d05144 - LESSON - 4

Tamil of Tolkappiar age - Syntax

    Tholkappiar included syntax within his word grammar. Subject verbs concord is explained in this lesson. The word order followed in several expressions is illustrated.

    Tholkappiyamum Thodariyalum is the subject of the first unit. Subject verb concord with reference to Thinai and Idam and deviations in continuous expressions of different kinds form the content of the second unit. Word order is dealt with in the third unit. The fourth unit highlights how word and structure cause semantic shifts in continuous expressions like utterances and sentences. Sevenfold classification of these expressions is presented in the fifth unit.

    Tholkappiar presents as the first section of his word grammar as Kilavi Aakkam or expressions made of words.

    Word order in Tamil as subject, object and verb is illustrated. Proper nouns and pronouns may occur together in an expression. Titular nouns may precede proper nouns as in Deivapulavar Thiruvalluvar Vanthar.

    Semantic shifts in expression are taken up as word-related as in ma Veezhthathu to mean the mango tree fell' and also 'the deer fell down' and as structure - related as in Puli Konre Yaanai to be ambiguous as to whether the tiger or the elephant killed the other.

    Continuous expressions are classified into seven categories based on the kind of word with which they are begun.

    Thus Tamil expressions are intertwined with the grammar of Tamil words and hence Tholkappiar considered syntax as part of his Chol Ilakkanam. This is unique in Tamil linguistics.