Karnataka, Kannada

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu May 6 10:58:12 UTC 1999

I submit that Both the words, KannaDa and KarnATaka can be traced to
'kannADu', cognate with the Tamil, kal nADu.

By simple sandhi rules, paralleling Tamil grammar,
(eg., val + neRi = van2n2eRi; nal + naTai = nan2n2aTai)
kal + nAdu -> kannADu.

KarnATaka is in the Deccan plateau where boulders, hills,
mountains are plenty. Hence, kannADu (kal nADu) is
'Land of boulders, hilly tracts'. K. A. Nilakanta Sastri's
books have references to inscriptions from Chola and Pandya
times talking of 'kannATTu arasar' (kings of kannADu);
KarnaTaka inscriptions have 'kannADu'. Note that Hassan district
is 'malenADu', cognate with ta. 'malai nADu' (mountainous land).

kalnADu gets sanskritized as karnATaka. The l-r changes are
universal and esp. exist  for Dravidian to Sanskrit changes.
(Eg., cittambalam -> citambaram). This 'kalnADu -> karnATaka' must
have happened very early. Even CilappatikAram has usages
like karunATar (a Tamil form for karnADigas);
Kamban uses 'karunaTar' in his epic.

In sangam tamil texts, chieftains of the 'Land of mountains'
esp. in the kuRinji landscape poems, are referred routinely
as 'kal nADan' (Man of the mountainous lands). I think
the KuRinji landscape was a proud possession and hence, the
land was named as 'kal nADu' (=kannADu). The language of
the kannAdu came to be known as kannaDa.

Dr. Zydenbos, is there anything for or against this theory?
What do KannaDa scholars write about the names, KannaDa and KarnATaka?

N. Ganesan

PS: Among 100s of instances, I only cite a few quotes from
sangam texts on 'kal nADu' (=kannADu) and 'kal nADan'.
Here kannADu refers to places within today's Tamil Nadu,
however the idea in kannaDa and karnATaka are the same,
I think.

1) kuraGku oruGku irukkum peruG *kal nATan2*
2) peruG *kal nATa* nI nayantOL kaN E
3) peruG *kal nATan2* kENmai in2iyE (aka.)
4) peruG *kal nATa* piriti Ayin2
5) peruG *kal malai nATan2* pENi varin2E
6) tin2ai kiLi kaTiyum peruG *kal nATan2*
7) ciRu veL aruvi peruG *kal nATan2ai*
8) viN tOy *kal nATan2* (kali.)
9) perug *kal vaippin2 nATu* kizavOyE (puRam.)
10) kazi uppu mukantu *kal nATu* mukakum
11) tuJcu kaLiRu eTuppum tam peruG *kal naTTu* E (naR.)
12) ollen2a izitarum aruvi nin2
     *kal uTai nATTu* cellal teyyO (aiGkuRu.)
13) peruG *kal nal nATTu* umaN olikkut (puRa.)
14) *kal uTai nal nATTu* puL in2am (aiG.)
15) pEr an2pin2aiyE, peruG *kal naaTa*
16) *kal kezu nATan2* kENmai
17) tin2ai piTi uNNum peruG *kal nATa*
and so on.

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