Is "Sanskrit" Dravidian ?

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Thu Jun 10 10:27:41 UTC 1999


Samar Abbas wrote:

> Is the word "Sanskrit" itself of Dravidian etymology ?
> The word "samskrutam" has the suffix -am, indicating a Dravidian origin of
> the word. Is it possible to trace a Dravidian origin for the prefix
> samskr- ? Perhaps, Shimoga (Kann. place), Shanmugam (Tam. name), Shan
> (Burmic) are the sources.

Samar, why don't you get yourself Colson's Teach Yourself Sanskrit? Then you
would immediately know that "Sanskrtam" has nothing to do with Dravidian, and
that the ending -am is a very common ending for skt. nouns.

> Since 30-50 % of the words of Sanskrit are of Dravidian etymology anyway,
> it would not be surprising if the word `Sanskrit' itself was of Dravidian
> origin.

Claiming that Sanskrit is of Dravidian origin undoubtedly creates happiness in
the South. However, there is no foundation for such a claim. The similarities
between Sanskrit and Dravidian languages can be explained as area linguistic
features. All this has been discussed on Indology on a regular basis and you
should consult the archives. You might also want to read an introduction to
comparative Indo-European linguistics, and you might also want to read Dixon's
The Rise and Fall of Languages (a short, but informative book).

Best regards,

Lars Martin

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