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Perspectives on the Origin of Indian Civilization

by: Angela Marcantonio , Girish Nath Jha

This volume seeks to address the gap among various schools of thought about the origin of the Sanskrit language and the Indian civilization by proposing a possible resolution that results from a symposium of experts held at the University of Massachusetts USA. Accordingly the volume presents a balanced view of the seemingly intractable issues.



ISBN: 9788124606407
Year Of Publication: 2013
Edition: 1st
Pages : xvi, 326p.
Bibliographic Details : 8 Colour plates; Index
Language : English
Binding : Hardcover
Publisher: D.K. Printworld Pvt. Ltd.
Size: 23
Weight: 650


The earliest Indian inscriptions date from the third century before Christ. Arch-aeological and palaeo-anthropological evidence, as well as the Indian oral tradition, consistently point to the ‘continuity’ of the Indian Civilization back to a much earlier date. However, the question of the origin of Indian Civilization prior to that period remains open. There are three main schools of thought in this regard. Proponents of the Indo-European theory suggest that the Sanskrit language and civilization were an intrusion into India from the West. Proponents of the continuity theory, on the contrary, believe that they arose locally. The third school of thought proposes that the current scholarship is insufficient to trace the Sanskrit language and civilization back to pre-historical times, and that further research is required to develop a fair comparison between the European languages and the Indian languages. Published literature in the field often reflects one or the other of these perspectives, rather than offering an integrated view.
This volume seeks to address this gap, by proposing a possible resolution to this seemingly intractable issue. It results from a symposium held at the University of Massachusetts–Dartmouth in July 2011, with invited scholars representing each of the various camps. During the seminar it became apparent that these different traditions are actually much closer to one another than what is usually believed. Accordingly, this is an essential volume for scholars seeking a balanced view on the quest for the origin of the Indian languages and civilization.


— Bal Ram Singh
— Angela Marcantonio
— Girish Nath Jha
1. Some Remarks on the Orignin and Development of Indian lanuages and linguistic area
— Girish Nath Jha
2. Rigvedic all-inclusiveness
— N. Kazanas
3. Some Unlikely Tentacles of Early Indo-European
— Koenraad Elst
4. The Origin of Indian Civilization: Critical Analysis of the Contribution of Linguistics
— Angela Marcantonio
5. Rigveda: Its Chronology on the Basis of Astronomical References
— B.N. Narahari Achar
6. Oral Tradition in Indian Civilization
— M.G. Prasad
7. Dialectics of Power and Civilization: Knowledge Centered Indian Civilization
— R. P. Singh
8. South Asian Archaeology: Late Prehistoric Cultural Continuity or Discontinuity
— Jim G. Shaffer
— Diane A. Lichtenstein
9. The Origin of the Indic Languages:The Indo-European Model
— James Clackson
10. An Analysis of the Concept of Sacredness in Indus Valley Art: Retracing the Roots of the Goddess
— Nalini Rao


Meet the Author
Dr Angela Marcantonio is Associate Professor of linguistics at the University of Rome 'La Sapienza'. Her principle area of research, and teaching, is 'historical linguistics', with particular reference to the Indo-European and the Uralic language families, as testified by numerous articles and two major volumes: The Uralic Language Family: Facts, Myths and Statistics (Oxford / Boston: Blackwell (2002)), and Angela Marcantonio (ed), The Indo-European Language Family: Questions about its Status (Monograph series 55, Journal of Indo-European Studies, Washington DC (2009)). Angela is a member of the 'Philological Society' and the 'Società Italiana di Glottologia'. She is also in the editorial board of Rivista di Studi Ungheresi, Vedic Venues and Journal of Eurasian Studies, and is a consultant for the Oxford English Dictionary.
Books of Angela Marcantonio
Dr Girish Nath Jha is Associate Professor at the Special Centre for Sanskrit Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). He has an honorary appointment at the Center for Indic Studies as Mukesh and Priti Chatter Distinguished Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, USA. Dr Jha has studied computational linguistics from JNU and from University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. He has publications from Springer Verlag, Cambridge Scholar Publishing, Lambert Academic Publishing, among others, and is on the editorial board of a leading journal from Springer.