Sunday, September 14, 2008

Notes on Dravidian Words - iv

Present day Dravidian languages mostly use Sanskrit or Prakrit words for 'love' and derived words*. Of course, here by 'love' I mean attraction between man and woman. I was checking for native terms at Starling database.

The striking feature of all those terms is that they are observed mostly in South Dravidian literate branches.

Because of fixed mentality on part of many Dravidian linguists a single term 'ar' meaning love or desire has found three entries in dictionary, viz., DED 0281, 0301, 0381. I think Kota 'ayl' meaning twin does not belong there. Anyway, in my opinion r, L, zh are all sound changes of alveolar approximant r.

Then there are couple of entries that look intriguing.
1. Kadala(DED 1445): This is supposedly observed in SD languages. At present only Tamil uses it heavily in movies. I was reading an old Kannada work "Vaddaradhane". There I came across its usage in a sentence "paradana kAdalise paDuva magaM"(= son loved by the merchant). According to editor's note, Kadala is derived either from Sanskirt kAtara or Prakrit kAyara meaning lover, lovable or affectionate.

Vaddaradhane is a Jain work supposedly written by Shivakotyacharya. It is an Old Kannada work dated around 950CE. Jains heavily used Jain Prakrit (Magadhi Prakrit) terms in their works. As such Kannada works do show heavy influence in the literature. Though very few of them have become part of native parlance. And Kadala isn't part of spoken Kannada vocabulary.

Was Jain influence in native life (and not only in literature) stronger in Tamil region? Or a big chunk of Magadhi Prakrit speakers became part of Tamil speakers in the past? Anyway, I need more examples and probably native terms in Magadhi Prakrit regions of East India.

2. *par (DED 3964): I think the Telugu term 'perima' is too close to Sanskrit 'prema'. Either Telugu is a wrong addition to that list or again we have to check whether it's an adstrate effect because of assimilated Magadhi Prakrit speakers. Only tribal languages part of literate SD languages show these terms.

*Okay, now it's almost always the English word.

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