On the nature of Indo-Aryan elements in the Kashmiri language
Anton Kogan (Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, kogan_anton@yahoo.com)
Journal of Language Relationship, № 5, 2011 - p.23-47
Words of Indo-Aryan origin make up a very considerable proportion of Kashmiri vocabulary. Despite this fact, however, no rigorous formal criteria, fit for distinguishing them from genuine Dardic lexical items, were worked out so far. That’s why the exact source of such words (i.e. the Indo-Aryan donor language) in most cases remains unknown. In the present article an attempt is made to find specific features in historical phonology of Indo-Aryan loanwords in Kashmiri. The author comes to the conclusion that quite a few historical phonological isoglosses make it possible to classify the source of these loanwords as an Indo-Aryan language of the Pahari subgroup. It is closely related to a number of languages spoken in Western Himalaya, but not identical to any of them. There are also some facts which enable us to believe, that Indo-Aryan influence on Kashmiri was in fact the consequence of substratum interference.
Keywords: Kashmiri, Dardic languages, Indo-Aryan languages, borrowing, historical phonology, substrate theory