V. Speech Community:

A speech community is a group of people who interact by means of speech. (Bloomfield, 1999)

The Malayalam speech community cut crosses the boundaries of Kerala, Lakshadeep and in other parts of the world. This speech community comprises a number of dialect from the southern comes of Kerala to northwards. In the boundaries of Kerala there are a large number of people who speak Malayalam in addition to their native language.

The Malayalam speech community was primarily a monolingual speech community, developed in during the source of time into a multilingual speech community. The verbal repertoire of the educated or the people who live in the border areas consists of Tamil, Kannada, Konkani, Telugu and English with their mother tongue. But most of the people in village areas are monolingual. There is a visible tendency of code-mixing and code-switching among the younger generation.

The northern most district of Keral-kashgod has large number of bilinguals who use Kannada or Tulu in addition to Malayalam language. In the southern most district Thiruvananthapuram and in the palghat district have a sizable population who speak as their second language.

The women folk who stayed at home doing work such as stitching, embroidery, etc, which provided more opportunities for intra-group communication. But the people who are entering in the office and teaching jobs which have provided them with more opportunities for inter-group communication. The younger generation is more attracted by the English language.

The Malayalam speech community has had the benefit of the rich background of its history of literature, which developed in some of the very advanced princely states of pre-independence India, viz, the state of Bravancore and Cochin, which were also the areas, where Christian religious activities have had their enlightment influence and education for the couple of centuries. The state of Kerala has been in the forefront of literacy and education, while members of the speech community have been found to be enterprising and highly advanced in scientific, cultural and educational field.

1.Identify Group (Mother tongue speakers and their bi/multilingualism)

In Kerala, the phenomena of bilingualism is of much importance. In Kerala, 21938760 people speak Malayalam as their mother tongue. Among the malayalis, people who know and speak a language besides their mother tongue are not few. In the case of many of those who speak a language other than Malayalam as their mother tongue, most of them are settlers in Kerala for years. Most of them speak Malayalam besides their mother tongue.

The northern most district of kerala-kasargod has large number of bilinguals who speak Malayalam as their first as second language and Kannada and Tulu as the second language. Likewise Palaghat and Thiruvananthapuram district have a sizable population who speak Tamil as their second language. Though not recorded in census reports, the great majority of tribals of Kerala are bilinguals, using their own district speeches for in group communication and Malayalam for inter group communication.

Bilingualism found among the people whose mother tongue Malayalam, the following break up of figures can be noted of the 24, 429, 133 persons with Malayalam as their mother tongue in Kerala, 4, 351, 730, or 17.81% are bilinguals. But these figures charge widely in the case of other states where Malayalis or Keralites are migrants, with 70.68% in Andrapradesh, 71.46% in Bihar, 65.6% in Haryana 75.3% in Himachal Pradesh, etc of them 86.82% of Keralites in Meghalaya are bilinguals. The bilinguals in Lakshadveep are only 12.22% because the mother tongue in the group of islands is mostly Malayalam.

The pattern of bilingualism among the keralites outside kerala is of a high percentage, indicating that they are keen in knowing the local language of the region of their settlement, in order to be successful in their economic pursuits. Subramoniam V. I (ed.) 1993 Dravidian Encyclopaedia

Vol.No.II, Internation School of

Dravidian Linguistics,


In Kerala, the phenomena of bilingualism is of much important. In Kerala, 21938760 people speak Malayalam as their mother tongue. Among the malayali’s, people who know and speak a language besides their mother tongue are not few. In the case of those who speak a language other than Malayalam as their mother tongue, most of them are settlers in kerala for years. Most of them speak Malayalam besides their mother tongue.

The northern most district of Kerala-kasargod has large number of bilinguals who speak Malayalam as their first or second language and kannada and Tulu as the second language. Likewise palaghat and thiruvananthapuram district have a sizable population who speak Tamil as their second language. Though not recorded in census reports, the great majority of tribes of kerala are bilinguals, using their district speeches for intergroup communication and Malayalam for intergroup communication.

Bilingual found among the people whose mother tongue is Malayalam. The following back up of figures can be noted. Of the 24,429,133 person with Malayalam as their mother tongue in kerala, 4,351,730 or 17.81% are bilinguals. But these figures change widely in the case of other states where malayalis or keralites are migrants, with 70.68% in Andhra pradesh, 71.46% in Bihar, 65.6% in Harya, 75.3% in Himachal pradesh, etc. of them. 86.82% of Keralites in Meghalaya are bilinguals. The bilinguals in Lakshadeep are only 12.22%, because of the mother tongue in the group of islands is mostly Malayalam.

The pattern of bilingualism among the Keralites outside Kerala is of a high percentage, indicating that they are keen in knowing the local language of the region of their settlement, in order to be successful int heir economic pursuits.

Subramaniam VI (Ed), 1993. Dravidian Encyclopedia Vol. No. II

International School of Dravidian

Linguistics, Thiruvananthapuram

PP: 592-593.

2.Functional Groups (cline of bilingualism) and their mother tongue:

Amongst the functions group of Kerala. The Tamilians come first in population. Tamil community people such a goldsmiths, Tamil Brahmins etc can be seen in almost every village through oil the Kerala State. Majority of the Tamil speakers of Kerala are settled in Palghat, Idikki and Thiruvananthapuram. The Tamil speakers of these three district have differently in their language loyalty and in their altitude towards the regional language.

In Palghat district, a few panchayats of Chittur and Palghat taluks which lie on the Tamilnadu borders are predominantly inhabited by Tamils. The linguefranca of those in Tamil v, the Malayalam speakers also generally speak in Tamil when they want to communicate with the Tamil speakers of these area.

In Idikki district, most of the Tamil speakers are estate laborers. Both Malayalam and Tamil are spoken scale by side in these areas. In Thiruvananthapuram district, the Tamil castes like Nadars and Vellalas have switched over to Malayalam as their home language and many of them now do not know Tamil at all and proffer to be identified themselves as Malayalam.

The second largest functional group in Kerala is Konkani language speakers residing in Kannure, Ernakulam and Alleppy districts. Even in areas where they are scattered, Konkani is preserved to be their home language. Of course, there are a few instances of language shift from Konkani to Malayalam but such instances are only a few to be reckoned with. As a general rule the Konkanis are quite proficient in Malayalam also.

The Kannada functional groups are concentrated in the destricts of Kannure and in the Kasargod Taluk which is bordering the South Canara district of the Karnataka State. The chief language of this area are Kannada, Tulu and Malayalam. Many of the Malayalam speaking Hindus use Kannada for inter communication and even they prefer to send their children to Kannada medium schools. Muslims are the chief Malayalam speaking people of the Kasargod Taluk. It may be noted that the dialect of the Hindu communities of Malayalam who show a tendency to shift from Malayalam to Kannada, are quite divergent from the standard Malayalam and not easily intelligible to other Malayalam speakers. Malayalam is almost labeled in this region as the language of the Muslims Religious grouping is more stronger in this region than the linguistic grouping.

The Tulu ‘potties’ are found in all parts of Kerala, but except in Kasargod taluk. Most of them now know only Malayalam. The Tulu speakers of Kasargod taluk show almost equal affinity towards Kannada as that of their mother tongue.

Most of the Telugu people are concentrated in Palghat district. The Telugus all over Kerala show more affinity towards the local Tamils rather than to the Malayalam speakers. A tendency of shift of mother tongue form Telugu to Tamil is noticed.

In the case of Tribal language, the speech varieties of the tribes show that a large majority of them can be grouped as dialects of Malayalam. (Kanikkar, Mala Uḷḷāḍan, etc) Tamil (eg. Muthuvan, Paḷḷiyan, or Kannada (eg. MalayaKandi, Kattu Nāyakas). The rest of the tribal speech varieties may have to be considered as separate languages. (eg: muḍugas)

North situation is fast changing due to the migrate of people to their areas from Kerala plains and also due to the fast conversion of forests into cultivatable lands. The process of mother tongue shift from tribal languages to Malayalam is in fast operation in some of the tribes (eg. Kanekkars, Kuricciyar etc).

Panikker. G. K 1985 The Minority Language

Situation in Kerala.

IJDL. Vol. XIV No.2

Dravidian Linguistic Association


Pp: 286 – 297.

Solomon, Reginald 1976 Bilingual situation in

Southern Kerala

Ph.D. Thesis (unpublished)

University of Kerala


B. Distribution of IG and FG:

As per the 1981 census, 2544369 people living in Kerala speak Malayalam. This would come to about 99:13 percentage of the total house hold population of Kerala 44, 489 people in Andhrapradesh 5,90,709 people in Karnataka and 5,77890 people in Tamilnadu also speak Malayalam as their mother tongue. In addition to this there are large group of Malaylis in every Indian State. The modern day Malayali turns out to be very fond of migration and there are Malayali communities in the middle east USA, UK, Malaysia and in many other nations.

Amongst the functional group of Kerala, the Tamil speaking people are the dominant group who are concentrating in the districts of Thiruvanthapuram, Kollam Alleppy, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Trissure, Palghat, Malappuram Kozhikodu, Idukki Kannure etc.

The Konkani functional group are the second largest group concentrating in the regions of Kannure, Ernakulam, Alleppey, Calicut, Palghat, Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram etc. The Kannada functional group located in the districts of Kasargod, Kannure, Calicut, Malappuram, Palghat, Trissure, Ernakulam etc. The Tulu functional group is most concentrated in the district of Kasargod.

The Telugu functional groups settled in the districts of Palghat, Calicut, Malappuram, Ernakulam, Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram.

Subramanian. V. I (ed) 1993 Dravidian Encyclopedia

Vol. No: III

International School of

Dravidian Linguistics


Pp: 486 – 487.

C. Diaspora of IG:

The IG Diaspora is here defined as those areas outside South Asia where they have settled in sufficient numbers to constitute a significant percentage of the national population and to play a meaningful role in the national life of the countries of which they are now citizens.

The projected population of Kerala in 199 is 321 lakhs. It is estimated that 11:41 lakhs Keralites are working in different parts of the world. 95.6 percent of the migrants are in Gulf countries to pursue occupation ranging from common laborer to highly sculled professions such as engineering medical caretaker, gent cleark and administrator. A large number of Malayees have migrated to Saudha Arabia which comes to 36.3% UAE comes next with 35.9%.

A large number of people residing in America Europe. Some are setters in these countries while others are sojourners for purposes of study or work. What ever the purpose or status, the Keraliens living in US, Canada, West Germany, UK and other places do not play much a significant role in the national life or politics of these nation, though this is beginning to change in Great Briton.

It has been substantiated that through the Diaspora the Malayalam language involved in a process of attrition Malayalam language is still supported by govt. polices and by significant bodies of native speakers in both Singapore and Malaysia. In Singapore much of the support is due to significant numbers of immigrants from south India. It may be expected that their children will adapt to the Singapore Indian norm of preferring English over the mother tongue because of its importance for getting jobs in private industry as well as in govt. services.

Malappuram district comes first with 2,01,100 having migrated to other countries, Thrissur and Thiruvananthapuram district occupy the second and third positions with 1,28,500 and 1,23,600 respectively.

Rodney. F. Moug 1988 The History and problems of

the Dravidian Diaspora – IJDL

vol XVII No.1.

Dravidian Linguistic Association


Pp: 14 – 40.

D. Ethnic Composition of IG and FG:

Anthropological studies reveal that since prehistoric times at least five ethnic groups have settled in India at different times. They are Negrito, Austric, Mongoloid, Dravidian and Aryan. Originally every group had its district language are the original inhabitants of south India. The Aryans who came early by sea settled down mostly in Kerala. Being of limited numerical strength, they adopted certain Dravidian customs leaving out some of the customs of the Aryan religion. Later, after having established their dominance in the Aryāvartham they crossed the Vidhya Mountains and dominated in the south. It is assumed that the Nampuutiris now found in Kerala are descendents of the early Aryans who survived the fold and what are called as ill customs of Kerala are remnants of their changed customs.

The early in habitants of the Malayalam land, which became Malaināṭu were Tamilians and their language was Tamil. In-migration refers to the movement of an individual or a group of people from the state of their origin or habituation to other state within India. People from ancient time migrate individually or collectively from one place to another ender the impact of twin forces of push and pull. Some of the important pull factors in Inter state migration in Kerala are better job opportunity, abundance of cultivable land, prospect of trade and business, better education facilities etc. while the push factors include natural calamities, political and economic instability, political or social persecution, growing poverty, lack of employment opportunity, pressure of growing population on limited resources etc.

Kerala receives migrants mostly from Tamilnadu but most of the but migrants are diverted to Tamilnadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Kerala is a state where the internal mobility is much more than in other states and union territories in the south. Out of the total migrants 94.7% constituting 6,800,234 people are prone to mobility within the state either at the inter-district or inter state level. By inland migration, it is meant the movement of people into Kerala of Indian origin like people from Tamilnadu, Karnataka. The foreign migrants form Srilanka, Afghanistan, UK, Portugal and from other European countries and found to be among the migrants in Kerala.

Among the tribes, the most primitive, living still in caves, called cave man are found in Kerala, besides the tribes like Paniyar, Kurumar, Kurichiyar, Ulladan etc. most of them living in the high ranges of the Idukki District and the forest of Wynad districts.

Roy. C. J (Trans) 1999 Keerala Paaniniyam

International School of

Dravidian Linguistics,


2. Urban /Roral

E. a) Language Contact:

The close contact of two or more languages causes language interference. Interference has been described by Wunruh as ‘those instances of deviation from the norms of either language which occur in the speech of bilinguals as a results of their familiarity with more than one language a, as a result of language contact.

Interference is dependent on interlingual identification, which is largely an unconscious process in the bilingual individual, the locus of contact. It affects all the aspects of language ie. Phonology, including Intonation, morphology, syntax, lexicon and semantics in varying of linguistic contact of the speakers of two languages and the extent of bilingualism.

In the case of people who are residing in the boarder areas of Kerala have a good contact with the other neighboring languages and culture. In the southern most part of and in the southeast part of Kerala is contact with Tamil speaking people and Tamil culture. Due to this contact leads to change the language of that people. Similarly in the northern part of Kerala is contact with the Karnataka. So we can see the Kannada influence on their language. These influences will leads to change the pronunciation and the intonational patterns.

eg: |URumpә| ‘ant’ |uRumpu| |urumpu|

meniyānņ meniyānnu

menen̄n̄ānn day before yesterday menen̄n̄ānnu

This change in the language of Kannada boarder areas is clearly due to the interference of Kannada which the phoneme |ә|is absent and which has terminal |u| in the place of Malayalam.

|marakkā| ‘wooden leg’ |marakālu|

|taamarappu| ‘lotus flower’ |tāmarepuu|

Where there is germination of voiceless stops in Malayalam, the northern dialect shows degemination.

Some Kasargod dialect words have different meanings and forms from those in Malayalam.

eg: Malayalam Kasargod Malayalam

|abhyāsam| ‘exercise’ |abhyāsa| habit

|kōlә| ‘stick’ |kōlu| walking stick or stick

In Malayalam ‘kōḷ’ is not usually used in this kasargod Malayalam sense; vaṭI is common form.

The type of social cultural contact is a decisive factor in bringing about linguistic acculturation. In a permissive type of contact situation both the cultural as well as linguistic acculturation takes place speedily, whereas, a ‘forced’ type of situation would result in showing down the cultural impact but in accelerating the linguistic substitution.

Pattanayak (ed) 1977 Papers on Indian Sociolinguistics

Central Institute of Indian Languages


Pp: 132 – 175.

b) Code Mixing:

It is a well-attested fact that when two languages are in contact changes take place in one or both of them. Bilinguals often encaged in code mixing when they speak to each other. As far as Malayalam is concerned, the educated Malayalam use English words abundantly when they speak to another educated person of his own speech community.

eg: Kannyakumari express one hour late

Kannyakumari express is late by an hour

Ninṅȧṭuṭe brotherin-law eviṭe work ceyyunnu?

There are many caste dialect words in Malayalam like macca aḷiyan for brother-in-law whose use is immediately betrays the caste of the speaker. So the educated speaker when speaking in a mixed group to another person uses invariably the word brother-in-law. Similarly for ‘bhārya’ and ‘bharthāvu’ are too formal even though sometimes English equivalent ‘wife’ ‘husband’ are invariably used. The use of English words like Urine, Intercourse, and Barber etc instead of the native equivalents such as a mūtram, lainkikavēlua ampaṭṭan etc which are taboo gives certain amount of detachability from the topic to the speaker.

This code mixing also has the identifying function like any dialect when it labels its speaker as belonging to the educated class.

Certain concepts may be expressed through different constructed in the source language and the base language. The speaker of the uses both constructions depending on whether he uses the words from the source language or the mother tongue. The constructions in the source language may not be, however, foreign to the mother tongue of the speaker. But they are not used to express the particular concepts and those concepts are expressed in a different way in the mother tongue. Both of them co-exist. The following are a few example.

‘My daughter avaḷuṭe friends-ne ottiri miss-ceyyunnu’.

My daughter misses her friends very much.

The word ender of this sentences is subject + object + verb as in Malayalam and its syntax is perfectly Malayalam, but the particular concept is not expressed through this construction in Malayalam.

Code mixing is not borrowing in the ordinary sense of this term since the borrowed words are assimilated to the system of the recipient language. And they are learnt as part of the first or the base language.

The reason for the use of a large amount of words from another language is sometimes because of need to fell in and sometimes it is considered, as the use of other language words to native language is a kind of prestige. A large amount of Sanskrit words used in Malayalam to satisfy the both natives.

c) Code Switching:

Code switching has been defined as ‘the successive alternate use of two different language codes within the same discourse; it implies that the speaker is conscious of the switch. The bilinguals switch from mother tongue to other tongue and tongue to mother tongue in the same conversation and it is normally done for the duration of a unit of discourse. Switching is a discourse strategy for linguistic (verbal) communication reflecting language competence and preferred language choice of participants.

Most of the educated or bilingual Malayalam of ten encaged in code switching to one language especially English in conversation of them occur with the presents of other non-native speaker.

(1) Switching under emotional stress: it is common experience that an educated bilingual during moments of emotional stress when a person is frustrated or angry is likely to switch over to English without being the least aware that he is doing so.

eg: nī entu cēytu? Enikku kēḷkkeņṭa ‘shut up and get out from here’

what you did? I don’t want to hear.

The underlined English expression used at the end of the conversation, reflects the intensity of the speaker.

(2) Switching for imposing authority: over expressions like ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are quite frequent during situations where the speaker wishes impose himself or his ideas on the other party.

(3) Switching for fashion: code switching in this context highlights the central notion of class-identification on the part of the bilingual English is considered a prestige language and people generally have a tendency to switch to English in the middle of a conversation. If they wish to ‘show off’ or impress listeners.

eg: mōne anṭiyōṭụ tātā paṛavụ

son say tata to aunty.

(4) Inevitable, Technical code switching: Discussion on all technical topics entails a switch to English by the interlocutors. For conveying scientific concepts which cannot be easily translated into Malayalam.

eg: words like enzyme, etc computer concepts like page maker etc are not easy to translate into Malayalam.

(5) Switching for Business:

Code switching also appears to play an important role in business transactions, especially at counters wealthy customers frequently visit. Because of the great prestige attached to English, the salesmen deliberately use English expressions to persuade their customers and promote the sale of their product.

Bhuvaneswari. C. V 1987 Social Structure in linguistic

Behaviour: code-switching among

the bilingual Naikans of Kerala,

‘Indian Languages’

Vol.48 – Deccan College, Pune.

Pp: 17-23.

Annamalai. E 1978 The anglicized Indian Languages A case of code mixing IJOL Vol.VII No.2 D Dravidian Linguistic Association, Thiruvananthapuram. Pp: 239-247.

F. i) Convergence:

If some groups of people of heterogeneous origin live in one area for several centuries, or even generations, there takes place, quite imperceptibly, a considerable amount of give and take in their various day to day activities. This leads to the growth of some new agreements in their out look of life, which we may call a common cultural core.

Linguistic convergence can be defined as a process of language change leading to languages or language varieties becoming more similar to one another.

Convergence can be due to the contact between the language from the same family or from the different families. Extensive bilingualism, urbanization, regional dominance and the socio-political factors are the main contributing factors for the linguistic convergence and shift. In the language situation of Kerala, the aspect of convergence unidirectional. That is the convergence is towards the direction of the dominant language of the area. In the Northern most corner of Kerala has the influence of Kannada, Telugu and Tulu etc and the south and in the southeast side have the influence of Tamil language. However, the Malayalam language is the dominant language there.

Owing to the extent of language contact with respect to the period of stay and the extent of bilingualism prevailing in this Sociolinguistics setting, the convergence that has been place may be grouped into phonological lexical and grammatical levels.

However these speakers have more language loyalty and are contributing their might to maintain and cultivate their mother tongue.

ii) Borrowing:

Borrowing is an inevitable and concomitant process when two or more languages are in contact. Contact leads to imitation and imitation to convergence Language contact is one aspect of cultural contact. If a person is in contact with two or more languages, he uses them alternatively according to situation, subject, and person with whom he speak.

Cultural contact and prestige motives are the two predominant types, which lead to lexical borrowing. As for as Malayalam is concerned there are a large amount of words borrowed from other languages such as English, Portuguese Sanskrit, Arabic etc. It is difficult for the ordinary Malayalam speakers to distinguish their own words from the foreign words in their language.

The language from Which the word is borrowed Borrowed word Malayalam word


English Computer Kampū TTer Computer

Collector KaLekṭar Collector

Hindi gamjā kaňcāvә Ganja

Cāy cāya Tea

SāDi Sāri Saree

Persian ābkāri abkāri A dealer of alcoholic beverages

Arabic Firangi Pḷraṅgi Cannon

Khasānah Khajanāvә Treasury

Taljamah Tarjama Translation

Tālluka Tālūkkә Taluk

Portuguese Almārio Almāra Cupboard

Istirar Istiri Iron box

Padre Pa:tiri Priest

Laterna Ra:ntal Lamp

Bateria battēri Sub division of regiment

It has been observed that the English words is pervasive in Kerala and is distributed in a discernable pattern among speakers accountable in terms of education, profession, geography, social living etc. Most of the English words used by Malayalam speakers undergo changes in structure and sound in the direction of Malayalam. Therefore they will nativized the English words. The meaning has not been changed by these changes but the words are nativized.

eg: road Bus Fan

rōḍu basụ phān

In the language of those who are not educated the monosyllabic words are converted into disyllabic by breaking the consonant cluster of the donor language.

eg: Class Doctor

kilāssụ dakaṭaru

The fricative sound is changed into the corresponding bilabial stop.

eg: Coffee Form

kāppi phāram

The use of English in India for nearly two centuries has led to its nativization in varying degrees. The influx of English words into Indian languages has resulted in several collocational deviations.

The collocations including compounds are very interesting and significant and have varied typology. The mixed collocations are.

eg: brōyilar kōli - broiler chicken

vation kaṭa - ration shop etc

Hybridization and Reduplicatives are common features of Malayalam language.

Hybrid form is a common phenomenon. Hybrid formations are those which comprise two or more elements and in which one element is from the native language and the other from donor language.

eg: brōyilar kōli Broiler chicken

kaḷḷu shōp Toddy shop

Reduplicatives two are a common feature in Malayalam.

eg: posṭu tūņụ post

treņku peṭṭi trenk

gēṭu vātil great etc

English has been rooted in the Indian social life and the educational

System and more over it has become one of the languages of the land known as Indian English.

Panchanan Mohanty 2000 Treatment of Sanskrit Loan words

In Caldwell’s Comparative Grammar

An appraisal – IJDL Vol. No: XXIX

No.2 pp: 70-81.

I. Status:

Malayalam is one of the highly developed literary language of the country with its rich literature on science subject and also teaching materials, which serves as a tool of advanced civilization. It has three district regional dialects which may be designated as south Kerala, central Kerala and North Kerala dialects. Apart from the regional dialects, Malayalam has clearly marked communal dialects based on caste and religion. Inspite of the existence of dialectal forms a standard form has evolved both for spoken and written Malayalam. The written standard with borrowed Sanskrit words and expressions is almost devoid of regional peculiarities of the colloquial speech.

It is one of the languages of the schedule VIII of the Indian constitution. It is recognized for official purpose. In some areas of Karnataka and in the Mahe area of Pondicherry. Malayalam language has a very long literary tradition and is used as medium of education and as the language of administration and it is the official language of the state of Kerala.

Malayalam is the medium of instruction at the school level but in college, higher education and professional educational institutional, English is still the medium of instruction. Till recently the administrative language was practically English but Malayalam has been introduced in a number of administrative departments and more are switching over to Malayalam. And the state of Kerala has been in the forefront of literary and education among the rest of the state in India.

J. Language and Power (Socio Political Economy)

Power is in a symmetrical relation between individuals. (doctor|patient, parent|child etc) Institutions (court of law| tride unions or a mixture (welfare organization|individual element). The relationship is based on inequal distribution of some crucial commodity or attribute such as money, material goods, political opportunity, knowledge, ascribed role or status. What is crucial varies from time to time and from society to society Gender, cask, age, etc are also control the power. In a given social setting, specific interpersonal relationships amount to a certain position in the filed of power. Thus in the classroom, teachers have more power than their students, as a result of differentials of age, physical strength, and socio economic class, and of ascribed roles in that particular institutional setting. The gender discrimination in language is the reflection of the power structure of the male dominancy.

Language is the exhaustive system, which include the factors that demonstrate the power. As far as Malayalam is concerned, the power structure is more prominent in the addressing terms. We can see that power have no permanent feature. Because, the elder member of the family can experience the power over the younger ones. But sometimes, the younger ones who acquired power through wealth, education occupation etc, will bring the elder people under them. In Kerala the husband’s name was prohibited to pronounce by wives. But now a days it is permissible among the educated middle and upper class people.

The pronouns ‘nī’ and ‘niṅṅaḷ’ comes in conversations are reflecting the visible power and the solidarity. Though ‘niṅṅal’ is generally used to denote the power and ‘nii’ is used to denote the solidarity, there are situations that delimit them. It can be seen in the discourse between the speaker and hearer who have solidarity.

Girish. P. M 2001 Adhikaravum Bhashayum

Linguistic Study

Pappiyon, Calicut.


Copyright CIIL-India Mysore