Re: [tied] Re: Dravidian in Persia?

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 9711
Date: 2001-09-23

The language of the Indus script (or, shall we say, the "lingua franca" of the Harappans) may well have been Dravidian, though one can hardly be "sure" of that at present. The argument for its having had Dravidian-like grammatical structure looks sound to me. But it's highly likely that the linguistic situation in the Indus Valley civilisation was rather complex, with more than one family contributing to the make-up (as in Mesopotamia, for example) -- perhaps with Para-Munda dominant in the Panjab, Dravidian in Sindh, and still more mysterious languages near the Arabian Sea coast. Substrate studies will perhaps throw some light on these enigmas, but as far as I know very little work has been done on subjects like Sindhi or Gujarati words without Indo-Aryan etymologies.
----- Original Message -----
From: naga_ganesan@...
Sent: Sunday, September 23, 2001 7:20 PM
Subject: [tied] Re: Dravidian in Persia?

--- In cybalist@......, "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@......> wrote:
> Here's Iravatham Mahadevan's critical assessment of Asko Parpola's
admittedly ingenious attempt to decipher the Indus script:
> Retroflexion is of course characteristic of Dravidian, but if Rigvedic
Indo-Aryan had the retroflex series before it began to borrow words from
Dravidian, one has to consider other substare languages as the possible
source of retroflexion -- perhaps in Dravidian _as well as_ Indo-Aryan.
Retroflex consonants occur also in Burushaski (a linguistic isolate), in
Dardic, Nuristani, and in the Iranian languages of the Afghan region
(Pashto, Parachi, Ormuri, some Baluchi dialects, most of the Pamir
languages). As these languages do not form a genetic grouping, only a
geographical one, retroflexion must be considered an areal trait,
possibly picked up from a pre-IE substrate of Central Asia.
> Piotr


I. Mahadevan is also sure, and pursuing the IVC script as Dravidian.
Of course there are some differences between Parpola and Mahadevan,
in certain signs. Both have published about the god Murukan
worship in IVC. And, both agree on the fish-star (tamil has mIn
for both) idea, and the IVC seals representing stars as fish.

I can point to another example from old tamil texts. Dravidians
use fish to denote star, mIn = fish as well as star.
In Tamil, pullutal 'to hug'. pulli = wall-lizard = palli.
In the head jewelry stuck on a girl's head is pullakam (old tamil
texts), made in the shape of wall-lizard (palli/pulli).
Note that fish is harder to sculpt than a star symbol,
similar to wall-lizard harder to make than a crescent or sun.

N. Ganesan

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