Kannada (/ˈkɑːnədə,ˈkæn-/; ಕನ್ನಡ, [ˈkɐnːɐɖa]), originally romanised Canarese, is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by the people of Karnataka in southwestern India, with minorities in all neighbouring states. It has around 47 million native speakers, and was additionally a second or third language for around 13 million non-native speakers in Karnataka.
Kannada was the court language of some of the most powerful dynasties of
Kannada had 43.5 million native speakers in India at the time of the 2011 census. It is the main language of the state of Karnataka, where it is spoken natively by 40.6 million people, or about two thirds of the state's population. There are native Kannada speakers in the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu (1,140,000 speakers), Maharashtra (993,000), Andhra Pradesh (533,000), Kerala (78,100) and Goa (67,800). It is also spoken as a second and third language by over 12.9 million non-native speakers in Karnataka.
Kannadigas form Tamil Nadu's 3rd biggest linguistic group and add up to about 1.23 million which is 2.2% of Tamil Nadu's total population.
The Malayalam spoken by people of Lakshadweep has many Kannada words.
In the United States, there were 35,900 speakers in 2006–2008,
better source needed
Kannada is a Southern Dravidian language and according to Sanford B. Steever, its history can be conventionally divided into three stages: Old Kannada (Haḷegannaḍa) from 450 to 1200 AD, Middle Kannada (Naḍugannaḍa) from 1200 to 1700 and Modern Kannada (Hosagannaḍa) from 1700 to the present. Kannada was influenced to a considerable degree by Sanskrit and Prakrit. The scholar Iravatham Mahadevan indicated that Kannada was already a language of rich spoken tradition earlier than the 3rd century BC and based on the native Kannada words found in Prakrit inscriptions of that period, Kannada must have been spoken by a broad and stable population. The scholar K. V. Narayana claims that many tribal languages which are now designated as Kannada dialects could be nearer to the earlier form of the language, with lesser influence from other languages.
Sanskrit and Prakrit influence
The sources of influence on literary Kannada grammar appear to be three-fold: Pāṇini's grammar, non-Pāṇinian schools of Sanskrit grammar, particularly Katantra and Sakatayana schools, and Prakrit grammar. Literary Prakrit seems to have prevailed in Karnataka since ancient times. The vernacular Prakrit speaking people may have come into contact with Kannada speakers, thus influencing their language, even before Kannada was used for administrative or liturgical purposes. Kannada phonetics, morphology, vocabulary, grammar and syntax show significant influence from these languages.
Some naturalised (tadbhava) words of Prakrit origin in Kannada are: baṇṇa (colour) derived from vaṇṇa, huṇṇime (full moon) from puṇṇivā. Examples of naturalised Sanskrit words in Kannada are: varṇa (colour), pūrṇime, and rāya from rāja (king).
Kannada also has borrowed (Tatsama) words such as dina (day), kōpa (anger), sūrya (sun), mukha (face), nimiṣa (minute).
The earliest Kannada inscriptions are from the middle of the 5th century AD, but there are a number of earlier texts that may have been influenced by the ancestor language of Old Kannada.
Iravatam Mahadevan, author of a work on early Tamil epigraphy, argued that oral traditions in Kannada and Telugu existed much before written documents were produced. Although the rock inscriptions of Ashoka were written in Prakrit, the spoken language in those regions was Kannada as the case may be. He can be quoted as follows:
If proof were needed to show that Kannada was the spoken language of the region during the early period, one needs only to study the large number of Kannada personal names and place names in the early Prakrit inscriptions on stone and copper in Upper South India [...] Kannada was spoken by relatively large and well-settled populations, living in well-organised states ruled by able dynasties like the Satavahanas, with a high degree of civilisation [...] There is, therefore, no reason to believe that these languages had less rich or less expressive oral traditions than Tamil had towards the end of its pre-literate period.
Ashoka rock edict found at Brahmagiri (dated to 250 BC) has been suggested to contain words (Isila, meaning to throw, viz. an arrow, etc.) in identifiable Kannada.
In some 3rd–1st century BC Tamil inscriptions, words of Kannada influence such as Naliyura, kavuDi and posil were found. In a 3rd-century AD Tamil inscription there is usage of oppanappa vIran. Here the honorific appa to a person's name is an influence from Kannada. Another word of Kannada origin is taayviru and is found in a 4th-century AD Tamil inscription. S. Settar studied the sittanavAsal inscription of first century AD as also the inscriptions at tirupparamkunram, adakala and neDanUpatti. The later inscriptions were studied in detail by Iravatham Mahadevan also. Mahadevan argues that the words erumi, kavuDi, poshil and tAyiyar have their origin in Kannada because Tamil cognates are not available. Settar adds the words nADu and iLayar to this list. Mahadevan feels that some grammatical categories found in these inscriptions are also unique to Kannada rather than Tamil. Both these scholars attribute these influences to the movements and spread of Jainas in these regions. These inscriptions belong to the period between the first century BC and fourth century AD. These are some examples that are proof of the early usage of a few Kannada origin words in early Tamil inscriptions before the common era and in the early centuries of the common era.
Mangaluru, upon its mouth. Many of these are Kannada origin names of places and rivers of the Karnataka coast of 1st century AD.
The Greek geographer Ptolemy (150 AD) mentions places such as Badiamaioi (Badami), Inde (Indi), Kalligeris (Kalkeri), Modogoulla (Mudagal), Petrigala (Pattadakal), Hippokoura (Huvina Hipparagi), Nagarouris (Nagur), Tabaso (Tavasi), Tiripangalida (Gadahinglai), Soubouttou or Sabatha (Savadi), Banaouase (Banavasi), Thogorum (Tagara), Biathana (Paithan), Sirimalaga (Malkhed), Aloe (Ellapur) and Pasage (Palasige). He mentions a Satavahana king Sire Polemaios, who is identified with Sri Pulumayi (or Pulumavi), whose name is derived from the Kannada word for Puli, meaning tiger. Some scholars indicate that the name Pulumayi is actually Kannada's 'Puli Maiyi' or 'One with the body of a tiger' indicating native Kannada origin for the Satavahanas. Pai identifies all the 10 cities mentioned by Ptolemy (100-170 AD) as lying between the river Benda (or Binda) or Bhima river in the north and Banaouasei (Banavasi) in the south, viz. Nagarouris (Nagur), Tabaso (Tavasi), Inde (Indi), Tiripangalida (Gadhinglaj), Hippokoura (Huvina Hipparagi), Soubouttou (Savadi), Sirimalaga (Malkhed), Kalligeris (Kalkeri), Modogoulla (Mudgal) and Petirgala (Pattadakal), as being located in Northern Karnataka which signify the existence of Kannada place names (and the language and culture) in the southern Kuntala region during the reign of Vasishtiputra Pulumayi (c. 85-125 AD, i.e., late 1st century - early 2nd century AD) who was ruling from Paithan in the north and his son, prince Vilivaya-kura or Pulumayi Kumara was ruling from Huvina Hipparagi in present Karnataka in the south.
An early ancestor of Kannada (or a related language) may have been spoken by Indian traders in Roman-era Egypt and it may account for the Indian-language passages in the ancient Greek play known as the Charition mime.
The earliest examples of a full-length Kannada language stone inscription (śilāśāsana) containing
Western Ganga King Kongunivarma Madhava (c. 350–370) found at Tagarthi (Tyagarthi) in Shikaripura taluk of Shimoga district is of 350 AD and is also older than the Halmidi inscription.
Current estimates of the total number of existing
Pulakesi I is an example of a Sanskrit inscription in old Kannada script.
Kannada inscriptions are not only discovered in Karnataka but also quite commonly in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. Some inscriptions were also found in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. This indicates the spread of the influence of the language over the ages, especially during the rule of large Kannada empires.
The earliest copper plates inscribed in Old Kannada script and language, dated to the early 8th century AD, are associated with
Alupa King Aluvarasa II from Belmannu (the Dakshina Kannada district), and display the double crested fish, his royal emblem. The oldest well-preserved palm leaf manuscript in Old Kannada is that of Dhavala. It dates to around the 9th century and is preserved in the Jain Bhandar, Mudbidri, Dakshina Kannada district. The manuscript contains 1478 leaves written using ink.
Mysore Kingdom, the Badami Chalukya coins being a recent discovery. The coins of the Kadambas of Goa are unique in that they have alternate inscription of the king's name in Kannada and Devanagari in triplicate, a few coins of the Kadambas of Hangal are also available.
Some of the early writers of prose and verse mentioned in the Kavirajamarga, numbering 8–10, stating these are but a few of many, but whose works are lost, are Vimala or Vimalachandra (c. 777), Udaya, Nagarjuna, Jayabandhu, Durvinita (6th century), and poets including Kaviswara, Srivijaya, Pandita, Chandra, Ravi Kirti (c. 634) and Lokapala.
Amoghavarsha Nripatunga compares the puratana-kavigal (old Kannada poets) who wrote the great Chattana poems in Kannada to the likes of the great Sanskrit poets like Gunasuri, Narayana, Bharavi, Kalidasa, Magha, etc. This Old Kannada work, Kavirajamarga, itself in turn refers to a Palagannada (Old Kannada) of much ancient times, which is nothing but the Pre-Old Kannada and also warns aspiring Kannada writers to avoid its archaisms, as per R. S. Hukkerikar. Regarding earlier poems in Kannada, the author of "Kavirajamarga" states that old Kannada is appropriate in ancient poems but insipid in contemporaneous works as per R. Narasimhacharya. Gunanandi (900 AD), quoted by the grammarian Bhattakalanka and always addressed as Bhagawan (the adorable), was the author of a logic, grammar and sahitya. Durvinita (529-579 AD), the Ganga king, was the pupil of the author of Sabdavatara, i.e., Devanandi Pujyapada. Durvinita is said to have written a commentary on the difficult 15th sarga of Bharavi's Kiratarjuniya in Kannada. Early Kannada writers regularly mention 3 poets as of especial eminence among their predecessors - Samanta-bhadra, Kavi Parameshthi and Pujyapada. Since later Kannada poets so uniformly name these 3 as eminent poets, it is probable that they wrote in Kannada also. Samantabhadra is placed in 2nd century AD by Jain tradition. Old Kannada commentaries on some of his works exist. He was said to have born in Utkalikagrama and while performing penance in Manuvakahalli, he was attacked by a disease called Bhasmaka. Pujyapada also called Devanandi, was the preceptor of Ganga king Durvinita and belonged to the late 5th to early 6th century AD. Kaviparameshthi probably lived in the 4th century AD. He may possibly be the same as the Kaviswara referred to in the Kavirajamarga, and the Kaviparameswara praised by Chavunda Raya (978 AD) and his spiritual teacher, Nemichandra (10th century AD), all the names possibly being only epithets.
Kannada works from earlier centuries mentioned in the
Amoghavarsha I, is ascribed to the early 9th century. His writing has been mentioned by Vijayanagara poets Mangarasa III and Doddiah (also spelt Doddayya, c. 1550 AD) and praised by Durgasimha (c. 1025 AD). During the 9th century period, the Digambara Jain poet Asaga (or Asoka) authored, among other writings, "Karnata Kumarasambhava Kavya" and "Varadamana Charitra". His works have been praised by later poets, although none of his works are available today. "Gunagankiyam", the earliest known prosody in Kannada, was referenced in a Tamil work dated to 10th century or earlier ("Yapparungalakkarigai" by Amritasagara). Gunanandi, an expert in logic, Kannada grammar and prose, flourished in the 9th century AD. Around 900 AD, Gunavarma I wrote "Sudraka" and "Harivamsa" (also known as "Neminatha Purana"). In "Sudraka" he compared his patron, Ganga king Ereganga Neetimarga II (c. 907-921 AD), to a noted king called Sudraka. Jinachandra, who is referred to by Sri Ponna (c. 950 AD) as the author of "Pujyapada Charita", had earned the honorific "modern Samantha Bhadra". Tamil Buddhist commentators of the 10th century AD (in the commentary on Neminatham, a Tamil grammatical work) make references that show that Kannada literature must have flourished as early as the BC 4th century.
Around the beginning of the 9th century, Old Kannada was spoken from
Malaprabha was the pure well of Kannada undefiled.
The late classical period gave birth to several genres of Kannada literature, with new forms of composition coming into use, including Ragale (a form of blank verse) and meters like Sangatya and Shatpadi. The works of this period are based on Jain and Hindu principles. Two of the early writers of this period are Harihara and Raghavanka, trailblazers in their own right. Harihara established the Ragale form of composition while Raghavanka popularised the Shatpadi (six-lined stanza) meter. A famous Jaina writer of the same period is Janna, who expressed Jain religious teachings through his works.
Emperor Nripatunga Amoghavarsha I of 850 AD recognised that the Sanskrit style of Kannada literature was Margi (formal or written form of language) and Desi (folk or spoken form of language) style was popular and made his people aware of the strength and beauty of their native language Kannada. In 1112 AD, Jain poet Nayasena of Mulugunda, Dharwad district, in his Champu work Dharmamrita (ಧರ್ಮಾಮೃತ), a book on morals, warns writers from mixing Kannada with Sanskrit by comparing it with mixing of clarified butter and oil. He has written it using very limited Sanskrit words which fit with idiomatic Kannada. In 1235 AD, Jain poet Andayya, wrote Kabbigara Kava- ಕಬ್ಬಿಗರ ಕಾವ (Poet's Defender), also called Sobagina Suggi (Harvest of Beauty) or Madana-Vijaya andKavana-Gella (Cupid's Conquest), a Champu work in pure Kannada using only indigenous (desya) Kannada words and the derived form of Sanskrit words – tadbhavas, without the admixture of Sanskrit words. He succeeded in his challenge and proved wrong those who had advocated that it was impossible to write a work in Kannada without using Sanskrit words. Andayya may be considered as a protector of Kannada poets who were ridiculed by Sanskrit advocates. Thus Kannada is the only Dravidian language which is not only capable of using only native Kannada words and grammar in its literature (like Tamil), but also use Sanskrit grammar and vocabulary (like Telugu, Malayalam, Tulu, etc.) The Champu style of literature of mixing poetry with prose owes its origins to the Kannada language which was later incorporated by poets into Sanskrit and other Indian languages.
Literature of the Kingdom of Mysore
During the period between the 15th and 18th centuries, Hinduism had a great influence on Middle Kannada (Naḍugannaḍa- ನಡುಗನ್ನಡ) language and literature. Kumara Vyasa, who wrote the Karṇāṭa Bhārata Kathāman̄jari (ಕರ್ಣಾಟ ಭಾರತ ಕಥಾಮಂಜರಿ), was arguably the most influential Kannada writer of this period. His work, entirely composed in the native Bhamini Shatpadi (hexa-meter), is a sublime adaptation of the first ten books of the Mahabharata.
During this period, the Sanskritic influence is present in most abstract, religious, scientific and rhetorical terms. During this period, several Hindi and Marathi words came into Kannada, chiefly relating to feudalism and militia.
Hindu saints of the
Vadirajatirtha, Vijaya Dasa, Gopala Dasa, Jagannatha Dasa, Prasanna Venkatadasa produced devotional poems in this period. Kanakadasa's Rāmadhānya Charite (ರಾಮಧಾನ್ಯ ಚರಿತೆ) is a rare work, concerning with the issue of class struggle. This period saw the advent of Haridasa Sahitya (lit Dasa literature) which made rich contributions to Bhakti literature and sowed the seeds of Carnatic music. Purandara Dasa is widely considered the Father of Carnatic music.
Modern Kannada in the 20th century has been influenced by many movements, notably Navodaya, Navya, Navyottara, Dalita and Bandaya. Contemporary Kannada literature has been highly successful in reaching people of all classes in society. Further, Kannada has produced a number of prolific and renowned poets and writers such as
Jnanpith awards, the highest number awarded to any Indian language.
There is also a considerable difference between the spoken and written forms of the language. Spoken Kannada tends to vary from region to region. The written form is more or less consistent throughout Karnataka. The
Gulbarga Kannada, Dharawad Kannada etc. All of these dialects are influenced by their regional and cultural background. The one million Komarpants in and around Goa speak their own dialect of Kannada, known as Halegannada. They are settled throughout Goa state, throughout Uttara Kannada district and Khanapur taluk of Belagavi district, Karnataka. The Halakki Vokkaligas of Uttara Kannada and Shimoga districts of Karnataka speak in their own dialect of Kannada called Halakki Kannada or Achchagannada. Their population estimate is about 75,000.
Ethnologue also classifies a group of four languages related to Kannada, which are, besides Kannada proper,
Nasik district of Maharashtra has a distinct tribe called 'Hatkar Kaanadi' people who speak a Kannada (Kaanadi) dialect with lot of old Kannada words. Per Chidananda Murthy, they are the native people of Nasik from ancient times, which shows that North Maharashtra's Nasik area had Kannada population 1000 years ago.
Kannada speakers formed 0.12% of Nasik district's population as per 1961 census.
The language uses forty-nine
phonemic letters, divided into three groups: swaragalu (vowels – thirteen letters); vyanjanagalu (consonants – thirty-four letters); and yogavaahakagalu (neither vowel nor consonant – two letters: anusvaraಂ and visargaಃ). The character set is almost identical to that of other Indian languages. The Kannada script is almost entirely phonetic, but for the sound of a "half n" (which becomes a half m). The number of written symbols, however, is far more than the forty-nine characters in the alphabet, because different characters can be combined to form compound characters (ottakshara). Each written symbol in the Kannada script corresponds with one syllable, as opposed to one phoneme
in languages like English—the Kannada script is syllabic.
Kannada–Kannada dictionary has existed in Kannada along with ancient works of Kannada grammar. The oldest available Kannada dictionary was composed by the poet 'Ranna' called 'Ranna Kanda' (ರನ್ನ ಕಂದ) in 996 AD. Other dictionaries are 'Abhidhana Vastukosha' (ಅಭಿದಾನ ವಾಸ್ತುಕೋಶ) by Nagavarma (1045 AD), 'Amarakoshada Teeku' (ಅಮರಕೋಶದ ತೀಕು) by Vittala (1300), 'Abhinavaabhidaana' (ಅಭಿನವಾಭಿದಾನ) by Abhinava Mangaraja (1398 AD) and many more. A Kannada–English dictionary consisting of more than 70,000 words was composed by Ferdinand Kittel.
G. Venkatasubbaiah edited the first modern Kannada–Kannada dictionary, a 9,000-page, 8-volume series published by the Kannada Sahitya Parishat. He also wrote a Kannada–English dictionary and a kliṣtapadakōśa (ಕ್ಲಿಷ್ಟಪಾದಕೋಶ), a dictionary of difficult words.
Aspirated consonants never occur in native vocabulary. The only exception is the number 9, which can be written with a /bʱ/, as in "ಒಂಭತ್ತು". However, it is usually written with a /b/, as in "ಒಂಬತ್ತು".
The aspiration of consonants depends entirely on the speaker and many do not do it in non-formal situations.
The alveolar trill /r/ may be pronounced as an alveolar tap [ɾ].
The voiceless retroflex sibilant /ʂ/ is commonly pronounced as a /ʃ/ except in consonant clusters with retroflex consonants.
There are also the consonants /f, z/ which occur in recent English and Perso-Arabic loans but they may be replaced by the consonants /pʰ, dʒ/ respectively by speakers.
Additionally, Kannada included the following phonemes, which dropped out of common usage in the 12th and 18th century respectively:
/r/ ಱ (ṟ), the alveolar trill.
/ɻ/ ೞ (ḻ), the retroflex central approximant.
Old Kannada had an archaic phoneme /ɻ/ under retroflexes in early inscriptions which merged with /ɭ/ and it maintained the contrast between /r/ (< PD ∗t̠) and /ɾ/ from (< PD ∗r). Both merged in Medieval Kannada.
In old Kannada at around 10th-14th century, many of the initial /p/ debuccalized into a /h/ e.g. OlKn. pattu, MdKn. hattu "ten".
Kannada lacks the palatalization of k's before front vowels which was done by Tamil-Malayalam languages and independently by Telugu, e.g. Kn. kivi, Ta. cevi, Te. cevi "ear".
Compound bases, called samāsa in Kannada, are a set of two or more words compounded together. There are several types of compound bases, based on the rules followed for compounding. The types of compound bases or samāsas: tatpurusha, karmadhāraya, dvigu, bahuvreehi, anshi, dvandva, kriya and gamaka samāsa.[clarification needed] Examples: taṅgāḷi, hemmara, kannusanne.
In many ways the third-person pronouns are more like demonstratives than like the other pronouns. They are pluralised like nouns and the first- and second-person pronouns have different ways to distinguish number.
The given sample text is Article 1 from the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
ಎಲ್ಲಾ ಮಾನವರೂ ಸ್ವತಂತ್ರರಾಗಿಯೇ ಹುಟ್ಟಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಹಾಗೂ ಘನತೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅಧಿಕಾರಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಸಮಾನರಾಗಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ತಿಳಿವು ಮತ್ತು ಅಂತಃಕರಣಗಳನ್ನು ಪಡೆದವರಾದ್ದರಿಂದ, ಅವರು ಒಬ್ಬರಿಗೊಬ್ಬರು ಸಹೋದರ ಭಾವದಿಂದ ನಡೆದುಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕು.
^ abMythic Society (Bangalore, India) (1985). The quarterly journal of the Mythic society (Bangalore)., Volume 76. Mythic Society (Bangalore, India). pp. Pages_197–210.
^B. K. Khadabadi; Prākr̥ta Bhāratī Akādamī (1997). Studies in Jainology, Prakrit literature, and languages: a collection of select 51 papers Volume 116 of Prakrit Bharti pushpa. Prakrit Bharati Academy. pp. 444 pages.
^Jha, Ganganatha (1976). Journal of the Ganganatha Jha Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Volume 32. Ganganatha Jha Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha. pp. see page 319.
^Kulli, Jayavant S (1991). History of grammatical theories in Kannada. Internationial School of Dravidian Linguistics. pp. 330 pages.
^The word Isila found in the Ashokan inscription (called the Brahmagiri edict from Karnataka) meaning to shoot an arrow, is a Kannada word, indicating that Kannada was a spoken language in the 3rd century BC (D.L. Narasimhachar in Kamath 2001, p5)
^ abcd6th century Sanskrit poet Dandin praised Srivaradhadeva's writing as "having produced Saraswati from the tip of his tongue, just as Shiva produced the Ganges from the tip of his top knot" (Rice E.P., 1921, pp.25–28)
^"Literature in all Dravidian languages owes a great deal to Sanskrit, the magic wand whose touch raised each of the languages from a level of patois to that of a literary idiom". (Sastri 1955, p309)
^Takahashi, Takanobu. 1995. Tamil love poetry and poetics. Brill's Indological library, v. 9. Leiden: E.J. Brill, p16,18
^"The author endeavours to demonstrate that the entire Sangam poetic corpus follows the "Kavya" form of Sanskrit poetry"-Tieken, Herman Joseph Hugo. 2001. Kāvya in South India: old Tamil Caṅkam poetry. Groningen: Egbert Forsten
^Report on the administration of Mysore – Page 90 Mysore – 1864 "There is no authentic record of the casting of the first Early Canarese printing. Canarese type, but a Canarese Grammar by Carey printed at Serampore in 1817 is extant. About the same time a translation of the Scriptures was printed
^Missions in south India – Page 56 Joseph Mullens – 1854 "Among those of the former are tracts on Caste, on the Hindu gods; Canarese Proverbs; Henry and his Bearer; the Pilgrim's Progress; Barth's Bible Stories; a Canarese hymn book"