--- In qalam@yahoogroups.com, "suzmccarth"

>Constantine Beschi, a Portuguese Jesuit,
> standardized the Tamil writing system in the early 1700's. He
> brought the pulli back into use and by using a long vowel
> added two more rows to the syllabary.

The important thing about Beschi is that the Tamil really respect
him for what he did and his contribution to the Tamil writing
system was appreciated so it makes me want to temporize a bit
and ask how far can an outsider contribute. Obviously it is

"The Tranquebar missionaries with Ziegebalg at the head
collected numerous manuscripts compiled translations and
grammars in order to make Europeans familiar with the wisdom
of the Tamils The next famous name that comes to mind is of
course that of Father Joseph Constantine Beschi who in the
same century became a literary phenomenon for all the world to
admire. Apart from his literary works in Tamil which command
the admiration of native Tamil scholars themselves, his
grammars, dictionaries and the Latin translation of the first two
parts of the Tirukural are evidence of the most painstaking
research into already existing works as well as research in the
field. "

"Sometimes attempts are made to minimise the value of the
contributions made by missionaries by saying that their studies
were made in order to propagate Christianity and not through a
dove of Tamil But, anyone familiar with the academic work of
Beschi, of Caldwell, of G. U. Pope would know what ardent
scholars they were because of the attractions that the intrinsic
merits of Tamil had for them."