Re: beyond langauges

From: david_russell_watson
Message: 58175
Date: 2008-04-29

--- In, "kishore patnaik"
<kishorepatnaik09@...> wrote:
> --- In, "David Russell Watson"
<liberty@...> wrote:
> I have clearly mentioned what is the dffierence- undeniable
> indic aryan influence , quite strong, is present on mittani.
> However, it is not to be surmised that it points to an Aryan
> Aristocracy ( say, as postulated by subhash kak).

Please leave Kak out of this and any future discussion
with myself. I consider him a rank crackpot and well
below the level of serious consideration.

> Whether this is accepted or not by mainstreamers, please
> refer to any standard books on the issue

What standard books would those be?

> or better still, please refer to the messages by Bjarte K
> on IER.

You're referring to Indo-Eurasian_research/message/9721
in which Bjarte Kaldhol announced a new book by Eva von
Dassow. The very point of the announcement and much of
the thread that followed is that Eva von Dassow's claims
are _contrary_ to what is presently widely held, so you
can't call it the mainstream view.

You also need to understand that I'm not insisting myself
that the Aryans of Mitanni were an aristocracy, but only
trying to explain to you there's no "universal agreement"
that they weren't an aristocracy, as you erroneously keep

You can't hope to have your participation in an argument
taken seriously, Kishore, when it's clear to others that
you don't understand the argument, and every time I try
to correct your misunderstanding you annoyingly treat my
correction as an argument itself and try to counter it.
I'll never tell you "linguists say X, Y, or Z" contrary
to what I know, just to try to win an argument with you,
Kishore; I am not dishonest.

> > It's been explained quite correctly: some Indo-Aryans
> > moved a relatively short distance from their homeland
> > in Central Asia onto the Iranian plateau, for which
> > presence of theirs there some evidence besides that in
> > Mitanni has been found as well, and subsequently some
> > of their descendants moved a little further west into
> > Mitanni.
> >
> > There's no big or elaborate mystery, and no need for a
> > big or elaborate explanation.
> Agreed , if that is what you think but where is the proof?

Haven't you mentioned yourself before the idea that Indo-
Aryans preceded Iranians on the Iranian plateau?

Given that, an Indo-Iranian homeland in Central Asia, and
an Indo-Aryan presence in Mitanni, the most direct route
is fairly obvious.

> You can not design the itinerary of the indic aryans as you
> please.

Why would this itinerary please _me_?

> > > Now, the core issue revolves round two things, former of
> > > them being accepted by main stream westerners: one,. that
> > > the mitannis somehow determine the dating of RV
> >
> > No, that's not the case.
> At least for the purpose of the thread that I have started ,
> that is the case.

By "that's not the case", I mean that your claim, quoted
above, that it is "accepted by main stream westerners: []
that the mitannis somehow determine the dating of [the] R
[ig ]V[eda]", is not true.

> > There clearly were Aryans in Mitanni at some point in time,
> > and, as far as I know, nobody on cybalist has ever claimed
> > otherwise, including yourself.
> this is exactly the popint. There must have been Aryans
> in Mitannis "at some point of time" except that nooone
> including the most authority on mitannis is not able to
> hazard a universally agreeable guess

"universally agreeable guess" is a nonsensical construct.
Anybody can offer a guess, but nobody else can thereafter
be forced to agree with it.

> when this "some point of time" is and more importantly , in
> what form or where Aryans were stationed when they came
> into the contact with Mitanni.

That, again, is not the case. Much can and has been said
about Mitanni dates. 'In Search of the Indo-Europeans' for
one, which book I recommended to you as an introduction to
the topic, says about them:

"By the fifteenth century, we do have evidence for Indic
elements in the Mitanni kingdom and there are also possible
(though disputed) Indic traces in the names of a few gods
revered by the Kassites, the dynasty from the Zagros region
that assumed control of the Babylonian empire. By the
thirteenth century the Mitanni kingdom collapses which sees
an end to the Indic presence in Southwestern Asia. All of
this suggests that the Indic element ascribable to the
Mitanni (and perhaps to the Kassites) did not enter until
about the sixteenth-fifteenth centuries BC. Furthermore,
it attests the existence of a very archaic form of the Indic
language had already diverged from Iranian by this time and
that the putative period of proto-Indo-Iranian 'unity' must
predate this, perhaps by as much as a half millenium or more.
This accords well with the broad estimates of historical
linguists who believe that a continuum of Indo-Iranian
languages probably began to diverge by 2000 BC, if not
somewhat earlier."

> > No, the positing of Proto-Indo-Iranian had nothing to do
> > with the discovery of a one-time presence of Indo-Aryans
> > in Mitanni. The loanwords in question have added little,
> > if anything at all, to the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-
> > Iranian, which is based, rather, mostly upon a comparison
> > of Vedic, Sanskrit, Avestan, and Old Persian. Proto-Indo-
> > Iranian would stands just as solidly even if we excluded
> > consideration of Mitanni altogether.
> David, you are saying what exactly I am saying PIIr will
> stand solidly ONLY if we exclude the mitanni evidence.

No, that is not what I'm saying, and I can't believe that
anybody would take that from the quote above.

I guess all I can do is say it still again, but try to word
it a little differently:

Proto-Indo-Iranian stands just as soundly WITH or withOUT
the evidence of the Aryan language of Mitanni.

> It will crumble once you start considering it ...

Not at all. I don't know why you think that is so.

> Ultimately, this is a historian's issue

Any historian who wants to try to do history without the
assistance of linguistics is choosing to tie one hand
behind his back.

> and linguists are too confused to explain the whole thing.

Why do you keep caricaturing linguists as confused? You
have given us no reason to think any linguist is confused
about anything, and moreover you continue to be confused
yourself about the nature of the Mitanni evidence and its

What to do?