Tamil works on the study of Tamil Words written by Pandit Jna. Devaneyan
, B.O.L. on the lines of general philological principles meet a longfelt
want in Tamil. In my early days when I was engaging myself in the study
of such English works as Arch Bishop Trench's Study
of Words, Prof. Max Muller's Science
of Language, Prof. Sayce's Comparative
Philology etc., my attention turned to making a similar study
of Tamil words. Dr. Caldwell's Comparative Study
of Dravidian Languages opened up before me a vast and wonderful
tract of Tamil knowledge then lay hidden even to great Tamil scholars.
Still Caldwell's works as an incipient attempt in an unknown region could
not be expected to treat exhaustively of all Tamil words. And this impelled
me to write a Tamil Philology myself and publish even one or two essays
of it in the first volume of my magazine Jnanasagaram.
But I could not continue it, since my activities in other fields as religion,
philosophy and literary history absorbed my whole attention. Still I was
looking about whether any competent scholar would take up the subject;
and I was gratified to a certain extent when Father Jnanaprakasar of Jaffna
sent me his interesting work on Tamil Philology. The field being vast
and extensive, I was looking forward to some more work on a comprehensive
scale founded on ancient classical Tamil and am glad to say that Mr. Devaneyan
has met my expectation almost wholly. Tamil scholars may safely rely on
his careful treatment of the subject and I dare say they will be greatly
benefited by a diligent perusal of his works. It is my humble opinion
that in the Study of Tamil words Mr. Devaneyan stands pre-eminent and
has few rivals.
Mr. Devaneyan is an impressive teacher and an interesting lecturer as
I had seen on several occasions when I had presided over the annual deliberations
of Tamil Sangams to hear him speak to large audiences and engage their
attention by flavouring his speech with wit and humour. As a painstaking
research scholar I am confident he will bring name and fame to any institution
that will engage his services.