Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 9 : 5 May 2009
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.



  • We seek your support to meet the expenses relating to the formatting of articles and books, maintaining and running the journal through hosting, correrspondences, etc.Please write to the Editor in his e-mail address to find out how you can support this journal.
  • Also please use the AMAZON link to buy your books. Even the smallest contribution will go a long way in supporting this journal. Thank you. Thirumalai, Editor.

In Association with




  • E-mail your articles and book-length reports in Microsoft Word to
  • Contributors from South Asia may send their articles to
    B. Mallikarjun,
    Central Institute of Indian Languages,
    Mysore 570006, India
  • Your articles and booklength reports should be written following the APA, MLA, LSA, or IJDL Stylesheet.
  • The Editorial Board has the right to accept, reject, or suggest modifications to the articles submitted for publication, and to make suitable stylistic adjustments. High quality, academic integrity, ethics and morals are expected from the authors and discussants.

Copyright © 2008
M. S. Thirumalai


Nonverbal Communication in Tamil Novels
A Book in Tamil

M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.

This monograph in Tamil describes and analyzes the use of nonverbal communication features in Tamil novels. The monograph is divided into seven chapters.

Chapter 1 defines what nonverbal communication is. Relationship between verbal and nonverbal communication is discussed along with the presentation of some of the modern approaches to and theories on nonverbal communication. This chapter also presents a study on how classic and traditional Indian grammarians have dealt with nonverbal communication. Contrast between western approaches to the presentation of grammar and Indian approaches to the presentation of grammar is presented. One of the important contrasting points relates to the inclusion of nonverbal communication for study in Indian traditional grammars.

Chapter 2 deals with the definition and description of the role of proxemics in the study of nonverbal communication. This chapter describes various proxemic features employed in Tamil novels and relate these features to the plot, characterization, narration as well as the socio-economic milieu of the story. The intent of the novelists and their skill in using proxemic features for various purposes of the narrative are also presented.

Chapter 3 discusses the functions of eye in Tamil novels. How eye is manipulated to express very many functions and to carry out the story forms part of this detailed chapter. Eye always played a very important role both in didactic and descriptive and narrative literature in Tamil and other Indian languages. Again the social and cultural anthropological aspects of eye in Tamil novels, in addition to other features, are focused upon in this chapter.

Chapter 4 presents how face is presented in Tamil novels. Communication via face is probablyone of the most important features that a novelist often employs in telling his/her story. Various parts of human face are related to emotions and characterization in Tamil novels. Social, economic, and cultural aspects of expression via face are deftly handled by Tamil novelists. A detailed study of how various authors deal with face in their novels is presented here.

Chapter 5 deals with the role of oral and silent communication in Tamil novels. Oral communication has a peculiar role to play in Tamil. With its diglossic character, Tamil allocates separates functions for written and oral communication. Oral communication in this chapter stands for both these varieties. Use of written sentences and diction communicates a set of information, whereas the use of colloquial sentences and diction communicates yet another important message. Author have to develop their strategies often early in their career relating to the use of written and oral language. Again, oral and silent communication have many consequences relating to social, economic, cultural aspects, etc. Tamil novelists handle these issues based on their writing agenda and assumptions and the school of thought they belong to.

Chapter 6 is an elaborate discussion on the description, classification and use of gesture in Tamil novels. Traditional Indian approaches to the use of gesture and its classification are also presented in this chapter as backdrop for discussion. Without gesture, language use becomes dead. Gestures are communicated through a variety of body parts. Tamil novelists try to exploit several gestures, but coverage, as in other parts of the nonverbal communication, leaves room for further expansion and utilization. Interest in nonverbal communication per se as an important aid to story telling, in general, is not much.

Chapter 7 discusses the nonverbal communication aspects of characters that are physically, mentally, cognitively and linguistically challenged. Early Tamil novels have portrayed several such characters with great understanding. Recent Tamil novels have attempted the description of these characters with some success. However, Tamil novels, in general, need to change their underlying assumptions about the role and function of such challenged characters in their stories. For example, reasons for the birth of such challenged babies still seem to go back to evil deeds, trauma, generational curse, etc. A greater appreciation of the worth of challenged individuals needs to emerge.


Effect of Temporal Variations on Phoneme Identification Skills in Children and Adults - Comparative Study | Indianness in R. K. Narayan's Novel - The Man-Eater of Malgudi | English Vocabulary Learning Strategies Manipulated by the Students of Azad University, District 5: A Gender-oriented Study | The Impact and Relevance of Hedda Gabler in Modern Days | Search for Identity and Self in Indian Poetry in English by Women Writers | Teaching English in Minority Institutions | The Sociolinguistics and Cultural Considerations of English-Arabic Translation of Political News | Attitudinal Factor in Second Language Acquisition - An Illustrative Example from a Class in University | A Study on Emotional Skills and Adjustment towards First and Second Language Learning and Academic Achievement | Nonverbal Communication in Tamil Novels - A Book in Tamil | The Effect of Proficiency on Multilingualism, Error Finding, Social Class and Attitude in Multilingual Pre-University Mysore Students | A Review of Muzafar Desmond Tate's The Malaysian Indians: History, Problems and Future | HOME PAGE of May 2009 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Adjunct Teacher
St. John's Matriculation School
Malayan Street
Tenkasi 627 811
Tamilnadu, India

  • Send your articles
    as an attachment
    to your e-mail to
  • Please ensure that your name, academic degrees, institutional affiliation and institutional address, and your e-mail address are all given in the first page of your article. Also include a declaration that your article or work submitted for publication in LANGUAGE IN INDIA is an original work by you and that you have duly acknolwedged the work or works of others you either cited or used in writing your articles, etc. Remember that by maintaining academic integrity we not only do the right thing but also help the growth, development and recognition of Indian scholarship.