Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 6 June 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.



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Two Trends That Would Deface
Classical-Modern Tamil -
How to Reverse These Trends?

M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.

Change is Inevitable

As time passes, change in linguistic usage is inevitable in any language. Such changes in grammatical rules are not treated as errors. These changes become part of the regular and normal use of that language. This modern descriptive notion is celebrated also in ancient Tamil grammars. Over a thousand years ago, the author of Nannuul clearly enunciated this position.

A language may accumulate changes in wider parts of its linguistic structure. This process is aided and abetted by social and geographical variations in the linguistic and sociolinguistic usage of that language. It can happen through voluntary and not so voluntary adoption of changes initiated by language, social, and political movements. It can happen also through the influence of some other languages, etc.

Because of these and other related factors, the very same language may change a lot over a period of time. Its "normal" variants may become independent languages, developing further mutual unintelligibility between the variants to a lesser or greater extent.

Would This Happen to Tamil?

Did the ancient and traditional Tamil grammarians anticipate this process to happen to their mother tongue, which they sought to deify and characterize as "immortal"? Did they mean that their Tamil would one day become like Sanskrit, a great classical language assumed to be a medium of gods, which, however, has not been spoken for centuries in day to day life of humans?

At least one poet likened Sanskrit to the right eye of Siva and Tamil to the left eye of Siva. There are many such adulatory passages in Tamil literary compositions. They recognized that Sanskrit is here "forever" and Tamil would also be here "forever." "Youthful continuation" was, however, an added dimension.

Can this added dimension be interpreted as referring to its vitality of usage as a current spoken language? Or, merely its continuation as a written form of language?

Can the tenor of their expressions be interpreted that they imagined their mother tongue to continue "forever," or as "young as ever," without transforming itself into a variety of mutually unintelligible languages within the traditional Tamil homeland, Tamilnadu?

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Patterns of Indian Multilingualism | The Use of Catchy Words: A Case Study from Pakistan | Conquering Psychological Alienation - How Amy Tan Looks at It | I`gbo` Verbs of Communication | Honorifics and Speech Levels in Meiteiron | Social Functions of Metaphor - A Case Study Applying Tamil and Telugu Examples | Pragmatic Approaches and Models of Linguistic Politeness | Emerging Paradigms in Language Communication in India and Their Impact on the Corporate Competencies | Role of Encoding Temporal Fine Structure Cues in Time Compressed Word Recognition | Negotiating Boundaries: Arab-American Poetry and the Dilemmas of Dual Identity | The Role of Self-Directed Learning Strategy in Higher Education | Attitudes toward Women Expressed in the Speech of Male College Students | Teachers' Professional Development in ELT at Tertiary Level: ELTR Project of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan - A Case Study | The Changing Image of Women in Indian Writing in English - A Study of Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things | The Administration of the East India Company: A History of Indian Progress: Native Education | Teaching English Language and Literature in Non-Native Context | Improving Chemmozhi Learning and Teaching - Descriptive Studies in Classical-Modern Tamil Grammar | Global Perspective of Teaching English Literature in Higher Education in Pakistan | Two Trends That Would Deface Classical-Modern Tamil - How to Reverse These Trends? | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF JUNE 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of June 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.

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