is an important member of the Dravidian family of
languages. Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada are the major cognate languages
of Tulu. This language is indigenous to the coastal Karnataka region and it is spoken
in the districts of
The antiquity of this language goes back to the beginnings of the Christian era. Tulu got separated from the Central Dravidian proto language even before Kannada got its distinct identity. Consequently, some similarities are found between many Central Dravidian languages and Tulu in terms of grammar as well as vocabulary. The words found in a Greek farce discovered at a place called ‘Oxyrhyncus’ are now attributed to Tulu rather than Kannada.
There are certain differences between Tulu and Kannada in morphology. They are enumerated by Ramachandra Rao B. as follows:
Ex. eLadu (Kannada) latt (Tulu)
aDagu (Kannada) Deng (Tulu)
eraDu (----,,------) RaDD (Tulu)
2. Initial ‘a’ (ಅ) and ‘A’ (ಆ) in Kannada become e (ಎ) and E (ಏ) in Tulu Ex: pAl (K) pEr (T)
3. The dental consonants in Kannada become palatal consonants in Tulu Ex: ondu (K) onji (T), pandi (K) panji (T)
4. The initial ‘n’ in the second person singular is lost in Tulu. (nInu> I)
5. The middle ‘s’ in Kannada becomes ‘d’ in Tulu. (pesar>pudar)
For a brief introduction to Tulu literature please go to the relevant entry.
1. ‘A Grammar of the Tulu Language’ By J. Brigel, 1872, !982 (Asian Book Services)
2. “The grammar of the Tulu Language’ Jules Bloch,
3. ‘Studies in Tuluva history and culture, from the pre-historic times to the modern’ By P.Gururaja Bhat, 1975, published by the author.
4. ‘A Comparative study of Tulu dialects’ By K.Padmanabha Kekunnaya, 1994, Rashtrakavi Govinda Pai Research Centre, Udupi.
‘Coastal Karnataka: Studies in
the folkloristic and linguistic traditions of Dakshina
Kannada region of the western coast of
‘tuLu BASe-kiru paricaya’ By B.Ramachandra Rao, 1976, I.B.H. Prakashana,
‘Descriptive Analysis of Tulu’
By D.N. Shankara Bhat,
8. ‘tuLu niGanTu” (Tulu Lexicon) in 4 volumes, 1988, ‘Rashtrakavi Govinda Pai Research Centre’, Udupi.
9. ‘Tulu-English Dictionary’, By A.Manner, 1886, Mangalore
10. ‘Tulu-English Dictionary’ By M.Mariyappa Bhat and A.Shankaar Kedilaya, 1967, Madras.
11. “A grammar of Tulu: A Dravidian language’ By Sooda Lakshminarayana Bhatt, 1971, 2005, Dravidian Linguistics Association. (Ph. D. dissertation submitted to the University of Wisconsin)
12. ‘tuLu vyAkaraNa’ (in Kannada) By S.U.Paniyadi, 1932, Udupi.
13. ‘varNanAtmaka tuLu vyAkaraNa’ (in Kannada) By Shetti S.T., 1986, Vivekananda College, Puttur.