Talk:Madras

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Tamil script[edit]

Can the Tamil script for "Madras" be added to the Etymology section? 24.29.228.33 17:50, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

The Tamil is listed in the translations. Tamil isn’t mentioned in the etymology because it has no part in the etymology as far as I know. —Stephen 18:01, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

The Tamil script for "Madras" should be added somewhere in the entry, as it was used to write the name of this city, which is located in a Tamil-speaking and -writing state of India. The etymology may derive from a non-Dravidian language, but the term is indeed a Tamil-language toponym, just as, for example, "Massachusetts" or "Moscow" are English-language toponym. 24.29.228.33 06:26, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

The Tamil script for Madras IS given in the entry...under Translations, as I said before. —Stephen 07:14, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Thank you; I see that now, but it's still very odd not to have any Tamil script in the Etymology section, as the toponym and its predecessors are undoubtedly Tamil words, and came into English from Tamil and not from the language the term came from before it was adopted into Tamil. 24.29.228.33 22:07, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I don't see how पत्तन (pattana) is the origin of பட்டணம் (paţţaṇm) where the ţ and ṇ are retroflex consonants in Tamil (and not dental). There is also a generic place name as paţţi. I think some evidence should be provided for the claim that it is from Sanskrit. --C.R.Selvakumar 12:40, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Somebody must have misspelled it, because the original Sanskrit spelling is paṭṭana(m). Later Sanskrit pattana(m) OTOH is a Dravidian borrowing, with ṭṭ replaced by Indo-Aryan tt. Originally the Sanskrit (Old Indo-Aryan) word paṭṭana (inherited from Indo-European) meant "ferry" (as preserved in some IA languages/dialects), but has semantically collided with the Dravidian loanword for "town". Tamil paṭṭaṇam is probably a direct Sanskritism, as betrayed by the final -m. Curiously it semantically shifted to mean "port, harbour" in middle IA languages (Pali paṭṭana, whence spread to its bastard progeny), because IA word comes from pre-form *partana, and is ultimately a reflex of the same Indo-European root that gave Latin portus (port). So Madraspattinam is literally "port Madras" :D --Ivan Štambuk 13:30, 1 June 2010 (UTC)