This comprehensive book reveals the genetic relationship between the English language and Tamil, the chief language of the Dravidian family spoken in southern India.
It describes with illustrative pairs of words from English and Tamil the linguistic processes and phonetic features - that include speech sounds peculiar to the two languages, sound shifts, vowel variations, addition of merely euphonic syllables in the Tamil forms, intrusive speech sounds, metathesis, etc. - that have now made the corresponding words in either of the languages unintelligible to the speakers of the other. These features have developed independently in the two languages and now mask the similarity of the corresponding words.
A proper perspective of the sound shifts and other differentiating features help us identify the speech sounds in one language that are representative of those in the other and unfolds a world of words before us. No word is distorted beyond recognition. Mutual identity of the corresponding cognate words is only too obvious.
The basic phonetic structure and meaning of hundreds of words in a wide range of aspects of daily life are found to be essentially the same in the two languages. The striking similarity of the corresponding words bear witness to the fact that the forefathers of these two races spoke the same language and lived together before they eventually separated from each other and migrated towards their present homelands at diametrically opposite extremes of the Eurasian land mass.
As the reader goes through the first few chapters he gets used to the Tamil words transcribed in easy to understand phonetic symbols.
The corresponding words from the two languages are grouped under such headings as
- Words denoting the parts of the human body,
- Words related to various modes of walking and some other ways of moving around,
- Words related to places of dwelling,
- Words related to preparation and consumption of food,
- Words employed in cultivation,
- Words related to parts of plants and trees,
- Words employed in woodwork,
- Words associated with life on seashore, and
- Words denoting objects of natural environment
The association of the words in each natural group brings alive the very kind of life the forefathers of the English and the Tamils might have led together in their common homeland.
The mystery of the origins of the indigenous portion of the English vocabulary, which has remained unexplained so far, is solved. The discovery of the affinity between English and Tamil opens up a window through which it may be possible to have a look at the history of the Anglo-Saxon tribes prior to their arrival on the North Sea coast of Europe.
The path-breaking finding of the extra-European affinity of English would ultimately lead to a redefinition of the Germanic and Dravidian families of languages. The book Key Words of a Kinship is of fundamental value in comparative linguistics and ethnological studies as it introduces one to an entirely new advance in the understanding of the major language families of the world.
Well organized and written in a simple language Key Words of a Kinship is a must read for any one who wants to remain updated about the latest advances in the ever expanding field of humanities.