A.G. Menon

1940 –
Tamil, Malayalam
descriptive, comparative and computational linguistics

Curriculum vitae

1940born in Palghat (India) on March 3
1958pre-university, Government Victoria College, Palghat, Kerala University
1961BSc chemistry and physics (both majors), Government Victoria College, Palghat, Kerala University, India
1963MA Tamil language and literature, Department of Tamil, Kerala University, Trivandrum, India
1963Tamil teacher “Graduate Assistant”, Government Pandit Motilal Secondary School, Palghat
1963-1964lecturer in Tamil, Government Victoria College, Kerala University, Palghat
1964certificate summer school of linguistics, Indian and American Faculty Members, Kerala University, Trivandrum
1964-1968research fellow for the Degree PhD, Departments of Tamil and Linguistics, Kerala University, Trivandrum; also taught for the MA in linguistics, Kerala University, Trivandrum
1965post-graduate certificate examination in linguistics, Department of Linguistics, Kerala University, Trivandrum
1967-1968junior research fellow, University Grants Commission, Delhi
1968-1970research fellow, Dutch Ministry of education for research in linguistics in Leiden University, the Netherlands under the supervision of F.B.J. Kuiper and E.M. Uhlenbeck
1970-2006various positions from lecturer to associate professor, Department of Indian Studies and Department of Comparative Linguistics, Leiden University
1972PhD in linguistics, Kerala University, Trivandrum, under the supervision of V.I. Subramoniam (Kerala University), F.B.J. Kuiper and E.M. Uhlenbeck (Leiden University)
1995-1997honorary professor of linguistics, International School of Dravidian Linguistics, Trivandrum
2007-2011professor of linguistics, Centre of Excellence for Computer Engineering and Networking, AMRITA University, Ettimadai, Coimbatore

Special activities and positions

  • External examiner to Indian Universities (among which the Universities of Madras, Kerala, Mysore and the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Madras) for the evaluation of PhD dissertations in the field of linguistics and Dravidian studies
  • President of the International Association of Dravidian Linguistics for the academic year 2007-2008


1966 “Some problems of lexicography.” Centamil 61: 207-214. – In Tamil.
1967  “Meaning – its nature and analysis.” Centamil 63: 35-44. – In Tamil.
“Tamil numeral constructions.” Linguistic Circle, University of Kerala, pp. 1-19.
1968 “Vocative,” four papers on literature and language, Madurai: Meenakshi Puthaka Nilayam, pp. 41-48.
“Voicing and voicelessness in Tolkāppiyam.” IIJ 11,1: 24-28.
1972 A grammatical study of Kamparāmāyanam, pp. I-XVIII (introduction), 1-526 (grammar), 1-2468 (an annotated exhaustive index of Ramayana). – PhD thesis University of Kerala, India.
“From proto-Tamil-Malayalam to west coast dialects.” IIJ 14,1/2: 52-60.
1973 “Tamil verb classification.” In: Proceedings of the 29th international congress of Orientalists, Paris, pp. 136-148.
“Computer and Dravidian linguistics.” Bulletin of the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing 1,3:
1974 Rāmacaritam (14th cent. A.D.): text, frequency, reverse index, word-length and alphabetical index , computer output Leiden University, pp. 1-159 (text), pp. 1-748 (index).
“Adjectives in Tamil.” Fourth international conference-seminar of Tamil studies, Jaffna, Sri Lanka, pp. 1-11.
1976 “Donation and redistribution in the South Indian temples: study based on the Tamil inscriptions.” 30th International congress of Human Sciences in Asia and Africa, Mexico, pp. 1-6.
“Tamil literary theories and the classical Tamil literature.” Annual congress of the Dutch Oriental Society, Leiden, pp. 1-6.
Review article of: A. Kamatchinathan, The Tirunelveli Tamil dialect, Annamalainagar 1969. IIJ 18,3/4: 327-331.
1977 “The relative participle in -iya of modern Malayalam.” IIJ 19: 211-225.
1978 & E.C.L. During Caspers, “A critical reconsideration of R. Thapar’s Dravidian hypothesis for the location of Meluhha, Dilmun and Makan.” JESHO 21,2: 113-145.
1979 & Shokei Matsumoto, “An outline of Tamil literature.” Journal of the Naritasan Institute of Buddhist Studies 4: 1-50. – In Japanese.
1981 “Tamil literary traditions and the oldest Malayalam Ramayana.” In: Proceedings of the Vth international conference-seminar of Tamil studies, Madurai, India, vol. II, section 8, IATR, Madurai, India, pp. 73-82.
1983 “Some observations on seventeenth century Malayalam.” IIJ 25: 241-273.
1984 “The case of the unknown sound change in Malayalam.” The sixth South Asian Language Analysis Roundtable: literacy and linguistic change, Austin, University of Texas, U.S.A., pp. 1-20.
1987 Review article of: David W. McAlpin, Proto-Elamo Dravidian: the evidence and its implications, Philadelphia 1981. BO 44,3/4: 495-499.
1988 “Centre and periphery: the composition of Kamban’s language.” IJDL 17,1: 72-78.
1989 “Phonetic change and phoneme substitution in Malayalam: c- > t- and s- > t-.” Proceedings of the first International Seminar on Dravidian Linguistics and the fourteenth All India Conference of Dravidian Linguists, Trivandrum: Dravidian Linguistics Association, pp. 28-66.
Review article of: Friedrich Seltmann, Schattenspiel in Kerala – sakrales Theater in Süd-Indien, Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag 1986. Anthropos 84,1/3: 314-315.
1990 “Some observations on the sub-group Tamil-Malayalam: differential realizations of the cluster *nt.” BSOAS 53,1: 87-99.
& G.H. Schokker, “Linguistic convergence: the Tamil-Hindu auxiliaries.” BSOAS 52,2: 266-282.
1991 “The Sanskrit and the non-Sanskrit traditions of Rāmāyaṇa from the west coast of India.” In: Monika Thiel-Horstmann (ed.), Rāmāyaṇa and the Rāmāyaṇas, Wiesbaden, pp. 47-67.
1992 & G.H. Schokker. “The conception of Rāma-rājya in south and north Indian literature.” In: A.W. van den Hoek, D.H.A. Kolff, M.S. Oort (eds), Ritual, state and history in South Asia: essays in honour of J.C. Heesterman, Leiden (Memoirs of the Kern Institute 5), pp. 610-636.
1993 Review article of: William Bright, Language variation in South Asia, Oxford-New York 1990. BSOAS 56,1: 161-162.
1994 “Kuiper, Franciscus Bernardus Jacobus (1907- …).” In: R.E. Asher (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, vol. 4, Oxford, p. 1879.
1995 “XIIth international Rāmāyaṇa conference, 28-30 August, 1995, Leiden, The Netherlands.” IIAS Newsletter 6.
Review article of: Friedrich Seltmann, Schattenspiel in Karnataka, Süd-Indien, 2 Bdn, Stuttgart 1993. Anthropos 90: 303-304.
1996 “The use of Sanskrit in South Indian bilingual royal inscriptions: social, political and religious implications.” In: Jan E.M. Houben (ed.), Ideology and status of Sanskrit: contributions to the history of the Sanskrit language, Leiden (Brill’s Indological Library 13), pp. 249-264.
1997 “Imagining the Indian city.” EPW 32,46: 2932-2936.
1998 “Tamil verb stem formation.” IJDL 27,1: 13-40.
1999 Review article of: R.E. Asher and T.C. Kumari, Malayalam, London 1997 (Descriptive Grammer Series). IIJ 42,4: 382-387.
Review article of: K. Raghavan Pillai, Caldwell and A.R. Raja Raja Varma on Malayalam grammar, Thiruvananthapuram 1996. IJDL 28,1: 115-120.
Review article of: C.S. Mohanavelu, German Tamilology: German contribution to Tamil language, literature and culture during the period 1706-1945, Chennai 1993. IJDL 28,1: 125-128.
2000 “Copper plates to silver plates: Cholas, Dutch and Buddhism.” IJDL 29,2: 83-106.
2001 “Copper plates to silver plates : Cholas, Dutch and Buddhism.” In: Marijke J. Klokke and Karel R. van Kooij (eds), Fruits of inspiration: studies in honour of Prof. J.G. de Casparis, … on the occasion of his 85th birthday, Groningen: Forsten (Gonda indological studies 11), pp. 291-318.
2003 “Colonial linguistics and the spoken language.” IJDL 32,1: 73-89.
2004 “Nation versus state: linguistic heterogeneity and multilinguality in India.” IJDL 33,2: 37-62.
“Configuration of natural elements in the mountain songs.” In: Jean-Luc Chevillard, Eva Wilden and A. Murugaiyan (eds), South-Indian horizons: felicitation volume for François Gros on the occasion of his 70th birthday, pref. by R.E. Asher, [Pondichéry]: Institut Français de Pondichéry; [Paris]: École Française d’Extrême-Orient, pp. 229-255.
Review article of: Eveline Masilamani-Meyer, Kattavarayan Katai – the story of Kattavarayan: an annotated translation, Wiesbaden 2004. AS/EA 58,4: 1128-1131.
2005 Review article of: Eveline Masilamani-Meyer, Guardians of Tamilnadu: folk deities, folk religion, Hindu themes, Halle 2004. AS/EA 59:4: 1350-1358.
2007 “Gods as King and King as Gods: legitimation through divine rulers.” In: SSEASR Souvenir Book on kingship and religion on the auspicious occasion of the Diamond Jubilee of the Accession to the Throne of his Majesty the King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, Institute of Language and Culture for Rural Development, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, pp. 101-119.
“Contribution to the section on the Tamil Loan Words in Indonesian and Malay.” In: Russell Jones (ed.), Loan words in Indonesian and Malay, Leiden: KITLV Press.
2008 “The study of Indian languages by the Dutch.” In: [Neelam D. Sabharwal, ambassador of India, ed.], Changing images: lasting visions: India and the Netherlands [collection of 35 essays published on the occasion of 400 years of Indo-Dutch relations], Amsterdam: Nieuw Amsterdam, pp. 55-56.
2009 “Dravidian linguistics in the colonial world.” IJDL 38,1: 1-17. – Presidential address.
& S. Saravanan, R. Loganathan and K.P. Soman, “Amrita morph analyzer and generator for Tamil: a rule based approach.” Proceedings of the Tamil Internet Conference, INFITT, Cologne, Germany.
2010 & S. Saravanan and K.P. Soman, “Pattern based English-Tamil machine translation.” Proceedings of the Tamil Internet Conference, INFITT, Coimbatore, India.
“Study of intransitives, transitives and causatives in the tradition of the Tamil and Malayalam grammarians.” IJDL 39,2 ( V.I. Subramoniam memorial volume): 139-173.
2011 “Teaching of Indian languages in the Netherlands.” In: Vasant Moharir et al. (eds), Netherlands-India Association at Sixty: a diamond jubilee commemorative volume, Wassenaar, pp. 60-65.
2012 Nederlandse vertaling van de gedichten van de Malayalam dichter K. Satchidanandan in de Gedichten bundel van de Festival Dichters, Poetry International 2012, Rotterdam.
“A guide for a lifetime: making the impossible possible.” In: T.P. Sankarankutty Nair (ed.), V.I. Subramoniam: profile of a multi-linguist, a biography, Thiruvananthapuram: The Dravidian Linguistics Association, pp. 104-119.
2013 “The Tamil verb: complexities and classification.” Dravidian Linguistics Association, Thiruvananthapuram, pp. 1-18.