As per the new linguistic international study, Dravidian language family is 4,500 years old. The Dravidian language family is spoken mainly in southern India and parts of eastern and central India. The study was published in the journal Royal Society Open Science. The language family is also spoken in other parts of South Asia and consists 80 variations, spoken by around 220 million people. The study also suggested that Dravidian language speakers were already there in the subcontinent before the Aryan speakers arrived around 3,500 years ago. The study also revealed that Dravidian languages have relation with Sanskrit, part of Indo-European language family.

Speaking about the study, lead author Annemarie Verkerk of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History said, “Dating Dravidian languages is relevant for a wider understanding for the peopling of South Asia, especially population movements of particular language groups. Even Munda, an Austro-Asiatic language spoken in Eastern parts of India, speakers have relation with many languages of the subcontinent. The study revealed that it is likely the Dravidian languages were much more widespread in the Western parts of India in the past than they are today in southern parts of the country.

According to the Thiruvananthapuram based Dravidian Linguistics Association, Brahui, oldest language of the Dravidian family is spoken by 6 lakh people in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. 10,000 people speak Dangar in Nepal. Many Dravidian languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Tulu have very long literary tradition, we have link certain diversification events to real chronological time, said Verkerk.  

Ganesh N Devy, linguist and founding director of Bhasha Research and Publication Centre Vadodara said, “Around 10,000-11,000 years ago people living in Southern parts of India started cultivating rice and being part of agrarian society people calls for communication using at least basic sound icons to clearly understand through the process of others.”

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