I am struggling to find an answer to this problem related to Santali
and many languages of India.

lo = nine (Santali)
noe = nine (Bengali); no_~ = nine (Lahnd.a, Punjabi)

I am told that l-n interchanges are recorded in Pushto and Assamese.

My problem is deeper. There is an early word for nine in Sanskrit
(Vedic), also attested in Kikkuli's horse training manual (ca. 1700
BCE); the word is 'nava'. What could have been the early phonetic
form of the word for nine? Was it lo or no?

An answer to this is likely to be significant in unravelling the
language used which may be read on some glyphs of inscribed objects
to count a set of 9 leaves.

The word loa means a ficus glomerata (the type of leaf depicted on
inscribed objects).

The word loh means metal (ore) in Santali.

There is a hypothesis which I have suggested that the count of nine
leaves is a phonetic determinant of the substantive word lo which
meant 'metal ore'.

The nature of the phonetic change is likely to determine if the
language used by the person who created the inscribed object, say,
for trade or for denoting personal property holdings or profession
[say, a metal-worker or smith] was either Santali or some early Indo-
European dialect used in the area generally called the Harappan
Civilization or Sarasvati-Sindhu Valley Civilization (ca. 3300 to
1400 BCE).

This URL provides background notes and the pictures of inscribed

I shall be thankful for the views of the members of the group.