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Thread: Nepal Related Discussion Thread

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    Nepal Related Discussion Thread

    I figured we might need a dedicated thread for Nepali/Newari/Tamang/Madhesi etc discussion and prevent other threads from going off topic.

    Four major (recent) papers on various groups' genetics:

    Demographic History and Genetic Adaptation in the Himalayan Region Inferred from Genome-Wide SNP Genotypes of 49 Populations
    https://academic.oup.com/mbe/article/35/8/1916/4999976
    Elena Arciero, Thirsa Kraaijenbrink, Asan, Marc Haber, Massimo Mezzavilla, Qasim Ayub, Wei Wang, Zhaxi Pingcuo, Huanming Yang, Jian Wang
    Molecular Biology and Evolution, Volume 35, Issue 8, August 2018, Pages 19161933, https://doi.org/10.1093/molbev/msy094
    Published: 22 May 2018

    Genetic structure in the Sherpa and neighboring Nepalese populations
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5248489/
    Amy M. Cole, Sean Cox, [...], and Gianpiero L. Cavalleri
    BMC Genomics. 2017; 18: 102.
    Published online 2017 Jan 19. doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-3469-5
    PMCID: PMC5248489
    PMID: 28103797

    The genomic landscape of Nepalese Tibeto-Burmans reveals new insights into the recent peopling of Southern Himalayas
    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-15862-z
    Published: 14 November 2017
    Guido A. Gnecchi-Ruscone, Choongwon Jeong, Sara De Fanti, Stefania Sarno, Michela Trancucci, Davide Gentilini, Anna M. Di Blasio, Mingma G. Sherpa, Phurba T. Sherpa, Giorgio Marinelli, Marco Di Marcello, Luca Natali, Davide Peluzzi, Davide Pettener, Anna Di Rienzo, Donata Luiselli & Marco Sazzini

    The 2019 ReichLab paper also has data on a few Nepali groups, including Bahuns, Newars, Shah, Thakuri, and a few others.

    The formation of human populations in South and Central Asia
    https://science.sciencemag.org/conte.../6457/eaat7487
    Vagheesh M. Narasimhan1,*,, Nick Patterson2,3,*,, Priya Moorjani4,5,, ...
    Science 06 Sep 2019:
    Vol. 365, Issue 6457, eaat7487
    DOI: 10.1126/science.aat7487

    Please note that this is not an AMA thread, so let's keep to discussions that do not violate TOS.
    Last edited by poi; 02-28-2020 at 08:06 PM.

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    Do you think the Prakrit influence in Nepali language came with arrival of Khas people? Like Khas Brahmins?

    Pnb post where he called "Rukh" made me dig deep into Prakrit, and it seem to have more role in development of NW languages than Sanskrit. Since it's speculated khas people came from NW via Himalayan belt, did they bring the Prakrit influence too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyDLuffy View Post
    Do you think the Prakrit influence in Nepali language came with arrival of Khas people? Like Khas Brahmins?

    Pnb post where he called "Rukh" made me dig deep into Prakrit, and it seem to have more role in development of NW languages than Sanskrit. Since it's speculated khas people came from NW via Himalayan belt, did they bring the Prakrit influence too?
    The mainstream (that I know of at least) is that Prakrit was a later development than Vedic(Sanskrit), just like Classical Sanskrit. I think parasar and client are of the belief that Prakrit might be a completely different branch from RigVedic IndoAryan and even having Mittani-like attributes. Prakrit's -kka -tta do look (to my untrained eyes) similar to how Mittani words are written down, but I would not know beyond that. Anthorin and other linguists here might know more.

    As far as Bahuns bringing Prakrit rather than Sanskrit, that would be the opposite. If anything, Nepali Bahuns (if they indeed were independent of the Khas general migration) brought Sanskrit while the Khas (Chettri ancestors) brought the Khaskura(which became Nepali after incorporating Sanskrit vocabulary and TB/Newari/Tamang idioms).

    RigVedic version of "Rukh" would be "Ruksa", so Prakrit seems to have lost that "s". You see that quite a bit with later IndoAryan languages where loss of letters. Sanskrit Dakshin is Prakrit Dakkin, etc.

    tldr; there is no "Prakrit" influence in Nepali. Nepali IS a Prakrit-derivative. Nepali does have Sanskrit superstrate, likely brought by Bahuns.
    Last edited by poi; 02-28-2020 at 07:54 PM.

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    The biggest unknown to me is the Khas Chettri genetics at the micro level. In 23andme(which looks at past 400 years), all Chettris seem to show a substantial rate of "Central Asian" at 15-25% and low NorthIndian, while Bahuns show only 0-2% CentralAsian and much higher NorthIndian. I hope they are on to something and not just junk classification by 23andme's algorithm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by poi View Post
    The mainstream (that I know of at least) is that Prakrit was a later development than Vedic(Sanskrit), just like Classical Sanskrit. I think parasar and client are of the belief that Prakrit might be a completely different branch from RigVedic IndoAryan and even having Mittani-like attributes. Prakrit's -kka -tta do look (to my untrained eyes) similar to how Mittani words are written down, but I would not know beyond that. Anthorin and other linguists here might know more.

    As far as Bahuns bringing Prakrit rather than Sanskrit, that would be the opposite. If anything, Nepali Bahuns (if they indeed were independent of the Khas general migration) brought Sanskrit while the Khas (Chettri ancestors) brought the Khaskura(which became Nepali after incorporating Sanskrit vocabulary and TB/Newari/Tamang idioms).

    RigVedic version of "Rukh" would be "Ruksa", so Prakrit seems to have lost that "s". You see that quite a bit with later IndoAryan languages where loss of letters. Sanskrit Dakshin is Prakrit Dakkin, etc.

    tldr; there is no "Prakrit" influence in Nepali. Nepali IS a Prakrit-derivative. Nepali does have Sanskrit superstrate, likely brought by Bahuns.
    Btw did you look into Takri script? It was the primary script to write Himalayan Belt languages, Dogri, Kangri, Sirmauri, Chamiyali, Kehloori, Mandeali. It was used by Khas people in Nepal as well. Since it is sister script to Landa which was used in NW upto Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, that'd kind of give an idea about how and from where Khas people arrived.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takri_script

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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyDLuffy View Post
    Btw did you look into Takri script? It was the primary script to write Himalayan Belt languages, Dogri, Kangri, Sirmauri, Chamiyali, Kehloori, Mandeali. It was used by Khas people in Nepal as well. Since it is sister script to Landa which was used in NW upto Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, that'd kind of give an idea about how and from where Khas people arrived.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takri_script
    Interesting, I need to read up on that script. These wiki pages show earlier dates for Devanagari's usage.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devanagari

    A few palm leaves from the Buddhist Sanskrit text Shisyalekha composed in 5th-century by Candragomin. Shisyalekha was written in Devanagari script by a Nepalese scribe in 1084 CE (above). The manuscript is in the Cambridge University library.[55]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khas_people

    Copper Inscription by King of Doti, Raika Mandhata Shahi at Saka Era 1612 (शाके १६१२) (or 1747 Bikram Samvat) in old Khas language using Devanagari script.

    Regarding scripts, unlike language, they do not necessary mean actual direct influence. Scripts are very top-down, imposed by the administrative/religious classes on to the masses far and wide, while vernacular is the base. It would not be surprising to find various scripts being used by the same culture. Would somebody trained in linguistics comment on this?
    Last edited by poi; 02-28-2020 at 08:18 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyDLuffy View Post
    Do you think the Prakrit influence in Nepali language came with arrival of Khas people? Like Khas Brahmins?

    Pnb post where he called "Rukh" made me dig deep into Prakrit, and it seem to have more role in development of NW languages than Sanskrit. Since it's speculated khas people came from NW via Himalayan belt, did they bring the Prakrit influence too?
    Prakrit just refers to the various Middle Indo-Aryan languages(of the masses) that modern day IA vernaculars descend from, it is not a singular entity and has nothing specifically to do with the "NW". All modern spoken IA languages(Punjabi to Assamese to Sinhala) are derived from the various Prakrits as no one speaks Sanskrit natively
    Sanskrit influence in the Prakrits or their descendants is a separate matter altogether.

    I think spoken language just diffused from region to region, it doesn't need to be tied to a specific group.
    I doubt Bahuns(or any other Brahmins for that matter) ever used Sanskrit conversationally. People just seem to speak the language of the land.
    Last edited by client; 02-28-2020 at 08:29 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by client View Post
    Prakrit just refers to the various Middle Indo-Aryan languages(of the masses) that modern day IA vernaculars descend from, it is not a singular entity and has nothing specifically to do with the "NW". All modern spoken IA languages(Punjabi to Assamese to Sinhala) are derived from the various Prakrits as no one speaks Sanskrit natively
    Sanskrit influence in the Prakrits or their descendants is a separate matter altogether.
    May I sum up the mainstream (based on linguistics and genetics):

    • CentralSteppeMLBA brought RigVedic IndoAryan language and genes into South Asia in late BronzeAge -- a few centuries before that 1500BCE Loebanr SwatValley sample.
    • Early IndoAryan clans/tribes, in the Sapta-Sindhu area, started compiling religious tales (complete verbal transmission from father to sons) until the early IronAge.
    • RigVedic Sanskrit started giving birth to various vernaculars that we know as Prakrits.
    • At some point in the late IronAge the Brahmi writing was imported from the Middle East.
    • From the Brahmi writing, various modern South and Southeast Asian, including Tibetan, scripts came into existence.
    • From Prakrits, various modern North/West/East SouthAsian languages came into existence, including Nepali and obviously from Punjab to Srilanka to Assam.


    Remote NW Himalayan tribes were never part of the RigVedic umbrella, but derivatives of the sister proto Nuristani/Dardic branch that did not make it deep into South Asia.

    Note that I was going for the mainstream version of the events. If I am wrong, do correct me. I purposefully omitted BMAC influence because the Reich paper categorically rejected the BMAC(proper) genes in SouthAsians, despite BMAC_outliers containing SteppeMLBA. Culturally and materially, BMAC seem to have a huge influence on IndoAryan/RigVedic and Iranian/Zoroastrian religions.
    Last edited by poi; 02-28-2020 at 08:40 PM.

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    I generally agree with you on that

    I was wondering whether Sanskrit vs Prakrit can be compared to Classical Latin vs Vulgar Latin (or old French, old Spanish etc) and sure enough this has been answered on Quora
    https://www.quora.com/Can-Sanskrit-a...eraj-Mathur-13


    As for BMAC I don't know how relevant it is culturally (we don't know what really became of their culture atm, nor do we for IVC) . I mean, how can one say some element of culture is from BMAC and not IVC? Fire altars for example I read were specific to southern portions of the IVC(though some of these so called altars may have been kilns). The two main sites I know of in the BMAC with fire altars both have either InPe samples (Gonur2_BA) or InPe mixed (Bustan_o).
    it may mean something genetically but I don't really see the need to nitpick between BMAC vs IVC culturally since we know very little about either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by client View Post
    I generally agree with you on that

    I was wondering whether Sanskrit vs Prakrit can be compared to Classical Latin vs Vulgar Latin (or old French, old Spanish etc) and sure enough this has been answered on Quora
    https://www.quora.com/Can-Sanskrit-a...eraj-Mathur-13
    The classical Sanskrit vs vulgar Prakrit (analogous to Classical Latin vs Vulgar Latin) is what IMO is the mainstream. Other theories like Prakrits being sisters (rather than daughters) of RigvedicSanskrit or Mittani's derivatives are pretty fringe I should say. That would completely screw up the timeline. Exciting, yes, but very confusing.


    Quote Originally Posted by client View Post
    As for BMAC I don't know how relevant it is culturally (we don't know what really became of their culture atm, nor do we for IVC) . I mean, how can one say some element of culture is from BMAC and not IVC? Fire altars for example I read were specific to southern portions of the IVC(though some of these so called altars may have been kilns). The two main sites I know of in the BMAC with fire altars both have either InPe samples (Gonur2_BA) or InPe mixed (Bustan_o).
    it may mean something genetically but I don't really see the need to nitpick between BMAC vs IVC culturally since we know very little about either.
    I would say that IVC influence on (material culture of) early IndoAryan is not as mainstream as BMAC's cultural impact. But, since BMAC and IVC had such an overlap in genetics (IranN base with ANF in BMAC and AASI in IVC) and culture (IVC migrants in BMAC), it would not be far fetched to think that early IndoAryans acquired their SouthCentralAsian cultural elements from IVC. However, how would that explain BMAC cultural elements in Early Iranian? IVC also influenced Early Iranian? Or BMAC only influenced Early Iranian? I think BMAC's influence in both is the simplest to wrap my head around. Having said that, I hope that something unexpected is unearthed/sequenced. Exciting times.

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