In addition, there are two diphthongs /ai/ and /au/.
Like other Dravidian languages, Tamil is agglutinative, i.e., it adds suffixes, one after another, to stems to form words and to express grammatical functions.
It has an unbroken literary tradition of over two thousand years, during which time the written language has undergone relatively little change.
It isi spoken in Singapore by 111,000 people (Ethnologue).It is written with a syllabic alphabet in which all consonants have an inherent vowel.Diacritics, which can appear above, below, before or after the consonant, indicate change to another vowel or suppression of the inherent vowel.The rich and varied Tamil literature includes an indigenous grammar that was created independently from that of Sanskrit.The earliest records of Tamil are inscriptions on stone dating back from 200 BC.
In contrast to many other Indic scripts, Tamil uses a reduced inventory of consonants.