Etymologizing in Sumero-Tamil, Sanskrit & Indo-European

Is ‘comparative linguistics’ just a genocidal ‘scientific’ joke?

[Counters temporarily disabled]

[Digest is still being compiled, reformatted, copyedited and proofed – Sunthar]

This digest, which begins with ??? is best understood against the larger backdrop of the ongoing debates on Dravidian and, more specifically, Tamil identity that focus on language, ethnicity, religion, culture, and (pre-) history. Intertwined threads that focus on the Indus script, ‘Aryan’ ethnogenesis, or linguistics (Sanskrit) have been compiled into separate digests. Discussants include K. Loganathan, S. Sathia, Ram Varmha, Radhakrishna Warrier, Clyde A. Winters, ???

I have inserted introductory comments to contextualize some of the posts [Do let me know if your views have been inadvertently omitted or distorted: this is an evolving archive!]. Having decided to make this archive available to the public, I would like to offer some concise clarifications—a conceptual grid as it were—of my own take on the various perspectives that are under scrutiny in this discussion:

Related threads at svAbhinava:

Ethnogenesis of the Indus-Sarasvatī civilization: Sumeria, Elam, BMAC, Aryan, Dravidian, and Munda

Between Africans, Meluhhans, and Indo-Aryans: who are the Dravidians?

This compilation will be eventually complemented by others including those listed above; in the meantime please check out the (incomplete) Abhinavagupta forum-index under the following headings and topics:


Index to threads below on “Etymologizing in Sumero-Tamil, Sanskrit & Indo-European” dialogue:

Re: Anthropological type of the Tamils - are Dravidians the immediate genetic descendants of African immigrants?

Is Sanskrit an areal effect of Tamil on ‘Indo-European’? Kumārila and (sv-)Abhinava on the (‘scientific’) art of (pseudo-) etymologizing!

Fw: Is Sanskrit an areal effect of Tamil on 'Indo-European'? Kumārila and (sv-)Abhinava on the ('scientific') art of (pseudo-) etymologizing!

Re: Is Tamil Shaivism tolerant? Do family-folk need ascetics? Ask the Jainas and Buddhists! [full post]

Re: Is Tamil Shaivism tolerant? Do family-folk need ascetics? Ask the Jainas and Buddhists!

Re: Icon thinking

Is avatāra a (proto-) Tamil word that has been stolen by the brahmins? New rules for posting ‘etymologies’

Re: Is avatāra a (proto-) Tamil word that has been stolen by the brahmins? New rules for posting ‘etymologies’

Re: Is avatāra a (proto) Tamil word that has been stolen by the brahmins? New rules for posting ‘etymologies’

[Re: Is avatāra a (proto-) Tamil word that has been stolen by the brahmins? New rules for posting 'etymologies]

(no subject)

Fwd: (no subject)

Are Dr. Loganathan’s (pseudo-) ‘etymologies’ furthering the larger cause of (indeed badly neglected) Tamil?

Re: Are Dr. Loganathan's (pseudo-) 'etymologies' furthering the larger cause of (indeed badly neglected) Tamil?

Re: Soma, hom ‘electrum’

Re: [akandabaratam msg# 9498] Re: Soma, hom ‘electrum’

Sanskrit Soma and the ‘return of the repressed’ - why is seeing Tamil words in Sumerian tablets like conducting a ‘philological’ Rorschach test?

Re: Sanskrit Soma and the 'return of the repressed' - why is seeing Tamil words in Sumerian tablets like conducting a 'philological' Rorschach test?

Re: Sanskrit Soma and the 'return of the repressed' - why is seeing Tamil words in Sumerian tablets like conducting a 'philological' Rorschach test?

Message not approved: John of the Cross and Sivamsom

Fwd: Message not approved: John of the Cross and Sivamsom

Why are Loga's 'Sumero-Tamil etymologies' not welcome at the Abhinavagupta forum?

RE: Why are Loga's 'Sumero-Tamil etymologies' not welcome at the Abhinavagupta forum?

Re: Why are Loga's 'Sumero-Tamil etymologies' not welcome at the Abhinavagupta forum?

Prakrit family of languages in Bharat

Re: Prakrit family of languages in Bharat

Borrowed words

Re: Borrowed words

Fwd: Re: Origin of Sanskrit

[Re: Origin of Sanskrit] The blind leading the blind, the loud preaching to the deaf, ‘debates’ in real-time from a mad-house?

Re: [Origin of Sanskrit] The blind leading the blind, the loud preaching to the deaf, ‘debates’ in real-time from a mad-house?

The Hierophant

Re: The Hierophant

Re: The Hierophant

Re: The Hierophant

Re: The Hierophant [Happy to be back in Tiruppati?]

Re: The Hierophant [Happy to be back in Tiruppati?]

Re: The Hierophant

What is Haoma/Soma?

What is Haoma/Soma?


Subject: [Abhinava msg #745 – order of thread reversed]

 Re: Anthropological type of the Tamils - are Dravidians the immediate genetic descendants of African immigrants?

From: Dr. K. Loganathan

Sent: Wednesday, April 30, 2003 8:12 AM

To: Abhinavagupta

Dear Sunthar

Thank you for this account of the anthropology of the Dravidian folks which is quite illuminating. Yes I agree—there may not be a strict correlation between language families and ethnicity. It was a mix and perhaps even at very early stages. This may even apply to languages. But I am drawn to following part of the article you quoted:

It remains that the hypothesis that there may have been in the past a greater coincidence between Dravidian languages and Melano-Indian type carries weight: beyond the very large equivalence in the Deccan, it is known that the Dravidian languages retreated in the north before the Indo-Aryan languages: that is to say that the Melano-Indians who were of the Dravidian language two or three thousand years ago speak Indo-Aryan languages today.

And your remarks:

Yes, there is no ‘pure’ language, least of all a ‘proto-Indo-European’ one, but we cannot understand the current linguistic map of Eurasia without scrupulously tracing the (prehistoric) billiard ball-like effects on one another of languages (and eventually cultural representations).

Now despite all these I believe that the distinction between Dravidian and Indo-Aryan family of languages may not hold and that such a division was arrived at on the basis of Constructivistic model of Historical Linguistics and the hasty conclusions based upon some similarities in Lexicon where as a matter of fact these commonalities may in fact show the common borrowing from Sumerian or influence of it on some European languages. The going back to the protoforms allows for free inventiveness and which is avoided in the Model of Evolutionary Linguistics such as that Aurobindo and Pavanar and to which I also subscribe.

I believe that Sanskrit (and hence the Prakrit languages) are just much Dravidian as are Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and so forth. The departure may be a little more than in the case of South Dravidian family of languages but nevertheless still share features that would allow for classifying them more as Dravidian than a separate family of languages related to European and hence Indo-European and so forth

For one thing the basic root words appear to be the same as SumeroTamil and hence these ‘Indo-European’ languages share the same roots as Tamil and other Dravidian languages.

Another reason is that Rigkrit (the languages of Rig Veda) and Classical Sanskrit as in Bhagavad Gita and so forth are agglutinative and case governed, features that are distinctive of the Dravidian family of languages.

This is the implication of native studies of commonalities and differences between Sanskrit and Tamil in 17th cent. Tamil linguistic studies such as that of Pirayoga Vivekam, IlakkaNak Kottu etc.

Subramanya Dkshitar, the author of the interesting treatise, Pirayoga Vivekam mentions :


saaRRiya teyvappulavoor mozikkum tamiz mozikkum

veeRRumai kuuRin tiNaipaal uNarttum vinaivikuti

maaRrarun teyvamozikku illai; peerkku ezuvaay urubum

teeRRiyaliGkam orumuunRum illai cezuntamizukkee.

He further comments: the differences between these languages are just a few (koodiyil or kuuRu) while the agreements are very large. The differences pertain only in the verb morphology and the nominative case marker and liGakat tiraya. while Sk does not have the former, Tamil does not have the latter. In all other features there is a commonality.

Among the similarites are cases (kārakam) and the agglutinative process observable in the formation compound words (Ta. tokaic col, Sk samaasam) and so forth. Now I believe if we take Rigkrit even these distinctions may not apply for Rigkrit has pronominal suffixes as do SumeroTamil.

Let me give an example from Rigveda:

Hymn 1.2

I shall now consider the second sloka in the first hymn that contains words that show that Sanskrit is later because less archaic than SumeroTamil.

agnih puurvebhir rishibhir idyo nuutanair uta / sa devam eha vakshati

May the adorable God, eternally adored by the seers of times, past and present, be a source of inspiration to wise men of all ages.

     . . . . . . . .

puurvebhir, rishibhir

The most interesting morphological element here is “bhir” and which is certainly a later development of  Su. ba-e-re  as in the following lines


21.  ni-me-lam u-lu-da nam-lu-u-lu  (When mankind comes before you)

22. ni-me -gar-hus-bi u-mu-re-gin  (In fear and trembling at (your ) tempestuous radiance)

23. me-ta me-hus-bi   su ba-e-re-ti  (They receive from you their just deserts)

* Ta. nii meLLam  vizuta uLuuLunam

* Ta. nooy mey kaal ush(Na)bi uu maar kan(al)

* Ta. meyttu mey ush(Na)bi  cuur baayiree  ti

The grammatical complex ‘ba-e-re” (they) is derived from two more basic words ‘ba’ (person) and e-ne > e-re  (Ta. inam: a group of people or creatures). The ‘ba’ as meaning a person still exists in Indonesia and in Malay it exists as” bapa” (father) perhaps to be derived from ‘ba-apa” where Su ‘aba’  (as a variant of ama: mother) and Ta. appaa means  ‘father’.

In Tolkaappiyam we have ‘-ba” alone as a plural person marker as Ta. en-ba ( say-they). We also have ‘-manaar” as in “en-manaar pulavar” ( the scholars say-they ..)

It is clear that Sk -bhir above is a late variant of the more primitive “ba-e-re” that exist also in Tamil as ‘peer” meaning people.

We can also mention here that Su. mu-re that occurs in these sentences is of a similar genesis (< mu-e-re) and which exists as Ta. maar, ( and ‘manaar”)  the plural person marker in verb morphology. This also exists in Malay as ‘mereka’ ( they)

The ‘ri-shi” may be taken as a Su. (e)ri-ji or (e)ri-si  meaning persons who are illuminated, bright, intelligent and so forth. Perhaps from this original sense emerged the secondary notion of ‘seers’.

The “puurvee’ can be linked with ‘puu-uru-ee” where ‘Ta. puu meaning to emerge, flower, arise etc. and hence as secondary sense, the point of origin which is more frequently mentioned in Sumerian  as ul-li ( Ta. uuzi). It exists in Ta. as puurvam ( the ancient times) and may also be  linked with Ta. puraaNam, mythological tales (puur-aaNa- am: ancient tales of gods))

My studies are at the preliminary stages but I believe the native grammarians such Subramanya Dikshitar who were not influenced by European Indologist who were desperately searching something to project their Aryan Superior Race notions, saw that the similarities between Sk and Tamil are so great that if they had the concept of ‘ family of languages’ they would have classified Sk and its derivative also as belonging to the Dravidian, the same as Tamil


[rest of this thread at Sunthar V (Apr 28, 2003)

Anthropological type of the Tamils - are Dravidians the immediate genetic descendants of African immigrants?]


 Is Sanskrit an areal effect of Tamil on ‘Indo-European’? Kumārila and (sv-)Abhinava on the (‘scientific’) art of (pseudo-) etymologizing!

From: Sunthar Visuvalingam

Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2003 6:36 PM


           3.6.1 KōTTa ‘fortress’ Instead of great fortresses of the qala type, the Kafirs of Nuristan have watch towers, the name of which comes from the Old Indo-Aryan kōTTa- ’fort’ (...). This word forms the final element in many placenames which are distributed mainly in two regions of the Indian subcontinent: on the one hand, the extreme northwest, and on the other hand Dravidian-speaking South India. It is generally thought to be of Dravidian etymology (...). The Dravidian words no doubt go back to Proto-Dravidian, but I still suspect the etymon to be of Aryan origin. The aspiration in Kashmiri (kuTh, dative kūTas ‘fort’), Assamese (kōTh ‘palisade’), Marathi (koT, koTh ‘fort’), and Newari (kvāTha ‘fort’) suggests that it may have come from Sanskrit (Atharvavedic Kauzikasūtra and Epic) kōSTha- ‘store-room, granary, treasury’ (...). This is in agreement with the use of the defensive towers of the qala fortresses of Afghanistan as store-rooms (...). The assimilation and disaspiration of Old Indo-Aryan kōSTha- into kōTTa is expected to result if the word was borrowed by early Dravidian speakers who, as Harappans, formed the predominant linguistic substratum of the Greater Indus Valley. The word kōSTha- itself may likewise have come into being under the influence of Proto-Dravidian (which lacked initial voiced stops) from Old Indo-Aryan gōSThį- ‘cow-house, cattle-yard, cow-pen’, literally, ‘the place where cattle stand’ (...). Cattle are kept in the courtyards of the qala in Afghanistan, as they were kept inside the Dāsa fortresses in Rgvedic times. [<p.286]

Asko Parpola (Helsinki) , “Pre-proto-Iranians of Afghanistan as initiators of Zākta Tantrism:

On the Scythian/Zaka affiliation of the Dāsas, Nuristanis and Magadhans,” Iranica Antiqua vol. 37 (2002:233-324)

            Either way, Indo-Aryan influence on Dravidian is certainly more profound than generally thought.  Apart from the tatsama (literally adopted) Sanskrit words which make up more than half of Telugu or Kannada vocabulary, and which are attributed to the influence of Brahmin families settling in South India since the turn of the Christian era, many apparent members of the Dravidian core vocabulary as attested in Sangam Tamil are actually very ancient tadbhava (evolved and sometimes unrecognizably changed) loans from Sanskrit or Prakrit, e.g. AkAyam, “sky” (< AkAsha); Ayutham, “weapon” (< Ayudha); tavem, “penance” (< tapas); tIvu, “island” (< dvIpa); chetti, “foreman, merchant” (< shreshthI), tiru, term of respectful address (< shrI). It is not impossible that there ever was a pure Dravidian language in South India, but in the oldest texts already, we find a Dravidian written in a Brahmi-derived script and influenced by Sanskrit.

            Many scholars now assume that there was a third language in northwestern India, which acted as a buffer between Dravidian and Indo-Aryan before being eliminated by the latter.  Words looking like Dravidian loans in Indo-Aryan could then in fact have been borrowed from this third language into both Indo-Aryan and Dravidian.  To Indian critics of linguistics as a “pseudoscience”, such a ghost language is a perfect proof of the purely speculative nature of our science.  Yet, it is an entirely reasonable proposition: even Sumerian, one of the great vehicles of civilization, died out, and we have reason to assume that the Bhil tribals originally spoke a different language, possibly related to the isolated tribal Nahali language still spoken in a few villages in Madhya Pradesh.

            Such a buffer language would at any rate explain, in an Indian Urheimat theory, why there is no Dravidian influence on Indo-European as a whole, merely on Indo-Aryan and to a very small extent on Iranian (though it is remarkable that some of the words transmitted from Indo-Iranian to Uralic are usually credited with a Dravidian origin, e.g. shishu, “child”, and kota, “house”: another modest argument for an Indian Urheimat?).  By the time the buffer language had been swallowed and Dravidian-IE interaction began, most of the IE proto-languages had already left India.

Koenraad Elst, “3.4.6. Dravidian substratum elements,” Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate

            Caldwell refers to the use of DrāviDa as a language name by KumārilabhaTTa’s Tantravārttika (seventh century A.D.). Actually, Kumārila was citing some words from Tamil which were given Sanskritic resemblance and meanings by some contemporary scholars, e.g., Tamil cōru ‘rice’ (matched with Sanskrit cora ‘thief’), pāmpu ‘snake’ adj. pāppu (Skt. pāpa- ‘sin’), Ta. atar ‘way (Skt. atara- ‘uncrossable’), Ta. māl ‘woman’ (Skt. mālā ‘garland’), vayiRu ‘stomach’ (Skt. vaira- ‘enemy’) (Zvelebil 1990a: xxi-xxii). Caldwell further cites several sources from the scriptures such as the [<p.1-2>] ManusmRti, Bharata’s Nātyazāstra and Mahābhārata, where the word DrāviDa- is used as a people and DrāviDī- as a minor Prakrit belonging to the Paizāci ‘demonic’ group. Since Tamiz was the established word for the Tamil language by the time Caldwell coined the term Dravidian to represent the whole family, it met with universal approval. He was aware of it when he said, ‘By the adoption of this term “Dravidian”, the word ”Tamilian” has been left free to signify that which is distinctively Tamil’ (1956:6). Dravidian has come to stay as the name of the whole family for nearly a century and a half. 

[note 1>] [...] Thus, in the DrāviDa language, certain words ending in consonants are found to be treated as vowel-ending with gender and case-suffixes, and given meanings, as though they are of their own language (Sanskrit); when food is called cōr, they turn it into cora.. (‘thief’). When a path is called atar, they turn it into atara and say, true, the ‘path’ is atara because it is dustara ‘difficult to cross’. Thus, they add a to the word pāp, ending in p and meaning ‘a snake’ and say, true, it is pāpa ‘a sinful being’. They turn the word māl meaning ‘a woman’ into mālā ‘a garland’ and say, it is so. They substitute the word vairi (‘enemy’) for the word vair ending in r and meaning ‘stomach’ and say, yes, as a hungry man does wrong deeds the stomach undertakes wrong/inimical actions (vairi) ... [Kumārila]

The items cited were actually of Tamil, namely cōRu ‘rice’, atar ‘way’, pāppu adjective of pāmpu ‘snake’, māl ‘woman < makal; vayiRu ‘belly’. Since these did not occur as such in KannaDa or Telugu, KumārilabhaTTa was referring to Tamil only in this passage by the name of drāviDa-. [<note 1] [...] [<p.2]

Bhadriraju Krishnamurthi, The Dravidian Languages (Cambridge University Press, 2003)

        Abhinavagupta has consecrated this collaborative web-site with his own name, which has become for us a cipher for all that his life and work still embodies. This great ‘pseudo-etymologist’ not only took an idiosyncratic pleasure in over-loading the simplest words with multiple interlocking and even contradictory meanings, he surrendered his very individuality to the symbolic possibilities of re-construction (pace Derrida) suggested by his name. Hence, our site has trademarked his name ‘Abhinava’ into your very ‘own’ (sva-).

    svAbhinava - an exegesis ą la Abhinava (= sva [‘own’, ‘wealth’] | SV | su + Abhinava ‘ever-new’ + gupta = ’hidden’ )

Dear Loga,

I do strongly suspect that the now extinct Meluhhan tongue left a strong imprint on the various languages of India, including Dravidian and especially Sanskrit, which would account for many of their common features even before they began interacting with each other subsequently:

Were the Afghan fortresses Aryan or Indo-Sumerian? Prof. Parpola attempts to prove, or at least confirm, the ‘Iranian’ character of the Dāsa qala by restoring an ‘Indo-Āryan’ etymology to the term kōTTa. Since the Indus civilization was pacific, should not the very name of these forts betray the ‘ethnicity’ of the warriors who introduced them in the first place? The problem is that it seems to be a borrowing from (proto-)Dravidian that, for him, would be the language of the Harappan elite. Deriving it from gōSThį- ‘cow-house, cattle-yard, cow-pen’ would certainly clinch his case, for the Aryans were the archetypal pastoral nomads, the chief economic base underlying even the later Rigvedic society of the Punjab. The problem here is that the intermediate Sanskrit term kōSTha- ‘store-room, granary, treasury’ could just as well apply to such communal buildings found in Indus cities and that may be traced back all the way to Mehrgarh of the IVth millennium BC. What is more, Meluhha, it seems was already a great producer and exporter of dairy products like cottage cheese and ghee. Finally, the Indo-Āryan word for ‘cow’ is itself not unrelated to Sumerian gu. Considering that the two confronting warriors depicted in the late Indus seal bear Old Akkadian headdresses and the goddess who stands in-between instigating them to reciprocal ‘suicide’ is herself already Sumerian (Inanna), it is easy to envisage the semantic evolution of the (Meluhhan) cow-pen --> granary --> fortress --> cow-pen (Indo-Āryan). The Dāsa fortresses may have perhaps been manned by (some regiments of) proto-Iranian mercenaries, but they also seem to be BMAC prolongations of developments internal to the Indus.

Are Loka-nāthan and Sundar Vizva-lingam really Tamil? Your name is written ‘Loga’ for short because that is how k is pronounced in Tamil between the two vowels. In fact, Tamil does not distinguish phonetically between voiced and mute consonants (g and k here), and is hence obliged to render both from Sanskrit by the same letter, which is why I spell my name (‘Sunthar’) with a th (pronounced as in ‘the’ English definite article) instead of a (ought to be reserved for cerebral?) d as do many Northerners and even (especially non-) Tamil Dravidians. Again, my first name ought to begin with the palatal cu- (a sister of mine who knows no Sanskrit once insisted I was pronouncing my name wrong...) for Tamil has no sibilants (hence also the Sanskrit -zva- that I’ve retained as -suva- really ought to be Tamil -cuva-). Even worse, we have great difficulty phonetically reproducing the distinction between aspirate and non-aspirate consonants, such that Sanskrit loka, lokha, loga, logha, even loha, all become plain and simple Tamil ‘Loga’ (with a k pronounced in this case as g)! So, when we come across an aspirated word or affix with an unaspirated equivalent in Tamil, would it not make more sense to derive it from a Sanskrit original? How then do you account for the aspirated Sanskrit suffix -bhir deriving from ‘Sumero-Tamil’ ba-e-re (indirect cases sg. & pl. -bhi- are found in Indo-Iranian, Greek, Armenian...)? Of course, all this in no way implies that we are both ‘Iranian’ Vellalars, much less ‘Indo-Europeans’, who are pretending to be (Sumero-)Tamils!

Did the Meluhhan elite speak a ‘polished’ (samskRta) tongue? Parpola takes the polysemy of Tamil mīn meaning both (glimmering) ‘fish’ and ‘star’ seriously enough to interpret, through rebus, the fish-sign based symbols of the Indus script as signifying the various planets (cem-, paccai-, vellai-, etc., mīn). Thus MīnākSī would be ’fish-eyed’ because, like the Vedic Aditi, she is the boundless goddess of the night-sky. However, this identification was clearly not based on a linguistic accident for, even without such a ‘homonymy’ in Sanskrit, we find the holy city of Benares being assimilated to a ‘fish’ (matsya) in the womb (udara - also ‘stomach’) of the (‘Milky Way’ of the) Gangā during the Matsyodarī-Yoga. Rather, an esoteric system of ‘religio-scientific’ correspondences between distant astral and immediate cultural phenomena has led to multiple terms for stars that have been inherited by not only Tamil (mīn) but especially Sanskrit, as in ‘hearth’ (dhiSNiya) - after all, like our sun, we now know that they are indeed (nuclear) furnaces. Far from being simply a haphazard evolution from individual pictograms, the Sumerians seem to have invented their writing - which uses the same sign for several referents and, conversely, several signs for the same referent - self-consciously as a means of encoding their world-view. Though the Rgveda is characterized primarily by orality, its poetry reveals these very features and even takes creative liberties by transgressing (like the vidūSaka?) its own linguistic rules to generate a surfeit of meaning. This is why Indra’s piercing of the fortified triple-city (tri-pura of the Dāsās) is no longer the narration of ‘ethnic’ conquest but a (pre-Vedic!) Zākta principle. Not having found any Rosetta stone yet to decipher the Indus seals, I would conclude that its culture was already fundamentally oral.

Should we take ’pseudo-etymologies’ seriously? A word is related to its meaning through a shared mental representation that is taken so much for granted by a community of speakers that an outside linguist is able to study its semantic associations and metamorphoses across time, space, social classes and even distinct language families, as though analyzing an objective phenomenon. When philologists reconstruct the historical evolution of the word for ‘fortress’, they are thus trying to reconstruct the (mostly unconscious) thought patterns of those who used it, with the concomitant risk of imposing our own ‘common-sense’, but wholly modern, taxonomies on archaic modes of thinking. What Kumārila Bhatta, himself the incarnation of the Tamil Murugan whitewashed into the Vedic Skanda, is describing above is the analogical thought processes governing the attempts of his brahmin colleagues to make sense of Dravidian words, the sort of attempts that could have effectively ended up incorporating a huge amount of Meluhhan (and even MunDa, Tibeto-Burman, etc.) speech into Sanskrit (and the Prākrits) by obliterating their original semantic contexts and providing them more ‘valid’ and certifiable ‘Indo-Āryan’ etymologies. The (great-) brahmin clown of the Sanskrit theater in Kerala (later kūTiyāTTam), with his penchant for far-fetched analogies, likewise contributed to the ‘artificial’ development from Sanskrit and Tamil, through his hybrid vernacular (maNi-pravālam), of Malayalam. If we go through the annals of ‘Indo-European’ historical philology, we’ll find a lot of bad ‘etymological jokes’ many of which are probably still taken too seriously. So we might still be in good company...

Once this new world war is finally over and a future ‘Malayo-Aryanist’ manages to retrieve some kilobytes from this Yahoo! archive, he may well come up with some new-fangled theory that (sv)Abhinava was not an 11th century Kashmiri brahmin but a 3rd millennium ‘Mlecchan’ (which is how Pandit Ambikā Datta Upādhyāya used to present me, as a Malaysian, with a great chuckle to other foreign scholars visiting him in Benares)!

With best wishes,


[rest of this thread at Sunthar V

Malayalam as mediator between Sanskrit and Tamil - is Indian linguistic convergence a reflection of cultural fusion? (May 16, 2003 )

Indus civilization, Bactria-Margiana archeological complex (BMAC) and (pre-) Rig-Vedic religion: a contemporary perspective (Mar 13, 2003 )

Language:Sanskrit; Ethnogenesis:Dravidian]

Subject: [Abhinava msg #773]

 Fw: Is Sanskrit an areal effect of Tamil on 'Indo-European'? Kumārila and (sv-)Abhinava on the ('scientific') art of (pseudo-) etymologizing!

From: Dr. K.Loganathan

Date: Mon May 19, 2003; 9:36 pm

Dear Sunthar

I just want to  mention two things briefly here. One is about the archaic phonology of the Tamil or Dravidian languages in general particularly about the lack of the distinction between voiced and nonvoiced plosives such [g] anf [k] and so forth. Also the sibilants [c] [s] [sh] [j] etc. These views based mainly on Tolkaappiyam and Classical Tamil, I belief may NOT be applicable to the Archaic situation such as Sumerian where such phonemes seem to exist. I believe that as the Sumerians drifted down towards S. India, the phonology of the Archaic Tamil must have also undergone changes and new rules came to be formulated and which was done by Tol. The so called Vadavezuttu may in fact be archaic phonemic elements of Tamil itself which however became disallowed in Centamil. But despite this  some survive in the colloquial and  dialectic forms. There are words like 'kashdam" which is obviously related Su. kesda: to bind ( Ta. kaddu) etc.

The point I want to make is that only a more careful study of the Sumerian language will tell us about the archaic phonology about the Dravidian and it s premature to speculate about IndoAryan Dravidian etc on the basis of constructive protoforms. Also the constructivist model may not be appropriate, it may lead to paint a wrong picture of the archaic situation.

Now another comment related to the notion of Areal linguistics:

Many scholars now assume that there was a third language in northwestern India, which acted as a buffer between Dravidian and Indo-Aryan before being eliminated by the latter.  Words looking like Dravidian loans in Indo-Aryan could then in fact have been borrowed from this third language into both Indo-Aryan and Dravidian.  To Indian critics of linguistics as a “pseudoscience”, such a ghost language is a perfect proof of the purely speculative nature of our science.  Yet, it is an entirely reasonable proposition: even Sumerian, one of the great vehicles of civilization, died out, and we have reason to assume that the Bhil tribals originally spoke a different language, possibly related to the isolated tribal Nahali language still spoken in a few villages in Madhya Pradesh.


 This third language or ghost language may very well be SumeroTamil. My prelimianry studies of Rig Veda Purusha Suktam etc indicate this possibility with Classical Tamil being more intimate with this language than Sk and other Indian languages.

I must mention here the notion of Areal Linguistics, first propounded by Emeneau ( if I am not mistaken) is a model  of Historical Linguistics still on Constructivist Linguistics and NOT that of Evolutionary Linguistics, a model favored by Aurobindo, Pavanar etc. Perhaps we can work out a Tree Model of Indian languages in which the main trunk is SumeroTamil with Dravidian and Indo Aryan languages as TWO main branches that separated out quite early with some novelties in phonology and morphology but otherwise substantially the same. I believe the initial agglutinative structure as well as identity in the roots forms are common to these branches of languages. In the end all major Indian languages are Dravidian just as Tamil Malayalam, Kannada Telugu and so forth are



Subject: [Abhinava msg #1599 – order of thread reversed]

 Re: Is Tamil Shaivism tolerant? Do family-folk need ascetics? Ask the Jainas and Buddhists! [full post]

From:  Vel Murugan

Date:  Sat Jan 24, 2004; 1:23 am

I’m glad you followed up on these two issues because Akandabaratam

seems so dedicated to ‘brahmin-bashing’ that introspection seems scarce:

Dr.Visuvalingam, I am afraid has not visited other fora run by his

Sanskrit supremacist friends. It looks like, for him non-brahmin

bashing is okay, but the holy-cows are holier than the rest. I

quite do not understand what exactly is ‘brahmin bashing’. I think

Dr.Visuvalingam owes us an explanation.



Coming to Dr.Loganathan’s twisted ‘etymologies’ in his Sumerian Tamil

theory, do you also the feel the same way about Sanskrit

supremacists’ claim to IVC? If not, why not? Is it because anything

that comes from Sanskrit supremacists is more holier? Dr.

Loganathan’s hypothesis is no worse than the theory of Vedic

brahminists for their Sindu-Sarasvathi civilization claim.

Vel Murugan


 Re: Is Tamil Shaivism tolerant? Do family-folk need ascetics? Ask the Jainas and Buddhists! 

From:  K. Loganathan

Date:  Sat Jan 24, 2004; 2:05 am

Dear Vel

 Thank  you and I think there must be more of such postings especially relating the dynamics of Tamil culture to the foundations laid by Tolkaappiyar (c. 300 BC) which is overlooked by Indologists by their ever ready attitude to read [Sanskrit] influence everywhere. There seems to be a presupposition that Brahmanism cannot but be good and which is quite ridiculous. This is part of the Aryan myth where we were told that it was the Aryans who brought culture to the uncivilized and barbaric Dravidians (and Mundas?) . It is also unfortunate that Sunthar appears to has fallen to this trap and remains quite closed to the fact that Sumerian is Archaic Tamil and so is Rigkrit. I hope this situation will chamge in due course and the great antiquity and the impressive achievements of the SumeroTamils and Tamils are acknowledged.  

Now just one word about following remark of yours:

Coming to Dr.Loganathan’s twisted ‘etymologies’ in his Sumerian Tamil  theory, do you also the feel the same way about Sanskrit  supremacists’ claim to IVC? If not, why not?  Is it because anything  that comes from Sanskrit supremacists is more holier?  Dr.  Loganathan’s hypothesis is no worse than the theory of Vedic  brahminists for their Sindu-Sarasvathi civilization claim.

Let me mention that Sumerian remains ALREADY deciphered and what I am doing is make it clear that it is Archaic Tamil. There is NO twisted logic but the applications of Hermeneutic Logic.  The problems I am tackling are that of RECOGNISABILITY of Sumerian as Archaic Tamil and hence not to be compared with the attempts to decipher IVC script. Now seeing that Rigkrit is also a variant of SumeroTamil, I believe that the language of Indus must be a kind of Tamil and that Winters and many others who have read Dravidian languages into it may be right.

Dr Kalyan’s attempt to read metallurgy everywhere seems to far fetched. Also his postulate of mleccha appears to be just an indirect way of putting that the language is Archaic Tamil. 



 Re: Icon thinking

From: K. Loganathan 

Sent: Sunday, January 25, 2004 6:22 PM


Dear Ray

[...] As I have already explained ava-tara is a Tamil word coming from av-taru where ‘av’ means ’there’ and ‘taru’ means ’to give’. BEING as the Mahaguru, presents Himself as various Imago Dei for the purpose in INSTRUCTING and ILLUMINATING the humble minds of the human beings and in which they benefit only if they INTREPRET these archetypes and get at their MEANINGS.




 Is avatāra a (proto-) Tamil word that has been stolen by the brahmins? New rules for posting ‘etymologies’

From: Sunthar Visuvalingam

Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004; 3:21 pm


To my (and common?) knowledge, ava-tāra ‘descent’ and (by extension) ‘he who descends’ is a word with an independent and well-attested pedigree in Sanskrit that has a large number of related terms derived from the prefix ava- (‘downward’) and the root *trr (‘to cross, to save’). The meaning of the ‘Lord descending among humans’ is perfectly intelligible within the rules of Sanskrit etymology, and can be corroborated with numerous parallel formations. How is it that you have attempted to pass off the word as ‘Tamil’ without even mentioning this fact that ought to be well-known to you? Or is it possible to get a Ph.D. in Tamil linguistics without ever studying the history, scope and nature of Sanskritic loans in Dravidian languages? Otherwise, could you provide us a list of Tamil words, with such cognates in Sanskrit, that begin with ava- (conveniently contracted below into av-...another of those, by now typical, ad hoc maneuvers to push through your agenda?) and regularly have the connotation ‘there’, and another such list containing variants of tar meaning ‘to give’? How is it that the ‘etymologies’ you’ve been posting, now since more than a year, have no references to any Tamil (let alone Sanskrit or Sumerian...) lexicons several of which are readily available online?

As regards Kalyan, I go only by what he chooses to post to our Abhinava forum, where he always supports his interpretations not only with explicit references (overkill!) to relevant dictionaries and citations from recognized (mostly Western) Indologists, but also his own painstaking researches into various Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic, etc., dialects, along with frequent appeals for help even in deciphering the semantic range of well-known Sanskrit words like dharma and vrata. If a retired bank official can be so conscientious in his attempts to decipher the Indus ‘hieroglyphs’ (whatever we may think of his conclusions...which are certainly not that much worse than what has pushed down our throats till recently by the AIT theorists), why is it that a Ph.D. in linguistics like yourself feels exempt from even the minimal integrity that may be expected of any scholar? There are quite a few (Western) Indologists and (Indian) Sanskritists on this list who might enjoy your verbal acrobatics (as they do mine...), but I find it astounding that an ‘educational psychologist’ could attempt to pull such ‘Sumerian’ wool over the eyes of unsuspecting non-scholars who take our elucubrations in all good faith. Other than for a few (especially Malayali) skeptics (like Ram Varmha) who once in a while unfurl a red-flag in alarm (for they are too familiar with Sanskrit to be fooled...), it would seem that the Tamils are all enjoying ‘being taken for a ride’ as long as there have the reassurance that the final destination is an ‘undivided India’ (akaNDa-bāratam) with its capital in Baghdad!

So far I have allowed your ‘Tamil etymologies’ through, even the so-called ‘Sumero-Rgkrit’ ones, to the Abhinava list. In future, I will not approve any such posts if they strike me as being preposterous, unless you take the trouble beforehand to substantiate them with references to authoritative (preferably online) dictionaries, even if only to clarify why you diverge from them. I would also recommend that you not attempt to ‘innocently’ smuggle such ‘etymologies’ aboard your more ‘hermeneutic’ reflections (including the Habits of Mind dialogue), as there is a good chance of the entire post being rejected as a consequence. The Abhinava forum, as I have repeatedly emphasized, is not for proving linguistic theories or displaying one’s knowledge of (even Sanskrit) grammar (there are numerous other forums where you can do that). I allowed Kalyan’s series of posts through because they were prompted by something I wrote about the Indus script, their intent was to draw attention to the 7 volumes that he has just published (and that scholars around the world are surely going to pounce upon...), and the semantic network that he was unraveling in so sustained a manner was intrinsically interesting and relevant to the semiotics of Ganesha, Tantric alchemy, etc.

Our ‘black’ Lord Krishna may well have been a proto-Dravidian ‘messiah’ (avatāra) but I doubt that even he’d be pleased with this kind of ‘linguistic’ proselytizing...


Subject: [Abhinava msg #1600]

 Re: Is avatāra a (proto-) Tamil word that has been stolen by the brahmins? New rules for posting ‘etymologies’

From: Radhakrishna Warrier

Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004; 7:12 pm

Dear Sunthar,

A performance need not be informative to be entertaining. The vidUSaka may transgress all norms of rationality on the stage; it is still entertainment. Transgression of rationality in the arena of linguistics too can be entertainment. It is in the eye of the beholder. A pinch of sense of humor (on the part of the spectator) can sometimes transform a performance that is mere nonsense to one that is humorous and entertaining :-)

Thanks and Regards,

Radhakrishna Warrier

[Response to Sunthar’s post at]

Subject: [Abhinava msg #1602]

 Re: Is avatāra a (proto) Tamil word that has been stolen by the brahmins? New rules for posting ‘etymologies’

From: K. Loganathan

Date: Mon Jan 26, 2004; 7:49 pm

Sunthar Visuvalingam wrote:

To my (and common?) knowledge, ava-tāra ‘descent’ and (by extension) ‘he who descends’ is a word with an independent and well-attested pedigree in Sanskrit that has a large number of related terms derived from the prefix ava- (‘downward’) and the root *trr (‘to cross, to save’).

Dear Sunthar

When the whole identity of Sanskrit as an independent and IndoAryan language is in question, it does not make sense of talking of well attested pedigree of Sanskrit or even lexical borrowings. The order of inquiries should be first about the identity of Sanskrit itself as a language. My claim is that Rigkrit , the language of Vedas from which Sanskrit has emerged is another variation of SumeroTamil and hence Dravidian. Of course this is new and goes against the ‘commonly” accepted understanding propounded by the Aryan minded Indologists for the last two hundred years or so. Most of these studies and dictionaries constructed were done without knowledge of Sumerian. This applies also to Indian Grammarians.

It is something NEW and hence those who intend to deconstruct my view must have a good knowledge of both Sumerian and Tamil. Though I do not pretend to be an expert in both these languages (and also Rigkrit) I am very careful in my claims and what I propose are insights of decades of study. I am open to be shown that I am mistaken by competent scholars.

I don’t think you are competent for you shun philological studies and already remain vehemently opposed to SumeroDravidian studies.. With such a closed mind, how can you understand me in the first place?

However you are most welcome to deconstruct my etymologies and studies of Rigkrit with reference to SumeroTamil. Be specific in your deconstruction and not just stupidly emotional and quite unscholarly in that.


Subject: [Abhinava msg #1614]

 [Re: Is avatāra a (proto-) Tamil word that has been stolen by the brahmins? New rules for posting 'etymologies]

From: Antionio de Nicolas

Date: Wed Jan 28, 2004; 10:23 am

Dear Sunthar and friends,

I think your email below is a bit strong and ad hominen. You do not presupposed that we take etymologies as bearing meaning by themselves, or that the only etymologies we use are those based on alphabetic writing. And even in this last case while the etymology seems to give us one interpretation it turns out it is the interpretation that gives us the etymology. Avatara for example, as you say is etymologically derived from ava- down avatt. to save, descend etc. If you take this etymology directly it would appear you are talking about Christ, the Savior, coming down to save sinners, not the Avatara, a man raised by his own effort and a LOT OF DIVINE TOUCH to the complete manifestation of what a human can become at a particular time, like Krsna in the Gita etc.

From the point of view of etymology we have come down from pictogram (example, "sun": as an image of the real sun in the sky), to phonogram ("son" as a homonym of name of image"), to ideogram (day as it refers to the time when the sun is out), transitional alphabetic ("s" sound as in the first sound in word, sun), and alphabetic (the letter "s" with no pictographic correspondence).

It is really a jump into the abyss to claim a proper rendition of etymologies unless our demand is for the sake of control and misunderstanding as to the value of etymology. I personally find them very interesting as a tool to guide, a finger pointing, a possible direction, but certainly not an interpretation, much less an inquisition.

On the other hand without etymology (some form of it) there is no writing. But which one?


Antonio de Nicolas

Subject: [Abhinava msg #1620 – order of thread reversed]

 (no subject)

From: Antonio de Nicolas

Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 11:29:00 EST

To: K. Loganathanan

Dear Loga,

I have just posted this email to Abhinavagupta’s group. I was not happy with Sunthar’s treatment of you. You may post it around at your discretion.



[Rest of this message at Antonio (28 Jan 04),

Re: Is avatāra a (proto-) Tamil word that has been stolen by the brahmins? New rules for posting ‘etymologies]


 Fwd: (no subject)

From:  K. Loganathan

Date:  Thu Jan 29, 2004; 8:09 am [msg# 9506]

Dear Prof

Thank you very much. I just don’t understand Sunthar here. In fact there is more taking people into a linguistic ride in the Indo-Aryan theories than in my Sumero-Dravidian thesis. Perhaps it is the great difficulty some people have to readjust themselves to this new view.

Any way let me mention that even if  ’ava’ is taken as a Sanskrit “pure pedigree” this does NOT apply to ‘taara, tara” which is certainly SumeroTamil tar-ra and Ta. taru: to give. The ‘ab, av’ as prefix verbal infix and so forth occurs in Sumerian though it has become obsolete in Tamil except in some frozen forms. However it occurs separately as a pronoun ‘av’ meaning there, those and so forth.

I have faced a lot of oppositions to quite of a number of things I have said but never worried too much about such matters as I am quite convinced that I am right and in TRUTH.

Thank you for kind words and let us go on with the dialog where I am really learning a lot.

I believe as did Aurobindo that etymological studies are quite important to the psychology of word formations and also to understand better the workings of the mind.


From:  Ram Varmha

Date:  Thu Jan 29, 2004  12:59 pm [msg# 9508]

Subject:  Re: [akandabaratam] Fwd: (no subject)


Ram Varmha wrote:

Dear Doctors,

It is not that I am as knowledgeable as you are in the science of etymological archaeology, or word-play and I do not care to, or to be honest, have the capability of, drawing swords with the likes of you.

But, on four or five occasions, even, I was able to expose total nonsense written regarding word formulations and bridging.

I sincerely suggest, for your own benefit, that you should seriously consider what you write, to protect your own credibility.

In a lighter tone, I heard from one of my  Kerala  friends that some of the Pharaohs of Egypt were Malayalees.

Well, he said:

Aken-Aten =  Akkan-Ettan  =  Older-Brother, and

Tut-Ankh-Amun = Kuttan-Ammaman = Younger-Uncle  !!!!

Makes sense?




 Are Dr. Loganathan’s (pseudo-) ‘etymologies’ furthering the larger cause of (indeed badly neglected) Tamil?

From: Sunthar Visuvalingam

Date: Thu Jan 29, 2004; 11:14 am

Well done Sunthar!

I believe it was about three years ago that I told Dr. Loga (in the IndianCivilization group) that using his “linguistic” methods, I could prove that Greek was archaic Malayalam :-) I am thinking of taking just a small step from this platform created by the learned doctor of linguistics to prove that not only Sumerian, but any language ever spoken by any human being did indeed originate from the archaic version of my “taay mozhi.” Why speak of poor mortals when I can prove that those immortals sitting on the highest peak of Himalaya did indeed speak only this holy language that my mother too spoke. (“Himalaya” is “I-Malaya”, from “Ii-Mala”, this hill, and ultimately from Ii-Malayalam, this land of Malayalam.) I can provide undeniable proof that this divine ‘mozhi’ is the holy and only medium of communication between the BEING and the being :-)

Dr. Loga has been trying to pull the Sumerian and Tamil wool over the eyes of non-scholars for quite a long time. But can’t say how many took seriously the learned doctor’s “linguistic” antics (except perhaps those semiliterate denizens of the e-world who might be wearing glasses tinted with shades of chauvinism.) Many, like me, may have taken a back seat and tried to enjoy this comic performance. It indeed provides comic relief to see the grand performance of this great vidooshaka of linguistics. But a vidooshaka is supposed to know that he is a vidooshaka; that he is transgressing the rational way for the entertainment of the spectators. Does Dr. Loga know? Perhaps it is a million dollar question.

Dear Ram,

I am citing, with explicit permission, a message I received on 26 Jan from a longtime member of Akandabaratam in immediate response to my controversial post chastising Loga for his ‘etymologies’. I replied as follows: “Thanks for your appreciative note. I have great sympathy for Loga’s love of Tamil language and culture, Shaiva Siddhānta tradition, and his desire to spread the knowledge of its disregarded classics like Tolkappiyam. This is why I had opened the doors of the Abhinava forum wide to allow him to broadcast his message, but with at least a minimal respect for the rules that apply to everyone. However, I have felt from the beginning that he is doing great damage to his own cause and that, at some point, his (even Tamil) readers are going to become disillusioned and come to reject what is of value in his commentaries (e.g., much of Tirumular’s mystic physiology seems identical to Abhinava’s Trika tradition) because of his antics.”

I recall a recent instance when the (English!) name ‘Jesus’ was blithely derived from ‘Ziusudra’ (the Sumerian ‘Noah’!), upon which some good Christian (and Samaritan?) immediately pointed out the anachronism involved for that is not how Jesus was (or could have been) called in his own times. Loga has yet to demonstrate that this ‘etymology’ was based on anything more than the sort of sound-resemblances that one may expect of the Mad Hatter in Through the Looking Glass (Alice, though a child in Wonderland, was not least not most of the time)!

With regards,


Subject: [Abhinava msg #1621]

 Re: Are Dr. Loganathan's (pseudo-) 'etymologies' furthering the larger cause of (indeed badly neglected) Tamil?

From: K. Loganathan

Date: Thu Jan 29, 2004; 7:53 pm

Dear Sunthar,

With due apologies, I do not think you are qualified at all to pass any comments on my etymological studies and further insult me calling them Pseudo and so forth. This is MORE EMOTIONAL than scholarly. As I admitted I may be wrong in some cases but RIGHT in thousands of other cases in relation to SumeroTamil Rigkrit as Archaic Tamil and so forth. What is the LOGIC of your thinking where because there are some doubts (I am still not convinced that Jesus is not related Su. ji-us) in some cases the WHOLE of my claim is pseudo?

Also you have been vehemently OPPOSED to such philological studies where you have disallowed or threatened to disallow any posting from me that contained references to Sumerian. How can you then assume the mantle of a judge to pass sentences on such issues? If you really want to show the pseudo character of my studies, take up my studies of Sirbiyam, Mutaribiyam and so forth( all available in SumeroTamil Campus), show me where EXACTLY my claims are pseudo and provide ALTERNATIVES, that in your view are genuine and more acceptable. This is the way to conduct yourself as a scholar and which will benefit the whole world.

Otherwise keep a respectful silence in such matters as areas that are beyond you to comment intelligently and in a scholarly manner.

By the way I am the SAME Loga who writes on SumeroTamil Rigkrit and so forth as the one who writes on Tirmular Dialogs on Habits of Mind, Lessons on Botham etc. The SAME MIND is at work in all these fields and where my respect for TRUTH is evident. I remain the SAME Hermeneutic Scientist in all these.


Subject: [Abhinava msg #1632]

 Re: Soma, hom ‘electrum’

From:  S.Kalyanaraman

Date:  Wed Jan 28, 2004  7:30 am

--- In, Clyde Winters wrote:>

> This results from the fact that the

> Egyptian> language is much older than I-A languages--as a result

> the Egyptians could not have gotten this term from the

> I-E speakers.

There is a problem here.

Joseph Needham also refers to another term in Old Egyptian: pammena.

This term is said to be cognate with Bra_hman.a.

The early attested use about Bra_hman.a as pa_rppanan, pa_rppa_n.

How do you fix this? Maybe, the chronology of I.E > IA has to be revisited.

[S. Kalyanaraman]


 Re: [akandabaratam msg# 9498] Re: Soma, hom ‘electrum’

From:  K. Loganathan

Date:  Wed Jan 28, 2004  6:39 pm

Dear Dr Kalyan

There appears to be confusion about the etymological roots about the “sooma” which also occurs in Tamil as “sooma yaakam’ and so forth.

We have to note that it may be possible different etymological roots have given rise to the SAME word leading to this confusion in meanings.

First the ‘sooma’ in Rigkrit may be a later rending of Su’en of Nanna Su’en the Moon God of the Sumerian. In-anna, the Creatrix of the universe is said to be dumu-gal, the eldest daughter of this Su’en. So the reference to the Moon and hence to the Bindu is quite obvious here. In-anna as the creatrix is the source of SEXUALITY without which there cannot be species reproduction and multiplication to fill the earth with the living creatures. This is the original ‘sooma paanam’ (the ‘soma pitahye’) the [drinking or consumption of the - SV] juice of Soma.

The other source is Su. sul, sur and sun about which I have given many references.

This is the etymological root of: suurian, suullam, surNam, suunyam and so forth.

suurnam’ that means something that glistens, radiates bright light and so forth, has become ‘suvaraNam” i.e gold and which is a variant of Ta. sorNam, connam and so forth. It really means any metal that glistens and by more frequent use it has become ‘gold”

There is Ta. suurNam, suuraNam, suurNi and so forth and which means: to reduce to power, the extract the essence, etc., and which may relate to your “electrum” etc. But the root meaning is to dry up, evaporate and so forth for otherwise of converting something into powder form may not be possible. This may also occur as a term in alchemical processes.

It appears that it has become “sooma” in Sanskrit by the displacement of “-n-’ with ‘-m-’ that we also see in another important word : Su. nam-tar-ratar-nam> tarmam> Sk dharma. In Tamil there is the word ‘taruNam” meaning a given opportunity still in use.

With this let me come to Brahmanah and SramaNa (Ta. samaNam)

The word “pamanah” you mention  as Egyptian is certainly archaic Tamil for we have in Su. pa meaning the zenith and which exists in Ta. as paal: meaning not only the zenith (Su. an-pa> Ta. vaanpaal) but also the Brahman as in Tol ‘paalatu aaNai (kaLaviyal). The root meaning of ‘paal’  is brilliance, brightness and so forth and because of which is its used also as “paalai’ the desert landscape.

Now “maNah’ in Tamil means to dip in and get soaked. Thus ‘paamaNah’ will mean a person who gets into the metaphysical realms of Brilliance or the Sun.

Now once we reconstruct sramaNah by replacing the lost vowel we will get “suramaNah” the one who gets into the Brilliance but more specially the Sun, the Sura (<suur-a)

Thus it appears that both ‘paamaNah’ and “suurmaNah” are just variations of the common theme of being drowned by the Inner Sun, the Ta. aariyan, the one who has the aar, the sun shining replendetly within.

The word ‘paarppaaN’ I tend to derive from Su. bab-bar which also means silver. The term (d) asim-bab-bar may mean the Aatipaarppaan, the primordial brilliant stuff and perhaps this is a name for Brahma (<parama(n) which also has as its root ‘par’ where it means the “sun” again, as in Ta. paru-ti and so forth.

It appears to me that unless we take them as words in Archaic Tamil and relate them to the SumeroTamil, the real meanings cannot be fully and clearly understood.



 Sanskrit Soma and the ‘return of the repressed’ - why is seeing Tamil words in Sumerian tablets like conducting a ‘philological’ Rorschach test?

From: Sunthar Visuvalingam

Date: Sun Feb 1, 2004; 3:49 pm


However I would strongly recommend the USE of Divine Tamil in all such situations and which is being spearheaded by Santhalingka SwamikaL, Ponnambala AdikaLar and numerous others. Of course, this should be no problem for the South African Tamils as they do not use any other scriptures in their worship except Devaram [Tamil corpus of hymns]. We have learned an important lesson in history. Once we allow Sanskrit, then the Brahmins who identify themselves with Sanskrit more than Tamil even born a Tamil (with some exceptions) will immediately proclaim to the world of how Tamil culture has been sanskritized and how Dravidian culture is indebted to the Brahmans (and hence the Indo-Aryans). If in Sumerian times, CaGkam times and Bakti times, Tamil was the language of the religion and Temple among the Tamils, I do not see why it cannot be now.

Dr. K. Loganathan, Re: Yajna [29 Jan 04, Akandabaratam msg# 9513 = Abhinavagupta msg# 1623]

That was an unnecessary exchange of posts. Sunthar, it was despicable and unfair to make such accusations without proper refutations. Please refute Loga’s SumeroTamil hypothesis or keep your gap shut! Most of us do not agree with all of what Dr. Loga says is correct, but most of us do also think that is not wrong. In fact, I think he has hit the motherload! It is the lack of archeological studies to support his views, that has held us back from openly backing him. But I think that with more archeological studies on Poompuhar and Dvaraka, and more references, Dr. Loga will be hailed as a scholar of the century on Indian Civilisation.

[Pathmarajah Nagalingam (30 Jan 04 - Akandabaratam msg# 9529)]

Our task is to create a usable Tamil standard which people will use.  Yes, it is wonderful to say koTTai vaTi niir for coffee, but no one will understand it!  Similarly, the great majority of people who use Tamil (regardless of political affiliation) need grantha characters (s, h, j). They are not an abomination, nor are they a subtle political attempt by any caste or political group to get control of the language.  They are indispensable if Tamil is to become a modern language, pure and simple -- not only for transliterating Sanskrit, but for transliterating almost any other language.  They are pronounced in modern Tamil (does anyone say kari for hari, or caina for jaina?)

For heaven’s sake, let’s face facts.  Thomas Malten has discovered that Tamil has only 50% of the words that are shared between modern German and English.  This means that Tamil is NOT a usable or viable language for modern purposes -- that is one reason why English is used almost exclusively in Tamil Nadu for purposes of technology and science.  Tamil is LESS usable for modern purposes than Malayalam, which has been blessed with considerably more linguistic insight and rationality than Tamil. Purging the alphabet of symbols and sounds in common usage among the Tamils is not our purpose.  If people want to write without the grantha letters -- and there are styles of Tamils where this is desirable and even necessary -- they can do so.  But we must have a standard in which people can write borrowed words from English, Sanskrit, Telugu, Arabic, Russian (try ‘Stalin’), and other languages if they wish.  This can only enrich Tamil. Any other course would permanently and disastrously close Tamil off to any rational efforts at modernization, and I for one refuse to have anything to do with such a course.  I love the language too much. We live in a global, interconnected world.  Like it or not, no language is an island.

George Hart (a leading world-authority on Tamil language and literature), Grantha letters in Tamil

Watch how you phrase things. Say “This looks like ...” or “This could be ...” never “This is...” After all, you’re supposed to realize that it is just a blot of ink on a card. By the same token, don’t be too literal and say things as, “This is a blotch of black ink.” Don’t groan, get emotional, or make irrelevant comments. Don’t put your hands on the cards to block out parts. The psychologist will watch for all of the foregoing as signs of brain damage. If there are no right answers for the test, there are some general guidelines as to what is a normal response. You can probably see images in the inkblots proper and in the white spaces they enclose. Stick to the former. Don’t be afraid of being obvious. There are several responses that almost everyone gives; mentioning these shows the psychologist you’re a regular guy. It is okay to be original if you can justify what you see in the shape, shading, or color of the blot. If you see an abalone and can point out why it looks like one, then say so. Justifiable original responses are usually judged to be indicative of creativity or intelligence. You don’t want non sequiturs, images that don’t fit the blot in the judgment of the psychologist. These may be signs of psychosis. You’re expected to see more than one thing on all or most of the cards. Not being able to see anything on a card suggests neurosis. Usually the more things you can see, the better, as long as they fit the form and color of the blot. Of course, you can see things in the whole blot or in parts of it, and images may overlap. [...] Should you mention the penis and vagina? Not necessarily. Every Rorschach plate has at least one obvious representation of sexual anatomy. You’re not expected to mention them all. In some interpretation schemes, mentioning more than four sex images in the ten plates is diagnostic of schizophrenia. The trouble is, subjects who took Psychology 101 often assume they should detail every possible sex response, so allowances must be made. Most Rorschach workers believe the sex images should play a part in the interpretation of responses even when not mentioned. You may not say that the lower red area looks like a vagina, but psychologists assume that what you do say will show how you feel about women. Nix on “crab”; stick with “butterfly.” 

The Rorschach Test

The test is considered “projective” because the patient is supposed to project his or her real personality into the inkblot via the interpretation. The inkblots are purportedly ambiguous, structureless entities which are to be given a clear structure by the interpreter. Those who believe in the efficacy of such tests think that they are a way of getting into the deepest recesses of the patient’s psyche or subconscious mind. Those who give such tests believe themselves to be experts at interpreting their patients’ interpretations. What evidence is there that an interpretation of an inkblot (or a picture drawing or sample of handwriting--other items used in projective testing) issues from a part of the self that reveals true feelings, rather than, say, creative expression? What justification is there for assuming that any given interpretation of an inkblot does not issue from a part of the self bent on deceiving others, or on deceiving oneself for that matter?

Rorschach Inkblot Test (Skeptic’s Dictionary)

Dear Loga,

On reading your critique of Kalyan’s assimilation of soma to ‘gold’ (or electrum), it suddenly dawned on me that there might indeed be a common theoretical insight underlying the Rorschach tests that you’ve derived from Shaiva Tantrism and the ‘evolutionary philology’ you are applying to the decipherment of Sumero-Tamil. For the benefit of our readers, let me clarify that Tamil has only a single phoneme ē for representing 7 different sounds in Sanskrit: not only c (as in ‘charm’), ch (aspirated), j and jh, but also the 3 sibilants (s, z and S). Often, the same Tamil ē is pronounced as c or j (as in rāja) or s (as in the initial letter of my name) or z (as in Ziva) to match the distinctive pronunciation of the Sanskrit equivalent. If you want to distinguish these sounds clearly in Tamil script, you have to resort to 1 of the 6 grantha letters that were introduced specifically for transliterating Sanskrit loanwords (and that are used nowadays to render Tamilized English words as well). So any attempt to derive a Tamil word directly from Sumerian must take into account the exact phonetic shape and meanings of the corresponding Sanskrit word (of course, for a true philological exercise, one should also consider the relevant evidence from all related languages, like Iranian, Akkadian, etc., but this is not my intent here, nor even within my competence...). All the more so, if claims are being made that ‘Sumero-Tamil’ (as opposed to Sanskrit or Rigkrit) is the ultimate origin of the term in question. [I’ve provided the Sanskrit equivalents of Tamil words below in square brackets].

You have given Sumerian sul, sur, sun as the common root of Tamil ēūrian [sūrya], ēūllam [zūla - trident], ēurNam [cūrNa ‘powder’, svarNa ‘gold’], ēūnyam [zūnya - ‘emptiness’]. Though this might seem plausible to our readers because they have all been rendered in Tamil with the same letter (ē), the Sanskrit equivalents have distinct phonemes that cannot be confused in this way unless there are legitimate but infrequent linguistic grounds for doing so (e.g., my recent example of L = D in the etymology of kōmālī = ‘clown’). The straightforward explanation would seem to be that these are all distinct Sanskrit words that have become phonetically homogenized when imported into Tamil, which means that you can’t directly compare their Tamil forms to Sumerian. If you claim that the borrowing has been from Tamil into Sanskrit, then you need to explain how the same initial sound ended up being rendered differently in each case. What were the phonetic rules involved? Indeed, what are the transformational rules between Sumerian and Tamil that should be the basis of your hypothetical reconstructions? You have read my (incomplete) translation from Bernard Sergent giving detailed phonetic equivalences, with illustrative examples, between a wide variety of Black African and Dravidian languages (not just Tamil). Not only have I seen nothing of the sort for ‘Sumero-Tamil’ (which you keep harping on as if it were a single language...), I see no indication that you have, in the meantime, made the least attempt to account systematically for these African equations before sifting through the residue to see what may be explained rather in terms of Sumerian. This is formidable work, but it would need to be done before even the possibility of ‘Sumero-Tamil’ may be admitted. The same holds true for all Sanskrit loanwords in Tamil.

In the same vein, you pose the derivation “Su. nam-tar-ratar-nam> tarmam> Sk dharma” and propose taruNam as a Tamil cognate. Again, there is no explanation offered as to how Sumero-Tamil ta becomes Sanskrit dha, and ignores the well-known fact that there are precise rules (guNa of the vowel, and addition of the suffix -ma, as in karma from *kR, or as in gharma) for deriving dharma from the root *dhR (‘to bear or support’) from which are derived so many other nouns such as dhāraNā, dhRTi, dhairya (also a Tamil loanword..), that convey the same sense: after all, isn’t dharma that which maintains the world (just as as Rta governs its ‘order’). Note also that there is a Sanskrit word taruNa meaning ‘youth’ that has no connection with dharma. Nowhere, have I been attempting to prove the ‘Indo-European’ (or even Indo-Iranian) origins of such word-clusters, but merely pointing out the difficulties of accounting for them satisfactorily in terms of Tamil phonetics and linguistics. Why do you not consider the possibility that both Tamil and Sanskrit (and perhaps not only these two) may have been powerfully shaped by another unknown (Kalyan’s ‘bhāratīya’?) language (spoken by the Meluhhan elite?), which would account not only for their affinities from very early on (and which would thus lend credence to Shri Aurobindo’s thesis of their common origin)? This tongue may well have affinities with (a variant of) Sumerian (as currently known), but I have not seen any evidence that they are the same language, whether Sumero-Tamil or Sumero-Sanskrit. 

Similarly, I would note in passing that practically all the other words that you list have entirely intelligible etymologies within Sanskrit, some of which have benefited from entire essays by reputed scholars, who have attempted to demonstrate how these semantics embody a coherent sacrificial and/or ascetic worldview. Thus, zrāmaNa from *zram- ‘to make an effort, toil, become fatigued’ (recall that the performance of Vedic sacrifice was itself described as a ‘wearisome labor’ - Charles Malamoud); brahman from *bRh- (hence Brhas-pati, etc.) meaning ‘to expand’ (or is anyone here claiming that Egyptian ‘pammena’ actually refers to brahmin priests hoodwinking even the faraway Pharaoh?); yāga (yajńa - are there native formations in -jńa in Tamil?) from *yaj- ‘to sacrifice’;  confusion of ‘gold’ (svarNa) and ‘powder’ (cūrNa) is possible only if they are taken as being originally the same word, perhaps not so surprising from an anti-brahmin Tamilologist who does not know Sanskrit. Similarly, the way in which your ‘evolutionary philology’ splits up so many (Sumero-) ‘Tamil’ words (like agni, brahman, etc.) is feasible only if one willfully suppresses their derivations and cognates within Sanskrit and the religio-cultural coherence of their associated ideas within Vedism. How do you account for the Avestan haoma = Sanskrit soma? Is it intellectually honest for an ‘educational psychologist’ to propose such ‘etymologies’ to those who do not know all the required languages, without first carefully laying out the available evidence (preferably at your Sumero-Tamil Campus rather than a forum presided over by the brahmin Abhinavagupta) so that they might come to an independent and informed judgment?

In case you haven’t heard, here is the latest joke starting to make its (Internet) rounds on the recent controversy instigated by our ever mischievous Lord of Obstacles: Driven to nervous breakdown on account of all those death-threats from dharmic Hindus, Prof. Courtright goes to an āgamic psychoanalyst, who decides to evaluate him with his own patented version of the famous Rorschach test. First he displays an inkblot that looks like a crooked elephant’s trunk, and Paul shouts: “hey! that’s your flaccid penis!” Then a smoking cigar sticking out of an ash-tray: “that’s Freud’s phallus hard at work!” And so on. Finally, he tries to get rid of this incurable patient with a gulab jāmun (rounded milk pastry soaked in rose water): “I’m not swallowing your freshly-used condoms!” screams the offended Indologist. The therapist throws up his hands in despair and exclaims: “Look! I just showed Kalyan a limp phallus, and he claimed it was a blacksmith’s bellows; he even kept insisting that my assistant Sarasvatī’s hairy vagina was actually a furnace that I wasn’t able to recognize because the smoke was getting into my eyes; when I rewarded his high-minded recovery of our lost metallurgy with a soma-laden laddu, he finally struck gold and snatched it from my hand. So what kind of an American pervert are you?” “Me? pervert?” asks the incredulous RISA-logist, “why, you’re the Hindu who produced all this filthy stuff!”

Though the Sumerians had etched their ‘perceptions of truth’ (mey-kāNdal) in cuneiform upon clay tablets, their words reach us today as printed shapes, blurred impressions that diffuse across our cerebral matter like leaking thoughts on blotting paper. In deciphering their meanings and associations, we perhaps need to be careful not be blinded by our unconscious passions: otherwise we may just be ‘seeing ink’ (mei-kāNdal)!

With sincere best wishes,


[Rest of this thread at Sunthar V.

Can one establish the Sumerian origin of Tamil words while systematically ignoring their correlates in Sanskrit? (30 Jan 04)

Are Dr. Loganathan’s (pseudo-) ‘etymologies’ furthering the larger cause of (indeed badly neglected) Tamil? (29 Jan 04)]

Subject: [Abhinava msg #1638]

 Re: Sanskrit Soma and the 'return of the repressed' - why is seeing Tamil words in Sumerian tablets like conducting a 'philological' Rorschach test?

From: S. Kalyanaraman

Date: Mon Feb 2, 2004; 12:25 pm

--- In, K. Loganathan wrote:

> Dear Sunthar

>You are a very confused person. What has the observation that Tamil at the moment and from the period of Tol. lacks certain phonemes to communicate some modern terms have to do with my thesis that Sumerian is Archaic Tamil and so is Rigkrit?

I think this is not a fair comment, Loga, about Sunthar. He disagrees with your etymologies; he has provided arguments for doing so; so do I because the discipline of linguistics has provided us with the received wisdom of rules of phonetic changes, methods for identifying borrowings/re-borrowings and genetic features in languages as part of comparative linguistics. I can say this in the context of a multi-lingual comparative dictionary I have constructed after 20 years' hard work, for 25+ ancient languages of Akanda Baratam. See Indian Lexicon at the following URL and connecting links ane/2003-March/007229.html

This is one example of Akkadian dictionary. There are also experts on Sumerian/Akkadian languages in University of Chicago where research work has been progressing for several decades now.

This is Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary Project.

The URLs will lead to links which may help Loga test out his ideas with these scholars in middle-eastern/far-eastern linguistics.

I assume that there will also be discussion groups on these languages and Loga may post his thoughts on such lists.


Subject: [Abhinava msg #1639]

 Re: Sanskrit Soma and the 'return of the repressed' - why is seeing Tamil words in Sumerian tablets like conducting a 'philological' Rorschach test?

From: K. Loganathan

Date: Mon Feb 2, 2004; 7:55 pm

Dear Kalyan

Thank-you and when the time comes  I will do that. Since I am involved in many projects and a day has only 24 hours, you can see how careful I have to be with my time.

However I am willing to enter into meaningful dialog with anyone who is sincere in his quest. Racial sentiments run high in such studies and I do not want to waste my time with such racialists.

I think the problem is quite fundamental and the model of evolutionary linguistics  propounded by Aurobindo and Pavanara must be recalled. In addition to that Historical Linguistics as belonging to Hermeneutic Science must also be understood. You must recall the famous critic of Pavanar of the Dravidian Etymological Dictionary complied by Burrow and Emeneu. A mere collection COMMON etymas is NOT sufficient to determine to what family a particular word belongs. One has to go the ROOTS and  see how the etymas have developed from the roots and by what rules. If you read Pavanar's Veerc Col KadduraikaL you will understand what I am saying.

I good case in point is the derivation of Karma Dharma and so forth. Even by Dravidian linguists these are NOT taken as Dravidian in origin. But my studies of SumeroTamil shows otherwise. There you have "gar-u" 'gal' 'gar" and so forth meaning to do, to set up etc. For example in Lamentations over the Destruction of Ur , we  have: ilu gar-u ambar gu gar-u ( Set up a lamentation or swamp! set up laments.

Similalry for  'tarumam' which I derive from Su.nam-tar-ra

Now I have already noted the presence [j] sound in Sumerian as 'ji' 'ji-ji' 'gaj' 'uj' and so forth. While from the days of Tol. this has been disallowed but you see its presence in SumeroTamil. We can also see that such sounds have  been multiplied in Sanskrit while assimilated as allophones in Tamil. This also applies to [g] '[k[ and [h] and so forth

Languages EVOLVE  and notion of Family of Languages has to be seen from what embryonic form or Archaic form ancient languages like Tamil or Sanskrit have evolved.  I have studied the evolution of the Tamil verbal system from Sumerian along these lines.

While Sanskrit can be said to have evolved from Rigkrit, what is embryonic form from  which Rigkrit has EVOLVED? My view is that it is SumeroTamil and PIE is just a fiction with no possibility of authentication. Over the last 200 years or so no one has furnished a SPECIMEN of the PIE. It  hovers in the sky just as a possibility without ever being a reality.

The following is a passage from such studies where I deal with Rigkrit ' bhir' and 'ir". Such studies can be extended to Semantics Syntax Phonology and so forth.


The language( Rigkrit) as  a whole is Archaic Tamil of a sort for every word can be given a Dravidian cognate most of the time with references to SumeroTamil texts. The grammatical elements - in Verb morphology Noun morphology and syntax are the same as in Sumerian and Tamil and hence the language is definitely a species

of Dravidian in terms of classification of language. But despite this it is also evident than the language of Rig is LESS ARCHAIC than SumeroTamil and hence a later variety. Since most of the Sumerian texts are dated around the period  4000 B.C --1500 B.C , it is clear that Rig Veda must be LATER than 1500 B.C and hence a date quite consistent with that which has arrived at by many scholars. Perhaps it is to be dated around 1200 B.C or so.

 Su. ba-ere and Sk. -bhir , Ta. peer

I shall point out some evidences for this from this first hymn. This pertains to the nominal suffix  'bhir' as in

"puurve-bhir" 'rishi-bhir ' devee-bhir" etc. Here it is a variant of Su. ba-ere which itself is variant  of 'ba-ene'  where the roots 'ba' and 'inam' are still available in Tamil. The late version of Ta. peer, is quite close to this Rig Vedic "-bhir" . Thus we can see a line of development as follows : Su. ba-ene> Su. ba-ere > Sk. bhir > Ta. peer.


Su. -ere Sk-ir Ta. ar, aar

Another  noun morphology element  related to the above is Sk  -ir which can be taken as a variant of Su. ere which is itself is a variant of Su. ene ( Ta. inam:  a group, a collectivity) This we see in in such words as 'nutani-ir" ,  the newly forth coming , a notion rendered in Sulgi as "sa bal-bal-a egir-da"  and "doshavastar ' ( , dhosavastu-ir) .


Subject: [Abhinava msg #1659]

 Message not approved: John of the Cross and Sivamsom

Date: Fri, 06 Feb 2004 01:53:23 -0000

From: Sunthar Visuvalingam

To: K. Loganathan

Please remove the pseudo-etymologies (that I've already debunked) before reposting, if you want the message to go through. - Sunthar



> I am reading the article Prof Antonio was kind enough to send me.


> In more ancient times in the Indian culture we have the terms

Sramanah and Bramanah derived again from Ta. Suramanah and Ta.

Paramanah where both the roots 'sur' and 'par' means the sun,

something bright and resplendent. The Jain 'samanah" could have

evolved from Ta. sumanah where the 'su' in Sumerian also means

something bright and resplendent. It has become Ta. koo meaning

divine also a meaning of 'su"




> Loga


 Fwd: Message not approved: John of the Cross and Sivamsom

From:  K. Loganathan [Akandabaratam msg# 9648]

Date:  Thu Feb 5, 2004; 8:52 pm

Dear Ram

You asked me to post my articles in many groups like IndianCivilization and so forth. Well look at what Sunthar says as to why he disallowed my posting on John the Cross and Sivamsom because it contains etymologies where I make reference to Sumerian that he claims he has already debunked. Of course I have refused and also told him I will NOT post anymore to his group. What he is doing is very unscholarly - follow my dictates and if not X. 

This is the kind of experience I had with many groups and the primary reason for opening Akandabaratam.

Indian mind is a SICK mind, full of prejudices. They are NOT OPEN and ready to LEARN. They get into a mental set and when evidences are shown that challenges the prejudices, this what they do!

This is the reason why I call for a NeoDravidian Movement that will destroy such mental sets.


Subject: [Abhinava msg #1659]

 Why are Loga's 'Sumero-Tamil etymologies' not welcome at the Abhinavagupta forum?

From: Sunthar Visuvalingam

Date: Fri Feb 6, 2004; 10:31 am


Since you seem to have great difficulty registering what I (and some others...) have repeated quite explicitly before, let me clarify once again:

The Abhinavagupta forum was never intended for extended etymological or grammatical discussions of any kind (not even perfectly valid analyses of Sanskrit). You are the only one who has been posting such 'studies' for well over a year now and, despite the general rule, most of them were allowed through. What has become increasingly intolerable is that not only are your concrete examples entirely concocted to serve a specific partisan agenda but are increasingly peppered with all kinds of invective that border on racism. Apparently, it's of more consequence to you to prove, at any cost, the supremacy of 'Dravidian' Sumeria than to enlighten us about the importance of the neglected Tamil canon....

My own recent 'indulgence' in Sanskrit etymology (BTW dhairya is from dhīra 'firm, steady' and not from the root *dhR - this is what happens when you let yourself get carried away on the wings of sound...) was directed at revealing what your (non-) 'analyses' of 'Sumero-Tamil' words systematically represses from our awareness.  I rejected your post below because it simply repeats what I had attempted to refute with no further justification of any kind. Moreover, you have neatly squeezed it, like a hamburger, into a 'dialogue' with Antonio about something else altogether, despite my previous explicit warning (see link below) that I would not allow such subterfuges. Why do you bombard the inboxes at Ontological Ethics with long passages in Tamil, Sumeria, etc. (I've been receiving complaints...), when that forum is not primarily for Indian culture (those there interested in Indian philosophy are already members of Abhinavagupta)?

You claim that only those who know the two languages (apparently Sanskrit is wholly irrelevant...) are qualified to evaluate your learned etymologies. In that case, why do you persist in posting these hypotheses to forums where few know Tamil and perhaps none Sumerian? Those here at Abhinava who take your linguistic work seriously would have surely joined Akandabaratam by now. I began posting to Akandabaratam at your explicit invitation after it came to my attention that you had been selectively reposting there my messages at Abhinava. Let us know what the rules for posting are there and I will abide by them. For now, it would seem that anything goes, including anti-Muslim hate-speech from the Hindu Mahasabha and neo-Nazi rhetoric against the Semite Sargon the Great (wasn't your beloved En-Hudu-Ana his daughter?).

Those who want to follow Loga's detailed reconstruction of 'Sumero-Tamil' may do so at


[Rest of this thread at Loga (11 Jan 04) The Sumerian Ka-na-am, Ta. kaanam and the Biblical Garden of Eden]

Subject: [Abhinava msg #1660]

 RE: Why are Loga's 'Sumero-Tamil etymologies' not welcome at the Abhinavagupta forum?

From: Jeffery Ruff

Date: Fri Feb 6, 2004; 11:30 am

Thank you for this posting, Sunthar.

Jeffery Ruff


Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Marshall University


Subject: [Abhinava msg #1663]

 Re: Why are Loga's 'Sumero-Tamil etymologies' not welcome at the Abhinavagupta forum?

From: S. Kalyanaraman

Date: Sat Feb 7, 2004; 7:40 pm


--- In, Jeffery Ruff wrote:

> Thank you for this posting, Sunthar.

I also thank Sunthar for the posting.

Since Loga has Akandabaratam to post his etymologies and since he has also agreed to further correspond (at a later date) with scholars in Chicago and Pennsylvania on Sumerian/Akkadian dictionaries already compiled, I suggest that Loga may consider opening up a separate a linguistic forum including such scholars for exchanging notes with a focus on the etyma and comparative linguistics (which has grown into an independent discipline). At some stage, the linguistic rules may also have to be tested on a yahoogroup like cybalist which has over 300 members discussing Indo-European linguistics.


Subject: [Abhinava msg #1795]

 Prakrit family of languages in Bharat

From: S. Kalyanaraman

Date: Tue Apr 20, 2004; 11:20 am


Prakrit family of languages in Bharat


I am told that to communicate to the scholars engaged in linguistics, the terminology of linguistics should be used. I defer to this guidance with reluctance, since I do not accept the origin of organisms or species model to analyses of language changes.

The commonly used terminology in linguistics are: genetic relationship, family. These terms will be used in this monograph even though I would have preferred to use the term: language community.

Since 1956, there has been a paradigm shift in IE linguistics as applied to the area called ‘India’ using terms such as areal linguistics, sprachbund, linguistic area.

The credit for using the term ‘linguistic area’ goes to MB Emeneau, even though he used the term as a translation of ‘sprachbund’ invented by HV Velton in 1943. The term sprachbund was used in 1931 by Nikol Trubetzkoy and Roman Jakobson when they discussed the long-recognized linguistic areas such as the languages of the Caucasus or of the Balkans. The following works have been reviewed for preparing this monograph:

Language and Linguistic Area, Essays by Murray B. Emeneau, (selected and introduced by Anwar S. Dil), 1980, Stanford University Press, California (which includes: Emeneau, MB, 1956, India as a linguistic area, in: Language, 32.3-16 Kuiper, FBJ, 1967, The genesis of a linguistic area, Indo-Iranian Journal 10: 81-102

Masica, Colin P., 1976, Defining a linguistic area, South Asia, Chicago, University of Chicago Press (Based on the author’s thesis, 1971). Linguistic Area

Linguistic areas are areas in which ‘languages belonging to more than one family show traits in common which do not belong to the other members of (at least) one of the families’.

The methodology used to recognize a linguistic area is a bifurcate one. First, a typological feature is established as pan-Indic and at the same time not extra-Indic. Second, the historical diffusion of features throughout the languages of the linguistic area are investigated through questions of lexical lists, phonology, syntactic, morphological and semantic development and sociolinguistic questions. (Emeneau, opcit., pp.1, 2).

Emeneau recognizes that ‘…it is rarely possible to demonstration this (Indo-Aryan to Dravidian) direction (except for diffusion of lexical items).

Features investigated

In this investigation, a staggering list of features are involved. Some features listed by Colin Masica are as follows:

(From Appendix A, Colin Masica, opcit., pp. 187-190)

A. Phonological


1. retroflex consonants, esp. stops

2. aspirated onsonants

3. nasalized vowels

4. affricatin opposition ta/ts

5. syllabic structure and phoneme distributions?

6. tendency to initial stress?


B. morphological

1. absence of prefixes

2. verbal prefixes

3. two stems in personal pronouns

4. same case morphemes added to singular and plural stems

5. dative in k-/g-

6. morphological causatives

7. anticausatives

8. negative conjugation

9. phonaesthetic forms a)repludicated; b) in –k

10. echo words


C. syntactic

1. conjunctive participle

2. quotative c.p. ‘having said’ a) w. phonaesthemes

3. agentive (quasi-ergative) construction, esp. ‘impersonal’ type

4. numeral classifiers

5. enclitic particle –api/-um; ‘even/also/indefinite/and’

6. dative-subject construction

7. absence of verb have

8. word order features SOV, AN, GN, demN, Po, SMAdj, etc.

9. explicator compound verbs

10. recapitulation of final finite V by initial conjunctive ppl. in following sentence

11. relative participle


Based on an investigation of these features of languages of Bharat (of Indo-Aryan, Munda and Dravidian families), the conclusion drawn by Emeneau and Masic is that Bharat constitutes a linguistic area, as defined by Emeneau.

FBJ Kuiper’s paper, ‘The genesis of a linguistic ara’ (1967, Substratum influence on (Rig-vedic) Sanskrit? Studies in the Linguistic Sciences, University of Illinois, 5, 76-125) was published in a 1974 volume 3 of International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics (ed. VI Subramoniam, Trivandrum) and was devoted to Contact and Convergence in South Asian Languages. The volume also had a paper by Franklin C. Southworth, ‘Linguistic stratigraphy of North India’. Kuiper investigated the existence of retroflex phonemes in Sanskrit, even in the earliest Vedic language in terms of bilingualism, the use of gerunds in the R.gveda and the use of iti as a marker found already in the R.gveda. This analysis of Kuiper should convince anyone that ‘pre-indo-aryan’ was not a ‘language spoken in a vacuum’ (p.86). Emeneau argues further that the sources for the borrowed traits could be Dravidian and not a lost language family; that the three traits noted by Kuiper are of the highest antiquity in the record. (Emeneau, opcit., p. 175).

A critique of South Asia as a linguistic area is Heinrich Hock (1975) who stretches himself to find Indo-European antecedents or parallels for some of the alleged areal features and points to Indo-Aryan to Dravidian direction of influence, to native Indo-Aryan developments uninfluenced by substratum contacts. “This is to downgrade the striking Indianization which Indo-Aryan has undergone, and in at least the case of retroflex consonants to find perverse a century and a half of scholarly endeavor.” (Emeneau, opcit., p. 5). This is subdued but vehement denunciation of Hock’s heroic effort at debunking 150 years of scholarship. Emeneau goes on to argue:

“Hock’s skepticism (88,114) as to ‘whether Proto-Dravidian did in fact, as is generally assumed (at least implicitly), antedate the arrival of the Indo-Aryans’ seems unjustified, based as it is on a rejection of the glottochronological method of relative dating – this is merely the negation of results based on a method which is otherwise dubious in its results, and no argument can be based on it. Another attempt, archaeological, to put a late date on Dravidian was, I argued, based in part on a prioristic linguistic arguments…The 2000-year record of Tamil in its present position and the certainty that Tamil is not equitable with Proto-Dravidian require an intervention of a long period between PDr. and Tamil, as is clear fom the tree-diagram now given for the Dravidian family (whatever the details of the diagram) – but of course the question is: ‘how long a period?’ ” (Emeneau, opcit., fn.1, p. 14). India and linguistics

“It was…the linguistics of India of more than two millennia ago that was the direct germinal origin of the linguistics of the Western world of today…the (collection of Vedic) texts has as their basic operative principle the revealed words themselves. They could bring their desired benefits only if the words were correctly enunciated; they could even harm their utterers if they were mishandled. How to achieve this correctness over the centuries in the face of relentlessly encroaching linguistic change? This problem which has engaged other communities as well, seems to have been better solved by the Hindus than by any others. They became very exact phoneticians at a time (was it the beginning of the first millennium BC, or was it a litter earlier or a little later?) when all other peoples either had made no advances in this direction or were only the most hopeless fumblers. It is thought that the phoneticians were actually responsible for the text of the R.gveda as we have it today. Their phonetic handbook (pra_tis’a_khya) to this Veda is warrant indeed that three millennia have produced only the most insignificant of changes in the text and the pronunciation of the text. But it was not only phonetics that had to be developed. Meanings were important, and the transmitters of the Veda composed lists of words (nighan.t.u) which served as partial glossaries to the Vedic text; as meanings became more difficult for later generations to be sure of, lists grew fuller and commentaries were added. Morphological and syntactic matters too were important in arriving at an understanding of the purport of the old texts, and that such matters received treatment is certain, even though none of the old treatises have survived…Intellectual thoroughness and an urge toward ratiocination, intellection, and learned classification for their own sakes should surely be recognize as characteristic of the Hindu higher culture. It has often been pointed out that the Hindu is spiritual, i.e. concerned with his soul and its relation to the universe, and that his philosophy is a means of salvation whereby his soul may be released from the bonds of the phenomenal and may attain to union with the spiritual element of the universe..Since, notoriously, philosophers cannot agree, a large number of philosophical substructures have emerged from the Indian thinking – monist, modified monist, dualist, and pluralist, theist and atheist, based on a soul and denying a soul, concentration on the substantiation of evidence and relatively neglectful of this... (the Hindus) became grammarians, it would seem, for grammar’s sake…the language described by Pa_n.ini became India’s literary language because of his description…Respiration and digestion are automatic but not learned, gesture and speech are automatic but the result of learning. Hindu culture was so much interested in all these things that techniques both of investigation and of manipulation were developed…This is essentially a raising of the subliminal to full consciousness. This too is the essence of the classical Hindu dance – a codification of the learned but subsconscious use of gesture, and addition to and elaboration of it…And surely the study of language is but another example of the raising to consciousness of an acquired but subliminal activity – for analysis of the activity and for normative manipulation of it…The only type of description that is adequate qua description, for any body of data, is one that attempts to identify all similarities that are to be found in the data, and to organize the similars into classes and those into more inclusive classes, and so on until the most inclusive classes of classes are found…The native medieval Greek and Latin phonology is immature and inept compared with the Hindu phonetic, phonemic, and morphophonemic analysis…One point of contrast may be made with Greek grammar; the Hindu analysis of relations between allomorphs in terms of gun.a and vr.ddhi is a prefiguring of the Indo-European ablaut system, taken as far as it could go, considering that Sanskrit had lost the qualitative ablaut and considering too that the Hindu grammarians did not know…any other Indo-European language with which to make comparisons. The Greek language, on the other hand, preserved both qualitative and quantitative ablaut relations in a remarkably transparent form, and yet the Greek grammarians, and those who followed them in the West until the nineteenth century, were unable to construct a system of relations comparable to that seen in Pa_n.ini.” (Emeneau, opcit., pp. 19-20; emphasis added).

If Emeneau and IE linguistics had pursued this inclusive definition of description -- to identify all similarities that are to be found in the data, and to organize the similars into classes – to a logical conclusion of the analysis of the features of bharatiya languages would have led to define Prakrit as a language family of Bharat. But alas, it was not to be, because the linguistics had to carry the baggage, the received wisdom which had already straight-jacketed an IE family of languages (including of course, Vedic and Sanskrit, given the wealth of literature and the texts which were available to develop the discipline).

Emeneau (p. 89) argues that in regard to retroflex (domal or cerebral) consonants which is a pan-indic feature, the later Indo-Aryan developments are due to a borrowing of indigenous speech habits through bilingualism, and “to the well-ground suspicion that even the early development of retroflexes from certain Indo-European consonant clusters results from the same historic cause. (This doctrine is held by, e.g. Jules Bloch, Sanskrit et dravidien, Bull. Soc. Ling. Paris 25.1-21 esp. 4-6 (1925); SM Katre, Some problems of historical linguistics in Indo-Aryan, Bombay, 1944, pp. 135 ff.; Gundert in 1869, Ztsch. Deutsch. Morgenlandischen Ges. 23.517 ff.”)

Prima facie, it should be clear from the Indian Lexicon which absorbs over 4000 of the etyma of Dravidian Etymological Dictionary and over 1000 words of Munda with concordant semantic clusters of Indo-Aryan (cf. that there was a virile culture that had developed on the Saptasindhu region (exemplified by the discovery of the Sarasvati Civilization, ca. 3500 to 1500 BCE), and that the nomadic looters and cattle-reivers if they ever came into the Saptasindhu region from elsewhere already found a high level of Hindu culture. IE linguistics was unduly focused on finding etymologies from the vocabularies of the Indo-European languages rather than understanding the substructure of languages which flourished and continue to the present day in the Saptasindhu region and larger Bharat. Even a cursory inspection of the glossaries will suggest at least some borrowings from Munda and Dravidian into Sanskrit or versions of Indo-Iranian. Emeneau notes that the Sanskrit etymological dictionary of Uhlenbeck (1898-99) and the Indo-European etymological dictionary of Walde and Pokorny (1930-32) completely ignore the work of Gundert (1869), Kittel (1872, 1894), and Caldwell (1856, 1875). Even the earliest Sanskrit texts show features which are historically un-Indo-European in their nature. (Emeneau, opcit., p. 110). “Vocabulary loans…They are in fact all merely ‘suggestions’. Unfortunately, all areal etymologies are in the last analysis unprovable, are ‘acts of faith’ (as Meillet and Jules Bloch said of non-obvious etymologies in general), in contradistinction to the etymologies within a family which are probable through their conformity to phonetic correspondenced. The areal etymologies fit on a sliding scale of plausibility…it is always possible, e.g. to counter a suggestion of borrowing from one of the indigenous language families by suggesting that there has been borrowing in the other direction.” (Emeneau, opcit. P. 177).

The most significant aspect of the work done so far related to linguistic areas is that “…it will not be neglected henceforth when the question is raised whether linguistic features, especially those of morphology and syntax, can diffuse across genetic boundaries…Certainly the end result of the borrowings is that the languages of the two families, Indo-Aryan and Dravidian, seem in many respects more akin to one another than Indo-Aryan than to the other Indo-European languages.” (Emeneau, opcit., pp. 119-120).

Thus, after an analysis of Bharat as a linguistic area, a remarkable conclusion emerges: Bharatiya languages may be related or akin to one another. And thus, constituting a Prarkrit Family of languages of Bharat.

If the areal features are treated isoglosses (e.g. retroflexes, non-finite verb forms such as gerunds, pronominal siffixes), lines encircling the languages which have the features may be drawn on a map. Such a linguistic areal feature line can itself become an isogloss for classifying language families.

Pashto of Peshawar has many words of uncertain origin (so Morgenstierne) and is largely indianized in its phonetic system. Similarly, about 40 percent of the agricultural terms in Hindi cannot be traced to any known family and hence get assigned to ‘Language X’. Language families

How is a language family recognized? Many textbooks cite Greenber’s table of Language relationship of Major European languages (1957). The lexemes used are related to the semantics: one, two, three, head, ear, mouth, nose. (Hans Henrich Hock, 1991, Principles of Historical Linguistics, New York, Mouton de Gruyter, p. 10). It is from such rudimentary lexemes that families began to be recognized. It will be a tough call for an linguistics student to question the sanctity of these ‘families’ already categorized. The only hope is to come up with synonyms such as ‘linguistic area’ or ‘sprachbund’.

An ancient bharatiya text record the nature of speech of at least some of the speakers in the following terms:


te ‘sura_ a_ttavacaso he lavo he lava iti vadantah para_babhu_vuh

tatraina_mapi va_camu_duh

upajijn~a_sya_ sa mlecchastasma_nna bra_hman.o mlecchedasurya_ hais.a_ va_g


“The Asuras, deprived of (correct) speech, saying he lavo, he lavah, were defeated. This is the unintelligible speech which they uttered at that time. Who speaks thus is a mleccha. Therefore a bra_hman.a should not speak like a mleccha, for that is the speech of the Asuras.”

(S’atapatha Bra_hman.a

Conclusion about the IE ‘linguistic doctrine’


A linguistic area is a euphemism for a language family. The Indian linguistic area recognized in linguistic studies is in fact a recognition of the Prakrit Family in Bharat, exemplified by the language called mleccha, a Prakrit language. Emeneau who popularized the phrase, ‘linguistic area’ makes an honest admission of bias in the following terms:

“At some time in the second millennium BC, probably comparatively early in the millennium, a band or bands of speakers of an Indo-European language, later to be called Sanskrit, entered India over the northwest passes. This is our linguistic doctrine which has been held now for more than a century and a half. There seems to be no reason to distrust the arguments for it, in spite of the traditional Hindu ignorance of any such invasion, their doctrine that Sanskrit is ‘the language of the god’, and the somewhat chauvinistic clinging to the old tradition even today by some Indian scholars. Sanskrit, ‘the language of the gods’, I shall therefore assume to have been a language brought from the Near East or the Western world by the nomadic bands.” (Emmeneau, opcit., p. 85).

This is the fundamental problem with IE linguistics which holds the entry of nomadic bands into Bharat as the ‘linguistic doctrine’.

With such a non-linguistic framework supporting the edifice of IE linguistics, one has reason to be skeptical of the integrity of the discipline itself.


20 April 2004

Subject: [Abhinava msg #1799]

 Re: Prakrit family of languages in Bharat

From: K. Loganathan

Date: Tue Apr 20, 2004; 7:54 pm

Dear Dr Kalyan,

Notwithstanding Emeneau (and Burrow) who set the wrong model for etymological studies by their DED and the supplement, I want to mention that you are totally mistaken in extending the way you do the term Prakrit to include what you call Bharatiya languages. I think you are just playing an avoidance game where the TRUTH that all Indian and the most ancient languages in the Middle East like Sumerian Elamite (and possibly the Nubian Meroitc) are Dravidian.

The term Prakrit comes along with Sanskrit as its double and you seem to install the term Prakrit and include within it even the Dravidian languages so that you can AVOID seeing all Indian languages including Sanskrit as Dravidian. So far no one in India has ever called Tamil a Prakirit language.

I have shown that Sumerian is Archaic Tamil and that Rigkrit and the later Sanskrit are evolutes of SumeroTamil , transforms of the base language SumeroTamil. Now certainly if the base language is Dravidian so would be the transformations such as C.Tamil Rigkirit and Sanskrit.

Of course you can say: I don't accept the evolutionary model and in which case you are just choosing to be BLIND to the facts. So if you chose to be irrational and want to remain FIXATED to that, nobody can do anything about it. The rational minded scholars will just avoid communicating with you.

So the term Dravidian is truly descriptive of the actual identity of Indian languages and the way they relate to Sumerian Elamite Nubian and so forth.

In other words the descriptions of Tolkaappiyar that there is Centamil (as practiced in Tamizakam) and KudunTamil (deviant Tamil) elsewhere in Indian are more appropriate. In terms of this Sk will we a kind of KodunTamil and which I am demonstrating (Tol did not see it that way).

All these are done with a sound knowledge of Linguistics and where I use the principles of Process Grammar as is available in Tolkaappiyam. This Process grammar is a kind of TG Grammar and allows the identification of languages and as extension the linguistic families in terms of various kinds of ilakkaNam.

The IE linguistics is NOT aware (including Burrow and Emeneau) the principles of Process Grammar even as is available in Tol.

For example the IlakkaNam of SumeroTamil is summarized by the fact it is an AGGLUTINATIVE language as is agreed upon by all Sumeriologists and for which reason they also recognize it as a language that does not belong to the so-called IE family of languages. Now in addition to this ilakkaNam when you notice the sameness in lexicon it follows that Sumerian is Archaic Tamil. The same applies to Rk and Sk - they are agglutinative with SAMNESS in Lexical forms or ROOTS.

So these languages are Dravidian and hence possibly all Indian languages.


Subject: [Abhinava msg #2093]

 Borrowed words

From: Ray Harris

Date: Fri Jul 9, 2004; 3:33 pm

Hi all,

Following some of the discussion over the inclusion of Sanskrit words in the English language. English has a habit of included words from other languages that have no direct, translatable equivilent. How commonly the word is used depends on whether or not the relevant sub-culture has a use for the word. Most of the people I know would understand karma, maya, dharma, yoga, shakti, and so forth. This of course includes words from all cultures, like zeitgeist from German. Most English speakers understand yin, yang, feng shui and tao from Chinese. Again, it all depends on need and usuage.

I understand that Hindi, Marathi (and others) speakers adopt English words. But has Sanskrit ever absorbed foreign words, like yin/yang, that have no direct, translatable equivalent? Or is it all a one way street - English speakers should adopt Sanskrit (or Chinese, or German) terms but Sanskrit should remain pure and uncontaminated?

What is the Sanskrit word for telecommunications?


Subject: [Abhinava msg #2097]

 Re: Borrowed words

From: Shrinivas Tilak

Date: Thu Jul 15, 2004; 9:22 am

--- In, Ray Harris wrote:

...has Sanskrit ever absorbed foreign words, like yin/yang, that have no direct, translatable equivalent? Or is it all a one way street - English speakers should adopt Sanskrit (or Chinese, or German) terms but Sanskrit should remain pure and uncontaminated?

Sanskrit has been absorbing words from other languages and making them gift of its own vocabulary in return all along. It should not be difficult to compile a long list of loan words in Sanskrit. In this post, however, I will concentrate on the rationale for such exchange provided in the Mimamsa system, which is often dismissed as the most orthodox and xenophobic.

It is therefore ironic that Mimamsa should pay more attention to the foreigners ("mlechhas"), their languages, and their accomplishments in secular matters than any other darshana. Commenting on Jaimini's Sutra (1:3.10) Shabara discusses whether the meaning of certain Vedic words (pica, nema), which are not common among the Aryas, but well known among some foreigners, should be derived from Sanskrit roots or from their actual usage among the foreigners? His conclusion is that it is legitimate to follow the linguistic usage of the foreigners in secular matters. He accordingly encourages their incorporation at the secular (lokavani) level of Sanskrit.

Following Shabara, other leading exponents of the Mimamsa School rejected parochial attempts to derive all foreign words from Sanskrit roots and to construe their meanings based on `etymology' (nirukta) alone and without any consideration to their actual usage by the foreigners.

Kumarila willingly grants them a potentially superior competence in worldly or secular (laukika) matters. In the Tantravartttika he demonstrates awareness of the multitude countries of the mlechhas (anantamlechhadeshah see # 150 on JS 1:3.10) and advises that they should be carefully explored. One should engage them in empirical transactions (drstarthavyavahara) and learn from them skills in such secular professions as agriculture, astronomy/astrology, and drama. He recommends that given the incontestable expertise of foreigners in selected areas (building houses, silk products, making harnesses etc), their ability to provide appropriate terminology and words in these particular fields should be recognized (TV 153).

Kumarila's treatment of foreigners and their languages led Wilhelm Halbfass to suggest that there were Sanskrit scholars who were diglossic (dvaibhashika) and knew many other languages besides Sanskrit (see India and Europe: An Essay in Philosophical Understanding, Delhi: Motilal Banarasidass 1990: 185).

Regretfully, Indians do not seem to have followed Kumarila's wise counsel. Not surprisingly, there is acute paucity of Indian studies of foreigners, their languages, and cultures.

Fortunately, groups such as this are providing a useful arena for today's Indians (in India and in the diaspora) to individually and collectively rise to that challenge.

S. Tilak

Subject: [Abhinava msg #2935 – order of thread reversed]

 Fwd: Re: Origin of Sanskrit

From:  David Russell Watson 

Date:  Fri Oct 29, 2004; 3:17 pm

To: Akandabaratam


--- In, K. Loganathan wrote:

Obviously you have NOT read my posts even those I am posting now on Tamil as the Base of Sanskrit language.

No, I have a membership here but almost never read the posts, as I believe your theories to be so ridiculous, fantastic, and divorced from reality as to be pointless even responding to. Sir, frankly you are living in a dream world no less of your own making than Paul’s, though I suppose it’s going to do no more good telling you so than it did him. In fact I would characterize the association of the two of you as an unfortunate “cross- fertilization of madness”.

I really only consented to post here at all because Paul was frightened to post to the Indology list. Moreover, when Paul’s post here was brought to my attention and I decided to reply, I had Akandabaratam confused in my mind with Abhinavagupta, another group to which I belong, but which involves at lot more sane dialogue than goes on here. I was grateful for an opportunity to participate with Abhinavagupta, [emphasis added - SV] and only discovered my mistake too late, after I had already posted my first response here.

I suggest dear Ram come join the rest of us on one of the more sane lists. Especially indicCivilization, located at .

May I request you to read at least a FEW of them and show me where I am wrong in claiming that Tamil is the base of Sk.

I already challenged you before to post your system of sound correspondences, which is the first step in deciding upon language kinship, but you failed to do so. Just as I asked Paul, am I to do everything for you? One is naturally expected to do the work in making his own case.

Of course you have to be reasonably proficient also in SumeroTamil

How is one to gain proficiency in an imaginary language? There is no such thing as Sumero-Tamil.

To begin with you can react to my current series on Tamil as the Base Language of Sanskrit. Please be speak [sic] in your questions in addition to being polite.

It is very difficult to be polite in this instance, because I really know of no polite way to tell someone that I think he might be insane. I’m sorry to say so, because it is clear to me that you have many admirable personality traits as well, and in most cases seem to have benign motivations.

One of the claims that I make on the post number 8 is that Rigkrit is AGGLUTINATIVE

And this is one area in particular that a study of legitimate linguistics would do you good, because you are using the term agglutinative incorrectly, and Paul seems to be taking your lead in his own use of it. Agglutination does NOT refer to the use of compound words, but rather to certain types of affixation, forming verb and/or noun paradigms. Neither Vedic nor Sanskrit is an agglutinative language, but rather inflectional. It’s not a subtle thing that everybody on earth but you alone might have missed.



 [Re: Origin of Sanskrit] The blind leading the blind, the loud preaching to the deaf, ‘debates’ in real-time from a mad-house?

From: Sunthar Visuvalingam

Date: Tue Feb 15, 2005  5:04 am

Why raise the volume and pitch of the insults when you are already convinced they are falling on deaf ears....

....the insane trying to convince the insane?  


[Rest of this thread at Sunthar (and Mark), Feb 14, 2005]

Subject: [Abhinava msg #2944]

 Re: [Origin of Sanskrit] The blind leading the blind, the loud preaching to the deaf, ‘debates’ in real-time from a mad-house?

From: V. Ravishanka

Date: Tue Feb 15, 2005  9:18 am

Hi Sunthar,

David seems to have something to offer us, those of us in the forum who don’t know much about linguistics, etc. Of course, our lack of knowledge also limits our capacity to judge the worth of his contribution or accuracy of his assertions. At the same time, people like you and many others among the members, who may know quite a bit about linguistics, could step in and either add or correct or critique David’s assertions based on linguistics. Needless to say the same method will work for his ideas on Hinduism. He has a formulation for Hinduism, which seems to me to be close to the usual formulation that we find among Indologists till recently. However he may have some personal variation of it as well. If he could get out of the fixation to answer people point by point or argument by argument, which works sometimes, and at other times is counterproductive to the extent other members lose the context and the thread of arguments, he could be productive. Like you point out, if he loses the hostility and contempt that come through many of his postings that will help.

We are all here to exchange ideas. Some ignorance or wrong views are not really ‘evil’ that need to be eradicated at once by fumigating them and the persons who hold them with ‘right’ ideas. Offering good ideas with an open palm, hoping that the other would take them may work better, won’t it? David could help his cause of arguing for the establishment of correct ideas, if that is his creed, by toning down sarcasm or negative ascriptions. I suggest that banning him, as Muralidhar suggests, is not a good idea. I hope David would change his approach to the forum and get into a more conciliatory mode of discussion, than continuing with a hostile mode of argument.



Dear Ravishankar,


Your perceptions seem very sound to me but it depends ultimately on David - and his interlocutors - just how much latitude they end up earning on this list.



[Rest of this thread at Muralidhar and Sunthar (Feb 15, 2005 / Feb 11, 2005),]

Subject: [Abhinava msg #2945]

 The Hierophant

From: S. Sathia

Date: Tue Feb 15, 2005  6:32 pm

Dear Friends,

I am a newcomer to the Abhinavagupta group.

The picture of Hierophant at the website of Abhinavagupta group caught my interest. As one of my hobbies involves finding cognates between English and Tamil, I wondered what could be a Tamil cognate for this.

This is what I propose:

Basis: iero`s (hiero) = sacred

fai`nein (phant) to show, make known:


Hence Hierophant = teacher of sacred truths.

In Tamil, tiru = sacred or sacredness.

pati = preceptor.

tiruppati = sacred preceptor and/or preceptor of the sacred.

 Therefore my inference on cognates:

Hiero (English) = tiru (Tamil)

Phant (English) = pati (pati)

I am happy to be in Tiruppati.



Subject: [Abhinava msg #2947]

 Re: The Hierophant

From: Radhakrishna Warrier

Date: Wed Feb 16, 2005; 4:56 am

It is interesting to note the “journey” of words from language to language and in the process the changes they undergo and cause interested laymen to generate myriads of theories about them.

Expert linguists who have studied several languages deeply (including Sanskrit, Tamil and other Indian languages) say that:

1. Tamil “tiru” is from Sanskrit “shree” (transliterated in HK as zrii). The meanings are same in both languages 2. Tamil “pati” as in Tiruppati is the “tatsama” loan of Sanskrit “pati” (HK pati). The meanings are same in both languages.

Thanks and regards,

Radhakrishna Warrier


 Re: The Hierophant

From: Sunthar Visuvalingam

Date: Wed Feb 16, 2005; 4:56 am

Hello Radha,

 If I’m not mistaken (and without contradicting your derivation below), I believe the ‘pati’ here is also commonly taken (in a more Tamil sense?) to mean ‘abode, residence’ - hence, Tiruppati = ‘auspicious, sacred’ + ‘place’?

I allowed Sathia’s post through, because it

responds to my cross-posting to Akandabaratam of David’s observations on Dr. Loga’s ‘linguistics’ (and mental state...)

follows up on the invitation I extended to him yesterday to join this group

raises the significance of the Hierophant ‘mascot’ for this meeting of minds

could be taken as a (humorous?) parody of (sv-)Abhinava’s own (pseudo-) ‘etymologizing’ illustrated at

he’s new to the Abhinava list and has yet to exhaust his credit here :-)

offers an opening to respond to the questions on ‘SumeroTamil’ that he has humbly posed to me in response to the above-mentioned cross-posting.



[Rest of this thread at Sunthar and Ravishankar (Feb 15, 2005),

“Re: [Origin of Sanskrit] The blind leading the blind, the loud preaching to the

deaf, ‘debates’ in real-time from a mad-house?”]

Subject: [Abhinava msg #2950]

 Re: The Hierophant

From: Radhakrishna Warrier

Date: Wed Feb 16, 2005  6:10 pm

--- In, Sunthar Visuvalingam wrote:

If I’m not mistaken (and without contradicting your derivation below), I believe the ‘pati’ here is also commonly taken (in a more Tamil sense?) to mean ‘abode, residence’ - hence, Tiruppati = ‘auspicious, sacred’ + ‘place’?

Sunthar, you are right. “Pati” does mean abode or a settlement in some Malayalam place names too -- like Nelliyampati in Palakkad district of Kerala. Thanks for pointing out this meaning which is unrelated to Sanskrit pati and perhaps a purely Dravidian usage.

Best Regards,

Radhakrishna Warrier

Subject: [Abhinava msg #3006]

 Re: The Hierophant [Happy to be back in Tiruppati?]

From: S. Sathia

Date: Wed Feb 16, 2005; 8:55 am

Dear Friends,

I take it that Radha's derivation is Sanskritic and hence it is just one possibility among the many.

Even if the words are of Sanskrit origins as he claims, it is not covenant upon Tamils to use them in the same way as in Sanskrit.

If one were to look across the Indian languages, I am sure more derivations can be found as interpreted by each language, since tiruppati is such a common name in India.

A word can have several meanings even within one language and for an ancient language such as Tamil the numbers can often run into more than a hundred. My derivation is just one of several possibilities even considering the many meanings in Tamil alone.

I am looking forward to seeing Abhinavagupta as the exception to nourish intellectually healthy discussions.

Thank you.



[Response to (Sunthar's and) Radha's post (Feb 16, 2005) at]


 Re: The Hierophant [Happy to be back in Tiruppati?]

From: Sunthar Visuvalingam

Date: Wed Feb 16, 2005  8:55 am



"Eagle Scout is a positive, constructive Warrior who endeavors to submit original articles which contain useful content and relevant information with supporting citations and links, thus initiating meaningful discussion threads. Eagle Scout regards the Internet as an uplifting, egalitarian, worldwide arena for the exchange of ideas among intelligent, thinking individuals. He does not openly attack, but will (ever tactfully) chastise disruptive comments, gratuitous insults, and cretinous insipidity. He is always kind and helpful to Newbie, and will shrug off even the most egregious insults. Eagle Scout is loathed with a poisonous intensity by Evil Clown, Jerk, L'Enfant Provocateur and Ego. CAUTION: Sometimes Imposter, Evil Clown, or Troller will masquerade as Eagle Scout. There have also been reports of Eagle Scout becoming Jekyl and Hyde."

Dear Sathia,

I've never come across any Indian having 'Tiruppati' as his personal name, other than as a qualifying place name, e.g., Palghat Mani Iyer, Lalgudi Jayaraman, Madurai Somasundaram, Umayalpuram Shivaraman, OothukaaDu VenkaTa Subbaiyar (to draw my examples only from illustrious Carnatic musicians).

Perhaps you are thinking rather (under the hypnotic spell of Loga's thesis of 'Rig-krit' being derived from 'Simian' Tamil?) of the common name of TripAThI among North Indian brahmins? Unfortunately, 'tri-' (now we're really speaking English!) is used consistently in Sanskrit to mean 'three' (mUnru ou mu- in Tamil...), and -pAThI means 'reader' (from the root -paTh = 'to recite'); in other words, a TripAThI is one whose ancestors were supposed to have mastered 3 of the Vedas, as contrasted to DvivedI (2) and CaturvedI (4).

Of course, if one of our Tripathi friends from Benares were living in Tamil Nadu, he might find it more convenient to introduce himself as, for example, Tiruppati Kamalesh Datta, "sacred preceptor and/or preceptor of the sacred" (Vedas). After all, at the International House at the Benares Hindu University, I knew one Tamil "man of gold" (Ponnuswamy) who had assumed the rather aristocratic-sounding 'French' name of 'Sammy du Pon'! So if a sufficient number of the clan had migrated South to become priests (in the same way that the BhaTTas from KarNATaka have taken over Pazupati-nAth in Katmandu), we may have by now come to believe instead that Tiruppati is in reality the sacred (hiero-) 'abode' (pati) of the (Vedic) Tripathis who grant us (Sumero-?) Tamils the 'darzan' (-phant - from fai`nein) of the Truth (mey-kAndal?)!

As you say, "a word can have several meanings even within one derivation is just one of several possibilities," far more abundant and imaginative ones being readily found in Akandabaratam, where you are perhaps more likely to find the real Tiruppati!

Happy philologizing!


[Rest of this thread at Radha (Feb 16, 2005)]

Subject: [Abhinava msg #3003]

 Re: The Hierophant

From: Ganesan

Date: Wed Feb 16, 2005; 2:30 am

Is there no limit to such unimaginably wild idiotic phantasms? What is the achievement?



 Re: The Hierophant

From: Sunthar Visuvalingam

Date: Wed Feb 16, 2005; 2:30 am

Profundus Maximus eagerly holds forth on all subjects, but his thin knowledge will not support a sustained assault and therefore his attacks quickly peter out. Profundus Maximus often uses big words, obscure terms and...ahem...even [Sumero-Tamil! - SV] to bluff his way through battle.

 Howlers generally populate academic, technical or special interest forums [like IndianCivilization, French Institute of Indology? - SV] in which particular issues are discussed. Newbies to such forums often wander in thinking they have found some devastating new argument that contradicts accepted wisdom on the forum topic. Of course, if the forum is a long-standing and active discussion group it will probably have heard and debated the argument at length, so instead of reviving a dead topic Howlers will simply shout and throw excrement until the intruder leaves.

Hello Sathia,

Since you requested my opinion on ‘Sumero-Tamil’, I’ll just summarize my points:

·         Any Profundus Maximus can ‘prove’ that his mother-tongue is the mother of all tongues (even English) through haphazard sound resemblances that can be found between any two languages. What is required to convince the impartial are systematic sound correspondences (e.g., demonstrated between Mande and Dravidian).

·         Loga doesn’t have even the most elementary notion of Sanskrit (e.g., how to separate the prefix/suffix from the stem of a noun, and the root of the latter). How then can he claim to ‘derive’ these words from ‘Sumero-Tamil’? Abhinava indulges in ‘pseudo-etymologizing’ to drive home a valid idea, our ‘linguist’ simply ‘doctors’ his ‘evidence’ to glorify his own ancestry.

·         Why not explore the interaction between Munda and Dravidian (even before the prevalence of ‘Indo-Aryan’) instead of embarking on a wild-goose chase in Sumeria? For we know of ethnic Dravidians speaking Munda-related languages and vice-versa (though we don’t know for sure when these contacts began).

·         My own suspicion is that Tamil (Dravidian) has evolved not just under the impact of Sanskrit (and northern Prakrits), and before that of Munda, but of (some variant of) the language spoken by the elite of the Indus civilization (but is not identical to the latter).

·         The Indus tongue may have been related to Sumerian in some way (due to immigration from there), but this language and culture has likewise left its traces on so many other divergent civilizations that characterizing it as ‘Sumero-Tamil’ is not so much a reflection of ‘sound’ linguistics but of an inferiority complex (on the part of alienated Malaysian Tamils?)...

I think the elusive relations between Sumerian and Indian (not just Tamil) civilization (not just language) deserves to be pursued, but Dr. Loga seems hell-bent on discrediting any such enterprise once and for all...



P.S. Sathia unsubscribed on 18 Feb 05 even before any excrement could taint him, but I’ll dutifully forward the package to Akandabaratam nonetheless.... 

[Rest of this thread at Sunthar V. (17 May 2003), “Is Sanskrit an areal effect of Tamil on ‘Indo-European’? Kumārila and (sv-)Abhinava on the (‘scientific’) art of (pseudo-) etymologizing!”]

Subject: [Abhinava msg #3167]

 What is Haoma/Soma?

From: Radhakrishna Warrier

Date: Sun May 15, 2005; 10:02 am

Pardon me for this transgression of cross-posting - a post not my own, and from another list. Thought this might be of some interest to those in the Abhinavagupta list.

This is a reply to Dr. Loganathan by Shri Ram Varmha at "bcn_2004" a yahoo group devoted mainly to discussions concerning Turkey and Turkish, but where Dr. Loga has chosen to post, on a regular basis, his linguistic thesis that Tamil lies at the root of all languages of the world (or something close to it) :-)

Disclaimer - the opinions expressed here are solely those of the original poster. The undersigned may not choose to participate in any further discussions that this post may lead to. For that, I invite the original poster who, I presume, is a member of this list.

The undersigned will of course watch from the sidelines any fireworks ignited by those who feel "my-mother-tongue-is-the-best- and-the-mother-of-all-languages-of-the-world" :-)

Thanks and regards,

Radhakrishna Warrier


 What is Haoma/Soma?

From: Sunthar Visuvalingam

Date: Sun May 15, 2005; 10:02 am

Hello Radha,

You might recall that it took quite an effort to oblige Loga to stop posting such 'Sumero-Tamil' fantasies and Rigkrit 'etymologies' to this forum, upon which he insisted on going on strike altogether. Why then bring up this issue here again (instead of just ignoring him)?

·         By citing his long post on 'Sumero-Tamil' Soma (that I've therefore deleted and replaced with the relevant link to Akandabaratam...for those here still interested), you oblige us to grant him the right to respond to this forum.

·         The original post is by someone else (to my knowledge, Ram Varmha is no longer a member of this forum...) and you shrug off any obligation to defend its theses, and yet insist on forwarding it here. This is worse then simply posting a public news article and almost as bad as posting under a false personality (whether Ram or Malar...).

·         This forum is primarily for *focused dialogue* (as opposed to the broadcast of articles or scholarly information readily available to all on the Web, or for personal feuds imported from elsewhere), and the expectation is that one is willing (sooner or later) to stand by (or retract) the analyses and opinions put forth.

I am allowing this post through, this once, simply as an addition to previous threads in this forum on the significance of (Vedic and Tantric) Soma and also on the Sanskrit/Tamil relationship. However, it won't serve as a pretext for a reviving a 'Sumero-Tamil' dispute.

Thanks for your understanding,


[Rest of this thread at Sunthar V. (Feb 1, 2004),


"Sanskrit Soma and the 'return of the repressed' - why is seeing Tamil words in

Sumerian tablets like conducting a 'philological' Rorschach test?"]