Retroflex sounds

Bh.Krishnamurti bhk at HD1.VSNL.NET.IN
Mon Jun 22 15:38:35 UTC 1998

Dr. Beatrice Reusch: It is an iformed guess. I am afraid I cannot produce
definite proof.
        A Russian scholar(Andronov), and two Indian scholars( Kameswari,
Namboodiri) used lexicostatistics and arrived at this date approximately.
Zvelebil has a chapter (Ch.3: The diachronic view) in his book Dravidian
Linguistics: An Introduction (Pondicherry, 1990). Convergence of different
kinds of evidence. For instance, Tamil Brahmi goes to early BCE and all
South and South Central Drav languages had independent growth by then. I
take their common stage to be 10th cent. BCE to account for a number of
innovations that occured in both the subgroups. Nobody has disputed RV
borrowings from Drav (about a dozen lexical items) including khala-
'threshing floor', bala- 'strength', mayu:ra- 'peacock', 'a blind
person', etc., besides some grammatical phenomena like -tva:, iti, etc.
Maybe you can put these around 1500 BC? (Because what is disputed is the
date of RV!). The Indus script had no prefixes and therefore the first
possibility was that was PD, ca. 2500-3000 BCE. We are still looking for
proof. Please note that there is no speech continuum between one Drav lg and
another as we have between Romance lgs., or between Germanic lgs. even after
2000 or so years of evolution.Thanks for making me think about dating
seriously, Bh.K.

At 22:55 21/06/98 -0700, you wrote:
>Bh.Krishnamurti wrote:
>>Drav retroflexes are as old as PD, maybe 3000 BCE.
>Could you elaborate on this, Prof. Krishnamurti, please?
>How was the date for Proto-Dravidian arrived at?
>Beatrice Reusch
>University of California, Berkeley
H.No. 12-13-1233, "Bhaarati"
Street 9, Tarnaka
Hyderabad 500017

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list