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Words ending in Sonorants, Liquids and Glides

In LT, words may not end in a consonant, but they may end in sonorants of various sorts, liquids and rhotics, and glides such as y. In ST, words that in LT end in liquids such as l and l usually double the liquid consonant if it is a monosyllabic word with a short vowel, or delete it in final position if it is polysyllabic. If monosyllabic but with a long vowel, epenthetic u is added. In some dialects, the liquid is deleted.But many of these `deleted' consonants then reappear if something is added, especially since l is often used in pronouns of various sorts, and as a PNG marker on verbs; cf. below.

<UL> <LI> LT է nil `stand' --> ST է nillu <LI> LT Ȫ aal `man' --> ST aalu <LI> LT kal `toddy' --> ST kallu <LI> LT Ԫ naal `day' --> ST naalu or naa (in some dialects).

<LI> LT niingkal `you pl.' --> ST niinga <LI> LT ¿ vayal `field' --> ST ¿ vayalu

<LI> LT Զ vaacal `gate, door' --> ST Զ vaasalu

</UL>

The variability of deletion or non-deletion of final laterals is perhaps greater than any other consonant-final situation in Tamil; no other final consonants display this amount of variation. One other kind of change seen in some dialects is that l is simply replaced by l across the board. This model of neutralization is dispreferred in ST, so we will not give examples of it. It is, however, a pedagogical problem wherever Tamil literacy is taught, since some speakers simply have no contrast in their dialects.



Harold_F.Schiffman