Emil HERSAK emil.hersak at zg.tel.hr
Fri Mar 7 13:17:49 UTC 1997

Dear Indologists,

The short short encyclopaedic questions, that I would very much appreciate if someone could answer:

First, regardless of whether the term Indo-European can be attributed to Thomas Young, as is sometimes claimed, can anyone give me the birth and death dates of Young.

Second, in his book "In Search of the Indo-Europeans" (1992), in a very useful  critique of the various "racial" interpretations of Indo-European, J.P. Mallory wrote: "Cannon Isaac Taylor, for example, once proposed the notion that the Indo-Europeans were essentially 'an improved race of  Finns'" (page 268). Can anyone provide information on the context for this quote. Namely Mallory, does not give any information on the source, or on Taylor himself. BTW, for the sake of bibliographic precision, I would be pleased to find out what Mallory's own initials stand for (J.P.). 

Third, it would be very interested in hearing anything on the present state of the theory of ancient language links between Dravidian and Uralic. I am aware that this has been rejected by many linguistis, but nevertheless the theory is still often encountered in the literature. In this context, bellow I give a quote from a text by Janos Harmatta presented at a conference in Dushanbe several years ago. Unfortunately, in Harmatta's work there seem to be inconsistencies, and despite my attempts, I have not found any information on either HARALI or the Sumerian he mentions in the following quote. Some persons I contacted on the matter assumed the references were pure fabrication. Nevertheless, before rejecting the idea, I would appreciate your comments.

"Historical and linguistic research often presumed that the Dravidians came from Northern territories lying around Lake Aral, where they had intensive linguistic contacts with Finno-Ugrian tribes. It was even assumed that Dravidian and Finno-Ugrian were genetically related languages. Linguists tried to assure a linguistic basis for this theory, but even the latest effort to point out a great number of common elements in Finno-Ugrian and Dravidian vocabulary did not arrive at any conclusive result. In any case, however, if the golden land H(+hook sub)arali (later Arali, Arallu) of the Sumerian hymm on trade with Tilmun, situated beyond Tukris(+hachek) in the far North-East, can be sought in Iran, and perhaps, even in Ancient Khorazmia indeed, then this name may be of Dravidian origin (cf. Tamil ar[+dieresis sub]al "to burn, to shine", ar[+dieresis sub]ali "fire", ar(+dieresis sottoscritto)alo[+macron]n "Agni, sun") and its meaning could be the same as that of Khorazmia, reflecting Old Iranian *Xva(macron)ra+zmi- "land of the Sun". If the localisation of H(+hook sub)arali and this interpretation is correct, then this toponym may give a hint for the ancient home of the Proto-Dravidians" (p 81). 

Source: J. Harmatta, "Proto-Iranians and Proto-Indians in Central Asia in the 2nd Millenium B.C. /linguistic evidence/. Etnicheskie problemy istorii central'noj azii v drebnosti /II tysjacheletie do n.e. - Ethnic problems of the History of Central Asia in the Easly Period/ Second Millenium B.B. - Moscow, 1981, pp. 75-83.


Emil Hersak
Institut for Migration and Ethnic Studies,
Zagreb, Croatia.
e-mail: emil.hersak at zg.tel.hr

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