next up previous
Next: The verb Up: `Emphatic' λԨ, Previous: `Emphatic' λԨ,

Presupposed Knowledge

. -ee has another meaning not associated with Ԩ taan, namely, presupposed knowledge. Its use indicates that the speaker thinks that the hearer ought to already know something. A sentence with -ee in this meaning has a special intonation pattern that falls, rises again, then falls on the last syllable.

ղ ػ ؽԿԣ inda vaiyle nadandee pooyidalaam. `Let's go along this way.'
ɧ ؽԴԣ ille, basle poohalaam. `No, let's take the bus.'
ղ ؽԴػ? bas inta vaiyle pookaadee? `But the bus doesn't go this way (don't you remember?).'

Tamils seem to feel that this use of ee is somehow `interrogative' and will supply question marks for such sentences. The question, of course, refers to why the other person is acting in such a way, as if they don't remember some presupposed information. The intonation on the last word would be ؽ poo haa ػ dee. Without this intonation, the above sentence would simply be `emphatic': `The bus simply doesn't go this way at all.'