Re: [tied] The Dravidian Salesman

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 13026
Date: 2002-04-05

----- Original Message -----
From: x99lynx@...
Sent: Friday, April 05, 2002 6:58 AM
Subject: [tied] The Dravidian Salesman

> I think you underestimate how much, say, a Dravidian cotton farmer and family's well-being may have been tied to the marketplace.  And in that kind of situation, prestige should be the last thing on their minds.  The children's count in the cotton field had better match the count given a week later to the buyer.  That's just good business.  And there's an obvious advantage to using the same words to count in the field as you use in the market.

What I mean is, was it consistently the Dravidians who sold things and the Indo-Aryans who bought them? The question is not rhetorical -- I simply don't know if the traditional occupations of the peoples of India warrant such an idealised scenario. As an additional complication, the pattern of replacement is not the same everywhere -- the South Dravidian languages and some of the South-Central ones (e.g. Telugu) either have retained the inherited set or replace some of the higher numerals only variably, while the remaining languages have already replaced the 4-10 (or at least 8-10) series with Indo-Aryan items. Anyway, if the vague notion of "prestige" is substituted with something more concrete like the "economic dominance" of the Indo-Aryan speakers (which would be the case if most of the moneyed customers belonged to that linguistic group), I don't mind. I have already attempted to relate the rate of borrowing to the proportion of bilingual speakers among the borrowing speech community.