Re: [tied] mleccha-

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 8294
Date: 2001-08-03

My personal suspicion (which I haven't researched properly, to be sure) is that <mleccha-> 'barbarian' may be native -- a deverbal noun. There is also a related verb, <mlecchati> 'speak incomprehensibly', and since -ccha- is the normal Sanskrit development of *-ske-, the historically underlying form may be something like *mloi-ske- with the iterative suffix *-ske-, which is very common in expressive verbs. There is a potential Slavic cognate, *mle^sk- (*mle^s^c^-e-, etc.) 'click one's tongue'. A good verb to describe barbarians who seemed always to be curling up their tongues to make retroflex consonants. Needless to say, <meluhha> would be unrelated.
----- Original Message -----
From: MCLSSAA2@...
Sent: Friday, August 03, 2001 3:25 PM
Subject: Re: [tied] Loha, copper, red: any IE cognates? (Meluhha)

Someone wrote:-
> It could also be copper-arsenic naturally occurring alloy or a
> copper pyrite. So, Me-luhh-a may refer to an area from where such
> copper (refined, washed, or copper pyrite) was obtained?

and others refuted this.

I have read of a Sanskrit word "mleccha-" meaning "lower-class", as
distinct from "arya-" = "upperclass". I suspect that "mleccha" or
"meluhha" or similar was the Indus Valley civilization's name for
itself and its people, before the Indo-Aryans came. Sumeria traded
with the Indus Valley Civilization (sometimes called the
Sarasvati-Sindhu Valley Civilization) and would have learnt of this
name. When the Indo-Aryans took over the Indus Valley, the area's
existing natives would have been pushed down the social scale and
their name for themselves along with it.