bones and flesh

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Nov 18 17:29:51 UTC 1999

I agree that the bones/flesh division is pan-Indian.  I was actually
commenting on the formative input by the Mundas on Buddhist tantras,
quite apart from this question.   In passing, I also agree with Paul
Manansala's comments -- it's a pity the the Munda contribution to
various aspects of Indian culture is played down -- after all, they
seem to have been in India longer than "newcomers" like the
Indo-Eurpeans and the Dravidians.

For the formative input on tantras from Dravidian side, pl. consult
R. Nagaswamy, Tantric cult of South India, Delhi, 1982, 250 p.

Any ideas when Dravidians entered India?

Prof. Witzel, Substrates in OIA, 1999, p. 14
"Munda originally had no retroflexes".
On the same page, "In short, the people of the (northern)
Indus language must have spoken with retroflexes".

Deciphering the Indus script, p. 166 has "Fig. 9-3.
Major linguistic areas in South Asia as defined by the retroflex
systems; also, the distribution of the inclusive/exclusive
distinction in the pronoun of the first person plural.
Based on the ongoing researches of Bertil Tikkanen."

The density of retroflexion in this figure is highest
for type A and next highest for type B.
type A => Tamil, Malayalam
type B => Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati, Kacchi, Mewari,
Marwari, Malwi, Harauti, Panjabi, ...
To east and west of types A & B, retroflexion is lesser.

Looking at Tikkanen's retroflexion map, the retroflexion is
in the direction of Northwest to the South, and NOT from
Northwest to the East. If originally Indus language had
retroflexes, does Tikkanen's findings give a clue to
the original (northern) Indus language?

N. Ganesan

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