Etymon: paTTaN, pattan, patan

Ramalingam Shanmugalingam AppuArchie at AOL.COM
Fri Nov 21 13:43:58 UTC 1997

Greetings Indologists,

In a message dated 97-11-20 15:58:41 EST, you write:

<< How does one classify a word as Aryan or Dravidian ??

       Dr. S. Ilakkuvanar in his book, Thokappiyam in English with Critical
Studies, refers to A Comparative Grammar of Dravidian Languages by Dr.
Calswell. "Dr. Calswell lays some conditions for deciding the nativity of the
words to which they belong. They are as follows.
      1. When the word is an isolated one in Sanskrit without a root and
without derivatives, but is surrounded in the Dravidian languages with
collateral, related or derivative words.
       2. When Sanskrit possesses other words expressing the same idea whilst
the Dravidian tongues have the one in question alone.
       3. When the word is not found in any of the Indo-European tongues
allied to Sanskrit, but is found in every Dravidian dialect, however rude.
       4. When the derivation which the Sanskrit lexicographers have
attributed to the word is evidently a fanciful one, whilst Dravidian
lexicographers deduce it from some native Dravidian verbal theme of the same
or a similar signification.
       5. When the signification of the word is the Dravidian languages is
evidently radical, physiological whilst the Sanskrit signification, is
metaphorical or only collateral.
       6. When native Tamil and Telugu scholars, notwithstanding their high
estimation of Sanskrit, as the languages of the Gods and the mother of all
literature, classify the word in question as a purely Dravidian one.
       When any of these reasons is found to exist, and more especially when
several or all of them coincide, I concieve we may safely conclude the word
in question to be Tamilian, not a Sanskritic derivative."

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