Docstoc

44093404-Linguistic-Evidence-Indo-European-Origins-in-India

Document Sample
44093404-Linguistic-Evidence-Indo-European-Origins-in-India Powered By Docstoc
					       Linguistic Evidence for Indian Origin of Indo-European
                             Languages

                                         by P. Priyadarshi1
[This is an extract from paper: Priyadarshi,P, “Recent Studies in Indian Archaeo-linguistics and Archaeo-
genetics having bearing on Indian Prehistory”, presented at seminar Recent Achievements of Indian
Archaeology, held at Department of Ancient Indian History and Archaeology, Lucknow University, Lucknow,
                                                                                            th
India, 28-30 December 2010, during Joint Annual Conference of Indian Archaeology Society (44 Conference),
                                                         th
Indian Society for Prehistoric and Quaternary Studies (38 Conference), Indian History and Culture Society
   th
(34 Conference)]


Recent linguistic research by Bernard Comrie 2 and by Dorian Fuller3 point
out that the Indio-European languages evolved at a place which had a
developed agriculture. This conclusion they have derived from presence of
agriculture related cognate words in the languages of this family separated
widely by geography, but all having had their origin from one common
ancestral language at a common place.

It has also been noted that often such ancient agricultural words of Indo-
European family are shared by languages of Munda (Austro-Asiatic) as well
as Dravidian families (see Fuller, 2003, p. 201; Fuller 2006, pp. 4, 15, 18, 35,
39, 40, 55; Fuller, 2007; Fuller, 2008). Whether these words entered from
ancestors of Munda and Dravidian families into Indo-European or vice-
versa, such examples indicate that the early Indo-European people lived
with the Munda and Dravidian speakers before dispersal to Iran and
Europe. By this time genetic studies have ruled out ancient presence of
both Munda family and Dravidian family in the West Asia. Only place
where the three could have come into contact with each other was India.

In fact Fuller is the first author to have said, on linguistic grounds, that India
was an independent centre of framing. Moreover he notes that origins of
Indian farming was different qualitatively from West Asian farming and was
similar in many ways to African and Eastern North American origins of
farming. It is not irrelevant to mention here that Indian origin of many DNA
lineages currently found in Sub-Saharan Africa (male Y-chromosomal, F*,
R1b, R1a, H, K2-M70, L; and female mtDNA, M1) have been found in Sub-
Saharan Africa exhibiting a peri-LGM migration from India to East Africa via
sea.

1
 P. Priyadarshi is an indologist.
2
 Comrie, Bernard, “Farming dispersal in Europe and the spread of the Indo-European language family”, in
Bellwood, Peter and Renfrew, Colin (Eds.); Examining The Farming/language Dispersal Hypothesis, CUP
Archives, Cambridge, 2003.
3
 Fuller, D. Q., Agricultural Origins and Frontiers in South Asia: A Working Synthesis, J World Prehist 2006,
20:1–86. Also see ----------, “An agricultural perspective on Dravidian historical linguistics: archaeological crop
packages, livestock and Dravidian crop vocabulary”, in Bellwood, Peter and Renfrew, Colin (Eds.); Examining
The Farming/language Dispersal Hypothesis: (191-213), 2003, p. 204.
Fuller finds that “evidence based on both archaeo-botanical material and
colloquial agricultural terms more parsimoniously postulates that early
Dravidian had an epipaleolithic pre-agricultural heritage” and that it
“originated near a South Asian core region”. This should be read with the
fact that recently Indian epipalaeolithic (microlithic) has been dated 35,000
B.P. to 12,000 B.P.4 Fuller‖s assertion is an acceptance of India as the oldest
place of farming culture. Fuller (2006) claims that there were several
independent centres of plant domestication within the Indian peninsula by
indigenous peoples. Fuller concedes an earlier and independent rice-
Neolithic in Ganga Valley and western Orissa. He accepts that indigenous
Indian plants, trees and vegetables have contributed words to Sanskrit (and
other Indo-European languages).5

Bellwood, Higham and many such authors had suggested in the past that
Austro-Asiatic speakers originated in South China, and from there they
came to Southeast Asia, and from SE Asia to India with rice farming. 6 This
has not been supported by DNA studies, which suggests that eastern India
was the source of the Austro-Asiatic speaking population, from where they
migrated to Southeast Asia with haplogroup O2a (Y).7 Other DNA studies
have also confirmed Indigenous origin of Austro-Asiatic speaking tribes of
India.8 DNA studies of rice, cattle, buffalo and mice too support an Indian
origin of rice farming with subsequent migration to Southeast Asia.

Jerold Edmondson of Department of Linguistics, University of Texas, has
done a large number of detailed studies based on linguistics as well as
DNA, on Neolithic and human migrations towards east of India. He found
that the Tai speakers of the Kradai branch of Austro-Asiatic language family
migrated from India, and first settled in Southeast Asia long back. They were
master cultivators and they took agriculture from India to Thailand and then
from the latter to the Yunnan province of southwest China, and to South
China by 10,000 ybp during Neolithic expansion.9



4
  Petraglia, M. et al, Population increase and environmental deterioration correspond with microlithic
innovations in South Asia ca. 35,000 years ago, PNAS 2009 Aug., cgi doi 10.1073, pnas.0810842106
5
  Fuller, D. Q.; Agricultural Origins and Frontiers in South Asia: A Working Synthesis, J World Prehist 2006, 20:1–
86.
6
   Higham, C., Languages and Farming Dispersals: Austroasiatic Languages and Rice Cultivation, Bellwood, P.
and Renfrew, C. (Eds.), Examining the farming/language dispersal hypothesis, Cambridge: The McDonald
Institute for Archaeological Research, 2003.
7
   Kumar, V. et al, Y-chromosome evidence suggests a common paternal heritage of Austro-Asiatic populations,
BMC Evol Biol. 2007; 7: 47.
8
  Chaubey, G. et al; Phylogeography of mtDNA haplogroup R7 in the Indian peninsula, BMC Evol Biol 2008, 8:
227. Maji, S. et al, Distribution of Mitochondrial DNA Macrohaplogroup N in India with Special Reference to
Haplogroup R and its Sub-Haplogroup U, Int J Hum Jenet 2008, 8(1-2): 85-96. Kivisild, T. et al, The genetic
heritage of the earliest settlers persists both in Indian tribal and caste populations, Am J Hum Genet 2003 Feb, 72 (2)
: 313-32, p. 313.
9
  http://ling.uta.edu/~jerry/pol.pdf
On the other hand Harvard scholar Michael Witzel has been struggling hard
to prove that the agriculture related words in the Indo-European languages
entered Sanskrit during the hypothetical stay of Indo-Aryans in Iran and
then their contact with the Dravidian speakers in the Indus Valley area and
Munda family tribes in the Ganga Valley.10 Yet the presence of the same
word in Indo-Aryan as well as European languages indicates that these
words, even if had entered from some other languages, had entered Proto-
Indo-European language in India before migration to Europe and Iran had
started. This places origin of the family within India.

Thus Aryans, which is primarily speakers of a particular language family,
can no longer be considered ―pastoralists‖. Moreover it is wrong to assume
that pastorals are independent of agriculture. Renfrew (1990) pointed out
that pastoral life is a part of agricultural society. He wrote: “The pastoral
economy is usually symbiotic with the agricultural one as it has been
shown that a major component of the diet of these pastoralists was bread.
The practice of agriculture is thus a precondition of a pastoral economy.” 11
Added to this fact, the recently noted linguistic evidence as discussed
above shows that the Aryans were farmers from the very beginning.

Earlier, Renfrew had claimed that Indo-Europeans were farmers from the
very beginning, and that the Mehrgarh people and the Indus Valley people
were Aryans i.e. speakers of Indo-European languages from the very onset
of farming culture in these areas.12 He had further claimed that an early
Indo-European language had been in place in the north India stretching
from the Ganga Valley to Mehrgarh when Mehrgarh civilization was
emerging.13 He wrote, “Certainly the assumption that the Aryas were recent
―immigrants‖ to India and their enemies were ―aborigines‖, has done much to
distort our understanding of the archaeology of India and Pakistan.” 14

Renfrew wrote, “We should in other words, consider seriously the
possibility that the new religious and cultural synthesis which is
represented by the Rigveda was essentially a product of soil of India and
Pakistan, and that it was not imported, ready-made, on the back of steeds of
Indo-Aryans. Of course it evolved while in contact with the developing
cultures of other lands, most notably Iran, so that by a process of peer
polity interaction, cultures and ideologies emerged which in many ways
resembled each other. It is not necessary to suggest that one was borrowed,
as it were, directly from the other.


10
   Witzel, Michael, The linguistic history of some Indian domestic plants, J Biosciences 2009, 34(6): 829-833.
“Fulltext” of this article is available at http://www.ias.ac.in/jbiosci/dec2009/Witzel_fulltext.pdf. We shall refer
that article as Witzel, Fulltext, 2009.
11
   Renfrew, Colin, Archaeology and Language. The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins, CUP Archive,
Cambridge, 1990, p. 198.
12
   Renfrew, Colin, Archaeology and Language. The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins, CUP Archive,
Cambridge, 1990, pp. 190, 192, 195-6.
13
   Ibid, p. 190.
14
   Renfrew, Colin, Archaeology and Language. The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins, CUP Archive,
Cambridge, 1990, p. 195.
“This hypothesis that early Indo-European languages were spoken with
India and Pakistan and on the Iranian plateau at the sixth millennium BC
has the merit of harmonising symmetrically with the theory for the origin of
Indo-European languages of Europe. It also emphasises the continuity in
the Indus valley and adjacent areas from the early Neolithic through to the
foruit of the Indus Valley Civilization—a point which Jarrige has recently
stressed. Moreover the continuity is seen to follow unbroken from that time
across the Dark Age succeeding the collapse of the urban centres of the
Indus Valley, so that features of that urban civilization persists, across a
series of transformations, to form the basis of later Indian civilization. A
number of scholars have previously developed these ideas of continuity.”15

Having said this, the new evidence changes some of Renfrew‖s
assumptions. While Renfrew thought Anatolia was the original home of the
Indo-Europeans where they had developed the first farming culture, and
from where they had migrated to Europe and North India by 6,000 B.C.,
present evidence indicates that India was the place of origin of the Indo-
Europeans and an independently evolved centre of farming. Otherwise it is
impossible to explain presence of farming related words of Austro-Asiatic
and Dravidian origins in the European branch of Indo-European languages.
Renfrew‖s views about Anatolia may have proved wrong, yet his views on
South Asia hold true in light of recent genetic evidence.

Genetic evidence as well as linguistic evidence has made it clear that both
the Dravidian and the Austro-Asiatic languages and their speakers have
evolved in India—the Dravidians in the southernmost part and Austro-
Asiatic in the eastern part of the South Asia. The current findings about early
Dravidian languages contradict Renfrew and many other authors who had
suggested in past that the place of origin of Dravidian was in West Asia from
Proto-Elamite after 10,000 B.P., originally proposed by McAlpin. 16

We can now have a look at some of the farming related words in the Indo-
European languages:

     1. Harvest (English), karbitas (to harvest, Proto-Germanic), kerpu
        (Lithuanian), kerp (PIE), kripANa (knife, Sanskrit).
     2. Sow (E.), sawan (Old English), sero and sevi (Latin, to sow), semen
        (Latin, seed), seju and seti (Lithuanian, to sow), *se and seh (PIE, to
        sow), Santhal, Ho and Munda si, siu (to plow), and Munda Kharia silo
        (―to plow‖), sA- (Sanskrit, to sow), sita (Sk. a furrow of a ploughshare),
        sulh (Old English, a furrow or ploughshare), sira (Sk., plough, a plough
        ox). Related to this group of words are *sehm (PIE, grain), sasa
        (Sanskrit; sasam in Rig-Veda), sasya (Sanskrit, food, seed, grain, herb),
        sas (Kashmiri, beans, peas, lentils), sas (Bangla, grain, fruit), sasa

15
  Ibid. p. 196.
16
   McAlpin, David W., Elamite and Dravidian: Further Evidence of Relationship, Current Anthropology 1975,
16(1): 105-115. ---------, Proto-Elamo-Dravidian: The Evidence and its Implications, The American Philosophical
Society, Philadelphia, 1981.
          (Oriya, kernel, nutritious part), sabz (Iranian, green vegetable), sem
          (Hindi, beans), *sito- and *sitya- (PIE, ―corn‖), sitiyam (Sanskrit, corn,
          ploughed), siri and siri (Khowar, barley), and sili (Kalasha of
          Hindukush, millet) are all related. Munda family language Sora has
          saro, sar (paddy) and Munda and Kharia have –sro and –srA (rice, as
          compound words in ko-soro and ko-sra) are also related. Words sro,
          sre and sru meaning ―rice‖ in some Khmer (Cambodia) dialects are
          obvious cognates of Munda –sro, Sora saro etc meaning rice. On the
          other hand the root is also found in Caucasian—Chechen sos ―oats‖,
          Eastern Caucasian susV ―rye‖ which are millets. Witzel thinks that
          these non-IE languages borrowed these words while Indo-European
          was passing across their territories. This is only partly correct--the
          direction of migration was from India to West Asia, not from Central
          Asia to India, as DNAs reveal.
     3.   Plough (E.), *plogo (Proto-Germanic), plugas (Lithuanian) and langala
          (Sanskrit) are cognates. The ultimate origin of the words is from
          Munda family (Witzel). 17 Fuller writes, “Of interest in this regard is
          historical linguistic analysis for widespread cognate terms for plough
          in Indo-Aryan, Dravidian and Munda languages which may derive
          from early borrowing between these groups or from a common
          substrate, perhaps from the Harappan zone (Southworth, 2005, p. 80;
          Witzel, 1999, pp. 29–30).”18
     4.   Pita (English, bread), petta (Greek, bread), peptos (Greek, cooked), pita
          (bread, Modern Hibrew), pizza (Italian, a cooked food), pastry, pasta
          (Italian), pittha (Bihari, a cake made of rice flour), paiSHTa (Sanskrit,
          meaning cake; derivative of Sanskrit piSHTa meaning ground or flour,
          and pis meaning ―to grind‖). English ―paste‖ (dough) is related. ―Pastry‖
          may be related.
     5.   Pestle (E.) related to Old French pestel from Latin pistillum (to
          pounder, to pestle) from PIE *pis-to-, to grind; Sanskrit pish- (HK piS
          “to grind”), pishta (HK piSTa grinded), pIs (Hindi to grind).
     6.   Mill (E.) from Old English mylen; Latin mola, millstone and molere to
          grind; PIE mel / mol / ml to grind; German muhle and Sanskrit
          musala (grinder) are from the same root. In Thai language “mill-stone”
          is called moh. In Thai language mo:h is the word for ―mill-stone‖
          which also means ―to grind‖.
     7.   ―Grind‖ (E.), O. E. grindan, P. Germanic grindanan, PIE *ghren, *ghreu-,
          *ghen, (?*grendh-) all have same meaning i.e. to grind. PIE *gher and
          *gherzdh mean ―barley‖. The Sanskrit word godhuma, Persian gandum
          and Tamil godhumai all meaning ―wheat‖ seem to have originated
          from the same root. This implies use of grinding by PIE speakers.
          Munda guru, Santhal and Kherwa guRgu (both meaning ―grinding
          stone‖), Thai gruaam (to grind), gro:hng (mortar), gra deuuang (stamp-
          mill, mortar) are all related with the roots meaning ―grinding‖.

17
   Witzel, Michael, The linguistic history of some Indian domestic plants, J Biosciences 2009, 34(6): 829-833.
“Fulltext” of this article is available at http://www.ias.ac.in/jbiosci/dec2009/Witzel_fulltext.pdf. We shall refer
that article as Witzel, Fulltext, 2009.
18
   Fuller, 2006, p. 15.
8. Acre> agri- from P. Germanic akraz, PIE agros field, Sk. ajra, ajras field.
    It is likely that Sanskrit kriS to pull, to cultivate, may have some
    relation with PIE agros.
9. Sanskrit sUpa and English ―soup‖ have same meaning, pronunciation
    and etymology. They are from PIE *sub- derived from another PIE
    base seue, ―to take liquid food‖. Proto-Germanic base *supp- and
    English ―supper‖ are cognates to these. Tamil sappara may be a
    cognate. Iranian sabzi meaning ―vegetable curry or soup‖ is a cognate.
    Witzel correlates Iranian sabz- (vegetable) with Old Sanskrit sapa-
    (drifted reed), Old Iranian sapar-ku, Rosani (Pamir language) sabec
    ―beans‖, Lithuanian sapas ―stalk‖ and English dialect haver ―stalk‖,
    which all are possibly cognates of Sanskrit supa.
10. Bread (English), bhrajj (Sanskrit, pan cake), bhrijj (Sanskrit, the act of
    baking, roasting or frying). Other cognates are Old Irish bruth ―to heat‖,
    French braser ―to burn‖, Germanic brese ―hot coal‖, Old English
    beorma ―yeast‖, Old High German brato ―to roast meat‖, English brew,
    PIE *bhreu- ―to brew‖ etc.
11. Sanskrit KshIra meaning ―milk‖ and ―a porridge made of rice or millets
    in milk‖ (derived from Sanskrit root-word ghas : Monier Williams), its
    Hindi form khir, and Hindi ghee (from Sanskrit ghrita, purified butter)
    are derived from PIE ghwer. From PIE ghwer are also derived English
    burn, brandy, therm- etc. It shows some form of cooking process
    during PIE stage.
12. Cook, coc (Old English), cocus (Vulgar Latin), coquus (Latin), from PIE
    pekw- (cooking). Related to this PIE root is Sanskrit pach- and pak-,
    Hindi pakAnA and pakwan.
13. Candy/ candid (English), qand (Persian), khanda (Sanskrit, sugar).
    These all are possibly from Tamil kantu (candy), kattu (to harden).
14. Meter (E.), measure (E.), matra (Sk.), metre (Fr.), metron (Gk.), Old
    English mete, PIE *mat/*met. Many food items, which were
    measured are from this root, and they include: Sanskrit masura,
    masUrikA, mas*, mishta etc, English meat, Hindi mItha (lump sugar)
    etc. Sanskrit mASa (a small unit of weight used by jwellers), which
    means a pulse (oorad) too, is from the same root.
15. English ―cotton‖, Sanskrit kartta-na (weaving), Hindi kata-na (weaving),
    Munda koTNe (pillow) and Santhal kotre (pillow) are most likely from
    the same root. Persian kurta (upper garment), Proto-Germanic kalithas
    (cloth) and English ―cloth‖ are also related. Another set of related
    words is kapara (Hindi, cloth), kappaTam (Tamil, cloth), karpAsa
    (Sanskrit, cotton).
16. Pot (E.), potus (L. drinking vessel), pAtra (Sk. pAtra, drinking vessel,
    MW, p. 612). In sanskrit patra means leaf (Greek pter). Large leaves
    were earlier used as dish plates in India. Presence of this word
    widely in IE languages clearly indicates that the Proto-Indo-
    Europeans had pottery before they migrated.
17. Wheel (E.), cycle (E.), chakra (Sanskrit), charkha (Persian) and PIE
    k(w)el probably pertain to pottery-wheel.
18. We get cognate words for cow, pig, goat, sheep and mouse in almost
    all of the Indo-European languages.
19. Fuller (2008) gives a list of cognates for cotton, spindle and weaving
    in Indo-European and Austro-Asiatic languages, indicating that Proto-
    Indo-European as well as Proto-Austro-Asiatic languages had enough
    contact for exchange of words. This place could only have been in
    India, and not West Asia or Central Asia. Words which are related
    with weaving but are found in Indo-Aryan, European, Dravidian and
    Austro-Asiatic languages are: tantu (Sk., fiber), tantra (Sk., loom), tAna
    (Sk., fiber, tone, tension), tanti and tatamA (Hindi, weaver), tendon (E.),
    tentacle (E.) tendril (E.), tent (E.), tenter (E., loom), tenet (E.), tonti (Juang,
    weaver), dendra (Telgu, a weaver caste); tay (Bonda, to weave), tor
    (Thai, to weave), tan (Kharia, to weave), thai:n (Khasi, to weave), tan
    (Alak, Lave and Niahon, to weave);
20. tUla (Sk., cotton), tUlika (Sk., brush), tula (Munda-Juang; cotton,
    feather, hair), tol (Old Mon; cotton, hair, feather), tuy (Tamil, cotton).

Having proved that the Indo-Europeans were farmers, we need to settle
their place of evolution. There were only two places where farming
evolved the earliest. Both can be claimed to be the place of origin of
Indo-Europeans. One is Anatolia (Turkey, West Asia) and the second is
India. Central Asia being a cold desert and grassland combination can
hardly harbor pastoralist populations but not farming. Nor can it have
large growth of population to force migration. All the prehistoric
migrations have taken place from tropical to temperate region (genetic
studies).

Conclusion: We note a large number of words from Austro-Asiatic
(Munda family) and Dravidian families in the Indo-European languages
located as far away as West Europe. This is a big list. Some of them have
been mentioned above. This could be only possible if the Indo-European
journey started in India, having evolved over ages in neighborhood of
these languages. Hence we can conclude, on the basis of linguistic
analysis that the Indo-European languages evolved in India from where
they migrated out to various regions of the world.



1. ―Pita‖ (English, bread), petta (Greek, bread), peptos (Greek, cooked),
   pita (bread, Modern Hibrew), pizza (Italian, a cooked food), pastry,
   pasta (Italian), petha (western Hindi, a cooked food, made of sugar
   and gourd), pittha (Bihari, a cake made of rice flour), paiSHTa
   (Sanskrit, meaning cake; derived from Sanskrit piSHTa meaning
   ground or flour, and pis meaning ―to grind‖). English ―paste‖ (dough) is
   related. ―Pastry‖ may be related with this group of words.
2. ―Pestle‖ (E.) related to Old French pestel from Latin pistillum (to
   pounder, to pestle) from PIE *pis-to-, to grind; Sanskrit pish- (HK piS
   “to grind”), pishta (HK piSTa grinded), pIs (Hindi to grind).
3. ―Mill‖ (E.) from Old English mylen; Latin mola, millstone and molere to
   grind; PIE mel / mol / ml to grind; German muhle and Sanskrit
   musala (grinder) are from the same root. Hence it is inferred that the
    Proto-Indo-Europeans used milling of grains. In Thai language mo:h is
    the word for ―mill-stone‖ which also means ―to grind‖.
4. ―Harvest‖ (English), karbitas (to harvest, Proto-Germanic), kerpu
    (Lithuanian), kerp (PIE), kripANa (Sanskrit).
5. ―Plough‖ (E.), *plogo (Proto-Germanic), plugas (Lithuanian) and langala
    (Sanskrit) are cognates. The ultimate origin of the words is from
    Munda family (Witzel). i Fuller writes, “Of interest in this regard is
    historical linguistic analysis for widespread cognate terms for plough
    in Indo-Aryan, Dravidian and Munda languages which may derive
    from early borrowing between these groups or from a common
    substrate, perhaps from the Harappan zone (Southworth, 2005, p. 80;
    Witzel, 1999, pp. 29–30).”ii
6. Acre> agri- from P. Germanic akraz, PIE agros field, Sk. ajra, ajras field.
    It is likely that Sanskrit kriS to pull, to cultivate, may have some
    relation with PIE agros.
7. Sanskrit sUpa and English ―soup‖ have same meaning, pronunciation
    and etymology. They are from PIE *sub- derived from another PIE
    base seue, ―to take liquid food‖. Proto-Germanic base *supp- and
    English ―supper‖ are cognates to these. Tamil sappara may be a
    cognate. Iranian sabzi meaning ―vegetable curry or soup‖ is a cognate.
    Witzel correlates Iranian sabz- (vegetable) with Old Sanskrit sapa-
    (drifted reed), Old Iranian sapar-ku, Rosani (Pamir language) sabec
    ―beans‖, Lithuanian sapas ―stalk‖ and English dialect haver ―stalk‖,
    which all are possibly cognates of Sanskrit supa.
8. Bread (English), bhrajj (Sanskrit, pan cake), bhrijj (Sanskrit, the act of
    baking, roasting or frying). Other cognates are Old Irish bruth ―heat‖,
    French braser ―to burn‖, Germanic brese ―hot coal‖, Old English
    beorma ―yeast‖, Old High German brato ―to roast meat‖, English brew,
    PIE *bhreu- ―to brew‖ etc.
9. Sanskrit KshIra meaning ―milk‖ and ―a porridge made of rice or millets
    in milk‖ (derived from Sanskrit root-word ghas : Monier Williams), its
    Hindi form khir, and Hindi ghee (from Sanskrit ghrita, purified butter)
    are derived from PIE ghwer. From PIE ghwer are also derived English
    burn, brandy, therm- etc.
10. Cake is from PIE *gag- (Pokorni). Sanskrit kalkaka and western Hindi
    gajak both meaning a ―cake, usually made of sugar and sesame‖ may
    be related. Although an earlier etymology of cake suggested its
    derivation from Vulgar Old English coc or cocus meaning ―cook‖ (Latin
    coquere ―to cook‖), from PIE pekw- (cooking). Related to this PIE root
    is Hindi pakwam (fried food made of wheat flour) from Sanskrit pAka
    meaning ―cake‖.
11. Candy/ candid (English), khanda (Sanskrit, sugar); cane (E.) kanda and
    khanda (Sk); Khanda (Sk.) also means ―segment‖. The sugarcane plant
    is a segmented rod of grass-family. Tamil kantu (candy), kattu (to
    harden), Arabic qandi (sweet) are also cognates of candy found
    outside Indo-European family.
12. Sugar (E.), zucker (Ger.), kroke (Gk., pebbles), sharkara (grit, gravel or
    sugar, Sk.) are cognates. Arabic sukkar (sugar) seems to be a
    borrowing from Indo-European.
13. We have discussed in the last chapter, Meter (E.), matra (Sk.), metre
    (Fr.), metron (Gk.), Old English mete, PIE *mat/*met, all meaning ―to
    measure‖. From this are derived ―meat‖, Sanskrit masUrikA (lentil),
    Hindi masura (lentil), Sanskrit mishti (sweet) Sanskrit mas* (to
    measure) etc. Thai maai meaning ―to measure‖ is probably related.
14. Cotton (E.), karttan (spinning, Sk.). Arabic qutn, qoton are borrowings
    from Indo-European. Persian word kurta meaning ―shirt‖ has same
    origins. English shirt may be cognate of Indo-European kurt rather
    than from ―skirt‖. Munda koTNe and Santhal kotre mean ―pillow‖,
    which is made of raw cotton.
15. The Indo-Europeans had wool and the art of weaving also. A large
    number of words, mutually cognates, associated with weaving and
    cotton are found in Indo-European, Dravidian and Mon-Khmer
    languages (vide supra), indicating that weaving had started before
    these three language groups trifurcated. Fuller (2008) gives a list of
    cognates for cotton, spindle and weaving in Indo-European and
    Austro-Asiatic languages, indicating that Indo-European as well as
    Austro-Asiatic migrations took off from India only after weaving had
    started.
16. Pot (E.), potus (L. drinking vessel), pAtra (Sk. pAtra, drinking vessel,
    MW, p. 612). In sanskrit patra means leaf (Greek pter). Large leaves
    were earlier used as dish plates in India. This clearly indicates that
    the Proto-Indo-Europeans had pottery before they migrated.
17. Wheel (E.), chakra (Sanskrit) and PIE k(w)el probably pertain to
    pottery-wheel.
18. We get cognate words for cow, pig, goat, sheep and mouse in almost
    all of the Indo-European languages (see Chapter 5). And genetics tells
    us that these all had been domesticated in India before the putative
    time of Neolithic revolution.
19. Sow (E.), sawan (Old English), sero and sevi (Latin, to sow), semen
    (Latin, seed), seju and seti (Lithuanian, to sow), *se and seh (PIE, to
    sow), Santhal, Ho and Munda si, siu (to plow), and Munda Kharia silo
    (―to plow‖), siiam (Thai, spade), sae (Thai, spade), sA- (Sanskrit, to sow),
    sita (Sk. a furrow of a ploughshare), sulh (Old English, a furrow or
    ploughshare), sira (Sk., plough, a plough ox).

   Related to this group of words are *sehm (PIE, grain), sasa (Sanskrit;
   sasam in Rig-Veda), sasya (Sanskrit, food, seed, grain, herb), sas
   (Kashmiri, beans, peas, lentils), sas (Bangla, grain, fruit), sasa (Oriya,
   kernel, nutritious part), sabz (Iranian, green vegetable), sem (Hindi,
   beans), *sito- and *sitya- (PIE, ―corn‖), sitiyam (Sanskrit, corn,
   ploughed), siri and siri (Khowar, barley), and sili (Kalasha of
   Hindukush, millet) are all related. Munda family language Sora has
   saro, sar (paddy) and Munda and Kharia have –sro and –srA (rice, as
   compound words in ko-soro and ko-sra) are also related.

   Words sro, sre and sru meaning ―rice‖ in some Khmer (Cambodia)
   dialects are obvious cognates of Munda –sro, Sora (a Munda family
   language) saro etc meaning rice. On the other hand the root is also
         found in Caucasian—Chechen sos ―oats‖, Eastern Caucasian susV ―rye‖
         which are millets. Witzel thinks that these latter non-IE languages
         borrowed these words while Indo-European was passing across their
         territories. This is only partly correct. The words could have been
         borrowed into the Caucasian languages, but when migration was
         moving from India to Anatolia, not from Central Asia to India.

i
   Witzel, Michael, The linguistic history of some Indian domestic plants, J Biosciences 2009, 34(6): 829-833.
“Fulltext” of this article is available at http://www.ias.ac.in/jbiosci/dec2009/Witzel_fulltext.pdf. We shall refer
that article as Witzel, Fulltext, 2009.
ii
   Fuller, 2006, p. 15.

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:206
posted:3/3/2011
language:English
pages:10