By Thomas Lehmann
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Extra info for A grammar of modern Tamil (Pondicherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture publication)
This suffix is a historical third person-plural-neuter suffix, which already in Old Tamil occurs with subject NPs of all person, number, gender features. 50 Infinitive The infinitive is formed by the affixation of the infinitive suffix -a to the verb stem. g. deletion of the stem final vowel u, when the infinitive suffix is added. ' a. ' b. ' azu 'weep' (class I) utkaar 'sit' (class II) tuunku -sleep' (class III) pootu 'put' (class IV) keel 'ask' (class. 9-17. However,1 there are also a few cases where the predicate of a simple clause occurs in infinitive form.
G. nata-nt-een '(I) walked'. A verb stem which is augmented with the single stop k when an inflectional suffix beginning with a vowel is added is called a middle stem. For instance, the verb stem keel 'ask, listen' is a middle stem. g. keet-k-a. g. g. keet-t-een '(I) asked'. A verb stem which is not augmented when an inflectional suffix beginning with a vowel is added is called a weak stem. For example, the verb stem tuuhku is a weak stem. When the vowel initial infinitive suffix -a is added, the verb stem is not augmented by the single or geminated stop(s) klkk, resulting in the form tuuhk-a.
Examples: (86) a. ' b. ' c. ' spatial interrelationship a. ' b. ' ii) the locative (bound) postposition -itam. The bound postposition -itam, which occurs only with animate nouns, expresses: (i) goal of motion, (ii) source of transaction, (iii) target of emotion, and (iv) temporary possession. ' With verbs of transaction the locative case marker -itam marks the indirect object when the latter is meant to be the temporary possessor of the object of transaction. 16 (i). ' the indirect object marked with the locative case marker, raajaa-v-itam, is only the temporary possessor of the book and will not keep it permanently.