Indo-Aryan invasion

Bh. Krishnamurti bhk at HD1.VSNL.NET.IN
Tue Mar 3 10:26:35 UTC 1998

At 11:52 02/03/98 -0500, you wrote:

 >McAlpin published his provocative and very interesting study quite some
>time ago and then he himself (if I am not mistaken) appears to have
>disappeared from academic cirlces and nothing more was heard from him. In
>any event, while some linguists are still open to considering his line of
>argument, it is by no means universally accepted at all. Does anyone know
>of any more recent work predicated on McAlpin's preliminary
>investigations?  Regrards, Edwin

In my article 'Comparative Dravidian Sstudies since Current Trends 1969' (In For
Gordon Fairbanks, ed. by Veneeta z. Acson and Richard L. Leed,212-231.1985.
Honolulu: Univ of Hawaii Press), I made the following observations on
McAlpin's proposal of Proto-Elamo-Dravidian."...He compares 57 lexical items
drawn from a corpus of 'about 5000 words' of Achaemenid Elamite (640 BC),
and constructs phonological correspondences and a theory of relationship
between Dravidian and Elamite. He even reconstructs Proto-Elamo-Dravidian
(PED). Thhere are 47 correspondences or phonological rules which account for
57 etymological groups
(1)...Many of the rules formulated by McAlpin lack intrinsic
phonetic/phonological motivation and appear ad hoc, invented to fit the
proposed correspondences; e.g. PED i,e > 0 (Elamite) when followed by t, n,
which are again followed by a: but these remain undisturbed in Dravidian
(1974:93). How does a language develop that kind of sound change? This rule
was dropped a few years later, because the etymologies were abandoned
(1979:184). (2) he set up retroflexes as an innovation in Dravdian resulting
from PED *rt (94). Later he abandoned this rule and set up retrofexes and
dentals for PED and said that Elamite merged the retroflexes with dentals
(1979, chart on 184-5)....."But, it is puzzling that in the body of the
article he referes to the splitting of PED dentals into dentals and
post-dentals..(1979:176). His 1981 book was not yet published ; so I took
three of his papers for review in the paper that I prepared in Dec. 1980. I
was able to show a lot of adhocism in his etymologies as well as
correspondences. Dravidian scholars have not accepted McAlpin's proposal of
PED. His corpus of 640BC (corresponding to Pre-Tamil period) does not
favourably compare with Proto-Dravidian, approximately of 3000 BC.
Regards, Bh.K.
Bh. Krishnamurti
H.No. 12-13-1233, "Bhaarati"
Street No.9, Tarnaka
Hyderabad 500 017, A.P.
Telephone (R)(40)701 9665
E-mail: <bhk at HD1.VSNL.NET.IN>

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