12 votes

Are Tamil and Malayalam mutually intelligible?

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 ...
vin's user avatar
  • 548
8 votes
Accepted

What decides the language family of a language the most structure/grammar or the vocabulary?

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 ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83k
8 votes

Wanderwort origins and the Indus Valley Civilization?

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 ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

Has a Dravido-Australic superfamily been proposed?

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 ...
Gaston Ümlaut's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Does the Telugu script have near perfect phonemic orthography?

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 ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83k
5 votes

Halegannada/Proto-South Dravidian Phonological Changes

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/ -> ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
5 votes

Halegannada/Proto-South Dravidian Phonological Changes

Kannada is not unique in this. Indo-European *p becomes h in Armenian, as in hair "father".
fdb's user avatar
  • 24.1k
5 votes

Does the Telugu script have near perfect phonemic orthography?

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 ...
prash's user avatar
  • 3,649
5 votes

What decides the language family of a language the most structure/grammar or the vocabulary?

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.
Greg Lee's user avatar
  • 12.5k
4 votes

Do Dravidian languages have postpositions? Do any of them also have any prepositions?

Kannada uses postpositions for marking case. Chapter 8 of A Manual of Modern Kannada shows plenty of examples for ablative and locative postpositions. I don't think of this as mislabeling case ...
prash's user avatar
  • 3,649
4 votes

Do Dravidian languages have postpositions? Do any of them also have any prepositions?

Conventional wisdom is that the Dravidian languages have postpositions. As a representative for this conventional wisdom I cite WALS chapter 85 here. Dryer, the author of the explanatory text, goes ...
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
3 votes

Does the Telugu script have near perfect phonemic orthography?

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 ...
vin's user avatar
  • 548
3 votes

Does the Telugu script have near perfect phonemic orthography?

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 ...
SastryT's user avatar
  • 31
3 votes

Why is there no nuqta in Malayalam? How are Perso-Arabic consonants written in Malayalam script?

Malayalam simply doesn't need nuqta, it assimilates Arabic words to its own phonetics, namely [x], [q] > [kʰ], i.e. “Quran” ഖുർആൻ (khurān), but [q] is often simply [k] or [kː], i.e. قصاب (qaṣāb) is ...
Yellow Sky's user avatar
2 votes
Accepted

How many grammatical cases does Telugu have?

For Telugu, due to agglutination, the line between postpositions and case-affixes is blurred to the point where it's useless to count how many cases there are. The 8 number comes from trying to map ...
user42056's user avatar
2 votes

Why does the Malayalam script have seemingly redundant ways to kill implicit vowels?

The Chillu is a modern reform, primarily supposed to be used at the end-of-word to explicitly represent a killed consonant, whereas the Chandra mark is used to denote semi-killing; that is, depending ...
Gōkúl NC's user avatar
2 votes

Are Indian languages distinct or are they just different dialects?

The apt technical term for formerly different languages developing common features is sprachbund. And yes, there is a Sprachbund on the Indic subcontinent.
Sir Cornflakes's user avatar
2 votes

Do some words have secondary or unintended click consonants?

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 ...
Cobalt's user avatar
  • 61
2 votes

Why did Modern Tamil reduce its alphabet from Middle Tamil to Old Tamil?

The article The Tamil Purist Movement by Kailasapathy details the development of this movement, and pins the movement to 1915 when the movement was officially launched by Vedachalam. You can call the ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83k
1 vote

Do Dravidian languages have postpositions? Do any of them also have any prepositions?

At least some of them seem to. Here are some I found with example contexts in the English Wiktionary. Telugu యొక్క "of": నా యొక్క గుర్రము (nā yokka gurramu) literally "my of horse" ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 14.6k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible