An old question

D.H. Killingley D.H.Killingley at NEWCASTLE.AC.UK
Thu Jul 16 13:04:40 UTC 1998

Sorry, I should have expressed myself clearer. I was talking about
_phonological distinction_ between voiced and voiceless, not conditioned
variation which I know exists in Tamil. And I was thinking of the
pronunciation of tatsamas.

Dr Dermot Killingley
Dept of Religious Studies
University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU
Phone 0191 222 6730    Fax 0191 222 5185

On Wed, 15 Jul 1998, Srini Pichumani wrote:

> D.H. Killingley wrote:
> > If a Tamil speaker uses voiced/voiceless and aspirated/unaspirated
> > oppositions in pronouncing stops in Tamil, could they not be said to have
> > a 'Sanskrit accent?'
> But the voiced/voiceless distinction for stops does exist in Tamil... it is
> only aspiration that is missing.  So,  even a "native" Tamil would voice
> stops under certain well-defined conditions like if a stop appears after
> a nasal ("k" would become "g" in this case) or if it occurs anywhere other
> than a word-initial position etc etc.
> For example,  a name like that of the present Chief Minister of TN (a
> firebrand, native Tamil... known in the lingo as "maRattamizhan2"),
> karuNaaniti,  even if written as such would be pronounced even by the
> most native of Tamils with the last syllable voiced, i.e. like Sanskrit "d".
> What would be lost would be the aspiration... in Sanskrit,  the same word
> would be "karuNaanidhi"... pronouncing the last syllable with a clear
> aspiration,  or overdoing it as it happens sometimes,  would be clearly a
> "Sanskrit" accent.
> Regards,
> -Srini.

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