Re: beyond langauges

From: david_russell_watson
Message: 58140
Date: 2008-04-28

--- In, Rick McCallister <gabaroo6958@...>
> --- In, david_russell_watson <liberty@...>
> > There's no need for such a term, as far as I can see.
> > 'Dardic' was orginally employed as a cover term for a
> > group of Indo-Iranian dialects based entirely on their
> > geographical location, not due to their constituting
> > a proper genetic sub-group.
> Well, I'm seeing some problems in the branching and I
> respect your opinion on it.

Thank you, though I must hasten to say that I don't claim
any special expertise on the so-called 'Dardic' languages
in question, but am only relaying what I understand to be
the mainstream view of linguists on the matter.

> You're saying that Dardic/NW-IA is just another branch
> of Indo-Aryan and didn't split off before Old Indic/Vedic,
> right?

That's right.

> Wikipedia has a different spiel with 4 branches.
> Wikipedia I-IR
> 1. Iranian
> 2, Nuristani
> 3. Dardic
> 4. Indo-Aryan

Well I looked up 'Indo-Iranian languages', 'Dardic', and a
few other related articles on Wikipedia last night to see
what you were referring to, and, much to my surprise, they
do indeed list Dardic as a separate branch of Indo-Iranian
instead of Indo-Aryan.

Besides this I found a few other oddities among Wikipedia's
references to Dardic, including the claim that Asko Parpola
considered Sanskrit itself Proto-Dardic, and the statement
that Dardic was a non-Indo-European language group of India.

Not only this, but some of those articles were edited some
time after I first read them last night and before I checked
them again just now.

In short I don't really know what to make of the sum of the
claims about Dardic on Wikipedia. As best as I can determine
there actually is some uncertainty about the group and where
to put it, but which seems to me would require it being filed
as 'unknown Indo-Iranian' rather than having a new separate
branch created for it.

I also consider a site like Ethnologue more trustworthy than
Wikipedia answering a question like this, and they assign
Dardic to Indo-Aryan, for which see their chart located at .

However Ethnologue assigns Nuristani to Indo-Aryan too, thus
leaving us with two branches of Indo-Iranian alone, but which
suggestion I've come across before.

It should also be mentioned that there is discomfort in some
ideological circles with Pakistan's languages being grouped
together with those of India in an _Indo_-Aryan group. You
may be familiar with how the rather small difference between
Urdu and Hindi is likewise often exaggerated by nationalists
on both sides of the border? I wonder if that isn't the true
motivatation for some who want to separate Dardic from Indo-

> I realize that some others see Nuristani as Iranian.

Now that I've never heard.

> Is it worthwhile to rehash this

Only if somebody else can provide us with more detail about
the languages in question, including those features which
have linguists confused about their branch assignment, since
I don't know myself much more about them than some of their

> --in a calm rational way, of course ;>

When have I ever been anything but calm with those who were
calm with me, and when have I ever been anything but rational?