Language and Understanding and the Science of Historical Linguistics

Dr K.Loganathan, 2004



Language and Understanding and the Science of Historical Linguitics-1

Dear  Dr Sastry

Thank-you for raising some interesting questions that relate to Language and Understanding and how the historical and trans-historical nature of languages also figure in all these. I hope to have a dialog with you in the same spirit I had with Prof Antonio and more recently with Gary M Cooper of Ontological ethics.  The point is that we are moving in the dark and where the exchanges are objective with a FREE mind and  where there is a willingness to LEARN  on the part of all, then the dialog turns out to be a learning experience for all concerned. I have renamed this dialog as “Language and Understanding” as the essence will be that. And I shall be posting also to a number of  other groups so that a wider circle of friends become aware of this dialog.

I am trying o initiate the birth and development of a new field of Historical Linguistics: Paleo Dravidian Linguistics in which the ancient languages such as Sumerian Elamite the Nubian Meroitic, Egyptian  the language of Linear A script of the Minoans and  so forth may turnout to be cognate with Dravidian  such as Tamil. I believe also that Rigkrit Sanskrit and so forth belong to this language family  and NOT to the IE family of languages. I also want to develop this field as belonging to Hermeneutic Science and which is the Proper Model of Science for all human studies including the historical. The model of Positive Sciences is mindless and mechanical and it cannot unearth  historical truths which are that of the mind or self.

 With this et me say at the outset that in whatever I say I remain open and quite willing to revise provided my views are properly deconstructed.

From:  "Dr. B. V. Venkata Krishna Shastry" <>
Date:  Sun May 2, 2004  6:24 am
Subject:  RE: [Tolkaappiyar] Digest Number 85

Dear Dr Loganathan,


Please see my inented responses. As I have repeatedly said, I would prefer to wait for the completion of your final proposition before making my further observations.


Reg. 1         <<Thank-you. In looking at Rigkrit and hence Sk that probably developed out of it, I am NOT saying anything false or improbable about the essence of Rk and Sk. And this despite the claim that Vedas are Apurushya etc. What I state are TRUTHS that anyone can examine and ascertain. Of course it is NEW for the discovery that Sumerian is Archaic Tamil is new. Even the discovery of Sumerian language and culture itself is new and therefore something that was NOT available for our ancient grammarians and Achariyas.>>


Sastry 1


If you are telling about Acharya's and the grammarians in the TIMELINE OF HISTORY and REGION backdrop, neither Panini,Tolkappiyur, Nirukta, Shiksha works, and the like become of any relevance. The domain of your discussion centers then round the 'specific l;anguage of the specific region and the focused literature' you want to analyze. The difficulty is you are stretching it beyond the time period and in a way the entire tradition  did NOT recognize in TAMIL and SANSKRIT literature, till at least  during the periods 700 B.C.E to 1100 A.D. When you use the 'language shades of this intermediary period, and a grammar work of one language in preference over all the other languages and grammars  to draw a continuity, more explanation needs to be provided - firstly for ignoring the available traditions; secondly for the new constructions and consistency related to it. This is what is awaited from your writings. .Speaking of the probability is different. from Speaking with hard facts and evidence is different.   



Loga 2:


I did not say that the works of Tolkaappiyar PaNini and so forth are irrelevant for such studies as I am conducting. What I am saying is that Tol and so forth MAY NOT HAVE BEEN AWARE of Sumerian Language and Culture and such other languages of the deep past. Tol. is aware of many grammarians of the time before him and he continuously refers to them but we do not know exactly who they were and what they wrote.


Though I don’t know much the details of PaNini, I study very deeply Tolkaappiyam and I find the Process Grammar implicit in it, very useful for understanding the Evolutionary dynamics underlying the transformations of SumeroTamil into C. Tamil and how Rg is also a language that branched off from S.umTamil. What appealed to me about the Process grammar of Tol. is that he recognized Transformational and Generative processes as parts of language features i.e., IlakkaNam. He also has listed TG processes at phonological semantic syntactic and prosodic levels. You can see that in my derivation of base language of Rig Veda and Bagavath Gita I am using these TG notions. As such studies progress I am sure we can list out the details of these TG rules.


Just to give an example: we can trace the Rg ‘bhir’ to Sum ba-ere and relate them Ta. Peer. Another one is Rg ‘tanve’ to Su te-en-bi and Ta. taNivi.  As we collect more and more such words we can formulate rules: Su. ‘-e > Rg –O, Ta. –O (empty, deleted and so forth). We can also say  Su. –n > Ta. –N , Rg –n and so forth.


Such studies are made possible only because there is an enormous range of Sumerian literature  that is available now and which were not available (as far I know) for Tolkaappiyar or PaNini


Yes I am stretching the history of Tamil and Sk BEYOND the traditionally accepted dates. I do not see anything wrong with it.  There is NEW data that has become available and therefore new kinds of perspectives on the historical origins of these languages and how they are interrelated.


Why should this be surprising or unacceptable? For than two hundreds and even now many Indian scholars go along with the notion that Sk is Indo-European and that  as such it belongs to the same  family of language as German Greek Latin and so forth.


Did PaNini Tolkaappiyar or any other Indian linguists ever said anything like this? It held sway and continues to do so but at the same time declining only because it is all false, a build-up on a very flimsy data-base as Aurobindo himself recognized decades ago.


Now while I admit that more studies may be relevant for showing that Rg has SumeroTamil as its base, I have already provided tons of evidences, according Dr Winters, to show that Sumerian is Archaic Tamil.  In hermeneutic Science there is NOTHING such as  PROVING but also helping out or demonstrating and so forth. I recognize and understand that Sumerian is Archaic Tamil and have posted tons of materials and continue to post (see my websites) such materials. So the onus is on the part of other scholars such as you. You have to READ seriously what I have posted. examine for yourself the truths of what I have written. seek to recognize what I have recognized, raise questions when problems are encountered SPESFIC to the problem in understanding. So far most of the scholars just simply react globally and emotionally  (some even going to the level of calling a crack-pot!)


The claims that I make are serious claims and after decades of careful study of original texts. While I admit I can be wrong here and there but in essence and majority of cases I am right. Sumerian is Archaic Tamil and while C.Tamil constitutes a continuation of it, Rigkrit branched off from it.


(to continue) 1


Language and Understanding and the Science of Historical Linguitics-2



2. REg <<    In human history the notion of apurushya( Su. na-purushya ) which itself of Sumerian origins is not confined to Vedas alone. It was an ancient idea in Sumerian literature. Such is also the claim of Al Koran of Muslims where it is said  that these verses were brought to the Prophet Mohamed(Sal) in Mount Sinai through Gabriel of thousand wings and so forth. There are extensive records of this remarkable phenomena in Al Koran itself( the Tamil version of which I have studied).

The term 'ubar-tu-tu' , the father of Suruppak also carries the same meaning; ubar-tu-tu> umpar-tuu-tu : speech from above and hence NOT that of a person as an expressions of his will, intention and so forth. This is also the meaning upanishad (< uppa-ni-saaRRu) if you see it as a word of SumeroTamil origins. This is also the meaning of Bagavath Gita as much as Teiva Vaakku that you find to this day among the Shaman priests in Tamil Nadu ( also in Malaysia). >> 


More claer references from the original needed here. The secondary translations are not convincing. The later practices of the 'Teiva vaakku' is also  not convincing for the same reasons .See your own observations below at (3) for why this is not clear proof.


3.  REg       <<While the ordinary language is that of a person , that which comes as expressions of his own will and hence purushya, those which emerge through his mouth but of which he is NOT the author but that of divine and mysterious powers that take over his body and mind and make them their tool for REVELATIONS may not be purushya. Such extraoridinary and mystical experiences  lead  such possessed people to believe  that whatever they uttered is a-purushya, NOT his own declarations and in which he is  right.
During trances the shaman priests may utter all kinds of things but they cannot recall them on coming free of that trance .
Such possessions can be either by lower deities or higher deities. For the Teevaram and Divviya Prabantam corpus are also DIVINE DISCLOSURES but certainly their QUALITY and LANGUAGE is not the same as those of the Teiva Vaakku of the Shaman priests though they are similar kind of phenomena.

The sources may be divine but this does not mean that the LANGUAGES in which the disclosures are couched are not historical. The languages may vary only because these divine disclosures were meant for a community of speakers and hence in a language INTELLIGIBLE to them.


Links of Trance state , Langauge output, Quality of language, Divine disclosures, Shaman priests, Lower deities and higher dieties - linked with HISTORICITY ??   - More clarity of thought and the deliberations on the relation of langauge  and state of consciousness needed. Just saying 'Mantrayana' will not help. Because the same argument is self cutting thing from the vedas.


The phenomena I am referring to is not only ancient but also quite widespread even and cuts across all religions cultures and languages. I have experienced directly this phenomena when during a crisis in brother’s life, Lord Muruka took over the body and mind of my sister and said to the effect that the crisis will be over in due course. After that my sister collapsed with exhaustion and I have to tell what in fact she said. I have seen documentaries where in Zanzibar trhe black Muslims still resort to shaman priests to get cures for their ailments. The same goes for the Muslim at the extreme North of Pakistan where such practices though disallowed are still practiced, In Malaysia this is a good practices among the Malays Indian and Chinese .

If you want  textual references to substantiate the presence phenomena and thsir possible linkage with Rig Vedic Sukta , here are some from Sumerian literature.

This is a selection  from very extensive Sumerian incantations. You can read some them at the following address:


226. i-re-ni-pa` sag i-re-ni-pa` ( I adjure there, first I adjured you)

227. zi an-na i-re-pa` zi ki-a i-re-pa`  (I adjured you by heaven, I adjure you by earth)

228. zi hendur-sag-ga nimgir ge i-re-pa` ( I adjure you by Hendursag, the night watchman)

229. zi dingir gal-gal-e-ne i-re-pa` (I adjour you by the great gods )

230 tu mu-un-na -ab-sum-mu-ta (When I deliver the spell)

231. [.........] x-ta si ba [x x '-ta ( ..............)

232. tu en e-nu-ru ( Enuru incantation)

 226 *Ta. nii-yiree  poo!  saan nii yiree poo! ( You all go away!  You all go away from people!)

227.  *Ta. jii vaanna yiree poo! jii kiiza yiiree poo! (  In the name of the celstial beings, you all go away !  In the name of the earth,  you all go away !)

228. *Ta. jii eentur saaGa nimgiir yiree poo! ( You all go away in the name   of  the good gods who live in the hilltops)

229. *Ta. jii tingir kaLkaLayinee  yiree poo ! ( In the name of  the great divine beings, you all go away!)

230. *Ta. too munna av summatu  ( When I recite the  spell )


41. ga-e lu (d)en-ki-ga me-an ( I am Enki's man)

42. ga-e kin-gi-a-ni me-en ( I am his messenger)

*Ta. Gaayee uLu ENkiizka maan ( I am Enki's man)

*Ta. Gayee kaaNki aani maan ( I am his deputy)

43. nig-tu-ra-a-ni lu til-la-ni-se ( To heal the man in his illness)

44. en-gal (d)en-ki-ke mu-un-si-in-gi-en-am ( the great lord Enki sent me)

*Ta. nika turra aani uLu tillanii se (To cure that man from his severe afflictions)

*Ta. ENkaL ENkiizka municinmiiLen aam ( The great Lord Enki impelled me to return to him)

45. tu ku-ga-a-ni tu-ga gal-la-am ( Since he made his holy incantations into my incantations)

*Ta. too kooka aani tooGaa kaalla aam ( " )

 (Gap of 3 lines restored from other tablets)

45^ ka ku-ga-a-ni ka-mu gal-la ( causing his pure mouth to be my pure mouth)

*Ta.  kaa kooka aanii kaamoo kaalla ( causing his divine mouth to be my mouth )

46^ us ku-ga-a-ni us-mu gal-la-na ( his pure spell to be my pure spell)

*Ta. ussu kooga aani ussumoo kaallana ( His divine breath to be my breath)

47^ su ku-ga-a-ni su-mu gal-la-na ( his pure prayer to be my pure prayer)

*Ta. cuur kooka aanii cuurmoo kaallana ( his divine hands to be my hands)

These lines from 45-46 clearly shows that the Priest here clearly declares that he is the deputy of Enki( <EnSi) of Eridu ) and well aware of he being possessed by EnKi where his mouth becomes the  mouth of EnKi, the words that emerge are that of EnKsi and hence efficacious in curing the sick. In fact the whole body – hands breath etc become that of EnSi.

Such practices , we can see led the  practices of the Siddhas and which  later developed as  the science of Mantrayana. Here we have the phenomena of Uccaadanam, exorcism, that of abjuring the evil spirits , with words that are actually of EnSi.

Now  such  priests can be seen almost the same as the ‘kavikaratuh’ in the Rig Veda, the shaman priests who burst into singing( kavi-karaituh) during perhaps trance-like states.

Hymn 1.5

The very interesting final sloka of the First hymn goes as below:

agnir hotaa kavikaratuh satyas citrasra-vastamah / devo devebhir aa gamat:\

The adorable God, the source of vitality and knowledge, the giver and acceptor, is truth personified, and divine unparalleled. may He be a source of inspiration to the aspirants.

agnir hotaa:

This can be taken as 'agni-ir uutaa' where " uutaa"  means 'to flow out , to blow'  as in Su. uta and Ta.uutu. The primordial meaning of Ta. uu: to radiate , to blow is retained here. The -ir in 'agni-ir" may be a variant "-il" the locative/ablative case marker . Collectively it means : whatever that radiates out from the Glorious Fire

kavikratuh satyas : kavi: inspired person; kratu:  source of knowledge; satyas: true in knowledge etc.

The term 'kavikratuh" appears to be quite certainly Ta. kavi-karaitu  meaning what the singers utter or sing out. The word 'ka" exists in Su. as "mouth ' as "ka-ta-e-a' meaning to narrate but literally ' coming out from the mouth'. As I have pointed out this 'ka' as mouth is retained in Tamil only as frozen form as in 'kaa-viri" the branching mouth, a name for the river Kaaveeri. The word 'kataittal' is still retained with the meaning ' conversing'  in Sri Lankan Tamil.

The word Ta. karai is a variant of Ta. kali : to cry out . In Su. in occurs as 'gala' the Akkadian equivalent ( or borrowing) is given as "kalu^", the ritual singer. . The following is an instance of it:


139. ni gi-u-na ma-ra-an- du-ga (  That which I recited to you at (mid) night)

140: gala an-NE-ke      su hu-mu-ra-ab-gi-gi ( may the singer repeat it to you at noon)

*Ta. nii mai-uu-na  maanRaan tuukka

* Ta. kalai vaanakkee   ummonRa av  cuur mii-mii

The ' saty-as'  can be taken as a variant of Su. ji-de-es : something true , authentic, right , appropriate  etc. We may note here that 'gala ' can be derived from 'gal' meaning to sing and which has a variant 'kar, karai" meaning to cry , to call out etc.  The Su. su/ju as equivalent to  Ta. cuur ( cf.  Malay  suruh:  to tell)  might have become Ta. kuuRu: to tell etc.

The 'satyas" may be a variant of Su. ji-de-es. (= zi-de-es)


4. aga-zi-de  ki-aga nam-en-na tum-ma (  Enamoured of the appropriate tiara, suitable for high priest-hood)

* Ta. angka jittee kiaangka eeNNanam takumma ( Beautiful with true ornaments, really fit for the divine status)

ji-de-es> satte-es > satyas

Thus 'kavikratuh satyas"  can be taken to mean " utterances that are true"

I can go on with more such citations but the above are sufficient to  show that there are similarities and that there were individuals, the kavikaraitu, those who recited some verses ( tu en-nu-ru)  and who were AWARE of the a-purushiya and DIVINE nature of  these mantra-like utterances.

The important point is the LANGUAGE of such disclosure was the language of the people, at least in such cases and something historical and naturally available.

(to continue)2

Language and Understanding and the Science of Historical Linguistics- 3


4.Reg   <<   We must also note that such happenings are continuous in history. When Arutpirakasa VaLLallaar sang more than 7000 verses, he was fully aware that they were all the aruL of BEING.

A linguist can bracket off these aprushiya aspects and just look at the  language in its historical settings and this is what I am doing.




The  analysis of a 'divine disclosure' in historical set up' is the an antethema. The time frame for the 'divine' needs to be drawn. Please provide the reasons for such restricted analysis. This is what Prof.Michael Witzel had raised the question earlier in a different forum a s'thinking inside the box'.





I don’t understand here why a TIME Frame has to be drawn. BEING is TIMELESS and in history you can see that BEING discloses himself in so many different ways. There are already many book lengths studies on it and I can only recommend such studies. The studies of Eric Neumann on Mother Goddess are an excellent study of the Mother Archetype and how BEING shows Himself as MOTHER from very primitive times where the Icon shape itself has evolved. I can also recommend the book of William James “ On Varieties of Religious Experiences” where he studies the actual documents written by many Mystics throughout the world and who belong to all religions and where the mystics are also both males and females.


I am NOT doing a restricted study but rather a component of a larger range of studies.  As I have already stated not all expressions of language are non-personal and divine.  Right from the beginning language has been a tool for divine disclosures as well as that of human intentions.


In my view ‘closed box’ means seeing everything within the Physicalistic Seeing, equating SEEING with sensory perception as is the case with Lokayatas as well as  the bulk of Western philosophers. There are Transductive Perceptions and Hindu religious practices; philosophies and Yogas are centered on such SEEING (Vinjanajk kaadci, Sivanjaanak kaadci etc) beyond the senses. In my major book on Philosophy in Tamil, Azivil Unmai, I   have classified them into PoRiliyap Paarvai  (physicalistic Seeing), Nuuliyap Paarvai (Hermeneutic Seeing), Nutaliyap Paarvai (Transductive Perceptions)  and so forth. There are divine disclosures everywhere but we can SEE them only if we acquire the capacity for Transductive Perception, the Mental Seeing traditionally put as the Vision of the Third Eye.





5.  Reg         <<Now certainly this does not exhaust the study of Vedas and any such revealed literature. To understand the processes of divine disclosures- how the messages  icons mythical tales and so forth  are configured - we have to take the study of Mantrayana such as that of Tirumular . Tolkaappiyar deliberately bracketed off Mantrayana but fortunately Tirmular took it up and made a science of it.

In my studies of Mantrayana of Tirumular I am trying to show this as well.

Now the non-mystical historical dimensions are also quite available in the history of Sk. We  are aware that Rk was transformed or developed into Prakrit and Sanskrit languages and such processes belong to history - we can study and identify such processes by taking up a comparing the languages.

My basic question is and has been  : How is that Rk shows so many features -
lexical, grammatical, metaphoric and so forth that are so similar to  SumeroTamil (and Classical Tamil) ? I have written quite extensively on this and continue to write.





For the basic question you have asked   the answer is 'At the higher level of consciousness, the human communication with the divine is convergent; and any expression that emerges at that level will have very close similarities.   


Loga- 2


Yes and you can understand this better if you see such phenomena in terms of the Mantrayana of Tirumular.  All such phenomena can be seen as the workings of Mantra-phonemes with which the fundamental Siva Tatvas Natam and Bindu  ( Yin and Yang) are played to create everything in the world including the world itself.   Of great importance for metaphysics and hence religions is that of creation of MEANINGS which help the destruction of IGNORANCE or a metaphysical BLINDNESS already there as part of the psychic constitution of all creatures.  There are many differences and discords on the way and at the lower levels and but as one goes higher and higher, more similarities begin to emerge.  The experience of Pure Light or Radiance is a convergent experience among all mystics throughout the world  as William James shows in his book on Varieties of Religious Experiences.


I have also noted this in my studies of Sumerian and C.Tamil literature. The first line of En Hudu Anna ( c. 2200 BC) is Nin Me sar-ra , u dalla-ea : Lady of all powers and resplendent light.


But as Tirumular says in many places, the LIMIT is reached when speech itself gets uprooted and only a Deep Silence comes to prevail. This is the metaphysical LIMIT of all where the understanding is formed and informed by the Logos AUM and which may have its beginnins in the Sumerian ‘am, aaM and which is  retained by the Christian  ‘amen” ( I think) I am explaining all such things in my series on The Mantrayana of Tirumular.





6  Reg.  <<   Let me recall the presence of the phrase "Dhosa Vastir Dhiya Vaiyum:"  and "yaatumaavan" in the language of Rig Veda and which are quite obviously Tamil in meaning lexicon and grammar. In fact such studies  and identification of the base as Tamil can be extended to the whole of Rig Veda and with that  RECOVER base form and meaning of the Vedic Suktas.
The same applies to the Sk of Bagath Gita on which I am posting regularly.
The Tamil language remains the base form of Rk and Sk and perhaps also the Prakrit languages like Pali and so forth and therefore all these languages are properly speaking belong to the Dravidian Family of languages. Now this does not deny that the Vedas could be apurushya and the same with Teevaram  Divvya Prabantam and so forth ( though certainly not CaGkam Classics)  >>  

Loga >>   




Sir, You have a view point in support of which you are looking for supporting evidence. What you state so passionately  about the Tamil and the Dravidian languages ( though this classification of Aryan-Dravidian is itself doubted) can equally apply to the statement about the Vedic Sanskrit. The same statement made you can be rephrased and said - " [[[[[[ The Chandas (Vedic Sanskrit)  language remains the base form of classical Sanskrit, and perhaps of (Sumero) Tamil and  also the Prakrit languages like Pali (In India) and so forth and therefore all these languages are properly speaking belong to the Vedic Sanskrit   Family of languages. Now this does not deny that the Vedas could be apurushya and the same with Teevaram  Divvya Prabantam and so forth ( though certainly not CaGkam Classics). ]]]]]]   The existing tradition supports this as well, without any need for any interpretation.  All that we have to establish is Historically the 'Chandas- Vedic Sanskrit' was present in a period earlier to 5000 B.C.E. For this the  other forms of evidence is needed.  For the contrary, you will have to provide the evidence for the views please.

With respects




I doubt very much. By the way the science I practice is Hermeneutic Science such as that of Tolkaappiyar where what are sought are TRUTHS and within a mental frame of being truly OBJECTIVE and where we allow only the TEXTS analyzed speak from within themselves.  What I say are already there in the Sumerian, Rigkrit and C.Tamil texts. I contemplate deep on them and when I get some insights then I write about them and post them in such forums for others to deconstruct  my views, if possible.


 Can we REVERSE and say Vedic Sanskrit is the base of SumeroTamil, C.Tamil and so forth?


I doubt very much. For one thing you would notice if you take up actual studies (instead of just speculating) that SumeroTamil is MORE ARCHAIC than Rigkrit so that we can see the line of development from SumeroTamil to Rigkrit and NOT the reverse. And also you will discover that the Base Language of Rigkrit, which is a kind of Archaic Tamil, is INTERMEDIATE between SumeroTamil and C.Tamil.  Phrases like “Dhosa Vastir Dhiya Vaiyum” ‘yaatumaavaan” ‘ varuutham taNivi’ and and hundreds of such clauses and phrases  are CLOSER in morphology to C.Tamil than SumeroTamil.


Now if you go deeper you may have to agree with Dr Winters who links up such ancient languages with the African Nubian Sub-Saharan languages and so forth. If you seek to show that Vedic Sanskrit is the BASE language of Sumerian, Elamite and so forth, you must also explain how it is related to Meroitic of the Nubians, the language of Linear A script of the Minoans and so forth.


Anyway the proof of the pudding is in the eating. You are most welcome to REVERSE the opinion I hold about the evolutionary linkages and SHOW that Vedic Sanskrit is the base language of Sumerian, C.Tamil and so forth. You cannot say that this already the traditional view for SumeroTamil was NOT known till recently.  Also only a few among the Indian scholars have studied them. Perhaps I have done more than others as I have quite a large collection of original Sumerian texts and have been studying them for decades.