Lesson - 6 : A05136
TAMIL DURING THE AGE OF
From this lesson you can learn about the changes that took place in Tamil during the Maratta period. Some of the changes that had taken place during the Chola and Pallava periods continued during the age of the Marattas also. This lesson tells you about the changes brought about in the sounds of words and the grammar, apart from the colloquial words found in the literature of the time, and the impact of words from other languages during the age of the Marattas.
The history of the Tamil language is closely associated with the history of Tamil literature and the political situation in Tamil Nadu. During the Maratta period, only a limited number of literary works were produced. A few religious works were written; commentaries on ancient religious texts were also written. Sages called Siddhargal composed verses containing highly philosophical truths in simple Tamil.
The most renowned Maratta ruler was Raja Serfoji, who built the world-famous Saraswathi Mahal library. This resulted in the collection and preservation of works available at that time on every subject, as also rare works, coins, ancient manuscripts, paintings and so on. We can learn about the Tamil of the Maratta period from two books, viz. “Thanjai Marattiyar Kalvettugal” and “Thanjai Marattiya Seppedugal”.
During this period, the impact of other languages on Tamil was considerable. The invasion of the Muslims, and the subsequent rule of Tamil Nadu by the Telugu-speaking Naickers, and the Marattas, resulted in the entry of several alien words into Tamil, and consequent changes in the sounds of Tamil words. Stone inscriptions of this period were written in the ‘Grantha’ form of Sanskrit words.
Words from Persian, Urudu, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Portuguese, French, English and Arabic were borrowed and used freely in Tamil. This resulted in plenty of changes in the sounds and the script of the Tamil language. It is interesting to note that two words which we use so commonly today--semiya and sojji -- have been borrowed from Marathi.
If the “Tamil Purity Movement” had not been launched in the 20th century, the Tamil language would have consisted of more than 50% of words from other languages. Although living languages are characterised by the tendency to borrow words from other languages, it should be within certain limits. That Tamil has continued to survive even today, reveals its elasticity and at the same time its traditional capacity to withstand the impact of foreign languages.