The Dravidian Languages: 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Dravidian Languages

2nd Edition

By Sanford B. Steever


496 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138853768
pub: 2019-12-23
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The Dravidian language family is the world's fourth largest with nearly 250 million speakers across South Asia from Pakistan to Nepal, from Bangladesh to Sri Lanka. This authoritative reference source provides a unique description of the languages, covering their grammatical structure and historical development, plus sociolinguistic features. Each chapter combines modern linguistic perspective with traditional historical linguistics, and a uniform structure allows for easy typological comparison between the individual languages.

New to this edition are chapters on Beṭṭa Kuṟumba, Kuṛux, Kūvi and Malayāḷam, enlarged sections in various existing chapters, as well updated bibliographies and demographic data throughout.

The Dravidian Languages will be invaluable to students and researchers within linguistics, and will also be of interest to readers in the fields of comparative literature, areal linguistics and South Asian studies.


Praise for the previous edition:

'Steever sets out the aim of this volume as being to enable 'the layman or linguist … to satisfy his curiosity about these individual languages' … The volume succeeds in Steever's aim, while in addition suggesting a number of interesting questions for further investigation' - Bernard Comrie, Journal of Linguistics, Vol. 36 [2000]

Table of Contents

1 Introduction to the Dravidian Languages

Sanford B. Steever

2 The Dravidian Scripts

William Bright and Peter T. Daniels

Part I: South Dravidian

3 Old Tamil

Thomas Lehmann

4 Modern Tamil

E. Annamalai and S.B. Steever

5 Malayalam

P. Shreekumar

6 Kannada

Sanford B. Steever

7 Betta Kurumba

Gail Coelho

8 Tulu

D.N.S. Bhat

Part II: South-Central Dravidian

9 Old Telugu

P. Ramanarasimham

10 Telugu

Bh. Krishnamurti

11 Koṇḍa

Bh. Krishnamurti and Brett A. Benham

12 Gonḍi

Sanford B. Steever


13 Kūvi

Sanford B. Steever


Part III: Central Dravidian

14 Kolami

P.S. Subrahmanyam

15 Gadaba

Peri Bhaskararao

Part IV: North Dravidian

16 Malto

Sanford B. Steever

17 Kurux

Masato Kobayashi and Tetru Oraon

18 Brahui

Josef Elfenbein

About the Author

Sanford B. Steever holds three degrees in Linguistics and a diploma in Tamil. The author of five books and sixty articles on Historical Linguistics, Syntax, Dravidian Linguistics and Tamil, he spent three years of study and fieldwork in India. He has been a member of the Linguistics Society of America for nearly 50 years, is a life member of the Dravidian Linguistics Association and serves on the advisory board of the International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics.

About the Series

Routledge Language Family Series

Each volume in this series contains an in-depth account of the members of some of the world's most important language families. Written by experts in each language, these accessible accounts provide detailed linguistic analysis and description. The contents are carefully structured to cover the natural system of classification: phonology, morphology, syntax, lexis, semantics, dialectology, and sociolinguistics.

Every volume contains extensive bibliographies for each language, a detailed index and tables, and maps and examples from the languages to demonstrate the linguistic features being described. The consistent format allows comparative study, not only between the languages in each volume, but also across all the volumes in the series.

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