||This article has an unclear citation style. (May 2013)|
|South Asia, mostly South India|
|Linguistic classification:||One of the world's major language families|
|ISO 639-2 / 5:||dra|
Distribution of subgroups of Dravidian languages:
The Dravidian languages are a language family spoken mainly in southern India and parts of eastern and central India as well as in northeastern Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and overseas in other countries such as Malaysia and Singapore. The most populous Dravidian languages are Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam. There are also small groups of Dravidian-speaking scheduled tribes, who live beyond the mainstream communities. It is often speculated that Dravidian languages are native to India. Epigraphically the Dravidian languages have been attested since the 6th century BCE. Only two Dravidian languages are exclusively spoken outside India, Brahui in Pakistan and Dhangar, a dialect of Kurukh, in Nepal.
Dravidian place-names along the northwest coast, in Maharashtra, Goa, Gujarat, and to a lesser extent in Sindh, as well as Dravidian grammatical influence such as clusivity in the Marathi, Konkani, Gujarati, Marwari, and to a lesser extent Sindhi languages, suggest that Dravidian languages were once spoken more widely across the Indian subcontinent.
Dravidian studies 
The existence of the Dravidian language family was first suggested in 1816 by Alexander D. Campbell in his Grammar of the Teloogoo Language, in which he and Francis W. Ellis argued that Tamil and Telugu were descended from a common, non-Indo-European ancestor. However, it was not until 1856 that Robert Caldwell published his Comparative grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian family of languages, which considerably expanded the Dravidian umbrella and established it as one of the major language groups of the world. Caldwell coined the term "Dravidian" for this family of languages, based on the usage of the Sanskrit word drāviḍa in the work Tantravārttika by Kumārila Bhaṭṭa. In his own words, Caldwell says,
The word I have chosen is 'Dravidian', from Drāviḍa, the adjectival form of Dravida. This term, it is true, has sometimes been used, and is still sometimes used, in almost as restricted a sense as that of Tamil itself, so that though on the whole it is the best term I can find, I admit it is not perfectly free from ambiguity. It is a term which has already been used more or less distinctively by Sanskrit philologists, as a generic appellation for the South Indian people and their languages, and it is the only single term they ever seem to have used in this manner. I have, therefore, no doubt of the propriety of adopting it.
Origin of the word drāviḍa 
As for the origin of the Sanskrit word drāviḍa itself there have been various theories proposed. Basically the theories are about the direction of derivation between tamiẓ and drāviḍa.
There is no definite philological and linguistic basis for asserting unilaterally that the name Dravida also forms the origin of the word Tamil (Dravida -> Dramila -> Tamizha or Tamil). Kamil Zvelebil cites the forms such as dramila (in Daṇḍin's Sanskrit work Avanisundarīkathā) damiḷa (found in Ceylonese chronicle Mahavamsa) and then goes on to say, "The forms damiḷa/damila almost certainly provide a connection of dr(a/ā)viḍa " and "... tamiḷ < tamiẓ ...whereby the further development might have been *tamiẓ > *damiḷ > damiḷa- / damila- and further, with the intrusive, 'hypercorrect' (or perhaps analogical) -r-, into dr(a/ā)viḍa. The -m-/-v- alternation is a common enough phenomenon in Dravidian phonology" Zvelebil in his earlier treatise states, "It is obvious that the Sanskrit dr(a/ā)viḍa, Pali damila, damiḷo and Prakrit d(a/ā)viḍa are all etymologically connected with tamiẓ" and further remarks "The r in tamiẓ > dr(a/ā)viḍa is a hypercorrect insertion, cf. an analogical case of DED 1033 Ta. kamuku, Tu. kangu "areca nut": Skt. kramu(ka)."
Joseph (1989: IJDL 18.2:134-42) gives extensive references to the use of the term draviḍa, dramila first as the name of a people, then of a country. Sinhala BCE inscriptions cite dameḍa-, damela- denoting Tamil merchants. Early Buddhist and Jaina sources used damiḷa- to refer to a people of south India (presumably Tamil); damilaraṭṭha- was a southern non-Aryan country; dramiḷa-, dramiḍa, and draviḍa- were used as variants to designate a country in the south (Bṛhatsamhita-, Kādambarī, Daśakumāracarita-, fourth to seventh centuries CE) (1989: 134–138). It appears that damiḷa- was older than draviḍa- which could be its Sanskritization.
Based on what Krishnamurti states referring to a scholarly paper published in the International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics, the Sanskrit word draviḍa itself is later than damiḷa since the dates for the forms with -r- are centuries later than the dates for the forms without -r- (damiḷa, dameḍa-, damela- etc.).
The Monier-Williams Sanskrit Dictionary lists for the Sanskrit word draviḍa a meaning of "collective Name for 5 peoples, viz. the Āndhras, Karṇāṭakas, Gurjaras, Tailaṅgas, and Mahārāṣṭras".
The Dravidian languages form a close-knit family – much more closely related than, say, the Indo-European languages. There is reasonable agreement on how they are related to each other. Most scholars agree on four groups: North, Central (Kolami–Parji), South-Central (Telugu–Kui) and South Dravidian. Earlier classifications grouped Central and South-Central Dravidian in a single branch. Some authors deny that North Dravidian forms a valid subgroup, splitting it into Northeast (Kurukh–Malto) and Northwest (Brahui).
In addition, Ethnologue lists several unclassified Dravidian languages: Allar, Bazigar, Bharia, Kamar, Malankuravan (a dialect of Malayalam?), Vishavan (of which Kamar might actually be Indo-Aryan), as well as the otherwise unclassified Southern Dravidian languages Mala Malasar, Malasar, Thachanadan, Ullatan, Kalanadi, Kumbaran, Kunduvadi, Kurichiya, Attapady Kurumba, Muduga, Pathiya and Wayanad Chetti to Tamil-Kannada.
|Language||Classification||Number of speakers||Location|
|Tamil||South||70,000,000||Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka|
|Irula||South||4,500||Nilgiris (Tamil Nadu & Kerala)|
|Kanikkaran||South||19,000||Kerala, Tamil Nadu|
|Kodava||South||300,000||Karnataka (Kodagu District)|
|Kurumba||South||220,000||Nilgiris (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka)|
|Kota||South||900||Nilgiris (Tamil Nadu)|
|Toda||South||1,100||Nilgiris (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka)|
|Badaga||South||400,000||Nilgiris (Tamil Nadu)|
|Koraga||South||14,000||Tulu Nadu (Karnataka)|
|Tulu||South||2,000,000||Tulu Nadu (Karnataka)|
|Beary Bashe/Byari||South||1,500,000||Tulu Nadu (Karnataka)|
|Gondi||South-Central||2,000,000||Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha|
|Maria (2 languages)||South-Central||360,000||Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra|
|Muria (3 languages)||South-Central||1,000,000||Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha|
|Pardhan||South-Central||117,000||Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh|
|Nagarchal||South-Central||7,000||Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra|
|Konda||South-Central||20,000||Andhra Pradesh, Odisha|
|Khoya||South-Central||330,000||Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh|
|Savara||South-Central||20,000||Andhra Pradesh, Odisha|
|Naiki||Central||10,000||Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra|
|Kolami||Central||115,000||Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra|
|Ollari/Gadaba (2 languages)||Central||23,000||Andhra Pradesh, Odisha|
|Kurukh||Northern||2,100,000||Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal|
|Kumarbhag Paharia||Northern||18,000||Jharkhand, West Bengal|
|Sauria Paharia||Northern||120,000||Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal|
||It has been suggested that History of Dravidian languages be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since March 2012.|
The origins of the Dravidian languages, as well as their subsequent development and the period of their differentiation are unclear, partially due to the lack of comparative linguistic research into the Dravidian languages.
Although in modern times speakers of the various Dravidian languages have mainly occupied the southern portion of India, nothing definite is known about the ancient domain of the Dravidian parent speech. It is, however, a well-established and well-supported hypothesis that Dravidian speakers must have been widespread throughout much of India before the arrival of Indo-European speakers. The Brahui, Kurukh and Malto have myths about external origins. The Kurukh have traditionally claimed to be from the Deccan Peninsula, more specifically Karnataka. The same tradition has existed of the Brahui. They call themselves immigrants. Many scholars hold this same view of the Brahui such as L. H. Horace Perera and M. Ratnasabapathy.
Proto-Dravidian is thought to have differentiated into Proto-North Dravidian, Proto-Central Dravidian, Proto South-Central Dravidian and Proto-South Dravidian around 500 BCE, although some linguists have argued that the degree of differentiation between the sub-families points to an earlier split.
Relationship to other language families 
Despite many proposals, scholars have not shown a systematic relationship between the Dravidian languages and any other language family. Nonetheless, while there are no readily detectable genealogical connections, Dravidian shares strong areal features with the Indo-Aryan languages, which have been attributed to a substratum influence from Dravidian.
Proposed larger groupings 
The Dravidian family has defied all of the attempts to show a connection with other languages, including Indo-European, Hurrian, Basque, Sumerian, and Korean. Comparisons have been made not just with the other language families of the Indian Subcontinent (Indo-European, Austroasiatic, Tibeto-Burman, and Nihali), but with all typologically similar language families of the Old World.
Dravidian languages display typological similarities with the Uralic language group, suggesting to some a prolonged period of contact in the past. This idea is popular amongst Dravidian linguists and has been supported by a number of scholars, including Robert Caldwell, Thomas Burrow, Kamil Zvelebil, and Mikhail Andronov. This hyphothesis has, however, been rejected by some specialists in Uralic languages, and has in recent times also been criticised by other Dravidian linguists like Bhadriraju Krishnamurti.
Dravidian is one of the primary language families in the Nostratic proposal, which would link most languages in North Africa, Europe and Western Asia into a family with its origins in the Fertile Crescent sometime between the last Ice Age and the emergence of proto-Indo-European 4–6 thousand years BC. However, the general consensus is that such deep connections are not, or not yet, demonstrable.
On a less ambitious scale, McAlpin (1975) proposed linking Dravidian languages with the ancient Elamite language of what is now southwestern Iran. However, despite decades of research, this Elamo-Dravidian language family has not been demonstrated to the satisfaction of other historical linguists.
Dravidian substratum influence on Sanskrit 
Dravidian languages show extensive lexical (vocabulary) borrowing, but only a few traits of structural (either phonological or grammatical) borrowing from Indo-Aryan, whereas Indo-Aryan shows more structural than lexical borrowings from the Dravidian languages. Some linguists explain this asymmetry by arguing that Middle Indo-Aryan languages were built on a Dravidian substratum.
The Indologist and linguist Zvelebil has remarked that: "... the period of the high water mark of Tamil literature was one in which the two great Sanskrit epics were already completed, but the Sanskrit classical poetry was barely emerging with Aśvaghoṣa." He continues: "No stylistic feature or convention could have been borrowed by the Tamils (though of course there are borrowings of purāṇic stories" (emphasis added).
"Though the dominance of Sanskrit was exaggerated in some Brahmanic circles of Tamil Nadu, and Tamil was given unduly underestimated by a few Sanskrit-oriented scholars, the Tamil and Sanskrit cultures were not generally in rivalry".
However more recent research has shown that Sanskrit has been influenced in certain more fundamental ways than Dravidian languages have been by it: It is by way of phonology and even more significantly here via grammatical constructs. This has been the case from the earliest language available (c. 1200 BC) of Sanskrit: the Ṛg Vedic speech.
Dravidian languages show extensive lexical (vocabulary) borrowing, but only a few traits of structural (either phonological or grammatical) borrowing, from the Indo-Aryan languages. On the other hand, Indo-Aryan shows rather large-scale structural borrowing from Dravidian, but relatively few loanwords.
The Ṛg Vedic language has retroflex consonants even though it is well known that the Indo-European family and the Indo-Iranian subfamily to which Sanskrit belongs lack retroflex consonants (ṭ/ḍ, ṇ) with about 88 words in the Ṛg Veda having unconditioned retroflexes. Some sample words are: (Iṭanta, Kaṇva,śakaṭī, kevaṭa, puṇya, maṇḍūka) This is cited as a serious evidence of substrate influence from close contact of the Vedic speakers with speakers of a foreign language family rich in retroflex consonants. Obviously the Dravidian family would be a serious candidate here since it is rich in retroflex phonemes reconstructible back to the Proto-Dravidian stage.
A more serious influence on Vedic Sanskrit is the extensive grammatical influence attested by the usage of the quotative marker iti and the occurrence of gerunds of verbs, a grammatical feature not found even in the Avestan language, a sister language of the Vedic Sanskrit. As Krishnamurti states: "Besides, the Ṛg Veda has used the gerund, not found in Avestan, with the same grammatical function as in Dravidian, as a non-finite verb for 'incomplete' action. Ṛg Vedic language also attests the use of iti as a quotative clause complementizer. All these features are not a consequence of simple borrowing but they indicate substratum influence".
The Brahui population of Balochistan has been taken by some as the linguistic equivalent of a relict population, perhaps indicating that Dravidian languages were formerly much more widespread and were supplanted by the incoming Indo-Aryan languages. However it has now been hypothesized that the Brahui could only have migrated to Balochistan from central India after AD 1000. The absence of any older Iranian (Avestan) loanwords in Brahui supports this hypothesis. The main Iranian contributor to Brahui vocabulary, Balochi, is a western Iranian language like Kurdish, and moved to the area from the west only around AD 1000.
Thomason & Kaufman (1988) state that there is strong evidence that Dravidian influenced Indic through "shift", that is, native Dravidian speakers learning and adopting Indic languages. Elst (1999) claims that the presence of the Brahui language, similarities between Elamite and Harappan script as well as similarities between Indo-Aryan and Dravidian indicate that these languages may have interacted prior to the spread of Indo-Aryans southwards and the resultant intermixing of languages. Erdosy (1995:18) states that the most plausible explanation for the presence of Dravidian structural features in Old Indo-Aryan is that the majority of early Old Indo-Aryan speakers natively spoke a Dravidian language and gradually abandoned it. Even though the innovative traits in Indic could be explained by multiple internal explanations, early Dravidian influence is the only explanation that can account for all of the innovations at once – it becomes a question of explanatory parsimony; moreover, early Dravidian influence accounts for the several of the innovative traits in Indic better than any internal explanation that has been proposed.
Zvelebil remarks: "Several scholars have demonstrated that pre-Indo-Aryan and pre-Dravidian bilingualism in India provided conditions for the far-reaching influence of Dravidian on the Indo-Aryan languages in the spheres of phonology (e.g., the retroflex consonants, made with the tongue curled upward toward the palate), syntax (e.g., the frequent use of gerunds, which are nonfinite verb forms of nominal character, as in 'by the falling of the rain'), and vocabulary (a number of Dravidian loanwords apparently appearing in the Rigveda itself)."
The most characteristic grammatical features of Dravidian languages are:
- Dravidian languages are agglutinative.
- Word order is subject–object–verb (SOV).
- Dravidian languages have a clusivity distinction.
- The major word classes are nouns (substantives, numerals, pronouns), adjectives, verbs, and indeclinables (particles, enclitics, adverbs, interjections, onomatopoetic words, echo words).
- Proto-Dravidian used only suffixes, never prefixes or infixes, in the construction of inflected forms. Hence, the roots of words always occurred at the beginning. Nouns, verbs, and indeclinable words constituted the original word classes.
- There are two numbers and four different gender systems, the ancestral system probably having "male:non-male" in the singular and "person:non-person" in the plural.
- In a sentence, however complex, only one finite verb occurs, normally at the end, preceded if necessary by a number of gerunds.
- Word order follows certain basic rules but is relatively free.
- The main (and probably original) dichotomy in tense is past:non-past. Present tense developed later and independently in each language or subgroup.
- Verbs are intransitive, transitive, and causative; there are also active and passive forms.
- All of the positive verb forms have their corresponding negative counterparts, negative verbs.
Dravidian languages are noted for the lack of distinction between aspirated and unaspirated stops. While some Dravidian languages have accepted large numbers of loan words from Sanskrit and other Indo-Iranian languages in addition to their already vast vocabulary, in which the orthography shows distinctions in voice and aspiration, the words are pronounced in Dravidian according to different rules of phonology and phonotactics: aspiration of plosives is generally absent, regardless of the spelling of the word. This is not a universal phenomenon and is generally avoided in formal or careful speech, especially when reciting.
Proto-Dravidian had five short and long vowels: *a, *ā, *i, *ī, *u, *ū, *e, *ē, *o, *ō. There were no diphthongs; ai and au are treated as *ay and *av (or *aw). The five-vowel system is largely preserved in the descendent subgroups.
|Flap/Rhotics||*r||*ẓ (ḻ, r̤)|
Words starting with vowels 
karanu (cry), elumbu (bone), athu (that), avide (there), ithu (this), illai (no, absent)
adu-idil-illai (adu = that, idu = this, il= suffix form of "in", illai = absent, so => that-this-in-absent => that-in this-absent => that is absent in this)
The numerals from 1 to 10 in various Dravidian and Indo-Aryan languages (here exemplified by Hindi, Sanskrit and Marathi).
|5||ainthu||aidu||añcu||ayN||ayidu||añji||ayd 3||pancē (II)||panč (II)||*cayN||panch||pañca||pātc|
|6||āru||āru||āru||āji||āru||ār||ār 3||soyyē (II)||šaš (II)||*caru||che||ṣáṣ||sahā|
|7||ēlu||ēlu||ēlu||yēl||ēḍu||ēl||ēḍ 3||sattē (II)||haft (II)||*ēlu||sat||saptá||sāt|
|8||eṭṭu||eṇṭu||eṭṭu||edma||enimidi||eṭṭ||enumadī 3||aṭṭhē (II)||hašt (II)||*eṭṭu||aanth||aṣṭá||āṭh|
|9||onpathu||ombattu||onpatu||ormba||tommidi||oiymbad||tomdī 3||naiṃyē (II)||nōh (II)||*toḷ||nau||náva||nau|
|10||patthu||hattu||pattu||patt||padi||patt||padī 3||dassē (II)||dah (II)||*pat(tu)||das||dasa||dahā|
- This is the same as the word for another form of the number one in Tamil and Malayalam. This is used as an indefinite article meaning "a" and also when the number is an adjective followed by a noun (as in "one person") as opposed to when it is a noun (as in "How many are there?" "One").
- This is still found in compound words, and has taken on a meaning of "double" in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. For example, irupatu (20, literally meaning "double-ten"), iravai (20 in Telugu), or "iraṭṭi" ("double") or Iruvar (meaning two people) (in Tamil).
- The word tondu was also used to refer to the number nine in ancient sankam texts but was later completely replaced by the word onpadu.
- The Proto-Dravidian word "tol" is still used in Tamil to denote numbers such as 90, "thonnooru".
- Words indicated (II) are borrowings from Indo-Iranian languages.
See also 
- Erdosy (1995), p. 271.
- Edwin Bryant, Laurie L. Patton (2005), The Indo-Aryan controversy: evidence and inference in Indian history, p. 254
- Zvelebil (1990), p. xx.
- Krishnamurti (2003), p. 1.
- Krishnamurti (2003), p. 22.
- Zvelebil (1990), p. xxi.
- Zvelebil (1975), p. 53.
- Krishnamurti (2003), p. 2, footnote 2.
- Sanskrit, Tamil and Pahlavi Dictionaries
- Ruhlen (1991), pp. 138–141.
- Krishnamurti (2003), p. 21.
- P. 83 The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate By Edwin Bryant
- P. 18 The Orāons of Chōtā Nāgpur: their history, economic life, and social organization. by Sarat Chandra Roy, Rai Bahadur; Alfred C Haddon
- P. 12 Origin and Spread of the Tamils By V. R. Ramachandra Dikshitar
- P. 32 Ideology and status of Sanskrit : contributions to the history of the Sanskrit language by Jan E M Houben
- P. 45 The Brahui language, an old Dravidian language spoken in parts of Baluchistan and Sind by Sir Denys Bray
- Ancient India; Culture and Thought By M. L. Bhagi
- P. 23 Ceylon & Indian History from Early Times to 1505 A. D. By L. H. Horace Perera, M. Ratnasabapathy
- Tyler, Stephen (1968), "Dravidian and Uralian: the lexical evidence". Language 44:4. 798–812
- Webb, Edward (1860), "Evidences of the Scythian Affinities of the Dravidian Languages, Condensed and Arranged from Rev. R. Caldwell's Comparative Dravidian Grammar", Journal of the American Oriental Society Vol. 7. 271–298.
- Burrow, T. (1944) "Dravidian Studies IV: The Body in Dravidian and Uralian". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 11:2. 328–356.
- Zvelebil, Kamal (2006). Dravidian Languages. In Encyclopædia Britannica (DVD edition).
- Andronov, Mikhail S. (1971), "Comparative Studies on the Nature of Dravidian-Uralian Parallels: A Peep into the Prehistory of Language Families". Proceedings of the Second International Conference of Tamil Studies Madras. 267–277.
- Zvelebil, Kamal (1970), Comparative Dravidian Phonology Mouton, The Hauge. at p. 22 contains a bibliography of articles supporting and opposing the theory
- Krishnamurti (2003), p. 43.
- "Dravidian languages." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 30 Jun. 2008
- Krishnamurti (2003), pp. 40–41.
- Zvelebil (1975), pp. 50–51.
- Trask (2000), p. 97. "It is widely suspected that the extinct and undeciphered Indus Valley language was a Dravidian language, but no confirmation is available. The existence of the isolated northern outlier Brahui is consistent with the hypothesis that Dravidian formerly occupied much of North India but was displaced by the invading Indo-Aryan languages, and the presence in the Indo-Aryan languages of certain linguistic features, such as retroflex consonants, is often attributed to Dravidian substrate influence."
- Kuiper (1991).
- Witzel (1999).
- Subrahmanyam (1983), p. 40.
- Zvelebil (1990).
- Krishnamurti (2003), p. 36.
- Kuiper (1991), ch. 2.
- Mallory (1989), p. 44.
- J. H. Elfenbein, A periplous of the ‘Brahui problem’, Studia Iranica vol. 16 (1987), pp. 215–233.
- Thomason & Kaufman (1988), pp. 141–144.
- Dravidian languages, Britannica Online Encyclopedia.
- Subrahmanyam (1983).
- Krishnamurti (2003), p. 90.
- Krishnamurti (2003), p. 48.
- Krishnamurti (2003), p. 91.
- Caldwell, Robert (1856), A comparative grammar of the Dravidian, or, South-Indian family of languages, London: Harrison; Reprinted London, K. Paul, Trench, Trubner & co., ltd., 1913; rev. ed. by J.L. Wyatt and T. Ramakrishna Pillai, Madras, University of Madras, 1961, reprint Asian Educational Services, 1998. ISBN 81-206-0117-3
- Campbell, A.D. (1849), A grammar of the Teloogoo language, commonly termed the Gentoo, peculiar to the Hindoos inhabiting the northeastern provinces of the Indian peninsula (3d ed.), Madras: Hindu Press.
- Elst, Koenraad (1999), Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate, New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, ISBN 81-86471-77-4.
- Erdosy, George, ed. (1995), The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity, Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 3-11-014447-6.
- Krishnamurti, Bhadriraju (2003), The Dravidian Languages, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-77111-0.
- Kuiper, F.B.J. (1991), Aryans in the Rig Veda, Rodopi, ISBN 90-5183-307-5.
- Mallory, J. P. (1989), In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology and Myth, London: Thames and Hudson, ISBN 978-0-500-05052-1.
- Ruhlen, Merritt (1991), A Guide to the World's Languages: Classification, Stanford University Press, ISBN 978-0-8047-1894-3.
- Subrahmanyam, P.S. (1983), Dravidian Comparative Phonology, Annamalai University.
- Thomason, Sarah Grey; Kaufman, Terrence (1988), Language Contact, Creolization, and Genetic Linguistics, University of California Press (published 1991), ISBN 0-520-07893-4.
- Trask, Robert Lawrence (2000), The Dictionary of Historical and Comparative Linguistics, Routledge, ISBN 1-57958-218-4.
- Witzel, Michael (1999), "Early Sources for South Asian Substrate Languages.Boston", Mother Tongue (extra number).
- Zvelebil, Kamil (1975), Tamil Literature, Leiden: Brill, ISBN 90-04-04190-7.
- Zvelebil, Kamil (1990), Dravidian Linguistics: An Introduction, Pondicherry Institute of Linguistics and Culture, ISBN 978-81-8545-201-2.
- Dravidian Etymological Dictionary. The complete Dravidian Etymological Dictionary in a searchable online form.
- Dravidian languages page from the MultiTree Project at the LINGUIST List.
- Swadesh lists of Dravidian basic vocabulary words (from Wiktionary's Swadesh-list appendix)