39 Facts About Malayalam


Malayalam) is a Dravidian language spoken in the Indian state of Kerala and the union territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry (Mahe district) by the Malayali people.

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Malayalam was designated a "Classical Language of India" in 2013.

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Malayalam has official language status in Kerala, Lakshadweep and Puducherry, and is spoken by 34 million people in India.

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Malayalam is spoken by linguistic minorities in the neighbouring states; with significant number of speakers in the Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada districts of Karnataka, and Kanyakumari, district of Tamil Nadu.

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The mainstream view holds that Malayalam descends from early Middle Tamil and separated from it sometime after the c CE.

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The current Malayalam script is based on the Vatteluttu script, which was extended with Grantha script letters to adopt Indo-Aryan loanwords.

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The first travelogue in any Indian language is the Malayalam Varthamanappusthakam, written by Paremmakkal Thoma Kathanar in 1785.

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The distinctive 'Malayalam' named identity of this language appears to have come into existence only around the 16th century, when it was known as "Malayayma" or "Malayanma"; the words were used to refer to the script and the region.

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The mainstream view holds that Malayalam began to grow as a distinct literary language from the western coastal dialect of Medieval Tamil and the linguistic separation completed sometime between the 9th and 13th centuries.

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Indeed, most features of Malayalam morphology are derivable from a form of speech corresponding to early Middle Tamil.

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Robert Caldwell, in his 1856 book "A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages", opined that literary Malayalam branched from Classical Tamil and over time gained a large amount of Sanskrit vocabulary and lost the personal terminations of verbs.

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The Malayalam script began to diverge from the Vatteluttu and the Western Grantha scripts in the 8th and 9th centuries of Common Era.

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Old Malayalam had several features distinct from the contemporary Tamil, which include the nasalisation of adjoining sounds, substitution of palatal sounds for dental sounds, contraction of vowels, and the rejection of gender verbs.

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Old Malayalam gradually developed into Middle Malayalam by 13th century CE.

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The literary works written in Middle Malayalam were heavily influenced by Sanskrit and Prakrit, while comparing them with the modern Malayalam literature.

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Malayalam further eliminated excess and unnecessary letters from the modified script.

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The development of modern Malayalam script was heavily influenced by the Tigalari script, which was used to write Sanskrit, due to the influence of Tuluva Brahmins in Kerala.

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The language used in the Arabi Malayalam works of 16th–17th century CE is a mixture of Modern Malayalam and Arabic.

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The printing, prose literature, and Malayalam journalism, developed after the latter-half of 18th century CE.

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Malayalam has borrowed a lot of its words from various foreign languages, mainly from the Semitic languages including Arabic, and the European languages including Dutch and Portuguese, due to the long heritage of Indian Ocean trade and the Portuguese-Dutch colonisation of the Malabar Coast.

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Whereas both the Namboothiri and Nair dialects have a common nature, the Arabi Malayalam is among the most divergent of dialects, differing considerably from literary Malayalam.

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Jeseri is a dialect of Malayalam spoken mainly in the Union territory of Lakshadweep and Beary is spoken in Tulu Nadu which are nearer to Kerala.

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Dialects of Malayalam spoken in the districts like Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, and Malappuram in the former Malabar District have few influences from Kannada.

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Also the Voiced retroflex approximant which is seen in both Tamil and the standard form of Malayalam, are not seen in the northern dialects of Malayalam, as in Kannada.

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Similarly the Malayalam spoken in the southern districts of Kerala, i e, Thiruvananthapuram-Kollam-Pathanamthitta area is influenced by Tamil.

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Malayalam has incorporated many elements from other languages over the years, the most notable of these being Sanskrit and later, English.

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Malayalam is a language spoken by the native people of southwestern India and the islands of Lakshadweep in Arabian Sea.

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Malayalam was the most spoken language in erstwhile Gudalur taluk of Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu which accounts for 48.

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Malayalam has borrowed the Sanskrit diphthongs of and (represented in Malayalam as, ai), although these mostly occur only in Sanskrit loanwords.

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Malayalam has a canonical word order of SOV, as do other Dravidian languages.

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Suriyani Malayalam was used by Saint Thomas Christians until the 19th century.

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One of the oldest examples of the Manipravalam literature, Vaishikatantram, dates back to the 12th century, where the earliest form of the Malayalam script was used, which seems to have been systematized to some extent by the first half of the 13th century.

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In Malabar, this writing system was termed Arya-eluttu, meaning "Arya writing" (Sanskrit is Indo-Aryan language while Malayalam is a Dravidian language).

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Arabi Malayalam script, otherwise known as the Ponnani script, is a writing system – a variant form of the Arabic script with special orthographic features – which was developed during the early medieval period and used to write Arabi Malayalam until the early 20th century CE.

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Early literature of Malayalam comprised three types of composition:Malayalam Nada, Tamil Nada and Sanskrit Nada.

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Malayalam literature has been profoundly influenced by poets Cherusseri Namboothiri, Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan, and Poonthanam Nambudiri, in the 15th and the 16th centuries of Common Era.

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The prose literature, criticism, and Malayalam journalism began after the latter half of 18th century CE.

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Malayalam literature has been presented with six Jnanapith awards, the second-most for any Dravidian language and the third-highest for any Indian language.

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The Sandesha Kavyas of 14th century CE written in Manipravalam language include Unnuneeli Sandesam The literary works written in Middle Malayalam were heavily influenced by Sanskrit and Prakrit, while comparing them with the modern Malayalam literature.

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