A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF TWO ANCIENT INDIAN GRAMMATICAL TRADITIONS: THE TAMIL TOLKAPPIYAM COMPARED WITH THE SANSKRIT RK-PRATISAKHYA, TAITTIRIYA-PRATISAKHYA, APISALI SIKSA, AND THE ASTADHYAYI

V. S RAJAM, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

The question of the relation of the first available Tamil grammar Tolkappiyam to various Sanskrit grammatical works remains unresolved. Divergent views proposing Sanskrit sources for the Tamil grammar and vice versa have been expressed in the past by Western and non-Western scholars. However, there is no single, comprehensive, systematic and unbiased study that brings out the methodological differences or similarities between the grammars of the two traditions--Tamil and Sanskrit. The present study is an attempt in that direction, and it looks at the methods of grammatical description adopted by the authors of various grammatical works representing the two traditions. The texts chosen for the study are the Tolkappiyam representing the Tamil tradition, and the Rk-Pratisakhya, Taittir(')iya-Pratisakhya, Apisali-Siksa and the(' ) Astadhyay(')i representing the Sanskrit tradition. The study is also confined to the areas of phonetics, phonology, and morpho-phonemics. The study shows that: (1)The Tolkappiyam and each one of the Sanskrit texts considered here share some characteristics regarding their methods of description. (2)There are also significant dissimilarities between the methods of grammatical description found in the Tolkappiyam and those of the Sanskrit works. (3)The Sanskrit works vary considerably among themselves in their approach in describing Sanskrit. At the same time, they are not totally divergent from one another. Considering all this, this study proposes a 'galaxy model' for the ancient Indian grammatical tradition. This 'galaxy model' considers the authors of the unknown grammatical works as numerous unidentifiable stars and the authors of the extant grammatical works as giant stars.

Subject Area

Linguistics

Recommended Citation

RAJAM, V. S, "A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF TWO ANCIENT INDIAN GRAMMATICAL TRADITIONS: THE TAMIL TOLKAPPIYAM COMPARED WITH THE SANSKRIT RK-PRATISAKHYA, TAITTIRIYA-PRATISAKHYA, APISALI SIKSA, AND THE ASTADHYAYI" (1981). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI8117838.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8117838

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