பக்கம் எண் :

Introduction71

15. Origin of Linguistic Science

     It is rather strange that even now there are some among the highly-educated Tamilians, who hold that whatever a whiteman says or writes is a scientific truth. It is true that all modern sciences have originated in the West. But philology is an old science which had its origin in ancient Tamil Nadu.

     Tolkappiyam, a grammatical work of the 7th century B.C. makes a fourfold classification of poetic diction, on the basis of etymology and philology in its Residuary chapter. It primarily divides Tamil into two dialects, viz., Sentamil_ (Standard Tamil) and Koduntami(Corrupt Tamil). The vocabulary of the Standard dialect is divided into two categories; viz., IyaŠcol (Primitives or etymons) and Tirisol (Derivatives). Provincial words peculiar to the regions where corrupt dialects were spoken, found their way into Standard Tamil literature and were called Tišaiccol. At the time of Tolkappiyar, the only foreign language or dialect that came into contact with Tamil was Sanskrit. Sanskrit words which were unnecessarily introduced into Tamil by Sanskrit fanatics with a view to adulterate it, were marked off as Vadašol, as Sanskrit was called VadamoŠi lit. the northern language. Sanskrit words could not have attained this status in pre-Tolkappiyam days, as it would have been too early for such a situation.

      All derivatives were analysed into six parts or elements viz., Mudanilai (root, theme or stem), IŠu (suffix or terminatioŒ), Idainilai (infix), Pu-arcci (combinational change), Sƒryai (connective particle or euphonic augment) and Tiribu (change of root form), and this kind of structural analysis is not treated of completely in any single chapter, but scattered throughout the first two sections of Tolkƒppiyam. Thus the Tamilians had developed the linguistic science to a fairly good extent. But the Sanskritists vitiated it by introducing into it all sorts of unscientific and absurd theories and principles as the following:

      (1) Sanskrit is a divine language and hence not susceptible of          analytical treatment.