It is obvious that many of the ancient words have travelled to different parts of the world along with human migrants and eventually evolved further in multitudes of patterns during the course of the history. The previous two posts on aspects of dispersion and evolution of basic words in Indo-European group of languages provide clues to the inference.
There may be several more examples, so far not reported or not recognized words, apparently unconnected and spatially disconnected, though in reality, might happen to be analogous scattered words, spread in different parts of the world.
Recently, while walking along the urban streets of Zurich, Switzerland, as a tourist, I chanced to notice a German word on the signboards which bore resemblance to a familiar Kannada word. (In Switzerland, a Swiss variety of German is the common language in usage). The word that drew my attention was “halle” which bears resemblance to Kannada word “halli”, somewhat also in pronunciation.
The current meaning of the German word “halle”(pronounced as hall or halli in German) as is found in central parts of Europe including Switzerland is, a hall, a lobby, a hangar, a foyer or a vestibule. You can find commercial establishments like recreation halls, auditoria, restaurants and bars variously named as Halle 622, Saalsporthalle, Tonhalle, Kronehalle, etc. in Zurich or other parts of Switzerland.
However, you can find also a town (formerly a village) known as Halle in Saxony, Germany which suggests that the word was also a traditional place name in the past.
|A rural scenario along Zurich to Milan road, Europe|
Halli in Kannada
The “halli” in Kannada stands for village. The related Kannada word “halla” means a lake, therefore a habitation developed by the side of a halla came to be known as a halli or village. However, genetically the word hall evolved in medieval Kannada from an older version of the word namely “palli”. Thus the halli in Kannada is the result of pa > ha transition that was adopted probably around 10th century CE or later.
In Tulu language, the pa>ha literary transitions adopted in medieval Kannada has not made its presence felt, probably due to lack of proper literary works in medieval Tulu. Hence, we do not find any incidence of halli place names in Tulu. However in northern part of Tulunadu, around and north of Barakur, the provincial coastal capital of Vijayanagar rulers, we find village names ending with suffix of halli such as Kukkehalli, Molahalli etc.
However, we can also find some “halli” village names in present day Telugu and Tamil regions probably named during the past history, under the influence of neighboring Kannada people. For example: Muttanahalli, Mukkalnaikanahalli, Molappanahalli etc in Tamilnadu and Baginaikanhalli, Chelimenhalli, Natchahalli etc in Telangana/Andhra Pradesh.
Palli in Dravidian langauges
The ancient word palli for village, exists in most of Dravidian languages including Tulu.(For example: Tiruchirapalli, Moranapalli - Tamil; Chintapalli -Telugu, Palli, Bellampalli- Tulu etc). The word palla means a lake , hence a habitation by the side of palla came to be known as a palli. However, during the course of history, in Tulunadu, the word palli was adopted by local Beary Muslims to represent mosques. Probably as result, the usage of the word palli for village was restricted thereafter. Conversely, we can presume that palli place names in Tulunadu are older in age and were named before the advent of Beary community and their adoption of the word palli for mosques.
Palle in Telugu
The palle (instead of palli) is one of the common habitation suffixes found in Telugu language regions. It is interesting to note that the Telugu village name lists sport abundant number of –palle suffixes. A few examples of Telugu village names:
Anakapale, Bandepale, Kothapalle, Thippepalle, Vangapalle etc.
Palli in Munda/Prakrit
The ancient habitation suffix palli (or its modified version pali ) also exists in Munda and Prakrit language regions of India. W can find adequate village names having palli as suffix or as stand-alone village names distributed in the north Indian States of Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Gujarat etc.
Palli in Sanskrit
The word palli as such also exists in Sanskrit. Thus, the presence of halli/palli in Dravidian and Indo-European Sanskrit suggests that the original root word could be ancient one, that was also shared by European languages during the past history.
Palle in Italy: Tripalle
It was curious to know whether the pa > ha transition has taken place in Europe also. Casual search in the web suggested the place name of Tripalle, a village in Italy. (There could be many such –palle words: it needs detailed search).
Other Euro African examples
Other Euro African examples
'Tripoli', Libyan capital city can be added to the list of relevant examples. It was founded by Greek Phoenicians in 7 C. BC, came under the rule of Carthaginians, Romans, Italians and lastly Turkey Ottomans.
In Basque, an analogous spatial term “hel-bide” means an address. In Hungarian, the word “helly” carries meanings such as: a place, location, address or town. Besides the term 'falu means a village.
The essence of this post is preliminary exploration and reporting of the possibility that the original habitation/village indicator words palle (palli) > halle (halli) might have been an ancient root word adopted by ancestors of Indo-European and Dravidian communities that eventually dispersed in different regions of the globe during the past history. At this point of time it is difficult to trace the place of origin of this place name (as it would demand further detailed studies).
Similarly, the p>h or pa> ha transition in German and Kannada languages may not be mere coincidence. Whether this transition was an influence of Europe on Kannada or vice versa would be a matter of further detailed linguistic and socio-environmental analysis.