1.6. Other Theories

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1. A common development of new theories about IE has been to revise the Three-Stage assumption, what is actually not something new, but only the come back to more traditional views, by reinterpreting the new findings of the Hittite and trying to insert them into the old, static scheme.

2. The most known new alternative theory concerning PIE is the Glottalic theory, which assumes that PIE was pronounced more or less like Armenian (i.e., instead of p,b,bh, the pronunciation would have been p',p,b, and the same with the other two voiceless-voiced-voiced aspirated series of consonants). The Indo-European homeland would have been then the surroundings of the Lake Urmia, in northern Iran, near the present Azerbaijan.

3. Other alternative theories concerning PIE are as follows [w] [© gfdl]:

I. The European Homeland thesis maintain that the common origin of the European languages lies in Europe. These thesis have usually a nationalistic flavour, more or less driven by Archeological or Linguistic theories, such as the Old European theories.

a. The Old European Theory compares some old European vocabulary (especially that of river names), which would be older than the spread of the IE III through Europe. It points out the possibility of an older, Pre-IE III spread of IE, wether branches of IE II or PIE or even an earlier related language.

b. This is, in turn, related with the theories of a Neolithic revolution causing the peacefully spreading of an older IE language into Europe from Asia Minor from around 7000 BC, with the advance of farming. Accordingly, more or less all of Neolithic Europe would have been Indo-European speaking, and the Northern IE III Dialects would had replaced older IE dialects, wether from IE II or PIE.

c. There is also a Paleolithic Continuity Theory, which derives Indo-European from the European Paleolithic cultures.

II. Another hypothesis, contrary to the European ones, also mainly driven by a nationalistic view, traces back the origin of PIE to Vedic Sanskrit, postulating that it is very pure, and that the origin can thus be traced back to the Indus valley civilization of ca. 3000 BC.

III. Finally, the Black Sea deluge theory dates the origins of the IE dialects expansion in the genesis of the Sea of Azov, ca. 5600 BC, which in turn would be related to the Bible Noah's flood, as it would have remained in oral tales until its writing down in the Hebrew Tanakh. This date is generally considered as rather early for the PIE spread.