Saturday, July 2, 2011

Dravidian and African Languages

A great way to see the genetic relationship between Dravidian and African languages is to compare the agricultural terms used by both groups.

The Dravidian terms for millet are listed in the Dravidian Etymological Dictionary at 2359, 4300 and 2671. A cursory review of the linguistic examples provided below from the Dravidian, Mande and Wolof languages show a close relationship between these language. These terms are outlined below:

Kol sonna --- --- ----
Wolof (AF.) suna --- ---- ---
Mande (AF) suna bara, baga de-n, doro koro
Tamil connal varaga tinai kural
Malayalam colam varaku tina ---
Kannanda --- baraga, baragu tene korale,korle
*sona *baraga *tenä *kora

Below we will compare other Dravidian and African agricultural terms. These terms come from the Mande languages:Malinke, Kpelle, Bambara, Azer, Soninke, West Atlantic (Wolof, Fulani), Afro-Asiatic (Oromo, Galla), Somali, Nubian and the ancient Egyptian.

The Paleo-Dravido-Africans came from a sedentary culture that domesticated cattle and grew numerous crops including wheat and millet. The Egyptian term for cultivation is 0 b j(w) #. Egyptian Ø b j(w) # corresponds to many African terms for cultivation:

Galla baji 'cultivated field'
Tulu (Dravidian language) bey, benni
Nubian ba, bat 'hoe up ground'
Malinke be
Somali beer
Wolof mbey, ambey, bey
Egyptian b j(w)
Sumerian buru, bur 'to root up'

These terms for cultivate suggest that the Paleo-African term for cultivate was *be.

The Egyptian term for grain is Ø sa #. This corresponds to many African terms for seed,grain:

Galla senyi
Malinke se , si
Sumerian se
Egyptian sen 'granary'
Kannanda cigur

Bozo sii
Bambara sii
Daba sisin
Somali sinni
Loma sii
Susu sansi
Oromo sanyi
Dime siimu
Egyptian ssr 'corn'
id. ssn 'lotus plant'
id. sm 'herb, plant'
id. isw 'weeds'

The identification of a s>0/#_________e pattern for 'seed,grain' in the above languages suggest that these groups were familiar with seeds at the time they separated into distinct Supersets. The fact that Sumerian 0 se # and Egyptian 0 sen #, and Malinke Ø se # are all separated both in time and geographical area highlight the early use of seeds * se , by Paleo-Dravido-Africans.

Soninke dugo
Vai ko'o
Manding malo
Dravidian mala-kurula
Mende molo, konu
Kpelle moloy
Boko mole
Bisa muhi
Busa mole
Sa mela
Bambara kini
Bozo ku, kunan
Vai jambi
Malinke ku
Dravidian kui, kuna, ku
Bambara ku

It would appear that all the Proto-Dravidians were familiar with the cultivation of rice, yams and millet. This is not surprising because Weber (1998) made it clear that millet cultivation in ancient South Asia was associated with rice cultivation.


1 comment:

Naras said...

Good blog.

A slight correction. The Dravidian language kannaDa is being mis-spelled as Kannanda.

I use the odd-looking capitalization because the sound-value is impossible to write in the English alphabet.

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