Author Topic: Croatian toponyms  (Read 18757 times)

Offline Daniel

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Re: Croatian toponyms
« Reply #75 on: November 14, 2017, 02:15:03 PM »
Let's put it this way:

At least FlatAssembler is enrolled in the class, while you're some random stranger throwing rocks in the window.

As for contribution, what I meant was that you could do something other than complain about the ideas others suggest.
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Offline LinguistSkeptic

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Re: Croatian toponyms
« Reply #76 on: November 25, 2017, 09:58:05 AM »
How do you mean FlatAssembler is enrolled in a class? He is an amateur who's not willing to learn why his theories may be wrong. When he faces some opposition, he runs away from the forum and makes some ugly website about his ideas.

And why do you keep insisting that the Proto-Indo-European hypothesis has the same scientific value as the theory of evolution? Social sciences don't appear to be real sciences. Trusting the mainstream social sciences has brought us things such as socialism and communism. Seems to me that I am better off thinking with my own head than trusting you guys.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Croatian toponyms
« Reply #77 on: November 25, 2017, 12:10:20 PM »
That was a metaphor, of course. What I am saying is clear: he is interested in and aware of general theories in Linguistics. You do not seem to be.

Compare this to learning mathematics: he seems to be trying to understand how math works (and potentially make a contribution) while you are just saying "math is stupid! I don't believe in numbers!" It's tiring, and pointless.

Even if FlatAssembler is wrong, that's like getting a math problem on homework wrong. That is: at least he's trying to learn, and he is doing it within the normal methodology of linguistics. Maybe right, maybe wrong.

Overall, you're mixing up two things:
1) Whether or not FlatAssembler is correct.
2) Whether general theories in linguistics are valid.

If FlatAssembler makes a mistake, that does not mean Proto-Indo-European is an invalid hypothesis.

It is incredibly frustrating and repetitive trying to explain this to you. We have both clearly wasted enough time on the conversation. If you say "I don't believe in numbers", then I'll tell you: "Then don't do math." And that's where things seem to be about Linguistics.

FlatAssembler is doing Linguistics. (Maybe right, maybe wrong.) You are not.

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Social sciences don't appear to be real sciences. Trusting the mainstream social sciences has brought us things such as socialism and communism. Seems to me that I am better off thinking with my own head than trusting you guys.
Nonsense, but OK. Yes, please, go away.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 12:13:15 PM by Daniel »
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Offline AGuyFromBalkanee

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Re: Croatian toponyms
« Reply #78 on: May 13, 2018, 05:49:51 AM »
FlatAssembler linked me to his webpage about Croatian toponyms (which links to this thread) on another forum when I told him he knows too little about Croatian history.
I can say that the Croatian nationalists are crazier than most of the conspiracy theorists. First they deny the obvious fact that Croatian and Serbian are the same language. They say they are "closely related Slavic languages". Then FlatAssembler goes as far as saying that the Croatian toponyms aren't Slavic, but come from some unattested language. The amount of mental gymnastics it takes to invent a whole language, completely different from Croatian, from which the Croatian toponyms supposedly come, is impressive. I don't know what will be the next level.

BTW, why the hell did it take this forum more than a day to send me an activation e-mail so that I can post here?
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 06:12:59 AM by AGuyFromBalkanee »

Offline Daniel

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Re: Croatian toponyms
« Reply #79 on: May 13, 2018, 06:25:15 AM »
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First they deny the obvious fact that Croatian and Serbian are the same language. They say they are "closely related Slavic languages".
That isn't a substantial distinction. So what if they're languages or dialects, and how would it relate to the question here?

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Then FlatAssembler goes as far as saying that the Croatian toponyms aren't Slavic, but come from some unattested language. The amount of mental gymnastics it takes to invent a whole language, completely different from Croatian, from which the Croatian toponyms supposedly come, is impressive.
There's nothing particularly unusual about toponyms coming from an earlier language. An obvious example is all of the Celtic place names in the British Isles, despite English being dominant today. That may seem less unlikely given that Celtic is attested, but surely something was spoken in Croatia before Croatian (say, 2000 years ago). This isn't in defense of FlatAssembler's proposal, but your counterargument is not evidence against it either.

As with the rest of the discussion above, none of this seems to really connect to the etymological details of the proposal, so I'm not sure the debate needs to be opened back up at this point. As I've said, Croatian toponyms require quite a bit of expertise in specific areas to discuss in any detail, some of which seems to be beyond this entire discussion as a whole. All I can really say is that at least FlatAssembler is trying to get there by talking about the details of etymology. Maybe there's not right, but the counterarguments are not convincing either.

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BTW, why the hell did it take this forum more than a day to send me an activation e-mail so that I can post here?
Not sure about that. But my guess is that it isn't on the forum end of things-- the forum software isn't designed to "save up" emails in a queue to send at some indefinite later time. It would be processed automatically when you submit your registration. So it could be delayed somewhere on a mailserver 'in transit'. (Maybe there's a queue in the mailserver for the forum, or maybe in your email receiving it.) Anyway, welcome.
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Offline AGuyFromBalkanee

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Re: Croatian toponyms
« Reply #80 on: May 13, 2018, 07:18:13 AM »
OK, now, have you even skimmed through the FlatAssembler's webpage about Croatian toponyms?
http://flatassembler.000webhostapp.com/toponyms.html
His proposal is obviously motivated by the Croatian right-wing politics. Or are you really that unaware of the Balkan politics?
You think that just because you know some linguistics (whatever that actually meant), you can evaluate theories about Croatian history? Do you even know some (Serbo-)Croatian? Because many of the toponyms he cites are perfectly explicable using it. The name of the river Vuka, for instance, obviously comes from the common Serbian personal name Vuk. He just doesn't want to admit that it's Serbian and therefore that it should belong to Serbia. This has nothing to do with linguistics, this has to do with politics.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Croatian toponyms
« Reply #81 on: May 13, 2018, 07:27:47 AM »
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You think that just because you know some linguistics (whatever that actually meant), you can evaluate theories about Croatian history?
No, I can't. That's what I've said here. The details are beyond my evaluation because it requires a lot of knowledge of specific subfields. And it's not just knowledge of Croatian, no.
(As for Serbian/Croatian politics, I have no interest in discussing that here, because it has nothing to do with linguistics.)

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Because many of the toponyms he cites are perfectly explicable using it. The name of the river Vuka, for instance, obviously comes from the common Serbian personal name Vuk.
That's possible. But sounding alike doesn't mean the same etymology. And that's what I've been telling FlatAssembler, if you read the posts above (skipping over the tangents). Etymologies are very hard to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, if there are other plausible competing theories.

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He just doesn't want to admit that it's Serbian and therefore that it should belong to Serbia.
OK, so that's you making this political. I don't know if FlatAssembler has a political motivation. Maybe he does. But he hasn't made any arguments based on that, and you just did. No place "belongs" to any political entity because of the language that is spoken there. That's not how politics, or linguistics, or life or the world works.

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This has nothing to do with linguistics, this has to do with politics.
Indeed, nothing you have said is about linguistics.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2018, 07:30:07 AM by Daniel »
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Offline AGuyFromBalkanee

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Re: Croatian toponyms
« Reply #82 on: November 28, 2018, 10:34:15 AM »
Oh, OK, I see my posts get deleted here if I say what I think about the important stuff. Let's try, like FlatAssembler, you know, discuss politics without directly mentioning it.

So, FlatAssembler suggests that the name of the city of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, comes from the Illyrian word he reconstructs as *Dzigurevos, supposedly meaning "God's hill". Why is that more credible than saying that the name "Zagreb" comes from the earlier name "Serbinovo"? Because any competent historian will affirm you Zagreb was previously known as "Serbinovo".

Offline Daniel

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Re: Croatian toponyms
« Reply #83 on: November 28, 2018, 10:44:16 AM »
Yes, off-topic posts will be deleted. Continued ad-hominem or off-topic (including politically motivated) posts will be removed, and your account may be banned. I don't like babysitting, and it's frustrating you're insisting on it. Write maturely and responsibly or leave the forum-- final warning.

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from the Illyrian word he reconstructs as *Dzigurevos, supposedly meaning "God's hill". Why is that more credible than saying that the name "Zagreb" comes from the earlier name "Serbinovo"?
Because "credible" doesn't describe general statements like you are making, or many of the general statements flatassembler has made. What is credible is systematically applying standard analyses in linguistics, like the comparative method, and tracing sound changes step by step. If it works out, that's relatively credible. If it doesn't, if there are holes or unknowns in the analysis, that's a good sign it isn't credible.

I don't have the time or interest to attempt to figure out all the nuances of these arguments. But it should be relatively easy to do so if you would like, looking strictly at linguistic analysis, to see what happens.
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Offline AGuyFromBalkanee

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Re: Croatian toponyms
« Reply #84 on: November 28, 2018, 11:38:23 AM »
Well, yes, FlatAssembler did include tables on his web-page explaining what he supposes to be the sound changes from Indo-European to Illyrian (I believe he also posted that one here), from Classical Latin to the Late Latin dialect he supposes to have been spoken in Croatia and from Old Croatian into Modern Croatian. But why should we trust him? After all, he had quite a lot of time to make those stuff up in order to make his theory apparently coherent, right?
And I suppose it seems apparently coherent... until you know a bit more. For instance, that there was a city in ancient times known as Serbinon (and later as Sorba, Soroba, Sogora, Zbreg and finally as Zagreb), which all the historians I've asked agree was modern-day Zagreb. Doesn't that strongly suggest that Zagreb is a Serbian city that was stolen from Serbia by the Croats? And, as FlatAssembler also notes, there was also a river named Serapia, probably the river now known as Bednja. Yes, you can search for alternative etymologies (you can claim whatever you want about a supposed ancient unattested language), but come on now! Serbia, Serbinon, Serapia... Don't you see the connection here?
But, yeah, you are not from Balkan, so it's not important to you.

Offline Daniel

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Re: Croatian toponyms
« Reply #85 on: November 28, 2018, 12:06:37 PM »
Even assuming you're correct about everything you say, your points here are also entirely politically motivated, so you're being hypocritical, and off-topic.

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But why should we trust him?
I don't "trust" him, or others. That's not how science works.  I'm just talking about methodology and commenting on linguistics. I'm not suggesting anyone's politically-motivated arguments are better than anyone else's. I have, however, suggested some ways to approach these questions linguistically. That's all. Your replies here simply don't have any relevance to that, so there's nothing more to discuss. This forum is not the place to decide the "official" etymology of anything, so there's really nothing at stake here.

People can write whatever they want on the internet. Most of it is wrong (given several competing theories). This forum isn't going to solve any of that, but we can discuss Linguistics here. What matters a lot more than being right or wrong is learning how to be right next time. If you're not here to do that, then why are you here, and what do you want? This back and forth is tiring, and as far as I can tell, pointless for all involved.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 12:09:09 PM by Daniel »
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Offline AGuyFromBalkanee

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Re: Croatian toponyms
« Reply #86 on: November 28, 2018, 01:09:03 PM »
So, what is that approach you suggest? I've included a list of sound changes I propose in my last post.
And I think my approach is even more scientific than the FlatAssembler's one because that names which I take to be previous names for Zagreb are actually attested, the name "Serbinon" is attested on the Ptolemy's map, the name "Soroga" is mentioned in "Rerum Hungaricarum", and the other names similarly so.
FlatAssembler's proposed ancient name for Zagreb, "Dzigurevos" (supposedly meaning "God's hill"), as far as I know, hasn't been attested anywhere. Here is what he wrote exactly:
Quote from: FlatAssembler
The name Zagreb itself probably means "the God's hill", from the Illyrian word Dzis (God), mentioned on the Messapian inscriptions, and a word related to Proto-Slavic *gora and Sanskrit giri. So, the Illyrian name might have been *Dzigurevos, borrowed into Old Croatian via Vulgar Latin.
He also appears to imply the way the name changed can be explained using the table he made (I linked to it in my last post), even though I find it very hard to believe languages actually behave that way. He derives the rules in that table from some words and place names he claims to have gone from Latin to Croatian early, but I am pretty sure that if you tested those rules with more such words, they will fail to correctly predict how the shapes of the words changed more often than not. And I am also pretty sure no linguist specializing in Serbo-Croatian would affirm you the rules in the table are correct.
So, which approach do you think is more scientific?
« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 01:16:43 PM by AGuyFromBalkanee »

Offline Daniel

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Re: Croatian toponyms
« Reply #87 on: November 28, 2018, 02:02:51 PM »
There are three questions:
1) Data (you seem to present this reasonably, but there may be other possibilities to consider as well)
2) Methodology (you have yet to address any sort of technical methodology, e.g., along the lines in the table you linked to, using phonetic notation, systematic rules deriving sound changes from one step to the next, etc.*)
3) Interpretation (this is the least certain)

I've really only been commenting on (2), and some about (3). Starting with different data will lead to different hypotheses. Determining which one is better is tricky. The most important thing to look for is consistency, but for some etymologies, especially if they are unique (not following the patterns of other words) then we really can't know much, because there's nothing to compare them to. The possibilities may remain open, without any conclusions. That's just how it works.

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So, which approach do you think is more scientific?
One using technical notation, consistent sound change rules, and properly addressing relevant data as well as alternative hypotheses. (That's a lot to ask, but no one said science is easy.) All of your comments here are haphazardly criticizing aspects of the proposal without proposing any alternative in a technical way. That's not going to get us anywhere.

*What is lacking from your "sound changes" in the last post is any sort of systematic pattern. You're just writing out words you imagine from one stage to the next, without any clearly defined methodology. The most important principle of Historical Linguistics is looking for patterns across words, rather than just listing examples you think make sense.

There is literally no point in arguing about any of this without a specific, consistent, technical proposal that shows all of the steps. And honestly I don't know that I have the time to look over a detailed proposal like that, depending on how long it ends up being. That's why I've been talking about methodology this whole time rather than answers, because that's what can be offered here. "What ifs" make all of this too variable to give a clear answer. Post a specific proposal or just accept that "maybe" is a reasonable response.

The off-topic, ad hominem, non-scientific, political, variable arguments in this thread have made me lose track of what we're even talking about. That's not how science works, and I have no interest in continuing with it.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 04:14:14 PM by Daniel »
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