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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/520

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

reduced supply of water, and Balkash, Aral, and Caspian gradually shrank to their present dimensions. In the course of this process the broad plains between the separated inland seas, as soon as they were laid bare, threw open easy routes to the Caucasus and to Turkistan, which might well be utilized by the blond long-heads moving eastward through the plains contemporaneously left dry south and east of the Ural chain. The same process of desiccation, however, would render the route from east central Asia westward as easily practicable; and, in the end, the Aryan stock might easily be cut in two, as we now find it to be, by the movement of the Mongoloid brunet broad-heads to the west.

Thus we arrive at what is practically Latham's Sarmatian hypothesis—if the term "Sarmatian" is stretched a little, so as to include the higher parts and a good deal of the northern slopes of Europe between the Ural and the German Ocean; an immense area of country, at least as large as that now included between the Black Sea, the Atlantic, the Baltic, and the Mediterranean.

If we imagine the blond long-head race to have been spread over this area, while the primitive Aryan language was in course of formation, its northwestern and its southeastern tribes will have been fifteen hundred or more miles apart. Thus, there will have been ample scope for linguistic differentiation; and, as adjacent tribes were probably influenced by the same causes, it is reasonable to suppose that, at any given region of the periphery, the process of differentiation, whether brought about by internal or external agencies, will have been analogous. Hence, it is permissible to imagine that, even before primitive Aryan had attained its full development, the course of that development had become , somewhat different in different localities; and, in this sense, it may be quite true that one uniform primitive Aryan language never existed. The nascent mode of speech may very early have got a twist, so to speak, toward Lithuanian, Slavonian, Teutonic, or Celtic in the north and west; toward Thracian and Greek in the southwest; toward Armenian in the south; toward IndoIranian in the southeast. With the centrifugal movements of the several fractions of the race, these tendencies of peripheral groups would naturally become more and more intensified in proportion to their isolation. No doubt, in the center and in other parts of the periphery of the Aryan region, other dialectic groups made their appearance; but whatever development they may have attained, these have failed to maintain themselves in the battle with the Finno-Tataric tribes, or with the stronger among their own kith and kin.[1]

Thus I think that the most plausible hypothetical answers


  1. See the views of J. Schmidt (stated and discussed in Schrader and Jevons, pp. 63-67), with which those here set forth are substantially identical.