is the language of Kerala, the southern most state in India. Over
35,000,000 people speak this language. Malayalam, one of the Dravidian
languages in India, has its own alphabet and grammar. It originally
developed from Tamil and uses many Tamil words. It also has adapted
many words from Sanskrit, other India languages and English. Malayalam
is extraordinarily rich in every genre of literature. Every year
numerous books and publications are produced in Malayalam. In
Kerala alone 170 daily papers, 235 weekly and 560 monthly periodicals
are published in Malayalam. The most circulated daily paper in
India is in Malyalam. This language is presently taught in many
Universities outside Kerala including some in the United States.
Language also spelled MALAYALAM, language of the Dravidian family,
spoken in southwestern India; it is the official language of the
state of Kerala. Malayalam has three important regional dialects
and a number of smaller ones. There is also some difference in
dialect along caste lines and a distinction, called diglossia,
between the formal, literary language and the colloquial tongue.
Both the literary and colloquial languages use many words borrowed
from Sanskrit. Closely related to Tamil, Malayalam differs from
it in such aspects as the absence of personal endings on verbs.
Like the Dravidian languages generally, Malayalam has a series
of retroflex consonants (e.g., t, d, n; sounds pronounced with
the tongue tip curled back against the roof of the mouth), and
it indicates such grammatical categories as tense, number, person,
and case with suffixes. Malayalam has a written tradition dating
from the late 9th century, and the earliest literary work dates
from the early 13th century. The language uses a script called
Koleluttu (Rod script), which is derived from the Tamil writing
system. The Tamil Grantha script also is used.
history of Malayalam literature dates to the 13th century. Indigenous
ballads and folk songs belong to the earliest times. Later literature
was long influenced by Sanskrit, the language of scholarship,
and by Tamil, the language of administration. All the branches
of literature known in the West are cultivated today.
Malayalam (/malayALam/) is the principal language of the South
Indian state of Kerala and also of the Lakshadweep Islands (Laccadives)
of the west coast of India.
Ramanujan Ezhuthassan, is considered as the father of malayalam
literature. Thunchan Parambu is highly venerated and it's sand
is believed to be sacred. The sand is used in 'Vidyarambham',
especially on ,'Vijaya Dashmi' day. Malayalis, (those who speak
Malayalam) males and females alike - are almost totally literate,
constitute 4 percent of the population of India and 96 percent
of the population of Kerala. In terms of the number of speakers
Malayalam ranks eighth among the fifteen major languages of India.
The word /malayALam/ originally meant mountainous country) (/mala/-
mountain + /aLam/-place). Tamil is its neighbour on the south
and east and Kannada on the north and east. Malayalam belongs
to the southern group of Dravidian languages like Tamil, Kota,
Kodagu and Kannada .
Its affinity to Tamil is the most striking. Tamil - Malayalam,
the common stock of Tamil and Malayalam apparently disintegrated
over a period of fourth to fifth centuries, resulting in the emergence
of Malayalam as a language distinct from Tamil. As the language
of scholarship and administration Tamil greatly influenced the
early development of Malayalam. Later irresistable inroads by
the Brahmins made into the cultural life of Kerala accelerated
the assimilation of many Indo-Aryan features into Malayalam at