Origin of Dravidian languages

Robert J. Zydenbos zydenbos at BLR.VSNL.NET.IN
Sun Feb 8 16:39:06 UTC 1998

> When did each of Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada first appear?
> What is the earliest available literary work in these languages and
> what period does it belong to?

Tamil: earliest dated inscription 270 CE
Kannada: earliest inscription ca. 450 CE
Telugu: earliest inscription 633 CE
Malayalam will be later.

(See: K.V. Zvelebil, _Dravidian Linguistics: An Introduction_.
Pondicherry: Pondicherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture, 1990.)

The earliest literary work in Kannada is the Kaviraajamaarga, 9th
century CE, which contains fragments of older works which are lost.


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