25 Aug 2007

Etruscan Glossary (Draft 001 available for Free Download)

Well, I've gone and done it, now. I put up a quick pdf of some Etruscan vocabulary that I've been collecting since earlier this year in my database. The pdf currently contains 806 entries representing some of the more secure items that I have. I also have hypothetical roots deduced by analysing word etymologies in my database, such as *Carθaza "Carthage" ascertained from the attested name Karθazie whose context lies in TLE 724, but I decided to leave this all out for now. I've also left out commentaries on word etymology, background information on each word, and translations made by various other authors that I also have amassed. I just want to give people a good quick guide to the meat and bones of this language.

Etruscan Glossary - Draft 001 (Aug 24 2007)

Since it's an ongoing project, I will be making many revisions and tweaks as I go along and discover new information. It's not a simple task either. The main problem is how astonishingly untrustworthy author's transcriptions of artifacts are and even how ad hoc their translations are. So this task requires me to get deeper into the whole thing and go step by painstaking step through all inscriptions myself to make sure that I'm not just aping a falsifiable theory from some lazy author (see my growing Etruscan folder for more details on kooky errors I've found in books). This requires the bravery of suggesting better translations rather than sticking with the marketed status quo that isn't working.

There are many other hidden dilemmas here. One other issue is how to present the vocabulary. I found that organizing word variations under a single "Proto-Etruscan" standard was the most sane way to go, rather than listing each variant seperately. Such a standard would represent the earliest form of the word whether directly attested or not, arrived at by the existent data. This presents further issues in itself such as "What should this Proto-Etruscan standard look like?" and "What strict phonotactical rules should I follow to guide my standard properly?"

I was inspired to do this in part because of what appears to be really pitiful information online on the subject, typically represented by sites like Rick McCallister's Etruscan Glossary. Of course, the well-intentioned McCallister expended a lot of commendable effort to do this many years back but it unfortunately illustrates how an author or webmaster with a relativistic philosophy that "any theory is just as good as any other" wastes his or her effort by not taking up the responsibility of knowing the subject well enough to competently sift through the nonsense oneself. Instead that onus is unfairly placed on the fact-seeking reader, the very person that depends on better informed people to learn from!

The results of McCallister's fear of academic commitment are exactly what are to be expected: a big long list of completely self-contradictory gobbleygook. Everything from early 20th-century Nostraticists to bona fide crackpots and amateurish hypotheses expressed by random people online. Busy people just don't have enough time in the day to piece it all together.

So I hope that everyone enjoys this Borg-like data-collecting project of mine and if you have suggestions or encounter pdf problems, don't hesitate to share your comment! Thanks.

For updates on Draft 001, click the link at the top of the page, or simply click here.


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