Other than Basque, what is known about pre-Indo-European languages that were spoken in Europe? Have any words from these languages survived to the present?

Today, Basque is spoken in a territory known as Baskonia (Basque Country between Spain and France) by more than one million inhabitants. Its use is very normalized in education and one can carry out university studies in that language. Basque is one of the few non-Indo-European languages in Europe and the only one in Western Europe.

It is also the only isolated language in Europe because it has no linguistic connection with any other language. But it does not mean that there were no dialects or those similar to Basque that would have disappeared when they were replaced by other Indo-European languages.



As reflected in its lexicon and grammatical structure, its antiquity could reach back to the era of cave paintings dating from the Magdalenian period of the Upper Palaeolithic (13,000 BC). Because of that, due to its connection with the languages of prehistoric Europe, Basque attracts the interest of linguists from all over the world. Baskonia (Basque Country) and its bordering territories are full of cave paintings that correspond to the period of transition from Palaeolithic to Neolithic.

Some examples of vocabulary:

Haitz = Rock, Stone

Haitz-kora = Ax (Literally: Hard stone)

Haitz-toa = Knife (Literally: Man stone)

Urra = Tearing, scrape

Azkona (Haitz-on) = Arrow or small spear (Literally: Good stone)

Haitz-urra = Hoe (Literally: Tearing stone)

Zur = Wood

Zugaitz (Zur-haitz) = Tree (Wooden rock)

Har = Mountain

Harkaitz = Mountain’s rock

Hotz (otz) = Frío

E = Rain

Ur = Water

Eur (E-ur, Euri) = Rainwater

Ekaitz (E-Haitz) = Storm

Iz = Sea

Iz-otz = Ice (Ice Sea)

Ibai = River

Haran (Aran) = Valley

Ibar = River Valley

Su = Fire

Lur = Ground

Elur = Snow (What it means the snowy landscapes were very normal as it happened during the last glaciation when perpetual snows were located in Baskonia over 400 meters during the glacial period known as Younger Dryas (10,800 BC – 9,600 BC), when the story of human civilization as it is taught to us supposedly unfolds in this period)

Mar = Scratch, Stripe, Line, Painting action, Colouring action

Margo (Mar-ko) = Colour, Paint (It is very remarkable the fact that in the Palaeolithic-Basque language there are no names for the colours green, orange, purple, etc. The colours are defined from basic paints. Green paint is made from blue and yellow, orange paint from red and yellow, etc., so green was called blue also and orange too was called red. This is something that is very strange and curious for a country like Baskonia that is now a country where highlights the wonderful green colour of the vegetation that characterizes its landscape).

This means that, during the Upper Palaeolithic, they were prehistoric settlers who inhabited in rock caves, those who gave the names to the colours.

The colour was not identified with the colour that their eyes saw but with the colour of material that allowed reproducing the same colour in cave paintings.

 

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