Comparative linguistics

Sam Garg gargsam at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Mar 19 05:23:51 UTC 2000

>But on a very different note: both of us should watch out! Rahul Oka >My
>difference with them is that I do not bother the programming >experts on
>their lists with my amateurism), and that you can make >sense of
>'scientific journals'

Of course you 'do not bother the programming experts on their lists with my
amateurism'.  I'm sure their lists are true to their area of expertise and
do not pretend to be any more than that...

On the other hand, this list calls itself "Indology" but is in fact a narrow
subset of "Indology".  So, why act surprised when you see 'amateur
Indologists bother this list'?

BTW, would you also not classify as an 'amateur Indologist'?  I presume you
are NOT a PhD in Indology?


>From: Robert Zydenbos <zydenbos at GMX.LI>
>Reply-To: Indology <INDOLOGY at LISTSERV.LIV.AC.UK>
>Subject: Re: Comparative linguistics
>Date: Sat, 18 Mar 2000 00:07:27 +0100
>Am Sat, 18 Mar 2000 schrieb Bharat Gupt:
> > > Like the contributions of some other list members, this too reveals a
> > > fundamental misunderstanding. The sentence *should* have read: "[The]
> > > construct [may have] served not only the colonial regime [even if we
>do not
> > > know how, and linguists are totally unaware of this, but] it still
> > > [i.e., helps] [*to explain*] the current north-south divide [which
> > > existed for a very long time prior to the British period]."
> > I am  further awed by the thunderous correction to my sentence. I am
>used to it.
> > Like  many Indians from missionay schools, even when I was saying
>exactly what
> > I meant, my English has been improved by tutors from the Indo-European
> > Prof. Zydenbos  has rushed to put words in a mouth where Saraswati fears
>to tread.
>This is not the first time that the two of us have disagreed on how a
>different wording does not constitute a mere formal or cosmetic alteration
>but a fundamental difference in meaning (may I refer to line 2 of my
>paragraph? "Fundamental misunderstanding", not "English language error". I
>assumed this was clear. Sorry if it was not). You see, as a linguist I
>that language is first and foremost a medium for conveying meaning, and
>this is also the intention (or should be) behind discussions and most other
>verbal exchanges. If my additions to your original sentence do not convey
>new meaning to you, then I fear that your missionary school education has
>done you much good.
>On the other hand, if you believe that this Canadian-born reader did not
>understand your correct English correctly, then I invite you to henceforth
>write to this list in Sanskrit. The list could benefit greatly if more
>persons were to do that (and believe me, this is _not_ a joke. Na
> > But I wonder why for more than  century after establishing the  Boden
> > the British continued to include the Tamilians, Kannadigas, Telugus,
> > and Malayalis under the "Madras Presidency "?  Monier Williams
>admonished nothing
> > to the Burrah Sahibs ?
>Perhaps because the area presided over by an administration in Madras had
>be called _something_? Like Mysore State was named after the city of
>Mysore? Just a thought... There was also a Bombay Presidency, yet I am not
>aware that, e.g., Gujaratis are therefore today referred to in northern
>India as "Bombayees". So I fear I do not quite see the point of your
>(By the way, could you enlighten me on when Marathwada was a part of Madras
>Presidency? According to the maps I have seen, there seems to have been a
>of Mysore and Hyderabad and Bombay Presidency between Madras Presidency and
>Marathwada. But I may be wrong. Anyhow, this is a mere secondary matter.)
> > Why was all Maharashtra and beyond called  "dakkhin" by Turks and
>Mughals ?
> > Too bad , the wisdom of comparative philology and Dravidian studies
>never fell on
> > the ears of Allauddin Khalji, Akbar or Aurangzeb.  Inshallah, we
>Delhi-ites would not
> > have so ignorant.
>So I take it that you agree that the recognition of something like South
>India is not an evil colonial construct by some modern linguists, but that
>it existed prior to the British period, which is what I was saying in the
>first place. That's nice. Perhaps we could also think about the idea
>expressed by the Sanskrit term "pa;ncadraavi.da", which is still older.
>But on a very different note: both of us should watch out! Rahul Oka may
>up the issue with us... Let's hope that you know computer math, which in
>view apparently makes him as great an authority as you or I can ever
>be (as for myself, I am only an amateur computer programmer, just as there
>are amateur Indologists on this list. My difference with them is that I do
>not bother the programming experts on their lists with my amateurism), and
>that you can make sense of 'scientific journals', whatever they may be,
>otherwise you may incur his ire, and who would want that? Or another
>universal 'scientist' may complain that you refer to the word "dakkhin",
>that I dare write "pa;ncadraavi.da", while he says that philological data
>"mushy" stuff and thereby presumably not scientific. Should we not tremble
>and hang our heads in shame and fear at seeing such astoundingly relevant
>logic? :-)

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