|கொங்கு தமிழ் tamiḻ|
|Native to||Tamil Nadu - Kongu Region|
|(no estimate available)|
Official language in
|India (Tamil Nadu)|
Distribution of native Tamil speakers in India and Sri Lanka
Kongu Tamil (Tamil: கொங்குத் தமிழ்) is the dialect of Tamil language that is spoken in Kongu Nadu, which is the western region of Tamil Nadu. It is originally known as "Kangee"` or "Kongalam" or "Kongappechu".
The name Kongu etymologically means 'border' in Sangam Tamil. Alternative theories seems to point at 'Ganga' as the source for the name. Gangeya (Kaangeyam) and Ganganadu are alternative historical names for the Kongu region.
The speciality of Kongu Tamil is the use of the alveolar ற - Tra/Dra (as in the English word track) instead of retroflex T/D (ட) of standard tamil. For example 'ennuDaya' (mine) of standard Tamil is pronounced enRa in the Kongu dialect. Additionally the use of guttural nasal (ங்) that sounds "ng" as in the English word Gang, is more prevalent in Kongu Tamil, leading to situations where the grammar of Kongu Tamil would not fit into the grammar of standard Tamil (as laid down in authoritative treatises like Tolkappiyam and Nannool). One of the examples is the use of ங் to end a word like வாங் "vaang", means 'come' expressed in a respectful tone, which in standard Tamil would be "vaanga".
Kongu Tamil also uses certain Tamil words that are unique to Kongu region and are not used in standard Tamil.
The dialect is spoken mainly in the Kongu Nadu region in western Tamil Nadu, comprising the following regions: Coimbatore, Karur, Salem, Tirupur, Erode, Pollachi, Kangayam, Gobichettipalayam, Udumalaipettai, Mettupalayam, Dharapuram, Sathyamangalam, Palladam, Rasipuram, Attur, Nilgiris, Namakkal, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Palani, Oddanchatram, Dindigul, Vedasandur, Thottiyam and Tirupattur.
- "In the southern part of Mysore the Tamil language is at this day named the Kangee, from being best known to them as the language of the people of Kangiam". Cf. Wilks: Mysore 1, 4n. 55.