By Thomas Lehmann
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Additional resources for A grammar of modern Tamil (Pondicherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture publication)
Is affective, while the verb stem utai in sentence b. is effective. In this case the semantic features of affectivity vs. effectivity are not morphophonologically realized in the verb stem. In both cases the morphophonemic shape of the verb stem is identical. Notice, however, that the affective verb form in sentence a. contains a single obstruent in the affix-initial position, that is the tense morph, and the effective verb form in sentence b. contains a geminated obstruent in that affix initial position: -nt\s.
Negative indicative verb forms are not marked for the category of tense. The verb stem combines only with the negative morpheme and the three morphemes of person, number, and gender, as shown in the following representation: (142) verb stem + negative + person + number + gender 69 MORPHOLOGY Is 2s 3sm 3sf 3sn Ipl 2pl 3plm/f Spin vit-een vit-aay vit-aan vit-aal vit-aa-tu vit-oom vit-iir vit-aar vit-aa Note, when inflected for third person, plural, neuter, the respective person, number, gender morphemes are realized by a zero morph and only the negative allomorph -aa is added to the verb stem.
In Middle Tamil all the three allomorphs of the causative suffix can occur. 31 Weak vs. middle vs. strong verb stems We mentioned above that the verb stem is the form of the verb to which inflectional suffixes are added, the form which occurs as imperative singular for the second person, and the form which is listed in the lexicon. Thus, the forms tuuhku 'sleep', keel 'ask, listen', and nata 'walk' are verb stems and as such they take inflectional suffixes and occur as imperatives, for example.