2022 Volume 127, p343-358
Late Sanskrit lardayati 'to load' is probably not inherited from a PIE root *lerd-, as has recently been argued by Kaczyńska (2020), but can be explained as a denominative of *larda- 'load, cargo'. This noun *larda- could be a borrowing from Bactrian *λιρτο /lirtə/ 'load, cargo' < Old Iranian *dr̥šta-. This etymology fits well with the fact that lardayati is phrased together with sthora- 'pack-animal', likely another instantiation of the Iranian collocation of *staura- 'animal' and *√darz- 'to load', for which I discuss evidence from Niya Prakrit, Parthian and Khotanese. In addition, further support is drawn from the independent historical evidence for the domination of the main trade routes of Central and South Asia by the Kuṣāṇa dynasty in the first centuries of our era.
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