All IIR Languages: Dravidian, Tamil

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Wolverine9, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    Which of the following is the most common way of saying 'Dravidian' (people, languages, etc.): draviD, draaviD, draviR, or draaviR? Along those same lines, is the related ethnonym 'Tamil' supposed to be pronounced tamil or taamil? Strangely, I've seen all of these forms used in writing but wasn't sure which are most prevalent.
  2. Chhaatr Senior Member

    The correct options would be: draaviD and tamil. However, pls do note, the "l" in tamil is not exactly l therefore they do sometimes write "zh" to denote it.
  3. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Is the "D" here as in "Daak-xaanah" (post office) or as in "pahaaR ​(mountain)?
  4. Chhaatr Senior Member

    ^ Daak-xaanah, janaab.
  5. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thank you. I know Wolverine9 did n't specify the language in which "draaviD"'s pronunciation was sought. So, does your answer hold true for Hindi, Tamil or both?
  6. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Thank you for this question. It is something I was also not sure about.

    Since the thread is multilingual, with no specific language stipulated, it would be best to take a glance on Indian Republic's national anthem - which, lends itself to transcriptions into all (?) Indic languages and functions as such in them. At the same time we are going to have an illustration by means of a literary creation!

    The following is the Devanagari version which I found:

    जन गण मन अधिनायक जय हे
    भारत भाग्यविधाता
    पंजाब सिन्धु गुजरात मराठा
    द्राविड़ उत्कल बंग

    In the last line, it reads: draaviRa utkala baNga
    In Bengali, R is found:

    Drabiṛo Utkôlo Bônggo

    In Punjabi (Gurmukhi script), R is there as well:

    ਦ੍ਰਾਵਿੜ ਉਤਕਲ ਬੰਗ

    Urdu seems to reflect the same situation:
    دراوڑ اتکل بنگہ but at another place I saw دراوڈ اتکل ونگا = draaviD utkal vaNgaa and in Nagari: द्राविड उत्कल वंग

    Some other transcriptions have R as D.

    In the Tamil transcription I found diraaviTa. Please note that T and D in Tamil script are interchangeable.

    One thing is for sure - the word contains the long vowel -aa-, not the short one. The word draviD, with the short -a- is a surname, cf. Rahul Dravid - a cricketer.

    I only hope I have not muddied the waters with this post!

    Ah, and to close with, on YT there is a beautiful rendition to be heard:
    Indian National Anthem by AR Rahman and top Indian artists. You can hear R there as well.
  7. Chhaatr Senior Member

    I checked with my Tamilian friend he says they use the "D" as in Daak-xaanah however the prounciation in Tamil is either draaviDa or draaviDam.
  8. tonyspeed Senior Member

    English & Creole - Jamaica
    There is no 'l' in the native pronunciation of Tamil, the 'L' sound is more similar to an American English 'r' sound and 'r' in the word 'red'.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  9. Au101 Senior Member

    England, English (UK)
    For what it's worth, in the Tamil language, "Tamil" is தமிழ் (tamiḻ, तमिऴ). This final ḻ sound (as Chhaatr points out) is often denoted 'zh' and is quite a rare sound peculiar to some of the Dravidian languages and a few dialects of English, Chinese and Portuguese (as well as some smaller languages). Tonyspeed's description of it is a good approximation; it is technically a retroflex approximant, denoted in the IPA by [ɻ]. However, in many modern dialects of Tamil, especially in colloquial speech, a simple [l] or [ɭ] seems to often be preferred) So, in the Tamil language, at least, the 'a' of 'ta' is short and this is the pronunciation that those trying to faithfully reproduce the Tamil should adopt, however, there's no reason at all why speakers of Hindi, Bengali, or any other Indian or world language should not alter the word to suit their phonology (this process - called Hobson-Jobson - is an important part of the development of all but the most isolated of the world's languages). The final 'ḻ' has no equivalent in Indian languages outside of the south, that I'm aware of. For what it's worth, the Hindi wikipedia article has तमिल, which is what I would expect most Hindi speakers would use.

    Dravidian comes (in all of India's languages as far as I know, as well as in English) from Sanskrit द्राविड (drāviḍa), where the first vowel is clearly long and the final consonant is the stop ḍ, ṛ (ड़) did not occur in Sanskrit. The form, according to wiktionary, is a hypercorrection of Prakrit dāviḍa, dāmiḷo, damiḷa (note that in the first two the vowel is long, a result of Prakrit Hobson-Jobson) itself from Old Tamil: tamil (with l (as in ल) as opposed to modern Tamil's ḻ). Again, it is clear from the Sanskrit that the etymological pronunciation of the word is 'draaviD', but - again - there is no reason at all why phonological changes in modern North Indian languages shouldn't be followed. If, as marrish informs us, Bengalis use draaviR, then draaviR is a perfectly correct form in Bengali :)

    Just to add to this, you're right that Tamil makes no difference between ṭ (ट) and ḍ (ड), since - in literary Tamil (although in modern spoken Tamil the rules have broken down slightly) voicing was determined by position. Usually in Tamil, if ட் (ṭ) is between two vowels, it is pronounced ḍ, so - in general - திராவிட (tirāviṭa/diraaviTa) would be pronounced /d̪raːʋiɖʌ/, i.e. pretty much exactly like द्राविड to the best of my knowledge.
  10. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    We always say دراوڈ द्राविड draaviD.
    (BTW, from some I've also heard the word jaaoRii to mean draaviD. Not sure of its origin. Could be a more general term).
  11. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Rekindling this thread for I have the same question now and there have been no answers so far. I'm the most interested in Urdu and Hindi, Punjabi, especially as the name of the language.
  12. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    For the sake of completeness, Bengali has:
    drabiR/দ্রাবিড় with the possible poetic variant pronunciation drabiRo, which is used in the (Bengali version of the) national anthem of India for example, and

    So, the first vowel in both the words is same as far as Bengali usage is concerned, and normally it represents an etymological long vowel (though modern Bengali, of course, has no phonemic vowel length distinction).
  13. gagun Senior Member

    Telugu-TS, Deccani-TS
    in Telugu both draviḍa (ex:draviḍa vishwavidhyalayam) and draaviḍa (ex:draaviḍa bhashalu) exist and here d is in devanāgarī as द्राविड and tamil is written/used in telugu as Tamiḷam (तमिळम).
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  14. Gope Senior Member

    In Tamil draaviDa would be written tiraaviTa, and pronounced pretty much as draaviDa. Both the sounds T and D are represented by the same letter. So are t and d.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  15. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    In the context of linguistics and general references to languages, in my experience "draviR" and "tamil" are the most common in Hindi (and I believe in Punjabi too), though the other spellings are also used. For Dravidian, the spellings with -D are consistent with Sanskrit.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  16. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Thanks. mundiya jii, on Punjabi (East) Wikipedia entry it's ਤਾਮਿਲ.
  17. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    You will also find ਤਮਿਲ used in Punjabi news articles. But my guess about it being more common than ਤਾਮਿਲ could be wrong. I'm more certain about तमिल in Hindi.

    In the national anthem, I think there is an etymological long /a/ in all versions (e.g. draaviD/draaviR), but in this case it refers to South India as a region rather than to Dravidian.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2014
  18. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Good to know. My impression is that Hindi, as your and others' answers show, prefers tamil but Urdu taamil! I know it might be wrong because in the language concerned it is with a short "a" but there must be some reasons behind it. Perhaps accent? Or something else. I don't know. There is tamil in Urdu as well but more often than not it is taamil even if the spelling if not marked with diacritics may be confusing because we have a noun تامُل ta'ammul too.
  19. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    That reminds me, tamil/তামিল is also the Bengali spelling and pronunciation of the Arabic word تَعْمِیل (ta3miil), "carrying out (an order)"; this is probably the more common usage even. Any smart writer/speaker has a good opportunity for punning there. :D


    Also, from my end, a +1 for "tamil" with a short "a" in spoken Hindi.
  20. tarkshya Senior Member

    Just a caveat here. I don't think we should take the spellings of "Jana gana mana" as any authoritative reference.

    जन गण मन अधिनायक जय हे

    भारत भाग्यविधाता

    पंजाब सिन्धु गुजरात मराठा

    द्राविड़ उत्कल बंग

    To the best of my knowledge Sindh has never been widely known as "Sindhu", or Maharashtra as "Maratha". So we should not give much weight to Tagore spelling this word as "draaviR" either.

    Tagore was known to take too much creative license with the language use while writing in Bengali, much to the annoyance of Bengali purists. Nirad Chaudhary once wrote that once a university in Bengal gave a Bengali literary piece written by Tagore to its students during exams, and asked them to translate it into Bengali. :)
  21. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    You are right to the extent that the "Hindi" text (which, I guess, is what you/marrish-jii have quoted) of "jana gana mana" may not be particularly "good Hindi" because it still retains certain Bengali elements, e.g. "sindhu" is here an abbreviation of "sindhu-pradesh", the usual name for Sindh province in Bengali; "baNg" also looks strange to me in Hindi (I am not experienced in literary Hindi though). On the other hand some other elements have been changed, e.g. gujraat (which has a retroflex T in Bengali), draaviR (which, of course, has a b instead of v in Bengali), etc. On the other hand, "maraaThaa" may indeed be called poetic license, though this word is well-used in Bengali in historical contexts, along with variants like "marhaaTTaa", etc. - for the people from Maharashtra.

    I don't know what Nirad C. Choudhary was talking about, unless he is referring to - what is now a very common school exercise in Bengal - "translating" between sadhu and cholit bhasa (two standard dialects of written Bengali). At least now, writings of all sorts of writers are used for that. Tagore was, however, one of the first to produce significant amount of writing in cholit bhasa. (Nirad C., by the way, claimed that he never learnt to write cholit bhasa, which has kind of totally replaced sadhu bhasa in modern usage.)
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2014
  22. gagun Senior Member

    Telugu-TS, Deccani-TS
  23. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Are these two names for the same script?
  24. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Here is "baNg" used in a Persian couplet by an Urdu poet, Isma3iil MeraThii (of the "rabb kaa shukr adaa kar bhaa'ii...jis ne hamaarii gaa'e banaa'ii" far as children's poems are concerned.)

    rubaahaaN gird aamadand az har kinaar
    ham az Hind-o-Sind va az Bang-o-Bihaar

    Isma'il Merathi 1844-1917

    The foxes got together from every corner of the land
    From north India and Sind as well as Bengal and Bihar

    marhaTTah, plural marHatte is used in Urdu too.
  25. Dib Senior Member

    Bengali (India)
    Thank you, Qureshpor-jii, for the notes on Urdu/Persian usage.

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