- Instruction at the U. of Washington will be
discontinued at the end of Academic year 1995-6.
- For LCTL's like Tamil, much
of the available material falls into the category of ephemera,
having been produced by government grant, cyclostyled, mimeographed, or
whatever over the years, then in some cases published in India, sometimes
by independent publishers, but usually under subsidy from some university
of institute: even then many of the materials are now out of print or
good news is that new materials are now being worked on by E. Annamalai
and R.E. Asher, two very distinguished authors and scholars of Tamil, to
be published by Routledge.
- Those of us who have taught Tamil in this country
during the last few decades know each other well, and the idea to
collaborate in this area actually arose when we were all conferring on
Tamil Oral Proficiency Guidelines during the late 1980's.
- A fourth site,
U. Washington, is no longer in the picture, but the materials produced
there (by the author of this proposal) can be incorporated into this
project with no problem.
- One should also not ignore U.
Michigan, where Tamil is taught under an arrangement involving temporary
funding; the plan is to hire the person currently teaching Tamil there to
do the actual construction of the html files, since he has the necessary
expertise, and wishes to be involved in this project. And late word has
just been received from Prof. George Hart at Berkeley, supporting warmly
the idea of this teaching-materials website.
- Materials produced by
publishers in India tend sometimes toward the ephemeral scale of things,
even when they are `in print'. Other things, such as Pope's 1904
Handbook or his 1906 Grammar, though reprinted in the 1980's, are
not regularly used by anyone I know.
- There are
only two stories in this selection that I would use if I had another adequate
- These materials will
probably eventually be superseded by a work in progress---E. Annamalai
and R.E. Asher are working on the production of some new materials for
spoken Tamil, to be published by Routledge, but these will not be
available for some time, and when they are, will of course be readily
available for purchase.
Heidelberg South Asia group established the on-line dictionary using what they
assumed were public-domain materials, but the publisher of the Cre-A Tamil
Dictionary has brought a suit in the Madras High Court against their
inclusion of his material without obtaining intellectual property rights, so
the Heidelberg on-line dictionary is now of somewhat questionable integrity
- A printout
of various offerings that appear if one requests `Tamil' from Altavista, e.g.,
is not included here, only the pages of Dr. Kalyanasundaram, whose pages are
the most intellectually serious; see Appendix B.
- Naa. Govindasamy, a
Singapore writer, is a Lecturer at the National Institute of Education,
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
- For example, my source code for Tamil in the
WNTamil font developed by Thomas Ridgeway using METAFONT and TEX is lower
ascii (enclosed between tildes) plus numerals; other systems use upper-ascii
for the Tamil, but not all systems use the same codes in upper-ascii.
- See appendix for
an example of how this appears as printed from screen display.
- Most of the consultation, in terms of preparation of this
proposal, that I have done with Cutler, Hart and Gair has been via email;
I have also consulted with Vasu and V.S. Rajam, who now works for
Netscape. And Naa. Govindasamy, the author of the Singapore fonts, has
also been helpful via both email and by netscape.
- Tamil is not
taught to non-native speakers anywhere else in a systematic way.
would actually be more useful to convene the interested parties somewhere for
a mini-conference, but the cost of this would probably be too high. There is
unfortunately no regular forum where we all meet on a regular basis.
- These would
thus be classified by some as `dirty' materials, as opposed to the
`clean' materials that leave no grammatical explanation unturned.
Mon Apr 1 09:56:50 EST 1996