Tamil Study Group

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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-08, 2:56

dEhiN wrote:I listened to both dialogues and I have a few questions about words that I'm not sure the meaning of and don't seem to be in the glossary.

For Dialogue 3:

1) வேடிக்கை அர்த்தம் என்ன?

This word really isn't in the glossary, so I had to look it up. IIRC it means something like 'amusement', so என்ன வேடிக்கை! basically means 'that's funny!' (literally 'how funny!' or 'what amusement!' but I think 'that's funny' is a more natural/idiomatic translation in North American English).
Is இதெல்லாம் just a contraction of இது and எல்லாம்?

Yes.
If so, why contract?

Because one ends in a vowel and the other begins with one and pronouncing two vowels right next to each other is just hard, so it's a lot easier to simply delete (the first) one
3) நிறையெ அர்த்தம் என்ன?

This is in the glossary, just towards the bottom. It means 'a lot (of)' (I believe நிற means 'to fill').
கல்லா அர்த்தம் என்ன? If it is just the word கல் with the interrogative suffix ஆ, then why does the Child ask (in the 3rd line) இது கல்லா இரும்பா? Wouldn't it make more sense to add அல்லது, so you have இது கல்லா அல்லது இரும்பா "Is this stone or iron"?

I doubt the sentence ?இது கல்லா அல்லது இரும்பா is grammatical because if this works anything like Malayalam, then அல்லது does not have the exact same function that 'or' does in English. If you want to say 'X or Y?' as a question, then it is just X + interrogative suffix followed by Y + interrogative suffix.
Also, I have to say that the difference between பல் and பால் is very slight and I can barely notice it. In my family, there's more of a difference: /pæl/ vs /paːl/. So even the geminated long /a/ is pronounced as such in 'milk'. The way the man and child pronounce geminated long /a/ sounds basically like ungeminated short /a/!

Vowels aren't geminate; consonants are. "Geminated" is a verb, not an adjective.

But yeah, I've never ever heard of [æ] as an allophone of /a/ in any Indian language, only as an allophone of /e/.

Anyway, what's our assignment for next week (July 14, Bastille Day)? The reading passage and Exercises 3 and 4?

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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby dEhiN » 2018-07-09, 0:08

vijayjohn wrote:Vowels aren't geminate; consonants are. "Geminated" is a verb, not an adjective.

Ok, thanks! I forgot that gemination only applies to consonants.

vijayjohn wrote:But yeah, I've never ever heard of [æ] as an allophone of /a/ in any Indian language, only as an allophone of /e/.

Well, I'll try recording myself saying கல், பல், நல்லா, etc. - words where my family and I use a phoneme more similar to [æ]. I admit it's not as open as actual [æ], like in English cat. It's probably more like [e̝].

vijayjohn wrote:Anyway, what's our assignment for next week (July 14, Bastille Day)? The reading passage and Exercises 3 and 4?

Sure, let's do that - Reading 1, Exercise 3 and Exercise 4.
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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-09, 1:34

And updated the assignment in the first post! :)

Btw dEhiN, didn't you want to reply to Aekalaivan on your Tamil thread?

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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby dEhiN » 2018-07-09, 1:47

vijayjohn wrote:And updated the assignment in the first post! :)

Damn, I have quite a bit to do this week! The grammar stuff in Dialogue 4 is new for me; well not completely, but at least in terms of seeing sandhi rules explicitly written out. The same goes for the case suffixes. I've split up the grammar stuff into 3 sections: Sandhi Rules, Case Suffixes, and Cultural Notes. Add in the 3 tasks for this week, and I effectively have 6 study tasks just for Tamil alone!

vijayjohn wrote:Btw dEhiN, didn't you want to reply to Aekalaivan on your Tamil thread?

Yes, I always meant to and then completely forgot, and then figured it was too long a time and I couldn't reply now. And then I kept forgetting! :D
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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-09, 1:51

If you like, we can revise the schedule. :)

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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby dEhiN » 2018-07-09, 2:07

vijayjohn wrote:If you like, we can revise the schedule. :)

Omg, could we please?! I'm sorry, I know I'm slowing us down. For part of the reason see my TAC thread (this week I'm with my girlfriend at her place until Thursday, so I'm not sure exactly how much time I'll have to dedicate to language study). And the other part of the reason is that I didn't expect Dialogue 4 to contain both sandhi rules and case suffixes - both which, to me, are very important aspects of Tamil grammar and things which I really want to get down pat.

If you're ok with it, could we do just Reading 1 for this week? That way, I can go thoroughly through Dialogue 4 grammar, including adding the rules to Anki? I know it's not a lot for you - just one reading - but next week I'll be back at my place, which means I'll generally have more study time, so we could do extra stuff (like 4 or 5 things instead of 2 or 3).
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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-09, 2:19

dEhiN wrote:If you're ok with it, could we do just Reading 1 for this week? That way, I can go thoroughly through Dialogue 4 grammar, including adding the rules to Anki?

Yes indeedy! ;) Fixed!
I know it's not a lot for you - just one reading - but next week I'll be back at my place, which means I'll generally have more study time, so we could do extra stuff (like 4 or 5 things instead of 2 or 3).

It's okay, I've already been through about half of this whole course anyway, and rmanoj is definitely more advanced than I am, so I think we're both implicitly willing to take things slow for now anyway. :P

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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby dEhiN » 2018-07-09, 2:23

Aww, thanks! Or, well I should say ரொம்ப நன்றி! (According to my dad, that phrase is more an Indian Tamil one. The SL one would probably be மிக்க நன்றி).
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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-09, 20:15

Np! :)

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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-14, 12:34

So dEhiN, did you manage to go through the reading? :P

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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby dEhiN » 2018-07-14, 19:28

Nope! :cry:

To be honest, I only did the Sandhi Rules part of the Dialogue 4 Grammar section. Next week I'm going to try and do the Case Suffixes part and Cultural Notes part.
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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-14, 23:45

Okay...so that means Reading 1 is now due by...July 28?

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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby dEhiN » 2018-07-15, 15:55

Is that ok? I know that's a fairly slow pace. Or I could try and finish the Dialogue 4 grammar and do Reading 1 both this week.
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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-15, 16:19

Yes, that's okay with me at least (especially given how many other languages I'm doing at the same time :P). I've changed the schedule accordingly. :)

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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby dEhiN » 2018-07-15, 21:37

நன்றி தம்பி. :D
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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-15, 21:58

No problem, அண்ணா. :)

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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby księżycowy » 2018-07-15, 23:09

So, how do I learn the alphabet?

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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby dEhiN » 2018-07-16, 0:10

The TLIC website has a section for the alphabet: http://www.southasia.sas.upenn.edu/tami ... sound.html. They have audio samples as well as an interactive lesson on how to write each letter.

For me, because Tamil uses an alphasyllabary (or abugida), learning the alphabet as a chart made the most sense. On the top row you'd have the 12 vowels, down the first column you'd have the 18* consonants, and in the middle cells you'd have each consonant-vowel pair.

In terms of the phonetics, because you're already used to long/short vowel distinction, that shouldn't be a problem for you. I don't remember all the languages you've studied in the past, but I imagine even the use of dental and retroflex consonants shouldn't be difficult for you. I would think the difficulty will be in the fact that there are 5** nasals - dental, alveolar, retroflex, palatal, and velar - 2 rhotics - alveolar tap and alveolar trill - and 2-3 lateral approximants - alveolar, retroflex and either palatal (if you speak Sri Lankan Tamil) or a post-alveolar central approximant (if you speak Indian Tamil).

* There are 18 "pure" consonants and 5 letters that are taken from Sanskrit (iirc), which the TLIC site teaches, but which not all Tamilians include or consider when mentioning the alphabet.

** I say 5 because there are 5, but some Tamilians consider there to be only 3 because they don't see the palatal and velar nasals as nasals, for some odd reason!
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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby księżycowy » 2018-07-16, 0:30

I'm not really into the whole "chart" idea. That sounds a bit tedious and boring to be honest.

Maybe I'll just learn it through context, like I did with Japanese.

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Re: Tamil Study Group

Postby dEhiN » 2018-07-16, 0:42

You don't have to do it chart style; you could think of it however it helps for you. The main things with an abugida (if you haven't encountered one before) is that in addition to the vowels and consonants, you have consonant-vowel combinations. So in terms of the script, you would have a different character for each consonant-vowel combination. In practice, with both Tamil and other abugidas, the consonant-vowel combinations are written by slightly modifying the consonant. In addition, most of the time the modification is the same for each vowel.

For example, let's take the vowels a and aa, and the consonants k and th. So you would have a character for a, aa, k and th. And then you would make a modification for k to get ka, and do the same to th to get tha. You would then make a different modification to k to get kaa and th to get thaa.

(In romanized Tamil, th/dh refer to dental (unvoiced/voiced stop) while t/d refer to retroflex (unvoiced/voiced stop). Also, some people, including myself, will double the vowel in romanized Tamil to denote long letters, though this isn't always done by everyone. So tha could mean both tha or thaa.)
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