Kusunda et al.

Bh.Krishnamurti bhk at HD1.VSNL.NET.IN
Tue Nov 3 09:53:38 UTC 1998

I give brief replies to the comments and questions of Dr. Vidal; --Bh.K.

At 04:36 02/11/98 GMT, you wrote:
>jacob.baltuch at euronet.be (Jacob Baltuch) wrote:
>>I asked Prof. Bh.Krishnamurti <bhk at hd1.vsnl.net.in> about Joseph
>>Elfenbeim's paper and he authorised me to quote his response freely.
>>He said:
>>>I have not read that particular article but I have glanced through the
>>>chapter on Brahui that he wrote in Rutledge's The Dravidian Languages,
>>>edited by Sanford Steever. I agree with him fully on his hypothesis that
>>>Brahuis moved from Central or East India westward around 800-1100 CE and was
>>>not a relic of the early Drav migration in 4000 BC. I have not seen his
>>>arguments. I have strong linguistic grounds to support it. Brahui shares
>>>with Kurukh and Malto three phonological innovations: *k > x/#__ all V
>>>except i and i:; *c > k/#___[u, u:, *w > b/#__. The phonological
>>>environments still remain in tact in all three lgs. which would not have
>>>been possible, if Kur-Mlt and Brah seperated two thousand years ago.
>Phonological environments?

The phonological environments of the sound changes involving PD *k and *c in
Kur.-Mlt.-Brah. are atypical and they are retained as such in all the three
lgs. Sharing of atypical phonological environments in independent
developments is unexpected [Ruhlen below is wrong]. Such environments
remaining the same after 2000 years is also rare. What is most crucial is
*v- to b- which was an IA sound change of Eastern and Central lgs. By their
location all three ND lgs got influenced by this areal sound change. This is
one of the arguments that Brahui speakers moved to N-W from east India.
Because, the IA lgs that surround it now, Punjabi, Sindhi and Lahanda
retained OIA *v. Brahui has many words with b- that it borrowed from Persian
and Arabic. But where does it get the change of Drav. *w- becoming b-? It
shares this with Kur.-Mlt.

>I don't have much on Brahui, and nothing really on Kurukh-Malto, but
>here's what I've got.
>G.L. Campbell in the "Compendium" (based on Andronov):
>"[Brahui] seems to have been separated from the mainstream of
>Dravidian, about 3 or 4,000 years BC, before the latter embarked on
>on the southward migration to India"
>Enc.Brit. (by Kamil Zvelebil):
>Between 2000 and 1500 BC, there was a fairly constant movement of
>Dravidian speakers from the northwest to the southeast of India, and
>about 1500 BC three distinct dialect groups probably existed:
>Proto-North Dravidian, Proto-Central Dravidian, and Proto-South
>Dravidian. The beginnings of the splits in the parent speech,
>however, are obviously earlier. It is possible that Proto-Brahui was
>the first language to split off from Proto-Dravidian, probably during
>the immigration movement into India sometime in the 4th millennium
>BC, and that the next subgroup to split off was Proto-Kurukh-Malto,
>sometime in the 3rd millennium BC"
>Ruhlen's "Classification" gives the subgroupings:
>Konow (1906):
>Dravidian - Brahui
>          - Central & South (incl. K-M)
>Zvelebil (1974):
>Dravidian - North
>            - Brahui
>            - Kurux-Malto
>          - Central
>          - South
>Andronov (1978):
>Dravidian - Brahui
>          - Dravidian proper
>McAlpin (1981):
>Dravidian - Brahui
>          - Dravidian proper
>Ruhlen paraphrases McAlpin: "Brahui & K-M do not constitute a valid
>genetic group.  The evidence supporting this grouping (i.e. Emeneau
>1962) was scant from the start, and the principal sahred innovation
>linking the two was shown during the 1970's to be independent"
Not correct--Bh.K.
>>Miguel asked:
>>>How on earth does that follow?
>>From hat? From the absence of Indo-Aryan loans? From that Brahui
>>is more closely connected to N. Drav.?

Who said there are no IA lws in Brahui? Wrong!--Bh.K.

None of the above authors gave a single argument for the breaking away of
Brahui from PD as  the first branch. Does it preserve some very archaic PD
features? If so what? All this speculation arose from Bray's apriori guess
in his second vol. (1934), Part II: The Brahui problem (pp.1-43). Please
read the last sentence of the last paragraph: "The Brahui riddle like the
riddle of the Indus languages remains unsolved. How dramatic, if both were
solved together." (p.43)
To the best of my knowledge no body has seriously examined the closeness
between Kur-Mlt and Brahui. Maybe Elfenbeim did, but I have not read his
articles.  I have hit on some linguistic evidence which points to their
being together until about a millennium ago. The change of *v- to b- is a
Middle Indic change. I do not know the date but it would be around
800-1000CE. [Kannada in the SD also has PD *w- to b- which is dated to the
7th century. But it was an independent development unrelated to IA change.
Marathi and Konkani, Kannada's neighbours do not share the change of v to b.
This evidence does not help in saying that Brah also did the same thing!].
Brah has some exclusive cognates with Kur-Mlt. be:/be:k 'salt', marg 'horn';
The future morph -o: and the past -k is shared by all the three, and no
others. Zvelebil's map of the spread of the Dravidian lgs from NW (a
beutiful diagram indeed) taken from Andronov of 1971 represents a pure
fantasy! Still the SD branch is the most conservative of the Drav. family;
for this there is linguistic proof. Sorry for the Nostratic theory!

>I meant the latter.  That Brahui is more closely connected to K-M
>does not imply that Brahui is a recent arrival from the east.  K-M
>might be a recent arrival from the west.  Or both could be arrivals
>from some center. And most importantly, there may not be anything
>anything recent about it.

The reasons are given above.

>But now that you mention it, the complete[?] absence of IA loans kind
>of rules out a 800-1100 CE migration from Central India, I'd say.

There are IA loanwords in Brahui, scores from Sindhi, Jatki, Punjabi, etc.
I haven't looked for those from Bihari and Bengali (not shared by the above
IA lgs.) Maybe we can find some. That is not my present concern.

>I have just discovered Sergej Starostin's website at
><http://starling.rinet.ru/intrab.htm>.  Apart from etymological data
>on N.Caucasian, Sino-Tibetan, Yeniseian, Chukchi-Kamchatkan and
>Altaic, it also offers an online Dravidian database based on Burrow &
>Emeneau's Dravidian Et. Dictionary. If I had the time, I'd try to
>find out how close Brahui and Kurux-Malto really are (compared with
>PDrav, PCDrav or PSDrav).

Please do. I have already looked at this aspect. Bray discusses much of it
in vol.2
>Miguel Carrasquer Vidal
>mcv at wxs.nl
Bhadriraju Krishnamurti
H.No. 12-13-1233, "Bhaarati"
Street 9, Tarnaka
Hyderabad 500017

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