Sanskrit and Tamil question

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Sat Oct 11 22:05:44 UTC 2008

The article by Vaclav Blazek has already been published in the  
Journal of ASLIP, see < 
aslip.html>, Mother Tongue XI, last year.

The specialist in Australian languages, Prof. Paul Black (Darwin,  
Australia), who attended the Oct 2006 conference, said this was the  
first attempt that convinced him of an Australian substrate in India.


On Oct 6, 2008, at 11:02 PM, George Hart wrote:

> I find it hard to believe that it has been "demonstrated" that  
> Dravidian and Australian languages have "certain words" in common  
> -- though apparently some inhabitants of South India share a y- 
> chromosome with the aborigines (no doubt they were part of a  
> population that emigrated from Africa to Australia 50,000 years  
> ago).  After all, it is well known that completely unrelated  
> languages have many words that look related but are not.  I would  
> be very interested if Prof. Witzel could share this paper or make  
> it available if at all possible.  Certainly any relationship that  
> could be convincingly established would be important.  50,000 years  
> is a very long time -- certainly, genes might persist, but it's  
> hard to believe that any element of language could be preserved all  
> those years.  And of course there is the question of whether  
> Dravidian even originated in South India.
>> Vaclav Blazek (Czech Rep., at the Harvard Round Table, Oct. 2006,  
>> see my website) has recently shown that Dravidian languages  
>> contain words that are preserved in Australian languages (that  
>> incidentally also has Dravidian-like retroflex sounds, just listen  
>> to them!), -- indicating that speakers of the Australian (not  
>> Austric!) languages had been present there, long ago. As genetics  
>> also indicate (recent paper: Nilgiri Kurumbas, W. Bengal/Nepalese  
>> Rajvamshis and Andamanese share an old NRY marker, 50-40,000 years  
>> old).
>> Cheers,
>> MW

Michael Witzel
witzel at

Dept. of Sanskrit & Indian Studies, Harvard University
1 Bow Street,
Cambridge MA 02138, USA

phone: 1- 617 - 495 3295 (voice & messages), 496 8570, fax 617 - 496  
my direct line:  617- 496 2990

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