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380. Antiquity of iDli

The Idli being a steam cooked dish made of ground and fermented paste of rice and black gram can be considered as one of the healthiest ...

Saturday, February 17, 2007

2. Traces of Tulu -Kannada-Dravida words in early Sumerian language

Sumerian civilization flourished about 3500 to 2000 BC in the Mesopotamia region of northern Africa and Asia Minor, between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. John A.Halloran has reconstructed the Sumerican lexicon and its version 3 is available in the internet.Sumerian language was considered to the spoken and written language in what is now the southern Iraq, during the period 3400 to 1800BC.

Some of the words cited in Halloran's Sumerian lexicon have similar words in Tulu and other Dravidan languages.

Infact, origin of the word Tulu has been disputed for long.It is considered to represent something connected with water. 1.Tuluku (verb) in Kannada means to swish or oscillate or overflow (like water). 2.Tuluve in Tulu also means soft fruit especially refers to ripened soft watery jack fruits.

In the Sumerian lexicon the following entries are found:

1.Tul = public fountain, cistern, lowland or well .
Tu=wash , bath.(ie. activity connected with water)

2.Tu-lu = to make loose or limp.

(Numbers 1, 2 ..shown for relevant comparisons)

Ur or Uru (=city) was a major city during Sumerian civilizatin times. The word Uru or Ooru ( village or township) has got into almost all Dravidan languages including Tulu.Possibly the the name of the once famous Sumerian city was extended to all civilized settlements later on.It is a common suffix now in most of the place names in southern India. Mangalur,Bengalur,Mundkur,Arialur,Trichur,Gudur etc.

Possibly, the suffix -ur became -pur or -pura in Sanskrit. Jaipur,Udaipur,Mathura,Nagpur, Shivpura, etc.

There are also other Sumerian/Dravidian words sharing similar sounding verb -ur. Sumerian
Uru (2) (= firewood.) has similar words in Tulu, Kannada (Uri- is to burn) and other Dravidian languages. Similarly, Sumerian Uru (3)(=to till or grow) has Urpini/Ulpini (Tulu), Ulu(=to till) in Kannada.

One of the numbers,"five" in Sumerian was Ia or i (=five).It is ain in Tulu and aidu in Kannada.

Sig(=sun burnt clay tiles) has analogous Sike or seke (=sunny sultriness) and Sigadi (=fire place/oven) in Tulu and Kannada.

There may be more such analogous words in Sumerian and Tulu/Kannada/Dravidian languages.

The analogy is cited here to suggest that some early Tulu,Kannada and other Dravidian tribes might have migrated from Sumerian region to India.


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Books for Reference

  • A Comparative Study of Tulu Dialects By Dr. Padmanabha Kekunnaya. Govinda Pai Reserach Centre, UDupi. 1994
  • Koti Chennaya: Janapadiya Adhyayana. By Dr. Vamana Nandavar. Hemanshu Prakashana ,Mangalore.2001.
  • Male kudiyaru. Dr B. A.Viveka Rai and D.Yadupathi Gowda, Mangalore University,1996.
  • Mogaveera Samskriti By Venkataraja Punimchattaya. Karnataka Sahitya Academy.1993.
  • Mugeraru:Jananga Janapada Adhyayana. By Dr Abhaya Kumar Kaukradi.Kannada & Culture Directorate,Bangalore & Karnataka Tulu Academy, Mangalore,1997.
  • Puttubalakeya Pad-danagalu. Ed: Dr B.A.Viveka Rai,Yadupati Gowda and Rajashri, Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Tulu Peeta. Mangalore University.2004
  • Se'erige. Ed:Dr K.Chinnapa Gowda.Madipu Prakashana,Mangalagangotri,2000.
  • Studies in Tuluva History and Culture.by Dr P Gururaja Bhat (1975).Milagres College,Kallinapur,Udupi.
  • Taulava Sanskriti by Dr.B.A.Viveka Rai, Sahyadri Prakashana,Mysore 1977
  • TuLu naaDu-nuDi By Dr.PalthaDi Ramakrishna Achar, Puttur.
  • TuLu NighanTu. (Editor in Chief: Dr U.P.Upadhyaya, Govinda Pai Research Centre,Udupi. Six volumes. 1988 to 1997
  • Tulu Patero-A Philology & Grammar of Tulu Language by Budhananda Shivalli.2004.Mandira Prakashana Mangalore. p.317. (The book is in Tulu Language using Kannada script)
  • TuLunadina ShasanagaLa Sanskritika Adhyayana. By Shaila T. Verma (2002) Jnanodaya Prakashana,Bangalore, p.304.(Kannada)
  • Tuluvala Baliyendre. Compiled by N.A.Sheenappa Hegde,Polali,Sri Devi Prakashana,Parkala,1929/1999

A Coastal estuary

A Coastal estuary
Holegadde near Honavar,Uttara Kannada dist, Karnataka

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