Havyaka Kannada (havyaka kannaDa) (ಹವ್ಯಕ
ಕನ್ನಡ) is a social and regional
dialect of Kannada specific to
Scholars such as D.N.Shankara Bhat and others have suggested, that Kannada went in to an East-West division
much earlier than the North and South division which is usually foregrounded in
dialect studies. This division seems to have taken place more than 1500 years before
the advent of Old Kannada. (HaLagannaDa)
Consequently, many earlier forms are still present in the dialects of
coastal Karnataka such as havyaka Kannada,
1. Conversion of mid-vowel to high vowel in the proximity of another high vowel. This is seen in the dialects of inland Karnataka as early as sixth or seventh century A.D. However, mid vowels are still there in the inscriptions of the fifth century. A similar situation prevails in Havyaka and other coastal dialects even to this day. This goes to prove that the Havyaka dialect got segregated from inland Karnataka as early as the sixth century.
Ex.: beLi, kevi, besi, oLi, todi and toLi become biLi, kivi, bisi, uLi, tudi and tuLi respectively. (ಬೆಳಿ, ಕೆವಿ, ಬೆಸಿ, ಒಳಿ, ತೊದಿ ಮತ್ತು ತೊಳಿ ಕ್ರಮೇಣ ಬಿಳಿ, ಕಿವಿ, ಬಿಸಿ, ಉಳಿ, ತುದಿ ಮತ್ತು ತುಳಿ ಆಗುತ್ತವೆ. ಹವ್ಯಕ ಕನ್ನಡದಲ್ಲಿ ಇಂದಿಗೂ ಮೂಲರೂಪಗಳೇ ಇವೆ.)
2. The second Internal vowel in words containing three letters is lost in the spoken varieties of inland Karnataka. Havyaka Kannada has retained them.
Ex. hagalu, aDake, aMgaDi, bAgilu become haglu, aDke, aMgDi and bAglu. (ಹಗಲು, ಅಡಕೆ, ಅಂಗಡಿ ಮತ್ತು ಬಾಗಿಲು ಎಂಬ ರೂಪಗಳು ಅನುಕ್ರಮವಾಗಿ ಹಗಲು, ಅಡ್ಕೆ, ಅಂಗ್ಡಿ ಮತ್ತು ಬಾಗ್ಲು ಎಂದು ಬದಲಾಗುತ್ತವೆ)
3. Nasals that occur after a long vowel or after the second vowel in three lettered words are dropped in inland Kannada. They are retained in Havyaka Kannada.
Ex. Old Kannada Havyaka Modern Kannada
dANTu (ದಾಂಟು) dANTu (ದಾಂಟು) dATu (ದಾಟು)
nANTu (ನಾಂಟು) nANTu (ನಾಂಟು) nATu (ನಾಟು)
kalamku (ಕಲಂಕು) kalamku (ಕಲಂಕು) kalaku (ಕಲಕು)
kADiMge (ಕಾಡಿಂಗೆ) kADiMge (ಕಾಡಿಂಗೆ) kADige (ಕಾಡಿಂಗೆ)
maraMgL (ಮರಂಗಳ) marMgo (ಮರಂಗೊ) maragaL (ಮರಗಳು)
4. In grammar, the varieties of coastal Karnataka have retained verbal suffixes of negation and the suffixes denoting future tense where as they have become extinct in inland Karnataka.
Ex. hELem, kELem (negation) and hELvem, kELvem (future tense)
ಹೇಳೆಂ, ಕೇಳೆಂ ಮುಂತಾದ ನಿಷೇಧಾರ್ಥಕ ರೂಪಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಹೇಳ್ವೆಂ, ಕೇಳ್ವೆಂ ಮುಂತಾದ ಭವಿಷ್ಯತ್ ಕಾಲ ಸೂಚಕಗಳು.
5. The exclusive and inclusive first person plural forms which are not present either in old Kannada or the contemporary in land dialects are found in some dialects of coastal Karnataka. In Havyaka Kannada ‘engo’ (ಎಂಗೊ) is exclusive and ‘nAvu’ (ನಾವು) is inclusive.
6. Use of neuter gender forms when referring to females instead of specific feminine forms harks back to languages like Telugu where a similar situation prevails even now.
Of course, vocabulary is less stable and many old Kannada words are gradually disappearing in Havyaka Kannada also. However, words such as ‘kicchu’, (fire) avumku, Anu, etc have stayed on there for a number of centuries.
A detailed study of the situation in Havyaka Kannada and other dialects of coastal Karnataka will go a long way in reconstructing the earlier forms of Kannada.
(This note is highly indebted to the seminal research made by D.N.Shankara Bhat. His works mentioned below have delineated the issues in greater detail.)
‘kannaDa BASeya kalpita caritre’ by D.N. Shankara Bhat, 1995,
2. ‘An outline grammar of Havyaka’ By Shankara Bhat D.N., 1971, Linguistic Survey of India series, Volume 5, published by Deccan College Postgraduate and research Institute, Poona.
Havyaka dialect of
structure of northern Havyaka Kannada’ (Dravidian): Tangemic Analysis’ By Helen
E. Ullrich, 1988,
5. ‘The landscape of language: Issues in Kannada linguistics’ by K.V. Tirumalesh, 2000, Allied Publishers.
6. ‘Havyaka Kannada: Modality and negation’ by Johan Van Der Auwera, Indian Linguistics, Volume 17, 2000.
‘Havyaka Dialect’, by
M.Mariyappa Bhat, 1969, Annals of Oriental Research,
8. “ A Descriptive Analysis of Havyaka Kannada’ (Puttur and Suliya region) by C.B. Bhat and H.M. Nayak