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

Thu May 28 04:50:12 UTC 1998

At 06:38 PM 5/27/98 -0200, you wrote:
>Replies to msg 26 May 98: indology at (DEVARAKONDA VENKATA
> nVNI> At 07:31 PM 5/25/98 EDT, S.Palaniappa wrote:
>>The hyper-corrective behavior Krishnamurti mentions can be expected from a
>>person with literacy in Sanskrit and comparative/historical linguistic
> nVNI> This is not correct. It is the illiterate person who is
> nVNI> afraid that he is pronouncing a word wrongly that tries to
> nVNI> hypercorrect.
>Not necessarily so. See e.g. an article by Wm. Labov, "Hypercorrection by
the lower middle class as a factor in linguistic change", in Wm. Bright,
_Sociolinguistics_ (The Hague/Paris. 1966), pp. 84-113.
>It is precisely due to an awareness of what sort of thing is correct (but
not quite understanding why) that hypercorrection can occur at all. Literacy
actually increases this (plain 'literacy' is not the same as 'learning' and
>Robert Zydenbos
>zydenbos at

A learned man knows the correct form of the word and he does not
try to hypercorrect. Yes, semiliterate also hypercorrect. But it
does not mean that illiterate do not hypercorrect. They get a vague
sort of idea of correct speech by listening to educated people and
by trying to imitate them hypercorrect. Taking a concrete example
the following is actually found on a signboard

        Sri ...... nAdhazwarabhRMdaM

which actually should be

        Sri ...... nAdaswarabRMdaM

Replacing 'd' and 'b' by 'dh' and 'bh' is done because the person thinks
that aspiration which is more prevelent in educated people's speech to
be the correct form. Similarly replacing 's' with 'z'. Most probably
an illeterate man dictated this sign to the painter who faithfully
reproduced it. Usually painters  who  paint a number of signboards are
better informed about the correct form of a word and can
do a better job if left to themselves.

Another one is writing 'zAkhAhAra' for 'zAkAhAra' (vegetarian food)
Hyderabad hotels are famous for this hypercorrection. This can be
called the semiliterate hypercorrection. But the customers are
reduced to animals eating tree branches.

On the back of autorikshas you will find hypercorrections galore.

Another new source of hypercorrections is Dooradarsan.



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