`Conversational Sanskrit' vs `Real Sanskrit'

Vidhyanath Rao vidynath at math.ohio-state.edu
Wed Apr 16 02:37:19 UTC 1997

zydenbos at flevoland.xs4all.nl (Robert Zydenbos) wrote:
> It is possible (or likely?) that a parallel, though certainly not cognate,
> construction in the Dravidian languages has contributed to the popularity of
> -tavant, namely the combination of a relative participle with a pronominal
> ending. E.g.: Kannada maa.dida-, or Tamil ceyta-, is the past relative
> participle which means "having done" or "which / who did" (I am now slightly
> simplifying the matter), and Ka. maa.didavanu, Ta. ceytava_n, with the 
> suffixes -vanu and -va_n, mean "he who did", which would be suitably 
> translated into Sanskrit as k.rtavaan.

I don't know Kannada. But in colloquial Tamil, the past tense is not
expressed using participle like forms. The typical formation would be
``vii.t.tukku ppo_n~e'' and not ``vii.t.tukku po_nav~a n~aa''
[~ preceding a vowel indicates nasalization, and corresponds to a
word-final _n following in formal Tamil.] Participles are used in place
of relative claueses and to put emphasis on the subject, but not, AFAIK,
as the typical means of expressing the past tense.

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