Western scholarship (was Re: Rig Veda, ta'ntra, nUl, and sUtra)

jacob.baltuch at infoboard.be jacob.baltuch at infoboard.be
Sun Apr 13 22:36:18 UTC 1997

><< I believe the purpose of looking outside IE and Dravidian is simply
> to check this wasn't a usual metaphor. This has nothing to do with
> looking for any sources. If you want to explain some convergence of
> IA and Dravidian as an influence of the one on the other (or vice versa),
> it may be wise to make sure the thing in question couldn't have appeared
> independently in both. >>
>I also believe in tracing the origin of the concept of text as 'warp' as far
>as it can go. However, when Indian and Semitic languages were not in direct
>contact at the time of the Rig Veda, even if we find Semitic has that
>concept, it does not help us in solving the problem in the Indian context.
>This is because, as George Thompson has shown, Avestan does not have it.

I'm afraid I did not convey my point clearly: I did *not* suggest that
the presence of the metaphor in Semitic would mean that Semitic would
be the source of the Vedic metaphor.

Semitic is simply one a place to look for it, which would not be Indic.
If you don't like Semitic try Polynesian, or Quechua, or Chukchi-Kamcha-
dal. "Semitic" is not important. Replace "Semitic" with "any language
(family) outside India" if you wish.

The reason one might want to look around is that, *if* that metaphor is
found in contexts other than Indic it could simply mean that this is a
natural metaphor.

This in turn *might* imply that its presence in both Vedic and Tamil
might be due to independent development rather than to mutual influence.

Incidentally, I'd never meant to get involved in this discussion. I was
merely reacting to yet another claim that "Western Scolarship (tm)" was
trying to take something away which ought to be credited to India. At
least in this specific instance, this wasn't the case, because, at the
risk of repeating myself, the purpose of the inquiry was *not* to find
a Semitic or any other outside source for the Vedic metaphor, but to
verify whether Tamil and Vedic could not have originated that metaphor
independently (*and* independently of *any* outside source, Semitic or

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