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Thread: Alphabet Soup -- Regional Languages Discussion.

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by surbakhunWeesste View Post
    you probably mean my ethnicity? Afghan Pashtun

    Have you come across these people, if yes, can you post your personal opinion on them: their language and culture to be specific.
    yes, I meant your ethnicity in order to get your comment about your looking half-Japanese.

    I've never been to those places nor worked on those languages. But, I know a German linguist who worked on Bangani spoken in the high mountains of Uttarakhand. He claims Bangani spoken in the high mountains of Uttarakhand is a centum language which puts it with Greek as opposed to Indo-Iranian. Kalash-Kafiristan connection to Alexander is a very old one. Rudyard Kipling's novel 'The man who wanted to be king' is based on that legend/belief. In recent times, Michael Wood of BBC made a documentary about Alexander in which he cover this a bit-
    Last edited by sudkol; 08-26-2018 at 08:23 AM.

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmoney View Post
    Wow i didnt know Kinnauri was Sino-Tibetan
    The classification of Kinnauri is still not clear. There is stratification of language into numerous caste dialects. The dialect spoken by the SCs in all valleys seems to be closer to Munda. The Negi dialect is certainly Sino-Tibetan.

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  5. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by surbakhunWeesste View Post
    you probably mean my ethnicity? Afghan Pashtun

    Have you come across these people, if yes, can you post your personal opinion on them: their language and culture to be specific.
    Bangani has been claimed to be a centum language which means in words like 'ten', 'doko' in Bangani, you see the /k/ sound rather than /S/ as in other Indo-Aryan languages. All words with /S/ in Indo-Aryan would show up with a /k/. This is the observation that sparked all these claims about discovering the language of the last descendants of Alexander's army and so on. Centum languages are languages like Greek which are found in Europe. All Indo-iranian languages are Satem languages.

    Nuristani languages form a distinct subgroup of Indo-Iranian. Linguists think these languages represent a group of early Indo-Aryan people that split from the main group that entered the subcontinent and remained behind. But, they kept migrating in smaller numbers to the east after this early split. Groups like Kalasha, Brokpa are the result of these later migrations.

    Perhaps there is a line that connects the dots from Nuristan in Afghanistan to Kalasha and Shin in Chitral, Hunza in Gilgit, Kashmiris, subgroups of Kinnauri and Bangani.

    I think Greek contribution must have been pretty widespread rather than these few isolated groups. After all, Indo-Greeks ruled in Balkh for close to three centuries. Most Afghans would have some degree of Greek Balkan ancestry I suppose.

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  7. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pnb123 View Post
    I think we need to sample those region to find out if they're related to Dardic people or not. Dardic people like those in Chitral are scoring similar to Pashtuns. Kashmiris are more Indic shifted Dardics & there's a chance these people are related to them (geographically Kashmir is closer to Himachal/Uttarakhand than Chitral). Of course we wouldn't know this until we sample them. It looks like Himalayas was inhabited by various tribes that migrated from both pretty much all directions. It's also possible to have isolated tribes with different genetic makeup to have settled in the Himalayas & not get mixed with others. As for the distance, 600 km is not that significant. My ancestors migrated from Far Western Nepal Hills to Eastern Nepal Hills (which is about 800 km, I believe) in the span of less than 300 years, lol. Who knows if they even migrated from further West right?
    Yes, thats what I meant. We need to get dna of Kinnauras from Sangla-Chitkul-Kalpa-Nichaar. I was not making any solid claims, only hinting at a possibility ...

  8. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudkol View Post
    Bangani has been claimed to be a centum language which means in words like 'ten', 'doko' in Bangani, you see the /k/ sound rather than /S/ as in other Indo-Aryan languages. All words with /S/ in Indo-Aryan would show up with a /k/. This is the observation that sparked all these claims about discovering the language of the last descendants of Alexander's army and so on. Centum languages are languages like Greek which are found in Europe. All Indo-iranian languages are Satem languages.

    Nuristani languages form a distinct subgroup of Indo-Iranian. Linguists think these languages represent a group of early Indo-Aryan people that split from the main group that entered the subcontinent and remained behind. But, they kept migrating in smaller numbers to the east after this early split. Groups like Kalasha, Brokpa are the result of these later migrations.

    Perhaps there is a line that connects the dots from Nuristan in Afghanistan to Kalasha and Shin in Chitral, Hunza in Gilgit, Kashmiris, subgroups of Kinnauri and Bangani.

    I think Greek contribution must have been pretty widespread rather than these few isolated groups. After all, Indo-Greeks ruled in Balkh for close to three centuries. Most Afghans would have some degree of Greek Balkan ancestry I suppose.
    Centum languge? I thought it has presence of centum elements. Similar phenomena when some sino-tibetan languages have indo-aryn elements and vice versa. I am aware of Zoller's work.

    It's a Garwahli dialect (Indo-Aryan).
    I just checked wiki it says, its closer to Tamang language!
    IMO, it shouldn't be biggie if centum elements are found in languages there, Greco-Bactrian and Indo Greek Kingdoms flourished in the parts of the continent as well, makes sense how greek inscriptions were imp.

    Well Balkh is part of west and east Bactria, it was ruled by Greco-Bactrian not Indo-greeks, though I have read of marriages in texts like Mahabharata.You can find indo-iranian tribes and indo aryan tribes being part of Rigvedic tribes in Rigved mandala 7.You can find Balkh being part of the Rigvedic tribes, imo the difference is Indo-Iranian and Indo-Aryan as we know now.

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  10. #16
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    According to this book, Kinnaur was annexed by Tibetans in 17th century, by the Nepalese Gorkhas in early 18th century who also conquered Kumaon and Garhwal and by the military general of the king of Kashmir from mid nineteenth century. So, movement of people could have taken place across all these regions leading to interesting genetic admixture.

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  12. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by surbakhunWeesste View Post
    Centum languge? I thought it has presence of centum elements. Similar phenomena when some sino-tibetan languages have indo-aryn elements and vice versa. I am aware of Zoller's work.

    It's a Garwahli dialect (Indo-Aryan).
    I just checked wiki it says, its closer to Tamang language!
    IMO, it shouldn't be biggie if centum elements are found in languages there, Greco-Bactrian and Indo Greek Kingdoms flourished in the parts of the continent as well, makes sense how greek inscriptions were imp.

    Well Balkh is part of west and east Bactria, it was ruled by Greco-Bactrian not Indo-greeks, though I have read of marriages in texts like Mahabharata.You can find indo-iranian tribes and indo aryan tribes being part of Rigvedic tribes in Rigved mandala 7.You can find Balkh being part of the Rigvedic tribes, imo the difference is Indo-Iranian and Indo-Aryan as we know now.
    Centum languages are those that group palatovelars with velars and retain labiovelars as a distinct class. By contrast, satem languages which include all Indo-Iranian languages as well as Balto-Slavic (and also, possibly Armenian and Albanian) group labiovelars with velars and retain palatovelars as a separate class that are realized as sibilants. The rule of thumb is that if the term for hundred in a language starts with a velar sound /k/, it's a centum language. If it starts with a sibilant /S/ or /s/, it is a Satem language. Obviously, this is an oversimplified presentation of the idea since classification is never based on one lexical item. Also, note that centum-satem distinction runs into problems with extinct Tocharian which was spoken in Tarim Basin turning out to be a centum language. Going into a full discussion of centum-satem is not possible here. But, if Zoller's reported forms are correct and palatovelars merged with velars leading to /k/ sound in the contexts where /s/-/S/ is found in other Indo-Iranian languages, then that would mean Bangani is originally a centum language or at least has a centum substrate. Again, I am not making this claim. I am summarizing my understanding of his work.

    Here are two more detailed posts about the Bangani controversy.

    Wikipedia is not always the most reliable source especially on ongoing debates. The links I gave above are by reputed scholars in the field, Hans Hock at UIllinois, Anvita Abbi at JNU. If you ask for my opinion, I would say affiliation of Bangani is unknown. Dialect is an abused term in Indian linguistics. Bhojpuri, Magahi, Awadhi and all the Bihari languages are listed as 'dialects' of Hindi.

    It's not uncommon for languages to borrow elements from other language families around. But, the pattern of borrowing in a language tells us about the nature of contact with speakers of the source languages. As an example, the pattern of borrowings in Romani tells us about the migration path the Roma people took to reach Europe from India. Based on linguistic evidence, Peter Bakker claims that the ancestors of the Roma left Central India before 400 BC, spent some time in Northern India where they were in contact with speakers of Dardic languages (Kashmiri) up until 1000 CE, and traveled through Iranian speaking areas, Armenia, Caucasus, and then reached Greek speaking territories and began to enter Europe only after 1200 CE.

    So, if we claim that centum elements in Bangani could have been borrowed from Greek, we need to have a similar account for the timeline and sequence of these changes. Why were those centum elements borrowed if the language is originally Indo-Iranian ? In other words, you need to fit all the data to the hypothesis. Indo-European is a huge family and any proposal for a change in one language usually has widespread implications for many other languages.

    On the question of Greek influence in Balkh, I have little knowledge about history of Balkh. Since you asked me for my opinion about history of these groups claiming Greek heritage, my reply was why just these few groups ? If Greeks or Greek derived populations ruled over vast regions, why would their descendants be confined to only a few valleys ?

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  14. #18
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    Obviously Bangani is Indo-Iranian. Zollers work is not undisputed. If you look at the numerals, 10 is dosh, following expected satem changes.

  15. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by sudkol View Post
    Centum languages are those that group palatovelars with velars and retain labiovelars as a distinct class. By contrast, satem languages which include all Indo-Iranian languages as well as Balto-Slavic (and also, possibly Armenian and Albanian) group labiovelars with velars and retain palatovelars as a separate class that are realized as sibilants. The rule of thumb is that if the term for hundred in a language starts with a velar sound /k/, it's a centum language. If it starts with a sibilant /S/ or /s/, it is a Satem language. Obviously, this is an oversimplified presentation of the idea since classification is never based on one lexical item. Also, note that centum-satem distinction runs into problems with extinct Tocharian which was spoken in Tarim Basin turning out to be a centum language. Going into a full discussion of centum-satem is not possible here. But, if Zoller's reported forms are correct and palatovelars merged with velars leading to /k/ sound in the contexts where /s/-/S/ is found in other Indo-Iranian languages, then that would mean Bangani is originally a centum language or at least has a centum substrate. Again, I am not making this claim. I am summarizing my understanding of his work.

    Here are two more detailed posts about the Bangani controversy.

    Wikipedia is not always the most reliable source especially on ongoing debates. The links I gave above are by reputed scholars in the field, Hans Hock at UIllinois, Anvita Abbi at JNU. If you ask for my opinion, I would say affiliation of Bangani is unknown. Dialect is an abused term in Indian linguistics. Bhojpuri, Magahi, Awadhi and all the Bihari languages are listed as 'dialects' of Hindi.

    It's not uncommon for languages to borrow elements from other language families around. But, the pattern of borrowing in a language tells us about the nature of contact with speakers of the source languages. As an example, the pattern of borrowings in Romani tells us about the migration path the Roma people took to reach Europe from India. Based on linguistic evidence, Peter Bakker claims that the ancestors of the Roma left Central India before 400 BC, spent some time in Northern India where they were in contact with speakers of Dardic languages (Kashmiri) up until 1000 CE, and traveled through Iranian speaking areas, Armenia, Caucasus, and then reached Greek speaking territories and began to enter Europe only after 1200 CE.

    So, if we claim that centum elements in Bangani could have been borrowed from Greek, we need to have a similar account for the timeline and sequence of these changes. Why were those centum elements borrowed if the language is originally Indo-Iranian ? In other words, you need to fit all the data to the hypothesis. Indo-European is a huge family and any proposal for a change in one language usually has widespread implications for many other languages.

    On the question of Greek influence in Balkh, I have little knowledge about history of Balkh. Since you asked me for my opinion about history of these groups claiming Greek heritage, my reply was why just these few groups ? If Greeks or Greek derived populations ruled over vast regions, why would their descendants be confined to only a few valleys ?
    I asked for your personal opinion on Bangani and it's speakers not on groups claiming Greek heritage, since you were in the vicinity, so I assumed perhaps you came across them.

    Given human history, that relies on many factors, economy, preference, terrain, companionship to name a few.

    Interesting note: Bangani is spoken in UttarKashi, an imp. holy area for Hindus because of the sources of Ganges and Yamuna.
    Last edited by surbakhunWeesste; 08-26-2018 at 10:54 PM.

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  17. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pylsteen View Post
    Obviously Bangani is Indo-Iranian. Zollers work is not undisputed. If you look at the numerals, 10 is dosh, following expected satem changes.
    The word for ten is doko! No one claimed that Zoller's work is undisputed. Read the evaluations of his work by Hock and Abbi I posted earlier. They list a number of words, not just the one for ten or hundred.

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