Fortunatov's Law and tolkAppiyar's rules

Vidhyanath Rao vidynath at MATH.OHIO-STATE.EDU
Thu Jul 9 14:01:31 UTC 1998

> There is no need for doubling of _t or T all the time. In fact, I had shown
> examples where the doubling does not occur. They were:
> iyal + tEr > iya_tEr,  nAL + tO_tum > nATO_tum
> Moreover, from the point of view of pronunciation, Sanskrit intervocalic -T-
> is closer to Tamil -TT- than Tamil intervocalic -T- which is closer to
> Sanskrit -D-.

I am unable to look at comprehensive lists of Sanskrit borrowings
from Dravidian at the moment (because the sources are far away or
checked out of the library). I would appreciate it if someone can
tell me if this implication are justified by such borrowings. [Because
Prakrits voice intervocalic stops, borrowing in reverse are not conclusive.
Learned borrowings are affected by writing and so I don't want use
them. to claim that Tamil _t_t/.t.t cannot be borrowed as just .t.]

> [...] But  there is an important difference
> between these consonants and t. k, c, and p remain as they are. But t changes
> either into _t or T.

This can be split into two rules: (1) l=>_t and L=>.t before stops and
(2) retroflexes absorb dentals and alveolars, and alveolars absorb
dentals. (2) is needed for nasals anyway: ka.n + niir => ka.n.niir.
(2) applies to IA also, but (1) does not, except for the strange fact
that lt/ld are missing except for one occurance. [t+l and n+l do
occur in Sanskrit where they become ll and nasalized l+l.]
It is this difference that needs to be explained.


 That is why tolkAppiyar gave special rules 1.150 and
> 1.151 to deal with the dentals. So, there is a qualitative difference between
> other hard consonants and t in the beginning of the second word.
> Regards
> S. Palaniappan

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