Tamil: Uncle

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panjabigator

Senior Member
Am. English
Is the Hindi word /maamaa/ also used for uncle in Tamil as well? I just encountered this word in a book with a South Indian protagonist, and it just doesn't fit too well!

Thanks
PG
 
  • Blehh.

    Member
    USA, English
    It depends on the relation. As a heritage Tamil speaker, I use maamaa and maami with my uncles and aunts on my mother's side. (Does it carry the same usage in other Indian languages?)
     

    kaverison

    Member
    Tamil
    Tamil

    To add to what's been said earlier, Tamil word maamaa is from older form - ammaaman - mother's brother; amma being mother. ammaaman > maaman > maamaa. also, ammaan. ammaami > maami, is the female form.
     

    kaverison

    Member
    Tamil
    Thanks @gagun. All south indian languages belong to dravidian family of languages. I often refer to UChicago And Starling dravidian dictionaries.
    Uchicago has Sanskrit dictionaries as well, and possibly for all languages.

    Starling actually has etymological dictionaries for many languages. It's very good to learn about root words, though I wish they kept all Dravidian together, instead of spliiting it as northern and southern Dravidian. I see lot more similarities between Tamil and Telugu or Telugu and Kannada to put them in separate groups. Nonetheless, it's a great database for students of any language.
     

    gagun

    Senior Member
    Telugu-TS, Deccani-TS
    Thank you for your reply and I want to give some info about pronunciation of some root words in which letters like ka and ga in Telugu are different letters but most of the times(DIFFERENT SLANGS) could be interchanged like pa or ba etc and pa in Telugu becomes ha in Kannada.
     

    kaverison

    Member
    Tamil
    Yes, same with Kannada and Tamil. PaLLi vs Halli. Though Tamil doesn't have separate letter for pa and ba or ka and ga like Telugu or Kannada does, we have the sounds that vary according to position. In thankam - Gold, it sounds like Ga. In kampam - pole, it sounds like ba. Hope to have more interesting conversation with you in this forum, about our languages.
     
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