DRAVIDIAN AND ALTAIC PARTS OF THE BODY 5. 'EXTREMITIES' - HEAD, FINGER, FOOT/LEG
The paper discusses three Dravidian and Altaic etymological nests with the meaning 'head', 'finger' and 'foot/leg'. In the introductory section some of the theoretical prerequisites are specified with a preliminary conclusion that the character of the Dravidian and Altaic parallels points to an early high contact situation between ancestor languages, in which a process of borrowing took place not long before the historical period started. The great variability/irregularity, or even 'fuzziness', of the parallels and the many grammatical 'lacunae' can be considered symptomatic of the contact situations as they are described by modern sociolinguistic studies. The three etymological nests then list the available parallels in the two language families (corresponding both formally, and also semantically, including some typical semantic extensions). To illustrate the Dravidian lexical context more clearly, various Dravidian synonyms are included together with a more detailed description of their occurrences and variations in other Dravidian languages and also their occurrences in the oldest literary documents of Old Tamil (Sangam literature, around the beginning of the Christian era).
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