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The clitic -oo is added to
different kinds of constituents to indicate vagueness, ambiguity, or doubt in
the speaker's mind about the certainty, veracity or truth value of some event
or circumstance. Sometimes Ñ oo substitutes for an interrogative È
aa, but with an expression of `doubt' or uncertainty. Sometimes, also,
Ñ oo is pragmatically `softer' than an outright interrogative.
Since a sequence of two noun phrases or whole sentences, both marked with
È aa is one way Tamil makes disjunctive phrases (`either X or Y), a
sequence of noun phrases or whole sentences, both marked instead with Ñ
oo, gives a disjunctive pair with extra doubt, as in the last example
above. This can often be translated `whether or not' or, if both verbs are
negative, `neither ... nor':
- ¼Ô¨ ¶Ô¤½Õ¹×ÁØ¿Ô âÚõ´§×ÁØ¿Ô naan saappidaleyoo,
tuungaleyoo `I neither ate nor slept.'
- ÇÂí¡Þ ½Ô×ø äÀÕæØ¾Ô äÀÕ¿§×ÁØ¿Ô ÇÂ¨ ¶ÕÆÕ¾Ôé¡Þ Ø½ÔÂÔ¨
avanukku baase puriyumoo, puriyalleyoo avan sinimaavukku poovaan
`Whether or not he knows the language, he'll go to the movies.'
When Ñ oo is added to WH-interrogatives, the meaning is as in
section § xxx (6.62?)
- Íõ×´ enge `where' Íõ×´Ø¿Ô engeyoo
`somewhere (or other)'
- ¿Ôç yaaru `who' ¿ÔØÀÔ yaaroo
`someone (or other)'