Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

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ManishH
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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby ManishH » 15 May 2012 10:16

RajeshA wrote:Indians were able to push through their vocabulary for two reasons
1) Not the Horse was Indian, but because the Technology going with the Horse was Indian - rath, and thus the Indian word for horse came into use.


Again, there is need to look for archaeological corroboration for these statements. The first known evidence of chariot comes from early 2nd millenium BC in Sintashta - Arkaim. There is no reason to suggest that India is the origin of chariot and equestrian technology.

If India is the origin of these terms, why do works on Indian etymology (Nirukta/Naighaṇṭuka) are silent on etymology of the word 'ratha' or 'cakra'. One needs to look at PIE reconstruction to figure out that the PIE word for wheel 'kʷekʷlos' derives from 'kʷel' the verb root that means 'to turn' or 'to move'.

The web-network of OIT protagonists do claim chariotry origin in India. But knowledge of inventions like stirrup being in India is not very common.

The solid reconstruction of wagon and equestrian terminology in almost all major language groups of IE family is proof that the IE dispersal took place only after horse domestication and development of related locomotion technology. The earliest evidence of horse domestication is a solid clue to where the linguistic origin of IE family lies.

I would say, one even tends to fantasize and romanticize a lot more about things that aren't really in one's immediate environment, e.g. the winged horse We Indians may have Gods with animal attributes, but we don't have fantastical creatures based on our native macrofauna. There aren't flying elephants, for example.


Yes, a fantasy about winged horse makes it an imported entity :-) But somehow RgVedic fantasy about three-uddered bull (vṛṣabho tri udhā) or a four-horned bison (catuḥśṛṅgo 'vamīd gaura) doesn't. If we make a claim about our texts, let's first search the text.

One needs to understand that these are methods of poetic symbolism. A mention of winged horse doesn't mean the horse was imported through trade. It's a poetic description of a horse gallop smooth as a bird's flight.

Rajas which could not import these horses easily from the Central Asian Steppes, for them their breeding programs were even more important.


So what amazes me is that RgVeda and Mahabharata of proposed 3000 BC and before had these elaborate breeding programs, yet the largest city state civilization that follows for 2000 years afterwards (IVC) has no conclusive proof of horse domestication. And before we even show photos of Horse bones of Surkotada, let's take a cursory look at what constitutes "conclusive proof for horse domestication" amongst equestrian specialists:

1. Findings of horse furniture (cheek-piece, bit, bridle etc) in properly stratified archaeological contexts.
2. Analysis of bitwear (the occlusion that occurs on premolars) on horse teeth.

RgVeda mentions all the horse furniture mentioned above; but the first conclusive evidence of domesticated horse in Indian subcontinent somehow appears only in early 2nd millenium BC.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby RajeshA » 15 May 2012 11:43

The Horse and the 'Aryans'

ManishH wrote:
RajeshA wrote:Indians were able to push through their vocabulary for two reasons
1) Not the Horse was Indian, but because the Technology going with the Horse was Indian - rath, and thus the Indian word for horse came into use.


Again, there is need to look for archaeological corroboration for these statements. The first known evidence of chariot comes from early 2nd millenium BC in Sintashta - Arkaim. There is no reason to suggest that India is the origin of chariot and equestrian technology.

If India is the origin of these terms, why do works on Indian etymology (Nirukta/Naighaṇṭuka) are silent on etymology of the word 'ratha' or 'cakra'. One needs to look at PIE reconstruction to figure out that the PIE word for wheel 'kʷekʷlos' derives from 'kʷel' the verb root that means 'to turn' or 'to move'.

The web-network of OIT protagonists do claim chariotry origin in India. But knowledge of inventions like stirrup being in India is not very common.

The solid reconstruction of wagon and equestrian terminology in almost all major language groups of IE family is proof that the IE dispersal took place only after horse domestication and development of related locomotion technology. The earliest evidence of horse domestication is a solid clue to where the linguistic origin of IE family lies.


ManishH ji,

The PIE effort takes as premise that the origin of the Indo-European languages is outside India. Using PIE language to then argue in favor of an outside origin is really a circular argument.

You demand that works on Indian etymology (Nirukta/Naighaṇṭuka) be complete and exhaustive! Is that not asking a bit too much? Does it mean that if some etymology dictionary fails to capture each and every word, that word must have a foreign origin?

There was an Indian project to write down all the flora from India known to have any medicinal value, just so that foreigners don't start making illegitimate claims on any discoveries and inventions.

Perhaps you could tell me about some etymology dictionary from outside India that tells us about the origin of 'ratha' and 'chakra'! I suppose there isn't any? So the AIT-protagonists start creating their own etymology dictionary retroactively to support their claims - "PIE word for wheel 'kʷekʷlos' derives from 'kʷel' the verb root that means 'to turn' or 'to move'."!

Any PIE project which does not see India as the source, cannot be used for arguments against India as the source.

Secondly words for 'ratha' and 'chakra' in other Indo-European languages which sound too different from these, can themselves have been corrupted by linguistic axioms as yet not defined (perhaps for good reason) or they can be originating in some substratum language from the region.

ManishH wrote:
RajeshA wrote:I would say, one even tends to fantasize and romanticize a lot more about things that aren't really in one's immediate environment, e.g. the winged horse We Indians may have Gods with animal attributes, but we don't have fantastical creatures based on our native macrofauna. There aren't flying elephants, for example.


Yes, a fantasy about winged horse makes it an imported entity :-) But somehow RgVedic fantasy about three-uddered bull (vṛṣabho tri udhā) or a four-horned bison (catuḥśṛṅgo 'vamīd gaura) doesn't. If we make a claim about our texts, let's first search the text.

One needs to understand that these are methods of poetic symbolism. A mention of winged horse doesn't mean the horse was imported through trade. It's a poetic description of a horse gallop smooth as a bird's flight.

Thanks for the info.

The argument was however to underline that those arguments which the AIT-protagonists state in favor of horse being native to the IE-origins can just as well be seen from the other angle. Nothing the AIT-protagonists have said in favor of the horse-domestication being a IE achievement, really nails it down as facts.

The most glaring absence of any evidence is really about Rigvedic-society having any memories of being in the Steppes surrounded by horses running wild and them actually capturing those horses and breaking them for use. There is no stories about domesticating any horses after capturing them!

ManishH wrote:
RajeshA wrote:Rajas which could not import these horses easily from the Central Asian Steppes, for them their breeding programs were even more important.


So what amazes me is that RgVeda and Mahabharata of proposed 3000 BC and before had these elaborate breeding programs, yet the largest city state civilization that follows for 2000 years afterwards (IVC) has no conclusive proof of horse domestication. And before we even show photos of Horse bones of Surkotada, let's take a cursory look at what constitutes "conclusive proof for horse domestication" amongst equestrian specialists:

1. Findings of horse furniture (cheek-piece, bit, bridle etc) in properly stratified archaeological contexts.
2. Analysis of bitwear (the occlusion that occurs on premolars) on horse teeth.

RgVeda mentions all the horse furniture mentioned above; but the first conclusive evidence of domesticated horse in Indian subcontinent somehow appears only in early 2nd millenium BC.

You have introduced the word "elaborate", not I.

1) If the horse trade between India and the Steppes was flourishing, there was really no need of 'elaborate' horse breeding programs in India. Only if the horse trade had come to a halt, would one state consider 'horse breeding' program. The breeding programs were small and less than successful, so one doesn't see a proliferation of those.

2) The availability of horses was still moderate, as it was an animal almost exclusively used by the royalty. In Ancient India, according to what some military history experts say, a army had some chariots and a lot of foot soldiers around to increase the ranks. The number of chariots used were still quite limited. The question is - if horses were aplenty, why were the chariots not used in far more abundance? In Mongol conquests, does one see soldiers trudging on foot? No, everybody had a horse, which they rode! So why does Rigveda not speak of Aryan forces being composed of thousands of chariots, of chariots being the numerical mainstay of the forces? The limits were imposed due to price! There was only so much the rajas could import!

3) The reason, there are no horse-bones in Harappa is simply because the horses were not used within the city. The horse being a precious (imported) commodity, its sole use was for chariots which were part of the Army. So the horses would only be found in the barracks. The army legion were most probably NOT located within the city walls, but somewhere outside. The horse stables would be co-located and may not be that elaborate. Also as there were only a limited number of chariots used, it shows that the number of horses too were limited, at any given time the raja having probably not more than a few hundred horses. Most probably when these horses died, their remains were deposed of in some standard way (cremation, burial, fine-chopping, etc.), and that too probably outside those stables, i.e. if they did not die on the battlefield. And the bones of these horses, dead for thousands of years, you wish to be found right in the middle of the cities!!! :-o

4) Absence of Evidence =/= Evidence of Absence!

Vedic society and late-Vedic society (Harappans), all used to import horses from Central Asian Steppes. These horses were highly prized but they used to be few in number in the possession of the monarch.
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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby RajeshA » 15 May 2012 12:00

Theo_Fidel wrote:Let us not forget we are all Africans and definitely came from Africa. Most of present technology from fire to weaponry to language and culture was exported from Africa. Lines should not be drawn through dates.


Theo_Fidel ji,

the Common Knowledge is that we all came from Africa.

However that is not the tussle. The academic (and political) tussle is not about the origins of humans. It all revolves around the question of identity.

Identity is however built around names, names of languages of one's forefathers, names of deities of one's forefathers, names of cities one's forefathers built, names of places one's forefathers ruled over, names of the tribes one's forefathers belonged to!

However this search for identity has morphed into what historical claims, nations today can make, and based on those historical claims build a narrative of current claims on cultural superiority, religion, and land.

Theo_Fidel wrote:Even calling for Vedic dates, unfortunately discredits the true age of Indian Genetic lines.

One however needs to put the latest dates out there by which certain "literary" achievements were already made.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby ManishH » 15 May 2012 17:16

RajeshA wrote:The PIE effort takes as premise that the origin of the Indo-European languages is outside India.


That's a myth. The only premise behind PIE reconstruction is basic phonology - how sound changes.There are some aspects of sound change that are unidirectional. The way humans emit sounds and the ways those sounds can change is limited. There is no "circular argument" here. I hope to explain the basic phonology below in the example if you have the patience ...

So the AIT-protagonists start creating their own etymology dictionary retroactively to support their claims - "PIE word for wheel 'kʷekʷlos' derives from 'kʷel' the verb root that means 'to turn' or 'to move'."!


Again, this is not "their own dictionary". Hoping to convey the logic behind why 'kʷel' is a reconstruction via these IE cognates:

- Greek 'pelo‘
- Sanskrit 'carati'
- English 'wheel'
- Avestan 'caraiti'

There is no way a Greek labial sound 'p' can turn into Sanskrit 'c'. Nor can the inverse happen.The palatal 'c' of Sanskrit and labial 'p' of Greek are so far separated in the human mouth, that only explanation is a parent that was an intermediate.

Ie. if the root language had a kʷ (labiovelar, like q, but with rounded lips), it is logical for it to drop the velar element and turn into a pure labial 'p'. In Sanskrit/Avestan, it drops the labial element and turns into 'k' which later palatalized into 'c'. The evidence from English further corroborates the original labial element ('w').

Now to make sure the above is not some hocus-pocus special-case rule-chain that someone is contriving, we look for signs of regularity for each instance of sound change :

- kʷ > c : Latin quattuor, Sanskrit catvār, English four : we again see evidence for the original labiovelar
- kʷ > p : Greek boupolos, Sanskrit gocara : again evidence for an original labiovelar

The unidirectionality of palatalization is a well known phenomenon in non-IE language families too. It's not a special case someone threw up as a put down on Sanskrit.

It's unfortunate that India was a birthplace for the earliest phonology texts anywhere in the world - prātiśākhya 's. Yet, people still harbour myths that PIE is based on the premise of geographic origin.

Any PIE project which does not see India as the source, cannot be used for arguments against India as the source.


Again, it is not a project with an aim, phonology and sound change is the only premise behind it.

You demand that works on Indian etymology (Nirukta/Naighaṇṭuka) be complete and exhaustive!


This demand is placed only because OIT claims chariotry originates in India, and India imposed it's chariot vocabulary on rest of IE world, so please explain the lost roots.

Perhaps you could tell me about some etymology dictionary from outside India that tells us about the origin of 'ratha' and 'chakra'


Since no one claims that all the IE world originates from Greek, Latin, German etc, there is no such need to find etymology in these languages.

* PS: if you are interested in why 'kʷe' prefix is added to the root verb kʷel, there is an ancient phenomenon of reduplication - the only language that preserves it substantially was Vedic albeit not for this verb root.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby RajeshA » 15 May 2012 17:38

The Horse and the 'Aryans'

Published on Mar 06, 2009
The Earliest Horse Harnessing and Milking: Science Magazine
Horse domestication revolutionized transport, communications, and warfare in prehistory, yet the identification of early domestication processes has been problematic. Here, we present three independent lines of evidence demonstrating domestication in the Eneolithic Botai Culture of Kazakhstan, dating to about 3500 B.C.E. Metrical analysis of horse metacarpals shows that Botai horses resemble Bronze Age domestic horses rather than Paleolithic wild horses from the same region. Pathological characteristics indicate that some Botai horses were bridled, perhaps ridden. Organic residue analysis, using δ13C and δD values of fatty acids, reveals processing of mare's milk and carcass products in ceramics, indicating a developed domestic economy encompassing secondary products.


Based on the above paper, there were further articles:

Published on Mar 06, 2009
Domestication of horses traced back 5,500 years: Boston Globe
New evidence sets date 1,000 years earlier
WASHINGTON - People and horses have trekked together through at least 5,500 years of history, according to an international team of researchers reporting in today's edition of the journal Science.

New evidence from Kazakhstan indicates the Botai culture used horses as beasts of burden - and as a source of meat and milk - about 1,000 years earlier than had been widely believed, according to the team led by Alan Outram of England's University of Exeter.

"This is significant because it changes our understanding of how these early societies developed," Outram said.

Domestication of the horse was an immense breakthrough - bringing advancements in communications, transportation, farming, and warfare.

The research also shows the development of animal domestication and a fully pastoral economy may well be independent of famous centers of domestication, such as the Near East and China, Outram added.

Compared with dogs, domesticated as much as 15,000 years ago, and such food animals as sheep, goats, and pigs, horses are relatively late arrivals in the human relationship.

"It is not so much the domestication of the horse that is important, but the invention of horseback riding," commented anthropologist David W. Anthony of Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y. "When people began to ride, it revolutionized human transport."

"For the first time the Eurasian steppes, formerly a hostile ecological barrier to humans, became a corridor of communication across Eurasia linking China to Europe and the Near East. Riding also forever changed warfare. Boundaries were changed, new trading partners were acquired, new alliances became possible, and resources that had been beyond reach became reachable," observed Anthony, who was not part of Outram's research team.


Published on Mar 07, 2009
Evidence of earliest domesticated horses surfaces in Kazakhstan: India Today
Evidence of the earliest domesticated horses, uncovered in Kazakhstan, suggests that they were also ridden and milked.

Researchers from the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, and the universities of Exeter and Bristol, Britain, uncovered the evidence in Kazakhstan, the world's largest landlocked country in Central Asia.

They said domestication may have begun in the area 5,500 years ago, about 1,000 years earlier than originally thought. Their findings also put horse domestication in Kazakhstan about 2,000 years earlier than that known to have existed in Europe.

"Having a domesticated animal that could be eaten, milked, ridden, used as a pack animal and potentially for haulage would have had a tremendous impact on any society that initiated or adopted horse herds," said Sandra Olsen, curator of anthropology at Carnegie Museum.

Olsen directed several archaeological teams that excavated sites in Kazakhstan from 1994 to 2002. Her work in the Botai Culture sites of Krasnyi Yar in 2000 and Vasilkovka in 2002 was supported by the National Science Foundation. Her earlier work was supported by National Geographic.

Gathered data supports the hypothesis that the horse-rich area in the vast, semi-arid, grassy plains, or steppe zones, east of the Ural Mountains in Northern Kazakhstan, contributed largely to the development of two neighbouring cultures, the Botai in north-central Kazakhstan and the Tersek in the west.

Researchers used a novel method of analysing residue from fat-soluble lipids found on ancient Botai pottery to find traces of fats from horse milk, leading to the conclusion that people consumed horse milk at the beginning of the Copper Age some 5,500 years ago.

Mare's milk is still a staple of consumption in Kazakhstan where it's usually fermented into a slightly alcoholic drink called 'koumiss,' said a Carnegie statement. These findings were published in the latest issue of Science.


What this does is that it furnishes scientific proof that horse was domesticated by 3,500 BCE. It was used for milk AND for riding.

This gives fodder to both schools - AIT and OIT.

For the AIT, this is relevant, because they can claim that Aryans, who had domesticated the horse, could have come to India much earlier bringing with them knowledge of it.

For the OIT, this is relevant, because we can claim that parts of Rig Veda which were knowledgeable of the horse could have been written much earlier, thus allowing the Vedic Civilization to predate the Harappan culture.

We have to see how far back the domestication of the horse can be taken, based on archaeological evidence.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby ManishH » 15 May 2012 17:44

Botai discovery is very old news. This is now already part of text books. But I totally missed how it helps the OIT cause. Maybe one can prove that first horse was imported into India and only then did the rest of the world figure out how to milk the mare.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby RajeshA » 15 May 2012 17:54

ManishH ji,

Linguistics is perhaps a field not that developed in India. It is a pity. As such Western AIT-protagonists have had a field day to make up whatever they want.

There is actually no need to find a common ancestor for every word in IE languages. Many of the words could simply have been words taken from substratum languages, from places the IE groups passed through in their migrations. The word need not have an Indo-European origin. This can be true for many words. 'pelo' and 'carati' need not be related at all. The search for common denominator between Indo-Iranian languages and European languages is being taken to extremes.

A few words are shown which fit the criteria, and then the theory is set up that is a natural occurrence.

Even if we were to accept the relationship, some may not be convinced that c > kʷ is not possible, given a substrata of languages on the migration path out of India, which could make it possible.
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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby RajeshA » 15 May 2012 18:00

The Horse and the 'Aryans'

ManishH wrote:Botai discovery is very old news. This is now already part of text books. But I totally missed how it helps the OIT cause. Maybe one can prove that first horse was imported into India and only then did the rest of the world figure out how to milk the mare.

You're unnecessarily putting an earliest limit for domestication. If the discovery of Botai people and their customs pushed back the date of domestication of horse by a 1000 years, why do you think we have reached the end of the line and the that the horse may not have been domesticated 2 or 3 thousand years before that?

From the paper, what one has is "At the latest, the horse was domesticated by 3,500 BCE" and not "At the earliest, ..."

Let's not mix up the two!

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby RajeshA » 15 May 2012 20:01

The Horse and the 'Aryans'

Published on Mar 30, 2012
Reconstructing the origin and spread of horse domestication in the Eurasian steppe: PNAS - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Despite decades of research across multiple disciplines, the early history of horse domestication remains poorly understood. On the basis of current evidence from archaeology, mitochondrial DNA, and Y-chromosomal sequencing, a number of different domestication scenarios have been proposed, ranging from the spread of domestic horses out of a restricted primary area of domestication to the domestication of numerous distinct wild horse populations. In this paper, we reconstruct both the population genetic structure of the extinct wild progenitor of domestic horses, Equus ferus, and the origin and spread of horse domestication in the Eurasian steppes by fitting a spatially explicit stepping-stone model to genotype data from >300 horses sampled across northern Eurasia. We find strong evidence for an expansion of E. ferus out of eastern Eurasia about 160 kya, likely reflecting the colonization of Eurasia by this species. Our best-fitting scenario further suggests that horse domestication originated in the western part of the Eurasian steppe and that domestic herds were repeatedly restocked with local wild horses as they spread out of this area. By showing that horse domestication was initiated in the western Eurasian steppe and that the spread of domestic herds across Eurasia involved extensive introgression from the wild, the scenario of horse domestication proposed here unites evidence from archaeology, mitochondrial DNA, and Y-chromosomal DNA.


Based on the above paper, there were further articles:

Published on May 07, 2012
By Sarah C. P. Williams
Untangling an old tale: Genetic study traces the history of domestic horses: Science NOW
Shards of pottery with traces of mare's milk, mass gravesites for horses, and drawings of horses with plows and chariots: These are some of the signs left by ancient people hinting at the importance of horses to their lives. But putting a place and date on the domestication of horses has been a challenge for archaeologists. Now, a team of geneticists studying modern breeds of the animal has assembled an evolutionary picture of its storied past. Horses, the scientists conclude, were first domesticated 6000 years ago in the western part of the Eurasian Steppe, modern-day Ukraine and West Kazakhstan. And as the animals were domesticated, they were regularly interbred with wild horses, the researchers say.

"This is a very good paper," says biologist Michael Hofreiter of the University of York in the United Kingdom. "Nobody has applied this method of population modeling to horses before."

Throughout their history, horses have been interbred, traded between populations of people, and moved across continents. All of this makes their genetic history hard to follow. Moreover, the wild ancestor of horses, Equus ferus, is extinct, complicating researchers' efforts to compare the genetics of domestic animals with wild ones. Previous research nailed down a broad area—the Eurasian Steppe, which stretches from Hungary and Romania through Mongolia—as the region where horses originated and were domesticated. But earlier genetic studies relied mostly on mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited only from a mother, to try to understand horses' evolutionary history.

"The problem was that there was a lot of diversity in the mitochondrial DNA," says biologist Vera Warmuth of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, the first author of the new study. And the diversity didn't group the horses into their breed or place of origin. "Every horse breed has almost all the mitochondrial lineages represented," she says.

Warmuth instead studied sequences of horse DNA inherited from both parents and known to be diverse between horse populations. She and her colleagues collected genetic samples from more than 300 horses at 12 different sites across the steppe. Data were collected for only working animals bred within a local area, not those bred for show or appearance, to minimize any human-guided selection that would make some genes more common. Then, the researchers used computer programs designed to model the spread of a population to simulate how different locations of horse domestication and spread throughout the steppe would influence modern genetic diversity. They compared each model with the real data they had collected to see which fit best.

The best-fit model, the team reports today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed the wild ancestor of domestic horses originating in eastern Eurasia 160,000 years ago and being domesticated in the western part of the Eurasian Steppe around 6000 years ago. The model also helped explain why there had been so many female lineages when previous studies had tried to rely on mitochondrial DNA. "We think that as domestic horses spread out of the western steppe, local wild females were continuously incorporated into the spreading herds," says Warmuth. The constant addition of new females made the genetic patterns—in particular, the female lineages—more complex than if the domestic population had been totally isolated.

Hofreiter is impressed. "They have still only narrowed down the domestication region to a fairly big area," he says, "but they did have enough genetic data to get a signal out of the noise."

Not all researchers are convinced, however. Archaeologist Marsha Levine of the University of Cambridge thinks using modern genetic samples to retrace horses' evolution is a dead end. "There's been mixing of cultures and mixing of horses in this region for many thousands of years," she says. "And so when you're looking at any modern horse, you just don't know where it's from."

Bringing together many kinds of evidence is what will ultimately answer the whens and wheres of horse domestication, Levine says. "What we need to be doing is using material from excavations, sequencing ancient genes, and combining that with what we know from archaeological evidence about how animals were used in the past."

Ultimately, says Hofreiter, getting to the bottom of horse domestication will reveal more than just the history of these animals. "Horse domestication has changed human cultures a lot. It has changed warfare, it has changed transportation," he says. "Studying the past of horses can tell us a lot about our own past."


If they speak of domestication of the horse taking place at the latest by 6000 BP, all scriptural references to the horse can be dated at least to 4,000 BCE without regard for that not being in alignment with the domestication of the horse.

So if some scriptures from India, say Rigveda, talk about the horse, a dating of 4000 BCE can be accepted without it being controversial based on earliest horse domestication date.

Theo_Fidel

Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby Theo_Fidel » 15 May 2012 21:07

India's tropical environment was not conducive to horses. No open grasslands.

I keep coming back to this.

The real important trace would be the domestication of the Zebu cow which happened in India. Evidence suggests it was the very first cow to be domesticated in the world. Lactose tolerance came from this domestication. Indo-European lactose tolerant genes are common. Indians are 80% lactose tolerant, including the South. By comparison Chinese are 5% lactose tolerant and Native Americans are 0% lactose tolerant. So where did the lactose tolerant genes come from and how do 80% of Indians have it.

If we have evidence for Zebu domestication earlier than 7,000 years lactose tolerance must have come from India. Then when the Aurochs was domesticated in Europe 4,000 years ago that lactose tolerance gene sprang into action and selected for those tolerant individuals from India.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby member_22872 » 15 May 2012 21:31

Theo ji, even domestication of rice is widely talked about as you might already know. If I remember correctly, rice domestication too took place quite early in Indian subcontinent, tracing that too can help understand the early peopling and migration.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby RajeshA » 15 May 2012 21:38

Koenraad Elst's Blog

George Thompson as a case study in racist Invasionism

There seem to be many people in the West taking active interest in Ancient Indian history and Hinduism, all trying to promote the Aryan Invasion Theory, and many of these people seem to have a racist outlook.

Image

George Thompson

He seems to have translated the The Bhagavad Gita lately. Wonder what kind of mischief he has played!

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby member_22872 » 15 May 2012 22:00

may be a naive question:
why is that we don't have linguistic gurus in India? mastering Panini's grammar and Vedic Sanskrit is not enough to be called a linguistic scholar when it comes to understanding Sanskrit? I find it strange and arrogant on the part of the western scholars to simply brush aside Indian vedic scholars arguments on the basis of lack of linguistic skills.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby member_22872 » 15 May 2012 22:07

Seems to me that lack of Indian master of Vedic literature is bane to India, lacking one, anyone can misinterpret and can pass it on as the true interpretation of BhagawadGita and/or the Vedas.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby RamaY » 15 May 2012 22:12

Bhimbetka rock painting showing man riding on horse, India
Image

The Bhimbetka rock shelters (Devanagari: भीमबेटका पाषाण आश्रय) are an archaeological World Heritage site located in Raisen District in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The Bhimbetka shelters exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India and deliver traces of dance from prehistoric times; a number of analyses suggest that at least some of these shelters were inhabited by hominids like homo erectus more than 100,000 years ago.[1][2] Some of the Stone Age rock paintings found among the Bhimbetka rock shelters are approximately 30,000 years old (Paleolithic Age).[3]

The name Bhimbetka is associated with Bhima, a hero-deity renowned for his immense strength, from the epic Mahabharata.[4] The word Bhimbetka is said to derive from Bhimbaithka, meaning "sitting place of Bhima".[4]

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby vishvak » 15 May 2012 22:13

venug wrote:Seems to me that lack of Indian master of Vedic literature is bane to India, lacking one, anyone can misinterpret and can pass it on as the true interpretation of BhagawadGita and/or the Vedas.

2 paise suggestion.
From link, a presentation from B. B. Lal.
Professor Witzel and I happened to participate in a seminar organized by UMASS, Dartmouth in June 2006. When I referred, during the course of my presentation, to this wrong translation by the learned Professor, he, instead of providing evidence in support of his own stand, shot at me by saying that I did not know the difference between Vedic and Classical Sanskrit. Should that be the level of an academic debate? (Anyway, he had to be told that I had the privilege of obtaining in 1943 my Master’s Degree in Sanskrit (with the Vedas included), with a First Class First, from a first class university of India, namely Allahabad.)

This kind of behavior has nothing to do with 17th century or 21st century. Such scholars will misrepresent regardless.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby RajeshA » 15 May 2012 22:25

There are degree courses in Linguistics in India @

  • M.A. in Linguistics, Post M.A., Diploma in Linguistics, Advanced Diploma in Applied Linguistics by University of Delhi.
  • M.A. in Linguistics in Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi)
  • M.A. in Linguistics from Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad
  • B.A.(Hons.), M.A. in Linguistics, Certificate in Linguistics, P.G. Diploma in Linguistics by Aligarh Muslim University (UP)

I don't know if they teach Vedic Sanskrit, Classical Sanskrit, etc. or whether they just dole out Western theories on linguistics and Indo-European languages.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby RajeshA » 15 May 2012 22:27

RamaY ji,

thanks for sharing the info on Bhimbhetka rock art. The painting of the horse seems to be from a period of 3,000 BCE, if info on the IndiaArchaeology Yahoo Group is anything to go by.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby Theo_Fidel » 15 May 2012 22:36

The problem with Linguistics is the dogmatic Chomskyites who infest every department in the world.

They believe that language is a genetic expression of the brain and not a means for cultural propagation. This foolishness has turned linguistics into a dead backwater of senile blathering. Little new in-field research is being done, esp. WRT to the enormous number of languages disappearing at a rapid pace today. Many languages only have a single speaker remaining.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby member_22872 » 15 May 2012 22:48

Yes I agree with Theo ji, RajeshA ji posted the review of Shrikant G. Talageri's Vedic Chronology & Linguistics by Arnaud Fournet. In which Fournet completely dismisses Talageri's data for the lack of in depth understanding of linguistics just because he doesn't have a PhD in linguistics? not sure, but from the review it is quite apparent that Fournet is not ready to examine the data at all as he doesn't comment on the veracity of the data and references. He just says 'what use is data even if it is voluminous?, if it is incomplete and far from truth' but he never discusses why he thinks so. This is the same with B.B Lal's encounter with Witzl. I find it offensive and very demeaning that these guys from the west champion themselves as the persons whose interpretations of Vedas are the only true interpretations, even though they can't even speak proper Sanskrit (Witzl). I know, not speaking Sanksrit doesn't mean they dont know Sanskrit, but they their expertise will remain incomplete in a way.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby member_22872 » 15 May 2012 22:53

Thinking again, it appears to the western mind, having a PhD defines mastering something in this case say Vedas. That way they will never accept the interpretations of the vedic pundits who spend their life times understanding and studying Vedas and Sanskrit.


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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby member_20317 » 15 May 2012 23:00

Sanskrit and Indian Philosophy are like a women. Some will see a mother some will just .... off.

Much depends on the son.

Thoda likha hai bahut samajna, baki sab thik hai!

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby RajeshA » 15 May 2012 23:02

venug wrote:Thinking again, it appears to the western mind, having a PhD defines mastering something in this case say Vedas. That way they will never accept the interpretations of the vedic pundits who spend their life times understanding and studying Vedas and Sanskrit.

Perhaps what we need is a state-recognized academic degree for traditional Dharmic studies. One could translate these academic degrees as "Bachelors", "Masters" and "PhDs" for the benefit of outsiders.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby member_22872 » 15 May 2012 23:07

RajeshA ji, In fact, if only GoI recognizes vedic studies and gives them degrees as you suggested, it would be great, right now, a student who spends decades studying vedas under a guru gains nothing, no degree to claim anything to his arduous study. It is also one reason Vedic studies in India are unattractive, one who studies vedas gains nothing, apart from a rare chance to be a priest perhaps. A degree on the other hand somehow offsets this feeling of not achieving anything for Vedic student. It could encourage people to send kids to vedic schools if their interests lie in that.
Last edited by member_22872 on 15 May 2012 23:10, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby member_20317 » 15 May 2012 23:09

Exactly RajeshA ji, one cannot live by the rules designed by others.

What has been done in so many centuries deserves a 'Living Response' not a 'Reaction'.

The biggest course in linguistics is the one inside ones own brain. The one that one uses to speak to himself/herself/itself.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby member_20317 » 15 May 2012 23:12

venug wrote:RajeshA ji, In fact, if only GoI recognizes vedic studies and gives them degrees as you suggested, it would be great, right now, a student who spends decades studying vedas under a guru gains nothing, no degree to claim anything to his arduous study. It is also one reason Vedic studies in India are unattractive, one who studies vedas gains nothing, apart from a rare chance to be a priest perhaps. A degree on the other hand somehow offsets this feeling of not achieving anything for Vedic student. It could encourage people to send kids to vedic schools if their interests lie in that.


What we need is cross indexing of available understanding as understood by Indics using Indic methodology.

Now finally it seems OIT thread is moving in the right direction, Cultural migration.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby disha » 16 May 2012 01:08

Theo_Fidel wrote:India's tropical environment was not conducive to horses. No open grasslands.


Wrong. Read on.

If no open grasslands or pastures - how did the Indian Cheetah evolve?

Saudi Arabia does not have open grasslands and has even hotter climes, how come the horses thrive there (albeit with some aid)?

One large open grassland in India:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banni_grasslands. If you do not believe the arid part of the deccan plateau is one large open grassland - you can google more.

Importantly, in the debate of the horses, people are forgetting the ass. Please get familiarized to the Khur. Khur is one of the fastest land mammal in India (the other being Cheetah). People can familiarize with Kutch/Khur here and here

The entire AIT hinges on only one attribute - the domesticated horse. Take away the domesticated horse and it falls apart. A major theory cannot be based on a single attribute of uncertain nature - that in itself should break the AIT.

OIT should not fall into the trap of defining the "horse" as a basis. The domesticated horse was priced, but Indian subcontinent always had Eqqus species.

Here, I am with RajeshA on the following point viz:

The domesticated horse was rare and hence priced for the aswamedha yagna. Just like the Mayan sacrifice, only the best and the rare is sent to the weather gods, so is the rarest and the most priced is sacrificed. The very word of sacrifice entails giving up voluntarily the one you treasure the most. Since asses were bountiful, they were not sacrificed., but the domesticated horse was. Mayans were not blood-thirsty slaughterers as portrayed by the catholic missionaries., their own history was hijacked and re-packaged to show them backward.

BTW, Chariots are also hooked to asses (or domesticated donkeys).

Rajesh ji., the mount of Indra was not a horse, but a white multi-tusked elephant called "Airavata". Even now, only Indra can maintain the white elephant :-) (think about it, the god of thunder rolling out angrily on his white elephant mount - symbolism for the rain and thunder coming out of clouds). Here is some important mounts:

1. Indra - Airavat (Multi-tusked white elephant)
2. Brahma - Lotus
3. Shiva - Nandi (Bull)
4. Vishnu - Garuda (Eagle, serpent eater)
5. Durga - Tiger
6. Kartikeya - Peacock
7. Ganesha - Mouse
8. Krishna - Cow (where is the horse here?)

Heck, the Asoka emblem has the lion, the bull, the elephant and the horse - and he was an emperor. There are very few instances of Asvamedha - the only attested one I think comes from Samudragupta (which is 330-400 AD). The rest are mentioned in the vedas (again primarily in yajurveda) and in the epics (Ramayana/Mahabharata).

So was horse sacrifice that prevalent? What about purushamedha? Why is AIT silent on that?
Last edited by disha on 16 May 2012 01:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby disha » 16 May 2012 01:09

Theo_Fidel wrote:The problem with Linguistics is the dogmatic Chomskyites who infest every department in the world.

They believe that language is a genetic expression of the brain and not a means for cultural propagation. This foolishness has turned linguistics into a dead backwater of senile blathering. Little new in-field research is being done, esp. WRT to the enormous number of languages disappearing at a rapid pace today. Many languages only have a single speaker remaining.


Excellent point. +1

All the more to take out the linguistics from the civilizational theories as the basis. They can be adjunct but not the basis.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby RajeshA » 16 May 2012 01:24

ravi_g wrote:Exactly RajeshA ji, one cannot live by the rules designed by others.

What has been done in so many centuries deserves a 'Living Response' not a 'Reaction'.

The biggest course in linguistics is the one inside ones own brain. The one that one uses to speak to himself/herself/itself.

ravi_g ji,

One can think of this as a grand game! And we do not have the option of not playing! Why? Because they have decided to play with our jewels.

IMHO, we should accept the challenge.

1) We ask our Government to accredit traditional Vedic Scholars, setting up a system of academic degrees. This is needed because we need scholars who are allowed to debate in secular gatherings, who have authority in secular gatherings. And only the state can give them that authority.

2) In the West, there are academic and professional degrees like Master of Theology and Master of Divinity. Similarly we need state-recognized degrees for Indian Dharmic Studies in various variations. The curriculum and examination would be conducted and managed solely by the various Dharmic authorities, with a few subjects which can be taught in usual universities. The state would not interfere with that. Neither would the state have any say in making such degrees into requirements for any positions in religious institutions.

3) Dharmic institutions should be allowed to open their own universities, and call them universities, and offer such programs.

4) We need to get back our dominance of Vedic and Sanskritic Studies. Right now these studies are more and more wandering off to Western universities, where as our scholars who may have traditional recognition, lack secular accreditation and whose credentials are not accepted in world-wide debates on Sanskrit and Vedas and the rest of Hindu studies.

5) Only if we achieve a system of universities and university recognized scholars with secular academic degrees and based on that start a lively system of conferences, journals, awards, etc. will we be able to take back control. Then we can start inviting scholars from outside, and get our institutions recognized by them.

6) With time we start demanding Indian PhDs in Sanskrit and Vedic Studies from outside scholars as well if they say wish to contribute to now internationally recognized Indian journals and if they wish to attend conferences.

7) We also need to increase the budget of Archaeological Survey of India by a few factors.

Today India is the cricket superpower and nothing moves in international cricket without India having a say in it. Today international players vie to be part of IPL. We need to take a leaf from that domination.

We can one day marginalize all AIT-protagonists, but for that we will have to bring Dharmic and Sanskrit Studies into the secular academic mainstream while still retaining control. This would have to happen in a BJP regime so that the secularists do not hijack the whole process.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby RajeshA » 16 May 2012 01:42

The Horse and the 'Aryans'

disha ji,

the AIT-Protagonists say that Rigveda is replete with praise for the horse, and thus the Aryans much have come down South from Central Asian Steppes where the horse is at home.

But all that this proves is that the Horse was a much prized animal. It says nothing about any co-location of Aryans and Horses in their natural habitat.

AIT-protagonists still have to show that:
1) Rigveda speaks of the natural habitat of the horse, full of wild horses.
2) Rigveda speaks of Aryan love for this natural habitat.
3) Rigveda speaks of Aryans capturing the horse, breaking them and domesticating them.
4) Rigveda speaks of Aryans having a close emotional relationship with the horses.
5) Rigveda speaks of Aryans using the horse comprehensively, so much so that they are central to their lives, for meat, for hides, for milk.
6) Rigveda speaks of Aryans love for horse-riding. In fact, Rig veda should show that Aryans had a similar relationship with the horse as say some Mongolian tribes.

Perhaps then the AIT-protagonists would have a case that non-Indian Aryans were the ones who domesticated the horse and brought it with them when they came to India!

Just showing the Horse as prized by the Aryans means nothing. The horse can just as easily have been imported, as it has been over the centuries.

The Khur reference was quite interesting.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby ramana » 16 May 2012 03:44

Folks I dont want this thread to endup like others discussing Hindu religion. Thanks, ramana

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby ManishH » 16 May 2012 06:32

disha wrote:Rajesh ji., the mount of Indra was not a horse, but a white multi-tusked elephant called "Airavata". Even now, only Indra can maintain the white elephant :-) (think about it, the god of thunder rolling out angrily on his white elephant mount - symbolism for the rain and thunder coming out of clouds). Here is some important mounts:

1. Indra - Airavat (Multi-tusked white elephant)
2. Brahma - Lotus
3. Shiva - Nandi (Bull)
4. Vishnu - Garuda (Eagle, serpent eater)
5. Durga - Tiger
6. Kartikeya - Peacock
7. Ganesha - Mouse
8. Krishna - Cow (where is the horse here?)


Dishaji: when one wants to research origins of "Aryans", one has to read their oldest texts, not newer ones. The RgVeda is where you should look.

This may be surprising to some - but there is no mention of Airavat in Rg. Indra rides two bay (harayah) horses in Rg. A vast number of Gods are pictured as associated with steeds, horses etc. I posted a list 2 days back.

There is a significant change in theology w.r.t Indra between Puranas/Epics and the earlier Vedas. Veda predates elephant domestication - so mention of elephants is only in the wild.

Re: linguistics, India was a pioneer in not just phonology, but structured morphology too. Our alphabet is the first one that was arranged by phonetic order. It's not until 19th century that west caught up with Indian knowhow of 300 BC!

Theoji: zebu domestication is not as relevant as horse domestication. The latter allowed the speed and mobility in bronze age that led to dispersal of IE family on the Eurasian landmass. Zebus and various bovine draught animals have been independently domesticated by many civilizations even in chalcolithic.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby brihaspati » 16 May 2012 08:35

ManishH ji,
you are indeed repeating a geographic assumption. The very premise of your illustration of the construction/estimation of the "proto" form from two "separated in the mouth" is based on an unstated assumption - that the two later forms must have had a common origin in a single group from which they drifted apart. Somehow we have to assume that Sanskrit and Greek must have had a common parent.

The approximation of the proto by averaging oral cavity shape instances suffers from one serious weakness - it can be the result of a genuine progression of cavity shapes, but it can equally be an artefact because it is trying to force a continuity that might not have existed at all.

Second weakness is based on the very controversial position in official linguistics circles about how phonetic "similarities" should not be used to draw common origin conclusions. Two similar sounding words perhaps meaning two different things in two currently physically separated languages, need not have a proto form that had intermediate or common meaning/sense/usage/interpretation. However, two different sounding words referring to the same object in two different physically separated languages [as the case of the wheel] must have a common phonetic proto origin. Why? Because the IE has to be assumed as common origin drifted into branches group of languages?

Third, official linguistics presupposes directions of drifts but has no explanation as to why such a drift occurs in a particular direction. If drifts are natural and logical, why are the origins in a opposite direction to the ultimate drift?

As for Mahabhrata date - as I pointed out earlier - people who want a later date to support their enlightenment-from-Euroland-to dark-pagan-yindooland direction, clutch desperately on elements like horse and then tag the whole narrative's historical content into a single time-point event so that any historical context behind story can be pushed into the desired later time bracket. It is conveniently forgotten that a narrative can retell an earlier event in embellishments and encrustations that bears the stamp of the experiences of the period of the later retelling.

There is no difficulty in setting the date of the core war at 3100 by ignoring the horse elements. If we model that the memory of a great war is carried on, and is being retold in a much later period when war means horses - the story of war would be retold in terms of the horses.

The real war is reconstructed in the final epic with lots of symbolism, and is perhaps a means of encoding information that has nothing to do directly with the war itself. But that is a different issue. [I am referring to speculations I put forward on the explicit vyuha numbers and formations as being astronomically significant numbers.] MB final form is most likely a Bronze age retelling of a much earlier story - revived in epic form with political and ethical agenda. That should not be used by weasel arguments like Witzel's to bring the historical event down to a later period.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby ManishH » 16 May 2012 10:36

brihaspati wrote:you are indeed repeating a geographic assumption.


B-ji: There is no geographic origin mentioned in that post. It's about human speech and articulation.

The very premise of your illustration ... is based on an unstated assumption - that the two later forms must have had a common origin in a single group from which they drifted apart.


Here I agree - this indeed is a premise. Explore alternatives. None of the attested IE children can be the parent - for the same reason - a labial 'p' is so different in articulation from a palatal 'c'; that only a labiovelar intermediate can explain it.

BTW, labiovelars aren't pie-in-the-sky speculation. The prediction of labiovelar in 19th century was borne out by discovery of labiovelars in Mycenaean Greek inscriptions. See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycenaean_Greek

A good theory is one that predicts discoveries before they are made. Eg. Einstein's relativity etc.

The approximation of the proto by averaging oral cavity shape instances suffers from onse serious weakness - it can be the result of a genuine progression of cavity shapes


Ok one alternative - but it's easily ruled out - the human speech apparatus hasn't changed this drastically since Bronze age (actually way earlier).

Second weakness is based on the very controversial position in official linguistics circles about how phonetic "similarities" should not be used to draw common origin conclusions.


Here I do not agree with your statement. Linguistic community ever since the Neo-grammarian school, have been unanimous. One must crosscheck if indeed someone is not pulling wool over the eyes by artificially construed phonetic similarity superficially chosen only for chariotry and wagon terms. But no; we see regularity of sound change. Literally scores of words showing the same sound changes:

I hope these examples give an idea about the regularity of sound change here and also answer Rajeshji's skepticism about Greek pelos and Sanskrit carati being related:

This is the equation for PIE voiced and unvoiced labiovelars :
PIE gʷ > Greek b, Sanskrit g (note voice is retained in both)
PIE kʷ > Greek p (loses velar), Sanskrit k/c/ś (loses labial; palatalization if front vowel)

PIE entbhikʷolos > Grk amphipolos, Skt abhicara (follower)
PIE gʷouskʷolos > Grk boupolos, Skt gocara (cow herd)
PIE kʷos > Grk pou, Skt kaḥ,
PIE hekʷos > Grk hippos, Skt aśva (horse)
PIE enikʷo > Grk enōpé, Skt anīka (face)
PIE protikʷo > Grk prosōpon, Skt pratīka (face front)
PIE k̂okʷr > Grk kopros, Skt śakṛt (excrement)
PIE kʷei > Grk poieo, Skt cinoti (pile up/build)
PIE gʷem > Grk bainō, Skt gam (come/go)
PIE kʷrei > Grk priamiai, Skt krīṇati (pay/buy)

Another evidence of the parent labiovelar is:

PIE kʷ > Sanskrit k (loses labial), Old English hw (velar becomes breathy), New English wh (metathesis)

PIE kʷos > Sanskrit kaḥ , Old English hwā, New English who
PIE kʷod > Sanskrit kad, OE hwaet > NE what
PIE kʷrmi > Sanskrit kṛmi, NE worm

Stare at the diagram below : Sanskrit 'k' cannot directly change to English 'wh'. It needs an parent kʷ. Correlate thisphonetic evidence to proposed OIT geographic migrations (eg. take Shri Talageri's book). All theories about Indians (kaḥ) going to Greek (pou) and then onward to English (hwā). Is the phonetic change that proposed OIT spread requires sound ?

Third, official linguistics presupposes directions of drifts but has no explanation as to why such a drift occurs in a particular direction. If drifts are natural and logical, why are the origins in a opposite direction to the ultimate drift?


I've already illustrated the unidirectionality w.r.t labiovelars, palatals and labials. Repeat, a Sanskrit palatal like 'c' cannot transform into Greek palatal like 'p'; neither can the reverse happen.

I request all skeptics to mull over that example a bit; by staring at this diagram and articulating these sounds:

Image

The problem with Shri Talageri's book is that it totally skirts the phonetic change issue. So I've not read Fournet's critique, but I too don't have PhD in Linguistics.

Ramanaji and Rajeshji: Probably this thread needs a split into strategic discussion of AIT/OIT which talks about ideology, strategic implications on Indian society etc.; keeping discussion of archaeology/linguistics/astrological evidence etc totally separate.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby RajeshA » 16 May 2012 15:26

ManishH wrote:Sanskrit 'k' cannot directly change to English 'wh'. It needs an parent kʷ.

Or Sanskrit k needs an intermediate kʷ. :)

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby member_22872 » 16 May 2012 17:42

The problem with Shri Talageri's book is that it totally skirts the phonetic change issue. So I've not read Fournet's critique, but I too don't have PhD in Linguistics.


ManishH ji, as per Talageri's rebuttal to Fournet's review of his book, Talageri says that the book is not a conventional book discussing the linguistic aspects as a Sanskritist or linguist does, but to bring to fore and discuss Rig Veda and how it has intrinsic proofs to disprove AIT, so we can't criticize his book for what it is not intended to be. He himself acknowledges this point but reminds us to consider the contents of the book and critique it based on truths and fallacies of the book than try to discuss what the book is not about.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby RajeshA » 16 May 2012 18:06

ManishH wrote:Ramanaji and Rajeshji: Probably this thread needs a split into strategic discussion of AIT/OIT which talks about ideology, strategic implications on Indian society etc.; keeping discussion of archaeology/linguistics/astrological evidence etc totally separate.

ManishH ji,

"strategic discussion of AIT/OIT which talks about ideology, strategic implications on Indian society etc." provide the relevance of this discussion in the Strategic Forum. It provides the context and defines the meta-discussion. Besides posts on these issues have been sparse, even though there are probably tons of material regarding how Western Indologists have tried to manipulate our history.

Of course, we can discuss the merits of AIT and OIT as well based on archaeology, linguistics, astronomy, literary content, literary chronology, genetics, anthropology, and other forms of scientific evidence and logic.

One can choose to ignore posts on meta-discussion if one wants to.

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby member_22872 » 16 May 2012 18:30

ManishH ji, how are linguists able to decide a) the direction of migration and b) the age of language based on phonetic changes and linguistics? and can we depend on such studies to date compositions and book like the Vedas? Is there a scientific theory behind linguistics that one can verify the phonetic change progression leading to age determination of a composition?

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Re: Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

Postby brihaspati » 16 May 2012 19:57

ManishH wrote:
brihaspati wrote:you are indeed repeating a geographic assumption.


B-ji: There is no geographic origin mentioned in that post. It's about human speech and articulation.

The very premise of your illustration ... is based on an unstated assumption - that the two later forms must have had a common origin in a single group from which they drifted apart.


Here I agree - this indeed is a premise. Explore alternatives. None of the attested IE children can be the parent - for the same reason - a labial 'p' is so different in articulation from a palatal 'c'; that only a labiovelar intermediate can explain it.

BTW, labiovelars aren't pie-in-the-sky speculation. The prediction of labiovelar in 19th century was borne out by discovery of labiovelars in Mycenaean Greek inscriptions. See:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycenaean_Greek

A good theory is one that predicts discoveries before they are made. Eg. Einstein's relativity etc.


You are missing my point : the premise is based on a common geographical point of origin assumption. As you are still assuming without being aware of it - in your own words - "None of the attested IE children can be the parent...". Inside, or subconsciously you have already concluded that they are all "children" of a common "parent".

Without a common space-time point origin, and spread from therein - you cannot have this premise. My subsequent points about the direction of phonetic mutation is again something you have missed, which I will draw out next.

The approximation of the proto by averaging oral cavity shape instances suffers from onse serious weakness - it can be the result of a genuine progression of cavity shapes


Ok one alternative - but it's easily ruled out - the human speech apparatus hasn't changed this drastically since Bronze age (actually way earlier).



By change in "cavity shape instances" I meant that which we dynamically alter in our 3D-oral cavity to produce particular sounds. Its not about physiological modifications. Your claim, which is essentially the axiomatic bias of current linguistics, that changes from "x" sound to "y" sound [which will correspond to different instantaneous placement of tongue-lip-teeth and movement of air as well as muscle vibrations] go in a certain direction. Why? claim is supposedly backed up by empirical "findings". What is that empirical finding based on? Historical migration and cultural spread assumptions. Otherwise there is no obvious reason to try and find similarities between Greek and Sanskrit. If you say oh- no history - just that it sounds oh-so-similar - then thats ounds dangerously close to the "phonetic similarity is BS" type of nakhra that linguists use on similarities that they have already decided to trash no matter what.

Second weakness is based on the very controversial position in official linguistics circles about how phonetic "similarities" should not be used to draw common origin conclusions.


Here I do not agree with your statement. Linguistic community ever since the Neo-grammarian school, have been unanimous. One must crosscheck if indeed someone is not pulling wool over the eyes by artificially construed phonetic similarity superficially chosen only for chariotry and wagon terms. But no; we see regularity of sound change. Literally scores of words showing the same sound changes:

I hope these examples give an idea about the regularity of sound change here and also answer Rajeshji's skepticism about Greek pelos and Sanskrit carati being related:

This is the equation for PIE voiced and unvoiced labiovelars :
PIE gʷ > Greek b, Sanskrit g (note voice is retained in both)
PIE kʷ > Greek p (loses velar), Sanskrit k/c/ś (loses labial; palatalization if front vowel)

PIE entbhikʷolos > Grk amphipolos, Skt abhicara (follower)
PIE gʷouskʷolos > Grk boupolos, Skt gocara (cow herd)
PIE kʷos > Grk pou, Skt kaḥ,
PIE hekʷos > Grk hippos, Skt aśva (horse)
PIE enikʷo > Grk enōpé, Skt anīka (face)
PIE protikʷo > Grk prosōpon, Skt pratīka (face front)
PIE k̂okʷr > Grk kopros, Skt śakṛt (excrement)
PIE kʷei > Grk poieo, Skt cinoti (pile up/build)
PIE gʷem > Grk bainō, Skt gam (come/go)
PIE kʷrei > Grk priamiai, Skt krīṇati (pay/buy)

Another evidence of the parent labiovelar is:

PIE kʷ > Sanskrit k (loses labial), Old English hw (velar becomes breathy), New English wh (metathesis)

PIE kʷos > Sanskrit kaḥ , Old English hwā, New English who
PIE kʷod > Sanskrit kad, OE hwaet > NE what
PIE kʷrmi > Sanskrit kṛmi, NE worm

Stare at the diagram below : Sanskrit 'k' cannot directly change to English 'wh'. It needs an parent kʷ. Correlate thisphonetic evidence to proposed OIT geographic migrations (eg. take Shri Talageri's book). All theories about Indians (kaḥ) going to Greek (pou) and then onward to English (hwā). Is the phonetic change that proposed OIT spread requires sound ?

Third, official linguistics presupposes directions of drifts but has no explanation as to why such a drift occurs in a particular direction. If drifts are natural and logical, why are the origins in a opposite direction to the ultimate drift?


I've already illustrated the unidirectionality w.r.t labiovelars, palatals and labials. Repeat, a Sanskrit palatal like 'c' cannot transform into Greek palatal like 'p'; neither can the reverse happen.

I request all skeptics to mull over that example a bit; by staring at this diagram and articulating these sounds:

Image

The problem with Shri Talageri's book is that it totally skirts the phonetic change issue. So I've not read Fournet's critique, but I too don't have PhD in Linguistics.

Ramanaji and Rajeshji: Probably this thread needs a split into strategic discussion of AIT/OIT which talks about ideology, strategic implications on Indian society etc.; keeping discussion of archaeology/linguistics/astrological evidence etc totally separate.


Do you see the entire problem in your argument is that you still do not realize that all the above is still not giving any theory as to why should there be a drift at all in any direction? Why would Sanskrit move in one direction and Greek in another? if it is merely random, then you would have expected equal appearances of both drifts in each language if they had a common proto origin.

If you say that change is deterministic or unidirectional - then the second problem you do not realize, is that why would a sound be invented initially and developed in a form that needs to change. If change is unidirectional and so overwhelming that only one form is chosen to the complete elimination/rejection of other directions - then it means that there are solid usage/vocalization advantages that makes it so. That in turn means that the original invention was not "natural" and against ease of usage/vocalization.

Linguists are very very speculative in their origins hypotheses about language invention. But usual logical arguments based on optimum ease of use constrained by physiological restrictions , and the known fact that the basic mechanics of full human vocalization had already been genetically shaped before modern humans - makes any assumption of an "unnatural" original invention dubious. Any system that developed out of experimentation on vocalization for possibly more than 200,000 years would be unlikely to be non-optimal which needed so quick drifts to find their optimum as is envisaged within the IE timeframe.


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