Fortunatov's law and tolkAppiyar's rules

Tue Jul 14 20:56:06 UTC 1998

S. Palaniappan on 21-jun-98 wrote:
SP>Levitt discusses how *-l- splits into *-l- and *-L- in South and Central
SP>Dravidian and then uses the euphonic combination rules of Tolkappiyam to
SP>explain the basis of Dravidian forms.

S. Palaniappan on 1-jul-98 wrote:
SP>Actually, if we use a transliteration system based on actual Tamil
SP>pronunciation for intervocalic T, and Stephen Levitt's finding of the
SP>split of Dravidian *l into l and L, we shall end up with Fortunatov's
SP>law as one of the results of applying Dravidian morphophonemic rules to l+d

S. Palaniappan on 2-jul-98 wrote:
SP>To me it looks as if Fortunatov's law, if we take into account Levitt's
SP>finding regarding the splitting of *l, is almost a restatement of Tamil
SP>morphophonemic rules beginning with tolkAppiyam.

There were two followups by V. Rao to which SP answered.
Also, S. Palaniappan on 9-jul-98 wrote:
SP>So I do not see anything unique about the above situation in Sanskrit which
SP>cannot be explained with a Dravidian origin of retroflexion.

  To me, this finding of relationship between Dravidian phonology and
  Fortunatov's law has important implications for the sociolinguistic
  history of India and origin of retroflexion in IA.

  Is the Dravidian origin of retroflexion on a much firmer ground?
  What do Indologists think?

N. Ganesan

I found three references that may be of use.
1) T. Burrow, A reconsideration of Fortunatov's law,
BSOAS, XXXV, 3, 1972, p. 531-545

2) Eric P. Hamp, An amendment of Fortunatov's law,
B. P. Mallik, S. K. Chatterji commemoration volume,
Burdwan, 1981, p. 106-112

3) L. V. Scerba, F. F. Fortunatov (1818-1914) in the History of Science
of language, Historiographia Linguistica,
3, 129-139, 1976

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