Re: who are indus people?

From: Francesco Brighenti
Message: 51032
Date: 2007-12-29

--- In, "mkelkar2003" <swatimkelkar@...>

> --- In, "Richard Wordingham" <richard@>
> wrote:
> >
> > Take a look at 'Substrate Languages in Old Indo-Aryan (Rgvedic,
> > Middle and Late Vedic)'
> >
> >
> "The language belongs to the Munda family of languages. The Munda
> family is spoken largely in eastern India, and related to some
> Southeast Asian languages. Like Aryan, the reconstructed
> vocabulary of early Munda does not reflect the Harappan culture.
> So its candidacy for being the language of the Indus Civilization
> is dim."

Witzel's `para-Munda' hypothesis for Indus language(s) -- which is
not "pseudo-science", Arnaud -- does not define 'para-Munda' as a
language belonging to the "Munda family of languages". Kelkar hasn't
realized this after so many years. First, there's no "Munda family
of languages" as claimed by the author of the above quote. Munda is
a sub-branch of the Austro-Asiatic language family. Second, 'Para-
Munda' is not the same as 'Proto-Munda', i.e. the partly
reconstructed parent language off all Munda languages. Witzel thinks
that Proto-Austro-Asiatic can be used to clarify the uncertain
etymologies in R.gvedic Sanskrit, especially those that, according
to him (in this following is mentor F.J.B. Kuiper), clearly show
Austro-Asiatic-like prefixes which are often, says Witzel, more like
those of the Khasi-War sub-grouping of Austro-Asiatic (traditionally
assigned to the Mon-Khmer branch) than those of any language
belonging to the Munda branch of Austro-Asiatic.

This is to say that the hypothesized 'para-Munda' substrate words
aren't assumed by Witzel to be identical to reconstructed Proto-
Munda roots. His 'para-Munda', indeed, might even have represented a
third, extinct branch of the ancient Austro-Asiatic language family
related to Munda, but also to Khasi-War, in the structure of its

Hope this helps,