Bishop caldwell, the founder of the comparative study of the Dravidian languages, was interested not only in the relationship of those languages among themselves, but also in the question of their connection with other families of languages outside India. His investigations in this direction led him to believe that the Dravidian languages are connected with what he called the “Scythian” family of languages. By the term “Scẏthian” Caldwell referred mainly to the Ural-Altaic languages, though occasionally using the word in a rather wider sense than that. Within the “Scythian” family he held that it was possible to define the position of Dravidian even more closely, by attaching it to the Finno-ugrian group in particular. The evidence which Caldwell offered in support of this theory consisted partly of grammatical features which he held to be common to the languages concerned, and partly of comparisons of vocabulary. The former are to be found scattered through the body of his work, and the latter are collected together in an appendix entitled “Glossarial Affinities”. In presenting this theory Caldwell was quite modest in his claims; he admitted the possibility of being misled by accidental assonances, and claimed rather to have pointed the way to the possibilities of future research than to have demonstrated the relationship with any finality.
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