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[WMASTERS] Malayalam


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*Selva writes,
*>     But for Sanskritization, Malayalam would have been
*>      southwestern Tamil. The relationship would have been
*>      similar to TN Tamils and Tamil Eelam ( not as portrayed
*>      in The Hindu though).
*Selva, you know this isn't right.  The fact is that Malayalam can -- and
*often is -- spoken with virtually no Sanskrit (just like Tamil).  But it is
*still a different language -- has no verbal endings, different phonetics,
*different endings (and none of this development is attributable to Sanskrit
*influence).  In fact, as you know, Malayalam sometimes uses Dravidian words

      [1] The spoken language of vast sections of TN, Kerala, Tamil Eelam
          (even southern Karnataka, Rayalseema of Andhra etc.)
          have a lot of commonality. In Tamil the written tamil is influenced
          by spoken tamil and tamil words and expressions are considered
          'good or high style' whereas in Malayalam, Kannada, Telugu
          I understand using 'rural' 'native telugu' words are not
          viewed ( god knows by whom) highly. The Telugu word
          thELu ( scorpion) is not preferred in writing but 'vrichikamu'
         [ my spelling/transliteration might not be correct]
          If you consider the rural language('common man's language), 
          they will show great commonality.

      [2] You also must be knowing that ThirunelvEli people and 
          people belonging to many other parts of
          Tamil Nadu and Tamil Eelam use different endings etc.

      [3] I wonder how you conclude that the differences are not due to
          Sanskrit. These features are not present in Sanskrit can not
          be the argument. When a language is influenced so heavily
          by another language, it might have affected many of its 
          characteristics. According to your understanding, when
          did Malayalam differentiate from 'Old Tamil' ? What are the 
          dominant causes of Malayalam differentiating from 'Old Tamil'?

      [4] The fact that spoken Mal. is virtually without skt. 
          but the written Mal. has lots of skt. shows what skt is doing.
          Whether it is good or bad let people decide. If the southern
          indian people ( TN, Kerala, AP, KN) use more and more of the
          'common man's ' words and expressions, there will be greater
          understanding. In my opinion it is the Skt. that divides
          and differentiates much more than regional variations.
          [ A kannada colleague said kannadigas have ghanta but they
          pronounce only as ganta. If people were to do frequency
          analysis of kh,gh,jh, etc. they will find it is very small.
          I saw such an alaysis for Telugu and it clearly shows 
          how little of use are these. Unnecessary baggage. But we can't
          tell Telugus or Kannadigas or Malayalis to do away with
          those extra baggages, but the story in tamil seems similar.]

*where Tamil uses Sanskrit ones.  This is also true of Kannada and Telugu --
*e.g. Kannada ugiru for nail and Telugu veyi for "thousand" (aayiram is from
*sahasra).  BUT Tamil developed before Sanskrit influence became excessive,
*and so it did not make allowance for Sanskrit sounds in the writing system.
*It is no more or less Dravidian than the other Dravidian languages.
*Languages evolve, and old Tamil evolved into two languages, modern Tamil
*and Malayalam.

     Yes, languages evolve, but what happened is not evolution, forced
     injection. A few people wrote an alphabet system incorporating
     the sanskrit system and tried to teach and force their way.
     It didn't affect the rural people and so the common man's language
     has greater commonality.
*Selva, if people are going to start spelling "pancu" with a "j," then we
*might as well give up -- a font standard cannot substitute for minimal
*education and literacy.  If a Malayali were to write it this way, he/she
*would immediately be corrected -- just as if I wrote "wate" instead of
*"wait" in English.  GH.

     Prof. Hart you're underestimating the 'broad-mindedness' of 
     Tamils and how 'reasonable' they are. The guy who starts this
     'revolution' will become a hero !



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