Indo-Aryan invasion

Wed Mar 4 02:54:33 UTC 1998

A) Language Change:

When the incoming Indo-Aryans have attained sufficient political power
and population numbers, the existing people abandoned and/or were made
to abandon their native language (some form of Dravidian?) and started
to use Indo-Aryan tongues. Is this formulation written by anyone?
Much like how Spanish in Mexico or Portugese in Brazil spread as a
"prestige" language, as suggested by Dr. Fosse. I searched academic databases,
could come up with interesting, but did not see anything for Indic situation.
Is this because scarce written data from Dravidian side exists, to a lesser
extent from Indo-Aryan.

William Labov, On the mechanism of linguistic change, NY
J. P. Lantolf, Linguistic change as a socio-cultural phenomenon, PhD
P. S. Ureland, Prehistoric bilingualism and pidginization as forces
of Linguistic change, J. IE studies, 7, 77-104, 1979
L. M. Torres, Linguistic change in a Language contact situation: A
cross-generational study, PhD, 1988


B) Place Names:

The vast databank of Indian settlement names is under-researched.
Lot more work can be done. For example, I give a section of an old posting
in Indology. Old names from inscriptions should be special, in this regard.


October 25-27, 1996
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan


F. C. Southworth (University of Pennsylvania)

In their book _The_Rise_of_Civilization_in_India_and_Pakistan_ (1982),
the Allchins state that there is a substratum of Dravidian place names in
Maharashtra. This statement, based probably on the ideas of H. D.
Sankalia, has never been properly investigated. Fortunately there exist
two lists of Maharashtrian village names which provide the data for such
a study. My investigation of these names turned up a number of candidates
for Dravidian origin among the suffixes of Marathi place names. Among
these suffixes, the most promising is -vali/oli, both because of its high
frequency and because its Dravidian origin is not questioned (< Drav.
paLLi 'hamlet, camp, place to lie down' < paT- 'lie,fall').

A study of the spatial distribution of village names with the suffix
-vali/oli shows 90% or more of them concentrated in the coastal region
known as Konkan. In the remainder of the Marahi-speaking area, the
greatest concentration is in the southern part of the Desh, i.e. in the
districts of Kolhapur and Solapur. A number of other suffixes of probable
Dravidian origin are also found in these areas, though they are of lower
frequency of occurrence. Thus these suffixes of Dravidian origin are in a
continuous distribution with the Dravidian paLLi, as well as with similar
suffixes in the state of Gujarat (discussed in Sankalia's doctoral
thesis, which is based on early inscriptions in Gujarat). Thus there can
be little doubt that these areas were previously inhabited by speakers of
some Dravidian language(s).

>The paper will also discuss reflexes of Dravidian paLLi in place names in
>Sindh and Pakistani Panjab, where the evidence is somewhat less clear.

Satyanarayana Dasa, Dravidian in North Indian toponymy, Varanasi, 1987
V. Khaire, Dravida Maharashtra, 1977
K. Nachimuthu (editor), Perspectives in place names,
1987, Trivandrum has a paper by
Lalitha Prabhu on Palli and its variants in Central India.
(I don't know whether Prof. F. C. Southworth has seen this one)
Parso Gidvani has written on Sindhi names from Dravidian.
Krishnapada Goswami, Place names of Bengal, 1984
H. D. Sankalia, Prehistory of India, 1977
H. D. Sankalia, The prehistory and protohistory of India and
N. Lahovary, Dravidian origins and the West, 1963
G. S. Ghurye, Caste and Race in India, Bombay, 1979
For years, F. C. Southworth has written on related topics:
a) The reconstruction of Prehistoric South Asian language contact,
in E. H. Bendix(ed.), The uses of linguistics, p. 207-234, NY 1990
b) Dravidian and Indo-European: The neglected hypothesis,
Int. J. Dravidian linguistics, 11, 1, p.1-21, 1982
c) Lexical evidence for early contacts between Indo-Aryan and Dravidian,
in Aryan & Non-Aryan in India, UMich. 1979
d) F. C. Southworth, Ancient economic plants of South Asia:
Linguistic archaeology and early agriculture.
in Language and Culture: Studies in honor of E.C. Polome,
p. 649-648, 1988
e) Linguistic masks for power: some relationships between semantic and social
Anthropological linguistics, 16, p. 177-191
f) Linguistic stratigraphy of North India, IJDL, 3, 2, 1974

C) Substratum theory:

von Munkwitz-Smith, Jefrrey C.
Substratum influence in Indo-Aryan grammar,
PhD thesis, 1995, U. Minnesota

O. Szemerenyi, Structuralism and substratum:Indo-Europeans and Aryans in
the Ancient Near East, Lingua 13, 1-29, 1964

Jaroslav Vacek, The non-IE linguistic substratum in the IE
languages of India, with reference to the Ashokan inscriptions.

C. A. Winters, The Dravidian and Manding substratum in Tokharian,
Central Asiatic Jl., 1988, v.32, 1-2, p. 131-

D) Retroflexion in Sanskrit:

M. B. Emeneau in Collected papers says:
"The fact, however, that the later in Indo-Aryan linguistic history we go,
the greater is the incidence of retroflex constants and the further fact that
most of the Dravidian languages and the proto-Dravidian itself have this type of
consonants in abundance, can only lead to the conclusion that the later
Indo-Aryan developments are due to a borrowing of indigenous speech
habits through bilingualism, and to the well-grounded suspicion that
even in the early development of retroflexes from certain IE consonant
clusters results from the same historic case."

A recent article:
Eric P. Hamp, On the IE origin of retroflexes in Sanskrit,
JAOS, 116, 4, 719-


Can somebody give me Prof. Southworth's e-mail?
Any comments, corrections, additions?

N. Ganesan, PhD (Structural Dynamics) -
But interested in South Indian culturescape, Tamil literature,
Art history heavily. Has a bibliography of 70000 tamil books and a 16000
items in english.

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