Proto-Dravidian language

Proto-Dravidian Language

Proto-Dravidian language

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Proto-Dravidian is the proto-language of the Dravidian languages. It is thought to have differentiated into Proto-North Dravidian, Proto-Central Dravidian and Proto-South Dravidian around 500 BC, although some linguists have argued that the degree of differentiation between the sub-families points to an earlier split.

As a proto-language, Proto-Dravidian has been reconstructed and is not itself found in the historical record. Due to a dearth of comparative linguistic research in Dravidian studies, not many details as to the grammar, epoch, or location of Proto-Dravidian are known., review of The Dravidian Languages by Bhadriraju Krishnamurti; Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (South Asian edition), 2003.

Reconstructed language

Historical phonology

Vowels: Proto-Dravidian contrasted between five short and long vowels: *a, , *i, , *u, , *e, , *o, . The sequences *ai and *au are treated as *ay and *av (or *aw)

Consonants: Proto-Dravidian is reconstructible with the following consonantal phonemes (Subrahmanyam 1983:p40, Zvelebil 1990, Krishnamurthi 2003):

The alveolar stop in many daughter languages developed into an alveolar trill . The stop sound is retained in Kota and Toda (Subrahmanyam 1983). Malayalam still retains the original (alveolar) stop sound in gemination. (ibid). In Old Tamil it took the enunciative vowel like the other stops. In other words, (or ) did not occur word-finally without the...
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