By Bhadriraju Krishnamurti
The Dravidian languages are spoken through approximately 2 hundred million humans in South Asia and in diaspora groups around the globe. They contain Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu, in addition to over 20 non-literary languages. Bhadriraju Krishnamurti, the most eminent Dravidianists of our time, presents a linguistic review of the Dravidian language family members. He describes its historical past and writing process, discusses its constitution and typology, and considers its lexicon. far-off and newer contacts among Dravidian and different language teams also are lined.
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Additional info for The Dravidian Languages (Cambridge Language Surveys)
4954]. Even in the terms referring to one generation above, there is local specialization as well as variation in generation overlap. Thus it is not unusual to ﬁnd a term meaning mother/father in one language means grandmother/grandfather in another language. Thus t¯ata, appa, ayya have overlapping meanings regionally. l , ∗ kan. t-a-, ∗ mazc-a, ∗ m¯ay-tt-/∗ m¯a-cc-  ‘man’;∗ a¯ l . ˚ ∗ , pen. t-)  ‘woman’. 13 Marriage [∗ mat-al/-uw-ay, 4694 SD I, pen. d-ili, 4395a SD II, ∗ wet-V - ‘to search, .
A ‘native language’ and samsk r. ta ‘Sanskrit’. 6 per cent (1991). Because of a high rate of literacy, the publishing and newspaper industry has been ﬂourishing in Malay¯alam. The religious . 2 per . 4 Names of languages and geographical distribution 23 cent. Malay¯alam had 1,373 newspapers (dailies 213) in 1999 (India 2001). Malay¯alam . does not have diglossia of the Tamil kind. There has been no good description of Malay¯alam dialects. ‘Malay¯alam has many . different regional and social dialects .
However, in the case of Dravidian, there are certain limitations to be taken into account: 1. Only four of the Dravidian languages have recorded history and literature starting from pre-CE to the eleventh century. The available dictionaries of the literary languages are extensive, running to over 100,000 lexical items in each case. The vocabulary of the non-literary languages is not commensurate. Now Tulu . has a six-volume lexicon, but there is no comparable dictionary for Kodagu, which is also semi-literary in the sense .