Non-Indic sustrate vocabulary

Vidhyanath Rao rao.3 at
Sat Mar 17 11:42:50 UTC 2001

"anthony.appleyard at" <anthony.appleyard at UMIST.AC.UK> wrote

> PS: What is current belief about the Dravidian outliers Brahui and Kurukh
> and Malto?
> (2) Some say that the Brahui are descended from soldiers recruited in south
> India and dumped in Baluchistan, and that the Kurukh and Malto immigrated
> from south India.
> But is (2) derived from a proper chronicled account? Or is it derived from
> tales invented by a wandering storyteller who noticed the resemblance in
> language and made long stories out of it?

I don't think that Brahui have origin stories that connect them to the south.
[Being Muslims, they would presumably prefer a westerly origin.]
Kurukh and Malto do have traditions of migration from points southwest.
But I doubt that a wandering storyteller would know enough historical
linguistics to see the connections with the major Dravidian languages, or
enough about the minor Dravidian languages.

The strongest argument for (2) that I have seen is that Indo-Iranian borrowings
in Brahui all seem to be from Iranian languages and of a stage after 10c CE.
This is very surprising if they had been there from before any I-Ir presence.

More information about the Indo-european mailing list