21

There are hundreds of distinct languages in India, from two main families, Dravidian and Indo-European. Malayalam is Dravidian and Hindi is Indo-European, so they are not only different languages but unrelated ones. All the major languages of India have borrowed extensively from Sanskrit, hence the lexical similarities you mention; but this doesn't make them ...


13

I had both Malayalam and Tamil speaking colleagues and we often discussed languages. As a non speaker of either, they sounded exactly the same but with different accents, so I often asked a lot of questions. My answer is from what I have observed, not from a research paper of an Indologist (neither am I a linguist). They are to a large extent, having more ...


8

There is no proof that the Indus valley language was Dravidian at all. Looking only at the geographical distribution of the Dravidian languages, it looks at the first sight that Brahui is an old relic of a formerly existing Dravidian language continuum stretching from the southern tip of India to the border of Pakistan and Iran. However, newer research has ...


8

Your question isn't entirely clear, and Greg Lee has implicitly answered one version, namely how do we determine the subgrouping of languages that we know to be related, for example how do we know that Hindi and Farsi are more closely related that Hindi and English – shared grammatical innovations. Typically there are more innovations in the form of ...


7

There is no evidence of a linguistic link between Dravidian languages and Australian languages and I haven't heard of a proposal for 'Dravido-Australic' superfamily. Typologically the groups of languages are quite distinct although of course comparing two groups of languages is always going to generate lots of similarities between individual languages. ...


5

I wanted to write this as a comment, but it was too long. Anyway, I don't speak Telugu, I speak Kannada. While I can't tell you about the differences between what's indicated in the script and what's actually spoken in Telugu, I can tell you about that in Kannada. This might help you come up with analogous examples for Telugu. (1) Regional dialects may ...


5

I wouldn't hundred percent subscribe to Tamil (refering here to classical Tamil Sangam poetry) being mora-timed. The counting of morae (from the first grammar Tolkāppiyam onwards) is somewhat confusing. E.g. there is of course one mora allotted to a short syllable and two morae to a long one, but moreover there is half a mora for overshort u and i and even a ...


5

It may moreover be noted that Malayalam could be considered a dialect of Tamil up to somewhere between the 8th and 11th centuries. From then onwards it went its own way and was heavily - and by far more than Tamil - influenced by Sanskrit, which may be seen by the mere fact, that the Malayalam script incorporates many non-dravidian Sanskrit sounds. Whereas ...


5

As @fdb already noted, this sound change is not rare cross-linguistically. It is typically not a one step process but a chain of sound shifts /p/ -> /pʰ/ -> /f/ or /ɸ/ -> /h/ (and finally /h/ -> nothing; as observed in the evolution of the Celtic languages from Proto-Indogermanic). All the steps are frequently attested in isolation, e.g., /p/ -> /f/ from ...


5

Kannada is not unique in this. Indo-European *p becomes h in Armenian, as in hair "father".


5

Before getting to the specifics of Telugu, it would be useful to review what it might mean for an orthography to be 100% perfectly phonemic. Based on how the notion "phonemic" is used in language description and orthography development, it would be a system where for each phonemes there is a unique and rule-governed orthographic sequence, and for each such ...


5

I haven't personally observed this phenomenon with clicks, but there are well-known cases of consonant epenthesis that are explained in articulatory terms. For example, it is common to observe an epenthetic [t] between [n] and [s], as in the word chance, since the early closure of the nasal passage turns the nasal stop into an oral one before the air gets ...


5

The basis of the traditional classification of IE, since the 19th century, has been neither shared grammar nor shared vocabulary, but rather shared sound changes.


3

Broadly speaking, there is a linguistic continuum across Northern India. This means that there are no hard borders between Sindhi, Panjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi, Bengali, Oriya; instead there is a gradual transition from dialects of one to dialects of another. The Dravidian, Munda and Khasi languages do not participate in this continuum, nor does ...


3

I cannot say Telugu is 100% phonetic, but close to. A deviation I can think of is, there are a couple of letters e.g., ర, ఱ in classical scripts, which are pronounced with same sound, but scripted differently in classical literature. Examples: కురుచ, చిఱుత, చేరువ, చెఱువు. Interestingly, no composite letter exists with ఱ except itself like in గుఱ్ఱము. It is ...


2

I am a Kannada speaker not Telugu (I can speak no Telugu at all), but due to historic sociolinguistic relations between the two languages, I think I can answer this fairly well. If you are asking do Telugu letters represent the sounds to be uttered accurately such that there is not inconsistencies as with English spelling, then yes. The consonants always ...


2

The apt technical term for formerly different languages developing common features is sprachbund. And yes, there is a Sprachbund on the Indic subcontinent.


2

I think what you are hearing is the retroflex lateral approximant being flapped. There are four retroflex consonants in Modern Standard Tamil - three of them (retro stop, retro nasal and retro lateral approx) are flapped when they occur intervocalically (between vowels). So the /ɭ/ between vowels becomes a retroflex lateral flap. I believe you're confusing ...


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