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Thomas Burrow

Thomas Burrow (/ˈbʌr/; 29 June 1909 – 8 June 1986) was an Indologist and the Boden Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Oxford from 1944 to 1976; he was also a fellow of Balliol College, Oxford during this time. His work includes A Dravidian Etymological Dictionary, The Problem of Shwa in Sanskrit and The Sanskrit Language.[1]

Early life

Burrow was born in Leck in North Lancashire, and was the eldest of the six children of Joshua and Frances Eleanor Burrow. He attended Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, Kirkby Lonsdale, and won a scholarship to Christ's College, Cambridge. Here he became interested in Sanskrit as a result of specialising in comparative philology.[1]

He tackled the problem of identifying Dravidian loanwords in Sanskrit while at Annamalai University under P. S. Subrahmanya Sastri[citation needed] and published the Collected papers on Dravidian linguistics in 1968.


  • A Translation of the Kharoṣṭhī Documents from Chinese Turkestan. James G. Forlong Fund, vol. XX. London: The Royal Asiatic Society, 1940.
  • The Sanskrit language. Faber and Faber. 1955. ISBN 9788120817678.
  • A comparative vocabulary of the Gondi dialects, Asiatic Society (1960)
  • with M. B. Emeneau, A Dravidian Etymological Dictionary, Clarendon Press (1966)
    • A Dravidian Etymological Dictionary: Supplement, Clarendon Press (1968)
  • Collected Papers on Dravidian Linguistics. Annamalai University. 1968.


  1. ^ a b Hart, Gillian R.; Tucker, Elizabeth; Wright, J. C. (24 December 2009). "Obituary: Thomas Burrow". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 50 (02): 346. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00049077. JSTOR 617122.

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