Recent Focused Series »

Indo-European Origins
Siberia
Northern California
The Caucasus
Imaginary Geography
Home » Historical Geography, Indo-European Origins, Linguistic Geography

Quentin Atkinson’s Nonsensical Maps of Indo-European Expansion

Submitted by on September 6, 2012 – 2:03 am 39 Comments |  
The website that accompanies “Mapping the Origins and Expansion of the Indo-European Language Family” (August 24 Science), maintained by co-author Quentin D. Atkinson, proudly features several maps that allow the easy visualization of the patterns generated by the model. One is a conventional map that purports to show “language expansion in time and space,” depicting and dating the spread of Indo-European languages through a red-to-blue color scheme. The other cartographic product is a sequence of numerous map-frames that ostensibly shows Indo-European (I-E) expansion from the seventh millennium BCE to 1974 CE. This Google-Earth-based animated map, or “movie,” as Atkinson calls it, is explained in terms that are at once simplistic and cryptic:

Watch the Indo-European expansion unfold. This movie shows how our model reconstructs the expansion of the Indo-European languages through time. Contours on the map represent the 95% highest posterior density distribution for the range of Indo-European.

The analysis that I provide below takes these maps on their own terms, as advertised: as if, in other words, they indicate what Atkinson and his colleagues believe to be the “unfolding” of the Indo-European language family in “time and space” as substantiated by their mathematical model. But if one reads the fine print found elsewhere, one discovers that the maps are not actually what they purport to be. The authors admit up front that these figures deliver incorrect information, owing to the fact that crucial pieces of data were excluded from the model:

This figure needs to be interpreted with the caveat that we can only represent the geographic extent corresponding to language divergence events, and only between those languages that are in our 
sample. The rapid expansion of a single language and nodes associated with branches not represented in our sample will not be reflected in this figure. For example, the lack of Continental Celtic variants in our sample means we miss the Celtic incursion into Iberia and instead infer a later arrival into the Iberian Peninsula associated with the break-up of the Romance languages (and not the initial rapid expansion 
of Latin). The timing represented here therefore offers a minimum age for expansion into a given area.

This admission is extraordinary, as it amounts to saying that “even though our data set is too incomplete to produce accurate results, our model should nonetheless be regarded as powerful enough to settle the most highly debated topic in historical linguistics,” and that “even though we make no claims as to the earliest dates in which Indo-European languages were established in any given area, our approach still shows that the language family originated in Anatolia.” I do not think that I have ever encountered a more flagrant example of “having one’s cake and eating it too” in an academic work. In fact, as is demonstrated in a previous discussion thread that is reproduced below, the “caveat” itself errs at virtually every turn.*

In a comment on the previous post, co-author Alexei Drummond framed the study’s limitations in more direct language:

Our geographical reconstructions are only for the language lineages that are direct ancestors of the particular sample of IE languages we analyzed. Our inferred geographic distributions don’t say anything about the full extent of IE languages at any time past or present.

If the geographic patterns depicted on the maps say nothing about the “full extent” of I-E languages “at any time,” why are viewers of the animation invited to “watch the Indo-European expansion unfold”? The claim is evidently inherently misleading. But as we shall see below, the problems run much deeper, as in numerous instances the maps fail to accurately show the partial extent of I-E languages. But before delving into such specificities, a few words about the mapping project in general are in order.

Many problems plague the authors’ cartographic depictions. The two maps, static and animated, fail to correspond in their details, often in a glaring manner. The animated map, moreover, lacks anything approaching a key, and hence is difficult to interpret. The temporal framing of the two maps is oddly displaced, as the “movie” purports to take the story up to 1974 CE, whereas the static map terminates at roughly 1800 CE. Potentially confusing is the fact that the static map gives dates in “BP,” or “before present” (which by conventions means prior to 1950 CE), whereas the animated map uses the historically Christian calendar. Both maps, it is essential to note, show only the expansion and not the contraction of Indo-European, although this essential feature also goes unmentioned. Areas that ceased to be Indo-European speaking centuries ago, such as the supposed Anatolian heartland, continue to be shaded as I-E throughout the animation.

Although the contours mentioned in the “explanation” of the animated map are visible in the greenish shading, the overall coloration scheme remains vague. As the animation unfolds, the hypothesized I-E homeland circa 6500 BC—Anatolia, the Caucasus, the northern Middle East, and the greater Aegean—is washed in yellow, whereas later geographical addition to the realm appear in shades of green. Yet at approximately 2225 BCE, most of the heartland abruptly turns green as well, with the exception of a swath extending from Cyprus through what is now Lebanon to central Iraq and two areas on either side of the Black Sea. Another such abrupt color switch occurs later in the animation.

Also unspecified are the thick green lines, which begin as a several-pixel splotch at roughly 6200 BCE that gyrates in place for about 1,500 years before spreading across the map to form a web. An unwary reader might assume that such lines indicate pathways of migration, but he or she would be mistaken, as movement along specific corridors defies the underlying diffusional model, which postulates gradual expansion along broad fronts with scattered outliers pushing into new territories. The lines actually indicate supposed examples of family-level linguistic divergence. Such relational links often extend into areas that are not shaded as I-E; note, for example, the green lines pushing into unmarked western Russia and northern Sweden on the first map. A naïve reader might wrongly assume that such extensions signal relatively recent movement, with little actual settlement to date.

As mentioned above, the static map and its animated companion do not correspond well. Unlike the animated version, the conventional map shows Corsica, the Balearic Islands, Crete, and Cyprus, for example, as never having been occupied by Indo-European speakers. The animation, to the contrary, puts Cyprus in the initial I-E homeland in the seventh millennium BCE. (Both depictions of the island are incorrect; the first known language of Cyprus, non-I-E Eteocypriot, was supplanted by the Greek (I-E) dialect of Arcadocypriot in the late Bronze Age.) Also notable is the static map’s depiction of Indo-European occupation in areas unmarked on the animated map, including western Norway and western Russia. (Neither map manages to show northern Norway as ever having been occupied by Indo-European-speakers.)

Although the discrepancies between the two maps are never explained, a few of them might be deduced. Consider, for example, the different treatments of western Russia in the maps posted here. In the animated depiction of 1974, only a small portion of this region is shaded as ever having been I-E speaking, yet the static map shows a sizable area as having become largely Indo-European over the past 500 to 1,000 years. This map depicts the distribution of I-E languages in western Russia with discontinuous blotches, seemingly placed at random, which would apparently indicate that the language family spread into this area in a spatially sporadic manner and never managed to fill in the gaps. On the basis of this particular disparity, one might assume that only areas of (supposedly) continuous I-E occupation receive shading on the animated map frames. But if this is indeed the case, the guideline is apparently reversed elsewhere. Note that sizable portions of Central Asia are similarly splotched on the static map, yet are shaded on the animated map. The area that now constitutes Kyrgyzstan is fully shaded on one map, yet remains almost entirely blank on the other. A swath across what are now Syria and Iraq is blobbed red on the static map, apparently indicating partial I-E expansion in the Neolithic, yet is blanketed with yellow on the animated map from the earliest frames. Cartographic consistency is evidently not high on the authors’ agenda.

Far more troubling than disparities between the two maps, however, are inconsistencies between both of them and the historical record. Overall, the fit between the modeled spread of I-E languages and what we know of its actual expansion is poor. In pointing out some of the more flagrant errors, I will begin at the end of the “movie,” which shows the accumulated spread of I-E languages to 1974 CE, contrasting it with the depictions on the static map. I will subsequently work backward in time on the “historically unfolding” movie, pointing out crucial errors for several particular periods. To reiterate, I will consider what the maps literally show, ignoring for the most part their hidden meanings.

As mentioned in the previous post, the most obvious blunder in the 1974 depiction is the omission of Russia and Eastern Ukraine from the Indo-European-speaking realm. On the final map frame, the only parts of Russia that are shaded are the Pskov district, the far southern Crimea, and the largely non-I-E-speaking northern Caucasus. The same map also fails to mark other areas long characterized by I-E speech, such as southern Iberia, Balochistan, southern Sri Lanka, and Orissa in eastern India. The static map, however, does successfully mark most of these places as I-E speaking, yet conversely errs in placing several non- (and never-) I-E-speaking areas in the Indo-European zone, such as northeastern Sri Lanka as well as Manipur and environs in northeastern India. Unlike the animation, this map does show I-E in Western Russia, but only in the past 1,000 to 1,500 years, as discontinuous as late as 1800 CE, and as disappearing entirely in far western Siberia. Such depictions, needless to say, are erroneous; although pockets of Uralic languages persist to the present in eastern European Russia and Western Siberia, the bulk of the region was solidly Russian speaking well before the termination date of 1974. Compounding such errors is the sprinkling of bluish dots in southern Tibet, northern Nepal, and northwestern Burma. Some of the most inhospitable parts of the central Sahara are also vaguely marked with blue to show I-E expansion over the past millennium.

The static map is, in a word, preposterous. What possible Indo-European language could ever have been spoken in the Kachin uplands of Burma over the past 1,000 years, much less in essentially uninhabited areas of the Tibetan Plateau and the Sahara Desert? Note as well that northern Tunisia and northeastern Algeria are clearly marked as having been substantially I-E speaking in recent centuries. On first glance, I wondered whether the authors were trying to show the spread of Latin in this region under the Roman Empire; if so, the coloration is wrong, as blue indicates I-E expansion in the past 1,000 years. But as we have seen, Latin does not count in Atkinson’s scheme, as it supposedly spread too quickly as an individual language (it actually spread quite slowly here; non-I-E Punic continued to be spoken in the region as a minority language up to Augustine’s time). But as it so happens, the blue splotches around Tunis do not indicate anything nearly so specific. Rather, like the light red blobs in central Arabia, they merely show that the model occasionally spits out randomly (and incorrectly) placed outliers at some remove from main areas of Indo-European speech.

Other inaccuracies abound on the static map, including incomplete I-E occupation at the termination date (1974) in western France, Andalucía (but not in Spain’s Basque Country!), and northeastern Scotland, as well as a complete absence of the language family from Gotland in the Baltic along with the previously mentioned Mediterranean islands. The map seems to show that Indo-European languages have never quite yet reached the Atlantic, although of course the authors would likely counter that the map does not actually depict what it claims to depict. Or consider the model’s portrayal of non-I-E-speaking areas in Fennoscandia with that of an actual language map of the region, as can be seen to the left. The fit is poor.

The Fennoscandia map detail also presents evidence that contemporary geopolitical boundaries anachronistically mold the hypothesized language-family distribution in the Science model. As can be seen on the actual language map, linguistic and political boundaries do not correspond particularly well in this area; Estonia and Finland may be non-I-E-speaking countries, but not over their entire expanses. On Atkinson’s map, however, I-E coloring abruptly and transhistorically ends exactly at the modern Estonian border, a most suspicious situation. The general lack of I-E shading for Moldova also makes me wary—and is completely bizarre. A clear example of contemporary geopolitical contamination is found in the portrayal of Central Asia. Note the salient of solid I-E coloration extending northward into Tajikistan’s portion of the Fergana Valley, avoiding the core of the valley held by Uzbekistan. Such a portrayal would be understandable if the map depicted merely present-day conditions, as Tajikistan is mostly I-E-speaking whereas Uzbekistan is not. But the sorting of “Sarts” into Uzbeks and Tajiks, along with the forced “Uzbekization” of many previously Persian speakers, in this historically heavily bilingual area is largely the product of Soviet geo-ethnic machinations. If one delves back to the first millennium CE and earlier, the entire region was heavily I-E-speaking (Sogdian and other Iranian languages).

 

As one dials back the animated map to earlier periods, the mire only deepens. As it would be too tedious to recount all of the map’s many miscues, I will focus on a few particular time slices.

 

 

 

 

 

Consider, for example, the depiction of western Europe circa 1000 CE. At this time, western France, Sicily, and the entire Iberian Peninsula are shown as non-I-E-speaking, although a line of I-E linguistic relationship has been etched across southern France roughly to the Spanish border at the crest of the Pyrenees. The false implications conveyed here—which are fully admitted as erroneous by the authors—are that Roman Hispania and Aquitania were never Latinized, and that the preexisting Celtiberian and Gaulish tongues were not I-E. The same 1000 CE map frame also incorrectly excludes from the I-E realm the South Asian areas that now constitute southern Gujarat, southern Balochistan, most of Maharashtra, and southern Sri Lanka. Note as well that most Norse areas are not given an I-E shading, nor is northern Scotland. Yet at the same time, southern Tibet is placed within the I-E zone! Even the essentially uninhabited and uninhabitable region of Aksai Chin is depicted as Indo-European-speaking at this time; I can’t help but imagine proto-Dardic speaking yetis.

Turn back to the portrayal of the year 18 BCE, and the errors compound. The most conspicuous I-E omission here is the Scythian/Sarmatian realm, which by itself is enough to discredit the model; it almost seems as if the authors intentionally manipulated their data to exclude the linguistically hypothesized steppe homeland of the I-E family. The northeastern salient of I-E languages depicted for the time, which denotes the Tocharian languages, oddly excludes a significant portion of the Tocharian homeland in the Tarim Basin to focus instead on the lofty Tien Shan Mountains. Tellingly, the diffusional front hypothesized here has the ancestors of the Tocharians advancing along ridges well in excess of 20,000 feet in elevation.

 

 

 

 

 

Several nice examples of demonstrably false information are found on the depiction of the Mediterranean Basin circa 700 BCE. Here we see the greater Aegean along with the Italian Peninsula clearly colored as I-E, but with little else falling in the same category; Sicily, most of Sardinia, and most of the littoral zone of southern France and eastern Iberia are excluded. Yet we have incontrovertible knowledge that Greek-speaking colonies had been firmly planted in western Sicily, Cyrenaica in North Africa, and over a large expanse of the northwestern Mediterranean coastlands. The spread of the Greek language to Crete, moreover, occurred much earlier, as attested by the Bronze Age Linear B script.  The model fails here in part because it does not count the “rapid” spread of individual languages; Greek colonization, however, took place over hundreds of years, and some of the dialects of ancient Greek were differentiated enough to be classifiable as separate languages.

 

While the 700 BCE map frame unduly restricts the spread of I-E over much of the Mediterranean, it also improperly extends it in other parts of the basin. Several relatively well-known non-I-E languages persisted in the map’s “green zone” well beyond 700 BCE. On the island of Lemnos, the non-I-E Lemnian language vanished only with the Athenian conquest in the fifth century BCE, while Etruscan and Raetic survived into the first millennium CE. Together, Lemnian, Etruscan, and Raetic seem to have constituted the extinct Tyrsenian language family, which might have included Minoan (Eteocretan) and Eteocypriot as well. The scattered distribution of this family in antiquity probably signals that Tyrsenian languages had blanketed a much broader area before the incursion of I-E speakers. In the Science model, however, the entire Aegean region is mapped as I-E speaking as early as 6500 BCE.  Are we to imagine a post-I-E migration of Tyrsenian speakers into the Aegean from Etruscan- or Raetic-speaking areas further to the west? Yet historians who have viewed the Tyrsenian Etruscans as non-indigenous have instead tended to locate their homeland in Anatolia, the hearth of I-E in the Science model! Today, however, a near consensus has emerged that the Tyrsenian languages represent a pre-I-E substrate that likely extended across much of the northeastern Mediterranean in the fifth millennium BCE, if not significantly later as well.

Finally, consider the depiction of supposedly I-E-speaking “greater Anatolia”—including what is now Syria and northern Iraq as well the Caucasus—in the Bronze Age, circa 1500 BCE. Yet we have unassailable historical evidence of widely spread non-IE languages over much of the region at this time, including Hurrian, Hattic, and, for a somewhat later period, Urartian. Much evidence suggests, moreover, that the three (or perhaps four) extant Caucasian language families covered much broader swaths of land in ancient times than they do today; modern Azerbaijan, for example, was a largely NE-Caucasian-speaking area, as attested by both historical sources and the extant language of Udi. For the Science model to make sense, later migrations of several different non-I-E groups would have had to have pushed through long-inhabited I-E lowlands to settle in inhospitable areas of mountainous terrain. Such a scenario, to say the least, strains credulity.

*. Let us consider here the various elements of the authors’ “caveat”:

1. “we can only represent the geographic extent corresponding to language divergence events.” Do languages really diverge in discrete events? Does not language divergence happen continually? Whenever one segment of a language community adopts a new word, a new sound, or a new grammatical feature, some degree of divergence has occurred. It is always an open question as to when diverging dialects become separate language; in the modern world, the issue is more political than linguistic (cf Serbo-Croatian, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, and Montenegrin).

2. “only between those languages that are in our sample.” That is interesting, seeing as Atkinson claims in an interview (to be cited later) that “all” I-E languages were included (an impossibility, as there are no hard and fast divisions between languages and dialects). But more to the point, if one can simply exclude languages at will from the sample, then one can then mold the results. Drop a few more languages, and the maps will differ. In such a manner, one can get the results that one wants.

3  “nodes associated with branches not represented in our sample will not be reflected in this figure.” Yes indeed, which is one reason why the figures are so spectacularly wrong.

4. “the lack of Continental Celtic variants in our sample means we miss the Celtic incursion into Iberia and instead infer a later arrival into the Iberian peninsular…” I am glad that the authors begin to acknowledge their own errors here, but they still do not go far enough; they do make an inference, and that inference is simply incorrect. They also miss not just Celtiberian and Latin, but also Mozarabic, Ladino, and several other I-E languages of the Iberian Peninsula (the map frame for 1000 CE still shows only partial I-E coverage).

5. “associated with the break-up of the Romance languages.”  The model assumes that Latin began to “break-up” with the fall of the Western Roman Empire.  That is incorrect, as divergence began much earlier. The “vulgar” Latin of the distant provinces was not the language of Cicero.

6. “not the initial rapid expansion of Latin.” Latin did indeed expand rapidly as a language of administration, but not necessarily as a language of everyday use. Basque remained in use throughout, although the maps produced by the study indicate otherwise.

7. “The timing represented here therefore offers a minimum age

for expansion into a given area.” This proviso is particularly rich, as it alone undermines the approach. In other words, I-E languages could have been found in any part of the study area at much earlier times than indicated? If so, how can one pinpoint Anatolia as the place of origin? If one claims to “find” a location of origin, then one is automatically making an argument for “maximum ages” in areas that fall outside that supposed birthplace.

Previous Post
«
Next Post
»

Subscribe For Updates

It would be a pleasure to have you back on GeoCurrents in the future. You can sign up for email updates or follow our RSS Feed, Facebook, or Twitter for notifications of each new post:
        

Commenting Guidelines: GeoCurrents is a forum for the respectful exchange of ideas, and loaded political commentary can detract from that. We ask that you as a reader keep this in mind when sharing your thoughts in the comments below.

  • Östen Dahl

    For northern Sweden, Atkinson’s map is more accurate than the one labeled “Actual language distribution” above, since the area is trilingual and does not have a sharp boundary between I-E and non I-E.

    • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

      Thank you for your comment! You are right in saying that northern Sweden (and other areas as well) are multilingual. But as you probably know, multilingualism is practically impossible to map adequately. The title of that map is perhaps misleading, as it really aims to show the spread of non-IE, Uralic languages in the area.

  • A.F

    It can also be noted that a number of languages used to be spoken in Anatolia in the past: Hatti, Hurrian, Urartian. It’s impossible that PIE homeland could be located right in that place where other languages are known to exist. This is also a killing argument against Gamkrelidze-Ivanov’s theory. PIE cannot originate in or around Armenia.

    • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

      I am not sure I understand why. Different languages could well have co-existed in a given area. Why not?

  • A.F

    That theory more or less boils down to the obvious fact that PIE homeland is likely to be located somewhere in the middle of all attested IE languages. It takes one map and two seconds to see that. This is discussed in Mallory’s books. All the rest of that paper is just smoke.

    • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

      As far as I understand, “that PIE homeland is likely to be located somewhere in the middle of all attested IE languages” is not a result or even the hypothesis tested, but an assumption made a priori. After all, that’s what the diffusion model means, isn’t it? That it starts in the middle and spreads in all directions, everything else being equal. I have a big problem with that assumption.

      • Alfia Wallace

        Also note the frequency with which the spread of agriculture is mentioned in the Science article. Five times it is invoked as supporting the outcome of these statistical acrobatics, rather than the other way around. Does anyone have a vested interest in associating the spread of agriculture with Indo-Europeans? These guys are bending statistics (never mind PR) every which way to advance this association.

        “The alternative “Anatolian hypothesis” holds that Indo-European languages spread with the expansion of agriculture from Anatolia (in present-day Turkey), beginning 8000 to 9500 years ago”

        • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

          Great point! My question regarding this is: if agriculture came to Anatolia from northern Fertile Crescent, the land of Semitic languages, why is it IE that gets propelled from there to Europe (and Asia) with agriculture?

      • Andre Engels

        I don’t think it is the middle as such that is the a priori assumption, it seems more like a priori skewing towards the oldest language in the sample – in this case Hittite and the Anatolian languages.

        • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

          Thank you for your comment, Andre. I think you are right, and this is something I’m discussing in one of the forthcoming posts that I’m working on now. Stay tuned!

    • http://geocurrents.info Martin W. Lewis

      I have been wondering about that myself, which is one reason why I would love to see the Atkinson model tested against the Austronesian family. I doubt very much that it would place the Austronesian homeland in Taiwan and south coastal China.

  • Alfia Wallace

    I’ve got yer “highest posterior density” right here. They need to spend more time explicating their methods and less time parading around what may very well be fanciful results in myriad multimedia finery.

    • Alfia Wallace

      “proto-Dardic speaking yetis” – lol

    • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

      Next thing expect an opera based on this article :)

  • Pingback: Varifrån kommer den indo-europeiska språkfamiljen? | LINGVISTBLOGGEN()

  • http://www.polgeonow.com/ Evan (PolGeoNow)

    Thanks for bringing attention to this issue! As a linguistics major, I smelled a rat as soon as the newspaper headlines started popping up. Reading the NYT piece was enough for me to confirm my suspicions, but as you’ve pointed out, it could have been clearer, and many other news outlets ran the wrong way with it.

  • B Muller

    One might add that Atkinson’s model gives far too early dates for some of the branch points in their “tree”. The most glaring example may the split between ancient and modern Greek around 1500BC (preferred date). I found similar (though less serious) examples among the Germanic, Celtic and Romance languages.

    To a certain extent, the updated Swadesh word list may be to blame for this; it misses quite a number of cognates that are still very much alive in the modern languages. Words belonging to non-standard registers (vulgar, refined, or archaic language), Closely-related synonyms (with a slightly modified meaning), and dialectal variants are often overlooked. Just a few examples:

    Old English “yfel” > Modern English “evil”
    OE “slean” > ModE “to slay”
    OE “fleasc” > ModE “flesh”
    OE “weg” > ModE “way”
    OE “micel” > Modern Scots “mickle”
    Old High German “spiwan” (to vomit) > Modern High German “speien”, which is more vulgar, but also more widespread in Bavaria than “erbrechen” in the standard language (not “ausbrechen” as in the word list is)

    Moreover, many of the lexical items that supposedly form a stable “core vocabulary” are simply not stable at all, at least during the earlier stages of the individual Indo-European languages. Words like “husband” and “wife” refer to social functions that may change (and have changed) over the centuries, and are therefore apt to rather frequent changes, and taboos may induce lexical changes as well: “Vomit” is an obvious examples, but even a seemingly innocuous word like “left” may be replaced with a euphemism (euonymos in Greek). Prepositions, subjunctions (“because”), and demonstratives can frequently be traced to Indo-European origins, but their use and meaning shows a lot of fluctuation in the individual languages that is often tied to typological changes (loss of cases, etc.) and language contact.

  • Pingback: The Question about the Indo-European Origins « Aratta – Sivilisasjonens vugge()

  • Metin Gunduz

    Few awakening words obviously needed on this animation :
    The big problems exist with the imaginary time frame of the presumed origination of Indo-European languages around 6000 BC , which is absurd – simply because the evolution map animation which is based on false research and its false calculations . Let me explain in detail :

    The First error is ` the languages does NOT evolve like genes and you can NOT apply same or similar statistical `biogeographic` calculation methods `Bayesian statistics` used for genes , for the language evolution –period- The Computer terminology frequently used specifically for this type of application is – you program garbage as input and you get garbage as output – .

    Second there is absolutely NO evidence whatsoever to back up the claim of 6000 BC origination , not even any time of origination earlier than 2000 BC .
    Very first ever ‘Indo-European’ text in documented world history was written with Cuneiform Akkadian letters , famously known as Anatolian HITTITE ‘ Anitta Text ‘ **(details at the links below) found at Boğazköy –Hattusa and now preserved at the Istanbul Archaeology Museum dated 1650 B.C. ( even Anita Text some of the words were Anatolian Hattian..! not Indo-European completely ) . Sumerians invented writing at least 1200 years earlier – which is definitely an agglutinative language – ( whopping 48 human generations ago –assuming 25 years/per generation ) . Semitic Akkadian and Assyrian written languages surfaced shortly after Sumerians invention of writing as a ‘ Dialect of Sumerian’ because of their immediate and close interaction and competition in the same geography with the Sumerians , but NOT any Indo-European written language ever in whole planet earth until 1650.B.C. ..
    So the fundamental questions need to be answered by those Indo-European Linguists are . 1- Where were these Indo-European speakers with `advanced civilization with their own Indo-European written language located in the world geography ? ` , so we can find some solids evidences of written Proto or Indo-European language earlier than 1650.B.C. ( Where were they for 48 human generations since the invention of writing by Sumerians? )
    2- Where is the advanced civilization located (archaeological ruins ?) they left behind before their southward mass migrations to Anatolian and Aegean due to cold climate around 2000 B.C. onwards ? So both of these legitimate questions has NO satisfactory scientific answer one way or other to this day .

    ( **) http://titus.fkidg1.uni-frankfurt.de/didact/idg/anat/hethbs.htm
    Anitta Text

    • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

      Let’s not confused things. The language that Boukaert et al. attempt to map in time and space (and the language we discuss in our forthcoming book; see link below) is not the first documented member of the Indo-European family (yes, Hittite), but the ancestral language of all Indo-European languages, or Proto-Indo-European. Not the same thing, and PIE predated Hittite by, maybe, 2,000 years.

      http://www.amazon.com/Indo-European-Controversy-Fallacies-Historical-Linguistics/dp/1107054532/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1419572204&sr=1-1&keywords=indo-european+controversy

      Also, figuring out the date and location for the earliest (found) written language is easy. The puzzle is really about the spoken language, which likely predated the written forms anywhere in Indo-European realm by another 2,000-3,000 years, give or take. The availability of writing elsewhere in the world (Sumer, Egypt) is irrelevant. Writing was relatively slow to spread around the world. Philologists might be interested in those early texts, but linguists are primarily interested in spoken language, regardless of whether it is accompanied by writing or not.

      • Metin Gunduz

        Well let me explain in detail what is the real problem for linguistic sciences using the computer calculation methods using `RANDOM STATISTICAL METHODS` particularly for
        `Posterior` calculations of Bayesian statistics . In order to understand fully you have to have the basic knowledge for Biogeographic statistical calculation methods like Bayesian Statistics as well as Monte Carlo Methods which is used in this study of Computer programmers- not linguists- for so called `Phyla of language origination- and attempt to Analogize- with the human genome . You have to understand what biogeographic researchers do in order to
        suit their phyla origination calculations to Random Statistical Methods . In other words you have to know the fine details of Genes and Mutations specifically chosen for their chromosomal locations like m DNA(mitochondrial –mother side inheritance ) and Y-DNA( Y chromosome-father
        side inheritance ) in order to avoid `Crossing over` errors would obviously arise from the usage of `Autosomal` Chromosomal Genes` in order to calculate `Posterior` as well as Phyla generation by using Random Statistical
        Methods like Bayesian Statistics . When we chose a genetic marker in Biogeography we want that marker `STAY PUT` –so to speak- and NOT participate in any Crossover
        so we can calculate FATHER TO SON/PER GENERATION or MOTHER TO DAUGHTER/PER GENERATION events properly in order to suit the Random Statistical Methods we
        use like Bayesian Statistics and Posterior calculations …

        Since fundamentally and obviously without any doubt “ the languages and their diffusion , interaction and change among human populations since the ice age “ has not been and never was and never will be a ‘RANDOM / SPONTANEOUS ’ distribution process -like the mutations of
        genes- , in mathematical/statistical terms and concepts as clearly well defined by mathematicians and statisticians; the Linguistic sciences can NOT use these statistical Methods –period- that is a gross error , unfortunately the originators of this -Computer Sciences- study of Indo-European Language from New Zeeland somehow find a publisher like Nature Journal couple of years ago – without adequate competent peer review obviously – , probably the peer
        reviewers of Nature Journal had no idea what Statistical methods can be used in Linguistic Sciences ; this publication –the origins of Indo-European languages – specifically used these statistical methods-Monte Carlo-particularly in order to calculate –Posterior- as well as Phyla in linguistic sciences .
        As it is said frequently in computer sciences – you input garbage as data you get garbage as output , no other way possible or even probable – so this so called 6000 BC –posterior- calculation is simply absurd . If you consider the
        origins of language –meaningful sound used for communication- in other words `Human larynx as well as tong nose and oral cavity ` evolution than you have to
        go back at least 3 to 5 million years back in time rather than 6000 years to find the real roots of any meaningful indo-European language sound . So the bottom line is the study has NO EVIDENCE WHATSO EVER -Archeologically- to back up the claim of 6000 years ? , the language has to be written in text to prove its existence we are not talking about unwritten and undocumented theoretical `sounds` created by people here which is meaningless as I had pointed out loud and clear .

        .

        • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

          You don’t seem to have read the post, the article it criticizes or my comment above. So here it is again: the problem at hand is finding the time and place for a specific language, Proto-Indo-European. The development of anatomy compatible with production of speech sounds (larynx, tongue, nose, etc.) or even of a genetic predisposition to language in general (e.g. FOXP2) is entirely irrelevant. Perhaps you should focus on the problem being discussed, eh?

          • Metin Gunduz

            Let me help out if I may for your Quest – to give
            some real ideas- to find the origins of Indo -European languages -based on down to earth facts and archeological evidences- rather than hypothesis based on wrong statistical methods used in Linguistic Sciences for Posterior calculations -false attempt to imitate genes and mutations- :
            Theoretically speaking , for the first ever Proto Indo-European language development most probably started around 1900 B.C. onwards by the new migrants to Anatolia and Aegean shores ( this fact`the new migrants` is well documented archaeologically by Near East Neolithic Archaeologist * Dr. James Mellaart around Aegean and Anatolia at the end of early bronze age ) and
            approximately 250 years later ( 10 human generations) first ever written indo-European document surfaced on this planet ..! ‘ with Borrowed Cuneiform Acadian symbols’ first ever Indo-European language appeared in 1650 .B.C. so
            called Anitta Text of Hittites currently preserved at Istanbul Archaeology Museum can be seen and observed as one of the first ever documented
            Indo-European text …. No other earlier trace evidence of this first Indo-European language ever found despite the written –agglutinative- language
            existed since the SUMERIANS around 3000 B.C. almost for 48 human generations before …!

            The origins of most Proto Indo-European words
            can be –theoretically- traced back probably to Pelasgian and Hattians of Anatolia but unfortunately we have very few archeological evidence of Hattian words mostly –religious ceremonial words and place names – originating from Hittite texts , we do not have any Pelasgian written words for sure . These new migrants around 1900 BC most likely brought their own language too and the Anitta text is the
            `synthesis` and `patch work` of this proto-Indo European `language development at this TRANSITION PERIOD ` in Anatolia between 1900
            BC- 1650 BC we are talking 10 generations of existence in Anatolia after migration and settlement .. Of course the Cuneiform letters they used at Anitta text was borrowed from Akkadian language (Which is the dialect of Sumerian) ..What words and pronunciations of names of objects and
            places had changed during this 10 generations of TRANSITION PERIOD in Anatolia is any bodies guess of course .We do not have any written documents . But the fundamental fact is `the struggle for the control of natural resources
            and for power over the populations for survival ` and differentiation of people for this purpose as `we and them` is the main underlying motive for bondage
            and language origination as well as religious and cultural belief differences . Complete assimilation rarely if ever occurs in new migrant people .
            Tolerance as well as constant struggle in between is the key here . You need same language and belief system of people to unite them and so they can gain
            power to control natural resources , this is fundamental . You can change the language in just 2 short generations ( less than 50 years) if you
            purposefully name and pronounce things –differently- and teach the new generation of young people as is ..That simple ..They-the new generation- will pronounce the names of things and places as you wish – believe it or not- . As you see there is no `Spontaneity or randomness ` in this
            process but purposeful and conscious attempt to change the spoken dialect from locally borrowed words as well as maintaining their own and eventually creating a written form of a new language . Major motivation in the origination
            of new language has always been `we and them` in order to control natural resources – for the people sharing the same place and time in history – .
            Of course the isolation and large distances from each other with no meaningful contact between populations is different story for the language origination . We are talking people of new migrants in Anatolia at the end of early bronze age who are forced to `share resources` in order to survive , to tolerate each other as well as learn from each other , but the ultimate purpose is control the
            resources of that land and the purposeful new different language and unique identity creation is the `means` to do that .

            *The End of the Early Bronze Age in
            Anatolia and the Aegean Dr. James Mellaart : American Journal of Archaeology,
            Vol. 62, No. 1 (Jan., 1958), pp. 9-33 Published by: Archaeological Institute of America and can be downloaded 28 pages from the link http://tr.scribd.com/doc/46681056/1-End-of-Early-Bronze-Age

          • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

            You say: “the first ever Proto Indo-European language development most probably
            started around 1900 B.C. onwards by the new migrants to Anatolia and
            Aegean shores” — based on what? Nobody argues with the fact of migration, but archeology reveals nothing about the spoken language, which simply leaves no traces in the archeological record. Therefore, we need historical linguistics to work out where Proto-Indo-European was spoken and when. As for the computational methods you criticize, perhaps it would help if you read the post and our other work on this topic before you continue to criticize it: we already have done it. If you have something NEW to add to the discussion, it would be interesting. But simply writing lengthy and irrelevant comments isn’t helpful at all.

          • Metin Gunduz

            Than my humble advise could be :
            a- Do not use `analogy` of genes or any `random/spontaneous mathematical concept ` based statistical methods used for genes for phyla
            generation for the linguistic sciences , simply it is wrong and leads to wrong conclusions and wrong `posterior` in other words ` the origin` calculations .

            b- The fundamental -Neurophysiological fact – `the language` is basically a program – `the SOFTWARE` of the human brain( hardware) for
            the `analogical purposes` and the `software= the language `can be changed very easily and dynamically in one life time /one generation .

            c- Throughout human history this software(spoken language) has changed not only from one generation to other BUT at the same generation too , so `the speed of change and diffusion` of the language is strictly related with the social and economical motivations and survival needs of people in order to change it . The speed of change in language can be vertical ( one generation to next) as well as horizontal (same generation) . Wars ,
            occupations, laws of land , forced migrations(droughtdisease epidemics) ,assimilations , scarcity of resources as well as population increase and
            competition and interactions and technological advances and creation of new tools all play role on the speed of language change as well as new language creation . Status quo for any language for a given population does not exist as long as they interact with other people with different languages or dialects of same language – unless they are completely isolated geographically from outside contact and practically self sufficient and no need to interact with others –.

          • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

            If you wish to give us “advise” or provide criticism, please show where we make claims you allegedly criticize or where we make mistakes that you supposedly point out. Otherwise, the discussion is rather pointless.

          • Metin Gunduz

            The major mistake you have made is to use the `analogy` of gene evolution and species origination and attempt to use similar statistical methods –erroneously- like Monte Carlo statistics which is
            based on Random Statistics and the evolution of new languages and establishing a artificial time frame for their origination .

            In fact the evolution of language has nothing to do with `RANDOMNESS` or SPONTANEITY ` – period- . Software change (language change) has nothing to do in common with a Hardware change( the human genes) . Software change can occur in just few generations BUT hardware(the genes) can NOT change in few generations you need hundreds of generations .

            Similarly software(language) change can occur among different Hardware(gene) people at the same generation like Conquered is forced to learn the Conqueror `s language and as a result all subsequent generations the spoken language changes forever in that geography of conquered land … There is NO RANDOMNESS or SPONTANEITY in this language change at all … It is exactly what happens when `Cross over events of
            Meiotic divisions of germ cells at the Autosomal Human Chromosomes` changes the haplotype frequencies of given population unpredictably from one generation to other (22 years/per generation) since we can not know or calculate for sure how many cross overs had occurs for a given population
            after several generations ; which effectively changes the Frequency of that haplotype – That is the reason – We do NOT use Autosomal Chromosomal Haplotypes for posterior calculations BUT use the NON CROSSOVER Chromosomes like
            Mitochondrial ones or Y –Chromosomal haplotypes for species phyla as well as time frame per generation calculations .

            So you CAN NOT calculate the TIME OF ORIGINATION OF INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGES by IMITATING HUMAN GENE (HARDWARE) EVOLUTION and particularly you can NOT use the statistical methods used for Random/Spontaneous mutations .
            Simply because the `The Conquered is forced to use Conquerors language ` is nothing BUT the same as `CROSS OVER EVENT` of Haplotype Genes on Autosomal Chromosomes FOR STATISTICAL CALCULATION PURPOSES which changes the frequency of language/gene per generation UNPREDICTABLY as well as the Posterior time frame calculations .

          • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

            Haha, we didn’t MAKE this mistake, we criticized others who did.

          • Metin Gunduz

            Didn’t you use the Bayesian Markov chain Monte-Carlo statistics for Indo-European origins calculations .. Which you did …So we are talking the requirement of `Randomness ` for all calculation purposes and the fact is the linguistic sciences has nothing to do with randomness at all .

          • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

            No we didn’t. We criticized those who did. Why do you keep accusing us of mistakes we were the first to uncover and discuss critically? You have trouble with reading comprehension?!

          • Metin Gunduz

            Specifically what kind of –Non Random ? -
            statistics which is different than the original Bayesian ( EvidencePosterior
            PriorLikelihood etc. you have used than ?
            I do not see any Statistical method mentioned by you here ..
            It seems to me you are simply `fine
            tailoring` the original work of New Zealander`s ; in other words `cutting the original proposed animation Map here and there for certain languages ,tailoring
            at the `edges` extending the time frame ` back in time
            further –with no evidence- than New Zealander’s proposal , and adding some criticism , BUT I see
            nothing really different fundamentally .You rather giving `legitimacy` somehow and some way to their absurdity by not out-front refusing their Computer
            Program approach to the Linguistic Sciences and `evolution of languages` you have no problem with it ? aren’t you ?
            To be honest I could NOT see any real difference what so ever other than `Cutting here and there and fine tailoring and extending the skirt- time of origination of Indo European languages- little further back in time ` by the way with no substantive proof of evidence .

          • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig
          • Metin Gunduz

            Now I am glad , at least we understand each other .
            Than let me give some real clues if I may , on the subject of `historical evolution of languages`, in fact if you are familiar with the underlying genetic –molecular concepts of `evolution` and the `survival of the fittest` yes -Charles Darwin- indeed , it would really help to understand the fundamental concepts of language evolution too . Simply because `if the only motive` is –efficient/correct as well as `as much as possible information transfer` with less effort and energy – from one individual`s brain – by sound creating structures(lungslarynxoral-nasal cavitynose tongueteeth and lips to other individuals ear and than the brain – and most importantly if these `communication characteristics of language` has any `survival advantage for the `human species` than `agglutinative language form` is your ideal form of communication by sound creation in between two individuals . In the long run over hundreds of thousands of years and generation after generation the most efficient/correct as well as detailed information sharing gives –absolute- physical survival advantage to the individuals who use it . That simple . And that is the `agglutinative` form of communication in between individuals . In all biological sciences human evolution works similar ways but no other way around . So the `language`
            is NOT an exception to that fundamental rule of the land-so to speak- . As I have said `if the only motive` what it means we human societies have `other motives too` to `change` the characteristics of the `sounds` we create as we wish again aimed to the ultimate purpose of `optimum survival` of that society we live in . When the human populations increased with the limited food and shelter resources available as well as climate change `societies formed` with common goals and common destiny for survival …And as these early human societies more populated the most efficient sounds of communication also evolved with contact and interaction with each other . So you get the idea
            …When you particularly look at the `original roots of words`as well as the sentence structure of agglutinative language –the information dept , specificity and accuracy as well as efficiency-becomes prominent and obvious .

            As I had posted earlier here – let me repeat
            – humble proposal for Scientifically legitimate approach for Historical –evolutionary-Linguists so they can have an edge – at least- some `legitimacy` – trace of evidence- for their `hypothesis of origination of languages and their distribution in given geography in a given time frame in history .

            First , start with a known written Cuneiform agglutinative language of Sumerians and than follow Akkadian and than Semitic languages in this exact order of origination .

            And ask yourself why the –agglutinative –languages predominated this planet 5000 years ago , what is the fundamental reason people since ice age used
            –agglutinative- language , what is the evolutionary advantage of agglutinative communication for survival , in other words transfer of information –most efficiently with less effort/ vocal energy/and more information – with a single word `sound` in between two individuals that would give a competitive edge over time .

            And than ask yourself why people would –start-using a completely less efficient and complicated language in later times , -like Indo-European-language what is the major motivation for people to do that ?Than you will get the answer .. The Indo-European languages are artificial languages with no legitimate independent roots BUT purposeful `anagramatized ` forms of original agglutinative language . They are created after the contact and competition for the `natural resources` by the
            people who spoke agglutinative languages and its dialects . Indo-European
            languages `purposefully and artificially` originates from social need of migrant people ,it is thereflection of their aspirations of the land they chose to
            settle and control resources .
            Which means in order to find the `origination
            roots of Indo-European languages you have to follow historical forced migrations of people for survival and which bring two or more different migrants groups contact to each other and the locally spoken language of final settlement
            location

          • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

            The idea that agglutinative languages are more efficient or better for communication is absolutely absurd, unsupported by facts, ignorant drivel.

          • Metin Gunduz

            Mrs.Asya Pereltsvaig I summarized my postings and conversations for the last 3 days here particularly the ideas and thoughts -that may help in the future for the linguistic studies – especially on the Historical Origins of Proto Indo European Languages in Anatolia . They may sound -revolutionary and out of the line ideas and thoughts – for the most traditional linguists ,but again if you really want `EVIDENCE BASED REAL SCIENTIFIC APPROACH IN LINGUISTIC STUDIES RATHER THAN HYPOTHESIS ` that is the way to go : Summary of conversations on Historical Linguistic Studies particularly on
            the Origin of Indo-European languages from Anatolia
            :

            After my recent long three days of discussions and
            postings on line –back and forth- with Historical Linguist Mrs.Asya Perelstvaig
            from Stanford Department of Linguistic Studies at her web side (***) , on the subject of the
            `Origins of Indo-European` languages : I thought – my personal ideas and
            suggestions – would be helpful guidance for the future –Linguistic Studies- to
            find an `evidence based approach` into Historical Linguistic studies rather than
            `Hypothesis` based on usage of wrong `statistical methods` as well as Computer
            calculations and animations of Indo-European languages origination and spread
            throughout the history . My personal thoughts and suggestions on this subject
            are listed below as they are posted at the web site
            :

            Few awakening words obviously needed regarding
            the Computer generated animations of Indo-European languages :

            The big problems exist with the imaginary time frame
            of the presumed origination of Indo-European languages around 6500 BC ,
            which is absurd – simply because the evolution map animation which is based
            on false research and its false calculations and recently computer
            animations generated based on this wrong `posterior` time of origination (****)
            : Let me explain :

            The First error is `
            the languages does NOT evolve like genes and you can NOT apply same or similar
            statistical `biogeographic` calculation methods `Bayesian statistics` used for
            genes , for the language evolution –period- The Computer terminology
            frequently used specifically for this type of application is – you program
            garbage as input and you get garbage as output -
            .

            Second there is
            absolutely NO evidence whatsoever to back up the claim of 6000 BC origination ,
            not even any time of origination earlier than 2000 BC .

            Very
            first ever ‘Indo-European’ text in documented world history was written with
            Cuneiform Akkadian letters , famously known as Anatolian HITTITE ‘ Anitta Text
            ‘ **(details at the links below) found at Boğazköy –Hattusa and now preserved at
            the Istanbul Archaeology Museum dated 1650 B.C. ( even Anita Text some of the
            words were Anatolian Hattian..! not Indo-European completely ) . Sumerians
            invented writing at least 1200 years earlier – which is definitely an
            agglutinative language – ( whopping 48 human generations ago –assuming 25
            years/per generation ) .

            Akkadian and semitic Assyrian written languages
            surfaced shortly after Sumerians invention of writing as a ‘ Dialect of
            Sumerian’ because of their immediate and close interaction and competition in
            the same geography with the Sumerians , but NOT any Indo-European written
            language ever in whole planet earth until 1650.B.C. ..

            So the fundamental questions need to be answered by those Indo-European
            Linguists are .
            1- Where were these Indo-European speakers
            with `advanced civilization with their own Indo-European written language
            located in the world geography ? ` , so we can find some solids evidences of
            written Proto or Indo-European language earlier than 1650.B.C. ( Where were they
            for 48 human generations since the invention of writing by Sumerians?
            )
            2- Where is the advanced civilization
            located (archaeological ruins ?) they left behind before their southward mass
            migrations to Anatolian and Aegean due to cold climate around 2000 B.C. onwards
            ?
            So both of
            these legitimate questions has NO satisfactory scientific answer one way or
            other to this day .

            For the last 2 years , the `major mistake`
            Indo-European language ` historical evolutionary Linguists and Computer
            Scientist programmers who had –somehow- turned into Linguists , have made is
            : to use the `analogy` of gene evolution and species origination and attempt
            to use similar statistical methods –erroneously- use the Bayesian Markov chain Monte-Carlo statistics for
            Indo-European origins calculations , Monte Carlo statistics which is based on Random
            Statistics and the evolution of new languages and establishing a artificial
            time frame for their origination .

            In
            fact the evolution of language has nothing to do with `RANDOMNESS` or
            SPONTANEITY ` – period- . Software change (language change) has nothing to do
            in common with a Hardware change( the human genes) . Software change can occur
            in just few generations BUT hardware(the genes) can NOT change in few
            generations you need hundreds of generations .

            Similarly
            software(language) change can occur among different Hardware(gene) people at
            the same generation like Conquered is forced to learn the Conqueror `s
            language and as a result all subsequent generations the spoken language changes
            forever in that geography of conquered land … There is NO RANDOMNESS or
            SPONTANEITY in this language change at all … It is exactly what happens when
            `Cross over events of Meiotic divisions of germ cells at the Autosomal Human
            Chromosomes` changes the haplotype frequencies of given population
            unpredictably from one generation to other (22 years/per generation) since we
            can not know or calculate for sure how many cross overs had occurs for a given
            population after several generations ; which effectively changes the Frequency
            of that haplotype –

            Specifically that is the reason – We do NOT
            use Autosomal Chromosomal Haplotypes for posterior calculations BUT use the
            NON CROSSOVER Chromosomes like Mitochondrial ones or Y –Chromosomal haplotypes
            for species phyla as well as time frame per generation calculations .

            So you CAN NOT
            calculate the TIME OF ORIGINATION OF INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGES by IMITATING
            HUMAN GENE (HARDWARE) EVOLUTION and particularly you can NOT use the
            statistical methods used for Random/Spontaneous mutations . Simply because the
            `The Conquered is forced to use Conquerors language ` is nothing BUT the same as
            `CROSS OVER EVENT` of Haplotype Genes on Autosomal Chromosomes FOR
            STATISTICAL CALCULATION PURPOSES which changes the frequency of
            language/gene per generation UNPREDICTABLY as well as the Posterior time frame
            calculations .

            Than my humble advise
            could be :

            a- Do not use `analogy`
            of genes or any ` random/spontaneous mathematical concept ` based
            statistical methods used for genes for phyla generation for the linguistic
            sciences , simply it is wrong and leads to wrong conclusions and wrong
            `posterior` ` the origin` calculations .

            b- The fundamental
            -Neurophysiological fact – `the language` is basically a program – `the
            SOFTWARE` of the human brain( hardware) for the `analogical purposes` and the
            `software= the language `can be changed very easily and dynamically in one
            life time /one generation .

            c- Throughout human
            history this software(spoken language) has changed not only from one generation
            to other BUT at the same generation too , so `the speed of change and
            diffusion` of the language is strictly related with the social and economical
            motivations and survival needs of people in order to change it . The speed of
            change in language can be vertical ( one generation to next) as well as
            horizontal (same generation) . Wars , occupations, laws of land , forced
            migrations(droughtdisease epidemics) ,assimilations , scarcity of resources as
            well as population increase and competition and interactions and technological
            advances and creation of new tools all play role on the speed of language
            change as well as new language creation . Status quo for any language for a
            given population does not exist as long as they interact with other people with
            different languages or dialects of same language – unless they are completely
            isolated geographically from outside contact and practically self sufficient
            and no need to interact with others –.

            When we look into the details of Indo-European
            language evolution :

            in order – to find the
            origins of Indo-European languages -based on down to earth facts and
            archeological evidences- rather than hypothesis : Theoretically speaking
            , for the first ever Proto Indo-European language development most probably
            started around 1900 B.C. onwards by the new migrants to Anatolia and Aegean
            shores ( this fact`the new migrants` is well documented archaeologically by
            Near East Neolithic Archaeologist * Dr. James Mellaart around Aegean and
            Anatolia at the end of early bronze age ) and approximately 250 years later (
            10 human generations) first ever written indo-European document surfaced on
            this planet ..! ‘ with Borrowed Cuneiform Acadian symbols’ first ever
            Indo-European language appeared in 1650 .B.C. so called Anitta Text of Hittites
            currently preserved at Istanbul Archaeology Museum can be seen and observed as
            one of the first ever documented Indo-European text …. No other earlier trace
            evidence of this first Indo-European language ever found despite the written
            –agglutinative- language existed since the SUMERIANS around 3000 B.C. almost
            for 48 human generations before …!

            The origins of most
            Proto Indo-European words can be –theoretically- traced back probably to
            Pelasgian and Hattians of Anatolia but unfortunately we have very few
            archeological evidence of Hattian words mostly –religious ceremonial words and
            place names – originating from Hittite texts , we do not have any Pelasgian
            written words for sure . These new migrants around 1900 BC most likely
            brought their own language too and the Anitta text is the `synthesis` and
            `patch work` of this proto-Indo-European `language development at this
            TRANSITION PERIOD ` in Anatolia between 1900 BC- 1650 BC we are talking 10
            generations of existence in Anatolia after migration and settlement .. Of
            course the Cuneiform letters they used at Anitta text (**) was borrowed from
            Akkadian language (Which is the dialect of Sumerian) ..What words and
            pronunciations of names of objects and places had changed during this 10
            generations of TRANSITION PERIOD in Anatolia is any bodies guess of course .We
            do not have any written documents . But the fundamental fact is `the struggle
            for the control of natural resources and for power over the populations for
            survival ` and differentiation of people for this purpose as `we and them` is
            the main underlying motive for bondage and language origination as well as
            religious and cultural belief differences . Complete assimilation rarely if
            ever occurs in new migrant people . Tolerance as well as constant struggle in
            between is the key here . You need same language and belief system of people
            to unite them and so they can gain power to control natural resources , this is
            fundamental . You can change the language in just 2 short generations ( less
            than 50 years) if you purposefully name and pronounce things –differently- and
            teach the new generation of young people as is ..That simple ..They-the new
            generation- will pronounce the names of things and places as you wish – believe
            it or not- .

            As you see there is no `Spontaneity or randomness ` in
            this process but purposeful and conscious attempt to change the spoken dialect
            from locally borrowed words as well as maintaining their own and eventually
            creating a written form of a new language . Major motivation in the origination
            of new language has always been `we and them` in order to control natural
            resources – for the people sharing the same place and time in history – .
            Of course the isolation and large distances from each other with no meaningful
            contact between populations is different story for the language origination .
            We are talking people of new migrants in Anatolia at the end of early bronze
            age who are forced to `share resources` in order to survive , to tolerate each
            other as well as learn from each other , but the ultimate purpose is control the
            resources of that land and the purposeful new different language and unique
            identity creation is the `means` to do that .

            Let me give you “real
            evidence and the proof” … How Sumerians “invented writing” ? The clue is the
            fundamentally `THE SYLLABLE` sound structure of the `agglutinative language`,
            if they did not have the `syllable structure`of words they used in their
            agglutinative language they could NOT ABLE TO discover writing .That
            simple… They could have continue using pictographs –FOREVER – , the
            transition to writing with – origination of new words and needs to communicate
            and transfer this new information was possible- with their agglutinative
            language`s –agglutinated syllables structure of words of communication –

            Needles to say – NON OF
            THE INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGES USED TODAY- You can NOT invent writing -period-
            ..

            “The earliest forms of
            Sumerian writing were pictographs (“picture words”) where the sign resembles the
            object it represents (grain, hand, etc.)The Sumerians started out by making a
            sign for every object but quickly realized this was completely impractical. Even
            so, at this point in time they had already accumulated more than 700 signs, of
            which about 600 were in common use. So the Sumerians began to write words
            phonetically, by combining existing signs with the desired pronunciation for
            each syllable. For example, if a scribe were to hear the English word “ensue”,
            of course he wouldn’t have a sign for it, but he could “spell it out” using the
            signs en and su. Even though the literal definition of the signs together didn’t
            add up to the meaning of the word, a new word was formed based on the
            pronunciation alone. This is what makes Sumerian writing the first true writing
            in the world. It is abstract symbols used to represent the sound of a word
            rather than simply being a “picture” of the word’s
            meaning.”(*****)

            http://sumerianshakespeare.com/30301.html

            Let me
            give you additional `second evidence and proof` . Without a `previously WRITTEN
            FORM OF A LANGUAGE`-Sumerian Cuneiform here – as a template and using it as a
            guide `YOU CAN NOT CREATE A NEW LANGUAGE WITH NEW SOUNDS OF WORDS ` . You have
            to have a written guide (template) of another language in order to create a new
            artificial sounds and language …

            Than let me give some real clues if I may , on the subject of `historical evolution of languages`, in fact if you are familiar with the underlying genetic –molecular concepts of `evolution` and the `survival of the fittest` yes -Charles Darwin- indeed , it would really help to understand the fundamental concepts of language evolution too . Simply because `if the only motive` is –efficient/correct as well as `as much as possible information transfer` with less effort and energy – from one individual`s brain – by sound creating structures(lungslarynxoral-nasal cavitynose tongueteeth and lips to other individuals ear and than the brain – and most importantly if these `communication characteristics of language` has any `survival advantage for the `human species` than `agglutinative language form` is your ideal form of communication by sound creation in between two individuals . In the long run over hundreds of thousands of years and generation after generation the most efficient/correct as well as detailed information sharing gives –absolute- physical survival advantage to the individuals who use it . That simple . And that is the `agglutinative` form of communication in between individuals . In all biological sciences human evolution works similar ways but no other way around . So the `language` is NOT an exception to that fundamental rule of the land-so to speak- . As I have said `if the only motive` what it means we human societies have `other motives too` to `change` the characteristics of the `sounds` we create as we wish again aimed to the ultimate purpose of `optimum survival` of that society we live in . When the human populations increased with the limited food and shelter resources available as well as climate change `societies formed` with common goals and common destiny for survival …And as these early human societies more populated the most efficient sounds of communication also evolved with contact and interaction with each other . So you get the idea …When you particularly look at the `original roots of words as well as the sentence structure of agglutinative language –the information depth , specificity and accuracy as well as efficiency- becomes prominent and obvious .
            Of course Proto-Indo European language did
            not derived directly from Sumerian” ..Since Sumerians belong to a different
            time period and geographic place in history specifically at least thousand
            year before first ever Indo-European language created in Anatolia which is
            completely a different land and time period where Sumerians lived in
            history .

            Historically speaking , Anatolian – locally spoken-
            indigent Hattian language and Akkadian (which is clearly a dialect of
            Sumerian) and Assyrian languages are the keys here for the Proto- Indo European
            language development in Anatolia by new Migrants who had arrived as documented
            clearly archeologically by 1900 B.C. rather than original ancient Sumerian
            as a template , as a matter of fact first ever Indo European written text
            Anitta Text is written with Akkadian Cuneiform letters with some borrowed
            Hattian words as you should know . No Linguistic Historian can ignore this
            fact . Akkadians used Sumerian Cuneiform as well as language as a `template` for
            their new `dialect` for sure . I suggest you to read about very interesting
            Archeological excavations at Kultepe-Kanesh-Karum regarding Early Migrant
            settlements at Hattian lands of Anatolia and particularly `interaction` of new
            migrants with the `indigent Hattians` this period in history particularly
            important for Proto-Indo European language development …! You have to read
            from various sources in order to get the fine details of interaction of people
            with each other in this period , I can give you this link to get the summary
            of the idea .. This period is 1900 B.C. onwards towards 1650 BC –Anitta Text –
            at the beginning of first ever Indo-European Anatolian Hittite Kingdom
            establishment –control of land and resources so to speak by new migrants with
            new language –(******) https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00781410/document

            Finally ;

            Let me propose a
            Scientifically legitimate approach for Historical –evolutionary-Linguists so
            they can have an edge – at least- some `legitimacy` – trace of evidence- for
            their `hypothesis of origination of languages and their distribution in given
            geography in a given time frame in history .

            First , start with a
            known written Cuneiform agglutinative language of Sumerians and than follow
            Akkadian and than Semitic languages in this exact order of origination
            .

            And
            ask yourself why the –agglutinative – languages predominated this planet 5000
            years ago , what ‘s the fundamental reason people since ice age used
            –agglutinative- language , what is the evolutionary advantage of agglutinative
            communication for survival , in other words transfer of information –most
            efficiently with less effort/ vocal energy/and more information – with a single
            word `sound` in between two individuals that would give a competitive edge
            over time .

            And than ask yourself
            why people would –start-using a completely less efficient and complicated
            language in later times , -like Indo-European-language what is the major
            motivation for people to do that ?

            Than you will get the
            answer .. The Indo-European languages are artificial languages with no
            legitimate independent roots BUT purposeful `anagramatized ` forms of original
            agglutinative language . They are created after the contact and competition for
            the `natural resources` by the people who spoke agglutinative languages and its
            dialects . Indo-European languages `purposefully and artificially` originates
            from social need of migrant people ,it is the reflection of their aspirations of
            the land they chose to settle and control resources
            .

            Which means to find
            the `origination roots of Indo-European languages you have to follow
            historical forced migrations of people for survival and which bring two or
            more different migrants groups contact to each other and the locally spoken
            language of final settlement location .

            Dr.Metin Gunduz

            December 28th,2014
            (for the record)

            ( * ) The End of the Early Bronze Age in Anatolia
            and the Aegean Dr. James Mellaart : American Journal of Archaeology,
            Vol. 62, No. 1 (Jan., 1958), pp. 9-33 Published by: Archaeological Institute of
            America and can be downloaded 28 pages from the link http://tr.scribd.com/doc/46681056/1-End-of-Early-Bronze-Age

            ( **) http://titus.fkidg1.uni-frankfurt.de/didact/idg/anat/hethbs.htm Anitta Text

            (*** )http://www.geocurrents.info/cultural-geography/linguistic-geography/quentin-atkinsons-nonsensical-maps-of-indo-european-expansion#comment-1759101420

            (****)
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pa7SPns8fQ Video of Animation

            (*****) http://sumerianshakespeare.com/30301.html

            (******) https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00781410/document

          • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

            If you are going to use my name as some sort of sign of recognition, why don’t you disclose what “recognition” I’ve given to your ridiculous nonsense: “so ridiculous that it does not merit a serious rebuttal” and “absolutely absurd, unsupported by facts, ignorant drivel”. Nor will I dignify your private messages with any response.

          • Metin Gunduz

            Let me propose a Scientifically legitimate approach for Historical –evolutionary-Linguists so they can have an edge – at least- some `legitimacy` – trace of evidence- for their `hypothesis of origination of languages and their distribution in given geography in a given time frame in history .

            First , start with a known written Cuneiform agglutinative language of Sumerians and than follow Akkadian and than Semitic languages in this exact order of origination .

            And ask yourself why the –agglutinative – languages predominated this planet 5000 years ago , what is the fundamental reason people since ice age used –agglutinative- language , what is the evolutionary advantage of agglutinative communication for survival , in other words transfer of information –most efficiently with less effort/ vocal
            energy/and more information – with a single word `sound` in between two individuals that would give a competitive edge over time .

            And than ask yourself why people would –start-using a completely less efficient and complicated language in later times , -like Indo-European-language what is the major motivation for people to do that ?

            Than you will get the answer .. The Indo-European languages are artificial languages with no legitimate independent roots BUT purposeful `anagramatized ` forms of original agglutinative language . They are created after the contact and competition for the `natural resources` by the people who spoke agglutinative languages and its dialects .
            Indo-European languages `purposefully and artificially` originates from social need of migrant people ,it is the reflection of their aspirations of the land they chose to settle and control resources .
            Which means in order to find the `origination
            roots of Indo-European languages you have to follow historical forced migrations of people for survival and which bring two or more different
            migrants groups contact to each other and the locally spoken language of final settlement location .

          • http://www.pereltsvaig.com Asya Pereltsvaig

            I would hardly call your proposal “scientifically legitimate” as it ignores (or implicitly rejects?) much of the historical linguistics scholarship to date, thus repeating the main mistake of Bouckaert et al. that set them off course. There is no evidence whatsoever that Proto-Indo-European was an agglutinative language: while a minority of scholars believe that it was an isolating language, the majority/consensus view is that it was a fusional/synthetic language. Just as fusional languages (e.g. Russian) co-exist today with agglutinative languages (e.g. Tatar), Proto-Indo-European may well co-existed with agglutinative languages that were spoken at the same time elsewhere but that does not mean that it was agglutinative (or that all early language or the earliest languages were agglutinative). The idea that Proto-Indo-European was, or derived from, Sumerian is so ridiculous that it does not merit a serious rebuttal.

          • Metin Gunduz

            Let me give you “real evidence and the proof” … How Sumerians “invented writing” ? The clue is the fundamentally `THE SYLLABLE` sound structure of
            the `agglutinative language`, if they did not have the `syllable structure`of words they used in their agglutinative language they could NOT ABLE TO
            discover writing .That simple… They could have continue using pictographs –FOREVER – , the transition to writing with – origination of new
            words and needs to communicate and transfer this new information was possible- with their agglutinative language`s –agglutinated syllables structure of words of communication –

            Needles to say – NON OF THE PROTO INDO-EUROPEAN OR INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGES USED TODAY- You can NOT invent writing -period- .. You can NOT go through that crucial transition to writing …

            “The earliest forms of Sumerian writing were pictographs (“picture words”) where the sign resembles the object it represents (grain, hand, etc.)The Sumerians started out by making a sign for every object but quickly realized this was completely impractical. Even so, at this point in time they had already accumulated more than 700 signs, of which about 600 were in common use. So the Sumerians began to write words phonetically, by combining existing signs with the desired pronunciation for each syllable. For example, if a scribe were to hear the English word “ensue”,
            of course he wouldn’t have a sign for it, but he could “spell it out” using the signs en and su. Even though the literal definition of the signs together didn’t
            add up to the meaning of the word, a new word was formed based on the pronunciation alone. This is what makes Sumerian writing the first true
            writing in the world. It is abstract symbols used to represent the sound of a word rather than simply being a “picture” of the word’s meaning.”

            http://sumerianshakespeare.com/30301.html
            AND Let me give you additional `second evidence and proof` . Without a `previously WRITTEN FORM OF A LANGUAGE`-Sumerian Cuneiform here – as a template and using it as a guide `YOU CAN NOT CREATE A NEW LANGUAGE WITH NEW SOUNDS OF WORDS ` . You have to have a written guide (template) of another language in order to create a new artificial sounds and language …

          • Metin Gunduz

            In addition to and further Supplement to the information I had posted 2 hrs ago `.. “real evidence and the proof” … How Sumerians “invented writing” ? and “ regarding your implication that
            Proto-Indo European deriving from Sumerian” ? which I did not say that at all ..Since Sumerians belong to a different time period and geographic place in history specifically at least thousand year before first ever Indo-European language created in Anatolia which is completely a different land and time period where Sumerians lived in history .

            Historically speaking , Anatolian – locally spoken- indigent Hattian language and Akkadian (which is
            clearly a dialect of Sumerian) and Assyrian languages are the keys here for the Proto- Indo European language development in Anatolia by the `new Migrants` who had arrived as documented clearly archeologically by 1900 B.C. rather than
            original ancient Sumerian as a template , as a matter of fact first ever Indo European written text Anitta Text is written with Akkadian Cuneiform
            letters with some borrowed Hattian words as you should know . No Linguistic Historian can ignore this fact . Akkadians used Sumerian Cuneiform as well as language as a `template` for their new `dialect` for sure . I suggest you to read about very interesting Archeological excavations at Kultepe-Kanesh-Karum regarding Early Migrant settlements at Hattian lands of Anatolia and particularly `interaction` of new migrants with the `indigent Hattians` this period in history particularly important for Proto-Indo European language development …! You have to read from various sources in order to get the fine details of interaction of people with each other in this period , I can give you this link to get the summary of the idea .. This period is 1900 B.C. onwards towards 1650 BC –Anitta Text – at the beginning of first ever Indo-European Anatolian Hittite Kingdom establishment –control of land and resources so to speak by new migrants with new language – https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00781410/document