English-Tamil Blends in a Film Song

  • S Srinivas Assistant Professor, SSN College of Engineering, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
  • Siddhartha Raju Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Puttaparthi, India
Keywords: English-Tamil blends, Code-mixing, meaning, function, stems, affixes


The song 'macho ennaacho' from the Tamil film Mersal became an instant hit among the film-going audience in Tamil Nadu when it was released in 2017 . Written by Mr. Vivek, the song has quite a few 'words' wherein the first part is English and second Tamil. While the blending of English and Tamil in this fashion might seem random at first blush, this paper shows that it is systematic in that the first/English part of the blends supplies 'meaning' and the second/Tamil part 'grammatical information'. Put another way,  English 'roots' with semantic content are skillfully combined in the song with Tamil 'suffixes' which carry grammatical load (e.g. Number, Gender, Case-marking etc.), illustrating the sort of word-level code-mixing  that is common among users of Tamil (Pirahanayagi 91-93, 102-3; Annamalai 20-7; Geetha and Kamatchi 235-7) even in everyday speech.

Abstract views: 1342 times
PDF downloads: 527 times
How to Cite
Srinivas, S., & Raju, S. (2018). English-Tamil Blends in a Film Song. Shanlax International Journal of English, 6(4), 6-10. Retrieved from https://www.shanlaxjournals.in/journals/index.php/english/article/view/126