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Encyclopedia > Mahl language
Mahl
މަހަލް mahal
Spoken in: Minicoy (India); Maldives
Total speakers: 15,000-20,000 (Mahl only)
Language family: Indo-European
 Indo-Iranian
  Indo-Aryan
   Southern zone
    Sinhalese-Maldivian
     Mahl
Language codes
ISO 639-1: dv
ISO 639-2: div
ISO/DIS 639-3: div — Dhivehi 

Mahl (މަހަލް mahal), also known locally as Maliku Bas, is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the people of Minicoy (Maliku). Mahl is a dialect of Divehi Language, the official language of Maldives. Minicoy Island (Maliku) Minicoy Island or Maliku is the second largest and the southern-most island of the Laccadive Archipelago north of the Maldives. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families Most languages are known to belong to language families. ... The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred languages and dialects (443 according to the SIL estimate), including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many in Southwest Asia, Central Asia and Southern Asia. ... The Indo-Iranian languages are the language links between India and Iran. ... The Indo-Aryan languages form a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, thus belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. ... West and South-west group of the Modern Indo-aryan languages has five members in it. ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2:1998 Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 2: Alpha-3 code Twenty-two of the languages have two three-letter codes: a code for bibliographic use (ISO 639-2/B) a code for terminological use (ISO 639-2/T). ... ISO 639-3 is in process of development as an international standard for language codes. ... Dhivehi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 300,000 people in the Republic of Maldives where it is the official language of the country and in the island of Minicoy (Maliku) in neighbouring India where it is known as Mahl. ... The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a system of phonetic notation devised by linguists to accurately and uniquely represent each of the wide variety of sounds (phones or phonemes) used in spoken human language. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone = sound/voice) is the study of sounds (voice). ... Due to technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. ... This is a concise version of the International Phonetic Alphabet for English sounds. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... The Indo-Aryan languages form a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, thus belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. ... Minicoy Island (Maliku) Minicoy Island or Maliku is the second largest and the southern-most island of the Laccadive Archipelago north of the Maldives. ... Dhivehi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 300,000 people in the Republic of Maldives where it is the official language of the country and in the island of Minicoy (Maliku) in neighbouring India where it is known as Mahl. ...


Linguists agree that Mahl is an Indo-Aryan language closely related to Hindi, Marathi and its most closest sister is Sinhalese. Dhivehi represents the southernmost Indo-Aryan language and even the southern most Indo-European language. Together with the closely related Sinhalese, Mahl (Divehi) establishes a special sub group within the West and Southwest group of the Modern Indo-Aryan languages. Hindi (हिन्दी hind), an Indo-European language spoken mainly in North, Central, and West India, is the official language of the Indian Union. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred languages and dialects (443 according to the SIL estimate), including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many in Southwest Asia, Central Asia and Southern Asia. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Dhivehi is an Indo-Aryan language and the official language of the Republic of the Maldives. ... West and South-west group of the Modern Indo-aryan languages has five members in it. ...

Contents


History

Mahl first appeared in writing around 10th century AD.


Classification

Mahl belongs to the Indo-Aryan group of the Indo-European family of languages.


Geographic distribution

Most speakers of Mahl live in the Minicoy island of Lakshadweep, while a few reside in Kochi and elsewhere in the state of Kerala. It is also spoken by about 300,000 people in the Republic of Maldives. Minicoy Island (Maliku) Minicoy Island or Maliku is the second largest and the southern-most island of the Laccadive Archipelago north of the Maldives. ... Lakshadweep (Malayalam:ലക്ഷദ്വീപ്) is the smallest Union Territory of India. ... Kochi (Malayalam: കൊച്ചി []), formerly known as Cochin, is a city in the Indian state of Kerala. ... Kerala ((?); Malayalam: കേരളം — ) is a state on the tropical Malabar Coast of southwestern India. ...


Official status

Dhivehi is the official language of Maldives.


Dialects

According to Sonja Fritz:


"In many respects, the dialects of Divehi represent different diachronial stages in the development of the language. Especially in the field of morphology, the amount of archaich features steadily increase from the north to the south. Within the three southern most atolls (of the Maldives), the dialect of the Addu islands which form the southern tip of the whole archipelago is characterized by the highest degree of archaicity".


Sonja Fritz puts forward this theory based on research into the dialects of Addu and Fua Mulah. She is yet to do reasearch on the dialect of Huvadhu Atoll. And even she has to do more research on both Addu and Fua Mulah dialect. Only then can she determine whether the dialects Fua Mulah and Huvadhu or that of Addu is more archaich. How ever from Male' (Maldives) to the south up to Huvadhu Atoll (Maldives) the amount of archaich features increase but from Huvadhu Atoll the amount of archaich features decrease towards south. And the dialect of Huvadhu is characterized by the highest degree of archaicity.


Fritz also adds:


"Thus the different classes of verb conjugation and nominal inflection are best preserved there, morphological simplifications and, as a consequence increasing from atoll to atoll towards north (in the Maldives)".


Other dialects of Dhivehi are, amongst others, Haddhunmathee bas, Huvadhoo bas, Moloki bas and Addu bas. Dhivehi is an Indo-Aryan language and the official language of the Republic of the Maldives. ...


Modern standard

Modern standard Mahl is the standard language used in written Mahl.


Sound

The sound system of Mahl is similar to that of South Indian languages. Like other Modern Indo-aryan languages the Mahl phonemic inventory shows an opposition of long and short vowels, of dental and retroflex consonants as well as single and geminate consonants.


Nominal morphology

The nominal system of Mahl comprises nouns, pronouns, adjectives and numerals as parts of speech.


Numerals

Mahl uses two numeral systems. Both of them are identical up to 30. After 30, however, one system plces the unit numeral stem before the decade (for example: eh-thirees '31' lit. one and thirty) while the other combines the stem of the decade with the unit numeral (for example: thirees-ekeh '31' lit. thirty + one). The latter system also has numerals multiplied by ten for decades 70, 80 and 90.


The decade fas dholhas '60' lit. five twelves, comes from a much older duodecimal or dozen system which has nearly disappeared. A duodecimal multiplication table The duodecimal (also known as base-12 or dozenal) system is a numeral system using twelve as its base. ...


Verbal morphology

The Mahl verbal system is characterized by a derivational relationship between active, causative and involitive/intransitive verb forms.


Alphabet

Thaana alphabet

Mahl uses the Thaana alphabet for writing. Thaana is the writing system for the Dhivehi language spoken in the Maldives. ...

Thaana alphabet

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (856x1496, 85 KB) Summary A graphic Guide to Thaana Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (856x1496, 85 KB) Summary A graphic Guide to Thaana Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...

Devanagari script for Mahl

Though Mahl is written with Thaana alphabet, around 1950s a Devanagari script was modified to write Mahl Language. Thaana is the writing system for the Dhivehi language spoken in the Maldives. ...

Devanagari script for Mahl
Devanagari script for Mahl

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (821x1603, 68 KB) Summary Devanagari Script for Mahl Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (821x1603, 68 KB) Summary Devanagari Script for Mahl Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...

Grammar

Mahl grammar is like that of other Indo-Aryan languages spoken in the region.


Vocabulary

The Mahl language enriched with many words borrowed from other languages.


Word origins

The Mahl has borrowed words from Arabic (in particular many religious terms), Portuguese, Urdu, Hindi and more recently, English (in particular many scientific and technological terms). Some examples follow: Countries where Arabic is spoken. ... The phrase Zaban-e Urdu-e Mualla written in Urdu Urdu () is an Indo-European language of the Indo-Aryan family that developed under Persian, Turkish, and Arabic influence in South Asia during the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire (1200-1800). ... Hindi (हिन्दी hind), an Indo-European language spoken mainly in North, Central, and West India, is the official language of the Indian Union. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...

  • taareekh - date or history (from Arabic tarikh)
  • zaraafaa - giraffe (from Arabic zarafah)

A lot of English words are commonly used in conversation and are practically a part of the Mahl vocabulary and they include - phone, note, radio.


Some common phrases

Mahl Phrase Latin Transliteration English Translation
ސުވަސްތީ Suvasthee Welcome
ޝުކުރިއްޔާ Shukuriyyaa Thank you
ނޫން Noon No

Mahl word box

Mahl Word Latin Transliteration English Translation
ކަނީރު Kaneeru Oleander
ކަންފަތް Kanfaiy Ear
ކަނިފަށް Kanifah Barb
ކަންކުން Kankun Water spinach
ކުޑަ Kuda Umbrella

Modern issues

Information technology issues

Typography

The Mahl Unit Press at Minicoy started functioning in 1984 onwards where all kinds of Mahl printing work is undertaken. The press also releases the Lakshadweep Times in three languages on a regular basis: Mahl, English and Malayalam. Presently this unit is functioning in the main Building which is constructed in 1998. For the first time in the history, Mahl Language was brought into the field of typography.


Activities :

  1. Production of note books for the department of Education and Jawahar Navodaya School at Minicoy.
  2. Printing Mahl Text Book for I to IV Standards.
  3. Undertaking printing work from the public on a payment basis.

Text editors

Fthaana, Universal Word, Accent Express, Accent Special Edition are the most common word processors used. However now most of the people use MS Word to write Mahl.


Fonts

Unicode support for Thaana characters

Thaana occupies Unicode codepoints 1920-1983 (hexadecimal 0780-07BF).

Characters of the Thaana script
(vowels are displayed with an alifu carrier)
Grapheme HTML Unicode Name Romanization IPA value
ހ
ހ HAA h [h]
ށ
ށ SHAVIYANI sh [ʂ]
ނ
ނ NOONU n [n]
ރ
ރ RAA r [r]
ބ
ބ BAA b [b]
ޅ
ޅ LHAVIYANI lh [ɭ]
ކ
ކ KAAFU k [k]
އ
އ ALIFU varies see article
ވ
ވ VAAVU v [v]
މ
މ MEEMU m [m]
ފ
ފ FAAFU f [f]
ދ
ދ DHAALU dh [d]
ތ
ތ THAA th [t]
ލ
ލ LAAMU l [l]
ގ
ގ GAAFU g [g]
ޏ
ޏ GNAVIYANI gn [ɲ]
ސ
ސ SEENU s [s]
ޑ
ޑ DAVIYANI d [ɖ]
ޒ
ޒ ZAVIYANI z [z]
ޓ
ޓ TAVIYANI t [ʈ]
ޔ
ޔ YAA y [j]
ޕ
ޕ PAVIYANI p [p]
ޖ
ޖ JAVIYANI j [ɟ]
ޗ
ޗ CHAVIYANI ch [c]
ޘ
ޘ TTAA Arabic-to-Dhivehi
transliteration
characters
ޙ
ޙ HHAA
ޚ
ޚ KHAA
ޛ
ޛ THAALU
ޜ
ޜ ZAA English-to-Dhivehi
transliteration [ʒ]
ޝ
ޝ SHEENU Arabic-to-Dhivehi
transliteration
characters
ޞ
ޞ SAADHU
ޟ
ޟ DAADHU
ޠ
ޠ TO
ޡ
ޡ ZO
ޢ
ޢ AINU
ޣ
ޣ GHAINU
ޤ
ޤ QAAFU
ޥ
ޥ WAAVU
އަ
ަ ABAFILI a [a]
އާ
ާ AABAAFILI aa [aː]
އި
ި IBIFILI i [i]
އީ
ީ EEBEEFILI ee [iː]
އު
ު UBUFILI u [u]
އޫ
ޫ OOBOOFILI oo [uː]
އެ
ެ EBEFILI e [e]
އޭ
ޭ EYBEYFILI ey [eː]
އޮ
ޮ OBOFILI o [o]
އޯ
ޯ OABOAFILI oa [oː]
އް
ް SUKUN varies see article
ޱ
ޱ NAA (Addu dialect)  ?  ?

A grapheme designates the atomic unit in written language. ... The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a system of phonetic notation devised by linguists to accurately and uniquely represent each of the wide variety of sounds (phones or phonemes) used in spoken human language. ... Addu or Seenu Atoll is the southernmost atoll of the Republic of Maldives. ...

Mahl literature

Main article: Mahl literature

Husain Salaahuddheen wrote Siyarathunnabaviyyaa which is the most famous religious literature. The poet Bandeyri Hasan Manikufaan ranks as the most important major literateur in the Mahl language. Bandeyri Hasan Manikufaan wrote Dhiyoage Raivaru.


Other prominent poets include Edhuru Umaru Maafaiy Kaleygefaanu, Mohamed Amin, and Assayyidhu Bodufenvalhugey Seedhee.


Mahl authors

Hussain Salahuddin (Dhivehi: ހުސެއިން ސަލާހުއްދީން) (March 31, 1881 - November 14, 1947) was was an influential Maldivian writer, poet, essayist, and scholar. ... Order: 1st President Term of office: 1953 – 1953 Preceded by: Sultan Abdul Majeed Succeeded by: Sultan Muhammad Fareed Didi Date of birth: Place of birth: First Lady: Political party: Peoples Progress Party Al Ameer Mohamed Amin Dhoshimeynaa Kilegefaanu (އަލްއަމީރު Þ‰ÞªÞ€Þ¦Þ‡Þ°Þ‰Þ¦Þ‹Þ° Þ‡Þ¦Þ‰Þ©Þ‚Þ° ދޮށިމޭނާ ކިލެގެފާނު) (born 19XX) popularly known as Mohamed Amin Didi was a Maldivian political...

External links

Notes

Further reading

  • Cain, Bruce D. (2000). Divehi (Maldivian): A Synchronic and Diachronic study, PhD thesis presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School at Cornell University.
  • Fritz, Sonja. (2001). The Divehi Language: A Descriptive and Historical Grammar of the Maldivian and its Dialects, Heidelberg.

 
 

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