By Thomas Lehmann
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Additional info for A grammar of modern Tamil (Pondicherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture publication)
119) vaar-uhkal-taa vaar-uhkal-ti vaar-uhkal-mfnaa etc. 39 Tamil has both positive and negative indicative verb forms. Positive indicative verb forms are marked for the category of tense, person, number, and gender + status. Negative indicative verb forms are, however, not marked in the same way for these categories as the Positive indicative forms are. There is no one-to-one correspondence between positive and negative indicative forms. 40 As mentioned above, positive indicative verb forms are marked for the categories of tense, person, number, and gender + status.
Hereby, the phoneme cluster of the past tense allomorph does not contrast with present or future tense allomorphs and does not have a semantic function, that is reference to past time. It serves only as a sort of phonological support for the suffix -aal. In the segmentation of verb forms we will give the phoneme cluster of the past tense allomorph and the suffix -aal as one unit connected through the symbol '•'. Examples: azu 'weep' (I) utkaar 'sit' (II) tuuhku 'sleep' (III) pootu 'put' (IV) keel 'ask' (V) pati 'study' (VI) nata 'walk' (VII) azu-t-aal utkaar-nt-aal tuuhk-in-aal poot-t-aal keet-t-aal pati-tt-aal nata-nt-aal The negative of the conditional is formed by adding the negative morph -aa to the verb stem, followed by the conditional suffix -vittaal.
This periphrastic construction complements the form verb stem + -aa-tu to express future negativity. Examples: (144) a. vit-a maatt-een leave-inf will-Is '(I) won't leave' 70 A GRAMMAR OF MODERN TAMIL • • • • b. 46 for further discussion. In order to«express past and present negativity, the auxiliary verb il 'be notMs used. This defective verb occurs in a finite form unmarked for tense and marked with the person-number-gender suffix -ai. This suffix is a historical third person-plural-neuter suffix, which already in Old Tamil occurs with subject NPs of all person, number, gender features.