Tuesday, January 7, 2014

322. Preposition ‘da’ in Punjabi & Tulu


“ Paani da rang vekh ke,
ankhiyan cho hanju rod de”.

-On seeing the color of the water tears rolled down from (my eyes).
The cited Punjabi lyrical lines penned by Anshuman Khurana’s and popularized in the Hindi   film Vicky Donor  has haunted me many times especially for the presence of preposition ‘da’. The common preposition da (pronounced as 'the' in English) in Punjabi as well as in Tulu Language represents the English preposition of !  Like ‘pāni da’ in Punjabi ‘neer da’ in Tulu means relating to water.

Punjabi and Tulu
Punjabi is a north Indian language belonging to the family of Indo-Aryan languages. Tulu is a Dravidian language. Even though the two languages are entirely different in structure and content, this particular preposition is common to the two languages. Many may like to consider this common preposition in Punjabi and Tulu as a mere coincidence.

Da, di, de

There are other prepositions related to da in Punjabi and Tulu. The equivalents in Hindi are ko, ki and ke. The feminine form di is used in Hindi as a suffix for Goddesses like Mātā-di. The feminine form di (ki in Hindi) or ti has also been vogue in Tulu in forms reverential feminine forms such as Ullaldi/ Ullalti, Shedti, Konkandi, Marakaldi/ Marakalti, Sapaldi/Sapalti, Baideti/Baidedi,  Baikaadi/Baikaadti', Maankaldi/ Mangaldi etc. It is also (especially the -de feminine form) there in Tulu usages in respect of feminine genders as in Dāda de ?  or Dāni de? or Anda de! ..etc.
In Tamil Da (masculine) and Di (feminine) suffix forms do exist; However these are pronounced as Da and Di (D as in Dog). In Kannada feminine suffix ti (instead of di) has survived, even though other forms (da, de) have apparently vanished during the course of evolution.

Migration route
One of the possibilities is that a component of migrating speakers of Tulu language who had lived in the northwestern Indian subcontinent during the ancient history picked up and absorbed this preposition. The migration of the people during the history from the North-western Indian subcontinent to the Karavali has brought the preposition da along with them.
It has been pointed out in earlier posts herein that the Tulu word pirak (=ancient) signifies the place name Pirak, which is a part of Pakistan now.


Mediterranean  roots?
The preposition da can be found survivng in a number of Mediterranean and European languages. The word da has varied meanings in some of the European languages such as : from or of (in Italian and Dalmatian), yes (in Russian), to (in Breton), surely, then, when, as etc (in Danish) and so on. Of these it can be seen that the meaning of da is quite close to that of Punjabi and Tulu in the case of   Mediterranean languages like   Italian and Dalmatian. Thus the Italian name Leonardo da Vinci means the Leonardo from or of the place known as Vinci.


In our older posts, Kaudur Narayana Shetty has contributed an essay outlining the similarities between the Italian and Tulu languages.

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Blog Archive

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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