"Malayalam“ - The classical language of the world
One of the South Indian languages is Malayalam.
This Dravidian language is the official language of Kerala and Lakhshadweep. This language has its own histories
and its own scripts for writing. This
language is spoken by 35.9 million people. Do you know the meaning of the word Malayalam? For the word, “Mala”
means “mountain” while “alam” means “place”. Malayalam is the only language that can spelt and read alike backwards
For a long time, Sanskrit was a scholastic language in many parts of India. This influenced other languages
evolution. The Dravidian language, Malayalam too has similar words that of Sanskrit. Sanskrit enriched the language
Malayalam in many ways. One language has influenced the growth of the other due to coexistence of different people,
languages and the cultures.
In the 6th century, the language Malayalam originated from Middle Tamil (Proto-Tamil-Malayalam). Today,
Malayalam’s 80 percent of vocabulary is from Sanskrit. The words like nakham”
[nail], “bharya” [wife], “mukham” [face] etc are examples of some words which are borrowed from Sanskrit. Like
Kannada language, Malayalam language dropped many, not frequently used conjunct consonants and vowels, after the
middle of the 20th century. There are 53 letters in Malayalam today. There are 20 long and short
Malayalam vowels the remaining are consonants.
the 14th century, Rama-charitam was composed. This inaugurated
Thunchathu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan was the father of modern Malayalam language. Ramayana and Mahabharata, the
ancient Indian epics were translated into Malayalam language by Ezhuthachan. The contemporary scholar of
Ezhuthachan was Melpathur Bhattathirippad. Poonthanam Nambudiri followed Ezhuthachan’s footsteps. The author of
Jnanappana is Poonthanam.
you know the earliest literary work available in Malayalam now? It is Arthasastra by Chanakys. Arthasastra is
believed to belong to the 13th century. Arthasastra and Vaisikatantram, both of these come under
Manipravalam. Vaisikatantram is believed to belong to the 14h century. Manipravalam is a combination of two
languages namely Sanskrit and the language of Kerala. In the 14th century, a grammar namely
Lilatilakam was written. For the students of literary and linguistic history, this grammar is still
written form of Malayalam language emerged by the end of 13th century. It is different from Tamil.
Malayalam has songs namely pattu in its early literature. The songs are used for various occasions like harvest,
gods, heroes etc. There will be slight variations in speaking the language in Southern Kerala, Central as well
as Northern parts of Kerala. Today, 100 percent of the Malayalam language speakers are literate.
In the vazhappalli inscription, Malayalam was first appeared in writing which was in 830AD.
In the initial stages of the development of Malayalam language, the use of Sanskrit words like “sorrow”,
“kindness”, “danger” shows that Sanskrit play an important role. Malayalam is the only South Indian language which
has not yet been given the classical status. The language has all the qualification for a classical status. The
state Kerala has moved forward to get the classical status for its language. The websites namely
news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?681169, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_India helps you to know more about this