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Re: Shanstanya (was: Old Languages)

From:Dan Jones <dan@...>
Date:Friday, October 5, 2001, 3:47
Amber Adams

> But seriously, my knowledge of Indian historical linguistics is lacking > a bit as well, so maybe this isn't entirely correct either, but it was > my impression that the retroflex/dental distinction rose under Dravidian > influence. > > So, maybe it might be more proper to say that it didn't lose it, but > just never developed it? (Which might affect some of your sound changes, > I really have no idea.)
No, the ancestors of the Shanstanyans emigrated to Telmona *after* Sanskrit was standardised by Panini- so it's basically derived from literary Sanskrit.
> Ah... what happened to Sanskrit's !@*#$*$ number of cases, and the dual > number?
According to my sound-changes the only ones that stay distinct are the accusative, instrumental, genitive and locative. The others just merged into other cases. The dual disappeared because of the paucity of distinct case-forms.
> Just out of curiosity, do you have a concultural reason why an alphabetic > script rose, instead of a syllabary like the real Brahmi-spawn? > (Not to say it couldn't happen, just curious)
Well, the "inherent vowel of most Brahmi-derived scripts isn't there, ther is not "default" vowel because they all occur pretty much with the same frequency. So it seemed easier to have seperate vowel-characters rather than have a diacritic for every other consonant. Dan