Kota language

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Not to be confused with Kota language (Bantu).
Kō mānt
Native to India
Region Nilgiri Hills
Ethnicity 1,400 Kotas (2001 census?)[1]
Native speakers
930  (2001 census)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 kfe
Glottolog kota1263[3]

Kota is a language of the Dravidian language family with about 900 native speakers in the Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu state, India. It is spoken mainly by the tribal Kota people. While Kota and its closest neighbor, the Toda language, are part of the Dravidian language family, it has been identified to be part of the even smaller Nilgiri subgroup within that language family.[4] In the late 1800s, the native speaking population was about 1,100.[5] An increased presence of other surrounding dialects, however, has made Kota a "critically endangered" language due to a drastic decrease in the number of speakers.[6]


Consonants [7]
Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar
Plosive voiceless p t ʈ c (t͡ʃ) k
voiced b d ɖ ɟ (d͡ʒ) ɡ
Nasal m ɳ ɲ
Approximant central ʋ j
lateral l ɭ
Tap ɾ ɽ
Fricative s

[s] and [z] occur in free variation with /c (t͡ʃ)/ and /ɟ (d͡ʒ)/. [ʂ] occurs as an allophone of /s/ before retroflexes.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kota language at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Kota at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Kota (India)". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  4. ^ Wolf, Richard. 2012. "Kota language". In Encyclopedia of the Nilgiri Hills, edited by Paul Hockings, 495–501. New Delhi: Manohar and Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Pres
  5. ^ Caldwell, Robert. 1875. A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian Or South-Indian Family of Languages. London: Trübner & Company
  6. ^ Prema, Dr. S. n.d. "Status of Dravidian Tribal Languages in Kerala" University of Kerala
  7. ^ Krishnamurti, Bhadriraju (2003). The Dravidian languages (null ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-511-06037-3. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]