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Nouns ending in ǣ -am

Many nouns in Tamil end in ǣ -am; these can be items such as maram `tree', loans from Sanskrit like duuram `distance', and loans from English like ӹ sistam `system'. In fact any English word that phonetically ends in the sequence [ '025 m] (`system, problem, museum,' etc.) will be treated as belonging to this group. Sanskrit nouns that end in [-a] are borrowed in their accusative form ([-am]) into Tamil.

All such ǣ am ending nouns change this to Ǣ att(u) before adding case: maram marattu. This form is known as the `oblique' stem of the noun.



Harold_F.Schiffman