Indo-Aryan im/e-migration (scholarly debate)

Mon May 4 15:57:09 UTC 1998

[sorry for the previous, incomplete message]

In March, taking up a suggestion by George Thompson that we should try to make
a discussion on "Indo-Aryan im-e-migration" more "scholarly" (and hence more
fruitful), I tried to collect some basic relevant literature on the issue and
proposed to look for some basic arguments. As an example I referred to the
'horse-argument' as formulated by Parpola, and asked whether any
alternative/additional arguments were known which could serve as basic topics
to be discussed in a future, more scholarly discussion on the subject. A lively
discussion on the horse-argument followed immediately, but no-one came with an
alternative or additional argument for Indo-Aryan im/e-migration. So, besides
the complex and much-disputed linguistic evidence, only the horse argument (in
my view still valid, though open to deconstruction according to others) serves
to link speakers of Indo-Aryan in India with those in central Asia/Europe?

A number of valuable references to relevant literature have been made. I tried
to collate them and am willing to sent my collation in their unedited form to
anyone interested.

Since I could not read all of the relevant literature till now, I will not
further participate in a discussion, lest I otherwise lower its level. After
all, the level of a discussion thread on a complex issue as this is only as low
as the least informed participant, just as the strength of a chain is only as
strong as its weakest link.

My impression is that the most valuable contributions in the last two or three
months on Indo-Aryan im/e-migration were those referring to or summarizing
published books or articles. On the other hand, the postings on the list seem
not suitable to develop very complicated arguments. Perhaps the list-managers
should consider to set apart a section for bibliographic statements and reviews
in the archive, since these are generally of more lasting value ?

Best wishes, JH

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