Languages and Nations: The Dravidian Proof in Colonial Madras
British rule of India brought together two very different traditions of scholarship about language, whose conjuncture led to several intellectual breakthroughs of lasting value. Two of these were especially important: the conceptualization of the Indo-European language family by Sir William Jones at Calcutta in 1786—proposing that Sanskrit is related to Persian and languages of Europe—and the conceptualization of the Dravidian language family of South India by F.W. Ellis at Madras in 1816—the “Dravidian proof,” showing that the languages of South India are related to one another but are not derived from Sanskrit. These concepts are valid still today, centuries later. This book continues the examination Thomas R. Trautmann began in Aryans and British India (1997). While the previous book focused on Calcutta and Jones, the current volume examines these developments from the vantage of Madras, focusing on Ellis, Collector of Madras, and the Indian scholars with whom he worked at the College of Fort St. George, making use of the rich colonial record. Trautmann concludes by showing how elements of the Indian analysis of language have been folded into historical linguistics and continue in the present as unseen but nevertheless living elements of the modern.
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alphabetical ancient Asia Asiatic beneﬁt Beschi’s Board of Superintendence Bombay brahmins British India Brown’s Calcutta Campbell Campbell’s civil servants College Press colonial Committee Court deéya words derived dialects difﬁculty dissertation Dravidian proof East India East India College Elliot Ellis Ellis’s English Erskine European examination ﬁeld ﬁgure ﬁnd ﬁrst ﬁve Fort St Government Greek guage head masters Hindu Hindustani ibid idea identiﬁed inﬂuence Jones’s junior servants Kannada knowledge language analysis languages and nations languages-and-nations project learned letter Leyden Library linguistics literary literature Madras Maharashtri Malayalam Mamadi Venkayya manuscript Marsden Mosaic ethnology native Ofﬁce OIOC Orientalism Orientalist original P1âini pagodas Pattabhirama Shastri Persian phonology Prakrit Prakrit grammarians printed published race relations roots rules s[tras Sankaraiah scholars script Sir William Jones South India South Indian languages speciﬁcally Tamil language tatsama teachers Telugu grammar tion translation Vedic vowels word list writing