Sumerian as Archaic Tamil

To: "Nagamanickam Ganesan" <>
From: "DrK.Loganathan" <>
Cc: Tamil iNaiyam<>

Subject: Re: [tamil] Sumerian is not like (Old) Tamil

Dear Ganesan,
With respect  to the problems you raised there are many possible solutions.
One that appeals to me is that of Kinnier Wilson who proposes the theory of
Indo Sumerian for the origins of Sumerians in ancient Tigris and Euphrates
valley.  The original inbaitants were Akkadian speakers.  He appears to
think that the Sumerians are a  splinter group who came probably from IVC
area but developed quite independently etc. It is possible that there are
other ways of explaining the relationships. There are many Sumerian texts
that disclose trade linkages with Mel-lu-ka the name they gave to IVC which
they praise in glowing terms. It is NOT unlikely that there were different
groups of Dravidian speakers populating the ancient fertile crescent and in
which the Sumerians appear to be deeply related to the Sangam Tamils. Mac
Alpin has shown that Elamite , the language of the neighbours of Sumerian is
cognate with Dravidian.

Now let me point out the  Archaic Tamil character of the para you have given

e2.kur {gi$}ma2 mah-gin7: ­ø ÌýÚ  Á¡ Á¡Â¢ý :  Á¡>ÁÃõ: tree. ' maa' here may
be an ¬Ì¦ÀÂ÷ because originally  boats were made by digging out  from  a
piece of tree trunk. kur> kuuRu, kunRu

 gul-gul-lu-de3: to destroy;   ¦¸¡øÖ ¦¸¡øÖ ­¦¼ > ¦¸¡ýÈ¢¼ ; Here we have an
instance of ­Ãð¨¼ì¸¢ÇÅ¢ that Thol mentions also. The actions which are
continous and repetitive are usualy verbalised this way e.g ¿¡Ê ¿¡Ê  etc

 kur kug > Ì(ý)Ú ¦¸¡íÌ : here I am not sure of the relationship between
Kongku and silver. But note '¦¸¡íÌ ¿¡Î" etc. It may be possible originally
silver was was mined there. sahar>  paazyin sakaRu> sakaRu paazyin; À¡ú¢ý º¸Ú. ñote º¸¾¢;
§ºÚ  mud, mire etc. À¡ú is still good Tamil.  Notice here that the
conventions used to transliterate Sumerian do not disingtuish beteween 'R'
and "r" and between "z" and 'l '. Many Sumerian scholars appear to be  aware
of these imperfections . gin = ¹¢ý.> ­ý >  ­ýÉ, «ýÉ : a particle or case
suffix of comparision. eg. atha-nin ithu etc. It  may  also the root form of

du8-u3-de3.: adu-u-ththE:  or «ðέ¼, «ðÊÅ¢¼ etc. to cut to pieces: «Î: to
attack, punish etc. Even now we have «Êò¾ø: to beat, ¾Êò¾ø:  to punish. The
phrase can also be  «Î-­¼: in which case we have an auxialary verb  ­Î like
in Åó¾¢Î  ¯ñÊÎ etc.which also has the variants ¯Î ŢΠetc  Needs further

 hur.sag> ¯Â÷ ¦ºýÉ¢: high peak. I understand the Todas in Tamil Nadu call
their  Mother Goddess as  hur-sag  which reminds us the word À¡÷ž¢

{na4}za.gin3-na-gin7 kud-re-de3 : ¡¸¢ýÉ-¢ý ̾¢Ãò§¾ : here ̾¢÷ is still in
use in the sense of  a store: ±ý «ôÀý ̾¢ÕìÌû ­ø¨Ä. The ¡¸¢ýÉ may be
related to ¦º¡¸¢Éõ: something that glitters ? See ¦¡Ä¢ ¦º¡Ä¢ etc May also
be related to ¦º¡÷½õ §º¡Éõ ec Í÷: to glitter which are currently taken as Sk

uru {d}is$kur-e ba-an-de6-a-gin7 : °Õ ®ÌÚ-² Àñʹ¢ý: Here ÀñÊ>ÅñÊ. Both
forms are attested in Tamil with the meaning " cart" . Probabaly the root
form is ÀñÊ meaning to cart away and from which we have Àñ¼õ: goods. In Àñ¼
Á¡üÚ we have the sense of trading goods.  In thisSumerian  phrase we  may
have the original verbal sense while in historical Tamil we have only the
derivative noun forms.

gu2 ki-$e3 ga2-ga2-de3: ¸ù× ¸£§Æ ¸¡ø¸¡ø¢§¼; ¸ù- we have simantic shift of a
kind. ¸£   ¸£ú  ¸¢ú means 'world' ' agricultural land' etc. See ¸¢Æ¡÷ that
has frequent occurrence  in  Sangam Tamil. ¸¡ø: to establish firmly. We have
now ¸¡ø in the sense of legs, support etc.

 e2-e: ­ø§Ä>  ­ø¨Ä . Here ' -e' is a variant of the second case suffix '-ai'
which is attested in colloqual Tamil as well as in a number  undeveloped
Dravidian languages.

 kur {gi$}eren kud nu-me-a ;ÌýÚ «Ãñ ¦¸¡ðÎ ¿¡¦ÁöÂ:  Here «Ãñ exists only in
the derived sense cf. «ÃñÁ¨É; «Ãñ: fortress. the particle of negation ¿¡
exists as the particle  ¬ however only as a verbal infix but meaning
neagation. ¦¸¡ðÎ has tthe sense of 'strike" even today. ¦Áö  in the sense of
'true' etc is available even today. Note here -ö is not available in the
transliteration even though some Akkadian forms includes it. Same with "ù'.

{urudu} gal-gal : «¸Æ¢Â¢ý ¸û¸û:  here ¸û the sense of large. More
frequently it means great, multitude and from which the plural indicator of
Tamil  ¸û is derived. It also appears  to be root from which ¸½õ in senses
of both 'herd' and 'great' are derived. See' Á¡ý¸½õ'  ' ¸½Å¡ý" etc

ba-$i-in-de2-de2.;ÀĢ¢ý ­§¼ ­§¼: here ÀÄ¢ appears in the original sense
of'to fell'  'to behead' etc.

When we look against the kind of interpretaions and linkages I have given,
we can see the Tamil character of this paragraph. The primitive Tamil
available here is that which led me to say that it is Archaic Tamil
. What I have done may not meet the standards of the linguists. But most of
Linguists,  Eurpoeans and Indians alike,  appear to have double standards.
They appear to be more willing to accept Vedic or IndoEuropean parentage
more readily -  and sometimes even on very flimsy grounds - than Dravidian
parentage. We have to bear in mind this deepseated prejudice AGAINST
DRAVIDIAN that prof. Burrow also lamented upon.

Now I would like your reactions. Isn't the para you have given Archaic
Tamil? Despite the many differences that exists  aren't the similarities in
Morpholgy, Simantics and Syntax  enough to claim that Sumerian is Archaic
Tamil or at least one form of Tamil that existed in the ancient world?

Dr K. Loganathan

"in order to destroy Ekur like a huge boat, to turn it into dust
like a mountain where silver is dug, to cut it into pieces like a
mountain of lapis lazuli, to bow its neck to the earth like a
city that Ishkur has carried away, (therefore) he casts big axes
against the house, although it is no mountain where cedars are
felled" (Curse of Akkade, 110-115)

At 09:55 AM 18-08-99 PDT, you wrote:
>  anbu naNbarkaLE,
>  vaNakkam.  There are many reasons why Sumerian is not
>  like the archaic Tamil. The extent and time depth of IVC
>  was not known when Mr. Sathasivam was writing about Tamil
>  and Sumerian. Now, IVC's extent and chronology is
>  greatly understood, and more and more Sumerian texts we possess.
>  1) In the Early and Pre-Mature phases of IVC, there are absolutely
>  no materials/things from Sumeria. On the other hand, Sumerians
>  were much after the copper ores of Oman in Arabian peninsula.
>  In other words, IVC and Sumeria was populated by different folks.
>  IVC people definitely did not speak any Near-Eastern language.
>  Sumerian, a Near-Eastern language,  has no relationship
>  to Dravidian. For example,
>e2.kur {gi$}ma2 mah-gin7 gul-gul-lu-de3 kur kug sahar
>du8-u3-de3 hur.sag {na4}za.gin3-na-gin7 kud-re-de3 uru
>{d}is$kur-e ba-an-de6-a-gin7 gu2 ki-$e3 ga2-ga2-de3 e2-e kur
>{gi$}eren kud nu-me-a {urudu} gal-gal ba-$i-in-de2-de2.
>"in order to destroy Ekur like a huge boat, to turn it into dust
>like a mountain where silver is dug, to cut it into pieces like a
>mountain of lapis lazuli, to bow its neck to the earth like a
>city that Ishkur has carried away, (therefore) he casts big axes
>against the house, although it is no mountain where cedars are
>felled" (Curse of Akkade, 110-115)
>Ekur {wood}boat huge-like destroy-for_to mountain silver dug-like
>sand loosen-for_to mountain {stone}lapis-lazuli-like cut-for_to
>city {god}Ishkur-ERG it-away-carried-like neck earth-towards
>place-for_to house-wards mountain {wood}cedar fell not-be
>{copper}axe big-big it-towards-pours
>   ( Reading the Sumerian original, it does not sound
>Tamil to me.)
>2) IVC and Sumerian scripts are developed to describe different
>languages. The important point is this script development happened
>at the same time.
>N. Ganesan
>Get Free Email and Do More On The Web. Visit

Subject: Re: [tamil] Re: Sumerian and Tamil

Dear Ganesan ,
I am surprised that you can't see the Tamil in these sentences. Let me try
again by taking some phrases.

1. u-dal-la-e-a: resplndent light: uL theLLiya . Note -a as adjectival
formant which is stiil available to this day;  siRu- siRiya etc. The root
words "u" is light  and teL means "clear' 'bright'  even in modern Tamil.
2. me-mu-il : you have picked up the me's  mey mO iyal (or ezu)  I am sure
you are aware that'mO" is second person pronoun widely in use in Sangam
classics : e.g kAmanj ceppaathu kaNtathu mozi-mO

8. me-mo-ur : You have picked up the me's : here 'Or" is related to "oru"
which also occurs as "Or" that has the meaning'to integrate" among others.

12. sag-kal an-ki-a  innanna-bi-me-en:  Of the foremost you are innana of
heaven and earth. sag-kal> thaangkaL : the formost; an-ki-a > vankiiz-a : of
heaven and earth. Note that -a serves here as cuttu "a" meaning that etc.
"aan" by itself also means heaven. ' me-en' here is the same as the particle
of empahsis 'man". I'll show later that Tamil 'maan'  as in Seeramaan etc
occurs roughly in the same sense in Sumerian.

I can go on but I hope you get the point. The original Sumerian is in
Cuneiform writing and the transliteration rules are not perfect yet. Most of
them are derived from Akkadian equivalents and hence there bound to be
descrepancies. eg. what is rendered as "g'' as in 'sag' is also rendered as
'n' which suggests that the original sound is"ng"  etc. Compare these with
some of inscriptions of the Sangam  period and you will be surprised  that
there is so much Tamil in the Sumerian.

For the time being don't confuse the issues. The question: Is Sumerian
archaic Tamil or not? Settle this first before the dates and other
historical isues..

Dr K.Loganathan

At 05:16 AM 18-08-99 PDT, you wrote:
>     The following Sumerian originals, given in English, by
>Dr. Loganathan, do not sound like archaic Tamil. Also, there is a
>problem of consistency with respect to dates. Indus valley
>culture(IVC) originates something like 6000-5500 B.C. The peak of IVC
>is about 3000-2000 B.C. IVC is most likely Dravidian
>and there was trade actively between Sumeria, today's Arabia
>and IVC.
>  If Sumerian is archaic Tamil, and Tamils were still in
>Sumeria to the West of IVC by the time the Sumerian clay tablets were
>produced, who were the IVC? If Tamils were in Sumeria and IVC
>is different, it creates a problem. Archaeology shows
>that IVC is much closer to Tamil(or Indian) culture
>much more than Sumerian culture. Note that IVC beginnings
>are dated to 6000 B.C. which is older than or at the very least
>coeval with Sumerians.
>  Regards,
>  N. Ganesan
>Sample of Sumerian Sentences Similar to Old Tamil
>1. nin-me-sar-ra u-dal-la-e-a
>(Lady of all me's, respelndent light)
>¿¢ý ¦Áö º÷Å ´û ¦¾ûÇ¢Â
>2. me-mu-il me-su-zu-se mu-e-la
>(You have picked up the me's, you have hung the me's on your hand)
>¦Áö §Á¡ ­Âø ¦Áö ¦ºö £¯§º §Á¡ ­¨Æ
>8. me mu-ur me gaba-zu bi-tab
>(You have gathered up the me's, you have clasped the me's to your breast)
>¦Áö §Á¡ µ÷ ¦Áö ¸Åø¤ ¨¾ôÀ¢
>12. sag-kal an-ki-a inanna-bi-me-en
>(Oh the foremost one, you are the Innanna of heaven and earth)
>º¡í¸û Å¡ý¸£Æ ®Éý¨ÉÀ¢ Áý
>13. izi-ne-ne-ra kalam-e seg-ga
>(Raining the fanned fire down upon the nation)
>     ±Ã¢§É ¿¢¨Ã ¸ÇõÁ §ºìÌÅ
>17. kur-gul-gul u-de a ba-e-si
>(Devastatrix of the lands, you are lent wings by the storm)
>ÌýÚ ¦¸¡ø¦¸¡ø °ò§¾ ¬ø À¡Â¢º¢
>38. sa-ib-ba-za a-ba i-te-en-te-en
>(Who can temper your raging heart?)
>º¡ö ±ùÅõ ¤Å ¡À ¾ñ¾ñ­?
>45. i-ba us ma-ra-an-de uku-be ba-ra-nag-nag
>(Blood rises in its rivers for you, the people have nought to drink)
>µÀ ¯Í Á¡ýÈ «ñ§¼ ´ì¸ø§À À¢È ¿ìÌ ¿ìÌ
>49. uru-ba ki-e-ne-di-be mir i-in-si
>(A tempest has filled the dancing of the city)
>°ÕÀ ¸£ú ¿Êô§À Á¡Ã¢ º£Â¢ý­
>64. dingir-zi me-a tum-ma gal-bi-du-ga-mah-a
>(True Goddess, fit for the me's, it is exalting to acclaim you)
>¾¢í¸ûº£ ¦Áö ¾ÌõÁ, ¸ûÀ¢ àì¸ Á¡«
>70. u-de ba-te u mu-da-pil
>(They approached the light of day, the light is obscured about me)
>°ò§¾ §¾öÀ  ´û §Á¡­¼(õ) À¡ú
>78. kur-a-ma-ru gi-ri-ni-se i-na
>(Mountain (and) flood lies at her feet)
>ÌýÚ «ÁÕ  ¸¢Ã¢¿¢§º «¨½­
>90. tab mu-si-in ku-ra-ni muru-ma-ne hu-mu-un-te
>(Having entered before you as a partner, he has even approached his
>¾õÒ §Á¡ Ü⺢ýÉ¢ ÁÕÁ¡§É §¾ÔÓý
>96.dumu-ir-padu-bi ama-ne na-an-sed-e
>(May its plaintive child not be placated by his mother)
>¾Ó ®÷ÀÎÀ¢ «õÁ¡§É ¿¡«ý ¦ºò§¾
>112. an-ur an-pa nin-gal-bi-me-en
>(You are the senior queen of the heavenly foundation and zenith)
>Å¡§É¡Ãõ Å¡ýÀ¡ø  ¿¢ý ¸ûÀ¢Áý
>114. u-tu-ud-da-ta nin ban-da-me-en
>( From birth on you were the "junior " queen)
>° ¦¾¡ð¼ò¾ ¿¢ý ÀñÎÁý
>142. ib-ba-zu ib-gu-ul sa nu-te-en-te
>(Your rage is increased, your heart unassuaged)
>±ùÅõ¥ §¸¡Ä¢ôÒ º¡ö ¿¡ ¾½¢ò§¾