linguistics (was: Tamil words in English)

Robert J. Zydenbos zydenbos at BLR.VSNL.NET.IN
Sat Feb 21 08:10:18 UTC 1998

Sn. Subrahmanya wrote:

> 2. Mr. Robert J. Zydenbos
>    YES....there is a similiarity between Northern and Southern
> languages
>    in India.  In fact you can just about do a one to one
> substitution of words and
>    can easily translate sentences. To account for this, linguists
> have come up
>    with their own theories - please ask some of the expert
> linguists on their
>    theories as to how they account for this.
>        naanu  odida pustaka   - kannada
>        mayaa paTitaM pustakaM - sanskrit

This is plainly outrageous and shameless. You are evidently not yet
in a position to touch linguistics, and you should at least first
learn some *basic grammar* (both Sanskrit and Dravidian) before
having the audacity to criticise linguists. Your teacher apparently
did not tell you that 'naanu' is prathamaa vibhakti.h and 'mayaa'
is t.rtiiyaa vibhakti.h (and obviously you have not wondered what
this means regarding the differences between a Dravidian relative
participle and an Indogermanic past passive participle) -- to point
out only the most immediately visible blunder in your composite

> After all,
> India gained independence only 50 years ago and time is needed to
> discard old euro-centric colonial thinking.

This politically ideological thinking (and racism too? ethnically
Indian non-linguists know Indian linguistics better than ethnically
non-Indian linguists, just because they are ethnically Indian?),
bolstered with some fashionable, 'politically correct' buzzwords,
cannot brush aside the heaps of empirical linguistic data which you
refuse to consider. If you have any genuinely scholarly ambitions,
you should know this; so we can safely assume that your intentions
in this 'discussion' are not genuinely scholarly.

> Well I am tired of the disscussion too...

Perhaps you can return to mathematics, about which I hope you are
better informed, instead of insulting the intelligence of people on
an international academic list who have taken the trouble to
seriously learn something about the subjects under discussion.

Please note Dr. D. Wujastyk's cautioning remarks, which I have
quoted earlier. In view of your proven unwillingness to genuinely
learn anything that may upset your ideology (even when a few of the
facts are handed to you on this list), I will right away bow out of
this thread.

Dr. R.J. Zydenbos, D.Litt. etc. etc. in Indology
Mysore (India)

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