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Tamil language

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Introduction of Tamil Language

Tamil is the oldest and purest of the four Dravidian languages, others being Kannada, Kodagu and Malayalam. Ancient Indian literature is not all about the Vedas; it’s about Sangam literature too. Tamil, the oldest and truest of the Dravidian speeches, boasts of this literary tradition of more than 2,200 years, the most remarkable body of secular poetry extant in India. While other pre-Aryan languages were happily courting Sanskrit and Prakrit, Old Tamil stood firm in its corner refusing to yield. However, the evolutionary story of the language and script are a controversy among scholars even today.



Tamil Language has been descended from Proto Dravidian Language. This language was spoken in 3rd millennium BC and also around the Godavari River. Also in middle and second Millennium Proto south Dravidian language was orated. This Tamil language holds the most ancient Indian Literature of non Sanskritised.



Tamil language is characterized by two separate registers which are high and low register. Moreover its dialects are different from each other and have even gone under some different phonological changes. It includes the Thanjavur Dialect. The old dialect of Tamil is the source of Tirunelveli. Although the dialects of Tamil language do not differ in the vocabulary words.



Some of the great Tamil poets lived in the times of the mighty Chola kings (10th-13th centuries), a period of literary revival. Kampans Ramayana is the best in Tamil until today. Ottakkuttan wrote the Uttara Kanda, the last canto of the Ramayana. Pukazhenti popularized the Mahabharata with his simple adaptations in Tamil, and Chayam Kontar wrote a long war poem 'Kalingattu Parani', in the Sangam style. Didactic works, grammatical treatises and lexicons were produced from time to time by Jain writers.


Writing System

Initially Tamil Language was written using vatteluttu, Pallava and Grantha script. Moreover the daily Tamil script consists of 18 consonants, 12 vowels and also one special character. All the consonants in Tamil language has an inherent vowel a, as with other Indic languages. Furthermore Tamil script does not differentiate between unvoiced and voiced plosives. In addition many words in Tamil language are adopted from Sanskrit, Prakrit and many other languages.


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