Indian lexemes related to death

Yaroslav V. Vassilkov yavass at YV1041.SPB.EDU
Sat Mar 27 09:10:52 UTC 1999

For the etymology of zmazAna and related words see: H.W.Bailey. A problem of
the Indo-Iranian vocabulary. - "Rocznik Orientalistyczny", vol. 21 (1957),
pp. 66-69. By the way, the earliest meaning of the word was 'a tomb under
a barrow' (see its description in the Zatapatha BrAhmaNa XIII.8.1-2).
Constructions similiar in many respects to the archaic Indian zmazAna and
dated by late IV-early III millenium BC have been found in Northern Caucausus
(my paper in: South Asian Archaeology 1993, Helsinki 1994, particularly p. 778).
As for the Gondi word *ma_sa_na - the first thing to do, I think, would be to
check the possibility of an early borrowing from IA. There are many such
possible early borrowings in Non-Aryan languages of India: e.g. if Billavas,
a caste of toddy-drawers in South Canara, call their conical grave-mounds
*dhUpe* - (Thurston, Castes and Tribes.., vol. I, p. 249) I think it would be
reasonable to think first of all of IA *stUpa*, would not it?
      Best regards,
                                                Yaroslav Vassilkov

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