At 11:12 on 22.1.1999, Kenji Schwarz wrote:

> On Fri, 22 Jan 1999, Kristian Jensen wrote:
> > Here's an idea: Judean-Sanskrit. I know there a group of Jews that
> > live in India. As to when and how they got there, I really don't
> > know. But perhaps a Judean language could arise in India if history
> > presented itself differently.
> Off on a tangent, it seems odd that among all the Indo-Europeanists around
> here, no one has done an Indo-Iranian-based conlang.  Even with my
> undergrad degree in Sanskrit-do-you-want-fries-with-that?, I'm not
> volunteering for this, mind you, but it would be interesting.  It would
> sort of round out the con-IE family, along with Brithenig, Jameld,
> Sevorian, etc.
> Kenji Schwarz

In fact I have recently been playing around with the idea that a group of
Alani or Sarmatians -- speakers of "Scythian" north Iranian languages north
of the black sea, before Goths and Slavs coming from the north and Turks
and Mongols coming from the east ousted them -- had survived somewhere.
There are quite many possible "somewheres" available, since the Alani
wandered together with the Visigoths into Spain, where they disappear from
the light of history (by learning Ibero-Romance, farming and Catholic
Xianity -- I don't know if they were "heathen" or Arian like their
Visigothic allies when they entered Spain. BTW the name "Alani" is of
course derived from *Aariyaana, the ancient form of the word "Iran"; all
the Iranian languages at one point merged /r/ and /l/, and having the value
[l] for the sound is one characteristic of the western branch of north
Iranian.  (Other Iranian languages later re-acquired /l/ through loans, and
in some [D] developed into /l/.)

 As for the Sarmatians one group of these had entered Roman service and
been sent to Britain to provide heavy cavalry against the Picti and those
invading Germanians who were eventually to conquer the land.  There are
several elements of Arthurian myth that may derive from this Sarmatian
element: the Roman aristocrat who commanded the Sarmatian force was named
Artorius, to begin with!  The Sword-in-the-Stone motif may derive from the
Scythian use of a sword stuck down into the earth or into a log of wood as
an object of worship -- perhaps representing the martial Iranian god
Mithra, defender of treaties, oaths, pastures and truth in general, who was
believed to have been born from the Earth.  The Sarmatians are also known
to have used dragon-shaped windsocks for standards, which would be the
origin of the name Pendragon.  Last but not least they invented heavy
cavalry as such, so central to the medieval concept of knighthood.

One Iranian-speaking people, the Jasses, came as refugees to Hungary in the
eleventh century and had a vocabulary of their language written down on a
blank page in a book of tax-rolls before disappearing into the Magyar


    B.Philip Jonsson <[log in to unmask]>

        Solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant!