A. 1. History

Details from proto stage to current stage.

According to the old practice is the case of many languages A. R. Rajaraja Varma divides the history of Malayalam into three periods. 1. Ancient period (in fancy) it is called Karintamiles ālam. (825-1325 A.D) 2. Middle period (boyhood) malayāņmakkālam (1325-1675 A.D) 3. Modern period (Adulthood) malayālakālam (1675) A Tamil works of the koṭuntamil period, ie., before 825 A.D cannot be claimed as Malayalam they are left out of account.

a) Ancient Period (kasintamil)

The picture of this period is not quite clear phonetic changes like nasalization might have started. Abandoning of personal suffixes from verbs might also have been on the increase. The ‘guardian’ of the language was Tamil Sanskrit words were taken but mostly as hadbhavas. The Aryas elements increased but the works of this period are not available. The author thinks that some old songs like bhadrakāḷippaṭṭu and nālupādam of yātrakkaḷI (a ritual of nambūdiris) might have been written in this ancient period and Rāmacasitam might have come into existence at the end of this period.

b) Middle Period (Malayāņma period)

This is the boyhood when mischievous usages appear where in Sanskrit and Malayalam are mixed in a ridiculous way at times. Sanskrit cases and verbal in flexions are added to Malayalam roots. (eg. māṭampiņam, of the chieftain, maņṭanti, they run) Sanskrit influence increased by leaps and bounds, maņiprauāla literature developed. The famous lulātilakam is the treatise on this style. Most of the Brahmin contests except cer̤usśēry wrote in Sanskrit, but non Brahmins used Tamil metric wrote pāṭṭus. Some of these like tacōl ippāṭṭu are in pure Malayalam. But maņipravāla style with more Sanskrit words came to be the order of the day. The above style was tried in Tamil also, but failed to strike root.

c) The Modern Period (malayāḷakālam)

By this time the language attained her adulthood and was is need of a protection or ‘husband’. The author says heartily that the husband, Sanskrit, was nearby and the marriage was conducted under the auspices of Tuņcāl Eḷuttachaņ. He further says that giving clothe is an important function in the malayāḷI marriage and the Arya eḷuttū, the coth of modern script was given to Malayalam language at this time.

d) Līlātilakam

The author’s short study of lilatilakam which was first published is 1909 is, however, interesting. He thinks that the sūtrā and ur̤tti found in this work are of different authors, a view which is not generally accepted. Pointing out the lilatilakam is a treatise on the grammar and rhetories of maņipr̤avaḷm, the author quotes some important sūṭras from it, a giśl of which is useful.

He says-according to the first sūtr̤a (bhāśāsamskr̤ta gōgō maņipravālam), manipravāla is that type of language where in Sanskrit case ending nouns and verbs intermingle what we call bhāsa now was known as Tamil. It seems that the word Tamilkkuṭṭū used in later days for Malayalam commentaries has its origins in this usage of the word Maņipravalam was not also used in the sense in which later writers have used if maņI according to lilathilakam is māņikya: the red stone and pravala is ‘coral’. The first stands for the Dravidian (Malayalam) words and the second for case ending Sanskrit words. Their minding in manipravāḷam. As the red stone (māņikya) and the corals are of the same colour. Their difference would notbe felt. Similarly if Malayalam and a simple Sanskrit words are mingled. They would appear as a single language. This is the logic underlying the name manipr̤avāḷa represents that language which was used to write verses in vasantatilaka and other metres. If you take simple words or long compounds from Sanskrit and the Malayalam suffixes to them and form long prose passages, it would not be maņipr̤avāḷa according to lilātilakam, it would be merely Tamil prose works like rāmāyaņam tamil, bhāratam tamil which are still found with chākyārs are written in this style.

The writer quote a long passage from Rāmāyaņam tamil to illustrate his point. He quotes another sūtr̤a from līlātilakam (sandar̤bhē samskr̤tikr̤tāca) which sanctions addition of Sanskrit suffixes to Malayalam verbs and nouns. The sūtra on pāṭṭu which enjoins that Dravidian (Tamil) alphahet should be used in this style of writing is also quoted and explained.

Summing up, the author says that the following details of linguistic interest are available from lilātilakam. In olden days the colloquial language of Kerala was called Tamil. Perhaps the real Tamil was known as pāņṭittamil and that of kerala malayāmtamil. The later word might have changes into malayāņma. There was a literacy language a bit higher than the colloquial. It was used very surely and for writing prose only two types of poetry existed. In the first variety Tamil letters of vaṭṭeḷuttu were used. It was called pāṭṭu composed in Tamil metres and with the rhymes of etuka and mōņa. The other variety was written in Sanskrit metres like vasantatilaka; there was no compulsion regarding rhyme. Sanskrit case endings were freely used in this style. This was the maņipr̤avāla style. Rāmacaritam is an example, for the first type and uņņunilasanctesām for the second type. The author says that it was Tuņcāl Eḷuttachaņ who brought those two languages streams together once again.

His views regarding the introduction of ārya eḷuttu etc, by Eḷultachan as shown above, are not quite correct. However, it is true that Eḷuttachan’s works made a deep impression on the language on account of their great popularity and that he established the Sanskrit bias as a perpetual trend of the language. Eḷuttachas is university accepted as the father of modern Malayalam.

Ezhuthachan. K. N History of the Theories in Malayalam Dravidian Linguistic Association Thiruvananthapuram PP: 275-278 Rajavejavarma. A. R Translated by C. J. Roy 1999 Kerala paņinūyam International School of Dravidian Linguistics, Trivandrum, Kerala PP: 35-47.

2. Script/Scripts Used to Document the Language.

The earlier script current in Kerala and the Southern Tamil Nadu (The Pandya Country) was ‘vatteḷuttu’. It continued to be in use up to the 17th century A.D in documents letters, books and incriptions. ‘Kooleḷuttu’ which was is currency in northern part of kerala is essentially ‘vaṭṭeḷuttu’ with slight variations as it did not maintain the essential distinctions like final ‘u’, ‘a’ and ‘o’. Another script derived from ‘vaṭṭeḷuttu’ was the ‘malayaaņma’ which was used in the south of Trivandrum. ‘Malayaaņma’ alsodoes not differ fundamentally from vaṭṭeḷuttu vaṭṭeḷuttu lacked characters corresponding to Sanskrit letters and when Sanskrit words came into writing characters from another system called ‘grantha’ were made use of Grantha characters were basically inscript for writing Sanskrit. The kerala version of grantha is the ‘aarya-eḷuttu’. The system of writing later on came to be accepted for writing Malayalam (Bhasha Gadya Sahitya Charitram 1956. p-35) with the addition of a, ḷ and r̤ from vaṭṭeḷuttu.

Development of Malayalam Writing System

According to Bernel the scripts of South Indian Languages were evolved from cave characters. The cave characters is a kind of script which was once used in Ashoka inscriptions. According to him the cave characters had three divisions, cheram, chalukyam and venki. From the cheram evolved purānīe grardha lipi and from the grandhalipi evolved Tulu and Malayalam. According to L. A. Varma the old script of kerala were evolved from Brahmilipi. By his opinion the old books and the inscriptions of Ashoka were in the Brahmilipi. The Brahim had soundpali, cheras, chalukyam vatteḷuttu and Devanagari and from cheran evolved the grandhe and Tulu Malayalam script. The earliest known documents in Malayalam dated to the 9th century A.D were found to vaṭṭḷuttu character. ‘Vātṭa’ means circular and vaṭṭeḷuttu means circular script. ‘Kōleḷuttu’ was another script that was widely used allover in kerala. ‘Kol’ means stick and this is oblong in shape. Another script known as grandhalipi was evolved in the early period. So as to present sounds in Sanskrit which were not found in the old Dravidian language. Later vaṭṭeḷuttu acquired the regional name as southern Malayalam because pandya country lost its usage for writing Tamil and it was later on used in the southern part of Malayalam speaking region. And this vaṭṭeḷuttu also known by nāmam mōnam because the Sanskrit opening winds of salutation ‘suastiśri’ in vaṭṭeḷuttu means ‘namonarayana’ which is colloquial got corrupted unto nānam mōnam. Thus vaṭṭeḷuttu which was once prevalent in the Tamil speaking area became the script of Malayalam speaking region. Simalta vaṭṭeḷuttu kōleḷuttu and Grandha-lipi (Araya-elattu) were used for writing Malayalam language. According to L. V. Ravi Varma (1971) that malayāņma is the name of the writing style closely resembling vaṭṭeḷuttu and koleḷuttu. But this does not show any similarity with the Arya.eluttu, from which the modern Malayalam characters have been derived. All three of them do not have aspirated and voked letters. But according to Parameswara Pillai malayāņma and malayāņma and malayāyma were local names for kūleḷuttu in kerala. It can be easily noticed that the modern Malayalam and script. Because the grandha script can provide voked and aspirated letters which are not available in vaṭṭeḷuttu and other similar system. And a variety of this script known as westem grandhalipi was known from the chola period onwards. Gradually this westem Grandhalipi came to be called Talu-malayalam or Arya eḷuttu. From the epigraphical records and in subscripts we can see that the writing system all over India had been undergoing charges through out the ages. The scribes and engravers modify the letters, keeping the basic structure of letters unchanged. The application of Westem gradhalipi locally known as Arya-eluttu to the vernacular Malayalam was the work of Thunchattu Ramanujan ehuttachan in the 17th century. As wrote his in subscripts on palm leaves the characters got more curves than required. The shape of the script was adopted for printing Malayalam in 1836. The mechanism of the script gave it uniformly beautiful curves and curls with out damaging the structure of the letters. This standardization was the find stage of the evolutionary process of Malayalam script.

Mangalam. S 1988 Palaeography of Malayalam script. Eastern Book Linkers, Delhi. Kunjamma. S 1993 Syntactic patterns of Malayalam- A Diachromic study PhD Thesis unpublished Dept. of Linguistics University of Kerala Theruvananthapuram.

3. Stages of Development

History of Malayalam language is classified into three periods by the following scholars, VIZ, A. R. Rajaraja Varma. Auttoor pp.Shavoti, Shankaran Nambyar, T. M. Chummar and P. V. Velayudhan Pillai. While other scholars- P. Govinda pillai, L. V. Ramaswami Iyer and R. Narayana Panickar-classified into four periods. The three fold classification of history into the ancient the medieval and the modern periods differ from the four-fold classification. For example P.Govinda pillai’s classification has a ‘karintamil’ phase the Ancient Malayalam. Other classifications are on the basis of literary movements, LVR has ancient Malayalam; ‘old manipravaḷa’ champu and modern periods, R. Narayana Panickar divides the history into Ancient Tamil influenced, Sanskrit influenced and modern periods.

Early Malayalam period from 9th century AD to 18th century AD, middle Malayalam from 13th century AD to 16th century AD, and modern Malayalam from 16th century onwards. Malayalam became a independent language from the beginning of the 9th century AD only. So the prose literature available between the 9th and 13th century are inscriptions and the prose text, ‘bhāśaakauṭalilyam’. During this early period Malayalam was under the influence of Tamil. From the 13th century to 16th century, due to the spread of Bhakti cult, the language was under the influence of Sanskrit. From the 16th century onwards, the language was under the spell of the European languages mainly English.

And new in the beginning of the 21st century, all language of the world are undergoing ultra-metamorphosis. The technological improvisations in the communication network like super computers improved the print media drastically. These improvisations has its own effect in prose usage. Telegraphic sentences are becoming conmen in advertising copies, screen plays and movie dialogues, moreover the T.V. video and film presented new dimensions for the language a, language is becoming more picturesque. The present study is not going to explore the advanced stage of this metamorphosis. The researcher consider this as a lamentation of the study.

a) The Early Period

The earliest records of Malayalam prose can be seen in the inscription. Majority of the inscriptional studies are from the erstwhile Tranvancore. The earliest among them are concluded, on the basis of external evidence, to be the early inscriptions belonging to the first half of the 9th century AD. The earliest inscription found is the vazhappally inscription of Rajasekhara. These inscriptions were written ‘in vaṭṭeḷuttu’ and a line in ‘Granthalipi’. ‘vaṭṭeḷuttu’ was more common and granthalipi was used to inscribe Sanskrit words only Elankulam Kunjan pillai in his ‘keera!abhaasayuṭe vikaasapariņaamaņņal’ A.C.Sekhar in Evalution of Malayalam and C.L. Antony in ‘bhaaśaagadyam’ are trying to dig out the traces of early Malayalam prose from the inscriptions. The three important inscriptions available now of early period are Trivandrum museum plate (AD 1065) Aattoor inscription (AD 1251) which was in Malayalam script and chattannoor inscriptions (AD 1273) influence of Tamil and Sanskrit influence is evidenced in them. Now more than 150 inscriptions are available. The language of inscriptions does not agree with the language of the literary texts of the same period. For instance, the language of krishnagatha (15th century) does not show any structural identity with the 15th century inscriptions. This shows that, the literary language need not necessarily be a direct development of the inscriptional language.

Among the non-inscriptional texts available, bhaaśakauṭaliyan is considered to be the earliest. It is the first commentary of kanṭalya’s ‘Anthasāsthra’ in any of the regional languages of India. There are differences of opinion about the date of Bhāśaakautaliyam uttūr S. Parameswara Iyer assigns it to the 9th or 10th century AD Elankulam Kunjan pillai and K.N. Ezhuttachan argue that it is written in 12th century AD. The author of the text is unknown of the fifteen chapters of the text, commentary of the seven chapters had been discovered. The first three chapters are edited by Sambasiva Sastri and Ramaswami Sastri and four to seven chapters by K. N. Ezhuttachan. The audience, whom this elaborate commentary presupposes have considerable development in political economy and intellectual attachments.

The language of inscriptions have a lot of archaisms and they follow a set pattern. At the same time they are must for being understood by those to whom they are being addressed. Hence they represent at least belatedly the changes which occurred is the age of the region to which they belong. This is true in the case of inscriptions from Kerala which show the gradual evolution of Malayalam. Inscriptions from 9th 13th century AD reveal sound changes and morph syntactic changes and pronominal concordance in finite verbs. In this sense we are right in assuming that the transition from Tamil to Malayalam took place during this period. With evidences available we may assume that the language of ‘bhaasaakanṭalilyam’ represent a state at which Malayalam developed a separate standard from distinct from Tamil. The sentences are mostly short and simple. They appear to be natural formations ‘centamil’ still might have largely continued as the medium of literary expression and Sanskrit had only begun to assert. The author of bhaasaakauṭalilyam has woven his expressions by taking Sanskrit technical vocabulary mostly as such and in many instances Malayalam equivalents have been invented. Among the Sanskrit works, some follow Sanskrit inflection. However the sentence structure continues to be basically similar to that of Tamil. But that must not distract us from the fact that essentially it is a Malayalam work.

b) The Middle Period

In the middle Malayalam period, the assertion of Sanskrit expedited the further dominance of Tamil and its ultimate elimination from the structural written medium of the language of Kerala. The immediate consequence was the dominance of Sanskrit which book over Tamil and a literary medium of moronic mixture of Sanskrit and Malayalam was the ultimate result. The language of the literature associated with ‘kuuttu’ and ‘kuutiyaattam’ the two forms of the related stage performances of Kerala are good example of this mixture. The language of medieval campus also follow this pattern probably with more sanskritization. The language of raamaayanam campu’ and naiśadham campu’ stand as a sample evidence to this statement campus have which is considered as prose but those works of the 15th and 16th centuries have no language for the development of Malayalam prose. There as on is that those prose pieces are rhythmic in nature and do not represent the natural evolutions of prose style.

Some of the Sanskrit plays like ‘duutavaakyam’ (14th century) have prose renderings probably for the use of ‘kuuṭiyāṭṭam’ artiste. Tamil words are sparingly used while the sentence structure resembles Sanskrit with a large number of sentence embedding and passive constructions. However we find short sentences too resembling those in modern prose, though they abound in the now obsolete vocabularies. The stage directions and prescriptions for the rituals to be observed and given in works like ‘āṭṭaprukaaram’ and ‘kramadiipika’. Some of ‘āṭṭaprakaaram’ are ‘mantraaņkam’, ‘mattavilaasam’, suurppaņaaskam’ and aśookavanikaaņkam. The style in them is relatively simple less Sanskritic than that of the translations of puranic stories from Sanskrit, probably because of the purpose to which it is ment. These are largely is prose interpresed with pieces of poems quoted which show generous amalgam of the vocabulary of the ordinary folk.

While the ‘kuuttu’ by the chakyar like the ‘kūṭiyāṭṭam’ was ment for the elite who cultivated Sanskrit, the ‘pāṭhakam’ by men of the Nambiar community, brought the tradition down to the masses. In the beginning they might have used prose material, though later on they switched over to the campus. This tradition must have commenced at least by the beginning of the 17th century as evidenced by references in ‘lulaatilakam’ of 17th century. These prose literature was also recognized as a branch of ‘maņipravāḷam’, the moronic blenl of Malayalam and Sanskrit word.

May works appeared in this category during the period from the 14th to the 17th centuries. The major indications or this progress in evolution were the disappearance of the Tamil feature, pronominal concord in verb, true liberation from the long involved sentence structure of Sanskrit, the reduction in number of Sanskrit words, especially the more pedantic ones. If the progress is maintained on the broad front, short-run anomalies shall still be seen. This is due to personal and regional factors. Tamil features persist in works produced in the southern part of old Kerala where Tamil has strong influence from the prehistorical times.

In addition to the above works there is the ‘brahmaaņda puraaņam’ which belongs to the late 14th century. It was meant for the masses and the proportion of Sanskrit words get reduced, long-winding Sanskritic sentence patterns slowly dissolved. The other major pose works of the 14th century in this category is ambarilśoopaakhyaanam ‘ņaḷoopaakhyaanam’ and ‘deeviimaahaatmyan’. In the Ramayana’ of the early fifteenth century, the Tamil feature of verbal declensions for gender and number disintegrates. ‘bhaagavatam’ belonging to the later part of 15th century, shows a diction of ideal simplicity and uses short sentences. ‘The uttara raamaayaņam’ of the 16th century contain longer sentences though it is structured on the basis of simple conjunction of clauses.

c) The Modern Period

In the modern period we can see Malayalam in all of its distinctness. This period shall be subdivided in two: before the arrival of Europeans and thereafter.

Christain Missionaries and Malayalam literature.

The European influence began when Vasco-de-Gama arrived at callicut in 1498 AD. After Vasco-de-Gama’s arrival, the Portuguese sailors, the Dutch missionaries and the English traders arrival. They settled along the sea shore from Quilon be calicut and established seminaries, schools and churches. The missionaries and their local disciples wrote books mainly for the sake of proselytization. They established schools to teach the local people through their mother tongue. They propagated Christianity and spread their concepts on literature. In 1594, Arch Bishop Alexis de Menizos organized a signed at udayamperoor to ‘cleanse’ the Christian faith of accretions from the ambient culture. It made a big contribution to the development of prose.

For the information of the whole community, the canons had been translated from Latin to Malayalam by a malayala priest, Jacab of paḷḷuruthi. The style and vocabulary of this canons are nearest to the spoken language. Between 1673 and 1677 the Dutch commander vanreed wrote a book ‘Hostus Malabarikos’ which deals with the medicinal plants of malabar and it was printed in 1686. In this book, besides the Malayalam names of the plants, certificate and preface in Malayalam also were included. That prose was further developed for evangelical work. A name to be mentioned in this tradition is Father Joseph kariyathl, a native catholic and teacher in seminaris. He wrote a book ‘veeda tar̤kkam’ in 1768. This is not yet printed Kariyattil Joseph Malpan as he was called and parammakal Thoma kathanar are the two native Christians who came under the influence of the Portuguese missionaries. Thomas kathanar worte a travelogue in Malayalam ‘var̤tamaanepustakam’ – as a record of their travels to Rome in 1776 AD. It is the first prose travelogue in Malayalam. Among the missionaries, Arnos Padri’s name is to be mentioned. He stayed in India from 1699 and wrote a grammar of the literary language namely granthabhaaśayuṭe vguakaraņam’. Anjelo Francis also worte a grammar. ‘A grammar for colloquial Malayalam in 1700 AD.

The advent of printing technology revolutionized the prose style of Malayalam. The first printed book in Malayalam is ‘Samkśeepaveedaar̤tham’ which was written by a priest, clement, and printed at Rome in 1772. In 1811 the Malayalam translation of the Bible was printed in Bombay which is the first Malayalam printed text in India. Foreign missionaries also wrote some Malayalam grammars and dictionaries. In 1829 the Malayalam version of the Bible was printed at the C.M.S Press, Kottayam, which is prepared by Rev. Benjamin Beyli. This is the first Malayalam printed book in Kerala. The first biography to Malayalam is ‘viśuddha treesyaagute caritram’ which is translated from Italian by Marsilinose and it was printed and published in 1996. The Malayalam-English dictionary which was printed and published by Herman Gundert in 1872 is an important work in Malayalam. His grammar text made significant contribution to Malayalam studies.

The unification of many principalities in Marthanda Varma’s Travancore in the eighteeth century helped in the amalgamation of dialects and the development of a prose of fairly uniform standard, primarily for administrative purpose. The Kandara proolamation of 1809, in which VeluThampy called upon the people of Tranacore to revolt against the humiliating domination of the British. The language of this proclamation is a piece of inspiring prose style.

i) English Education and the Text Book Committee of Travancore

The most important factor in the evolution of prose was the organization of education on modern lines. The rulers of Travancore-Maharaja Swati Thirunal (1812-1847) maharaja Ayilyam Thirunal (1831-1880) and Visakham thirunal (1836-1885) book a keen interest in these programmers, and they wrote many primers while encouraging others to write books on a wide variety of subjects. A chief figure in this movement was Kerala Varma Valiyakoyi Thaapuran (1845-1914). Maharaja Ayilyam thirunal had set up a Text Book Committee in 1866 for arranging the publication of text-book for the schools and general reading material, for the masses. In 1868, Kerala Varma valiya koyi Thampuran was appointed as its chairman. Under the auspices of the Book Committee, consciously planned literature for the young was emerging through various categories.

More significant works biographies and science literature. Maharaja Visakham Thirunal made a collection of short biographies. They were the biographies of Alexander the Great, King Alfred, Archimedes, Aristotle and Francis Bacon. Kerala Varma Valiyakoyi Thampuran added over a hundred biographies to this volume before publishing its in 1894. Even before the publication of this book pāchu moothath had written the first modern autography in Malayalam, narrating the main events of his life up to 1871, though he lived teel 1882. Pachu moothath seems to have been a pioneer in popular science writing as well. His ‘bālabhuuśanam’ of 1866 is in the form of a dialogue and is primarily concerned with moral instruction. But it has sections on astronomy and other sciences. The text books prepared under kerala varma’s direction tackled a wide variety of popular science subjects with a limpid clarity that did not lose its spell even today. In addition to the biography and science fiction, the versatile moothath wrote the first modern history is Malayalam, a history of Travancore upto 1860, the year when Ayilyam Thirunal became the ruler. The old works like ‘kēraḷōlppatti’ and ‘keeraḷa maahaatmyam’ were fabulous collections of myths and legends on keeraḷa’s origin and importance.

‘munakeetana caritam̄ and śaakuntaḷam’ are two works by Aẏilyam Thirunal which are considered to be the earliest prose romances. Neither of them was original miinakeetana caritam’ being the Malayalam rendering of a long story from the Arabian Nights and ‘śaakuntaḷam’, the story of shakuntala. This tradition of retelling lod stories from epics puransa or dramas, as prose romances played an important role is the emergence of a sensitive prose style. In the development of Malayalam prose A.R. Rajaraja Varma (1863-1918) played a major role of the several work he work ‘keerala pāņiniyam’ is a work on grammar published in 1894 where he constantly warned against mixing up the prescriptions of Sanskrit grammar and the totally different requirements for the Malayalam language. He felt that the principles of Sanskrit poetics were profound and he generally follows them in ‘bhāśābhauśaņam’, a manual on the nature and practice of poetry. He wrote ‘sāhityasaahyam’ a manual of prose in 1910.

d) Journalism

The emergence of news papers and periodicals was obviously inspired by the English and played a vital role in moulding Malayalam prose in tune with English prose. The first periodicals were ‘rājyasamāchaaram’ (1847) and ‘paścimōdayam’ (1848) by Herman Gundert ‘gnānanikśeepam’ (1848) were the contributions of the Christian evangelized drive. Then in 1881, Devji Bhimji a Gujarati who had settled down as a businessman in Kerala, started the first secular periodical, ‘kēraḷa mitram’. This was followed by ‘kēraḷa patrika’ (1885), founded by chenkuḷattu kunhirama menon. In 1886 the ‘malayāḷI’ of Trivundrum was founded by C.Krishna Pillai and C.V.Raman Pillai. The ‘nasrāņidīpika’ (1887) which is now issued under the title ‘dīpika’ and the ‘malayāḷa manōrama’ of kottayam (1840) which continues to be published under the same name were the other important newspapers started during the last decades the nineteenth century.

The more direct and immediate influence on prose style was exercised by the literary journals. The earliest among them were ‘vidyāvilāsini’ (1881) published by P.Govindha Pillai with the active assistance of maharaja Viśakham Therunal and the ‘Vidyaavinōdini’ (1890) by C.P.Achyutamenon. In 1891 a literary association known as ‘Bāshāpōshini* sabha’ came into being and it started publishing its journal ‘bhāśāpōśiņi' in 1892, under the editorship of kaņḍattil’ Varghese mappila. It played as important role in standardizing prose diction and in the evolution of essay and short story. The other periodicals of this period which deserve mention are ‘Rasikaranjini’ ‘Kavanōdayam’ and Lakshmi Bai’.

Unlike literary periodicals, newspapers were not published with any direct and declared objective of improving the language. But their influence was really for greater than that of the literary associations and journals. Journalism facilitated the growth and expression of the tendency to think freely and assimilate every kind of knowledge and these in turn, contributed to changing the face of modern literature. It was the journalist who made Malayalam prose more flexible and expressive. The style developed by the journalist enabled the statement of common things through a easy idiom. The new mental climate brought about by the press can be understood from the career of K.Ramakrishna Pillai (1877-1916) editor of many newspapers, the most important being ‘swadeshabhimāni’. He set a new code for the journalists with his fearless criticism of the corruptions prevalent in the administrative fabric of Travancore. His book ‘Kāḍal mār̤ksinḍe Jiiva Caritram’ (life history of KarlMarx) was the first work on socialist doctrine to appear in Malayalam.

By the close of 19th century the novel, short stories and drama emerged in Malayalam. Further more, essays, autobiographies, literary criticism, scientific writings biographies, Travelogues, dissertations and historical texts had accelerated the growth of Malayalam prose. All these are conceived after English patterns. The first novel in Malayalam literature is ‘Kundalata’ written by T.M.appu Nedungadi in 1887. But a good novel in its real formāl appeared in 1889, viz ‘indulēkha’ by O.Chandu Menon Translations also had contributed to the developments of Malayalam prose. Purance stories such as ‘Bhagavāl Gita’, Brahmāņdapuraaņam’ ‘vālmi ki vāmāyaņam’ etc, were translated into Malayalam by the close of 19th century. Translation form Sanskrit dramas are also found. Many classics from world literature also has got translations in Malayalam through English. The development of modern Malayalam prose might have been influenced more by the translations from English than from Sanskrit.

Kunjamma. S 		1993		Syntactic patterns of Malayalam
					A Diachronic study
					Ph.D Thesis unpublished
					Dept. of linguistics, University of
					Kerala Thiruvananthapuram
					pp. 16-34.

Rajavajavarma. A. R		1999		Kerala paanimyam
Translated by C.J. Roy			International school of Dravidian
					Trivandrum, Kerala.

Ezhuthachan K. N		1975		History of Grammatical Theories in
					Dravidian linguistic Association

B. Linguistic Classifications

The early inhabitant of the Malayalam land which became malainaatu were Tamilians and their language was Tamil. As is the case of other living languages of all times, there was in it difference between literary or written language and folk or spoken language. Tamil scholars have termed the literary form as centamil and folk language as Kotumtamil. It is one among the kodumtamils then existed, which became Malayalam. Though many aspects of Sanskrit have dominated Malayalam, its foundation and roof continued to be those established by Tamil.


1. Genetic:

It was stated that the early form of Malayalam is Kodumtamil. It has to be decided to which language family even chentamil belongs. Tamil is the language of a separate family called Dravidians. The members of this family are as given below. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 Tamil 2 Malayalam 3 Kannada 4 Tulu 5 Kodagu 6 Toda 7 Koda 8 Kurukh 9 Malto 10 Gondi 11 Gonde (Kuyi) 12 Telunge 13 Brahui

Among these, Tamil and Malayalam are variants of the same language Karnataka also is very close to Tamil. The kodagu group consisting of Tulu, kodagu, and Toda has a place is between Tamil and Karnataka. They are more related be Karnataka. The position of the languages kurukh are to also is mere or less like that of the four languages mentioned earlier. Gondi and Kuyi have mere blood relation to telungu Brahui being isolated in Balachistas has become considerably affected by other languages. Among the Dravidian languages Tamil, Telungu, Karnataka, Malayalam, Tulu and Kodgue have gained development through written work. The distance indicated by the length of the straight lines and the proximity by the slant lines, the following genology shows the distance and proximity of the Dravidian languages with the proto language.

Proto Dravidian Language

Tamil Malayalam Kannada Kuyi Gondi Tulu Kodagu Kuruk Malto Telugu Toda Koda Brahmi

Among these languages Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada Telengu have a larger known recorded history and rich written literature. These four languages together are called the ‘Cultivated Dravidian Languages’.

Tamil Malayalam and Kannada have similarities in grammar, syntax and vocabulary, which indicates that all of them have branched off from a common mode in the genealogical tree. Historically we have evidences that their development was parallel along independent lines. The diversity of geographical features and sociological tendencies must have provided the stimulus for their verification in different directions. In the case of Malayalam and Tamil, the Western Ghats provided as effective dividing line and along the line of demarcation the exclusive isoglosses apparently bundle. However, political and administrative intercourse between Keralites and Tamils was not infrequent. Around 8th AD we know that part of kerala were under the pandyas. Conversely some kerala princes made in roads into Tamil land. The chera empire was much mere vast than the present kerala.

Various political consolidations eventually led Tamil to assume a dominant role in kerala. It was thus that centamil, the classical literary Tamil – got royal patronage. But all the centamil, writers were not from the present Tamil country and not all of them spoke a language close to their literary medium. The similarities between Tamil and Malayalam has led the scholars to posit a proto Tamil – Malayalam state. Later both the languages branched off. There might have been retentions and charges in both branches. Yet due to historical reasons and geographical contiguity, Malayalam had to accept many words and usages from Tamil, especially at a stage when Malayalam had yet to develop a standard literary form. Class and communal differences also have given rise to peculiarities in the use of the language. The educated upper classes might have developed a literary standard and it might have been closer to their spoken variety where as the charges and retention current among lower strata of the society might not have found expression in writings and hence played little part in the development of a standard dialect. This is more true with respect to the tribal dialects of Malayalam which play negligible part in the development of Malayalam literary dialect. Literary and cultural contact situations have given rise to maeronie mixtures like maņipraviḷam and Arabic Malayalam. The former gained more acceptances only due to sociological reasons and latter was regarded as a deviant pattern for the same reason.

The abundance of Sanskrit elements in Malayalam made even notable scholars to suspect that Malayalam evolved by the mixing of Dravidians with Sanskrit. Evidence are available to establish that Sanskrit and Dravidians are of different language families. When people of different communities mingle closely their mode of affair, customs and style as well as vocabulary get charges. However, their religious practices, family traditions, claims on ancestral properties and the like remain in changed. In the same way the word order declensions, stylistic feature etc of a language rarely get changed. Due to the excessive influence of Aryans, even the religious practices of Dravidians became changed. In the Dravidian languages, however, it is only in the lexicon representing the physical form there was change the grammar which represents the spirit remains unaffected.

2. Typological

Dravidian languages are agglutinative, Sanskrit is inflexional:

As in the case of people, language also may be assumed to possess functions like birth and death. A language lives till the data to which it is spoken by the people. Languages like Malayalam, English and Tamil are living languages. Languages like Sanskrit, Latis Persian which are not spoken now are example of dead languages. It is because languages belong to families, Malayalam is referred to as a member of the Dravidian family. The childhood, boyhood, youth and old age in man also have parallels in languages, though with slight difference. Man has to undergo these stages if he lives on. This is not a must in language and the stages are not related to time. A language may remain in the childhood stage forever, another way be in the youth from its birth. The stages are dependent on the conditions in which it lives. Now let us consider the nature of these stages.

1. Isolative type (childhood) In this stage, units of utterances are of equal importance: there is no use to indicate their relationship. Chinese is a major example. 2. Agglutinative (Boyhood) – Here there are utterances to indicate relationships. But they can also occur independently as other words. Tamil is as example. 3. In flexional type (youth) The utterance for indicating relationships have become suffixes. They do not have any meaning when separated from the stems as in Sanskrit. 4. Analytical type (old age-) Be fitting the saying that old age is second childhood here the connective units return to their independence from the stems. English is an example.

To explicate the nature of these, let us consider the construction of a wall. The first type corresponds to the placing of bricks one above the other. This end is like placing the bricks in convenient places so is to fill the gaps. In the third, there is a fire joining of bricks. In the fourth sophisticated methods like the use of screws are employed usages ‘dhanam nimittam’, ‘dhanam konṭu’, ‘dhasattual’ ‘dhanam abunaal’ all of which convey the same sense (because of wealth) are examples for the four type.

Malayalam is presently on the thresheld of the agglutinative and inflexion types. I t is Sanskrit that lends a helping hard in making Malayalam inflexional. The nepaatas, anuprayoogas, etc that indicated the relationship between words have now become as suffixes. The utages in ‘uṭāyatampuran’ (the lord) and niramutāya padārtham (thing having colour) for only indicated the sixth case. It has now changed into the suffix uṭe, ṭe, r̤e. However even today there are usages like. ‘avanuṭaya paṭajjanam ‘a ghooram’ (his powerful army) atinuṭaya sammaptāvamadiiyāvarōdham (our attacks after its end) Likewise from the anuprayōga Vēņam’ the suffix ‘eēnam̄\’aņam’ has evolved. In pure Malayalam works like kr̤usņagaathe a fifth case suffix iinnū iņņu evolved from ilninnū is found.

Rajaraja Varma   A.R			1999			Kērala pāniniyam
							International school of Dravidian
							Linguistics, Thiruvananthapuram
							Pp : 3-10.

Kunjamma. S			1993			Syntactic patterns of Malayalam
							A Diachronic Study
							Ph D Thesis unpublished
							Dept of Linguistics, University of
							Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram
							Pp : 6-8.


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