Volume 3  No. 1


June 2012












Comparing Basque and Proto-Indo-European: a preliminary phonetic survey

Arnaud Fournet


Abstract: The paper describes the phonetic correspondences that can be found between Basque and Proto-Indo-European (PIE). More than 30 items of the basic vocabulary are presented together with a table of sound correspondences. Basque is usually considered to be an isolate but it would appear that it actually contains words that have clear PIE affinities.  


The case of Berber: Some Reasons to Doubt That Neolithic Expansions and Macro-Families Always Coincide

Arnaud Fournet


Abstract: According to one of the current syntheses about linguistic, archeological and genetic data, homelands of linguistic macro-families coincide with epicenters of Neolithic expansion. Among other persons, who are archeologists for the most part, this scenario has been developed and advocated by the Australian archeologist, Peter S. Bellwood. The paper investigates the case of Berber, a branch of the Afrasian phylum. It appears that Berber lexical data very seriously conflicts with this line of reasoning. There are clear signs that the vocabulary of Neolithic realia and activities is not inherited in that branch of Afrasian but was borrowed from several sources, which include Latin and Italic languages. There is at least one group, based on primarily linguistic considerations, that does not fit in the equation ‘linguistic macro-family = neolithic expansion’: Afrasian.


Are the oldest Hydronyms of the Ob and Yenisei Riverbasins of Yeniseian or Uralic Origin ?

Arnaud Fournet


Abstract: The hydrographic basins of the Ob and Yenisei rivers in western Siberia reveal a vast complex of hydronyms older than the Russian presence. Several authors, among whom the geographers Duljzon and Maloletko, have ascribed it to the Yeniseian family, whose sole living language is now Ket. According to this hypothesis specialists of Yeniseian like Vajda or Werner infer an autochthonous origin for the Yeniseian family in this area. I propose an alternative which ascribes to Uralic and especially to Ugric and Samoyedic a significant share of this corpus of hydronyms and the origin of the hydronymic formatives. 








Samuel E. Martin, 1987, The Japanese Language through Time 

Yale University Press.

Arnaud Fournet