Dravidian/Tamilian? (was Re: Etymon: paTTaN, pattan, patan)

Ramalingam Shanmugalingam AppuArchie at AOL.COM
Sat Nov 22 14:04:06 UTC 1997

In a message dated 97-11-22 03:13:36 EST, Jacob wrote:

<< I was under the impression that the original poster was quoting Caldwell
 himself. I thought the term Dravidian was coined by Caldwell in his com-
 parative Dravidian grammar (1st ed. in 1856?) from (Sanskrit) draviDa,
 which itself was somehow related to damila? Is that correct?
The 6 conditions are attributed to Dr. Caldwell and the last line is a quote
from my primary source.

As far as the word Dravidian is concerned, my source is an article in Chapter
IV The Early Dravidians by Prof. John R. Marr in the Book A Cultural History
of India, Edited By Prof. A. L. Basham and I quote:

"Sanskrit sources have Dravidi and Damili and later Dramida and Dravida, the
immediate sources of our 'Dravidian'. It seems likely that all these words
are to be connected ultimately with a non-Indo-Aryan word, possibly in the
form in which we have it today, namely, TAMIL. The last sound of this word, a
retroflex affricate, is one peculiar to one or two languages in the south of
India, and has been dispensed with in two of the main ones, Telugu and
Kannada. Clearly, Greek and Sanskrit had difficulties with it, and did their
best, as shown above."

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list