Sun Jul 5 18:44:25 UTC 1998

Dr. Jean-Luc Chevillard posted a query on the date of Tolkaappiyam.

Sri. S. Vaiyapuri Pillai was a lawyer who started studying Tamil
on his own. He did not get an M.A or Ph.D in Tamil. His editings
from manuscripts are very good. He is very analytical; However his
dating of early Tamil literature have been questioned by his own students
who did PhD in Tamil or from Western scholars.

All the following quotes are from a recent book:
K. V. Zvelebil, Lexicon of Tamil literature, E. J. Brill, 1995

KZ in p. 732 writes:
"In some of his original works, he [S. Vaiyapuri Pillai] prob.
postdated earlier works of Tamil literature".

KZ in p. 705 on Tolkaappiyam:
"it may be earlier than the classical poems preserved in
the anthologies (J. Filliozat and P. Meile, L'Inde Classique II,
1953, p.97). Scholars pointed out differences between rules of
TolkAppiyam and actual linguistic usage of classical poetry.
It is most prob. that the earliest version, the oldest layer
of Tolkaappiyam is somewhat earlier than majority of
extant classical poems". ...
"The final redaction of Tolkaappiyam including PoruLatikAram
may be prob. fixed as 5th c. A.D. However, it is most prob.
based on much earlier Urtext representing a bardic
grammar of possibly pre-PaaNinian  Aindra school which could
be dated back as far as 100 B.C (or earlier?)"

Two papers that analyze the problems of S. Vaiyaapuriyaar's datings:
1. S. N. Kandaswamy, The Age of TolkAppiyam,
Jl. of Tamil studies, Dec. 1981, 20, p. 37-71

2. K. Sivathamby, Vaiyapuri Pillai as a literary historian of Tamil,
Sri Lanka Jl. of South Asian studies, 1 (New Series) 1986/87,
p. 80-104

Hope V. S. Rajam's dissertation is published.
What does she give as date of Tolkaappiyam. I am sure it
is ealier than SVP's 5th century AD.

V. S. Rajam, A comparative study of two ancient grammatical
traditions: The Tamil Tolkaappiyam Compared with the Sanskrit
Rk-Pratisakhya, Taittiriya-Pratisakhya, Apisali Siksa and
Astadhyayi, PhD doss., U. Penn., 1981

N. Ganesan

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