Talk:Tamil script

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Can be used to write Sanskrit!!![edit]

Having read the anonimous users comments, it is worth noting the followings.

Sanskrit uses very limited number of phonemes. Sanskrit uses a large number of characters to represent each phonemes.

Tamil uses numerous number of phonemes. Tamil uses a limited number of characters to represent numerous number of phonemes.

Tamil names (prappiyal) the plaaces of articulation as alphabet Sanskrit names random phonemes as letter/alphabet Tamil expands the places of articulation to obtain numerous phonemes.

During transliteration, there is a need for Tamil to use diacritics to identify the phonemes. Sisrivas (talk) 18:44, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

The ananymous user below doesnt seem to understand linguistics in general and scripts in particular. Each langage has its own sounds and the scripts are tailored and limited to those sounds. Tamil has 3 sounds in L , 2 in R and 3 in N. Sanskrit has only one alphabet for L, R and N.

Hence Sanskrit script cannot be used to write Tamil either. Gandhi is not a Tamil word and hence it is not prudent to expect it to be written correctly in the language. Pugazhendi is a Tamil proper noun and it cannot be written in Sanskrit. Sanskrit actually means refined, which indicates it has been refined from another language and hence is not original. That is why it is still not given the classical status inspite of so many fanatical attempts by North Indians but Tamil got the coveted status because there was a neutral American judge: Dr. George Hart who said that of the Indian languages Tamil and Tamil alone is classical!

Tamil was designed to be a soft languages, all its sounds can be pronounced from the lips, not from the lungs or the throat as in other languages. That is why the aspirated form of T like D or DHA is not present, but it does occur mellifluouly when combined with the nasal N. For example Antha is harder to pronounce than Andha. Hence it is pronounced as Andha. Hence Dha sound does exist in Tamil when nasal N is present. Similarly pandhu, sindhu, vandhu etc.

-- 10:02, 29 October 2006 (UTC)Sunil Kumar

LOL!! can anybody in their right mind claim this....tamil script can hardly be used to write tamil itself...what with its innumerable non-existent alphabets...

how can anyone claim that a script is so bereft of alphabets be used to write sanskrit!!!

tamil has common alphabets for 'tha'and 'dha', Ta and Da, pa and ba, ka and ga....goes on...

and in sanskrit entire meanings can be altered even with a slight change in spelling...

remove this claim or i will remove it.

p.s: for those not familiar with tamil script, and those who are at a loss to understand this discussion, let me give an example. let us take the word 'Gandhi'. when this word/name is written in tamil, it can be read in any of the following ways,

  • Gandhi
  • Kanthi
  • Kandhi
  • Ganthi

i hope u get an idea now of what i am talking. with a script as severely constrained as this, how can one possibly claim that Sanskrit(a language where pronunciation and diction is considered almost sacred) can be written in this script. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Anonymous user - It can, and _has_ been used to write Sanskrit, despite not being ideal. In modern times, people have used superscripts to represent the different characters in each row of Sanskrit letters (to distinguish between, for example, ka, kha, ga, and gha), or just ignored the difference. I have in front of me, a Sanskrit prayer, written in the Tamil script, which I can try scanning in, as soon as I get to a scanner.
Arun 03:33, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
No need. This text of the Aditya Hrudayam shows quite clearly how Sanskrit is written using the Tamil script, as do the several dozen other documents available from the slokas section of that page.
Incidentally, User: has a history of... err... discussing "problems" with articles on all things Tamil - take a look at any of the unsigned comments on Talk:Tamil_language. You might also be interested in seeing how he/she voted on the Tiru. Vi. Ka. VfD. Still, I suppose one must assume good faith. -- Arvind 12:34, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
ya just like i am trying my hardest darndest best to assume good faith on your part...and all those who dump their peurile fantasies on unsuspecting public. huh. signing it to save u some trouble. huh!
and also thanks for letting people know that their vote for or against an article totally irrelevant to the issue/article at hand, goes a long way in your jaundiced eyes, in deciding whether or not they are acting in good faith. so much for good faith. huh. 19:46, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
My contributions to the two wikipedia projects I participate in (:en and :nn) speak for themselves as far as my good faith is concerned. I also make it a point to reference articles I write, but please feel free to point out where the books I cite contain "peurile fantasies". --- Arvind 22:24, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
  • and coming back to the point, when since did arabic numerals become part of Tamil Script!! i dont care what rules of transliteration some obscure author invented for himself/herself. but tamil script refers to just that - tamil script!! to claim that mere tamil script can be used to write sanskrit is, to put it mildly, foolish. 20:25, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
The Arabic numerals have been part of the Tamil script since the late 19th century, when they replaced the numerals which had formerly been in use. The use of the Tamil script to write Sanskrit began well after the Arabic numerals were adopted. Thus, at the time this system was adopted, the Arabic numerals formed part of the Tamil script. Nor is it a system which "one" author has adopted. On the contrary, it is quite widely used. -- Arvind 22:24, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
  • tamil cannot be used to write sanskrit like devanagari or even kannada script for that matter. tamil script is severely limited to the point of being primitive sometimes. i dont know if the priests in tamil nadu temples use sanskrit books written in tamil script...but now i realise why something as simple as 'namaha' becomes 'namaga'and shiva becomes siva, vinayaka becomes vinayaga or the one that takes the cake of them all - Shri becomes Sri/Sree or sometimes even STi(:O )(the list is endless) when it comes out of their mouths. am i glad that the tamil fanatics among the powers that be are forcing them to switch over to chanting tamil hymns instead of sanskrit ones. so all ye self styled champions of tamil, go ahead, listening. 20:25, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
This has nothing to do with the script. All Indians pronounce Sanskrit with regional accents. Malayalee Nambutris, for example, have a stronger accent than Tamil Aiyankars if anything, even though the Malayalam script has glyphs for each of the Sanskrit letters. UP Brahmins swallow the terminal "a", massacre conjunct consonants, and seldom achieving anything like an accurate pronunciation of the ऋ and the ऌ, though the Hindi script has letters for all of them. The Bengali pronunciation of Sanskrit sounds quite bizzare to non-Bengalis, with its peculiar consonantal diphthongs. And so on. To my ears the Maharashtrian pronunciation, and the pronunciation of some Kannadiga Madhvas, are the only ones which comes close to sounding like Sanskrit ought to sound. -- Arvind 22:24, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
The reason why Tamils almost universally use "siva" rather than "Shiva" is quite different, though. Shiva was pretty early on identified with the Tamil deity "Seyon". "sivan" and "seyyon" both mean "the red one" in Tamil, with the result that "sivan", thanks to its phonetic similarity with "Shiva" became the name of the god in Tamil. Thus whilst "vishnu" is written விஷ்ணு using the character for "sh", Tamils always write சிவன் -- Arvind 22:24, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
"people have used superscripts to represent the different characters in each row of Sanskrit letters (to distinguish between, for example, ka, kha, ga, and gha), or just ignored the difference." --- thus spake : Arun, a few paragraphs above this one.
ignored the difference!!! blistering barnacles!! ignoring such differences might not make a difference if the language in question is tamil, but if you ignore such differences in Sanskrit..sorry to say, but u aint talking 'bout sanskrit no more, mate! 20:25, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
Be that as it may, the fact remains that Tamils DO use the Tamil script to write Sanskrit using the numerical subscripts or superscripts. If you think they shouldn't, feel free to launch a campaign to stop them. Once you succeed in persuading them to abandon the practice, I'll be happy to alter the article. -- Arvind 22:24, 14 February 2006 (UTC)
"....Tamils DO use the Tamil script to write Sanskrit..."
that precisely is my point. Tamils may jolly well be making do with a grossly inadequate (tamil) script to read and write sanskrit. for that matter, tamil can also be used to write swahili or santali or aramaic or greek. and the same can be said of other languages and scripts too. any script in the world can be used to write and read *any* other language - either by using extra borrowed symbols(like the arabic numerals tamil uses) or by simply 'ignoring the differences' like somebody suggested. that however, is besides the point.
just because tamils are managing with the tamil script to read and write sanskrit does *NOT* mean tamil script is adequate enough to read and write sanskrit nor that it CAN be used to write sanskrit. if a non-tamilian were to pick and choose a script to learn which he/she could use to study sanskrit, nobody in their right mind would recommend tamil. like i said, tamil script is hardly adequate to even write tamil. 00:31, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
So all you wanted was that the "can" be changed to "is"? That's been done now. Satisfied?--Arvind 01:17, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
hey hey hey! take a few deep breaths. dont lose your cool. isnt the talk page meant for people like u and me to discuss any potential additions, deletions and modifications to the article??
isnt this where we are supposed to work towards a NPOV lest any unilateral edits by you or me be branded 'vandalism' by ill informed people?? chill.
btw i have rephrased the article based purely on our discussions here. hope you see that it has added to the objectivity and clarity of the article. if not, we can always discuss. right? 01:55, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
I've reworded it further to clarify what you meant by "grossly inadequate in various ways". The reworded sentence gives information instead of weasel terms. By the way, may I request you to limit your talk page edits to your arguments for/against edits avoiding interjections like "LOL" etc?-- Sundar \talk \contribs 13:38, 15 February 2006 (UTC)
"The reworded sentence gives information instead of weasel terms"
so much for discussing this issue threadbare on the talk page before i made the changes! (huh) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
...may I request you to.... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
you may request anything as long as you dont very 'conveniently' turn a blind eye to glaring half truths like "Tamil(script) can be used to write Sanskrit(and Saurashtra)" amazes me that i had to labor so much to convince you guys before you changed it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
you should probably start spending more time reading articles for inaccuracies and half truths than scouring WP help pages for fig leaves. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
It was an inaccuracy added by someone. You'd pointed that out and it's been fixed. Thanks, but why do you keep harping on that? -- Sundar \talk \contribs 05:52, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
first of all, you keep me engaged by raising question after question for me to answer...and then when i answer all your questions and you have no more defence, you come and say I keep harping on that!! what cheek! was a case of a rank half truth and i pointed it out. and what do i get in return from you...some smartass comments about things as irrelevant as 'my history of edits' or how i voted for or against something somewhere else(what were u trying to do if not playing to the gallery??)...and that indiscretion apart, you guys even kept arguing that the statement was right with all kinds of specious arguments(or should i call it 'weasel') to support it. when that user(Arun, i guess), said, "...or just by ignoring the differences...", it certainly took my breath away! 00:02, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
such a rank half truth shouldnt even have been there in the first place, still its been there for i dont know how long, and you being one of the active users in these parts of the Wiki, expect me to believe that you never noticed it. nor did so many others like you. well, i guess we have to assume some good faith here. 00:02, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
Those comments were mine, not Sundar's. I'm sorry I made them. I was a little annoyed, and I'm afraid I lost my temper. Those comments are the reason, incidentally, that I bowed out of the debate thereafter, and asked Sundar to find an acceptable compromise with you.
In any event, I've reworded the relevant bit of the article to read better (and also to fix the earlier version, which made it sound like Tamils used the Tamil script to write Saurashtri). -- Arvind 00:28, 17 February 2006 (UTC)
and how convenient of you to totally do away with the second of the paragraphs i had added to the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
I've given the reason in the edit summary of my edit. And I've rolled back your reverting back to your original version even after so much of discussion here. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 05:52, 16 February 2006 (UTC)
"You might also be interested in seeing how he/she voted on the Ti.Ka. VfD."
and pray tell me, why exactly should one be interested in that? why? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
for someone who can start talking about etiquette and wikiquette at the drop of a hat, you certainly leave a lot to be desired. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)


Please have a look at article Grantha. Pjacobi 11:59, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)

voiceless vs unvoiced?[edit]

this sentence in the article: "stops were voiceless when at the start of a word and unvoiced otherwise" makes no sense; unvoiced and voiceless are synonymous. it should either read "stops were voiced when at the start of a word and unvoiced otherwise" or it should read "stops were voiceless when at the start of a word and voiced otherwise". I want to fix it, but which one should I choose? -Lethe | Talk

I removed the potentially useful sentence. I can't fix it, and I know it's wrong, so I removed it. When someone comes along who can fix it, it should go back in the article -Lethe | Talk 05:35, Jan 27, 2005 (UTC)

Some scholars have suggested that in Sentamil (which refers to Tamil as it existed before Sanskrit words were borrowed), stops were voiceless when at the start of a word and unvoiced otherwise. However, no such distinction is observed by modern Tamil speakers.

Thanks Lethe. [1] tells that stops were voiceless when at the start of a word and sometimes voiced otherwise. I'll change it. -- Sundar 05:53, Jan 27, 2005 (UTC)

Re: Devanagari is just a script, not an alphabet[edit]

Sundar just edited [2], which seems not really fitting. All language comparisons Tamil/Hindi should go into the language article, but there sure can be done some valid script comparisons Tamil/Devanagiri? I'd guess that the extensive occurence of conjunct consononant glyphs in Devanagiri isn't restricted to Hindi? The second part seems to be less clear to me, but I'm no expert anyway. --Pjacobi 09:16, 2005 Jan 21 (UTC)

I agree to your point when the glyphs come into play. What I meant was alphabet is a set of characters and script a set of glyphs. On retrospection, I feel that my revision was wrong since the article meant glyphs. Sorry for that. I am no expert on this either :-) Whenever you find time, can you take a look at User:Sundar/Tamil language? -- Sundar 09:30, Jan 21, 2005 (UTC)
If it would be scholarly consensus, that script and alphabet have different meanings along the lines of your second sentence, some hundred articles in Wikipedia would be in dire need of correction. But as far as my amateurish understanding goes, in loose speak alphabet (in one meaning) and script are the same, the other meaning of alphabet being the actual order of letters. And (also AFAMAUH) in scholarly speak alphabet are subset of scripts, excluding syllabic writing systems and logographic writing systems (and for some authors also excluding abjads and abugidas). Sorry for all the possible confusion. --Pjacobi 09:43, 2005 Jan 21 (UTC)

I've tried a new wording now. Can you check if this sounds alright? If it doesn't feel free to revert me. -- Sundar 09:38, Jan 21, 2005 (UTC)
Must just return top day's work. I will check later. --Pjacobi 09:43, 2005 Jan 21 (UTC)

It is NOT an alphabet, no Indian script is an alphabet! An "alphabet" is a writing system which conveys a (near) one-to-one correspondence between sounds and graphemes. This includes the representation of EVERY VOWEL AND EVERY COONSONANT. In the Indian scripts, consonants are the basic symbols and vowels are written as diacritics, and they can be before, after, above, or below the consonant depending on what the vowel is. Also, there is one vowel (a) which is inherent and is not written unless it begins a word. Also all consonant clusters are written as ligatures, which an alphabet does not do. This script, and every other script from India, is what's called an ABUGIDA. An abugida is NOT AN ALPHABET. You don't have unwritten vowel sounds in an alphabetic system! Hebrew and Arabic are not alphabets either, they are ABJADS, since they normally do not write vowels at all, no matter which vowel it is. But systems that do write vowels as DIACRITICS (NOT independent letters) are abugidas. "Alphabet" has a very sctrict definition that pretty much only fits systems such as Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, Korean, etc.

Can you perhaps provide any reference (or external links)? They have a chart in this page that shows one-to-one correspondence between sounds and graphemes. So your first sentence seems irrelevant to the context. The second sentence seems correct, but again the problems continue throughout the paragraph. I think a person who has knowledge of the language has to check these.An Oxford PhD (talk) 19:13, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Common material with Tamil language article[edit]

Quite a lot of the material here is nearly identical with material in Tamil. We should keep this material in one place, to avoid divergence and the need for double-editing. What is your opinion on what should go where?

ACW 17:58, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Someone copied most of the material instead of keeping a small amount and a Main article link.--Circeus 21:27, Jan 26, 2005 (UTC)

I copied the stuff. If you have an idea of how much would be sufficient there, feel free to edit. I have a feeling that someone who reads the page and is a non-native speaker might want it to be there. If length of the article and consistence are your concerns, you can move the common stuff to a template. -- 04:56, Jan 27, 2005 (UTC)


Some scholars have suggested that in Sentamil (which refers to Tamil as it existed before Sanskrit words were borrowed), stops were voiceless when at the start of a word and sometimes voiced otherwise allophonically. However, no such distinction is observed by modern Tamil speakers.

This doesn't seem correct. Formal speech (as opposed to colloquial speech) still observes rules which are extremely similar to the rules in the Tolkaapiyam for native Tamil words. Newer loan words from Sanskrit, Hindiurdu and European languages don't follow the rules for voice and voicelessness, but that's probably always been the case. -- Arvind 00:11, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC).

Feel free to change it. -- Sundar 05:32, Jan 31, 2005 (UTC)

Carnatic Music[edit]

I feel this section - tamil letters to indicate notes of carnatic music is not appropriate here. I'm going to remove this section completely. Any objections?

Kishore 15:06, 2 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I notice the same information is not in the article on Carnatic music (there is a brief glossing over of the names of the notes in various scripts, but not the detail for any of them that we have here). If you delete it completely, is it possible that you could find a more appropriate article? I notice that the article Latin alphabet does not include a section on the usage ABCDEFG for musical notes. However, the articles A, B etc do. So I'm not sure that this section doesn't belong here. Maybe you're right, maybe you can state your case? Lethe | Talk 16:06, Feb 2, 2005 (UTC)
Thaks for pointing it out Lethe. I've removed the section and enhanced the Carnatic Music page , to accomodate this information - Kishore 11:39, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Shouldn't the sounds of the consonants be ik , ing , ich , inj etc. I'm not talking about the IPA but about the second column. - Kishore 04:56, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

A roman consonant unaccompanied by any vowel conveys the desired sound. The interpretation of i in your ik is known only to the native speaker. Hence I would prefer the current scheme. Btw, can you look at Talk:Tamil_language#Stuff that can go into the examples section? -- Sundar 05:22, Feb 16, 2005 (UTC)
I was not aware of this fact. I knew you wouldn't make obvious mistakes and that's why I didn't change it directly in the article ;-) - Kishore 05:54, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Borrowed Consonants - Issue[edit]

I believe that the tamil alphabet#Borrowed consonants section is in error.

The characters displayed in the Consonant column are identical to those displayed in the first five rows of the Vowel column of the tamil alphabet#Vowels. I have reviewed the content at Omniglot and verified that there are other characters used for the Grantha consonants, however I have not as yet discovered the appropriate Unicode character IDs. They appear not to be in the table for Tamil. curiosity1 06:27, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think I have fixed it, just check it - Santhoshguru 10:47, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Nice chart, where to put...[edit]

Tamil alphabet chart.png

I just took this image out of the article on the Tamil language, because the information is redundant with this article. However, I think the chart is worthy of preserving. Maybe it can be put in Tamil alphabet somewhere?

It might also be nice if it were converted back into HTML...

IceKarma 20:02, 2005 Apr 14 (UTC)

I think that the charts should be replaced with the png images such as right. In the current charts, a lot of the transliteration symbols are simply represented as squares. JarlaxleArtemis 20:23, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)
That would probably be because you're not using a UNICODE-enabled web browser and/or operating system, and/or you don't have fonts that define the Tamil alphabet (in this case) installed.
The HTML charts have the distinct advantages of being both smaller and faster to download as well as being accessible to handicapped users, unlike the PNG versions.
Actually, I can easily switch to Unicode. When I do, the transliteration symbols are still being represented as squares. JarlaxleArtemis 21:01, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)
And I do have Tamil fonts. See: நிாூபௌவாபிௌலநாிைபௌந்ாபௌத்ரக்ஷஷ்ரஙபபஉஇஈணஈஅஆணஇனஊபளழநலூ்வாௌபலி.
I just can't see some of the transliteration symbols. JarlaxleArtemis 21:05, Apr 14, 2005 (UTC)
My apologies, I misread you. IceKarma 21:38, 2005 Apr 14 (UTC)

Actually it is harder to get a font having all glyphs for scientific transliteration that to get one for Tamil itself. Try Junicode or TITUS Cyberbit Basic. --Pjacobi 21:41, 2005 Apr 14 (UTC)

This table became an image because of comments during its peer review discussion that it was unlikely to achieve FA status unless we did that. I'm kind of for leaving it as an image - Tamil Unicode displays in a very wonky way on Linux, for example, regardless of what font you have. --Arvind 16:49, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Indus script[edit]

I came across an article by Airavatham Mahadevan suggesting a link with the Indus script. Perhaps we could use this information. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 06:34, July 27, 2005 (UTC)

Numbering system by ancient tamils[edit]

Dear surfers,

I feel the numbering system followed by ancient tamils using tamil alphabets will add more value to this encyclopedia. Can any one please add such informations. I am looking for a complete information.

Tamil script *not* an abugida?[edit]

According to the Tolkappiyam, isn't the dotted form the basic consonant and the undotted form represents an added vowel? It does seem counter intuitive (the dot, after all, is added), but shouldn't we consider the Tolkappiyam authoritative in this matter? Kingsleyj 00:18, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Tamil is an abugida, and Tolkappiyam does not reflect the only orthography of Tamil. This is a political issue. Evertype 19:29, 26 April 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying that Kingsleyj 21:39, 27 April 2006 (UTC)
The controversy is not over. Many important scholars dispute the theory that Tamil is . Thus it is not accurate to state it as a fact. If no one responds, I will alter the article to reflect this.
--Natkeeran 21:26, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

"Consonants are also called the 'body' letters."[edit]

AFAIK consonants are called mei ezhuthu which is "real letters"? Arvindn 20:11, 2 Apr 2004 (UTC)
"Mei" means body in tamil ;) - suren
மெய் means both truth as well as body, but here you have to contrast it with உயிர் எழுத்து, which only mean "life" letters.

Unicode cleanup[edit]

Editors, I have corrected some unicode errors. Before reverting please check your OS configuration for complex character support. You can check out the samples here WP:INDIC. The page also shows how to turn on the support. ɤіɡʍаɦɤʘʟʟ 21:24, 23 March 2007 (UTC)


I have samples of vatteluthu from stone inscriptions across TamilNadu - All are under a CC Attrib+Sharealike licenses. You folks are welcome to it. --Chandrachoodan Gopalakrishnan 05:23, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Great ones. If we can get some possible dates from official sources, it would be even greater. Let's try to use them where applicable. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 07:33, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
Will get the approx dates tomorrow. I made a note at home. Two are from Tanjavur's temple, some from Tenkasi, some from Kumbakkonam. Can use the dates these temples were constructed as an approximation --Chandrachoodan Gopalakrishnan 08:31, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

Aspirated consonants - Mahapranas[edit]

:- Unlike every other Indic script, it uses the same character to represent both an unvoiced stop and its voiced equivalent. Thus the character க் k, for example, represents both [k], and [g]. This is because Tamil grammar treats only unvoiced stops as being "true" consonants, treating voiced and aspirated sounds are euphonic variants of unvoiced sounds. Traditional Tamil grammars contain detailed rules, observed in formal speech, for when a stop is to be pronounced with and without voice. These rules are not followed in colloquial or dialectal speech, where voiced and unvoiced versions of a stop are, in effect, allophones, being used in specific phonetic contexts, without serving to distinguish words.


Does this mean that kha, ga and gha are represented with only ka? mukham = mukam ?

It would be nice if light could be thrown with respect to (Sanskrit) "Maha-pranas" or aspirated consonants and Tamil.

Thank you. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:28, 27 April 2007 (UTC).

Not exactly. In tamil, mukham=mukam=mugam. I think they're talking about the mukam=mugam thing here. Sarvagnya 05:34, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

where can I read about this grammar rules. Any citation? thanks. (talk) 16:45, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Adichanallur potsherd[edit]

to whomsoever it may concern - Do not keep inserting the Adichanallur thing into the article. See related discussion on Talk:Tamil language. Sarvagnya 10:34, 27 April 2007 (UTC)

Age of tamil script shown[edit]

I feel the age of present script should be mentioned , by the arguments it seems to suggest that even tamil brahmi is same script. The script that is shown is the one modified by MGR government to suit the typewriter. That info and if possible the evolution of tamil script should be shown. The script shown is not the script found in inscription of tamil brahmi or tamil vetteluthu or palm leaves that should be clearly told.meghamitra 07:27, 11 May 2007 (UTC)


Stop reverting. Feel free to discuss it here. ⇌Elektron 01:24, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject Dravidian civilizations[edit]


Wiki Raja 09:56, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

Tamil Alphabet, Tamil Abugida[edit]

Tamil Script consist of two major components.

Alphabet (எழுத்து): Alphabet is the Names for places of articulation (see IPA, see Tolkappiyam பிறப்பியல்) (Note: Definition of alphabet is different in other Indic languages) Abugida (உயிர்மெய்)

Tamil Phonemes: Each place of articulation (ezuthu) produces many phonemes in Tamil use Tamil Phonemes.

Example: Dental "th"produces four or more phonemes (அத்̥த̥னை, அதˎன், அந்̧த̧)

I've added the above to the page.

Also I'm discussing about the original Alphabet, at Alphabet Talk.

Sisrivas (talk) 18:30, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

Tamil Unicode[edit]

The section that talks about the Tamil code block in Unicode does not seem like it meets Wikipedia standards for NPOV. It is true that Tamil was encoded as an abugida in Unicode. It is also true that the this model of the language differs from the common understanding of the language as a syllabary. But the existing Unicode encoding is sufficient to represent Tamil text using more than one codepoint per Tamil syllable. Unicode stability policies mean that this encoding is not going to change. This isn't "one interpretation of the unicode". It is *the* interpretation of Unicode. This sentance is both inflamatory, and suggests incorrectly that there is an alternate version of Unicode with a different Tamil encoding: "Tamil Unicode does not stipulate any mutilation or alteration of the Tamil characters as done by the following interpretation." Scott Roy Atwood (talk) 22:43, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

Grantha script[edit]

This image contains grantha script in the lower most line, but this is mentioned nowhere in the image. this will fool people into thinking that these letters are part of the tamil script. I suggest there should be a seperate image for these grantha letters. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:11, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

No Inherent Vowels[edit]

For one thing, there is no ‘T’ in Tamil, but that is not what we are discussing here. There are Vowels and Consonants in Tamil, as well as Vowel- Consonant combinations. It is to these V/C combinations that the letter ‘M’ belongs, in other words ‘M’ (with Pulli) + A becomes ‘M’. That is how all letters are made in Tamil. Letter with Pulli is considered one single letter not a combination of Consonant plus Pulli (Virma). The letter ‘M’ is never considered a Consonant in Tamil; it is a V/C combination. In addition, Virma and Pulli are different things that serve different purposes. Unless you are telling me that all the Tamil I have learned over the last 25 years is wrong (As well as all my Tamil Teachers & all Tamil grammaticians). This is how it works in Tamil & there are no Inherent Vowels in it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:51, 23 May 2008 (UTC)


Please could someone provide the missing Tamil script and translation for these from Palindrome#Other languages:

"Maama"          |                 | (maternal uncle) 
"Paappa"         |                 | (a girl child)
"Kakka"          |                 | (crow) 
"Kee Kee"        |                 | (sound of parrot)
"Thaatha"        |                 | (Grandpa)
"Thelu Meeluthey"|                 | (scorpion returns)
"Vi-ka-ta-ka-vi" |  விகடகவி      |

Excuse me asking for help here -- this seemed easier than figuring out how to use Wikipedia:Translation. Thanks in advance, Fayenatic (talk) 13:04, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Fayenetic, I've added them to the article. However, a caveat here. While "Maamaa", "Paappaa", "Thaathaa", and "vikatakavi" are "valid" words, "kaakkaa" is a colloquial rendering of "kaakak", "thelu meeluthey" is a colloquial rendering of "Thel meeluthey", and "kee kee" is an ideophone. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 14:04, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. In case anybody wants to see them, another editor has since removed them along with other material: [3]. - Fayenatic (talk) 12:51, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Punctuation in the introduction[edit]

Perhaps this: "The Tamil script has twelve vowels (உயிரெழுத்து uyirezhuthu "soul-letters"), eighteen consonants (மெய்யெழுத்து meyyeẓuttu "body-letters") and one character, the āytam ஃ (ஆய்தம்), which is classified in Tamil grammar as being neither a consonant nor a vowel (அலியெழுத்து aliyeẓuttu "the hermaphrodite letter"). Though often part of the vowel set (உயிரெழுத்துக்கள் uyirezhuthukkaḷ "vowel class"), the script, however, is syllabic and not alphabetic[1]."

should be rewritten as: "The Tamil script has twelve vowels (உயிரெழுத்து uyirezhuthu "soul-letters"), eighteen consonants (மெய்யெழுத்து meyyeẓuttu "body-letters") and one character, the āytam ஃ (ஆய்தம்), which is classified in Tamil grammar as being neither a consonant nor a vowel (அலியெழுத்து aliyeẓuttu "the hermaphrodite letter"), though often part of the vowel set (உயிரெழுத்துக்கள் uyirezhuthukkaḷ "vowel class"). The script, however, is syllabic and not alphabetic[1]."

? Apokrif (talk) 10:29, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for the find, Apokrif. I've fixed the error. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 13:04, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Syllables containing TAMIL LETTER SHA[edit]

I have been maintaining the Unicode syllabary near the bottom of the article, which lists the Unicode code points for each syllable in the Tamil script, along with the Unicode character or sequence name for each syllable. When I look at the most recent version of Unicode, I see that they have added a character, TAMIL LETTER SHA (ஶ), as well as a set of named sequences for all the syllables containing the consonant SH (ஶ்). Since these letters and sequences didn't exist in Unicode 4.0 and earlier and are also not mentioned in this article as it exists today, I assume that they are not a normal part of the everyday Tamil script. Can anyone tell me what this syllables are used for? Are they used for transliterating Hindi or Sanskri? Are they used for writing other languages that use the Tamil script? Are they used for writing other foreign languages? Are they used in historical documents but no longer used in modern Tamil script? Should these syllables be added to the compound table and to the Unicode syllabary, perhaps with some explanatory text that describes how these characters are used.

I also noticed that Unicode 5.1 adds a named sequence TAMIL SYLLABLE SHRII (ஶ்ரீ). This syllable doesn't seem to fit the normal pattern of the Tamil syllabary. Can anyone tell me how this syllable is used? - Scott Roy Atwood (talk) 00:04, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

You're right in guessing that these are not commonly used in Tamil currently. I think, these would have been used to write Sanskrit, Pali, and other language texts as well as in Sanskrit loanwords. For the remaining loanwords, Grantha letters are used nowadays. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 07:19, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
These letters are not used for native Tamil words, but are necessary for some loanwords from Skt, or English. Purists argue against their use even in loan words, but that would make things very difficult. Shri is a special character to render Sri, a title meaning "Venerable". You can maybe compare it with the dollar sign or the pound sign. It is a part of the Tamil script, but not a consonant or vowel letter as such Jasy jatere (talk) 08:33, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Jasy, you're right about Sri. But, the symbol in Scott's question is a older way of writing 'Sri'. The Tamil Wiki article on ஸ்ரீ shows the transformation from the older sequence to the current grantha letter. I would request both Scott and you to have a quick look at the image there. -- Sundar \talk \contribs 09:42, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the information! I would like to add ஶ் (SHA) and its related syllables to the Tamil compounds table and the Unicode syllabary. The only source I have that lists this character sorts it between ஜ் (JA) and ஷ் (SSA), but I'm not sure if this is correct or not. Scott Roy Atwood (talk) 21:22, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
According to the submission to add TAMIL LETTER SHA to Unicode, this character sorts after NNNA and before all other grantha characters. Given that this seems to be a relatively authoritative source, I'll update the page accordingly. Scott Roy Atwood (talk) 21:31, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

(outdenting) Thanks Scott. Also, shouldn't we either separate out these grantha compounds to a separate table or make it abundantly clear that the table is just the Unicode segment and not the conventional alphabet list? -- Sundar \talk \contribs 07:22, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

is oldest tamil script orginated from brahmi script[edit]

Tamzil being oldest and had a rich literature written (and lost) even before tholkappiyam , should that have used brahmi script.

I came to know that vateluzthu is even more older and as the brahmi script
came into existence in many places around our country and used by 

many language people...... it is even

adopted here by people from south - SOUTH Brahmi script(ThennBrahmi) --- seems to be a script
with changes arose merging with already existing tamil script (or vateluzthu).  

This is the information given by Mu. Varatharasan in his book written for Sakitya academy.

[I may not have much information to argue now but can anyone please explain if the parent system mentioned is correct. ] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jai634 (talkcontribs) 06:41, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

In brief - the oldest Tamil script is the Tamil Brahmi script - this differed from Asokan Brahmi but is generally thought to have been derived from Asokan Brahmi. Tamil Brahmi evolved into Vattelutthu. The Pallavas and Cholas abandoned Vattelutthu and created a new script for Tamil from standard Southern Brahmi. This script evolved into the modern Tamil script. Vattelutthu, which is the only descendent of Tamil Brahmi, died out. It has no surviving descendants, and the modern Tamil script does not come from it. If you read the "history" section of the article, this is now explained there in some detail. -- Arvind (talk) 22:07, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

ன and ந in vowel combinations table[edit]

The table as it currently is gives all combinations of these two graphemes with all vowels. However, if I remember correctly there are cooccurrence restrictions, and these graphemes are in complementary distribution, i.e. there are some vowels which cannot occur with one or the other. Is this correct? Jasy jatere (talk) 13:14, 11 September 2009 (UTC)

I think Tamil linguists can give accurate answers to this question; there are vast numbers of them in India and many academicians in the West. And unlike English, as the Tamil is a language which has close phoneme and grapheme correlation, the problem is definitely not of its complications; perhaps the expression of it linguistically in an other language.
I think there are complementary distribution and conventions (not necessarily constrained), i.e. they do not appear similarly as an initial phoneme in onset. And there may be many other varieties of checks on the question of complementary distribution.
Also, it seem there are not any complementary distribution like of the nasal and liquid phonemes at the final position of the coda in English, e.g. pin v. pine. That is, the preceding vowels are not only the minimal pairs but also complementary distribution (the phonemic change of the preceding vowel can not occur without the position of the final vowel on the coda). Is this correct?
Nevill Fernando (talk) 05:10, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
AFAIK, any vowel can combine with either ன் or ந். The restrictions relate to consonants, not vowels (e.g. ந் and ற் or த் and ன்) and word position (ன் cannot occur word-initially, ந் cannot occur at the end of a word). -- Arvind (talk) 23:11, 13 September 2009 (UTC)
I think if you check few consonants in stop and/or fricative, you will find that they are not restricted in general but at the initial position. And the consonant 'ந்' is not necessarily in complementary distribution at a final position. Is this correct? Nevill Fernando (talk) 01:28, 14 September 2009 (UTC)
I think the original question has been about consonants ன் and ந் and not about and (they are combinations). It seems someone has changed the originality now and without showing the identification of that change. Thus it is little bit misleading, and the subject is being little bit linguistically sided than academically in general, i think the matter and its content in question is still understood (almost the same); but a simplified version of this for anyone to easily read and answer would be better. Nevill Fernando (talk) 18:37, 18 September 2009 (UTC)

Unicode Issue[edit]

Reference and analogy to unicode is good; but prior to that the article should provide tamil script as it is so that people understands how tamil is written. Understanding Unicode mapping is a further step as it attracts interest of only those who are dealing with computer programing, software development, translations etc. The ordinary man (all are ordinary in the begining level of understaning) want to know just the Tamil script first then only its technology relataed aspects. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:55, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

I think the compound table gives a good indication of Tamil alphabet. What exactly are you looking for?--Sodabottle (talk) 12:24, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

origin of Brahmi: new paper[edit]

i am pleased to announce the publication of my fifth research paper in a peer-reviewed journal

this deals with the origin of Brahmi . this is a logical and self-explanatory paper and is written using a multi-disciplinary approach. it is written in such a way that anybody can cross-verify the conclusions.

sujay rao mandavilli (talk) 11:14, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Incorrect statement- either to be removed or modified[edit]

Under the Section it is said "Thus the character க் k, for example, represents both [k], and [ɡ].". The pure consonan க் does not represent both! It is always [k]. Only in context with vowel added க, கா etc. can be its voiced equivalent. Pure consonant is always [k]. --C.R.Selvakumar (talk) 15:27, 10 October 2013 (UTC)