Fortunatov's Law and tolkAppiyar's rules

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Fri Jul 3 02:58:21 UTC 1998

To me it looks as if Fortunatov's law, if we take into account Levitt's
finding regarding the splitting of *l, is almost a restatement of Tamil
morphophonemic rules beginning with tolkAppiyam.

For the benefit of those interested, the relevant rules in tolkAppiyam are
given below.


la n2a en2a varUum puLLi mun2n2ar
ta na en2a varin2 _ta n2a AkummE

If t and n join l and n2, they (t and n) become _t and n2.


Na La en2 puLLi mun2 Ta Na en2at tOn2_tum

(If t and n join)  N and L (t and n) become T and N.

Other rules related to this discussion are tol.1.303, tol.1.333, tol.1.367,
tol.1.397, tol.1. 399. One can find a discussion of these rules in "The
Alternation of r and l in Dravidian" by Stephen Hillyer Levitt in Indian
Linguistics, Vol. 50, 1989, p.131-147.

Since Levitt does not connect these rules with Fortunatov's Law, he does not
discuss rule 151.

But he does say, "While this paper does not try to deal in full with the split
in Dravidian which has been referred to here, it should also be noted in this
context in passing that this split is also paralleled in Indo-Aryan by such
interchanges which occur in Pali and the Prakrits as between D, L and l."

S. Palaniappan

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