Hans Henrich Hock hhhock at STAFF.UIUC.EDU
Sat Aug 21 23:24:02 UTC 1999

For a recent linguistic assessment of Brahui in its extreme northwestern
context see Elfenbein's contribution to Sanford Steever (ed.) The Dravidian
Languages (with references).  The Brahui themselves believe they are not
indigenous to the area they now occupy, but their belief that they hail
from Aleppo, Syria, must be considered fanciful.  (The latter information
comes from Jules Bloch.)  The traditions of the speakers of the other two
North Dravidian languages, KuRux and Malto, suggest an earlier origin in
present-day Karnataka and migration via the Narmada valley.  Note that
there is also a tribal language in Karnataka, Koraga, which exhibits
linguistic features linking it to the North Dravidian languages.  The
overall evidence, then, favors a northern migration of KuRux, Malto, and
Brahui, rather than relic status.  (For further discussion see my paper,
Pre-.Rgvedic convergence between Indo-Aryan (Sanskrit) and Dravidian?  A
survey of the issues and controversies.  In:  Ideology and status of
Sanskrit:  Contributions to the history of the Sanskrit language, ed. by J.
E. M. Houben, pp. 17-58.  Leiden: Brill.  1996.)

I hope this helps.

Hans Henrich Hock

>Dear Indologists,
>What is the earliest attested presence of Brahui as a spoken language in
>Baluchistan? How does the status of Brahui as a 'Dravidian' language fit
>into the theory that IVC was essentially Dravidian?
>It is well known that in Pre-Islamic India, several Kannada dynasties
>occuppied lands up North (Gujarat, Maharashtra. Kannada inscriptions are
>even said to be found in Rajasthan). Is it possible that the Brahuis are in
>fact descendents of the Kannada elite that followed these ruling dynasties
>and then happened migrate to Baluchistan? Are there any Baluchi traditions
>which hint at these migrations?
>>From the photographs that I have seen, the Brahui speakers have very 'Aryan'
>features and are indistinguishible from their neighbours. Then, how does one
>account for the fact that the Dravidians in that region were absorbed by
>invading/migrating Aryans but managed to retain the Dravidian basis of their
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