Tamil pronunciation (was Re: Indo-Aryan Invasion (focussed di

SP jp_stephens at CLASSIC.MSN.COM
Thu Mar 5 16:30:13 UTC 1998

-----Original Message-----
From: Palaniappa <Palaniappa at AOL.COM>
Date: March 4, 1998 8:37 PM
Subject: Re: Tamil pronunciation (was Re: Indo-Aryan Invasion (focussed di

>I am surprised that a non-brahmin from Madurai pronounced "taka" as "taga"
>instead of something like "taha".

This "surprise" is what my tamil teacher also felt. When I was in school I
had a great Tamil teacher (Mr. S.Srinivasan who prided himself as being
named after U.V. Swaminatha Iyer) who was a brahmin. He was most certain
that those of us non-brahmins would not properly pronounce certain words in
Thamizh (e.g., Pazham) and gave us a few words to pronounce. Lo and behold
we could not only pronounce, but that was the way we spoke and he was taken
aback, but had the graciousness to accept that he was mistaken.

On another note re: pronouncing letters like "ca" as "sa" and the different
forms of "ka" - is this not based on some grammatical rule? I clearly
remember learning something to that effect in school, but am unable to
recall the exact rule. This could also be found in a book called Thamizh
Ilakkiya Varalaru which was part of our curriculum at University. If anybody
remembers this rule in Thamizh grammar, please enlighten me.

I know Thamizh in Kanyakumari dt. is influenced by Malayalam, but there are
certain words that are used in that part of Thamizh Nadu which are
pronounced with no colloquialism, i.e., Thalaiyanai for Pillow whereas in
the rest of Thamizh Nadu it is pronounced by all (including brhamins) as
Thalahani. Is this a Malayalm influence or is it something else.

On another note does anyone know how to nominate a teacher for Rajaji Award.
Is it possible to do that if the person is retired. I would like to nominate
Mr. Srinivasan, but am at a loss as to how. Any pointers would be

I am not a Thamizh Pulavar or a linguist so pardon me if I sound too
elementary :-)


More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list