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If you learn Tamil it will be easy to learn old history of Tamil or world because the world’s oldest language is Tamil.The world oldest book is Tamil text Tholkappiyam . If you research about history of world.You are need to know Tamil.
Tamil /ˈtæmɪl/ (தமிழ், tamiḻ, [t̪ɐmɨɻ] ?) is a Dravidian language predominantly spoken by the Tamil people of India andSri Lanka, and also by the Tamil diaspora, Sri Lankan Moors, Burghers and Chindians. Tamil is an official language of two countries, Singapore and Sri Lanka. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and the Indian Union Territory of Puducherry. It is also used as one of the languages of education in Malaysia, along with English, Malay and Mandarin. In India, outside of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, Tamil is also spoken in the states of Kerala,Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands as a secondary language, and by minorities in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India. It was declared as a classical language by the Government of India in 2004.
The language is also spoken by Tamil minorities among the diaspora in Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, theUnited States, United Kingdom, Mauritius, Canada, South Africa, Fiji, Germany, the Philippines, theNetherlands, Indonesia and France, as well as smaller emigrant communities elsewhere.
Tamil is one of the longest-surviving classical languages in the world. Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions from 500 BC have been found on Adichanallur and 2,200-year-old Tamil-Brahmi inscriptions have been found on Samanamalai. It has been described as “the only language of contemporary India which is recognizably continuous with a classical past.” The variety and quality of classical Tamil literature has led to it being described as “one of the great classical traditions and literatures of the world”.
The closest major relative of Tamil is Malayalam; the two began diverging around the 9th century CE. Although many of the differences between Tamil and Malayalam demonstrate a pre-historic split of the western dialect, the process of separation into a distinct language, Malayalam, was not completed until sometime in the 13th or 14th century.
According to linguists like Bhadriraju Krishnamurti, Tamil, as a Dravidian language, descends from Proto-Dravidian, aProto-language. Linguistic reconstruction suggests that Proto-Dravidian was spoken around the third millennium BC, possibly in the region around the lower Godavari river basin in peninsular India. The material evidence suggests that the speakers of Proto-Dravidian were of the culture associated with the Neolithic complexes of South India. The next phase in the reconstructed proto-history of Tamil is Proto-South Dravidian. The linguistic evidence suggests that Proto-South Dravidian was spoken around the middle of the second millennium BC, and that proto-Tamil emerged around the 3rd century BC. The earliest epigraphic attestations of Tamil are generally taken to have been written shortly thereafter. Among Indian languages, Tamil has the most ancient non-Sanskritised Indian literature. Scholars categorise the attested history of the language into three periods, Old Tamil (300 BC – AD 700), Middle Tamil (700–1600) and Modern Tamil (1600–present). In November 2007, an excavation at Quseir-al-Qadim revealed Egyptian pottery dating back to first century BC with ancient Tamil Brahmi inscriptions. John Guy states that Tamil was the lingua franca for early maritime traders from India.
According to Hindu legend, Tamil or in personification form Tamil Thāi (Mother Tamil) was created by Lord Shiva.Murugan, revered as the Tamil God, along with sage Agastya, brought it to the people.
The earliest extant Tamil literary works and their commentaries celebrate the Pandiyan Kings for the organization of long-termed Tamil Sangams, which researched, developed and made amendments in Tamil language. Even though the name of the language which was developed by these Tamil Sangams is mentioned as Tamil, the exact period when the name “Tamil” came to be applied to the language is unclear, as is the precise etymology of the name. The earliest attested use of the name is found in Tholkappiyam, which is dated as early as 1st century BC. Southworth suggests that the name comes from tam-miḻ > tam-iḻ ‘self-speak’, or ‘one’s own speech’.(see Southworth’s derivation of Sanskrit term for “others” or Mleccha) Kamil Zvelebil suggests an etymology of tam-iḻ, with tam meaning “self” or “one’s self”, and “-iḻ” having the connotation of “unfolding sound”. Alternatively, he suggests a derivation of tamiḻ < tam-iḻ < *tav-iḻ < *tak-iḻ, meaning in origin “the proper process (of speaking)”.
The Tamil Lexicon of University of Madras defines the word ‘Tamil’ as ‘sweetness’. S.V Subramanian suggests the meaning ‘sweet sound’ from ‘tam’- sweet and ‘il’- ‘sound’
Old Tamil is the period of the Tamil language spanning the 5th century BCE to the 8th century CE. The earliest records in Old Tamil are short inscriptions from between the 5th and 2nd century BCE in caves and on pottery. These inscriptions are written in a variant of the Brahmi script called Tamil Brahmi. The earliest long text in Old Tamil is the Tolkāppiyam, an early work on Tamil grammar and poetics, whose oldest layers could be as old as the 1st century BC. A large number of literary works in Old Tamil have also survived. These include a corpus of 2,381 poems collectively known as Sangam literature. These poems are usually dated to between the 1st and 5th centuries AD,
The evolution of Old Tamil into Middle Tamil which is generally taken to have been completed by the 8th century, was characterized by a number of phonological and grammatical changes. In phonological terms, the most important shifts were the virtual disappearance of the aytam (ஃ), an old phoneme, the coalescence of the alveolar and dental nasals, and the transformation of the alveolar plosive into a rhotic. In grammar, the most important change was the emergence of the present tense. The present tense evolved out of the verb kil (கில்), meaning “to be possible” or “to befall”. In Old Tamil, this verb was used as an aspect marker to indicate that an action was micro-durative, non-sustained or non-lasting, usually in combination with a time marker such as ṉ (ன்). In Middle Tamil, this usage evolved into a present tense marker – kiṉṟa (கின்ற) – which combined the old aspect and time markers.
The Nannul remains the standard normative grammar for modern literary Tamil, which therefore continues to be based on Middle Tamil of the 13th century rather than on Modern Tamil. Colloquial spoken Tamil, in contrast, shows a number of changes. The negative conjugation of verbs, for example, has fallen out of use in Modern Tamil – negation is, instead, expressed either morphologically or syntactically. Modern spoken Tamil also shows a number of sound changes, in particular, a tendency to lower high vowels in initial and medial positions, and the disappearance of vowels between plosives and between a plosive and rhotic.
Contact with European languages also affected both written and spoken Tamil. Changes in written Tamil include the use of European-style punctuation and the use of consonant clusters that were not permitted in Middle Tamil. The syntax of written Tamil has also changed, with the introduction of new aspectual auxiliaries and more complex sentence structures, and with the emergence of a more rigid word order that resembles the syntactic argument structure of English. Simultaneously, a strong strain of linguistic purism emerged in the early 20th century, culminating in the Pure Tamil Movement which called for removal of all Sanskritic and other foreign elements from Tamil. It received some support from Dravidian parties. This led to the replacement of a significant number of Sanskrit loanwords by Tamil equivalents, though many others remain.
Tamil is the first language of the majority of the people residing in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, in India and Northern Province,Eastern Province, in Sri Lanka. The language is also spoken among small minority groups in other states of India which includeKarnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra and in certain regions of Sri Lanka such as Colombo and the hill country. Tamil or dialects of it were used widely in the state of Kerala as the major language of administration, literature and common usage until the 12th century AD. Tamil was also used widely in inscriptions found in southern Andhra Pradesh districts ofChittoor and Nellore until the 12th century AD. Tamil was also used for inscriptions from the 10th through 14th centuries in southern Karnataka districts such as Kolar, Mysore, Mandya and Bangalore.
There are currently sizeable Tamil-speaking populations descended from colonial-era migrants in Malaysia, Singapore,Philippines, Mauritius, South Africa, Indonesia, Thailand, Burma, and Vietnam. A large community of Pakistani Tamilsspeakers exists in Karachi, Pakistan, which includes Tamil-speaking Hindus as well as Christians and Muslims – including some Tamil-speaking Muslim refugees from Sri Lanka. Many in Réunion, Guyana, Fiji, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobagohave Tamil origins, but only a small number speak the language. In Reunion where the Tamil language was forbidden to be learnt and used in public space by France it is now being relearnt by students and adults. It is also used by groups of migrants from Sri Lanka and India, Canada (especially Toronto), United States (especially New Jersey and New York City),Australia, many Middle Eastern countries, and some Western European countries.
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