Origin of retroflexion in IA

Paul K. Manansala kabalen at MAIL.JPS.NET
Wed Mar 25 18:31:57 EST 1998


> From:          George Thompson <thompson at JLC.NET>
wrote:

> Vidhyanath Rao observes:
> >---------------
> >
> >It seems to me that it is suspect methodology to discuss the origin of
> >retroflexion in a piecemeal fashion, limiting ourselves to just RV
> >and just t/.t etc contrast.
>
> Agreed. But to my knowledge no one uses this methodology. The /T/ vs /t/
> contrast was just one example, used to refer to the entire retroflex and
> dental series in Skt. [just imitating the Skt. grammarians, that's all]. I
> also agree that the RV should not be studied in isolation, just as
> retroflexion itself should not be studied in isolation. Of course.
>
> But I am not attempting to figure out the origin of retroflexion in all of
> IA. I am trying to figure out the origin of retroflexion in a specific
> text, the RV. There is none in Avestan, there is some in RV, there is more
> in later Vedic, and still more in Classical Sanskrit.
>
> I assume that Dravidian is a factor in this development, but I do not know
> how to characterize its role [convergence? substratum? an open question].
> Remember, the RV is an orally composed and orally transmitted text.
> Therefore I think it is reasonable to take Deshpande's theory seriously.
>


Initial retroflex consonants might require study of the Munda and
related influence.  For example, initial retroflex "d." is found looking
to the east.

Regards,
Pual Kekai Manansala



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