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What’s with this “Wren” thing?
The oldest extant version of the fable
are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology
Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche
Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”)
collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read
official signs and most commercial signs in
Karnataka Province are in Kannada and
Only some of them are in Hindi
Kannada text in transliteration from the top:
information: Kannada used to be known by the name “Canarese.”
Kannada is one of
India’s official language,* and it is the official language of Karnataka Province.
currently used by about 64 million people, of which about 55 million are native
The vast majority of speakers lives in Southern India’s Karnataka Province, and there are speaker communities in surrounding provinces
as well (mostly in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra), also in various
metropolitan areas of India.
Kannada is a Dravidian
language and belongs to the southern subgroup. As such it is most closely related
such as Tamil and Malayalam, a little less closely to Telugu which
belongs to the south central subgroup but has been strongly influenced by Kannada.
actor in a Yakshagana play. Performed
in Kannada or in closely related Tulu,
Yakshagana and related theatric traditions of
Southern India and Sri Lanka are derived from
India’s ancient Sanskrit drama, though
may be partly derived from Northern India’s
erstwhile Dravidian culture. They appear to
have inspired Southeast Asia’s
languages are used in India, with the exception
of Brahui in Pakistan and Kurukh in Nepal (the latter of which is used in India
commonly regarded as representing a language family in its own right. However,
several proposals linking them with other language groups, families and isolates
instance with Japanese, Korean, Uralic, Australian, Sumerian and Basque). However,
all of these have been dismissed by others. Lately it has been proposed that
Dravidian descended from a family
that also included Elamite, a now extinct language of the Persian Empire.
Traces of ancient northern language contacts (other than those with literary
seen by many as supporting the hypothesis that South Dravidian moved to Southern
India from what are now Northwestern India and Southeastern Pakistan. Specifically,
some have hypothesized that they hail from the Indus Valley (which stretches
between Balochistan and Gujarat) and may have descended from the unknown language
of the ancient Harappan Civilization (ca. 3300–1700 BCE, flowered 2600–1900
interest to European tradition is that a Kannada skit dialogue
is featured in a Greek burlesque play, the Charition mime, which is found on Papyrus 413 of Oxyrhynchus (Pr-Medjed, al-Bahnasa), Egypt,
and dates back at least to the second century CE. The play seems
to be based
Euripides’ Iphigeneia in Tauris (Iφιγένεια ή έν Ταύροις) but is set in India instead of Greece. This seems to prove that linguistic
knowledge was passed on between India and the Mediterranean
region at least as far back as in the early part of the first millennium
Published in 1904,
E. Hultzsch were criticized and dismissed at the time. Discovered
the Halmidi Kannada inscription of 450 AD corroborates many of Hultzsch’ theories about the development of Kannada and lends much credence to his work
on the papyrus inscription.
is quite plausible to assume
that Dravidian languages used to dominate over most of the Indian subcontinent
and were partly eliminated and partly displaced by the Indo-European language
of the invading Aryans. However, the Indo-Aryan languages have been strongly
influenced by the indigenous Dravidian languages (and by the Munda languages
in the east), perhaps owing in part to substrates. Conversely, the Dravidian
languages have been strongly influenced by the Indo-Aryan languages, partly
by neighboring languages and partly owing to Sanskrit-based learning and arts.
mutual influences are of special interest considering many basic structural
differences. For example, unlike Indo-European languages but like Altaic and
as well as Korean and Japanese,
Dravidian languages are of the agglutinative type in which new words and phrases
are derived by adding suffixes to stems.
speakers are particularly proud of their linguistic and cultural traditions
to antiquity, the earliest extant documents being from the reign of the Buddhist
King Aśoka (304–232 BCE). The Kannada script is related to the scripts of Northern
India, although it has the typically rounded shapes of Southern India. It served
the basis for the script of the neighboring Dravidian Telugu script. The Kannada
script is used by all Kannada speakers, Hindu, Muslim and Christian.
areas represent one of the literary power houses of India. Not only is there
an abundance of ancient literary traditions and a particularly strong tradition
of archaic Yakshagana
plays, but modern-day Kannada literature is a prominent part of the modern Indian
literary scene. The Jnanpith Award, India’s most prestigeous awards for literature, has been won by seven Kannada
writers, and fourty-eight Kannada writers have won the Sahitya Academy
Award. So far this puts Kannada in first place as far as representation per
language is concerned.
Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Kashmiri, Konkani, Malayalam,
Maithili, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Oriya, Punjabi, Sanskrit, Santali, Sindhi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu. (Underlined names are those of Dravidian languages.)