Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The original amma(mother) is abba....

Someone commented (I have lost that comment) on my "amma, ayya" post that Aramaic equivalent of Dravidian word 'appa' is 'abba'.

Amma was appa and appa was amma before:The present day usage of appa(father) and amma(mother) in Kannada and Tamil are in fact very recent. If we read Kannada works of ancient Kannada(Halegannada), the word used to denote father was 'amman(avar)' and mother 'abbe'. Though Kannadigas have changed since, Tuluvas have kept the words same. Tulu word for mother is 'abba' and father 'ammer'.

Now, it's easy for a person with matrifocal background like me to come up with a theory of matriarchal society changing to patriarchal one, just like other patriarchal anthropologists coming out theories like warlike people establishing everything, everywhere or attributing anything, anywhere to warlike people. And I'm going to do just that.

In the original Aramaic bible(I have not read one), it seems passages end with ...abba, father. The explanation given was 'abba' is akin to 'daddy'. And it's as if saying ...father, my loving daddy. Aha.. don't you think something amiss here? Inexplicable casualness in such a serious and sacred book like bible! I can explain it. The original prayer writer had only mother goddess in his/her mind. Therefore, abba. Later, somebody added father(Just like Shiva's phallus gaining over devi's yoni). Therefore, in the intermediate period between matriarchal to patriarchical society both father and mother had equal footing. Later it's father all the way, so much so that the original word for mother 'abba' came to identify with father.

Sometimes, I just surprise myself with my ability to re-write world history with just two words, father and mother.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

South Dravidian languages -III

(Via Quetzalcoatl: anthropology forum)

Perhaps, there can be other explanations for Southern Dravidian language distribution. However, this again requires this language family to spread from the region of Tulu Nadu or the present day Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka. From the above figure it's clear that two branches of Southern Dravidian languages were Tulu and Tamil-Kannada.

Pre-Dravidian languages of South India:
Dravidian language speakers were not the first one to inhabit the region of South India. The languages that were spoken in this region could have belonged to Astro-Asiatic and some other extinct language families.

Consider a situation of Dravidian speakers migrating from Mangalore to other parts of South India. However, the people in present day Karnataka, Kerala didn't turn into Dravidian speakers during this first immigration. Incidentally, the Dravidian language survived and flourished in the region of Tamil Nadu(probably, in North Tamil Nadu). After sometime, there was a second and the most successful migration of Dravidian speakers from the region of Tamil Nadu. This took them to present day, Kannada, Kodava and Malayalam regions. Perhaps , this second migration from Tamil Nadu drove all the other language families to total extinction in South India. I suppose, now that language tree of Southern Dravidian language makes more sense.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

South Dravidian languages -II

The remarkable feature of South Dravidian language distribution is that you can find all the major languages within 300 kms radius from the region of Tulu Nadu. In my previous posts you can find the discussion about Dravidian speakers expanding from South-West of India. I have identified that particular region as Dakshina Kannada, a coastal district of Karnataka. I hail from that place.

I don't know about tracing sound changes, but I can guarantee you if each of those language speakers trace their step backwards they will reach Mangalore.

Of course, you can argue Dravidian speakers started moving westward from the region of Tamil Nadu around Nilgiri hills and reached Tulu region in the end. However, that doesn't answer why no new languages formed east of that region. In fact, the region of Tulu speakers beautifully explains expansion of Dravidian speakers and development of new dialects in and around South, North and East of Tulu Nadu.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Genographic project : South Asia short shrifted?

If you are a South Asian waiting for your results from Genographic project then you can find your ancestor hunting down Neandertals in European lands instead of Heidelbergens in India. It seems over subscription by Europeans is the reason behind non-testing of South Asian specific Haplogroups unless they are found predominantly in India.

So if you are any of R1a1, L* and H* then it's highly likely that your ancestor's journey ends in the sub-continent. May be it's true for Indian females with mtDNA Haplogroup M*. However, if you belong to Y-Haplogroup R2 or mtDNA Haplogroup U7, then there are all the possibilities that your markers won't be tested and you would be assigned some upstream Haplogroup would be sent somewhere. Couple of examples from FTDNA forum,
For Y-Haplogroup R2,
For mtDNA-Haplogroup U7,

However, the funniest thing would be assigning Haplogroup R1* for R2. I know it's not as bad as blundering the paternal testing, but it doesn't make much sense. Does it?

Friday, December 02, 2005

South Dravidian languages

The above is my minimal set of Southern Dravidian language tree. If Dravidian languages have South-West Indian origins, then I would expect them to branch as above. However, the problem is Malayalam and Toda. I suppose those two languages should exchange the places. Or, perhaps, Tulu->Malayalam->Kannada->Kodagu->Toda->Tamil must be the order.

From the above chart it's clear that Tulu is the oldest and Tamil is the youngest of South Dravidian languages.

As far as I know, language changes
1. For every 10kms
2. Over time

But the question is whether it's the accent or the words.

Accent, I would propose is a hallmark of local languages. Malayalam and Tamil accents are that of pre-Dravidian languages, which are extinct now, spoken in those regions. Dravidian speaking people expanded from South-West(most probably from present day Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Kasaragod districts of coastal Karnataka and Kerala, also known as Tulu Nadu) of India into various directions. Northern Karnataka shows a distinct accent that could be of that of a pre-Kannada language spoken by ancestors of Kannadigas living there. Here, I'm making a grand statement that accents didn't change until the development of modern communication systems.

Ergo, Tulu accent is the closest to the proto-Dravidian language.

Words do change. However, development of literary language slows down this process by standardizing the words.

Ergo, Tamil is the least modified of all Dravidian languages.

Dravidians and Indus valley civilization:
I have already argued that Indus valley civilization was destroyed by Dravidians and Brahuis are the living proof of that event. New studies have shown that major Indian chromosomes like R,H, L have more than 10000 years of presence in the subcontinent. I suppose another Haplogroup J is younger but most of its sub groups might be 6000-8000 years old. These together constitute almost 90% of the sub-continent people( The rest 10% might again show India specific chromosomes like R and J, however, they are differentiated with their Western Eurasian female lineage which forms 10% of Indian female population).

Ergo, it's irrelevent if Dravidians and people of Indus valley civilization shared same genetic make up. After all, genes are irrelevent only culture matters. Nothing exemplifies it better than Indian society. Our misdirected philosophy hampered our growth as a civilized society with a scientific development and technological advancement. Perhaps, most recent example of knowledge becoming pervert is Hitler's "Aryan" supremacy theory. The worst sufferers of that were R1a rich East Europeans and Jews. In all probability, the word "Arya" was coined by some of that Haplogroup people who moved to Indian sub-continent(which itself was derived from Dravidian Ayya). I wonder if Hitler was R1a or R1b or I. If it's R1a, his life would be ironical. If he's R1b or I, "Aryan" doesn't make much sense I suppose.

Antiquity of the Dravidian languages:
I think IVC came to an end around 1800 BCE. Therefore, Brahuis might have reached there by now. So in all probability Dravidian languages diverged around 2000 BCE as linguists have claimed. Therefore, I think Dravidian languages started spreading around 4000 years ago. However, I don't think they replaced all the pre-existing languages in India. Most probably they drove all other linguistic families to extinct in South India. However, I suppose most of the North , West and East India was still speaking Astro-Asiatic and Semitic and some other language families that became extinct. I think except for Dravidian and Astro-Asiatic languages, Semitic and other languages were driven to extinct by the next wave of languages which was Indo-Aryan. Again, the accent could be Dravidian, Astro-Asiatic, Semitic and some extinct languages depending upon the local lingo.