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Thread: Malayalam Corner മലയാളം മൂല

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthroin View Post
    Hello! And sorry for the interjection.

    The Paniya dialect seems to be classified as a Malayalam language by linguists. This means that the oldest features of Paniya dialect and that of Standard Malayalam (like the personal pronouns for example which are extremely conservative in Malayalam more than Tamil - both Old and Modern) cluster together more in comparison to the eastern dialects of modern Tamil-Malayalam continuum, i.e. Modern Tamil. This may indicate that the ancestors of the Paniya people were speaking now-lost pre-Dravidian non-Dravidian languages as recently (and perhaps even much later) as the Dravidian migrations to Kerala which may have happened sometime beginning in the later parts of the 1st millennium BC.

    Edit: Actually, what I said above is mostly wrong. When establishing phylogenies, it is shared innovations that are important and not shared archaisms; so the sharing of old Proto-South-Dravidian pronouns by both Standard Malayalam and Paniya dialect does not prove anything but if the Paniya dialect has linguistic innovations common to Standard Malayalam and other Malayalam languages after their separation from the Tamil-Malayalam continuum, then we can surely say that Paniya is a Malayalam language and not an independent descendant of some ancient Tamil-Malayalam dialect.
    Very interesting, thank you for sharing!
    Now you have left me with more questions than answers

    I was under the impression that Malayalam(languages) is an offshoot of what is called Old(or Middle?) Tamil, perhaps a westerly dialect? I was not entirely sure about the logistics of the matter - never really had a detailed look into it. It did seem like on oversimplification of sorts and now that you mention the presence of certain archaisms in Malayalam, that are absent in even in old Tamil I am very confused as to what actually took place. Seems like the whole (certain?)Prakrits preserving some PIE features that are even lost in Vedic thing.

    Also, I am surprised how there seemingly isn't a "Vedda" like substrate in dialects spoken by the Paniya, Irula etc. Maybe we need to take a closer look at something like Nihali.
    Or perhaps, "Dravidian" itself is an SNAC-forager creole/hybrid type of thing. That would explain a lot.

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  3. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by client View Post
    Very interesting, thank you for sharing!
    Now you have left me with more questions than answers

    I was under the impression that Malayalam(languages) is an offshoot of what is called Old(or Middle?) Tamil, perhaps a westerly dialect? I was not entirely sure about the logistics of the matter - never really had a detailed look into it. It did seem like on oversimplification of sorts and now that you mention the presence of certain archaisms in Malayalam, that are absent in even in old Tamil I am very confused as to what actually took place. Seems like the whole (certain?)Prakrits preserving some PIE features that are even lost in Vedic thing.

    Also, I am surprised how there seemingly isn't a "Vedda" like substrate in dialects spoken by the Paniya, Irula etc. Maybe we need to take a closer look at something like Nihali.
    Or perhaps, "Dravidian" itself is an SNAC-forager creole/hybrid type of thing. That would explain a lot.
    The facts of the matter regarding the relationship between Malayalam cluster and Tamil cluster seem to be as following:

    1. The retention of Proto-Dravidian features like the alveolar stop in Malayalam and the retention of Proto-South-Dravidian features like the word-initial palatal nasal *J in the 'I' pronoun, JAn, at least the latter of which is not present in the oldest of Tamil attested, indicate that the separation between the oldest of Tamil and the oldest of Malayalam started quite earlier than expected in the Middle Tamil period.
    2. Several intimate grammatical innovations common to Tamil and Malayalam (what those are exactly I cannot recall now) indicate that both the west-coast and eastern dialects stayed as part of a common speech community, quite loosely, till up to some kind of Middle Tamil stage in attested chronology, when the separation (that began a bit earlier than the Old Tamil stage itself) began to intensify very much and Malayalam and Tamil began to undergo mostly independent changes.


    So I think there is truth in both the views: the earliest separation between Malayalam and Tamil dates to a time prior to the attestation of Old Tamil but it may not have been sufficiently intense till much later at some point when the acceleration of their divergence increased. However, all this is a bit complicated (for me) by the fact that the Old Tamil literary attestations may not have been representative of the Old Tamil spoken dialects of the day because of the history of strong diglossia in Tamil. That is to say, if any spoken ancient Tamil dialects of the Old Tamil period carried Proto-South-Dravidian and Proto-Dravidian retentions like Malayalam, then we can say that the earliest separation between Malayalam and Tamil is later than the time I noted above. (I personally don't know if Spoken Tamil data from the Old Tamil period is available and if people already studied these things (they might have)). But certainly, most (all?) Modern Tamil dialects apparently (I am not at all knowledgeable; I just have an inkling that this might be the case) don't retain the archaisms present in Malayalam, so if the above is true, then they must have lost their archaisms in time and merged themselves in the ways of their central literary standards (centamiZ).

    Regarding the substrate, yeah, it is indeed intriguing. Many people say (and it seems to me mostly that this might be the case too) that Dravidian languages entered south India very recently, like after 2000 BC. But if we go by this, then we expect a stronger amount of non-Dravidian pre-Dravidian substrate in Dravidian because south India by this time had a strong neolithic tradition in SNAC and they surely must have been somewhat more populous than hunter-gatherers and thus quite influential on incoming Dravidian migrants' speeches (like the impact Dravidian languages had on Indo-Aryan). If the SNAC was established by Dravidian speakers, then perhaps the hunter-gatherers' speeches did not have much influence because of their low population and also possibly due to greater differences in social status between the two interacting groups as opposed to the first case between Dravidian farmers/pastoralists (arriving from the Indus valley) and non-Dravidian pastoralists/shifting-cultivators/garden-cultivators (SNAC)?

    And yes, what you suggest is quite a likely possibility. For Indo-Aryan we have the data of its relatives outside India to discern what may have gotten into Indo-Aryan from non-Indo-European sources; for Dravidian we don't have anything like that and everything should only proceed by internal reconstruction beyond Proto-Dravidian into Pre-Proto-Dravidian. Which I don't know if anybody has started. But you may know this: linguist Frank Southworth along with David McAlpin propose the very same thing as you have suggested- though they are led to it by a belief in Elamo-Dravidian hypothesis with features like non-Dravidian and Elamitic nature of Brahui, different reconstructions of Proto-Dravidian phonologies and grammatical features than the standard reconstructions, etc. - that Central Dravidian and South Dravidian form a Peninsular Dravidian which was highly influenced by the native languages of the peninsula they encountered.

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  5. #43
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    Thank you for this very detailed response, your input has been invaluable. I've always taken keen interest in the Dravidian and Pre-Dravidian(Pre-neolithic, by extension) subcontinent, have not done justice to this field, partly because exoteric knowledge of these subjects is so scant. One is either wholly invested in the Aryan side of things or is a full blown "Lemurian" - there seems to be little to no grey area.
    I am only beginning to delve deeper into these subjects.

    I had read the "Zagrosian" paper(one you are referring to?) a while ago, but I cannot recall there being anything particularly profound. Things that were suspected were taken as postulates and the theory seemed to be built around that. I am generally inclined to agreeing with the suggestions put forward in the paper though.

    I personally would not take all that is postulated wrt Dravidian, as being infallible, same goes for everything else but moreso here as the enthusiasm for this field seems to be lacking. Not enough research going on from what I can see but maybe I am inexperienced. With arbitrary groupings, 'reconstructions', etc I would always give leeway for doubt.

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  7. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by client View Post
    Thank you for this very detailed response, your input has been invaluable. I've always taken keen interest in the Dravidian and Pre-Dravidian(Pre-neolithic, by extension) subcontinent, have not done justice to this field, partly because exoteric knowledge of these subjects is so scant. One is either wholly invested in the Aryan side of things or is a full blown "Lemurian" - there seems to be little to no grey area.
    I am only beginning to delve deeper into these subjects.

    I had read the "Zagrosian" paper(one you are referring to?) a while ago, but I cannot recall there being anything particularly profound. Things that were suspected were taken as postulates and the theory seemed to be built around that. I am generally inclined to agreeing with the suggestions put forward in the paper though.

    I personally would not take all that is postulated wrt Dravidian, as being infallible, same goes for everything else but moreso here as the enthusiasm for this field seems to be lacking. Not enough research going on from what I can see but maybe I am inexperienced. With arbitrary groupings, 'reconstructions', etc I would always give leeway for doubt.
    That paper while may not be saying profound things says truly radical things; for example, it removes Brahui out of the Dravidian cluster altogether and puts it in the Elamitic cluster in the supposed Elamo-Dravidian or Zagrosian scheme of things. The standard view, of course, is that the core vocabulary and many grammatical aspects of Brahui can be rather comfortably established to be Dravidian in character as opposed to Elamitic.

    Historical linguistics while is not an exact science, provides the most systematic ways to study language change via the comparative method and internal reconstruction. Especially in the case of moderate-sized language families like Dravidian, where the input data is not too high as well as not too meagre, the insights provided by comparative reconstructive studies can be extremely helpful. But that said, I hear you with respect to the other thing; studies on Dravidian languages (like some other language families) are probably lower compared to those on Indo-European languages. The research world maybe slightly Indo-European-centric in some ways because of the copiousness of the data from those languages.

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  9. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by anthroin View Post
    That paper while may not be saying profound things says truly radical things; for example, it removes Brahui out of the Dravidian cluster altogether and puts it in the Elamitic cluster in the supposed Elamo-Dravidian or Zagrosian scheme of things. The standard view, of course, is that the core vocabulary and many grammatical aspects of Brahui can be rather comfortably established to be Dravidian in character as opposed to Elamitic.

    Historical linguistics while is not an exact science, provides the most systematic ways to study language change via the comparative method and internal reconstruction. Especially in the case of moderate-sized language families like Dravidian, where the input data is not too high as well as not too meagre, the insights provided by comparative reconstructive studies can be extremely helpful. But that said, I hear you with respect to the other thing; studies on Dravidian languages (like some other language families) are probably lower compared to those on Indo-European languages. The research world maybe slightly Indo-European-centric in some ways because of the copiousness of the data from those languages.
    Elamitic and Zagrosian are two different things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jatt1 View Post
    Elamitic and Zagrosian are two different things.
    We are talking about this paper, are you referring to the same?
    https://link.springer.com/article/10...284-011-9076-9

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    @ Anthroin and Client or anyone with access to linguistics studies on this specific topic.

    Does the word for Horse in Dravidian languages and Indo-Aryan languages have independent origin or common origin? I'm curious about horse loan words in the region, It's odd that they don't appear to be loan from Indo-European (?).

    Sanskrit (अश्व, Asva) - Horse

    Malayalam (കുതിര, Kuthira) - Horse

    Kannada (ಕುದುರೆ, Kudure) - Horse

    Tamil (குதிரை, Kutirai) - Horse

    Niraj Rai few months ago tweeted "Genetic evidence of Horses in mature Harappan period. The findings will be published soon." I'm wondering if early presence of horses in IVC could suggest some sort of trade with pre-IE people who had them, or maybe upper Indus native breeds (Spiti horse or Zaniskari ) related to Tibetian breed?
    Last edited by Observer; 06-16-2019 at 07:28 PM.

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    Off topic but interesting bit from Zaniskari page :

    "A genetic analysis of five Indian horse breeds in 2007 found the Zaniskari to be close to the Manipuri, Spiti and Bhutia breeds, and more distant from the Marwari.[10] A study of all six Indian breeds in 2014 grouped the Zaniskari with the Bhutia, Manipuri and Spiti breeds, and found it to be most closely related to the Spiti.[11]"

    I'm guessing Marwari horses has admixture from Persian/Arab horse breeds that other Indian horses lack?

  16. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Observer View Post
    @ Anthroin and Client or anyone with access to linguistics studies on this specific topic.

    Does the word for Horse in Dravidian languages and Indo-Aryan languages have independent origin or common origin? I'm curious about horse loan words in the region, It's odd that they don't appear to be loan from Indo-European (?).

    Sanskrit (अश्व, Asva) - Horse

    Malayalam (കുതിര, Kuthira) - Horse

    Kannada (ಕುದುರೆ, Kudure) - Horse

    Tamil (குதிரை, Kutirai) - Horse

    Niraj Rai few months ago tweeted "Genetic evidence of Horses in mature Harappan period. The findings will be published soon." I'm wondering if early presence of horses in IVC could suggest some sort of trade with pre-IE people who had them, or maybe upper Indus native breeds (Spiti horse or Zaniskari ) related to Tibetian breed?
    Pet theory, but basing it on something I'd read somewhere I think the dravidian "Kutira-" = "Kudi+(g)ira-" ('The one that leaps"/"One that is leaping"). D and T sounds are interchangeable, at least in Tamil.

    Kudi for example is likely borrowed into hindi for eg as "kood" (कूद)
    --

    OTOH I think Hindi/IA 'Gadha' (गधा - Donkey) may be borrowed from Dravidian- Kazhuda(i) (I think??). Again, G and K are interchangeable.
    Last edited by client; 06-17-2019 at 03:29 AM.

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  18. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Observer View Post
    @ Anthroin and Client or anyone with access to linguistics studies on this specific topic.

    Does the word for Horse in Dravidian languages and Indo-Aryan languages have independent origin or common origin? I'm curious about horse loan words in the region, It's odd that they don't appear to be loan from Indo-European (?).

    Sanskrit (अश्व, Asva) - Horse

    Malayalam (കുതിര, Kuthira) - Horse

    Kannada (ಕುದುರೆ, Kudure) - Horse

    Tamil (குதிரை, Kutirai) - Horse

    Niraj Rai few months ago tweeted "Genetic evidence of Horses in mature Harappan period. The findings will be published soon." I'm wondering if early presence of horses in IVC could suggest some sort of trade with pre-IE people who had them, or maybe upper Indus native breeds (Spiti horse or Zaniskari ) related to Tibetian breed?
    We have ghora, ghotak, gur, khur, etc.
    The famous Persian emperor Bahram Gor comes to mind.

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