Tamil Language

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Tamil Language


the language of the Tamils and the official language of the state of Tamil Nadu in southeastern India. Tamil is also spoken in northern and eastern Sri Lanka and in Malaysia and other countries of Southeast Asia. There are more than 44 million speakers of Tamil (1975, estimate).

Tamil belongs to the southern group of the Dravidian languages. The eastern, northern, and western dialects of Tamil differ from the southern dialect and from the Ceylon (Sri Lanka) dialect. Socially stratified dialects also exist, including the dialects of the Brahmans and other castes and tribes. Written Tamil includes Classical Tamil and the modern literary language. Epigraphical sources of Classical Tamil date from no later than the first century B.C, and Tamil literature dates from no later than the second century B.C. Spoken Tamil differs greatly from the written language.

Classical Tamil has a system of complementary distribution in which voiceless, voiced, and fricative phones with the same point of articulation are combined in a single phoneme; for example, the phoneme k has the allophones [k, g, x], and the phoneme (has the allophones [t, d, δ]. Nominal forms are inflected according to person, for example, nāy (“dog”) and nāyēn (“I am like a dog”). Finite forms of the verb are conjugated, for example, ānāy (“you became”) and the dative case ānāykku (“to you who became”).

Spoken Tamil has nasal vowels, many assimilative features, a simplified verbal paradigm, and compound sentences. The modern literary language tends to converge with the spoken form.


Andronov, M. S. Razgovornyi lamil’skii iazyk i ego dialekty. Moscow, 1962.
Andronov, M. S. Grammatika tamil’skogo iazyka. Moscow, 1966.
Tamil’sko-russkii slovar’. Moscow, 1960.
Russko-tamil’skii slovar’. Moscow, 1965.
Shanmugam Pillai, M. Spoken Tamil, parts 1–2. Annamalainagar, 1965–68.
Andronov, M. A Standard Grammar of Modern and Classical Tamil. Madras, 1969.
Agesthialingom, S., and S. Sakthivel. A Bibliography of Dravidian Linguistics. Annamalainagar, 1973.
Tamil Lexicon, vols. 1–6, with supplement. Madras, 1924–39.


References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: New Delhi [India], Feb 21 (ANI): Google India has announced the launch of Tamil language support for its advertising products - Google AdWords and Google AdSense to support the Tamil language web publishers and also help advertisers to reach out to the large base of Internet users in Tamil.
They claimed they do not have any relatives or friends in Anuradhapura and they speak only Tamil language and that it will be very hard for their family members to bring a language of their choice to Anuradhapura High Court to defend the case against them and to understand proceedings in the case.
Contract awarded for Engaging of vendor to conduct sub-events for tamil fest 2017, Organised by umar pulavar tamil language centre, Ministry of education on saturday, 5 august 2017.
And Kollywood refers to the movies produced in the Tamil language of the Southern state of Tamil Nadu.
Tamil language has one special character (Aayuthaezhutthu), 12 vowels, 18 consonants and 12 x 18 compound letters, totaling 247 characters and some Sanskrit characters like [,],\,'.
Mr Perinparajah's brother, sister and mum travelled from Worcester to Kirkdale for the inquest, which was translated by his brother into the family's native Tamil language.
He was also a writer of fiction in Tamil language with a very good reputation.
The announcement was made after producers of Silverline film factory of India were in Muscat scouting for locations for their next film "Garuda" to be shot in the Tamil language.
Manorama was admired for her inimitable ability to speak in different dialects of the Tamil language to perfection.
DINAMALAR is a venerable publishing house catering to the global Tamil speaking population through its National Tamil language daily and Dinamalar.
Ooredoo is giving customers access to millions of Arabic, Western, Indian, Telugu, MalayaA[degrees] lam, Kannada and Tamil language songs through Anghami and Hungama premium music services.
He has acted in over 150 film in various film industries, but a majority of them are in the Tamil language.

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