[INDOLOGY] Kittel's list

Jan E.M. Houben jemhouben at gmail.com
Sat Jan 16 17:21:31 UTC 2016

Dear Herman,
Your understanding of the Lemuria scenario would converge with the
conclusion of Johannes Goropius Becanus (also known as Jan van Gorp,
1519-1572) according to whom Dutch (Brabantic) was the language spoken in
Paradise because its words are shorter, hence older, than those of Latin,
Greek, Hebrew. Apparently he also succeeded to his own satisfaction and in
support of his thesis to identify and decipher the language of the Egyptian
hieroglyphs as Dutch (bibliographic information but *not* the proposed
sources: anet.ua.ac.be/wiki/hortus/Becanus  / sample pages:


Directeur d’Études

Sources et histoire de la tradition sanskrite

*École Pratique des Hautes Études*

*Sciences historiques et philologiques *

54, rue Saint-Jacques

CS 20525 – 75005 Paris

johannes.houben at ephe.sorbonne.fr



On 16 January 2016 at 16:55, Tieken, H.J.H. <H.J.H.Tieken at hum.leidenuniv.nl>

> Dear list members,
> If I read Suresh's arguments I should be very careful in insisting that
> Tamil represents the most archaic form of Dravidian.
> As to the question *how come* that Tamil as the most southernmost
> Dravidian language is also the most conservative one, I wonder how the
> movement of the Drav. language(s) into new territory has taken place; or,
> was the first batch of people/speakers pushed on by those coming after them
> or overtaken? If pushed on, the first batch, that is, those who broke away
> first and thus speak the most conservative form of Drav., ended up at the
> very borders of the Drav. speaking area. Incidentally, if so, Tamil cannot
> hail from "the lost land Lemuria" (to use Sumathi Ramaswamy's words) and at
> the same time be the most conservative Drav. language. If I understand the
> followers of the Lemuria scenario correctly that honour would go the my own
> language, lying at the outermost, western fringe of the old world.
> Kind regards, Herman
> Herman Tieken
> Stationsweg 58
> 2515 BP Den Haag
> The Netherlands
> 00 31 (0)70 2208127
> website: hermantieken.com
> ------------------------------
> *Van:* INDOLOGY [indology-bounces at list.indology.info] namens Suresh
> Kolichala [suresh.kolichala at gmail.com]
> *Verzonden:* vrijdag 15 januari 2016 18:09
> *Aan:* George Hart
> *CC:* Indology List
> *Onderwerp:* Re: [INDOLOGY] Kittel's list
> On Fri, Jan 15, 2016 at 10:37 AM, George Hart <glhart at berkeley.edu> wrote:
> [...]
> > I’d ask Suresh why Tamil, the southernmost Dravidian language, is the
> most conservative. If Dravidian speakers
> > had entered India (from the east?) and moved through a huge territory of
> “Niṣādic” (and other?) speakers,
> > one would expect Tamil to be far more changed from Proto-Dravidian than
> it is. George
> Thanks George for your question.
> A simpler answer could be: for whatever socio-historical reasons, Tamil
> became the earliest literary language among the Dravidian languages. A
> literate society tends to be more conservative than a non-literate. As for
> the question of why Kannada and Telugu languages are not found in early
> Brahmi inscriptions,  unlike Telugu, as Karashima hypothesizes "Buddhists
> who were in considerable numbers in both areas didn't care about the local
> language, unlike Jains (who wrote grammar and texts in the local language
> of Tamil)".
> A contrarian answer is: it is a myth that Tamil is the most conservative
> among the Dravidian languages. Several of the archaic phonological,
> morpho-syntactic features found in North, Central and South-Central
> languages are lacking in Tamil. For example, phonological evidence for /q/
> [x], morpho-syntactic evidence for serial verbs, relative-correlative
> structures without port-RC particles etc. (See Steever) are all found in
> North Dravidian languages. Negative past formation found in Central and
> South-Central languages (Ollari and Konda) are completely missing in Tamil
> (past negatives are not found even in Cankattamil). In fact, the negative
> conjugation of verbs has fallen out of use in modern Tamil, where negation
> is expressed through compound verbs (e.g. vara māṭṭān, pārkkavillai instead
> of kāṇēṉ ‘I do not see’). The copula verb man- 'to be' is replaced by ir-
> 'to be' in the South Dravidian languages. As you know, ir- 'to be' is not
> found in South-Central, Central and North Dravidian languages. (ir- most
> likely a local verb for 'to be'). I believe "the massive restructuring of
> the verbal system" (as described by Steever in Analysis to Synthesis: The
> Development of Complex Verb Morphology in the Dravidian Languages) in South
> India might be a result of rapid transformation of pre-Dravidian
> hunter-gatherer population through language shift as they attempt to merge
> with the incoming 'Dravidian' community.
> The genetic research is also corroborating the theory that the high castes
> of Vellalas in Tamil Nadu, Vakkaligas and lingayats of Karnataka, Velama
> and Reddis of Andhra show external Y-DNA haplogroups, coming from
> North-West through Gujarat and Maharashtra, as well as through sea-faring.
> The following diagram of domesticated cattle in India clearly shows that
> the agro-pastoralism spread to south-India from North West.
>> I have more internal linguistic data that provides stronger evidence for
> an external origin of the Dravidian languages, which I hope to document and
> publish sometime this year.
> Suresh.
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