Sanskrit, centamiz, and diglossia

Sun Jul 5 13:06:55 UTC 1998

A 12:38 03/07/98 EDT,
 vous (Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan <Palaniappa at AOL.COM>) avez écrit :

>The Sanskrit of pANini said to be of 4th or 5th century BC reflects a
>which seems to have gone farther along the road of language change. But
>tolkappiyam said to be of 1st or 2nd century BC reflects a language which has
>preserved the phonemes (under discussion here) better.


I would be interested to know on what basis
you give such an early date.

I have always thought that S.Vaiyapuri Pillai, editor
of Tamil Lexicon (1924-1936 & 1938-39) argued convincingly
that a big part of Sangam literature pre-dated Tolkappiyam,
(and not the other way round).

He proposes that what we have of Sangam litterature was composed
after the beginning of the Christian Era (and later collected
into anthologies) but that Tolkappiyam was composed
in the second half of 5th century CE.

I know he was somehow BLACK-LISTED in Tamil Nadu
for giving late dates to Tamil classics
[this infuriated some people:
see the introduction to NCBH revised edition (1988)
of his "History of Tamil language and literature" (1956)].

This black-listing may have been part of the reason for Zvelebil
proposing (in the Smile of Murugan, if I remember correctly)
that an Ur-Tolkappiyam  was composed very early
(at a date that might even agree with what you suggest)
while the Tolkappiyam as we have it now was composed
at a date that agrees with some of Vaiyapuri Pillai's arguments.
(As we say in French, I thought he wanted to please
"la chèvre et le chou" [the goat and the cabbage]
at the same time)

I am personnaly interested in matters more a-temporal
(we do not need to know precisely when a text was composed
before we find it interesting or not ...)
but I know that chronology cannot be altogether ignored
(even though some questions can never be answered).
So I would be very glad to know what you find
most authoritative in recent literature
concerning the chronology of Tamil corpora of classical texts.

Best regards


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