[INDOLOGY] Tamil initial vowels with vowel signs

Jean-Luc Chevillard jean-luc.chevillard at univ-paris-diderot.fr
Thu May 19 19:38:46 UTC 2022

Dear Jan,

if you have a look at this link,


(also included as an attachment)

you can see a short எ printed with a RING above, which is the same as 
the RING used on vowel-less consonants

See stanza 68 i.e. (௬௮)


This is from the 1834 Editio Princeps of the Cūṭāmaṇinikaṇṭu

This  book was part of the collection of the late François Gros.
He donated his books to the University of Toronto and they have 
digitized them and put them online.

Interestingly, the trick of using a DOT/Ring above is used only for 
initial vowel signs,
as you can from this page


if you compare the way they print

செக்கர்வானிறத்தன் .... (in Stanza 22)

வேய்ந்தபூங்குறிஞ்சி ... (in Stanza 24)

As for the LONG எ printed WITHOUT a RING above

you can see one on this page

"எழ்பரியோன்", which would be nowadays printed as "ஏழ்பரியோன்"

Best wishes


--- Jean-Luc


On 19/05/2022 20:37, Jan Kučera wrote:
> Thank you Jean-Luc, that is helpful.
> It is especially interesting that the vowels use a ring form of pulli in contrast with the dot pulli on consonants!
> Thanks,
> Jan
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jean-Luc Chevillard <jean-luc.chevillard at univ-paris-diderot.fr>
> Sent: Thursday, May 19, 2022 6:08 PM
> To: Jan Kučera <jan.kucera at matfyz.cz>; indology at list.indology.info
> Subject: Re: [INDOLOGY] Tamil initial vowels with vowel signs
> Dear Jan,
> you might be interested in the example which I include as an attachment.
> You can see the puḷḷi on initial vowel in the commentary to the Naṉṉūl cūttiram which reads
> தொல்லை வடிவின வெல்லா வெழுத்துமாண்
> டெய்து மெகர வொகரமெய் புள்ளி
> [tollai vaṭiviṉa vellā veḻuttumāṇ
> ṭeytu mekara vokaramey puḷḷi]
> I can provide you with more examples if you wish, including from Palm leaf MSS
> All the best
> அன்புடன்
> -- Jean-Luc
> https://htl.cnrs.fr/equipe/jl-chevillard/
> On 19/05/2022 15:24, Jan Kučera wrote:
>> Thank you both!
>> Yes an alternative spelling of long vowels, such as அ+ாinstead of ஆ
>> would be an example. Other situations I could envision why that would
>> happen could be to express even-longer-than-long vowels, like ஆ+ா, or
>> alternative spellings of diphthongs or diphthongs that do not exist
>> Tamil. I have not seen these myself but wanted to check with others.
>> In fact I am interested in any cases where the initial vowel would
>> take any mark - how about pulli on vowels?
>> I am imagining not everyone is adhering to the Tolkāppiyam rules, be
>> it either modern usage, transliteration of other languages, or
>> manipravalam texts.
>> Best regards,
>> Jan
>> *From:*INDOLOGY <indology-bounces at list.indology.info> *On Behalf Of
>> *a.murugaiyan
>> *Sent:* Thursday, May 19, 2022 1:52 PM
>> *To:* indology at list.indology.info
>> *Subject:* Re: [INDOLOGY] Tamil initial vowels with vowel signs
>> Dear Jan,
>> Do you meanஅ+ா  instead of ஆ at the initial position?
>> Best regards.
>> A. Murugaiyan
>> Le 19/05/2022 à 12:22, Jan Kučera a écrit :
>>      Dear all,
>>      has anyone come across a Tamil orthography where a vowel sign would
>>      be attached to an initial vowel, presumably most likely it would be
>>      A or AA, e.g. ஆா?
>>      Thank you and best regards,
>>      Jan
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