SV: method of dating RV, III

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal mcv at WXS.NL
Sun Nov 1 21:59:27 UTC 1998

Vidhyanath Rao <vidynath at MATH.OHIO-STATE.EDU> wrote:

>3) Regarding the occurance of `Varuna' in the well-known treaty:
>The actual text reads urvan(n?)assil, with another version reading
>arunassil. urvana and varuna cannot both be traced to the same PIIr
>word [wrwa should be syllabified (in Sans. letters) as v.rva]. Diakonoff
>says that the development w- > zero is not knwon in any of the
>relevant languages.

I'm not sure Akkadian counts as a relevant language, but w- > zero is
common there.  The lack of an adequate way of writing /w-/ in
cuneiform script (Sumerian didn't have w- either) is certainly
relevant.  Hurrian and Hittite had to resort to the sign PI for
/w/+any vowel (occasionally used in Old Akkadian to denote
wa/we/wi/wu), in Hurrian often in ligature with other signs, e.g.
PI+a = wa; to the sign MI for /wi/ (in later Akkadian, -m- > -w-
between vowels, so M-signs could be used to render /w/), or (Hittite
only, I think) the sign G~ES^TIN "wine" (Hitt. wiyana) also for /wi/.
The most common solution was to use the vowel sign U or U2 (u2-a-tar
= watar).

>4) Archaeologists tell us that there was trade contact between the
>steppes and the Kopet Dagh area in the Neolithic times, becoming rare
>(unimportant?) during the Namazga IV/V periods and then picking up
>again after the `collapse' of urbanism. If we put IE speakers in the
>Caspian-Aral area in 3000 BCE, shouldn't we expect some of them to
>turn up in points south before 2500 BCE?

Possibly.  But how would we know?

Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
mcv at

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