The Dravidian language family is the world's fourth largest with over 175 million speakers across South Asia from Pakistan to Nepal, from Bangladesh to Sri Lanka as well as having communities in Malaysia, North America and the UK. Four of the languages, Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu are official national languages and the Dravidian family has had a rich literary and cultural influence. This authoritative reference source provides unique descriptions of 12 of these languages, covering their historical development alongside discussions of their specialised linguistic structures and features. Each chapter combines modern linguistic theory with traditional historical linguistics and a uniform structure allows for easy typological comparison between the individual languages. Two further chapters provide general information about the language family - the introduction, which covers the history, cultural implications and linguistic background, and a separate article on Dravidian writing systems. This volume includes languages from all 4 of the Dravidian family's subgroupings: South Dravidian e.g. Tamil, Kannada; South Central Dravidian e.g. Telugu, Konda; Central Dravidian e.g. Kolami; North Dravidian e.g. Brahui, Malto. Written by a team of expert contributors, many of whom are based in Asia, each language chapter offers a detailed analysis of phonology, morphology, syntax and followed by a list of the most relevant further reading to aid the independent scholar. The Dravidian Languages will be invaluable to students and researchers within linguistics and will also be of interest to readers in the fields of comparative literature, South Asian studies and Oriental studies.
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