linguistics (was: Tamil words in English)

J.B. Sharma jsharma at HERMES.GC.PEACHNET.EDU
Thu Feb 19 12:39:04 UTC 1998

Once more, this is significant, and this time I am quoting from
Websters Dictionary :
Humainities - Those subjects, as philosophy, literature, and the fine
arts, that are concerned with human beings and culture

Social Science - gen held to include sociology, psychology,
anthropology, economics, political science and history.

Furthermore, and curiously enough, does biology, management, engg.
etc prepare a person to contribute to 'humanities' as 'math-physics'
does not ?

 If Indology is just 'Humanities', history and  chronology is not in
its domain and the debate is moot in this forum. This is
operationally not the case. This is a severe contradiction.

 If indeed Indology ligitimately involves historical science (which
it does) then it involves the scientific method as well. This is a
legitimate domain for scientists to comment; the nature of the
evidence , the underlying assumptions and  on any empirical data.
Models have to stand up to falsifying data as well.
  I realize that Indology has been dominated by historical linguists
who have constructed chronologies on this basis, which many deem
absolute (ie onset of Aryan 'invasion' ~1500 BC etc). These have to
be consistent with the new evidence and the old unexamined evidence
to and this procees in incomplete.
 I think that AIT is indeed sputtering (aryans 'invaded' India  in
1500 BC); Aryan migrations picture needs more construction. I have no
quibble with Aryans migration in/out or neither/both. How does this
ancient major river and the settlements factor in ? There is a
complete silence on this matter  and is indicative of the answer
not being known (as yet). The lack of discussion is however
interesting. And models being able to withstand Popperian
falsification  are more believeable.
 This is a charged subject for many reasons; However, it is this
dialectic tension that serves to create new knowledge.
J.B. Sharma

> I'll end this message with a quote from Dominik Wujastyk, from a
> message which all the list members should have seen when they
> joined the list or visited the web site:
> ---quote---
>    Curiously, a scientific background in mathematics or physics seems to
>    be a particularly strong reason for someone not to participate in this
>    discussion group. It is a common misconception amongst scientists that
>    a scientific training prepares one to talk authoritatively about the
>    humanities: it doesn't.
> ---end quote---
> RZ

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