Language Discussion

Narayan R.Joshi giravani at JUNO.COM
Thu Dec 28 17:02:54 EST 2000

I have personally no problem in accepting research of scholars in
connection with multiple linguistic families in the sub-continent. As a
matter of fact it is rich heritage.However I have two problems.First-how
does one decide whether NArANa and NArAya.Na are related or they were born
in two unrelated languages?There are internationally known scholars of
Sanskrit and Tamil on the Indology list.Could any body kindly recommend me
a book that describes the rules of sound changes between Tamil and Sanskrit
similar to Grimm's rule, Verner's rule(Lehman-Historical Linguistics).These
rules have exceptions but they at least explain few patterns of sound
changes within languages.How does one decide whether "Pustakam" is
sanskritized form of "pottakam" or it is other way around? Am I wrong in
seeing the pattern of systematic sound change from "s" to "t" in the pairs
of the words-Pustakam/Pottakam,Shikhin/Tukhin,Shri/Tiru,and
Agastya/Agattyar.The second problem is exclusively with Sanskrit.I read the
five books-1)B.K.Matilal-The Word and the World,2)The study of dialectics
of Sphota by Gaurinath Sastri,3)The Sphotanirnaya of Kaunda Bhatta by
S.D.Joshi,4)Linguistic thought in Ancient India-by Pushpendra Kumar,5)
Shabda by Tandra Patnaik, and 6)Sonic Theology by Guy Beck.All these books
talk about discussions from thousands of years on Sanskrit sentences,
Sanskrit Padas, Sanskrit Shabdas, Sanskrit Aksharas and Sanskrit
Varnas.Vedics, Buddhists, Jains, Mimansakas, Naiyayikas, Vaishe.sikas and
many more schools pitched in discussions going on from at least Panini's
time, for the known history of 2400 years. I do not understand the outcome
of these discussions except they have to do with Semantics of Sanskrit.What
do we gain by proving or disproving "Shabda-prAmAnya"?I am not interested
in the proving or disproving the antiquity of one language or the other.
Are there similar discussions(Sphota doctrine) in case with Tamil language?
If yes, what is the outcome?Relating Tamil word to Sanskrit or vice versa
does not add to my knowledge. It is not relevant to the topics discussed in
the books listed above. I hope, I made myself a little more clear. Thanks.

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