tardy response to two questions

Greg Bailey Greg.Bailey at LATROBE.EDU.AU
Tue Nov 26 05:38:19 UTC 2002

Dear George,

Can yo uplease provide a reference for the article by A. Lubotsky to which
you refer.


Greg Bailey

>From: George Thompson <GthomGt at CS.COM>
>To: INDOLOGY at liverpool.ac.uk
>Subject: tardy response to two questions
>Date: Tue, Nov 26, 2002, 12:38 PM

> Dear List,
> I think that it was Calvert Watkins who characterized philology as "slow
> reading."  Well, perhaps it will be accepted that my tardy responses to
> recent list discussions are at least partially attributable to philological
> concerns of the sort that Watkins had in mind, and not just to laziness or
> irresponsibility.  Indeed, I am a very slow reader, in any case.
> I sincerely apologize to Jean-Luc Chevillard for forgetting to respond to his
> interesting question.  If it were not an interesting question I would have
> answered promptly with some kind of generically 'correct' answer.
> Fortunately, Madhav Deshpande and Peter Scharf have come to my rescue with
> their typically thorough and incisive posts, to which I have nothing to add.
> Of course, in Old Indo-Iranian there is no evidence for the technical
> phonological sense for ghoSa that one starts to see first, I suppose [Madhav?
> Peter?], in the prAtizAkhyas.
> Perhaps I can make a seamless segue here to the topic of Iranians in ancient
> India, etc.
> The word ghoSa in Skt./gaoSa in Avestan [and the associated verbal forms] is
> an Indo-Iranian isolate which must be supposed to be borrowed from a Central
> Asian substrate language [see the recent article on such words by A.
> Lubotsky].  Rgvedic attestations suggest that ghoSa can cover human speech
> and animal vocalizations as well.  It also covers the sound of thunder, soma
> stones, chariots, the stamping of the feet in dance, as well as the obscure
> articulations of the gods.  But in fact it also has the sense 'ear', as is
> shown by Avestan gaoSa, as well as Skt. compounds like azvaghoSa.  I have in
> preparation a paper on "The Language of *daEuuas*", which basically asserts
> that that language was Vedic; that is, that there was some measure of mutual
> knowledge between speakers of Avestan and speakers of Vedic, in the old days
> after the linguistic divide . Those people referred to in the RV as *a'deva*
> or *devani'd* were in some cases Iranians, and Mazdayasnians.  Likewise whose
> people who were known in Avestan as *daevayasna* were in some cases Vedic.
> The evidence for this needs to be sorted out, and I intend to correlate this
> with Lubotsky's proposal for a Central Asian substratum.
> The well-known motif that one finds in Late Avestan that distinguishes
> between an Ahuric lexicon [with positive connotations] and a Daevic lexicon
> [with negative connotations] seems to correlate, at times, with the lexicon
> of words derivable from the substrate language proposed by Lubotsky.  Since
> we've been talking about ears, let us consider these ear-words:
> The Ahuric word 'uS-' has many IE cognates, including Eng. 'ear', Grk 'ous',
> Lat. 'auris', etc.  But no Sanskrit cognate.
> The Daevic word kar at na on the other hand does have a Skt cognate 'karNa', but
> it lacks a sure IE etymology.  It appears in Lubotsky's list of inherited
> words
> Then there's gaoSa [= Vedic ghoSa], referring mostly to Ahuric ears, except
> for kauruuO-gaoSa "bald-eared" of the god of drought, ApaoSa.   Lacking a
> good IE etymology, it appears in Lubotsky's list of words borrowed from this
> substrate language
> Furthermore, there is the insight that can be gotten from the study of
> onomastics.  When we consider the many  contributions of Michael Witzel to
> these questions, we must acknowledge that he has led the way into the study
> of Vedic onomastics, in the footsteps of his teachers K. Hoffmann and F.B.J.
> Kuiper.  These are the proper inflluences, strictly philological, on him,
> instead of the bizarrely uninformed suggestions of Sumit Guha that he has
> been influenced by some Jungian Aryanism.  Besides Witzel's many articles and
> those of Hoffmann, the monographs on Iranian onomastics by M. Mayrhofer and
> R. Schmitt should be consulted.  Some onomastic examples: tuSAspa in Indic
> can only be an Iranian name, because the final member -aspa, 'horse' can only
> be Iranian.  Likewise, the Iranian name dAztAgni must be an Indic name
> because the final member -agni, can only be Indic.
> In conclusion, the point is this: in conjunction with the archaeological
> researches of F. Hiebert, C.C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, et al., the philological
> work of M. Witzel, et al, reveals the outlines of an extraordinarily rich
> exchange of several cultures of early Central and South Asia in early
> Indo-Iranian texts.  The crude distinctions of earlier generations must be
> abandoned. The careful distinctions of recent philology must be embraced.
> Best wishes,
> George Thompson

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