Tamil words in English

Bh. Krishnamurti bhk at HD1.VSNL.NET.IN
Tue Feb 10 17:11:39 UTC 1998

At 10:58 10/02/98 +0100, you 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 THILLAUD
>Universite' de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France
I have recently submitted a paper on Dravidian languages in an
Encyclopaedia, in which i mentioned the following:
'Robert Caldwell and other scholars have mentioned several words from Greek,
Latin and Hebrew as being Dravidian in origin. The authenticity of many of
these has been disputed. At least, two items seem plausible:(1) Greek
oruza/oryza/orynda "rice" which must be compared with Proto-Dravidian
*war-inci (Tamil-Malayalam-Telugu wari, Parji verci(l), Gadaba varci(l),
Gondi wanji "rice, paddy" [DED 5265]) and not with Tamil arisi (South
Dravidian *ariki) as proposed by Caldwell. Old Persian virinza and Sanskrit
vri:hi "rice" which have no Indo-European etymology pose a problem in dating
the borrowing from Dravidian,  (2) Greek ziggiberis /zingiberis "ginger"
from South Dravidian nominal compound *cinki-we:r ( Proto-Dravidian *we:r
"root" ), Pali singi, singivera, Sansrit sRngavera-; Tamil-Malayalam  in~ci
derived from *cinki  (by loss of *c and by changing -ki to -ci after a front
vowel). A number of place names of South India cited by the Greeek
geographers, Pliny (1st cen.AD) and Ptolemy (3rd cen. AD) end in -our or
-oura which is a place name suffix u:r "town" from Proto-Dravidian *u:r (see
Etymology 1 in Table2)'.
Comments welcome. Bh.K.
Bh. Krishnamurti
H.No. 12-13-1233, "Bhaarati"
Street No.9, Tarnaka
Hyderabad 500 017, A.P.
Telephone (R)(40)701 9665
E-mail: <bhk at HD1.VSNL.NET.IN>

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