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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. Ԩ Ũ vandirukkreen `I have come (and I'm still here).' It must not be confused with () vidu although it is easy to do so in dialects where it is realized phonetically in the non past, at least, as iru. However, the tense markers of the two are quite different.() (v)idu has the tense marker idur or irr for present; ɥ itt for past, and iduv or iruv for future. iru has the tense markers ޱ kkr for present, nd for past, and pp for future. Tamil uses 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 iru is `suppositional' as in ׽ ma= to0pt.25ex ##= by .25ex penjirukku `it seems that it rained' (lit.: it will have rained).

Vasu Renganathan
Sat Nov 2 21:16:08 EST 1996