Urdu speakers

Samar Abbas abbas at IOPB.RES.IN
Fri Dec 4 17:41:05 UTC 1998

My replies to this post are given in the original text.

> On Thu, 3 Dec 1998, Madhav Deshpande wrote:
>         While the chart given by Samar Abbas looks nice, it has major
> historical problems.  By tracing the origins of Urdu exclusively to
> Arabic, Persian, and Turkic, the chart overlooks the main core of the
> language.  In its basic grammatical core and basic vocabulary, Urdu is an
> Indo-Aryan language, with Arabic, Persian, and Turkic features
> superimposed on this basic IA core.

 How do you define this core? The core should refer to the original Urdu,
as found in its oldest manuscripts. If,as you state, the oldest Urdu
manuscripts contain only Indo-Aryan vocaublary, I will agree with you.
Which Urdu poet of the Ghaznavid era used IA vocabulary ? None that I am
aware of. The oldest Urdu manuscripts and poems unfortunately have few
Indo-Aryan features.

> It is not that Urdu borrowed the IA
> features as a subsequent phenomenon.  The IA base absorbed the other
> features to become a distinct sub-variety of IA.
>                         Madhav Deshpande

  As I said, I will agree if I am shown that the oldest Urdu manuscripts
and poets (ie. of the Ghaznavid era) onnly contain IA words. But they do
not, Moreover, Persian is classed as an Indo-Iranian language, and many
Indo-Iranian features thus exist in Urdu. They are due to Iranian
influence and not IA.

 Moreover, it is intuitively clear that Mahmud of Ghazni, iconoclast as he
was, would have permitted IA langauges to be used at his court. Some of
his coins have Sanskrit inscriptions, but they were mainly for
circulation in India. There were no IA speakers in the camps of Ghazni,
(though there were Sudroid Dravidian warriors) and so IA influence could
not have existed even intuitively speaking.


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