Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Mon Mar 15 04:08:56 UTC 1999

At 19:06 -0500 3/11/99, Chandrasekaran, Periannan wrote:

>> From: Martin Gansten
> kalaapa ..... meaning 'strife, quarrel, fight' etc.

>Cologne Online Tamil Dictionary:
>otl kalApam kalApam 02 rising, disturbance, uproar, raid, invasion ...
>>otl kALapam kALapam battle, fight, warfare


Kalyanaraman wrote:
>>The transform p~~h is common in Kannada. It will be of interest to trace
>> the old forms of kalaham = disurbance, fight...

however, this Kannada change is occurs only c. 900/1000 AD (Drav.
specialists please tell us) .  The Skt word kalaha, however,  is attested
already in the Upanisads, c. 500 BCE... and Skt kalaha thus cannot come
from Kannada.

And Burrow -Emeneau's DEDR  1303 Tam. KalaGku, kalApa 'to be stirred up,
agitated, confused', etc. has only the Kan. entries kala(G)ku 'perturb'
etc.,   ... kaluhe 'turbidness', not kalaha.

If there is a connection it must be via another Drav. language: for example
Gondi kallih, Kurukh xalaxnA 'disturb, confuse' etc." (DEDR 1303)

Or we must suppose a derivation from the onomatopoetic  word DEDR1302 Tam.
kala-kala 'to reiterate in sound ..." which is not the same as quarrel;
nevertheless see: 1302  Tam. kallal 'disturbance, ...tumult...noise due to
many  peope speaking at the same time'.

Cf.also Dominik's
> "challapalla" in Hindi .... after entry 1096 (kalaapam: confusion,
>quarrel) DED (1 ed) has:
 >  1101 Ta. kalipali, kalipili uproar, disturbance, quarrel, wrangle.
which is a comparable, though not related   onomatopoetic case.

None of which is entirely satifactory for an Up.  time word kalaha-
Perhaps the Dravidian specialists can enlighten us here?

Turner 's CDIAL 2922 returns it only from Mahabharata, and compares Prakrt,
and from Panjabi and Nepali to Marathi and Sinhala; but note that the word
even occurs in Nuristani (Kafiri): kelE, keele (here, e= schwa, E = e).
Should we suppose a Drav. origin of the word in those isolated languages
as well?

Mayrhofer EWA (new ed. 1986-1996, of  his etym. dict. of Skt) vol. I p. 321
says :
kalaha-- Up.+, kalahin- GRhyaSUtra, Up., "not explained";
and refers to older Drav. and Munda explanations, in part onomatopoetic.

In addition, note for example Mundari kal-kalAo 'to make a noise'
Note also that Kashmiri  has a 'reduplication',  kolakol "uproar", so
typical for onomatopoetica from Burushaski to Munda to Tamil (not to forget
the two Vedic types bal-bal,kara-kara).

If the "root" of these words is onomatopoetic, there is little chance to
pin down the exact source. In addition, the texts/languages in question are
first attested at different times : Up. 500 BCE, Tamil begin of CE, Munda
and Kafiri only for the past 100 years or so. --  However, since similar
words (kala-) occur in all great language families of S. Asia, one may
suppose an old S.Asian expression,taken over into all languages concerned.
-- Pretty useless in case of an onomatopoetikon.


Last point : if kala- is onomatopoetic, the Tamil etc word kalApa 'peacock
feather/tail ' may, just may be a loan translation from Munda where
mara('k) 'peacock' belongs to the root  'to cry'.

Michael Witzel                          Elect. Journ. of Vedic Studies
Harvard University                  www1.shore.net/~india/ejvs
my direct line (also for messages) :  617- 496 2990
home page:     www.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/mwpage.htm

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