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

Palaniappa Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Thu May 7 11:44:15 UTC 1998

In a message dated 98-05-04 23:26:06 EDT, bhk at HD1.VSNL.NET.IN writes:

<< 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! >>

I forgot to add the following in my earlier posting.

That "not many scholars (may be nobody)" questioned Bloch's views is not
correct. This is what Dr. Krishnamurti says in Telugu Verbal Bases, p.24.
"Caldwell's assumption that there were no initial voiced plosives in PDr. as
reflected in Ta. and Ma. was contradicted by Jules Bloch on the basis of the
history of a few words like ghOTaka horse and drAviDa name of a people, which,
according to him, were originally native to Dravidian. This view rceived
support from some quarters and contradiction from others. Burrow argued for
Caldwell and analytically put forth evidence to show that voicing of initial
stops appearing in some of the Dravidian languages, was only secondary and did
not represent PDr."

S. Palaniappan

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