Origin of Dravidian languages

Sat Feb 28 17:28:48 UTC 1998

Tholan, the legend says, served the court of Kulasekaravarman.
Kulacekara Alvar belonged to Kerala. 9th century?
His paasurams in Naalaayira Divya Prabandham (Tamil) are famous.
Sanskrit Mukunda maala is ascribed to him.

> From Ambalakkaad, Jesuits printed only Tamil books, and NOT
Malayalam books, as far as I know. I am sure the correct info
can be got from Katherine Smith Diehl's recent book on first
Indian printing (1996).

Two references may be of use to your linguistic queries:
1) K. Raghavanpilla, Caldwell and A. R. Rajarajavarma on
Malayalam grammar, 1996. (book)

2) B. Gopinathan Nair, The treatment of Malayalam in comparative
Dravidian studies: An overview
Int. jl. Dravidian Linguistics, Trivandram, 14, 2, p. 246-262, 1985

N. Ganesan
Can you give some textual examples of this? I am really curious.

According to Dr. K. N. Ezhuthachan of The University of Kerala, author =
"The history of the grammatical theories in Malayalam", "Even though =
the West-
coast dialect of Tamil had some special characteristics, it seems they =
not so pronounced as to become a distinct language until the social and
political changes, combined with the geographical factors, made Kerala
separate from the Tamil land". The political events which precipitated =
development of a separate Malayalam identity were the prolonged =
Coza-Cera wars
of 10-11th centuries which led to considerable social changes.

Even Classical Tamil poems contain almost Malayalam-like constructions. =
In a
poem by nakkIrar of Madurai of pANTiya country praising a person of =
country, (puRa.395) we find the following.

pazam cORRup pukavu aruntip
putal taLavin2 pUccUTi
arip paRaiyAl puL Oppi
aviz nellin2 ariyal Aruntu
nIrkkOzi kUppeyarkkuntu
akal aLLal puL irIiyuntu

(cORRu =3D rice, pukavu =3D food, Aruntu - (will) consume, =
kUppeyarkkuntu =3D (will)
call, irIiyuntu - (will) leave)

According to K. N. Ezhuthachan, even at the time of Lilatilakam, 14th =
A.D., the low caste people of Kerala used in their common speech forms =
vantAn2 (he came), iruntAn2 (he sat), etc., just as the people east of =
Western Ghats did. So he says, "This makes the surmise probable that =
phonological and morphological changes which became the characteristic
features of KeralabhASA first started in the higher strata of the =
society and
spread gradually to the lower." Apparently temple story-telling was =
called by
the term nampiyAr Tamil.

The critical thing was the politico-social identity switch. After all, =
best Tamil nationalist poet hailed not from the present Tamilnadu but =
present Kerala. iLaGkO aTikaL's epic is infused with a common identity =
Tamilness. KulacEkara AzvAr also affirms his Tamil identity.

Joseph Kolangaden in "Tamil-Malayalam inter-relations: a linguistic =
study" in
Malayalam Literary Survey, mentions that "Probably with our first =
satirist, Thola popularising the Chera dialect of Tamil, =
distinction became noticeable." He does not give the date for Thola.  =
He also
says, "Even as late as the advent of the European missionaries, Lingua
Malabarica was not much distinct from Tamil as the Jesuits published =
Ambazhakad a series of books which to us today sound more Tamil than
Malayalam". (I do not know if these books are really Tamil or =
Malayalam. Of
course, the term Malabar also referred to Tamil as shown by the first =
of any Indian Language authored by a European, Fr. Henrique Henriques' =
Arte de
Lingua Malabar.)


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