Sarasvati (texts & arch.III)

Erik Seldeslachts erik.seldeslachts at RUG.AC.BE
Tue May 26 18:11:53 UTC 1998

Michael Witzel wrote:
> On Tue, 26 May 1998, Erik Seldeslachts wrote:
> > This is a typical example of the kind of selective argumentation we are
> > swamped with on this list.
> > aika- : long e and o have always considered to be diphthongs by the
> > Sanskrit grammarians and it is likely that they still were real diphthongs
> > in Vedic and even later times.(On the other hand there is also Old-Iranian
> > *aivaka- 'one' preserved in Persian yek).
> This -again- is a typical example of the kind of selective argumentation
> we are swamped with on this list. The facts are:
> In Old Iranian we only have aiva (O.Pers.) and aEuua, Oiuua  (Avestan)
> In Middle Persian we have Ev, Evak ( < *aivaka, NOT *aika!!!) and
> and thus, in  New Persian we have yak.
> -ka suffixes are about the most common in Middle Persian (and Skt.) and
> added virtually everywhere.
> (Actually, even Avestan has something like the preform: aEuuAkam 'at the
> same time", from *aeuuAka-)
> One look into Bartholomae's Altiranisches Woerterbuch would have helped to
> avoid this kind of selective argumentation.

> Rather, the dialect difference between Pre-vedic *aika "1" and Pre-Iranian
> *aiva"1" (and, maybe, reinforced by *aiva-ka!) is old; note that Vedic has
> specialized a presumable IIr *aiva > adverb eva "only".
>         (and did I not say: " Seems to be an old dialect
>         difference. But a slim one." ???)
> It seems to me that the my main point was completely missed: Iranian used
> -va, IA used -ka (and other IE *-no) for "1".
> Philology = "slow reading".
I don't understand why you take so much trouble to repeat my own statement.
Please reread my posting and you will see that I posited Iranian *aivaka- and NOT
Iranian *aika- as you seem to think.

> > Near-Eastern documents .... also there is no
> > conclusive evidence to state it is pre-Vedic.
> But what about above:
> > > the form of the IIr language in Mitanni is pre-Vedic : IIr
> > > sounds are preserved, *zdh, in Priyamazda ::  Ved. priyamedha :: Avest.
> > > -mazda...
> As every 1st year student of hist. lingustics knows, IIr is characterized
> by *azd,azdh,  retained in Iranian -azd-, while Vedic has got rid of such
> combinations > ed, edh.

This argument is merely based on the untenable supposition that the Vedic Aryans
were the only Aryans. It may be as I have said an archaism of certain Aryan
groups. On the other hand Mitanni-Aryan in satta- not only retains s, which
changed to h in Iranian, but shows assimilation of the consonant group which is
indeed a common linguistic feature as Vassilkov wrote, but would be nearly
impossible for reconstructed IIr.

> Thus, in sum: "Mitanni-Aryan" has the pre-Vedic stage Also characterized
> by aika (not aiva, aivaka!). -az- is not found in Ved. any more. And that
> development has been used to build a whole new class of perfects. A wide
> gap separates the Mitanni and RV forms of IA.  (implications for
> dating??)
> All of this has been well known since Kammenhuber's Habil. thesis on
> Kikkuli's horse treatise, Mayrhofer's "Mythos", etc. etc. As Prof.
> Krishnamurti once wrote: do we have to give intro-s to linguistics here?

> Perhaps it is better to select other types of "selective argumentation".

I know perfectly well all what you are saying here and I need no intros. You did
not get my point at all. I only wanted to contrast one type of selective
argumentation to another (which is not necesssarily my own) in order to show that
there is no base for such definitive conclusions as you are drawing at the moment.

Erik Seldeslachts
Universiteit Gent
Gent, Belgium

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