... on Tower of Babel - a Classic (quora) · ... on PIE
- Why must we believe that, according to the Bible, all the world languages started from the Tower of Babel? Is there any archaeological evidence and plausible facts to support this?
- Hans-Georg Lundahl
- Studied religions as curious parallels and contrasts to Xtian faith since 9, 10?
- Answered 3m ago
- If you believe the Bible, you must believe this. Wait, I’ll come back to a little proviso.
Even without archaeological evidence, even without support.
Now, what we must believe is that all the ORIGINAL 72 world languages started out at Babel (except Hebrew continuing from before Babel, but that could be a 73:rd one).
We are NOT in any way, shape or form obliged to believe French and Spanish are immediate products of the punitive miracle of Babel rather than the results after centuries of an earlier language known as Latin. We are not even obliged to think Latin as we know it, or Mycenean Greek as we know the oldest Greek, are immediate products of the punitive and protective miracle at Babel.
Some say Proto-Indo-European was one of the languages resulting from Babel, but one problem is, if so it displaced a lot of other ones.
Greek would have been spoken by descendants of Iavan, Latin by descendants of … well, a mixture of diverse peoples, Gaulish, Irish, Cappadocia, and presumably Hittite by descendants of Gomer. Yet all these are counted by most linguists as descending from Proto-Indo-European.
One solution is that Iavan and a lot of other ethnic tribes splitting up after Babel did sacrifice their own language or get invaded by one or other of the other ones.
Another solution is that instead Iavan’s and Gomer’s and the Semite Lud’s and a few more languages influenced each other in an Indo-European melting pot, and once we see them historically, they have all been Indo-Europeanised. That is my position, with option of Hittite acting as a kind of catalyst for the melting pot. Other option, Indo-European was a lingua franca, an Esperanto, that failed. These are not mutually exclusive.
Since Proto-Indo-European is not a documented language (unless identic with Hittite), but a reconstructed one, other reconstructions of the scenario of how Indo-European language family came to be are possible.
With Romance language group, we know they all came from Latin, the older language is preserved and so are the delays between people in the countries obviously speaking Latin and them obviously speaking some other thing.
With the Balkan language group, we know they all came from diverse languages, Turkish from Central Asia, Bulgarian from Russian steppes, extinct Uralian Bulgarian language from Asia, anything on Serbocroatian and Slovenian scale from Russian steppes, Greek had been there in the South, most traits of Romanian are from Romance language group, i e from Latin, Albanian could be the Illyrian which had been there north of the Greeks and so on. THEN they started acquiring common traits, borrowing from each other.
With the West European language group we know both Latin and later French acted as matrices for influencing other languages, due to being spoken by élites.
With the Indo-European language group, either one is missing such a scenario in the Hittites, or one does not know what it really looked like, and either way all three possibilities can be considered as per our real present knowledge - even if only the parallel to the Romance language group is being generally presented as, not just a plausible reconstruction from our knowledge, but even part of our knowledge.
In fact, if, as I suppose, Babel was Göbekli Tepe, the archaeological span of 9600 - 8600 BC identic to the traditionally 40 years of Tower of Babel - City, there is indeed some supporting evidence : most old Indo-European languages start showing up to the West of it, to the North you have Uralic and Altaic languages hovering without writing for some time, to the East you have Semitic and other Oriental languages.
This would be at least consistent with any new languages after Babel walking out in directions radially outwards from it.