The Tamil Serial or Compound Verb

Fedson, Vijayarani Jotimuttu

     This study is "an attempt to identify and describe the meanings of infinitive and participle based serial verb constructions in some detail and to touch upon some of their co-occurrence possibilities. . . . In my discussion, I assume phonological, morphological, morpho-syntactic and syntactic levels in an ascending hierarchy of language anatomy and physiology. I use Jakobson's (1957) notation, with Aronson's (1977) revision, characterizing speech first in terms of narrated and speech events, and then in terms of participants and events in each division. I make use of the notion of markedness, but without further commitment to structuralist views. I do not use any of the constructs of generative grammar." The study concludes with the suggestion "that serial verbs in Tamil are devices for indicating marked meaning (non-literal meaning) of a set of verbs, and that their marked order identifies them as such.