With the collapse of the Aryan invasion theory, a new explanation has to be found for the affinity between Sanskrit and European languages.
The primary model used today for explaining the close relationships that
exist between Indo-European languages is a migration theory. It proposes a
Proto-Indo-European people who spread their language by a process of migration
from an original primitive homeland. According to this view, as the
Indo-European people moved in different directions their language changed in
predictable ways that can be traced back to their parent tongue, native culture
and original environment.
Proto-Indo-Europeans are usually defined racially as a European ethnic type,
though not all scholars accept that they were of one race only. Their homeland—which
is the subject of much debate—is
placed in various regions including Eastern Europe, Anatolia, Central Asia and
Western China; in short, at almost every point in the Indo-European world.
(Except India, which has the longest record of culture and literature.) From
there a migration is proposed over a period some centuries, if not millennia, to
the parts of the world from India to Ireland where Indo-European languages came
to be spoken by the first millennium BCE. The beginning of these migrations is
proposed from as early as 7000-4000 BCE, reaching areas like India in 1500 BCE
and Ireland as late as 500 BCE.
Indo-Europeans are often popularly called Aryans. However, we should recognize
that this term does not reflect the original Sanskrit meaning of Arya, which has
no racial or linguistic connotation but simply means noble or refined. (See the
article ‘Origins of the Aryan-Dravidian Divide’ in this issue.) These
so-called Aryans were said to have
taken their language with them, which explains the connections between
Indo-European tongues like how the trunk of a tree creates various branches. The
theory proposes that Indo-European languages share a substratum of common terms
that reflect the conditions their original homeland. Linguists have endeavored
to recreate the original Indo-European language (PIE or Proto-Indo-European)
spoken there. They find common words that indicate a homeland in a northern
region of birch trees and salmon, far from any ocean. While it is impossible
verify such a language, even dictionaries of it have been created as if it were
a real language that was once spoken.
We can call this
a “migration model” of language, with the migrants, at a later time militant
invaders, bringing their language with them and imposing it on existing
However, this migration model suffers from many flaws, of which I will
mention the principal ones.
Of course, many
problems arise from the different opinions about the timing or place of these
migrations. The original homeland is proposed for diverse places throughout the
Indo-European world many thousands of miles apart. The inability to find
anything like a single homeland naturally makes the entire theory highly
questionable. The date of the proposed migrations from it are also a matter of
much debate and vary by centuries, if not millennia. How linguists can be certain about a language but not about its time or
place or origin certainly casts doubts on the theory. This means that the
theory, though popular, is vague in many respects and its details are either not
clear or are unconfirmed.
The attempts to
connect Proto-Indo-European with a single race or ethnic group is particularly
problematic given the spread of such languages through diverse ethnic groups by
the first millennium BCE, particularly owing to the ethnic diversity of eastern
Europe and Central Asia that are the main proposed homelands. However, I would
like to raise more fundamental objections about the theory, including its
the primitive state of civilization, the rule is one of language diversity not
of language uniformity, with languages changing quickly from region to
region, often over quite short distances. For some examples, the languages of
the Native Americans and Native Africans are quite diverse and change every few
miles. This is particularly true of nomadic peoples. Such Proto-Indo-Europeans
would not have been different. Their language would have changed every few miles
and could not have had the consistency required of it to endure even at its
place of origin.
the primitive state of language, languages change quickly over time as well,
lacking a sophisticated culture, formal grammar rules or written traditions to
sustain it. This process of time change would be faster for primitive groups
that are migrating, whose travel exposes them to new cultural and environmental
influences that require changes of vocabulary and brings them into contact with
other language groups. How such a Proto-Indo-European language could have
maintained its continuity through the long time and vast migrations required is
hard to explain. (In addition, its supposed offshoot Sanskrit has the most
developed, the strictest and the longest lasting grammar of any language.)
particularly true when we consider that the Indo-Europeans are credited with
spreading their language to many cultures that were both more sophisticated in
civilization and larger in population, especially their spread to the
subcontinent of India. Such primitive migrants usually lose their language into
the existing more developed culture, under the general rule that more advanced
cultures will maintain their language over primitive groups that come into
contact with them. This is what occurred historically in India where many
different invaders have been absorbed into the indigenous culture throughout the
centuries. Why it should have been different in the second millennium BCE, the
proposed time of the Aryan migration into India, after India had a long
indigenous tradition and large population, does not make sense.
throughout the ancient world, whether in Europe, the Middle East or India, we
naturally find considerable linguistic diversity such as the more primitive
state of culture and communication would require. India was not the only region
in which the Indo-European speakers existed along with those of other linguistic
groups. It happened everywhere in the Indo-European world, including in the
proposed Indo-European homeland in Central Asia. In Europe we find groups like
the Basques, Etruscans and Finns that did not speak Indo-European tongues. In
Central Asia there were many Turkish and Mongolian tribes as well as Europeans
and Iranians. Mesopotamia shows Semitic, Indo-European, Caucasian and other
language groups like the Sumerians. India has its Dravidian and Munda speakers. We
do not find the Indo-European language groups existing alone without other
language groups anywhere. We do not find a pure Indo-European region from which
there was a spread to regions of different language groups. We find mixed
linguistic regions everywhere and from the earliest period. With an
interaction with diverse peoples and language groups, primitive Indo-Europeans
would have witnessed a quick deterioration of their original pure tongue,
whatever it might have been, unless they had some powerful culture to sustain
region of Central Asia and Eastern Europe of the proposed Proto-Indo-European
homeland is a transitional area—a kind of way station containing various
populations, races and cultures on the move and constantly interacting with one
another. Historically, it has witnessed the movements of Mongols, Turks, Huns,
Germans, Slavs, Celts, Scythians, Hungarians, and other peoples, both
Indo-European in language and not. The development of a stable linguistic
culture in such a borderless region is difficult to explain, much less
maintaining its purity through its spread beyond it.
There have been
various attempts to identify the Proto-Indo-Europeans with archaeological
remains, like the Kurgan culture. It is impossible to identify the language a
people speak by their ruins or by their artifacts. The movement of such
populations west and south has also been highlighted as a movement of the
Indo-Europeans. That people move through and out of Central Asia to the west and
south has occurred many times historically with different groups. This reflects
the instability and difficult circumstances of life in the dry and cold region
of Central Asia, as compared to the warmer and wetter climates of the south and
west. Trying to identify one such group as the Indo-Europeans because of such a
geographical spread proves nothing.
There are many
other factors against this migration theory as well, to highlight a few. There
is no genetic influence of such a migration into India, the land that has the
oldest continuous Indo-European language and culture. There is no real
archaeological evidence of such a migration into India, where no ruins or
artifacts of the migrating/invading Indo-Europeans has been found apart from the
existing culture. The coming of the Indo-Europeans is also difficult to trace in
Europe and the Middle East, where the date of their entry is being continually
problem with the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European is that primitive
languages are usually not specific in their terminology. For example, primitive
people may have a word for ‘fish’ or ‘tree’, but it may not always mean
a ‘salmon’ or a ‘birch’. The word ‘mriga’, which in Sanskrit means a
‘deer’, in closely related Persian means a ‘bird’, as the original
meaning of the term is a fast moving animal. Even the Vedic word ‘vrika’,
which means a ‘wolf’, in other Vedic contexts means a ‘plow’, or
something that tears things up. Such an adjectival, general or descriptive use
of words precedes the existence of specific nouns. The kind of specific
reconstructions that are used to identify the PIE homeland reflect a later stage
of language than what such primitive people would have spoken anyway!
Yet the main objection to
this Proto-Indo-European model is our first point— it
is contrary to the main trends of language development. Languages spread more by
culture than by migration. Linguistic uniformity increases with the development
of civilization, while linguistic diversity characterizes the primitive state of
The main way that languages have spread historically is through a process
of what I would call Cultural Elite
Dominance or cultural diffusion. We can see how the English language is
spreading throughout the world today, even in regions where the number of
English ancestry people is small. This ‘Anglicization’ of languages reflects
the dominance of American and British cultural influences, particularly in
science, technology and communication. Even here the American influence is far
greater than the British, because of the influence of American science and
technology rather than English literature.
Many of the connections between Indo-European languages in Europe reflect
a process of ‘Latinization’, the effect of the dominant Roman culture in
ancient times. The Romance family of languages (French, Spanish, Italian and
Romanian) arose through this Roman cultural influence, not by the migration of a
primitive Roman race. Even Romania, which was only under Roman rule for a short
period, had its language Latinized. This process of Latinization strongly
affected English and had its influence on German as well.
In India this process of cultural diffusion is called Sanskritization, from Sanskrit meaning what is cultured or refined.
It involves new populations taking up Hindu culture, in the process acquiring
the elite language of Sanskrit that is its basis. The process of Sanskritization
is evident not only in the languages of North India that appear to derive from
it, but also in the many Sanskrit loan words found in Dravidian languages,
including Tamil. It is apparent also in the languages of Southeast Asia.
Based on this model I would propose an
original dominant Indo-European culture and elite that spread the language more
by diffusion than migration. One notes that Indo-European peoples share many
cultural traits including religious and political traits. They have the same
basic gods, the same basic tripartite social system and common concepts of
kingship. Their connections are not simply limited to primitive traits or
familial relations. There should some dominant culture behind the Indo-European
languages to explain these broader and more sophisticated connections.
first noticeable Indo-European groups that occur in the Middle East, like the
Hittites, Mittani and Kassites appear as ruling elites, not as primitive nomads.
Early Greeks, Hindus, Persians and Celts have a strong concept of nobility,
often expressed as the term Arya. We could, therefore, also call this process of
Sanskritization as Aryanization. Early
Indo-Europeans were conscious of a great culture beyond them and an elite status
for their peoples.
Such elite predominance occurs in other language families like the
diffusion of Mandarin in China or Arabic in the Islamic world. An early and
sustained elite dominance of an Indo-European culture is necessary to explain
the Indo-European family of languages. Given the spiritual nature of ancient and
of Vedic culture, it would not have simply been a military elite but more a
In addition I would propose a model of language development that
resembles the formation of a galaxy, reflecting an organic development from a
primal field. By this view there was an original primordial cloud of language
potentials in humanity, with different groups making expressions based upon
various internal and external factors from the shape of their faces to the
influences of their food or climate. This cloud of sound-expressions gradually
coalesced into certain centers or islands that emerged over time as specific
languages, just as the stars arose out the primordial nebula. As these language
centers emerged the stronger ones, by a kind of gravitational pull influenced
and absorbed the weaker ones, just as the Sun pulled planets to revolve around
it. The more that culture and civilization developed the larger these centers
became. This resulted in certain large islands or even continents of language
being formed that over time became language families. Eventually many of the
languages that served as intermediates between these different language groups
disappeared, making them appear separate or unique. This means that the
linguistic uniformity that we find arose only at a later stage of language
development and a larger stage of history.
This is what we see in history: linguistic uniformity is primarily a
product of civilization and superior communication that it brings. Civilization
along with communication, trade, urbanization and religion requires a
standardization of language. This restrains the basic human tendency towards
linguistic diversity and results in the formation of set languages and language
is the basic point to note in history: the human tendency is towards
linguistic diversity, not uniformity. A strong civilization is necessary to
bring about linguistic uniformity. This uniformity is often only an upper crust
as with Greek in the Eastern Roman Empire and English in India, while a
multitude of vernaculars were used by the common people. Even in the Islamic
world, Arabic has not succeeded in replacing existing languages from Berber in
North Africa to Bengali in Bangladesh or Malay and Indinesian dialects in
Southeast Asia. People for the most part continue speaking the languages they
always did, modified according to needs and changes.
This process of elite dominance has occurred many times with different
waves of civilization. In this regard there have been many waves of
Indo-European linguistic dominance. There have been many periods in which
Indo-European language groups have exerted a strong and extensive cultural sway.
English, Spanish, Portuguese and French languages have done this in the colonial
and modern eras. In the late ancient period and Middle Ages in Europe a process
of Latinization went on, as did a diffusion of Greek through Greek culture at an
earlier period. Greek was used widely in the Mediterranean world, and even the
New Testament was written originally in Greek. This is no longer the case. The
Persians spread their language as well. An older wave of Indo-European peoples
in the second millennium BC occurred with the Hittites, Kassites and Mittani.
Perhaps yet earlier waves existed as well.
In some instances
Aryan groups were re-aryanized. When
the Celts came to Europe they already found Indo-European groups as the
Thracians and Phrygians and Aryanized them further. In some instances the
Indo-European influence affected the culture but did not change the language.
For example, the Finns and Hungarians in Europe, like the Dravidians in India,
share a common culture with dominant Indo-European speakers but have retained
their own different language on a common level.
Some scholars see the German language as an Indo-European or Aryanization
of a population originally speaking a Finno-Ugrian language. This means that the
Germans, thought to be a major or original Aryan
group, might not have been Aryans at
all originally, that is in terms of race or ethnicity. In fact, the spread of
Indo-European languages is so broad through different populations that it was
probably never the expression of a single race or ethnic group, which is what
the process of Sanskritization provides us.
The spread of
Indo-European languages requires a sophisticated and enduring early ancient
culture to promote it and to sustain it, not a group of nomadic invaders but a
cultural elite. Harappan India, the world’s largest urban civilization of its
time from 3300-1900 BCE could have produced an earlier wave of cultural
influence, or several such waves, which would not have required a massive
movement of people to bring about. This is supported by the fact than many
Harappan artifacts and themes have been found in West Asia and even Europe,
while the reverse is not true.
A dominant cultural elite seeks to elevate the language through noble
forms of expression, art, religion and culture, as well as through terms of
trade and politics. At the same time there is an opposite movement to create a
common language that is easier to speak, reflecting the needs of the less
educated or non-elite of the culture. This process of an elite language breaking
down into popular tongues can be called Prakritization
from Prakrit, the Sanskrit term for common languages.
One great mistake linguistics have made is to look at all languages as Prakrits or common dialects and try to determine their rate of change accordingly. They fail to note that such refined or Sanskritic tongues are meant to exist for centuries and to stand above these changes, just as Latin endured with few changes throughout the Middle Ages.
aims at creating a pure but artificial language that transcends local language
variations and can endure over time, thus sustaining an enduring civilization.
At the same time, local influences break down these purer but more artificial
forms into simpler but less elegant forms. Common dialects develop with their
own logic as well as their interaction with the elite language of the culture.
Sanskrit, for example, has taken in some Prakrit words, while the Prakrits of
India, north and south, have many borrowings from Sanskrit. Common dialects can
enrich elite languages, which can otherwise become artificial or sterile, while
the influence of elite languages can bring continuity and depth to common
The process of Sanskritization is thus not always complete. It may not
always change the common language or Prakrit of the people. A Latin or Sanskrit
elite, for example, existed in groups like the Hungarians or Dravidians that do
not have an Indo-European language. It is also possible that a Prakritization of
a language that occurred at an early period could over time lose any traceable
connection with its parent. It is possible, for example, that Dravidian
languages developed from Prakrits of Sanskrit or from an earlier ancestor of
Sanskrit but at such an early period that their connection has been lost. As an
elite language develops common forms of expression, it ceases to resemble its
parent. With languages of many thousand years ago, it can be difficult to trace
the connection between elite and common forms of expression.
Such Prakrits can
develop their own culture or refinement, just as we now have English or German
literature while in the Middle Ages such literature would have been only in
Latin. Such elite Prakrits can become Sanskrits or new elite languages and have
a similar such influences.
We can propose three forms of elite predominance based upon the nature of
ancient civilizations and their social stratification. These would be cultural
diffusion through the priests or sages (Brahmins), the nobility or kings (Kshatriya),
or the merchants and farmers (Vaishya). Let us start with the last.
Merchants traveled throughout the ancient world as a necessary part of
trade. They set up trading colonies in different, sometimes far away places. The
most evident example of this was the Phoenicians, mainly a sea-faring people,
whose various trading communities were spread far and wide. Harappan India, as
the largest civilization in the third millennium BCE, would have had the largest
and most extensive set of trading influences that could have facilitated
Kings, aristocrats and armies traveled as well. Some influence was by
intermarriage. We note an extensive intermarriage in the royal families of north
India as recorded in ancient records like the Puranas.
Some intermarriage outside this sphere, perhaps as far as Mesopotamia and Egypt,
would be probable. Sometimes bands of warriors traveled. The main Indo-European
groups that appear in the Near East in the second millennium BCE like the
Hittites, Kassites and Mittani appear mainly as bands of warrior elites that
ruled a mass of people speaking a different language and having different
customs. We see strong such warrior traditions in early Indo-Europeans like the
Greeks, Celts and Persians. The very term Arya
among the Persians, Celts and Hindus seems to reflect primarily a warrior type
of aristocracy. Such groups could have been responsible for such an elite
predominance stimulating cultural and linguistic changes.
However, the third and most important group was the priests and sages,
the Brahmins and rishis. Ancient
India was a rishi culture, a culture
dominated by the influence of various families of great sages like the Angirasas, Bhrigus, Kashyapas
and their diversifications as other Vedic families. Great rishis
like Vasishtha and Vishvamitra
and their families had a stature and an influence that was much more important
than any king or dynasty. In the struggles between kings and rishis
in ancient India, it was the rishi that
usually won. A king without the sanction of a great rishi was regarded as illegitimate and was often removed from
The Vedic rishis were
something like missionaries in spreading their spiritual culture as we have
noted elsewhere in the book. The rishis
traveled far and wide, bringing their teachings to all types of people and
setting up new cultures. In this process their language would have spread as
The rishis would have the
strongest and most conscious influence on culture. They would educate and train
new people in traditions of chanting, rituals and other daily customs, perhaps
giving them new names. The Vedic rishi
language or Proto-Sanskrit could have been the basis of many such language and
cultural changes in the ancient world. The Vedic rishi
was famous as a loka-krit or maker of culture.
In all three instances of elite predominance small groups could effect
major changes on cultures without needing a major migration of masses of people.
Such an influence would be stronger on groups that did not have a large
population or set traditions of their own. This explains how Indo-European
languages and culture could spread through Central Asia and Europe, which was a
sparsely populated area. It explains why such groups could influence
Mesopotamia, which had its own larger populations and older traditions, but not
become the dominant culture over time. More importantly, it explains why ancient
India could not have been Aryanized the same way. Ancient India had a
significant population and old traditions that could not be easily changed down
to a mass level by a process of elite predominance from Iran or Central Asia.
I would propose, therefore, that the ancient Europeans were gradually
Aryanized by a combination of these factors of elite predominance. No doubt some
peoples did migrate out of the Indian cultural domain, which in ancient times
included Afghanistan, if not portions of Central Asia and Iran. These were
probably mainly Kshatriya or warrior people but must have included other groups
with priests, merchants and servants as part of their retinue. Merchants, of
course, traveled on their own. Overland trails like the Silk Trail were probably
in operation by that time.
importantly, the rishis traveled.
They came into new cultures and molded them along Vedic lines. Let us note that
the Vedic model of religion is more culturally based and not simply a belief or
label change as is the case with missionary religion. Therefore, the rishi
would have had a deeper and more sensitive impact on native cultures. As the rishis
traveled the rishi culture became
modified according to local influences. New rishi
cultures were produced, like the Druidic culture of the Celts that continued a
process of Aryanization in a slightly different form. This process of
Aryanization on different levels of merchants, aristocrats and rishi,
taking new forms in new cultures, easily explains the linguistic connections
between Indo-European groups as well as other cultural connections in the
Therefore, as an
extension of the idea of Sanskritization I would propose a process of Aryanization mainly based on the rishi
model, but also considering the influence of the aristocracy and trade.
We should, however, not push the language model of culture too far. The
main limit of any linguistic model is that culture is always more than language,
however important language may be. Culture also has an important place for
religion, technology and commerce as well as the other aspects of civilization
and cannot be reduced to language alone. The spread of culture does not always
include the spread of language. Groups that share the same culture may speak
diverse languages. The best example of this is Mesopotamia. There is a cultural
continuity between the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians and Assyrians of the
region, extending to Hittites and Kassites without a corresponding dominant
elite language shared by all.
If we look at cultural diffusion through language alone we can make many
mistakes. It is also possible that a dominant cultural elite can impose much of
its culture but not its language. Beyond the spread of language is a more
general spread of culture that may not proceed through language but through
religion, technology, agriculture or other factors, in which language may not be
dominant. For example, Indian civilization spread to Indonesia without turning
the local language into an Indo-European tongue, though many common and place
names became Sanskritic.
Isolating language and looking at its development apart from the rest of
culture can be misleading. A purely linguistic approach to history is fraught
with danger. Linguistic data, particularly that surmised or reconstructed, must
be brought in harmony with more solid archaeological and other forms of
evidence. Otherwise it can cause more confusion than help.
One main piece of evidence that is proposed is the division of
Indo-European languages into kentum and shatam divisions, based upon ‘sh’
and ‘k’ pronunciation. However, in north India traditional Vedic
pronunciation (the Shukla Yajur Veda
tradition) of the Vedic word Purusha, has always been Purukha, showing that such
proposed divisions after often not rigid at all. This ‘sh’ was in fact
pronounced as a ‘kh’. So linguistic boundaries are often not as rigid as
A migration theory, particularly of a primitive people, cannot explain
complex connections between languages, or the existence of language families
such as the Indo-European. More diverse cultural interactions are required for
We cannot speak of an original Indo-European language but only of the
emergence of an Indo-European language family over time through a long process
of cultural development, with migration playing a secondary role. It is possible
that some existing Indo-European languages were Aryanized at a later time,
rather than being Indo-European at their origin.
It is probably
better not to speak of language families at all but only of language affinities,
not by a common ancestry but by a process of communication or interaction. Just
as individuals can have various affinities without being members of the same
family, so can languages.
The Indo-European group of languages does not reflect the spread of a
single group of people or speakers of an original Proto-Indo-European tongue. It
is a construct that arose through history by the interaction of various cultural
and linguistic influences, dominated by groups that spoke mainly Indo-European
We cannot speak
of an original Indo-European homeland but only of the region where an
Indo-European cultural influence first arose. We cannot speak of an original
Indo-European people but only of the oldest people that spoke such a type of
language and even this group may not have been uniform in its ethnicity.
discriminate between common dialects that change quickly over time and more
enduring courtly or priestly languages that can exist for centuries with little
change. We cannot apply the same rates of language change to each.
The spread of Indo-European languages requires an early dominant culture.
Prior to Anglicization, Latinization and historical diffusions of Indo-European
languages must have been earlier waves into the third millennium BCE and
We can at best
speak of an original dominant Indo-European culture that I would identify with
Vedic/Harappan India. So far it is the oldest significant Indo-European culture
that could give the basis for such a vast and enduring cultural diffusion,
including language. It would also require a large population growing out of a
fertile region like India to seed so many cultures in different parts of the
world. This would not be easy in steppe-nomadic region, especially in ancient
times, which could only support small populations leading a precarious
existence. Throughout history, more Indians have migrated out of India than have
come in. This is still the case today.
To explain the Indo-European connections we need an advanced culture,
with a dominant Indo-European language, before 3000 BCE, and which was able to
sustain its influence into the second millennium BCE. Vedic/Harappan India,
which included parts of Afghanistan, alone can fit this need.
Veda, the oldest Indian text, shows a dominant religious, political and
merchant (Brahman, Kshatriya and Vaishya) culture that Sanskritized the region
of north India and then areas beyond. This is mainly the influence of the
Bharata and Ikshvaku kings and rishis.
Yet early forms of Sanskrit probably existed that had already started the
process, such as probably existed at a much earlier period like that of King Yayati.
Manu himself probably represents the earliest phase of the Sanskritization
process, particularly as the name of his daughter Ila
means speech and probably refers to both the spiritual culture and elite
language that his influence initiated. Classical India under the Mauryas and
Guptas had another phase of Sanskritization when the ruling elite spoke
classical Sanskrit as in the plays of Kalidasa.
The process of Sanskritization goes on today. It is most evident in
Dravidian languages that have a greater percentage of Sanskrit words. We also
note that South Indians have more classically Sanskrit surnames.
Perhaps there were earlier forms of language like a Proto-Sanskrit that
had more commonalities with Dravidian or Semitic languages as we move more back
into the primordial linguistic field.
In any case, an Aryan invasion/migration model is not necessary to
explain the existence of Indo-European languages in India. Such an
invasion/migration raises more questions than it answers. To replace we must
look to a process of Sanskritization and Aryanization that is more spiritual and
cultural in form, rather than a crude shift of populations.
Further, the whole notion of Aryan invasion or migration has collapsed under
the weight of scientific evidence. So it hardly makes sense to keep using it as
the basis for language development.
Further, the whole notion of Aryan invasion or migration has collapsed under the weight of scientific evidence. So it hardly makes sense to keep using it as the basis for language development.
What we need to do is look to culture to explain language and interpret
language as part of culture. History can explain language, but language cannot
explain history. The more dominant the language or language family, the stronger
the culture needed to create and sustain it over time. This does not mean that
migration and ethnicity play no role in the spread of language but that they
should not be made into the prime determinative factors.
(Adapted from the book Rg Veda and the History of India by David Frawley. 2001. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.)