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

Bh. Krishnamurti bhk at HD1.VSNL.NET.IN
Tue May 5 03:53:37 UTC 1998

At 09:35 04/05/98 -800, you wrote:
>> From:          "Jan E.M. Houben" <JHOUBEN at RULLET.LEIDENUNIV.NL>
>> [sorry for the previous, incomplete message]
>> In March, taking up a suggestion by George Thompson that we should try to
>> 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
>> 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)
>> to link speakers of Indo-Aryan in India with those in central Asia/Europe?
>You're greatly overstating your case, since the idea that horses could
>enter India through trade and such is quite possible. Also there is
>nothing in particular that connects the earliest IE speakers with
>horses.  Archaeological evidence suggests domesticated horses
>originated in Central Asia, but it does not suggest the language of
>the people who did the domesticating.  We also have no idea of what
>language was spoken by the people who introduced horses to India,
>if they were indeed introduced. The ancient Indian horse is genetically
>different than the Central Asian horse.
>However, the most important point is that the movement of horses or
>any other domesticated animal does not imply the migration of people.
>There are numerous examples of this in history. In fact, it happens
>all the time today with new breeds of domesticated animals imported
>from one country to the next.
>Paul Kekai Manansala

Apparently the present generation of Indologists are not familiar with the
arguments of Jules Bloch why OIA has ghoTa(ka) 'horse' > Hi. ghoDaa, etc.,
which has no IE-etymology (unlike Skt. as'va-). He derives ghoTa- (with
guNa) from a  root *ghuT- which he derives from Pre-Drav. *ghutr-. He then
derives Ta.kutirai, Ma.kutira, Ka. kudire and Te. guR(R)amu, Konda guRam
'horse' from the root *ghutr- saying that pre-Dravidian had not only voicing
contrast but also aspirates! ( I have given references to Jules Bloch's
article in my TVB).The Dravidian words are quite ancient and were not
borrowed from anyother known langauge. He suggested that Telugu preserved
the PDr. voiced stop while the South Drav languages had devoiced g- to k-.
He also derived Skt. gaard-abha- 'donkey' and Ta. kaZutai, Ka. katte, Te.
gaaDida from *gard- again Te. preserving PDr. voiced stop.  Apart from the
linguistic ingenuity of these etymologies, which not many scholars (maybe
nobody) questioned then, at the semantic and cultural level,this hypothesis
presupposes that 'the horse' could be native to pre-Aryan India! Of course,
donkeys do not pose a problem; they are cultural universals! 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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