Features Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 05:30
By Bharath Kumar Recently, there was an article on The News Minute titled Need of the hour: Synergy between Sanskrit and regional languages. The author of the above said article seems mesmerised by Sanskrit and has put forward arguments that are biased towards Sanskrit. The author seems to lack knowledge of modern day Kannada writers, and the grammatical differences between Kannada and Sanskrit. This lack of knowledge might have led him to an un-scientific and unrealistic conclusions. Actually, in Kannada, the littérateurs both qualitatively and quantitatively have risen after independence- U R Ananth Murthy, P Lankesh, D R Nagaraj to name a few. Post-1947, there have been many literary movements like Navya and Bandaaya (revolutionary) in Kannada. Coming to the Grammar, the author does not seem to possess any idea of what Kannada grammar is and what modern day linguistics have to say about it. We must understand that Kannada belongs to the Dravidian family of languages whereas Sanskrit belongs to the Indo-Aryan family of Languages. Mere set of borrowed words doesn't prove that Kannada has originated from Sanskrit. Kannada differs significantly from Sanskrit in various grammatical behaviours. Firstly, Sanskrit does not have 'Lopa Sandhi (ಲೋಪ ಸಂಧಿ). The author has attempted to force-fit poorva roopa sandhi (ಪೂರ್ವ ರೂಪ ಸಂಧಿ) into Lopa Sandhi. On the contrary, Sanskrit has 'Savarna deergha Sandhi'(ಸವರ್ಣ ದೀರ್ಘ ಸಂಧಿ) wherein two short vowels (ಅ,ಇ,ಉ) combine to give rise to a long vowel (ಆ, ಈ, ಊ). For example,  गुरु+उपदॆश् -> गुरूपदॆश् ಗುರು+ಉಪದೇಶ -> ಗುರೂಪದೇಶIt is worth noting here, the vowel 'u' at the end of word 'Guru' and 'u' at the beginning of word 'upadesha' give rise to 'long u' in the combined word guru*padesha where u* is 'long u'. Whereas in Kannada ಕಲ್ಲು + ಉಪ್ಪು => ಕಲ್ಲುಪ್ಪು , ‘u’ in kallu is dropped whereas ‘u’ in uppu is retained. It is important to note that there is no long vowel in the resultant word.  While describing Aadesha Sandhi, the author seems to have deliberately tried to mask the differences between Kannada and Sanskrit. Let us examine the example the author had taken:ತಲೆ+ಕೆಟ್ಟು = ತಲೆಗೆಟ್ಟು - In this Kannada word, 'ka' in the second word is replaced with 'ga' after Sandhiವಾಕ್+ಈಶ = ವಾಗೀಶ್ - In this Sanskrit word, 'ka' in the first word is replaced with 'ga' after Sandhi. It is important to note that this is a fundamental difference between Sanskrit and Kannada, with respect to Aadesha Sandhi. Apart from this difference, in Sanskrit, replacement of consonants is regular and strict, whereas in Kannada it can't even be considered as a rule and it is irregular. To illustrate this opoint, let us take an example: ಆನೆ+ಕಾಲು = ಆನೆಕಾಲು- Here 'ka' is retained even after Sandhi, indicating that Aadesha Sandhi is not strictly followed in Kannada. While talking about Aagama Sandhi, the author has misquoted the examples. In fact, examples that the author has provided actually demonstrate the 'lopa sandhi' and not aagama sandhi as the author seems to have claimed. ಮುಳ್ಳು+ಆಗಿ = ಮುಳ್ಳಾಗಿ - Here 'u' in ಮುಳ್ಳು is dropped, 'aa' in ಆಗಿ is retained after Sandhi, ಕಲ್ಲು+ಆಟ = ಕಲ್ಲಾಟ - Here 'u' in ಕಲ್ಲು is dropped, 'aa' ಆಟ is retained after Sandhi. For more detailed study on Kannada Sandhis and how it differs with respect to Sanskrit, I would recommend 'Kannada needs its own Grammar’ (ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಬೇಕು ಕನ್ನಡದ್ದೇ ವ್ಯಾಕರಣ), a book written in Kannada, by renowned linguist Dr. D N Shankara Bhat (Chapter 2, Page No. 27) Regarding Samaasa (ಸಮಾಸ), linguistic research has shown that there is no samaasa in Kannada. In other words, the samaasa concept doesn't suit the behaviour of formation of combined words in Kannada. Kannada only has 'jODu pada' (meaning joined words). The behaviour of words which are getting joined cannot be explained using the Sanskrit Samaaasa because in Kannada the second word always gets the importance. Also, even adjectives can combine with a noun to form a 'jODu pada' in Kannada, whereas there is no adjective at all in Sanskrit. For more understanding on samaasa, I would recommend 'Kannada needs its own Grammar’ (ಕನ್ನಡಕ್ಕೆ ಬೇಕು ಕನ್ನಡದ್ದೇ ವ್ಯಾಕರಣ) by Dr. D N Shankara Bhat (Chapter 5, Page No. 96) Regarding Case (ವಿಭಕ್ತಿ), the author is wrong about Panchami Vibhakti (ಪಂಚಮಿ ವಿಭಕ್ತಿ). The author taking an un-scientific view in this regard could be the result of trying to force-fit the grammatical properties of Sanskrit on Kannada. Sediyaapu Krishna Bhat and Dr. D N Shankara Bhat, both renowned Kannada linguists have shown beyond doubt that Panchami Vibhakti (ಪಂಚಮಿ ವಿಭಕ್ತಿ) doesn't exist in Kannada. Learning Sanskrit will only improve one's Sanskrit skills, and it will in no-way help master the Dravidian Languages like Kannada or Telugu. In order to master them, the Dravidian languages need to be studied in depth on their own. Otherwise, one will end up confusing Sanskrit grammar with Kannada's and come to wrong conclusions. Kannada grammar must be studied without any bias from Sanskrit or English because Kannada has its own distinct grammar. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this articles are the personal opinions of the author. The News Minute is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information in this article. The information, facts or opinions appearing in this article do not reflect the views of The News Minute and The News Minute does not assume any liability on the same. Tweet Follow @thenewsminute
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