Jaffna Tamil dialect

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The Jaffna Tamil dialect is an Tamil dialect that is common to the Jaffna Peninsula and the primary dialect used in the entire North of Sri Lanka.

The dialect is largely distinct from the mainstream South Indian dialects and to a lesser extent from that of the Eastern, Western and Upcountry dialects.


Jaffna Tamil and South Indian language of Malayalam have certain common linguistic [sic] that are not found in South Indian Tamil.In fact it is an often occurrence that a person from Jaffna be mistaken for a Malayali in Tamil Nadu. Both preserve certain archaic words which have gone out of vogue in South Indian Tamil. Consequently many consider the Jaffna dialect to be a purer form of Tamil.[1]

A subdialect retained by the Paraiyar people of Kayts still retains a number of archaic words and Prakrit loans not found in any other dialects of Tamil. These drummers had historically played an important role as ritual players of drums at funerals and folk temples and as heralds and traditional weavers. They also maintained the family records of their feudal lords and even practiced medicine and astrology in folk traditions[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/topic,463af2212,463af3be2,3ae6aaf99c,0,,,.html
  2. ^ Ragupathy, Tamil Social Formation in Sri Lanka: A Historical Outline, p.1