--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, Patrick Chew <patchew@...> wrote:
> Tamil(Tamizh, since there're no aspirates in Tamil)

Thamizh is the Adami transliteration of Tamil. 'th' indicates
front 't' rather than retroflex. In context I really should have
used the Unicode values for Tamil - tamilll. (Maybe Kirschenbaum
[tamir]? or csx [tamir\])

has initial vowel
> onsets, i.e. <iran.t.u> 'two', and <eel[u> 'seven', <on
[patu> 'eight, but
> in spoken/colloquial Tamil the initial vowels are preceded by
either [j]
> "y" or [v], depending on context: <iran.t.u> [jirV~du-], <eel_u>
> <on_patu> [vo~bVdu-],etc. (I'm using Kirshenbaum's ASCii IPA
> (http://www.kirshenbaum.net/IPA/ascii-ipa.pdf))...

Thank you for clarifying this particular difference between the
spoken and written Tamil. I assimilated the approximates into my
understanding of initial vowels without analysis. I didn't
think "disallowed initial vowels". I just thought "that is the way
initial vowels sound in Tamil."

Half the children in the school say [tabo] for 'table' and I have
never yet written myself a rule for disallowed final l after

> Peter's contention that Tamil is using high vowels for
breaking of
> disallowed clusters is probably more right than wrong, given the
very very
> extensive literature on loan phonology and the tendency for
> phonologically similar to Tamil to do so.

I agree.

> It is highly unlikely that one will find an
inserted "unvoiced"
> vowel in cases where the surrounding environment is not

Yes, but 'brook', from the quote, would actually be [pirUk]. Or
would it be pUrUk? I don't think there are initial voiced consonants
in Tamil anyway. So, obviously no voiceless vowel after a voiced

Anyway, I was quoting someone else - wondering what the rationale