Malayalam – Wikipedia

dravidian lyric

not to be confused with Malay lyric

Malayalam ( ; [ 7 ] Malayalam : മലയാളം, Malayāḷam ?, [ mɐlɐjäːɭɐm ] ( ) ) is a dravidian language [ 8 ] spoken in the indian state of Kerala and the union territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry ( Mahé district ) by the Malayali people. It is one of 22 schedule languages of India and is spoken by 2.88 % of Indians. Malayalam was designated a “ classical speech of India “ in 2013. [ 9 ] [ 10 ] Malayalam has official terminology condition in Kerala, Lakshadweep and Puducherry ( Mahé ), [ 11 ] [ 12 ] [ 13 ] and is spoken by 34 million people in India. [ 2 ] Malayalam is besides spoken by linguistic minorities in the neighbor states ; with meaning count of speakers in the Kodagu and Dakshina Kannada districts of Karnataka, and Nilgiris and Kanyakumari, districts of Tamil Nadu. It is besides spoken by the Malayali Diaspora global, particularly in the Persian Gulf countries, due to bombastic populations of Malayali expatriates there.

The origin of Malayalam remains a count of challenge among scholars. The mainstream opinion holds that Malayalam descends from early Middle Tamil and separated from it sometime after the c. 9th century CE. [ 14 ] A second base scene argues for the development of the two languages out of “ Proto-Dravidian ” or “ Proto-Tamil-Malayalam ” in the prehistoric earned run average, although this is generally rejected by historical linguists. [ 16 ] It is by and large agreed that the Quilon Syrian copper plates of 849/850 CE is the available oldest inscription written in Old Malayalam. The oldest literary work in Malayalam, discrete from the Tamil custom, is dated from between the 9th and 11th centuries. The earliest script used to write Malayalam was the Vatteluttu handwriting. [ 8 ] The stream Malayalam script is based on the Vatteluttu script, which was extended with Grantha script letters to adopt indo-european loanwords. [ 8 ] [ 17 ] It bears high similarity with the Tigalari script, a historical handwriting that was used to write the Tulu terminology in South Canara, and Sanskrit in the adjacent Malabar area. [ 18 ] The modern Malayalam grammar is based on the book Kerala Panineeyam written by A. R. Raja Raja Varma in late nineteenth hundred CE. [ 19 ] The beginning travelogue in any indian terminology is the Malayalam Varthamanappusthakam, written by Paremmakkal Thoma Kathanar in 1785. [ 20 ] [ 21 ] Robert Caldwell describes the extent of Malayalam in the recently nineteenth century as extending from Chandragiri garrison and Chandragiri river in the north to Neyyar river beyond Thiruvanantapuram in the south. [ 22 ]

etymology [edit ]

The password Malayalam originated from the words mala, meaning ‘ batch ‘, and alam, meaning ‘ region ‘ or ‘-ship ‘ ( as in “ township ” ) ; Malayalam thus translates directly as ‘the mountain region ‘. The term originally referred to the land of the Chera dynasty, and entirely belated became the name of its linguistic process. [ 23 ] The language Malayalam is alternatively called Alealum, Malayalani, Malayali, Malabari, Malean, Maliyad, Mallealle, and Kerala Bhasha. [ 24 ] [ 25 ] [ 26 ] The earliest extant literary works in the regional language of contemporary Kerala credibly go steady back to angstrom early as the twelfth hundred. At that time the linguistic process was differentiated by the name Kerala Bhasha. The classifiable ‘Malayalam ‘ named identity of this speech appears to have come into universe only around the sixteenth century, when it was known as “ Malayayma ” or “ Malayanma ” ; the words were besides used to refer to the script and the region. [ 27 ] According to Duarte Barbosa, a portuguese visitor who visited Kerala in the early sixteenth century CE, the people in the southwestern Malabar coast of India from Chandragiri in union to Kanyakumari in south had a alone language, which was called “ Maliama ” by them. [ 28 ] [ 29 ] Prior to this time period, the people of Kerala normally referred to their language as ‘Tamil ‘, and both terms overlapped into the colonial period. [ note 1 ] Despite having alike names, Malayalam has no etymological relationship with the Malay lyric .

history [edit ]

due to the geographic separation of the Malabar Coast from Tamil Nadu, and the presence of western Ghats mountain ranges in between these two regions, the dialect of Old Tamil speak in Kerala was different from that spoken in Tamil Nadu. [ 25 ] The mainstream opinion holds that Malayalam is derived from the westerly coastal dialect of Medieval Tamil ( Karintamil ) [ 32 ] and separated from Middle Tamil erstwhile between the 9th and 13th centuries. The celebrated poets of Classical Tamil such as Paranar ( first hundred CE ), Ilango Adigal ( 2nd–3rd century CE ), and Kulasekhara Alvar ( 9th century CE ) were Keralites. [ 25 ] The Sangam works can be considered as the ancient predecessor of Malayalam. [ 35 ] Some scholars however believe that both Tamil and Malayalam developed during the prehistoric period from a common ancestor, ‘Proto-Tamil-Malayalam ‘, and that the notion of Malayalam being a ‘daughter ‘ of Tamil is misplaced. This is based on the fact that Malayalam and several Dravidian languages on the western Coast have common archaic features which are not found evening in the oldest historic forms of literary Tamil. [ 36 ] Despite this Malayalam shares many common innovations with Tamil that emerged during the early Middle Tamil period, thus making independent descent indefensible. [ 37 ] For example, Old Tamil lacks the first and second gear person plural pronouns with the ending kaḷ. It is in the early Middle Tamil stage that kaḷ beginning appears : [ 38 ]

Language Plural Pronouns
Old Tamil yārn, nām, nīr, nīyir
Middle Tamil nānkaḷ, nām, nīnkaḷ, enkaḷ
Malayalam ñaṅṅaḷ, nām, niṅṅaḷ, nammaḷ

indeed, most features of Malayalam morphology are derivable from a form of address corresponding to early Middle Tamil. [ 39 ] Robert Caldwell, in his 1856 koran “ A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Family of Languages”, opined that Malayalam branched from Classical Tamil and over time gained a large sum of Sanskrit vocabulary and lost the personal terminations of verb. [ 23 ] As the lyric of eruditeness and administration, Old-Tamil, which was written in Tamil-Brahmi and the Vatteluttu alphabet later, greatly influenced the early development of Malayalam. The Malayalam script began to diverge from the Tamil-Brahmi handwriting in the 8th and 9th centuries. And by the end of the thirteenth century a written shape of the terminology emerged which was unique from the Tamil-Brahmi script that was used to write Tamil .

Old Malayalam [edit ]

Old Malayalam ( Pazhaya Malayalam ), an inscriptional lyric found in Kerala from c. 9th to c. thirteenth hundred CE, [ 41 ] is the earliest testify shape of Malayalam. [ 42 ] [ 43 ] The start of the development of Old Malayalam from a western coastal dialect of contemporary Tamil ( Karintamil ) can be dated to c. 7th – eighth hundred CE. [ 8 ] [ 45 ] It remained a west slide dialect until c. 9th century CE or a small late. [ 46 ] The lineage of Malayalam calendar dates back to class 825 CE. [ 47 ] [ 48 ] [ 49 ] The formation of the speech is chiefly attributed to geographic separation of Kerala from the Tamil area [ 46 ] and the influence of immigrant Tulu – kanarese Brahmins in Kerala ( who besides knew Sanskrit and Prakrit ). [ 42 ] It is by and large agreed that the western coastal dialect of Tamil began to separate, deviate, and grow as a distinct language, chiefly due to the heavy influence of Sanskrit and Prakrit, those became coarse big languages on Malabar Coast, when the caste system became strong in Kerala under Nambudiri Brahmins. [ 25 ] The Old Malayalam terminology was employed in respective official records and transactions ( at the level of the Chera Perumal kings arsenic well as the upper-caste ( Nambudiri ) village temples ). [ 42 ] Most of the inscriptions in Old Malayalam were found from the northern districts of Kerala, those lie adjacent to Tulu Nadu. [ 42 ] Old Malayalam was by and large written in Vatteluttu handwriting ( with Pallava/Southern Grantha characters ). [ 42 ] Old Malayalam had respective features distinct from the contemporaneous Tamil, which include the Nasalisation of adjoining sounds, Substitution of palatal sounds for dental sounds, Contraction of vowels, and the Rejection of sex verb. [ 42 ] [ 50 ] [ 51 ] Ramacharitam and Thirunizhalmala are the potential literary works of Old Malayalam found so far .

Middle Malayalam [edit ]

The Old Malayalam got gradually developed into Middle Malayalam ( Madhyakaala Malayalam ) by thirteenth century CE. [ 52 ] The Malayalam literature besides completely got diverged from Tamil literature by this period. The works including Unniyachi Charitham, Unnichiruthevi Charitham, and Unniyadi Charitham, are written in Middle Malayalam, those date back to 13th and 14th centuries of Common Era. [ 53 ] [ 25 ] The Sandesha Kavya second of fourteenth century CE written in Manipravalam linguistic process include Unnuneeli Sandesam. [ 53 ] [ 25 ] Kannassa Ramayanam and Kannassa Bharatham by Rama Panikkar of the Niranam poets who lived between 1350 and 1450, are spokesperson of this speech. [ 54 ] Ulloor has opined that Rama Panikkar holds the lapp placement in Malayalam literature that Edmund Spenser does in English literature. [ 54 ] The Champu Kavyas written by Punam Nambudiri, one among the Pathinettara Kavikal ( Eighteen and a half poets ) in the court of the Zamorin of Calicut, besides belong to Middle Malayalam. [ 25 ] [ 53 ] The literary function of this period were heavily influenced by Manipravalam, which was a combination of contemporary Malayalam and Sanskrit. [ 25 ] The news Mani-Pravalam literally means Diamond-Coral or Ruby-Coral. The 14th-century Lilatilakam text states Manipravalam to be a Bhashya ( terminology ) where “ Malayalam and Sanskrit should combine together like crimson and coral, without the least touch of any discord ”. [ 55 ] [ 56 ] The scripts of Kolezhuthu and Malayanma were besides used to write Middle Malayalam, in summation to Vatteluthu and Grantha script those were used to write Old Malayalam. [ 25 ] The literary works written in Middle Malayalam were heavily influenced by Sanskrit and Prakrit, while comparing them with the modern Malayalam literature. [ 53 ] [ 25 ]

Modern Malayalam [edit ]

The Middle Malayalam was succeeded by Modern Malayalam ( Aadhunika Malayalam ) by fifteenth hundred CE. [ 25 ] The poem Krishnagatha written by Cherusseri Namboothiri, who was the court poet of the baron Udaya Varman Kolathiri ( 1446–1475 ) of Kolathunadu, is written in mod Malayalam. [ 53 ] The lyric used in Krishnagatha is the modern speak form of Malayalam. [ 53 ] During the sixteenth century CE, Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan from the Kingdom of Tanur and Poonthanam Nambudiri from the Kingdom of Valluvanad followed the new swerve initiated by Cherussery in their poems. The Adhyathmaramayanam Kilippattu and Mahabharatham Kilippattu written by Ezhuthachan and Jnanappana written by Poonthanam are besides included in the earliest form of Modern Malayalam. [ 53 ]
It is Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan who is besides credited with the development of Malayalam script into the stream form through the blend and alteration of the erstwhile scripts of Vatteluttu, Kolezhuthu, and Grantha script, which were used to write the inscriptions and literary works of Old and Middle Malayalam. [ 53 ] He foster eliminated excess and unnecessary letters from the modified script. [ 53 ] Hence, Ezhuthachan is besides known as The Father of modern Malayalam. [ 53 ] The growth of modern Malayalam script was besides heavily influenced by the Tigalari script, which was used to write the Tulu language, due to the influence of Tuluva Brahmins in Kerala. [ 53 ] The language used in the Arabi Malayalam works of 16th–17th hundred CE is a mixture of Modern Malayalam and Arabic. [ 53 ] They follow the syntax of mod Malayalam, though written in a modify form of Arabic script, which is known as Arabi Malayalam script. [ 53 ] P. Shangunny Menon ascribes the authorship of the medieval work Keralolpathi, which describes the Parashurama caption and the passing of the final Cheraman Perumal king to Mecca, to Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan. [ 57 ] Kunchan Nambiar introduced a new literary shape called Thullal, and Unnayi Variyar introduced reforms in Attakkatha literature. [ 53 ] The print, prose literature, and Malayalam journalism, developed after the latter-half of eighteenth hundred CE. Modern literary movements in Malayalam literature began in the former nineteenth century with the originate of the celebrated Modern Triumvirate dwell of Kumaran Asan, [ 58 ] Ulloor S. Parameswara Iyer [ 59 ] and Vallathol Narayana Menon. [ 60 ] In the irregular half of the twentieth century, Jnanpith winning poets and writers like G. Sankara Kurup, S. K. Pottekkatt, Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, M. T. Vasudevan Nair, O. N. V. Kurup, and Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri, had made valuable contributions to the modern Malayalam literature. [ 61 ] [ 62 ] [ 63 ] [ 64 ] [ 65 ] Later, writers like O. V. Vijayan, Kamaladas, M. Mukundan, Arundhati Roy, Vaikom Muhammed Basheer, have gained external recognition. [ 66 ] [ 67 ] [ 68 ] Malayalam has besides borrowed a lot of its words from diverse foreign languages, chiefly from the Semitic languages including Arabic, and the european languages including Dutch and Portuguese, due to the hanker inheritance of indian Ocean craft and the Portuguese-Dutch colonization of the Malabar Coast. [ 25 ] [ 53 ]

Dialects [edit ]

Variations in intonation patterns, vocabulary, and distribution of grammatical and phonological elements are discernible along the parameters of area, religion, community, occupation, social stratum, style and register. According to the dravidian Encyclopedia, the regional dialects of Malayalam can be divided into thirteen dialect areas. [ 69 ] They are as follows :
According to Ethnologue, the dialects are : [ 24 ] Malabar, Nagari-Malayalam, North Kerala, Central Kerala, South Kerala, Kayavar, Namboodiri, Nair, Mappila, Pulaya, Nasrani, and Kasargod. The community dialects are : Namboodiri, Nair, Arabi Malayalam, Pulaya, and Nasrani. [ 24 ] Whereas both the Namboothiri and Nair dialects have a common nature, the Arabi Malayalam is among the most divergent of dialects, differing well from literary Malayalam. [ 24 ] Jeseri is a dialect of Malayalam spoken chiefly in the Union territory of Lakshadweep which is nearer to Kerala. Of the sum 33,066,392 Malayalam speakers in India in 2001, 33,015,420 spoke the standard dialects, 19,643 spoke the Yerava dialect and 31,329 spoke non-standard regional variations like Eranadan. [ 70 ] The dialects of Malayalam address in the districts like Kasaragod, Kannur, Wayanad, Kozhikode, and Malappuram in the former Malabar District have few influences from Kannada. [ 25 ] For case, the words those start with the audio “ V ” in Malayalam become “ B ” in these districts as in Kannada. [ 25 ] besides the Voiced retroflex approximant ( /ɻ/ ) which is seen in both Tamil and the standard form of Malayalam, are not seen in the northerly dialects of Malayalam, as in Kannada. [ 25 ] For example the words Vazhi ( Path ), Vili ( Call ), Vere ( Another ), and Vaa ( Come/Mouth ), become Bayi, Bili, Bere, and Baa in the northern dialects of Malayalam. [ 25 ] similarly the Malayalam talk in the southerly districts of Kerala, i, Thiruvananthapuram – Kollam – Pathanamthitta area is influenced by Tamil. [ 25 ] Labels such as “ Nampoothiri Dialect ”, “ Mappila Dialect ”, and “ Nasrani Dialect ” refer to overall patterns constituted by the sub-dialects spoken by the subcastes or sub-groups of each such caste. The most great features of the major communal dialects of Malayalam are summarized below :

  • Lexical items with phonological features reminiscent of Sanskrit (e.g., viddhi meaning ‘fool’), bhosku ‘lie’, musku ‘impudence’, dustu ‘impurity’, and eebhyan and sumbhan (both meaning ‘good-for-nothing fellow’) abound in Nampoothiri dialect.[71]
  • The Muslim dialect, also known as Arabi Malayalam, shows maximum divergence from the literary Standard Dialect of Malayalam. It is very much influenced by Arabic and Persian rather than by Sanskrit or by English. The retroflex continuant zha of the literary dialect is realised in the Muslim dialect as the palatal ya. In some other dialects of Northern Kerala too, zha of the literary dialect is realised as ya.[72][73]
  • The Syrian Christian or Nasrani dialect of Malayalam is quite close to the Nair dialect, especially in phonology. The speech of the educated section among Syrian Christians and that of those who are close to the church are peculiar in having a number of assimilated as well as unassimilated loan words from English and Syriac. The few loan words which have found their way into the Christian dialect are assimilated in many cases through the process of de-aspiration.[74][75][76]
  • Tamil spoken in the Kanyakumari district has influences from Malayalam language.[77]

external influences and loanwords [edit ]

Malayalam has incorporated many elements from early languages over the years, the most luminary of these being Sanskrit and subsequently, English. According to Sooranad Kunjan Pillai who compiled the authoritative Malayalam dictionary, the other principal languages whose vocabulary was incorporated over the ages were Pali, Prakrit, Arabic, Urdu, Persian, Hindi, Chinese, Syriac, Dutch, and Portuguese. [ 79 ] many medieval liturgical text were written in an admixture of Sanskrit and early Malayalam, called Manipravalam. [ 80 ] The determine of Sanskrit was very outstanding in courtly Malayalam used in literature. Malayalam has a substantially high act of Sanskrit loanwords but these are rarely used. [ 81 ] Loanwords and influences besides from Hebrew, Syriac, and Ladino abound in the jewish Malayalam dialects, equally well as English, Portuguese, Syriac, and Greek in the christian dialects, while Arabic and irani elements predominate in the Muslim dialects. The Muslim dialect known as Mappila Malayalam is used in the northerly region of Kerala. Another Muslim dialect called Beary bashe is used in the extreme point northern region of Kerala and the southern character of Karnataka .

Examples of vocabulary from various origins
independent article : list of loanwords in Malayalam
Word Original word Language of origin Meaning


( lakṣam)



Sanskrit 100,000


( āppaḷ)


English apple




( jaṉāla or jaṉal)

janela Portuguese window


( kattŭ)

خَطّ‎/ xaṭṭ Arabic letter


( uṣār)



Persian alert


( tabāl)

tapal Dutch post/mail


( kur̠bān̠a)



Aramaic holy mass


( metta)



Hebrew bed

geographic distribution and population [edit ]

Malayalam is a terminology spoken by the native people of southwestern India ( from Mangalore to Kanyakumari ) and the islands of Lakshadweep in Arabian Sea. According to the indian census of 2011, there were 32,413,213 speakers of Malayalam in Kerala, making up 93.2 % of the total number of Malayalam speakers in India, and 97.03 % of the total population of the state. There were a far 701,673 ( 1.14 % of the sum issue ) in Karnataka, 957,705 ( 2.70 % ) in Tamil Nadu, and 406,358 ( 1.2 % ) in Maharashtra. The number of Malayalam speakers in Lakshadweep is 51,100, which is only 0.15 % of the sum number, but is angstrom much as about 84 % of the population of Lakshadweep. Malayalam was the most spoken lyric in erstwhile Gudalur taluk ( nowadays Gudalur and Panthalur taluks ) of Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu which accounts for 48.8 % population and it was the second most spoken speech in Mangalore and Puttur taluks of South Canara accounting for 21.2 % and 15.4 % respectively according to 1951 census report. [ 82 ] 25.57 % of the sum population in the Kodagu district of Karnataka are Malayalis, and they form one of the individual largest groups accounting for 35.5 % in the Virajpet Taluk. [ 83 ] In all, Malayalis made up 3.22 % of the total amerind population in 2011. Of the sum 34,713,130 Malayalam speakers in India in 2011, 33,015,420 spoke the standard dialects, 19,643 spoke the Yerava dialect and 31,329 spoke non-standard regional variations like Eranadan. [ 84 ] As per the 1991 census data, 28.85 % of all Malayalam speakers in India spoke a second lyric and 19.64 % of the sum knew three or more languages. just ahead independence, Malaya attracted many Malayalis. large numbers of Malayalis have settled in Chennai, Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Pune, Mysuru and Delhi. many Malayalis have besides emigrated to the Middle East, the United States, and Europe. There were 179,860 speakers of Malayalam in the United States, according to the 2000 census, with the highest concentrations in Bergen County, New Jersey, and Rockland County, New York. [ 85 ] There are 344,000 of Malayalam speakers in Malaysia. [ citation needed ] There were 11,687 Malayalam speakers in Australia in 2016. [ 86 ] The 2001 canadian census reported 7,070 people who listed Malayalam as their mother tongue, chiefly in Toronto. The 2006 New Zealand census reported 2,139 speakers. [ 87 ] 134 Malayalam talk households were reported in 1956 in Fiji. There is besides a considerable Malayali population in the Persian Gulf regions, particularly in Dubai and Doha .

phonology [edit ]

Spoken Malayalam For the consonants and vowels, the International Phonetic Alphabet ( IPA ) symbol is given, followed by the Malayalam character and the ISO 15919 transliteration. [ 88 ] The current Malayalam script bears high similarity with Tigalari handwriting, which was used for writing the Tulu language, spoken in coastal Karnataka ( Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts ) and the northernmost Kasargod zone of Kerala. [ 18 ] Tigalari script was besides used for writing Sanskrit in Malabar region .

Vowels [edit ]

The first letter in Malayalam

Short Long
Front Central Back Front Central Back
Close /i/


/ɨ̆/ ŭ /u/






Mid /e/








Open /a/




  • ്* /ɨ̆/ formed from word final short /u/s but now there are /u/s finally as well, mostly in loanwords like in guru but native pērŭ. It is the saṁvr̥tōkāram, an epenthentic vowel in Malayalam. Therefore, it has no independent vowel letter (because it never occurs at the beginning of words) but, when it comes after a consonant, there are various ways of representing it. In medieval times, it was just represented with the symbol for /u/, but later on it was just completely omitted (that is, written as an inherent vowel). In modern times, it is written in two different ways – the Northern style, in which a chandrakkala is used ⟨


    ⟩, and the Southern or Travancore style, in which the diacritic for a /u/ is attached to the preceding consonant and a chandrakkala is written above ⟨


    ⟩. According to one author, this alternative form ⟨


    ⟩ is historically more correct, though the simplified form without a vowel sign u is common nowadays.[89]

  • * /a/ (phonetically central: [ ä ]) is represented as basic or the “default” vowel in the Abugida script.

Malayalam has besides borrowed the Sanskrit diphthongs of /au/ ( represented in Malayalam as ഔ, gold ) and /ai/ ( represented in Malayalam as ഐ, three-toed sloth ), although these largely occur only in Sanskrit loanwords. traditionally ( as in Sanskrit ), four vocalic consonants ( normally pronounced in Malayalam as consonants followed by the saṁvr̥tōkāram, which is not formally a vowel, and not as actual vocalic consonants ) have been classified as vowels : vocalic r ( ഋ, /rɨ̆/, r̥ ), long vocalic gas constant ( ൠ, /rɨː/, r̥̄ ), vocalic fifty ( ഌ, /lɨ̆/, l̥ ) and retentive vocalic liter ( ൡ, /lɨː/, l̥̄ ). Except for the first, the other three have been omitted from the current script used in Kerala as there are no words in current Malayalam that use them. Some authors say that Malayalam has no diphthongs and /aj, aw/ are clusters of V+glide j/w [ 90 ] while others consider all V+glide clusters to be diphthongs /aj, aw, ej, oj, ja/ as in kai, auṣadhaṁ, deivam, poikko and kāriaṁ [ 91 ] Vowel length is phonemic and all of the vowels have minimal pairs for exercise paṭṭŭ “ silk ”, pāṭṭŭ “ song ”, koḍi “ flag ”, kōḍi “ crore ” ( 10 million ), er̠i “ shed ”, ēr̠i “ lots ” [ 88 ] Some speakers besides have an /æ : / from english loanwords eg. /bæ : ŋgɨ̆/ “ bank ” but most speakers switch it with /a : /, /e : / or /ja/. [ 8 ]

Consonants [edit ]

Malayāḷalipi (Meaning: Malayalam script) written in the The news ( Meaning : Malayalam script ) written in the Malayalam script

Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex Postalveolar/
Velar Glottal
Nasal m











apparent p










































Fricative f










Approx. cardinal ʋ






lateral l




Tap ɾ


Trill r


  • As in other Dravidian languages, the retroflex series are true subapical consonants, in which the underside of the tongue contacts the roof.[94]
  • All of the alveolars except /s/ are apical.[88]
  • The affricates / t͡ɕ ~ t͡ʃ, t͡ɕʰ ~ t͡ʃʰ, d͡ʑ ~ d͡ʒ, d͡ʑʱ ~ d͡ʒʱ/ can either be postalveolar or alveolo-palatal depending upon the speaker and dialect; the postalveolar and alveolo-palatal realizations are in free variation.[95]
  • The alveolar nasal once had a separate character ⟨ഩ⟩ that is now obsolete (it can be seen in the ⟨ṉ⟩ row here [96]) and the sound is now almost always represented by the symbol that was originally used only for the dental nasal. However, both sounds are extensively used in current colloquial and official Malayalam, and although they were allophones in Old Malayalam, they now occasionally contrast in gemination – for example, eṉṉāl (‘by me’, first person singular pronoun in the instrumental case) and ennāl (‘if that is so’, elided from the original entāl), which are both written ennāl (എന്നാൽ).
  • The unaspirated alveolar stop also had a separate character ⟨ഺ⟩ but it has become obsolete, as the sound only occurs in geminate form (when geminated it is written with a

    below another

    ⟨റ്റ⟩) or immediately following other consonants (in these cases,



    are usually written in small size underneath the first consonant). The archaic letter can be found in the ⟨ṯ⟩ row here.[96]

  • The proto Dravidian alveolar stop *ṯ developed into an alveolar trill /r/ in many of the Dravidian languages while *ṯṯ and *ṉṯ remained in Malayalam. The stop sound is retained in Kota and Toda (Subrahmanyam 1983). Malayalam still retains the original (alveolar) stop sound in gemination (ibid).[8]
  • The alveolar trill (ṟ) is pronounced as a [d] after a nasal. For example, in the word


    [ende] “my”, often transcribed as (ṯ).[95]

  • All non geminated voiceless stops and affricate become voiced in intervocalic position like in Tamil but unlike Tamil it doesnt spirantize, it remains a stop; eg. makaṉ Ml. [mɐgɐn] Ta. [mɐɣɐn]; it also gets voiced after a nasal.[88][8]
  • The geminated velars /k:/ and /ŋ:/ are sometimes palatalized word medially after /j, i(:), e(:), a(:)/ like in the words


    [kiɖɐk:ugɐ] vs


    [iɾikʲ:ugɐ] and


    [mɐŋ:ɐl] vs.


    [mɐt̪:ɐŋʲ:ɐ], their distribution is unpredictable eg. it doesn’t palatalize in vikkŭ but does in irikkŭ. Although some of the northern dialects might pronounce them as the same.[95][88]

  • The letter ഫ represents both /pʰ/, a phoneme occurring in Sanskrit loanwords, and /f/, which is mostly found in comparatively recent borrowings from European languages. Though nowadays most people (especially youngsters) pronounce /pʰ/ as /f/ like in the word



  • /m, n, ɳ, l, ɭ/ are unreleased word finally.[91] Words will never begin or end with a geminated consonant. /ɻ/ never occur word initially. All consonants appear word medially.[88]
  • The plain stops, affricates, nasals, laterals, the fricatives /s/ and /ɕ/ and approximants other than /ɻ/ can be geminated and gemination can sometimes change the meaning of the word, e.g.


    /kaɭam/ ‘cell’,


    /kaɭ:am/ ‘lie’.[88] /n̪, ɲ, ŋ, t/ only occur in geminated form intervocalically.[95]

  • The retroflex lateral is clearly retroflex, but may be more of a flap [  ] (= [ ɺ̢ ]) than an approximant [ ɭ ]. The approximant /ɻ/ has both rhotic and lateral qualities, and is indeterminate between an approximant and a fricative, but is laminal post-alveolar rather than a true retroflex. The articulation changes part-way through, perhaps explaining why it behaves as both a rhotic and a lateral, both an approximant and a fricative, but the nature of the change is not understood.[97]
  • /ɾ, l, ɻ/ are very weakly palatalized while /r, ɭ/ are clear.[95]
  • Around 75% of nk and 50% of ñc and nt from Old Malayalam got assimilated to ṅṅ, ññ and nn, almost all of the n̠t̠ merged with nn suggesting an earlier merger of some of the n̠t̠ and nt (for e.g. the cognate of Ta. nan̠r̠i is spelt as nandi and pronounced nanni); mp and ṇṭ were unchanged, e.g. Ta. mūṉṟu, maruntu, kañci, teṅku, Ml. mūnnŭ, marunnŭ, kaññi, teṅṅŭ. Many of the ai also became a unless the word is monosyllabic, e.g. Ta. avai Ml. ava.
  • Loanwords with /z/ are switched with /s/ but not /d͡ʒ/ like in Hindi or Telugu eg. /brasi:l/ En. “Brazil” unless it was loaned through Hindi then the Hindi pronunciation is taken eg. /d͡ʒil:a/ Hi. /d͡ʒila:/ Per. /zilʔ/, other Perso-Arabic phonemes like /q, x, ɣ, ħ, Cˤ, ʕ, ʔ/ are switched with /k, kʰ, g, h, C, ∅, ∅/, sometimes /q, x/ are switched with /kʰ, k/ eg. قطر/Qaṭar as ഖത്തർ khattar and Arb. خَطّ‎/xaṭṭ as കത്ത് kattŭ. English loans with /θ, ð, ʒ/ are switched with /t̪, d̪, ʃ/; the dentals do not clash with English loans with /t, d/, which are switched with [tdʈɖ
  • Rarely some speakers pronounce the voiced aspirated consonants as voiceless so words like dhaṉam as thaṉam, it is more commonly deaspirated so dhaṉam as daṉam and khaṉaṉam as kaṉaṉam, intervocalically the voiceless aspirate also becomes voiced so mukham as mugam.

Sample text [edit ]

english [edit ]

All human beings are born dislodge and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with cause and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of union .

malayalam [edit ]

മനുഷ്യരെല്ലാവരും തുല്യാവകാശങ്ങളോടും അന്തസ്സോടും സ്വാതന്ത്ര്യത്തോടുംകൂടി ജനിച്ചിട്ടുള്ളവരാണ്‌. അന്യോന്യം ഭ്രാതൃഭാവത്തോടെ പെരുമാറുവാനാണ്‌ മനുഷ്യനു വിവേകബുദ്ധിയും മനസാക്ഷിയും സിദ്ധമായിരിക്കുന്നത്‌ .

Romanisation ( ISO 15919 ) [edit ]

man̠uṣyarellāvaruṁ tulyāvakāśaṅṅaḷōṭuṁ antassōṭuṁ svātantryattōṭuṅkūṭi jan̠icciṭṭuḷḷavarāṇ‌ŭ. an̠yōn̠yaṁ bhrātr̥bhāvattōṭe perumāṟuvān̠āṇ‌ŭ man̠uṣyan̠u vivēkabuddhiyuṁ man̠asākṣiyuṁ siddhamāyirikkunnat‌ŭ .

IPA [edit ]

/manuʂjaɾellaːʋaɾum t̪uljaːʋaɡaːʃaŋŋaɭoːɖum an̪d̪assoːɖum sʋaːd̪an̪d̪rjat̪t̪oːɖuŋguːɖi d͡ʒanit͡ʃt͡ʃiʈʈuɭɭaʋaɾaːɳɨ̆ ǁ anjoːnjːam bʱraːt̪ribʱaːʋat̪t̪oːɖe peɾumaːruʋaːnaːɳɨ̆ manuʂjanu ʋiʋeːɡabud̪d̪ʱijum manasaːkʂijum sid̪d̪ʱamaːjiɾikkun̪n̪ad̪ɨ̆ ǁ/

grammar [edit ]

Malayalam has a canonic password regulate of SOV ( subject–object–verb ), as do early Dravidian languages. [ 100 ] A rare OSV give voice order occurs in interrogative mood clauses when the interrogative son is the capable. [ 101 ] Both adjectives and possessive adjectives precede the nouns they modify. Malayalam has 6 [ 102 ] or 7 [ 103 ] [ unreliable source? ] grammatical cases. Verbs are conjugated for strain, temper and aspect, but not for person, gender nor total except in archaic or poetic lyric. The modern Malayalam grammar is based on the book Kerala Panineeyam written by A. R. Raja Raja Varma in recently nineteenth century CE. [ 19 ]

Nouns [edit ]

The declensional prototype for some common nouns and pronouns are given below. As Malayalam is an agglutinative speech, it is difficult to delineate the cases rigorously and determine how many there are, although seven or eight is the generally accepted count. alveolar plosives and nasals ( although the mod Malayalam handwriting does not distinguish the latter from the alveolar consonant adenoidal ) are underlined for clearness, following the convention of the National Library at Kolkata romanization .

personal pronouns [edit ]

vocative forms are given in parentheses after the nominative, as the only pronominal phrase vocatives that are used are the third person ones, which entirely occur in compounds .

1st person 2nd person informal[note 2] 3rd person (distal)[note 3]
masculine feminine neutral
ñāṉ avaṉ (voc. avaṉē) avaḷ (voc. avaḷē) adŭ (voc. athinē)
eṉṉe niṉṉe avaṉe avaḷe adiṉe
eṉd̠e (also eṉ, eṉṉuḍe) niṉd̠e (also niṉ, niṉṉuḍe) avaṉd̠e (also avaṉuḍe) avaḷuḍe adiṉd̠e
eṉikkŭ niṉakkŭ avaṉŭ avaḷkkŭ adiṉŭ
eṉṉāl niṉṉāl avaṉāl avaḷāl adiṉāl
eṉṉil niṉṉil avaṉil avaḷil adil
eṉṉōḍŭ niṉṉōḍŭ avaṉōḍŭ avaḷōḍŭ adinōḍŭ

  1. ^[27] “ Prior to this relatively advanced coin of “ Malayalam ”, the identity is even more fraught, for Kerala folk music more normally referred to their language as “ Tamil ”, just as those in the dominant allele kingdoms of Tamilnadu, east of the western Ghats, had from the early centuries C.E. Use of the tag “ Tamil ” continued to overlap with that of “ Malayalam ” into the colonial time period. ”
  2. ^ 2nd person singular formal is alike to 2nd person plural .
  3. ^ For proximal phase, replace the initial ‘a ‘ with an ‘i ‘ .
1st person 2nd person 3rd person
exclusive inclusive
ñaṅṅaḷ nām/ nammaḷ niṅṅaḷ avar̠ (voc. avarē)
ñaṅṅaḷe nammaḷe niṅṅaḷe avare
ñaṅṅaḷuḍe (also ñaṅṅuḍe) nammuḍe niṅṅaḷuḍe avaruḍe
ñaṅṅaḷkkŭ nammaḷkkŭ (also namukkŭ) niṅṅaḷkkŭ avar̠kkŭ
ñaṅṅaḷāl (also ñaṅṅāl) nammāl niṅṅaḷāl avarāl
ñaṅṅaḷil nammil niṅṅaḷil avaril (also avaṟkal)
ñaṅṅaḷōḍŭ nammōḍŭ niṅṅaḷōḍŭ avarōḍŭ

other nouns [edit ]

The succeed are examples of some of the most common deterioration patterns .

Word (translated) “Tree” “Elephant” “Human” “Dog”
Case Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural Singular Plural








































































































































Words adopted from Sanskrit [edit ]

When words are adopted from Sanskrit, their endings are normally changed to conform to Malayalam norms :

Nouns [edit ]

  • Masculine Sanskrit nouns with a word stem ending in a short /a/ take the ending /an/ in the nominative singular. For example, Kr̥ṣṇa → Kr̥ṣṇan. The final /n/ is dropped before masculine surnames, honorifics, or titles ending in /an/ and beginning with a consonant other than /n/ – e.g., “Krishna Menon”, “Krishna Kaniyaan” etc., but “Krishnan Ezhutthachan”. Surnames ending with /ar/ or /aḷ/ (where these are plural forms of “an” denoting respect) are treated similarly – “Krishna Pothuval”, “Krishna Chakyar”, but “Krishnan Nair”, “Krishnan Nambiar”, as are Sanskrit surnames such “Varma(n)”, “Sharma(n)”, or “Gupta(n)” (rare) – e.g., “Krishna Varma”, “Krishna Sharman”. If a name is a compound, only the last element undergoes this transformation – e.g., “Kr̥ṣṇa” + “dēva” = “Kr̥ṣṇadēvan”, not “Kr̥ṣṇandēvan”.
  • Feminine words ending in a long /ā/ or /ī/ are changed to end in a short /a/ or /i/, for example “Sītā” → “Sīta” and “Lakṣmī” → “Lakṣmi”. However, the long vowel still appears in compound words, such as “Sītādēvi” or” Lakṣmīdēvi”. The long ī is generally reserved for the vocative forms of these names, although in Sanskrit the vocative actually takes a short /i/. There are also a small number of nominative /ī/ endings that have not been shortened – a prominent example being the word “strī” for “woman”.
  • Nouns that have a stem in /-an/ and which end with a long /ā/ in the masculine nominative singular have /vŭ/ added to them, for example “Brahmā” (stem “Brahman”) → “Brahmāvŭ”. When the same nouns are declined in the neuter and take a short /a/ ending in Sanskrit, Malayalam adds an additional /m/, e.g. “Brahma” (neuter nominative singular of “Brahman”) becomes “Brahmam”. This is again omitted when forming compounds.
  • Words whose roots end in /-an/ but whose nominative singular ending is /-a-/ (for example, the Sanskrit root of “karma” is actually “karman”) are also changed. The original root is ignored and “karma” (the form in Malayalam being “karmam” because it ends in a short /a/) is taken as the basic form of the noun when declining.[104] However, this does not apply to all consonant stems, as “unchangeable” stems such as “manas” (“mind”) and “suhr̥t” (“friend”) are identical to the Malayalam nominative singular forms (although the regularly derived “manam” sometimes occurs as an alternative to “manas”).
  • Sanskrit words describing things or animals rather than people with a stem in short /a/ end with an /m/ in Malayalam. For example,”Rāmāyaṇa” → “Rāmāyaṇam”. In most cases, this is actually the same as the Sanskrit accusative case ending, which is also /m/ (or, allophonically, anusvara due to the requirements of the sandhi word-combining rules) in the neuter nominative. However, “things and animals” and “people” are not always differentiated based on whether or not they are sentient beings; for example, “Narasimha” becomes “Narasiṃham” and not “Narasiṃhan”, whereas “Ananta” becomes “Anantan” even though both are sentient. This does not strictly correspond to the Sanskrit neuter gender, as both “Narasiṃha” and “Ananta” are masculine nouns in the original Sanskrit.
  • Nouns with short vowel stems other than /a/, such as “Viṣṇu”, “Prajāpati” etc. are declined with the Sanskrit stem acting as the Malayalam nominative singular (the Sanskrit nominative singular is formed by adding a visarga, e.g., as in “Viṣṇuḥ”)
  • The original Sanskrit vocative is often used in formal or poetic Malayalam, e.g. “Harē” (for “Hari”) or “Prabhō” (for “Prabhu” – “Lord”). This is restricted to certain contexts – mainly when addressing deities or other exalted individuals, so a normal man named Hari would usually be addressed using a Malayalam vocative such as “Harī”. The Sanskrit genitive is also occasionally found in Malayalam poetry, especially the personal pronouns “mama” (“my” or “mine”) and “tava” (“thy” or “thine”). Other cases are less common and generally restricted to the realm of Maṇipravāḷam.
  • Along with these tatsama borrowings, there are also many tadbhava words in common use. These were incorporated via borrowing before the separation of Malayalam and Tamil. As the language did not then accommodate Sanskrit phonology as it now does, words were changed to conform to the Old Tamil phonological system, for example “Kr̥ṣṇa” → “Kaṇṇan”.[105] Most of his works are oriented on the basic Malayalam family and cultures and many of them were path-breaking in the history of Malayalam literature

Writing system [edit ]

aside from the Malayalam handwriting, the Malayalam terminology has been written in other scripts like Roman, Syriac [ 106 ] [ 75 ] [ 76 ] and Arabic. Suriyani Malayalam was used by Saint Thomas Christians ( besides known as Nasranis ) until the nineteenth century. [ 106 ] [ 75 ] [ 76 ] Arabic scripts particularly were taught in madrasa in Kerala and the Lakshadweep Islands. [ 107 ] [ 108 ]

Malayalam script [edit ]

A Malayalam signboard from Kannur, Kerala. Malayalam is official language in the indian department of state of Kerala and the union territories of Lakshadweep and Puduchery historically, respective scripts were used to write Malayalam. Among these were the Vatteluttu, Kolezhuthu and Malayanma scripts. But it was the Grantha script, another Southern Brahmi variation, which gave rise to the modern Malayalam script. The mod Malayalam script bears eminent similarity to Tigalari script, which was used for writing Tulu lyric in Coastal Karnataka ( Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts ) and the northernmost Kasaragod district of Kerala. [ 18 ] It is syllabic in the sense that the sequence of graphic elements means that syllables have to be read as units, though in this system the elements representing individual vowels and consonants are for the most part readily identifiable. In the 1960s Malayalam dispensed with many special letters representing less frequent conjunct consonants and combinations of the vowel /u, uranium : / with different consonants. Malayalam script consists of a sum of 578 characters. The script contains 52 letters including 16 vowels and 36 consonants, which forms 576 syllabic characters, and contains two extra diacritic characters named anusvāra and visarga. [ 109 ] [ 110 ] The earlier style of compose has been superseded by a newly expressive style as of 1981. This new script reduces the different letters for typesetting from 900 to fewer than 90. This was chiefly done to include Malayalam in the keyboards of typewriters and computers. In 1999 a group named “ Rachana Akshara Vedi ” produced a dress of free fonts containing the integral character repertoire of more than 900 glyph. This was announced and released along with a textbook editor in the same year at Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. In 2004, the fonts were released under the GNU GPL license by Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation at the Cochin University of Science and Technology in Kochi, Kerala .

Chillu letters [edit ]

A chillu ( ചില്ല്, cillŭ ), or a chillaksharam ( ചില്ലക്ഷരം, cillakṣaram ), is a special consonant letter that represents a pure consonant independently, without help of a virama. Unlike a consonant represented by an ordinary consonant letter, this consonant is never followed by an built-in vowel. Anusvara and visarga meet this definition but are not normally included. ISCII and Unicode 5.0 treat a chillu as a glyph variant of a normal ( “ base ” ) consonant letter. [ 111 ] In Unicode 5.1 and later, chillu letters are treated as autonomous characters, encoded atomically .

Chillu letters
Letter Unicode name Base Remarks Examples



(kūṇ, “mushroom”)


Chillu of alveolar nasal ṉa.


(avaṉ, “he”)


Historically stood for ra

, not ṟa



(avar̠, “they”)



(kāl, “foot”)



(avaḷ, “she”)



Not in modern use


(doesn’t occur word finally.)


Not in modern use


Not in modern use


Not in modern use

Number system and other symbols [edit ]


Corresponds to Devanagari avagraha, used when a Sanskrit phrase containing an avagraha is written in Malayalam script. The symbol indicates the elision of the word-initial vowel a after a word that ends in ā, ē, or ō, and is transliterated as an apostrophe (‘), or sometimes as a colon + an apostrophe (:’).


, praślēṣam  ?)

Malayalam date mark

Used in an abbreviation of a date.

Archaic punctuation marks.
Double danda

Numerals [edit ]

Malayalam numbers and fractions are written as follows. These are archaic and no longer used. alternatively, the common Hindu-Arabic numeral system is followed. eminence that there is a confusion about the glyph of Malayalam digit zero. The correct phase is egg-shaped, but occasionally the glyph for 1⁄4 ( ൳ ) is mistakenly shown as the glyph for 0 .

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 100 1000







Number “ 11 ” is written as “ ൰൧ ” and not “ ൧൧ ”. “ 32 ” is written as “ ൩൰൨ ” like to the Tamil numeral arrangement .

11 20 21 30 110 10,099







For case, the number “ 2013 ” is read in Malayalam as രണ്ടായിരത്തി പതിമൂന്ന് ( raṇḍāyiratti padimūnnŭ ). It is split into :

  • രണ്ട്

    ( raṇḍŭ) : 2 –

  • ആയിരം

    ( āyiram) : 1000 –

  • പത്ത്

    ( pattŭ) : 10 –

  • മൂന്ന്

    ( mūnnŭ) : 3 –

Combine them together to get the Malayalam count ൨൲൰൩.[112] And 1,00,000 as “ ൱൲ ” = hundred ( ൱ ), thousand ( ൲ ) ( 100×1000 ), 10,00,000 as “ ൰൱൲ ” = ten ( ൰ ), hundred ( ൱ ), thousand ( ൲ ) ( 10×100×1000 ) and 1,00,00,000 as “ ൱൱൲ ” = hundred ( ൱ ), hundred ( ൱ ), thousand ( ൲ ) ( 100×100×1000 ). late on this system got reformed to be more like to the Hindu-Arabic numerals so 10,00,000 in the reform numerals it would be ൧൦൦൦൦൦൦. [ 113 ]

Fractions [edit ]

In Malayalam you can transcribe any fraction by affixing ( -il ) after the denominator followed by the numerator, so a divide like 7⁄10 would be read as പത്തിൽ ഏഴ് ( pattil ēḻŭ ) ‘out of ten, seven ‘ but fractions like 1⁄2 1⁄4 and 3⁄4 have distinct names ( ara, kāl, mukkāl ) and 1⁄8 ( arakkāl ) ‘half quarter ‘. [ 113 ]

Ponnani script [edit ]

The Arabi Malayalam script, differently known as the Ponnani script, [ 114 ] [ 115 ] [ 116 ] is a writing system – a variant shape of the Arabic script with especial orthographic features – which was developed during the early medieval period and used to write Arabi Malayalam until the early twentieth hundred CE. [ 117 ] [ 118 ] Though the script originated and developed in Kerala, today it is predominantly used in Malaysia and Singapore by the migrant Muslim residential district. [ 119 ] [ 120 ]

Vattezhuthu rudiment [edit ]

A chivalric Tigalari manuscript ( Bears high similarity with modern Malayalam script ) Vatteluttu ( Malayalam : വട്ടെഴുത്ത്, Vaṭṭezhuthŭ ?, “ round compose ” ) is a script that had evolved from Tamil-Brahmi and was once used extensively in the southern partially of contemporary Tamil Nadu and in Kerala. Malayalam was first written in Vattezhuthu. The Vazhappally inscription issued by Rajashekhara Varman is the earliest example, dating from about 830 CE. [ 121 ] [ 122 ] During the medieval menstruation, the Tigalari script that was used for writing Tulu in South Canara, and Sanskrit in the adjacent Malabar region, had beared gamey similarity with the modern Malayalam script. [ 18 ] In the Tamil area, the modern Tamil script had supplanted Vattezhuthu by the fifteenth century, but in the Malabar region, Vattezhuthu remained in general use up to the seventeenth century, [ 123 ] or the eighteenth century. [ 124 ] A discrepancy form of this script, Kolezhuthu, was used until about the nineteenth hundred chiefly in the Malabar – Cochin area. [ 125 ] Vatteluttu was in general use, but was not suitable for literature where many Sanskrit words were used. Like Tamil-Brahmi, it was in the first place used to write Tamil, and as such, did not have letters for voiced or aspirate consonants used in Sanskrit but not used in Tamil. For this argue, Vatteluttu and the Grantha rudiment were sometimes mix, as in the Manipravalam. One of the oldest examples of the Manipravalam literature, Vaishikatantram ( വൈശികതന്ത്രം, Vaiśikatantram ), dates back to the twelfth hundred, [ 126 ] [ 127 ] where the earliest form of the Malayalam handwriting was used, which seems to have been systematized to some extent by the first one-half of the thirteenth century. [ 121 ] [ 124 ] Another variant mannequin, Malayanma, was used in the south of Thiruvananthapuram. [ 125 ] By the nineteenth century, old scripts like Kolezhuthu had been supplanted by Arya-eluttu – that is the current Malayalam script. Nowadays, it is widely used in the press of the Malayali population in Kerala. [ 128 ]

Karshoni [edit ]

Suriyani Malayalam ( സുറിയാനി മലയാളം, ܣܘܪܝܢܝ ܡܠܝܠܡ ), besides known as Karshoni, Syro-Malabarica or Syriac Malayalam, is a interpretation of Malayalam written in a discrepancy form of the Syriac rudiment which was popular among the Saint Thomas Christians ( besides known as syrian Christians or Nasranis ) of Kerala in India. [ 129 ] [ 106 ] [ 75 ] [ 76 ] It uses Malayalam grammar, the Maḏnḥāyā or “ easterly ” Syriac script with limited orthographic features, and vocabulary from Malayalam and East Syriac. This originated in the South indian region of the Malabar Coast ( contemporary Kerala ). Until the twentieth hundred, the script was widely used by syrian Christians in Kerala .

Grantha [edit ]

According to Arthur Coke Burnell, one form of the Grantha rudiment, primitively used in the Chola dynasty, was imported into the southwest seashore of India in the 8th or 9th century, which was then modified in course of meter in this cloistered area, where communication with the east seashore was very limited. [ 130 ] It late evolved into Tigalari-Malayalam script was used by the Malayali, Havyaka Brahmins and Tulu Brahmin people, but was primitively only applied to write Sanskrit. This handwriting split into two scripts : Tigalari and Malayalam. While Malayalam script was extended and modified to write slang language Malayalam, the Tigalari was written for Sanskrit only. [ 130 ] [ 131 ] In Malabar, this writing organization was termed Arya-eluttu ( ആര്യ എഴുത്ത്, Ārya eḻuttŭ ), [ 132 ] meaning “ Arya write ” ( Sanskrit is indic speech while Malayalam is a dravidian language ) .

literature [edit ]

The Sangam literature can be considered as the ancient predecessor of Malayalam. [ 35 ] According to Iravatham Mahadevan, the earliest Malayalam inscription discovered until now is the Edakal-5 dedication ( ca. late fourth century – early fifth hundred ) reading ī pazhama ( english : ‘this is old ‘ ). [ 133 ] Although this has been disputed by other scholars. [ 134 ] The habit of the pronoun ī and the miss of the literary Tamil -ai ending are archaism from Proto-Dravidian rather than unique innovations of Malayalam. [ note 1 ] The early literature of Malayalam comprised three types of writing : [ 53 ] Malayalam Nada, Tamil Nada and Sanskrit Nada. [ 53 ]

  • Classical songs known as Nadan Pattu[53]
  • Manipravalam of the Sanskrit tradition, which permitted a generous interspersing of Sanskrit with Malayalam. Niranam poets[136] Manipravalam Madhava Panikkar, Sankara Panikkar and Rama Panikkar wrote Manipravalam poetry in the 14th century.[53]
  • The folk song rich in native elements

Malayalam literature has been profoundly influenced by poets Cherusseri Namboothiri, [ 137 ] [ 53 ] Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan, [ 53 ] and Poonthanam Nambudiri, [ 53 ] [ 138 ] in the 15th and the 16th centuries of Common Era. [ 53 ] [ 139 ] Unnayi Variyar, a probable 17th–18th century poet, [ 140 ] and Kunchan Nambiar, a poet of eighteenth hundred, [ 141 ] besides greatly influence Malayalam literature in its early on form. [ 53 ] The words used in many of the Arabi Malayalam works those go steady back to 16th–17th centuries of Common Era are besides very close to the advanced Malayalam lyric. [ 53 ] [ 142 ] The prose literature, criticism, and Malayalam journalism began after the latter half of eighteenth hundred CE. Contemporary Malayalam literature deals with social, political, and economic life sentence context. The leaning of the modern poetry is often towards political radicalism. [ 143 ] Malayalam literature has been presented with six Jnanapith awards, the second-most for any dravidian linguistic process and the third-highest for any indian language. [ 144 ] [ 145 ] Malayalam poetry to the recently twentieth hundred betrays varying degrees of the coalition of the three unlike strands. The oldest examples of Pattu and Manipravalam, respectively, are Ramacharitam and Vaishikatantram, both from the twelfth century. [ 146 ] [ 53 ] The earliest extant prose work in the lyric is a comment in simpleton Malayalam, Bhashakautalyam ( twelfth century ) on Chanakya ‘s Arthashastra. Adhyatmaramayanam by Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan ( known as the don of modern Malayalam literature ) who was born in Tirur, one of the most significant works in Malayalam literature. Unnunili Sandesam written in the fourteenth hundred is amongst the oldest literary works in Malayalam language. [ 147 ] Cherusseri Namboothiri of fifteenth century ( Kannur -based poet ), Poonthanam Nambudiri of 16th century ( Perinthalmanna -based poet ), Unnayi Variyar of 17th–18th centuries ( Thrissur -based poet ), and Kunchan Nambiar of eighteenth century ( Palakkad -based poet ), have played a major role in the development of Malayalam literature into current imprint. [ 53 ] The words used in many of the Arabi Malayalam works, which dates second to 16th–17th centuries are besides very close to modern Malayalam lyric. [ 53 ] The washbasin of the river Bharathappuzha, which is otherwise known as River Ponnani, and its tributaries, have played a major function in the development of modern Malayalam Literature. [ 148 ] [ 53 ] By the end of the eighteenth century some of the christian missionaries from Kerala started writing in Malayalam but largely travelogues, dictionaries and religious books. Varthamanappusthakam ( 1778 ), written by Paremmakkal Thoma Kathanar [ 149 ] is considered to be the foremost travelogue in an amerind linguistic process. The modern Malayalam grammar is based on the book Kerala Panineeyam written by A. R. Raja Raja Varma in late nineteenth century CE. [ 19 ]

Folk Songs [edit ]

For the first 600 years of the Malayalam calendar, Malayalam literature remained in a preliminary phase. During this meter, Malayalam literature consisted chiefly of respective genres of songs ( Pattu ). [ 53 ] Folk songs are the oldest literary form in Malayalam. [ 19 ] They were good oral songs. [ 19 ] Many of them were related to agricultural activities, including Pulayar Pattu, Pulluvan Pattu, Njattu Pattu, Koythu Pattu, etc. [ 19 ] other Ballads of Folk Song period include the Vadakkan Pattukal ( Northern songs ) in North Malabar region and the Thekkan Pattukal ( Southern songs ) in Southern Travancore. [ 19 ] Some of the earliest Mappila songs ( Muslim songs ) were besides folk songs. [ 19 ]

Old and Middle Malayalam [edit ]

The earliest know poems in Malayalam, Ramacharitam and Thirunizhalmala, dated to the 12th to 14th hundred, were completed before the introduction of the Sanskrit rudiment. It was written by a poet with the pen name Cheeramakavi who, according to poet Ulloor S Parameswara Iyer, was Sree Veerarama Varman, a king of southerly Kerala from AD 1195 to 1208. [ 150 ] however the title that it was written in Southern Kerala is expired on the basis of new discoveries. [ 151 ] early experts, like Chirakkal T Balakrishnan Nair, Dr. K.M. George, M. M. Purushothaman Nair, and P.V. Krishnan Nair, state of matter that the lineage of the book is in Kasaragod zone in North Malabar region. [ 151 ] They cite the use of sealed words in the book and besides the fact that the manuscript of the book was recovered from Nileshwaram in North Malabar. [ 152 ] The influence of Ramacharitam is by and large seen in the contemporary literary works of Northern Kerala. [ 151 ] The words used in Ramacharitam such as Nade ( Mumbe ), Innum ( Iniyum ), Ninna ( Ninne ), Chaaduka ( Eriyuka ) are particular features of the dialect spoken in North Malabar ( Kasaragod – Kannur area ). [ 151 ] Furthermore, the Thiruvananthapuram mentioned in Ramacharitham is not the Thiruvananthapuram in Southern Kerala. [ 151 ] But it is Ananthapura Lake Temple of Kumbla in the northernmost Kasaragod zone of Kerala. [ 151 ] The password Thiru is used barely by the mean Honoured. [ 151 ] today it is widely accepted that Ramacharitham was written somewhere in North Malabar ( most likely near Kasaragod ). [ 151 ] But the menstruation of the earliest available literary text file can not be the sole standard used to determine the antiquity of a speech. In its early literature, Malayalam has songs, Pattu, for assorted subjects and occasions, such as reap, love songs, heroes, gods, etc. A shape of writing called Campu emerged from the fourteenth century onwards. It desegregate poetry with prose and used a vocabulary powerfully influenced by Sanskrit, with themes from epics and Puranas. The works including Unniyachi Charitham, Unnichirudevi Charitham, and Unniyadi Charitham, are written in Middle Malayalam, those date back to 13th and 14th centuries of Common Era. [ 53 ] [ 25 ] The Sandesha Kavya randomness of fourteenth century CE written in Manipravalam linguistic process include Unnuneeli Sandesam [ 53 ] [ 25 ] The literary works written in Middle Malayalam were heavily influenced by Sanskrit and Prakrit, while comparing them with the modern Malayalam literature. [ 53 ] [ 25 ] The son Manipravalam literally means Diamond-Coral or Ruby-Coral. The 14th-century Lilatilakam textbook states Manipravalam to be a Bhashya ( lyric ) where “ Malayalam and Sanskrit should combine together like red and coral, without the least tracing of any disagree ”. [ 55 ] [ 56 ] The Champu Kavyas written by Punam Nambudiri, one among the Pathinettara Kavikal ( Eighteen and a half poets ) in the court of the Zamorin of Calicut, besides belong to Middle Malayalam. [ 25 ] [ 53 ]

Modern Malayalam [edit ]

The poem Krishnagatha written by Cherusseri Namboothiri, who was the court poet of the king Udaya Varman Kolathiri ( 1446–1475 ) of Kolathunadu, is written in modern Malayalam. [ 53 ] The linguistic process used in Krishnagatha is the modern talk form of Malayalam. [ 53 ] It appears to be the beginning literary work written in the contemporary terminology of Malayalam. [ 53 ] During the sixteenth century CE, Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan from the Kingdom of Tanur and Poonthanam Nambudiri from the Kingdom of Valluvanad followed the new course initiated by Cherussery in their poems. The Adhyathmaramayanam Kilippattu and Mahabharatham Kilippattu written by Ezhuthachan and Jnanappana written by Poonthanam are besides included in the earliest form of Modern Malayalam. [ 53 ] The words used in most of the Arabi Malayalam works, which dates back to 16th–17th centuries, are besides very nearer to modern Malayalam language. [ 53 ] P. Shangunny Menon ascribes the authorship of the chivalric work Keralolpathi, which describes the Parashurama caption and the departure of the final Cheraman Perumal king to Mecca, to Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan. [ 57 ]
Kunchan Nambiar, the founder of Thullal movement, was a prolific literary figure of the eighteenth century. [ 53 ]

impingement of european scholars [edit ]

Nasranikal okkekkum ariyendunna samkshepavedartham which is the first book to be printed in Malayalam in 1772. Cover page ofwhich is the first book to be printed in Malayalam in 1772. The british printed Malabar English Dictionary [ 153 ] by Graham Shaw in 1779 was hush in the form of a Tamil-English Dictionary. [ 154 ] Paremmakkal Thoma Kathanar wrote the inaugural Malayalam travelogue called Varthamanappusthakam in 1789. Hermann Gundert, ( 1814–1893 ), a german missionary and scholar of exceeding linguistic talents, played a distinct role in the development of Malayalam literature. His major works are Keralolpathi ( 1843 ), Pazhancholmala ( 1845 ), Malayalabhaasha Vyakaranam ( 1851 ), Paathamala (1860) the first Malayalam school text book, Kerala pazhama ( 1868 ), the first Malayalam dictionary (1872), Malayalarajyam ( 1879 ) – Geography of Kerala, Rajya Samacharam (1847 June) the first Malayalam news paper, Paschimodayam ( 1879 ) – Magazine. [ 155 ] He lived in Thalassery for around 20 years. He learned the linguistic process from good established local teachers Ooracheri Gurukkanmar from Chokli, a village near Thalassery and consulted them in work. He besides translated the Bible into Malayalam. [ 156 ] [ 157 ] In 1821, the Church Mission Society ( CMS ) at Kottayam in association with the Syriac Orthodox Church started a seminary at Kottayam in 1819 and started printing books in Malayalam when Benjamin Bailey, an anglican priest, made the first Malayalam types. In addition, he contributed to standardizing the prose. [ 158 ] Hermann Gundert from Stuttgart, Germany, started the first Malayalam newspaper, Rajya Samacaram in 1847 at Talasseri. It was printed at Basel Mission. [ 159 ] Malayalam and Sanskrit were increasingly studied by Christians of Kottayam and Pathanamthitta. The Marthomite motion in the mid-19th century called for substitution of Syriac by Malayalam for liturgical purposes. By the end of the nineteenth hundred Malayalam replaced Syriac as speech of Liturgy in all syrian Christian churches .
Vengayil Kunhiraman Nayanar, ( 1861–1914 ) from Thalassery was the generator of first Malayalam short history, Vasanavikriti. After him countless world classify literature works by was born in Malayalam. [ 53 ] O. Chandu Menon wrote his novels “ Indulekha ” and “ Saradha ” while he was the judge at Parappanangadi Munciff Court. Indulekha is besides the first Major Novel written in Malayalam speech. [ 160 ]
. [ 53 ] The third one-fourth of the nineteenth century CE bore spectator to the rise of a fresh educate of poets devoted to the observation of biography around them and the use of pure Malayalam. The major poets of the Venmani School were Venmani Achhan Nambudiripad ( 1817–1891 ), Venmani Mahan Nambudiripad ( 1844–1893 ), Poonthottam Achhan Nambudiri ( 1821–1865 ), Poonthottam Mahan Nambudiri ( 1857–1896 ) and the members of the Kodungallur Kovilakam ( Royal Family ) such as Kodungallur Kunjikkuttan Thampuran. The style of these poets became quite popular for a while and influenced even others who were not members of the group like Velutheri Kesavan Vaidyar ( 1839–1897 ) and Perunlli Krishnan Vaidyan ( 1863–1894 ). The Venmani school pioneered a stylus of poetry that was associated with common sidereal day themes, and the use of pure Malayalam ( Pachcha Malayalam ) quite than Sanskrit. [ 53 ]

Twentieth century [edit ]

In the second gear half of the twentieth century, Jnanpith winning poets and writers like G. Sankara Kurup, S. K. Pottekkatt, Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai, M. T. Vasudevan Nair, O. N. V. Kurup, and Akkitham Achuthan Namboothiri, had made valuable contributions to the modern Malayalam literature. [ 61 ] [ 62 ] [ 63 ] [ 64 ] [ 65 ] Later, writers like O. V. Vijayan, Kamaladas, M. Mukundan, Arundhati Roy, and Vaikom Muhammed Basheer, have gained international recognition. [ 66 ] [ 67 ] [ 68 ] [ 161 ]

Prose [edit ]

The travelogues written by S. K. Pottekkatt were turning point in the travelogue literature. [ 53 ] The writers like Kavalam Narayana Panicker have contributed much to Malayalam drama. [ 19 ] Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai turned away from party politics and produced a moving love story in Chemmeen ( Shrimps ) in 1956. For S. K. Pottekkatt and Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, who had not dabbled in politics, the continuity is marked in the early ‘s Vishakanyaka ( Poison Maid, 1948 ) and the latter ‘s Ntuppuppakkoranendarnnu ( My Grandpa had an Elephant, 1951 ). The non-political social or domestic novel was championed by P. C. Kuttikrishnan ( Uroob ) with his Ummachu ( 1955 ) and Sundarikalum Sundaranmarum ( Men and Women of Charm, 1958 ). [ 53 ] In 1957 Basheer ‘s Pathummayude Aadu ( Pathumma ‘s Goat ) brought in a newly kind of prose fib, which possibly only Basheer could handle with dexterity. The fifties thus mark the development of a new kind of fiction, which had its shock on the inadequate stories as well. This was the auspicious moment for the introduction of M. T. Vasudevan Nair and T. Padmanabhan upon the setting. Front runners in the post-modern course include Kakkanadan, O. V. Vijayan, E. Harikumar, M. Mukundan and Anand. [ 53 ] Kerala has the highest media exposure in India with newspapers publishing in nine languages, chiefly English and Malayalam. [ 162 ] [ 163 ]

poetry [edit ]

contemporaneous Malayalam poetry deals with social, political, and economic animation context. The tendency of the modern poetry is frequently towards political radicalism. [ 143 ]

See besides [edit ]

References [edit ]

Sources [edit ]

promote read [edit ]

Notes [edit ]

  1. ^[ page needed] “ *aH and *iH are demonstrative pronoun adjectives reconstructed for Proto-Dravidian, as they show variation in vowel length. When they occur in isolation they occur as ā, and ī but when they are followed by a consonant initial word then they appear as a- and i- as in Ta. appoẓutu ‘that time’., : tellurium. appuḍu idaho. and Ta. ippoẓutu ‘that time’., : Te.ippuḍu id. however, Modern Tamil has replaced ā, and ī with anda and inda but most dravidian languages have preserved it. ”
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