one of the Dravidian languages.
one of the Classical languages of the world.
Tamil Literature spans across the space of 2500
it was the first language
to develop a distinct prose form of writing among the classical
languages of the world.
Tamil's origins are independent of
belongs to the Indo-European
language family and is the ancestor of many Indian languages), but it has
borrowed a number of words from
Sanskrit in recent centuries. Quite
significantly for its age, Tamil seems to have undergone minimal changes and
adaptations over the years.
Tamil is a member of the Tamil languages group of languages, along with
Irula, Kaikadi, Betta Kurumba, Sholaga, Yerukula. The Tamil languages are a
subgroup of the Tamil-Malayalam languages, which in turn is a subgroup of
Tamil-Kodagu languages, a subgroup of Tamil-Kannada-Telugu languages.
Tamil is spoken mainly in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.
Other areas where Tamil is also spoken include
Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Dialects of Tamil identified by the Ethnologue are: Adi Dravida, Aiyar,
Aiyangar, Arava, Burgandi, Kasuva, Kongar, Korava, Korchi, Madrasi, Parikala,
Pattapu Bhasha, Sri Lanka Tamil, Malaya Tamil, Burma Tamil, South Africa
Tamil, Tigalu, Harijan, Sanketi, Hebbar, Tirunelveli, Madurai.
Malayalam developed from a dialect of Tamil called Koduntamil or Malaithamil
(literally Tamil of the mountains), spoken by the people around the hilly
ranges bordering Kerala and Tamil Nadu states.
Tamil has its own writing system, which is similar to the Brahmi script of