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Use of the suffix ஆ with a negative connotation:
When the suffix ஆ is used in obvious expressions like 'is this a book?' (இது புத்தகமா?), 'is this food'? (இது சாப்பாடா?) etc., a negative connotation of 'who on earth would call this a book?, 'what kind of food is this?' etc., can be implied. In English an extra stress is placed on the nouns such as 'book' and 'food' etc., to disambiguate such expressions. But in Tamil such distinction can only be made with a very subtle intonation. So, in failing to use such intonation, misunderstandings might occur. In some cases, the words such as என்ன, 'what' எல்லாம் 'all', etc., are used with the subject, but again such sentences can also be used with a normal intention. Except for very obvious cases, an ambiguity of interpretation is always possible.
இது என்ன? சாப்பாடா? a) What is this? food! b) Who on earth would call this a food?
நீ எல்லாம் ஒரு மனுஷனா? Are you (all) a human being?
நீங்கள் எல்லாம் போலிஸ் காரர்களா? a) Are you all police men? b) What kind of police men are you all?
இக்கு எங்க போட்றது? இச்சு எங்க போட்றதுண்ணு தெரியலெ! நீயெல்லாம் ஒரு தமிழ் வாத்தியாரா?
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