1. Horse and 2. Dice in India

George Thompson thompson at JLC.NET
Mon Mar 23 09:38:15 EST 1998


Perhaps I can clarify my remarks, and possibly reduce this gap in communication:

>Just a quick note about what seems to be a gap in communication.]
>
[snip irrelevant stuff]
>
>It should be noted that there are >three< different theories around,
>not just two. Thompson and many philologists seem to assume that
>either Vedic culture developed mostly outside South Asia and was
>introduced as a finished product, or India must have been the
>urheimat of PIE speakers.

There are probably *hundreds* of theories. But on this thread there has
been a tendency [shared by all of us, I think] to group theories together
according to the sorts of evidence they deal with and the sorts of
interpretations that they use. Linguists have their methods and biases.
Archaeologists have theirs. I merely wanted to distinguish philology from
linguistics, in this sense: if you are working directly with texts, you are
not being 'theoretical' [as a linguist is who reconstructs a
proto-language, for example]. That's all.

As for the following:
>
>>From the perspective of archaeology, it is very possible that IE speakers
>got to the Northwest part of the subcontinent well before 2000 BCE,
>and the Indo-Iranian culture, with its emphasis on the horse
>developed in situ, after the domesticated horse reached them via
>trade. In fact, one archaeologist, in South Asian Archaeology '95,
>noted that various features considered to be hallmarks of Vedic
>culture arise and spread in this area, rather than marching lockstep
>from Central Asia, in a Northwest to Southeast direction.
>
I don't have any trouble with this. I have repeatedly said that I think of
early Vedic, at least, as an Indo-Iranian culture, rather than as an Indic
one, yes. But it becomes more Indic and less Indo-Iranian as time goes by,
and as it migrates, like a swift, long-winged zyena [= Avestan zaEna],
deeper and deeper into the sub-continent, carrying soma [= Av. haoma] on
its very strong back.

Now I am sorry if my belief in the migration thesis offends Vidhyanath Rao.

Best wishes,

George Thompson



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