Tamil–Kannada languages

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Tamil–Kannada
Geographic
distribution:
South India
Linguistic classification: Dravidian
Subdivisions:
  • Kannada–Badaga
  • Tamil–Kodagu
Glottolog: tami1291[1]

Tamil–Kannada is an inner branch (Zvelebil 1990:56) of the South Dravidian I (SDr I) subfamily of the Southern Dravidian languages that include Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. (There have been slight differences in the way Dravidian languages are grouped by various Dravidian linguists: (See Subrahmanyam 1983, Zvelebil 1990, Krishnamurthi 2003)). Tamil–Kannada itself is designated as a branch of the South Dravidian I subfamily and in turn branches off into Tamil–Kodagu and Kannada–Badaga. The languages that constitute the Tamil–Kannada branch are Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam, Irula, Toda, Kota and Kodagu, Badaga. (Zvelebil 1990:56)

The separation of Tamil–Kannada into independent languages occurred with the separation of Tulu and before the separation of the Kodagu branch from Southern-Proto-Dravidian language, somewhere around 2000–1500 BC.

Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam are recognized among the official languages of India and are spoken mainly in South India. All three are officially recognised as classical languages by the Government of India, along with Sanskrit and Telugu.

Phonological features[edit]

Tamil presently has both retroflex lateral (/ɭ/) and retroflex fricative (zh) sounds[citation needed], whereas Kannada has retained only the retroflex lateral. Evidences show that both retroflex fricative and the retroflex laterals were once (before the 10th century) present in Kannada also. However, all the retroflex fricatives changed into retroflex laterals in Kannada later. In Kannada, the bilabial voiceless plosive ('p-') at the beginning of many words has disappeared to produce a velar fricative (h) or has disappeared completely. This change is unique to Kannada in the Dravidian family. Tamil does not show this change.

Tamil and Telugu show the conversion of velar plosives ('k-') into palatal plosives at the beginning of the words (refer to comparative method for details). Kannada, however, is totally inert to this change and hence the velar plosives are retained as such or with minimum changes in the corresponding words.

Dravidian languages genealogy[edit]

 
 
 
 
Proto-Dravidian
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proto-South-Dravidian
 
Proto-South-Central Dravidian
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proto-Tamil-Kannada
 
 
 
Proto-Telugu
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proto-Tamil-Toda
 
Proto-Kannada
 
Proto-Telugu
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proto-Tamil-Kodagu
 
Kannada
 
Telugu
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proto-Tamil-Malayalam
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Proto-Tamil
 
Malayalam
 
 
 
 
 
Tamil
This tree diagram depicts the genealogy of the primary Dravidian languages spoken
in South India.

References[edit]

  • 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
  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Tamil–Kannada". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.