Caldwell, Dravidian Linguistics (was: : Tamil words in English)

Sreenivas Paruchuri sreeni at KTPSP2.UNI-PADERBORN.DE
Mon Feb 23 10:32:40 UTC 1998

>> S Krishna sagte :

> FYI, Monier Williams was the first one to postulate that all languages
> are derived from Sanskrit( Monier Williams was a great *nationalist*
> scholar, eh?...Arun Shourie assures us that his dictionary was compiled
> to help missionaries translate the bible into samskrt)until
> Alexander Campbell noted something contrary and the Dravidian theo
> ry was postulated much later....

It was not A.D. Campbell, the first, to note something contrary, I believe.
Its F.W. Ellis (?-1819), an eminent linguist and orientalist, who
unfortunately died quite young (accidentally swallowing some unidentified
poison during his visit to RamnaaD).

It is Ellis, in his scholorly: "Note to the introduction" (pp. 1-31) to
AD Campbell's:
        A Grammar of the Teloogoo Language, commonly termed the Gentoo,
        Peculiar to the Hindoos Inhabiting the north eastern provinces
        of the Indian Peninsula (1816, 2nd ed. 1820, 3rd ed. 1848)

who opined, long before Caldwell, that Tamil, Telugu and other cognate
languages of South India donot belong to the stock of the Sanskrit language.

Campbell did unequivocally disagree with Carey's convention in his introd.
to the above book (i-XXi) that the languages of south India had the same
origin of the north. But, (after paying a glowing tribute to Ellis) ADC
considered Ellis a better authority on this. Ellis, in this long note,
clearly anticipates Caldwell. The note has all the elements in germ which
the author might have developed into an authoratative work, if he didnot
die so suddenly.

It is little strange that Caldwell in his monumental work: "A comparative
grammar of the Dravidian .......", did not mention (?) Ellis's note although
he mentioned Campbell's introduction.

Regards,                --Sreenivas

P.S. I don't have access to Caldwell's work off-hand, but remember
that he didn't acknowledge Ellis - as the first person to show the path -.
Pl. correct me!

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list