitelj, žilec=prebivalec", means "to live; inhabitant, citizen, people".

How far away - semantically from the above words with the basic root / stem meaning "to live; inhabitant, citizen, people" are the words describing the living arrangements and government structures of a nation?

At the same time the words Etruscologists added, namely, "purth" and "maru" are total nonsense an invention which serves nothing but to masquerade and obscure true source and reasoning behind their conclusions. They try to convince us otherwise by listing the following as the evidence of purity of their deductions Greek: "ptanis, ptaris, btaris" (though sometimes swapping letters is acceptable, compare "purth" with "ptanis", where ur=ru, and/or with the totally groundless "maru")!?

The next part of this segment is grammatically a bit more intensive, and may annoy those, who prefer a more prosaic style of reading. If you are one of them feel free skip to the next section, entitled "Introduction to linguistic issues".

From a theoretical point of view, however, at least for those that seek more sound proof for my claims, about disturbing partiality and bias of Etruscologists, the next few paragraphs under the title Mulvanica may offer enough convincing introduction to take a good second look at what we all are saying.

Mulvanica

I wish to conclude this short exposé of the absurdity of some of the Etruscologists' translations with their interpretation of the Etruscan word "muluvanice" which to date (year 2006) appears in no more no less than some odd 70 inscriptions. In dictionaries one can find the following translations for the word muluvanica:

Etruscologists' fabrication of the mul... words for their dictionary
Etruscan English
mul-, mul-a, mul-i, mul-u, mul-une, mul-veni, mul-eni-ke, mul vani-ce, mul-ve-ne-ke, mul-vunu-ke, mul-uvani-ce to offer, to dedicate as an ex-voto (votive=zaobljubljen)
Let me first deal with the suffix "-e" in "mulvanic-e". There are a few possible explanations for it. Normally, one would expect a suffix "-a" to represent the nominative case for the singular feminine objects such as nouns, adjectives, pronouns and alike. However suffix "-e" may indicate either the genitive, dative or accusative case in singular as well as in plural. This is a hard nut to crack, because different Slavic languages have slightly different declination rules, however, each of the Venetic dialects are very consistent in their use. There is no reason to believe otherwise for Etruscan dialects, but one should keep open mind about it, and judge on the case by case basis, whereby the context in which the words are used can prove to be very helpful. You may consult the list of (U' may click:) all the 70 Etruscan inscriptions where this word was discovered, and how it is used and translated.

This word obviously is a composite, and there are may ways in which it can be broken up or assembled from its constituent parts in the Slovene or Venetic language. However, the Etruscologists concocted an absolutely nonsensical and utterly groundless construction. There is absolutely no basis but their wishful thinking, that the word would actually mean that which they are saying it does. Let's see how the word can be dissected and interpreted in Slovene:

Slovene meanings for mulu...
Etruscan Slovene English
mulu moliti: molu, moli, molila, molimo, molmo, molite, molijo, ... to pray, to ask (I pray, you pray, he/she/it prays, ...
mulu malo: mali, mala, malo, malu, ... litle, small: (masculine, fem, neutr) ...
muluana molitev, (muluane=molitve) the prayer, (muluane=of/for a prayer)
muluve moleč, molitev: molitve, molitvi, ...praying, the prayer, of the prayer, to the prayer ...
muluveneke molitvenik: molitvenika, molitveniku ... the altar, of the altar, to the alatr, ...
van van, ... the heaven, ...
vanica, vanice vanica, vanice ... the heavenly drink, the libation: of the the heavenly drink, of the libation, ...
u-vani-ka, u-vani-ca v vanu ki/ko/čain the heaven in which, or where
mulu-vanice malo vanice a little of the heavenly drink
muluvanica obredna pijača, pijača (medica, žganje, pivo, vino) ceremonial drink, drink (beverage, brandy, beer, vine)
I would like to draw your attention to a large number of ways in which this word can be dissected in the Slovene language, and that it clearly shows its "root" meanings, to be either mule or mulu, or as others call it -- "stem", when stripped down to a meaningless and more generic sound mul-, which without a doubt is entirely supported also by the complete list of (you may click here:) all the 70 Etruscan inscriptions which use the words similar or derived from muluvanica. Especially, I'd like to point out, that it is indeed in the Slovene language, where we can learn about all the possible suffixes used with the variety of words based on the above roots or stems.

Of a particular interest here should be the suffix -vanica, which in Slovene indicates a subject, or an object and its feminine gender with the properties and meaning of the root, hence this suffix turns a composite into a noun representing an entity that either behaves or acts like its root suggests or implies its usage as a tool or an aid to achieve that which the root is suggesting. Such a use of suffix -ica is very common in Slovene language, is is in fact quite similar but much more versatile then the Germanic ending "-er". Let's look, for example, at the word potica, which means a cake as a meal to be taken along to a road or a voyage, where pot, means "a road, a way", or govorica, means "a language", where govor is a root for words indicating "speech" or "speaking".

Hence, if we assume that mulu means "to pray, to ask or to beg for" and that van means "heaven", then the composite word "mulu-van-ica" means an object used in or for a prayer to the heaven, or to help such a prayer, i.e. objects such as a libation, a gift or a sacrifice, a tablet with inscripted chanting words on it, etc.

Likewise, the composite word "mul-eni-ke", "mulu-vane-ke" and other variants all show a distinctly Slovene characteristics, namely, here we see that in the suffix -ica letter "c" is swapped for "k", which corresponds to Slovene endings like "-ka, -ke, -ki, -ko, -ku" with identical functionality and purpose as the original -ica, for example we have the word "moli-tveni-ka", which is a composite word meaning "a book of prayers, The Bible", where moli means "to pray", and tveni is the adjective suffix turning the root into an adjective meaning "that which serves or helps the prayer", and finally, -ka is like the earlier -ica making out of the composite a noun with the properties or utility of what preceded it. Let's look at another word, for example "sliv-ov-ka", which is a composite word again meaning a drink, this time a "plum brandy", where sliva is a noun meaning "a plum", and sliv-ov is the corresponding adjective meaning "made of plums", just as mul-eni very likely is an Etruscan adjective or a participle form of stem mul- meaning "one who is praying, or prayed for".

However, in Slovene it may also mean merely a drink as can be, for example, seen in the word medica, which is a drink from med i.e. honey. Therefore vanica in Slovene language is translated a drink from or for heaven since van meas heaven. Needless to say, that all of the above uses were indeed found to be commonly practised in Etruria and north of it, in Venetic lands.

It is worth mentioning yet another intriguing interpretation where this word is sliced up into four unrelated words, of which the first part is not used as the root mul but rather combined with the so far pronominal interpreted word mini into entirely new but a legitimate Venetic or OSL word "minimul" for which modern equivalents are "minil, minul, preminul" and translate as "the late, who died, the dead one". The other three parts u. vani.ke as is shown in the table above are translated as "in the heaven in which, or where".

There are quite a few other words, in Slovene and other Slavic languages, in which we can find roots moli-, mole-, but are less likely to be useful in decipherment of our famous word mulvanica.

The nature of all Etruscan inscriptions in which this word is used can undoubtedly be categorized as a ceremonial or ritualistic, since they were almost without an exception written on objects found in or on the Etruscan graves and tombs, and drinking vessels. It is yet to be shown, however, that an Etruscan archaeological site has uncovered a local pub, or a resting place on an important transportation artery, though I have been pleasantly surprised, when I translated a few inscriptions from such drinking vessels as if they were written for and used by waggoners or coachman in their night's lodgings, situated exactly on such road resting places. Besides, what would be the purpose of a drinking vessel in a motel, telling the visitor it was a gift of such and such, perhaps to remind the folks who was the boss? Nonetheless, it is more natural that on a drinking vessel one would find a message about a drink or drinking, rather than whose gift the drinking vessel was! Perhaps such a message about a donor is more applicable to a religious ceremony, written on a gift to the gods or indeed to the dead, but there still is no doubt in my mind, that the translation based on Venetic i.e. Slavic languages makes much more sense than the one invented by the Etruscologists.

It is a well known fact, that both Veneti and Etruscans attributed religious significance to writing. Incidentally, the famous Slovenian scholar Matej Bor, who specialized on Venetic inscriptions as well as devoted his last years to the study of Etruscan texts, very successfully deciphered a series of Venetic inscriptions, designated in the book La lingua venetica as Es 23 through Es 27, which beside their extraordinary linguistic contents and value, qualify also as inscriptions of religious and ritualistic significance.

Therefore, I strongly believe, that the set of words similar to the word mulvanica, are best explained in the spirit of some kind of ritualistic context, rather than a very well thought through and ingenious generic solution proposed by the Etruscologists, which I will reveal next. In the book The Etruscan Art, by Nigel Spivery (p:16), one can read the following:

The earliest Etruscan inscriptions, in fact, are mostly found on on drinking vessels and metal jewelry, and mostly relate to the protocol of gift exchange:
Etruscan English
Mi mulu ... I was given by ...
Mini muluvanice ...       I am the gift of ...
the scratched formulae of these "speaking objects" enunciate the patterns of reciprocal obligation and endowment among Etruscan aristocrats in the early seventh century BC. ...
Author's comment : Here, as I'll explain shortly, either of the inventions Etruscologists made, mul-a or mul-i should mean to give rather than the original Slavic mulu, which without any additional fabrications really means to pray, to ask, to beg of, or little, small (see the table: Slovene meanings for mulu...).

Well, well, how logical, but only that, and only if there were no other languages such as Venetic or Slavic around, in which these words actually mean exactly what one would expect to find on the inscriptions such as these. Unlike a rather generic, nonbinding, as well as groundless interpretation or solution served by Etruscologists, Slavic or in this case the Slovene words very consistently and more than adequately explain the circumstances and meanings for these Etruscan inscriptions.

At this point I feel a need to repeat again that the meaning the Etruscologists gave for this word is not based on anything tangible at all, and is merely something they thought it should be – in fact it is truly and totally groundless wishful thinking, and moreover, as I shall try to prove next they had to resort to fraud and deception in order to build their case.

Let's look again, what exactly are the Etruscologists revealing to us here:

Etruscologists' fabrication of the mul... words for their dictionary
Etruscan English
mul-, mul-a, mul-i, mul-u, mul-une, mul-veni, mul-eni-ke, mul vani-ce, mul-ve-ne-ke, mul-vunu-ke, mul-uvani-ce to offer, to dedicate as an ex-voto

If you'd care to inspect (you may click here:) all the 70 Etruscan inscriptions which contain the words that start with the letters "mul", you'd see they could not find but one damaged inscription, for the words, that match the patterns for "mul-a" or "mul-i". On what basis, if not Slavic, did they arrive at their conclusions that there indeed exist such suffixes? This is important, because we can see how Etruscologists are using here the famous "Indoeuropean grammatic asterisk rule" which, due to how it's incorrectly interpreted and often fraudulently used, I prefer to call "generate all you wish and all you need". This is important, because we can see how Etruscologists are using here the famous "Indoeuropean grammatic asterisk rule" which, due to how it's incorrectly interpreted and often fraudulently used, I prefer to call "generate all you wish and all you need".

They are trying to build the case for some hypothetical Etruscan grammatic suffix rules which are clearly just a pigment of their imagination, so that they may then capitalize on these fictitious grammatical patterns and comfortably derive from the just fabricated words the required stem "mul-" and associate it with the Etruscan word "mulvanica". For the word "mulvanica" itself they have no explanations whatsoever, and need it badly. In order to fabricate also the meaning, they fish in the grammatic waters. Because they need a stem they have to further fabricate its grammatic behaviour, so they could present us with some kind of boundaries by which they can finally slice the word up as needed, and hence associate with, indeed, so fraudulently obtained slices, in particular with its stem, their new and invented meaning.

This is why they conveniently added their new and nonexistent Etruscan words "mul-a" and "mul-i", so they can claim "-a, -i, -u ..." are grammatic suffixes and "mul-" can be without any further suspicion be sold as a stem, which may as well have the meaning they wish it had. As you see all of this exercise is rather useless, and fraudulent at best. This is why they conveniently added their new and nonexistent Etruscan words "mul-a" and "mul-i", so they can claim "-a, -i, -u ..." are grammatic suffixes and "mul-" can be without any further suspicion be sold as a stem, which may as well have the meaning they wish it had. As you see all of this exercise is rather useless, and fraudulent at best, since they clearly took a peak into Slovene conveniently and "borrowed" conjugation suffices of the word "moliti", without ever mentioning that they got it from the Etruscan next door neighbour or perhaps even the good old Venetic grandma and grandpa.

Description Slovene English + Other Desc. Other Slavic English
1st sing. molim I pray + SrboCroat. mole they ask, beg for
2nd sing. molis you pray + Rus. molym we pray
3rd sing. moli s/he prays+ Rus. moljat they pray
1st dual. moliva we 2 pray + old Slavic molu I pray
2nd dual. molita you 2 pray + old Slavic molo praying
3rd dual. molita they 2 pray+
1st plural molimo we pray +
2nd plural molite you pray +
3rd plural molijo they pray +

Needles to say, by ignoring Slavic (Venetic) languages, they have no way of coming up with a word from another language, not even remotely resembling the original, for which such a stem exists, and that would be applicable to this Etruscan word we are investigating. Our reasoning above finds additional support in the book The Etruscan Language – An Introduction by the famous Etruscologists Giuliano and Larissa Bonfante where indeed, we find they did exactly what we described above, namely, they invented a stem they needed in order to give their assumed meaning to a whole range of words, to support their interpretation of also a rather large number of inscriptions, as we'll see shortly, in a rather generic way. Hence, in the dictionary at the end of the above mentioned book we can find the following entry :

Etruscan English
mul- to offer, to dedicate as an ex-voto
This is obviously, a "stem" for the word with the basic meaning of (to/the) offer, dedicate! So what are they really saying? The truth is they are bluffing, they've got absolutely nothing going for them here, rather they are fishing for sanity or reason, and attempting to apply the grammatic model from either the Sanskrit or from the Ancient Greek, ignoring the by far more reasonable Slavic language rules.

 

Introduction to linguistic issues

Your native language will affect your judging the Etruscan

Since I not only wished to write about Etruscan but also expand its decipherment, dictionaries and translations beyond what had been previously done by Etruscologists, I found myself studying about the different linguistic concepts considerably more than what I had ever imagined even in my wildest imagination. However, it is not at all a requirement for you to be in any way knowledgeable in linguistics or even know any other language than the one in which you read this article. You may relax knowing, I will attempt to sufficiently explain each linguistic concept that may benefit you to better grasp the context in which it is used.

I have had a varying degrees of success since I first started to translate a large body of Etruscan inscriptions from excitingly and exuberantly promising to a bitterly or even disastrously disappointing ones. This seems to reflect my realization that some Etruscan scripts were almost straight ancient Slavic or Venetic, whereas others appeared to be a mixture of any of the following languages including Greek, perhaps Egyptian and Phoenician, some kind of Semitic language, and even Ugro-Finnish and Tukmenic. Besides, in it I also discovered embryonic traces of some German, English, French, and of course Latin words. Within this mix it seemed there were almost always some traces of Venetic or Slavic. Sometimes, however one could get an impression that none of the above was true, and that some inscription had absolutely no resemblance to any of the above and certainly not to any known language from the Indoeuropean family of languages. Of course, considering my humble and rather limited linguistic knowledge the above definitive nature of particularly the later part of my statement should be taken with a grain of salt.

I had very high hopes, that perhaps the Hittite language may provide many answers to my Etruscan puzzle, only to realize, after my initial brush with it that these hopes were dashed, since I found in Hittite more traces of Venetic, Sanskrit, Greek, Germanic, Semitic languages of Asia Minor, and even some Latin than those of the most puzzling and unidentifiable part of the Etruscan, which prompted me to look into Hittite in the first place. Next thing I remember is, I spent months studying Hittite cuneiform, ancient Greek as well as Sanskrit. This brief encounter with these ancient languages confirmed my old conviction there ought to be a considerable Venetic imprint in many ancient languages including Etruscan. The Venetic omnipresence in most ancient languages, that "The Venetic Theory" predicted, was for me no longer just a theoretic possibility, it was the fact. This, however has to be presented to the world in no less than in a convincing proof which should stand up to academic as well as general public scrutiny, and above all it should be easy to comprehend and not be obscured by unintelligible linguistic clutter.

Suddenly I found myself in front of an immense problem. Namely, how do I explain, that contrary to a popular belief, there exist a considerable Venetic i.e. Slavic residue in Etruscan language, as well as the opposite. What prevented the scientists and general public at large not to see, what was obvious to me all along, and what or why did I see that, which others could not? Evidently, this is the reason for this article to came to life. In it, sometimes I am talking about certain linguistic concepts which ordinarily one would not expect most readers ever cared to learn about, not even when faced with a foreign language like ancient Greek or Latin. I do strongly believe only a very few of those native speakers of any modern west European language, when learning an ancient language, ever see beyond the theory of peculiar grammar of the old languages. This is actually also a problem I am facing here, and will in absence of solving it at least try to make you aware of it, along with my original intent to talk about the relationships between Venetic and Etruscan, and elsewhere also other ancient languages.

So we do not loose to much time let me start by introducing some of the terminology I often use, and which I wish you to acquaint yourself with as soon as possible, and as painlessly as possible in order to be able to better follow my later reasoning.

We all may agree that Etruscan is an ancient language, but it may not be obvious that even an ancient language is not necessarily based on an old language structurally, and that a modern language may also be either based on a conceptually old or a conceptually modern language structure. Hence, my native Slovene language is a modern language conceptually built on an ancient structure, whereas, English is a modern language conceptually built on a modern structure. However, it may astonish some that Greek and even more so Latin are ancient languages conceptually built on a modern structure. For the time being lets not dwell on how do we come to these classifications, but merely acknowledge the possible concepts of modern-old, modern-new, ancient-old, and ancient-new taxonomies, without even understanding what they may mean when used to determine language categories.

 

Empirical science can aid linguists and historians

Since my very early interests in artificial intelligence in early 1970's I was interested in the mechanics of human thinking and human information processing. Hence my professional affiliation with the very similar computer concepts while pursuing an idea that a perfect computer technology should mimic a human thought, as well as the fact that I was a native speaker of the ancient Slovene language, who learnt a more modern (younger) English as a second language at an early age and started to use it daily in my new country more than a quarter of a century ago, gave me an edge when faced with my sudden interests in ancient languages, and when I needed to study the nature of the differences between the ancient and the modern language structure concepts.

Soon after my arrival to Canada I realized that the main difference between English and Slavic languages is its (Eng. language's) flat organization, which requires an English speaker, native or otherwise, to utilize their memory more efficiently, than a Slavic language speaker. This does not even take into account that in English in addition each word is stored (memorized) twice, namely in a pronounced and in a spelt form.

For those of you who doubt my classifications of old, ancient, new, modern - let me tell you, that after the end of this chapter you should be if not entirely convinced at least more at ease with these new and old classifications of the languages, even if you choose to skip the rest of this sidebar (in smaller letters).

Employing OT (object technology) in linguistics
(sidebar)

It may also help to remind ourselves here, that over the past 50 years in the computer science which in fact evolved and matured as the information technology, the scientists in their efforts to master the artificial intelligence, extensively studied a more natural human information processing concepts, and indeed, in many respects tried to mimic them. This is why these very same methodologies can now be applicable also to the study of our human languages. In particular, one can argue that both, though orthogonal (different an not interchangeable - nevertheless complementary) to each other, the flat and those deeply structured information organizations are in their extremes quite perfect and equally powerful. Therefore most mature languages tend to become either flat or structured, and mostly independent of each other's organization, at which point by means of encapsulation which is a fancy word for hiding their internal structure, they themselves again become interchangeable as new building blocks of even bigger networked organizations.

You may say that this is a rather unorthodox way of looking at human languages, but it is absolutely essential and a very natural way to describe the communities or networks of information processing elements or "individuals" in scientific terms. In fact it would be hard if not impossible to imagine todays information technologies, communications and information processing organizations in any other way.

It is not surprising to find an astonishing resemblance between the IT networks and human societies or other societies of independent organisms (processing cells) that form larger organic and live organisms. Perhaps the most obvious resemblance is that of a human society and its communications of which our languages are the most important element. For those who believe in science let me try to boost your confidence in these methodologies, by noticing that these computer sciences have evolved to the levels comparable to mathematical theories of chaos or quantum mechanics in physics.

This computer analogy is very helpful, because it shows that a flat organization looks as if it were chaotic, however, one may argue it also is structured beyond our recognition, and hence the mechanics to navigate through it are very different and even unacceptable in traditionally structured organizations, which is why we say that word or information retrieving processes in the flat organizations are instantaneous or for the lack of a better word random. This is much like rules in traditional macro physics are not applicable in the unimaginable small micro world and we have to resort to hard to comprehend rules of quantum physics.

This indeed, brings us to the English language's flat seemingly chaotic structure, where there are very few structures and grammatical rules, as well the language has quit a few irregularities, most the obvious and known to everybody are the irregular verbs, which will become one of the criteria to identify younger languages along with their typically flat language organizations, because they simply did not have the time to evolve and mature a reliable, tested and proved deep hierarchical word structures and so called suffix and prefix grammatical rules or operators.

This also makes younger languages more open to change, in particular they eagerly accept new words from other languages when they came across a word that introduces new semantics values to the language. New words brought into older and more structured languages on the other hand need to go through a much more elaborate process of adoption, whereby a foreign word has to be sometimes modified beyond its original shape and recognition to fit in the existing grammatical infrastructure. We can say that structured language organizations resist the changes and tend to keep their original form intact, even when their vocabularies are expanded by foreign influences.

I will explain the above in a very picturesque and colourful way, using and comparing examples from both English and Slovene languages each of which I consider to be at the opposite extreme positions in the linguistic spectrum with regard to the flat and structured language organizations.

In general, regardless of the spelling, a native speaker of languages with flat structure relies more on memory i.e. instantaneous recovery of a word from the memory, whereas a speaker of a language with a structured organization, relies more on cognitive processes, whereby a word is retrieved only after associative hierarchies for the root and/or stem meanings of individual words are traversed (processed) by applying universal grammatical rules or operators and patterns to them. Needles to say, that most languages are somewhere between the two extreme (ideal) organizations, however, the older the language the more stable, the more regular and more reliable are its grammatical operators and rules, and typically as it matures it also moves more toward either end of the above mentioned spectrum. When exceptions and irregularities are essential for the everyday or even in a casual speech, this is a clear sign that the language is still rapidly growing and evolving, which is always true for the younger languages, however, can sometimes also be true for the older languages as we will see for Greek, Latin and Hittite, which is why such languages are readily found in the middle of the linguistic spectrum with regard to their flat or structured organization.

I didn't mention the Etruscan above, since it differs from Greek and Latin because its life time was prematurely and abruptly ended before it had a decent chance to mature at all. It is in fact much like Hittite language a time capsule frozen in time, that was not affected by any kind of cleansing processes neither native or nonnative as is the case with both Greek and Latin as well as Sanskrit, as all these languages were later also used by a rather large number of foreign speakers and authors. A considerable influence on these languages also had religious ideologies such as Christianity, Brahmanism, Hinduism, as well as the early European and Indian political establishments and justice systems, all well beyond the original time and place of use of the respective languages. This makes Etruscan and Hittite languages particularly valuable to the linguistic studies, because they were not contaminated by foreign scholars, priests or monks, philosophers, writers and finally modern linguists who most likely added or at least interpreted these old languages with a bit of a taste of their own native tongues, which in millenniums certainly adds up and results in a rather distorted view and understanding of the original linguistic structure, as well as obscures the traces to its true source of origin.

However, it is very important to understand, that an adoption of a language as an official language in any multiethnic and multilingual establishment, as was the case in medieval Europe inevitably affects all the involved languages, namely, the indigenous languages which are being replaced when official ceremonies are being conducted, as well as the language replacing them. This is a cause of much confusion in modern linguistic, since excessive numbers of such late influences of Latin and Greek languages on western European languages are mistaken for those labelled prehistoric and are as such incorrectly classified as IE characteristics.

 

Flat vs structured organization is like vocabulary vs grammar

As you can see the linguistics is facing many challenges and problems, and its complexity is often preventing truth to reach beyond a few pundits in the academic circles. I believe that linguistic could benefit tremendously by employing new IT methodologies, which proved to be very well equipped to deal with complex systems. The IT stands for the information technologies which introduced flat (also known as object=[word] oriented), versus structured (known as process=[grammar] oriented) organizations, which I used in my language analysis, and wish to seamlessly and gradually introduce you to the new concepts. I hope this distraction spices up a little sometimes dull linguistic issues, to which we are now returning.

When we can place a languages in the middle, between the two organizations (flat or structured), this most often indicate a certain degree of grammatic immaturity, due to language expansion, when different nations join, or one nation assimilates the other by force. In either case we can anticipate excessive tampering with, or even breaking the original language structures, rendering the newly evolving language unstable and immature for quite some time after the merger or assimilation process was completed. We also know that Greeks eagerly Hellenized every new word they accepted from non-Greek populations, even if it was not grammatically necessary to do so. Such are for example the Greek names and toponyms in Greece as well as those in the lands of their neighbours as well as in the far away lands Greeks knew or got somehow acquainted with. They sometimes changed the words not only to reflect the Greek grammatic structure but also changed the meaning of the original name to fit in Greek mythological or some other Hellenic concepts. These Greek practises are no longer considered just some wild theory, since a number of examples for Hittite names are now known from the recently uncovered Hittite records, and which Greeks changed in such a manner.

You may be now asking "What are those Greek mythological and other Hellenic concepts, or are there any proofs to this effect?". I often brag about official history relying on such Greek mythology, and anecdotes rather than historical facts. For instance the story about the origins of the first Greek tribes is the basis for identifying apparent Greek migrations, as well as almost every major Greek city has a its history intertwined with some mythical background. Let's see, where come the names Hellens, Dorians, Ionians, Achaeans, Aeolians from. How about Danaus / Danaas (Danai), and Argus, or Calydonia and Calydon, next the island of Attica Aegina after the daughter of the river god Asopus Aegina, or Peloponnese after Pelops, and Sparta after queen of Sparta, or Illiria for the land of lira musicians, but where actually Balkan Veneti lived, and were and still are, because of this Greek naming habit, confused for Albanians, Liburnians and even Goths. There was a city Komana Homer wrote belonged to Paphlagonian Veneti. The name corresponds to Slovene Komna, Greeks however, Hellenized the name to come from the Greek meaning for "hair" (kome), and associated it with a legend talking about local funeral ceremonies involving hair cutting habits. This is not the time or place to discuss the Slavic origin of some Greek words, but let me give you some taste for it, by telling you that the Greek word for water udro (hidra) is very likely from the Venetic word vedro. We will see many other examples and talk about this much more under the main topics Greeks.
As the matter of fact Greek Hellenization or Roman Romanization do not stand out alone and the same is true for most modern European languages too, as the language was cleverly used throughout the history to mark in wars conquered territories and nations as ones own. Just as uncovering of the Hittite's cuneiform records enabled us to find proof and more importantly the methods used by Greeks, modern studies of Slovene linguists revealed the origins of thousands of German, Italian, Greek, Latin and words from other west European languages to be of Slavic i.e. Venetic origin. In Slovenian an German languages exists an appropriate common word for a process of changing the language of a nation and a territory, namely in German "entfremden", and in Slovene "potujčevati", for which in English the literal translation would be "to make foreign", but is since 1990s become known as ethnic cleansing, as its more brutal form of wiping out a nation. Though there are hundreds of good examples let me give just a few, for instance the Austrian city of "Graz" is Slovene "Gradec" which means a little castle or a little town, but has no meaning in German as "Graz", or a mountain top in the Alps "Roggenhorn" where "rog" means the same as "horn", or "Piz Cotchen" where again German name has no meaning but in Slovene "koča" means a resting place in a mountain.

Returning back to our linguistic taxonomy which we view with the help of our spectrum or ranges between the old, structured, new and flat language organizations, we should find the place for the Etruscan language in it. But before we do, we still need to discuss the most important criteria used to identify and distinguish different language organizations. Short of giving a full description it is possible to say that in deeply structured language organizations we need less words and more elaborate grammar, while in flat organizations it is just the opposite, namely, there should be more words and fewer grammatical rules. For instance if English language did not have the -ed suffix rule to form past tense and participle forms of verbs, it would have almost three times as many verbs as now since all regular verbs would have one additional word for the past and the other for the participle form. Now, if you know some language A has a flat organization and another language B has a deeply structured organization, you may safely conclude that B language has more complex grammar and a smaller number of words in its vocabulary than language A. To fully appreciate the two organizations we need to look a bit closer at the grammatic operators especially those usually not present in flat organizations, so you'll understand that neither organization is inferior or superior, not even with regards to the size of vocabulary. As I promised, we'll look at this extensively, but not because you'd need to know or learn about it, but because I want you to have a chance to verify that what I am saying here is true. If you believe and understand all I've said so far you are done with grammar, as far as I am concerned, and I believe you'll have no trouble reading anything else here.

With, general grammar introduction almost out of the way, we can now focus on only those topics we both are interested in. So let's talk about Etruscans again. An astute reader may have already concluded that Etruscan will fall somewhere in the middle, between the flat and the structured language organizations. Before making sure everybody believes this, however, l wish to point out that the Etruscan language is a very special case, and that it differs from Greek and Latin because its life time was prematurely and abruptly ended before it had a decent chance to mature at all. Like the Hittite language it is a time capsule frozen in time, that was not affected by any kind of cleansing processes not by the native Etruscan nor by nonnative or foreign speakers or perhaps by some kind of ideologies such as Christianity, Brahmanism, Hinduism or members of some other interest group or establishment, all well beyond its original time and place of use as is the case with both Greek and Latin as well as Sanskrit.

FYI, Sanskrit also differs from Greek and Latin in one respect. Oddly, but considering its origin being foreign, namely, Venetic or Arian whichever you prefer, rather naturally, Sanskrit unlike Greek and Latin, was tortured by native Indians, whereas the Greek and Latin were butchered mostly by foreigners, who at least in the case of the Greek language may in fact as well have been todays Greek ancestors.

You may be totally confused here, but do not take it to the heart, you'll have to realize these things on your own, if there is any truth to what I'm suggesting! But rest assured, this will make us both much happier later, than if you simply remembered what I'm saying here!

This makes Etruscan and Hittite languages particularly valuable to the linguistic studies, because they were not contaminated by foreign scholars, monks, philosophers, writers and finally modern linguists who most likely added or at least interpreted these old languages with a bit of a taste of their own native tongues, which in millenniums certainly adds up to a rather distorted view and understanding of the original linguistic structure. Besides all this is also the result of constant human struggle for domination, and which unfortunately does not stop even at the attempts to at least obscure if not completely mask a true source of the origin of ancient languages.

In the conclusion of this diversion from the promised discussions about the language structures let me in support of the above view, remind you that the ancient Greek language was subjected to a considerable "filtering" process by Greek monks during the Middle ages. In fact almost no original ancient Greek literary works survived, and were all rewritten during the Middle ages. Comparing Etruscan texts to the ancient Greek texts, it is striking that I found Etruscan bizarrely vulgar, and no kidding, Etruscologists as well as contemporary historians adopted a view that Etruscan culture was rather vulgar in comparison to Greeks. Ha, what a nonsense! The two were almost identical, the difference is that Greek texts had to pass through the Christian morality filters, while most of the Etruscan "vulgarity" was hidden away and buried under the ground. You may ask, why am I concerned with the message, if the messenger is who we study? Since it is still too early to talk about relevant Etruscan inscriptions, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind, had any inscriptions like the ones I just mentioned here, been found and understood by Greek or any other monks, they would have not survived, and I am absolutely certain that those that survived and were found were not understood. No small wander, the historians believe for some inexplicable reason only Etruscans were the naughty ones. It is no surprise that most of Greek ceramics that survived comes from for ages forgotten Etruscan tombs, where it was safe in obscurity from religious prosecution (smashing) and morality police and vigilantes. It is interesting though, that historians still think Greeks were more civilized and of better upbringing than Etruscans, though they found no inscriptions as vulgar as the imagery on Greek vases and other ceramics that is clearly identified to be from Greece. It is as if the linguists who claim no further deciphering of Etruscan is needed, know the language but are ashame to admit they can't read, though, I prefer to joke they wish to avoid vulgarity, and chose to keep people believing - juicy means Ulysses, laying Lily and love to be Libya, rather than point to a silly possibility we have illiterate linguists to contend with!

The truth of the matter is, nobody cares for a naked boy or a girl on a picture here and there, never mind the Etruscan inscriptions, which are no more than a bunch of names on gravestones and walls of tombs. In the book The Etruscans by G. Barker and T. Rasmussen we can read that Etruscologists studied ancient Greek texts such as the one from an author from around 200 AD by the name Theopompos and who said Etruscans were extraordinary pleasure-lowing, that the slave girls waited for the men naked, that it was normal for Etruscans to share their women in common. That these women took great care of their bodies, and exercised bare, exposing their bodies even before men, and among themselves; for it was not shameful for them to appear almost naked. He claimed they were free to dine not with their husbands, but with any man who happened to be asround, and they toasted to anyone they wanted.

Undoubtedly Etruscologists learnt a lot from the second hand opinions of Greek authors in texts like this one, and from Etruscan art imagery and reliefs found in numerous tombs on sarcophagi. It is somewhat sad though, they project an image that their interpretations of the inscriptions helped to exposed the organization of the Etruscan society and state of affairs. They seem to be particularly proud to point out the deficit in Etruscan morality which manifests itself in the status and the treatment of Etruscan woman as equal partner of a man. She is seen in the company of her partner enjoying the pleasures of life in public, attending parties and symposiums, a custom that prompted much disapproval among the Greeks even 400 years after Romans wiped Etruria from the face of the earth.

Pay attention to the name of the above mentioned Greek author Theopompos; doesn't it translates to Godpromotion. But wait since when were Greeks Christians? It is known that St. Paul, preached in Greece in the year 50 AD, and it should be safe to assume by 200 AD, Christianity left a mark in Greece, and perhaps Theopompos is a proof of that.

 

Recognizing general language structures and their use

Finally we get to look at the language infrastructures a little closer. In order to do so it is best to first think about the ways words are formed at the extreme points of the spectrum, that is in a Slavic on the one end and in the English language at the another end. Namely, the way words are formed represents the basis mechanisms which in many thousands of years evolved into a standard set of grammar rules in each language. But beware, we are not merely talking about joining or concatenating different words as is for instance more often and more elaborately, than in most other languages, done in German or even Sanskrit, but rather the focus is on the a common set of operators such as English -ed, -ing, -ly, -'s,... and many other suffixes, prefixes and auxiliary words which alter or augment the basic meaning of a stem or a root meaning for the word a grammatic operator is applied to. Also, if we care to look, awareness of the language structures will help us better distinguish and appreciate different patterns and their potential meaning or use in languages we do not even speak.

In English all words are rather independent of each other. You rarely can assemble a new word from an existing one, which eliminates memorization by association or a hint. To learn two new words you need to do just that, namely learn two words. In Slavic languages, on the other hand, which all often build clusters of words out of some basic meaning, root, or stem, you often only need to remember a single word as a hint or a key for additional associations with some common set of meanings, and then utilizing a system of generic sets of rules fine tune additional shades of the semantics aspects for that particular basic meaning of the root or stem of a word. Unlike in English, in Slavic languages, there exist a much larger set of generic grammar operators or modifiers by which you can grow families or sets of similar meanings for a single root or stem word element. Hence, by applying these grammatic modifiers to a reduced set of stem or root words your vocabulary will start to expand rapidly on its own, by either engaging in or merely by listening to a conversation!

Trouble is this rarely helps a foreigner who is not a seasoned linguist, since not many people like to learn the grammar before some reasonable vocabulary, but as soon as the basic grammar is recognized it does help the learning process significantly.
I should warn those of you here who think I am merely referring to various inflections or grammatical variations of words formed as different cases in declinations, or variations of words used to define gender, number, voice, different conjugations and alike, which you may have encountered in Greek or Latin, that this is not the case, and that this is only partly true here. Indeed, if you have an appreciation for the subject or find strength to continue reading, I will give you a more complete account of the story, though I have never really thought these facts were worth bragging about, never mind writing about them. However, when I started to work with the Etruscan and other ancient languages - a reflection back into English and Slavic languages revealed the blueprint which can effectively guide one's study and evaluation of otherwise harder to recognized grammatic patterns and their possible explanations of Etruscan and of any other foreign language you choose to study.

You may remember I've asked myself earlier what was it that I saw in the Etruscan scripts that Etruscologists and most of the famous world linguists did not? The answer is perhaps somewhere in these paragraphs here, addressing language structures. Namely, I see the patterns that I deeply feel should convey some kind of meaning and often I believe I know what the meaning is. The trouble is that the Etruscan language is hardly applying these patterns consistently, and is extremely immature as a language. On top of that I have strong reasons to believe that just like Greek also the Etruscan scribbles often were not native Greek or Etruscan speakers, whose knowledge and feeling for the language was rather limited, and they often butchered rather than nurture the language. Besides, there were no standards or rules that could be referenced let alone enforce a proper use of the language at that time. But hey, all this is typical for all newly evolving languages! Trouble is some historians who support the traditional view that all civilized world evolved from a tradition in which Greek and Roman cultures are like the Adam and Eve for all subsequent societies, have hard time accepting an idea, that these ancient civilizations could also have evolved from yet older ones, and worse, whose descendants may still be around, neglected at the fringes of the mainstream society.

This is why we need to distance ourselves from the biased views of all establishments representing different societies, and have another look at the way we know and treat ancient as well as modern languages, mainly by destigmatizing the concepts of the so called old and new language concepts, since they have less in common with the age of the language as well as with any kind of affiliations with a particular society, than with the maturity of its word and meaning forming mechanisms. I hope that exposing the English language as one of the most mature, most simple and perhaps the youngest of all European languages, will go a long way toward a more objective new look at linguistic issues.

The funny thing is that all the languages used in the so called main stream society are very similar to the English language at least in one respect, namely in that, that they are very simple and structurally rather poor. The fact is that no western European language structurally exceeds neither Greek nor Latin! We actually haven't had a chance yet to fully comprehend what at least the more advanced grammatical structures look like, but we know enough to understand that English language is the flattest of all European languages, and that we can write almost all grammatic operators of the English language in less than a line: {-ed, -ing, -ly, -'s, -er, -ern, in-, un-, sub-, pre-, post-, of, to, in, ...}. That is English grammar is very simple, with few exceptions just to confirm, it indeed, is still a young language.

Of course, when used with other auxiliary mechanisms in different grammatic forms we get hundreds of new combinations, and when combined with different words we can create almost infinite number of unique forms sentences and new meanings. After all that is what a language is about. Nevertheless, we are here concerned only with the grammar infrastructure, where a number of operands, prefixes, suffixes and auxiliary grammatic words are a major hint whether a language employs a flat (simper) or a deeply structured (more complex) grammar organization.
Hence, for most accomplished western (main stream) linguists an advanced deeply structured language is a foreign concept which they most likely learn from still rather simple Latin or Greek languages. However, at the fringes of the mainstream society exist a number of languages whose grammatical structures are also very mature but at the same time structurally much deeper than either Greek or Latin, and yet there are very few mainstream scientists / Etruscologists who have a decent knowledge of those mature and grammatically deeply structured languages.

Again we come to the structure of a language, particularly when there are reasons to believe some similarities exist between the structures one encounters and those one knows well from another language, and even more importantly recognizes how those patterns are used to form new words not necessarily by regular grammatic operators, such as {-ed, -ing, -ly, ...} but rather with more arbitrary suffix and prefix rules. This partially explains, why can a person that daily uses such a language may feel that often encountered suffixes or prefixes after a while start to sound familiar, and must play a decisive role in obtaining the meaning, above and beyond the simple inflections.

As we can see the language structure i.e. grammar can be extremely helpful and even used as a decipherment tool. This method alone is more successful if we have sufficient amounts of text, we are attempting to decipher. However, in the case of Etruscan language, we have a rather limited body of texts which do not provide us with sufficiently consistent information about its grammatic patterns, to reliably help with the decipherment, but the situation can be significantly improved if we had an additional mechanisms to verify our conclusions. As it turns such a method is available and was already used by Slovene scholars, but was unfortunately dismissed in favour of cultural-historical method by the Etruscologists as useless etymological method, now in disgrace among serious scholars. It is now time to learn something concrete about those promising grammatical patterns, that bring to life the meaning to those that can find them consistently enough, despite the lack of an accurate or exact account of all the required grammatic rules.

 

The grammatic aspects of a language historically

So far we have been focusing more on the language organization, i.e. flat versus structured, and I intentionally chose to ignore the other two categories, namely, old versus new or younger. In fact, I may have been too liberal, when I said that the age of a language is not related to its organization. Which is true if we only consider the life time of a language. However, historically old, or young languages are most likely to fall within different and even opposite organizations, i.e. structured or flat respectively. In order to understand this we will again skew slightly of our course before we'll see how words are formed by a more elaborate system of inflections and more importantly with the prefix, and suffix rules.

 

Four phases (from flat through structured back to flat)

I like to show a rather simplified evolution of human languages from the earliest almost animal like communications to to the current state in three phases:

(1) The Infancy: The oldest human languages (50.000 years ago - or more) were nothing more than collections of words, completely void of any grammar i.e. they belonged to the flat organizations.

(2) Evolving old languages: In the following 40.000 - something - years these languages developed complex grammatical structures.

During Mesolithic, when men started to associate in a more organized social structures, I'd call them embryonic tribes, grammar started to serve two purposes, to help build words as before to express ever more complex thoughts and messages, but also, as the smaller hordes of caveman began to evolve into larger tribal organizations, a defence - an obstacle for a foreigner to claim ownership of tribal property and territory or even control of the cavemen themselves. It was naturally resisting the change and foreign influences. Hence, during this phase the language was evolving also as a group privacy as well as identity protective marker and defence mechanism. This explains a natural tendency for linguistic diversification, and perhaps the earliest signs of the future social organizations along ethnic lines.

We already concluded that at the beginning there were very few words in any language. As speech evolved there was a need for more and more expressive power of a language. This in addition to the evolving new rules to form more complex sentences, resulted also in a new formidably expanded vocabulary by words for which the origins, composite parts or rules by which they were concocted were no longer remembered or known.

A good example for this is the evolution of the words draw, pull, run, flow, dreti, drava, predreti, trechio (τρεχω), teč, teči, tekati, drčati, trčati, laufen, curro, fluo. The origin of these words can be traced back to Venetic, or some would prefer Arian and Sanskrit, where dru, drava, pradru all have semanticaly related meanings to flow, to float and to run. We'll talk about this in greater detail in the topics about Greek and Sanskrit languages.
For those of you who may object to the above deduction about the formidably expanded vocabulary, or the subsequent view that already so long before the neolithic, whereby only then the emergence of the early crafts, more specifically - the pottery, wheel, and draft animals dramatically increased the need for more complex human communications than ever before, let me remind you about incomparable differences in the respective time frames. Also I invite you to read in the later paragraphs here about the evolution, for a speaker of a language with the flat language organization, an almost incomprehensible expansion of a vocabulary based solely on words for "east" and "west".
A Mesolithic or earlier language had to grow mostly on its own by means of its own devices. All the words had their origin in a homegrown vocabulary as new more complex ideas and meanings were gradually evolving from other words and meanings by means of inflections and by combining standard prefixes and suffixes, or even multiple complete indigenous words. This led such a language to gradually evolve into a deeply structured language organization, with many very well defined though not seen or known as grammatical rules. These rules were intrinsically inherent constructs passed from generation to generation along and solely along with the vocabularies of the Paleolithic and early Mesolithic languages.

(3) Evolving younger languages: Around 5000 BC, when people learnt how to write, languages started to evolve unnaturally, by means of human intervention. Language as the obvious nation identification marker, became the tool in the hands of, for territory and control competing, emperors.

What is interesting is that the use of a language during this period in many, but its primary communications, respects was turned upside down. The most obvious for instance is the diametrically opposite trend in grammar which should allow for easy integration or assimilation of nonnative speakers, rather than prevent it. Ever increasing numbers of subdued "foreigners" inevitably started a chain reaction of changes in the "adopting" languages. Considering this, it gradually became easier to accept foreign words in a vocabulary, the extreme can again be seen in the English language which has so many Greek but even more Latin or words of Romanic (i.e. much rather French than Latin) origin it is hardly a Germanic language anymore. Hence, we can witness the properties typical for flat language organizations of newly emerging or evolving languages at work in the real world. Note, that the two ( structured and flat) organizations are also said to be orthogonal (i.e. supporting opposite philosophies).

For those who have a hard time seeing the consistency and/or the orthogonality that is, that the flat and the structured organizations support the opposite strategies or behaviours, let us remind ourselves that unlike the flat, structured organization resisted changes and inclusion of foreign words or concepts, and made it hard for foreigners to quickly blend in.

This is not to say that security and identification mechanisms were no longer needed, they only moved away from the for a language's primary mechanisms to the for a conversation nonessential ones. Hence, the role of the identification and protection became an independent mechanism, handled by the pronunciation which, as we can see in modern English can significantly change from a generation to generation, or even between different groups of people, by profession or association without effecting the basic grammar and vocabulary.

As the matter of fact significant changes in the pronunciation are clearly noticeable also in Greek where the pronunciation in the early proto-Greek found on Linear-B (i.e. Mycenaean Greek from about 1500 BC) was much closer to the so called phonetic writing in Venetic or Slavic languages, where there exist only five and not twice as many vowels {a, e, i, o ,u}, diphthongs , and there are no in between sounds like, "ph", "gh", "ng", "th", and alike which is still the case in the Etruscan language, where indeed, the letter theta can sometimes be read as "s", "t", "d", or due to the inconsistent writing even "o", just like the labials {"p", "b", "v" and "f"} as well as many other sounds became blurred and hard to distinguish in both Etruscan and Greek.

Regardless of the ancient confusion the tricky pronunciation introduced to the linguistics, culminating in French and not surprisingly in English, it separates different functionalities within a language which technically speaking represents an improved modular, hence simplified and easier to manage, overall language structure.

F.Y.I. in the global village, the trends are to remove or replace this security or identification module, with a much simpler pronunciation patterns, without any drastic effects on the other aspects of the English language, which seems to be best suited for the rapid growth of the language and particularly its vocabulary, due to new terms daily invented along with the numerous technological discoveries as well as their unforeseen utilities or use.
Modern languages on either side of the spectrum have adopted many useful techniques from the past. We may actually need to add a fourth phase, to the evolution of languages, which started after the renaissance and took off when linguistics was recognized as a new scientific discipline in 19th century. That is when many linguists have discovered all languages actually have grammar. However, we are more concerned with the ancient languages and the evidence of their origins as well as their influences on later developments.
Let us concentrate on the early Bronze age, for which I mentioned, that languages started to evolve unnaturally, by means of human intervention. The Hittite, as well as the early Semitic - Sumerian and Akkadian, languages are perhaps the best examples of the earliest attempts to create and regulate a language used mainly by the ruling casts and kings perhaps even internationally. We'll look at this more closely under Hittites. Since we know much more about Greek than about Etruscan or Hittite languages let us look at some examples of how languages then were changed by mixing and matching speech of the palace with that of local rural populations.

Such human intervention is noticeable in broken grammar patterns, usually accepted long after the fact in some form of exceptions (irregular...).

In Greek language also such a globally broken grammatic thing represents the introduction of the definite, but notice, no indefinite article, neither of which are needed in a stable structured language, since their role is implicit to the declination operators. In Linear-B (i.e. Mycenaean Greek from about 1500 BC) there is no sign of definitive article, hence it must have been introduced by the newcomers, as an aid to use their vocabulary more closely to, or rather with, the indigenous declination system. Hence, the redundant declination of both the article and the noun.
Do not confuse Greek definitive article with later use of definite and indefinite articles in other languages, which are used to supplant the need for the use of the cases, i.e. declination, in a language all together, which represents a significant reduction in complexity of its grammar, leading to s much simpler flat language organization!
However, rather than to trace grammatic changes due to the external influences, changes in vocabulary are easier to spot, by looking for sometimes added, or more often broken semantics when certain words that used to have a definitive and defining meaning for the things they named suddenly become meaningless in the adopting language. For instance, such are Greek words
Zeus, Aphrodite, Sisyphus, Boreas, Tantalus, Curetes, Dardanos, Dodona, Hephaestus, Adonis, Dirce, Jocasta, Adrastus, Belus, Danaus, Acrisius, Perseus, Thyestes, Atreus, Calydon, Pirithous, Oebadus, Leda, Leto, Hellen, Corinth, ...
All these words were most likely taken from the indigenous Veneti, or as I call them "the True Pelasges", and were Hellenized. The earlier the word was accepted as Greek, the less it was modified by the Hellenization process. For instance, see the following table of the Greek words with very obvious Slavic counterparts, which shows their affiliation with the indigenous population was either forgotten, or not obvious anymore, as is the case with the word jokasta, which indigenous Veneti, then for Greeks Pelasgi and Macedonians, replaced with a south Slavic word, plakati, hence, it escaped later medieval Greek language cleansing furies.

Zeus Sius (sijati / to shine)
Aphrodite obroditi (roditi / to give birth, bear)
Jokasta jokasta, objojana (jokati, jekati / one who cried her eyes out, or who's groan to exhaustion)
Corinth Korito (river bed, manger)
Sisyphus se izpusti (zipusti, spusti / to release, drop)

to show just a few words almost everybody knows. We'll discuss this more elaborately under the topics "Greeks", "Sanskrit" as well as "Hittites", and you've already seen a few examples of the same kind in the Etruscan language of which of course there are many more to come in subsequent sections and chapters.

During peaceful and gradual migrations, usually led by the affluent and rich forerunners, that precede a larger influx of refugees or immigrants, as was most likely the case in the earliest phases of Greek and Etruscan migrations to Europe, when the newcomers were not strong enough to force their ways, they used their wealth and skills to mesmerize the local populations, establishing friendly relationships with their leaders. In these early stages, which for Greeks must have lasted for over 500 years, they must have adopted many habits, rituals, and even tried to communicate with the friendly indigenous populations in a sign language gradually learning the local language or dialects. Hence, from these early periods, we find many words, names, ceremonies as well as religious figures, that were accepted by both the newcomers as well as by the indigenous populations from each other. Indeed, this is the reason for dissecting the Etruscan and Greek languages and habits comparing them to the respective parallels fond amongst their neighbours. Unlike Greeks, Etruscans did not have time to turn ugly on the indigenous Veneti, who managed to maintain friendly relations with with both Etruscans and later with their successors Romans at all times. For Veneti in Greece the honeymoon was over after the Trojan war, when frantic and systematic Hellenization started to take shape. However, there is a significant body of evidence left in the Ancient Greek culture as well in the Greek language, that undoubtedly reveals these earlier mutual influences of indigenous Veneti and the rather heterogeneous newcomers.
In general, throughout the human history, the conquering nations sooner or later introduce political and religious systems, designed to force the occupied nations to assimilate into the victorious empires. The assimilating language, under the influences of the influx of "indigenous foreigners", started to change rapidly, on the one hand to accommodate the conquered folks to learn their new tongue easier and faster, and on the other it became less strict and more relaxed to the outside (foreign) influences, since the new speakers also often introduced numerous new words as well as simplified (broke) existing for them often too complex grammatic rules. Obviously, the assimilating language (language of the conquerers) starts to move away from the structured language organization toward the other end of the spectrum. As a result such a language evolves into one with an extremely simple, yet very efficient grammar and a new openness to almost unrestricted or limitless possibilities to expand its vocabulary by accepting virtually any foreign word.
Now perhaps you will appreciate the fact that flat organizations in computer science are those that are most technologically advanced, and very well suited to handle the most complex problems. However, we arrived to them via very sophisticated as well as reliable, deeply structured hierarchical organizations, which nevertheless alone proved too restrictive at the end. What happened in computer science is not unlike with the human languages, where the current trends in most languages are to simplify the grammatic complexities and make vocabularies less strict and more expandable or even interchangeable, if not flattened to the point where there would be only a single language for all people.

But let me remind those of you who enjoy Tolstoi, Pushkin, Goethe, Sofokles, Mahabharata, or Otomono Yakamochi in original, that I also said none of the two language organizations is superior or inferior. They swing in history like a pendulum, to reflect different phases and environments for which they are best suited. Currently it just looks that the flat organization is on top and on the move again.

The above simplified history of human languages should help clear up any remaining doubts about how the classifications structured and old on the one end, and the flat and young on the other, neatly coincide with our language organization spectrum, representing the two extreme points on it.

The chronological idea about the human language evolution may seem logical until we attempt mapping into it the languages we know. No language we know is so old we could call it an evolving old language. However, if we think of a language as an evolved old language, we are well within a reachable areas in our spectrum, for most ancient languages we know. But do all these ancient languages then fall within the category of old deeply structured languages? The answer is no, since they through the process of expansion and assimilation started to swing back to the other end of the spectrum i.e. flat and younger language organizations. NOTE: younger does not mean historically young! Perhaps, vital, exuberant, or indeed, growing would be a much better choice word. However, due to the fact that English is the youngest and the flattest European language, I prefer the original younger identification of the category.

(4) Evolving modern languages:

I added this paragraph merely for the sake of completeness, because, in the 19th century the advent of linguistics as a science, marks one of the more important milestones in the evolution of all world's languages. However, we are not particularly interested in this fourth phase,

except for the fact that I consider most of the modern linguists who descend from West European school of thought of the 20th century to be rather biased, and perhaps even unacceptably professionally challenged.

To illustrate my viewpoint let me mention that almost all world's most famous and reputable linguists accepted the very questionable opinion of equally famous English linguists, about their English language, namely, that it imported over 10,000 French words in no more than in an odd century, during the French conquest of England in 1066. Even more astonishing is their claim that over 85% of old English vocabulary was lost in the very same time. The above claims do not have a chance to be true, unless English was like the early Greek only the language of the palace (the castle), and even then it would be hard to imagine such a colossal change in such a short period!

Since the above are the domains of the English, one may leave this particular dubious English viewpoint unchecked, however, the less than adequate academic conduct doesn't stop in English backyard, but is noticeable also in the unwillingness, or inability to recognize past mistakes and obvious flaws in the methods of linguists who fail to see and recognize Slavic imprints in almost all known ancient languages.

But, let's not dwell on the misfortune of some misguided souls, but rather help the truth, objectivity and impartiality to prevail. Perhaps, a second look deep back into our past will go a long way toward a better understanding of the more relevant present times.

 

A more complex grammar is typical for older languages

Clearly, Etruscan language historically is an old language, namely, closer to the times when human languages were rather primitive, although perhaps not old enough to fall into this category at all. However, we have already hinted, on our language spectrum it does not sit neither among the old (well structured mature) nor the flat language. This may very well be partially due to its rather poor literary legacy, which with a few exceptions is reduced to texts related to burial and ceremonies of religious, spiritual or sacrificial nature, as well as our inability to adequately reconstruct its grammatic structures. However, just like in the Hittite language one can sense a great deal of immaturity in the Etruscan, hence this and not so much a poor vocabulary is a critical indicator that Etruscan was still an evolving young language.

I believe many are confused by the mixing of the old, structured, young, and flat categories. However, I like the above choice of the words, because it is important to realize that historically young or old, does not necessarily coincide with mature or immature. I suggest the use of young and old with an appropriate attribute either "historical", or "linguistic" when a more exact, rather than a red flag waving, language is required.

Nevertheless, by now we've seen the argument, that at least theoretically, the older the language the smaller was its vocabulary in its infancy. It is convenient to use English language as an example, since in this respect it is a younger language. Namely, it inherited a very rich vocabularies from numerous languages including Greek, Etruscan, Latin and of course Germanic languages and its beginnings can be speculated roughly to coincide with the end of the Roman empire. However, things just aren't that simple, since one can find quite a few English words in Sanskrit as well as Hittite languages, which gives some credit to the IE theory.

To compensate for the lack of words the oldest languages, over many millennial developed a system of prefixes and postfixes by which they altered the meanings of words, and it goes without saying that the older the language the more elaborate and with fewer exceptions, i.e., more reliable these Prefix / Suffix rules became. If we now interpolate these findings as language evolution trends throughout the early language development history all the way up to the times when writing systems were introduced, influencing rapid recognition and evolution ever more elaborate grammatic rules, we can appreciate the fact that Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite, Etruscan, Venetic, Greek, Hebrew, Sanskrit, Phoenician, Egyptian and some other languages all qualify to be classified as historically older languages. However there are different shades or grades of these historically determined classifications to be found, and can be further refined and classified by looking at their respective language organizations, which differs from historical time lines and means a shift in paradigm represented by the linguistic categories old, structured, younger and flat we introduced as a language organization spectrum.

 

The characteristic of a linguistically old language

In the paragraphs under the title "The grammatic aspects of a language historically" where we divided the human language evolution into four phases:

However, we limited our interests only to the second (2) phase which stretches from the early Bronze age to the 15th or 19th century. During this time we are dealing with the evolution of languages from the evolved old to evolved young. One thing that may still be a bit unclear is that all these languages do not differ that much from each other, except that the older ones belong to the deeply structured rather than flat organizations. They all are evolved, hence mature, and all have about the same expressive power in their respective dictionaries. The main difference between their vocabularies is the fact that the words in structured languages can be additionally grouped into clusters around key or root meanings Western and Indian linguists call stems, and are less formally known in Slavic languages as roots.

The above is the basis for determining the differences between a flat and structured language organizations. Namely, in flat organizations words are mostly unrelated, independent objects, whereas in structured languages they are clustered in more or less hierarchically organized structures that converge toward or diverge from some root meaning or stem element of a word. Note, that it is possible to see weather a language has flat or structured organization by merely looking at its vocabulary! There are very obvious and deep reasons for these differences, and are most notably reflected in the respective grammars. Namely, in a linguistically old language, most words developed from some very small rather primitive vocabulary, by applying a set of elaborate rules or mechanisms designed only for the word creation purposes. While in all languages we can in a limited way create some words, a distinctly more elaborate word constructing mechanisms only exist in the linguistically as well as often historically old languages. We will call these rules Prefix / Suffix rules. Utilizing these rules the words have a very distinct form, sound or shape i.e. identity tying them to a particular language, and more importantly it is the uniformity and predictability of words built with such mechanisms, like "lego pieces", that allow for the vocabulary to be organized into word clusters and hierarchies of associations by meaning, by a form or by some other recognizable pattern.

Only then we come to the true grammar layer of the language, which can be used on all words regardless of their origin. The grammar is often mentioned as a decisive factor for distinguishing ancient language concepts from younger or newer ones, and the simpler grammatic rules tend to coincide with younger languages. While most of the above is true, and in absence of other indicators may provide valuable hints, I'd generally require that as much of the criteria mentioned here is satisfied, otherwise we have an exception that may reveal something unexpected (perhaps a problem with this taxonomy?).

And finally the simplest test of all is the presence of irregular verbs, namely, in older languages, for the most part the irregular verbs do not exist, because the very well filtered as well as tested, hence, rather reliable grammar as well as Prefix / Suffix rules cover almost every conceivable grammatic as well as semantic aspect of verbal human communications. It is not surprising linguists say that human languages provide means by which an infinite number of unique ideas can be expressed.


This certainly classifies Latin as a younger language, one that evolved just like Etruscan and Greek, by combining languages of migrant newcomers with those of the indigenous people.

The main reason for an ancient language to introduce irregularities and exceptions is most likely the incorrect use by the assimilated populations, and a clash of the "native" rules with the imported rules and vocabulary, in obviously a too short a period for a natural corrective actions to play out, due to the definitive effect of the early, needless to say, poor literacy of the early scribbles.


We now now enough to look, at how these "prehistoric" language rules are used, and see if what we learnt so far can be supported by some true examples and evidence. As promised we'll look at how words are formed in both languages with a flat and with a structured organizations. For the earlier flat organization the best representative is the English while for the opposite (i.e. structured) I'll use my native Slovene language.

 

Introducing Prefix/Suffix rules

Let's take for example English words west and east. We will start with word "west" and continue with "east", and their Slovene equivalents. What we immediately know is that in English the meaning of the word "west" designates the meaning for "the side of the sky, where the sun sets". Beside its main meaning there are few other words in English that derive from the word "west" and have a slightly different meaning than the basic one, namely "west". The derived words are "western", "westerly", "westward" and we may also throw in "Westinghouse".

While all derived words from the word "west" have a slightly different meaning, they continue to refer to the original meaning (i.e. west). Sometimes words are created that actually have a totally new meaning, however, this is also often related to mixed influences of two or more languages on one another. But we are not concerned with the later, instead I wish to show that in Slovene the same root meaning of the words could be used to create a much more diverse, and for a foreigner almost unrelated, sets of meanings. Needless to say, this is a property akin to the languages belonging to the structured as opposed to flat organizations.

We can see, that all European languages have some form of Prefix/Suffix rules, some have many while others very few of these. Not surprisingly, languages with flat organizations have fewer such rules, just as the English language testifies. We can also see that in English the word "west" only has a single meaning, and that it can by no means be dissected into smaller parts each with a meaning of its own.

In Slovene the word "west" is "zahod", but on the other hand has another meaning from which "west", i.e. "the side of the sky, where the sun sets" can be inferred. To a Slovenian speaker this other meaning is immediately obvious since the word "zahod" is a combination of a Prefix rule and some basic (root meaning) which in this case has nothing to do with sides of the sky, but it instead means hod="the walk, or stroll", the prefix obviously is za- which means "behind" or "away". Therefor, the Slovene meaning for the word "west" or in Slovene zahod, is walk away or behind or metaphorically hide behind the mountain, which is where the sun departs!

Similarly the word "east" is treated in both our sampling languages. In the younger English this word has no other meaning than east, perhaps some will argue it may also sometimes mean communist, which certainly would be its youngest meaning.

In Slovene on the other hand, the word for east is vzhod, where vz- is the prefix rule (note not a word in itself) with implied meaning "from, begin, start". The other part is the key or root meaning but at the same time also an independent word with exactly the same meaning, namely hod="the walk, stroll". Therefore when combined we get the meaning "begin walking/going", The word "vzhod" is a noun but it also has its verb form vzhoditi which literally means a toddler making his/her first steps i.e. "starting to walk". However, these are only a few possible meanings, associated with the roots meanings for the Slovene words "vzhod (east)" and "zahod (west)". Note that root meaning is either "east" or "west", but the stem's (hod) meaning is "to walk".

Note, that it is rarely we in Slovene talk or even mention what a stem of a word is, tis is an invention of foreigners who at the very early times in history did not understand that some words in Sanskrit, Hittite, Etruscan and in Greek transform even the roots (stems) when operated upon by different grammar operators, and for all costs wanted to locate a constant i.e the immutable part of a word (that sometimes may very well not even be possible, as is the case in for a Slovene word for "a duck"/ "raca, račja" - where stem is either "rac-" or "rač-" but not "ra-" as foreigners like to think), and which they then called a stem.
Shortly we will see many other examples of words from the hierarchical associative structure, the tree or the cluster of meanings descending from the key or root word hod (the walk).

 

Prefix/Suffix rules explained

Here we will look at the difference between the two language organizations with respect to the Prefix/Suffix rules. We finally also get to see some convincing examples for representatives from both sides of our spectrum of languages.

For those of you who do not wish to verify my claims or look at all the examples, it is safe to skip these paragraphs without jeopardizing your further understanding of my writing. However, I do suggest you read the conclusion of this chapter, to appreciate how a smaller number of root (stem) meanings in vocabulary for structured language is more than compensated for.

 

The Prefix/Suffix rules with or without a meaning

We can divide the so called "Prefix / Suffix rules" into two categories :

This division is an arbitrary one but in general Prefix/Suffix rules without the meaning of their own exist merely as a grammar aid, used for instance to (1) turn nouns into adjectives, (2) assign different properties to original root meaning, (3) designate association, or some other kind of place/time relationship, (4) form affirmative, interrogative and negation statements, (5) associate gender, (6) singularity, multiplicity, (7) form tenses, (8) declinations (cases), ...
Strictly speaking, the Prefix / Suffix rules are the remnants of a more elaborate word creating mechanisms from a very distant past coinciding with the second phase from our language evolution chart I called "(2) Evolving old languages". Here we treated them almost as if they were the same as regular grammar operators used for things like declinations, conjugations, and alike. Though this is incorrect because sometimes such suffixes and, indeed, prefixes are inseparably bound with an ancient stem and as such the word is no longer considered a compound word, we will tolerate this as an acceptable misnomer (i.e. the suffixes { -ed, -ing, -'s, ... } really are grammatic operators though they may have evolved from a less formal suffix rules, and now only convey a general grammatic but not a specific meaning like: up, down, over, ...).

Hence, Prefix/Suffix rules without the meaning are rather like some grammar aid or tools, used to alter the original, basic or root meaning of the word but retain the close relationship with that basic meaning even when the rule is applied i.e. "west", "westerly", "western" retain their original designation with an added slight twist to it. They add or build a structure of meanings below or on top of the base or root meaning.

Prefix/Suffix rules with the meaning on the other hand are in addition used to create independent or completely different meanings of the words with the same root but different final meaning. These rules are seldom used in newer languages, but are quite common in older languages.

For instance in Slovene language we find the following Prefix/Suffix rules with the meaning to create new meanings from a root. In the case of the base meaning word hod (the walk) we can apply the following suffixes :

(1)(2)(3)(4)(5) (6)(7)(8)(9)(10) (11)(12)(13)(14)
na- nad-ob- po-pod- pre-pri- raz-vz- pred- za- -nik -ničekar
on abovebeside overunder acroswith dis- (perse)lift, rize before, in front behind, away n/a -ly,-my,-ny-er

Let's apply these suffixes and prefixes to the root meaning "hod" (the walk), and see that we get new meanings for nouns, which on top of that we can additionally modify to with new suffix to create verbs with yet new but related meanings. It should be noted, that we are not creating forms of declinations i.e cases, or different conjugations of the same noun or verb, but multiple, different nouns and verbs. Let's see:

Base (root meaning) word hod (stem)
Noun English Meaning Verb English Meaning
hod a/the walk, a stroll HODiti to wak
HODar a walking person
HODnik a hall
HODniček small hall
naHOD a cold naHODiti to be
nadHOD an overpass nadHODiti to win a competing pedestrian
obHOD a bypass, a detour obHODiti to comlete the walk around/check
poHOD a march poHODiti to step on
poHODnik a wanderer (M)
poHODnica a wanderer (F)
poHODno a wanderer (it)
podHOD an underpass podHODiti to under walk
preHOD a crossing preHODiti to walk over and over
preHODnik a passing thing (M)
preHODnica a passing thing (F)
predHOD an advance-party predHODiti to appear before others
predHODnik a forerunner (M)
predHODnica a forerunner (F)
priHOD an arrival priHODiti to win a prize walking
razHOD a departure razHODiti to ware out walking,
split to different paths
vzHOD the east, sunrise vzHODiti to have learned to walk
zaHOD the west, sunset zaHODiti to lose - to blowup walking

Now each noun can be changed with yet another set of suffixes to adjectives, and pronouns. I will show only creation of adjectives for all three genders, where:

Creating adjectives with (-i/-a/-o = gender)
Nouns Adjectives English Meaning
hod HODni/na/no who walks
HODar HODar-ski/ska/sko pertaining to a walking person
HODnik HODnič-ni/na/no pertaining to a hall
HODniček HODničkov-ni/na/no pertaining to a small hall
naHOD naHODni/na/no who's done walking,
who has a cold
nadHOD nadHODni/na/no which leads over, across
obHOD obHODni/na/no which leads around, or beside
poHOD poHODni/na/no which pertains to a march
poHODnik poHODni-ški/ška/ško wanderer's
poHODnica poHODni-čin (F) wanderer's (F)
podHOD podHODni/na/no which leads under
preHODnik preHODnikov (M) belonging to one in transit (M)
preHODnica preHODničin (F) belonging to one in transit (F)
preHODnio preHODnično (it) belonging to one in transit (it)
predHOD predHODni/na/no which belongs to advance-party
predHODnik predHODnikov (M) a forerunner (M)
predHODnica predHODničin (F) a forerunner (F)
predHODno predHODnično (it) a forerunner (it)
priHOD priHODni/na/no who comes next
razHOD razHODni/na/no pertaining to split ways
vzHOD vzHODni/na/no eastern (he/she/it)
zaHOD zaHODni/na/no weastern (he/she/it)

In Slavic languages it is possible to create many kinds of pronouns not only from subjects but from any noun or adjective. There are location or place pronouns, personal possessive pronouns, time indicating pronouns, etc. If we try to create all pronouns for the above nouns and/or adjectives we undoubtedly would significantly increase the number of words. For the sake of my argument I will show just a few.

Creating pronouns
Nouns Pronouns English Meaning
hod HOD-eč/ča/če by walking
nadHOD nadHOD-eč/ča/če by way leading over, across
obHOD obH-hajajoč/ča/če by walking around, or beside
poHOD poH-hajaujoč/ča/če by marching
priHOD priH-ajajoč/ča/če who is ariving
razHOD razH-ajajoč/ča/če who are spliting apart
vzHOD vzH-ajajoč/ča/če which is rizing up
zaHOD zaH-ajajoč/ča/če which is sinking behind

Conclusion

You may remember we said that early languages had a smaller number of words in their vocabularies, than the modern languages with flat organizations most of which came to life after the Ancient Greek and Latin languages. However, this difference does not exist after the early languages had time to mature, since during that time they grew their vocabularies as we saw in this segment above.

In fact many Slavic speakers with a reasonably good command of the English language argue that Slavic languages have much richer vocabulary and expressive power than English. I think that there is very little difference between the expressive power of either, but rather in the degrees of difficulty to express different grades or shades of colourful expressions in either language. The colour or juiciness of a language are rather artistic categories, and depend a great deal on skill of the speaker, but it may be true that less skill to be colourful or juicy is required for a Slavic speaker, though only few ever reach the heights of Levstik, Prešern, Tolstoy, Pushkin and alike.

So far, with Prefix/Suffix rules with the meaning we have created, from a single word hod (the walk), 22 nouns, 22 adjectives, 8 pronouns, and 12 verbs, (22 +22 + 8 +12) = 64 new words with rather independent i.e., completely new meanings.

More generally speaking, employing the other "meaningless" ?:-) rule i.e. the Prefix/Suffix rules without the meanings, which may as well be the ordinary grammar operators, does not create completely new words, like the other Prefix/Suffix rule (with the meaning) above, instead it is used to form grammatical constructs, which add some additional attribute to the base meaning, like modify the gender, express different times (tenses), or associate word's meaning with some additional circumstances or status etc. All together, if we apply the remaining or all possible grammatic rules represented by the Prefix/Suffix rules without the meanings to these 64 newly created words we end up with 1881 words each in fact with a different meaning.

Compare this with a whopping 8 or so meanings that we managed to create in English from the words east and west.

 

Prefix/Suffix rules are used less and harder to define in younger languages

But there are exceptions to these Prefix/Suffix rules. We may have words that look like derived words but in fact they are not! They are words created as concatenations of two independent words, which may sometimes overlap with a suffix rule, as is the case here. For an example let's take the following English words :

OUTbound NOR SECede
OUTclass NORth SEClude
OUTcast NORmal SECond
OUTfit NORthman SECtarian
OUTlast NORway SECtor
OUTlaw NORthwest SECular
OUTrank NORthon SECurity
OUT... NOR... SEC...
I have mixed few of these words in a incorrect manner, because at first glance, I couldn't tell what was the root meaning and what was Prefix/Postfix. I still have trouble with NORthon.

Let's first look at the second column, the words: nor, north, normal. If we ignore the meaning for a moment, we see that it almost looks these words have the same root, namely something starting with nor, however, this is not true. Who knows the language realizes each meaning is completely unrelated to the other. I then added few more words that may fit in here. I was clearly wrong, when assuming nor is the beginning of some root combination! Similarly, out has nothing to do with any root at all, it is the prefix and is a very bad example here! Obviously English language is less strict or more relaxed when it comes to forming words, and certainly there are very few rules if any to help.

However, all we discovered here about English language fits very well into any kind of flat (object / word) organization. Namely, flat organization by nature is not structured. It is a set of unrelated objects on a plain as opposed to a set of leaves (words) on the branches on some tree. Unlike English, which is completely flat (e.i. perfectly chaotic - a distinct property of flat organizations of objects / words), you may be surprised that, though to a lesser degree, the Greek also exhibits similar characteristics. Rather Ancient Greek language is a mixture of both worlds (flat and structured), which qualifies it as an evolving and immature language, and in particular it shows, that it is a mixture of more than one language. This is rather obvious from the structure of its vocabulary, which contains many almost identical roots or stems for different meanings intermingled, making it almost impossible to tell different clusters, trees or word hierarchies apart - something just not seen in a well structured mature old languages! Needless to say the same is true for the Latin, Hittite as well as the Etruscan language, but much less for Sanskrit language, though it is not as clean or almost perfectly structured as is the case with all Slavic languages.

As you see, in a well structured, old language there also must exist obvious structures and clusters of words within its vocabulary. If a broken structure is found, it is an exception, an obvious import from another language. In English, French, Spanish, German, Greek etc we find words which seam to have the same parts but no apparent relation to each other. Well, they did not come from the same language, but were instead imported, from somewhere else, or were formed by less then consistent mix and match concatenating rules which could not have been inherited from multiple constituent languages, with conflicting word building mechanisms, from which a particular modern young language evolved.

 

How is this helping the study of Etruscan language

All this doesn't seem to be very useful for our study of Etruscan language, since we do not have a large Etruscan vocabulary to analyze. However, it does tell us something about its contemporaries such as the Greek, ... and indirectly about Venetic, which presumably is closely related if not a predecessor of Slavic languages for which I wanted to make the case, are indeed, very old, likely older than Greek. Moreover, as is now obvious not only through Anatolian Hittite / Phrygian connection, but also Indian, Vedic an Sanskrit Venetic connection, the gravity of early Venetic / Slavic languages is very much in the areas later either associated or occupied by so called Greeks. All the early or ancient languages were related and influenced each other much more than some would like to think. This must be evident in their structures and in their vocabularies.

Perhaps we should focus not so much on obtaining a perfect Hittite or Etruscan grammatic consistency but rather how is a grammatic pattern distributed between different languages, not only what is a suffix used for but where else - in which language it also can be found, and that may tell us with a greater certainty what it is. For instance Hittite syllables -is-, -iš-, -si-, -ši- and very often Etruscan use of the same syllables, as well as Latin or Greek endings -is, -os, -ias, as well as Slavic endings -is, -iš, -si, -ši, or -s plurals in west European languages definitively point to a potentially common source of origin.

Do not be fulled with the Indoeuropean Theories, they assume commonalities exist before finding them, and if there is no evidence of one they place an asterisk in front of anything to denote an IE origin.

Of course a great deal more analysis is needed to actually tie together any pattern its use and meaning consistently across different languages. For instance look at the following Etruscan inscription found on a bronze statue of a speaker addressing a crowd, which reads:

auleSi.meteliS.ve.vesial.clenSi.cen.flereS.tece.sanSl.tenine.tuOineS.XisvlicS

To every Slavic person the above Etruscan sentence, though only to a Slavic linguist not totally meaningless, must sound rather familiar due to the -ši / -iš endings. Pay attention even to the word vesial which you, unless you are a Slovene, may not see at all as having a suffix -si, because there are two suffixes here vesial i.e.: -si-al, where si is part of the word "to shine" vesi, and -al is a conjugation suffix indicating past participle. Compare this to rather baseless concoction made by Etruscologists who see in -al declination suffix for Genitive case. (Click here to see more)

Admittedly, a sheer statistical probability makes this conclusion of the Etruscologists a possibility, namely there are about 2000 inscriptions where this suffix appears among the total of 8600 Etruscan inscriptions all together. However, beside a few dubious Hittite examples and of course the English -el, -al, -ly cases of a similar suffix in similar grammatic function, the chances for this possibility by comparison largely decrease, when compared to the extensive and very consistent Slavic use of this suffix.

Surprise, surprise English?

While, it is true that often an ethnic view can stand in a way of objectivity, but eliminating this aspect from the research is equally questionable. Achieving objectivity should not be a matter of eliminating the ethnic view or comparative linguistics from our set of tools in our methodology, as Etruscologists are proposing, but rather open it up to a wider range of languages, even if for some reason a nation speaking a language was not supposed to be around at the time. After all, English words for wealth, well may very well be of Etruscan, Venetic i.e. Slavic origin as we will see the pattern vel... appearing in over a 1000 Etruscan inscriptions in words like velia, velOur, velOina, velSina, velXa, .... which in Slavic languages mean majesty, great, the great one, rich, the rich one, wealth, .....

There are well documented relationships between Greeks and Etruscans, however, what is new in my study is a recognition that both the Etruscans and Greeks have very similar patterns in their evolution not only culturally but also as two ethnic entities, of which the most striking is their migration to their respective lands where happened to be living two very closely related Venetic populations, which I like to call the "True Pelasgi". Through this common ethnic ancestry it is possible to anticipate the two should exhibit many before overlooked and / or ignored common characteristics.

This is a good time to also mention, that the Italic populations of the Apennines, may also be migrants who settled in Venetic lands. At least so tells us my new linguistic taxonomy. I do not want to support nor reject this position, though I myself am convinced the taxonomy is not wrong about it, unless it itself is wrong!

Since almost all archaeological evidence and other historical facts about these relationships were lost due to the Hellenization, Romanization, Germanization as well as religious prosecutions of pagan Slavic populations, most of the evidence beside genetics rests with the ancient languages, which as the Venetic theory demonstrates, developed either in some contact with Veneti or on the Venetic lands, presumably leaving a recognizable imprint in Sanskrit, Hittite, Greek, Etruscan, Latin and contemporary Slavic languages. If the Etruscans and Greek are truly both related in a similar way to Veneti, it should, without a doubt, be possible to prove these relationships by studying the respective languages.

In search of ways to brake biased profoundly hidden grip on ancient languages by western linguists, a more technical and abstract as well as ethnically less definitive and more open view of a language, provides a fresh and more objective grounds to investigate and verify some outstanding and problematic issues, nobody dares to touch. It may very well be that at the end we shall find who really the ancient nations were, as well as better understand who we are.

Viewing at the languages through the organizational prism one thing clearly soon becomes obvious, namely, that we have a very well defined set of linguistic criteria by which we are able to build a very consistent new view of the evolution of languages and ethnic entities which after all largely coincide with what we also call nationhood and of course a nation.

 

Semantic aspects of a structured language

All European languages old and young use some form of Prefix / Suffix rules, to create new words, and/or to augment their meaning in some grammatical context of the language. Almost every word operated upon by a grammatic operator and even more so by a Prefix/Suffix rule, thereby takes up an additional or different semantic value, or meaning. Older Slavic and Ugro-Finnish languages by far exceed the number of possible meanings a root or a stem word can assume in comparison to any other post-Greek European language. This after all is the distinguishing characteristic of their deeply structured organizations which provides much richer set of grammatic operators than are found in flat languages.

In most West European languages there exists no comparable meaning for many of the simplest grammatical forms of words commonly used in Slavic or in Ugro-Finnish languages. Try imagine 36 different meanings for any noun you pick in your native tung, and you'll most likely think I'm joking! Yet any Slavic six grader can spell them out without any trouble at all.

The closest that a speaker of a younger generation language will come to understand few of these meanings is, if they study how and what semantic values are associated with different declination cases such as nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, local and instrumental, and a few more in Hungarian and Finish languages. Even then, chances that they would actually understand how and why they are used, without extensive practising, are limited. The dilemmas of students learning how to decline in Greek or Latin is easy to see where a writer tries to explain the whens, hows, and the whys about the ways each case is used. I strongly believe, that foreign speakers and teachers over the millennial of Greek as well as Latin introduced a great deal of confusion into these two languages and even irreparably broke their respective grammars. For instance the introduction of Agent Dative is most likely result of erroneous use of dative for centuries by those who didn't understand the difference between the owning and the owned in a grammatic context, and applied Dative suffix to either.

Even more obvious problems understanding structured grammatical concepts by native speakers of a simpler flat languages, are evident, when studying Hittite and Etruscan grammars reconstructed by western linguists and scholars. For instance, in their publications Etruscologists and often also Hittitologists provide, one can notice rather dubious grammatical explanations, which general population, and particularly those speaking western post Greek and post Latin languages have no practical way of understanding, never mind verifying. The reader is overwhelmed with excessive use of grammatical terminology, which when scrutinized closely has no content, and most of all often no evidence or examples of where the grammatic structures they show are actually used. Their work is full of empty statements like the following:

Hittite
nu-us-ma-as:       -- sentence particle; {nu} and + enclitic personal pronoun;
      3rd person plural dative of {sumes} = they -- for them.

An example of Hittite analysis;

It is interesting to see how Hittitologists work with grammar to build the meaning for their words. I have to admit they are using this methodology consistently and rather successfully, however, the results they get most of the time are not that impressive, in fact I believe, they could be significantly improved by comparative linguistics.

a-pe-e-wa-mu:       -- demonstrative pronoun; nominate plural animate of {apa-} that
      + quotative particle {-wa}...+ enclitic personal pronoun;
      1st persom plural accusative {-mu} = me -- they...me.
Etruscan
celthi: "in this" - locative of demonstrative
-ri: gerundive suffix, postposition "for, for the sake of", locative, instrumentive suffix
-as: *-a-si genitive suffix for -a stem words
-al: genitive, dative, adjective, possessive, diminutive or ablative suffix
-e: locative instrumentive suffix

here I added in frustration -- see: here-e, there-e, where-e, nowhere-e

It is one thing saying that "-e" has this or that property, and quite the other to show that property consistently at work. Etruscologists completely omit such evidence or even a single example to prove such a grammatic pattern may actually exist.

Most of what we can learn about Etruscan grammar comes from how Etruscologists interpret the Etruscan inscriptions. Rarely one finds a more complete grammar example, or even a single declination. It is not hard to understand, that a Slavic reader who upon realization that all the obvious Slavic grammatic patterns and semantic similarities are overlooked or ignored, may soon start to be very suspicious about the work of the famous linguists, and even more so, the Etruscologists.

Those inspired by the resemblance of language patterns in their native tongue and those encountered in the Etruscan scripts, upon returning over and over again to these texts, grow stronger in their conviction that a link between these languages must exist. Though, the Etruscologists see most of the words as names, to a suspicious Slavic reader distinct Slavic verb forms seem more reasonable than what is officially interpreted. I've already mentioned we very often encounter typical Slavic verb endings such as

-as, -aS, -es, -eS, -is, -iS, -us, -uS, -al, -el....

It is interesting that for Etruscologists these endings all represent the Dative endings. For instance here are some to a Slavic person rather familiarly sounding words as well as some very Slavic sounding endings :

mlaX, mlaXta, mlaXuta, mlakaS, mlaXas, mlakasi
nina, ninanune, aninai, aninaic, aninas, aninei, ninieS
papa, papaOna, papaOnaS, papas, papanias, papasa, papasla, papaslisa, papsinaS, papaznei
paia, paie, paiina, paiinas, paianiieS, apianaS, pupaia
vipi, vipia, vipie, vipies, vipiesi, vipiien, vipinei
spurin, spuraOe, spurieisi, puriiaS, puriaS
In the above list, not all words are verbs, however, assuming there is some resemblance to Slavic languages, one can get a pretty good idea which ones are and which are not.

Particularly suspicious is the conclusion of the Etruscologists, to which they came solely by means of guesswork and without any comparable evidence from other languages, contrary to overwhelmingly consistent and often used such Slavic verb ending. Namely, the Etruscologists claim that both and -l type endings:
-aš, -eš, -iš , -oš, -uš  . . . . (used as 2nd person conjugation ending in singular)
                as well as
-al, -el, -il, -ol, -ul  . . . . (used as past participle)
are in fact the word endings of Dative case.

Above I only mentioned the most often encountered word endings. However the endings

{-a, -ia, -ie, -la, -na, -ta ... }
also correspond neatly with Slavic word endings, mostly verb conjugations, and should be explained on individual basis within their respective inscriptions. It is rather silly to base decipherment only on some made up grammatic concept, especially if we can utilize also other devices. Content is always an important verifying feature. Placing a word in a sentence can help determining its nature. Knowing where and when the text was used provides yet another verification mechanism. A reference to some graphic or art work usually is the best test and proof of correctness of the transcription. Of course, the ultimate verdict is only possible, if we can consistently find our findings to yield meaningful results.

 

Many Etruscan words are easy recognizable to Slavs

1. As I pointed out we very soon find out an astonishing resemblance between some Etruscan words an their Slavic counterparts. These are the words that would be immediately recognized and understood by most, if not all Slovenes, and with a very few exceptions, most of the other Slavic people. Here is a list of a few such words:

agan, atenaS, donoa, dar, damoa, duga, kurenas, kupeS, lado, mini, malu, matenaS, minimul, muluvanica, nikapi, ninal, tu nina naS, pesni, pevaS, pianeS, san, sijaiS, snut, sveh, svih, sveitiuS, Sale, tu snut, van, veka, umer, zavena, zinak, Zilac, Zili, Zigina

Please note that above I use capital letters "C,S,Z" instead of their lowercase counterparts with a little "v" (circumflex) above each "c,s,z" (Č, Š, Ž) - to avoid computer text compatibility issues. For details see the table Legend of symbols in Etruscan transcripts.

2. Then there are many other words which only a trained linguist can spot, but once pointed out to an ordinary Slovene or any Slavic person, they too would have no trouble accepting the explanation.

3. The third group of words is the hardest to defend, because they require certain modifications to undo the historical, nonetheless generic, changes that many other Slavic and / or Venetic words were subjected to in time, to arive at the words used today.

To appreciate these, to an ordinary reader often very tedious explanations, one must have sufficient understanding of the language a linguist is using as a model, to intuitively accept or reject technical explanations of the linguist. To give you an idea what we are talking about let's take a look at an example from my native Slovene language. The Slovene word for go is iti, the word has a few siblings:

iti=go, oditi=depart, priti=come, idoC=departing

Please note that above I use capital letters "C,S,Z" instead of their lowercase counterparts with a little "v" (circumflex) above each "c,s,z" (Č, Š, Ž) - to avoid computer text compatibility issues. For details see the table Legend of symbols in Etruscan transcripts.
My example here is focused on the last "sibling" word, namely, idoC. If I only tell to a non-Slovene speaker about the siblings of the word iti, as much as I just have, many would have trouble believing that idoC's root is actualy word iti, yet any Slovene fifth grader will have no trouble finding the root here without any help!

When someone is explaining Etruscan words, however, the doubts and suspicions of how competently one arrived at those explanations, increase exponentially. There is no Etruscan language, not yet! All we have are theoretical discussions, that often behind public eye vigorously contradict each other.

 

What's wrong with Etruscologists' dictionary

In general one can appreciate the excellent work of many, who helped to document and expose the exciting Etruscan civilization for us all to admire. I cherish their work and especially the work of those honest and extremely dedicated Etruscologists, who did not compromise their work in any way.

However, I it should be pointed out, that particularly with a respect to the Etruscan language a lack of guidance of unbiased linguists, historians, and scientists is obvious. As I hope to show and hopefully prove, they have missed a great deal, by ignoring a Slavic or Venetic components present throughout the Etruscan world. Being familiar with the related Theory of Veneti, I am not at all surprised, at a bias so prevalent among Etruscologists, who are as supporters of traditional European history convinced, in Etruscan culture there could be no traces of any kind of Slavic connection, since in accordance to official historians there were no Slavs around in Europe until after Etruscans have been long gone from the European scene. Since also, it has long been suspected, even among some traditional European historians, that Veneti indeed were the ancestors of Slavs, nobody dares to bring not even Veneti into any consideration when dealing with Etruscans, despite the fact that Etruscans and Veneti were the contemporaries. Even if none of these facts were known, one should at least allow for a theoretical possibility that Etruscans and Veneti or Slavs may have had some contacts in their original homeland, which is so far only hinted to be in many places, some of them at least in a close proximity of each other, and others even common to both Veneti and Etruscans, for example the territory of Phrygia, where there were found and recently successfully deciphered on the basis of the Slovene language a large number of Venetic inscriptions engraved in stones there.

Not only is the omission of Venetic components in studies of Etruscan language a serious mistake and scientific blunder, a claim that Etruscan is not an Indoeuropean language is even more preposterous. This is eloquently describes a poor state of affairs and grouse incompetency of modern linguists, who are perhaps the true culprits and collaborators with those historians who can not let go of the past distorted history teaching.

 

Etruscologists see only Greek and Latin

It doesn't take a professional or a Slavic linguist to discover that there are very obviously Slavic words in many Etruscan scripts. But at the same time it should soon become clear to an average high school student of Slavic origin that Slavic grammatic patterns are often encountered in the scripts as well. However, let's leave the grammar for the moment and discuss pure semantics.

Etruscologists believe Etruscan language does not belong to our European family of languages, nevertheless they, without any reservations, seek relationships to Greek an Latin, but exclude all others languages, even if the linguistic evidence is overwhelmingly demanding a change of such a strategy.

Though, we will see in other places many other examples of Etruscan scripts, and despite the fact that in these few paragraphs I can not do justice to the subject, I would still like to show a few more examples of largely inadequate and superficial work of the linguists - Etruscologists, as the result of their exclusion of Slavic languages from their research.

eitviscri: "pudenda ('shameful parts')" - Latin:aestimatio="valuation", Greek:aidoia

How is the Etruscan word "eitviscri" related to Latin:aestimatio, and Greek:aidoia? (1) None of the words are similar, in spelling, and they do not sound alike, (2) nor do they have any other apparent similarity! And yet Etruscologists claim it means what Latin word aestimatio means, namely valuation, never mind the fact they fail to supply any explanation for the greek word in the example.
etanei: "seat" -- Latin:aedes="building, temple, house"

How is the Latin word "aedes" related to to Etruscan "ethava"? (1) It is not similar, to it in spelling, (2) nor does it have any other apparent similarity! And yet Etruscologists claim it means what Latin word aedes means, namely building, temple, house!
cupe:
cuparia:
cupes:
cupeS:
cupesta:
kape:
qupes:
"cup" - Greek:kupe; - Latin:cuppa="cup"

Why not including Slavic:"kupi,kupe,kupiS,kupeS"=gather ?
kupe="they gather", kupiS/kupeS="you gather"
kupesta="you two are gathering"
kupiti="SrHr : gathering" - true origin of greek word cup
This could mean that Greeks got their kupe from Veneti,
Which also supports close relationship between Veneti and Etruscans!
cape:
capi:
kape:
kapi:
"cup/container,obtain,grasp,fortune,success"
-- see also: cape,caper,caperi,capi,kape,kapi,qapi

Why not including Slavic:"kapi,kape"="falling water dopps"?
kapi="container gathering watter drops"
eleivana: "of oil" - Latin:oliua="olive" of Tyrrhenian origin?

Slavic translation of the above word is much more elaborate. It breakes the word into tre parts:
  • el=hell, oil, perfum, food; ele=genitive (or dative) of el
  • i=and
  • van=heaven; vana=genitive (or dative) of van
Resulting in the following posibilities:
  • to/for hell and heaven,
  • to/for oil/fire/light/perfum/food and heaven
    However, the word usually exist in a larger body of text, which gives it a context, allowing us to eliminate some, or all our results. The above word was found in the following text:

    mlakaS.Sela.aSka.mi.eleivana: "poor joke to me is that of hell and heaven"

In the above example I showed how the Etruscologists explained Etruscan words. You can see my comment, or an augmentation under the dividing line in a slightly smaller print, which, had such a more inclusive view were adopted, would vastly improves the chances of arriving at better and more objective interpretations.

 

Excluding everything but Greek, Latin and the unknown from the research of Etruscan language

Regrettably, the most evident problem in current decipherment of Etruscan language is the omission of the obvious Slavic components in all their linguistic studies. Not surprisingly, Etruscologists fail to mention any other research of Etruscan language, and particularly they like to paint a more inclusive research of other scholars, who think there are also possible alternative interpretations, as too narrow and driven by some ethnic nonscientific and dubious etymological methodology.

But as we've seen at the beginning in the section entitled "Truth about the decipherment of the Etruscan language" in addition to prematurely rejected Slavic scholars in particular the three Slovenes Anton Berlot, Ivan Rebec and Matej Bor, there are also two famous Italian linguists Mario Alinei who explores the possibility of Hungarian, and Giovanni Semerano who sees the ancient Semitic relationship to Etruscans. I am not able to evaluate the Hungarian relationship though it seems unlikely, it deserves to be scrutinized along with all the others just as much as Slavic.

Slavic and Semitic (Akkadian) languages are indeed the most interesting because they themselves are related and share a many words in their vocabularies, as well as the astonishing fact that all the pertinent nations mentioned here, were at one time by many different accounts neighbours in Anatolia as well as later in Italy, Venetia and in Noricum (Slovenia) as is the case for two of them in their respective native lands, namely the Etruscans and the Veneti (Venets).

It seems, indeed, that the Etruscologists are wrong to claim most "serious scholars" rejected etymological methodology in disgrace, since new research keeps coming back in many forms, independently and indirectly supporting a view that a more open and all inclusive approach is needed than the official methodology used by the Etruscologists and their comrades in arms - the famous western linguists who share the same view.

If you study Etruscan language, and have a working knowledge of any Slavic language, you can not escape noticing the trap even the most honest Etruscologists have fallen in, namely, if Etruscan language shows evidence of the presence of Slavic linguistic patterns and words, they most certainly should not be Slavic, since Slavs only came to Europe 1500 years after Etruscan language started to take shape! How is it that on both accounts Etruscologists are wrong? Or perhaps, did you miss my point that the Greeks supposedly have learnt to speak an IE language from the indigenous Venets the True Pelasgi who by the way are the forefathers of the Slavs. Regardless, weather you you believe who the True Pelasgi are, there exists an overwhelming evidence that speaks against what the Etruscologists are spreading around, not so much about the Etruscan language, but indirectly about Slavs by avoiding to acknowledge the Venetic imprint exists in the Etruscan language. Of course they prefer to say they do not see that, because their understanding of Venetic amounts to Latin. What they don't tell you is that they got many hints for their interpretations from a different language, namely, the Venetic that sounds a lot like Slovene, rather than Latin, hence it should not be Venetic at all.

Well, the above thinking is wrong, and intentionally misleading, besides, there are also traces of other ancient as well as modern European languages to be found in Etruscan language, and some clearly derive from Venetic and Slavic words, as I've already pointed out for example the omnipresent Etruscan words with the root "vel..." (jump back to see) are reasonable candidates for the origin of a few English words, namely "well, wealth, wealthy", and one could argue even the word "health".

But why is it not a surprise, that for Etruscologists, most of these words represent merely Etruscan names, without any meaning, whatsoever, behind them? I believe because, if one could trust the above is true, one also could obviously deduce not only the relationships between the ancient Etruscans and Venetic languages, but explain the evolution of younger European languages. This, however due to mainly political reasons, is not in the interest of those under the influence of the "good old European empires" or their immediate heirs, for whom it would be inconceivable they inherited anything from the Venets, or dare we say Slavs, who haven't supposed to be around before the times of the earliest west European monarchs. But, do I really need to say it, the Venets we were the contemporaries of the Etruscans and Romans had their state called Noricum and kingdom called "Karantania" (Carinthia) that predate most of the modern European empires and nations.

I believe the above speaks volumes about, why the very powerful and the most prestigious European linguists as well as academic powerhouses support the unacceptable view of the Etruscologists.

 

Did Etruscans really get their alphabet from Greeks?

By now you should be aware about the irrational battle for elimination of Slavs from European history until their "due date" in the 6th century AD as prescribed by early inventors and strategists of Indoeuropean artificial and abstract structures. Hence, it should be considered a strategic error and a professional suicide for a historian or a linguist to relate Venets to Slavs who apparently were not even around long after the Etruscan civilization ceased to exist. Therefor, to avoid any accidental reference to by the theorists from the history records "erased" nation, not even Venets are allowed in the picture, hence Etruscans must have obtained their writing system from Greeks and therefor the only way to read the Etruscan texts is the Greek way! Even if we put the politics aside, this theory would only stick, had it not been discovered that Greeks may have got their alphabet from the indigenous European populations, who apparently were literate for quite some time.

There is a lot more to be said about plentiful Greek writing systems, but here we are concerned only with the one which traditional linguists and historians believe evolved from Phoenician alphabet. This is not at all so obvious as traditionalists would like to convince us. As the late Etruscologist Dr. Radivoj Pešić discovered, all the letters of Etruscan and subsequently also Venetic alphabets existed in so called Vinča Culture which dates back to 7300 BC, and the evidence of the writing from Vinča dates about 2000 years later, which clearly suggests that Phoenicians most likely have obtained their alphabet from millennial older Europeans, i.e. from Vinča. Obviously there are significant similarities between Phoenician alphabet and the writing from Vinča which Dr. Pešić analyzed and documented.

Also already mentioned Venetic writing found in Phrygia, which also employs the above discussed alphabet, can be dated about a hundred years before or after the Troyan war, which is considerably earlier than the earliest Greek writing excluding the Mycenaean Linear-B, which by the way, as we will see also exhibits a rather convincing evidence of Venetic i.e. Slavic imprint.

It is also hard to believe, that Etruscans would acquire the Greek writing system as soon as Greeks invented it, as claimed by historians. Until we are able to be absolutely certain which of the above is the correct assumption, we should be sceptical about argument based solely on the appearance of the writing. Hence, the idea that Greeks adopted and adapted Phoenician alphabet is purely a theoretical possibility.

 

Not all Etruscan scripts should be read as Greek

When it comes to reading the ancient scripts, both linguists those working with the Etruscan and those involved with Ancient Greek are both making the same mistake, namely, trying to apply the sounds as we know them in contemporary Greek to either the Ancient Greek or the Etruscan texts. Though I will address this issue again in other places, the similarity and close relationship between these mistakes when talking about Ancient Greek as well as about Etruscan language, makes them very relevant here, and undoubtedly worth while pointing out.

Though, no scientist ever claimed the Etruscan was related to the Greek language, anybody who studied or even just read a book or two about the Etruscans, most likely would have no trouble seeing similarities between the two languages. The researches believe the inscriptions that look as Greek to actually be Ancient Greek, as opposed to Etruscan, however, I wish to underline they both have a very similar Venetic imprint. A well known is an inscription, from island of Ischia south west of Naples - dated 725 BC, on a pot called "Nestor's Cup from Pithekoussai", which indisputably appears to be in Greek. It indeed, reveals many hidden Venetic language secrets, which makes it rather obvious that both languages, the Greek and the Etruscan evolved in a very similar manner. We'll look at Venetic imprint in this inscription a bit closer under the Greeks topics, but here I'd like to point out the fact that these languages share many similarities not only in their respective vocabularies, and grammars, but also culturally and the peoples speaking these languages appear to be neighbours geographically, namely, wherever one of them is found the other two seem to be around close by, namely in Anatolia, as well as on the Apennines. Isn't it possible that we do not have three but fewer proto nations, perhaps just one indigenous "True Pelasges" and the other two evolved as suggested, by assimilation or merger with the invading Sea Peoples, African , Indian or Anatolian rich and skillful migrants...

Even if these linguistic, cultural, and geographic proximities are an extraordinary coincidence, without other implications, it must be assumed, that despite the linguistic differences or varieties the three major groups have had much more in common than many today are willing to see and admit. But if one takes into account that Venetic imprint is noticeable already in the the Mycenaean Linear-B, then surely the three Venetic, Greek and Etruscan languages must have sounded rather alike, and even more possible is that scribbles were not always distinguishing between three different writing systems as we know them now, after all almost everything Greek, that was from the late Bronze and the Iron Ages, had been rewritten by medieval Greek monks, and most likely Hellenized beyond recognition.

Hence, not everything, even if it appears to be Greek, should be read as Greek, but rather a more open minded view much more consistent with the newer understanding of historical facts allowing to investigate a broader ethnic mix, not based on a predetermined set of allowable ethnicities, in those days should be examined instead.

However, we should point out, that while it may be true, that the two Greek and Etruscan languages are often related through a common third language which most likely is Venetic this is anything but a consistent occurrence. In fact a closer study pf Etruscan inscriptions reveals, that sometimes there is nothing even closely resembling neither Greek nor Venetic, and the same is true observed in reverse from the Greek language. I believe we could understand Etruscan better by investigating the relationships between the "True Pelasgi" (Veneti) and the migrants who arrived in Peloponnese, and who as almost every historian believes, were the Greeks from the north (their symbol was the bear not the lion, I may add), but were in my opinion instead only rather similar to those who migrated a bit latter to Apennines and evolved, upon assimilation with the "True Pelasgi" there, into the mysterious Etruscans.

Nevertheless, just like in ancient Greece also in Etruria we can find many Etruscan dialects. Indeed, I would have no trouble finding even a purely Venetic language there.

However, not even in Greece, and particularly not in the prehistoric or as we came to know it a Mycenaean Greece, one could find any evidence for the existence of sounds like "theta", "xsi" and, "psi", - two sounds for each vowel like one for "omicron", and another for "omega" and others, - "diphthongs" and many others not mentioned here.

Yet the linguists, insist on reading the Greek hieroglyphic or syllabary texts as if they were the medieval Greek. Not surprisingly there are no Greek texts available in the prehistoric alphabet, since that Greek sounds a lot more like Etruscan, and dare I say Venetic, than medieval Greek. Needless to say, Etruscologists adopted the same erroneous strategy. This clearly suggests that, not only did the earliest known ancient Mycenaean Greek, more closely resembled Venetic pronunciation, so did the early Classical or Homeric Greek, since the early Greek alphabet did not contain all the letters.

As the missing letters started to appear, they were used inconsistently, namely, sometimes one symbols could be read more than one way, or some sounds were represented with different symbols, remarkably, the most notable are exactly those Greek sounding letters like "theta", "psi" or "khi", in addition to the often mixed and confused "zeta" and "sigma", which to this day retained multiple representations. Note, these are only a few for a longer period problematic sounds and their presentations in ancient Greek, just to point out a clear indication that Greek pronunciation, has been only evolving during the second half, or at the earliest at the late beginning of the first millennium BC, and hence it should come as no surprise that in Etruria we find inscriptions that hardly if at all can be read the Greek way.

Therefor it may be a sound advice after all, that one should be open minded when reading Etruscan scripts. Besides, it has been shown time and again, by well known Slovene scholars Matey Bor, Anton Berlot, and Ivan Rebec that many Etruscan inscriptions can be successfully deciphered by applying phonetic - closer to the Slavic way of reading rather than the Classic, or as I prefer to call it, Medieval Greek method. In particular the sign for the letter "O" with a dot or some kind of a cross inside, is often incorrectly treated as Greek "theta".

Moreover, there is evidence to support the belief that the earlier Etruscans were much closer to Veneti or perhaps just Veneti indeed, who later merged with newcomers from either or all of the following Asia Minor, Phoenician, Egyptian and other lands, which is reflected in the change of the Etruscan language. This belief also supports theory that Etruscan writing system is indeed Venetic and not an adaptation of the Greek alphabet. Unfortunately for the reasons of ever more obvious association of Slavs with Veneti, these most believable theories were never considered by the official historians nor linguists, and needles to say the Etruscologists.

You don't need to learn how to read the Etruscan scripts the Greek way, however, it may be necessary to show you the other, less known method, devised by Slavic scholars. Hence, to treat an Etruscan text more like Venetic, one should be aware of a few minor differences how letters TH, O, F, R, and letter D are treated. We already know that a particularly problematic is letter TH, which is sometimes read as Greek theta, and sometimes as letter O. Similarly, but less frequently letters R and D are swapped, just like the labials V, B, F, P may sometimes be interchangeable.

 

Med, mel [honey] - (D,R,L)

Very rarely, but it sometimes is possible that letter L is read as R, or as shown above this may further be changed to D or indeed in the opposite direction. Therefor we may have the sound transformation from D to L or v.v. Let's investigate this as the 4000 years old Venetic / Arian or Sanskrit word mad / med (honey) became Greek meli and Latin mel. Hence, we will try to show that Greeks turned D through R into L (i.e.: D > R > L).

Indeed we find that the word for honey in Mycenaean Greece about 1500 BC was me-Ri. Roughly 500 years older Venetic / Arian or Sanskrit word about 2000 BC was maD-a. However, in Classical period this word became meLi, while Venets (Slavs) to this day retained the original word mad / med.

How, can we be certain that Greeks got the word for honey from the indigenous "True Pelasgi"? Well, this word is already found in Sanskrit where honey is mad-a, Slavic word universally is med. Slovene word for a brandy made out of honey is medica, and Slavic word for the "bear" is medved, which literally means one who knows about honey. In addition Greek word for "honey-bee" is melita, which is also the Slavic women name. Hence, we see, that Slavs did not require the Greek sound L to be transformed into D, or R for that matter. Hence, it is most likely Greeks are the ones that at some time in the past had trouble pronouncing sounds -ed, or -er and indeed these Slovene scholar Matej Bor found these sounds to be problematic in Etruscan language.

However, it is worth mentioning yet another relationship with regards to another but here not mentioned meaning of the Sanskrit word mad-a. Namely it means intoxication, which is also related to the Slovene use of the word for such an intoxicating drink, namely the famous Slovenian medica. This only shows, that ancient peoples soon realized, that sweet honey drink if left alone for a long time turns into an intoxicating drink, which helps sick people to get rid of pains. It is conceivable that the word medicine derives from it. It is even more surprising, that the suffix -cine in some Slavic languages as well as the Etruscan root cina, cinati, cinala, cinaies, cinaš, cinacš means to make, or to cause. Of course, we can now also see that the English word mad, indeed may be derived from Sanskrit or more likely from Venetic words, since history and even more convincingly the English language itself do not allow for existence of an English speaking people before early middle ages!
If nothing else the analysis of these words and their presence in the above mentioned vocabularies, will show that Greeks, Slavs and Arians=Venets in India (Sanskrit) share the common word, which is also used in a Slavic compound word medved, and it too can be deciphered with either Slavic or Sanskrit in its entirety. Considering that Arians either brought or received these words roughly 4000 BC when Sanskrit came to existence.

Sanskrit Slovene English
mad-a med honey; Greek:meli/-itos
madhukari čebela honey-bee; Greek:melitta/-es
mad medica intoxicated, insane; Slovene:medica=brandy
As a side effect here you may see that the English word mad, may indeed be related to the intoxicating drink, Venets called medica.
veda vedeti, vedež to know; Slovene:ved=(seer, prophet, teacher)
- medved Slovene:medved=bear (who knows for honey)

Though, my intention here was to make a case for a more Venetic or indeed Slavic treatment of some, and particularly the earlier Etruscan texts, I am not even for a moment suggesting that the Venetic way is the only correct way. In fact there may be many Etruscan texts where it seems only reasonable to assume only the Greek way of reading them.

Let me conclude here that comparatively speaking, the differences in how to pronounce certain letters, are minor differences between Slavic scholars and those of western origin. Much larger and so far irreconcilable are the differences in appreciating and understanding the grammatic and semantic aspects of the language. It is true, however, that in order to arrive to these new semantics based on Venetic and Slavic languages, one sometimes needs to alter the method of reading, which in itself represents a problem for the traditionalists. Nonetheless, given all the facts that came to light after the decipherment of first the Hittite records and a wee bit later the Linear-A and -B, I do believe that both Greek and Etruscan languages need to be reexamined with a greater appreciation for a Venetic and Slavic contribution to both of them.

 


Legend of symbols in Etruscan transcripts

Reading Etruscan transcripts is simple. A look at the table of symbols, at the end of this paragraph should suffice. Otherwise, a short narrative here, may straighten out a wrinkle or two. The only important thing to know is that the capital letter "O" represents a symbol with many meanings, namely it can be the read as Greek "theta"="th", which may have been seen by Etruscans sometimes as either "t" or "s" or sometimes simply as English letter "o". The later, namely, the simple "o" version, being an addition of Slovenian scholars to the Etruscologists way of reading. The capital letter "S" is for the english sound "sh", as in English word "shell", i.e. Slavic letter " ". The capital letter "X" is used for either velars k, g, h, or palatal ch and for Greek khi. Square brackets "[ ], [...], [--a-]" usually indicate a damaged and missing text. A single square bracket means everything to the right of it (an open bracket "[") - may appear only at the end of the text, or to left of it (a closed bracket "]" - may appear only at the beginning of a text)

Symbols used in my Etruscan transcripts
Symbol Interpretation
"O" (capital o) th, t, s, o
"X" (capital x) k, g, h, ch
"S" (capital s) sh, (š)
"]" (R-bracket) missing / damaged text to the left of the inscription
"[" (L-bracket) missing / damaged text on the right of the inscription
" [ ] (brackets)" missing / damaged text between [ ]
" - " (dash) missing a single character
"x" (lower case x) missing a single character
"." (dot) delimiter between words
";" (semicolon) end of inscription - start of a comment
" " (space) ignore all spaces

 


 

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©2005 Igor H. Pirnovar
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