Munda in Early NW India

Herb Stahlke hstahlke at
Thu Mar 22 14:02:09 UTC 2001

As a non-IEist, I have some difficulty evaluating statements of
this sort about substratum languages.  Why would this be any
stronger a proposal than the idea that Germanic developed its
stress shift, two-term tense system and periphrastic tenses
through contact with early Finnic speakers in the Baltic region?
Both strike me as convenient but pretty much lacking in evidence.

Herb Stahlke

>>> dlwhite at 03/17/01 08:49AM >>>
> This has been challenged by among others Prof. Witzel of Harvard,
> who sees the underlying language as possibly an an early form of Munda (or
> some language X).

        Munda has "voiced aspirates", or, more precisely, murmured sounds,
which appear to be native (though of course they also occur in borrowings from
Indic).  I believe it also has retroflex sounds.  So perhaps the suggestion is
not absurd, as it might motivate the appearance of such sounds in Indic, which
is otherwise a bit odd, though strangely this (the oddity) has not (to my
knowledge) received much comment.

Dr. David L. White

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