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Encyclopedia > Dravidian languages
Dravidian
Geographic
distribution:
South Asia
Genetic
classification
:
One of the world's major language families
Subdivisions:
Northern
Central
South Central
Southern
ISO 639-2: dra
Language Portal
Extent of Dravidian languages.
Extent of Dravidian languages.

The Dravidian family of languages includes approximately 73 languages[1] that are mainly spoken in southern India and northeastern Sri Lanka, as well as certain areas in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and eastern and central India, as well as in parts of Afghanistan and Iran, and overseas in other countries such as the UK, US, Canada, Malaysia and Singapore. Dravidian may refer to: Dravidian languages, including the Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada languages spoken especially in Southern India and Northeastern Sri Lanka Dravidian people, a member of any of the peoples that speak one of the Dravidian languages Dravidian architecture style, is a style of Hindu temple construction The... Map of South Asia (see note on Kashmir). ... Current distribution of Human Language Families A language family is a group of related languages said to have descended from a common proto-language. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families A language family is a group of related languages said to have descended from a common proto-language. ... ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. ... Image File history File links Portal. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 587 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (648 × 662 pixel, file size: 82 KB, MIME type: image/png) Other versions Image:Dravidische Sprachen Verbreitung. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 587 × 600 pixel Image in higher resolution (648 × 662 pixel, file size: 82 KB, MIME type: image/png) Other versions Image:Dravidische Sprachen Verbreitung. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families Most languages are known to belong to language families (families hereforth). ... South India is a linguistic-cultural region of India that comprises the four states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the two Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry, whose inhabitants are collectively referred to as South Indians. ... United States may refer to: Places: United States of America SS United States, the fastest ocean liner ever built. ...

Contents

Origins of the word Dravidian

The English word Dravidian was first employed by Robert Caldwell in his book of comparative Dravidian grammar based on the usage of the Sanskrit word drāviḍa in the work Tantravārttika by Kumārila Bhaṭṭa(Zvelebil 1990:xx). As for the origin of the Sanskrit word drāviḍa itself there have been various theories proposed. Basically the theories are about the direction of derivation between tamiẓ and drāviḍa. That is to say, while linguists such as Zvelebil assert that the direction is tamiẓ >drāviḍa (ibid. page xxi), others state that the name Dravida also forms the root of the word Tamil (Dravida -> Dramila -> Tamizha or Tamil). Bishop Robert Caldwell (1814 -1891) was an orientalist who pioneered the study of the Dravidian languages with his influential work Comparative Grammar of Dravidian Languages (1856; revised edition 1875). ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Tamil ( ; IPA ) is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamils in India and Sri Lanka, with smaller communities of speakers in many other countries. ...


There is no definite philological and linguistic basis for asserting unilaterally that the name Dravida also forms the origin of the word Tamil (Dravida -> Dramila -> Tamizha or Tamil). Zvelebil cites the forms such as dramila (in Daṇḍin's Sanskrit work Avanisundarīkathā) damiḷa (found in Ceylonese chronicle Mahavamsa) and then goes on to say (ibid. page xxi): "The forms damiḷa/damila almost certainly provide a connection of dr(a/ā)viḍa " and "... tamiḷ < tamiẓ ...whereby the further development might have been *tamiẓ > *damiḷ > damiḷa- / damila- and further, with the intrusive, 'hypercorrect' (or perhaps analogical) -r-, into dr(a/ā)viḍa. The -m-/-v- alternation is a common enough phenomenon in Dravidian phonology" (Zvelebil 1990:xxi) Zvelebil in his earlier treatise (Zvelebil 1975: p53) states: "It is obvious that the Sanskrit dr(a/ā)viḍa, Pali damila, damiḷo and Prakrit d(a/ā)viḍa are all etymologically connected with tamiẓ" and further remarks "The r in tamiẓ > dr(a/ā)viḍa is a hypercorrect insertion, cf. an analogical case of DED 1033 Ta. kamuku, Tu.kangu "areca nut": Skt. kramu(ka).". This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Tamil ( ; IPA ) is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamils in India and Sri Lanka, with smaller communities of speakers in many other countries. ...


Further another eminent Dravidian linguist Bhadriraju Krishnamurti in his book Dravidian Languages (Krishnamurti 2003:p2, footnote 2) states: "Joseph (1989: IJDL 18.2:134-42) gives extensive references to the use of the term draviḍa, dramila first as the name of a people, then of a country. Sinhala inscriptions of BCE [Before Christian Era] cite dameḍa-, damela- denoting Tamil merchants. Early Budhdhist and Jaina sources used damiḷa- to refer to a people of in south India (presumably Tamil); damilaraṭṭha- was a southern non-Aryan country; dramiḷa-, dramiḍa, and draviḍa- were used as variants to designate a country in the south (Bṛhatsamhita-, Kādambarī, Daśakumāracarita-, fourth to seventh centuries CE) (1989: 134-8). It appears that damiḷa- was older than draviḍa- which could be its Sanskritization." Bhadriraju Krishnamurti (IAST: Bhadrirāju KṛṣṇamÅ«rti) (June 19, 1928 - ) is an eminent Dravidianist and most respected Indian linguist of his generation. ...


Based on what Krishnamurti states referring to a scholary paper published in the International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics the Sanskrit word draviḍa itself is later than damiḷa since the dates for the forms with -r- are centuries later than the dates for the forms without -r- (damiḷa, dameḍa-, damela- etc.). So it is clear that it is difficult to maintain Dravida -> Dramila -> Tamizha or Tamil.


The Monier-Williams Sanskrit Dictionary[2] lists for the Sanskrit word dravia a meaning of "collective Name for 5 peoples, viz. the Āndhras, Karāakas, Gurjaras, Tailagas, and Mahārāṣṭras".


Dravidian languages are spoken by more than 200 million people. They appear to be unrelated to languages of other known families like Indo-European, specifically Indo-Aryan, which is the other common language family on the Indian subcontinent. Some linguistic scholars incorporate the Dravidian languages into a larger Elamo-Dravidian language family, which includes the ancient Elamite language (Haltami) of what is now south-western Iran. Dravidian is one of the primary linguistic groups in the proposed Nostratic language system, linking almost all languages in North Africa, Europe and Western Asia into a common family with its origins in the Fertile Crescent sometime between the last Ice Age and the emergence of proto-Indo-European 4-6 thousand years BC. The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred related languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many spoken in the Indian subcontinent (South Asia), the Iranian plateau (Southwest Asia), and Central Asia. ... The Indo-Aryan languages form a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, thus belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. ... ... The Elamo-Dravidian languages are a hypothesised language family which includes the living Dravidian languages of India and Pakistan, in addition to the extinct Elamite language of ancient Elam, in what is now southwestern Iran. ... For the span of recorded history starting roughly 5,000-5,500 years ago, see Ancient history. ... Elamite is an extinct language, which was spoken by the ancient Elamites (also known as Ilamids). ... Nostratic is a highly controversial language super-family that putatively links many Eurasian language families. ... This map shows the extent of the Fertile Crescent. ... Variations in CO2, temperature and dust from the Vostok ice core over the last 400 000 years For the animated movie, see Ice Age (movie). ... Proto-Indo-European (PIE) may refer to: Proto-Indo-European language the hypothetical common ancestor of the Indo-European languages Proto-Indo-Europeans, the hypothetical speakers of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language Proto-Indo-European roots, A list of reconstructed Proto-Indo-European roots Categories: | ...


Dravidian grammatical impact on the structure and syntax of Indo-Aryan languages is considered far greater than the Indo-Aryan grammatical impact on Dravidian. Some linguists explain this anomaly by arguing that Middle Indo-Aryan and New Indo-Aryan were built on a Dravidian substratum.[3] This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


History

Main article: Proto-Dravidian

The origins of the Dravidian languages, as well as their subsequent development and the period of their differentiation are unclear, partially due to the lack of comparative linguistic research into the Dravidian languages. In addition to Elamite, attempts (with varying degrees of success) have also been made to link the family with the Japonic languages, Basque, Korean, Sumerian, the Australian Aboriginal languages and the unknown language of the Indus Valley civilisation. The theory that the Dravidian languages display similarities with the Uralic language group, suggesting a prolonged period of contact in the past,[4] is popular amongst Dravidian linguists and has been supported by a number of scholars, including Robert Caldwell,[5] Thomas Burrow,[6] Kamil Zvelebil,[7] and Mikhail Andronov[8] This theory has, however, been rejected by specialists in Uralic languages,[9] and has in recent times also been criticised by other Dravidian linguists like Bhadriraju Krishnamurti.[10] Proto-Dravidian is the proto-language of the Dravidian languages. ... Comparative linguistics (originally comparative philology) is a branch of historical linguistics that is concerned with comparing languages in order to establish their historical relatedness. ... The Japonic languages or Japanese-Ryukyuan languages constitute a language family that is agreed to have descended from a common ancestral language known as Proto-Japonic or Proto-Japanese-Ryukyuan. ... Basque (native name: euskara) is the language spoken by the Basque people who inhabit the Pyrenees in North-Central Spain and the adjoining region of South-Western France. ... Sumerian ( native tongue) was the language of ancient Sumer, spoken in Southern Mesopotamia from at least the 4th millennium BCE. It was gradually replaced by Akkadian as a spoken language in the beginning of the 2nd millenium BCE, but continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial, literary and scientific... The Australian Aboriginal languages comprise several language families and isolates native to Australia and a few nearby islands, but by convention excluding Tasmania. ... The Indus Valley Civilization existed along the Indus River and the Vedic Sarasvati River in present-day Pakistan. ... Geographical distribution of Samoyedic, Finnic, Ugric and Yukaghir languages  Yukaghir  Samoyedic  Ugric  Finnic The Uralic languages (pronounced: ) form a language family of about 30 languages spoken by approximately 20 million people. ... Bishop Robert Caldwell (1814 -1891) was an orientalist who pioneered the study of the Dravidian languages with his influential work Comparative Grammar of Dravidian Languages (1856; revised edition 1875). ... Thomas Burrow (29 June 1909 - 8 June 1986) was an Indologist and the Boden Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Oxford from 1944 to 1976. ... Bhadriraju Krishnamurti (IAST: Bhadrirāju KṛṣṇamÅ«rti) (June 19, 1928 - ) is an eminent Dravidianist and most respected Indian linguist of his generation. ...


Many linguists, however, tend to favour the theory that speakers of Dravidian languages spread southwards and eastwards through the Indian subcontinent, based on the fact that the southern Dravidian languages show some signs of contact with linguistic groups which the northern Dravidian languages do not[citation needed]. Proto-Dravidian is thought to have differentiated into Proto-North Dravidian, Proto-Central Dravidian, Proto South-Central Dravidian and Proto-South Dravidian around 500 BC, although some linguists have argued that the degree of differentiation between the sub-families points to an earlier split. Map of South Asia (see note) This article deals with the geophysical region in Asia. ... Proto-Dravidian is the proto-language of the Dravidian languages. ...


The existence of the Dravidian language family was first suggested in 1816 by Alexander D. Campbell in his Grammar of the Teloogoo Language, in which he and Francis W. Ellis argued that Tamil and Telugu were descended from a common, non-Indo-European ancestor. However, it was not until 1856 that Robert Caldwell published his Comparative grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian family of languages, which considerably expanded the Dravidian umbrella and established it as one of the major language groups of the world. Caldwell coined the term "Dravidian" from the Sanskrit drāvida, which was used in a 7th century text to refer to the Tamil language of the south of India. The publication of the Dravidian etymological dictionary by T. Burrow and M. B. Emeneau was a landmark event in Dravidian linguistics. 1816 was a leap year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... Tamil ( ; IPA ) is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamils in India and Sri Lanka, with smaller communities of speakers in many other countries. ... Telugu (తెలుగు) is a Dravidian language (South-Central Dravidian languages) primarily spoken in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, where it is the official language. ... 1856 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Bishop Robert Caldwell (1814 -1891) was an orientalist who pioneered the study of the Dravidian languages with his influential work Comparative Grammar of Dravidian Languages (1856; revised edition 1875). ... The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... Tamil ( ; IPA ) is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamils in India and Sri Lanka, with smaller communities of speakers in many other countries. ... Thomas Burrow (29 June 1909 - 8 June 1986) was an Indologist and the Boden Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Oxford from 1944 to 1976. ... Murray Barnson Emeneau (February 28, 1904 - August 29, 2005) was an emeritus professor of linguistics at the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, which he also founded. ...


List of Dravidian languages [11]

Those recognized as National languages of India are in boldface: Indian constitution recognizes 22 languages as National languages 1. ...


Southern

This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Badaga language is a southern Dravidian language (Tamil-Kannada branch) spoken by approximately 250,000 people (the Badagas) in the Nilgiri Hills in Southern India. ... Irulas is a scheduled tribe of India. ... Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ ) is one of the major Dravidian languages of India, spoken predominantly in the southern state of Karnataka. ... Languages Kodava Takk Religions Hinduism, Christianity Related ethnic groups Dravidian people Brahuis Kannadigas Malayalis Tamils Telugus Tuluvas The Kodava (written ಕೊಡವ in Kannada script) are a people of southern India, originating in the western region of Kodagu. ... Kota is a language of the Dravidian language, spoken by 1,400 native speakers and 2,000 total speakers in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu state, India. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Kuruma. ... Malayalam ( ) is the language spoken predominantly in the state of Kerala, in southern India. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Tamil ( ; IPA ) is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamils in India and Sri Lanka, with smaller communities of speakers in many other countries. ... Toda is a Dravidian language well known for its many fricatives and trills. ... Tulu (Kannada script: ತುಳು) is a Dravidian language of India with fewer than two million speakers, known as Tuluvas. ...

South Central

Abujmaria is a language spoken in Hill Maria, a sub-group of Gond tribes, the largest tribal group in India. ... This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ... For the Dravidian languge see Kui language (Dravidian) For the Trans-New Guinea languages see Kui language (Trans-New Guinea) Category: ... Koya (also Koi, Koi Gondi, Kavor, Koa, Koitar, Koyato, Kaya, Koyi, Raj Koya) is a South Central Dravidian language of the Kui-Gondi subgroup. ... Telugu (తెలుగు) is a Dravidian language (South-Central Dravidian languages) primarily spoken in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, where it is the official language. ...

Central

The languages formally enumerated by linguists (Zvelebil 1990:p xiv, Subrahmanyam 1983) as belonging to the Central Dravidian subfamily are:

  • Kolami
  • Naiki
  • Parji
  • Ollari
  • Gadaba

Other possible enumerations are: Kolami is a tribal Dravidian language used in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa states of India. ...

  • Kolami-Naiki
    • Naiki
    • Northwestern Kolami (India)
    • Southeastern Kolami (India)
  • Parji-Gadaba
    • Duruwa (India)
    • Mudhili Gadaba (India)
    • Parji
    • Pottangi Ollar Gadaba (India)

Northern

The languages formally enumerated by Dravidian linguists (Zvelebil 1990:p xiv, Subrahmanyam 1983) as belonging to the North Dravidian subfamily are the three below:

Some other enumerations are: The Brahui (بروہی) or Bravi (براوِ) language, spoken by the Brahui, is mainly spoken in Balochistan, Pakistan, although it is also spoken in Afghanistan and Iran. ... Kurukh belongs to the Dravidian family, and is most closely related to Brahui and Malto (Paharia). ... Indo-Aryan Mal Paharia Dravidian: Sauria Paharia Kumarbhag Paharia Category: ...

The Brahui (بروہی) or Bravi (براوِ) language, spoken by the Brahui, is mainly spoken in Balochistan, Pakistan, although it is also spoken in Afghanistan and Iran. ... Balochistan, or Ballsforchinstan, Balochi, Pashto, Urdu: بلوچستان) is a province in Pakistan, the largest in the country by geographical area. ... Extent of Dravidian languages. ... Kurukh belongs to the Dravidian family, and is most closely related to Brahui and Malto (Paharia). ... Kurukh belongs to the Dravidian family, and is most closely related to Brahui and Malto (Paharia). ... Indo-Aryan Mal Paharia Dravidian: Sauria Paharia Kumarbhag Paharia Category: ... Extent of Dravidian languages. ...

Grammar

The most characteristic features of Dravidian languages are:[7]

  • Dravidian languages are agglutinative.
  • Dravidian languages exhibit the inclusive and exclusive we feature.
  • The major word classes are nouns (substantives, numerals, pronouns), adjectives, verbs, and indeclinables (particles, enclitics, adverbs, interjections, onomatopoetic words, echo words).
  • Proto-Dravidian used only suffixes, never prefixes or infixes, in the construction of inflected forms. Hence, the roots of words always occurred at the beginning. Nouns, verbs, and indeclinable words constituted the original word classes.
  • There are two numbers and four different gender systems, the “original” probably having “male: non-male” in the singular and “person:non-person” in the plural.
  • In a sentence, however complex, only one finite verb occurs, normally at the end, preceded if necessary by a number of gerunds.
  • Word order follows certain basic rules but is relatively free.
  • The main (and probably original) dichotomy in tense is past:non-past. Present tense developed later and independently in each language or subgroup.
  • Verbs are intransitive, transitive, and causative; there are also active and passive forms.
  • All of the positive verb forms have their corresponding negative counterparts, Negative Verbs.

An agglutinative language is a language in which the words are formed by joining morphemes together. ... Inclusive we is a pronoun or verb conjugation that indicates the inclusion of the speaker, the addressee, and perhaps other people, as opposed to exclusive we, which specifically excludes the addressee. ... A negative verb is a type of auxiliary with help of which negative forms of verbs are formed. ...

Phonology

Historical Phonology:

Vowels: Proto-Dravidian had ten vowels: a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, e, ē. There was contrast between short and long vowels. There were no diphthongs. ai and au are treated as *ay and *av (or *aw) (Subrahmanyam 1983, Zvelebil 1990, Krishnamurti 2003).


Consonants: Proto-Dravidian is reconstructible with the following consonantal phonemes (Subrahmanyam 1983:p40, Zvelebil 1990, Krishnamurti 2003) :

Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Obstruent p t c k
Nasal m n ṉ (??) ñ
Flap r
Fricative ḻ (ṛ, r̤)
Lateral l
Glide v y

Alveolar stop in many daughter languages developed into an alveolar trill ṟ. It still retains the stop sound in Kota and Toda (Subrahmanyam 1983). Malyalam still retains the original (alveolar) stop sound in gemination. (ibid). In Old Tamil it takes the enunciative vowel like the other stops. In other words, (or ) does not occur word-finally without the enunciative vowel (ibid).


Velar nasal occurs only before k in Proto-Dravidian as in many of its daughter languages. Therefore it is not considered a separate phoneme in Proto-Dravidian. However, it attained phonemic status in languages like Malayalam, Gondi, Konda and Pengo due to the simplification of the original sequence *ṅk to . (Subrahmanyam 1983)


The glottal fricative H has been proposed by Bhadriraju Krishnamurti to account for the Old Tamil Aytam (Āytam) and other Dravidian comparative phonological phenomena (Krishnamurti 2003). Bhadriraju Krishnamurti (IAST: Bhadrirāju KṛṣṇamÅ«rti) (June 19, 1928 - ) is an eminent Dravidianist and most respected Indian linguist of his generation. ...


Dravidian languages are noted for the lack of distinction between aspirated and unaspirated stops. While some Dravidian languages (especially Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu) have accepted large numbers of loan words from Sanskrit and other Indo-European languages in addition to their already vast vocabulary, in which the orthography shows distinctions in voice and aspiration, the words are pronounced in Dravidian according to different rules of phonology and phonotactics: voicing is allophonic and aspiration of plosives is generally absent, regardless of the spelling of the word. This is not a universal phenomenon and is generally avoided in formal or careful speech, especially when reciting. The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred related languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many spoken in the Indian subcontinent (South Asia), the Iranian plateau (Southwest Asia), and Central Asia. ... In phonetics, aspiration is the strong burst of air that accompanies the release of some obstruents. ... In Quebec, an allophone (French or English. ...


For instance, Tamil, like Finnish, Korean, Ainu, and most indigenous Australian languages, does not distinguish between voiced and unvoiced stops. In fact, the Tamil alphabet lacks symbols for voiced and aspirated stops. The Ainu language (Ainu: , aynu itak; Japanese: ainu-go) is spoken by the Ainu ethnic group on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaidō. It was once spoken in the Kurile Islands, the northern part of Honshū, and the southern half of Sakhalin. ... The Australian Aboriginal languages comprise several language families and isolates native to Australia and a few nearby islands, but by convention excluding Tasmania. ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ...


Dravidian languages are also characterized by a three-way distinction between dental, alveolar, and retroflex places of articulation as well as large numbers of liquids. Dentals are consonants such as t, d, n, and l articulated with either the lower or the upper teeth, or both, rather than with the gum ridge as in English. ... Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets) of the superior teeth. ... Retroflex consonants are articulated with the tip of the tongue curled up and back so the bottom of the tip touches the roof of the mouth. ... Liquid consonants, or liquids, are approximant consonants that are not classified as semivowels (glides) because they do not correspond phonetically to specific vowels (in the way that, for example, the initial in English yes corresponds to ). The class of liquids can be divided into lateral liquids and rhotics. ...


Words starting with vowels

A substantial number of words also begin and end with vowels, which helps the languages' agglutinative property.


karanu (cry), elumbu (bone), adu (that), awade (there), idu (this), illai (no, absent)


adu-idil-illai (that-this-in-absent = that is absent in this)


Numbers

The numbers from 1 to 10 in various Dravidian languages.

Number Tamil Telugu Kannada Tulu Malayalam Kurukh Kolami Brahui Proto-Dravidian
1 onru okai ondu onji onnu oa okkod asi *oru(1)
2 irau renu erau radu randu indiŋ irā irā *iru(2)
3 nru u ru mūji nnu mūnd mūndiŋ musi *muC
4 nālu, nālku, nānku nālugu nālku nālu nālu kh nāliŋ čār (II) *nāl
5 aintu ayidu aidu ainu añcu pancē (II) ayd(3) panč (II) *cayN
6 āru āru āru āji āru soyyē (II) ār(3) šaš (II) *caru
7 ēu ēu ēlu ēlu ēu sattē (II) ē(3) haft (II) *eu
8 eu enimidi eu ēma eu ahē (II) enumadī (3) hašt (II) *eu
9 onpatu tommidi ombattu ormba onbatu naiyē (II) tomdī (3) nōh (II) *to
10 pattu padi hattu pattu pathu dassē (II) padī (3) dah (II) *pat(tu)
  1. This is the same as another word meaning "one" in another sense in Tamil and Malayalam - the distinction is as between Spanish "un" and "uno".
  2. This is still found in compound words, and has taken on a meaning of "double" in Tamil and Malayalam. For example, irupatu (20, literally meaning "double-ten") or "irai" ("double") or Iruvar (meaning two people).
  3. Kolami numbers 5-10 are borrowed from Telugu
  • Words indicated (II) are borrowings from Indo-Iranian languages.

Tamil ( ; IPA ) is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamils in India and Sri Lanka, with smaller communities of speakers in many other countries. ... Telugu (తెలుగు) is a Dravidian language (South-Central Dravidian languages) primarily spoken in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, where it is the official language. ... Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ ) is one of the major Dravidian languages of India, spoken predominantly in the southern state of Karnataka. ... Tulu (Kannada script: ತುಳು) is a Dravidian language of India with fewer than two million speakers, known as Tuluvas. ... Malayalam ( ) is the language spoken predominantly in the state of Kerala, in southern India. ... The Oraon are a tribal (Adivasi) people of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, India. ... Kolami is a tribal Dravidian language used in Andhra Pradesh and Orissa states of India. ... The Brahui (بروہی) or Bravi (براوِ) language, spoken by the Brahui, is mainly spoken in Balochistan, Pakistan, although it is also spoken in Afghanistan and Iran. ... Proto-Dravidian is the proto-language of the Dravidian languages. ... Telugu (తెలుగు) is a Dravidian language (South-Central Dravidian languages) primarily spoken in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, where it is the official language. ... The Indo-Iranian language group constitutes the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European family of languages. ...

Stability and Continuity of Dravidian

The Dravidian language family has been considered remarkably stable. Some aspects of its stability are:

  • Relative stability of root vowels seems to have been the rule (Zvelebil) [[2]]
  • A tendency toward structural and systemic balance and stability is characteristic of the Dravidian group (Zvelebil, ibid)

Dravidian substratum influence on Sanskrit

Dravidian and Sanskrit have influenced each other in various ways. Some earlier views in this interrelationship tended to view it as one-way from Sanskrit to Dravidian as evidenced in the following statements: "While the origins and initial development of Dravidian languages was independent of Sanskrit,[12] during later centuries, however, Dravidian languages like Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu have been greatly influenced by Sanskrit in terms of vocabulary, grammar and literary styles.[13]" Kannada - aptly described as sirigannada (known to few as Kanarese) is one of the oldest Dravidian languages and is spoken in its various dialects by roughly 45 million people. ... Malayalam (മലയാളം ) is the language spoken predominantly in the state of Kerala, in southern India. ... Tamil ( ; IPA ) is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamils in India and Sri Lanka, with smaller communities of speakers in many other countries. ... Telugu (తెలుగు) is a Dravidian language (South-Central Dravidian languages) primarily spoken in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, where it is the official language. ... The Sanskrit language ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ...


The above views must be considered in the light of the well-known Indologist and linguist (Zvelebil 1975: pp50-51): "... the period of the high water mark of Tamil classical literature was one in which the two great Sanskrit epics were already completed, but the Sanskrit classical poetry was barely emerging with Aśvaghoṣa." More importantly he continues: "No stylistic feature or convention could have been borrowed by the Tamils (though of course there are borrowings of purāṇic stories" (emphasis added). Zvelebil remarks:"Though the dominance of Sanskrit was exaggerated in some Brahmanic circles of Tamilnadu, and Tamil was given unduly underestimated by a few Sanskrit-oriented scholars, the Tamil and Sanskrit cultures were not generally in rivalry".


However more recent research has shown that Sanskrit has been influenced in certain more fundamental ways than Dravidian languages have been by it: It is by way of phonology and even more significantly here via grammatical constructs. This has been the case from the earliest language available (ca. 1200 B.C.) of Sanskrit: the Ṛg Vedic speech.


The Ṛg Vedic language has retroflex consonants even though it is well known that the Indo European family and the Indo-Iranian subfamily to which Sanskrit belongs lack retroflex consonants (ṭ/ḍ, ṇ) with about 88 words in the Ṛg Veda having unconditioned retroflexes (Kuiper 1991, Witzel 1999). Some sample words are: (Iṭanta, Kaṇva,śakaṭī, kevaṭa, puṇya, maṇḍūka) This is cited as a serious evidence of substrate influence from close contact of the Vedic speakers with speakers of a foreign language family rich in retroflex phonemes (Kuiper 1991, Witzel 1999). Obviously the Dravidian family would be a serious candidate here (ibid as well as Krishnamurti 2003: p36) since it is rich in retroflex phonemes reconstructible back to the Proto-Dravidian stage[See Subrahmanyam 1983:p40, Zvelebil 1990, Krishnamurti 2003].


A more serious influence on Vedic Sanskrit is the extensive grammatical influence attested by the usage of the quotative marker iti and the occurrence of gerunds of verbs, a grammatical feature not found even in the c the Avestan language a sister language of the Vedic Sanskrit. As Krishnamurti states: "Besides, the Ṛg Veda has used the gerund, not found in Avestan, with the same grammatical function as in Dravidian, as a non-finite verb for 'incomplete' action. Ṛg Vedic language also attests the use of iti as a quotative clause complementizer. All these features are not a consequence of simple borrowing but they indicate substratum influence (Kuiper 1991: ch 2)".


The noted Indologist Zvelebil remarks [[3]]: "Several scholars have demonstrated that pre-Indo-Aryan and pre-Dravidian bilingualism in India provided conditions for the far-reaching influence of Dravidian on the Indo-Aryan tongues in the spheres of phonology (e.g., the retroflex consonants, made with the tongue curled upward toward the palate), syntax (e.g., the frequent use of gerunds, which are nonfinite verb forms of nominal character, as in “by the falling of the rain”), and vocabulary (a number of Dravidian loanwords apparently appearing in the Rigveda itself)"


See also

Notes

  1. ^ Ethnologue
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Krishnamurti, Bhadriraju (2003) The Dravidian Languages Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-77111-0 at p. 40-41.
  4. ^ Tyler, Stephen (1968), "Dravidian and Uralian: the lexical evidence". Language 44:4. 798-812
  5. ^ Webb, Edward (1860), "Evidences of the Scythian Affinities of the Dravidian Languages, Condensed and Arranged from Rev. R. Caldwell's Comparative Dravidian Grammar", Journal of the American Oriental Society Vol. 7. 271-298.
  6. ^ Burrow, T. (1944) "Dravidian Studies IV: The Body in Dravidian and Uralian". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 11:2. 328-356.
  7. ^ a b Zvelebil, Kamal (2006). Dravidian Languages. In Encyclopædia Britannica (DVD edition).
  8. ^ Andronov, Mikhail S. (1971), "Comparative Studies on the Nature of Dravidian-Uralian Parallels: A Peep into the Prehistory of Language Families". Proceedings of the Second International Conference of Tamil Studies Madras. 267-277.
  9. ^ Zvelebil, Kamal (1970), Comparative Dravidian Phonology Mouton, The Hauge. at p. 22 contains a bibliography of articles supporting and opposing the theory
  10. ^ Krishnamurti, Bhadriraju (2003) The Dravidian Languages Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 0-521-77111-0 at p. 43.
  11. ^ "Dravidian languages." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2007. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 13 March 2007 <http://search.eb.com/eb/article-9109791>
  12. ^ Kittel (1993), p1-2
  13. ^ "Literature in all Dravidian languages owes a great deal to Sanskrit, the magic wand whose touch raised each of the languages from a level of patois to that of a literary idiom" (Sastri 1955, p309)

A lexicon is a list of words together with additional word-specific information, i. ... is the 72nd day of the year (73rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era. ...

References

  • Caldwell, R., A comparative grammar of the Dravidian, or, South-Indian family of languages, London: Harrison, 1856.; Reprinted London, K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & co., ltd., 1913; rev. ed. by J.L. Wyatt and T. Ramakrishna Pillai, Madras, University of Madras, 1961, reprint Asian Educational Services, 1998. ISBN 81-206-0117-3
  • Campbell, A.D., A grammar of the Teloogoo language, commonly termed the Gentoo, peculiar to the Hindoos inhabiting the northeastern provinces of the Indian peninsula, 3d ed. Madras, Printed at the Hindu Press, 1849.
  • Krishnamurti, B., The Dravidian Languages, Cambridge University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-521-77111-0
  • Subrahmanyam, P.S., Dravidian Comparative Phonology, Annamalai University, 1983.
  • Zvelebil, Kamil., Dravidian Linguistics: An Introduction", PILC (Pondicherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture), 1990
  • Zvelebil, Kamil., Tamil Literature, E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1975, ISBN: 90-04-04190-7
  • Kuiper, F.B.J., Aryans in the Rig Veda", Rodopi, 1991, ISBN: 90-5183-307-5 (CIP)
  • Witzel, Michael, Early Sources for South Asian Substrate Languages.Boston, "Mother Tongue", extra number 1999[4]

Bishop Robert Caldwell (1814 -1891) was an orientalist who pioneered the study of the Dravidian languages with his influential work Comparative Grammar of Dravidian Languages (1856; revised edition 1875). ... Bhadriraju Krishnamurti (IAST: Bhadrirāju Kṛṣṇamūrti) (June 19, 1928 - ) is an eminent Dravidianist and most respected Indian linguist of his generation. ...

External links

  • Dravidian Etymological Dictionary. The complete dravidian etymological dictionary in a searchable online form.
  • Dravidian languages page in SIL Ethnologue.
  • Dravidian from Etruscan Paper claiming a relationship between Dravidian and Etruscan.
  • Dravidian origin of the Guanches. A paper claiming a Dravidian origin for the language of the Guanches.
  • Tamil and Japanese
  • http://www.brahui.tk A site by Shafique-Ur-Rehman, Its all about Brahui People live mostly in Balochistan, Pakistan.
  • A subsection of the "Languages of the World" Site maintained by the National Virtual Translation Center in Washington DC.

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