linguistics (was: Tamil words in English)

Raveen Satkurunathan tawady at YAHOO.COM
Wed Mar 15 18:12:07 UTC 2000

On , Vidyasankar Sundaresan <vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM> wrote:

>>> I (and many other Indians) personally find that Kannada and Telugu
>>> so similiar to
>>> other north-Indian languages that I refuse to believe that they
>>> belong to different language families until some concrete evidence
>>> that can be independently
>>> verified is offered.

>>"similar to other north-Indian languages"? I hope there is a typo
>>there. There are heaps of concrete evidence.

>I shouldn't presume to speak for someone else, but I think this was no

>For many Kannada and Telugu speakers, saying that these languages are
>similar to north Indian languages, and that they are allied to Sanskrit,
>serves as a way of setting themselves apart from Tamil and Tamil
>speakers. Since Sanskrit is popularly thought to be older than any other
>language, it also serves as a means of suggesting that Kannada and
>Telugu are somehow older than Tamil.

>No serious linguistic argument this, but a political one. But then, they
>are caught between a rock and a hard place, as the Americans say
>nowadays. Most Tamilians revel in their Dravidian "other"-ness, while
>most Indians north of Belgaum consider themselves fair-skinned Aryans.

Not the politically "aware" Dalits, Tribals and some instances the OBC's

>The fact that Tamil politicians have appropriated the word "Dravida"
>means that non-Tamil south Indians want to downplay their own
>associations with things Dravidian, and to align themselves with things

Not just native Kannada and Telugu speakers but also "many" native Malayalam
speakers also believe that their "Mula Basha" is Sanskrit not Tamil and are
enraged when confronted with 'evidence" which is most of the time brushed aside
as western "propaganda". This notion that all languages are derived from
Sanskrit is not a modern development in India but has its origin in many Purans.

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