Authored by: P.S. Subrahmanyam

The Dravidian Languages

Print publication date:  December  1997
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415100236
eBook ISBN: 9780203424353
Adobe ISBN: 9781136911644


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Kolami is spoken by 80,000 people who live near Wardha and Kinwat in Maharashtra and in the Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh (1981 Census). The language comprises three dialects: Adilabad (A), Naik?i (N) and Wardha (W). The speakers call themselves k?lavar (W)/kolavar (A) ‘Kolam’ and their language k?lav p?na (W)/kolava go??i (A) ‘Kolami’. Most Kolams also speak Marathi, a fact that has naturally influenced the structure of Kolami. While Grierson (1906: 561–5) first recognised Kolami as a distinct Dravidian language, others had noted its distinctiveness earlier. As a Central Dravidian language, Kolami is most closely related to Gadaba, Naiki of Chanda and Parji.

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