Tamil etymology, linguistics, root words


Tamil Words from the Root "su"

Inia Pandian

TAMIL TRIBUNE, February 2004 (ID. 2004-02-02)
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1. Introduction

Tamil is a natural language. It naturally evolved slowly step by step from the natural sounds made by human. A deeper discussion of this concept may be found in Chapter 4: Beginnings of Tamil in the book "The Primary Classical Language of the World" by G. Devaneyan. (G. Devaneyan is popularly known as Devaneya Pavanar.)

Tamil words are formed out of monosyllabic roots. Dozens or even more related words may evolve from a single root. We provide an example in this article. (It should be remembered that because there are hundreds of thousands of words in a language, and there are far fewer monosyllabic roots, different branches of words relating to different root meanings may evolve from a single root.)

2. Some Words from the Root "su" (சு)

(NOTE: There are some Tamil letters in this article. It is not necessary to be able to read the Tamil letters to understand the article. The letters are in unicode font. If you cannot read them, check the browser's instructions (help section) on how you may read them. Downloading special fonts may not be necessary.)

The root "su" (சு) leads to many words related to "heat". Here are a few. 

su --- sud --- sudu (சு --- சுட் --- சுடு) = to heat (verb)

su --- sud --- suudu ( சு --- சுட் --- சூடு) = heat (noun)

su --- sud --- sudalai ( சு --- சுட் --- சுடலை) = cremation ground

su --- suL --- suLLi (சு --- சுள் --- சுள்ளி) = dried twig

su --- suL --- suuLLai ( சு --- சுள் --- சூளை) = furnace

sul--- suL --- suuLurai ( சு --- சுள் --- சூளுரை) = oath taken in anger (Even in English when someone is angry, it is said "he/she is hot with anger)

su --- sur --- suram ( சு --- சுர் --- சுரம்) = fever (Some people pronounce suram as "juram". Because of the "j" sound, many think that this word is of Sanskrit origin. Scholars may want to revisit whether it is of Tamil origin or Sanskrit origin*. Just because there is a Sanskrit word similar to a Tamil word, one should not automatically assume that the word is of Sanskrit origin. Scholars like Devaneyan (Devaneya Pavanar) and Aruli have shown that hundreds of Sanskrit words are of Tamil origin.)

su --- sur --- suurian ( சு --- சுர் --- சூரியன்) - sun (Again, many believe that suurian is of Sanskrit origin. Scholars may want to revisit whether it is of Tamil origin or Sanskrit origin*.)

su --- sur --- suuran ( சு --- சுர் --- சூரன்) = someone who is good at what he does (Similar usage may be found in English also; "he is hot at his job".)

su --- suk --- sukku ( சு --- சுக் --- சுக்கு) = dried ginger

(NOTE: Thollkappiam is also spelled as Tolkaappiam and Tolkappiam.)

(* Author is not a linguist by training. Comments are welcome. If necessary we are open to make necessary changes and corrections. Also, please write us if you know any other words derived from "su".)


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