Tamil grammar

Much of Tamil grammar is extensively described in the oldest available grammar book for Tamil, the Tolkāppiyam (dated between 1000 BC and 500 AD).wikipedia
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Tolkāppiyam

TolkappiyamTholkappiyamTolkappiyar
Much of Tamil grammar is extensively described in the oldest available grammar book for Tamil, the Tolkāppiyam (dated between 1000 BC and 500 AD).

Tamil language

TamilTamil-languageta
Much of Tamil grammar is extensively described in the oldest available grammar book for Tamil, the Tolkāppiyam (dated between 1000 BC and 500 AD).

Agglutinative language

agglutinativeagglutinatingagglutinating language
Tamil is an agglutinative language.

Lexeme

lexemeslexicallexical root
Tamil words consist of a lexical root to which one or more affixes are attached.

Affix

suffixaffixesaffixation
Tamil words consist of a lexical root to which one or more affixes are attached.

Suffix

suffixesendingsuffixation
Most Tamil affixes are suffixes. A typical Tamil verb form will have a number of suffixes, which show person, number, mood, tense and voice, as is shown by the following example azḥintukkoṇṭiruntēṉ "(I) was being destroyed": Person and number are indicated by suffixing the oblique case of the relevant pronoun (ēn in the above example).

Morphological derivation

derivationderivationalderived
Tamil suffixes can be derivational suffixes, which either change the part of speech of the word or its meaning, or inflectional suffixes, which mark categories such as person, number, mood, tense, etc.

Inflection

inflectedinflectional morphologyinflectional
Tamil suffixes can be derivational suffixes, which either change the part of speech of the word or its meaning, or inflectional suffixes, which mark categories such as person, number, mood, tense, etc.

Grammatical person

personthird personfirst person
Tamil suffixes can be derivational suffixes, which either change the part of speech of the word or its meaning, or inflectional suffixes, which mark categories such as person, number, mood, tense, etc. A typical Tamil verb form will have a number of suffixes, which show person, number, mood, tense and voice, as is shown by the following example azḥintukkoṇṭiruntēṉ "(I) was being destroyed":

Grammatical number

numbersingularnumbers
Tamil suffixes can be derivational suffixes, which either change the part of speech of the word or its meaning, or inflectional suffixes, which mark categories such as person, number, mood, tense, etc. A typical Tamil verb form will have a number of suffixes, which show person, number, mood, tense and voice, as is shown by the following example azḥintukkoṇṭiruntēṉ "(I) was being destroyed":

Grammatical mood

moodmoodsindicative
Tamil suffixes can be derivational suffixes, which either change the part of speech of the word or its meaning, or inflectional suffixes, which mark categories such as person, number, mood, tense, etc. A typical Tamil verb form will have a number of suffixes, which show person, number, mood, tense and voice, as is shown by the following example azḥintukkoṇṭiruntēṉ "(I) was being destroyed":

Grammatical tense

tensetensesverb tense
Tamil suffixes can be derivational suffixes, which either change the part of speech of the word or its meaning, or inflectional suffixes, which mark categories such as person, number, mood, tense, etc. A typical Tamil verb form will have a number of suffixes, which show person, number, mood, tense and voice, as is shown by the following example azḥintukkoṇṭiruntēṉ "(I) was being destroyed":

Agglutination

agglutinativeagglutinatedagglutinate
There is no absolute limit on the length and extent of agglutination, which can lead to long words with a large number of suffixes, which would require several words or a sentence in English.

Morpheme

morphemesmorphemicderivational
To give an example, the word pōgamuḍiyādavargaḷukkāga means "for the sake of those who cannot go", and consists of the following morphemes:

United Kingdom

BritishUKBritain
According to Today Translations, a British translation service, the Tamil word "செல்லாதிருப்பவர்" (cellaathiruppavar, meaning a certain type of truancy †) is ranked 8th in ''The Most Untranslatable Word In The World

Truancy

truanttruant officerhooky
According to Today Translations, a British translation service, the Tamil word "செல்லாதிருப்பவர்" (cellaathiruppavar, meaning a certain type of truancy †) is ranked 8th in ''The Most Untranslatable Word In The World

Untranslatability

free translationuntranslatablehardest to translate
According to Today Translations, a British translation service, the Tamil word "செல்லாதிருப்பவர்" (cellaathiruppavar, meaning a certain type of truancy †) is ranked 8th in ''The Most Untranslatable Word In The World

Verb

verbssubject-verb agreementv.
Like Tamil nouns, Tamil verbs are also inflected through the use of suffixes.

Voice (grammar)

voicegrammatical voicevoices
A typical Tamil verb form will have a number of suffixes, which show person, number, mood, tense and voice, as is shown by the following example azḥintukkoṇṭiruntēṉ "(I) was being destroyed":

Oblique case

obliqueobjectiveobjective case
Person and number are indicated by suffixing the oblique case of the relevant pronoun (ēn in the above example).

Pronoun

pronounspronominalpronominal system
Person and number are indicated by suffixing the oblique case of the relevant pronoun (ēn in the above example).

Grammatical particle

particleparticlesgrammatical particles
The suffixes to indicate tenses and voice are formed from grammatical particles, which are added to the stem.

Evidentiality

evidentialevidentialsevidence
Tamil verbs also mark evidentiality, through the addition of the hearsay clitic .

Clitic

encliticprocliticenclitics
Tamil verbs also mark evidentiality, through the addition of the hearsay clitic .