Munda, Dravidian, etc.

Swaminathan Madhuresan smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM
Thu Mar 23 15:45:53 UTC 2000

>After 700 years of Indus civilization, one would expect at least a few
>more, such as "(village) headman, trader, merchandise, weight, bath,
>granary, town" etc. etc. None of this kind of words. Just "farm/village
>words" (The last item already underlined by Kuiper,in 1955!!, without
>reference to the Indus civ.).
>Retroflexes are an altogether different problem. It is a myth that they
>must be of Drav. origin. Why should the people highup in the Pamirs
>have some of the strongest groups retroflex sounds? (Some E. Iranian Pamir
>Pashto,  Nuristani, Dardic  -- and Burushaski) see the map of
>B. Tikkanen, reprinted in Parpola's Indus script, 1994.
>In short, people on arrival, at the fringes of South Asia, start
>bending back their tongues. Last case: The Baluchis, arrived c. 1000
>CE, from W. Iran. Half of their dialects now have retroflexion.

 As an outsider, comments in brief. My understanding is for (para)munda
theory to succeed, it has to divorce retroflexion from dravidian origins.
A hard thing to do. Dardic, Burushaski etc., might have gotten retroflexion
originally from IVC drav. and, expanded them to sibilants like S, z which
was not in drav. originally.

Sanskrit philologists or linguists in general, mostly work from DED,
their knowledge of drav. texts/word-roots is rather poor.

Dr. S. Palaniappan (Aug. '99) had some questions on Vedic VANA.
Along similar lines, vedic words paNa(money), pra-paNa (cognate with
tamil peru-paNa), vaNi/vaNij (cognate to vaNiyan) might be
explained. Dr. N. Ganesan derives the word for wheat from
dr. *kOLam (related to english cooley) in nov. '99. If trained
Dravidology professionals work at it, many items in the etymology
basket of "language X" and ivc features will likely turn out to be
dravidian. After all dravidian is the only language family with no
close cousins like Avestan or Mon-Khmer. B. Sergent says dravidians
reached India 10000 years ago. Dravidian's relations to
any other language on earth being very remote supports this,
I would think.

Kind regards,

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