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Books > History > South Indian Horizons (Felicitation Volume for Francois Gros on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday)
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South Indian Horizons (Felicitation Volume for Francois Gros on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday)
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South Indian Horizons (Felicitation Volume for Francois Gros on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday)
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About the Book

This volume, planned as a tribute from admirers to a distinguished scholar, also proves, perhaps inevitably, to be a celebration of the field of Tamil studies. It demonstrates in the best possible way the international nature of this area of academic endeavour and illustrates the wide range of topics it covers. The field was perhaps first defined in modern times by the coverage of the series of conference-seminars organised by the International Association of Tamil Research and inaugurated in Kuala Lumpur in 1968. [ ... ] The international aspect of tamilology is evident from the mini-biographies of contributors, where one sees that sixteen different countries are represented. Educational background is almost equally varied. Less than a quarter had their undergraduate training in Tamil itself. Others started their academic career in a wide range of disciplines that include classical languages (Sanskrit and Greek), modern European languages, linguistics, philosophy, law, geography, mathematics, chemistry and aeronautical engineering. The involvement of different generations, too, is apparent from the fact that scholars born in every decade from the 1920s to the 1970s have participated in the exercise. [ ... ] The nature of the field of Tamil studies is well illustrated by the table of contents of this book. The field's diversity is shown, firstly, by the disciplines professed by the authors, among whom are indologists whose work spans both northern and southern parts of South Asia, literary historians and critics, general and theoretical linguists, descriptive linguists, sociolinguists, historical and comparative linguists, philologists, cultural anthropologists, political and social historians, archaeologists, epigraphists, numismatists, and art and architecture historians. That some contributors assume two or more of these guises serves to emphasise the interdisciplinary nature of much work in tamilology. The tendency of some specialists in Tamil studies to have an interest in related and geographically contiguous languages is to be seen in chapters focussing on Irula, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu. Equally diverse are the themes treated, though there is much linkage between these - and this "connexite dans la diversite" binds the different contributions together. [ ... ] The editors will hope - with confidence- that what they have succeeded in putting together in this way will provide a rich feast for the scholar whom they and all contributors wish to honour.

 

Preface

This volume, planned as a tribute from admirers to a distinguished scholar, also proves, perhaps inevitably, to be a celebration of the field of Tamil studies. It demonstrates in the best possible way the international nature of this area of academic endeavour and illustrates the wide range of topics it covers. The field was perhaps first defined in modern times by the coverage of the series of conference-seminars organised by the International Association of Tamil Research and inaugurated in Kuala Lumpur in 1968, with papers accepted on any imaginable subject connected with Tamil-speaking people or their homelands. There seemed to be a general consensus within the community of scholars concerned with things Tamil that, whatever, an individual's specialisation, a full understanding of even part of the field depended on the possession of some knowledge of the whole. The enthusiasm with which the I.A.T.R. was set up was doubtless in part the result of the belief that Tamil is in some way unique. Hence perhaps came the felt need for a single-word label for the field-tamilology.

The fascination exercised by Tamil on scholars from other linguistic backgrounds, whether close or remote, has, as noted by other introductory essays in this volume, been apparent for some centuries. The number of such scholars, both from South Asia and further afield, runs into several hundreds. Typically, though not universally, these scholars have been first educated in other fields of study. Once captivated by the spell of Tamil, however, they have retained a life-long attachment. Some, because of an interest in comparative studies, have ventured into related fields, but always without throwing off the ties that bind them to Tamil.

The statement that Tamil 'ends up by possessing its devotees' may be almost as true of outsiders who have become immersed in it as it is of native speakers who are deeply attached to the language. The prime reason for so many devoting a lifetime of study to Tamil is no doubt the pleasure that it affords. There is, nevertheless, a clear objective case for regarding Tamil studies as special, centring round the fact that Tamil is one of only a tiny number of languages in the world with a recorded history of more than two millennia. It has a central position in one of the world's largest language families, and no matter from where one enters on the study of comparative Dravidian, early acquaintance with Tamil, its history and its early grammars is imperative. It has a literary heritage which is unsurpassed the world over and fully deserving of the efforts of translators to make it widely known.

The importance of Tamil in the modern world does not, however, depend on its history. There are political and social reasons for non-Tamils to take an interest in it. It is a language of major importance, constitutionally recognised, in four countries of South and Southeast Asia. It is impossible to have a serious interest in India without being well informed about the Dravidian south and in particular about Tamil Nadu, or in Sri Lanka without knowledge of the history of Tamil there. In the decades since the achieving of independence by countries of South Asia, there has been considerable Tamil migration to countries in Europe and North America, many of which now have Tamil communities of considerable size. The need to retain, and in some cases to introduce, facilities for research into Tamil language, culture and history is thus self-evident, and one must hope that governments will see the value of providing the necessary support.

That there is a firm basis for the continuation of these studies outside South Asia is clear from the contents of this volume. The international aspect of tamilology is evident from the mini-biographies of contributors, where one sees that sixteen different countries are represented. Educational background is almost equally varied. Less than a quarter had their undergraduate training in Tamil itself. Others started their academic career in a wide range of disciplines that include classical languages (Sanskrit and Greek), modern European languages, linguistics, philosophy, law, geography, mathematics, chemistry and aeronautical engineering. The involvement of different generations, too, is apparent from the fact that scholars born in every decade from the 1920s to the 1970s have participated in the exercise.

The nature of the field of Tamil studies is well illustrated by the table of contents of this book. The field's diversity is shown, firstly, by the disciplines professed by the authors, among whom are indologists whose work spans both northern and southern parts of South Asia, literary historians and critics, general and theoretical linguists, descriptive linguists, sociolinguists, historical and comparative linguists, philologists, cultural anthropologists, political and social historians, archaeologists, epigraphists, numismatists, and art and architecture historians. That some contributors assume two or more of these guises serves to emphasise the interdisciplinary nature of much work in tamilology. The tendency 'of some specialists in Tamil studies to have an interest in related and geographically contiguous languages is to be seen in chapters focussing on Irula, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu.

Equally diverse are the themes treated, though there is much linkage between these - and this "connexite dans la diversite" binds the different contributions together. Further than this, it provides cohesion between different sections, as shown by chapters concerned with aspects of Sangam literature. The work of the great poet Kapilar is examined with a view to analysing the extent to which the individual style of the poet can be detected in the arrangement of the natural elements of a landscape-its flora and fauna - in a particular configuration (14). From a comparison of the typical structures of akam poems in the Sangam anthologies with classical Sanskrit poems, there emerges a conclusion that some of the unique characteristics of classical Tamil poetry result from the nature of Tamil syntax (13). An examination of the language of Sangam poetry from a different viewpoint raises the question of whether the archaic features that have been recognised therein support the commonly accepted dating of the corpus, or whether these features are deliberately inserted and therefore whether a later dating might perhaps be more realistic (24). Two inscriptions from the time of the Colas, one from the eleventh and one from the twelfth century (the first of them containing a reference to Kapilar) are seen to throw interesting light on the influence of Sangam poems in the medieval period (29).

The third part of the oldest surviving Tamil grammar, the Tolkappiyam is the subject of two contributions. The first (11), taking as its starting point the question of the extent to which the construction of the Tolkappiyam is similar to the Sanskrit sutra style, analyses in detail the structure of the first of the nine chapters of Porulatikaram (the Akattinai-iyal), doing this partly through annotations to the translation of the appended Tamil text. The second takes up the issue of the relative chronology of the Tolkappiyam Porulatikaram and Iraiyanar's treatise of love poetry, the Akapporul(12).

Tamil devotional poetry is the theme of four essays, two relating to devotees of Siva and two to those of Vishnu. The work of a number of Saivite poets is discussed in the context of the attribution of the quality of madness both to Siva and to his devotees (1). Appar's approach to the worship of Siva is shown to have a number of individual characteristics, some of these clearly related to his social background (2). A wide-ranging discussion of the Vaishnava saint poets concludes that labelling these collectively as Alvars results from a combination of hypercorrection and folk-etymology and that they are more properly called Alvars and that they, like the Saivite poets, are therefore Nayanars (4). A description of Tirumankaiyalvar's Tirukuruntantakam and Tirunetuntantakam is followed by a translation of the two works - perhaps for the first time in Italian (3).

A somewhat neglected, yet important, period in Tamil literature is represented by the analysis of a fourteenth-century example of the kalampakam or "mixed bag", the Tillaikkalampakam of the Twin Poets Ilancuriyar and Mutucuriyar, set in the background of an account of the nature of the genre (10).

The temporal sequence moves forward five centuries to a further paper that concerns itself with the interaction of the Tamil and Sanskrit traditions, as shown by a nineteenth-century drama taking as its theme the story of Sakuntala, Ananda Padmanabha's Cakuntalai natakam (15).

For the twentieth century, the dominant genre in this volume, as in life, is prose fiction, with treatments of both the short story and the novel. Characteristics of both sub-genres are elucidated through the tracing of the theme of facing death in novels and stories of several leading figures of the second half of the twentieth century (8). Vannadasan's 1992 collection of stories, Kanivu, is shown to embody a minimalist approach to the writing of short stories in that deep human emotions and experiences are presented through plots that are simple sometimes to the point of being non-existent (7). A more recent (twenty-first century) collection of stories, Pugazh's Mutti, in which narrative as well as dialogue are both in spoken Tamil but are stylistically different, is taken as an illustration of post-modernism in Tamil language and literature (9). One paper is concerned with an aspect of prose fiction in one of Tamil's sister languages in a discussion of the Malayalam writer Basheer's autobiographical novels and stories in which he recreates his experiences in the Indian independence movement (6).

Two of the studies in the literature section bridge the gap between modern times and literature of a millennium or more ago. The novel Tillana Mokanampal by Kalaimani (the pseudonym of Kottamankalam Cuppu) aims to reconstruct the cultural past of Tamil and pays particular attention to Saivism in the Tamil region and within this to the Tevaram hymns. Translated extracts from a number of chapters of the novel illustrate some of these Saivite elements (5). In many cultures, features of great works of literature penetrate folklore, and an example of this is the allusions to the Ramayana that are to be found in Tamil riddles, as sixteen cited and translated examples indicate (16).

Linguists among the community of tamilologists both individually and collectively move between the description of Tamil itself and external relations of Tamil. The four descriptive pieces contributed cover between them the whole period of the history of the language. A discussion of the Tamil case system suggests that a departure is needed from the analyses presented in native and missionary- grammars, in that the set of case relationships in Tamil grammar is more complex than a representation through a finite set of eight cases allows (19). A small number of rules is shown to be sufficient to generate the full set of numerals in Tamil (21). The group of word forms in Old Tamil that consist of a stem and pronominal ending without any overt marker of tense have traditionally been classified as kuripppu vinai, but this categorisation can be shown to be over-simplistic in that it is clear from their syntactic behaviour that these forms fall into three sets - a class of defective verbs and a second group which subdivides into a class of personal nouns and a class of adjectival nouns (20). A paper on ideophones in Tamil discusses the nature of X-enal expressions through the history of the language, taking as a starting point those found in the Tevaram (26).

Other chapters on linguistic topics are concerned in varying degrees with languages other than Tamil. Bishop Robert Caldwell's long unchallenged derivation of Tamil ilam from Pali sihala is shown to be unsound, ilam in fact being a Dravidian word (23). The long-range comparison of Dravidian and Altaic is taken up in a comparison of the phonological shape of words for "sheep - deer - cattle" in languages of the two families (22). A major difference in the grammar of Tamil and Malayalam, namely the lack in the latter of verbal suffixes indicating person-number-gender, is shown not to have applied in a "History of Malabar" published in 1868, in which a third-person ending-are occurs (18). A major development in the literature on a language very closely related to Tamil is announced in the description of a forthcoming etymological dictionary of Irula (17). A gap in our knowledge of the philological tradition of Kannada is filled by a discussion of the place of the Kavirajamargam within this tradition, which is shown to be independent of the Tamil grammatical tradition (25).

The study of inscriptions, which has made great strides in Tamil Nadu of late, forms a part of several chapters. These are largely concerned with aspects of political or religious history. One, however, takes a purely linguistic issue, that of the presence or lack of voiced plosive consonants in Old Tamil; contrary to a widely accepted view, it is argued that evidence from a careful study of Tamil-Brahmi strongly indicates that plosive consonants in the Tamil of two millennia ago were voiceless in all environments (31). Two Cola-period inscriptions from the eleventh and twelfth centuries in the Villipuram and North Arcot districts of Tamil Nadu throw light on the influence of Sangam poetry in the medieval period (29). Two recently discovered tenth-century inscriptions, again in the Villipuram district, contain information about the customs and beliefs of Jains in Tamil Nadu (34). Material for the study of processions in the medieval South Indian temple is found both in literary texts such as Paripatal and the poems of Nammalvar and in inscriptions on temple walls (27). Between the fifth and fifteenth centuries more than 300 stelae in memory of fallen soldiers were erected, and the form and content of these is examined, with a focus on those in vatteluttu from the sixth and seventh centuries (35). Tamil inscriptions in South India and Sri Lanka together provide information about itinerant merchants in the eleventh and twelfth centuries (36).

Archaeology, epigraphy and numismatics all provide evidence of external trade links in ancient times. The existence of trade between Tamil Nadu and Ancient Greece and Rome emerges from an account of the relevance to the dating of Arikamedu to the dating of other sites at Karaikadu and Alugankulam, where there have been finds of pottery and rouletted ware, some with graffiti (32). Recent numismatic and epigraphic discoveries on the western and southern coasts of Sri Lanka and South India bear witness to cultural and trade relations between the two (33). Outside modern Tamil Nadu, Kotunnallur in the Kerala district of Trichur was, under the name of Mahodayapuram, the centre of Cera rule and a trading port with links to the Mediterranean and to West Asia. Its subsequent development into a religious centre sacred to followers of many religions can be traced through literary sources such as Periyapuranam and through inscriptions (28). The perceived importance of inscriptional sources in the study of the history of South India has led to a major international project involving scholars from Sweden, Germany and South Asian countries for the setting up of a Digital Archive of South Indian Inscriptions, and this volume contains the project's first report (30).

 

Contents

 

  Acknowledgements / Remerciements vii
  Preface/Aninturai ix-xv
  "Ma vie sans moi'' xvii-xx
  Foreword/Avant-propos: Horizons des Etudes Tamoules xxi-xxix
  Searching for Perspectives (Second Foreword) xxxi-xxxiv
  List of participants xxxv-xlv
  Studies in Devotional, Contemporary, Classical and Folk literatures  
1 Siva le fou et ses devots tamouls dans le Tevaram 3-28
2 The Position of Saint Appar in Tamil Saivism 29-47
3 Il Tirukkuruntantakam e il Tirunetuntantakam di Tirumankaiyalvar 49-61
4 Alvar or Nayanar: The Role of Sound Variation, Hypercorrection and Folk Etymology in Interpreting the Nature of Vaisnava Saint-Poets 63-84
5 Saiva religion and the performing arts in a Tamil Novel: Kalaimani's Tillana Mokanampal 85-106
6 Vaikom Muhammed Basheer: Freedom Fighting into Fiction 107-125
7 La Poesie des "Vies Minuscules" dans Kanivu, Recueil de Nouvelles de Vannadasan 127-135
8 Facing Death in Modern Tamil Literature 137-148
9 Post-Modern Trends in Tamil 149-155
10 Notes on Tillaikkalampakam 157-176
11 On the Condensation and Extension of Knowledge: The Sutra Style in the Tolkappiyam Porulatikaram 177-206
12 Tolkappiyam Porulatikaram and Iraiyanar Akapporul: Their Relative Chronology 207-217
13 Syntax and Perspective in Tamil and Sanskrit Classical Poetry 219-227
14 Configuration of Natural Elements in the Mountain songs 229-255
15 The Tamil literary background of the Sakuntala Natakam 257-267
16 Ramayana Allusions in Tamil Riddles 269-278
  Studies in Language and History of Language Description  
17 Prolegomena to an Etymological Dictionary to the Irula Language 281-290
18 A Note on the-are person number marking suffix in Gundert's writings 291-292
19 The Tamil Case System 293-305
20 Pronoun Incorporation in Old Tamil 307-322
21 Numeral system in Tamil: Generation 323-332
22 Dravidian and Altaic: "Sheep - Deer - Cattle" 333-345
23 Robert Caldwell's Derivation ilam 347-364
24 The Nature of the Language of Cankam Poetry 365-387
25 A New Philology: From Norm-bound Practice to Practice-bound Norm in Kannada Intellectual History 389-406
26 Ideophones in Tamil: a historical perspective on the X-enal expressives (Olikkurippu Arruppatai) 407-433
  Studies in History, Epigraphy and Archaeology  
27 Processions in the medieval South Indian temple: Sociology, sovereignty and soteriology 437-470
28 Mahodaypuram-Kotunnallur: a Capital City as a Sacred Centre 47l-485
29 Sangam poetic traditions under the Imperial Cola-s 487-494
30 "The Digital Archive of South Indian Inscriptions (DASI) - A First Report" 495-503
31 Voicing of consonants in Old Tamil: New evidence from Tamil-Brahmi 505-511
32 The Dating of Arikamedu and its Bearing on the Archaeology of Early Historical South India 513-537
33 New Archaeological evidence on cultural and commercial relationships between ancient Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu 539-551
34 New Jaina Inscriptions from Kuvanur 553-560
35 Steles funeraires en Pays Tamoul: langue et societe au 6e -7e siecles 561-581
36 Erivirapattinam, Warriors and the State in Medieval South India 583-594
  Chant-mele ou Paripatal ou Satura  
37 A new imperial idiom in the sixteenth century Krishnadevaraya and his political theory of Vijayanagara 597-625
38 Bulls for St. Anthony: Religio-Cultural Syncretism in a Cettinatu Village 627-634
39 Triumph of Tobacco: the Tamil Experience 635-641
40 The victory in human life 643-645
41 Five poems 647-651

 

Sample Pages



















South Indian Horizons (Felicitation Volume for Francois Gros on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday)

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2004
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9788184701166
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English
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10.0 inch x 7.0 inch
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698 (41 B/W Illustrations)
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Weight of the Book: 1.3 kg
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About the Book

This volume, planned as a tribute from admirers to a distinguished scholar, also proves, perhaps inevitably, to be a celebration of the field of Tamil studies. It demonstrates in the best possible way the international nature of this area of academic endeavour and illustrates the wide range of topics it covers. The field was perhaps first defined in modern times by the coverage of the series of conference-seminars organised by the International Association of Tamil Research and inaugurated in Kuala Lumpur in 1968. [ ... ] The international aspect of tamilology is evident from the mini-biographies of contributors, where one sees that sixteen different countries are represented. Educational background is almost equally varied. Less than a quarter had their undergraduate training in Tamil itself. Others started their academic career in a wide range of disciplines that include classical languages (Sanskrit and Greek), modern European languages, linguistics, philosophy, law, geography, mathematics, chemistry and aeronautical engineering. The involvement of different generations, too, is apparent from the fact that scholars born in every decade from the 1920s to the 1970s have participated in the exercise. [ ... ] The nature of the field of Tamil studies is well illustrated by the table of contents of this book. The field's diversity is shown, firstly, by the disciplines professed by the authors, among whom are indologists whose work spans both northern and southern parts of South Asia, literary historians and critics, general and theoretical linguists, descriptive linguists, sociolinguists, historical and comparative linguists, philologists, cultural anthropologists, political and social historians, archaeologists, epigraphists, numismatists, and art and architecture historians. That some contributors assume two or more of these guises serves to emphasise the interdisciplinary nature of much work in tamilology. The tendency of some specialists in Tamil studies to have an interest in related and geographically contiguous languages is to be seen in chapters focussing on Irula, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu. Equally diverse are the themes treated, though there is much linkage between these - and this "connexite dans la diversite" binds the different contributions together. [ ... ] The editors will hope - with confidence- that what they have succeeded in putting together in this way will provide a rich feast for the scholar whom they and all contributors wish to honour.

 

Preface

This volume, planned as a tribute from admirers to a distinguished scholar, also proves, perhaps inevitably, to be a celebration of the field of Tamil studies. It demonstrates in the best possible way the international nature of this area of academic endeavour and illustrates the wide range of topics it covers. The field was perhaps first defined in modern times by the coverage of the series of conference-seminars organised by the International Association of Tamil Research and inaugurated in Kuala Lumpur in 1968, with papers accepted on any imaginable subject connected with Tamil-speaking people or their homelands. There seemed to be a general consensus within the community of scholars concerned with things Tamil that, whatever, an individual's specialisation, a full understanding of even part of the field depended on the possession of some knowledge of the whole. The enthusiasm with which the I.A.T.R. was set up was doubtless in part the result of the belief that Tamil is in some way unique. Hence perhaps came the felt need for a single-word label for the field-tamilology.

The fascination exercised by Tamil on scholars from other linguistic backgrounds, whether close or remote, has, as noted by other introductory essays in this volume, been apparent for some centuries. The number of such scholars, both from South Asia and further afield, runs into several hundreds. Typically, though not universally, these scholars have been first educated in other fields of study. Once captivated by the spell of Tamil, however, they have retained a life-long attachment. Some, because of an interest in comparative studies, have ventured into related fields, but always without throwing off the ties that bind them to Tamil.

The statement that Tamil 'ends up by possessing its devotees' may be almost as true of outsiders who have become immersed in it as it is of native speakers who are deeply attached to the language. The prime reason for so many devoting a lifetime of study to Tamil is no doubt the pleasure that it affords. There is, nevertheless, a clear objective case for regarding Tamil studies as special, centring round the fact that Tamil is one of only a tiny number of languages in the world with a recorded history of more than two millennia. It has a central position in one of the world's largest language families, and no matter from where one enters on the study of comparative Dravidian, early acquaintance with Tamil, its history and its early grammars is imperative. It has a literary heritage which is unsurpassed the world over and fully deserving of the efforts of translators to make it widely known.

The importance of Tamil in the modern world does not, however, depend on its history. There are political and social reasons for non-Tamils to take an interest in it. It is a language of major importance, constitutionally recognised, in four countries of South and Southeast Asia. It is impossible to have a serious interest in India without being well informed about the Dravidian south and in particular about Tamil Nadu, or in Sri Lanka without knowledge of the history of Tamil there. In the decades since the achieving of independence by countries of South Asia, there has been considerable Tamil migration to countries in Europe and North America, many of which now have Tamil communities of considerable size. The need to retain, and in some cases to introduce, facilities for research into Tamil language, culture and history is thus self-evident, and one must hope that governments will see the value of providing the necessary support.

That there is a firm basis for the continuation of these studies outside South Asia is clear from the contents of this volume. The international aspect of tamilology is evident from the mini-biographies of contributors, where one sees that sixteen different countries are represented. Educational background is almost equally varied. Less than a quarter had their undergraduate training in Tamil itself. Others started their academic career in a wide range of disciplines that include classical languages (Sanskrit and Greek), modern European languages, linguistics, philosophy, law, geography, mathematics, chemistry and aeronautical engineering. The involvement of different generations, too, is apparent from the fact that scholars born in every decade from the 1920s to the 1970s have participated in the exercise.

The nature of the field of Tamil studies is well illustrated by the table of contents of this book. The field's diversity is shown, firstly, by the disciplines professed by the authors, among whom are indologists whose work spans both northern and southern parts of South Asia, literary historians and critics, general and theoretical linguists, descriptive linguists, sociolinguists, historical and comparative linguists, philologists, cultural anthropologists, political and social historians, archaeologists, epigraphists, numismatists, and art and architecture historians. That some contributors assume two or more of these guises serves to emphasise the interdisciplinary nature of much work in tamilology. The tendency 'of some specialists in Tamil studies to have an interest in related and geographically contiguous languages is to be seen in chapters focussing on Irula, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu.

Equally diverse are the themes treated, though there is much linkage between these - and this "connexite dans la diversite" binds the different contributions together. Further than this, it provides cohesion between different sections, as shown by chapters concerned with aspects of Sangam literature. The work of the great poet Kapilar is examined with a view to analysing the extent to which the individual style of the poet can be detected in the arrangement of the natural elements of a landscape-its flora and fauna - in a particular configuration (14). From a comparison of the typical structures of akam poems in the Sangam anthologies with classical Sanskrit poems, there emerges a conclusion that some of the unique characteristics of classical Tamil poetry result from the nature of Tamil syntax (13). An examination of the language of Sangam poetry from a different viewpoint raises the question of whether the archaic features that have been recognised therein support the commonly accepted dating of the corpus, or whether these features are deliberately inserted and therefore whether a later dating might perhaps be more realistic (24). Two inscriptions from the time of the Colas, one from the eleventh and one from the twelfth century (the first of them containing a reference to Kapilar) are seen to throw interesting light on the influence of Sangam poems in the medieval period (29).

The third part of the oldest surviving Tamil grammar, the Tolkappiyam is the subject of two contributions. The first (11), taking as its starting point the question of the extent to which the construction of the Tolkappiyam is similar to the Sanskrit sutra style, analyses in detail the structure of the first of the nine chapters of Porulatikaram (the Akattinai-iyal), doing this partly through annotations to the translation of the appended Tamil text. The second takes up the issue of the relative chronology of the Tolkappiyam Porulatikaram and Iraiyanar's treatise of love poetry, the Akapporul(12).

Tamil devotional poetry is the theme of four essays, two relating to devotees of Siva and two to those of Vishnu. The work of a number of Saivite poets is discussed in the context of the attribution of the quality of madness both to Siva and to his devotees (1). Appar's approach to the worship of Siva is shown to have a number of individual characteristics, some of these clearly related to his social background (2). A wide-ranging discussion of the Vaishnava saint poets concludes that labelling these collectively as Alvars results from a combination of hypercorrection and folk-etymology and that they are more properly called Alvars and that they, like the Saivite poets, are therefore Nayanars (4). A description of Tirumankaiyalvar's Tirukuruntantakam and Tirunetuntantakam is followed by a translation of the two works - perhaps for the first time in Italian (3).

A somewhat neglected, yet important, period in Tamil literature is represented by the analysis of a fourteenth-century example of the kalampakam or "mixed bag", the Tillaikkalampakam of the Twin Poets Ilancuriyar and Mutucuriyar, set in the background of an account of the nature of the genre (10).

The temporal sequence moves forward five centuries to a further paper that concerns itself with the interaction of the Tamil and Sanskrit traditions, as shown by a nineteenth-century drama taking as its theme the story of Sakuntala, Ananda Padmanabha's Cakuntalai natakam (15).

For the twentieth century, the dominant genre in this volume, as in life, is prose fiction, with treatments of both the short story and the novel. Characteristics of both sub-genres are elucidated through the tracing of the theme of facing death in novels and stories of several leading figures of the second half of the twentieth century (8). Vannadasan's 1992 collection of stories, Kanivu, is shown to embody a minimalist approach to the writing of short stories in that deep human emotions and experiences are presented through plots that are simple sometimes to the point of being non-existent (7). A more recent (twenty-first century) collection of stories, Pugazh's Mutti, in which narrative as well as dialogue are both in spoken Tamil but are stylistically different, is taken as an illustration of post-modernism in Tamil language and literature (9). One paper is concerned with an aspect of prose fiction in one of Tamil's sister languages in a discussion of the Malayalam writer Basheer's autobiographical novels and stories in which he recreates his experiences in the Indian independence movement (6).

Two of the studies in the literature section bridge the gap between modern times and literature of a millennium or more ago. The novel Tillana Mokanampal by Kalaimani (the pseudonym of Kottamankalam Cuppu) aims to reconstruct the cultural past of Tamil and pays particular attention to Saivism in the Tamil region and within this to the Tevaram hymns. Translated extracts from a number of chapters of the novel illustrate some of these Saivite elements (5). In many cultures, features of great works of literature penetrate folklore, and an example of this is the allusions to the Ramayana that are to be found in Tamil riddles, as sixteen cited and translated examples indicate (16).

Linguists among the community of tamilologists both individually and collectively move between the description of Tamil itself and external relations of Tamil. The four descriptive pieces contributed cover between them the whole period of the history of the language. A discussion of the Tamil case system suggests that a departure is needed from the analyses presented in native and missionary- grammars, in that the set of case relationships in Tamil grammar is more complex than a representation through a finite set of eight cases allows (19). A small number of rules is shown to be sufficient to generate the full set of numerals in Tamil (21). The group of word forms in Old Tamil that consist of a stem and pronominal ending without any overt marker of tense have traditionally been classified as kuripppu vinai, but this categorisation can be shown to be over-simplistic in that it is clear from their syntactic behaviour that these forms fall into three sets - a class of defective verbs and a second group which subdivides into a class of personal nouns and a class of adjectival nouns (20). A paper on ideophones in Tamil discusses the nature of X-enal expressions through the history of the language, taking as a starting point those found in the Tevaram (26).

Other chapters on linguistic topics are concerned in varying degrees with languages other than Tamil. Bishop Robert Caldwell's long unchallenged derivation of Tamil ilam from Pali sihala is shown to be unsound, ilam in fact being a Dravidian word (23). The long-range comparison of Dravidian and Altaic is taken up in a comparison of the phonological shape of words for "sheep - deer - cattle" in languages of the two families (22). A major difference in the grammar of Tamil and Malayalam, namely the lack in the latter of verbal suffixes indicating person-number-gender, is shown not to have applied in a "History of Malabar" published in 1868, in which a third-person ending-are occurs (18). A major development in the literature on a language very closely related to Tamil is announced in the description of a forthcoming etymological dictionary of Irula (17). A gap in our knowledge of the philological tradition of Kannada is filled by a discussion of the place of the Kavirajamargam within this tradition, which is shown to be independent of the Tamil grammatical tradition (25).

The study of inscriptions, which has made great strides in Tamil Nadu of late, forms a part of several chapters. These are largely concerned with aspects of political or religious history. One, however, takes a purely linguistic issue, that of the presence or lack of voiced plosive consonants in Old Tamil; contrary to a widely accepted view, it is argued that evidence from a careful study of Tamil-Brahmi strongly indicates that plosive consonants in the Tamil of two millennia ago were voiceless in all environments (31). Two Cola-period inscriptions from the eleventh and twelfth centuries in the Villipuram and North Arcot districts of Tamil Nadu throw light on the influence of Sangam poetry in the medieval period (29). Two recently discovered tenth-century inscriptions, again in the Villipuram district, contain information about the customs and beliefs of Jains in Tamil Nadu (34). Material for the study of processions in the medieval South Indian temple is found both in literary texts such as Paripatal and the poems of Nammalvar and in inscriptions on temple walls (27). Between the fifth and fifteenth centuries more than 300 stelae in memory of fallen soldiers were erected, and the form and content of these is examined, with a focus on those in vatteluttu from the sixth and seventh centuries (35). Tamil inscriptions in South India and Sri Lanka together provide information about itinerant merchants in the eleventh and twelfth centuries (36).

Archaeology, epigraphy and numismatics all provide evidence of external trade links in ancient times. The existence of trade between Tamil Nadu and Ancient Greece and Rome emerges from an account of the relevance to the dating of Arikamedu to the dating of other sites at Karaikadu and Alugankulam, where there have been finds of pottery and rouletted ware, some with graffiti (32). Recent numismatic and epigraphic discoveries on the western and southern coasts of Sri Lanka and South India bear witness to cultural and trade relations between the two (33). Outside modern Tamil Nadu, Kotunnallur in the Kerala district of Trichur was, under the name of Mahodayapuram, the centre of Cera rule and a trading port with links to the Mediterranean and to West Asia. Its subsequent development into a religious centre sacred to followers of many religions can be traced through literary sources such as Periyapuranam and through inscriptions (28). The perceived importance of inscriptional sources in the study of the history of South India has led to a major international project involving scholars from Sweden, Germany and South Asian countries for the setting up of a Digital Archive of South Indian Inscriptions, and this volume contains the project's first report (30).

 

Contents

 

  Acknowledgements / Remerciements vii
  Preface/Aninturai ix-xv
  "Ma vie sans moi'' xvii-xx
  Foreword/Avant-propos: Horizons des Etudes Tamoules xxi-xxix
  Searching for Perspectives (Second Foreword) xxxi-xxxiv
  List of participants xxxv-xlv
  Studies in Devotional, Contemporary, Classical and Folk literatures  
1 Siva le fou et ses devots tamouls dans le Tevaram 3-28
2 The Position of Saint Appar in Tamil Saivism 29-47
3 Il Tirukkuruntantakam e il Tirunetuntantakam di Tirumankaiyalvar 49-61
4 Alvar or Nayanar: The Role of Sound Variation, Hypercorrection and Folk Etymology in Interpreting the Nature of Vaisnava Saint-Poets 63-84
5 Saiva religion and the performing arts in a Tamil Novel: Kalaimani's Tillana Mokanampal 85-106
6 Vaikom Muhammed Basheer: Freedom Fighting into Fiction 107-125
7 La Poesie des "Vies Minuscules" dans Kanivu, Recueil de Nouvelles de Vannadasan 127-135
8 Facing Death in Modern Tamil Literature 137-148
9 Post-Modern Trends in Tamil 149-155
10 Notes on Tillaikkalampakam 157-176
11 On the Condensation and Extension of Knowledge: The Sutra Style in the Tolkappiyam Porulatikaram 177-206
12 Tolkappiyam Porulatikaram and Iraiyanar Akapporul: Their Relative Chronology 207-217
13 Syntax and Perspective in Tamil and Sanskrit Classical Poetry 219-227
14 Configuration of Natural Elements in the Mountain songs 229-255
15 The Tamil literary background of the Sakuntala Natakam 257-267
16 Ramayana Allusions in Tamil Riddles 269-278
  Studies in Language and History of Language Description  
17 Prolegomena to an Etymological Dictionary to the Irula Language 281-290
18 A Note on the-are person number marking suffix in Gundert's writings 291-292
19 The Tamil Case System 293-305
20 Pronoun Incorporation in Old Tamil 307-322
21 Numeral system in Tamil: Generation 323-332
22 Dravidian and Altaic: "Sheep - Deer - Cattle" 333-345
23 Robert Caldwell's Derivation ilam 347-364
24 The Nature of the Language of Cankam Poetry 365-387
25 A New Philology: From Norm-bound Practice to Practice-bound Norm in Kannada Intellectual History 389-406
26 Ideophones in Tamil: a historical perspective on the X-enal expressives (Olikkurippu Arruppatai) 407-433
  Studies in History, Epigraphy and Archaeology  
27 Processions in the medieval South Indian temple: Sociology, sovereignty and soteriology 437-470
28 Mahodaypuram-Kotunnallur: a Capital City as a Sacred Centre 47l-485
29 Sangam poetic traditions under the Imperial Cola-s 487-494
30 "The Digital Archive of South Indian Inscriptions (DASI) - A First Report" 495-503
31 Voicing of consonants in Old Tamil: New evidence from Tamil-Brahmi 505-511
32 The Dating of Arikamedu and its Bearing on the Archaeology of Early Historical South India 513-537
33 New Archaeological evidence on cultural and commercial relationships between ancient Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu 539-551
34 New Jaina Inscriptions from Kuvanur 553-560
35 Steles funeraires en Pays Tamoul: langue et societe au 6e -7e siecles 561-581
36 Erivirapattinam, Warriors and the State in Medieval South India 583-594
  Chant-mele ou Paripatal ou Satura  
37 A new imperial idiom in the sixteenth century Krishnadevaraya and his political theory of Vijayanagara 597-625
38 Bulls for St. Anthony: Religio-Cultural Syncretism in a Cettinatu Village 627-634
39 Triumph of Tobacco: the Tamil Experience 635-641
40 The victory in human life 643-645
41 Five poems 647-651

 

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