--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, "suzmccarth" <suzmccarth@...> wrote:

> Children certainly hesitates between letters, they write one
> check the syllable chart and continue to compose the syllable
> sometimes letter by letter, but in visual order not phonetic order.
> The syllable knowledge has to become secure before this stage

The Tamil child must learn to write each consonant and vowel as a
separate 'letter'. There is a prescribed stroke direction and order
for each letter as one would expect. This must be mastered apart
from syllable composition. The 'letter' composition is too complex to
be mastered within the syllable as a whole.

Then the child must learn to compose the syllables. However,
syllables are not composed phonetically but visually in left to right
sequence. I believe that this overall process contrasts with
Ethiopic and Cree where the syllable would be learned as a unit,
without discrete parts within it.

I even wonder if this complex composition sequence of Tamil does not
compare in some aspects to Chinese. So Tamil is best understood as an
alphasyllabary and Chinese as a logosyllabary. However, the primary
unit is syllabic in each.

Suzanne McCarthy