request for reading literature.

Robert Zydenbos zydenbos at BLR.VSNL.NET.IN
Wed Dec 30 16:35:29 UTC 1998

N. Ganesan wrote:
> K.V. Zvelebil's _Dravidian Linguistics: An Introduction_, 1990
> "Dravidian speakers came from the
> West by the _same_ route or at the _same_ time. Some may have come
> through Afghanistan via the mountain passes and river valleys; others
> may have come along the coast, possibly even by sea." (p. 47).
>                                ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>  Does this have anything to do with David McAlpin's
>  Elam - Brahui - South Dravidian theory. Recently,
>  Mr. Karp informed of Prof. J. Braun's work on the
>  relations between Elamite and Dravidian.

No, Zvelebil says his hypothesis is based on "the frequent occurrence of
the elements *ko-/koo- or *ku-/kuu- (DEDR 2178), (DEDR 1864) as well as
*mal-ay (DEDR 4742) in the names which various Dravidians used to
identify themselves." (the same book, p. 50).

>  Interestingly, Tamils in Sri Lanka are called Elamites!
>  (Eelam). (cf. Sangam Tamil texts).

We'd have to see what the 'Elam' in Iran means.

>  For example, expansion from South India into Southeast Asia,
>  SaatavAhanas, Pallavas, Cholas, ... This shows seafaring abilities
>  of Dravidians.

I dimly recall that someone had reported a Tamil inscription from New
Zealand, but I don't have the reference here, nor can I say whether the
identification is correct. And there is the hypothesis of a relationship
between Dravidian and Japanese. When I first heard this on NHK (the
Japanese shortwave radio) and mentioned it to Zvelebil, he was utterly
skeptical (he presumed it was just another kookie theory), but several
years down the road, in that book from Pondicherry, he has devoted a
short chapter to the matter. But all this is still in a hypothetical


Dr. Robert J. Zydenbos
Mysore (India)
e-mail zydenbos at

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