... A tentative web page [Clickez ici pour une version française] [last update: 2010-march-1st]

Recording the Tamil classical tradition in Pondicherry,
from the mouth of T.V. Gopal Iyer

The Tamil grammatical tradition

Classical Tamil is, in the company of Sanskrit, the second classical language of India. It can pride itself with a literary and grammatical tradition that may have lasted for 18 centuries. The oldest extant work is the Tolkappiyam that was probably composed (wholly or in part) around the beginning of the christian era (the exact date is not known), but an important grammatical commentary, the Nannul Viruttiyurai, could still be composed in the 18th century, apparently free from European influence, although the first European Tamil grammar had been composed in Portuguese by Henrique HENRIQUES (also spelled as ANRIQUEZ) around the middle of the 16th century.

The research program that is conducted by Jean-Luc CHEVILLARD inside UMR7597 of CNRS and with the collaboration of colleagues from EFEO and IFP has a twofold perspective:

A few links