Thursday, March 8, 2012

They could not possibly be related...could they?

Latvia seeks common roots in Tamil goddess Mariamma

I found the few comments made interesting:
Zelmenis Martin (Brussels, Belgium)
4 hrs ago (01:56 AM)
It's not the case. The 'pretentious poser' in Latvian is not 'bramins' (no need for noun capitalisation in Latvian)but 'bramanis' (adj. 'bramaniba'; v. 'bramanet', 'bramaneties'). And I am sorry to remind that Latvian is an Indo-European language (or at least it was one before russification).
P. Elangovan (Chennai)
9 hrs ago (08:48 PM)
'Brahmanis' in Latvian (and in Lithuanian) means someone that is pretentious, lying and a poser, i.e. not genuine or down to earth. The word for Brahmin in Latvian is 'Bramins' . And it is not clear how Latvian, a proto-european language with distant commonalities with Sanskrit, can relate to Tamil as Tamil was equally ancient and evolved quite independently from Sanskrit. It can only be said that almost every religion/culture has a Goddess that is the source of power, fertility, and happiness, and that is perhaps as far as the coincidence can go. Tamil and Latvian had completely seperate origins, are spoken by people with very different racial origins, and cannot have anything in common. It is usual to find commonalities between two very disparate languages as accidental correlations exist.         ************************************************************************ As usual, though, when it comes to linguistics, things are not always as "clear" as one would wish!  There is, for instance, the issue of "borrowing" of words across cultures. Languages are not static over time; they are constantly changing and adopting words introduced by contact with other cultures.  Consonants blend together and syllables are dropped; new words are invented; and then there is slang! Would one, even an expert, necessarily recognize an ancient usage of a slang word???  Language, as a rule, does not stay static.  The English of Shakespeare is not the English we speak today!  Then, there is the issue of warfare and one people conquering another people.  Languages were often forcibly imposed on a conquered people - to mixed effect.  I've no idea what may have happened when so-called "Aryans" met up with so-called "Dravidians" but at a much later place and time, when the Norman king William the Bastard (also known as William the Conqueror) assumed the throne of England in 1066 and the French Normans took over "lordship" across the land, they introduced a whole new level of language into English, with interesting results!  Then, there are the conflicting theories over how language arose and then spread. You know -- the  "original invention"theory that says language originated in many spots around the globe (not necessarily simultaneously) versus the "diffusion" theory (language was 'invented' in one spot by a certain group of people and then spread out from there).  I do find it interesting that while evolutionists insist that "modern humans" arose in Africa and spread out across the entire globe from one small area, eventually populating the entire globe by DIFFUSION, linguists are not willing to allow that language arose in the same way.  But if the one theory makes the "most" sense to people who support evolution, why is the companion argument for the origin and spread of language in one place with one people not also generally accepted?  I'm cheating, of course, because I don't believe in evolution -- just using their own silly argument against them.  However, I, am not ignorant enough to assert that the Dravidian word for mother -- amman or aatha -- has absolutely no relationship at all to the well known diminutive form of the Indo-European mater "mamma," simply because there seems to be no "racial" relationshp between the "Dravidian" peoples and the "Aryan" Indo-European speakers.  Well, we know "racial" politics is highly charged, no matter where it is used to incite hatred and forge false divisions among peoples to the advantage of certain others.  Sadly, it is certainly as alive and well in India today as it is in the United States.  This doesn't even begin to address the issue of a lingua franca, as Greek once was, or as English is today, which only complicates the picture when it comes to "borrowing" words, let alone the invention of "pidgin" languages!  Or, sadly, when languages go extinct.There is plenty of food for thought in the entry under "mama and papa" at Wikepedia.  Interesting how the Georgian words for mother and father kind of slap upside the head the explanation that "mama" and "papa" are false cognates based on the simple mechanics of how we physically create the sounds from which language arises. If that were, indeed, the case, wouldn't the words for mother and father be UNIVERSAL?  But -- they are not.  The false cognates argument also conveniently glosses over the many similarities in languages around the world among words for "sister" and "brother."  All of which may be beside the point.  Trying to find information on the antiquity of the goddess Mariamma is an exercise in frustration.  No dates assigned to her - simply a description as probably a local tribal goddess who predated the "Aryan invasion" (itself a loaded term) by one or more peoples speaking an Indo-European language.  She is described as a mother goddess, also a goddess who could cure diseases.  I don't have time to do indepth research on this fascinating proposition that the two goddess could be more closely related, alas!What I do know is this: around the globe, there are similar goddesses who have at least these two aspects:  benevolent mother goddess; terror-inflicting destroyer goddess.  The original ying/yang wrapped up in one female being :)  These are extremely ancient concepts, because it was not recognized for who knows how long, exactly, that men had anything, actually, to do with procreation.  The act of sexual intercourse was not associated with the potential consequence of pregnancy.  Thus, it was all Goddess, all the time, and it was She who was the Grand Creator of the Universe and all living things.  Male gods were relegated to being storm gods and gods of war -- minor stuff in the greater scheme of things. Fascinating stuff, heh?Information on the Latvian Goddess Mara from Wikipedia.  Information on the southern Indian Goddess Mariamma from Wikipedia.If you want to wet your whistle further, check out the Wikipedia entry on NIGHTMARE, which in many Indo-European languages was Mara

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