ANALYSIS OF
THE ARYAN INVASION THEORY
PART 1
1
MAP OF CENTRAL ASIA
2
VERSIONS OF ANCIENT INDIAN HISTORY
THERE ARE TWO VERSIONS OF ANCIENT INDIAN HISTORY BCE:
The official version (taught in history books and text books)
 Traditional version found in the texts known as the Puranas
PERIODS OF HISTORY ACCORDING TO
PERIODS OF HISTORY ACCORDING TO
OFFICIAL VERSION
TRADITIONAL VERSION
 1. The Indus Civilization (3500-1900 BCE
 1. Pre-Mahabharata (past tense)
or so).
 2. Post-Mahabharata (future tense)
 2. The Aryan Invasion and the
subsequent Vedic period (1500-600 BCE
or so).
 3. Post-Vedic and Buddhist India (600
BCE or so onwards).



It is only in respect of the history of the third part, post-600 BCE, that there is broad
agreement between the two versions
For the period before 600 BCE, the two accounts diverge:

the Puranas give a continuous history of traditional India going back into the mists of
time

Text book version commences this traditional history from a point around 1500 BCE
when a race of foreign invaders called Aryans are alleged to have entered India from
the northwest bringing with them the Sanskrit language and Vedic culture
3
INDIA’S TRADITIONAL HISTORY



The Puranas state that a period of 1015 or 1050 years
elapsed between the birth of Parikshit, born during the 18
day Mahabharata war, and the coronation of Mahapadma
Nanda, which, as Greek records indirectly testify, took place
in 378 or 382 BCE.
(This places the date of the war in the fifteenth century BCE)
The Puranas record the names of over 90 generations of
kings who ruled different parts of northern India before the
Mahabharata war right back to the time of the reign of the
first king Manu Vaivasvata, thus taking this continuous history
back into the third or fourth millennium BCE. There are also
references to even earlier pre-Manu dynasties and kings.
4
TRADITIONAL VS OFFICIAL HISTORY


Why is this traditional history recorded in the Puranas accepted
by modern historians only for the period after 600 BCE, but not
for the period before 600 BCE?
The answer is that, for the period after 600 BCE, the Puranic
accounts are broadly corroborated and confirmed by various new
and independent sources like




the Buddhist and Jain texts within India,
and detailed accounts or incidental references in dated Greek, Persian
and Chinese texts and records.
We also have the first readable and datable inscriptions in India in the
third century BCE in the form of the rock and pillar inscriptions of
Ashoka, one of which names five contemporaneous kings of West Asia.
The Puranic accounts for the period before 600 BCE, for both the
pre-Mahabharata as well as the post-Mahabharata periods, are
rejected simply because


they have no similar independent sources to confirm them
and because they contradict the Aryan invasion theory which is treated
as an irrefutable fact.
5
INDIAN HISTORY PRIOR TO 600 BCE




The traditional history recorded in the Puranas knows nothing about any Aryan invasion
of India around 1500 BCE which brought the Sanskrit language and Vedic culture into
India, nor about any pre-Aryan and pre-Vedic civilization in the Indus Valley area.
So where did these ideas of an Aryan invasion and a pre-Aryan Indus civilization come
from?
The idea of an Aryan invasion of India around 1500 BCE originated in the eighteenth
century as a result of studies in comparative linguistics, when European scholars
discovered that the languages of northern India were related to the languages of Central
Asia, Iran and Europe. These languages were named Aryan or Indo-European languages.
Linguists speculated that these languages originated in South Russia. This became the
sole basis for the idea that these Aryans must have entered India from outside via the
northwest. The oldest Sanskrit text, the Rigveda, was therefore analysed from the point
of view of this alleged Aryan invasion.
The archaeological discovery in the early twentieth century of the Harappan sites, which
were dated well before 1500 BCE, automatically made this a non-Aryan or pre-Aryan
civilization.
6
THE CRUCIAL NATURE OF THIS THEORY





The basis for this entire history of India before 600 BCE, as taught in
modern history books, is the Aryan Invasion theory which was formulated
by European scholars in the last 300 years during the days of the British
rule in India. Before this, the idea of any Aryan language or historical
Aryan people simply did not exist at all.
This theory is based wholly and solely on the speculations following the
discovery of the linguistic relations between the languages of India, Iran,
Central Asia and Europe.
It has no actual basis whatsoever either in any recorded historical text or
tradition anywhere in the world or in any evidence discovered from any
archaeological excavations within or outside India.
The correctness or otherwise of this entire pre-600 BCE history of India as
taught in history books therefore wholly and solely hinges on the
correctness or otherwise of this theory.
Therefore it is essential to first understand the basic postulates of this
theory, and to understand which of these postulates are based on facts
and which are based on speculation, and then to examine the
postulates based on speculation to find out how far they fit in with the
facts.
7
THE FOUR POSTULATES OF THE AIT
1.
2.
3.
4.
The languages of northern India, Iran, Central Asia and Europe are
related to each other as members of a language family. [This family
has been named Aryan or Indo-European (as distinct from other
language families like Dravidian, Semito-Hamitic, Austric, SinoTibetan, etc.) by linguists]
All these languages must therefore be descended from a common
ancestral language, which has been reconstructed by linguists and
named proto-Indo-European.
This ancestral language must have been spoken in one particular
area, the Indo-European homeland, from where dialects of this
language spread out all over India, Iran, Central Asia and Europe
This Indo-European homeland must have been in some central
area like South Russia, and not in India. If so, the Aryan languages
spoken in India are not indigenous, but were brought into the area
from outside by Aryan invaders or immigrants.
8
THE INDO-EUROPEAN LANGUAGE FAMILY

Indians opposed to the AIT often reject the very first postulate: that there is
such a thing at all as an Aryan or Indo-European language family.


The second postulate (that these Indo-European languages must be descended from a
common ancestral language as reconstructed by the linguists) is also opposed by many
Indians who insist that the ancestral language must be Sanskrit itself.


This is wrong because it is clear from even a cursory study of the phonology,
grammar and vocabulary of Sanskrit and the oldest European languages that they
are indeed related to each other, and also that the other language families in India
(Dravidian, etc.) are distinct families.
This is also wrong because it is clear that Sanskrit itself was constantly evolving
even within the Rigvedic period itself, and Vedic Sanskrit is also different from
Classical Sanskrit. So obviously, the pre-Rigvedic forms of the language must also
have been progressively more and more different from Vedic Sanskrit, to a point
where at one stage it may have been something like the reconstructed Proto-IndoEuropean language.
The third postulate, of a common homeland, follows naturally as a corollary to
the first two postulates, and is equally valid.
9
THE ORIGINAL HOMELAND



However, the fourth postulate (the original homeland is in South Russia or somewhere else
outside India) is based on speculations and dubious arguments, and not on empirical
facts, data and logic.
The AIT is based on this postulate alone.
It must be remembered that:




1. The AIT is a totally new theory formulated only in the last 300 years purely and solely on
the basis of speculations and arguments about the location of the original homeland.
2. It has no basis or support in any traditional, textual or inscriptional source in India or
anywhere else in the world.
3. It is not based on or supported by any data or evidence from any archaeological excavation
anywhere in the world: No trace of the proto-Indo-European language has been found in any
part of the world, no archaeological trace of the invading Aryans entering or on the way to
India has been found anywhere, and the language of the Indus Civilization is still unknown and
there is no evidence whatsoever that it is non-Aryan.
Therefore these arguments which form the sole basis of the AIT must be
examined in detail.
10
THE AIT ARGUMENTS

The AIT arguments fall in two categories:



1. Firstly we have the linguistic arguments on the basis of which it was decided
that the location of the homeland of the Indo-European language family could
not have been in India, but must have been somewhere in the west (most
probably in South Russia).
2. Once it was decided that the Aryan or Indo-European languages did not
originate in India, it became necessary to try to find evidence for this from the
Vedic texts, particularly from the Rigveda, which is the oldest text not only in
India but in any Indo-European language anywhere in the world. Hence we
have the textual arguments based on the Rigveda, which try to find evidence
from the Rigveda to show that it was composed by the invading Aryans after
1500 BCE in the early days of their arrival and settlement in the north western
parts of the country.
It must be noted again that the AIT is based wholly and solely on these
arguments alone, and the validity of the AIT depends solely on the
validity of these arguments.
11
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 1

AIT Argument:


The ancestral Indo-European language is not Sanskrit, but a reconstructed PIE language.
Historical background:



When the relationship between the north Indian languages and the languages of Europe was
first discovered, all the early western theories postulated Sanskrit as the ancestral language
and therefore India as the original homeland.
But studies in comparative linguistics made it clear that Vedic Sanskrit itself was evolved from
an earlier PIE (Proto-Indo-European) language (reconstructed by linguists), which was also the
ancestor of all the other Indo-European languages. This triggered an opposite reaction, and
the idea that Sanskrit was not the ancestral language was automatically treated as indicating
that India was not the original homeland.
Hence all the theories concentrated on locating the original homeland in some central area
such as South Russia, eastern Europe or Anatolia. Indian scholars reacted to this either by
insisting that Sanskrit itself was the original language, or by rejecting the whole IndoEuropean linguistic paradigm.
12
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 1

Flaw:


Both sides ignore the fact that just as Vedic Sanskrit is “different” from the
reconstructed ancestor, so is every other known or reconstructed
language, and much more so than Vedic Sanskrit: especially the Slavic
languages of South Russia.
Facts:

In fact, the Vedic language is still much closer to the proto-Indo-European
language than any other Indo-European language.



Childe gives a list of 72 basic cognate proto-Indo-European words: Sanskrit has 70, Greek
48, Germanic 46, Latin 40, Celtic 25, Baltic 23, Slavic 16, Armenian 15 and Tocharian 8.
Grammatically, Lockwood points out that Sanskrit with its “three genders, three
numbers and eight cases” presents “the fullest representation of the Indo-European
system”. The same is the case in the matter of the system of tonal or pitch accents.
As Griffith puts it, in the Vedic language “we see the roots and shoots of the languages
of Greek and Latin, of Kelt, Teuton and Slavonian”. This is so far as language is
concerned.
13
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 1


Griffith further points out that: “the deities, the myths, and the religious
beliefs and practices of the Veda throw a flood of light upon the religions
of all European countries before the introduction of Christianity”.
This is so total that:



1. All the European mythologies (as well as those of Hittite and Tocharian) have
numerous elements in common with Vedic mythology, but very few in common with
each other (and these few are also common with Vedic mythology). Iranian mythology
has common elements only with Vedic mythology.
2. Many of the common elements in other mythologies can be connected only through
the Vedic myths (e.g. Greek Hermes/ Pan with the Germanic Vanir, through Vedic
Sarama/ Pani).
3.Vedic myths are clearly close to the original forms while the European myths are very
much evolved versions: Macdonell points out that the Vedic gods “are nearer to the
physical phenomena which they represent than the gods of any other Indo-European
mythology”.
14
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 1



Vedic language and mythology clearly represent forms closest to the
original and the primitive forms in sharp contrast to the other IndoEuropean languages and mythologies.
This fits in with a picture where the original homeland has to be either
identical with the area of composition of the Rigveda, or close enough to
that area for the Rigveda to have been composed reasonably soon after
the Indo-Aryans separated from the other Indo-European branches.
Incompatibility of facts with the theory: However, does this fit in with the
AIT account of the history of the composition of the Rigveda? According to the
theory:
 1. The ancestral proto-Indo-European language was spoken in or around
South Russia. This language developed into different dialects which
ultimately became the twelve known branches of Indo-European:
Anatolian, Tocharian, Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Baltic, Slavic, Albanian,
Greek, Armenian, Iranian and Indo-Aryan.
15
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 1

2. Speakers of two of these Indo-European dialects, Iranian
and Indo-Aryan, separated from the others and started
migrating eastwards towards Central Asia.



During this centuries long migration, they underwent radical changes. In
Hock’s words, “they migrated slowly…from one habitable area to the
next, settling for a while and, in the process, assimilating to the local
population in terms of phenotype, culture, and perhaps also religion”.
They settled among various different cultures including the Andronovo
culture in the Pontic-Caspian area and the Afanas’evo culture to the north
of Central Asia.
Everywhere they underwent ethnic, cultural and religious changes as they
mixed with different local populations.
16
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 1

3. These racially and culturally much-mixed speakers of IndoAryan and Iranian migrated into the Bactria Margiana areas of
southern Central Asia, and, in Witzel’s words, “completely
‘Aryanized’ a local population” to the extent that “the local
Bactrians would have appeared as a typically ‘Vedic’ people
with a Vedic civilization”.

In short, these pre-Rigvedic Aryans in Central Asia were “Aryanized” local
Central Asians, ethnically a completely different race from the original IndoAryan speakers who had set out from South Russia.
17
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 1

4. These “Aryanized” ethnic Central Asians later, in Witzel’s words, “moved
into the Panjab, assimilating (‘Aryanizing’) the local population”. Note the
implausible circumstances:



(a) These immigrants were small groups of relatively primitive nomadic tribes who
completely “Aryanized” the teeming multitudes of civilized people of the Indus Harappan
civilization.
(b) This transformation was so complete that it resulted in, as Witzel puts it, “the
absorption of not only new languages but also of an entire complex of material and
spiritual culture ranging from chariotry and horsemanship to Indo-Iranian poetry
whose complicated conventions are still actively used in the Rgveda. The old IndoIranian religion, centred on the opposition of Devas and Asuras, was also adopted,
along with Indo-European systems of ancestor worship”.
(c) This whole transformation left absolutely no trace in the archaeological or ethnic
record, or in traditional memory.
18
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 1

Summing up:


Firstly, the “Vedic Aryan” inhabitants of the Indus Valley or the Greater Punjab region who
composed the Rigveda bore only a slight ethnic relationship to the Central Asians who
“Aryanized” them, and almost none to the racially much-mixed people who had “Aryanized”
the Central Asians, and none at all to the original Indo-Aryans who had migrated from distant
South Russia many centuries earlier.
Secondly, as Kuiper points out, a very long period elapsed “between the arrival of the Aryans
…and the formation of the oldest hymns of the Rigveda”, in fact so long that:



The locals had became completely Aryanized.
They retained not even the faintest memories either of any indigenous pre-Aryan past or of any extra-Indian
Aryan past.
Conclusion

It is clearly impossible that these “Vedic Aryan” inhabitants of the Indus Valley, so far removed
in time, place, memory and ethnic identity from any supposed original Indo-Aryans in South
Russia could have composed a text, the Rigveda, whose language and culture, even in its
latest parts, is so very uniquely close to the “roots and shoots” of the supposed original
proto-Indo-European language and culture in South Russia. In this clash between facts and
theory, clearly the theory is wrong.
19
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 1

OIT Argument:


The locus of the original PIE must lie close to the Vedic area
Basis:

It is clear from the language, religion and mythology of the Rigveda that it is
impossible that this text could have been composed by anyone other than by




In fact, the eminent linguist Hock points out that:





people who were either actually living in the original homeland OR
people who were just hot out of it.
Neither alternative fits in with the above migration schedule from South Russia. Therefore, the
original PIE language has to have been spoken in or around the historical Vedic area.
the OIT (Out-of-India theory) can be of two kinds, the Sanskrit-origin theory and the PIE-in-India
theory.
While the first is linguistically untenable,
“the ‘PIE-in-India’ hypothesis is not as easily refuted as the ‘Sanskrit-origin’ hypothesis, since it is
not based on ‘hard-core’ linguistic evidence such as sound changes, which can be subjected to
critical and definitive analysis”.
That is, “arguments against it can not be arguments based on ‘hard-core’ linguistic evidence”, but can
only be “arguments based on plausibility and simplicity”.
As we will see, every single argument against our PIE-in-India hypothesis is based
not on hard-core linguistic evidence, but on subjective ideas of plausibility and
simplicity to the extent that they are all naïve, simplistic and utterly devoid of logic
20
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 2

AIT Argument:


Flaw:


“It would be considerably simpler to envisage only one migration into India (of IndoAryan) rather than a whole series of migrations out of India (of all the other
languages)” - Hock
This argument trickily compares the AIT with the OIT, when the comparison should be
between other homeland theories and the Indian homeland theory. In any homeland
theory, there will be a whole series of migrations out of that homeland of all the
languages other than the one which historically remained there.
Logistical Requirements:



In fact, as per linguistic analysts, Albanian, Greek, Armenian, Iranian and Indo-Aryan
were the last to remain in the homeland.
If South Russia is the homeland, it would mean absolutely all the branches migrated out
of the homeland, and one branch, Slavic, later returned back!
Surely, a homeland in the historical areas of Albanian, Greek, Armenian, Iranian or IndoAryan is “simpler to envisage” than a homeland in South Russia.
21
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 3

AIT Argument:


The distribution of the different branches indicates a homeland in the west
rather than in India or the east. As per Ghosh: “quite a large number of them
are crowded together within the comparatively small space of Europe”,
whereas only a few are found “scattered” outside Europe.
Historical Background:


Formerly, it was also argued that both Satem and Kentum branches are found
in Europe but only Satem branches in Asia. Hence, the PIE homeland is in
Europe.
But this argument became invalid after the discovery of



The extinct Tocharian language to the north of Tibet, which is a Kentum branch
Traces of Kentum elements in the oldest layer of the Bangani language in Uttarakhand
Flaw:

The arguments about the distribution of the branches were based on simplistic
perceptions and naïve ideas.
22
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 3

Facts:



Actually, as per advanced linguistic study, the distribution of the European branches visà-vis the Asian branches actually shows that the European branches moved westwards
from a geographical epicentre located in Central Asia.
A very prestigious linguistic study carried out by Johanna Nichols and others, and
published in two detailed volumes in 1997, analyses all the pertinent linguistic factors
and arrives at the conclusion that the family structure and distribution of the IndoEuropean branches (among other factors that we will see later) shows that the European
branches migrated westwards from an epicentre in Central Asia to the north of
Afghanistan.
As Nichols puts it: “The structure of the family tree, the accumulation of genetic
diversity at the western periphery of the range, the location of Tocharian and its
implications for early dialect geography, the early attestation of Anatolian in Asia
Minor, and the geography of the centum-satem split all point in the same direction: a
locus in western central Asia … The locus of the IE spread was therefore somewhere in
the vicinity of ancient Bactria-Sogdiana”.
23
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 4

AIT Argument:



Flaw:




Presence of non-IE languages in India.
Ghosh argues: “the strongest single argument against the Indian homeland hypothesis is […] the fact that
the whole of South India, and some parts of north India too, are to this day non-Aryan in speech”.
Other languages being spoken in other adjacent parts within any proposed homeland is no logical
objection to that area being the homeland.
Britain is the homeland of the English language (spoken all over North America, Australia, New Zealand) in
spite of non-English languages (Irish, Welsh, Cornish, Scots-Gaelic) still being spoken in parts of the British
isles.
South Russia has Uralic, Altaic and Caucasian languages in the vicinity.
A related Historical Argument now obsolete:


Earlier, Brahui, a Dravidian language found in a small area in Baluchistan, was treated as evidence of an
original Dravidian population in the area…
but not any more: “its presence has now been explained by a late migration that took place within this
millennium (Elfenbeim 1987)” (Witzel). “Hock (1975:87-8) among others, has noted that the current
locations of Brahui…may be recent” (Southworth).
24
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 4

OIT Argument:


The presence of any other language or language family in the vicinity of any IE language area
can not be evidence of that other language or language family having been spoken in that IE
language area before the IE language in question. The real testimony to that effect can only be
derived from the evidence of place names, and more particularly of river names. Witzel refers
to “the well known conservatism of river names” which helps to identify earlier inhabitants.
Facts


Thus, in America, we find many Red Indian place names: e.g. Massachussetts, Idaho, Chicago,
Ohio, Iowa, Missouri. In England, all place names ending in -don, -chester, -ton, -ham, ey, wick, etc. are pre-English names. The old place names in the historical areas of all the oldest
recorded IE branches are non-IE, e.g. in Anatolia, Greece, Italy, Armenia.
But not in the case of India. As Witzel admits: “In South Asia, relatively few pre-Indo-Aryan
names survive in the North; however, many more in central and southern India”. But he
trickily says “relatively few… ” when he should say “no…”; and omits to mention that by
central and southern India he refers not to the proper Indo-Aryan areas but to the present
and former areas of Austric and Dravidian in central and southern India!
25
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 4

In the case of river names, the evidence is even more devastating:



“In Europe, river names were found to reflect the languages spoken before the influx of
Indo-European speaking populations. They are thus older than c.4500-2500 B.C.
(depending on the date of the spread of Indo-European languages in various parts of
Europe)…in northern India rivers in general have early Sanskrit names from the Vedic
period, and names derived from the daughter languages of Sanskrit later on…This is
especially surprising in the area once occupied by the Indus Civilization where one
would have expected the survival of older names, as has been the case in Europe and
the Near East” (Witzel).
Thus, European river names are even today non-IE names which have survived for over
4500 years, while even in the Rigveda, which is at the very least over 3000 years old, all
the river names for the rivers in the Indus/Vedic area are IE (Indo-Aryan) names with no
trace or memory of any earlier non-IE names.
Conclusion:

Therefore the evidence is totally against the very idea of the Indus/Vedic
area ever having been non-IE in speech.
26
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 5

AIT Argument:

Based on close contacts between Indo-Iranian languages and other
language families found far to the west, specifically the Uralic or FinnoUgrian languages to the east of Europe, as testified by Indo-Iranian
borrowings in the Uralic languages: “The earliest layer of Indo-Iranian
borrowing consists of common Indo-Iranian, Proto-Indo-Aryan and ProtoIranian words relating to three cultural spheres: economic production,
social relations and religious beliefs…






domestic animals (sheep, ram, Bactrian camel, stallion, colt, piglet, calf),
pastoral processes and products (udder, skin, wool, cloth, spinner),
farming (grain, awn, beer, sickle),tools (awl, whip, horn, hammer or mace),
metal (ore)… ladder (or bridge)…
social relations (man, sister, orphan, name)…
Indo-Iranian terms like dasa… and asura…heaven…the nether world… god/happiness…
vajra…dead/mortal…kidney…ecstatic drinks used by Iranian priests as well as FinnoUgric shamans: honey, hemp and fly-agaric” (Kuzmina)..
27
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 5

Flaw:


This massive evidence of contacts between the Indo-Iranian and the Uralic
languages is treated as evidence that the Indo-Iranians stayed for some time in
the Uralic areas east of Europe on their way to Central Asia (thence to India
and Iran). But in fact it is the strongest possible evidence to the exact opposite!
OIT Arguments:

1. All the borrowings are from Indo-Aryan and Iranian to Uralic: linguists have
not been able to locate a single borrowing from Uralic in either Indo-Aryan or
Iranian. This goes against all linguistic logic.


Borrowings always take place in both directions. Sanskrit itself is known to have borrowed or
absorbed foreign words in every situation.
This is so even in the case of powerful immigrant groups in a colonial situation: thus, e.g.
English words entered languages all over the world, but English as spoken by English
colonialists in different parts of the world also borrowed heavily from local languages, and,
since these colonialists were still part of England, and even produced popular literature in
England, many of these words entered the English language as written and spoken within
England.
28
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 5



The only situation where such borrowed words do not make it into one of any two
languages in contact, thus giving the impression of one-way borrowing, is when
immigrant groups do not transmit the borrowed local words back to the language in the
mother country, and often even get submerged into the local population in the course of
time: e.g. medieval Arabic and Turkish invaders and immigrants in India; 18th century
Indian immigrants into Fiji, Mauritius and Surinam; first millennium AD Sanskrit
immigrants in south-east Asia, etc.
The one-way borrowing of Indo-Aryan words into Uralic is therefore conclusive evidence
of migration of Indo-Aryan groups from India to the Uralic areas east of Europe.
2. The clinching evidence is that: “The name and cult of the Bactrian
camel were borrowed by the Finno-Ugric speakers from the Indo-Iranians
in ancient times” (Kuzmina). The name of the Bactrian camel could
obviously only have been borrowed from Indo-Iranians moving from
Bactria to the West.
29
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 6

AIT Argument:



based on the common proto-IE geographical environment as reconstructed on the
basis of words common to different branches: “Generally, the PIE plants and
animals are those of the temperate climate”.
Witzel argues that in Indo-Aryan, “words such as ‘wolf’ and ‘snow’ rather indicate
linguistic memories of a colder climate”. At the same time, he argues: “In an OIT
scenario, one would expect ‘emigrant’ Indian words such as those for lion, tiger,
elephant, leopard, lotus, bamboo, or some local Indian trees, even if some of
them would have been preserved, not for the original item, but for a similar one”,
but we find them “neither in the closely related old Iranian, nor in Eastern or
Western IE”.
Flaw:


This is clearly a fake set of arguments, which employs one rule for the AIT and the
opposite rule for the OIT.
The logical case is that any IE language would naturally preserve only those original
PIE words, for plants and animals, and for climatic or geographical features of the
original homeland, which were also found in their new environment. Therefore,
this method of trying to locate the original homeland is clearly deeply flawed.
30
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS- 6

OIT Argument:

1) Words such as ‘wolf’ and ‘snow’ do not indicate any “linguistic memories”
of northern areas outside India: wolves and snow are found in India as well.



Thus, in Indo-Aryan languages also we do not find the name of any plant, animal or
geographical or climatic feature which is not found in India but is found in the west. But here,
Witzel argues: “most of the IE plants and animals are not found in India” and so their names
“have not been used any longer and have died out”.
Obviously the same rule applies for “emigrant Indian words” in the IE languages out of India!
2) We, in fact, have the living example of the Gypsy Romany language, a
specifically Indo-Aryan language which migrated to Europe from deep inside
Indo-Aryan India just around a thousand years ago, and which has not
preserved a single name of any Indian plant, animal, or geographical or climatic
feature peculiar to India.

The other IE languages, on the other hand, migrated thousands of years ago during the preformative and formative stages of their ancestral speech forms, and developed their common
IE characteristics and features just outside the northwest of India. So obviously, we can not
expect them to have preserved anything “Indian”.
31
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS- 6A

AIT Sub-Argument:


Witzel adds a fraudulent argument to his fake one: “The hypothetical
emigrants from the subcontinent would have taken with them a host of
‘Indian’ words – as the gypsies (Roma, Sinti) indeed have done...The
gypsies, after all, have kept a large IA vocabulary alive, over the past 1000
years or so, during their wanderings all over the Near East, North Africa
and Europe (e.g. phral ‘brother’, pani ‘water’, karal ‘he does’)”.
Thus he uses one set of words to show that the gypsies have preserved
“Indian” words, and another to show that the other IE languages have not.


But if the gypsies have preserved geographically neutral words like ‘phral’ and ‘pani’
(Punjabi ‘bhra’ and ‘pani’), English has also preserved words for identical terms ‘brother’
and ‘water’ (Sanskrit ‘bhratar’ and Sinhalese ‘watura’).
If English has not preserved geographically Indian words such as those for lion, tiger,
elephant, leopard, lotus, bamboo, or some local Indian trees, nor has the gypsy language.
32
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS- 6A

Facts:

But ironically, however unlikely it would appear, western IE languages have
preserved a few “emigrant Indian words”:







leopard (Skt. prdaku, Greek pardos, Hittite parsanas),
ape (Skt. kapi, Greek kepos),
elephant (Skt. ibha, Greek el-ephas, Latin ebur = ivory),
camel (Tokharian alpi, Old Slavic velibadu, Lithuanian verbliudas, Old German olbanta, Hittite
ulupantas = ox).
Gamkrelidze takes these words as evidence for his Anatolian homeland. But it is clear the
words point to India rather than to Anatolia:
1) All these animals (except the camel) are native to India proper, but in
Anatolia the ape and elephant have to be imports from Africa and the camel
from Arabia.
2) The camel is obviously the camel of Bactria and not the camel of Arabia,
since Tokharian, to the north-east of Bactria, also has this word. And Hittite, in
Anatolia itself, uses the word with a different meaning.
33
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 7

AIT Argument:

Based on the absence in the western IE languages (including Iranian) of linguistic features
found in Vedic as well as other non-IE languages of India, such as




cerebral sounds,
words borrowed from Dravidian, Austric and other non-IE Indian languages.
The argument: If India was the homeland of the other IE languages, these features and
such words should also have been found in them.
Flaw:




But the Romany evidence alone is sufficient to disprove this argument.
The gypsies left from well inside India only around a thousand years ago, but their
basically Indo-Aryan language does not have cerebral sounds, and nor does it have a single
word of Dravidian or Austric origin.
The other IE languages are descended from IE dialects other than Indo-Aryan, which were
spoken outside the northwestern frontiers of India to the west of the Rigvedic area, and
migrated westwards thereafter (but thousands of years ago). So obviously we can not
expect cerebral sounds and Dravidian or Austric words in them.
Even the Vedic language, moreover, has hardly a handful of alleged Dravidian/Austric
words, which only indicate a possible distant acquaintance with languages to its east and
south.
34
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 8


AIT Argument:
Based on the presence in the western IE languages (including Iranian) of
linguistic archaisms (original proto-IE features) already missing in Vedic, or of
certain names for plants or animals not found in India or in the Vedic language.



In the first case Witzel points out that in some respects “the Old Avest. Of Zaraθuštra is
frequently even more archaic than the RV”.
In the second, he argues: “some of the typical temperate PIE trees are not found in the
South Asian mountains. Yet they have good Iranian and IE names, all with proper IE
word formation”.
The argument: The reconstructed proto-IE language has certain linguistic
features and certain names for plants or animals which are missing in Vedic,
but found in some of the other IE branches, sometimes including Iranian. This
means that the original proto-IE language, ancestor of Vedic, had these
linguistic features as well as these names for certain plants and animals, which
were retained in Iranian but lost in the Vedic language after the Indo-Aryans
settled in India.
35
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - 8

Flaws:


Both the seventh and eighth arguments, it will be seen, are actually basically directed against
a Sanskrit-origin hypothesis where all the other IE languages would have to be descendants of
Vedic Sanskrit, so that every linguistic innovation in the Vedic language would have to be
found preserved in the other “descendant” IE branches, and every archaism in any other IE
branch would also have to be found in the “ancestral” Vedic Sanskrit. Failure, in either case, is
to be treated as “evidence” against the Indian homeland hypothesis.
OIT Argument:




But these arguments do not hold out against the PIE-in-India hypothesis.
The PIE language, spoken in India, had certain features. The IE family has twelve known
branches. Obviously, each one of these twelve branches has preserved some archaisms and
lost some others, so Vedic also could have lost some PIE archaisms preserved in some other
branches, including Iranian.
Further, Indo-Aryan, as the easternmost IE branch, could also have developed (at any stage)
innovations with the non-IE languages to its east and south, not found in IE branches to its
west.
And IE branches to the west (including Iranian) could have developed some names (for plants
or animals found outside the northwestern borders of India) and linguistic innovations among
themselves, absent in Indo-Aryan.
36
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS – 8A

AIT Sub-Argument:




The eighth argument would have some force only if it could be shown that the proto-IE
language, ancestral to Vedic, had a name for a plant or animal not found in India, whose
name, found in other branches, has survived in Indo-Aryan “not for the original item, but for
a similar one (e.g. English [red] squirrel > North American [gray] squirrel)” (Witzel).
And according to Witzel there is one such name: the name for the beaver (an animal not
found in India, but found in ancient Central Asia): Old English bebr, Latin fiber, lithuanian
bebrus, Russian bober, and Avestan bawri, which has survived in India in the name for the
Indian mongoose, babhru.
The common name for beaver was retained by the Iranians because there were beavers in
Central Asia; but the Indo-Aryans, when they moved into India, where there were no beavers,
transferred the name to the mongoose.
Flaw:

However, an examination of the facts gives the lie to the above scenario: the reconstructed
proto-IE “word for ‘beaver’, *bhibher~ *bhebher preserves an original meaning ‘brown’ or
‘shiny’” (Gamkrelidze), and this is the original meaning of the word which was later
transferred to the beaver.
37
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS – 8A

OIT Argument:



So far as Indo-Aryan is concerned, the Rigveda knows only the original meaning of
the word: babhru “is attested in the Rigveda in the sense ‘red-brown’ (of horses,
cows, gods, plants)”, and even “in Mitannian Aryan bapru-nnu is a horse color
(Mayrhofer 1966)” (Gamkrelidze). According to Witzel, Mitanni is pre-Rigvedic. So
the original meaning is quite consistent.
The transfer of the word to different animals based on their color is a later
development: “In later Sanskrit the term refers to a specific animal, the
ichneumon (…species of mongoose) …the Indo-Iranian languages are split by this
isogloss: Sanskrit shows a more archaic situation, while Avestan displays the
innovation” (Gamkrelidze).
Conclusion:

The logical explanation is that this innovation shared by a few IE branches,
including Iranian, is an innovation which took place in the area to the west of the
Vedic area, when these IE branches moving out of India were settled in and around
Central Asia.
38
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - SUMMARY

To sum up:



1. All this represents the sum total of the linguistic case for the AIT or against
the Indian homeland: “not based on ‘hard-core’ linguistic evidence such as
sound changes, which can be subjected to critical and definitive analysis”, but
only on “arguments based on plausibility and simplicity”.
2. The arguments in fact are actually based on naïve and simplistic notions
rather than on simple logic, and examination shows that they actually go
against all principles of plausibility.
3. In examining the arguments, all kinds of linguistic evidence is uncovered
which in fact makes a strong case for an Indian homeland: the evidence of
place and river names in north India (especially in the greater Punjab region,
which is the Harappan as well as Vedic region), the evidence of the one-way
Uralic borrowings, the evidence of Indian and Central Asian animal names in
the European IE languages, etc.
39
THE LINGUISTIC ARGUMENTS - SUMMARY

4. The linguistic case for the AIT (or against the Indian homeland hypothesis) is
completely flawed and fallacious. Yet it is on the basis of this fictitious case that
all modern studies of ancient Indian texts and traditions (as well as all
interpretations of ancient archaeological finds in India) have been converted
into an exercise in trying to find “evidence for the external origins – and likely
arrival in the 2nd millennium BC – of Indo-Aryan languages” (Erdosy).


Erdosy, an AIT proponent, frankly admits: “We reiterate that there is no indication in the
Rigveda of the Arya’s memory of any ancestral home, and by extension, of migrations”.
5. But the mesmerising effect of the fallacious idea that the external origin of
the IE Aryans is linguistically well-established is so strong that great scholars
(notably Ambedkar and Pargiter) who studied and examined these texts and
traditions in detail and stated categorically that there was no evidence there at
all for the external origin of the Vedic people (Pargiter even finds that the
traditional evidence shows that the IEs outside India emigrated from India)
have later capitulated to the idea that Aryans must have come from outside
since the linguists say so. It is time to examine the texts with the knowledge
that this linguistic theory is flawed and fallacious.
40
Descargar

Slide 1