Author Archives: francisxavieremmanuel

Sounds of Tamil, the writing system and dialect variations. Part I : The Vowels.

Introduction It is convenient to organise the description of the sounds used in Tamil in the traditional order that is used in the ancient descriptions of the writing system of the language. This is the approach that is usually followed … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

‘Oppenheimer’, The Royal Shakespeare Company’s play about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima: a critical review.

Critical thoughts on the recent Royal Shakespeare Company’s acclaimed play based on the personality of Robert Oppenheimer, the ‘father of the atom bomb’. Raises issues that the play seems oblivious to, and questions the role of theatre critics and reviewers. Continue reading

Posted in Cultural Miscellany

Echo Words in Tamil and other South Asian languages.

Echo words Echo words are a characteristic feature of colloquial dialects of all languages spoken in the Indian sub continent and Sri Lanka. In spoken colloquial dialects of Tamil, we often come across partial word repeats (reduplication) of the type contained in the … Continue reading

Posted in Grammar

A framework for analysing the role of Language in Ethnic Group relations in SriLanka

Language is one of the most salient components in determining an individual’s or a communuity’s perception of Ethnicity. The relationship between language and ethnicity however is often very complex and dynamic and each context has its own unique combination of interacting factors. Describing and … Continue reading

Posted in Ethnicity

Demonstratives and deixis in Tamil and Sinhala.

Demonstratives are words like here/there/over there/yonder, and this/that.  In Tamil, these words begin with the syllables /இ,i/அ,a/ or /உ,u/  (சுட்டெளுத்து) as in inta/anta/unta (இந்த/அந்த/உந்த). In Sinhala, the words are based on the four member set mee/oyə/arə/ee. This class of words, or parts of words (prefixes, … Continue reading

Posted in Grammar

Word Endings in the South Indian and Jaffna spoken dialects of Tamil

There are many aspects in which the South Indian and Jaffna dialects of spoken Tamil differ. One of the more prominent set of differences are in the ways that the relevant sounds are used at the end of words. This type … Continue reading

Posted in Grammar, Uncategorized