Language Movement in India
Movement for Linguistic Purism :
The case of Tamil
Conceptual Framework

Language planning is essentially an organized human intervention in language development to influence the nature and pace of the development. One fundamental aspect of development is enrichment of the language. The crucial role played by the planner at the policy making stage is to identify which of the sources of feeding for enrichment will be open and which will be closed for the codifier. Both are important since, as Ray (1961 :228) points out, "the value of a language depends not only on its closure but also on its opening", the value being defined as the communicative ability of the language. Purism in language then may be defined in terms of the opening and closure of sources for enrichment.

Water (1974 : 12) gives a typology of potential sources, which is reproduced below:
I Native
1. Contemporary dialects
2. Archaic

II Non-native
1. Contemporary
(a) Closely related language (s)
(b) Unrelated language (s)
(c) International
2. Archaic
(a) Related language (s)
(b) Unrelated language (s)

III Ex nihilo

International is defined as those items which "the native speakers feel to be not identified with any specific language", though they are identified as non-native. To make this definition operational, it may be interpreted to refer to items shared by many languages by diffusions. Ex nihilo is creation of words anew out of sounds and not roots and suffixes, but this is extremely rare and restricted. There may be onomatopœic words like click and acronyms like jeep in English and ooci 'free of cost' in Tamil. This will be ignored in the rest of the paper. The relatedness or otherwise of the non-native language is relavant since the related language may be treated differently for opening as its phonological and derivational patterns will be similar or identical to the native language. Such words, though linguistically non-native, may be considered to be native attitudinally by the speakers. An example is the word aviyal 'a kind of curry', which is accepted in Tamil from Malayalam, whose components avi 'boil' and -al 'nominal suffix' are found in Tamil also and the derivational process of putting them together to produce a concrete noun is also common in Tamil.

Purism is the opening of the native sources and closure of the non-native sources for the enrichment of the language. Though the native sources are open in general, the dialectal and literary sources are often treated differently as in the case of Tamil discussed later. The opening and closure can be seen as applied to materials and to models. Models are the derivational, compounding and syntactic patterns. Opening to both non-native materials and models leads to extensive loans: opening to non-native materials and models leads to extensive loans; opening to non-native material but closure to non-native models lead to selective loans (i.e. to words without derivatives) and loan blends ; opening to non-native models but closure to non-native materials lead to loan translations; closure to both non-native materials and models would lead to only native forms and their combinations, but it seldom happens.

Though theoretically all area of language from phonology and alphabet to syntax and semantics are open for intervention, vocabulary and alphabet, appear to be more prone for it and the efforts of intervention seem to have been successful in these two areas.

The factors which lead to purism may be, theoretically, internal or external to the language. Trubetzkoy (1936, quoted in Wexler op cit : 15 ; see the footnote therein for further references to internal factors) has remarked that "it is necessary to distinguish between internal and external conditions in the struggle against

foreign words. Very often the phonological structure of a language requires restraint in the use of international foreign words". Wexler (op cit) comments that "structure does not influence the likely-hood of speakers accepting or rejecting non-native enrichment, but at best seems to determine only the manner by which foreign material can be integrated in a language. More important than any structural consideration is the attitude of speakers toward native and non-native elements……since we find (1) languages which do, in fact, digest large quantities of loan words from other languages whose structures differ widely from their own; (2) languages which at different times, either borrow or exclude material from co territorial languages of similar structure ; and, finally, (3) languages with potential non-native source of enrichment".* Though this is true, the purist may use structural incompatibility as an argument to support his case for purism.

The attitude of speakers is determined by socio-cultural, political and historical factors which are external to the language. There are certain conditions some or all of which must be present for the puristic regulations to emerge in any language : their presence in varying degrees and combinations determines the extent of purism also. They are listed below and will be discussed later with reference to the purism movement in Tamil.

1. At least a section of the community must be literate in that language. It
presupposes that the language must be written. There is no known case of puristic regulations in a language which is only spoken. A corollary to this is that purism is directed primarily towards the written language, or at least, it is likely to achieve a greater degree of success in the written language.

2. Puristic regulations are more likely to appear when the language is at the
verge of assuming new forms and functions.


*Ferguson (1917) also stress the social psychological aspect in the contest of letical development. "On the issue of the source of new vocabulary and the methods of word creation, one important point seems to be that a technical vocabulary can be equally effective whether it comes from the languages own process of word formation or from extensive borrowing from another language ……., Hungarian followed almost exclusively the parts of the internal creation, whereas Japanese used extensive borrowing from English as well. This issue is important for social psychological research in finding the factors involved in the attitudes adopted".

3. The social order is undergoing change with power relations redefined.

4. The language is threatened of its independent identity (Wexler op cit 315).
This is intimately tied up with the identity of its speakers as an independent community, since language is a powerful symbol of identity. It presupposes that the linguistic community must live in the same political unit of or in proximity to a dominant community. As a corollary, the puristic activities are likely to be accompanied by linguistic, phi logical and even myth building activities to established the independent status of the language.

5. A prerequisite to the above is that speakers have pride in their language and
culture. In order to boost up the pride and build up confidence and ability for independent existence and development, support is sought from history and legend and from contemporary sources, preferably from those outside the community, which can be interpreted as objective. This will be easier if the language has a literary history of its own.

Purism is a response to the cultural, social and psychological forces mentioned above as a phenomenon, it is not aberrational or pathological. Its universal nature is asserted in the claim by Bulaxovxkyj (quoted in Fexler op cit : 3) that "one of the characteristic tendencies in the development of the literary language is purism, a tendency through which almost all civilized languages have passed." Haugen (1966 : 53) admits that language planning may work for purification. With specific reference to the purism movement in Tamil, Meenakshisundaram has observed that it was not a negative movement against Sanskrit nor was it communal, but was a positive movement to reform the language. Nevertheless, its extent may be said to have reached pathological proportion (Ramanujan mss). When the communicability of the language is lost, since the language ceases to be alive at the point.

Historical background :

A brief excursion into the history of the Tamil language from the point of view of purism will help to put the Pure Tamil Movement of this century in historical perspective. In the record period of the history of the Tamil language, the first foreign language which came into contact with it in a influential and sustaining was Sanskrit (followed by Prakrit). The contact was through migration and was therefore lasting. The contact was through migration and was therefore lasting. The contact was the language or languages of the Yavanas (Romans and Greeks), on the other hand, which was due to trade, was brief and intermittent. Sanskrit came also as a language

of religion, philosophy and logic of which grammar was a part because of the kind of people who migrated. The level ot intellectualization (in an extended sense from that of Gravin 1973) of the Sanskrit and Prakrit, because of their was role as preceptors, sought and obtained higher status in the society. Tamil reacted to this potential threat by employing a defense mechanism and building up self-pride. It may be note that Tamil was, unlike Telugu and Kannada, not only a written language but also a literary language when Sanskrit came into contact with it. This may explain the different ways these language reacted fo Sanskrit.

Tolkappiyam, the earliest grammar of Tamil before Christ, rules (Sutras 397, 401, 402) that the Sanskrit words' may be used in verse, but only those which have letters common to Tamil and then sanctions that the words with letters special to Sanskrit are not prohibited if those letters are changed.² This rules has been followed in Tamil poetry for more than 1600 years wirhout single exception upto the 15th century when Arunagirinathar used a few Sanskrit words in partially unassimilated form (Sanjeevi 1975). Thus Tamil was partially closed to Sanskrit material, and, since it was not closed to its models, Sanskrit words were translated into Tamil. Even proper names were translated as dharmaputra was translated as A*avoo?maka?in Purannanuuru (366) (Ilakkuvanar 190-680), Sadakarani as Nu??uvar Ka??ar in Cilappatikaaram. New words were also created in preference to translation. Sanskrit was always referred to as vat?amo?i 'the northern language' and Brahmin as paarppaa?'seer' or ma?aiyoo? 'the man of Vedas'. Note that in the last word Veda is reffered to as ma?ai 'the hidden or prohibited (book)'. An example of personal name is vaaliyoon 'the white one' to refer fo Balaram (Ilakkuvanar op cit). It must be mentioned that, in spite of the closure to Sanskrit, language of Sanskrit received traditional appreciation through the ages upto this century.

To build up pride in Tamil, Tamil and Sanskrit were shown as equal ; as Sanskrit was vat?amoli 'the northern language', Tamil was te?moli ' the southern language'.²a Tamil was claimed to be as divine as Sanskrit. Tirugnanasambandar (7th century AD), one of the Saivite hymnologists who came after the Kalabras who patronized Prakrit, sang that the God had created Sanskrit and Tamil. Another port said that both were two eyes of the God. The Vaishnavite commentators of Alwars' hymns of the Pallava period (6th to 9th century) considered them as sacred as the Vedas. Any number of attributes like sweet, green, fertile, virgin etc. were used to describe

Tamil to assert its sweetness, liveliness, vitality, purity and other qualities.

Through the native speakers of Sanskrit or Prakrit were perhaps negligible in Tamil Nadu, it continued to enjoy royal patronage and respectability among the learned. It was perhaps a second language for the learned. Its continued presence and prestige for centuries increased the number of its loans in Tamil. The spoken language became slowly more open to Sanskrit and Prakrit. This is noticed in the inscriptions whose language is influenced by the spoken Tamil. Unlike in the inscriptions. (Meenakshisundaram 1965, Panneerselvam 1968). In the learned variety of the spoken language there were perhaps more such words with less assimilation.

The flood-gates of Sanskrit were opened wide after the twelth century during the Vijayanagar period in Tamil Nadu in scholastic writings by a section of the learned class. This is the period when the impact of Sanskrit on the form and content of Tamil literature was at its peak. Translations from Sanskrit were abundant. Sanskrit scholarship and the custodians of the Sanskritic values were highly rewarded by the court rewarded by the court. The rules were not native speakers of Tamil. Telugu and Kannada speakers whose language had been greatly influenced by Sanskrit migrated to Tamilnadu. It is interesting to note that the section scholars who freely used Sanskrit words were Vaishnavites and Jains given the fact that Saivism had come by this time to be known as the Tamil religion.³ These scholars used, primarily in their commentaries, a style called ma?ipravala-mixture of gems and corals-which in its extreme had all Sanskrit and Tamil suffixes and syntax. This made the Tamil script inadequate as it happened with Malayalam and the grantha script was used. The Sanskrit words were written in their original form using grantha letters, wherever Tamil had no corresponding letters. The impact is seen in the literary works of this period also in the use of a large number of Sanskrit and Prakrit words, but they largely followed the sanction of Tolkappiyar mentioned above by using them in assimilated forms.

But this time, scholastic pursuits had become more or less the monopoly of the Brahmins and scholarship included the knowledge of Sanskrit. Upto the first quarter of this century by the large the Brahmin were the intellectuals of the society, I those patronized by the high caste non-Brahmin Saivite mutts were not counted. When the intellectual horizon widened in the nineteenth century, as a result of the arrival of the British and other Europeans and the new experiences, activities and institutions were to be expressed in the native

language, the learned class, mostly the Brahmins, who had access and a positive attitude to Sanskrit, began to look to it for new words. Thus the new words created in Tamil in the nineteenth century were mostly from Sanskrit, except the Perso-Arabic words which the administration continued to use after the Moghals. The multilingual nature of the Madras Presidency as a political unit may also have favoured borrowing from common source like Sanskrit.

The social conditions :

With the above historical background, the movement for purism in Tamil may now be approached. It is called ta?i-t tamil iyakkam 'Independent Tamil or Only Tamil movement' and is translated into English as Pure Tamil Movement. A social movement may be define, according to Heberle (1951 : 459), as a specific kind of concerned action group which last longer and are more integrated than mobs but less organized than political parties." Advocacy for Pure Tamil was such a movement. Advocacy for certain practices and beliefs may be said to gain the status of a movement when they are institutionalised and allegiance is demanded to allegiance is demanded to these values. Maraimali Adigal (1876-1950), who was a Professor of Tamil editor of saivite journals, institutionalised, by starting the Pure Tamil Movement, the resentment against the influx of Sanskrit words and the expression of that resentment in replacing Sanskritic personal names with Tamil translation, which was prevalent among Tamil scholars before him. To give only two examples, C. V. Damodaran Pillai (1832-1901) editor of many Tamil works from palm leaves, lamented that Tamil was defaced with the pox marks of Sanskrit; V. K. Suryanarayan Sastri (1870-1903), Professor of Tamil at Madras Christain College, described how Sanskrit had mauled Tamil in his History of Tamil Language and he Tamilised his name to Paridimal Kalaignar (Muthukumarasami 1975 : 72-30.

The latter half of the nineteenth century offered the conditions listed above which are conducive to puristic regulations. In this period Tamil literary works were available at lesser cost for more people thanks to the printing press, (Hurdock 1865, quoted in Venkataswami 1962 : 114). Though the printing press came to India in the sixteenth century itself, Indians were permitted to print only in 1835. After this, many old literary works in Tamil, which were about to be lost due to neglect and natural causes, came to light. Tamil prose, which was restricted to commentaries in the early period, was used for new purposes in the nineteenth century. Christian missionaries printed pamphlets in prose on religious themes for wider circulation. British

administrators, who were required to learn the native language, demanded grammars and books in prose for their learning. Summaries of Puranas in verse were written in prose by scholars like Arumuga Navalar (1823-79) to propagate Hinduism against the inroad of Christianity. Education was extended to all classes and it included non-literary subjects like history, geography and natural science and text books were written in these subjects for children. Magazines were published to disseminate primarily religious message and the first one, a monthly called Tamil Pattirikkai 'Tamil magazine' was started in 1831. Codification work was taken up in the form of encyclopedia, catalogues and dictionaries. Anecdotal biographies of literary authors and legends were collected in books like Vinoota racamancari (1891) by Veerasami Chettiar and Apitaana Cintamani. Cataloguing of the manuscripts collected by British administrator John Murdock catalogued the printed Tamil books in 1865 (Venkataswari 1862). Dictionaries were prepared by the missionaries like Febricius in1779, J. P. Rottler in 1830 and M. Winslow in 1862 (German, French and American respectively) and they brought all the Sanskrit word in Tamil conspicuously in one book.4 These first effort as the extension of the domains of use of Tamil brought to the foreground the need to determine the nature of Tamil, and further extension in the century made such determination even more necessary.

The first half of this century was a period of non-Brahmin or Dravidian movement (for details see Hardgrave 1965, Irschick 1969, seinivas 1966 : ch 3 for a summarized restatement), which was basically to change the power relation5 between the Brahmins, who were numerically very small but were dominant in Education, administartion6 and also in the Independence Movement and the high caste non-Brahmins who were numerically large and were powerful in agriculture trade and small industries. The latter wielded power in rural centers and in traditional secular institutions and the former in urban centers and in the modern institutions. The Brahmins were traditionally open to Sanskrit not only due to their scholastics occupations but also for the role of Sanskrit words and sankritised phonology of their Tamil as a distinguish social marker (Bright and Ramanujam 1964). Though the high caste non-Brahmins had accepted these linguistic features in their speech in the process of their Sanskritisation (in the sense of Seinivas op cit : ch 1), in the power struggle with the Brahmins, symbols of identity and of allegiance were to be distinguished. To assert their distinctiveness the non-Brahmins chose to close to Sanskrit. It may

be noted that, with a few exceptions, the advocates of purism were high caste non-Brahmins ; and the leaders of the non-Brahmin political movement, though themselves not practicing purism fully (perhaps they could not because of the nature of their academic background and their need for contact with the masses), gave support to the purism movement

The threat to the independence of Tamil language and literature was present for quite sometime. There were native scholars who believed that Tamil was dependant on and only minimally different from Sanskrit in language and literature. It was explicity asserted in the rhetorical question of Swaminatha Desikar, the author of the grammatical work Illakkana-kkottu, in the seventeenth century itself. He asked ; Can this be an independent language which has only five letters (different from Sanskrit?? He also asked : Though the Tamil works are indeed large in number, is there a single work in pure Tamil?7 The philologists of the early nineteenth century believed that Tamil along with other Dravidian language, was an off shoot of Sanskrit, primarily because of the early nineteenth century believed that Tamil along with other Dravidian languages, was on off shoot of Sanskrit, primarily because of the large amount of Sanskrit words in them and their alphabets (including Tamil when the grantha script was used) resembling the alphabet of Sanskrit. The Tamil scholars were aware that the Tamil spoken in one of the three ancient kingdoms of Tamil, the Chera Kingdom in the West Coast, broke away from its linguistic past and became a different language, Malayalam, (from the fourteen century) by free absorption of Sanskrit words (Iiakkuvanar op cit :106) and derivational and compounding processes, and by adopting a new script which came as a grantha script8 . Tamil faced a new threat by English, which came as a language of power and modernity and had a superior level of intellectualization. Politically, the Independence Movement gained momentum that India would be free. The Tamils realized that in the new political set up with participatory government they would be in a minority. The Independence Movement had emphasized the oneness of the entire population of the country and the Tamils felt the need to assert their distinctiveness for self-preservation as a group. Language is a pervasive and conspicuous symbol to exploit to achieve it.

Ample evidence came in from various source from the nineteenth century to assert the distinctiveness and independence of Tamil language, literature and culture. Robert Caldwell (1814-1891), an Irish missionary, published his monumental Comaparative Grammar of the Dravidian languages in 1856, which convincingly proved that Tamil was genetically unrelated to Sanskrit and belonged to an

Independent family, which he called Dravidian, along with others like Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, etc., The Archæological Survey extended to south India in 1874 accentuated the discovery of inscriptions, ancient sites, shreds and coins and the publications of the findings in the Indian Antiquary (1872) South Indian Inscriptions (1890) and Epigraphica Indica (1892) brought to wider knowledge the antiquity an dthe unique features of Tamil polity and culture and their contribution to the rest of India (Venkataswami 1962).

As mentioned before, a large number of manuscripts of Tamil literary works of the past were discovered and printed in the last and the present centuries. They gave not only concrete but also showed that farther one goes in the past lesser is the influence of Sanskrit. They brought to light the Sangam literature of the pre-Christian era, which was the best and most original of all. That this fine literature we least influenced by Sanskrit9
In language, literary form and content meant to the Tamils that Tamil could not only stand on its own but could reach heights when divorced from Sanskrit (Asher 1972, Schiffman 1973 : 132). The Tamils became aware of the injunction of Tolkappiyar, their earliest and greatest grammarian, on the use of Sanskrit words mentioned earlier. They realized that, following this guideline, Tamil had withstand the onslaught of Sanskrit on its phonology, which underwent very little change in the written variety in more than 2000 years. (Asher op cit, Schiffman op cit). It became clear that language development could be regulated and could be effective.

Reinforcement for the belief in the vitality of Tamil came from the recent sources also. Winslow, a missionary, stated in the preface to his comprehensive Tamil-English Dictionary of High and Low Tamil (1862) that "it is evident that there was an early literature in Tamil independent of Sanskrit :………….(one) may write in pure Tamil, as in English we may in pure saxon. In fact, the nearer we approach (old) Tamil the less we need Sanskrit ……. It is certain that Tamil could do without Sanskrit much better than English without (Latin).10 He admonished that "its prose style is yet in a forming state and will well repay the labour of accurate scholars in moulding it properly." Before him Caldwell11 (1913 : 454) had observed that "Tamil, however, most highly cultivated ab intra of all Dravidian idioms, can dispense with its Sanskrit altogether, if need be, and not only stand alone, but flourished without its aid ….by dispensing with it rises to a purer and most refined style" To demonstrate that it was possible, Pamban Kumaragurubara Swamigal wrote a prabhanda, Ceenth centamil, in pure Tamil without using a single Sanskrit word,

though in his other works he used Sanskrit words (Muthukumarasami op cit).

After the basic fact about the independence and vitality of Tamil was established, more philological, literary and historical research about the past was undertaken in the past and present centuries by the native scholars with rewarding results. They wanted to spread the message not only among the Tamils but also bring it home to the non-Tamils and published them in English in a series of books bearing cities like The Tamils 1800 years Ago, (by V. Kanakasabai Pillai in 1904), Tamil India (by G. Devaneyan in 1966) etc. When there were references in the old literature or grammar which were contrary to the beliefs about Tamil culture, and language, they are reinterpreted or condemned as interpolations. Along with the research myths were also created. It was easy to identify Dravidian with Tamil because of the literary antiquity and preeminence of Tamil. Tamil was praised to be the mother of Dravidian languages as Sanskrit was of Indo-Aryan languages. (P. Sundaram Pillai (1855-1897) in the introductory verse to his play Madonnan?iiyam). It was even claimed that Tamil was "not only6 the earliest but laso the primary classical language of the world" and that "there is no major language in the world, perhaps, that is not enriched or influenced by Tamil in some way or other". (Devaneyan op cit : 124, 52). Myths and legends about the Tamil language and culture like the ability of the Tamil verse (Nanti-k kalampakam of the ninth century) to burn were retold elaborately. New symbols were created and Tamil came to have a Veda in Tirukku*a* (roughly 3rd century A. D.)12 By all thee pride in Tamil was built up.

The conditions described above sparked the pure Tamil Movement13. The intensity of this Movement may be attributed to the intensity of these socio-cultural factors. The view of Schiffman (op cit : 132) that the concept of ritual purity which was more intensively practiced in Tamil Nadu could explain "the intensity of the emotional content of the language issue as it applied to Tamil Nadu, the conservatism of Tamil a compared with all other languages of India, the success of the purification movement to remove all foreign and extraneous lexical items from Tamil" cannot be supported, because linguistic purism has found expression and success in societies which have no concept of ritual purity. Tamil was also open to Sanskrit for a certain period of time was mentioned above, when perhaps the practice of pollution was at the height. Moreover, the Brahmins, who were most

Pollution-prone, were open to Sanskrit (Maraimalai Adigal 1925 : 33). And, after all, in the ritual hierarchy Sanskrit would be at the top.

Gensis, scope and spread of the Movement :

As mentioned earlier, Maraimai Ad?igal formalised the feeling of a need for puristic regulations. He was born in Nagapattinam in Tanjavur district and ws a Vellala, a landed high caste in there social hierarchy. He had his early educatioa in a local Christian school and later learned Tamil literature and Saiva Siddhantha philosophy from scholars privately. He had a good knowledge of Sanskrit14 and English15 . He was a gifted orator. He taught Tamil in schools and colleges, edited journals in Tamil and English to propagate Tamil literature and Saiva Siddhantha philosophy and in his later life gave lectures around the state. Though he was all along moderate in the use of Sanskrit words, he took a vow to speak and write only in pure Tamil in 1916 when he was 4016 and changed his name from Vedachalam to Maraimalai. He had then resigned for two years from the professorship at the Madras changed in 1910 the status of Tamil from the compulsory language to optional language in cottages throwing many Tamil professors out of job. He had also became an ascetic wearing and he propagated it throiugh his writings and lectures.

The arguments put forward for purism were that indiscriminate use of Sanskrit and other foreign words has put to disuse nice and common Tamil words (Adigal, 125 : 29), destroys the sweetness, fertility and purity of Tamil, defaces the beauty and mauls the strength of Tamil, creates the impression that Tamil cannot function by itself and that the use of pure Tamil words will contribute to the richness and development of Tamil (Adigal 1919 : 18, 19).

The purism movement met with resistence from Tamil scholars and others. They argued that the pure Tamil words would be limited and all thoughts could not be expressed with them along and the example of English was cited to borrow freely for development. Purism was even criticised as a retrogressive step comparable to a civilized person becoming a savage (Vaiyapuri Pillai). The creative writer criticised pure Tamil that it, being a mono-style, was restrictive and did not permit him to be flexible with the language (Jayakanthan 1972 : 190-92).

The purists did not agree that inclusion of words from Sanskrit and English enriches Tamil ; on the contrary, they said, it deprived Tamil of its wealth. Quoting Caldwell and others, they maintained

that there was no paucity of words in Tamil, when one is willing to tap its rich literary sounds. It was maintained that it was "most unreasonable to bring in the case of English in an argument that vitally affects Tamil, without talking into account the conditions under which English developed." The conditions of the development of English which were different from Tamil were, being late to attain civilization, the consequent delay for the language to attain stability, the continuous wave of invasions by different races and the need to depend on other nations for civilisng and these conditions were responsible for English to take words from any language. Attempts of purism in English by persons like Freeman were also cited. (Adigal 1925 : 34-35)

At the popular level, the appeals were to the primordial psyche with questions like "Can a woman, wanting children, get them by any man?" posed rhetorically by M. Karunanidhi, the erstwhile Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu or "When your child was lost, would you adopt another man's child or go in search of him?" posed by G. Devaneyan in a reply to C. Subramaniam, the then Education Minister of Tamil Nadu, who argued for the continuance of commonly used non-native words, even though native equivalents for them might be available in old literature. Nationalistic sentiments were also appealed to by comparing excising foreign words to boycotting foreign goods.

The scope of the movement was very extensive. It avoided closure to all non-native elements. Since Sanskrit was the potent source, main attention was on it ; but the closure was to English, a potential source and other foreign languages s well. Adigal (1925) has criticised those who mix English with Tamil in their speech that "they speak neither pure Tamil nor pure English." Though the contemporary dialects were not explicitly closed off, the practice was to draw only from the literary sources.17 The use of colloquial forms in writing was criticized in the eighteenth century by Fr.Beschi, an Italian Catholic missionary, who wrote one grammar for High Tamil translation of the Bible that they had defiled the religion and Tamil. This was because their translation contained spoken forms and transliteration of English and Latin words and phrases (and not their translations) (Gnanprakasam 1975)18. In the twentieth century explicit closure to dialects was not perhaps necessary since the diglossic distribution of styles had been established, though its application was strict only in phonology to maintain the shape or spelling of the written word and was slowly relaxing in other areas of grammar. However, the purism

movement did not admit any relaxation. Thus it was open only to the native archaic source. It was taken to such an extent that sometimes even the native archaic words which had became deviant from their etymology due to historical change were restored to their original form. Purism, however, was not closed to non-native models and translations from Sanskrit and English words and phrases were permitted and they are in fact in abundance. This was inevitable because purism was not against bilingualism.

The target of the movement was primarily the vocabulary. The new letters, sandhi and affixs which came with the non-native words (the last two only due to Sanskrit and Prakrit) were also removed as a consequence of the removal of the non-native vocabulary. But the non-native derivative suffixes with native roots such as the Sanskrit based-kaaran as in paa?kaaran 'milkman', the Telugu based-a?am as in ka??a?am 'building' were allowed. The non-native elements in syntax were few like co-relatives and passives and they went unnoticed. Though no explicit stand was taken, the purists used a relatively simpler syntax compared to the involved and winding syntax of the old commentators but not as simple as the syntax of the present day written Tamil. There was also some sprinkling of old morphological constructions. These indicate their favourable disposal to the archaic source.

The closure was to all styles of writing from personal letter writing to creative writing and scientific writing as well as to formal and informal speech. It made no distinction in the words, whether they were assimilated or not, whether they were deep rooted or not (both in terms of the length of time they were in and productivity in having derivations), whether they were filling a need in the language or not. Thus not just those words for which native words exist but all the non-native words were prohibited. They were replaced by going to old literary and inscriptional sources and by coining anew with native roots. This process included the proper names, personal as well a place names also, though Adigal (1919 : 18-19) has concede for the use of limited Sanskrit proper names and technical items in unavoidable circumstances. It also included the use of Tamil numerals as modified on the basis of the Arabic system by Pandala Ramasami in 1825 to simplify computation (Venkataswami op cit : 51). There was preference to count the years from the birthdate (fixed bo Adigal as 31 B. C Thirunavukkarusu 1959 : 773) of Tiruvalluvar instead of following the Salivahana Saka or Christian era.

The complete closure to all non-native or words led to certain difficulties. With some words, it was difficult to decide whether they

etymological arguments ensued. Some words like teyvam 'god' amaiccar 'minister' had been used by authors like Tolkappiyar and Tiruvallur who were examples of Tamil genius and symbols of pride. There were some others like cankam 'academy', pakuti 'lexical base', karmam 'one's deed in previous birth' which had attained special meaning
in the literature, creative, grammatical and philosophical. There were a few others like tiraavi?am 'dravidian,' caivam 'saivism' which were loaded with value. These could not be called non-native and hence native etymologies were discovered for them to established their native origin.19 The purism movement thus spurred lot of etymological research on pre-linguistic lines. A glossry of pure Tamil words equivalent to the Sanskrit words in vogue was published Neelambigai, daughter of Agigal to help the Tamil speakers and writers to practice purism.

The first to be receptive and to follow ardently the call for purism were the Tamil professors and teachers in colleges and schools. It was due perhaps to their knowledge of Tamil and the fact that perhaps a large number of non-Brahmin intellectuals were engaged in this profession. Among the active leaders in the propagation of purism are Somasundara Bharathiyar (1879-1959), lawyers by training and Tamil Professor (at Annamalai University) by profession and G. Devaneyan (1902-), who taught Tamil in Salem and at Annamalai University and presently the Chief Editor of Tamil Etymological Dictionary, which project set by the DMK Government culminates the etymological research mentioned above. Among the eminent scholars who were committed to purism are A. Chidambaranathan, Professor of Tamil at Annamalai University and later the Chief Editor of the monumental English-English-Tamil Dictionary of the Madras University20, M. Varadarajan (1912-1974) Professorof Tamil at Pachaiyappa's College, Madras21 then at Madras University and later the Vice Chancellor of Madurai University and V. Sp Manickkam (1917) Professor of Tamil at Annamalai University and at present the Vice-Chancellor of Madurai University. Tamil teachers and professors interpreted and popularised the old Tamil literature through their writings and public lectures and thus took the puristic variety of Tamil to the people. Many of the writings and translations of science and others were doing their work only in English. Thus the non-literary prose also had the impact of purism.

Purism appealed to successive generations of students through the Tamil teachers and professors. Men like Tiru. V. Kalyanasundaram (1883-1953), who was a Tamil teacher but later took to journalism and was in the labour movement, took purism to new areas through

their practice of it. On the political plane, the pure Tamil movement received not only ideological support and propagation from the D. K. and D. M. K. parties22, the successive splinter parties from the Justice party of the non-Brahmin movement, their leaders adhered to purism to the extent the need for instant communication permitted. Heberle's (op.cit) definition of social movement that "a sense of belonging and of solidarity among members of a group is essential for a social movement, although empirically it occurs in vaiours degrees" (emphasis mine) may be noted here.

Allegiance to pure Tamil became a symbol of Tamil solidarity and D.M.K. exploited this to the maximum from the political angle. Tamil was no longer a mere language, it became a cult. This symbolic allegiance put the critics of purism on the defensive and in an apolegetic position. The D.M.K. leaders practiced purism not only in their public lectures and press, but also took it to the cinema which had come under their control. Thus purism was brought to the spoken language at formal level and in mass media. When D.M.K. came to power in 1967, purism gained official sanction. Tamil scholars known for their puristic commitments were associated with technical terms committees and textbook production boards as writers, editors and vetters23. The ministers themselves actively participated in the creation and introduction of new words of Tamil origin in government and public life.

Evaluation of Achievement :

One aspect of the purism movement was to excise the Sanskrit words from old books and republish them. Adigal replaced the Sanskrit words in his own books in their subsequent editions. But this practice was not widespread and only a very few modern works were rewritten in this fashion in subsequent editions by the publishers. One was, to my knowledge, Vedanayagam Pillai's Pirataapa Mutaliyaar Carittiram (1876) reprinted in 1948 by the Saiva Siddhantha Publishers Society (established by the son-in-law of Adigal), publishers of mostly scholarly books and the other was Natesa Sastri's Tiraavi?a puurvakaala-k kataikal? (1836) and Tiraavi?a Mattiyakaala-k kataika (1886) reprinted in one volume entitled Tiraavi?a Naa??u-k kataikal in 1958 by Prema Prasuram, publishers of popular books. There are three journals Centamil-c Celvi by saiva Siddhantha Publishing Society, Tamil-p Po"il by Karanti Tamil Sangam and Tenmo"i by perunchithiranar, which publish in pure Tamil. The last mentioned has a sister magazine for children to give them reading materials in pure Tamil and develop a positive attitude about it. But their readership is limited to Tamil scholars.

Another aspect of the movement is Tamilisation of the proper names. That this was an ancient practice was seen above with reference to Pu?anaanuu?u and Cilapatikaaram. It was done by Kampan Ramayana (Sanjeevi op. cit). It was also done by the foreign missionary Beschi when he first changed his name into Dairyanatha Swami and then into Veeramaa Munivar. Due to the pure Tamil Movement, Tamilising the personal names and place names either by assimilation or replacement became prevalent.24 Thus Krishnan became Kir?u??inan, Balasundaram became Ilavazhagan and Narayanasami became Nedunchezhian, Tirukoshtiyur became Tirukottiyur, Vedaranyam became tirumaraikkadu and dalmiyapuram became kallakudi.

The success of the purism movement at the lexical level can be easily seen by anyone who compares the Tamil in 1900 and in 1950. Though no statistical study has been mad, an impressionistic estimate of A. Chidambaranathan mentioned above is that the anskrit words in use in Tamil have come down from 50 per cent to 20 per cent in fifty years quoted in Hardgrave 1965 : 30)25 This is a conservative estimate when literary writing Tamil at the lexical level and in the spelling. The Sanskrit words and this is reflected in creative writing also. The movement has distinctly failed to contain the mixing of English words, phrases and sentences in the informal speech of the educated, which Adigal deprecated (op. cit).

There were two trends, viz., purification and simplification, in the efforts of modernization of Tamil in this country. Present day written Tamil is coming closer to the colloquial in sandhi and syntax and to some extent in morphology-a move in the opposite direction of archaism (Annamalai 1976). It may be said that purification as opening to archaic sources ( i. e. classification ) has succeeded to a large extent in spelling and vocabulary ; but simplification has succeeded in sandhi and syntax. In morphology, the morphological structures are closer to the colloquial with new morphemes and their combinations, but the phonological shapes of the morphemes, which follow archaic spelling, are removed from colloquial pronunciation.