Posts Tagged ‘Tamil’

PostHeaderIcon Introduction To Tamil Language

Tamil is one of the classical languages spoken by more than 77 million people across the world. Tamil language is a member of the south Dravidian family. It is one of the most ancient languages still spoken in the world. It is written in south Brahmi script. Tamil has 12 vowels and 18 consonants.

Tamil Vowels

Tamil Vowels

Tamil is relatively free word order, verb final and inflectional language. The third person pronouns show singular-plural distinction and masculine-feminine distinction.

In Tamil language the subject is identified by the case markers it takes. As Tamil is an agglutinative language, the words are formed by combining several morphemes. A Tamil word is a composition consisting of a root combined with other grammatical accretions. Irrespective of the length, complexity and type of Tamil words, the roots can be traced up to monosyllabic level by careful removal of successive accretions. Traditionally, a Tamil word is divided into a maximum of six parts, namely pakuthy (prime-stem), sandhi (junction), vihaaram (variation), iTainilai (middle part), saariyai (enunciater) and vikuti (terminator) in that order. For example, a word, ndaTantananmeaning ‘(He) walked’, is made up of the morphemes: naTa + t(n) + t + an + an. The middle part and terminator are grammatical additions to the prime-stem. The middle part marks the tense and the terminator marks the gender. Usually, the prime-stem is the main part of the word responsible for its meaning.