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Re: [WMASTERS] Selvaa's suggestions
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@> Prof. Hart, the resourcefulness of the people, the econommic affluence,
@> their awareness of their culture and such things decide the
@> future of tamils. If 30% of Tamils get educated ( with reasonable
@> awareness of their rich traditions of music, dance, literature
@> and their numerous arts and sports) and take a sensible approach to
@> absorbing other sports, and nurture their native talents in
@> observing nature and developing scientific spirit etc. the 50-60
@> million tamils and similarly other southern people ( or indians)
@> will flourish. As I've said I'm not averse to a few granthas, but
@> attempts to describe the way you do really surprise me.
@> The main opposition to granthas is due to the danger of indescriminate
@> use of those in tamil and how such use undermines the development of
@> tamil. I'll post on this later. [ Aside, Prof. Hart you said
@> that people are not going to change quickly from ciikiram
@> to viraivu in a posting. Many tamils use 'catt'unnu vaa' or
@> 'curukka vaa' 'maLaar'nnu vaa' etc. and words like 'cat' has
@> given rise to 'caduthi' and they make connection with other
@> tamil words and thus nurtures our language. Whereas foreign words
@> most often get stuck like plastic in a soil and we want to minimize
@> its use not for any puritanical reasons but more for the better
@> growth potential of native language....
@ This notion, that purism will nurture the growth of a langauge,
@is pure mythology. Empirical study of this phenomenon (purism) shows that
@in general it is counter-productive, and leads to *abandonment* of the
@language in more cases than not.
Prof. Schiffman, greetings from Selvaa :-)
I think this is my first response to your
comments here though I had wanted to respond to a
few of your earlier comments in this forum.
I have a few questions pertaining to your statement above.
My apologies for skipping your other comments, though
I've many questions questions and a few comments about them
as well, but I've to skip for now.
 First I don't believe puritanism will be good either and I'm not
advocating; but I simply
expressed my view that a native word has a higher chance of
growth and ramification than a borrowed word.
This does not mean that a foreign word
would never grow and ramify; they may but far fewer times or
in far more limited manner. I have myself given an example of
how the english word 'late' is used in tamil in senses and
connotations that are quite different from english,
but quite lively in its own way in tamil.
Having explained my viewpoint, hopefully better,
now I want to know why
you believe in 'purism' of mythology and not 'purism' of language?
[ may be the basis for this 'mythology', as you put it, is
based on incorrect observations, but is your claim of
'pure' mythology based on some firm ground, if I may ask ?
 You claim that empirical study shows that purism is 'in general'
counter-productive ( of what ?) and it leads to abandonment
of the language in more cases than not. Please tell me how
many cases have been studied. Why in some cases such abandonment
did not take place ( as your statement says) ? Does it not
proof-enough that 'purism' itself does not cause abandonement
( I'm not advocating 'purism', only trying to understand your
citation of empirical study). How was it proved
that it was the 'purism' that caused abandonment and not other
causes (say like migration, religious conversions, abandonment
of much of the old ways of living or such things).
If there was a mix of forces, how was the weight ascertained ?
 Instead of linguistic generalities, for the benefit of
'oridinary' tamils, it would be better to cite something
specific. Would you please explain how the word
ciikkiram has ramified in tamil and I will share my layman's
understanding of how the tamil expression 'cattunnu' is
related to other tamil words and help to connect with them.
I admit this may be all known to you
being a trained linguist and a knowledgeable person in Tamil.
[A related word 'vir'runnu' is also used. Also 'viru viru'nnu
nadakkattum' , 'virrunnu vanthuttaan !', 'virasalaa vanthaala
paravaayilla' etc. are some of the expressions and
these show, I believe, the connection
to 'viraivu' and viraivu is not such 'bookish' word I think.
Also the form of the word is only a simple
formalization of commonly spoken word or expression
- just a layman's views. ]
Hope you will help to clarify.
@Harold F. Schiffman Academic Director
@Henry R. Luce Professor of Language Learning Penn Language Center
@Dept. of South Asia Regional Studies 4th Floor, Lauder-Fischer
@820 Williams Hall, Box 6305 Box 6330
@ University of Pennsylvania
@ Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305
@Phone: (215) 898-5825 (215) 898-6039
@Fax: (215) 573-2138 Fax (215) 573-2139
@Email: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
@WWW: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/ http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~plc/
@The Penn Language Center is a facility supporting language teaching in the
@less-commonly-taught languages, as well as research in language pedagogy
@and interdisciplinary language-related issues.
@lots more need to be said..
@> but I got to go now...]
@> anbudan selvaa
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