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Aryans and British India$
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Thomas Trautmann

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780520205468

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520205468.001.0001

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Philology and Ethnology

Philology and Ethnology

(p.131) Chapter 5 Philology and Ethnology
Aryans and British India

Thomas R. Trautmann

University of California Press

This chapter highlights the role of India, particularly the European discovery of Sanskrit, in the development of comparative philology and ethnology in Britain in the early nineteenth century. The role played by the study of Sanskrit in the formation of comparative philology is well known, but its role in the formation of ethnology is scarcely remembered because of the subsequent split and disciplinary formation of ethnology and linguistics. The chapter discusses the Sanskritist-led ethnology of early nineteenth-century British India, and describes the interaction of the British Sanskritists and their Indian teachers. It also comments on the debate concerning the internal composition of the Indian people.

Keywords:   Sanskrit, comparative philology, ethnology, British India, linguistics, British Sanskritists, Indian people

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