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(kä`nədə) or


(känərēz`), Dravidian language of India. See Dravidian languagesDravidian languages
, family of about 23 languages that appears to be unrelated to any other known language family. The Dravidian languages are spoken by more than 200 million people, living chiefly in S and central India and N Sri Lanka.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the language of the Kanarese people; a Dravidian language, spoken in the state of Mysore in India by approximately 2 million people (1967).

The Kannada language is divided historically into Ancient Kannada (to the mid-13th century), Medieval, or Old Kannada (from the second half of the 13th century to the mid-19th century), and Modern Kannada (since the late 19th century). Modern literary Kannada is somewhat different from the spoken language. The grammatical structure of Kannada is typically agglutinative, with suffixal word-formation and form-derivation. Fixed verbal combinations with a verbal adverb as the main word are common. Word order in the sentence is fixed, the predicate usually occurring at the end. There are lexical borrowings from Hindi, Marathi, and Sanskrit. Kannada uses one of the varieties of a south Indian script that can be traced to the Brahmi writing system. The oldest inscriptions in Kannada date from the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries a. d. ; the writing system in its present form appeared in the 14th century.


Andronov, M. S. Iazyk kannada. Moscow, 1962.
Kittel, F. A Grammar of the Kannada Language in English. Mangalore, 1903.
Kittel, F. A Kannada-English Dictionary. Mangalore, 1894.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.