Sunday, January 22, 2012

How kangaroo might have got its name कंगारू का नामकरण कैसे हुआ होगा

Yesterday we travelled in a time machine to different parts of the world and witnessed the process of naming the frog in different languages at different times. While frog has migrated to all parts of the world, there is an animal that has remained endemic to only one continent. It is kangaroo in Australia. To find out how the ancestors named kangaroo as kangaroo, we have to walk with them once again and be among the first humans to reach Australia. Be sure to set the time machine correctly. Setting: 200,000 years ago: ancestors migrating out of Africa; 100,000 years ago: reach India (many clans settle in India but some keep moving eastwards and further to the south east till they reach Australia).

About 50,000 years ago: we are among the first human to reach Australia.

Amazing! Awesome! Stunning! Flabbergasting! What a sight! Oh my God! 

An animal with cave in its belly! Mother animal hiding its baby in a cave in her abdomen!

Our ancestors are excited. In shock and awe they are uttering:

KANDARA कन्दरा (= cave in Sanskrit) + UDAR उदर (= stomach in Sanskrit)


Everyone agrees that the animal is to be named KANDARA.UDAR (= Cave belly, or belly with cave).

Let’s re-set the time machine and be on the ship Endeavour with Capt. Cook and botanist Joseph Banks to reach Australia in 1770 A.D.

We find that the word KANDARA.UDAR coined by our ancestors is changing during time travel:

KANJARA.UJAR (Mutation from D>J is very common in Sanskrit)
KANGARA.UJAR (Mutation from G>J is common in all languages)
KANGARA.UYAR (J>Y is common in all languages)
KANGARAUYAY (R>Y is also common)
KANGUROO (A>U; AUYAY>OO): Word of ‘Guugu Yimithirr’ language recorded by Capt. Cook in 1970*

What a simple journey from KANDARA.UDAR कन्दराउदर to KANGARU कंगारू?

Back from the time travel. It is time to check the dictionaries and encyclopedias once again. Wikipedia article on kangaroo
The word kangaroo derives from the Guugu Yimithirr word gangurru, referring to grey kangaroos.[7][8] The name was first recorded as "Kangooroo or Kanguru" on 4 August 1770, by Lieutenant (later Captain) James Cook on the banks of the Endeavour River at the site of modern Cooktown, when HM Bark Endeavour was beached for almost seven weeks to repair damage sustained on the Great Barrier Reef.[9] Guugu Yimithirr is the language of the people of the area.
A common myth about the kangaroo's English name is that "kangaroo" was a Guugu Yimithirr phrase for "I don't understand you."[10] According to this legend, Lieutenant Cook and naturalist Sir Joseph Banks were exploring the area when they happened upon the animal. They asked a nearby local what the creatures were called. The local responded "Kangaroo", meaning "I don't understand you", which Cook took to be the name of the creature. The Kangaroo myth was debunked in the 1970s by linguist John B. Haviland in his research with the Guugu Yimithirr people.[11]*
*Haviland, John B. (1974). "A last look at Cook's Guugu-Yimidhirr wordlist". Oceania 44 (3): 216–232.

Added on 16 January 2013
Scientific Evidence for India connection of Australian aboriginals
According to research paper published online on 14 January 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA), a team of researchers from Germany, Philippines, Iceland and The Netherlands have shown that about 11% genome of Australian aboriginals can be traced to Indian who arrived in Australia about 4,230 years ago (or about 141 generations). The Indian also brought dogs and stone tool technology with them.
Pugach, I.Delfin, F.Gunnarsdóttir, E., Kayser, M. & Stoneking, M. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA (2013).