Tatsama

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Tatsama (Sanskrit: तत्सम, IPA: [tətsəmə]) are Sanskrit loanwords in modern Indic languages like Bengali, Marathi, Hindi, Gujarati, Sinhala and Dravidian languages like Kannada and Telugu. They belong to a higher and more erudite register than common words. That register can be compared to the use of words of Greek origin in English (e.g. hubris), although all of these languages excepting the Dravidian ones ultimately descend from Sanskrit, which is not the case with English and Greek or Latin.

Tatsama (Tôtsômô) in Bengali[edit]

The origin of tatsama (তৎসম tôtsômô) in Bengali is traced to tenth century poets, who felt that the colloquial language was not suitable for their expressive needs.[1][dead link] Another wave of tôtsômô entered the then Bengali language by Sanskrit scholars teaching at Fort William College in Calcutta at the start of the 19th century. The textbooks used in these courses paved the way for more tôtsômô words entering common usage.

Literate Bengali contains about 70% tôtsômô as of today, whereas the colloquial language contains about 40%. Writers such as Rabindranath Tagore, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Ramram Basu, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, and Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay brought a large number of tôtsômô words into Bengali.

Tôtsômô words in Bengali use which retain their Sanskrit pronunciation are called সমোচ্চারিত sômochcharitô, while those with a differing pronunciation are called অসমোচ্চারিত ôsômochcharitô.

Tatsama in Sinhala[edit]

The way the tatsama entered the Sinhala language is comparable to what we find in Bengali language: they are scholarly borrowings of Sanskrit or Pali terms. Tatsama in Sinhala can be identified by their ending exclusively in -ya or -va, whereas native Sinhala words tend to show a greater array of endings. Many scientific concepts make use of tatsama, for instance grahaņaya 'eclipse', but they are also found for more everyday concepts.

Tatsama in Telugu[edit]

Sanskrit influenced Telugu of Andhras for about 500 years. During 1000-1100 AD, Nannaya's Telugu in Mahabharata, Telugu in several inscriptions, Telugu in poetry reestablished its roots and dominated over the royal language, Sanskrit. Telugu absorbed the Tatsamas from Sanskrit.[2]

Telugu is composed of approximately sixty percent Tatsama and Tadbhava words with origin in Sanskrit.

Metrical poetry in Telugu ('Chandassu') uses meters such as Utpalamala, Champakamala, Mattebham, Sardoola, Sragdhara, Bhujangaprayata etc.. which are pure Sanskrit meters.

Telugu has many Tatsama words. They are called Prakriti which are equivalent to Sanskrit words. The equivalent colloquial words are called Vikrutis. Vikruti means distorted. However Prakriti is only used as medium of instruction in educational institutions, offices etc.

For example:

  • Bhojanam is Prakriti (the noun form of food) and Bonam for Vikruti.
  • Vidya (Education) is Prakriti and Vidde is Vikriti.
  • Rakshasi (Evil) is Prakriti and Rakkasi is Vikriti.
  • Drishti (sight) is Prakriti and dishti is Vikriti
  • Jaagrat (vigilance ) is Prakriti and jaagratta is Vikrit
  • Shunya (zero) is Prakriti and sunna is Vikriti

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ BANGLAPEDIA: Tatsama
  2. ^ Ramadasu, G (1980), Telugu bhasha charitra, Telugu academy