Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Fri Feb 4 22:58:25 UTC 2000

I would like to note the following discussion by Asko Parpola in his "The
Pre-Vedic Indian Background of the S'rauta Rituals" in "Agni: The Vedic
Ritual of the Fire Altar" ed. by Frits Staal.

Discussing the etymology of the word kinnara, he says, "The second part of
the compound could be the Proto-Dravidian root Jaral, naral, naraku, etc.,
meaning "to sound, make noise, hum (as many voices), grumble, groan, roar,"
which is attested in all branches of Dravidian from Tamil to Malto (DED
2365). In Tamil we have from this root naralvu 'sounding, roaring, high
pitch, vibrating sound of a lute', and narampu 'the string of the harp (yAz)'
(also 'the particular tune appropriate to the string' and 'stringed
instrument'), which is attested very many times in Old Tamil texts, including
the most ancient one (tolkAppiyam, ez.33; akam 109.2; see also Subrahmanian
1966, 479, and Tamil Lexicon, s.v.). Another possibility is the
Proto-Dravidian word Jarampu, narampu 'nerve, sinew, vein' (DED + DEDS + DEN
no. 2364, attested from Tamil to Malto), from which we have forms like
Kannada naravu, nara, Tulu nara, Telugu naramu, Kolami naram, Gondi naral,
naram. Sinews have been used as bow and harp strings, and so the former item
seems to be derived from the word."

He also derives the Old Babylonian word "kinnArum"  from this Dravidian nara.

Considering Narada's association with music, I would ask IE/IA experts if the
name cannot be derived from Dravidian nar-.

S. Palaniappan

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