Out-of-India - From Theory to Truth

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

Postby Prem » 27 May 2012 06:43

Log kya kahenge!! Indians have discarded Gandhigiri!! I was watching the Story of India by Birturd Michael Wood scholary explaining the Soma plant did not exist in india but only out of india near Peshawar.

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

Postby Pranav » 27 May 2012 07:23

I think the situation of languages like Greek is probably analogous to Malayalam.

Malayalam, even though having 80% Sanskrit vocabulary, has roots which are independent of Sanskrit.

Similarly, there are undoubtedly words in Greek which are related to words in Sanskrit. We do know that there were Indian emigrant groups like the Mitani that must have carried their language with them into their new homelands.

But to imagine that Greek and Sanskrit have a common ancestor would be misguided.

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

Postby member_20317 » 27 May 2012 10:31

Pranav wrote:I think the situation of languages like Greek is probably analogous to Malayalam.

Malayalam, even though having 80% Sanskrit vocabulary, has roots which are independent of Sanskrit.


This is a really important observation. Pranav I hope you know Malayalam well.

If 80% of the words in Malayalam are related to sanskrit while it retains its long forgoten origins probably somewhere in ASI language and that could have been the case as you suggest with Greek then surely the same logic is extendable to other European languages. There is nothing to refute that as Homo Sapiens moved into Neanderthal territory with an over lap of existence till about 10 kya, these Homo Sapien could simply have started speaking Neanderthal language and thus the 'real roots' of English or French or German could be in Neanderthal language, with Sanskrit or its preceeding forms providing only the proverbial 'loan words'.


Hate to use 'root', too creationist. I dont really understand what 'Loan word' is. Corporate law defination of loan as given in the ratio of the decision of Indian courts is - money taken with the intention to be returned with or without interest. So are the loan words going to be returned to the 'parent language' or whatever language, if these 'parent languages' forget it. In which case a few real life examples would help alongwith a good explaination of why the same will keep happening always.

If people throw such claims at us then they better hand us over some definations also else there is no point talking to us.

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

Postby RajeshA » 27 May 2012 11:02

Another AIT/AMT proponent basing his hypotheses on the spread of farming:

Peter Bellwood

Understanding the Neolithic in Northern India

He wrote: First Farmers: The Origins of Agricultural Societies

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

Postby RajeshA » 27 May 2012 14:34

It seems at last some political players have decided to educate the public at large on the whole AIT stuff.

Published on May 13, 2012
By J.V. Siva Prasanna Kumar
BJP hard on DMK, soft on AIADMK: Deccan Chronicle
This time, the saffron party has decided to take on regional issues. Describing Dravidianism as a myth created by DMK leader Karunanidhi to gain political mileage, BJP national executive member L. Ganesan at the BJP conference in Madurai said, “Dravidian refers to geographical area not any race and Aryan signifies qualities of a person.” Going hammer and tongs at the DMK, he said the ‘Dravidian’ theory was not accepted by the neighbouring states.

Wondering why Mr Karunanidhi did not organise Dravidian language conference outside Tamil Nadu, Mr Ganesan urged the people not to believe the depiction of Dravidians by Mr Karunanidhi. “Aryan does not mean north Indian. It refers to traits. Lord Ram was called Aryan due to his qualities and, interestingly, Ravana’s wife addressed her husband as ‘Arya putra’,” he emphasised.

Party president Pon. Radhakrishnan, who adopted a new strategy to bat for Tamil language


It is a good thing if our politicians are better versed in this subject, so that they can use their organizational resources to better educate the public, and to tell them how foreign interests are active in India to push a false and a different confrontational narrative.

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

Postby ManishH » 27 May 2012 20:22

brihaspati wrote:Sankrit: continuing from Kazanas

7a. [b]A most interesting aspect of Indoeuropean Linguistics is the root and the vowel gradation or ablaut system (or apophonie). Indoeuropeanists adopted an hypothetical five-grade ablaut from Greek.
...
one would find even more bizarre changes in the stem. There is no regularity; moreover the vowels change from palatal e to labial u/o etc without rhyme or reason.



What Kazanas says is nothing new - he's harking back to antiquated pre-Saussure theory held by 19th century linguists:

From Maier-Brugger's book:
L 206. Vedic, on the other hand, exhibits a simplification (de­
phonologization) that took place already in the Indo-Iranian period. PIE
'e, '0, *a become a single Indo-Iranian *a, PIE *e, *0, *a a single Indo­
Iranian *a. We are indebted to F. de Saussure for this insight: Saussure
Memoire 1879 (prior to which, one considered precisely this uniform vo­
cality of Indo-Iranian as if it were originally Proto-Indo-European
, thus
assuming, for example, that the Greek and Latin e, 0, a were secondary
developments


Kazanas neglects to mention that the varied ablaut in Greek is due to colouring effect of laryngeals. In Greek, the laryngeals H1 induced PIE 'e' -> 'a', and H2 induced PIE 'e' -> 'o'.

Kazanas neglects to mention that there is strong evidence of PIE e/o/a being older; eg. in form of palatalization of velars due to effect of back vowels. - see this post.

So Vedic and Iranian had already simplified a lot of e/o roots to the 'a' sound. Greek's numerous 5-fold ablaut forms are also because it retained older forms that had been straightened out in Vedic. It's not just Greek, even Germanic and Lithuanian have more ablaut forms, latter being even closer to PIE.

Greek had verbs, and scholars say that nouns derive from the
verb-stem: e.g. che-o > che-u-ma ‘a flow/ stream’; cho-e ‘pouring,
libation’, cho-a-ne ‘melting pot’; chu-ma ‘the fluid’, chu-s-is
‘shedding’, chu-tra ‘earthen pot’; etc. Even if we took che- as the
root, it is difficult to see how this develops into cheu-, cho- and
then chu-!


This is again a very well known concept of roots with two themes in PIE. And nothing unique to Greek. For an example of roots with two themes, Vedic has these:

'yuj' (join): yuñjati and 'yu' (unite): yuvati
'deva' (god) and 'dyau' (sky)

These are examples of extended roots in Vedic. They are as irregular and again explanation is PIE-era roots with extended theme (due to Benveniste). Also see some pointers to extended roots here:

http://indo-european.info/WebHelp/3_wor ... _forms.htm

One realizes how inconsistent Greek is when one considers
two similar verbs: deo ‘bind’ > de-ma ‘band, rope’, de-s-is ‘the
binding together’, de-s-mos ‘bond’, (dia-)de-ma ‘ribbon round hair’ –
but no deu-, do- and du- ;


Same inconsistencies are found with irregular forms of Vedic root 'dā' (bind) - dyati, dāyi, ditạ

Sanskrit has three gradations in the development of the root-stem: e.g. cit ‘being conscious of’ >cet-as‘ mind, intelligence ’orcet-a-ti‘ he/she realizes ’,a-cait‘ realized’(aor),caitanya ‘consciousness’ etc. / 0 always changes to e and ai, never to a or u/o. [b]Similarly radical u ->->o ->->au and r->->ar->->aar. Now,& sometimes will give ra/ri/ru but will never become i/eor u/o[b]. ... This process is absent from other IE branches. (And, as we see in Greek, it is utterly confused. Modern studies since, say J. Kurylowicz(1956), O. Szemerényi (1972) et al, rationalize but also tacitly acknowledge this fact.)


Kazanas presents partial data. Conflicting his 'never' are these participles :
pṛ -> pūrṇa
gṛ -> gīrṅa
stṛ -> tistirāṇa
pā -> pīta
kṛ -> kriyamāna
... and many more which do not obey simple guṇa / vṛddhi.

Kazanas states nothing new when he points to better regularity of ablaut (guṇa/vṛddhi) in Sanskrit. But let us use ablaut itself to examine the claim that greater regularity = greater antiquity.

Compare prathama plural of Vedic and Pāṇinian forms of masc. 'ari' (suppliant).

Vedic aryas, Classical arayaḥ

We see that Vedic doesn't have a guṇa form, but Classical does (are + aḥ = arayaḥ). The more regular forms in Classical don't make them precede Vedic do they ?!

Most linguists think twice before making correlations between regularity and antiquity. Whereas the usual correlation is the reverse. Eg. Esperanto is more regular than Slavic/Romance languages. Does it make Esperanto older ?

i) pa-ter-a (acc sing) where – ter- shows e as the basic grade (to be distinguished from S e which is long and second grade).


More rediculous results follow since Kazanas keeps ignoring the laryngeal.

But what principles govern these so-called vowel-grades in Greek? In fact there are no principles such as we have in Sanskrit! [b]Clackson writes at length about the significance of the root but does not give a single example in PIE or any branch of a root generating primary and secondary derivatives as in Sanskrit (2007:65-9, 187-191)


The only thing one can conclude is the lack of indigenous reshaping of own grammar in Greek. Something which Indian grammarians have been doing for ages.

7b. By way of conclusion, let me repeat that PIE cannot be reconstructed at all from the available data in the known IE branches.


This is something linguists themselves accept - what they have is not perfect. But I'm surprised that Kazanas doesn't get the big open issues at all in his essay.

PS: shiv-ji: I'm lagged on this thread; will catch up soon.

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

Postby ManishH » 27 May 2012 22:21

shiv wrote:Folks the word yogurt came from Turkey, apparently. It's called "dahi" in Hindi. It is "Thayir" in Tamil. But it's "mosaru" in Kannada. Kannada is Dravdian language as per the experts. But yogurt is also called "mezzoradu" in Sicily. Also Matsun in Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan.

Why? Coincidence? Sonia Gandhi influence? Or should we be looking for a proto Kannada-European language?


This is a semantic impossibility. Mezzoradu means "improved milk" in Italian. The kannada 'mosaru' has no such semantics.

Connecting semantically unconnected words would be an example of Goropianism. Isolated, one-off apparent similarity of words never implies common origins. So you never see any linguist make absurd claims like that.

It's regularity in sound change that is needed.

Since there are other yoghurt varieties like gioddu, cieddu, it appears -du is some kind of suffix, most probably meaning 'milk'.

Then the question of core vocabulary. Eg. see numerals

Greek: eis, duo, treis, tettares, pente; hex, hepta octa ennea deca
Sanskrit: eka, dvi, trayaḥ, catvāraḥ, pañca, ṣaṣ, sapta, aṣṭā, nava, daśa
Kannada: ondu, eraḍu, mūru, nālku, aidu, āru, eḷu, eṇṭu, ombhattu, hattu

The discipline of Historical Linguistics upon which a common origin of Indo-European languages is proposed, does not use such absurd methods.

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

Postby ManishH » 27 May 2012 22:59

brihaspati wrote:ManishH ji,

Even in Sanskit, "kirti" is derived from "karma", - "keerti" is achievement/posterity, that which is "done". Fame in Sanskrit is perhaps more correctly connected to "yasa". in Hindi, the correct transliteration for fame would be yasa. Keerti can be loosely used, but should not be used if it is fame that is in mind. Keerti is neutral : it could be good or bad. Good keerti might lead to yasa. But yasa could come without keerti.


Nope. The word कीर्ति comes from root कॄत् (to praise/recite/proclaim), not the root कृ (to do). So it always means 'fame'. See Apte's dictionary ...

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... :1433.apte
http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... 1:904.apte

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

Postby shiv » 27 May 2012 23:23

ManishH wrote:Kazanas neglects to mention that there is strong evidence of PIE e/o/a being older; eg. in form of palatalization of velars due to effect of back vowels. - see this post.


If I can understand your posts minus the video/audio clips that would be a necessary aid to understanding, you are saying that the oro-glosso-palato-muscular dynamics of phonation are being analysed to claim that similar meaning words in different languages (say Sanskrit and Greek) are likely to have an intermediate predecessor (called PIE) which was corrupted/mispronounced in one way by the Greeks and in another way by the Sanskrit speakers.

Why should it be a predecessor? Why can't it just be bad mispronunciation of one or the other leading from one language to another?

As far as I can tell you have named no candidate language, existing or extinct to play the role of "PIE=Proto Indo European"

In other words PIE is a hypothetical language that must have been there because the dynamics of phonation suggests that mispronunciation in one way produces Greek and mispronunciatiion the other way produces Sanskrit.

With due respect to your scholarship, if you have to invent a non existent PIE to explain something, it is a valid scientific trick to find answers but remains conjecture and not proof. Hypothetical constructs can be made in various ways and the subject you are talking about is arcane and completely unintelligible to normal humans minus audio/video examples. I believe I am fairly sharp at understanding some complex stuff and have been digesting arcane stuff all my life over many decades. but what you are saying, with respect again, sounds like it stretches the bounds of credibility.

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

Postby brihaspati » 28 May 2012 04:58

ManishH ji,
I don't think it is academically honest to accuse Kazanas of not devoting hundreds of pages exclusively devoted to linguistics so that linguists can retain their sense of dominance and importance - in a paper which is simply about AIT. If he is setting out to refute AIT, then linguistic claims about AIT is just one of the many aspects of AIT that he needs to refute.

I also mentioned that some of his specifically linguistic papers are listed on the site for free download. Moreover, his academic papers are quite detailed and not all of them are listed on the website for free download.

In any case one of his more "linguistic" articles on the site is actually quoted, and I am selecting the portions that you have addressed: [Sanskrit and Proto-Indo-European N Kazanas, Omilos Meleton, Athens: March 2004.]

21. The modern IEL postulates, among other questionable entities, a series of stops called “labio- velars” (Watkins, p xvii; Szemerényi, p 69; etc). These are indicated by the letter-symbols gw, kw, gwh, kwh0. These conjectural consonants seem totally unnecessary for several reasons, one of which is most fundamental: they are simply unpronounceable. (Note also that the series has no corresponding vowel.) Let us see.

A “labio- velar” consonant implies the simultaneous use of the back of the tongue (and mouth as for a and aka) and of the lips (as for u or upu). Is this a unitary sound like gh(- a) or something else?... The very notation gw or kw etc indicates (to me) two immediately consecutive but quite distinct sounds, a consonant proper and a vowel-glide. Indeed this is what one hears when attempting to pronounce any one of them. What is, for example, the sound of *gwÄ (or *gwem-) ‘to go, come’ (Watkins, 33: no asterisk)?... Whatever twists and tricks I use, and however swiftly, holding the mouth open and pursing the lips, I get a good variety of g-u/-vÄ, go/gö or plain gÄ but not a unitary consonant gw (different from velar ga) and the vowel Ä. Or take *kwi (‘who’: Watkins 46: no asterisk): again I obtain kä/-v-i u-k-v-i, kü and so on. Please experiment. (The fact is that no IEL book says how exactly these sounds are pronounced.)

22. Another very curious example (not from the labio-velar series) is dhghem (Watkins, 20): this means ‘earthling, man’ and the like and is a cognate (indeed, the origin) of Gk chthoan ‘earth’ (>auto- chthon ‘indigenous’), L homo ‘man’ (and ‘humus, humility’ etc) and S ksÄm- ‘earth’ (also kêam, kêamÄ ‘endurance’). How does one pronounce dhghe? ... The first sound I got is dghe, with the d- slightly muted. Then I got dheghe or [\delta]ghe (affricate with -ghe) or an infinitessimal but audible pause after dh- and before -ghe – but not dhghe in the way I get other initial or medial conjunct consonants. The aspiration in the consonant dh requires, in speech, immediate release with a vowel or semivowel nasal and vowel. Even Szemereznyi acknowledges the difficulty of this initial conjunct.

Watkins gives also a conjunct with a labio-velar consonant, dhgwhei- ‘to perish’. This is the distant origin of “phthisis ‘consumption’ (<Gk phthi- ) and S ksi >ksiyate (ksinAti). Here one meets insuperable difficulties. Don’t bother to try this. Even attempts to pronounce phthisis will produce at least an affricate, fthi- or pthi- or p[\theta]i-.

23. It is possible that the speakers of PIE in very ancient times had extra-ordinary abilities and could pronounce labio-velars as unitary consonants or conjuncts of the type phth or even dhgwh – but no more I think than that, in some very distant epoch, some trees had a vagina and could get impregnated by men, whence arose the myths that humans emerged from trees. In theory, on paper, such sounds look fine, but in reality they are unpronounceable.

Sanskrit has of course dhÄtus ending in aspirates indh, inkh, math, stubh, etc, but these are theoretical or mental concepts rather than words used in speech and in the DhÄtupÄtha are invariably given with a following vowel -indhi, inkhi, mantha, etc. In actual speech, we find anustup, or stubdha ‘hymned’ (where the aspiration is transferred onto the next unvoiced consonant -ta and this appears now as the voiced -dha) or anu-stuubh-yÄm ‘with two anustubhs’ (where a semivowel follows). These and similar combinations are pronounceable10 For this reason, Sanskrit preserved them when the other IE branches lost them completely except for the tha, pha, cha (=kha=χ·) preserved in Greek.


Regarding "keerti" - its true that the derivation formally is from "keert-". But its usage is more as if from "that which is done". If it was always positive and "praise" - then certain prefixes would have to be ruled out, even though they are used in the classical - such as su/ku/apah.

I should have explained that in my speculative exploration, the joint "kr" originally denoted action. Our modern reconstruction of placing vowels for pronunciation according to what we feel is the most convenient one for articulation, need not be that modern. By the time the classical is being formalized, the same process would have tried to estimate the various vowel placements between and around "kr" in terms of usage. The allowance of usage of further qualifications by su/ku/apah would not have arisen if the traditional memory of usage of "keer-t" exclusively denoted the positive praise.

Both traditions of usage makes sense - if the original sense even in "k-ee-r-t" was from "action".

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

Postby brihaspati » 28 May 2012 05:13

ManishH ji,
the "regularity" is of great interest to me, and its relations to antiquity is even more interesting if you claim that they are disjointed - since it stands quite intricately linked with one of the basic arguments of AIT, although I guess linguists fail to see the logical connection and hence blissfully ignore the danger.

Your reference to "laryngeals" piques my curiosity. You have not mentioned any linguist-sourced criticism of the hypothetical PIE laryngeals but used them as some kind of self-evident truth. Are you sure that no such criticism exists? I have at least one in mind. Moreover, is not the laryngeal theory traceable to Saussure ->Moller-> Kurylowicz [Hittite ultimately imposed on hypothetical single vowel of Saussure] route? Both Saussure and Moller's axioms are now regarded as unreliable or untenable even by linguists - but somehow the laryngeal theory which bases itself on those very axioms - are still held dearly.

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

Postby brihaspati » 28 May 2012 08:06

Laryngeals in PIE reconstructions are most interesting. Authors cannot agree on how many are basic - and how many are placeholders for speculations to solve any problematic reconstruction claim that is needed to fit into the theory.

Apart from the Anatolian - how many of the PIE "reconstructed" branches support extensive use of "laryngeals"? Then again the "Anatolian" line of laryngeals, as far as I know, was hypothetically constructed based on just 24 Hittite "words" - which were themselves speculations.

I don't see why it is so bad of Kazanas to ignore the "laryngeals"!

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

Postby shiv » 28 May 2012 08:28

Folks please pardon my skepticism. You see my thought process has been moulded over decades to accept "proof" as something that is demonstrable and reproducible. I also know that such proof is often impossible to acquire when it comes to specialities like history, archaeology etc and the people who study things that used to be there in the past resort to hypothetical constructs that seem to explain everything they way they are.

Hypothetical constructs await proof at some later date but cannot be passed off as the truth simply because all sorts of false hypothetical constructs can be made to explain a given situation. As an example, the theory that space contained within it a substance called "aether" was a hypothetical construct. It was convenient to assume the presence of aether pervading space to explain how light travelled through space.

When I look at the information available to amateurs in this business of archaeology, history and archaeo-linguistics it appears that a hypothetical construct is often the normal method used for progress. Disagreements and agreement are often based on the elegance or credibility of completely hypothetical non existent constructs.

I think that a completely non existent "proto-Indo-Iranian" (PII) language has been created (conjured up and cooked up would be less kind words) to explain the connection between languages like Avestan (of the Parsis) and Sanskrit. I am afraid that the same sleight of hand is being used to construct a new and non existent and assumed link language or mother language called "Proto-Indo-European"(PIE)

The theories seem to be based on elegant rules like: "Take words/phrases that have the same meaning in two languages and then check to see if all the individual sounds (syllables, vowels, consonants) in the words of one language can consistently be changed in a fixed way to produce ward of the same meaning in the other language."

The presence of such a regular pattern is then taken as proof that language 1 and language 2 are linked because the same of one language can be consistently mispronounced to produce words of the other language. But this leads to some words that really stretch credibility.

In this post ManishH explains the rules that seem to be applied

ManishH wrote:So we have a manifold correlation:
1. Semantic similarity : both language systems derive the word for 'fame' from the root 'to hear'. Do other language families do it ? Eg. Dravidian Kannada world for famous is 'hesaruvasi' derives from the root for 'name'.
2. Phonetic similarity : rhotacism in Indo-Iranian. The Sanskrit 'r' sound appears like 'l' sound in Greek
3. Palatalization with front vowels: a front vowel like 'e' can influence a velar like 'k' to be articulated near the palate to make it 'ś'

4. Poetic devices repeat : oral traditions do not forget themes like that. With a robust oral tradition, these survive a long time and multiple phonetic changes in the language. This device is found in Slavic/OldEnglish/German epic poetry too.


If I take the examples 2 and 3 which I have highlighted in bold letters, you have an explanation for why "kleos" in Greek is the same as "sravas" in Sanskrit.

Point 3 explains how Greek "k" can become "s". It is unconvincing to me, but some people believe it.
Point 2 explains how Sanskrit "r" became Greek "l"

So if you take "sravas" you can produce "kleos" from it. Both sravas and kleos seem to mean fame, and both name to be derived from the common concept of "he whose name is heard is famous"

Unfortunately it does stretch the bounds of credibility but the connection in the meanings of the two words is undeniable. It is only the verbal gymnastics required to explain why one word became the other word that stretches credibility. It seems to me that the invention of a hypothetical PII and PIE are tools that are being used to explain how that verbal gymnastics occurred to change "k" to "s" or vice versa.

What is occurring here is an assumption of a language called PIE. But what begins to cause takleef is to create a geographic area of origin for that assumed "cooked up" hypothetical language PIE.

A house built of matchsticks appears to have been created. First a non existing language is created out of conjecture of the sort that converts "k" to "s". Then that non existing language is speculated to have a certain geographical origin. Both the previous data points are assumed and conjured up from multiple unrelated scraps of information. But now you have created a language and an area of the world that people can relate to in their minds. This becomes a truth which is then used to say that these ancestral people were the ones who are also your ancestors in India/Timbuktu wherever. Over a span of decades biases can get converted to truths in this manner.

I remain highly skeptical. Other sciences are full of pitfalls demonstrated to be wrong because they were constructed out of assumptions. On this particular subject if you start digging into details you will find, at every step along the way, controversies and disagreements. Dogma is the claim that something is correct by dismissing all controversy as false or misplaced. This imprecise "science" should have no place for dogma. But yet it seems that dogma linked to egos runs deep.

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

Postby ManishH » 28 May 2012 09:05

shiv wrote:Vaman Shivram Apte's dictionary lists the word "aksh" on its own used in the words akshati, akshnoti, aanaksh, akshishyati-akshyati, aakshaat, aakshatam-ashtam etc and gives the following meanings:
1. To reach
2. To pass throught, pervade penetrate (Mostly Ved. in these senses)
3. To accumulate, to increase (to cause to pervade)

The word "Kshah" (letter ksha + two dots ":") is listed as meaning destruction, loss etc

The word "Akshata" means whole, undivided, unhurt

In the sense of shravan aksiti - the Hindi translator of the passage has said kirti prapti which fits in with the meaning on top, but could also be understood as kirti without loss or kirti undivided.

But not immortality.


Shiv: The word is अक्षिति which means 'immortal/imperishable'. Apte's dictionary has this :

http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philol ... 1:164.apte

So श्रवस् = kleos = fame; अक्षिति = apthiton = imperishable

In the sūkta, the word अजरम् has been used which means the same thing as अक्षिति. The hindi translator has used the hindi word नित्य (नित्य कीर्ति विस्तार करेंगे), which means everyday - which is an approximation. In this respect, the english translation is better than hindi.

The Greek word aphthiton is said to mean undying and imperishable. I have no issue with that translation. But how is aphthiton=aksiti=immortal?


I hope you got the semantic equality now, which is not tenuous but very exact. If not, I'm patient enough to follow up on the OT thread.

2. come up with a less than credible explanation of a vedic passage making the following far fetched claim:


I'm amazed you can label translations as credible v/s not, without looking up dictionaries being pointed at you, and instead using google. And when your google skills show wrong results, shift the blame with "google may be wrong".

It is the latter that I have a problem with. A big bluff is being built upon a small sleight of hand that says shravas aksiti=kleon aphthiton.


This bluster is out of proportion with your willingness to look at dictionaries pointed at you. You went and searched Apte's dictionary for "aksh"! it just shows you cannot do basic sandhi vicchedana - अक्षिति should be first split into अ + क्षिति

This is what I mean by linguistic callisthenics to desperately thrash about and make a link


The link is obvious - but requires an ability to lookup dictinaries, lacking which, you must resort to your other expertise, strawman arguments ...

The descendants of Ham could not have this wisdom. Only the white Christian descendants of Japheth could have it and hence links must be found with Greek no matter how tenuous or unlikely.


When neither professional linguists, nor I have made such claims, what are you disputing :-)

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

Postby ManishH » 28 May 2012 09:18

brihaspati wrote:ManishH ji,
I don't think it is academically honest to accuse Kazanas of not devoting hundreds of pages exclusively devoted to linguistics so that linguists can retain their sense of dominance and importance - in a paper which is simply about AIT.


B-ji: as I said earlier, I found nothing wrong with a lot of what Kazanas said, esp his philology (meaning of sanskrit texts). I only wish to point problems with his phonetic analysis - which is basically harking back to iterations already done before 1930s.

His analysis of Sanskrit texts is more exact than Witzel &co. Unfortunately, disagreements come out sharper in internet discussions than agreements.

If he is setting out to refute AIT, then linguistic claims about AIT is just one of the many aspects of AIT that he needs to refute.


Of course; and many times, I do find myself in agreement with those arguments.

21. The modern IEL postulates, among other questionable entities, a series of stops called “labio- velars” (Watkins, p xvii; Szemerényi, p 69; etc). These are indicated by the letter-symbols gw, kw, gwh, kwh0. These conjectural consonants seem totally unnecessary for several reasons, one of which is most fundamental: they are simply unpronounceable. (Note also that the series has no corresponding vowel.) Let us see.


I cannot agree with the unpronouncable argument. I've addressed it here ...
viewtopic.php?p=1286380#p1286380

Living languages like Slavic have even trickier consonant clusters.

I should have explained that in my speculative exploration, the joint "kr" originally denoted action. Our modern reconstruction of placing vowels for pronunciation according to what we feel is the most convenient one for articulation, need not be that modern. By the time the classical is being formalized, the same process would have tried to estimate the various vowel placements between and around "kr" in terms of usage. The allowance of usage of further qualifications by su/ku/apah would not have arisen if the traditional memory of usage of "keer-t" exclusively denoted the positive praise.


Worth thinking about. Just want to point out that :
- श्रवस् derives from root श्रु (to hear) - so more direct evidence of it meaning fame.
- Sanskrit phonetics treats ऋ (short vowel) and ॠ (long vowel), as vowels. And roots have vastly different meanings based on short and long. eg. शी (sleep) and शिष् (leave), भी (fear) and भिद् (cleave). So I doubt that short कृ and long कॄ are related. But if you have any grammatical work which shows a relation, please do share. TIA.

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

Postby Pranav » 28 May 2012 09:33

Here is a conjecture - Given any two words (which may or may not have related meanings), there exists a third word, and two linguistically valid transformation paths, that transform this third word into each of the first two words.

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

Postby ManishH » 28 May 2012 09:46

shiv wrote:Why should it be a predecessor? Why can't it just be bad mispronunciation of one or the other leading from one language to another?


When you look at two languages, it appears that is a possibility. But evidence from multiple IE languages shows that these are indeed mispronunciations, but not of each other but of a lost parent language. Let's use this diagram of human vocal apparatus for reference:

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

And hash out the possibilities of 'mispronounciation' with some examples:

Look at IE cognates of 'wheel':
Sanskrit: cakra, Greek: kuklos, Old English: hweogol, New English: wheel

Focussing on the initial syllable, let's see if any of these languages can be the parent and the others are just mispronouncing them. Eg. Greek 'k' cannot go to English 'hw' - they are just too far apart in the human mouth with radically different places of articulation. Neither can Sanskrit 'ca' become english 'hw'.

But what if they are all mispronunciations, not of each other, but of an extinct mother language, which had a labiovelar sound 'kʷekʷlos'. A labiovelar is pronounce like a velar 'k' but with lips rounded, the teeth do not touch the lips.

In Greek, the initial syllable kʷe lost it's labial element to become a simple kuklos. In Old English, the velar element 'k' turned into a voiced aspirate 'h' and retained the labial element to become 'hw'. In New English, it metathesized (swapped) to become 'wh'.

In Sanskrit, the progression is slightly longer. It first lost the labial element to become 'ke'; then the front vowel 'e' influenced the velar 'k' to become palatalized - the human palate is where the 'ca' sound is articulated an that's very close to where the vowel 'e' is articulated.

We can do the same triangulation exercise with IE cognates of 'cow"
Sanskrit: gau, Latin: bos, English: cow

The voiced velar of sanskrit becoming a pure voiced labial of Latin or vice-versa is a far-fetch, they are too far in the human mouth. Whereas a labiovelar parent gʷ makes it a natural progression.

In Sanskrit, gʷ lost the labial element totally. In Latin, the velar element lost but left the voicing effect on the labial to make it 'b'. Voicing is when vocal cords vibrate eg. (g is voiced, k is not). So Latin shows gʷ -> b and kʷ > p

Do the same exercise on these IE cognates of interrogative 'what' ?

Sanskrit kad, Latin quod, Old English hwaet, New English what

In other words PIE is a hypothetical language that must have been there because the dynamics of phonation suggests that mispronunciation in one way produces Greek and mispronunciatiion the other way produces Sanskrit.


I think a speech therapist or an ENT can critique the above progression.

have been digesting arcane stuff all my life over many decades. but what you are saying, with respect again, sounds like it stretches the bounds of credibility.


As a medical professional, I do value your statement on the phonetic progression.

PS: edited above to change Greek -> Latin in some of the words.

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

Postby ManishH » 28 May 2012 10:27

shiv wrote:Folks please pardon my skepticism. You see my thought process has been moulded over decades to accept "proof" as something that is demonstrable and reproducible.


I won't say there is proof of every sound progression in PIE. But proof does exist of several crucial sound changes. Eg:

1. Labiovelars are found in Mycenaean Greek inscriptions of Knossos. These had disappeared by the time of Greek Epics. So we know that PIE labiovelars were retained for some time, then lost by the Greeks.

2. Laryngeals are found again in Hittite inscriptions, not only found, but found in the exact syllables where DeSaussure predicted them 50 years before their discovery.

When I look at the information available to amateurs in this business of archaeology, history and archaeo-linguistics it appears that a hypothetical construct is often the normal method used for progress.


Again a generalization which I feel tempted to sharply refute. But that'll only dilute the thread.

In this post ManishH explains the rules that seem to be applied

ManishH wrote:So we have a manifold correlation:
1. Semantic similarity : both language systems derive the word for 'fame' from the root 'to hear'. Do other language families do it ? Eg. Dravidian Kannada world for famous is 'hesaruvasi' derives from the root for 'name'.
2. Phonetic similarity : rhotacism in Indo-Iranian. The Sanskrit 'r' sound appears like 'l' sound in Greek
3. Palatalization with front vowels: a front vowel like 'e' can influence a velar like 'k' to be articulated near the palate to make it 'ś'

4. Poetic devices repeat : oral traditions do not forget themes like that. With a robust oral tradition, these survive a long time and multiple phonetic changes in the language. This device is found in Slavic/OldEnglish/German epic poetry too.


If I take the examples 2 and 3 which I have highlighted in bold letters, you have an explanation for why "kleos" in Greek is the same as "sravas" in Sanskrit.

Point 3 explains how Greek "k" can become "s". It is unconvincing to me, but some people believe it.
Point 2 explains how Sanskrit "r" became Greek "l"

So if you take "sravas" you can produce "kleos" from it. Both sravas and kleos seem to mean fame, and both name to be derived from the common concept of "he whose name is heard is famous"


Nope, point 1. is also critical. The way the root 'klu' (to hear) in Greek is used to form multiple words like kluto, kluein indicates it is a root. Just like in Sanskrit the root 'श्रु' is used to form multiple words like श्रुति, श्रवण, श्रोत etc.

It is only the verbal gymnastics required to explain why one word became the other word that stretches credibility. It seems to me that the invention of a hypothetical PII and PIE are tools that are being used to explain how that verbal gymnastics occurred to change "k" to "s" or vice versa.


k -> श is called palatalization and the front vowel 'e' influences a velar to become palatal. If you see the wiki, this is not a phenomenon isolated to Sanskrit, even Slavic and Lithuanian shows palatalization. Eg. The Czech word for fame 'sláva' is an artefact of the same effect.

What is occurring here is an assumption of a language called PIE. But what begins to cause takleef is to create a geographic area of origin for that assumed "cooked up" hypothetical language PIE.


You are attributing more than what the theory of sound change claims. PIE doesn't specify a geographic area of origin. It can be anywhere. The geographic origins need to be determined based on genetics and archaeology amongst other things.

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

Postby shiv » 28 May 2012 10:29

ManishH wrote:When neither professional linguists, nor I have made such claims, what are you disputing :-)


Here is what I am disputing. You have argued with everything else so far. You in fact told me Google was wrong and when I agreed you are blaming me for agreeing with you. :D But I digress

This is what you said in two posts that I am disputing

ManishH wrote:Shiv: Roving bards and their patronization by kings is a
cross-IE phenomenon. The concept of 'śravas akṣiti' (fame immortal) echoes in
multiple similar phrases in IE world "kleos apthiton". Basically, kings believed
that words of Bards (Oral Tradition) could make them immortal or be damned
forever.



and

ManishH wrote:From D. Anthony "Horse, Wheel and Language".
Poets occupied another respected social category. Spoken words,
whether poems or oaths, were thought to have tremendous power. The
poet's praise was a mortal's only hope for immortality.



I note that you have a tendency to pick up what is convenient from my post and slam it even as you shift the goalpost. For example you posted the Hindi translation and now you say that it is less accurate than the English one. Which English one? The ridiculous Google one that I posted or the apologetic one that you made?

I see that in on this topic there is a tendency to make small assumptions and make large jumps out of those assumptions. And when some questions are unanswerable the goalpost is shifted and my Gooling inability and strawman constructing skills are blamed for your inability to even be less than convincing.

Sorry sir - I don't think you are doing your cause a favor. There are some parts of your post where you have made accusations that i will not argue with because they will only help you obfuscate as you seem to be doing when confronted with inconvenient questions from people who, on the face of it, are supposed to know a lot less than you on the subject. Being scathing is not a defence. It's a sign of desperation 8)
Last edited by shiv on 28 May 2012 10:39, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby shiv » 28 May 2012 10:32

ManishH wrote:You are attributing more than what the theory of sound change claims. PIE doesn't specify a geographic area of origin. It can be anywhere. The geographic origins need to be determined based on genetics and archaeology amongst other things.

:rotfl:

Sir how do you use genetics and archaeology to determine the location and origin of a non existent language that is conjured up as a hypothetical explanation for something else?

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

Postby svinayak » 28 May 2012 10:42

Are we back to square one.

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

Postby ManishH » 28 May 2012 11:07

I won't defend all of Anthony's statements. If you are skeptical, it is fine. What I specifically will defend is the specific idea of reciprocity of fame and gifts, which to me shows a patronage of intellectuals - that created conditions of leisure for the latter.

When comparing english translation to hindi one, I'm specifically comparing one word - अजरम् , in that one word, Griffith's translation 'deathless' is more accurate than Pdt. Trivedi's नित्य (everyday or forever).

shiv: I'm not trying to be scathing. In fact, I do respect your strategic vision and all. Just that your unwillingness to see dictionaries when repeatedly pointed to, was a bit odd. I see you dismissing things that appear to interfere with that strategic vision.

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

Postby disha » 28 May 2012 11:33

ManishH wrote:Look at IE cognates of 'wheel':
Sanskrit: cakra, Greek: kuklos, Old English: hweogol, New English: wheel

Focussing on the initial syllable, let's see if any of these languages can be the parent and the others are just mispronouncing them. Eg. Greek 'k' cannot go to English 'hw' - they are just too far apart in the human mouth with radically different places of articulation. Neither can Sanskrit 'ca' become english 'hw'.

But what if they are all mispronunciations, not of each other, but of an extinct mother language, which had a labiovelar sound 'kʷekʷlos'. A labiovelar is pronounce like a velar 'k' but with lips rounded, the teeth do not touch the lips.

In Greek, the initial syllable kʷe lost it's labial element to become a simple kuklos. In Old English, the velar element 'k' turned into a voiced aspirate 'h' and retained the labial element to become 'hw'. In New English, it metathesized (swapped) to become 'wh'.

In Sanskrit, the progression is slightly longer. It first lost the labial element to become 'ke'; then the front vowel 'e' influenced the velar 'k' to become palatalized - the human palate is where the 'ca' sound is articulated an that's very close to where the vowel 'e' is articulated.


Now a linguist will say since the progression is slightly longer in Sanskrit, Sanskrit cannot be root and morever it is newer hence the words came into Sanskrit than the other way around.

Here is the problem, it is a conjecture that:

... what if they are all mispronunciations, not of each other, but of an extinct mother language, which had a labiovelar sound 'kʷekʷlos'. A labiovelar is pronounce like a velar 'k' but with lips rounded, the teeth do not touch the lips.


What if it is not?

There is one thing to study language (as a linguist) to document and track changes to the languages and the impact of migration, immigration, emmigration, forced/unforced on how the language changes (anthropological linguist) and it is another to actually invent a language as a conjecture and use it as a tool to show mass migration in complete negation of stronger evidences like archeological and genetics.

Here is my problem with the linguists. There is already one instance of an Out Of India Migration. That of the sintis and the romanies (the gypsies). They have significant populations in Romania and Hungary and Bulgaria and I see no, none, nothing coming out of linguists that *show* currently how they are affecting the culture in their adopted homeland and how they are changed. How are they contributing to language changes and how is their language modified. Here you have a strong case of migration which is the least studied from the linguist point of view.

And what does the linguists do? Go around trying to create conjectures and build upon a scaffold of complex unexplainable conjectures and base the entire history of a sub-continent on that and use it to define another nation's history again in stark contrast (and negation) to other historical aspects.

We can do the same triangulation exercise with IE cognates of 'cow"
Sanskrit: gau, Latin: bos, English: cow

The voiced velar of sanskrit becoming a pure voiced labial of Latin or vice-versa is a far-fetch, they are too far in the human mouth. Whereas a labiovelar parent gʷ makes it a natural progression.

In Sanskrit, gʷ lost the labial element totally. In Latin, the velar element lost but left the voicing effect on the labial to make it 'b'. Voicing is when vocal cords vibrate eg. (g is voiced, k is not). So Latin shows gʷ -> b and kʷ > p


You missed me. I am definitely dumb to not understand "So Latin shows gʷ -> b and kʷ > p". Does it mean that from Sanskrit, we got both bos for latin and cow for English? Or there is a PIE language which called a "cow" as "kov*S*" and that became "bos" in latin and "cow" in English and "gau" in Sanskrit?

Or it could be that as a gypsy in 1000 AD, I am trying to sell my 2 "gau" to a gora and say "Here do gau" and the gora heard it as "Here tow kov" and hence progression from gau to cow?

Again since it is conjecture, as long as I am accepted by Harvard - my conjecture should be better than your conjecture. Right?

So linguists have this credibility issues with all this conjectures and enters their hero in shining armour (whether wanted or not) - drumroll Witzel and Donniger. The gutter of the "language studies" and what they say becomes gospel.

Hence if you are feeling alone and beseiged, it is because that there is no basis in the conjectures made by the linguists for PIE. It is more like a PIE in the sky project.

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

Postby RajeshA » 28 May 2012 11:53

disha wrote:Again since it is conjecture, as long as I am accepted by Harvard - my conjecture should be better than your conjecture. Right?

So linguists have this credibility issues with all this conjectures and enters their hero in shining armour (whether wanted or not) - drumroll Witzel and Donniger. The gutter of the "language studies" and what they say becomes gospel.

I do think, in subjects like paleolinguistics and philosophy, etc. there has grown a body of "scholars" who become a close ideologically and academically incestual group. They develop their own theories based on little real data and many assumptions, and then taking those to be true, generate new theories. Somebody gets to study these subjects only if these give their ideological loyalty to the group and its theoretical foundation and its past scholarly worthies. Those who have not gone through this mill, are simply not accepted as scholars and they are ignored.

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

Postby disha » 28 May 2012 11:56

ManishH wrote:PIE doesn't specify a geographic area of origin. It can be anywhere. The geographic origins need to be determined based on genetics and archaeology amongst other things.


Again the above argument to me looks like circular. Here is the M.O

1. Identify commonalities across multiple languages
2. Create rules "explaining the transformation"
3. Attribute it to some mythical root language that given the transformation in item #2., all other languages evolved
4. Search for a geographical area based on the "distances" in the tranformation. That is if Sanskrit has appeared newer than the rest, then the distance is larger and hence move the geographical area further away.
5. Circulate around till one finds an ideal "geographic" region which satisfies all transformation rules in item #2.
6. Go about searching for genetic and archeological that satisfies item #5.

So per item #5, the new geographical area for PIE is BMAC and since people arrived from there to India, they brought in the language and the vedas. So what if there were four legged asses already present in the area. So what that there is a frieze in persia that shows asses yoked to a cart with wheels. Cows can be domesticated at multiple places but horses cannot, hence chariot is brought in - horse is brought in to explain the movement of people on linguistic basis.

Funny that in an area which has genetic diversity (tigers are not found in Africa and lions are not found in China/Russia)., horses could not have evolved along with asses. Or horse like creatures not yolked to a cart on some wheels.

I find it logically mind bending that chariot was not invented in Indian sub-continent but the horse Stirrup is!

So what that recent digs on the coasts of Africa has pointed out strong presence of trade among human settlements. Simple trade, trade of shells and fish for rocks for splicing, cutting. Did the humans evolve on trade, basically "exchange of valuable goods and services" and that led to exchange of ideas and hence of words? There is no single root language but as humans interacted they introduced and influenced each other with new ideas and words. And some took the words even further and refined it and gave it a name called Sanskrit and others took it different ways based on local paradigms and usage. Why is this conjecture not valid?

I think linguists are doing a huge disservice to the field by ignoring other aspects of human evolution. Language studies have become an exclusionary insular field. Since there are several reputations at stake and it is obvious that those reputations will be protected - at all costs.

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

Postby disha » 28 May 2012 12:04

^^^ RajeshA ji, that is correct for several fields. I have seen incestous relations even in hard sciences. However the fall is swift and early in hard sciences since the results have to be quantified and reproducible. Hence the relations are short lived or others move on and forward.

Linguistics as a basis to explain mass migrations of entire nations is like the table top cold fusion experiment to me :-)

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

Postby RajeshA » 28 May 2012 12:13

Let's just see the PIE chart

Image


and another one

Image

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

Postby ManishH » 28 May 2012 14:11

disha wrote:Here is the problem, it is a conjecture that:

... what if they are all mispronunciations, not of each other, but of an extinct mother language, which had a labiovelar sound 'kʷekʷlos'. A labiovelar is pronounce like a velar 'k' but with lips rounded, the teeth do not touch the lips.


What if it is not?


Let me repeat - labiovelars are not a conjecture since labiovelars have been found in Mycenaean Greek inscriptions. Based purely on epigraphs, we have evidence for loss of labial element in Epic Greek.

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

Postby member_22872 » 28 May 2012 14:38

Since PIE/PII is conjecture anyway, why not make another and proceed from there? the conjecture is:
Vedic sanskrit is so pre-historic, that only since few thousand years that any written record exists. And that written Vedic Sanskrit is degenerate form of Spoken Sanskrit which is now lost. What is now PIE/PII is actually is a derivative of verbal Vedic Sanskrit which has no written record known to present man. Now lets go find that holy grail.

Why stop with PIE? for which no record exists anyway? why the itch to make PIE Eurocentric? if PIE can be true then why not the existence of Verbal Sankrit?

Looks like disha ji'a explanation seems the probable path of proving AIT/AMT through liguistic argument, can't believe how we are being made to swallow a conjecture whole, with hook, line and sinker as something so true.

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

Postby ManishH » 28 May 2012 15:25

brihaspati wrote:Your reference to "laryngeals" piques my curiosity. You have not mentioned any linguist-sourced criticism of the hypothetical PIE laryngeals but used them as some kind of self-evident truth. Are you sure that no such criticism exists?


B-ji: I'm aware that criticism exists and was very vehement when Kurylowicz resurrected DeSaussure's old work. I'm also aware that there were opponents like Edward Sturtevant who later changed their opinion. Hope you see that it's not all "mutual back scratching".

Please do bring up any points from opponents of laryngeal theory esp. if they point to there not being a common ancestor PIE (which I assume is the opinion you still hold).

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

Postby Sanku » 28 May 2012 15:52

ManishH wrote:
Let me repeat - labiovelars are not a conjecture since labiovelars have been found in Mycenaean Greek inscriptions. Based purely on epigraphs, we have evidence for loss of labial element in Epic Greek.


ManishH ji; I see that you repeatedly fall back on the example Mycenaean Greek when pressed for scientific roots of linguism.

I however fail to understand how, that example goes to show that any of the primary tenets of linguism in the current context hold

1) Of trying to find a "fixed way of sound change with time"
2) Of trying to find a common ancestor language for the same through the above.
3) Ascibing sounds to long dead languages.

Can you explain, to begin with, how presence of Labiovelars is "established" for certain.

Once we have that we can try and see if it is indeed a "pattern" and not a one-off case?

How extensible that pattern is.

Etc etc.

Let us however take "very briefly" the claim that labiovelars exist(ed) and their transformations etc ?

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

Postby member_20317 » 28 May 2012 16:05

@Shivji,
Looks like the Linguists by now have exceeded even the Greek Philosophers. They used to draw epicycles to explain every single retrograde movement they saw and virtually the whole of west is to this day caught up in these epicycles. What is there that has not been done by ideas that engendered a Geo-Centric Universe. Some of these people have found a machine that precisely replicates the geocentric universe (as precisely as they understood) and a large number of universities and scholars have joined up to ‘study’ :) this machine. The number of epicycles was in direct proportion to heavenly objects view from Earth. I wonder what the Greeks would have done had they been able to go to places outside the Earth.

Anyhow, on words & wordplay. Since every word carries a syntax and a semantic both of which are changing overtime with no way of knowing what nuances are attached to the meanings of words with what frequency at the ascending phase of a civilization or a decending phase of it, I guess it would be reasonable to expect a linguist to have n^N set of rules to speculate over say, just three words. With n and N being some big numbers. In such a situation to understand linguistics without being utterly wrong, I will probably require a brain the size of Pascals Demon. The only way I see a word retain its sanctity, if at all its possible, is through a practice of the syntax and semantics of what the word represents.

Will ‘Allah’ ever mean the same to a Hindu as it does to a Muslim, large parts of both these populations being practicing Hindus and Muslims? I am sure a person who is not a Hindu Terrorist like yours truly :) will be unhesitant in substituting ‘Allah’ for ‘Bhagwaan’ but wait they don’t and when they do even then actually don’t.

Even in what ManishHji says
“Sanskrit: gau, Greek: bos, English: cow”
the differences are palpable. With ‘Gau’ an Indic will see ‘Mata’, Greeks and English will see ‘steak’ or ‘food’. This gets even more complex when used in sentences.

ManishH ji, - “… derives from root… (to hear) - so more direct evidence of it meaning fame.”

“to hear” could just as easily mean “ill fame” or OTOH does “to speak” gives a direct evidence of “fame”. Word like ‘Kathit’ perhaps. BTW words like “direct evidence” or primary evidence are very heavy words. Are you sure you can take it to courts where the aim given, actually is a through evaluation of evidence. Jumping from “to hear” to “fame” is some stupendous feet.

Again ManishH ji - “Do the same exercise on these IE cognates of interrogative 'what' ?”

Ok, how about “What the hell/f_ck”? How would an Englishman feel if he hears this and what would a Lakhnavi feel like. Does it mean ‘hellish’ or ‘great f_ck!’ or does it convey a feeling of frustration with the person uttering these words. Now who knows what semantics came first from such philosophizing. And if you cannot say anything about semantics why can we be so sure of syntax. Are these two separable in any word.

Now as if this was not enough, there is no real reason given to understand ‘why’ of anything.
ManishHji – “In Sanskrit, gʷ lost the labial element totally.”

Ok!, but why? ‘When’ was already outside the capabilities of Linguists, Genetics proved that. ‘Why’ should be easier for ManishH ji, especially since linguist in him is claiming to be infallible with words like ‘impossible’ thrown about casually. I find this ‘rounding the lips without touching the teeth’ kind of explanations quite funny. Pranayam is for breath = = Linguistics is for mouth?

Again ManishH ji - “Most linguists think twice before making correlations between regularity and antiquity. Whereas the usual correlation is the reverse. Eg. Esperanto is more regular than Slavic/Romance languages. Does it make Esperanto older ?”

Ok lets use this observation. Is Sanskrit more regular or is Hindi more regular? (Linguists will be better informed here). Can we compare Espranto with Sanskrit in this respect, considering both belong to the same family. Amongst computer languages, which one is more regular and which one is older? (IT walas should be help us better here). I will wait for replies here.

ManishH ji – “But evidence from multiple IE languages shows that these are indeed mispronunciations, but not of each other but of a lost parent language.”

Why not many parent languages? Too babelish kya? Why is this asexual reproduction so important.

Anyhow for a bunch that deals with words, is there any theory to explain usages like:

“This is a semantic impossibility” – (semantic and impossibility in same breath. Now I know why I need to think what I am told to.)

“more exact than” – (kya yaar!!!)

“Isolated, one-off apparent similarity of words never implies common origins. So you never see any linguist make absurd claims like that.” – (except when new civilizations are to be found…hainji)

“It's regularity in sound change that is needed.” - (Bollywood Poets are a gone case even though their songs are a part of everyday life)

“I'm amazed you can label translations as credible v/s not, without looking up dictionaries” – (somehow implying thereby the translations viz. that of RV become credible if you start from Dictionaries!!!)

A few threads on BRF are littered with such examples. The above was from just one page. Yeh kya drama hai bhai!

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

Postby shiv » 28 May 2012 16:40

venug wrote:Since PIE/PII is conjecture anyway, why not make another and proceed from there? the conjecture is:
Vedic sanskrit is so pre-historic, that only since few thousand years that any written record exists. And that written Vedic Sanskrit is degenerate form of Spoken Sanskrit which is now lost. What is now PIE/PII is actually is a derivative of verbal Vedic Sanskrit which has no written record known to present man. Now lets go find that holy grail.

Why stop with PIE? for which no record exists anyway? why the itch to make PIE Eurocentric? if PIE can be true then why not the existence of Verbal Sankrit?

Looks like disha ji'a explanation seems the probable path of proving AIT/AMT through liguistic argument, can't believe how we are being made to swallow a conjecture whole, with hook, line and sinker as something so true.


IF PIE existed and IF it originated in place X, it is entirely possible that it could have been just a small group of partly settled, partly wandering people. And any early variations may not have been unidirectional. People who moved away and developed modifications of the original tongue may have moved back and remixed with parent populations producing a hotch potch nothing like the original making a complete mockery out of any quest for a pristine original proto-tongue called "PIE" that neatly branched out like a tree growing relentlessly outward and not recursively back into its trunk as human populations can do by migrating back to a place of origin if it was better than what they found.

My single largest objection to any mindless geographic quest is that it has been used politically, geopolitically to paint a racist world history and try and "prove" that greater things came from some geographic areas and lesser things from other areas. Once you conjure up a PIE you are handing an idea to the usual racists who have occupied linguistic and ethnological high seats in the past and inviting them to cook up a a fake story that says that his father had a bigger, fairer dick than yours. That is exactly what as been done by "scholars" barely a century ago.

3000 BC was most likely a time when people could literally wander almost anywhere and meet few other humans. To me the academic quest for PIE is interesting. It is like saying "We know what happened 2 millionths of a second after the big bang. But we are trying to find out what happened in the first two millionths before that. But the chances of finding the originators of a PIE and tying archaeological remains and genetic links to them is as close to zero as you can get unless shameless cooking up is done, as has been done in the past. By racists. That racist terminology still exists although the racist connotations are now almost gone. But only after much of that racism had a negative effect on India.

There are certain other problems as far as I can guess. When you find a dead body, or bones, how do you guess the language the dead human spoke? Having script nearby is useful. Now Phoenician script has been known for about 2800 years and Brahmi for 2300 years IIRC. Any remains of humans dating from before that, minus any script will remain a mystery. You can only guess and conjecture about language spoken. And considering that there are controversies about how old the earliest writing is, it is certain that spoken language is older. So if we are looking at date going back, say, 10,000 years the meaning of PIE would become very vague.

We may be looking at the dawn of human history. I once saw a TV program about a very ancient proto language (>100,000 years?) that predated all languages. i found it fascinating and remember some of it (i watched a recording repeatedly). Of course there may be more than one proto language, but excluding dramatization for TV and inaccuracies from my memory I seem to recall that the ancient word for "vulva/female genitalia/girl" is "puti". That amused me because it sounds so much like Punjabi phuddi. IIRC the ancient word for meat could have been "mamsa" but my memory may be playing tricks with me. There is a Wiki article that confirms the puti word, but look at other words there - esp smell.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-World_language

So if you are looking at PIE as a small group we get an even smaller group speaking proto-human language. Pinning geography on humans is best done by archaeology and genetics. Using that yardstick, one could say that since speech is such a basic human characteristic that you can just about assume that the older the population in a given area the older its languages are likely to be. PIE, if it existed at all, could only have been coined by people who had words before them. Who had words? Africans? Ancient Indians? What does the "spread of human genes over time" map tell you?

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

Postby shiv » 28 May 2012 17:38

ravi_g wrote:
“Sanskrit: gau, Greek: bos, English: cow”
the differences are palpable. With ‘Gau’ an Indic will see ‘Mata’, Greeks and English will see ‘steak’ or ‘food’. This gets even more complex when used in sentences.

ManishH ji, - “… derives from root… (to hear) - so more direct evidence of it meaning fame.”

“to hear” could just as easily mean “ill fame” or OTOH does “to speak” gives a direct evidence of “fame”.


Ravi you have expressed in brief some thoughts for which I was trying to make a longish post

If you are already familiar with Vedic culture and vedic rituals (such as most Indians are) then it is easy to conjure up a mental picture of that passage in the Rig Veda.

In Hindu tradition these people were not simply poets or bards but were priests. People would call upon priests to perform Vedic rituals. Vedic rituals are an elaborate affair in which an area is prepared at a particular time and Gods are invited to come and sit in that place for the period of the ceremony. The sacrifices offered at Vedic ceremonies include symbolic sacrifices for the god to take away with him and gifts for the priest to keep his tummy full. The invocations that call upon gods are prayers and mantras that were kept as intellectual property of scholars who did nothing else for a living and needed support in any case. The priest would fix the appropriate time and place and type of sacrifice.

Now how would any king get fame from this? Quite simple. The ceremony was a 'sacrifice" where the king was giving away things free marking the point that he was ready to give generously for the purpose of being known as a giver. the job of the priest was to fix the auspicious time, create the atmosphere to invoke gods, chant the mantras and note that the king was making X, Y and Z sacrifices and giving up so much of his wealth voluntarily. Chances are that a whole lot of uninvolved people were also fed at the same time just as occurs today, 3000 years later. The whole event was much more of a formal invocation and spiritual fulfilment for the king rather than a bard singing exaggerated praises praises and getting paid absurd sums.

Kaksivan in that passage is a literate man, a scholar, possibly a priest. The King or "Sindhuvasi" Bhavya has asked him to perform a ritual to "increase his kirti" or "keep his kirti imperishable". The priest does that and marks the sacrifices and makes a permanent oral record of the deed. Knowing the nature of Vedic ritual one would expect that the actual ceremony would likely have been much like a modern day pooja or yajna. This is so much more than creating fame by paying for a full page New York Times ad. The sacrifices made serve as payment for what the king, out of faith, feels he gets out of it. In the absence of insight of what a vedic ritual might possibly entail it is easy to reach an inane conclusion of the type which says:

From D. Anthony "Horse, Wheel and Language".
Poets occupied another respected social category. Spoken words,
whether poems or oaths, were thought to have tremendous power. The
poet's praise was a mortal's only hope for immortality.


I admit that the cultural context is lost in many archaeological and textual discoveries. But in the case of the Vedas those contexts are still very much present. Lack of understanding of those contexts can only read to gibberish such as that written by Shri D. Anthony, which reads to me as a sort of wild guess of what the ancient stupids may have imagined. I think by 3000 years ago humankind had enough experience of "spoken words" to know the difference between snake-oil and spirituality. A promise of immortality to one king by one "poet" that failed would instantly indicate to a later king that the spoken word was snake oil. So the explanation above is a travesty IMO.

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

Postby RajeshA » 28 May 2012 17:50

I'll try to explain what I find disconcerting in PIE.

1) The Linguists have discovered sound change patterns between legitimate parent and child living/legacy languages. Sometimes the same sound change patterns are discovered in other legitimate parent-child living/legacy language pairs. These observations really form the theoretical knowledge base of paleolinguistics.

It is right to consider these sound change patterns as legitimate as there is sufficient assurance that the language pair considered is indeed a parent-child pair, e.g. Old English and New English.

2) Also the sound apparatus of humans allow linguistics to classify sounds which are similar to each other if they are pronounced from close areas in the human sound apparatus.

Based on the two above mentioned foundations, linguists are tempted to make sound change axioms out of these observed sound change patterns.

The problems I see with linguistics are of the following kind:

a) These sound change patterns are turned into sound change axioms giving them power. They don't remain simply observed data and data patterns, but become tools of theoretical projection. As such they change from simply analysis tools into synthesis tools.

b) Also the sound change process, the evolutionary process, the circumstances, the reasons are completely ignored. Only the end result is deemed interesting.

c) The working assumption is that a language speaking group fragments and due to geographical distance, over time the fragments start to speak dialects of the original language, change brought about according to well-known sound change axioms and this process repeats, in the end giving rise to multiple languages, all displayable as the nodes of a language tree (e.g. Indo-European languages) with a common root (e.g. PIE).

d) So when the linguists start to create new hypothetical parent languages they are making assumptions on
  1. two or more sibling languages being direct children of a common hypothetical parent language. They could be cousins of various degrees, rather than siblings. This has an effect on what sound change "axioms" are used.
  2. some sibling/parent language(s) of some known living/legacy language may have already died out, without a trace, which could have given clues as to the sound change "axioms" which should have been used, without the knowledge of which it is all a guessing game about at which point some language sub-family branched out.
  3. the most notorious assumption is on the directionality of sound change between two languages, especially if one is hypothetical language. Just because a sound change pattern is found in one direction is some unrelated language pair and no sound change pattern has been found in the other direction between living/legacy languages, does not mean such a directionality is impossible. Secondly the other directionality could become probable if one uses other intermediate sound change possibilities.

e) what is fully ignored is that natural process of language evolution and distribution which one observes today. Today one sees how the pronunciation of a language changes when people speaking completely different language start to speak it. The way English is spoken by Irish, Scots, English, Indians, Chinese, Japanese, French, Russians, Germans, Africans is all different. When the Africans speak French, it is sometimes difficult even discerning that it is French. We already know that the Indo-European language speaking people belong(ed) to different races. The Ancestral North Indian group is hardly ethnically synonymous with Germans. So somewhere along the way, one ethnic group family has transmitted its language to another ethnic group family. It is obvious that the other ethnic group family was earlier speaking a different tongue.

So there is bilingualism here at work and there are substrata languages here at work.

Due to substratum language(s) it is actually impossible to discern the directionality of any sound change axiom at work. In order to understand the directionality of change, one would really need to know how the substratum language(s) sounded like, how they were articulated. If it is difficult to synthesize a hypothetical language, than the data needed in order to find out the phonetics of ancient substrata languages that may have influenced certain other more "derivable" hypothetical languages may be even more difficult.

ManishH ji gave me an example earlier of
ManishH wrote:
RajeshA wrote:perhaps you could tell us a bit about what disqualifies Sanskrit from being the parent, with something similar to PIE being an intermediate stage. Why is Vedic Sanskrit -> PIE not possible?


This question is very pertinent. To be specific, let's pose a question to the current PIE model:

Q: why couldn't Sanskrit palatal 'c' be the parent, then transform to the intermediary kʷ and then break out into greek 'p', english 'w' etc. Ie. why couldn't Skt cakra > PIE kʷekʷlos

A: It's important to first read this wiki page on how following front vowels (i/e) influence a velar sound (back of mouth) like 'k' to turn into a palatal sound like 'c'.

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

The influence of front vowels on palatalization is a phenomenon even for attested languages as late as 1600 AD. This is also seen in non-IE languages like Japanese.

If cakra was the original, it would be counter intuitive for PIE to turn the original 'a' vowel into a front 'e' vowel, but throw the palatal 'c' back to velar 'k'. This runs counter to the observed tendency of all collected data on human articulation to palatalize under the influence of front vowels and glides.

Note: "front" vowel is kind of a misnomer - actual term should have been a quasi palatal vowel - one articulated near the palate of the mouth. Eg 'o' is not a "front" vowel. So you have:

A front vowel prompts palatalization ...
PIE kʷe > Sanskrit 'ca' (means and)

but a non-"front" vowel merely elides the labial element ...
PIE kʷod > Sanskrit 'kad' (means what)

PS: the above is only one specific example of why I think Vedic is not the parent of the entire IE family. The PIE argument doesn't "hinge" on this example alone.There are many more important reasons; in case you'd like a comprehensive list, I'll expand further.

ManishH wrote:- 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.



1) There can be intermediate sound changes which allow an opposite process to palatalization of sounds with front vowels. It need not be a single stage process. It can be a multiple stage process.

2) Just because the palatalization of sounds with front vowels has been observed in some languages does not mean the opposite cannot be there in some other languages. Just because some such change has not yet been found or discovered among the data available (especially if it is a multi-stage process), does not mean it cannot happen. Here we get the axiomatized pattern again - a pattern has been found only working in one direction, and so it cannot happen in the other direction.

3) Then there is the distant possibility that kʷ need not be the parent or intermediate sound of both c and p in this case, and there can be theoretically some other intermediate sounds moving from c to p than kʷ.

If PIE is to be believed, PIE proponents need to show the presence of substratum language(s) in Sanskrit and Greek which
  1. did not allow the pronunciation of kʷ
  2. did not allow the change of kʷ into anything else other than c and p respectively.

The questions are:
  1. not whether kʷ can change into c or p, but rather why kʷ changed into c and p in Sanskrit and Greek respectively.
  2. what is the justification for migrating sound change patterns observed elsewhere to create hypothetical languages as if these were not just patterns but some laws.

Also Kazanas speak of heeding more the presence of roots than stems in finding out the "parent" language. The language, where one can show more "root" sounds, would be much closer to the PIE, or synonymous with it, rather than a language which can only show "stems". That way Sanskrit surely wins hands down.

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

Postby JwalaMukhi » 28 May 2012 19:39

The mention of word "gau" "cow" and its usage jogs my memory about an article by shri. subhash kak about that. Here is the link ensoi.
http://atlantisonline.smfforfree2.com/i ... 699.0;wap2
A Thousand Cows Standing One Above the Other
Subhash Kak

This article by Subhash Kak been taken from http://wwwindiastarcom

According to a wit, it is almost as hard to imagine the past as to guess the future. No wonder people will fight hard for their personal views of the past. Religions are based on some mythic event: an angel handing tablets to the prophet or raising him to the heavens. Empires not only control the current events they also like to arrange the past for the purposes of this control.

One of the reasons for this view is an astronomical passage in an ancient text called the Panchavinsha Brahmana,``The Knowledge-Book of Twenty-five Chapters.'' It says, ``The world of heaven is as far removed from this world as a thousand GAVA stacked one above the other.''

What does the word GAVA mean? We can go to Nirukta, the earliest book of etymology from India, and look up its meaning. The two primary meanings of the word ``gauh,'' from which GAVA is derived, are given in the following order:

The planet earth

The animal, cow.

Now guess which of the two meanings was used by the famed Dutch translator of this book. The cow! His translation reads: ``The world of heaven is as far removed from this (earthly) world as a thousand cows standing the one above the other.''You'll say that I'm being unduly dramatic in my story and besides how do I know that this translation is wrong. That was a primitive age and even though to imagine that the sky is only one thousand cow-heights sounds ludicrous to us, it may very well have been believed then. We are told that the Indians were poor observers of nature. And they had irrational beliefs. Didn't they worship the cow? They do so even now!

But if one looks at the order in which the meaning of the term ``gauh'' is given, doesn't it appear plausible that the sacredness of the cow may just have been a symbolic representation of the sanctity of the planet earth? Even the Greeks visualized the earth as Gaia, the cow!


To return to the passage on the thousand cows, is there some way we can be absolutely sure of the meaning we pick? Yes, by checking what was the distance between the earth and the sky in the other Indian literature. Say in the text of the famous astronomer Aryabhata (500 AD). It is exactly one thousand earth diameters! Even the Greek astronomical literature assumes the same distance!


Actually the story of the thousand cows is quite innocuous. So what if we believe we had no science. But what if the ``critically'' edited texts of classics, which are supposed to represent the high culture of the past, have irrational crap thrown in with the most subtle passages. We are supposed to somehow believe that it wasn't some half-witted medieval copyist who invented the nonsense.
Consider Artha-Shastra, the famed book of statecraft by Kautilya (300 BC), the crafty minister of Chandragupta. The tone of this text is realistic. Nevertheless, the modern editor had no compunction in accepting a passage such as:

``After fasting for three nights, one should grind down separately the right and left eyes of a dog, a cat, an owl and a flying fox. Then anointing one's eyes with the (powder of the) corresponding (animal) eyes, one becomes invisible and can move about like a shadow''

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

Postby shiv » 28 May 2012 20:21

JwalaMukhi wrote:The mention of word "gau" "cow" and its usage jogs my memory about an article by shri. subhash kak about that. Here is the link ensoi.
http://atlantisonline.smfforfree2.com/i ... 699.0;wap2
A Thousand Cows Standing One Above the Other
Subhash Kak


The first two paras say it all

When it comes to accounts of ancient history, there is no chapter as fascinating as the one on India. When Europe began looking at India's enormous literature in the early nineteenth century, it came across material that was very old. Much older than the epoch of 4004 BC when, according to the biblical account, the world had been created. Scholars considered these early dates to be scarcely credible and it was decided that Indian history will be reconstructed based solely on philological research. That is like saying that only English linguistic scholars should be allowed to interpret physics books!

There was another problem. It was discovered that Indian and European languages belong to the same family. So Indians and Europeans must have, at some remote time in the past, lived in the same homeland. India was poor and ruled by the English. Surely, the original European blood of the ancient Indians was weakened by admixture with the dark races. So the Europeans surmised that the literature, being the oldest of any Indo-European people, must belong to the earliest European phase. In their extreme form, these ideas led to the racism of Hitler. A more subtle telling of the same ideas was forced into the textbooks.

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

Postby member_20317 » 28 May 2012 20:29

shiv wrote:In the absence of insight of what a vedic ritual might possibly entail it is easy to reach an inane conclusion of the type which says:

From D. Anthony "Horse, Wheel and Language".
Poets occupied another respected social category. Spoken words,
whether poems or oaths, were thought to have tremendous power. The
poet's praise was a mortal's only hope for immortality.


I admit that the cultural context is lost in many archaeological and textual discoveries. But in the case of the Vedas those contexts are still very much present. Lack of understanding of those contexts can only read to gibberish such as that written by Shri D. Anthony, which reads to me as a sort of wild guess of what the ancient stupids may have imagined.


Shiv ji, this confusion could be because of the importance given to Vac, in RV and later on in all other ideation that emanated through Vedic history. Unfortunately these westerners don’t understand the basic idea that a society can have a mind of its own and that society may decide to change meanings ascribed to words and even change deities. These guys are fixated onto a certain time frame and compare everything to that one. They do not realize that ‘Vac’ itself may have had different meanings in times and it could very well be the case that ideas that had been there and are still there with only the word and deities for that and cognate idea changing.

What this does is that you have to try now to figure out when the earliest humans got aware as to the process and yog of it all. Looking at it that way it seems anatomically humans have remained largely unchanged for last 2,00,000 years and behavioural sameness has been present since last 50000 year. This is the likely timeframe where the so called oldest can be found. Though I really fail to understand what is the point doing that.

With fixation of the best as being RV and the greed of owning RV has lead these guys to deny the existence of anything other than the owner of RV and of any interpretation that may differ from theirs in later times. This is about ‘The word’ or ‘The Book’, so they can ration what they want to.

Even with ManishH ji you will notice he is exceedingly active trying to ration RV. Now I personally use Vidya and Gyan interchangeably, when I wish the best for my kid. Also I have no reason to doubt the intentions and intellect of RV people or those of people before that. The intent can never be judged from word alone and Semantics change.

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

Postby member_20317 » 28 May 2012 20:32

shiv wrote:The first two paras say it all

When it comes to accounts of ancient history, there is no chapter as fascinating as the one on India. When Europe began looking at India's enormous literature in the early nineteenth century, it came across material that was very old. Much older than the epoch of 4004 BC when, according to the biblical account, the world had been created. Scholars considered these early dates to be scarcely credible and it was decided that Indian history will be reconstructed based solely on philological research. That is like saying that only English linguistic scholars should be allowed to interpret physics books!

There was another problem. It was discovered that Indian and European languages belong to the same family. So Indians and Europeans must have, at some remote time in the past, lived in the same homeland. India was poor and ruled by the English. Surely, the original European blood of the ancient Indians was weakened by admixture with the dark races. So the Europeans surmised that the literature, being the oldest of any Indo-European people, must belong to the earliest European phase. In their extreme form, these ideas led to the racism of Hitler. A more subtle telling of the same ideas was forced into the textbooks.



Strange that you mention it because Albert Einstein once said: “A theory must not contradict empirical facts.” He was speaking in the context of science, especially how historians of science often lacked proper understanding of the scientific process. As he saw it the problem was: “Nearly all historians of science are philologists [linguists] and do not comprehend what physicists were aiming at, how they thought and wrestled with these problems.”

:rotfl:

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

Postby shiv » 28 May 2012 20:41

RajeshA wrote:e) what is fully ignored is that natural process of language evolution and distribution which one observes today. Today one sees how the pronunciation of a language changes when people speaking completely different language start to speak it. The way English is spoken by Irish, Scots, English, Indians, Chinese, Japanese, French, Russians, Germans, Africans is all different. When the Africans speak French, it is sometimes difficult even discerning that it is French. We already know that the Indo-European language speaking people belong(ed) to different races. The Ancestral North Indian group is hardly ethnically synonymous with Germans. So somewhere along the way, one ethnic group family has transmitted its language to another ethnic group family. It is obvious that the other ethnic group family was earlier speaking a different tongue.

I am a Malayalee :wink:


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