Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2007 October 26

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October 26[edit]

question about possible connections between Meluhha, Moluccas (and maybe other words like Malay, latin mal, Moloch, etc?)--taken from Meluhha talk page[edit]

Meluhha-Malaku question

Question: Could "the Moluccas", that is, "Maluku", be derived from Meluhha? Maybe because Meluhhan settlers to Maluku named it that just as English settlers gave North American places English names. Or because Meluhha means port. These two possible reasons blend together, I know. Could Meluhhans also have settled Kush and Kush then was sometimes called Meluhha? Richard L. Peterson 4/17/06

"Maluku" does seem phonetically very similar, but I have a feeling that "Meluhha" has a higher likelihood of being related more closely to ethnonyms and toponyms such as Brahui and Baluchistan, which are both obvious candidates for relics of the defunct Indus Valley civilization. It is especially interesting to me that the */-lah-/ vs. */-luh-/ variation that has been noted by Sumerologists can be found in various modern renditions of the Brahui/Baloch/Baluch name. Of course, all these names are also similar to "Maluku," as you mentioned, as well as to Sanskrit mleccha (barbarian) and Germanic Walha (used to refer to foreign peoples, often those that were under control of the Roman Empire, such as the Welsh of Britain or the Vlachs of Eastern Europe, but it is supposed to be derived from the name of the Volcae).

As for the genetic side of things, it appears that most of the "older" (Paleolithic?) populations of the Malay Archipelago, New Guinea, and Melanesia belonged to Haplogroup K5, Haplogroup K1, Haplogroup M, or Haplogroup C2. The present-day inhabitants of Maluku (the Moluccas) appear to share a great deal of genetic heritage with the Papuan peoples directly to their east, as the Y-chromosomes of a great percentage of the males of populations of both Maluku and Papua New Guinea fall into the aforementioned haplogroups (excluding Haplogroup K1, which appears to be limited to Fiji and the Solomon Islands in eastern Melanesia). All these "Paleolithic Melanesian" haplogroups are peculiar to populations of East Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, and Oceanic Austronesia (i.e., Micronesia and Polynesia), and they have apparently not been detected among any populations of continental Eurasia nor among any indigenous populations of Australia. This uniqueness of the Y-chromosomal complement of Papua-Melanesian-like populations seems to exclude any possibility of their being descended primarily from recent immigrants, and it seems more likely that most of the ancestors of these peoples have been resident in the region of the Malay Archipelago for tens of thousands of years, perhaps as many as 40,000 years. There is, however, a clearly intrusive, recently introduced element in the genetic heritage of many peoples of this region, and this is reflected also in the spread of languages belonging to the Malayo-Polynesian branch of the Austronesian language family. The Y-chromosome haplogroups associated with these Malayo-Polynesian-speaking colonists include Haplogroup O1, Haplogroup O2a, Haplogroup O3, and Haplogroup C*. Haplogroup R1b, Haplogroup G, Haplogroup C3, Haplogroup N, and Haplogroup D1 have also been found among modern speakers of Malayo-Polynesian languages, but it is not clear whether the minor presence of these haplogroups in the region is due solely to recent and historical (i.e., post-Neolithic Asian and colonial European) admixture from continental Eurasia. The high frequency of Haplogroup O2a in some parts of Indonesia may represent an earlier Neolithic influence (proto-Nicobarese? proto-Mon-Khmer? proto-Vietnamese?) from India or Southeast Asia, as this haplogroup is rather typical of Austro-Asiatic populations of mainland South and Southeast Asia, and its distribution is somewhat different from the distributions of Haplogroup O1 and Haplogroup O3, which are much more typical of Austronesian people and East Asians in general.

So, in short, for "Maluku" to have any sort of connection with "Meluhha," it would be necessary for it to have been applied to the island group by one of the populations of Neolithic settlers, either the Malayo-Polynesians or a hypothetical seafaring Austro-Asiatic population. It seems to me that this would only be possible if "Maluku," like Sanskrit "mleccha," had become a synonym for "barbarians" in the language of one of these invading Neolithic populations, and was applied to a region that had a high density of indigenous Papuan-like peoples. Ebizur 06:07, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

Hi, I moved my question and Ebizur's response from the Meluhha talk page. It is interesting to me that Ebizur seems to be suggesting that the M in Meluhha might have changed to a B in words like Baluchistan. If M did change to B in some daughter words, could that have given rise to "Bel" words like Baal and Beelzebub? Or maybe the B pronuncuiation is the original (something like Beluhha) and it was pronounced M by Sumer but B by The Meluhhans themselves?(That may even be what Ebizur had in mind, for all I know) Thanks in advance for any responses and also for Ebizur's thoughtful response.--Rich Peterson

Do you use en, em, or whatever for range of years?[edit]

Can somebody fix the various horizontal lines used in the articles Russian history, 1682–1796, Russian history, 1796–1855, Russian history, 1855–1892, Russian history, 1892–1917, History of Soviet Russia and the Soviet Union (1917-1927), History of the Soviet Union (1927–1953), History of the Soviet Union (1985–1991), History of the Soviet Union (1953–1985), and the related template {{History of Russia}}? Also, don't the first four articles need parentheses? ALTON .ıl 05:28, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

See WP:DASH, en-dash is normally used for year ranges. Only one article was out of the standard, which I moved now; if there are inconsistencies within the text, {{sofixit}} applies :-). As for comma-versus-parentheses, they're ever-competing around the wiki as disambiguator separators. This forum is probably not the right place to debate that—WP:RH is about the right place. Duja 07:08, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for checking it. ALTON .ıl 00:43, 27 October 2007 (UTC)