--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, "suzmccarth" <suzmccarth@...> wrote:
> I understand that initial voiced consonants are only in loan words
> and I wasn't sure how much the distinction is used by those who
> aren't familiar with eiher Hindi or English phonology. I am aware
> the discussion about whether to represent these in script but I
> haven't seen it yet.

Loanwords are well embedded in the vocabulary, including that of
the 'working class'. There are Arabic and Portuguese loanwords as
well. There is (or was?) even a variety of Tamil written in the
Arabic alphabet - 'Arwi'.

Irritatingly, this does not help the question of whether initial
voiced stops are a 'marginal' feature. The words containing them
seem not to be marginal features of Colloquial Tamil.