[INDOLOGY] Questions about Malayalam

Donald R Davis drdj at austin.utexas.edu
Wed Oct 21 01:04:51 UTC 2015

Dear Hans,

Not a native speaker's perspective, but for 1, both seem acceptable but slightly different. If Sanjay was expected, but not Mariam, then I might say your first example. "Sanjay has come, and Mariam has also come."  If instead, I wanted either to emphasize that both S and M have come, perhaps with some surprise, or to confirm that both have come, then I might say the second. So, "both Sanjay and Mariam have arrived/come."

For question two, I think you could say exactly the same in Malayalam and it would be acceptable.  Some speakers might go for Sanskritic vocab, puruSanum alla strIyum alla, "it is neither male nor female." But, the Tamil version sounds fine to me as a Malayalam sentence, too.

Curious to hear other reactions...

Best, Don

Don Davis
Dept of Asian Studies
University of Texas at Austin

On Oct 20, 2015, at 7:40 PM, Hock, Hans Henrich <hhhock at illinois.edu<mailto:hhhock at illinois.edu>> wrote:

Dear All,

I hope somebody who knows Malayalam is able to answer the following questions.

The following type of sentence is supposed to be completely acceptable: Sanjay vannu Mariam-um vannu

Would the following also be acceptable and, if so, how should one translate it: Sanjay-um vannu Mariam-um vannu

Question 2:

I understand that the following is grammatical in Tamil: ??-um alla pe??-um alla 'it's not male, it's not female' or 'it is neither male nor female'

What would be the Malayalam counterpart? And would that be grammatically acceptable in Malayalam?

Responses could be sent to me off-list, if you prefer.

Looking forward to responses and with all best wishes,

Hans Henrich Hock
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