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The Genesis of a Linguistic Area*

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1. A German scholar of a former generation once remarked that there can be no more important task for the Sanskrit philologist than to describe the changes that have taken p1ace, in the course of the ages, in the mentality of the inhabitants of India. What he referred to was the slow but steady cultural process of Indianization of those Aryan tribes who had once, in a prehistoric period, invaded India from Iran. The same thing might be said of the Indic languages. Here, too, there has been a slow process of Indianization, which brought Indo-Aryan, the language of the invaders, more and more into harmony with the languages of the indigenous families, in particular Dravidian and Munda.


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