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       The languages of the Dravidian family are divided into three major sub-groups, namely, South Dravidain, Central Dravidian and North Dravidian languages. The following discussion about these language groups and sub-grouping and the cmparative study of nouns and verbs are based mainly on Subrahnmanyam (1969 and 1971).
       The languages of the South Dravidian sub-group are Tamil, Malayalam, koa, Toa, Koagu, Kannaa and Tuu (to this list Zvelebil languages, the unity Baaga (1970 : 13). Of these languages, the unity of Tamil, Malayam, Koagu, Kota, Toa and Kannaa has been recognised long since. About the position of Tuu there were differing view points. Krishnamurti (1961 : 272) stated that ‘there seems to be considerable justificaion for considering Tuu as an important off0shoot of Proto-Central Dravidian”. Emeneau (1967 : 365) while admitting that the position of Tuu can be determined only after the availability of good evidence on the language and its dialects, accepts the “generally held opinion” that Tuu is not a South Dravidian language and added that the formation of the past tense in it bears this out. Subrahmanyam (1968a) concluded that Tuu is a member of the South Dravidain sub-group and that the differences between it and the rest of the South Dravidian languages are largely due to the fact that it first branches off from Proto-South Dravidian.
       The inter-relationships of these languages are discussed in detial by many scholars. Caldwell (1956), Emeneau (1957, 1962, 1967a, 1967b), Krishnamurti (1961), Zvelebil (1970), Subrahmanyam (1971).
       The following are a few importan characteristic features of the South Dravidian languages:
(1) Loss of initial *C- (Telugu also shows this change. Since Telugu shares numerous isoglosses with the other Central Dravidian languages and it is by now clear that it belongs to the Central Dravidian belongs to Central Dravidian sub-group, the similarity between Telugu and South Dravidian in this respect muct be interpreted as due to areal convergence);
(2) Operation of i/e and u/o alternation;
(3) Creation of the feminine category;
(4) Change of PDr. *ya > e:;
(5) Structure of the past stem;
(6) Widespread use of the -*pp non-past;
(7) Optional nature of the neuter plural;
(8) Retention of PDr. * and *; and
(9) Among the lexical items more than two hundred items are found exclusively only in SDr.
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