Paleo-Balkan & Balto-Slavic - Common Proto Language

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  • Soldier of Macedon
    Senior Member
    • Sep 2008
    • 13675

    Even this example is open to some interpretation, such as the full stop being considered an 'O', and the 'II' symbol being considered an 'N', the '>' being considered as 'L' or 'Y'.




    Slovak, we discussed this elsewhere a very long time ago, you made some of the following observations (quoted below) which seemed interesting:
    This inscription is written on piece of stone resembling a tombstone. It was found in a graveyard. So, on it should be a text that is typically written on tombstones, like the name of the deceased, numbers: years, dates, or some form of a message. Note: One thing typical about grave inscriptions in the Balkans, especially the older ones from the first times when the Old Cyrillic was used, is that the message on the tombstone is in the 1st person singular, as if the dead man was talking of his fate.........

    What I noticed is the word ΛΕΤ (let) which in most Slavic languages means 'year' or 'years' and then I noticed the ΕΔΝ (edn) which means 'one'.............The only thing that seem certain to me is ΕΔΝΕΝ-Ι-ΔΑΚΑ which definitely means 'eleven' in Thracian.
    There may be two possibilities here. For the first, if we follow the logic you suggested regarding the numbers, dates, etc that are typical for a gravestone, then we could probably identify a few numbers:

    ΛΕΤ (year) ΕΔΝΥ (one) ΕΔΝΕ-ΝΙ-ΔΑΚΑ** (eleven) TP (three)

    **This breakdown seems to make more sense, as the Slavic word for 'eleven' comes from EDIN-NA-DESET, literally, 'one on ten'. Although the 'ten' in Thracian had not developed a satem reflex thus rendering it closer to Greek and Latin, the combination of words (if this is what it means in Thracian) to make 'eleven' resembles Slavic more, as seen below:

    - Ednenidaka (Thracian, one-on-ten)
    - Edinadeset (Slavic, one-on-ten)
    - Endeka (Greek, one-ten)
    - Undecim (Latin, one-ten)


    The second possibility could be a dedication from a parent if we consider the word ΔΑΚΑTP to mean 'daughter', in which case it could be broken down as such:

    ΛΕΤΕ (this year) ΔΝΥ (this day) ΕΔΝΕ (one) ΝΙ (our) ΔΑΚΑΤP** (daughter)

    **If it developed something like dhughter -> dakater -> deshter.

    The whole sentence could be:

    NY ΑΣΝ ΛΕΤΕ ΔΝY ΕΔΝΕ ΝΙ ΔΑΚΑΤΡΟ ΣΟΕΒΑ, ΡΟΖΕΣ ΑΣΝ, Η ΝΕ ΤΕΣΑ ΙΓΕ ΚΟΑ ΝΒYΑ ΒΑΗΓΝ, or
    NY ΑΣΝ ΛΕΤ ΕΔΝY ΕΔΝΕΝΙΔΑΚΑ ΤΡΟ, ΣΟΕΒΑ ΡΟΖΕΣ ΑΣΝ Η ΝΕ ΤΕΣΑ ΙΓΕ ΚΟΑ ΝΒYΑ ΒΑΗΓΝ, or
    NY ΑΣΝ ΛΕΤ ΕΔΝY ΕΔΝΕΝΙΔΑΚΑΤ, ΡΟΣΟΕΒΑ ΡΟΖΕΣ ΑΣΝ, Η ΝΕ ΤΕΣΑ ΙΓΕ ΚΟΑ ΝΒYΑ ΒΑΗΓΝ.

    I may be way off here and all of the below could be wrong, but would like to see your thoughts on if:

    - the ending of -EBA is related to DEBA, as in the Thracian placenames MURIDEBA, ITADEBA, etc?
    - ΙΓΕ is related to the relative pronoun in Slavic іжє?
    - NBYA is related to PIE nbhos, Slavic nebo, etc?
    - ΡΟΖΕΣ is related to rozh//ruzh for a 'rose' or rod/rozhd for 'birth'?
    In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

    Comment

    • Delodephius
      Member
      • Sep 2008
      • 736

      A comparative study of Sanskrit and Old Church Slavonic case systems:
      अयं निज: परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम्।
      उदारमनसानां तु वसुधैव कुटुंबकम्॥
      This is mine or (somebody) elses (is the way) narrow minded people count.
      But for broad minded people, (whole) earth is (like their) family.

      Comment

      • Soldier of Macedon
        Senior Member
        • Sep 2008
        • 13675

        Paleo-Balkan languages, like Balto-Slavic, share a close affinity with Indo-Iranian. In addition to the grammar, there are several cognate words such as sindu, drava, etc. Some more Thracian names which may have possible connections to Balto-Slavic are place name Bisalta - 'by/beside gold', personal name Thamyris - 'give peace/greatness', and tribal name Sycaeboae - 'sword fighters'. The first example can be pretty much confirmed, the second two require further research.

        Another interesting place name is Drabescus, which is the ancient name of modern Drama, located in the Macedonian part of today's Greece. It may be related to other placenames further north, such as Drava in Serbia and Drawa in Poland. A medieval fortress named after the latter was known as Drawsko, which is very close to Dravsko < Dravesko (Drabescus). Another with a similar ending is Bromiscus.


        BROMISCUS (Βρομίσκος), a town of Mygdonia in Macedonia, near the river by which the waters of the lake Bolbe flow into the Strymonic gulf. (Thuc. 4.103.) It was either upon the site of this place or of the neighbouring Arethusa that the fortress of Rentine was built, which is frequently mentioned by the Byzantine historians. (Tafel, Thessalonica, p. 68.) Stephanus calls the town Bormiscus, and relates that Euripides was here torn to death by dogs; but another legend supposes this event to have taken place at Arethusa, where the tomb of the poet was shown. [ARETHIUSA, No. 6.]
        In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

        Comment

        • Delodephius
          Member
          • Sep 2008
          • 736

          personal name Thamyris - 'give peace/greatness', and tribal name Sycaeboae - 'sword fighters'. The first example can be pretty much confirmed, the second two require further research.
          Thamyris would be a cognate of Slavic root *da - give and myr - peace, later mir. Suffix -is evolved in Proto-Slavic into short and later was lost in Post-OCS period.
          If sycae is the sword sica, then boae most likely means warrior or fighter, from a pre-iotified form of the root *boj - battle, fight.
          अयं निज: परो वेति गणना लघुचेतसाम्।
          उदारमनसानां तु वसुधैव कुटुंबकम्॥
          This is mine or (somebody) elses (is the way) narrow minded people count.
          But for broad minded people, (whole) earth is (like their) family.

          Comment

          • Soldier of Macedon
            Senior Member
            • Sep 2008
            • 13675

            Thanks for the input Slovak, those Thracian examples were too similar to ignore. There are, of course, other matters to consider, such as dialectal differences, spelling differences, etc, depending on the word or author. That is why syca and sica are quite possibly the same word with a slightly different spelling, just like the possibility with myr and mir.

            Have you given any more thought to one of the earlier posts regarding the Thracian inscription on the gravestone?
            ΛΕΤ (year) ΕΔΝΥ (one) ΕΔΝΕ-ΝΙ-ΔΑΚΑ** (eleven) TP (three)

            **This breakdown seems to make more sense, as the Slavic word for 'eleven' comes from EDIN-NA-DESET, literally, 'one on ten'. Although the 'ten' in Thracian had not developed a satem reflex thus rendering it closer to Greek and Latin, the combination of words (if this is what it means in Thracian) to make 'eleven' resembles Slavic more, as seen below:

            - Ednenidaka (Thracian, one-on-ten)
            - Edinadeset (Slavic, one-on-ten)
            - Endeka (Greek, one-ten)
            - Undecim (Latin, one-ten)


            The second possibility could be a dedication from a parent if we consider the word ΔΑΚΑTP to mean 'daughter', in which case it could be broken down as such:

            ΛΕΤΕ (this year) ΔΝΥ (this day) ΕΔΝΕ (one) ΝΙ (our) ΔΑΚΑΤP** (daughter)
            In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

            Comment

            • Soldier of Macedon
              Senior Member
              • Sep 2008
              • 13675

              Originally posted by Delodephius View Post
              If sycae is the sword sica, then boae most likely means warrior or fighter, from a pre-iotified form of the root *boj - battle, fight.
              Here are some paragraphs from a wiki article about the Boii:
              The Boii (Latin plural, singular Boius; Greek Βόϊοι) were one of the most prominent ancient Celtic tribes of the later Iron Age, attested at various times in Cisalpine Gaul (northern Italy), Pannonia (Hungary and its western neighbours), in and around Bohemia, and Transalpine Gaul. In addition the archaeological evidence indicates that in the 2nd century BC Celts expanded from Bohemia through the Kłodzko valley into Silesia, now part of Poland.........

              The "warrior" derivation was adopted by the linguist, Julius Pokorny, who presented it as being from Indo-European *bhei(ə)-, *bhī-, "hit;" however, not finding any Celtic names close to it (except for the Boii), he adduces examples somewhat more widely from originals further back in time: phohiio-s-, a Venetic personal name; Boioi, an Illyrian tribe; Boiōtoi, a Greek tribal name ("the Boeotians") and a few others.[6] Boii would be from the o-grade of *bhei-, which is *bhoi-. Such a connection is possible if the original form of Boii belonged to a tribe of Proto-Indo-European speakers long before the time of the historic Boii. The Celtic tribe of central Europe must in that case be a final daughter population of a linguistically diversifying ancestor tribe...........
              The Boii originated from an area which could be identified as historically Balto-Slavic territory, and if Pokorny's suggestion is to be accepted, then their name is also cognate with the Slavic word 'boi' which also means 'fight'. And I don't agree with the last line in the above quote which suggests that all peoples with a similar name originally belonged to the same tribe.
              In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

              Comment

              • Soldier of Macedon
                Senior Member
                • Sep 2008
                • 13675

                Punic was a Semitic language spoken by the people in north African places such as Carthage and a number of Mediterranean islands (even the name Hispania is said to be Punic). These people were originally Phoenician colonists from Tyre. Both Carthage and Macedonia had experienced interaction with the Greek language, and both were taken over by Rome around the same time. Their conquest introduced Latin as the official language and made the influence of Greek even more prevalent. Despite this, however, the Punic language continued to survive in Carthage throughout the Roman period. According to Augustine of Hippo the Punic language was still spoken in Carthage during his time in the 5th century AD:
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punic_language

                And if the Punic language is rejected by you, you virtually deny what has been admitted by most learned men, that many things have been wisely preserved from oblivion in books written in the Punic tongue. Nay, you ought even to be ashamed of having been born in the country in which the cradle of this language is still warm.
                They were taken over soon after this by the Vandals and possibly some Slavic-speaking counterparts (wiki cites Mallory & Adams "Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture), but were back in the hands of the Roman Empire after Belisarius and others defeated them. That remained the situation until the period between 640AD to 670AD, when the Arabs conquered the region and the rest of north Africa.

                The Arabic language was introduced to the region and quickly adopted by the local population - it is only from then that the Punic language becomes completely extinct. Given that it lasted through the influence of Greek and Latin, it is highly probable that the pre-existing commonality between Arabic and Punic as Central Semitic languages facilitated the rise of the former and the disappearance of the latter.

                This raises an interesting parallel which can be see when compared to the extinction of Paleo-Balkan languages during the introduction of Slavic. It is reasonable to assume that a similar process took place, where speakers of languages such as Thracian adopted Slavic more readily than either Greek or Latin because the first two belonged to the same linguistic family.
                In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

                Comment

                • Soldier of Macedon
                  Senior Member
                  • Sep 2008
                  • 13675

                  For reference, there is a Thracian placename called 'Zaldapa', which is a compound word stemming from 'zalda' (gold, in Macedonian 'zlato') and 'apa' (water). There is a Macedonian word which may be related to 'apa', and that is 'kapi', which can mean 'drip' or 'wash'. This Thracian name must have been given to an area where there is an abundance of water, a lake, river, etc.
                  In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

                  Comment

                  • Soldier of Macedon
                    Senior Member
                    • Sep 2008
                    • 13675

                    The Phrygian words 'gordion' and 'granicus' look very similar to Macedonian (and other Slavic) words such as 'grad/gorod' (city) and granitsa (border), as do 'bedu' and 'bagaios' with 'voda' (water) and 'boga' (god). Another possible Phrygian word that I found which looks identical to one that we use today is 'zagora'. According to Arrian in the Periplus Ponti Euxini:
                    And from there to Sinope is 40 stades; the Sinopeans are colonists of the Milesians. From Sinope to Karousa, 150; there is an anchorage for ships. From there to Zagora is again another 150; from there to the river Halys is 30.
                    In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

                    Comment

                    • Soldier of Macedon
                      Senior Member
                      • Sep 2008
                      • 13675

                      Originally posted by Delodephius View Post
                      Sound theory SoM. I think we can add maduat to the list of the deciphered Thracian words, as well as its components madu - honey and ati - to eat.
                      Further to the above, there is also the Illyrian personal name of Madena which is probably related. As previously mentioned in various threads, a number of other Illyrian names appear to have links to names in Slavic languages, such as Glavus (Glavoš) and Grabos (Graboš). The latter would then mean 'oak' and be cognate with the below:

                      grabh - (Proto Indo-European)
                      grab - (Slavic languages)
                      grabis (Baltic; Prussian)
                      grabion (Anc. Macedonian)
                      In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

                      Comment

                      • Soldier of Macedon
                        Senior Member
                        • Sep 2008
                        • 13675

                        Comparison of Paleo-Balkan languages with Balto-Slavic &amp; Albanian

                        Here is a brief analysis and comparison of Balto-Slavic and Albanian languages, and how they measure up against Paleo-Balkan languages in terms of phonology, development, etc. In Balto-Slavic, the PIE palatovelar generally turned into the fricatives ś and s, see below:

                        -> ć -> ś, s

                        Albanian appears to have developed the palatovelar in a completely different manner in some cases, see below:

                        branch; ak (PIE), šaka (Lth.), soha (Rus.), thek (Alb.)

                        The same th sound in Albanian also developed in some words that begin with the fricative s, for example:

                        dry; saws (PIE), sausa (Lth.), suho (Mkd.), tha (Alb.)

                        Adding to this complexity, Albanian also has a tendency to develop the sound gj from the same fricative s, see below:

                        one, together; sḗm (PIE), sa (Lth.), sam (Mkd.), gjith (Alb.)

                        Although these two sound changes may be unique to Albanian, they don't appear to be present in any of the surviving words from Paleo-Balkan languages (I haven't noticed any, if somebody has please cite them), most of which exhibit the same sound changes as Balto-Slavic languages. Take for example the Thraco-Illyrian word for a 'dagger':

                        cut; sek** (PIE), sika/sica (Thr/Ill.), sekira 'axe' (Mkd.), seche 'cut' (Mkd.), thik 'knife' (Alb.)

                        **it has also been suggested that the PIE root is ehkʷeha, but not sure how reliable that is. The first example makes more sense.

                        To provide a balanced view, I should note that Albanian does exhibit similar sound changes to Balto-Slavic for some words that begin with the palatovelar and fricative s. Furthermore, although Balto-Slavic and Albanian are classified as 'satem' languages, they also exhibit 'centum' reflexes (although not as much as those classified as 'centum' languages like Greek, Latin, Germanic & Celtic). The same applies with Paleo-Balkan languages.
                        In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

                        Comment

                        • Soldier of Macedon
                          Senior Member
                          • Sep 2008
                          • 13675



                          PIE consonants and how they're distinguished:



                          Aside from , the other palatovelars ǵʰ and ǵ also present an interesting case. In Balto-Slavic they appear to have generally developed into ž, dz and z. In Albanian, however, they generally developed into dh, d and z. Here are some examples:

                          marry; ǵeme (PIE), ženit (Rus.), zntas (Lth.), dhndr (Alb.)
                          tooth; ǵmbʰo (PIE), žambas (Lth.), zab (Mkd.), dhmb (Alb.)
                          winter; ǵʰimn (PIE), žiema (Lth.), zima (Mkd.), dimr (Alb.)
                          sound; ǵʰwen (PIE), dzvon (Mkd.), žvengti (Lth.), zvon (Rus.), z (Alb.)

                          The below comparison would suggest that Balto-Slavic shares more similarities to Paleo-Balkan in terms of sound change than Albanian does. See below:

                          shine; ǵʰel (PIE), želta (Lth.), žolto (Mkd.), zlato (Mkd.), zalda (Thr.), dhelpr (Alb.)
                          beast; ǵʰwer (PIE), dzver (Mkd.), žvėris (Lth.), zvěrĭ (Old. Mkd.), zvri (Thr.), egrsir (Alb.)
                          earth; dʰǵʰōm (PIE), zemela (Thr./Phryg.), zemlja (Rus.), zemja (Mkd.), dh (Alb.)
                          lake; eǵʰero (PIE), ežeras (Lth.), ezero (Mkd.), oseria (Ill.), ozero (Rus.)

                          The voiced stop g is also used in both Balto-Slavic and Albanian, although some may be a result of loanwords.

                          enclose; ǵʰer (PIE), gordium (Phryg.), gorod (Rus), grad (Mkd.), gardas (Lth.), žardas (Lth.), gardh (Alb.)
                          goose; ǵʰns (PIE), gus (Rus.), žąsis (Lth.), zoss (Ltv.), gat (Alb.)

                          All of the above are just examples and there would surely be other variations for different words, but it provides a good basis for comparison.
                          In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

                          Comment

                          • Soldier of Macedon
                            Senior Member
                            • Sep 2008
                            • 13675

                            The town Edirne (Maced. Odrin) derives its name from the Roman Emperor Hadrian (by way of Hadrianopolis, Engl. Adrianople). It is located at the confluence of three rivers, one of which is the historically significant Marica. The original name of the town was Uskudama and comes from the Thracian words for 'water' (usku) and 'settlement' (dama) - the second word already having been discussed in a previous example on this thread (see 'damastini').
                            Another name with the same '-dama' ending is the Trojan Polydamas, which was later used by some Macedonians and Thessalians.
                            In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

                            Comment

                            • Soldier of Macedon
                              Senior Member
                              • Sep 2008
                              • 13675

                              There are a few theories as to where Slavic languages were first formed. Some have suggested southern Belarus and Poland, others along the Danube or in the Balkans. Location aside, below is an explanation of some circumstances and how things may have looked to the indigenous peoples of the Balkans in the early medieval period, particularly where it concerns some of the differences which were encountered as the linguistic situation developed.

                              - As an example, Justin I was born in Bederiana (Bader village near Skopje, Macedonia) and rose to the position of Roman emperor, even though he was illiterate and would have had limited knowledge of Latin and Greek. The names of his family and friends were also recorded as Thracian. Thus, despite the use of Latin and Greek as imperial or commercial languages, and despite the varying degrees of Latin and Greek influence in Paleo-Balkan languages, they were still spoken by Paleo-Balkan peoples.

                              - The Danube river, serving as an imperial frontier and/or cross-road for migrating tribes from the east or west, often symbolised the boundary between the Roman and non-Roman worlds, despite being fluid due to a constant shift of control or emergence of new powers. However, this didn't constitute a break of cultural and linguistic commonalities between the related peoples living on both sides of the river, as they were there long before Roman rule was established.

                              - From the 6th century onward, Paleo-Balkan peoples, who for centuries had lived under the political system of the Roman Empire, found themselves in a loose network of autonomous rebel enclaves (the so-called 'Sklavinia') that increased in number as time went on. At their largest extent, these enclaves covered much of the Balkans, central and eastern Europe.

                              - Based on the assumption that Paleo-Balkan languages were related and formed their own continuum, to the average Macedonian, Thracian or Illyrian peasant in the medieval period, hearing the Slavic language would have presented a curious scenario. It would have been recognised as related yet distinct, but still closer to their own Paleo-Balkan languages than Latin or Greek. Here are some things to consider:

                              1. Higher number of Germanic and Iranian loanwords in Slavic as opposed to Paleo-Balkan, which indicates that Slavic may have come to form along the Danube. Interestingly, most Germanic loanwords in Slavic are from the Gothic period, who ruled the regions around the Danube.

                              2. Higher number of Latin and Greek loanwords in Paleo-Balkan langauges as opposed to Slavic due to proximity and political influence. This would also have contributed to the retainment of older Indo-European characteristics which were lost in Slavic (but retained in Baltic).

                              3. The original Indo-European -os/-us/-on and -is/-es endings in Slavic evolved into ǔ (ъ) and ǐ (ь) respectively, at some point during or prior to formation. However, both the Paleo-Balkan and Baltic languages retained these features (compare the word for 'coast' which changed initially from Slavic 'bergos' to later 'bergǔ').

                              4. The evidence of 'liquid metathesis' in Slavic, which is not present in Paleo-Balkan or Baltic languages (compare again the word for 'coast', which subsequently changed from 'bergǔ' to 'breg').

                              5. The evidence of an earlier 'diachronic metathesis' in Slavic which may have already been present in some Paleo-Balkan languages (compare the word for 'head', which in anc. Macedonian was 'gavala' but in Baltic 'galva' and Slavic 'glava') such as Illyrian (see personal name 'glavos' as opposed to 'gavlos').

                              6. Slavic homogenisation of related languages by standardising the use of consonants and vowels in common words (compare Thracian variants for the word 'gold' such as 'zalda' and 'salta', where in all Slavic languages today it is only 'zlato' with defined 'z' and 't').


                              Our biggest problem is the fact that there are no surviving sentences in Paleo-Balkan languages that have been properly deciphered, which leaves the question of syntax and grammar open to interpretation. Even more than Slavic languages, Baltic languages demonstrate a remarkable closeness with Thracian, and they have preserved a number of their original Indo-European features which Slavic languages have lost. Therefore, one could be inclined to look for answers to the problem of grammar and syntax in Baltic languages - which are the only languages in the larger proposed Balkan/Slavic/Baltic family of languages to have escaped Slavic homogenisation (but not influence).
                              In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

                              Comment

                              • Soldier of Macedon
                                Senior Member
                                • Sep 2008
                                • 13675

                                Further to the above, here is an interesting post from another forum with regard to the differences between Baltic and Slavic languages:


                                The question about Pre-Proto-Slavic is very important directly in aspect of existing or no existing of Proto-Balto-Slavic language (which is denied by some linguists), because whenever you go from Proto-Slavic to Proto-Indo-Europen you get into Proto-Baltic (PB). From *rǫka you get into *rankā, which is Proto-Baltic, from lipa you get into *leipā, which again is Proto-Baltic, from golova/glava you get into PB *galvā, and so on. So finally you have to state that Pre-Proto-Slavic = Proto-Baltic which yields in existence of Proto-Balto-Slavic (PBS) language.

                                The main cause which made splitting of Slavic from PBS was the enormous Iranian influence on PBS south-east tribes, which made the biggest impact on verb inflexion system, therefore it's so different from Baltic one. Some pronouns (nas, vas) are also loaned from Iranian (Scythian).

                                Ruka can not be a loan, as it observes all Slavic sound changes from [an] to [u] (BS *ranka>*ronka>*rouka>*ruka).

                                Nas, vas are definitely loans from Iranian (cf. Sanskrit nas, vas 'us, you'), as Balto-Slavic forms are *mans, *vans (Latvian mūs, jūs, Old Latvian muns, vuns), which according Slavic sound changes would give Slavic *mus, *vus or even *muh, *vuh (cf. teh 'them') and not nas, vas.
                                In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

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