Indo-Aryan Invasion (focussed discussion)

Mon Mar 2 21:32:25 UTC 1998

Dear Indo-Aryan Invasion discussants,

A few days ago George Thompson made an excellent proposal to turn the Indo-
Aryan Invasion discussion into a more fruitful collective scholarly enterprise.
I would like to make some additional suggestions.

First, those participating in it should adapt the Subject section of their
message to something recognizable and distinct from the general Indo-Aryan
Invasion. My proposal: Indo-Aryan Invasion (focussed discussion)
In this way it will later on, perhaps after several months or years, be
possible to overview and review the whole discussion through the search
function of the Indology List Archive.

Second, a slow or even very slow pace of discussion (my own maximum will be ca.
one or two posts a week, preferrably less) by those who read the basic articles
about which agreement has been reached is better than an avalanche of
statements by those not acquainted with the basic texts.

Third, at present we still seem to be in the stage of seeking agreement on the
basic literature to be read. I fully endorse George's proposal to take H.H.
Hock: "Pre-Rgvedic Convergence Between Indo-Aryan (Sanskrit) and Dravidian? A
Survey of the Issues and Controversies" as one of the basic articles. As editor
of the volume in which it appeared I know it almost by heart.
Some more articles are to be selected as basic literature, and I propose George
Erdosy's article "Language, material culture and ethnicity: Theoretical
perspectives" as the second. It appeared in The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South
Asia, Ed. by George Erdosy, Berlin: De Gruyter, 1995. It deals with problems of
Language, material culture and ethnicity from an Indo-Aryan and Indo-Iranian
perspective. The advantage of this article is that it is quite general and that
it covers part of the Iranian and Central Asian evidence. Still, one or more
basic texts on these latter fields of evidence seem to be required for the

Fourth, we have to find a good formulation of the/an Out-of-India model. Does
it exist? Is it forthcoming? If I am not mistaken there is a Marathi-
encyclopedia which develops this viewpoint? Any better proposals?

Jan E.M. Houben
Department of Languages and Cultures of South- and
Central Asia ("Kern Institute")
P.O. Box 9515
2300 RA   Leiden

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list