The history of the Dravid language family stretches back to about 4,500 years ago, with about 80 million speakers in the 80 Near Eastern, Southern, Central India and neighboring countries.
This view reached by an international team, including researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Human Historical Sciences, is based on linguistic analysis of data collected directly from the speakers of all known Dravid languages. These findings, published in the Royal Society Open Science, coincide with earlier linguistic and archeological studies
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South Asia, extending from Afghanistan to the east in Bangladesh in the West, hosts 600 languages from six different language groups including Dravid, Indo-Europe and China-Tibet. The Dravid language family, with 80 different subdirectories, including languages and dialects, is spoken by 220 million people today. Although the majority of these people live in Central and South India, there are also native speakers of the Dravid language family in neighboring countries.
Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu, the four most common languages of this language family, have written literary examples that span centuries. Among them, the Tamil language, which is based on the oldest, is considered to be one of the classical languages of the world like Sanskrit. Contrary to Sanskrit, however, there is a continuity between the classic and modern forms of Tamilce. This continuity in the inscriptions, in poems, religious or religious, in all texts and songs is striking.
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According to Annemarie Verkerk from the Institute of Human Historical Sciences, Max Planck, co-author of the research, "Working with Dravid languages is crucial to understand the pre-history of Eurasia. Because those who speak these languages have also affected people who speak other language groups. "
The geographical origins and spreading times of these tongues are not known precisely. Researchers agree that before the Indo-Europeans migrated to India 3,500 years ago, the Dravids inhabited the area and were inhabited by the Indian Peninsula. In the past it is quite probable that the Dravid tongues are more widespread in the west today
Advanced Statistical Models and Findings Seek Strong Results
The researchers conducted a detailed review of twenty polishers to examine where and when Dravid languages developed. The authors of the study and the Indian Wildlife Institute Vishnupriya Kolipakamam collected data directly from a group of dialects of the Dravid dialects. In this sample, there are speakers of every Dravid dialect known up to now.
The researchers applied the statistic to understand the age and subgroup formation of the Dravid language family and reached a result between 4,000 and 4,500 years. This result is stronger than before because it has been repeatedly tested with different statistical models, although it overlaps with previous linguistic assumptions. This date coincides with archaeological findings at the same time. The diversity of the northern, central and southern regions of the Dravid culture in this age and its correspondence with cultural exchanges can be considered as archaeological finds that the results cover.
It is necessary to continue research to find out the relationship and geographical spread between the members of the language family. According to Simon Greenhill of the Institute of Human Historical Science at Max Planck, "There is a great opportunity to investigate the relationship between the Dravid groups themselves and other language groups such as Indo-Europe and Austroasia at a prehistoric milestone"
Science Daily. 21 March 2018
Article : Kolipakam, V., Jordan, F. M., Dunn, M., Greenhill, S. J., Bouckaert, R., Gray, R. D., & Verkerk, A. (2018). A Bayesian phylogenetic study of the Dravidian language family. Royal Society open science, 5 (3), 171504.