selvakum at VALLUVAR.UWATERLOO.CA
Thu Apr 30 16:45:24 EDT 1998
@I have no statistical studies on which literary Dravidian language has been
@more influenced by Sanskrit than others and in what period. Do you have
@these studies? Or is it your personal intuition? But, MalayaaLam, which was
@the west coasst dialect of Tamil until the 10th century or so is the most
@influenced by Sanskrit. This is not my intuition. It is a fact. Look at
@Raamacaritam or UNNuniilisandees'am. Can you clarify why? Sometimes, the
@Sanskrit influence in the pre-CE was subtle on Tamil. Tolkaappiyam used uyir
@and mey which correspond to praaNa and praaNi, veeRRumai is translated from
@vibhakti, tokai from samaasa, and uvamai is upama; kaappiyam is itself a
@tadbhava of kaavyam whatever Tamil purists may say.
May I know the arguments why the above are from sanskrit to tamil and
not from tamil to sanskrit ?
@tadbhava of kaavyam whatever Tamil purists may say. Is there any Tamil
@classic which is devoid of the influence of Sanskrit langauge? Of course
@not, because that was not a political problem then.
@And what about the naming pattern in Tamil Nadu--GaNesan, KaruNaanidhi,
@SaNmukam, etc. How old is this tradition? Most Tamil names, if you look at
@the electoral roles, are of Sanskrit origin as it is true of the other
@literary Dravidian languages. Nativizing Sanskrit names into Tamil, like
@neTunceZiyan, aaRmukam, etc. is a recent trend which has political origins
It is possible that some are from skt to tamil or as calque but not all.
For example I would be quite interested to know why you consider
aaRumukam as a translation of SaNmukam. It is probably the otherway
around. I would be surprised if SaNmukam means same as aaRumukam.
@What does it matter which language has more of Sanskrit or less of Sanskrit?
@As a linguist, I see this kind of inquiry itself is political. English, the
@greatest language of the world, has only 5% of Anglo Saxon native element.
@How are you suddenly interested in the Telugu History and what are you
@driving at? It is true, as JBSHaldane (in the Hindu in the fifties) once
@said, Telugu has greater accommodative power of foreign borrowings without
@creating tadbhavas than the other modern Indian languages and he said it
@deserved to be the official language of India.
I don't know the metrics for measuring the 'accomodative power
of foreign borrowings', but Tamil can and does borrow verbs, nouns,
and adjectives from English with such tremendous ease that it
seems like a phenomenon. Only adverbs are not so easily borrowed
except a few like 'fast', 'quick'. What is even more suprising is
the 'ability' to accomodate whole english sentences or whole/partial
clause or phrases. The alloy-syntax is interesting and it seems to affect
even the native syntax. It is true this 'heavy borrowing'
is mostly prevalent in urban 'middle-class' 'conversational
tamil'. I'm not claiming that this 'phenomenon' is somehow
exclusive to Tamil. Just to show that it has the 'ability' to borrow.
Borrowing pattern: verb -> verb+'paNNu'.
Example: 'drive' paNNu (=drive)
noun -> no change but accepts 'vERRumai' endings
Example: 'house'ai kaNdu pidiccEn (I found the
adjective -> adjective + aa
Example: avan 'tall'aa iruntaan ( = He was tall)
syntax-alloy -> Many different patterns. Just one
example: 'If he gives two years
(=If he gives two years guarantee, then
it is allright otherwise we don't
need it )
@Purity of a language is a myth. All languages borrow including Tamil.Do
No problem here. The problem is some people assert that it is a one-way
traffic from Sanskrit to Tamil and other indian languages.
Or even if they don't say it is 'one-way' traffic, they will cite examples
only or mostly from sanskrit to other languages.
There are many myths and some are to do with Sanskrit.
@different degrees matter? How? Borrowing is one of the ways of enriching a
@language. Purism of any language is a pathological state of some of its
@speakers who wanted to banish foreign elements from the language for
@political purposes. No languge has benefitted by such attitudes; on the
@contrary such languages have suffered in the long run.
I've other questions on your posting, but may be I'll raise them later.
@Best regards, Bh. K.
@H.No. 12-13-1233, "Bhaarati"
@Street No.9, Tarnaka
@Hyderabad 500 017, A.P.
@Telephone (R)(40)701 9665
@E-mail: <bhk at HD1.VSNL.NET.IN>
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