Monday, August 11, 2008

Notes on Dravidian Words - iiia

I have to make a major correction in the sound changes that I discussed in my last post.

Coastal Dravidian route:(Tulu->Malayalam->north-western Tamil Nadu)
alveolar approximant r -> alveolar trill/tap r (Tulu)
alveolar approximant r/alveolar trill/tap r -> retroflex approximant r/retroflex palatal approximant r -> palatal approximant y (Malayalam,Tamil, few other SD-I tribal languages)

Correction to the following:
During SD-I and SD-II split, alveolar approximant r, might have given rise to an allophone alveolar plosive d. Which became retroflex plosive in SD-II languages. But I think this should have happened with a big chunk of SD-I speakers too.

alveolar approximant r -> alveolar plosive d -> retroflex plosive D

I think it should be;
alveolar approximant r->retroflex flap r->retroflex plosive (another group of allophones)

On a side note, this is what I found about Burrow, Emeneau and Krishnamurti's Dravidian etymology Dictionary.

Our understanding of Dravidian is strongly related to the Dravidian etymological dictionary of Burrow and Emeneau (1984 and online). However, this is very Tamil-centric and the literature constantly confuses its head entries with proto-Dravidian (e.g. Krishnamurti 2003).
-Roger Blench

My understanding is that Tamil literature might have preserved the words that would have lost in other languages. Also, it might have preserved the cases and other grammatical structures that are no longer used. However, when it comes to consonant sound changes(vowel sound changes aren't all that important), the old Tamil literature cannot be referred as the sounds are native to a geographical region.

Commenter Varttik (who doesn't agree with this anyway).

1 comment:

Varttik said...

Just want to comment about Roger Blench's remark: It is rather funny that Blench thinks Krishnamurti got confused head entries in DED(R) with proto-Dravidian roots, in his Dravidian languages (2003) book. It is clear Blench hasn't read that book (properly). Firstly, the compilers of DED(R) are painfully aware and explicitly point out that "the dictionary does not contain proto-Dravidian (PDr) reconstructions" (see: DED(R) Page xi). Secondly, I think one of the major contributions of "Dravidian languages (2003)" is to present about 2000 proto-Dravidian reconstructions based on the available data for all Dravidian languages (See the appendix titled "Index of reconstructions with glosses" pp. 523-535). What Blench hasn't realized is that BhK, for most part of his 2003 book, used his own reconstructions, and not DEDR head entries[†]!

[†] Here is a quick example: The book "Dravidian languages" uses *cay-m as the proto-form for words denoting numeral five (pp. 263,395,527), whereas the corresponding head-word in DEDR (2826) is: aintu, aƱcu!