Friday, September 16, 2011

Lineage and Language - 0.2

Previously, when I made a random comparison between uni-parental lineage distribution and the language families I found majority were associated with male lineages. Exceptions were Dravdian, Basque, Niger-Congo and Nilo-Saharan languages.

There is a new study that discusses about this phenomenon and also thinks languages were spread patrilineally.  Anyway, I would think the process would involve some women too.

Even if the invading or immigrating males formed the majority, without few women among them, there wouldn't be any societal setup for the language survive. I would say, those few women would have formed a societal core in the foreign lands around which out married males propagated their language to the new lands. Had it been only males the chances are remote that they would have been able to create the societal core and more likely they would have taken up the local languages.

Even in Dravidian lands, we don't find corresponding female lines for the male lines. That probably shows migrants were almost completely males.

If we go by this logic, the idea of 'mother tongue' still holds good because at the end of the day it's the societal core setup by the minority females in the foreign lands that propagated the language.


anilkurup said...

Not my subject even to comment.
But I do wonder why it cannot be father tongue and only mother tongue. Your lines gives some explanation.

manju said...

I wonder if Indians ever coined a term for the native language. As of now, it appears, we borrowed the English term. In Kannada, it's the Sanskrit equivalent of English term (mathR bhashe).

I was addressing the subtle hint in the study that even though the term is 'mother' tongue, we owe our language to a prehistoric 'father'. I was trying to prove that need not be the case if you consider the required social dynamics.