chapter  3
35 Pages

Tamil verb morphology

BySanford B. Steever

Auxiliary Formation accords the category of verb a leading role in the analysis of auxiliary structures. This process takes simple verb forms as its input and generates a periphrastic verb form, the Auxiliary Verb Construction (AVC), as its output; it further associates to that AVC a verbal category which is not encoded in the basic verbal inflections of the language. A survey of basic verb morphology is undertaken to discover what basic verbal inflections and categories Tamil grammar makes available to this process. The Tamil word consists of several morphemes, comprising a lexical base and a series of suffixes. Words are characterized by two kinds of rules: word-formation rules, on one hand, and inflection and derivation, on the other. Inflectional and derivational processes characterize the structure of a word with respect to another word or a set of words in terms of oppositions, and so help to create paradigms.