|One of the world's major language families|
The Dravidian family of languages includes approximately 73 languages that are mainly spoken in southern India and northeastern Sri Lanka, as well as certain areas in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and eastern and central India, as well as in parts of Afghanistan, Iran, and overseas in other countries such as Malaysia and Singapore. List of language familiesA language family is a group of Languages related by descent from a common ancestor called the Proto-language of that family List of language familiesA language family is a group of Languages related by descent from a common ancestor called the Proto-language of that family ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages List of language familiesA language family is a group of Languages related by descent from a common ancestor called the Proto-language of that family South India is the area encompassing India 's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union Sri Lankan Tamil people ( or Ceylon Tamils, are an Ethnic group native to the South Asian island state of Sri Lanka who predominantly speak Pakistan () officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, is a country located in South Asia, Southwest Asia, Middle East and Nepal (नेपाल) is a Landlocked country in South Asia. ( Bengali: বাংলাদেশ inc-Latn Bangladesh) officially India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country Afghanistan /æfˈgænɪstæn/ officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan ( Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت, For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics. For the biogeographical region see Malesia Malaysia (məˈleɪʒə or /məˈleɪziə/ is a country that consists of thirteen states and Singapore
The English word Dravidian was first employed by Robert Caldwell in his book of comparative Dravidian grammar based on the usage of the Sanskrit word drāviḍa in the work Tantravārttika by Kumārila Bhaṭṭa (Zvelebil 1990:xx). Bishop Robert Caldwell (1814 -1891 was an orientalist who pioneered the study of the Dravidian languages with his work Comparative Grammar of Dravidian Languages As for the origin of the Sanskrit word drāviḍa itself there have been various theories proposed. Basically the theories are about the direction of derivation between tamiẓ and drāviḍa.
There is no definite philological and linguistic basis for asserting unilaterally that the name Dravida also forms the origin of the word Tamil (Dravida -> Dramila -> Tamizha or Tamil). Dravidian peoples refers to the peoples that natively speak languages belonging to the Dravidian language family. Tamil (ta தமிழ்; t̪əmɨɻ is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. Zvelebil cites the forms such as dramila (in Daṇḍin's Sanskrit work Avanisundarīkathā) damiḷa (found in Ceylonese chronicle Mahavamsa) and then goes on to say (ibid. page xxi): "The forms damiḷa/damila almost certainly provide a connection of dr(a/ā)viḍa " and ". . . tamiḷ < tamiẓ . . . whereby the further development might have been *tamiẓ > *damiḷ > damiḷa- / damila- and further, with the intrusive, 'hypercorrect' (or perhaps analogical) -r-, into dr(a/ā)viḍa. The -m-/-v- alternation is a common enough phenomenon in Dravidian phonology" (Zvelebil 1990:xxi) Zvelebil in his earlier treatise (Zvelebil 1975: p53) states: "It is obvious that the Sanskrit dr(a/ā)viḍa, Pali damila, damiḷo and Prakrit d(a/ā)viḍa are all etymologically connected with tamiẓ" and further remarks "The r in tamiẓ > dr(a/ā)viḍa is a hypercorrect insertion, cf. an analogical case of DED 1033 Ta. kamuku, Tu. kangu "areca nut": Skt. kramu(ka). ".
Further, another eminent Dravidian linguist Bhadriraju Krishnamurti in his book Dravidian Languages (Krishnamurti 2003: p. Bhadriraju Krishnamurti ( IAST: Bhadrirāju Kṛṣṇamūrti ( June 19, 1928 -) is an eminent Dravidianist and the most respected Indian linguist 2, footnote 2) states: "Joseph (1989: IJDL 18. 2:134-42) gives extensive references to the use of the term draviḍa, dramila first as the name of a people, then of a country. Sinhala inscriptions of BCE [Before Christian Era] cite dameḍa-, damela- denoting Tamil merchants. Early Buddhist and Jaina sources used damiḷa- to refer to a people of south India (presumably Tamil); damilaraṭṭha- was a southern non-Aryan country; dramiḷa-, dramiḍa, and draviḍa- were used as variants to designate a country in the south (Bṛhatsamhita-, Kādambarī, Daśakumāracarita-, fourth to seventh centuries CE) (1989: 134-8). It appears that damiḷa- was older than draviḍa- which could be its Sanskritization. "
Based on what Krishnamurti states referring to a scholarly paper published in the International Journal of Dravidian Linguistics, the Sanskrit word draviḍa itself is later than damiḷa since the dates for the forms with -r- are centuries later than the dates for the forms without -r- (damiḷa, dameḍa-, damela- etc. ). So it is clear that it is difficult to maintain Dravida -> Dramila -> Tamizha or Tamil.
The Monier-Williams Sanskrit Dictionary lists for the Sanskrit word draviḍa a meaning of "collective Name for 5 peoples, viz. the Āndhras, Karṇāṭakas, Gurjaras, Tailaṅgas, and Mahārāṣṭras".
Dravidian languages are spoken by more than 200 million people. They appear to be unrelated to languages of other known families like Indo-European, specifically Indo-Aryan, which is the other common language family on the Indian subcontinent. The Indo-Aryan languages (within the context of Indo-European studies also Indic) are a branch of the Indo-European language family Some linguistic scholars incorporate the Dravidian languages into a larger Elamo-Dravidian language family, which includes the ancient Elamite language (Haltami) of what is now south-western Iran. Linguistics is the scientific study of Language, encompassing a number of sub-fields The Elamo-Dravidian languages are a hypothesised Language family which includes the living Dravidian languages of India, and Pakistan, in addition "Ancient" redirects here For other uses see Ancient_(disambiguation. Elamite is an Extinct language, which was spoken by the ancient Elamites. Dravidian is one of the primary linguistic groups in the proposed Nostratic language system, linking almost all languages in North Africa, Europe and Western Asia into a common family with its origins in the Fertile Crescent sometime between the last Ice Age and the emergence of proto-Indo-European 4-6 thousand years BC. The Nostratic languages constitute a proposed Language family that according to its proponents includes a high proportion of the language families of Europe The Fertile Crescent is a Crescent -shaped region in the Middle East, originally incorporating the Levant and Ancient Mesopotamia, and often An ice age is a period of long-term reduction in the Temperature of the Earth 's surface and atmosphere resulting in an expansion of continental Ice sheets
Dravidian grammatical impact on the structure and syntax of Indo-Aryan languages is considered far greater than the Indo-Aryan grammatical impact on Dravidian. Some linguists explain this anomaly by arguing that Middle Indo-Aryan and New Indo-Aryan were built on a Dravidian substratum. In Contact linguistics, a substratum ( lat sub: under + stratum: layer → lower layer) is a Language 
The origins of the Dravidian languages, as well as their subsequent development and the period of their differentiation are unclear, partially due to the lack of comparative linguistic research into the Dravidian languages. Proto-Dravidian is the Proto-language of the Dravidian languages. Comparative linguistics (originally comparative Philology) is a branch of Historical linguistics that is concerned with comparing languages in order to In addition to Elamite, unsuccessful attempts have also been made to link the family with the Japonic languages, Korean, Sumerian, the Australian Aboriginal languages and the unknown language of the Indus Valley civilisation. Elamite is an Extinct language, which was spoken by the ancient Elamites. The Japonic languages or Japanese-Ryukyuan languages is a Language family that descended from a common ancestral language known as Proto-Japonic or This article is mainly about the spoken Korean language See Hangul for details on the native Korean writing system Sumerian ( " native tongue " was the language of ancient Sumer, spoken in Southern Mesopotamia since at least the 4th millennium BC The Indus Valley Civilization (Mature period 2600&ndash1900 BCE abbreviated IVC, was an ancient Civilization that flourished in the Indus River basin The theory that the Dravidian languages display similarities with the Uralic language group, suggesting a prolonged period of contact in the past, is popular amongst Dravidian linguists and has been supported by a number of scholars, including Robert Caldwell, Thomas Burrow, Kamil Zvelebil, and Mikhail Andronov This theory has, however, been rejected by specialists in Uralic languages, and has in recent times also been criticised by other Dravidian linguists like Bhadriraju Krishnamurti. The Uralic languages (jʊˈrælɨk constitute a language family of 39 Languages spoken by approximately 20 million people Bishop Robert Caldwell (1814 -1891 was an orientalist who pioneered the study of the Dravidian languages with his work Comparative Grammar of Dravidian Languages Thomas Burrow ( 29 June 1909 - 8 June 1986) was an Indologist and the Boden Professor of Sanskrit at the University Bhadriraju Krishnamurti ( IAST: Bhadrirāju Kṛṣṇamūrti ( June 19, 1928 -) is an eminent Dravidianist and the most respected Indian linguist . Rasmus K. Rask (1787-1832) considered Dravidian as belonging to the "Scythian" languages referring to Scythians as non-Semitic and non-Indo-European peoples and languages of Eastern Europe and Western Asia sometimes also termed "Hyperborean". The Scythians or Scyths (Σκύθες Σκύθοι were an Iranian speaking people of horse-riding Nomadic pastoralists who dominated the Pontic In Greek mythology, according to tradition the Hyperboreans were a mythical people who lived far to the north of Thrace.
Although in modern times speakers of the various Dravidian languages have mainly occupied the southern portion of India, nothing definite is known about the ancient domain of the Dravidian parent speech. It is, however, a well-established and well-supported hypothesis that Dravidian speakers must have been widespread throughout India, including the northwest region. 
Many linguists, however, tend to favour the theory that speakers of Dravidian languages spread southwards and eastwards through the Indian subcontinent, based on the fact that the southern Dravidian languages show some signs of contact with linguistic groups which the northern Dravidian languages do not. This article deals with the geophysical region in Asia For geopolitical treatments see South Asia. Proto-Dravidian is thought to have differentiated into Proto-North Dravidian, Proto-Central Dravidian, Proto South-Central Dravidian and Proto-South Dravidian around 500 BC, although some linguists have argued that the degree of differentiation between the sub-families points to an earlier split. Proto-Dravidian is the Proto-language of the Dravidian languages.
The existence of the Dravidian language family was first suggested in 1816 by Alexander D. Year 1816 ( MDCCCXVI) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Leap year Campbell in his Grammar of the Teloogoo Language, in which he and Francis W. Ellis argued that Tamil and Telugu were descended from a common, non-Indo-European ancestor. Tamil (ta தமிழ்; t̪əmɨɻ is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. However, it was not until 1856 that Robert Caldwell published his Comparative grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian family of languages, which considerably expanded the Dravidian umbrella and established it as one of the major language groups of the world. Year 1856 ( MDCCCLVI) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year Bishop Robert Caldwell (1814 -1891 was an orientalist who pioneered the study of the Dravidian languages with his work Comparative Grammar of Dravidian Languages Caldwell coined the term "Dravidian" from the Sanskrit drāvida, which was used in a 7th century text to refer to the Tamil language of the south of India. Sanskrit (sa संस्कृता वाक् saṃskṛtā vāk, for short sa संस्कृतम् saṃskṛtam) is a historical Tamil (ta தமிழ்; t̪əmɨɻ is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. The publication of the Dravidian etymological dictionary by T. Burrow and M. B. Emeneau was a landmark event in Dravidian linguistics. Thomas Burrow ( 29 June 1909 - 8 June 1986) was an Indologist and the Boden Professor of Sanskrit at the University Murray Barnson Emeneau ( February 28, 1904 - August 29, 2005) was an Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at the
The languages formally enumerated by linguists (Zvelebil 1990:p xiv, Subrahmanyam 1983) as belonging to the Central Dravidian subfamily are:
Other possible enumerations are:
The languages formally enumerated by Dravidian linguists (Zvelebil 1990:p xiv, Subrahmanyam 1983) as belonging to the North Dravidian subfamily are the three below:
Scholar Franklin C. The Constitution of India envisages Hindi as the primary official language to be used by the Union Government, with English as the subsidiary official language The Dravidian family of languages includes approximately 73 languages (including the four literary languages of Tamil, Telugu, Kannada The Badaga language ( Kannada:ಬಡಗ ಭಾಷೆ is a southern Dravidian language ( Tamil-Kannada branch spoken by approximately 250000 people Kannada (kn [[wiktಕನ್ನಡ ಕನ್ನಡ]] Kannaḍa) is one of the major Dravidian languages of India, spoken predominantly in the state Kodava Takk or Kodava takka, ( Kannada script: ಕೊಡವ ತಕ್ is the original language of the south Karnataka district of Kodagu. Kurubas or Kurumas are Hindus concentrated mainly in the southern states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, India. Not to be confused with the Malay language. Malayalam (മലയാളം malayāḷaṁ) is a Dravidian language used Tamil (ta தமிழ்; t̪əmɨɻ is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. Arwi (لسان الأروي Lisān-ul-Arwī; அரபு-தமிழ் Arabu-Tamil; Arabic-Tamil is an Arabic and Tamil influenced Tamil Muslim refers to Muslims of Tamil ethnicity found in South Asia and South East Asia. The Sri Lankan Moors (also called Muslims, Marakallayos or Sonagar) are the third largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka comprising 9% of the country's Kota is a language of the Dravidian language family, spoken by 1400 native speakers and 2000 total speakers in the Nilgiri hills of Tamil Nadu state Toda is a Dravidian language well known for its many fricatives and trills. Maria is a Dravidian language spoken in India. Classification The 14th ( 2000) edition of Ethnologue classified Gondi (Gōndi is spoken by the Gondi people. It is one of the most important Central Dravidian languages spoken by about two million people chiefly in the states Kui (also Kandh Khondi Khond Khondo Kanda Kodu (Kōdu Kodulu Kuinga (Kūinga Kuy is a South Central Dravidian language spoken by the Khonds. Koya (also Koi Koi Gondi Kavor Koa Koitar Koyato Kaya Koyi Raj Koya is a South Central Dravidian language of the Kui - Gondi subgroup Kolami is a tribal Dravidian language used in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra states of India The Ollari language (also known as Pottangi Ollar Gadaba Ollar Gadaba Ollaro Hallari Allar Hollar Gadbas San Gadaba Gadba Sano Kondekar Kondkor or simply as Gadaba Gadaba language may refer to Austro-Asiatic Gadaba languages Bodo Gadaba language Dravidian Gadaba languages The Ollari language (also known as Pottangi Ollar Gadaba Ollar Gadaba Ollaro Hallari Allar Hollar Gadbas San Gadaba Gadba Sano Kondekar Kondkor or simply as Gadaba The Brahui (Urdu spelling بروہی or Bravi (براوِ Language, spoken by the Brahui, is a Dravidian language mainly spoken in Kurukh ( Devnagri: कुरुख़ also called Kurux, Kuṛux or Kuruḵẖ, is a Dravidian language spoken by the Oraon Southworth writes that the relationship between Brahui and the Dravidian languages is "perhaps" close enough to prove a relationship.
However, according to scholar Edwin Bryant, Brahui, Kurukh and Malto have their own myths about external origins (coming from outside. ) The Oraons (Kurukh) have traditionally claimed to be from the Deccan Peninsula, more specifically, Karnataka. The same tradition has existed of the Brahui.  They call themselves immigrants.  Many scholars hold this same view of the Brahui  such as L. H. Horace Perera and M. Ratnasabapathy.  Mr. Bloch who wrote about the Brahui in 1911, 1925 and 1929 wrote that they were immigrants from far south. 
Some other enumerations are:
The most characteristic features of Dravidian languages are:
Vowels: Proto-Dravidian had ten vowels: a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, e, ē. There was contrast between short and long vowels. There were no diphthongs. ai and au are treated as *ay and *av (or *aw) (Subrahmanyam 1983, Zvelebil 1990, Krishnamurti 2003).
Consonants: Proto-Dravidian is reconstructible with the following consonantal phonemes (Subrahmanyam 1983:p40, Zvelebil 1990, Krishnamurti 2003) :
|Fricative||ḻ (ṛ, r̤)|
Alveolar stop ṯ in many daughter languages developed into an alveolar trill ṟ. It still retains the stop sound in Kota and Toda (Subrahmanyam 1983). Malyalam still retains the original (alveolar) stop sound in gemination. (ibid). In Old Tamil it takes the enunciative vowel like the other stops. In other words, ṯ (or ṟ) does not occur word-finally without the enunciative vowel (ibid).
Velar nasal ṅ occurs only before k in Proto-Dravidian as in many of its daughter languages. Therefore it is not considered a separate phoneme in Proto-Dravidian. However, it attained phonemic status in languages like Malayalam, Gondi, Konda and Pengo due to the simplification of the original sequence *ṅk to ṅ. (Subrahmanyam 1983)
The glottal fricative H has been proposed by Bhadriraju Krishnamurti to account for the Old Tamil Aytam (Āytam) and other Dravidian comparative phonological phenomena (Krishnamurti 2003). Bhadriraju Krishnamurti ( IAST: Bhadrirāju Kṛṣṇamūrti ( June 19, 1928 -) is an eminent Dravidianist and the most respected Indian linguist
Dravidian languages are noted for the lack of distinction between aspirated and unaspirated stops. While some Dravidian languages (especially Malayalam, Kannada and Telugu) have accepted large numbers of loan words from Sanskrit and other Indo-European languages in addition to their already vast vocabulary, in which the orthography shows distinctions in voice and aspiration, the words are pronounced in Dravidian according to different rules of phonology and phonotactics: voicing is allophonic and aspiration of plosives is generally absent, regardless of the spelling of the word. Sanskrit (sa संस्कृता वाक् saṃskṛtā vāk, for short sa संस्कृतम् saṃskṛtam) is a historical Description Voiceless consonants are produced with the Vocal cords open and voiced consonants are produced when the vocal folds are fractionally closed In Phonetics, an allophone is one of several similar speech sounds ( Phones that belong to the same Phoneme. This is not a universal phenomenon and is generally avoided in formal or careful speech, especially when reciting.
For instance, Tamil, like Finnish, Korean, Ainu, and most indigenous Australian languages, does not distinguish between voiced and unvoiced stops. Finnish ( or suomen kieli) is the language spoken by the majority of the population in Finland (92% As of 2006) and by ethnic Finns outside This article is mainly about the spoken Korean language See Hangul for details on the native Korean writing system The Ainu language (Ainu ain アイヌ イタク aynu itak; Japanese: ja アイヌ語 ainu-go) is spoken by the Ainu In fact, the Tamil alphabet lacks symbols for voiced and aspirated stops. The
Dravidian languages are also characterized by a three-way distinction between dental, alveolar, and retroflex places of articulation as well as large numbers of liquids. In Linguistics, a dental consonant or dental is a Consonant that is articulated with the tongue against the upper teeth such as /t/ /d/ /n/ and Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior Alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets In Phonetics, retroflex consonants are Consonant sounds used in some Languages (They are sometimes referred to as cerebral consonants Liquid consonants, or liquids, are Approximant Consonants that are not classified as Semivowels (glides because they do not correspond phonetically
A substantial number of words also begin and end with vowels, which helps the languages' agglutinative property.
karanu (cry), elumbu (bone), adu (that), awade (there), idu (this), illai (no, absent)
adu-idil-illai (adu = that, idu = this, il= suffix form of "in", so => that-this-in-absent => that-in this-absent => that is absent in this)
The numerals from 1 to 10 in various Dravidian languages.
|4||nālu, nālku, nānku||nālugu||nālku||nālu||nālu||nākh||nāliŋ||čār (II)||*nāl|
|5||aintu||ayidu||aidu||ainu||añcu||pancē (II)||ayd 3||panč (II)||*cayN|
|6||āru||āru||āru||āji||āru||soyyē (II)||ār 3||šaš (II)||*caru|
|7||ēẓu||ēḍu||ēlu||ēlu||ēẓu||sattē (II)||ēḍ 3||haft (II)||*eẓu|
|8||eṭṭu||enimidi||eṇṭu||ēṇma||eṭṭu||aṭṭhē (II)||enumadī 3||hašt (II)||*eṭṭu|
|9||onpatu||tommidi||ombattu||ormba||onpatu||naiṃyē (II)||tomdī 3||nōh (II)||*toḷ|
|10||pattu||padi||hattu||pattu||pattu||dassē (II)||padī 3||dah (II)||*pat(tu)|
The Dravidian language family has been considered remarkably stable. Some aspects of its stability are:
Dravidian and Sanskrit have influenced each other in various ways. The presence in Vedic Sanskrit of a number of phonetic morphological and Syntactical features alien to other Indo-European languages but common to the Some earlier views in this interrelationship tended to view it as one-way from Sanskrit to Dravidian as evidenced in the following statements: "While the origins and initial development of Dravidian languages was independent of Sanskrit, during later centuries, however, Dravidian languages like Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu have been greatly influenced by Sanskrit in terms of vocabulary, grammar and literary styles. Kannada (kn [[wiktಕನ್ನಡ ಕನ್ನಡ]] Kannaḍa) is one of the major Dravidian languages of India, spoken predominantly in the state Not to be confused with the Malay language. Malayalam (മലയാളം malayāḷaṁ) is a Dravidian language used Tamil (ta தமிழ்; t̪əmɨɻ is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. Sanskrit (sa संस्कृता वाक् saṃskṛtā vāk, for short sa संस्कृतम् saṃskṛtam) is a historical "
The above views must be considered in the light of the well-known Indologist and linguist (Zvelebil 1975: pp50-51): ". . . the period of the high water mark of Tamil classical literature was one in which the two great Sanskrit epics were already completed, but the Sanskrit classical poetry was barely emerging with Aśvaghoṣa. " More importantly he continues: "No stylistic feature or convention could have been borrowed by the Tamils (though of course there are borrowings of purāṇic stories" (emphasis added). Zvelebil remarks:"Though the dominance of Sanskrit was exaggerated in some Brahmanic circles of Tamilnadu, and Tamil was given unduly underestimated by a few Sanskrit-oriented scholars, the Tamil and Sanskrit cultures were not generally in rivalry".
However more recent research has shown that Sanskrit has been influenced in certain more fundamental ways than Dravidian languages have been by it: It is by way of phonology and even more significantly here via grammatical constructs. This has been the case from the earliest language available (ca. 1200 B. C. ) of Sanskrit: the Ṛg Vedic speech.
The Ṛg Vedic language has retroflex consonants even though it is well known that the Indo European family and the Indo-Iranian subfamily to which Sanskrit belongs lack retroflex consonants (ṭ/ḍ, ṇ) with about 88 words in the Ṛg Veda having unconditioned retroflexes (Kuiper 1991, Witzel 1999). Some sample words are: (Iṭanta, Kaṇva,śakaṭī, kevaṭa, puṇya, maṇḍūka) This is cited as a serious evidence of substrate influence from close contact of the Vedic speakers with speakers of a foreign language family rich in retroflex phonemes (Kuiper 1991, Witzel 1999). Obviously the Dravidian family would be a serious candidate here (ibid as well as Krishnamurti 2003: p36) since it is rich in retroflex phonemes reconstructible back to the Proto-Dravidian stage[See Subrahmanyam 1983:p40, Zvelebil 1990, Krishnamurti 2003].
A more serious influence on Vedic Sanskrit is the extensive grammatical influence attested by the usage of the quotative marker iti and the occurrence of gerunds of verbs, a grammatical feature not found even in the Avestan language, a sister language of the Vedic Sanskrit. As Krishnamurti states: "Besides, the Ṛg Veda has used the gerund, not found in Avestan, with the same grammatical function as in Dravidian, as a non-finite verb for 'incomplete' action. Ṛg Vedic language also attests the use of iti as a quotative clause complementizer. All these features are not a consequence of simple borrowing but they indicate substratum influence (Kuiper 1991: ch 2)".
The Brahui population of Balochistan has been taken by some as the linguistic equivalent of a relict population, perhaps indicating that Dravidian languages were formerly much more widespread and were supplanted by the incoming Indo-Aryan languages. The term relict is used to refer to surviving remnants of natural phenomena In Biology a population is the collection of inter-breeding organisms of a particular Species; in Sociology 
Thomason & Kaufman (1988) state that there is strong evidence that Dravidian influenced Indic through "shift", that is, native Dravidian speakers learning and adopting Indic languages. The Dravidian family of languages includes approximately 73 languages (including the four literary languages of Tamil, Telugu, Kannada Elst (1999) claims that the presence of the Brahui language, similarities between Elamite and Harappan script as well as similarities between Indo-Aryan and Dravidian indicate that these languages may have interacted prior to the spread of Indo-Aryans southwards and the resultant intermixing of languages. The Brahui (Urdu spelling بروہی or Bravi (براوِ Language, spoken by the Brahui, is a Dravidian language mainly spoken in Erdosy (1995:18) states that the most plausible explanation for the presence of Dravidian structural features in Old Indo-Aryan is that the majority of early Old Indo-Aryan speakers had a Dravidian mother tongue which they gradually abandoned. The Dravidian family of languages includes approximately 73 languages (including the four literary languages of Tamil, Telugu, Kannada Even though the innovative traits in Indic could be explained by multiple internal explanations, early Dravidian influence is the only explanation that can account for all of the innovations at once – it becomes a question of explanatory parsimony; moreover, early Dravidian influence accounts for the several of the innovative traits in Indic better than any internal explanation that has been proposed. Occam's razor (sometimes spelled Ockham's razor) is a principle attributed to the 14th-century English Logician and Franciscan Friar, 
The noted Indologist Zvelebil remarks : "Several scholars have demonstrated that pre-Indo-Aryan and pre-Dravidian bilingualism in India provided conditions for the far-reaching influence of Dravidian on the Indo-Aryan tongues in the spheres of phonology (e. g. , the retroflex consonants, made with the tongue curled upward toward the palate), syntax (e. g. , the frequent use of gerunds, which are nonfinite verb forms of nominal character, as in “by the falling of the rain”), and vocabulary (a number of Dravidian loanwords apparently appearing in the Rigveda itself)"