Chinese in India

George Thompson GthomGt at CS.COM
Sat Aug 17 12:59:24 UTC 2002

Apologies to the list for my previous post, which was abrupt and unsigned.
My e-mail program has started to send saved messages automatically.  I had
intended to think a bit more before sending the post.

Here is an example of possible indirect [and possibly early] linkage between
India and China.  Lubotsky, in the article cited,  notes a possible borrowing
of a word from Tocharian into Chinese [forgive me for approximate

Tocharian *an'kwas*, plant-name
Chinese *yaangkui`*plant-name.

Michael Witzel has called my attention to the fact that these may be
relatable to the reconstructed Indo-Iranian form:

*anc'u, plant-name [Skt. aMzu; Avest. amsu]

This form is not IE, and has been attributed by Lubotsky to a possible
Central Asian substrate.

If the Tocharian word is related, it may have been borrowed either from that
Central Asian substrate  or from Indo-Iranian.

This is mere speculation, of course.  Perhaps more competent list members
will comment.

Best wishes,

George Thompson

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list