Linguist Forum

Languages => Language-specific analysis => Topic started by: aramis720 on September 09, 2018, 12:28:23 AM

Title: What language is this?
Post by: aramis720 on September 09, 2018, 12:28:23 AM
Hello, anyone know what language this guy is speaking? He claimed it was an old European language related to Basque. https://www.dropbox.com/s/94nd43pt64askrm/IMG_1366.MOV?dl=0
Title: Re: What language is this?
Post by: Daniel on September 10, 2018, 12:42:25 PM
I didn't specifically recognize it from the recording.

The only (indeed old) language that is relatively uncontroversially related to Basque is Aquitanian:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquitanian_language
It's either the ancestor of or related to the ancestor of Basque. However, it is no longer spoken today, so if he "speaks" it in the sense that I speak English and some people speak Basque today, then that wouldn't make sense as the answer.

So I'm not sure on this one-- it could be that this is some other European language not related to Basque (certainly not uncontroversially related). Whoever said that might be wrong (or basing it on an unaccepted hypothesis of relationship). Note that "old" isn't a very meaningful word for describing languages (unless you actually mean "as spoken thousands of years ago", like Aquitanian, which no one speaks now, at least not exactly like that of course). Just listening to this, it doesn't sound like Basque to me, for the record, but I only have a very limited background in the language.
Title: Re: What language is this?
Post by: aramis720 on September 11, 2018, 01:00:26 AM
Thanks for this feedback. By "old" he meant that it wasn't Indo-European and thus belonged to an older group of Europeans, as is the case with the Basques of course (Indo-European languages being brought by Yamnaya peoples apparently).
Title: Re: What language is this?
Post by: Daniel on September 11, 2018, 07:26:36 AM
There's essentially nothing else non-Indo-European in that part of Europe. There are the Finno-Ugric (or Uralic) languages in the east, and also various (different families of) Caucasian languages near Georgia. There are also some Turkic languages but mostly in Asia. So I don't know what else this would be.
Title: Re: What language is this?
Post by: panini on September 11, 2018, 11:02:37 AM
The recording is terrible and the background noise is too much, but I think it is Finnic (Finnish is my main vote distinguishing Finnish and Ingrian is above my pay grade).
Title: Re: What language is this?
Post by: aramis720 on September 15, 2018, 02:32:48 PM
thanks Panini. What's your confidence level that it's Finnic? Are there some words you can distinguish that I can look up?
Title: Re: What language is this?
Post by: panini on September 15, 2018, 04:29:55 PM
I would say that on a scale from -10 ("absolutely not") to +10 ("absolutely is"), I would put it at maybe 3. I base it on speech rhythm (Finnish is quite distinctive) and apparent word length, some phonetic details (velarization of l, preconsonantal h), plus he looks Finnish. If you find a Finnish speaker they might be able to hear what he's saying better.
Title: Re: What language is this?
Post by: aramis720 on September 27, 2018, 12:21:52 PM
I sent it to a Finnish friend of mine and she didn't recognize anything :( Could it be a variant of Finnish?
Title: Re: What language is this?
Post by: panini on September 28, 2018, 09:45:27 AM
Well, Veps is a possibility. You might ask her is she can understand (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vbpr0ryoroA is a sample, but the woman speaks clearly and there isn't a ton of noise).
Title: Re: What language is this?
Post by: aramis720 on October 05, 2018, 07:28:01 PM
Great, thanks. I'll check with her.
Title: Re: What language is this?
Post by: aramis720 on October 05, 2018, 07:29:16 PM
Are you suggesting I contact the woman in the video about Veps?
Title: Re: What language is this?
Post by: panini on October 06, 2018, 07:10:31 AM
No, actually I meant, ask your Finnish friend of she understands anything from the Veps video. That gives you a way of calibrating her non-recognition of the recording in question. If she says "I sort of understand it" to Veps that I would say that the Banter video is unlikely to be in a Finnic language. But if she has the same reaction to Veps, then I'd say her language-recognition skills are tightly tuned to Finnish in particular.

Where did this video come from in the first place? I would also entertain the theory that it's mock language. I've heard some hilarious mock Norwegian videos that were not actually in Norwegian, but it took speakers a minute to figure out that it wasn't actually Norwegian.