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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Research options

One of which is the study of ancient Tamil grammar that has changed over the years. “Tamil literature has verb roots that haven’t changed but scholars and poets have used affixes and prefixes to change meanings,” says S Rajendran, HOD, department of linguistics, Tamil University, Thanjavur. “I’m doing a thesis on the Historical Linguistic Study of Tamil, which traces the history, syntax, usage and the changes of verbs. It is not enough that you get a degree in Tamil. These research works help you understand the language better and also makes way for comparative study with other languages. It also improves your skill in research.” But these kinds of researchers are rare, says Ramasamy, whose biggest complaint is that there aren’t many who have adequate language skill. “There are marked differences between the modern and old Tamil. Words had different meanings and verbs were used in a different context. So to do a thesis on literature, they need to understand the grammar, syntax and linguistic changes in Tamil. We conduct an orientation course for those interested in doing research in Tamil literature but a basic understanding would help a lot more.”

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