Origin of retroflexion in IA

Paul K. Manansala kabalen at MAIL.JPS.NET
Wed Mar 25 23:31:57 UTC 1998

> From:          George Thompson <thompson at JLC.NET>

> Vidhyanath Rao observes:
> >---------------
> >
> >It seems to me that it is suspect methodology to discuss the origin of
> >retroflexion in a piecemeal fashion, limiting ourselves to just RV
> >and just t/.t etc contrast.
> Agreed. But to my knowledge no one uses this methodology. The /T/ vs /t/
> contrast was just one example, used to refer to the entire retroflex and
> dental series in Skt. [just imitating the Skt. grammarians, that's all]. I
> also agree that the RV should not be studied in isolation, just as
> retroflexion itself should not be studied in isolation. Of course.
> But I am not attempting to figure out the origin of retroflexion in all of
> IA. I am trying to figure out the origin of retroflexion in a specific
> text, the RV. There is none in Avestan, there is some in RV, there is more
> in later Vedic, and still more in Classical Sanskrit.
> I assume that Dravidian is a factor in this development, but I do not know
> how to characterize its role [convergence? substratum? an open question].
> Remember, the RV is an orally composed and orally transmitted text.
> Therefore I think it is reasonable to take Deshpande's theory seriously.

Initial retroflex consonants might require study of the Munda and
related influence.  For example, initial retroflex "d." is found looking
to the east.

Pual Kekai Manansala

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