Eating is an agricultural act - Wendell Berry

Monday, May 14, 2007

softening hard ends

dialogue on bangalore* bus.
csm - majestic (that's the destination)
conductor - sixoo (i had given him a Rs 5 coin).

the 'oo' sound is very telugu/kannada. same as the 'oo' in tool, pool etc. the mouth also takes that shape on utterance.
the same in tamil is a sound that i am struggling to explain in english alphabets or their combinations.
let me try. it would be sicsu. the ending sound of 'su' is the same as the starting of cipher or cypher. only remember that it is relaxed accompanied with an exhalation and not an abrupt snort.
now you have to just eliminate the 's' sound to get the pure vowel sound, which can be appended for the tamilian softening process.

in general, the gist is that there is a certain softening created by dravidians to hard syllable ending words.

on further study (mind you, this is all happening during the bus journey, an expert lab setting) i realise, tamil itself uses a lot of hard ending words while the similar ones in telugu and kannada are 'oo'ed. there are several examples, but one that i analysed and then extrapolated.
veeran - tam, brave person - english, veer - hindi, veerudu - telugu
veeram - tam, bravery - english, veerta - hindi, veeramulu - telugu
here the 'u' sound in telugu is same as the earlier 'oo' sound.

you must have noticed how the hard sounding tam endings are softer in telugu. kannda is quite close to telugu.

it is such a mellifluous rendering, that unless heard, this post is quite useless. (which it is if it has been heard)

* - i still call it that instead of bengalooru (see here it is again)

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