An alternative history of IE languages and the AIT.

Anshuman Pandey apandey at
Tue Feb 21 22:05:30 UTC 1995

Here is an article that was posted to the India Discussion Digest by 
Dinesh Agarwal <DXA4 at PSUVM.PSU.EDU> in regards to an alternative 
hypothesis on the origin of Indo-European languages and the "Aryan 
Invasion Theory."

Anshuman Pandey
University of Washington

Date: Thu, 16 Feb 95 11:57 EST
From: "Dinesh Agrawal" <DXA4 at PSUVM.PSU.EDU>
Subject: History of Indo-European languages and AIT, Part 1/2
     The advocates of the Aryan Invasion theory very reluctantly accept that
this theory has no future, and is sure to die its natural death. However, they
propose an alternate theory of migration of a Aryan linguistic group from west
to the east in order to explain the commonality among numerous European and
north Indian languages. Such proposition is entailed from the false assumptions
that the Vedic language was the earliest form of Indo-Aryan, that classical
Sanskrit developed from the Vedic, that the Prakrits developed from Sanskrit,
and the modern Indo-Aryan languages from these Prakrits. However, the fact of
matter is that the earliest form of Indo-European speech was spoken in the
interior of India, in prehistoric times. It spread out as far north and west as
Kashmir and Afghanistan; the original language developed into at least three
proto-languages: Proto-Outer-Indo-European (in northern Kashmir and Afghanis-
tan), Proto-Central-Indo-European (in Southern Kashmir and Punjab), and Proto-
Inner Indo-European (in inner India).
   In ancient, prehistoric times, the distribution of languages in India may
have been roughly the same as it is today: viz. the Dravidian languages being
spoken in the south, the Austric languages in the east, the Andamanese langua-
ges in the Andaman Islands, the Burushaski language in a part of Kashmir, the
Sino-Tibetan languages in the Himalayas and far eastern border areas, and the
Indo-European languages certainly in more or less their present habitat in
most northern India.
   Among the speakers of Indo-European languages, a great historical occurrence
took place when a major part of the Indo-Europeans of south-eastern Uttar Prade
sh migrated to the west and settled down in the northwestern areas - Punjab,
Kashmir and the further north-west. Meanwhile there remained various Indo-
Europeans still in the interior of India: the Yadus in northern Maharashtra,
Gujarat and Western UP; Iksvakus in northeastern UP (and perhaps also in
Dakshina Kosala in eastern MP); and Pramsus in Bihar, to name only those of
them clearly mentined and described in the Puranas.
   The Purus developed the Vedic culture of the Punjab, while the other groups
of Inner Indo-Europeans (alongwith the Austric and Dravidian language speakers)
developed other religious and cultural elements integral to Hinduism and
Indian culture.
   Meanwhile, major sections of Anus spread out all over Western Asia and
developed into the various Iranian cultures. The Druhyus spread out into Europe
in two instalments: the speakers of the proto-Germanic dialect first migrated
northwards and then westwards, and then later the speakers of the proto-
Hellenic and proto-Italo-Celtic dialects moved into Europe by a different,
more southern, route.
   It is possible that the speakers of proto-Baltic and proto-Slavonic (or
proto-Balto-Slavonic) (who left earlier, perhaps in the first wave of migration
alongwith the speakers of proto-Germanic), and the speakers of proto-Illyrian
and proto-Thraco-Phrygian (who left later alongwith the later Druhyu groups
and the Iranians) were Anus and not Druyus - the Anus and Druhyus thus being,
respectively, the speakers of proto-Saten and proto-Kentum.
   Vedic dialicts disappeared in course of time and their speech area
(Punjab and its environs) was taken over by the Inner-Indo-European dialects.
But long before that, they had set in motion a cult movement which covered the
entire country. This Vedic cult finally also gave way but continued to remain
in force as the elite layer of a pan-Indian religion of the Inner-Indo-Euro-
peans and Dravidians.
   Classical Sanskrit was created by ancient grammarians (Panini was preceded
by hundreds of others, many of whom are named by him in his Astadhyayi) to
serve as a via media between the Vedic language and the Inner-Indo-European
dialects which had developed together with the Dravian languages over the
course of millenia and were therefore structurally different from the Vedic,
and also had their own roots and words. Later the Prakrits came into vogue.
Finally, the Inner dialects came into their own in the form of the new Indo-
Aryan languages, as heavily Sanskritized as the Dravidian languages. And thus,
India's cultural history embarked on a grand synthesis journey, which still
   The above explanations and scenarios answer many problems philologists
have faced and raised for around 200 years. It also settles the question
of the cultural unity of India. The Aryans and Dravidians together shaped
the languages and culture of India.
  (Source: Aryan Invasion Theory and Indian Nationalsism By S.G. Talageri, and
           The Hindu Phenomenon By Girilal Jain)


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