Proto-Dravidian Languages in Indus Valley Civilization: An Ultraconserved Tooth-word Reveals Deep Linguistic Ancestry, Supports Genetics

64 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2020 Last revised: 9 Nov 2020

Date Written: August 18, 2020

Abstract

Ever since the discovery of the Indus valley civilization, scholars have debated the linguistic identities of its people. This study analyzes numerous archaeological, linguistic and historical evidences to claim that the words used for ivory and elephant (‘pīri’, ‘pīru’, etc.) in ancient Assyrian and Persian civilizations were borrowed from the Proto-Dravidian elephant-word ‘pīlu’, prevalent in the Indus valley civilization, and originating from the Proto-Dravidian tooth-word ‘*pal’. It further argues that ‘pīlu’, the ancient and commonest phytonym of the toothbrush tree Salvadora persica, a characteristic flora of Indus valley, had also originated from the same Proto-Dravidian tooth-word. Since ‘tooth’ belongs to the core non-borrowable ultraconserved vocabulary of a speech community, these evidences prove that many Indus people spoke Proto-Dravidian languages, as they used a Proto-Dravidian tooth-word. Important insights from recent genetic studies regarding the possible migration of Proto-Dravidian languages from Indus valley to South India are also corroborated through this paper.

Keywords: Dravidian, Proto-Dravidian, Indus Valley Civilization, Indus languages, Brahui, Linguistics, Language Phylogeny, South Asian Archaeology, Basic Vocabulary, South Asia Population, Dravidian Migration

Suggested Citation

A. Mukhopadhyay, Bahata, Proto-Dravidian Languages in Indus Valley Civilization: An Ultraconserved Tooth-word Reveals Deep Linguistic Ancestry, Supports Genetics (August 18, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3676702 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3676702

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