Mitanni problem]

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Nov 1 15:04:05 UTC 1998

>There was a series of exchanges in JESHO, when meluhha was also
>related to me_r-kku, west (Tamil).

I think that meluhha and mERku (Tamil for west) are not

mERku is west specifically in Tamil. Not in any
other Dravidian language, I think. Because for Tamilnadu,
it is direction of high elevation. Western ghats is to
the West of Tamilnaadu. mERku comes from mEl (high, up, rising, ..)
So, Tamils coined mERku as direction of rising elevation.

Similarly, kizakku (east in tamil) comes from "kiiz"
which means "low, under". Tamils coined kizakku
for east, because low-lying lands are in TN in the east.
(eg., Kaveri).

Old Tamil words for east and west are kuNakku and kuTakku

For Malayalis, West is not "high or rising" direction.
In fact, Western direction is sloping downward.
That is why they call west at paDiJaaRu (= paTi JaayiRu,
sunset direction) rather than mERku (< mEl, tamil).

The ancient tamil terms for directions is very
well utilized in coining Tamil terms applying
sandhi rules for wind from cardinal directions.
'tal' is wind in Tamil. (I don't know if
it comes from 'taL, taLLu = push'.)

1) wind from east: kuNakku + tal => koNTal
2) wind fron south: teRku + tal => ten2Ral.

Wind from north (vaTakku) is termed vaaTai
and wind from kuTakku is termed kOTai.

Any comments?

N. Ganesan

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