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Books > Regional Languages > Tamil > A Word Index for Cankam Literature - An Old and Rare Book
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A Word Index for Cankam Literature - An Old and Rare Book
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A Word Index for Cankam Literature - An Old and Rare Book
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Introduction
The ancient literature of Tamilnadu, which is more than 2000 years old, is considered to be a unique contribution of Dravidian culture to Indian literature, rivaling in beauty and depth of thought the literary works written in Sanskrit. Apart from the-to a large extent-earlier grammatical treatise tolkappiyam this literature, according to tradition, was produced by poets belonging to a literary society or carikam and hence came to be called Sangam or carikam literature. It consists of poems and songs which have been later collected into nine anthologies. In the late 19th century a renewed interest in the Tamil language produced not only the first great works of modern prose but saw also the appearance of many editions of classical Tamil texts from palm leaf manuscripts.

The work of editing and publishing Tamil classics was done by great Tamil scholars like U. V. Swaminatha Aiyar in the first half of this century. The first complete edition of carikam poetry, edited by S. Vaiyapuri Pillai, was however published only in 1940.2 It was followed in 1957-58 by the text edited by a board of scholars and published in separate volumes by S. Rajam, referred to here as Rajam edition, which was reprinted in 1981.3 Apart from these complete editions there have been many editions of individual texts, as those by U.V. Swaminatha Aiyar.

In the last fifty years efforts have been made by Tamil scholars in India and other countries to give a critical evaluation of carikam literature, to supply translations, and to furnish an apparatus for further research in the form of reference works, such as special dictionaries and indexes... Separate indexes for all the carikam anthologies had been prepared at the Department of Tamil, Kerala University, and Trivandrum during the period of S. Vaiyapuri Pillai. Five of these indexes have been published in the form of grammatical indexes," Apart from these indexes of single carikam anthologies, the only at- tempt to create a complete index of the carikam anthologies was made by the French Institute of Indology in Pondicherry - within the framework of an index to the major classical Tamil works - and published between ~967 and 1970. & There are numerous practical problems and difficulties that have to be solved in the preparation of a word index of the carikam literature. They have not bee-n mentioned in the work of the French Institute.

To begin with, there are several editions of the carikam literature with quite a number of text variations. It is, however, not stated on which edition or editions of the carikam anthologies the index is based. Also, the principles of identifying words are not mentioned. The various text editions of the carikam anthologies, except the Rajam edition, are written according to the rules of Old Tamil prosody. That is, the written units in these e9itions are metrical units, which do not always represent words in the morphological sense. Moreover, the phonemic form of words is often changed by the application of external sandhi rules. Thus, to 'represent words as understood on a morphological level and needed for a word index, their phonemic form has to be identified and segmented from the written units or phoneme combinations given in the text editions. Regarding the segmentation of the text and the identification of words, different principles can be applied, as for example, whether compound words and names should be written as one word (or entry) or not; whether postpositions and critics should be listed as separate words or not, etc. In identifying words from within a text, one has thus the choice between various principles, resulting in several ways of preparing an index. In each case these principles have to be specified.

As far as the carikam literature is concerned, a number of words and occurrences of words are missing in the index. For example, the following two words found in all the editions of the carikam anthologies are not listed: akattal (narrinai 370-8) and akattal (paripatal 8-90).

Book's Contents and Sample Pages










A Word Index for Cankam Literature - An Old and Rare Book

Item Code:
NAY819
Cover:
PAPERBACK
Edition:
2007
Language:
Tamil
Size:
9.50 X 7.50 inch
Pages:
438
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 0.74 Kg
Price:
$45.00   Shipping Free
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Introduction
The ancient literature of Tamilnadu, which is more than 2000 years old, is considered to be a unique contribution of Dravidian culture to Indian literature, rivaling in beauty and depth of thought the literary works written in Sanskrit. Apart from the-to a large extent-earlier grammatical treatise tolkappiyam this literature, according to tradition, was produced by poets belonging to a literary society or carikam and hence came to be called Sangam or carikam literature. It consists of poems and songs which have been later collected into nine anthologies. In the late 19th century a renewed interest in the Tamil language produced not only the first great works of modern prose but saw also the appearance of many editions of classical Tamil texts from palm leaf manuscripts.

The work of editing and publishing Tamil classics was done by great Tamil scholars like U. V. Swaminatha Aiyar in the first half of this century. The first complete edition of carikam poetry, edited by S. Vaiyapuri Pillai, was however published only in 1940.2 It was followed in 1957-58 by the text edited by a board of scholars and published in separate volumes by S. Rajam, referred to here as Rajam edition, which was reprinted in 1981.3 Apart from these complete editions there have been many editions of individual texts, as those by U.V. Swaminatha Aiyar.

In the last fifty years efforts have been made by Tamil scholars in India and other countries to give a critical evaluation of carikam literature, to supply translations, and to furnish an apparatus for further research in the form of reference works, such as special dictionaries and indexes... Separate indexes for all the carikam anthologies had been prepared at the Department of Tamil, Kerala University, and Trivandrum during the period of S. Vaiyapuri Pillai. Five of these indexes have been published in the form of grammatical indexes," Apart from these indexes of single carikam anthologies, the only at- tempt to create a complete index of the carikam anthologies was made by the French Institute of Indology in Pondicherry - within the framework of an index to the major classical Tamil works - and published between ~967 and 1970. & There are numerous practical problems and difficulties that have to be solved in the preparation of a word index of the carikam literature. They have not bee-n mentioned in the work of the French Institute.

To begin with, there are several editions of the carikam literature with quite a number of text variations. It is, however, not stated on which edition or editions of the carikam anthologies the index is based. Also, the principles of identifying words are not mentioned. The various text editions of the carikam anthologies, except the Rajam edition, are written according to the rules of Old Tamil prosody. That is, the written units in these e9itions are metrical units, which do not always represent words in the morphological sense. Moreover, the phonemic form of words is often changed by the application of external sandhi rules. Thus, to 'represent words as understood on a morphological level and needed for a word index, their phonemic form has to be identified and segmented from the written units or phoneme combinations given in the text editions. Regarding the segmentation of the text and the identification of words, different principles can be applied, as for example, whether compound words and names should be written as one word (or entry) or not; whether postpositions and critics should be listed as separate words or not, etc. In identifying words from within a text, one has thus the choice between various principles, resulting in several ways of preparing an index. In each case these principles have to be specified.

As far as the carikam literature is concerned, a number of words and occurrences of words are missing in the index. For example, the following two words found in all the editions of the carikam anthologies are not listed: akattal (narrinai 370-8) and akattal (paripatal 8-90).

Book's Contents and Sample Pages










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