Tamil "vEntu" is also a verb

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sun Nov 16 06:07:18 UTC 1997

There is a Tamil word "vEntu"  considered to be a noun and synonymous with
the word "vEntan2" both meaning "king". But "vEntu" is not always a noun.
Consider the following lines from a Classical Tamil Poem.

vATiya mAlai malainta cen2n2iyan2
vEntutozil ayarum aruntalaic cuRRamoTu
neTunakar vanten2.............                       (puRanAn2URu 285.6-8)

A modern commentator Auvai turaicAmippiLLai gives the meaning of these lines
as "As our lord with a withered garland on the head came to the tall house
with the aides including the minister with the rare leadership qualities, who
perform the king's kingly/governing job". Thus "vEntutozil" is translated as
"king's kingly/governing job". Thus the words are taken as a conjoining of
two nouns "vEntu and tozil" in a case context (vERRumaip pUNarcci). But this
seems to be wrong for the following reason. According to tolkAppiyam (1.9.9)

vEntu+tozil > vEntu+t+tozil = vEntuttozil

Since there is no geminate "t" in "vEntutozil", this is not the case in this
poem, and  obviously we do not have a noun and noun conjoining. Instead, what
we have here is a non-past adjectival participle "vEntu" which modifies the
noun "tozil" resulting in the following meaning "the job of
governing/protecting". Thus, we have here evidence of a word "vEntu" meaning
"to govern/protect".

(The absence of a geminate "t" leads to some important results.)

Any comments would be appreciated.


S. Palaniappan

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