Is "Sanskrit" Dravidian ?

Samar Abbas abbas at IOPB.RES.IN
Fri Jun 11 08:53:06 UTC 1999

My suggestion may seem wild, but was based on the following facts:

+ The word `Sanskrit' does not occur anywhere in the Vedas as the name of
  a language.
+ Panini refers to the language he uses as `Chandasa' and not `Samskrta'.
  Hence he was unaware of any language called Sanskrit.
+ Buddha never heard of Sanskrit; he only knew of `Chandas'.

  Prof. Hock has given a good IE derivation : " the Skt. morphemes
_sam-_ 'together, complete(ly)' and _(s)kR-_ 'make, do', [ lead to
Sanskrit = ] 'polished, refined'." However,

+ `together'+`do' = `refined' does not seem to be logical.
  The morphological combination `samskrutam' = `do together', which would
  literally mean `marriage'. `polished' may have been invented later.

 However, if nobody can think of a suitable Dravidian etymology on the
linss of Prof. Hock's IE derivat'n, then I shall have to retract the idea.

AM and UM :
 Prof. Fosse wrote "-am is the Sansk equivalent of Latin -um & Greek -on."

+ `-um' occurring in Greek may represent Mediterranean substratum (which
  is in turn related to Dravidian). A Dravidian substratum in India and
  a similar one in South Europe would have the same result on IE.
  Lahovery has given ample examples of the pervasive Med.substratum in IE.

Only if -um is found in regions where no Dravido-Mediterranean substratum
preceded the Aryan can one say that it is conclusively IE.

 Prof. Thompson has cited important material showing that Vedic has only 5
% Dravidian. However, later Sanskrit has 30-50 % Dravidian. This is one
of the reasons why I consider Sans. and Vedic separate languages. As Prof.
Thompson rightly points out, studies have to be done to elucidate the
transition, whether it was a `quantum leap' or a gradual process.

+ "Sanskrit and Vedic are to each other as English and Old Germanic,
  Sanskrit morphology is IE,      and its vocabulary is Dravidian, while
  English  ---"--------  Germanic, ---------"---------- Romance." - Samar

> " Significantly, the vast majority of the basic lexical and morphological
> elements of Sanskrit is of Indo-European origin," (- Prof. Hock)

I agree with this. However, the morphological and structural similarity
does not extend to the sphere of vocabulary :

 " The Indo-European nature of Sanscrit and Pracrit is mostly evident in
 their structure and morphology, while their vocabulary is LARGELY formed
 of Dravidian and other loanwords."
 - `Pracritic and non-Aryan strata in the vocabulary of S. Patna',
   A.C.Woolner, Sir J.Asutosh Memorial Volume, 1926, cited in N.Lahovary,
   `Dravidian Origins and the West',  Orient Longmans, Bombay 1963.

> " This difference [ of morphemes ] precludes the
> wholesale derivation either of Sanskrit from Dravidian or Austric (Samar
> Abbas's favorite proposal) " ... (Prof. Hock)

 I do not claim that IE or Vedic is derived from Dravidian; I have only
suggested that the word `Sanskrit' may be.


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