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LANGUAGES
 

TAMIL - a Language of India

SIL code:  TCV
ISO 639-1: ta
ISO 639-2:  tam
 
Population 61,527,000 in India (1997 IMA). Population total all countries 66,000,000 first language speakers; 74,000,000 including second language users (1999 WA).
Region Tamil Nadu and neighboring states. Also spoken in Bahrain, Fiji, Germany, Malaysia (Peninsular), Mauritius, Netherlands, Qatar, Réunion, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, UAE, United Kingdom.
Alternate names   TAMALSAN, TAMBUL, TAMILI, TAMAL, DAMULIAN
Dialects ADI DRAVIDA, AIYAR, AIYANGAR, ARAVA, BURGANDI, KASUVA, KONGAR, KORAVA, KORCHI, MADRASI, PARIKALA, PATTAPU BHASHA, TAMIL, SRI LANKA TAMIL, MALAYA TAMIL, BURMA TAMIL, SOUTH AFRICA TAMIL, TIGALU, HARIJAN, SANKETI, HEBBAR, MANDYAM BRAHMIN, SECUNDERABAD BRAHMIN.
Classification Dravidian, Southern, Tamil-Kannada, Tamil-Kodagu, Tamil-Malayalam, Tamil.
Comments Kasuva is a jungle tribe dialect. Burgandi speakers are nomadic. Aiyar and Aiyangar are Brahmin dialects. CIIL has prepared syllabus for hearing-impaired children. National language. SOV. Tamil script. Hindu, Muslim. Bible 1727-1995.

Also spoken in

Malaysia (Peninsular)   

Language name   TAMIL
Population 1,060,000 in Malaysia (1993).
Comments Bilingualism in Malay, English. Together with speakers of Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Urdu, Gujarati, Sindhi, Panjabi they total 10% of the population or 1,528,000. Some are plantation workers. Bible 1727-1995. See main entry under India.
Mauritius
Reunion    
Language name   TAMIL
Population Possibly including second language speakers: 120,000 in Réunion (1991 Froise).
Comments 90% describe themselves as of Indian origin. Hindu. Bible 1727-1995. See main entry under India.
 
Singapore    
Language name   TAMIL
Population 90,000 speakers in Singapore (1985), 3.5% of the population, out of 111,000 in the ethnic group (1993).
Comments 19% speak English at home. National language. Hindu. Bible 1727-1995. See main entry under India.
 
Sri Lanka   
Language name   TAMIL
Population 3,000,000 in Sri Lanka (1993).
Comments Tamil script. Hindu, Muslim. Bible 1727-1995. See main entry under India.

 

Bibliography

Pittman, Richard S. 1971. "Tense versus lax word-base prosodies as manifested in Tamil retroflexion versus Hindi aspiration."

Vinton, James E. 1994. "Phonetic emphasis in Tamil."

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