Global symposium on Tamil begins Jan 17

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Chennai, Jan 11 (UNI) A four-day international symposium on Tamil as a classical language will be held here from January 17 to 20.

The International Symposium 2008 on Tamil would be jointly organised by the Institute of Asian Studies (IAS), Chennai and the Mysore-based Centre for Excellence of Classical Tamil (CECT), IAS Founder-Director G John Samuel told reporters here yesterday.

He said Tamil was not merely a provincial language but also a national language.

''Tamil is the only Indian language which enjoys the status of an official language in two neighbouring countries, Sri Lanka and Singapore,'' Dr Samuel said.

''In addition it enjoys the status of being both an official language and classical language in India and spoken in more than 50 diaspora countries of the world'', he added.

The symposium would help Tamils all over the world to have a clear idea about the efforts taken to promote Tamil studies at the global level by the indigenous and foreign scholars.

It would also give feedback about the nature of Tamil studies carried out both in India and abroad, besides helping other linguistic communities to participate in the efforts to promote Tamil research at the global level.

Eminent Tamil scholars from abroad including Prof R E Asher (Scotland), Prof Alexander Dubiansky (Russia), Prof David C Buck (US), Prof Jung Nam Kin (South Korea) and Prof Shanmugadas(Sri Lanka) and about 50 scholars from the country would present research papers on various aspects of Tamils during the symposium, Dr Samuel said.

Debates would be held on about 35 topics, including Tamil as a classical language : A historical perspective, Classical status at the National level, Translation of Tamil classics into Dravidian languages and other Asian, European and Indian languages and promoting Tamil studies in collaboration with foreign scholars and institutions among others.

UNI GV LPB KP1038

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