Tamil words in English

Michael Shapiro hindimcs at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Tue Feb 10 18:00:02 UTC 1998

I suspect the paper in question is "Cereals in South Asian Prehistory: the
Linguistic Evidence." It appeared in ECOLOGICAL BACKGROUNDS OF SOUTH ASIA
PREHISTORY, edited by K.A.R. Kennedy and G. L. Possehl,  Ithaca, N.Y.
South Asia Program, Cornell University, 1975.  Southworth also treats the
same topic in "Lexical evidence for early contact between Indo-Aryan and
Dravidian," (Madhav M. Deshpande and Peter Edwin Hook [eds.], ARYAN AND
NON-ARYAN IN INDIA, Michigan Papers of South and Southeast Asia, 1978, pp.
205, and 222).  Professor Krishnamurti has pointed out that there are some
chronological problems with the proto-Dravidian/IE connection for the
'rice etymology'.  To this I should add that Southworth (at least in the
1978 paper; I haven't seen the 1975 one) adds a Munda factor into the
equation.  Southworth gets his Munda data from a 1973 paper by
Arlene and Norman Zide ("Semantic Reconstructions in Proto-Munda Cultural
Vocabulary 1, Journal of the Linguistics Society of India, 34:1).  What
all of this points to is the difficulty of making unequivocal statements
about the Dravidian origins of the "rice" morpheme.  It is a very
interesting case and the Dravidian data are very suggestive, but not
100% conclusive.  As is the case with words for many food and
agricultural items, ultimate origins are very hard to pin down.

  Michael C. Shapiro                               Phone: (206) 543-4996
  Dept. Asian Languages & Literature               Fax: (206) 685-4268
  University of Washington                         hindimcs at u.washington.edu
  Mail Box 353521
  Seattle, WA 98195-3521

On Tue, 10 Feb 1998, Lakshmi Srinivas wrote:

> A very convincing derivation of Tamil arici etc.. has been given by
> Franklin Southworth in "Proto Dravidian Plant Names" (I do not recall
> the exact title of the paper) printed in the Walter A Fairservis Jr.
> Festschrift, edited by Greg Possehl.
> ---"Dominique.Thillaud"  wrote:
> >
> > >>I am sure it is a Tamil loanword appearing not only in English but
> also in
> > >>other European languages (e.g. Czech ryze via Greek oryza).
> >
> >         'a' --> Gr. 'o' is incredible.
> >         We know in ancient Greek two words for the rice:
> > o'ruza is considered as borrowed from eastern iranian (see afgan
> vriZE)
> > ori'ndEs is considered as borrowed from western iranian (see persan
> birinj)
> > (for "wr" --> Gr. "or", see Schwyzer, Gr.Gr. 1,313, n.2)
> >         Both are probably related to the vedic vrIhi'.
> >         The first greek word give Latin oryza --> Italian rizo and all
> > other western names.
> >         A long time before the Indo-Portuguese ...
> >         It's highly probable that vriZE, birinj, vrIhi are not
> Eurindian
> > but loan words (rice is an eastern plant), nevertheless a link with
> Tamil
> > arici seems phonetically curious.
> >         Regards,
> > Dominique
> >
> > Dominique THILLAUD
> > Universite' de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France
> >
> ==
> Lakshmi Srinivas
> _________________________________________________________
> Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list