Etymology of sanskrit roots miS and miil

Periannan Chandrasekaran perichandra at YAHOO.COM
Mon Apr 9 14:01:43 EDT 2001

On Mon, 9 Apr 2001 07:17:08 -0700, Swaminathan Madhuresan
<smadhuresan at YAHOO.COM> wrote:

>Drav. m-/v- is common: maNNAn (malayalam) and vaNNAn (tamil) 'washerman'.
>maNNAn < maNNutal 'to wash'
>K. Zvelebil, Dravidian linguistics: An introduction, 1990, p.10
>"Intervocalic and initial m and v are in contrast. However, they
>also are in widespread alternation in the southern group of languages.
>Doublets exist in many languages to a great degree; it is often
>Are the m-/v- word-initial changes common in IE?
>For example, are European words like vision, video
>related to miS,mIl? Or, they are independent??

The answer to that question may be expected to have a bearing on the
etymology of Skt. vid > veda.

It is also worth drawing attention to similarity of  pairs of Skt. and
Drav. roots related to vision, winking, protection and knowledge:

Skt. miS                 Dr. vizi/mizi
Skt. mIL                 Dr. vizi/miz/miL
Skt. dRz                 Dr. teri
Skt. pA (stem pAl)       Dr. pAr
Skt. kSaN                Dr. kaN
Skt. kaN                 Dr. kaN
                         Dr. kA (to watch, protect)

There is a systematic extension of the roots in both groups
from vision to protection and knowledge.

For example
otl vizi vizi 02 1. eye; 2. eye-ball; 3. knowledge; wisdom

otl vizi-ttal vizi-ttal 01 1. to open the eyes; 2. to wake from sleep; 3.
to watch; to be vigilant; to be wide awake; 4. to look at attentively; 5.
to gaze, stare; 6. to shine; 7. to be clear; 8. to be alive

otl teri-tal teri-tal 01 1. to be seen, perceived, ascertained by the
senses or mind; to become evident;2. to be understood, intelligible, clear;
3. to possess the power of sight; 4. to be conscious, as of one's guilt; 1.
to investigate, test, ascertain, enquire; 2. to know, understand; 3. to
select, choose; 4. to learn through lstening; 5. to sift

Has the Skt. root vid "to know" has lost its original physiological sense
of "to see"?

P. Chandrasekaran.

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