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Kerala Koraga Language
Koraga is also known as Dravidian language and is spoken widely by numerous Koraga people. This language is also known by numerous names such as Koragara, Koragar, Korra Koraga and Korangi. This idiom is extensively orated by scheduled tribal folks of Tulu Nadu. Moreover it is verbally narrated by most of Karnataka individuals in West south India. This Tulu Nadu consists of few districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udipi in Karnataka state. It even includes the district of Kasaragod of Kerala state. Furthermore this language is remotely connected to Tulu language and even Kannada idiom too. In addition this verbal communication is not comprehensible to Muddu Koraga, this is an idiom spoken by Koraga clan in Kerala. Additionally this language is regarded as an independent idiom instead of being dialect of any other language.
Koraga people converse in their language only with the people of their own communities. When these people converse with other communities, they communicate in other languages such as onti and ande. This language is also considered as an endangered idiom as it is already suffering from language shift and loss in several regions within their regional home of Tulu Nadu. The language attitude by the rural people is shown negative. This language as per the myths possesses some cultural traits and also some inferiors. Therefore it is spoken mostly by urban society and not by the rural people as they consider this language a dishonourable way of communication.
A few centuries before, the multilingual Koragas who lives in Karkala and Kundapura converse with each other in Kannada, Tulu and Koraga language. It is also seen that the bilingual Koragas living in Magalore and Udipi taluks talk with each other in Kannada and tulu language only. Recently now days the language atmosphere has been changed and all the groups and sub groups are becoming mulingualism and multilingual. Moreover the Koragas were considered highly unique with their distinct cultures and traditions. Their language has been grouped under South Dravidian language group. Furthermore this language has no script and it has borrowed its literature from Kannad script. It is also visible that the people of Koraga are multilingual and bilingual. In addition few trilingual are also seen in Koragas speaking different types of languages.
In 1891, only 142 Koragas inhabit. Then in the year of 1971, approximately 7620 Koragas were seen speaking Koraga language. Afterwards in the year of 2001 and as per the census, about 16071 Koragas resided and speak Koraga language. Recently 20,000 koragas were surveyed speaking Koraga language. They live in the districts of Panchauat of Dakshina kannada and also of Udupi. Furthermore it has been estimated that there are 20,000 speakers of Koraga language in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
This Koraga language is a member of Dravidian language family. Moreover this family is further divided into small groups of Southern Dravidian, Tulu and Koraga. Furthermore this language is generally spoken and not jotted down. This language if whenever written make use of Kannada script as well. In addition the people of Koraga usually narrate in Kannada and Tulu idioms and hence these mediums are used for developing the rich literature.
Koraga language follows under Dravidian language family. This family involves few groups which are Southern Dravidian, Koraga and Tulu.
This Koraga language usually follows Kannada script.
In 1971 and as per Bhat, there are 4 dialects of Koraga language which are as follows: -
Tappu dialect in Hebri
Ande dialect which is the midway between onti and tappu in Mangalore
Mudu dialect in Kundapura
Onti dialect which is spoken in Kannada
It is found that all the orators and speakers are bilingual who converse in Mudu dialect with Kannada language and all the narrators who communicate in onti dialect are bilingual with Tulu language. This type of situation creates a heavy pressure on Mudu Koraga of Kannada language whereas it has also created an immense effect on Onti Koraga dialect as well. It is even searched that some negative forms of onti Koraga language has been adopted and borrowed from the language of Tulu. As per the investigation it has searched that Koraga people are bilingual and the other language they speak are Tulu and Kannada. Moreover the speakers of the third dialect orate only with Kannada language as their mother tongue. It is even seen that Tappu Koragas are multilingual. They converse and talk in both languages of Kannada and Tulu instead of their mother tongue.
In the year of 2006 and as per Ramakrishna T. Shetty, he proves five regional dialects with Karnataka in his Koraga dialects which are as follows: -
- Northwest Koraga dialect
- Northeast Koraga dialect
- Central Koraga dialect
- South Koraga dialect
- North Koraga dialect
Other than these regional dialects there are other few dialects more which are suggested such as Badaga Koraga and Kappada Koraga dialects. These are the social dialects and therefore these dialects are not found in regional dialects.
The term Koraga can be explained by number of etymologies. According to this one proposal is accepted that the term Koragas and this label is derived from the form of their cultural practice. The word Kora refers as sun which is the first part of their tribal name even and moreover it is also found that the term name have been invented from their conventional devotion of the sun.
Other etymology of this term refers as the rises out of the Tulu language data. One such evidence is also thought that the name of this language has been derived from the corrupted form of Koruvar which means in Tulu Idiom, the people of the hills. Still the etymology of this language is not focused upon. It is even believed that the name of this verbal communication is derived from the customary profession of basket creation.