தமிழ்

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Tamil[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Uncertain. Various hypotheses have been adduced. The main ones consider this word a compound of some sort:

  1. K. V. Zvelebil (1990) proposes that தமிழ் (tamiḻ) is derived from the verb தகு- (taku-, to fit properly) with the evolution tak- > tav- > tam-.[1]
  2. Koskinen (1996) speculates a relationship with the name of the lotus flower தாமரை (tāmarai),[2] attested also with the variant தம்மி (tammi), and having cognates in Malayalam താമര​ (tāmara​), Kannada ತಾಮರೆ (tāmare), Tulu ತಾಮರೆ (tāmare) and Telugu తామర​ (tāmara​).
  3. Southworth (1998) suggests a derivation like *tam-miẓ > tam-iḻ “one's own speech”, considering the final part as a reduced form of மொழி (moḻi, word, speech).[3]

However, there are problems with each of these attempts. The sounds -k- and -v- are nowhere attested as variants; moreover, the underlying form of மொழி (moḻi) is Proto-Dravidian *moẓ-, not *miẓ-.[4] The etymology of the word remains therefore unknown.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /t̪amiɻ/, [t̪ʌmɨɻ]
  • (file)

Proper noun[edit]

தமிழ் (tamiḻ)

  1. Tamil

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Zvelebil, K. V. (1990) Dravidian Linguistics: an Introduction, Pondicherry: Pondicherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture, page xxi.
  2. ^ Koskinen, K. (1996) , “Taamarai 'lotus' and the name Tamiẓ”, in International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics, volume 25, issue 2, pages 141-142.
  3. ^ Southworth, F. C. (1998) , “On the origin of the word tamiẓ”, in International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics, volume 27, issue 1, pages 129-132.
  4. ^ Krishnamurti, Bhadriraju (2003) The Dravidian Languages (Cambridge Language Surveys)‎[1], Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, pages 20-21.

References[edit]

  • University of Madras (1924-1936) , “தமிழ்”, in Tamil Lexicon, Madras [Chennai]: Diocesan Press.