Tirunelveli Tamil

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Tirunelveli Tamil also known as Nellai Tamil or ThenPaandi Tamil is one of the dialects of Tamil which is spoken in the districts of Tirunelveli, Tenkasi, Thoothukudi and Kanyakumari,some parts of Virudhunagar as well as over the vast area of south Tamil Nadu which was once ruled by the Pandiya Kings. Nellai Tamil is also known as Thenpaandi Tamil. Thenpaandi Seemai refers to the part of a Pandya kingdom which includes the present day Kanyakumari,Tirunelveli, Tenkasi and Tuticorin, some parts of Virudunagar Districts.It subsequentially differs from Madurai Tamil [1] [2]



The Tirunelveli Tamil Dialect (TTD) has on the whole 41 phonemes of which 31 are segmental and the remaining 10 are suprasegmental. [3] Nellai Tamil also preserves archaic kinship terms that other dialects have long discarded. However, the most unusual feature of the Tamil spoken in the Tirunelveli region is that the medial "c" is pronounced as a voiceless palatal affricate as in Old Tamil and has not undergone the change to the dental "s" as in most other dialects. [4]

Regions of Nellai Tamil

Peculiar Nellai Tamil Words/ Phrases

Movies featuring Nellai Tamil

Nellai Tamil has been used in a number of Tamil movies. Some of them are Seevalaperi Pandi, Dum Dum Dum, Saamy, Ayya, Kovil, Thamiraparani, Roja, Thirunelveli, Kushi, Sillunu Oru Kadhal, Raman Thediya Seethai, Pidichirukku, Shankhar Ooru Rajapalayam, Kannum Kannum, Unakkum Enakkum Something Something, Dasavatharam, Seval, Thoothukudi, Veeramum Eeramum, Gentleman, Anniyan, Saadhu, Pudhu Nellu Pudhu Naatthu, Punnagai Mannan, Velai Kidaichiruchu, Thanneer Thanneer, Angadi Theru, Kadal, Osthee, Singam 1, Singam 2, Singam 3, Bhairava (Vijay Film), Asuran (Dhanush Film), Attagasam

Kamal Haasan's 2015 movie Papanasam, a remake of the 2013 Malayalam film Drishyam, also features Nellai Tamil.

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  1. Kamatchinathan, A. (December 1969). "The Tirunelveli Tamil Dialect. Linguistic Survey of Tamilnadu, Annamalai University, Department of Linguistics".{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. Kamatchinathan, Arunachalam (1969). The Tirunelveli Tamil dialect. Annamalainagar: Annamalai University. OCLC   879228930.
  3. Kamatchinathan, p. 1
  4. Pillai, S. Anavartavinayakam (1974). "The Sanskrit Element in Dravidian Languages". In Mark Collines (ed.). Dravidian Studies. University of Madras. pp. 117–118.