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Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Singapore
Singapore
India
India
:

* Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
* Puducherry * Andaman line-height:1.1em; padding-right:0.5em;"> Recognised minority language in Malaysia
Malaysia
Mauritius
Mauritius
South Africa
South Africa

LANGUAGE CODES

ISO 639-1 ta

ISO 639-2 tam

ISO 639-3 Variously: tam – Modern Tamil oty – Old Tamil ptq – Pattapu Bhashai

LINGUIST LIST oty Old Tamil

GLOTTOLOG tami1289 Modern Tamil
Modern Tamil
oldt1248 Old Tamil

LINGUASPHERE 49-EBE-a

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS IPA PHONETIC SYMBOLS. Without proper rendering support , you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA .

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS INDIC TEXT . Without proper rendering support , you may see question marks or boxes , misplaced vowels or missing conjuncts instead of Indic text.

Tamil is written in a non-Latin script. Tamil text used in this article is transliterated into the Latin script according to the ISO 15919 standard.

TAMIL (English: /ˈtæmɪl/ ; தமிழ் _Tamiḻ_ , pronunciation (help ·info )) is a Dravidian language predominantly spoken by the Tamil people of India
India
and Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
, and also by the Tamil diaspora , Sri Lankan Moors , Burghers , Douglas , and Chindians . Tamil is an official language of two countries, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and Singapore
Singapore
. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry . It is also used as one of the languages of education in Malaysia
Malaysia
, along with English, Malay and Mandarin. Tamil is also spoken by significant minorities in the four other South Indian states of Kerala
Kerala
, Karnataka
Karnataka
, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
Telangana
and the Union Territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands . It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India
India
.

Tamil is one of the longest-surviving classical languages in the world. 20th in the Ethnologue list of most-spoken languages worldwide. Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions from 500 BC have been found on Adichanallur and 2,200-year-old Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions have been found on Samanamalai. It has been described as "the only language of contemporary India
India
which is recognizably continuous with a classical past." The variety and quality of classical Tamil literature has led to it being described as "one of the great classical traditions and literatures of the world".

A recorded Tamil literature has been documented for over 2000 years. The earliest period of Tamil literature, Sangam literature , is dated from ca. 300 BC – AD 300. It has the oldest extant literature among Dravidian languages . The earliest epigraphic records found on rock edicts and _hero stones _ date from around the 3rd century BC. More than 55% of the epigraphical inscriptions (about 55,000) found by the Archaeological Survey of India
India
are in the Tamil language. Tamil language inscriptions written in Brahmi script have been discovered in Sri Lanka, and on trade goods in Thailand and Egypt. The two earliest manuscripts from India, acknowledged and registered by the UNESCO Memory of the World register in 1997 and 2005, were written in Tamil.

In 1578, Portuguese Christian missionaries published a Tamil prayer book in old Tamil script named 'Thambiraan Vanakkam,' thus making Tamil the first Indian language to be printed and published. The _ Tamil Lexicon
Tamil Lexicon
,_ published by the University of Madras , was one of the earliest dictionaries published in the Indian languages. According to a 2001 survey, there were 1,863 newspapers published in Tamil, of which 353 were dailies.

CONTENTS

* 1 Classification

* 2 History

* 2.1 Legend * 2.2 Etymology * 2.3 Old Tamil * 2.4 Middle Tamil
Middle Tamil
* 2.5 Modern Tamil
Modern Tamil

* 3 Geographic distribution * 4 Legal status

* 5 Dialects

* 5.1 Region-specific variations

* 5.1.1 Loanword variations

* 6 Spoken and literary variants

* 7 Writing system
Writing system

* 7.1 Numerals and symbols

* 8 Phonology

* 8.1 Vowels * 8.2 Consonants * 8.3 Āytam

* 9 Grammar

* 9.1 Morphology * 9.2 Syntax

* 10 Vocabulary * 11 Influence * 12 See also * 13 Footnotes * 14 References * 15 Further reading * 16 External links

CLASSIFICATION

Main article: Dravidian languages

Tamil belongs to the southern branch of the Dravidian languages , a family of around 26 languages native to the Indian subcontinent . It is also classified as being part of a Tamil language
Tamil language
family , which alongside Tamil proper, also includes the languages of about 35 ethno-linguistic groups such as the Irula and Yerukula languages (see SIL Ethnologue ).

The closest major relative of Tamil is Malayalam
Malayalam
; the two began diverging around the 9th century AD. Although many of the differences between Tamil and Malayalam
Malayalam
demonstrate a pre-historic split of the western dialect, the process of separation into a distinct language, Malayalam, was not completed until sometime in the 13th or 14th century.

HISTORY

According to linguists like Bhadriraju Krishnamurti , Tamil, as a Dravidian language, descends from Proto-Dravidian , a Proto-language . Linguistic reconstruction suggests that Proto-Dravidian was spoken around the third millennium BC, possibly in the region around the lower Godavari
Godavari
river basin in peninsular India. The material evidence suggests that the speakers of Proto-Dravidian were of the culture associated with the Neolithic
Neolithic
complexes of South India
India
. The next phase in the reconstructed proto-history of Tamil is Proto-South Dravidian. The linguistic evidence suggests that Proto-South Dravidian was spoken around the middle of the second millennium BC, and that proto-Tamil emerged around the 3rd century BC. The earliest epigraphic attestations of Tamil are generally taken to have been written shortly thereafter. Among Indian languages, Tamil has the most ancient non-Sanskritised Indian literature. Scholars categorise the attested history of the language into three periods, Old Tamil (300 BC – AD 700), Middle Tamil
Middle Tamil
(700–1600) and Modern Tamil
Modern Tamil
(1600–present). In November 2007, an excavation at Quseir-al-Qadim revealed Egyptian pottery dating back to first century BC with ancient Tamil Brahmi inscriptions. John Guy states that Tamil was the lingua franca for early maritime traders from India.

LEGEND

Mangulam Tamil Brahmi inscription in Mangulam, Madurai
Madurai
district , Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
dated to Tamil Sangam period c. 400 BC to c. 200 AD. Explanation for Mangulam Tamil Brahmi inscription in Mangulam, Madurai district , Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
dated to Tamil Sangam period c. 400 BC to c. 200 AD. Tamil Brahmi script in the reverse side of the bilingual Silver coin of king Vashishtiputra Sātakarni (c. AD 160) of Deccan . REV: Ujjain/Sātavāhana symbol, crescented six-arch chaitya hill and river with Tamil Brahmi script OBV: Bust of king; Prakrit legend in the Brahmi script.

According to Hindu legend, Tamil or in personification form Tamil Thāi (Mother Tamil) was created by Lord Shiva
Shiva
. Murugan
Murugan
, revered as the Tamil God, along with sage Agastya , brought it to the people.

ETYMOLOGY

The earliest extant Tamil literary works and their commentaries celebrate the Pandiyan Kings for the organization of long-termed Tamil Sangams , which researched, developed and made amendments in Tamil language. Even though the name of the language which was developed by these Tamil Sangams is mentioned as Tamil, the exact period when the name "Tamil" came to be applied to the language is unclear, as is the precise etymology of the name. The earliest attested use of the name is found in Tholkappiyam , which is dated as early as 1st century BC. Southworth suggests that the name comes from tam-miḻ > tam-iḻ 'self-speak', or 'one's own speech'. (see Southworth's derivation of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
term for "others" or Mleccha ) Kamil Zvelebil suggests an etymology of tam-iḻ, with tam meaning "self" or "one's self", and "-iḻ" having the connotation of "unfolding sound". Alternatively, he suggests a derivation of tamiḻ < tam-iḻ < *tav-iḻ < *tak-iḻ, meaning in origin "the proper process (of speaking)".

The Tamil Lexicon
Tamil Lexicon
of University of Madras defines the word 'Tamil' as 'sweetness'. S.V Subramanian suggests the meaning 'sweet sound' from 'tam'- sweet and 'il'- 'sound'.

OLD TAMIL

Main article: Old Tamil language

Old Tamil is the period of the Tamil language
Tamil language
spanning the 5th century BC to the 8th century AD. The earliest records in Old Tamil are short inscriptions from between the 5th and 2nd century BC in caves and on pottery. These inscriptions are written in a variant of the Brahmi script called Tamil Brahmi . The earliest long text in Old Tamil is the _ Tolkāppiyam _, an early work on Tamil grammar and poetics, whose oldest layers could be as old as the 1st century BC. A large number of literary works in Old Tamil have also survived. These include a corpus of 2,381 poems collectively known as Sangam literature . These poems are usually dated to between the 1st and 5th centuries AD,

MIDDLE TAMIL

Main article: Middle Tamil language Tamil inscriptions in Vatteluttu script in stone during Chola period c.1000 AD at Brahadeeswara temple in Thanjavur
Thanjavur
, Tami Nadu.

The evolution of Old Tamil into Middle Tamil
Middle Tamil
, which is generally taken to have been completed by the 8th century, was characterised by a number of phonological and grammatical changes. In phonological terms, the most important shifts were the virtual disappearance of the aytam (ஃ), an old phoneme, the coalescence of the alveolar and dental nasals, and the transformation of the alveolar plosive into a rhotic . In grammar, the most important change was the emergence of the present tense. The present tense evolved out of the verb _kil_ (கில்), meaning "to be possible" or "to befall". In Old Tamil, this verb was used as an aspect marker to indicate that an action was micro-durative, non-sustained or non-lasting, usually in combination with a time marker such as _ṉ_ (ன்). In Middle Tamil, this usage evolved into a present tense marker – _kiṉṟa_ (கின்ற) – which combined the old aspect and time markers.

MODERN TAMIL

The Nannul remains the standard normative grammar for modern literary Tamil, which therefore continues to be based on Middle Tamil
Middle Tamil
of the 13th century rather than on Modern Tamil. Colloquial spoken Tamil, in contrast, shows a number of changes. The negative conjugation of verbs, for example, has fallen out of use in Modern Tamil
Modern Tamil
– negation is, instead, expressed either morphologically or syntactically. Modern spoken Tamil also shows a number of sound changes, in particular, a tendency to lower high vowels in initial and medial positions, and the disappearance of vowels between plosives and between a plosive and rhotic.

Contact with European languages also affected both written and spoken Tamil. Changes in written Tamil include the use of European-style punctuation and the use of consonant clusters that were not permitted in Middle Tamil. The syntax of written Tamil has also changed, with the introduction of new aspectual auxiliaries and more complex sentence structures, and with the emergence of a more rigid word order that resembles the syntactic argument structure of English. Simultaneously, a strong strain of linguistic purism emerged in the early 20th century, culminating in the Pure Tamil Movement which called for removal of all Sanskritic and other foreign elements from Tamil. It received some support from Dravidian parties . This led to the replacement of a significant number of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
loanwords by Tamil equivalents, though many others remain.

GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION

Tamil is the primary language of the majority of the people residing in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
, Puducherry , in India
India
and Northern Province , Eastern Province , in Sri Lanka. The language is also spoken among small minority groups in other states of India
India
which include Karnataka
Karnataka
, Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
, Kerala
Kerala
, Maharashtra
Maharashtra
and in certain regions of Sri Lanka such as Colombo
Colombo
and the hill country . Tamil or dialects of it were used widely in the state of Kerala
Kerala
as the major language of administration, literature and common usage until the 12th century AD. Tamil was also used widely in inscriptions found in southern Andhra Pradesh districts of Chittoor and Nellore until the 12th century AD. Tamil was also used for inscriptions from the 10th through 14th centuries in southern Karnataka
Karnataka
districts such as Kolar , Mysore
Mysore
, Mandya and Bangalore
Bangalore
.

There are currently sizeable Tamil-speaking populations descended from colonial-era migrants in Malaysia
Malaysia
, Singapore
Singapore
, Philippines
Philippines
, Mauritius
Mauritius
, South Africa
South Africa
, Indonesia, Thailand, Burma
Burma
, and Vietnam . A large community of Pakistani Tamils speakers exists in Karachi
Karachi
, Pakistan
Pakistan
, which includes Tamil-speaking Hindus as well as Christians and Muslims – including some Tamil-speaking Muslim refugees from Sri Lanka. Many in Réunion , Guyana
Guyana
, Fiji
Fiji
, Suriname , and Trinidad and Tobago have Tamil origins, but only a small number speak the language. In Reunion where the Tamil language
Tamil language
was forbidden to be learnt and used in public space by France
France
it is now being relearnt by students and adults. It is also used by groups of migrants from Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
and India, Canada
Canada
(especially Toronto
Toronto
), United States (especially New Jersey
New Jersey
and New York City
New York City
), Australia
Australia
, many Middle Eastern countries, and some Western European countries.

*

Mahatma Gandhi 's written wishes in Tamil for Subramanya Bharathy

*

Multilingual signs with Tamil in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
( Tsunami
Tsunami
early warning tower) *

An electrical hazard sign in Malaysia
Malaysia
written in Tamil with other languages *

Nameboard with Tamil at Koneswaram temple at Thirukonamalai , Sri Lanka . *

A hospital sign in Toronto
Toronto
, Canada
Canada
written in Tamil *

A Multilingual danger sign in Singapore
Singapore
with Tamil writing *

Mauritius
Mauritius
Currency note with Tamil 'இருநூறு ரூபாய்' (200 rupee) written in the note with the man wearing eyeglasses, written next to him. *

A business in Edison , New Jersey
New Jersey
, near New York City
New York City

LEGAL STATUS

See also: States of India
India
by Tamil speakers See also: List of territorial entities where Tamil is an official language

Tamil is the official language of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
and one of the 22 languages under schedule 8 of the constitution of India . It is also one of the official languages of the union territory of Puducherry and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
. Tamil is also one of the official languages of Singapore
Singapore
. Tamil is one of the official and national languages of Sri Lanka, along with Sinhala . It was once given nominal official status in the state of Haryana
Haryana
, purportedly as a rebuff to Punjab , though there was no attested Tamil-speaking population in the state, and was later replaced by Punjabi , in 2010. In Malaysia, 543 primary education government schools are available fully in Tamil medium . The establishments of Tamil medium schools have been currently in process in Myanmar
Myanmar
to provide education completely in Tamil language
Tamil language
by the Tamils who settled there 200 years ago. Tamil language
Tamil language
is taught in Canada
Canada
for the local Tamil minority populations and the month of January has been declared "Tamil Heritage Month" per legislation by the Canadian Parliament. Tamil also enjoys a special status of protection under Article 6(b), Chapter 1 of the Constitution of South Africa
South Africa
and is taught as a subject in schools in the KwaZulu-Natal province. Recently, it has also been rolled out as a subject of study in schools in the French overseas department of Réunion .

In addition, with the creation in October 2004 of a legal status for classical languages by the Government of India
India
and following a political campaign supported by several Tamil associations, Tamil became the first legally recognised Classical language of India. The recognition was announced by the contemporaneous President of India
India
, Abdul Kalam , in a joint sitting of both houses of the Indian Parliament on 6 June 2004.

DIALECTS

_ Jambai Tamil Brahmi inscription near Tirukkoyilur in Villupuram district , Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
dated to the early Tamil Sangam
Tamil Sangam
age (c. 400 BC).

Colloquial Tamil \'Oppaari song\' Oppaari song lamenting death, sung by women during a death ceremony. Here it is the death of a son lamented by the mother. ------------------------- Pudumaipithan\'s short story \'Pon Nagaram\' Audio recording of Pudumaipithan 's short story 'Pon Nagaram' (showing a few loanwords).

-------------------------

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REGION-SPECIFIC VARIATIONS

The socio-linguistic situation of Tamil is characterised by diglossia : there are two separate registers varying by socioeconomic status , a high register and a low one. Tamil dialects are primarily differentiated from each other by the fact that they have undergone different phonological changes and sound shifts in evolving from Old Tamil. For example, the word for "here"—_iṅku_ in _Centamil_ (the classic variety)—has evolved into _iṅkū_ in the Kongu dialect of Coimbatore
Coimbatore
, _inga_ in the dialect of Thanjavur
Thanjavur
, and _iṅkai_ in some dialects of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
. Old Tamil's _iṅkaṇ_ (where _kaṇ_ means place) is the source of _iṅkane_ in the dialect of Tirunelveli , Old Tamil _iṅkaṭṭu_ is the source of _iṅkuṭṭu_ in the dialect of Madurai
Madurai
, and _iṅkaṭe_ in various northern dialects. Even now, in the Coimbatore
Coimbatore
area, it is common to hear "akkaṭṭa" meaning "that place". Although Tamil dialects do not differ significantly in their vocabulary, there are a few exceptions. The dialects spoken in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
retain many words and grammatical forms that are not in everyday use in India, and use many other words slightly differently. The various Tamil dialects include Central Tamil dialect , Kongu Tamil , Madras Bashai , Madurai
Madurai
Tamil , Nellai Tamil , kumari Tamil in India
India
and Batticaloa Tamil dialect , Jaffna Tamil dialect , Negombo Tamil dialect in Sri Lanka. Sankethi dialect in Karnataka
Karnataka
has been heavily influenced by Kannada
Kannada
.

Loanword Variations

See also: Indo-Aryan loanwords in Tamil and Loan words in Sri Lankan Tamil

The dialect of the district of Palakkad
Palakkad
in Kerala
Kerala
has a large number of Malayalam
Malayalam
loanwords, has been influenced by Malayalam's syntax and also has a distinctive Malayalam
Malayalam
accent. Similarly, Tamil spoken in Kanyakumari District has more unique words and phonetic style than Tamil spoken at other parts of Tamil Nadu. The words and phonetics are so different that a person from Kanyakumari district is easily identifiable by their spoken Tamil. Hebbar and Mandyam dialects, spoken by groups of Tamil Vaishnavites who migrated to Karnataka
Karnataka
in the 11th century, retain many features of the _Vaishnava paribasai_, a special form of Tamil developed in the 9th and 10th centuries that reflect Vaishnavite religious and spiritual values. Several castes have their own sociolects which most members of that caste traditionally used regardless of where they come from. It is often possible to identify a person's caste by their speech. Tamil in Sri Lanka incorporates loan words from Portuguese , Dutch , and English.

SPOKEN AND LITERARY VARIANTS

_ Thiruppugazh - Umbartharu - Hamsadhwani Literary Tamil in hymn 'Umbartharu' (Hamsadhwani) on lord Ganesha
Ganesha
from Thiruppugazh (c. 1400s). ------------------------- Sivagnanam\'s \'Arivuk kadhaigal\'. Literary Tamil pronunciation. Reading an excerpt from Ma. Po. Si. 's book 'Arivuk kadhaigal' (1900s). ------------------------- Bharathi\'s \'Senthamil nadu ennum\' song Literary Tamil pronunciation in song written by Subramanya Bharathi , 'Senthamizh naadennum pothinile' (1900s ). -------------------------

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In addition to its various dialects, Tamil exhibits different forms: a classical literary style modelled on the ancient language (_sankattamiḻ_), a modern literary and formal style (_centamiḻ_), and a modern colloquial form (_koṭuntamiḻ_). These styles shade into each other, forming a stylistic continuum. For example, it is possible to write _centamiḻ_ with a vocabulary drawn from _caṅkattamiḻ_, or to use forms associated with one of the other variants while speaking _koṭuntamiḻ_.

In modern times, _centamiḻ_ is generally used in formal writing and speech. For instance, it is the language of textbooks, of much of Tamil literature and of public speaking and debate. In recent times, however, _koṭuntamiḻ_ has been making inroads into areas that have traditionally been considered the province of _centamiḻ_. Most contemporary cinema, theatre and popular entertainment on television and radio, for example, is in _koṭuntamiḻ_, and many politicians use it to bring themselves closer to their audience. The increasing use of _koṭuntamiḻ_ in modern times has led to the emergence of unofficial ‘standard' spoken dialects. In India, the ‘standard' _koṭuntamiḻ_, rather than on any one dialect, but has been significantly influenced by the dialects of Thanjavur
Thanjavur
and Madurai
Madurai
. In Sri Lanka, the standard is based on the dialect of Jaffna .

WRITING SYSTEM

Main articles: Tamil script and Tamil braille See also: Vatteluttu , Grantha script , Pallava script , and Arwi Historical evolution of Tamil writing from the earlier Tamil Brahmi near the top to the current Tamil script at bottom. Thirukkural palm leaf manuscript .

After Tamil Brahmi fell out of use, Tamil was written using a script called the _vaṭṭeḻuttu_ amongst others such as Grantha and Pallava script . The current Tamil script consists of 12 vowels , 18 consonants and one special character, the _āytam _. The vowels and consonants combine to form 216 compound characters, giving a total of 247 characters (12 + 18 + 1 + (12 x 18)). All consonants have an inherent vowel _a_, as with other Indic scripts
Indic scripts
. This inherent vowel is removed by adding a tittle called a _puḷḷi_, to the consonantal sign. For example, ன is _ṉa_ (with the inherent _a_) and ன் is _ṉ_ (without a vowel). Many Indic scripts
Indic scripts
have a similar sign, generically called virama , but the Tamil script is somewhat different in that it nearly always uses a visible _puḷḷi_ to indicate a _dead consonant_ (a consonant without a vowel). In other Indic scripts, it is generally preferred to use a ligature or a half form to write a syllable or a cluster containing a dead consonant, although writing it with a visible virama is also possible. The Tamil script does not differentiate voiced and unvoiced plosives . Instead, plosives are articulated with voice depending on their position in a word, in accordance with the rules of Tamil phonology .

In addition to the standard characters, six characters taken from the Grantha script , which was used in the Tamil region to write Sanskrit, are sometimes used to represent sounds not native to Tamil, that is, words adopted from Sanskrit, Prakrit and other languages. The traditional system prescribed by classical grammars for writing loan-words, which involves respelling them in accordance with Tamil phonology, remains, but is not always consistently applied. ISO 15919 is an international standard for the transliteration of Tamil and other Indic scripts
Indic scripts
into Latin characters. It uses diacritics to map the much larger set of Brahmic consonants and vowels to the Latin script. Tamil can be transliterated into English by using ISO 15919, since English language uses the Latin script for writing.

NUMERALS AND SYMBOLS

Main article: Tamil numerals

Apart from the usual numerals, Tamil also has numerals for 10, 100 and 1000. Symbols for day, month, year, debit, credit, as above, rupee, and numeral are present as well. Tamil also uses several historical fractional signs.

ZERO ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE SIX SEVEN EIGHT NINE TEN HUNDRED THOUSAND

௦ ௧ ௨ ௩ ௪ ௫ ௬ ௭ ௮ ௯ ௰ ௱ ௲

DAY MONTH YEAR DEBIT CREDIT AS ABOVE RUPEE NUMERAL

௳ ௴ ௵ ௶ ௷ ௸ ௹ ௺

PHONOLOGY

Part of a series on

TAMILS

_

Tamil history

* History of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
* History of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
* Sources of ancient Tamil history * Sangam period

* Tamilakam

* Agriculture * Economy * Education * Industry

* Eelam * Tamil Kingdoms * Tamilization

Tamil culture

* Language * Literature * Philosophy * Script * Numeral system * Medicine * Music * Architecture * Cuisine * Calendar * Cinema

Tamil people

* Indian Tamils * Sri Lankan Tamils * Malaysian Tamils * Singapore
Singapore
Tamils

Tamil diaspora

* Indian Tamil diaspora * Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora * Malaysian Tamil diaspora

------------------------- Tamil Australians , French Tamils , British Tamils , Tamil Italians , Tamil Indonesians , Tamil Canadians , Tamil Americans
Tamil Americans
, Tamil South Africans , Myanmar
Myanmar
Tamils , Tamil Mauritians , Tamil Germans
Tamil Germans
, Tamil Pakistanis , Tamil Seychellois
Tamil Seychellois
, Tamil New Zealanders , Swiss Tamils

Religion

* Religion in ancient Tamil country * Hinduism in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
* Hinduism in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
* Buddhism
Buddhism
amongst Tamils * Tamil Jain * Tamil Muslim * Christianity in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu

Politics

* Politics of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
* Dravidian Nationalism * Tamil Nationalism * Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism

* v * t * e

Part of a series on

DRAVIDIAN CULTURE AND HISTORY

Origins

* Indus Valley Civilisation * Dravidian homeland * Dravida Kingdom * Kumari Kandam * Maldivian folklore

History

* History of South India
India
* Ancient history of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

------------------------- Dravidian dynasties_

* Chola dynasty * Chera dynasty * Pandyan dynasty * Satavahana dynasty * Rashtrakuta dynasty * Chalukya dynasty * Pallava dynasty * Kakatiya dynasty * Hoysala dynasty * Vijayanagara Empire * Nayak dynasty

Culture

* Dravidian civilization * South Indian culture * Dravidian architecture
Dravidian architecture
* Dravidian studies

Language

* Dravidian languages * History of Dravidian languages * Proto- Dravidian language * Elamo- Dravidian languages

Religion

* Dravidian folk religion * Hinduism * Jainism
Jainism
* Buddhism
Buddhism
* Śramaṇa * Ājīvika * Charvaka

Regions

* South India
India
(Dravida) * South Asia
South Asia

People

* Dravidian peoples * Brahui people * Gondi people * Kannadigas * Kodavas * Malayalis * Telugus * Tamils * Tuluvas * Irulas * Nagas (Extinct) * Giraavarus (Extinct) * Cholanaikkans * Khonds
Khonds
* Kodavas * Kurukhs * Paniyas * Malar * Soligas * Koragas

Politics

* Kannada
Kannada
language rights * Telugu Desam Party * Tamil nationalism * Dravidian parties * Dravida Nadu

Portal:Dravidian civilizations

* v * t * e

Main article: Tamil phonology

_ Tamil tongue twisters. ல-கரம், ழ-கரம். 'குலை குலையாய் வாழைப்பழம், மழையில் அழுகி கீழே விழுந்தது.' ------------------------- (பேச்சுத் தமிழில்) ந-கரம், ட-கரம். கொக்கு நெட்ட கொக்கு. நெட்ட கொக்கு இட்ட முட்ட, கட்ட முட்ட. ------------------------- ழ-கரம். ஏழை கிழவன் வாழைப் பழத் தோல் மேல் சருசருக்கி வழுவழுக்கி கீழே விழுந்தான். ------------------------- ல-கரம், ள-கரம். 'அவள் அவலளந்தால், இவள் அவலளப்பாள். இவள் அவலளந்தால், அவள் அவலளப்பாள். அவளும் இவளும் அவல் அளக்காவிட்டால், எவள் அவலளப்பாள் ?' -------------------------

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Tamil phonology is characterised by the presence of retroflex consonants and multiple rhotics . Tamil does not distinguish phonologically between voiced and unvoiced consonants; phonetically, voice is assigned depending on a consonant's position in a word. Tamil phonology permits few consonant clusters, which can never be word initial. Native grammarians classify Tamil phonemes into vowels, consonants, and a "secondary character", the āytam.

VOWELS

Tamil has five vowel qualities, namely /a /, /e /, /i /, /o / and /u /. Each may be long or short. There are two diphthongs , /aɪ/ and /aʊ/. Long vowels are about twice as long as short vowels. The diphthongs are usually pronounced about 1.5 times as long as short vowels. Most grammatical texts place them with the long vowels.

SHORT LONG

FRONT CENTRAL BACK FRONT CENTRAL BACK

CLOSE i

u iː

உ ஈ

MID e

o eː

ஒ ஏ

OPEN

a

(aɪ̯) aː (aʊ̯)

ஐ ஆ ஒள

CONSONANTS

Tamil consonants are presented as hard, soft and medial in some grammars which roughly corresponds to plosives, nasals and approximants. Unlike most Indian languages, Tamil does not distinguish aspirated and unaspirated consonants. In addition, the voicing of plosives is governed by strict rules in _centamiḻ_. Plosives are unvoiced if they occur word-initially or doubled. Elsewhere they are voiced, with a few becoming fricatives intervocalically. Nasals and approximants are always voiced.

Tamil is characterised by its use of more than one type of coronal consonants : like many of the other languages of India, it contains a series of retroflex consonants . Notably, the Tamil retroflex series includes the retroflex approximant /ɻ/ (ழ) (example TamiL; often transcribed 'zh'), which is absent in the Indo-Aryan languages. Among the other Dravidian languages, the retroflex approximant also occurs in Malayalam
Malayalam
(for example in 'KoZHikode'), disappeared from spoken Kannada
Kannada
around 1000 AD (although the character is still written, and exists in Unicode ), and was never present in Telugu . In many dialects of colloquial Tamil, this consonant is seen as disappearing and shifting to the alveolar lateral approximant /l/. Dental and alveolar consonants also historically contrasted with each other, a typically Dravidian trait not found in the neighbouring Indo-Aryan languages. While this distinction can still be seen in the written language, it has been largely lost in colloquial spoken Tamil, and even in literary usage the letters ந (dental) and ன (alveolar) may be seen as allophonic . Likewise, the historical alveolar stop has transformed into a trill consonant in many modern dialects.

A chart of the Tamil consonant phonemes in the International Phonetic Alphabet follows:

LABIAL DENTAL ALVEOLAR RETROFLEX PALATAL VELAR

PLOSIVES p t̪ t ʈ t͡ɕ k

ப த ற ட ச க

NASALS m n̪ n ɳ ȵ ŋ

ம ந ன ண ஞ ங

TAP

ɽ

CENTRAL APPROXIMANTS ʋ

ɻ j

ழ ய

LATERAL APPROXIMANTS

ɭ

The plosives have voiced allophones in predictable contexts. The sounds /f/ and /ʂ/ are peripheral to the phonology of Tamil, being found only in loanwords and frequently replaced by native sounds. There are well-defined rules for elision in Tamil categorised into classes based on the phoneme which undergoes elision.

ĀYTAM

Classical Tamil also had a phoneme called the _āytam _, written as ‘ஃ'. Tamil grammarians of the time classified it as a dependent phoneme (or restricted phoneme ) (_cārpeḻuttu_), but it is very rare in modern Tamil. The rules of pronunciation given in the _Tolkāppiyam_, a text on the grammar of Classical Tamil, suggest that the _āytam_ could have glottalised the sounds it was combined with. It has also been suggested that the _āytam_ was used to represent the voiced implosive (or closing part or the first half) of geminated voiced plosives inside a word. The Āytam, in modern Tamil, is also used to convert _p_ to _f_ when writing English words using the Tamil script.

GRAMMAR

Main article: Tamil grammar

Tamil employs agglutinative grammar, where suffixes are used to mark noun class , number , and case , verb tense and other grammatical categories. Tamil's standard metalinguistic terminology and scholarly vocabulary is itself Tamil, as opposed to the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
that is standard for most Aryan languages .

Much of Tamil grammar is extensively described in the oldest known grammar book for Tamil, the _ Tolkāppiyam _. Modern Tamil
Modern Tamil
writing is largely based on the 13th century grammar _Naṉṉūl_ which restated and clarified the rules of the _Tolkāppiyam_, with some modifications. Traditional Tamil grammar consists of five parts, namely _eḻuttu_, _sol_, _poruḷ_, _yāppu_, _aṇi_. Of these, the last two are mostly applied in poetry.

Tamil words consist of a lexical root to which one or more affixes are attached. Most Tamil affixes are suffixes . Tamil suffixes can be derivational suffixes, which either change the part of speech of the word or its meaning, or inflectional suffixes, which mark categories such as person , number , mood , tense , etc. There is no absolute limit on the length and extent of agglutination , which can lead to long words with a large number of suffixes, which would require several words or a sentence in English. To give an example, the word _pōkamuṭiyātavarkaḷukkāka_ (போகமுடியாதவர்களுக்காக) means "for the sake of those who cannot go", and consists of the following morphemes :

_pōka_ _muṭi_ _y_ _āta_ _var_ _kaḷ_ _ukku_ _āka_

GO ACCOMPLISH WORD-JOINING LETTER negation (impersonal) nominalizer _he/she who does_ PLURAL MARKER TO FOR

MORPHOLOGY

Tamil nouns (and pronouns) are classified into two super-classes (_tiṇai_)—the "rational" (_uyartiṇai_), and the "irrational" (_akṟiṇai_)—which include a total of five classes (_pāl_, which literally means ‘gender'). Humans and deities are classified as "rational", and all other nouns (animals, objects, abstract nouns) are classified as irrational. The "rational" nouns and pronouns belong to one of three classes (_pāl_)—masculine singular, feminine singular, and rational plural. The "irrational" nouns and pronouns belong to one of two classes: irrational singular and irrational plural. The _pāl_ is often indicated through suffixes. The plural form for rational nouns may be used as an honorific , gender-neutral, singular form.

PEYARCCOL (NAME-WORDS)

_UYARTIṇAI_ (rational) _AḵṟIṇAI_ (irrational)

_āṇpāl_ Male _peṇpāl_ Female _palarpāl_ Collective _oṉṟaṉpāl_ One _palaviṉpāl_ Many

EXAMPLE: THE TAMIL WORDS FOR "DOER"

_ceytavaṉ_ He who did _ceytavaḷ_ She who did _ceytavar_ They who did _ceytatu_ That which did _ceytavai_ Those ones which did

Suffixes are used to perform the functions of cases or postpositions . Traditional grammarians tried to group the various suffixes into eight cases corresponding to the cases used in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
. These were the nominative , accusative , dative , sociative , genitive , instrumental , locative , and ablative . Modern grammarians argue that this classification is artificial, and that Tamil usage is best understood if each suffix or combination of suffixes is seen as marking a separate case. Tamil nouns can take one of four prefixes , _i_, _a_, _u_, and _e_ which are functionally equivalent to the demonstratives in English. For example, the word _vazhi_ (வழி) meaning "way" can take these to produce _ivvazhi_ (இவ்வழி) "this way", _avvazhi_ (அவ்வழி) "that way", _uvvazhi_ (உவ்வழி) "the medial way" and _evvazhi_ (எவ்வழி) "which way".

Tamil verbs are also inflected through the use of suffixes. A typical Tamil verb form will have a number of suffixes , which show person, number, mood, tense, and voice.

* Person and number are indicated by suffixing the oblique case of the relevant pronoun. The suffixes to indicate tenses and voice are formed from grammatical particles , which are added to the stem. * Tamil has two voices. The first indicates that the subject of the sentence _undergoes_ or _is the object of_ the action named by the verb stem, and the second indicates that the subject of the sentence _directs_ the action referred to by the verb stem. * Tamil has three simple tenses—past, present, and future—indicated by the suffixes, as well as a series of perfects indicated by compound suffixes. Mood is implicit in Tamil, and is normally reflected by the same morphemes which mark tense categories. Tamil verbs also mark evidentiality , through the addition of the hearsay clitic _ām._ Verb inflection is shown below using example _aḻintukkoṇṭiruntēṉ_; (அழிந்துக்கொண்டிருந்தேன்); "(I) was being destroyed".

_aḻi_ _intu_ _koṇṭu_ _irunta_ _ēn_

ROOT destroy VOICE MARKER past tense object voice TENSE MARKER during ASPECT MARKER past progressive PERSON MARKER first person, singular

Traditional grammars of Tamil do not distinguish between adjectives and adverbs , including both of them under the category _uriccol_, although modern grammarians tend to distinguish between them on morphological and syntactical grounds. Tamil has a large number of ideophones that act as adverbs indicating the way the object in a given state "says" or "sounds".

Tamil does not have articles . Definiteness and indefiniteness are either indicated by special grammatical devices, such as using the number "one" as an indefinite article, or by the context. In the first person plural, Tamil makes a distinction between inclusive pronouns நாம் _nām_ (we), நமது _namatu_ (our) that include the addressee and exclusive pronouns நாங்கள் _nāṅkaḷ_ (we), எமது _ematu_ (our) that do not.

SYNTAX

Tamil is a consistently head-final language. The verb comes at the end of the clause, with a typical word order of subject–object–verb (SOV). However, word order in Tamil is also flexible, so that surface permutations of the SOV order are possible with different pragmatic effects. Tamil has postpositions rather than prepositions . Demonstratives and modifiers precede the noun within the noun phrase. Subordinate clauses precede the verb of the matrix clause.

Tamil is a null-subject language . Not all Tamil sentences have subjects, verbs, and objects. It is possible to construct grammatically valid and meaningful sentences which lack one or more of the three. For example, a sentence may only have a verb—such as _muṭintuviṭṭatu_ ("completed")—or only a subject and object, without a verb such as _atu eṉ vīṭu_ ("That my house"). Tamil does not have a copula (a linking verb equivalent to the word _is_). The word is included in the translations only to convey the meaning more easily.

VOCABULARY

The vocabulary of Tamil is mainly Dravidian. A strong sense of linguistic purism is found in Modern Tamil, which opposes the use of foreign loanwords. Nonetheless, a number of words used in classical and modern Tamil are loanwords from the languages of neighbouring groups, or with whom the Tamils had trading links, including Munda (for example, tavaḷai "frog" from Munda tabeg), Malay (e.g. cavvarici "sago" from Malay sāgu), Chinese (for example, campān "skiff" from Chinese san-pan) and Greek (for example, ora from Greek ὥρα). In more modern times, Tamil has imported words from Urdu
Urdu
and Marathi , reflecting groups that have influenced the Tamil area at various points of time, and from neighbouring languages such as Telugu , Kannada
Kannada
, and Sinhala. During the modern period, words have also been adapted from European languages, such as Portuguese, French, and English.

The strongest impact of purism in Tamil has been on words taken from Sanskrit. During its history, Tamil, along with other Dravidian languages like Telugu , Kannada
Kannada
, Malayalam
Malayalam
etc., was influenced by Sanskrit
Sanskrit
in terms of vocabulary, grammar and literary styles, reflecting the increased trend of Sanskritisation in the Tamil country. Tamil vocabulary never became quite as heavily Sanskritised as that of the other Dravidian languages, and unlike in those languages, it was and remains possible to express complex ideas (including in science, art, religion and law) without the use of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
loan words. In addition, Sanskritisation was actively resisted by a number of authors of the late medieval period, culminating in the 20th century in a movement called _taṉit tamiḻ iyakkam _ (meaning "pure Tamil movement"), led by Parithimaar Kalaignar and Maraimalai Adigal , which sought to remove the accumulated influence of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
on Tamil. As a result of this, Tamil in formal documents, literature and public speeches has seen a marked decline in the use Sanskrit
Sanskrit
loan words in the past few decades, under some estimates having fallen from 40–50% to about 20%. As a result, the Prakrit and Sanskrit
Sanskrit
loan words used in modern Tamil are, unlike in some other Dravidian languages, restricted mainly to some spiritual terminology and abstract nouns .

In the 20th century, institutions and learned bodies have, with government support, generated technical dictionaries for Tamil containing neologisms and words derived from Tamil roots to replace loan words from English and other languages.

_

Thani Tamil Iyakkam's_ Parithimar Kalaignar . He translated his name to Tamil from the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
'Suryanarayana Sastri'.

_

Thani Tamil Iyakkam's_ Bharathidasan
Bharathidasan
. A Tamil writer, poet.

E. V. Ramasami (Periyaar) , freedom fighter, social reformer, Tamil language
Tamil language
reform.

C. N. Annadurai , freedom fighter, Tamil scholar, Chief minister of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
, two language policy .

INFLUENCE

Main article: Tamil loanwords in other languages

Words of Tamil origin occur in other languages. A notable example of a word in worldwide use with Dravidian (not specifically Tamil) etymology is _orange_, via Sanskrit
Sanskrit
_nāraṅga_ from a Dravidian predecessor of Tamil _nartaṅkāy_ "fragrant fruit". Anaconda is word of Tamil origin anai-kondra meaning elephant killer Examples in English include _cheroot_ (_churuṭṭu_ meaning "rolled up"), _mango_ (from _māngāi_), _mulligatawny_ (from _miḷaku taṇṇīr_, "pepper water"), _pariah_ (from _paraiyan_), _curry_ (from _kari_), and _catamaran_ (from _kaṭṭu maram_, "bundled logs"), congee (from _kanji_ - rice porridge or gruel).

SEE ALSO

* Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
portal * Tamil People portal * Tamil civilization portal * Dravidian civilizations portal * India
India
portal

* List of countries where Tamil is an official language * List of languages by first written accounts * Tamil keyboard * Tamil population by cities * Tamil population by nation

FOOTNOTES

* ^ Mikael Parkvall, "Världens 100 största språk 2007" (The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007), in _ Nationalencyklopedin _ * ^ Tamil language
Tamil language
at _ Ethnologue _ (16th ed., 2009) * ^ "Official languages of Tamil Nadu", _ Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Government_, archived from the original on 21 October 2012, retrieved 1 May 2007 * ^ "Report of the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities in India: 50th report (delivered to the Lokh Sabha in 2014)" (PDF). National Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India. p. 155. Retrieved 8 June 2017. * ^ "Languages in Andaman and Nicobar Islands". Retrieved 7 August 2017. }} * ^ _School languages_, LINGUAMON, archived from the original on 2 September 2015, retrieved 26 March 2016 * ^ _Tamil on Mauritian Currency_, TVARAJ.COM, retrieved 7 October 2014 * ^ Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 - Chapter 1: Founding Provisions - South African Government * ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Modern Tamil". _ Glottolog 2.7 _. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. * ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Old Tamil". _ Glottolog 2.7 _. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. * ^ _A_ _B_ _Department of Official Languages_, Government of Sri Lanka, retrieved 13 September 2012 * ^ Republic of Singapore
Singapore
Independence Act, s.7. Republic of Singapore * ^ Tamil Schools. Indianmalaysian.com. Retrieved 28 July 2013. * ^ Ghazali, Kamila (2010). UN Chronicle – National Identity and Minority Languages. United Nations. * ^ _A_ _B_ Stein, B. (1977). "Circulation and the Historical Geography of Tamil Country". _The Journal of Asian Studies_. 37: 7. JSTOR 2053325 . doi :10.2307/2053325 . * ^ Steever 1998 , pp. 6–9 * ^ "Statistical Summaries/ Summary by language size". * ^ ,'Rudimentary Tamil-Brahmi script' unearthed at Adichanallur * ^ 2,200-year-old Tamil-Brahmi inscription found on Samanamalai * ^ Zvelebil, Kamil (1973), _The Smile of Murugan_, BRILL, pp. 11–12, ISBN 978-90-04-03591-1 * ^ Hart, George L. "Statement on the Status of Tamil as a Classical Language", University of California Berkeley Department of South Asian Studies – Tamil * ^ Zvelebil 1992 , p. 12: "...the most acceptable periodisation which has so far been suggested for the development of Tamil writing seems to me to be that of A Chidambaranatha Chettiar (1907–1967): 1. Sangam Literature – 200BC to AD 200; 2. Post Sangam literature – AD 200 – AD 600; 3. Early Medieval literature – AD 600 to AD 1200; 4. Later Medieval literature – AD 1200 to AD 1800; 5. Pre-Modern literature – AD 1800 to 1900" * ^ Definitive Editions of Ancient Tamil Works. Classical Tamil, Government of India * ^ Abraham, S. A. (2003). "Chera, Chola, Pandya: Using Archaeological Evidence to Identify the Tamil Kingdoms of Early Historic South India". _Asian Perspectives_. 42 (2): 207. doi :10.1353/asi.2003.0031 . * ^ Maloney, C. (1970). "The Beginnings of Civilization in South India". _The Journal of Asian Studies_. 29 (3): 603. JSTOR 2943246 . doi :10.2307/2943246 . at p. 610 * ^ Subramaniam, T.S (29 August 2011), "Palani excavation triggers fresh debate", _The Hindu_, Chennai, India
India
* ^ "Students get glimpse of heritage", _The Hindu_, Chennai, India, 22 November 2005 * ^ _A_ _B_ " Tamil Brahmi script in Egypt". _The Hindu_. 21 November 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2015. * ^ Mahadevan, Iravatham (24 June 2010). "An epigraphic perspective on the antiquity of Tamil". _The Hindu_. Chennai, India. * ^ _The I.A.S. Tamil Medical Manuscript Collection_, UNESCO, retrieved 13 September 2012 * ^ _Saiva Manuscript in Pondicherry_, UNESCO, retrieved 13 September 2012 * ^ _Memory of the World Register: India_, UNESCO, retrieved 13 September 2012 * ^ Karthik Madhavan. "Tamil saw its first book in 1578". _The Hindu_. * ^ Kolappan, B. (22 June 2014). "Delay, howlers in Tamil Lexicon embarrass scholars". _The Hindu_. Chennai. Retrieved 25 December 2014.

* ^ _ India
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sets up classical languages. BBC. 17 August 2004. * ^ " Sanskrit
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to be declared classical language". _The Hindu_. 28 October 2005. * ^ Arokianathan, S. Writing and Diglossic: A Case Study of Tamil Radio Plays Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine .. ciil-ebooks.net * ^ Steever, S. B.; Britto, F. (1988). "Diglossia: A Study of the Theory, with Application to Tamil". _Language_. 64: 152. JSTOR 414796 . doi :10.2307/414796 . * ^ _A_ _B_ Annamalai & Steever 1998 , pp. 100–28 * ^ Zvelebil, K. (1966). "Some features of Ceylon Tamil". _Indo-Iranian Journal_. 9 (2): 113. doi :10.1163/000000066790086440 . * ^ Thiru. Mu (1978). Kovintācāriyar, _Vāḻaiyaṭi vāḻai_ Lifco, Madras, pp. 26–39. * ^ Krishnamurti, Bhadriraju (2013) "Tamil dialects" in _Tamil language_. Encyclopædia Britannica Online * ^ Schiffman, Harold (1997). " Diglossia as a Sociolinguistic Situation", in Florian Coulmas (ed.), _The Handbook of Sociolinguistics_. London: Basil Blackwell, Ltd. pp. 205 ff. * ^ _A_ _B_ Schiffman, Harold (1998), "Standardization or restandardization: The case for \'Standard\' Spoken Tamil", _Language in Society_, 27 (3): 359–385, doi :10.1017/S0047404598003030 . * ^ Fowler, Murray (1954). "The Segmental Phonemes of Sanskritized Tamil". _Language_. Linguistic Society of America. 30 (3): 360–367. JSTOR 410134 . doi :10.2307/410134 . at p. 360. * ^ Schiffman, Harold F.; Arokianathan, S. (1986), "Diglossic variation in Tamil film and fiction", in Krishnamurti, Bhadriraju ; Masica, Colin P. , _South Asian languages: structure, convergence, and diglossia_, New Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, p. 371, ISBN 81-208-0033-8 * ^ _See e.g._ the pronunciation guidelines in G.U. Pope (1868). _A Tamil hand-book, or, Full introduction to the common dialect of that language_. (3rd ed.). Madras, Higginbotham & Co. * ^ Rajam, V. S. (1992), _A Reference Grammar of Classical Tamil Poetry: 150 B.C.-Pre-Fifth/Sixth Century A.D_, American Philosophical Society, ISBN 978-0-87169-199-6 , retrieved 1 June 2007 * ^ Schiffman, Harold F. (1995), "Phonetics of Spoken Tamil", _A Grammar of Spoken Tamil_, pp. 12–13, retrieved 28 August 2009 * ^ Krishnamurti, Bhadriraju (2003), _The Dravidian Languages_, Cambridge Language Surveys, Cambridge University Press , p. 154, ISBN 0-521-77111-0 * ^ Kuiper 1958 , p. 191 * ^ Zvelebil, Kamil (1973), _The Smile of Murugan_, BRILL, p. 4, ISBN 978-90-04-03591-1 * ^ Ramanujam, A. K.; Dharwadker, V. (eds.) (2000) _The collected essays of A.K. Ramanujam_, Oxford University Press, p. 111. ISBN 0195639375 * ^ "Five fold grammar of Tamil", _University of Pennsylvania_ * ^ Caldwell, Robert (1875), _Classes of nouns in Tamil_, Trübner, retrieved 1 June 2007 * ^ _Classes of nouns in Tamil_. Retrieved 2007-06-01. * ^ Zvelebil, K. V. (April–June 1972). "Dravidian Case-Suffixes: Attempt at a Reconstruction". _Journal of the American Oriental Society_. American Oriental Society. 92 (2): 272–276. JSTOR 600654 . doi :10.2307/600654 . The entire problem of the concept of 'case' in Dravidian will be ignored in this paper. In fact, we might posit a great number of 'cases' for perhaps any Dravidian language once we departed from the familiar types of paradigms forced upon us by traditional, indigenous and European grammars, especially of the literary languages. It is, for instance, sheer convention based on Tamil grammatical tradition (influenced no doubt by Sanskrit) that, as a rule, the number of cases in Tamil is given as eight. * ^ Steever, Sanford B. (2002), "Direct and indirect discourse in Tamil", in Güldemann, Tom; von Roncador, Manfred, _Reported Discourse: A Meeting Ground for Different Linguistic Domains_, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company, p. 105, ISBN 90-272-2958-9 * ^ Lehmann, Thomas (1989), _A Grammar of Modern Tamil_, Pondicherry: Pondicherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture, pp. 9–11 * ^ Swiderski, Richard M. (1996), _The metamorphosis of English: versions of other languages_, New York: Bergin & Garvey, p. 61, ISBN 0-89789-468-5 * ^ _A_ _B_ Annamalai & Steever 1998 , p. 109 * ^ _Tamil is a head-final language_, archived from the original on 19 September 2003, retrieved 1 June 2007 * ^ _WALS – Tamil_, Wals.info, retrieved 13 September 2012 * ^ Ramaswamy, S. (2009). "En/gendering Language: The Poetics of Tamil Identity". _Comparative Studies in Society and History_. 35 (4): 683. doi :10.1017/S0010417500018673 . * ^ Krishnamurti 2003 , p. 480. * ^ Meenakshisundaran 1965 , pp. 169–193 * ^ "Literature in all Dravidian languages owes a great deal to Sanskrit, the magic wand whose touch raised each of the languages from a level of patois to that of a literary idiom" (Sastri 1955, p. 309); Trautmann, Thomas R. (2006). _Languages and nations: the Dravidian proof in colonial Madras_. Berkeley: University of California Press. "The author endeavours to demonstrate that the entire Sangam poetic corpus follows the "Kavya" form of Sanskrit
Sanskrit
poetry" – Tieken 2001 , p. 18. * ^ Vaidyanathan, S. (1967). "Indo-Aryan Loan Words in the Cīvakacintāmaṇi". _Journal of the American Oriental Society_. 87 (4): 430. JSTOR 597587 . doi :10.2307/597587 . * ^ Caldwell 1974 , pp. 87–88 * ^ Takahashi, Takanobu. (1995). _Tamil love poetry and poetics_. Brill's Indological Library, v. 9. Leiden: E. J. Brill, pp. 16, 18. ISBN 9004100423 . * ^ Pollock, Sheldon (1996). "The Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Cosmopolis 300–1300: Transculturation, vernacularisation and the question of ideology" in Jan E. M. Houben (ed.), _The ideology and status of Sanskrit: Contributions to the history of the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
language_. E. J. Brill, Leiden. pp. 209–217. ISBN 9004106138 . * ^ Trautmann, Thomas R. (1999), "Hullabaloo About Telugu", _South Asian Research_, 19 (1): 53–70, doi :10.1177/026272809901900104 at p. 64 * ^ Caldwell 1974 , p. 50 * ^ Ellis, F. W. (1820), "Note to the introduction" in Campbell, A.D., _A grammar of the Teloogoo language._ Madras: College Press, pp. 29–30. * ^ _See_ Ramaswamy's analysis of one such text, the _Tamiḻ viṭututu_, in Ramaswamy, S. (1998). "Language of the People in the World of Gods: Ideologies of Tamil before the Nation". _The Journal of Asian Studies_. 57: 66. JSTOR 2659024 . doi :10.2307/2659024 . * ^ Varadarajan, M. _A History of Tamil Literature_, transl. from Tamil by E. Sa. Viswanathan, Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, 1988. p. 12: "Since then the movement has been popularly known as the _tanittamil iyakkam_ or the Pure Tamil movement among the Tamil scholars." * ^ Ramaswamy, Sumathy (1997), "Laboring for language", _Passions of the Tongue: Language Devotion in Tamil India, 1891–1970_, Berkeley: University of California Press, ISBN 0-585-10600-2 , Nevertheless, even impressionistically speaking, the marked decline in the use of foreign words, especially of Sanskritic origin, in Tamil literary, scholarly, and even bureaucratic circles over the past half century is quite striking. * ^ Meenakshisundaram, T. P. (1982) _A History of Tamil Language_, Sarvodaya Ilakkiya Pannai. (translated) pp. 241–2 * ^ Wall, Frank (1921) _Ophidia taprobanica; or, The snakes of Ceylon_. H.R. Cottle, govt. printer in Colombo. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "Oxford English Dictionary
Dictionary
Online", _Oxford English Dictionary_, retrieved 14 April 2007 * ^ "curry, n.2", _The Oxford English Dictionary_. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press. 14 August 2009 * ^ "congee". _academic.ru_.

REFERENCES

* Andronov, M.S. (1970), _Dravidian Languages_, Nauka Publishing House * Annamalai, E.; Steever, S.B. (1998), "Modern Tamil", in Steever, Sanford, _The Dravidian Languages_, London: Routledge, pp. 100–128, ISBN 0-415-10023-2 * Caldwell, Robert (1974), _A comparative grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian family of languages_, New Delhi: Oriental Books Reprint Corp. * Hart, George L. (1975), _The poems of ancient Tamil : their milieu and their Sanskrit
Sanskrit
counterparts_, Berkeley: University of California Press, ISBN 0-520-02672-1 * Krishnamurti, Bhadriraju (2003), _The Dravidian Languages_, Cambridge Language Surveys, Cambridge University Press , ISBN 0-521-77111-0 * Kesavapany, K.; Mani, A; Ramasamy, Palanisamy (2008), _Rising India
India
and Indian Communities in East Asia_, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, ISBN 981-230-799-0 * Kuiper, F. B. J. (1958), "Two problems of old Tamil phonology I. The old Tamil āytam (with an appendix by K. Zvelebil)", _Indo-Iranian Journal_, 2 (3): 191, doi :10.1007/BF00162818 * Lehmann, Thomas (1998), "Old Tamil", in Steever, Sanford, _The Dravidian Languages_, London: Routledge, pp. 75–99, ISBN 0-415-10023-2 * Mahadevan, Iravatham (2003), _Early Tamil Epigraphy from the Earliest Times to the Sixth Century A.D_, Harvard Oriental Series vol. 62, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, ISBN 0-674-01227-5 * Meenakshisundaran, T.P. (1965), _A History of Tamil Language_, Poona: Deccan College * Murthy, Srinivasa; Rao, Surendra; Veluthat, Kesavan; Bari, S.A. (1990), _Essays on Indian History and culture: Felicitation volume in Honour of Professor B. Sheik Ali_, New Delhi: Mittal, ISBN 81-7099-211-7 * Ramstedt, Martin (2004), _ Hinduism in modern Indonesia_, London: Routledge, ISBN 0-7007-1533-9 * Rajam, VS (1992), _A Reference Grammar of Classical Tamil Poetry_, Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society, ISBN 0-87169-199-X * Ramaswamy, Sumathy (1997), "Laboring for language", _Passions of the Tongue: Language Devotion in Tamil India, 1891–1970_, Berkeley: University of California Press, ISBN 0-585-10600-2 * Shapiro, Michael C.; Schiffman, Harold F. (1983), _Language and society in South Asia_, Dordrecht: Foris, ISBN 90-70176-55-6 * Schiffman, Harold F. (1999), _A Reference Grammar of Spoken Tamil_, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-64074-1 * Southworth, Franklin C. (1998), "On the Origin of the word tamiz", _ International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics _, 27 (1): 129–132 * Southworth, Franklin C. (2005), _Linguistic archaeology of South Asia_, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-33323-7 * Steever, Sanford (1998), "Introduction", in Steever, Sanford, _The Dravidian Languages_, London: Routledge, pp. 1–39, ISBN 0-415-10023-2 * Steever, Sanford (2005), _The Tamil auxiliary verb system_, London: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-34672-X * Tharu, Susie; Lalita, K., eds. (1991), _Women Writing in India: 600 B.C. to the present – Vol. 1: 600 B.C. to the early twentieth century_, Feminist Press, ISBN 1-55861-027-8 * Talbot, Cynthia (2001), _Precolonial India
India
in practice: Society, Region and Identity in Medieval Andhra_, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-513661-6 * Tieken, Herman (2001), _Kavya in South India: Old Tamil Cankam Poetry_, Gonda Indological Studies, Volume X, Groningen: Egbert Forsten Publishing, ISBN 90-6980-134-5 * Varadarajan, Mu. (1988), _A History of Tamil Literature_, New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi (Translated from Tamil by E.Sa. Viswanathan) * Zvelebil, Kamil (1992), _Companion studies to the history of Tamil literature_, Leiden: Brill, ISBN 90-04-09365-6

FURTHER READING

* Fabricius, Johann Philip (1933 and 1972), _Tamil and English Dictionary_. based on J.P. Fabricius _Malabar-English Dictionary_, 3rd and 4th Edition Revised and Enlarged by David Bexell. Evangelical Lutheran Mission Publishing House, Tranquebar; called Tranquebar Dictionary. * Freeman, Rich (February 1998), "Rubies and Coral: The Lapidary Crafting of Language in Kerala", _The Journal of Asian Studies_, Association for Asian Studies, 57 (1): 38–65, JSTOR 2659023 , doi :10.2307/2659023 * Keane, Elinor (2004), "Tamil", _Journal of the International Phonetic Association_, 34 (1): 111–116, doi :10.1017/S0025100304001549

EXTERNAL LINKS

_ TAMIL EDITION _ of , the free encyclopedia

_ For a list of words relating to Tamil language, see the TAMIL LANGUAGE_ category of words in Wiktionary , the free dictionary.

* Tamil at Wikibooks * Tamil travel guide from Wikivoyage * Media related to Tamil language
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at Wikimedia Commons

* v * t * e

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