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The Tamil language has absorbed a large number of Indo-Aryan, especially Sanskrit,[1] loanwords ever since the early 1st millennium CE, when the Sangam period Chola kingdoms became influenced by early Brahmanism. Many of these loans are obscured by adaptions to Tamil phonology.[2].

This is an illustrative list of Tamil words of Indo-Aryan origin, classified based on type of borrowing. The words are transliterated according to IAST system. All words have been referenced with the Madras University Tamil Lexicon, which is used as the most authoritative and standard lexicon by mainstream scholars.[3][4] In the examples below, the second word is from Tamil, and its original Indo-Aryan source is placed to the left.

Change of final retroflex to dentalEdit

  • ambara - ampala[5]

Loss of simple aspirationEdit

  • ahaṃ - akam[5]

Loss of initial sEdit

  • samayaṃ - amaiyam[6]
  • sabhā - avai[5]

Loss of initial complex consonant (retaining initial vowel)Edit

  • śṛavaṇa - Āvaṇi[5] (also note loss of initial complex consonant Śr

Loss of initial complex consonant (introduction of vowel)Edit

  • ḥṛdaya - itaya[5] (also loss of voicing)

Loss of voicingEdit

  • agati - akati[5]

Loss of voiced aspirationEdit

  • adhikāra - atikāra[5]
  • adhika - atika

Tatsama borrowingEdit

  • aṇu - aṇu[5]
  • nīti - nīti[5]
  • maṇi - maṇi[5]

Change of final sibilant to semivowelEdit

  • Ākāśa - Ākāya

Change of medial sibilants to stopsEdit

  • aśuddha - acutta[5]

Simplification of complex consonantsEdit

In the following words, the vowel i is added to the word-initial position before semivowels as per rules of Tamil grammar.

  • lakṣaṇaṃ - ilakkaṇam[5]
  • lakṣyaṃ - ilakkiyam[5]

Split of complex syllablesEdit

  • agni - akkini[5] (gni to kini, also note loss of voicing)

OthersEdit

  • rājan - aracan[5]
  • ahaṃkāram - akankāram[5]
  • agastya - akattiya[5]
  • ahambhāva - akampāvam[5]
  • Āṣāḍha - Āḍi[5]
  • Ārambha - Ārampam[5]
  • kāvya - kāppiyam[5]
  • kārttika - kārttikai[5]
  • śvāsa - cuvācam[5]
  • śani - cani[5]
  • chitra - cittirai[5]
  • budha - putan[5]
  • phalguna - pankuni[5]
  • manas - manatu[5]
  • mārgaśīrSa - mārkazhi[5]
  • māgha - māci[5]
  • vaiśākha - vaikāci[5]

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. http://www.southasia.upenn.edu/tamil/abo.html
  2. Michael Witzel [1]
  3. Harold Schiffman in his official website says of the Madras University Tamil Lexicon "most comprehensive and authoritative."
  4. Another source asserting the status of the Madras University Lexicon is this page where it is called "still the most comprehensive and authoritative Tamil dictionary."
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 Madras University Tamil Lexicon
  6. at p. 133

BibliographyEdit

  • S Vaidyanathan, Indo-Aryan loanwords in old Tamil, Rajan Publishers (1971), ASIN B0000CQQI3 [2]
  • Chandran Tucker, A dictionary of English loan-words in modern Tamil: Contributions towards a modern Tamil-English dictionary , Biblia Impex (1986), ISBN 8185012148
  • R Wallden, Hidden Indo-European and/or Indo-Aryan "Loanwords" in Old Tamil?, Orientalia Suecana Uppsala 1980, vol. 29, pp. 140–156 - [3]

External linksEdit

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