Inscriptions and Dravidian sound changes "y" > "c" and "y" >

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sat Jun 13 21:57:23 UTC 1998

In a message dated 98-05-28 18:11:00 EDT, you write:

<< In Tamil Nadu you hear this word pronounced both as "sei" and "cei".
 According to the above theory (if I understand it correctly), people who
 have some sort of Sanskrit background would pronounce it as "sei". If this
 is so, what is the explanation for the same verb occuring in the -c- form in
 Malayalam, a language "supposedly" developed by the Namboodhris who of
 course had a strong Sanskrit background. E.g. in Malayalam - Avan ceidhu (he
 did). >>

An exhaustive discussion of the behavior of word-initial  "c" can be found in
the article "Proto-Dravidian *c- and its Developments" by M. B. Emeneau in the
Journal of the American Oriental Society , 1988, vol. 108, p.239-68. It is an
example of true scholarship. In addition to logically presenting his
arguments, Emeneau also, based on updated evidence,  openly acknowledges
problems in views he had in the past, and accepts others' point of view.
Thus, he offers an example of genuine scholarly inquiry of the highest order.

S. Palaniappan

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