Date of Jyotisa Vedanga

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Thu Mar 23 20:05:03 UTC 2000

On Wed, 22 Mar 2000 15:22:55 +0100 Koenraad Elst <koenraad.elst at PANDORA.BE>

<<Why so little Dravidian in religious and astronomical Sanskrit

What else can one expect when one language replaces another? Look at the
names for weekdays. In Tamil, five of the seven days have Dravidian names.
Other Dravidian languages could have even fewer. Even in Tamilnadu, when it
comes to some religious observance on Mondays, it is called cOmavAra
(somavAra) viratam. If eventually cOmavAra usage prevails over tiGkaL
kizamai, one cannot say, Tamils never had a word for Monday. Same goes for
speakers of other Dravidian languages. In Tamilnadu in India, the common word
for "week" is IA vAram but in Tamil Eelam, the traditional Tamil region of
Sri Lanka, the Dravidian word kizamai survives. If you look at Tamil lexical
works, you can find Dravidian names for the asterisms. Just to give some
examples, iralai, aTuppu, aRumIn2, vaiyam, mummIn2 are respectively the names
of the first five asterisms. A CT work calls anurAdha by the Tamil term
"muTappan2ai" (bent palm). But today you will not find anybody using the
Dravidian names.

I have discussed in the past that the IA terms sUtra, tantra, tantu are IA
translations of Dravidian concepts.

<<Anyway, the theory that the IVC and its astronomy were Dravidian is now
being abandoned even by prominent opponents of any "Vedic Harappa" theory,
who have installed "para-Munda" and "language X" in its place.>>

I think for the present discussion, it is immaterial whether IVC spoke
Dravidian or para-Munda or both. All we have to consider is that the language
used during the original astronomical observation need not have been IA.

As for Dravidian's role in this whole Aryan/Non-Aryan debate is concerned,
nobody seems to notice that Dravidian specialists are conspicuous by their
absence. If I am not mistaken, among the participants in this Aryan/Non-Aryan
controversy, even those  academics who use Dravidian materials are primarily
IA specialists. (I am willing to be corrected on this.) As Witzel and others
had already noted, much more lexical work needs to be done on the Dravidian
side to bring it up to the level of work in IA. We need more open-minded
scholars from different linguistic backgrounds working together  before one
can conclude one way or other.

S. Palaniappan

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