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distribution: South Asia and Korea
Linguistic classification: Dravido-Altaic
Koreanic-Dravidian or Dravido-Koreanic is an obsolete language family proposal which links the living or proto-Dravidian language to the Korean language. The hypothesis was originally proposed by Morgan E. Clippinger in his "Korean and Dravidian: lexical evidence for an old theory" published in 1984. This language proposal is made obsolete by the Korean's link to Altaic languages, which is much stronger and is also supported by genetic, archaeological, and anthropological evidence.
4 List of potential cognates
4.1 Personal pronouns
Similarities between the Dravidian languages and Korean was first noted by French missionaries in Korea. Ohno caused a stir in Japan from his theory that Tamil constituted to the lexical strata of both Korean and Japanese, which was hyped in the 1980s but quickly abandoned after. However Cliffinger's method was professional and his data reliable, hence, Ki-Moon Lee, Professor Emeritus at Seoul National University, opines that his conclusion could not be ignored and that it should be revisited. According to Homer B. Hulbert, many of the names of ancient colonies of southern Korea were the exact counterpart of Dravidian words. The Karak Kingdom of King Suro was named after the proto-Dravidian meaning 'fish'.
The Korean language is largely considered an isolate, however, there are the proposed Koreanic languages to consider which if true would mean that this could be classified as Koreanic-Dravidian or Dravido-Koreanic. Furthermore, even though the name suggests a relationship between the entire Dravidian languages, it pivots primarily on the Tamil language.
Susumu Ōno, and Homer B. Hulbert propose that early Tamil people migrated to the Korean peninsula. Clippinger presents 408 cognates and about 60 phonological correspondence pairs. Cliffinger found that some cognates were closer than others leading him to speculate a genetic link which was reinforced by a later migration. This view was confirmed by the Centre for Korean Studies at the University of Hawaii. Both languages are agglutinative, follow the SOV order, nominal and adjectives follow the same syntax, particles are post positional, modifiers always precede modified words are some of the common features.
However typological similarities can happen by chance; for instance, if two languages were agglutinative by random chance most of the other typological features like SOV order, post-positional particles, modifiers preceding modified words might also be similar (this is the general trend seen in most known agglutinative languages). The lack of statistically significant number of cognates, the lack of anthropological and genetic links, and that both regions are geographically isolated can be used to dismiss this proposal.
List of potential cognates
Korean Meaning Tamil Meaning Notes
Na/naneun I Nān/nānu I Nā is informal in both languages
Ni You Nī You Informal in Korean
Korean Meaning Tamil Meaning
Appa (아빠, informal) / Abeoji (아버지, formal)[dubious – discuss] Father Appā (அப்பா) Father
Umma (엄마) / Ajumeoni (아주머니)[dubious – discuss] Mother/middle-aged lady;aunt Ammā(அம்மா) / Ammuni Mother/milady; honorific for young ladies
Eonni (언니) Elder sister (females for their elder sisters) Aṇṇi Elder Sister-in-Law
Nuna (누나) Elder sister (males for their elder sisters) Nungai Younger sister (Old Tamil)
Agassi (아가씨) Young lady Akka (அக்கா) Elder Sister
Korean Meaning Tamil Meaning Notes
Wa (와)[dubious – discuss] come Vā (வா) come
olla (올라)[dubious – discuss] up uḷḷa (உள்ள) in Ulle / Ulla
Aigu (아이구) - Aiyō (ஐயோ) - Expression of surprise, disgust or disregard
Igut (이것) this Itu (இது) this
Nal (날) day Nāḷ (நாள்) day
jogeum-jogeum (조금 조금) - konjam-konjam (கொஞ்சம் கொஞ்சம்) - Literally little-bit-little-bit
eoneu (어느) one onnu (ஒண்ணு) one
Some more cognates Min-Sohn, Ho (2001). The Korean Language. Cambridge University Press. p. 28.