Re: Tamil Sri / Shri

From: Sinnathurai Srivas (
Date: Mon Nov 05 2007 - 05:14:26 CST

  • Next message: Bala: "RE: Tamil Sri / Shri"

    RE: Tamil Sri / ShriThere is a big different in what an alphabet is in Tamil to what an alphabet is in any other language (probably present day Malayalam too).

    Every scaled phoneme relating to specific places of articulation can be mis-defined as allophones. This is because for example th can scale to many phonemes in Tamil.
    th as in athan (roughly father) - this is a floating th, similar to floating h of k, and floating s of ch.

    th as in athan (~ father)
    th as in this
    th as in thick
    th as in inthia
    and so on ........

    th is the name of the place of articulation (dental/front and tip of of toung/ front upper gum)

    all other alphabet in Tamil are of similar nature. Place, manner and style of articulation as defined in Tolkappiyam, probably the first written Grammar in the world.

    Sinnathurai sRivas
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Michael Maxwell
      To: Bala ; Mahesh T. Pai ; Unicode Mailing List ;
      Cc: James Kass
      Sent: 03 November 2007 16:56
      Subject: RE: Tamil Sri / Shri

    > Also Tamil does not have glyph/character for every phonetic sound. For
    > an example ka, kha, ga, and gha sounds written using only by ka-க.

      That's because these are allophones in Tamil, and the Tamil writing system is (or at least was, historically) substantially a phonemic system, as most newly developed writing systems are. (Writing systems tend not to change as fast as the language does, hence the diglossia noticed by "Mahesh Pai".)

      Tamil phonology, orthography, and diglossia are described at Wikipedia, and of course in lots of books.

         Mike Maxwell
         CASL/ U MD

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