Old Tamil grammar (fwd)

Dominik Wujastyk ucgadkw at ucl.ac.uk
Wed May 29 16:10:03 UTC 1996

If you are able to help with the following query, please respond to the
sender directly, since I don't think he is a member of INDOLOGY.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 15 May 1996 10:59:09 +1000
From: Peter White <pwhite at opennet.net.au>
To: D.Wujastyk at ucl.ac.uk
Subject: Old Tamil grammar

I am conducting a net search for a teacher colleague regarding some old
tamil grammar. Please reply through this address or personally to Paul
Modini Locked bag 88 Strawberryhills NSW 2012.

"To specialists in Old Tamil linguistics and literature: request for information

I seek information as to the syntactic role played by two forms of a
pronominal/adverbial nature in Old Tamil.  I am interested in making a
comparison between either of these forms and a certain particle which seems
to function pronominally in Old Korean and Old Japanese.

I am interested in knowing whether *i*n in Ai*nku*run*u*ru 401-5 and *itu
in Na*r*ri*nai 323-11, Kalittokai 61-9 and 82-23 and Pu*ran*a*n*u*ru 208-3
(these five being the only "pronominal"/"adverbial" examples) occur in
constructions which can be interpreted, like i constructions in OK and OJ,
as appositional constructions.

(1) illustrates the OK construction with i:

(1)     han   put'y*odu  k*urat  hasyan                i
        all      buddhas     thus     do (PERF ATT)  PRN
        'all the buddhas who have done thus'.

On my analysis, i in (1) stands for put'y*odu, and is used instead of a
second mention of put'y*odu.   As far as OJ is concerned, I have
reconstructed the following (the asterisk indicates that the construction
is not actually attested):

(2)     *ma          no      hana      matsu              i             ni
          interval ATT   flower   wait (ATT)     PRN      in
          'in the interval (i.e. while) I wait for the flowers'.

Here, on my analysis, i stands for ma, and is used instead of a second ma.

Constructions (1) and (2) may be represented in a unified way as: (NPj ...
prnj)NP, where the identical subscripts are used to indicate an anaphoric
relation between the NP and the pronoun i.

[For the purpose of electronic production using Microsoft, and in order to
use underlining for the purpose of citing linguistic forms (in accordance
with ordinary usage), in romanising Tamil words I have had to modify
somewhat drastically the Madras University Tamil Lexicon system: in place
of the diacritics an asterisk is used before the letter in question.
Similarly, the system of romanisation used for the Korean example is that
of the source, except that, for the purpose of electronic production using
Microsoft, an asterisk is used, before the letter in question, in place of
the McCune-Reischauer system's breve mark. Thus an asterisk has another
function here than the usual ones of indicating an ungrammatical form or a
reconstructed form.]
Kindest regards

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