L.S.Cousins selwyn at NTLWORLD.COM
Fri Apr 13 14:28:27 UTC 2001

Vanbakkam Vijayraman wrote:

>Your second para holds true even in the case of language, even assuming the
>rulers linguistically differed from the ruled.. For example, Mongols ruled
>Persia for three generations, but merged in the latter completely, ethnically
>and linguistically. The same thing happened to the barbarians who
>captured Rome
>in it's downfall.

Not in the case of the Anglo-Saxons. Another example would be Spanish
in Latin America. Or, Han Chinese. The last two examples are
particularly instructive. If a single language imposes itself over an
area by a combination of trade, culture spread and arms and the other
languages in that area are many and small-scale, then the single
language is likely to eventually replace the others.

>The period we are talking about in India i.e. the second millenneum
>BC, does not
>have any reliable historical records. It looks like a fanciful speculation to
>assume that masses of Indians were waiting to relieved of their
>language, gods,
>and women by some chariot driving and arrow wielding "foreigners" - who it is
>assumed were only a small percentage - as another poster writes.

In fact, the total population would have been quite low then. But the
point is that all this would have happened quite gradually over a
very long period of time.

But it is not a speculation because the language facts are
incontrovertible. Anyone who knows both Greek and Sanskrit can see
this easily.

So either 'Indians' went out from India and spread a version of their
language all over Europe and elsewhere or people came from outside
and brought that language to India. There are all sorts of problems
with the former assumption and all sorts of evidence it would come up
against. So we have to accept that at some point the language was
brought in.

Anything else is open to debate. It could conceivably have been
earlier than the second millennium. But at present the best guess as
to when it happened is that period.

Lance Cousins

selwyn at ntlworld.com

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