Language name, people's name, and place name (was Re: Vital Statistics)
Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Mon Jan 10 13:57:47 EST 2000
In a message dated 1/9/00 3:41:19 PM Central Standard Time,
abhinav at DEL3.VSNL.NET.IN writes:
> > In the case of Tamil, the language name is primary and the place
> > name and the people's name are derived names.
> Can we be really sure, this seems more like, who came first chicken or the
Yes, we can be sure. Dravidian linguistic principles make it very clear there
is no chicken and egg problem with respect to the language name Tamil.
This leads me to a general question. How common is the primacy of language
name vis-a-vis people's name or even place names in IA, IE, Munda, Semitic
traditions or across the globe?
I think at a time when movements of people result in diverse people coming
together, an identity based on language use may lead to easier assimilation
than race-oriented or geography-oriented labels? Has this been studied? In
that respect, I would like to know if there are other situations where other
groups came together in pre-historic periods using a language-based identity
such as the Tamil identity.
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