Talk:Indo-Aryan loanwords in Tamil

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Ilam->Sihala[edit]

It is dubious to claim to derive Ilam from Sihala, because all South Dravidian languages have similar terms for Toddy. Ira, Ida, Ila are all South Dravidian words for toddy. Infact Sinhalese itself has Ra after dropping the i in Ira for Toddy. Taprobanus (talk) 03:29, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

The name for toddy that is cognate with other dravidian languages is irEyam, see http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.1:1:1103.tamillex and ErA/ErAkkaL, see http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/contextualize.pl?p.1.tamillex.2720476 ­ Kris (talk) 21:39, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Its not toddy, its the name for Lanka, and the article is cited consistently with a reputable pubished source, no original research pls ­ Kris (talk) 11:26, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
That is not true, the cite itself says another meaning is toddy Taprobanus (talk) 12:26, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
What is this Original research??Taprobanus (talk) 12:28, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Merely because a word has other meanings doesnt mean one of them is not a loanword. The most popular meaning for Izham is the name of Lanka in Tamil.­ Kris (talk) 12:43, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Now is that your OR? The madras lexicon says that Thivakaram is of the opinion that Izham is from Simhalam where as Sudamani is of the opinion that it is from Toddy. I can present number of recent research by accredited linguists that says Izham is from Toddy. If you want to continue this discussion, it is upto you and I will keep objecting to it based on RS citations but if you want you can remove that word and move on to recreating a Wikipedia article based on a Dictionary. It is upto you beacuse Madras Lexicon is simply a collection of different primary sources such as ThHivakaram, Sudamani etc. It is not the final full stop in any Etymological questions. If you want to use Etymology then you have to use Dravidian Etymological Dictionary. DED gives meaning of Toddy in number of Dravidian languages such as Kannda, Telugu and Tulu. All are cognates with Izham. Taprobanus (talk) 13:37, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Please note that we are talking of ஈழம் (only as an IA loanword in Tamil). This word is (as far as I know) not mentioned in Dravidian etymological dictionary (DED) which deals only with native words and not loanwords. Please prove otherwise or stop your disruptive edits. ­What is your reason for disputing the entire article? Kris (talk) 13:54, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
You say "The madras lexicon says that Thivakaram is of the opinion that Izham is from Simhalam where as Sudamani is of the opinion that it is from Toddy." Perhaps you dont know how to read a lexicon. These are literature in which this word is found with the meanings given, they are not opinions of persons. Izham is used across the board as a name for Lanka in Tamil. While DED doesnt deal with loanwords, the Madras University lexicon includes both native words as well as loanwords and cites their etymology. And the Madras university lexicon is a standard comprehensive work widely recognized as authoritative. Moreover I have not selectively picked words from various sources, I am using only a published authoritative lexicon for all the words.­ Kris (talk) 14:02, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I object the opinion that the Izham is from Simhalam.ThesaiRao (talk) 14:20, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
There is a huge mistake here. Ilam is not from Sinhales language but from Tamil. No one who speaks Sinhalese even heard of the word Ilam but for Tamil speakers it is a well defined word. Perhaps the spelling in english is the problem here ? Watchdogb (talk) 14:24, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Hi, User:Taprobanus is disputing the whole article for a single word, it seems. The Madras University Tamil lexicon does not say that iizham is from the sinhala language. It says the tamil word iizham (meaning ceylon or Sri Lanka) is a loanword derived from the Indo-Aryan word siMhala.­ And this is not the place for personal opinions or POVs. The lexicon is more authoritative for etymology of loanwords than our personal opinionsKris (talk) 14:37, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
It seems that the only OR here is done by the original author of the article. A reference to the general webpage of the Medras University Tamil lexicon page does not cut it. See comment below Watchdogb (talk) 14:58, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Since this is a list, each word has to be referenced to a particular page, which is not impossible but will make the article very untidy. Hence the online link to the lexicon is provided for reference if need be. Since the published work is cited, cite tags should not be used­ Kris (talk) 15:11, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
The reason for my objection is Elamite language and Elamo-Dravidian languages.ThesaiRao (talk) 15:17, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Anything on wikipedia must be properly cited, specially if it is to be disputed. I dispute the whole article and if you cannot provide proper reference (as you claim it is not impossible) within 24 hours, the rest of the words will be deleted. Wikipedia is clear on WP:OR and I will assume that since you are adamant on not providing references that this article is blatantly WP:OR. Watchdogb (talk) 17:15, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

My suggestion[edit]

I had posted a compromise

ஈ (ii); Izha - siMhala, it is also alternatively derived from a native word for toddy[1] or coconut.[2]

what do you guys thinks ? Taprobanus (talk) 17:24, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Disagree unless two things are cited: 1) That Izha comes from Indo-Arayan (and providing reference that claims that it comes from Sanskrit does not cut it) and 2) That claims that Izha = Eelam and that it is derived from Simhala.
With that aside I also have reference from Peter Schalk and others (like A. J Wilson and others) that says that Ilam (That is Eelam) comes from the Tamil word and not Sinhalese language. I can also cite another 10 more articles that claim the same thing as Perer Schalk and other. Watchdogb (talk) 17:32, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I dont have Peter Schalk's citation, but have read it about 5 years ago. Do you have it ? so that we can improve the Eelam article. ThanksTaprobanus (talk) 18:02, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

My edits[edit]

I have added fact tags to all the words in this article because none of them are cited. Though there is a reference to the Madras University Tamil lexicon it is not complete. Please read WP:CITE which requests that materials should be cited properly - in this case that would be the actual link to the page of the lexicon that claims these things. Furthermore, the lead of this article is purely original research. I have also removed empty headings as they server no purpose to further the points of the article. Watchdogb (talk) 14:47, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Also why is there a easter egg link to Sanskrit ? Is this article Indo-Arayan loanwords in Tamil ? or is it Sanskrit loanwords in Tamil ? If this article is Sanskrit loanwords in Tamil, then that would solve a lot of problem. Watchdogb (talk) 14:53, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
The Indo-Aryan languages are derived from Sanskrit (Classical/Vedic) which are classified as Old-Indic. Linguists usually use the oldest sources where etymology is concerned. But this article includes all Indo-Aryan loanwords, whether directly from sanskrit (tatsama) or through languages derived from sanskrit (tadbhava). Please discuss before assuming things and editing the main article.­ Kris (talk) 15:09, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Please see WP:Cite, it is not necessary to provide minutest level of details in citations as long as the source is there for you to search online.­ Kris (talk) 15:34, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

It is not necessary as long as what is written on the article is not disputed. This article has already been disputed by 3 editors. So if you cannot provide references to the article, then it will be disputed. Watchdogb (talk) 17:04, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, but requiring page numbers for an alphabetically sorted dictionary with an online search function is not reasonable. I'm not familiar with the lexicon, but if the basic soundness of the source is accepted, then the references are entirely sufficient. Also, sticking a {{fact}} tag to each individal word is pointy, not productive. It would have been much better to bring your reservations here and state them clearly. Is there general agreement that the lexicon is a good source here or not? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:02, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Stephan, you are right. My initial concern was about just one word and I marked it dubious and another editor just kept removing it without appropriately resolving the questions. See my compromise here. This whole article is a complete copy paste from an on line dictionary. But nevertheless that is not my worry an admin like you should think about it. My concern is an attempt is being made to assume that the online lexicon is the final word on any word etymology. As yoiu know etymologies are not that straight forwrad.Taprobanus (talk) 19:22, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, but when the dictionary does not have the word, it becomes necessary to ask for the reference. I searched the dictionary and did not a single claim that the word Ilam is from indo-aryan roots and none of these words are claimed to be of indo-aryan roots. So can you tell me why you think reference is not needed being an admin ? I really want to know because if wikipedia rules have changed in the last couple of days, then I have a lot of editing to do. Watchdogb (talk) 19:22, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. But as I see it, that refers to that one word, not to the whole list. If the lexicon does not support that claim, then you need a different source. Is the lexicon accepted as generally authoritative? I see it's hosted at UChicago, which does have a very good reputation. On the other hand, the original publication seems to have been 70 years ago. On the third hand, the online version has been updated very recently. Looking at the About page, I strongly tend to accept the dictionary as a reliable source. So words that actually can be verified from the dictionary should be uncontroversial. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 19:35, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Watchdog see see here. The dictionary says that word may have come from Pali Sihala. But that is not the only meaning, there are other contested meanings too. The same entry says it could be Toddy but the editor wanted to stick just to one meaning only.Taprobanus (talk) 19:28, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Look at DED entry for Ilam It is native word for Young or coconut. I think we can argue the load word is not correct.Taprobanus (talk) 19:35, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Then why does this, this, this, this all say otherwise? They claim that Ilam is Tamil and that it means Tamil Homeland. So indeed the Medras lexicon is wrong. If you want I can give countless more references that say that Ilam is tamil and not sinhalese. Watchdogb (talk) 19:42, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Overwhelmingly we have evidence that Online Lexicons one of the meaning is wrong. I love conflict, see we have so many citations now. Can we improve Eelam. Beacuse Tamil Eelam gets a lof of hits and this article will be one man's labor of love only :))Taprobanus (talk) 19:52, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Stephan, then why does the DED, also in chicago university, claim that this word is of Tamil origin ? Watchdogb (talk) 19:49, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Stephen, thanks for helping out. Harold Schiffman, a well recognized professor of Tamil and other Dravidian languages, in his official website says of the Madras University Tamil Lexicon "most comprehensive and authoritative." Moreover, there may be a lot of politically motivated tamil nationalist propoganda, we can only go by published authoritative lexical sources. The Dravidian Etymological dictionary provides etymology only for Dravidian words and would not contain the word for Izham denoting Lanka because it is not a Dravidian/Tamil word.­ Kris (talk) 19:53, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Please assume good faith, who is being called as propagandist here ? Taprobanus (talk) 19:57, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Also why does this ?this? this say that Eelam is a Tamil word ? See this which establishes that this word is of Tamil origin ? Watchdogb (talk) 20:03, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

DED will not contain words loaned from Indo-Aryan languages because it is not an Indo-Aryan dictionary. The cited word in DED is iLam (இளம்), not Izham/eezham (ஈழம்) ­ Kris (talk) 20:14, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Incorrect. Both DED and the Medras lexicon both say Ilam. I have given other reference that claim Eelam and Izham are Tamil words. Watchdogb (talk) 20:17, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, but I fail to see the conflict. Words can belong to more than one language, both via common descent, via loaning, or by accident, and both with similar and with different meanings. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:23, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Srkris, are you saying this, this, this, this,this,this, this are all Sri Lankan Tamil Nationalists ? Watchdogb (talk) 20:22, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
The Madras University lexicon is an authoritative work containing more than 100000 tamil words. In fact it is currently the most comprehensive and widely accepted lexicon on the Tamil language. It clearly says iizham is derived from siMhala. The DED mentions only iLam இளம், not iizham ஈழம். Your non standard references are unacceptable, some of them are even irrelevant.­ Kris (talk) 20:25, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
For your information Wikipedia has only reliable sources and non reliable sources. For more on that visit WP:RS. There is no Standrad and non standard sources. :) But Even Tamil lexicon has 4 meaning to the word Izham. Item 1 says it is derived from Pali Sihala and item 3 says it means toddy. So we have the dictionary agreeing with us that it is not clear cut a loan word. Taprobanus (talk) 20:29, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Well then, the Madras University lexicon is a reliable source while the others are not. The DED is, but it does not deal with foreign words found in Tamil, so it is irrelevant. The Madras lexicon gives 3 meanings for Izham, and one of them is a word derived from siMhala, which is the name of Lanka. Izham in its most common use means lanka. Google eelam to see whether it is used to mean Lanka or toddy.­ Kris (talk) 20:34, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
You dont get to decide what is reliable what is not. Follow RS if in doubt post it in the reliable sources notice board and they will let us know. Thank god for that. Taprobanus (talk) 20:37, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Mind to take a look at this ? This author has shown that Ilam is a Tamil word. There is no such thing as Standard sources. Every single source I have given are reliable, and mainstream sources. If you want more I can keep on adding to the list. Watchdogb (talk) 20:38, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
By the way the journals I have cited are all WP:RS published by reliable publishing companies. Watchdogb (talk) 20:38, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I think you should add them per WP:CITE Taprobanus (talk) 20:40, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
see this. Where the author says that the word Ilam is Tamil and not Sinhalese "The name Elu is derived from Sinhala rather than from the Tamil Ilam". Watchdogb (talk) 20:44, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
  • We are not talking about Ilam, but of eezham, and not only is the book not showing anything, but also the author is an unknown person. Anyone can say anything in any book, we can only consider what mainstream reputed reliable dravidian linguists have to say.­ Kris (talk) 21:25, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Stop calling red herring. We are not talking about Eezam here but instead we are talking Izha (or Ilha). Even the reference you have given says Izha and not Eelam. So tell me, are you referring to Eelam (because if you are, then your reference is obsolete) or Izha (which is covered by the reference you give). If it's the former then you will need a new reference, but if it is the latter, then you cannot claim that DED is wrong because DED is also talking about Izha. Watchdogb (talk) 16:04, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Linguists take great care to distinguish between இல (ila), இள (iLa), இழ (izha) , ஈல (Ila) , ஈழ (Izha) , ஈள (ILa).

I is ஈ (long)
i is இ (short)
l is ல் (alveolar lateral approximant)
L is ள் (retroflex lateral approximant)
zh is ழ் (retroflex approximant)

What I am saying is Izha (ஈழ), most commonly written in English as eelam (pronounced eezham or Izham with the long I/ஈ and zha/ழ). There is no word called Ilha possible in tamil. The DED also says Izha is derived from siMhala ­ Kris (talk) 21:03, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Peter Schalk of Uppsala University is one of the strongest proponents of the theory that the Ilam < Simhala derivation (which goes back to Robert Caldwell) is wrong. There's a long piece by him in Jean-Luc Chevillard's felicitation volume for François Gros, published by the Institut Français de Pondichéry - so definitely a reliable source. This is a relatively small issue, though, and it shouldn't really determine what happens to the article. -- Arvind (talk) 21:42, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
AS usual Aravind to the rescue. I personal dont have an opinion on the rest of the article. All the power to Srkris. But on Eelam, what I am looking for is the proper citation for this. I wrote to Peter, but if you have it please let us know. Thanks Taprobanus (talk) 23:20, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
And when did a Professor of Theology become a linguist? And can you show us a Schiffman-like endorsement of Schalk's linguist credentials somewhere? There is such a thing as WP:UNDUE and even if Schalk is determined as being quotable on the issue, he would at best have to be relegated to a footnote where we'd note that some (provided the some is reasonably more than a solitary Schalk) linguists disagree with the given etymology. There's nothing wrong with user:Srkris' citations. They're the best sources out there and we'll need something more substantial than a Professor of Theology to trump that. Sarvagnya 19:51, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
The boat has left the dock on this issue and no one really cares about such esoteric issues anyway:) Happy editing Taprobanus (talk) 20:38, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Request for Comments[edit]

If all of the Tamil words cited from the source dictionary are provided with an Indo-Aryan etymology by that dictionary, and the dictionary is authoritative, then further citation is unnecessary.
Yes, this is the case. All the words are from the same lexicon/dictionary which is accepted as authoritative by mainstream linguists.­ Kris (talk) 19:33, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Etymology is often contested, not being a precise science, but it is not for individual editors to challenge material given by an authoritative source. If they disagree with that source on an etymology, they are welcome to provide a variant source which challenges the given etymology. Nishidani (talk) 19:15, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
which is done here.Taprobanus (talk) 19:23, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I.e.on ther talk page. You should, properly, add a note to the relevant word listed as having an Indo-Aryan derivation, and source it to the authority which disagreesn with the Madras dictionary. This is quite a simple thing to do.Nishidani (talk) 20:56, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
will do Taprobanus (talk) 21:09, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

Delete or merge?[edit]

The idea is not to create a dictionary. Perhaps you dont understand that this is a list of loanwords. Loanwords show which words are derived from which language into which other language, and are ipso facto encyclopediac since they pertain to linguistics. See Wikipedia:Lists_(stand-alone_lists) They are not a general collection of words like a dictionaryKris (talk) 19:58, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Actually, I disagree. A "list of words" is a valid list here, because they're all "special words" - that is, loanwords. This is not something you would find in a dictionary here. Whether it's properly sourced or not, I don't know, but as a list it is valid. Moreschi (talk) 20:14, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Colonel Warden, it is not a dictionary, so it doesnt merit deletion on the grounds of being a dictionary. Also probably you are not aware of what loanwords are. Loanwords are words of one language used in another language. I am using an authoritative lexicon to prove their etymology that they are loanwords of Indo-Aryan languages in Tamil language. English wikipedia readers interested in linguistics would find it useful to know about Indo-Aryan loanwords in Tamil. So it is an article created in the form of a list. It is not a dictionary. ­ Kris (talk) 20:20, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Specialised dictionaries are still dictionaries and fail WP:NOT. An encyclopedia consists of articles, not word lists. If these editors are able to write some prose about the topic then maybe we have an article. But judging from the current content, I don't think English is the best language for writing about this. And I suspect that there's some nationalist conflict at the root of this - hence the POV tag. Colonel Warden (talk) 20:22, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Colonel Warden, I can add notes for each word that I have listed explaining the etymology, but it will still be a list, not a dictionary as you propose.­ Kris (talk) 20:30, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
What is the need to recreate a LIST from an online dictionary ? Is'nt is waste of servor space for Wikipedia. Like Colonel says this should be an article about Loan words in Tamil not a copy paste from an online dictionary Taprobanus (talk) 20:32, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
The list is useful, but lists are questioned. The objection can be overcome by a lead which briefly examines controversies about loan-words in Tamil, followed by a short excursus on various aspects of the debate, and then a list of proposed words that lend themselves to Indo-European (the preferred term) etymologies. By the way David Shulman of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, if one look up his email, may perhaps proffer some advice. He is a superlative master of this area.Nishidani (talk) 21:03, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Nishidani, Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan are all different terms having different meanings, you cannot say one is preferred over another because they do not convey the same meaning. ­ Kris (talk) 21:20, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Just briefly Kris. A person of my background has difficulty using the word 'Aryan'. Naturally, having done a course as a classicist in Indo-European philology, I am aware of the sub-classes. I don't believe in them, for complex reasons, though specialists of great distinction use them. I use the larger term, as less ideological. 'Aryan' has too many 19-20th century negative associations for my amateurish, outsider's ear. Nishidani (talk) 09:41, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
  • There are hundreds of words of Sanskrit origin in Tamil - and "Indo-Aryan" includes not just Sanskrit, but the Prakrits, and even Hindi, Urdu and Marathi. There's no way this article is ever going to manage to list them all. And what principles are being used to select the words that're chosen for inclusion? As it stands, the list is quite random. It seems to me that the proper place for that type of list is as an etymological category in the Tamil Wiktionary. There is room for an article with this title, but it won't be a list - instead, it'll examine the various stages at which Tamil borrowed words from Sanskrit and other Indo-Aryan languages, the impact of the nationalist / purist movements of the 19th and 20th centuries, and the modern situation (possibly with a brief look at the impact of Sinhala on SL Tamil). That'd be a rather different article from this one, but it would be decidedly more encyclopaedic. -- Arvind (talk) 21:13, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Arvind, why do you think English readers do not have a right to know the etymology of IA loanwords in Tamil. And why do you seek perfection? Can you point out one wiki article that is complete and perfect? I dont understand why you cant discuss about other languages on english wikipedia. By that logic, we shouldnt have any topics on other languages here. ­ Kris (talk) 21:18, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
The problem is that this article, by its very nature, is so broad in its scope that it's going to be unmanageable and undesirable per the guideline in WP:SALAT (in my reading, anyway). Somewhat like List of English words of French origin, which, as the result of a very sensible consensus, is being moved to Wiktionary. There're two ways forward if you want to keep this article. The first, as I suggested above, is to turn it into an article on IA loanwords in Tamil. This would include a systematic discussion of sound-shifts, transcription, shifts in meaning, types of words borrowed, when words were borrowed as opposed to being translated (e.g. the use of kelvi and marai for shruti and veda), and so on. The other is to use something like [List of Latin words with English derivatives]] as your model, and compile a carefully-chosen representative list of words that have IA roots - rather than having a completely random list. But the present path isn't going to work, for the reasons summed-up in WP:SALAT. -- Arvind (talk) 21:33, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Aravind, what is your take on the accuracy and neutrality of this article? Is the NPOV/Accuracy tag which appears on the article page merited? What is your take on the reliability of Madras University Lexicon vs other sundry personal webpages that are put up as sore thumbs? ­ Kris (talk) 21:47, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
I think the tags are a result of the dispute over "īlam" having been blown up out of proportion. My own inclination, given the purpose of this article, would be to stick to clear cases of loans, rather than words whose etymology is disputed, so leaving this word out altogether. But even if it's to stay, the issue is easily resolved by reproducing what the Madras Tamil Lexicon says, and stating that some more recent scholars such as Schalk have challenged that view. Apart from that, I don't see a major accuracy problem (though you'll need to distinguish between homonyms - e.g., 'akam' in its main meaning - interior, house - is Dravidian). The Madras Tamil Lexicon by and large represents the mainstream scholarly position - some of its views are a bit dated (the DED provides a good reality check in relation to most those), but on the whole it's a good source to use. -- Arvind (talk) 21:56, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
(This is in response to a request on my talk page) I think everyone needs to calm down a little here and air it out (this is mainly toward Taprobanus and Srkris) :). We're not in a rush to delete anything here. Take some time off the issue, and when we discuss again, hopefully we can resolve the matter with a different light. Thanks. Singularity 21:38, 27 September 2008 (UTC)


I was asked for advice, and it is that the article needs at least to be able to show that the word is in fact an aryan loan word, and give enough information to sow the meaning in the original language(s0 and in Tamil. This is the english Wikipedia, and though we certainly cover topics like this, one must explain the subject to English readers who will not know the words. For any disputed instance, given a short quotation from the authoritative source in the article, though the reference alone is enough for obvious instances. A general discussion of the significance of the borrowing of these words would also help, if based on cited reliable sources. DGG (talk) 23:10, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
Tamil has over 20% of its words derived from Indo-Arayn orgin. We will be creating an article of thousands of words. This is silly, we should go to wictionary. Taprobanus (talk) 04:15, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Conclusively proved by DED also that it is from siMhala[edit]

It is conclusively proved by DED also that Izham is from siMhala, see the additional reference provided now. Happy? ­ Kris (talk) 21:09, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

The DED lists it with a (?), if you take a close look. That means they treat the etymology as being speculative. In their introduction (which for some reason doesn't seem to be available in the online edition), they say:
"Many of the groups contain at the end notes on Indo-Aryan (IA); these always follow the sign /. We have avoided inclusion in the dictionary of words that were certainly borrowed by Dravidian languages from IA languages, whether Sanskrit, Middle Indo-Aryan, or the modern IA vernaculars. At times these borrowings show interesting features, either of geographical extension, of phonological development, or of semantic development. However, it was decided, while DED was being prepared, that such items should be presented elsewhere; Dravidian Borrowings from Indo-Aryan (1962) resulted. During the preparation of DEDR more such items were identified in our older publications; these have been relegated to an appendix of 61 numbered groups. A very few items of this kind have been retained, when e.g. it seemed possible that the words were really Dravidian (e.g. group 5339), or when, as in the case of the words for 'king', group 201, the borrowing from Sanskrit is so old and so thoroughly naturalized that the words seem tantalizingly Dravidian-like. It was Jules Bloch who with Gallic clarity said of etymologies: 'either they are self-evident, or they are a matter of probability and to a certain extent, of faith' (BSOS 5. 743 (1928-30)). He was speaking of borrowings from Dravidian into IA, but the dictum is true (though perhaps over-simple) for all etymologies." (pp. xvii-xviii, emphasis mine)
Words which are included because they are "thoroughly naturalised" and "tantalizingly Dravidian-like" are pretty unambigiously marked as being from Sanskrit (there's no "?" in their analysis of aracaṉ, for example). But that isn't the case of īr̤am.
And, for further evidence that this is what they mean, see my quote from Burrow's "Dravidian Studies VI" below. -- Arvind (talk) 11:44, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Added one more scholarly reference by the eminent dravidian linguist T.Burrow in his paper "Dravidian Studies VI - The loss of initial c/s in South Dravidian" ­ Kris (talk) 21:27, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Kris, you're (probably inadvertently) seriously misrepresenting what Burrow said in that paper. I'll provide a full quote:
"Ta. Ma. īr̤am Ceylon: Skt. siṃhala, Pa. sīhala [Footnote] In the case of this word, it is very likely that Indo-Aryan has borrowed from Dravidian. Tamil and Malayalam hardly ever substitute --, a peculiarly Dravidian sound, for Sanskrit -'l'-, and Sīhala could easily have been adapted by popular etymology from an original Dravidian form *cīr̤am. It is to be presumed that the Dravidians of South India had a name for Ceylon before the coming of the Indo-aryans... possibly īr̤am Ceylon was named from īr̤am toddy, after the palm-trees with which it is well stocked and the toddy produced from them. An earlier form of the word would be *cīr̤am (whence Sīhala), the c- being lost later as in the many examples quoted below."
I'm guessing you read through the article in a hurry and didn't see the footnote, but the note pretty much clinches it, doesn't it? There are clearly a number of serious linguists who question the Madras Tamil Lexicon's (and Caldwell's) theory that the word was originally Indo-Aryan. -- Arvind (talk) 11:44, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Yet another scholarly published reference added - "Origins: An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English, By Eric Partridge, Published by Routledge, 1977, ISBN 0415050774, 978041505077" ­ Kris (talk) 21:27, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorry, I don't see any mention of īlam on page 607. There is a reference to "serendip", and a statement that that word comes from Sanskrit "Simhala" + "dvipa". I don't see any reference to the Tamil name in the entry on "Ceylon" (p. 89) either. Could you please be a little more precise .-- Arvind (talk) 11:44, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

In the light of Thomas Burrow's views, I'm replacing īlam with amaiyam as an example for an Indo-Aryan loanword that's lost the initial c-. That's pretty uncontroversial, and illustrates the point much better anyway. Folks who feel strongly about the provenance of īlam should take it to Eelam, which could benefit quite a bit from the sources discussed in this section. -- Arvind (talk) 11:44, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

You are right, the article about Eelam should be expanded and this is notthe place to argue about it either way. I concur with your change. Taprobanus (talk) 13:05, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Vote in Articles for deletion please[edit]

I have clarified that I will be revising the article to make it less of a mere list of loanwords and more of a historical analysis on Indo-Aryan borrowings in Tamil, along with pertinent examples to elucidate the analysis. In the light of this new information, users are requested to vote, particularly those that are yet to do so. ­ Kris (talk) 21:11, 28 September 2008 (UTC)


This is one of the Best article i have ever read, this has some information which shows that Tamil is oldest and not linked with sanskrit, and also proved that sankrit has loan word from Tamil, Thanks for creating such Great Article...GentalMan (talk) 07:41, 15 May 2013 (UTC)

Thorough revision[edit]

The article is undergoing a thorough revision to explain type and nature of borrowing with the words only serving as examples. ­ Kris (talk) 23:08, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Long-standing vandalism detected[edit]

Surprise, surprise! Ongoing linguistic terror on Wikipedia resulted in complete meaning reversal of the contents on this page (owing mainly to these two vandalising edits first and second) which funnily went unnoticed for over a year! I came to notice it and have reverted the page to its original content. isoham (talk) 13:19, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference MULex was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Indrapala, K. The Evolution of an ethnic identity: The Tamils of Sri Lanka, p. 313