A question on Vedic vANa - 1
Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Sun Aug 22 19:21:21 UTC 1999
Related to my research into the ancient Indian bards, I would like some
information from Vedic/IE experts. However, before I pose the question, I
need to present some information which I shall split into two posts to stay
within the size limit.
I am interested in the relationship, if any, between DEDR 4068 (Ta. pAN song,
melody; pANar caste; praise, flattery; pANan2 an ancient class of Tamil bards
and minstrels; pANi song, melody, music; pANu song, paN music; paNNu (paNNi-)
to sing in an instrument (as a tune), tune, tune musical instruments; paNNal
tuning the lute strings according to the required melody;
) and Vedic vANa'
(instrumental) music, voice; vA'NI music, sound, voice; plur. choir of
singers or musicians. Kuiper in his Rigvedic Loanwords, IJDL, v.21, no.2, p.
18-19, says "The restriction of these words to music is not favourable to the
proposed connection with bhan- "to say" (PMW 32, cf. Tam. paNi - to say,
speak, declare"). Note Tam. paNNu- "to sing in an instrument, as a tune"". In
his Aryans in the Rigveda, Kuiper reiterates his view that bANa, vANa, and
vANI do not have a plausible IA etymology (p. 79-80). He also says "A
development v>b within Indo-Aryan can probably be excluded for Vedic in
general. A few cases with a secondary b in zaunaka are due to a less correct
transmission of this text and may stem from a much later (post-Vedic) period.
Cf.6.16.1 AbayU'-, 10.2.17 bANa'- 'music'
.The general tendency at all times
was to 'sanskritize' words with the foreign phoneme b by changing it to v or
We have an interesting parrallel in the historical period in the south of
India which is given in the second part of this discussion.
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