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Éç iru, which is identical in
morphology to the copula, gives a number of aspectual nuances to a sentence.
One is the nuance which we have in English with the `perfect' tense, i.e., that
something has happened, but the result of the action continues, or is still
relevant. ¼Ô¨ Âÿ»Õç¡ÞØÅ¨ vandirukkreen `I have come (and I'm
still here).' It must not be confused with (¬)Éà vidu
although it is easy to do so in dialects where it is realized phonetically in
the non past, at least, as Éç iru. However, the tense markers of the
two are quite different.(¬)Éà (v)idu has the tense
marker Éà± idur or Éç± irr for present; É¥¥ itt for past, and Éà¬ iduv or Éì¬ iruv for future.
Éç iru has the tense markers ¡Þ± kkr for present, ÿ¢
nd for past, and ¤¤ pp for future. Tamil uses Éç iru often
for verbal actions directed away from the speaker, since the result of such
actions are not so obvious to the speaker. If a person says
it is obvious that the person is present; what the speaker is emphasizing is
perhaps the relevance of his/her arrival to the present. But if a person says
what is being emphasized is not that the person is still there (in India) but
that at some point in the past the result of the action remained for some
time, that is, s/he not only started to go to India, but actually got there.
Another nuance is `stative' or `epistemic', i.e. `it must be the case
that' such and such, e.g.
A third use of Éç iru is `suppositional' as in ¾×Ã ×½þ¶Õç¡Þ
##= by .25ex
penjirukku `it seems that it rained' (lit.: it will have rained).
Sat Nov 2 21:16:08 EST 1996