Dravidian languages

Dravidian is a group of about eighty-five related languages spoken mainly in Southern and to a lesser extent in central India by about 220 million people.

The most widespread languages of the group are Telugu,Kannada,Tamil and Malayalam,all of which are found in South India,while Tamil also extends into northern Sri Lanka.

Dravidian languages
where they are spoken
Apart from South India, Dravidian extends to some areas in the central country while the Brahui language (750 thousand) is spoken in Pakistan and along with Dangar is the only Dravidian spoken exclusively outside India.

Dravidian is also spoken by communities abroad in Iran, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Singapore.

Dravidian is considered indigenous to South India,but its influence on the Indo-Aryan people of the north suggest that it was formerly spoken over a more extensive area.

The presence of the large Brahui community in Pakistan is problematic in relation to the traditional view that the Dravidians came from southern India.

Earlier Dravidian must have been more widespread in the Pakistan and Iranian region and it is speculated that Dravidian languages were spoken in ancient Elam.

Nostratic theory and classification
Related to all this is the theory that Dravidian came from the west ,from the Mediterranean region,thousands of years before the arrival of the Indo-Aryans.

This view coincides with the Nostratic theory which holds that all Dravidian, Indo-European, Uralic and Semitic languages came from a common ancestor of the Palaeolithic era, the so-called Proto-Nostratic language.

This conclusion was drawn from the many similarities in vocabulary, grammar between distant languages and common customs and traditions among many peoples.This theory  is not very strong and is considered rather fringe at least for the moment until new evidence comes to light.

The prevailing theory at present is that the Dravidian language family is independent and unrelated to the Indo-Aryan languages of northern India which are classified as Indo-European.

However, despite the impossibility of tracing the path that relates Dravidian to Western languages,many Indo-European loans are observed in the Dravidian vocabulary and fewer grammatical ones.

On the contrary, Dravidian grammatical phenomena abound in Indo-European languages while lexical borrowings are fewer.These phenomena are particularly observed in the comparison of Dravidian with Sanskrit.

Concerning vocabulary I detected a very curious similarity in some words such as the word helios in Greek, el , god in Hebrew and el the sun in Telugu; also 'nir' is water in many Dravidian languages νερό (nero) water in Greek.

Dravidian languages are adhesive languages.


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