Tocharian/Kushana is the Cognate language to Meroitic

Clyde Winters,PhD

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Copyright© Clyde Winters 2012 Uthman dan Fodio Institute 11541 South Peoria Chicago, Illinois 60643

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The Meroitic God Apedemek and a Vedic God

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Tocharian is the Cognate language to Meroitic

There are many mysteries concerning the Meroites of the Meroitic civilization of Nubia and the Sudan. This ancient civilization lasted for hundreds of years and has left us many wonderful monuments. In addition to many grand monuments the Meroites left us a written language. Although scholars have been able to read the letters of this ancient Kushite writing for many years up to now the full meaning of the Meroitic texts had alluded us. Today we can read the Meroitic text in their entirety using the cognate language for Meroitic: Tocharian (Winters 1984,1989, 1996a, 1996b,1996c). Linguist call this language formerly spoken in Central Asia: Tocharian (Burlak, 2008; Winters 1988b, 1991, 1996b); the Chinese historical literature , indicates that the Tocharian speakers were called Kushana or Yueh chih and that this group originated in China. In this paper I will refer to the Tocharian speakers as Tocharian or Kushana. The people of Meroe, had their own alphabet of 23 signs. This was a wonderful improvement over hieroglyphic writing which was made up of numerous ideographic and phonetic signs. Prior to the introduction of Meroitic, the Meroites used Egyptian hieroglyphics and Demotic. In a recent article Starostin A. Burlak (2008) disputes this decipherment. He claims that for a number of reasons there is no relationship between Meroitic and Tocharian Francis Llewellyn Griffith, an Egyptologist was able to decipher the Meroitic script over 60 years ago. Although Griffith deciphered Meroitic, he was unable to read this writing because he did not know the cognate language.Using the comparative method I was able to discover that Tocharian is cognate to Meroitic. This led to the full decipherment of the Meroitic script. We can Page | 4

now read Meroitic using Tocharian ( Krause,1952 ; Windekens 1941, 1979). Maurice Pope in THE STORY OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL DECIPHERMENT , has made it clear that before an unknown language can be deciphered you must have the right theoretical structure to base your inquiry upon (p.191). Pope found that in the historical decipherments of ancient languages three preliminary conditions must be met: 1) confidence that a script can be deciphered; 2) location of proper names must be determined; 3) the grammatical rules of the target language/script must be found (pp.186-187). I was able to read Meroitic because these preliminary conditions were met, and I was able to develop new hypothesis based on historical evidence to determine the cognate language of Meroitic. Conditions number one and two were met by Griffith when he deciphered the Meroitic script in 1910, and his discovery of the proper names of the Meroitic gods and individuals in Meroitic text. Griffith (1911a, 1911b, 1912) also discovered the direction the Meroitic writing was written. This recognition by Griffith of the solubility of the Meroitic text was reinforced in 1978, with publication of UNESCO's The Peopling of Ancient Egypt and the Decipherment of the Meroitic Script. This was an important publication because it provided researchers with up-todate information on the status of the Meroitic language. Condition number three for the decipherment of Meroitic was met in 1979 when Fritz Hintze published his Beitrage zur meroitischen Grammatik . The research of F. Hintze (1979) and I. Hoffmann (1981) have made it possible for us to find the cognate language of Meroitic: Tocharian Page | 5

(Winters 1984 ,1989), because it gave us important information on the Meroitic verbal system.. The work of Griffith (1911a,1911b, 1912) and Hintze (1979) fulfilled all the requirements for the decipherment of the Meroitic writing .These text gave us the Meroitic proper names and possible structure of Maroitic. Classical literature supported the view that we might be able to find the Meroitic cognate language through a comparison of the Meroitic terms and Kushan lexical items. To test the Kushana hypothesis we had to then: 1) find agreement between Kushana and Meroitic terms; 2) compare Central Asian and Egypto-Sudanese toponomies; 3) compare Kushana and Meroitic grammatical forms. Given this background we will now discuss the concerns of Dr. Burlak (2008). Burlak gives 11 reasons why he believes Tocharian and Meroitic are not related. 1. Burlak (2008) claimed that the Tocharian Meroitic cognates are mainly from Tocharian A, and “for chronological and geographical reasons Meroitic can hardly be more closely related to one of the Tocharian languages than the other” (p.100). This is not surprising because the Classical literature makes it clear that Indian scholars settled in the Meroitic Empire ( Corybeare,1950) .If Indian scholars were living in the Meroitic Sudan, these scholars probably introduced the Tocharian language and Kharosthi script to the Meroites. I used the Kushana hypothesis as the foundation of my decipherment of Meroitic. My decipherment of Meroitic is based on the Kushana theory. The Kushana theory is that a group of "East Indian" scholars introduced the Meroitic writing system to the Meroites. The Kushana hypothesis was based on the following evidence, 1) no African language has Page | 6

been found to be a cognate language of Meroitic 2) the Classical literature says that the Kushites lived in Asia and Africa; 3) the Gymnosophists, or "naked sages" of Meroe came from India (Corybeare, 1950). Flavius Philostratus, the writer of the Vita Apollonii, Vol. 1,claimed that the Gymnosophists of Meroe originally came from India (Conybeare, 1950). Given the fact that the Kushana had formerly ruled India around the time that the Meroitic writing was introduced to the Kushite civilization,led to the hypothesis that the ancestors of the Gymnosophist may have been Kushana philosophers. Many Tocharian speakers lived predominately in Xinjiang and Gansu, China until they were forced out of the region between 176-160 BCE. Other Tocharian speakers were probably already in India, as supported by the Kharosthi inscriptions of the Asokan period. The exodus of the Kushana or Tocharians from China, was around the time Meroitic was introduced to the Meroites. The first Meroitic inscriptions date back to Queen Shanakdakheto (REM 0039,0051-0054). Scholars vary on the dating of the inscriptions: Dunham (1957) 177-155 BC; Hintze (1959) 180-170 BC; Wenig (1978) 170-150 BC; Shinnie (1996) 170-150 BC; Welsby (1996) 180-170 BC. Torok (1996) suggest the end of the 2nd Century BC and considers Queen Shanakdakheto to be the direct predecessor of King Tanyidamani. The historical evidence of the Kushana having ruled India made the Classical references to Indians in Meroe, an important source for the construction of alternative theories about the possible location of the cognate language of Meroitic. Moreover, the fact that the Tocharians fled their original homeland before the rise of Meroitic script gave the Kushana ample opportunity to have settled the Meroitic empire and introduce the Tocharian language and the script it was written Page | 7

in Kharosthi to the Meroites. There is external evidence, which supports the Kushana theory. A theory explains observed phenomena and has predictive power. I have theorized that due to the claims of the Classical writers that some of the Meroites came from India ( Conybeare , 1950 Vol.2:271). According to the Life of Apollonius,the Indian Meroites were formerly led by a King Ganges, who had "repulsed the Scythians who invaded this land [India from] across the Caucasus" (Conybeare, 1950 Vol.1:273). Pilostratus also made it clear that the Indians of Meroe came to this country after their king was killed. The presence of this tradition of an Indian King of the Indian-Meroites conquering the Scythians predicts that the Indian literature should record this historical episode. This prediction is supported by a Jaina text called the Kalakeharya-Kathanaka, which reports that when the Scythians invaded Malwa, the King of Malwa, called Vikramaditya defeated the Scythians (Kulke & Rothermund, 1990 :73). This king Vikramaditya may be the Ganges mentioned in the Life of Apollonius. Confirmation of the Ganges story, confirms the Classical literary evidence that their were Indianized-Meroites that could have introduced the Tokharian trade language to the Meroites. There were other Indians in North Africa besides Kush/Meroe. For example, at Quseir alQadim there was a large Indian speaking community ( Salomon, 1991,1993) that left us many inscriptions written in their native script.. These Indians were in Egypt writing messages in their own language, around the time we see a switch from Egyptian hieroglyphics and Demotic to the Meroitic writing system. The evidence presented above provides internal and external validity for the Kushana Hypothesis based upon the sources I have cited previously. The sources I have used are impartial, Page | 8

to disconfirm my hypothesis someone needs to show that my propositions are not fully informed[i.e., there were no Indians North Africa and Kush when the Classical writers maintained they were] and present rival explanations based on the evidence. The fact that the claims made by the Classical writers is supported by the Indian textual material is strong confirmation of the Kushana hypothesis. The hypothesis based on the classical literature, was enough to support the original Kushana Hypothesis. The predicting power of the original theory, matches the observed natural phenomena which was confirmed elsewhere by cognate place names, ethononyms, lexicalitems and grammatical features, indicate that my theory has not be falsified. The Classical literature makes it clear that Indians physically settled in the Meroitic Empire. It was these Indians who probably introduced Kharosthi writing and the Tocharian A language. The direct transfer of Tocharian A to the Meroites by Indian scholars would explain why the language of the Meroitic inscriptions is Tocharian A . 2. The length of Meroitic words is too short. Burlak (2008) argues that a basic problem of my decipherment is the word length. Whereas I have found that the average length of Meroitic words is one-to-three characters in length . Burlak (2008) maintains that the average length of Meroitic words is not one –to- three charaters, but five to eight characters in length based on Meroitic proper names. Using Meroitic names to determine the length of Meroitic words fails to accurately describe Meroitic lexemes, because names usually are compound words e.g., Kasta/ Kushto ‘the Kushite’ (Abdalla, 1989 p.876; Trigger, 1964 p. 193; Welsby, 1996). For example many Meroitic names include the names of deities: Tamwetamani ; Arqamani; Anlamani ; and Takideamani. Page | 9

Welsby (1996 p.190) noted that other Meroitic names include the words mak (god), malo (good) and mote (child). Many Meroitic words are only two-three characters e.g., mk (god), Wos (Isis), mn (Aman) and nob (Nubian). A common place name element in Meroitic place-names is – te, e.g., Np-te (Napata), and ph rs-te (Faras). The majority of Meroitic ethnonyms are also twothree characters lk (Lak), šq (Shaqa), and nob (Nubian). A comparison of Meroitic and Tocharian grammatical features also indicates that in many cases Meroitic words average one- three characters. In recent years researchers were able to develop a grammar of Meroitic, without being able to read Meroitic. The research of Hintze (1979) and Hoffman (1981) made it possible for us to find the cognate language of Meroitic: Tokharian (Winters 1984 ,1989). Hintze (1979) grammar of Meroitic provided the necessary material to compare Meroitic with other languages to find its cognate language. Hintze (1979) recognized three approaches to the study of Meroitic: 1) philological, 2) comparative, and 3) structural (i.e., the morphologicalsyntactical). The philological methods of Hintze (1979) was informed guesses based upon context.In the comparative method the structures of two or more languages are compared to determine the relationship between languages. Hintze's (1979) discussion of the Meroitic affixes provided us with the linguistic material to compare Meroitic successfully with Tocharian. The comparative method is used by linguist to determine the relatedness of languages, and to reconstruct earlier language states. The comparative linguist looks for patterns of correspondence, i.e., the isolation of words with common or similar meanings that have systematic consonantal agreement with little regard for location and/or type of vowel. Consonantal agreement is the Page | 10

regular appearance of consonants at certain locations in words having analogous meanings. Hintze (1979) was sure that there were a number of Meroitic affixes including: p ye -te -to -o B.G. Trigger in his "Commentary" (Hintze 1979) mentioned several other possible Meroitic affixes including: -n -te -b In addition , A. M. Abdalla in his "Commentary" (Hintze 1979)mentioned three possible verbal suffixes , including: -ñ -t -y These alleged Meroitic grammatical elements encouraged me to seek out a language that contained these typological features as the possible cognate language for Meroitic. The Kushana language includes all of these affixes. Researchers working on Meroitic determined several possible prefixes: p, Page | 11

p -s y. These proposed affixes for Meroitic are one character in length. Given the fact that experts in Meroitic like Abdalla and Hintze recognized that Meroitic had a number of single character lexemes makes it clear that when I found that many Meroitic terms were one-to-three character in length illustrates that I was only following the linguistic findings of other Meroitists who are the foundation of this decipherment of Meroitic. Winters took these suggested Meroitic lexemes and compared them to Tocharian to discover if similar affixes existed in Kushana. In Tocharian we find these prefixes: p(ä), the imperfect prefix and imperative, y- the Tocharian element are joined to demonstratives , e.g., yopsa ‘in between’. There are other affixes that relate to the Meroitic suffixes proposed by Abdalla and Hintze (1979) that are explained by Tocharian including –te, the demonstrative ‘this, etc.’; -o, the suffix used to change nouns into adjectives. For example: aiśamñe ‘knowledge’, asimo ‘knowing; klyomñ ’nobility’, klyomo ‘noble’. Other Tocharian affixes which provide insight into Meroitic affixes include –te and -l. The Tocharian locative suffix is –te. The ending particle in Tocharian is –l. The Meroitic –t, corresponds to the –t ‘you’. In Tocharian the pronouns are placed at the end of words: nas-a-m ‘I am’, träkä-s ‘he says’, träkä-t ‘you say’. The –t element in Tocharian can also be used to represent the third person singular e.g., kälpa-t ‘he found’.The p-, element used to form the imperative and imperfect in Tocharian . This affix is used in both Tocharian A and B. For example,Tokh.A klyos "to hear, to listen"p(a)klyos Page | 12

"You listen"p(a)klyossu "s/he listens"Tokh. B klyausp(a)klyaus 'you listen"A. ta, tas, "to lay, to put"ptas 'you lay'B. tes, tas 'to put, to lay'ptes 'you put'. The Tocharian -n-, has many uses . It can be used to form the subjuntive, e.g., yam 'to do', yaman 's/he do(es). It is also used to form the plural se 'son', pl. sewan 'sons; ri 'city', pl. rin 'cities'.The plural in Tocharian is formed by the –ñ. For example,are ‘plough’, pl. areñ ‘ploughs’ ri ‘city’ , pl. riñ ‘cities. Recognition of analogous structural elements in relation to Kushana/ Tocharian and Meroitic allowed us to divide the Meroitic phonemes into words. Griffith (1911a,1911b,1912) provided us with evidence for selected Meroitic nouns. These examples of Meroitic names and lexical items make it clear that the average length of characters for Meroitic words is less than 5-8 characters. It also illustrates that Winters based his ideas on the possible length of some Meroitic words on the research of Abdalla and Hintze (1979). This makes Burlak’s (2008) claim that the length of Meroitic terms is generally five-seven characters as he alleges. 3. Burlak (2008 p.99) claims that there are too many verbs that are only one character in length. This is an unjustified criticism of my decipherment. Many verbs in Tocharian are a single character in length. Since Tocharian is the cognate language of Meroitic it is only natural that Meroitic would have a number of verbs of one character in length. Moreover, this is not surprising because Abdalla and Hintze (1979) had already noted the existence of Meroitic lexemes of one character in length.

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The nature of Tocharian as the cognate language of Meroitic allowed me to translate many Meroitic verbs. Abdalla (Hintze 1979, 149) was sure that he detected several common verbs in Meroitic including: hr, the, tk, we, pl, do, mde yi mde. Following this lead I searched the Tocharian language to determine if it possessed any verbs that might match the proposed hypothetical verbs of Abdalla in his “Commentary” (Hintze, 1979). A comparison of Kushan and Meroitic proved to be successful. We now know that he was absolutely right about his interpretation of possible Meroitic verbs. Below is the interpretation of these Meroitic verbs based on Tocharian cognates. Many of these verbs were discussed by Burlak (2008) as part of the Tocharian language. hr , to have dignity the , to move tk , to set in motion, to investigate w-e , to give escort pl , to boast, to praise Page | 14

m-de , measure the offering y i m-de , go make (full) measure of the offering Recognition of these Meroitic terms as verbs gave us even more confirmation that Kushana was probably the Meroitic cognate language. This discovery of Meroitic verbs and nouns, and cognate toponomies in Central Asia and Upper-Nubia-Sudan (see Appendix) proved that Meroitic could be read using Kushana lexical items. The Egyptian writing does not have vowel notations. The reality that Tocharian verbs and affixes are vowels may explain why the Meroitic script has vowel notations. They may have these vowel notations to indicate the fact that they represent lexemes. 4. Tocharian text do not date back to the 2nd Century BC. The Tocharian language was written in Khatrosthi script. This script was used to write the Gandhararan Buddist Text. According to Glass (2000) the Kharosthi script appears fully developed in the Asokan inscriptions of Shahbazgarhi and Mansehra. These inscriptions date back to 3rd Century BC (Glass, 2000 p.20). It continued to be used in Gandhara, Kushan and Sogdian. Glass provides evidence that Kharosthi writing dates back to the first Brahmi inscriptions of India (Glass, 2000 pp.20-21). The fact the writing was used in India by Asoka to produce the rock edicts (Glass, 2000) , demonstrates that Khasrothi was in use long before the introduction of the Meroitic script to Kush. The Meroitic script resembles many Khaorsthi signs. Some researchers argue that the Meroites did not adopt the writing system of the Kushana/Tocharian people which was Kharosthi. Although this is their opinion a comparison of the Meroitic and Kharosthi symbols make it clear that both writing systems share many cognate signs. Page | 15

Aubin (1996) did a comparison of Meroitic and Kharothi and discovered that 34 out of 42 signs or 81% matched.

Figure 1 : Aubin (1996) Comparison of Meroitic and Kharosthi Signs

Since Tocharian was written is Kharosthi the cognition between Kharosthi and Meroitic is quite interesting and shows some connection between these scripts. It also offers additional support to the Tocharian origin of Meroitic writing given the analogy between the signs. Let's not forget that Welsby in The Kingdom of Kush, notes that "only four of the [Meroitic] letters resemble the equivalent Egyptian demotic signs" (p.193) But as you can see from the above there are more than four demotic signs that match Meroitic, and even more of these signs match Kharosthi.

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The summary , Kharosthi script dates back to the 3rd Century BC. It was used to write Tocharian inscriptions. This makes it clear that Kharosthi was in use long before the Meroitic script was created. 5. Burlak (2008) claims that Meroitic terms should be compared to Proto-Tocharian and that Winters’ did not compare Meroitic to Proto-Tocharian (p.101). Comparing Meroitic to Proto-Tocharian was unnecessary for two reasons. First, the Kushana Hypothesis makes it clear that there was no need to compare Meroitic to Proto-Tocharian because , Kharosthi and Tocharian A was probably physically taken to Meroitic Sudan by the Indian scholars mentioned in the Classical Literature. Secondly, you can not decipher an ancient script using a proto-language because a proto-language can not be verified as having ever existed, because it is reconstructed from living languages, but lack any textual material to document its former existence. You can not decipher a dead language using a Proto- language. This was attempted in the case of Olmec and proved to be a failure. Before my decipherment of Meroitic the attested vocabulary of Meroitic was only 26 terms. Researchers proved decades ago that none of these terms have Nubian and Nilo-Saharan cognates. This makes Rilly's ideas about deciphering Meroitic using Proto-Northern Eastern Sudani a farce. This is a farce because we do have document evidence of Meroitic, but none for the NiloSaharan languages. As a result, any proto-term from Northern Eastern Sudani Rilly compares with Meroitic will be conjecture since there is no documented evidence of Nilo-Saharan languages being spoken in the Meroitic Rilly claims that lexicostatistics or glottochronology and Proto- Northern eastern Nilo-Saharan Page | 17

allows him to read Meroitic. This idea does not correspond to linguistic reality. Lexicostatistics is used to fit datable events among languages that theoretically are descendant from a common ancestor through examination of the basic vocabulary. The basic vocabulary is that part of the lexicon that shows slow change. These terms relate to basic cultural practices and universal human experiences. Rilly can not use a Proto-Language to read Meroitic because there are only 26 attested Meroitic terms accepted by the establishment. None of these terms are cognate to Nubian or Taman terms except the name for a Meroitic god. Rilly claims to be able to decipher Meroitic using a method that compares basic cultural words languages separated in time and space. Rilly, can not use this method to read Meroitic, because none of the attested Meroitic terms have Nilo-Saharan cognates save one, the term for god. Rilly has found only 1 cognate shared between Nubian and Meroitic there is no way you can date the time Meroitic speakers and Nilo-Saharan speakers spoke a common ancestral language. The absence of Meroitic and Nubian cognates prevents any fruitful comparisons between these languages. There are three ways to verify a protolanguage is congruent with reality 1) there is documentary evidence of the ancestor or near ancestor of the target language that allows comparison of actual terms and grammars to the construct (i.e., reconstructed lexical items and grammars); 2) written evidence in the form of inscriptions exist from systematic excavation that compare favorably to the construct; and 3) the power of prediction that this or that construct will conforms to objective reality. Rilly's ideas that he can read Meroitic based on Kushite names from Kerma, which he calls Page | 18

proto-Meroitic names (even though he knows full well that a protolanguage is artificial and comes from reconstruction); and a list of Northern Proto-Eastern Sudani terms from the Nubian, Nara, Taman and Nyima languages meets none of these standards. This linguistic material fails to meet the standard because there is no textual or documentary evidence for Northern Proto-Eastern Sudani dating to the Meroitic period. Moreover, the principle language Rilly hopes to use to read Meroitic text: Nubian, was not spoken in the Meroitic Empire. A fact Rilly admits in his own paper where he notes that Nubians invaded the Meroitic Empire during the declining days of the empire. Theodora Bynon, Historical Linguistics, wrote that ,"a protolanguage is no more than a theorectical construct designed to link by means of rules the systems of historically related languages in the most economical way. It thus summarizes the present state of our knowledge regarding the systematic relationships of grammars of the related languages....When dealing with past language states it is possible to assess the distance between construct and reality only in cases where we possess documented evidence regarding an ancestor or a near ancestor, such as is provided by Latin, in the case of the Romance languages"(p.71). We can reject Rilly's claim he can use this protolanguage to read Meroitic because there is no documented evidence of Northern Eastern Sudani speakers ever living in the historic Meroitic Empire, until after the Meroitic Empire was in decline. The absence of documentary evidence of any Nilo-Saharan language spoken in the Meroitic Empire during the Meroitic period precludes any possibility that Rilly's alleged Proto-Northern Eastern Sudani has any relationship to Meroitic or reality for that matter. Empire.H.H. Hock, in Principles of Historical Linguistics (1986), observed that there are two major arguments against the idea that comparative reconstructions recover the "prehistoric Page | 19

reality" of a language.The first principle, is that languages change over time. This makes it almost impossible to "fully" reconstruct the lexcical items and grammar of the ancestral language. Secondly, there are few, if any dialect free languages. Constructs resulting from comparing lexical items and grammars from an available set of languages,produce a dialect free protolanguage, that is unnatural and "factually incorrect as shown by the insights of the wave theory" (p.568). If a proto-language is factually incorrect there is no way it can be used to represent a dead language. First, it must be stated that no “dead “ language has been deciphered using a proto-language. These languages were deciphered using living languages, Coptic in the case of Egyptian, Oromo and(Ethiopian) Semitic was used to decipher the Mesopotamian Cuneiform scripts. The basic problem with using a proto-language to read a dead language results from the fact that the protolanguage has been reconstructed by linguist who have no knowledge or textual evidence of the alleged proto-language. Secondly, there are subgroups in anyfamily of languages. This means that you must first establish the intermediate proto-language (IPL) of the subgroup languages in the target language family. Once the IPLs have been reconstructed, you can then reconstruct the superordinate protolanguage (SPL). You can only reconstruct the SPL on the basis of attested languages. In addition, before you can reconstruct the IPLs and SPL a genetic relationship must be established for the languages within the Superfamily of languages, e.g., Nilo Saharan. The problem with Rilly’s method, is there is no way he can really establish the IPLs in Eastern Sudanic because we have no textual evidence or lexical items spoken by people who lived in the Sudan in Meroitic times. As a result, the languages spoken by people in this area today may not reflect the linguistic geography of the Sudan during the Meroitic period. Page | 20

This is most evident when we look at modern Egypt. Today the dominant spoken language in the country is Arabic, Arabic has no relationship to ancient Egyptian. If we accept Rilly’s method for deciphering Egyptian we would assume that once me reconstructed proto-Semitic , we could read Egyptian—but as you know Egyptian is not a Semitic language. Secondly, researchers have compared the “attested Meroitic” terms to all the Nilo-Saharan languages. The results were negative, they do not relate to any Eastern Sudanic language. If the lexical items attested in Meroitic are not cognate to Eastern Sudanic terms, there is no way to establish a genetic relationship between these languages. Absence of a genetic relationship means that we can not reconstruct the imagined IPLs of Meroitic sister languages, since these researchers failed to find a connection between Meroitic and the Eastern Sudanic. As a result, Rilly’s reconstructions of Nilo-Saharan can offer no insight into the language spoken by the Meroites. Granted, by comparing languages and associating them with a particular time period you can make comparative reconstructions that may eliminate dialectal diversity. But Rilly can not do this because none of the attested Meroitic terms have Nubian cognates. This along with the fact that we have no textual evidence of Nilo-Saharan during the Meroitic period demonstrating that NiloSaharan languages were spoken in the Meroitic Empire, especially Nubian,precludes using protoNorthern Eastern Sudani terms to read Meroitic. Using proto-Northern Eastern Sudani terms to read Meroitic will fail to provide a linguistically realistic situation in Nubia 2000 years ago. This is especially true for Nubian, which was not spoken in the Meroitic Empire. 6. Meroitic has too many words that find direct parallels in Tocharian A.

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This is explained by the fact that Indians physically took Tocharian A and Kharosthi to the Meroitic Sudan . A direct physical transfer of Tocharian A to the Meroites would explain the abundance of Tocharian-Meroitic cognates. 7. Burlak declares that Tocharian prefers the SOV order Tocharian is written in various syntax in addition to SOV. . The Tocharian syntax is the result of the fact that most Tocharian text are translations from Sanskrit. And as noted by Werner Winter (1982) Tocharian is written in metrical form. This means that the text must fit the requirements of the meter. As a result, it can be written in any word order SOV or SVO . 8. Burlak (1990) claims that Meroitic does not have negative forms and the pa affix. This is false. I did discuss the Tocharian prefix pä , which appears in Meroitic as the imperfect prefix which is found in line 19, of the Tanyidamani stela (Winters, pp.366 & 380). Meroitic does have the Tocharian negative particle. In line 47 of the Tanyidamani stela we read: mi-m-n i s-ne š qor o s-ne Amn pt es. The translation is “Injure him not, go protect the good patron. The monarch to open the Supporter (of ) Aman to manifest praise”. The key terms in Meroitic: mi ‘injure’, -m ‘not’ and –n ‘him’. Mi-m-n reads: “injure not him”. 9. Burlak claims that Tocharian lacks the possessive markers –n/ne ‘his’ and -tō ‘your’. This is false. Tocharian has these pronouns e.g., Tocharian A tu ‘you’> Meroitic tō, and Tocharian B ne ‘he,his’> Meroitic ne ‘he,his’ (Adams, 1988). 10. Burlak claims that there is no evidence of population movement in Kush during this period for the switch from Demotic to Meroitic (p.101). Ancient Kush extended across a large part of the Sudan. In this vast region encompassing the Napatan and Meroitic civilizations there were many different nationalities, that spoke a myriad of Page | 22

languages. Due to the ethnic diversity of the Napatans, it is clear that at least from the Napatan period of Kush the rulers of the empire had decided that no single language spoken in the empire would be used to record political, administrative and religious information. To maintain an equilibrium within and among the Napatan nationalities Egyptian was used as the lingua franca of the Napatan empire. The leaders of the Napatan empire probably used Egyptian because it was an international language, and few Kushites were of Egyptian ethnic origin.Egyptian remained the lingua franca for the Kushites during the Napatan and early Meroitic periods in Kushite history. After the Assyrians defeated the Egyptians the ethnic composition of the Kushite empire began to change. Many Egyptians began to migrate into Kushite, to avoid non-Egyptian rule. Beginning with the Assyrian defeat of the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty large numbers of nomadic people from the Middle East began to migrate into Egypt. These foreign people began to take over many Egyptian settlements. In response, Egyptians fled to Nubia and Kush to avoid non-Egyptian rule. Other political and military conflicts erupted after the Assyrians defeated the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty. These incidents led many Egyptians to migrate out of Egypt into Nubia and Kush. For example, Herodotus’ mentions the mutiny of Psamtik I’s frontier garrison at Elephantine—these deserters moved into Kush. The archaizing trend in Kush among the post Twenty-Fifth Dynasty Kings testify to a possible large migration of Egyptians into Kush. In 343 BC Nectanebos II, fled to Upper Egypt. Later according to the Natasen period stela we have evidence of other Egyptians migrating into Kush Page | 23

from Egypt (Torok, 1997, p.391). Between the 260’s-270’s BC Upper Egyptian Nationalists were fighting the Ptolemy (Greek) rulers of Egypt. The rebellion was put down by Ptolemy II. This military action led to Egyptians migrating out of Egypt into Kush (Torok, pp.395-396). Rebellions continued in Egypt into the 2nd Century BC (Torok, p.426). Between Ptolomy II and Ptolemy V, the Greeks began to settle Egypt. This was especially true in the 150’sBC. These conflicts led to many Egyptians migrating into Nubia and the Sudan. By the time the Romans entered Egypt, many Egyptians had already left Egypt and settled in the Meroitic Sudan. Roman politics also forced many Egyptians to migrate into Kush. This was compounded by the introduction of the Pax Agusta policy of the Romans which sought the establishment of Roman hegemony within territories under Roman rule . This led to the emigration of many Romans into Egypt, and the migration of Egyptians into Kush. During most of Kushite history the elites used Egyptian for record keeping since it was recognized as a neutral language.As more and more Egyptians, fled to Kush as it came under foreign domination . Egyptians became a large minority in the Meroitic Empire. Because of Egyptian migrations to Kush, by the rule of the Meroitic Queen Shanakdakheto, we find the Egyptian language abandoned as a medium of exchange in official records, and the Meroitic script takes its place. The textual and historical evidence is clear. There was a large migration of Egyptian speaking nationals into Kush. This made Egyptian a major language spoken by Meroitic citizens. The change in demographics in the Meroitic Empire probably led to the shift from Egyptian to Page | 24

Tocharian, which would have been see as a neutral language because only a few Indians were probably living in the empire at the time. 11. Burlak does not understand why there are many synonyms in Meroitic. There are many synonyms in meroitic because of the absence of certain Meroitic sounds. As a result, certain words beginning with h, q, and k for example have the same meaning. You can have a word which has different phonemes but have the same meaning. For example, look at the letters z and s in English. These phonemes sound similar and when used to spell words does not change the meaning of the word e.g., Am Eng. Civilization and British Eng. Civilisation. 12. Burlak believes Winters’ decipherment of Meroitic and use of Tocharian words to read Meroitic must be wrong, because the Tocharian words used by Winters to read Meroitic have no plausible Indo-European etymology. This is a silly complaint. The fact that the Tocharian words used to read and translate Meroitic do not have an Indo-European etymology should have nothing to do with using Kushana words to read Meroitic. Burlak (2008) acknowledges that many attested Tocharian terms are “hapax legomena, or have unknown meaning. The vocabulary of both languages is full of loan-words which are themselves not recognized and etymologised. Additionally there are many words which may be either native or loan” (p.99). If many of the terms recognized as Tocharian, are not I-E in origin Burlak’s complaint about the origination of Tocharian terms used to read Meroitic is quite petty, since many Tocharian terms lack I-E etymology in the first place and he already recognizes this fact in his article.

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Winters (1990) has argued that their ancestral culture was the Qijia culture of western China. The Chinese claimed that the Tocharians called themselves Kushana > Kuishuang. The Qijia culture is characterized by domesticated cattle, sheep and pig. This culture existed from the upper Weishui Valley in the east, the Huangshui Valley of Qijia in the West, Ningxia and the westernmost Inner Mongolia in the north. This was the most advanced agro-pastoral group in early China (Chang 1987:283). The Qijia pottery signs are analogous to those found in the Harappan writing and on Harappan pottery (Chang 1987:283). Many Indo-Europeanists would agree that the spread of the Pit Grave and Andronovo cultures of the 3rd and 2nd millennium B.C., may reflect the Indo-Iranian infilling of the steppe zone Mallory 1989; Sherratt & Sherratt, 1988). This view is complicated by Tocharian which reflects little affinity to Indo-Iranian. To explain this anomaly Tocharianists argue that Tocharian early separated from its ProtoIndo-European neighbors (Adams 1995). An additional argument used to explain the difference between Tocharian and the Iranian speakers is the theory that Tocharian is a "western" IndoEuropean language that early lost contact with its cogeners, but reflects palatals that place it in the centum I-E branch (Pulleyblank 1995). This second hypothesis is used to explain the numerous archaisms in Tocharian and the few common innovations shared by Tocharian and speakers of the "western" Indo-European languages (Adams 1995:411). But Adams (1995) makes it clear that:” Subsequent investigation has led to the conclusion that Tocharian is not closely related to any other Indo-European branch. Shared lexical innovations do tend to show a greater degree of relationship

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with various western branches of Indo-European than with the eastern ( i.e., Indo-Iranian) but the lexical associations are not very overwhelming" (p.404). The Sherratts (1988) have suggested two solutions to the Tocharian "problem". The first solution is that Tocharian may represent the earliest phase of Indo-European migration from the Proto-Indo-European homeland. The alternative solution is that Tocharian is a late Indo-European language associated with trade along the Silk Road (Sherratt 1988:587; Winters, 1998). In 1908 Sieg and Siegling published their findings that Tocharian was an IE language. This discovery was accepted without any challenge. But Ringe (1995) maintains that although Tocharian is an IE language "the Tocharian languages do not closely resemble any other IE languages. In other words Tocharian is a separate "branch" of the I-E family, on a par with Germanic, Greek, Indo-Iranian, etc." (p.439). Tocharian does not detail many features associated with I-E languages. For example, Tocharian fails to illustrate original cases associated with I-E nouns. Moreover, whereas I-E languages are grammatically synthetic, in contrast Tocharian is an agglutinative language. For example, grammatically Latin illustrates a genitive case and nominative case. Although Tocharian is accepted as an IE language there is disturbing linguistic evidence that makes it difficult to properly place Tocharian in the IE family. A large part of the vocabulary of Tocharian detailed etymology. There is considerable influence on Tocharian from Sanskrit and Iranian due to Buddhism. Tocharian also shares many phonological and word formational and lexical correspondences with Balto-Slavic languages. J.Van Windekens (1976) has compared Tocharian and IE vocabularies and established the following Tocharian isoglosses, ranked as follows: 1) Germanic, 2) Greek, 3) Indic, 4-5) Baltic and Page | 27

Iranian, 6) Latin, 7) Slavic, 8) Celtic, 9) Anatolian, 10) Armenian and 11) Albanian. D.Q. Adams (1984) established a different rank order 1) Germanic, 2) Greek, 3) Baltic, 4) Indic, 5) Slavic, 6-8) Latin, Celtic, Iranian, 9) Albanian, 10) Anatolian and 11) Armenian. Tocharian shares many ancient features with Hittite in noun morphology. For example, Tocharian A e-, B ai- 'to give' : Hittite pai- < pa-ai-; Tocharian A ya- 'to do': Hittite iia-; Tocharian A tkam, B kem 'earth': Hittite tekan. In relation to Sanskrit and Greek, Tocharian has preserved the mediopassive voice and the presence of both subjunctive and optative mood. The most important evidence of Tocharian relations within the IE family are the Greek and Tocharian cognates: Tocharian A ñkat, B ñakte 'God'; A natäk 'lord', nasi 'lady'; Greek wanakt 'King', *wanakya queen' . There is also evidence of Sanskrit and Iranian influences in relation to religious and technical terms. Tocharian has a limited association with Iranian, especially in relation to "Old Iranian" or Avestan terms, Bactrian terms and Ossetic terms.

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Indo-European archaisms are preserved in Tocharian, Celtic, Phrygian and Anatolian (Mallory 1989:155). In addition, Tocharian, Latin, Irish, Hittite and Phrygian retain the medio-passive ending in -r, e.g., Tocharian A -mar, B -mar; A klyosmar, B klyausemar 'hear'; Latin loquitur, Old Irish labrithir 'speaks'. Bonfante (1987:77) has observed that Tocharian has old contacts only with Slavic or through Slavic. As a result of this contact Tocharian shares many phonological, word formational and lexical correspondences with Balto-Slavic. Ringe (1990)believes that many of the Tocharian innovations which link it to the western IE languages may have developed independently in Tocharian and reflect " natural" language changes (Ringe, 1995: 440). Bonfante (1987) list four Tocharian innovations shared with Slavic: 1) IE *eu becomes yu; 2) the prefix so- with perfective value (found Tocharian only in the imperative); 3) Tocharian A rake, B reki; Slavic rec, and 4) Tocharian A sar, B ser, Slavic sestra 'sister'. Schmidt (1990) has argued that many of the innovations in Tocharian may be the result of substratum influences of non-IE languages. Winters (1988a, 1989, 1991, 1998) has argued that there is a Dravidian substratum to Tocharian. The Dravidian substratum in Tocharian appears to be from the Tamil and Telugu languages. In addition to lexical items, the Tamil and Tocharian languages possess structural and grammatical analogy. For example, Dravidian and Tocharian share the plural ending element -lu and -u, e.g., Telugu magadu 'man, husband', (pl.) magalu 'men'; Tocharian wast 'house', (pl.) wastu 'houses'.


It is interesting to note that Dravidians and Tocharians share many terms for animals, e.g., Dravidian ku-na 'dog', Tocharian ku 'dog'; and Dravidian kode 'cow', Tocharian ko 'cow'. There are five different IE roots for horse. This multiplicity of IE roots for horse makes these terms inconclusive for the IE proto-lexicon. This is interesting because the Dravidian term for horse is iyuli, this is analogous to Tocharian yuk (Winters 1988,1991, 1998). The Tocharian lexicon has also been influenced by Tibetan, Chinese and Uighur (Blazek 1988; Winters 1991). The Sino-Tibetan influence is evident in certain key terms, e.g., Tocharian B plewe 'boat, Gurung plava 'boat', Archaic Chinese plyog and ancient Chinese plyow 'boat'; these terms for boat corresponds with Tamil patavu 'boat'; Tocharian A kuryur, B karyar 'business', purchase', B kary 'to buy', Tibetan-Burmic *kroy , in Burmic Krwè 'debt', Kochin khoi 'borrow or lend'; and Tocharian A and B par 'bring, take', IE *bher 'bring', Tibeto-Burmic *p-, in *par 'trade, buy, sell' and Kannanda bar 'bring'. The Dravidian and Altaic substratums in Tocharian supports the hypothesis of Winters (1998) and, Andrew and Susan Sherratt (1988) that Tocharian was a trade language. This would also agree with Chinese evidence that the Tocharians migrated into Central Asia from the east, not the northwest. If Tocharian was a trade language , this would explain the evidence that Tocharian is not a centum language and its illustration of a clear dual contrast in reflexes of the gutturals. This hypothesis also offers an explanation of the great time depth indicated for the separation of Tocharian from Proto-IE.


Central Asia has long been characterized by the habitation of this area by diverse groups. Thus its history is manifested by the infilling of central Asia by various nomadic groups in search of conquest and/or colonization made this part of Asia a centre of pluralistic societies. Given Central Asia's situation as a centre of linguistic fragmentation made the development of a lingua franca advantageous for inter-tribal relations. A down the line pattern of conquest and settlement by successive non-indigenous populations in Central Asia probably led to extensive bilingualism in central Asia. These bilingual speakers handled trade between the various Central Asian populations, and their trading partners in neighboring countries. This suggest that down the line exchange directional trade pattern through the use of bilingual speakers at each step of the chain may offer one explanation for the origin of Tocharian as a trade language combining elements and vocabulary from the language spoken by populations of different bilingual speakers participating in the Central Asian exchange system. This means that Tocharian may be a mixed language--a Central Asian lingua franca similar to the Swahili language of east Africa, which combines the Bantu and Arabic languages. The large corpus of non-IE words in Tocharian discussed by Blazek (1988) and Winters (1988a, 1990, 1991) is congruent with the hypothesis that IE elements in Tocharian, especially Greek (and Slavic) were loanwords into Tocharian after the Greek conquest of Bactria. This borrowing pattern is consistent with the spread of the Greek language into Bactria by a small politically dominant minority of Greek settlers into a far larger and previously long-established non-IE speaking majority population.


The Greco-Bactrians were probably bilingual . Bilingualism can be induced through two methods 1) state coercion or 2) its ability to offer advantages to two or more populations in contact. The latter method of change usually accounts for bilingualism--people use the new language to obtain better access to status, security, ritual or goods. The Greek emphasis on direct methods of political control in Bactria forced many non-Greeks to become bilingual due to its advantage as a tool for greater upward mobility during Greek rule. The historical and linguistic evidence suggest that convergence in Central Asia, was unidirectional, in that successive IE speaking populations namely Greek and Slavic speakers conquered the indigenous Central Asian Dravidian speakers. This convergence led to the raise of Tocharian as a trade language. As a result of prolonged bilingual contact between Greek and non-Greek speakers, Tocharian was more than likely an interlanguage used for purposes of trade based on the Greek superstratum and Dravidian substratum. The view that Dravidian was spoken over a large part of Central Asia is supported by the islands of Dravidian speakers found today in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Southern Russia. These pockets of contemporary Dravidian speakers support the archaeological evidence of Dravido-Harappan colonization of Central Asia over 4000 years ago (Winters 1988a,1990). Tocharian shares linguistic features with Altaic, Greek and Dravidian. These analogies suggest centuries of contact within a multilingual setting. Over the centuries various nomadic groups have swept into the Central Asian steppes to plunder and conquer sedentary populations, e.g., Greeks, Turks, Sogdians and Sakians. As a result of this conflict, widespread bilingualism became a normal feature of the sociolinguistic reality of ancient Central Asia. This inturn would lead to analogous phonetic


surface structures resulting from centuries of interference. The diverse languages spoken in Central Asia around this time would have made a lingua franca necessary to insure trade and communication could effectively and efficiently take pace in this region. Tocharian probably served this purpose, and probably explains the numerous non-I-E features and vocabulary found in Tocharian. As a result of the Greek influence in Bactria, Bactrians had to acquire "Greek Culture" to enhance their position and opportunity in Bactria during Greek rule, placed prestige on status elements introduced by the Greeks. Status acquired by Bactrians was thus centred around acquisition of Greek language and Greek culture. This would have inturn added pressure on the Bactrians to incorporate Greek terms into a Bactrian lingua franca (i.e., Tocharian). Given the fact that Greek administrators in Bactria refused to fully integrate Bactrians into the ruling elite led to subsequent generations of native Bactrians to progressively incorporate more Greek terms into their native language. This would explain why Tocharian has many features that relate to certain IE etymologies associated with the Greeks, but illustrates little affinity to Indo-Iranian languages which are geographically and temporally closer to Tocharian. The influence of colonial Greeks in Central Asia would explain why the most important evidence of Tocharian relations within the IE family are the Greek and Tocharian cognates (Adams, 1984; Mallory 1989: Windekens, 1976).

The Greek invasion/elite dominance model for IE elements in Tocharian is congruent with the linguistic and historical evidence which indicates the early settlement of Central


Asia by Dravidian speakers among a diverse Bactrian population that used a ProtoDravidian language as a lingua franca. This lingua franca: Tocharian, probably allowed intra-ethnic communication in the region. Mallory's (1989:182) hypothesis of a PonticCaspian steppe homeland for the Tocharians lacks congruency given the historical evidence for the subjugation of the Bactrians by IE speakers, and a Chinese origin for the Tocharians (Pulleyblank 1995; Winters 1990, 1991). In summary, Andrew and Susan Sherratt's (1988) hypothesis that trade may have played a role in the raise of Tocharian, may be the best solution for the Tocharian problem. It supports the historical evidence of a strong Greek influence in Central Asia which allowed the Greek language to become a Superstratum of a Dravidian based trade languages which we call Tocharian today. The Greek colonization of Bactria, made the Greek language a link language between the non-IE languages spoken in Central Asia three thousand years ago, which after many generations of bilingualism led to an interlanguage phenomena that became a permanent feature of the literate speech community in this region. We can define the institutionalization of an interlanguage as language recombination, i.e., the mixing of the vocabulary and structures of the substratum language (Dravidian) and the superstratum language (Greek and later Slavic speaking Saka people) to form a new mixed language: Tocharian. The "elite dominance model" hypothesis would have two basic consequences in relation to Tocharian linguistics. First, it would account for the correspondence in grammar (especially agglutination) and vocabulary between Dravidian and Tocharian on the one hand, and Tocharian and Indo-European on the other. Secondly, the settlement of the Saka


in Bactria after the Greeks, would explain the great topological similarity between Tocharian and Balto-Slavic. The evidence of Saka and Greek conquest of Bactria/ Central Asia confirms the Sherratt (1988) hypothesis that Tocharian may be a trade language, and offers a plausible solution to the non-I-E character of Tocharian. In conclusion, it is clear from this review that Tocharian is the cognate language to Meroitic. It has been explained that Tocharian was probably a trade language and it was adopted by the Meroites to serve as a means of communication—a lingua franca-- for the diverse populations living in the Meroitic empire. The ability to reliably predict a linguistic relationship between Kushana and Meroitic, was further confirmation of the Kushana Hypothesis, because the linguistic connections were deducible from prediction. I controlled the Kushana Hypothesis by comparing the statements of the classical writers, with historical, linguistic anthropological and toponymic evidence found not only in Africa, but also India and Central Asia (see Appendix). I constructed three testable hypotheses in support of the Kushana theory, and it seems only fair that these variables must be disconfirmed, to falsify the Kushana Hypothesis. Hypothesis 1: If the Meroites used a writing system of non-African origin a tradition mentioning this fact will exist. (Hypothesis confirmed. Classical literature mentions Indian scholars in ancient Meroe.) Hypothesis: 2. If the classical literature mentions Indians who lived in Egypt influencing the Meroites their should be historical evidence relating to this tradition. (Hypothesis confirmed .Classical literature mentions a King who left his country is mentioned in the Jaina text called the Kalakeharya-Kathanaka.) Hypothesis: 3. If Classical literature is true about the Indian origin of the


Gymnosophists Indians will be found living near the Meroites around the time the Meroitic inscriptions appear. (Hypothesis confirmed. Artifacts and coins with Indian inscriptions have been found in Egypt and Ethiopia.) Failure to disconfirm these theorem, implies validity of my prediction. Burbak (2008) attempted to deny a relationship between Meroitic and Tocharian by making claims that were not supported by the evidence. His claims that the length of words was too short, and selected elements associated with Tocharian was not evident in Meroitic have proven to be false, and did not reflect the significant in roads into reading Meroitic made by Abdalla and Hintze (1979). My confirmation of the above variables in the Kushana Hypothesis: 1) the presence of Indians in Africa writing in their own scripts; 2) the presence of Kushana sages in India who may have migrated to Meroe;3) cognate lexical items; 4)cognate verbs and 5) cognate grammatical features; indicates systematic controlled, critical and empirical investigation of the question of Tocharian representing the Meroitic cognate language.
The evidence that the Classical references to an Indian King who conquered the Scythians is supported by the Indian literature, provides external corroboration of the tradition that some of the Meroites were of Indian origin. The presence of Indian traders and settlers in Meroe (and Egypt), makes it almost impossible to deny the possibility that Indians, familiar with the Tocharian trade language did not introduce this writing to the Meroites who needed a neutral language to unify the diverse ethnic groups who made up the Meroite state. In relation to the history of linguistic change and bilingualism, it is a mistake to believe that linguistic transfer had to take place for the Meroites to have used Tocharian, when it did not take place when they wrote in Egyptian hieroglyphics for hundreds of years.


The Classical literature makes it clear that Indians physically settled in the Meroitic Empire. It was these Indians who probably introduced Kharosthi writing and the Tocharian A language. The direct transfer of Tocharian A to the Meroites by Indian scholars would explain why the language of the Meroitic inscriptions are written in Tocharian A . Burbak (2008) failed to illustrate that Tocharian and Meroitic were not related because he did not know that textual and archaeological material indicated that the Classical literature made it clear that Indians lived in the Meroitic empire. This provided evidence that Indians physically introduced Tocharian and the Kharosthi script to the Meroites. The physical transfer of Tocharian and Kharosthi by the Gymnosophists would explain why a specific Kushana language: Tocharian A was used to write Meroitic.

My research into Kushana or Tocharian has led me to recognize that this language was probably used as a lingua franca or trade language in Central Asia by the diverse peoples living there in an intense bilingual environment (Winters 1996a, 1996b). Winters (1991,1998) has illustrated how the Greek and Slavic terms in Tocharian were loanwords, absorbed by Tocharian after the Greek conquest of Bactria. This borrowing pattern was consistent with the spread of the Greek language into Bactria by a small elite group of warriors.The classical and Egyptian sources make it clear that Upper Nubia and the Sudan was inhabited by numerous tribes. The possible early use of Kushan\Tocharian as a trade language made it an ideal candidate for use by the Meroitic elites who ruled an empire that was made up of many diverse ethnic groups as the language for literate Meroites The evidence is clear Meroitic was a lingua franca that allowed the diverse people of the


Meroitic Empire to communicate in a common language. I have never argued that the Kushites abandoned their native language or that Meroitic was spoken anywhere except in the Meroitic Sudan. I have argued, and supported with evidence the fact that the Kushites. never wrote their inscriptions in a Kushite language. They used lingua francas to unite the diverse speakers in the Napatan and Meroitic civilizations first Egyptian and later Meroitic. This is supported by the abundance of Kushite documents written in Egyptian before the introduction of Meroitic. the Napatans and Meroites wrote their inscriptions in Egyptian until the Egyptians became a sizable minority in the Meroitic Empire. The Kushites had a tradition of using a non-Kushite language to record their administrative and political religious activities due to the numerous and diverse subjects from different tribes they ruled. Since the Meroitic and Napatan documents were written in Egyptian there is no lexical evidence of the languages spoken by the Kushites and other groups in the inscriptions left by these people. The classical literature makes it clear that there was a connection between the Gymnosophists (of Meroe) and the Indians. The fact that historical events mentioned in the classical sources are found in the Indian literature confirm the view that there were IndianMeroites who could have introduced the Tocharian trade language to the Meroites. And that since Meroitic was probably a lingua franca, the Kushites would not have had to abandon their own native language while using Meroitic for purposes of communication. The discovery that Tocharian is cognate to Meroitic has led to the full decipherment of the Meroitic script. We can now translate Meroitic using Tokharian. This allows us to obtain new information about the Meroitic civilization.


Appendix 1 Central Asian and Sudanic Toponyms.
Using the comparative methods proposed by Hintze we have found that the Meroitic inscriptions are written in Tocharian, a language used as a lingua franca in Central Asia by the Kushana or Kush people. The Kushana people ruled Central Asia and India. Linguist prefer to call the Kushana language Tocharian, after the Sanskrit term for Kushana: Tukara.(Winters 1984, 1989, 1996a, 1996b).


There is structural, morphological and toponymic evidence which support the view that Tokharian is cognate to Meroitic(Winters 1984,1989). There are many Central Asian place names that agree with toponomies in Nubia/ Sudan. Below we list a few of these common toponomies: CentralAsia……………….Sudan Pap………………………………………….Pap Karnak…………………………………Karnak Kukushka…………………………..Kurush Shaur ……………………………………Sarur Kandi………………………………………….Kandi Urban……………………………………….Borgan Khara ……………………………………….KaraKupuri………………………………………….Gabur, Capur These placenames can be compared with the maps of Central Asia and the Sudan supplied published by Dr. Vamos-Toth Bator in his Tamana studies .

BIBLIOGRAPHY/ REFERENCES Abdalla, A.M. 1994. Personal Descriptions in Meroitic Funerary inscriptions. In Hommages a Jean Leclant, (ed.) by C. Berger, G. Clerc & N. Grimal, (Institute Francais d'Archeologie Orientale: Bibliotheque d' Etudes 106/2) pp.1-15.


Abdalla, A.M. 1978. The Meroitic Civilization:Its Mediterranean Contacts and Africaness. In Afrique Noire et monde mediterranean dans L'Antiquité Colloque de Dakar. (Dakar: Université de Senegal) 89-114. Adams, W.Y. 1977. Nubia:Corridor to Africa. London: Penguin Ltd. Adams, W.Y. 1975. "Meroitic North and South". Meroitica 2,Berlin:Akademie-Verlag. Adams, D.Q. (1988). Tocharian Historical Phonology and Morphology. American Oriental Society. Arkell, A.J. 1961. A History of the Sudan from earliest times to 1821. London: University of London Press. Aubin,P. (1996). Evidence for an Early Nubian Dialect in Meroitic Inscriptions: Phonological and Epigraphic Considerations. Meroitic Newsletter, pp.16-39. Adams, D.Q. 1984. The Position of Tocharian among the other IndoLanguages. Journal of the American Oriental Society 104: 395-402. ___________. 1995. Mummies. The Journal of Indo-European Studies 413. Bagchi, P.C. 1955. India and Central Asia. Calcutta: National Council of Education. Blazelc, Vaclav. 1988. Tocharian Linguistics during the last 25 years. Archiv Orientalni 56:76-81. Bonfante, G. 1987. The relative position of the Indo-European languages. Journal of IndoEuropean Studies 15 (1&2): 77-80. Chang, K.C. 1987. The Archaeology of ancient China. Yale University Press. 23 (3&4): 399European

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