Roman transliteration of Tamil n's

Sudalaimuthu Palaniappan Palaniappa at AOL.COM
Fri Nov 14 14:51:41 UTC 1997

In a message dated 97-11-14 08:44:24 EST, bhk at HD1.VSNL.NET.IN writes:

<<  Like Old Tamil,Old Telugu and
 Old Kannada also had two r's but in modern languages there is only one; the
 trill R merged with the flap r. Only Tamil scholars try to distinguish the
 two in reading. In some cases older n_t became n_r in Old Tamil, Old Telugu,
 and the other South-Central Dravidian languages,e.g. Old Tamil muunRu (mdn.
 muuNN.u), Old Telugu muunRu, later muuNDu/muuDu, KonDa muunRi 'three'. >>

Sri Lankan Tamil dialect maintains the distinction between "r" and "R". So
does Malayalam. Malayalam also maintains alveolar stop "R" in geminate ("RR"
pronounced like English "tt") and in post-nasal ("n2R" pronounced as English
"nd") contexts. I believe this also applies to some dialects in parts of
Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari districts.


S. Palaniappan

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