linguistics (was: Tamil words in English)
vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Feb 19 20:15:59 UTC 1998
>> I (and many other Indians) personally find that Kannada and Telugu
>> so similiar to
>> other north-Indian languages that I refuse to believe that they
>> belong to different language families until some concrete evidence
>> that can be independently
>> verified is offered.
>"similar to other north-Indian languages"? I hope there is a typo
>there. There are heaps of concrete evidence.
I shouldn't presume to speak for someone else, but I think this was no
For many Kannada and Telugu speakers, saying that these languages are
similar to north Indian languages, and that they are allied to Sanskrit,
serves as a way of setting themselves apart from Tamil and Tamil
speakers. Since Sanskrit is popularly thought to be older than any other
language, it also serves as a means of suggesting that Kannada and
Telugu are somehow older than Tamil.
No serious linguistic argument this, but a political one. But then, they
are caught between a rock and a hard place, as the Americans say
nowadays. Most Tamilians revel in their Dravidian "other"-ness, while
most Indians north of Belgaum consider themselves fair-skinned Aryans.
The fact that Tamil politicians have appropriated the word "Dravida"
means that non-Tamil south Indians want to downplay their own
associations with things Dravidian, and to align themselves with things
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