River Krishna

Venkatraman Iyer venkatraman_iyer at HOTMAIL.COM
Sat Mar 20 16:03:27 UTC 1999

Dear Prof. Witzel,

There is a South PeNNai river in Tamilnadu. In South Arcot district.
It joins the sea at Cuddalore. Bharatiyar sings on Tamilnadu
rivers as "kAviri, ten2 peNNai, pAlARu, tamiz kaNTatOr vaiyai
nati .."

PeNNai as palm/palmyra tree in Tamil texts is rare. In fact,
I do not know any instances in post 11th century Tamil literature.
Tamil experts can tell this. Even in Sangam texts, PeNNai in the
sense of palmyra are not many. This meaning is already archaic by
Sangam age (2nd cent. BC - 2nd cent. AD). Can this be the reason why
modern Telugu dictionaries or Telugu texts miss this meaning?

porunai, as in taNporunai and Aan2porunai, seems to come from
the verb 'poru' , like aaRu < aRu as pointed out by Prof. Selvakumar.
Even a Sangam poet is named after a famous phrase he employs in
a poem - "kal poru ciRu nurai".

V. Iyer

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