From: srivas sinnathurai (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Mon Nov 01 2010 - 16:21:43 CST
Tamil alphabet represents places of articulation.
An average linguist, not capable of understanding the ancient scientific
methodology in which the alphabet is made to represent the places of
articulation and not phonemes, attempts to relate phonemic principles to
this original alphabet system. This is caused by the eventual/defector
misunderstanding of what an alphabet is and it's implementation as
representing randomly selected phonemes by mostly all of the worlds
The meaning of phonemic is "a symbol used to represent differing phonemes".
This is applicable to non-structured orthography. Tamil orthography bases
itself on the structured places of articulation based scientific model. A
particular place of articulation is capable of being manipulated to create
very many number of phonemes. So for example the place of articulation "sa"
in Tamil is capable of generating sounds not limited to cha, cha, sa, sha,
sha, za, nja, nja, but many more sounds. So in day to day usage, Tamil
speech generates largest number of phonemes for any language.
The point is limited definition of "phonemic" does not accurately reflects
the structured nature of a symbol. The terminology "phonemic" is not the
correct one to represent this phenomenon. A proper description of this
structured nature of places of articulation as alphabet need to be
understood and an appropriate international terminology to define such
properties are yet to be looked into by linguists. While doing this, the
mechanics of generating sounds, during speech, as defined by Tamil grammar
Tholharpiyam need to be taken note of.
any one of the set of smallest units of speech in a language that
distinguish one word from another. In English, the /s/ in sip and the /z/ in
zip represent two different phonemes.
*2.* (Linguistics / Phonetics & Phonology) relating to or denoting speech
sounds that belong to different phonemes rather than being allophonic
variants of the same phoneme Compare
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