Indo-Aryan invasion

Erik Seldeslachts erik.seldeslachts at RUG.AC.BE
Mon Mar 2 10:32:52 UTC 1998

Jacob Baltuch wrote:

> After you folks are done discussing retroflexion and other alleged
> Dravidian substratum influence, could you please turn your attention
> to another argument for IE not to have been in India for "too long"
> (which I was reminded of in an interesting email discussion) and
> which is quite independant of the Dravidian influence question,
> namely the relative lack of linguistic depth of the IA family.
> In other others, that if IA represented the development in situ of
> PIE we should notice in IA a linguistic diversity about equal
> to the diversity noticed in the whole of the IE area outside India
> combined, and that this is not the case. While somewhat impressionistic
> and not easy to make completely rigorous (how do you measure
> "linguistic depth" and "diversity"?), I think this point would
> nonetheless also deserve some attention from you.

The relative lack of linguistic diversity in Indo-Aryan is due to a
great extent to the unifying action of standard languages in combination
with political and cultural configurations, which for a very long period
have counteracted all disintegrating factors there may have been. This
happened not only for a much longer period than was the case in Europe
but also on a larger geographical scale.

Erik Seldeslachts
Universiteit Gent
Gent, Belgium

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