Tamil: stress-timed language?

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palomnik

Senior Member
English
I am currently working on learning Tamil, which is a (ahem!) fascinating language in many ways, and one of the most difficult languages I have tackled in my life, particularly but not exclusively in the fundamentals.

My question is this, and I hope that there are some professional linguists out there: is Tamil considered a stress-timed language? It has many of the trappings of one: short vowels tend to disappear altogether in spoken Tamil, and whole syllables will disappear without a trace.

The problem is...there doesn't appear to be any actual stress in Tamil, which makes it difficult to define the language as "stress-timed." Instead, syllables either have short or long vowels; short vowels often coalesce when they meet at word boundaries, and will disappear in the middle of a word as well (especially i and u), unless they're followed by a double consonant.

Is anybody familiar enough with the language from the point of view of linguistic structure to help me out?
 
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