The Dravidian language family is the world's fourth largest with nearly 250 million speakers across South Asia from Pakistan to Nepal, from Bangladesh to Sri Lanka. This authoritative reference source provides a unique description of the languages, covering their grammatical structure and historical development, plus sociolinguistic features. Each chapter combines a modern linguistic perspective with traditional historical linguistics, and a uniform structure allows for easy typological comparison between the individual languages.

New to this edition are chapters on Beṭṭa Kuṟumba, Kuṛux, Kūvi and Malayāḷam, and enlarged sections in various existing chapters, as well as updated bibliographies and demographic data throughout.

The Dravidian Languages will be invaluable to students and researchers within linguistics, and will also be of interest to readers in the fields of comparative literature, areal linguistics and South Asian studies.

chapter 1|44 pages

Introduction to the Dravidian languages

BySanford B. Steever

chapter 2|34 pages

The Dravidian Scripts

ByWilliam Bright†

part I|2 pages

South Dravidian

chapter 3|23 pages

Old Tamil

ByThomas Lehmann

chapter 4|27 pages

Modern Tamil

ByE. Annamalai, Sanford B. Steever

chapter 5|31 pages


ByP. Sreekumar

chapter 6|31 pages

Beṭṭa Kuṟumba

ByGail Coelho

chapter 7|26 pages


BySanford B. Steever

chapter 8|18 pages


ByD.N.S. Bhat

part II|2 pages

South-Central Dravidian

chapter 9|21 pages

Old Telugu

ByP. Ramanarasimham

chapter 10|36 pages


ByBh. Krishnamurti†

chapter 11|29 pages


ByBh. Krishnamurti†, Brett A. Benham

chapter 12|26 pages


BySanford B. Steever

chapter 13|28 pages


BySanford B. Steever

part III|2 pages

Central Dravidian

chapter 14|25 pages


ByP.S. Subrahmanyam†

chapter 15|25 pages


ByPeri Bhaskararao

part IV|2 pages

North Dravidian

chapter 16|36 pages


BySanford B. Steever

chapter 17|26 pages


ByMasato Kobayashi, Tetru Oraon

chapter 18|25 pages


ByJosef Elfenbein