Page:Madras Journal of Literature and Science, series 1, volume 6 (1837).djvu/36

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On the Language, Manners, and Rites, of the


Sanscrit sala, to move, to go, it is corrupted both into Hindustani and Tamil. The word for don't fear seems to bear a relation to the Tami (Symbol missingTamil characters) anjaté. The word for laughing is preserved in the Tamil phrase (Symbol missingTamil characters) he laughs uttering cacac, in the Telugu (Symbol missingTamil characters) cacacnavu, is a rude, or horse laugh; and a resemblance is also found in our common English, to chuckle. The phrase for talk is half Hindustani, half Telugu. Tenoomoo for eat, in the Tamil (Symbol missingTamil characters) tinnu, with the Khoond termination. Voonoomoo in like manner is the Tamil (Symbol missingTamil characters) unnu, eat or drink. The word for tell is Telugu. Tonay for friend, is the Tamil (Symbol missingTamil characters) tunai, a friend, a prop. The other word is Sanscrit mitra,[1] a friend, it is adopted into Tamil, but most usually to signify treacherous friendship. The words for light, and break of day, have only an obscure resemblance to Tamil words of like meaning. For night, the word resembles the Tamil (Symbol missingTamil characters) nattam, night. The word for stars rejecting the Khoond plural is Telugu (Symbol missingTamil characters) succu a star. The word for morning seems the same as the Telugu, (Symbol missingTamil characters) nadu a day. Borasaka, for year, or, as I suppose, for years is no doubt, the Tamil (Symbol missingTamil characters) varusham, a year. The three following words, for hot, cold, and rainy season seem to come from the Hindustani: the same remark applies to the word for maiming. The word for hundred seems to be a corruption of the Sanscrit word, that for thousand is I think the same as the Tamil (Symbol missingTamil characters) ayiram and for two thousand, a sort of bad pronunciation of the Tamil (Symbol missingTamil characters) irayiram, two thousand.

Such is the result of an investigation of the list of words, transmitted by Mr. Stevenson, expressly made the more minute, because both of the precision and check afforded by being written in Telugu characters: without these I should not have been able to give the words their proper enunciation, as the English orthography is not systematic and therefore uncertain. It must, however, be remembered that even the Telugu only gives the sound as conveyed to the ears of a comparative foreigner; though more likely to catch the true sound than an English ear. I suppose the mountaineers in question to have no written language.

From what has been stated, conclusions might be ventured; but it may be best to bring in further examples. The vocabulary of Dr. Maxwell has a somewhat larger number of words and phrases. It was accompanied by the following letter:

  1. It would hare been desirable to sire the Sanscrit in the original Dévanâgari characters, in the same way as the Tamil and Telugu characters are given. They were written in the copy; but omitted, I presume, through a want of that kind of type.