Thoughts on Sanskritization

Fri May 9 23:00:56 UTC 1997

                 Re: Thoughts on Sanskritization

Dr. P. Narendran wrote about the absence in 1960s
of any protest for Hindi in Kerala as opposed to Tamil
Nadu. I think this difference of opinion exists
for atleast 5/6 centuries in the neighboring states.

Tamil always has 12 vowels and 18 consonants
called as soul(uyir) and mey(body). All the phonemes
arising from consonant-vowel combinations are called 
uyirmey or living letters.

(12 vowels)              a aa i ii u uu e ee ai o oo au

(18 consonants)    k ng c nj T N t n^ p m y r l v z L R n


Tamil has imported only s, sh, j and h from grantha letters.
That too sparingly used in writing. eg. mainly for  spelling
Sanskrit words (Tyagaraja's Telugu kritis in tamil script or 
Sanskrit sloka books from Ramakrishna Math). It does not have 
the varga letters for k (kh, g, gh),
c, T, t, p. Tamil resistance to include
these additional characters is because it would lead to excessive use
of Sanskrit words and native Tamil/Dravidian words will face extinction,

Ezhuttaccan changed this in Malayalam and made the varga letters 
of hard consonants part and parcel of Malayalam alphabet. 
That is why he is called 'Father of Alphabet' - Ezhuttaccan.

I would think this aspect of Malayalam language and
convergence towards Indo-Aryan has a lot to do with 
the observed non-resistance.

N. Ganesan

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