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Re: [WMASTERS] Initial voiced stops.


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Dr. Ilanko,

   The fundamental 'principle' is we can not realistically represent *all* 
   oli's by ezuththu's. There are 'infinite' variations.
   We should only try to 'capture' as much as possible with as minimum a set 
   of ezuththu as possible. 
   I use the tamil words because they
   mean a lot to us ( there are differences in the sense and import
   when compared to corresponding terms of linguistic science). 

   [The arguments are similar to those in the field of music.
   Do we want to have 7 or 12 or 22 or 24 or 48 or... suram ?
   There are 'infinite possibilities'. ]

   The variations in pronunciation are too
   great even for tamil words- and the same is true for foreign words too.
   Even proper names may differ
   ( Stephan, Stefan etc. pronounced as stiifan , stefan etc. etc.)
   in pronunciation. The pronunciation also varies with time etc.
   It will be futile to try to immitate.

   Let me cite an example:
   The way 'see you' is said here is different from the way
   one reads from text. 

   Please read on..

*Dear friends,
*Just responding to Selva's comments:
*>     I've heard people pronounce kavani and payam (more common in the
*>     south TN than in the north). This is also the=20
*>     preferred pronounciation since that is closer to tamil way of
*>     pronouncing. If gavani and bayam *should* be encouraged=20
*>     (I don't see why), why not
*>     write the way I suggested as (ng)kavani, (m)payam.
*>     Do English say maankaay or mango? inji_vEr or ginger ?
*>     kattumaram or catamaran ? paRaiyan or paraia ?=20
*We don't have to follow the English example. In fact, it is precisely for
*this reason I would like to see Tamils accommodating foreign sounds,
*particularly proper nouns.  I am not suggesting that we should keep Grantha
*characters to write =83=F8=98=D6, but to write =F7=91=C5 instead of =9C=91=
*=C5.  Of course we can
*learn to read =9C=91=C5 as Sam, but then one needs to know the rules.  With
*foreign names, it is not possible to apply rules of phonetics.  One can't
*accommodate all foreign sounds, but Tamils have accommodated some (Grantha)
*and it is best to keep them.

    How do you pronounce Coulomb ? In Tamil I learned as kooloombu, but
    only after coming to Canada I heard it said differently. What we say
    in tamil is for *us* tamils. Did we understand any less because
    we said as kooloombu ? No. Our honourable Prime Minister of Canada
    says 'kaanadaa' for Canada and the English pronounce Canada 
    differently. I find this insistence that we should try to pronounce
    'foreign' words accurately ( according to which region, which time
    in history). English is pronounced so differently in so many places.

    In my view we should not try to be too fastidious about 
    foreign words. It is a futile effort and it can do harm to our
    Tamil. [ As I said even the present 'j' can be misused 
    for words like 'panju', 'konju', it will pronounce a death blow
    to our tamil system. Precisely for this I recommended
    using (nj)c for 'j' at the beginning of words or where
    a 'j will occur contrary to tamil rule. This way we'll strengthen
    the tamil rule and conserve the economy of letters.
    Please try my suggestions a mere 10 times, and you'll see that
    although you're tempted to say injaan when we write in tamil
    njcaan  (for John), you'll quickly
    learn to ignore or diminish pronouncing the initial 'nj' .
    My suggestion can also extend to pronouncing other voiced
    stops ( at the beginning of a word or at places not encountered
    in tamil) such as Gandhi etc.. 

    If people really care about only a facility to pronounce and not
    hung on grantha letters, what I said will appeal. My suggestion will
    *protect* the native tamil words and their conventions
    and our 'economy of letters'. 
*>     I certainly don't understand *WHY*=20
*>     Tamils have to represent accurately all these borrowed words
*>     while English or other languages don't have to.=20
*We should do it, not because we HAVE TO, and not because the linguists' or
*scientists' demad, but simply to become less dependent on English
*characters.  If the font developers all decide to do away with Grantha

    We are using roman letters anyways and if they care so much let them
    use roman characters. Why ? Because we are preventing 
    'some intelligent and innocent, well-meaning' person to
    suggest using these voiced stops at places where we use tamil
    characters. If you don't perceive the danger in using separate
    voiced stop characters in tamil, I have to presume you don't 
    understand the tamil history. If we don't learn from history it will
    be a pity.

*characters, we can't have a convenient phone directory in Tamil.=20

    Why not ? Right now, it is not uncommon to write 'cakannaathan'
    for Jagannnathan, although it is also written as Jakannaathan.
    People write kanEsan for Ganesan, don't they. My suggestion is
    if people want jagannathan, with a voiced stop 'j',
    let them write as njcakannathan and
    all I'm doing is adding a 'nj' at the beginning instead of tamil
    way of writing 'cakannaathan'. Don't we write 'caaminaathan'
    for swaminaathan. Don't some people write Subramanian
    with grantha 'S' and tamil way of writing cuppiramanian ?
    Why should Ganesh have to go as kanEsh but Jagannathan has
    to be written as jakannathan ? If you write in the
    phone directory ngkaNEcan, it will treat everyone having 
    non-tamil initial voiced stop, *and* who want others to pronounce 
    their names with a voiced stop more acceptably, equally,
    I think. Has English accepted 'z' so that Mr. Pazaniyappan,
    Mr. Azakappan or ms. Malarvizi 
    can look up his/her name in the Phone directory ( I mean english
    dictionaries published in Tamil Nadu) ?

    Please give some thought to what I'm saying. It is not such a
    terrible thing. With fewer letters we will have *MORE*
    'sounds' and 'sound sequences' represented *WITHOUT* the danger of
    tamil words being mangled by very kind-hearted-intelligent-innocent
    fellows ( the reason I write like this is not to hurt any
    well-meaning folks here but to point out
    the nayavanjakam being played on tamils and tamil language and culture
    so many times in history
    and there is no guarantee that no such person will come along the
    way; he will also claim that he is suggesting these to empower
    tamil for the benefit of tamil etc.)  

    I earnestly hope tamils will understand the implications of
    being foolhardy in adopting more and more 'grantha'. 
    The few that had gained a little bit more currency had done
    a lot of damage. For example rOsaa is looked down upon compared
    to rOjaa ( although the so called english word is rose), raasaa
    is looked down upon since s/he does not say raajaa etc..
    When some say Paarathiyaar, they are ridiculed since he does not
    say Baarathiyaar and even if s/he says Baarathiyaar, some
    subtley ridicule that s/he can not say properly since it is the

    Tamils have to worry about Tamil and we have to set our standards
    according to our needs. It is a real pity I've to spend
    so much of time here in the so called tamil.net !!

    Probably Dr. Anu was right..

    sadly selvaa
    (I'm reminding myself the oppariya vaLLuvan's words about
     ookkam udaimai udaimai; ookam udaiyaar udaiyaar etc.)


       P.S. ( if Prof. Hart is listening) Prof. Hart mentioned about
            the writings he saw in tamil as 'laksmi' in somebody's
            house with 'ks'.
            In Tamil there are many ways the name is written such as
            ilakkumi. ilatchumi,.. People also say lachchumi
            ( here won't modern lingist observe that people
            say as lachchumi ?)
            If laksmi is to be written that is closer to sanskrit
            (pronunciation) rather than tamil ( because tamil is a
            neecca baashai and its conventions need not be 
            respected at all) then it can be written as
                 la-k-sh-mi ( assuming grantha sh is there)
         or      la-k-zc-mi ( without any grantha)
         or      la-k-z-cu-mi ( without any grantha).

         or introuduce ks merely for the sake of a few words
         like saakshi, laksmi etc.. 




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