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INDO-ARYAN LANGUAGES

well-being of individuals. Moreover it is conceivable under given circumstances that an individualist might logically advocate measures (e.g. compulsory military service) which conflict with individual freedom. In practice individualism is chiefly concerned to oppose the concentration of commercial and industrial enterprise in the hands of the state and the municipality. The principles on which this opposition is based are mainly two: that popularly elected representatives are not likely to have the qualifications or the sense of responsibility required for dealing with the multitudinous enterprises and the large sums of public money involved, and that the health of the state depends on the exertions of individuals for their personal benefit.

INDO-ARYAN LANGUAGES. “Indo-Aryan” is the name generally adopted for those Aryans who entered India and settled there in prehistoric times, and for their descendants. It distinguishes them from the other Aryans who settled in Persia and elsewhere, just as the name “Aryo-Indian” signifies those inhabitants of India who are Aryans, as distinguished from other Indian races, Dravidians, Mundas and so on. A synonym of “Aryo-Indian” is “Gaudian” or “Gaurian,” based on a Sanskrit word for the non-Dravidian parts of India proper. These two words refer to the people from the point of view of India, while “Indo-Aryan” looks at them from the wider aspect of Indo-European ethnology and philology. The general history of the Aryan languages is treated in the articles Indo-European Languages and Aryan. Here we propose to offer a brief review of the special course of their development in India.

Most of the Indo-Aryans branched off from the common Aryan stock in the highlands of Khokand and Badakshan, and marched south into what is now eastern Afghanistan. Here some of them settled, while others entered the Punjab by the valley of the river Kabul. This last migration was a gradual process extending over several centuries, and at different epochs different tribes came in, speaking different dialects of the common language. The literary records of the latest times of this invasion show us one Indo-Aryan tribe complaining of the unintelligible speech of another, and even denying to it the right of common Aryan-hood.

The Piśāca Languages.—Before proceeding farther, it is advisable to discuss the fate of another small group of languages spoken in the extreme north-west of India. After the great fission which separated the main body of the Indo-Aryans from the Iranians, but before all the special phonetic characteristics of Iranian speech had developed, another horde of invaders crossed the Hindū Kush from the Pāmirs, journeying directly south. They occupied the submontane tract, including the country round Chitral and Gilgit, Kashmir and Kafiristan. Some even followed the course of the Indus as far as Sind, and formed colonies there and in the western Punjab. Here they mingled with the Indo-Aryans who had come down the Kabul valley, and to a certain extent infected the local dialect with their idioms. How far their influence extended over the rest of India is undecided, and will probably never be known, but traces of it have been detected by some inquirers even in the dialects of modern Marathi. Those who remained behind in the hill country, the whole of which is popularly known as Dardistan, were isolated by the inhospitable nature of their home and by their own savage character. They seem to have had customs allied to cannibalism, and in later Indian literature legends grew around them as a race of demons called Piśācas, ὠμοφάγοι, who spoke a barbaric tongue called Paiśācī. This language appears now and then in the Sanskrit drama, and Sanskrit philologists wrote still-extant grammatical notices of its peculiarities. These show that it possessed an extremely archaic character, and the same fact is prominent in the Piśāca languages of the present day. Some words which were spoken in the oldest time are preserved with hardly a change of letter, while in India proper the corresponding forms have either disappeared altogether or have been so changed as to be hardly recognizable at first sight. The principal modern Piśāca languages are three or four spoken in Kafiristan, Khōwar of Chitral, Shīnā of Gilgit, Kāshmīrī, and Kōhistānī. The last two are border tongues, much mixed with the neighbouring languages of India proper. The only one which has any literature is Kashmiri (q.v.). The rest are entirely uncultivated. Their general character may be described as partly Indian and partly Iranian, although they have in their isolated position developed some phonetic laws of their own.

Indo-Aryan Classification.—The oldest specimens of Indo-Aryan speech which we possess very closely resemble the oldest Iranian (see Persia: Language). There are passages in the Iranian Avesta which can be turned into good Vedic Sanskrit by the application of a few simple phonetic laws. It is sufficient for our present purposes to note that after the separation the development of the two old forms of speech went on independently and followed somewhat different lines. This is most marked in the treatment of a nexus of two consonants. While modern Iranian often retains the nexus with little or no alteration, modern Indo-Aryan prefers to simplify it. For instance, while the old Aryan sth becomes sit or ist in modern Persian, it becomes tth or th in modern Indo-Aryan. Similarly bhr becomes bir in the former, but bbh or bh in the latter. Thus:—

 Old Indo-Aryan.   Old Iranian.   Modern Persian.  Hindī.




 sthāna-  stāna-  sitān or istān  thānā, a place.
 bhrātar-  brātar-  birādar  bhāī, a brother. 

The earliest extant literary record of Indo-Aryan languages is the collection of hymns known as the Rig-Veda. As we have it now, we may take it as representing, on the whole, the particular vernacular dialect spoken in the east of the Punjab and in the upper portion of the Gangetic Doab where it was compiled. The tribe which spoke this dialect spread east and south, and their habitat, as so extended, between the Punjab and the modern Allahabad and reaching from the Himalaya to the Vindhya Hills in the south, became known to Sanskrit geographers as the Madhyadēśa or “Midland,” also called Āryāvarta, or the “home of the Aryans.” The language spoken here received constant literary culture, and a refined form of its archaic dialect became fixed by the labours of grammarians about the year 300 B.C., receiving the name of Saṁskr̥ta (Sanskrit) or “purified,” in contradistinction to the folk-speech of the same tract and to the many Indo-Aryan dialects of other parts of India, all of which were grouped together under the title of Prākr̥ta (Prakrit) or “natural,” “unpurified.” Sanskrit (q.v.) became the language of religion and polite literature, and thus the Midland, the native land of its mother dialect, became accepted as the true pure home of the Indo-Aryan people, the rest being, from the point of view of educated India, more or less barbarous. In later times, the great lingua franca of India, Hindostani, also took its origin in this tract.

Round the Midland, on three sides—west, south and east—lay a country inhabited, even in Vedic times, by other Indo-Aryan tribes. This tract included the modern Punjab, Sind, Gujarat, Rajputana with the country to its east, Oudh and Behar. Rajputana belongs geographically to the Midland, but it was a late conquest, and for our present purposes may be considered as belonging to the Outer Band. The various Indo-Aryan dialects spoken over this band were all more closely related to each other than was any of them to the language of the Midland. In fact, at an early period of the linguistic history of India there must have been two sets of Indo-Aryan dialects,—one the language of the Midland and the other that of the Outer Band.[1] Hoernle was the first to suggest that the dialects of the Outer Band represent on the whole the language of the earlier Indo-Aryan immigrants, while the language of the Midland

  1. Attempts have been made to discover dialectic variations in the Veda itself, and, as originally composed in various parts of the Punjab widely distant from each other, the hymns probably did contain many such. But they have been edited by compilers whose home was in the Midland, and now their language is fairly uniform throughout. In the time of Asōka (250 B.C.) there were at least two dialects, an eastern and a western, as well as another in the extreme north-west. The grammarian Patañjali (150 B.C.) mentions the existence of several dialects.