New Message (aryan invasion)

Edwin F Bryant efb3 at
Thu Dec 12 10:10:00 UTC 1996

On Thu, 12 Dec 1996, Lars Martin Fosse wrote:

> Defending an "out-of-India" theory would be very rough
> going for the scholar who has a good grasp of comparative linguistics. The
> best background for defending such a theory seems to be ignorance.
There has been an extended discussion on RISA regarding this theory.  I
prefer to use the term "Indigenous Aryan" school, as opposed to "out-of
-India" school, because most scholars in India and elsewhere contesting
the status quo regarding Aryan invasions or migrations are more concerned
with the indigenousness of the Aryans, as opposed to claiming that all
IE's came from India.  It is only when pushed to explain how the
Indo-Aryan languages are connected to the other IE one's will they then
argue that the linguistic evidence can be reconfigured, or reconstrued,
just as easily to support an "out of India" model, once different
assumptions are made, or challenged. The aim of this, as far as I can tell
(at least by the more sobre supporters of this theory), is to show that
the linguistic evidence can not actually exclude India, even though it can
certainly not be used to prove that she is the homeland.  It all boils
down to Occam's razor--which case needs more special pleading.  The logic
is that if India cannot be excluded, then she must be allowed the status
of at least a potential homeland (in which case Indigenous Aryanism is a 
legitimate discourse).

	I have chosen the "unenviable" task of writing a dissertation on
ths Indigenous Aryan school.  The RISA discussion ended up taking far too
much time, so I hesitate to engage in another round of exchanges, but I'm
compiling the section on linguistics right now, and discussion can be very
helpful in ensuring one has covered all the necessary material on a topic.  

	So, in your opinion, leaving aside archaeology and "crude
nationalistic fantasies" for the moment, how exactly would linguistics
eliminate the claims of the Indig. Aryan school of historians?

Edwin Bryant.   Columbia University. 

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