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Dravidian Languages

Posted: 2012-08-15, 23:26
by Yasna
Which Dravidian language has the best shot at one day becoming the lingua franca of South India? I'd like to learn a Dravidian language but it seems impossible to choose between Telugu and Tamil.

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2012-08-16, 7:06
by Meera
Tamil, because it's the oldest Dravidian Language and has the most prominence in the region, it also has the most resources and besides India it's also spoken in Sri Lanka and Singapore. However I don't think any of the Dravidian Languages will become a lingua franca anytime soon.

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2012-08-16, 7:17
by Saim
I don't see that happening unless South India secedes, since the current Indian policy is to use Hindi and English as linking languages. Keep in mind that:

1. Dravidian nationalism is pretty much limited to Tamil Nadu, so even if the Tamils secede (and they probably won't) this won't guarantee the rest of the South. And even if the whole south did secede, who's to stay they'd form only one Dravidian state rather than four?
2. The rest of the South is also regionalistic and so would want to promote their own languages and would prefer to keep using English rather than having to learn Tamil, especially since many of them already know formal, educated English better than the actual standards of their native langauges.

But yeah, I'd go with Tamil. It's spoken in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia as well, gives you a decent understanding of Malayalam (I'm not sure how intelligible Telugu and Kannada are), and its speakers are the least likely to know Hindi (a much higher proportion of Telugus know it, especially since there is a large Urdu-speaker national minority in Andhra Pradesh).

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2012-08-16, 7:38
by Meera
Saim wrote:
But yeah, I'd go with Tamil. It's spoken in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia as well, gives you a decent understanding of Malayalam (I'm not sure how intelligible Telugu and Kannada are), and its speakers are the least likely to know Hindi (a much higher proportion of Telugus know it, especially since there is a large Urdu-speaker national minority in Andhra Pradesh).


Malayalam and Tamil are the closest Dravidian languages in my opinion, I don't have much expirence with Telugu or Kannada, but Telugu tends to usea lot of Sanskritc words, more so than Tamil or Malayalam. I don't know a lot about Kannada but from just hearing it, it sounds very different from Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. But your right I don't see any Dravidian language being used as lingua franca in the south, but if it did happen most likely it would be Tamil.

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2012-08-16, 14:24
by TeneReef
Which Tamil, spoken or formal Tamil?
Most Malayalis speak a mix of Malayalam and formal Tamil when they say ''I speak Tamil''. :mrgreen:
Except for Asin, most Malayalam-speaking actresses use a mix of Malayalam, Tamil and English in interviews. :para: You can understand Nayanthara's interviews in Tamil, since more than 50% it's English mixed in. :lol:

Malayalam does have a lot of Sanskrit words, but most concepts come in pairs,
so MOON can be both tingal (Dravidian) and chandran (Sanskrit), and so on.

The Moon is nila [ni:la] in Tamil Nadu Tamil (nila means ''blue color'' in Malayalam)
while it's sandiran in Sri Lanka Tamil (SL Tamil sandiran and Malayalam chandran are cognates).

Tamil Nadu Tamil has deleted 90% of its Sanskrit vocabulary in the last 100 years,
but Sri Lankan Tamil did not, so:

Sri Lankan Tamil should be a Dravidian lingua franca, it's halfway between Malayalam and Tamil Nadu Tamil. ;)

You can see a Tamil actor Vikram speaking Malayalam here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxaGae6UGjg

I like Malayalam, and SL Tamil. TN Tamil and Telugu don't sound very appealing to me (except in songs). Kannada sounds ugly (not even songs can save it).

why-not-sing-kolaveri-di-in-jaffna-tamil

http://groundviews.org/2012/01/03/why-n ... fna-tamil/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-GmD7hxDy0&feature=player_embedded

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2012-08-16, 16:34
by Meera
TeneReef wrote:Malayalam does have a lot of Sanskrit words, but most concepts come in pairs,
so MOON can be both tingal (Dravidian) and chandran (Sanskrit), and so on.




Well most Indian languages have a lot of sanskrit words, but Telugu has the most followed by Bengali.

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2012-08-19, 2:03
by hindupridemn
Kannada is the most divergent of the Southern Dravidian languages. although Tulu (not an official language) is supposedly closest to Proto-Dravidian. But maybe not. My source was a Tulu nationalist lol.

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2012-08-19, 14:12
by TeneReef
Malayalam is the closest to Proto-Dravidian, verbal forms don't change according to person and number. :wink:

Verbs in old Dravidian languages did not have any person marking.[8] Person endings of verbs observed in modern Dravidian languages are later innovations.[8] Malayalam is the only Dravidian language that does not show any verbal person suffixes,[8] so Malayalam verbs can be said to represent the original stage of Dravidian verbs.[8] Person suffixes in Beary bashe closely resemble those of Tulu,[8] although the past tense in this dialect agrees with that of standard Malayalam in shape as well as in the distribution of allomorphs


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beary_language

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2018-01-25, 21:46
by Yasna
Was there ever a Dravidian lingua franca in southern South Asia after the Proto-Dravidian split? A language that played a role similar to the one Hindi plays in the north today.

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2018-01-26, 0:29
by vijayjohn
Not that I know of. Lingua francas are kind of a foreign concept in South Asia, and it wasn't until the late 20th century that moving out of your home town became particularly common, plus communicating and traveling over long distances was far more difficult than it is now. I think even the imposition of Hindi on India as a whole may have been something the British did, not anyone before them, but I'm not 100% sure about that. Traditionally, AFAIK, the typical solution to the problems of multilingualism in a South Asian context is to learn each other's languages to some degree.

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2018-01-26, 7:27
by Saim
Elites would've known Sanskrit, and then Persian in the Islamic period though, right?

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2018-01-26, 16:00
by vijayjohn
Yes. In fact, I am not sure there was ever a time when Malayalam was used as a court language instead of Sanskrit. (However, all three of the other major Dravidian languages were in fact used as court languages for centuries).

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2018-01-27, 4:11
by dEhiN
But didn't Malayalam split from Tamil, or rather Old Tamil, later than Kannada, Telugu and Tamil diverged ways?

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2018-01-27, 6:23
by vijayjohn
It split off from Middle Tamil, not Old Tamil. That was still almost a thousand years ago, though. It's not as if there wasn't enough time for Malayalam to be used as a court language. It just doesn't seem that it ever was, in which case perhaps it didn't actually achieve any official status until after independence.

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2018-01-29, 6:32
by rmanoj
vijayjohn wrote:It split off from Middle Tamil, not Old Tamil. That was still almost a thousand years ago, though. It's not as if there wasn't enough time for Malayalam to be used as a court language. It just doesn't seem that it ever was, in which case perhaps it didn't actually achieve any official status until after independence.

What do you mean? The various small kingdoms in Kerala didn't use Malayalam at court?
I mean, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Venad/ Travancore continued to use "proper" Tamil for a while, but you're saying none of them used Malayalam?
Or are you just referring to the court languages of multilingual empires?

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2018-01-29, 6:56
by OldBoring
English

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2018-01-29, 16:46
by vijayjohn
English has pretty much the same status throughout South Asia, though, or at least in India, Pakistan, and I guess Sri Lanka and maybe Bangladesh. I'm not so sure about Nepal, Bhutan, and Afghanistan.
rmanoj wrote:What do you mean? The various small kingdoms in Kerala didn't use Malayalam at court?

How many of them had courts in the first place? How long did most kingdoms in Kerala last? My understanding is that the set of kingdoms within modern-day Kerala was constantly shifting due to the endless family feuds among the Nairs and that some of them were effectively city-states. "Kingdom" may not even be an accurate term in all cases.

I mean, ഐതീഹ്യമാല, for example, is mostly set in the 18th century as far as I'm aware and has plenty of untranslated dialogue in Sanskrit, frequently hinting at an assumption on the part of the author that any literate person would be able to understand it. The second story in it is about the kingdom of Kottayam, where the prince visits the court of a neighboring kingdom where he has to speak in Sanskrit, but he makes a language blunder and his own mother is so outraged she nearly murders him. If Sanskrit had that much administrative importance at such a late period, I don't see what the motivation for using Malayalam would have been, especially when Malayalam was apparently not even used very often for writing prose until the mid-19th century.

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2018-02-01, 12:00
by הענט
It's hard to choose just one Dravidian language, but I would stick to Tamil if I had to. Telugu is nice, but it has less resources and from what I've seen it's heavily Sanskritized.

The only sentence I remember is నా కడుపు నిండింది (My stomach is full) . however I still haven't gotten the chance to use it... :(

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2018-02-01, 13:34
by dEhiN
Hent wrote:The only sentence I remember is నా కడుపు నిండింది (My stomach is full) . however I still haven't gotten the chance to use it... :(

Do you know how to pronounce that? Could you write out the IPA for it? I'm curious if Telugu works like Tamil; in Tamil, for that sentence, we don't use the copula. I don't know the word for full, so I tend to just say "வயறு full" /ʋajərɯ fʊɫ/.

Re: A Dravidian Lingua Franca

Posted: 2018-02-01, 15:20
by vijayjohn
In Dravidian languages (including Malayalam, Tamil, and Hent's Telugu example), 'full' isn't an adjective like in English. Instead, we use a verb meaning 'to become full'. Literally, our expressions for 'my stomach is full' mean '(my) stomach became full'. (In Malayalam and Telugu, it's definitely grammatical to include the 'my' part, but this doesn't seem to be the case in Tamil). In Tamil (well, in Centamil :P), '(my) stomach is full' would be வயறு நிறைந்தது.

I think that Telugu sentence is pronounced something like [naː kəɖuʋu niɳɖin̪d̪i].