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       The languages of the Central Dravidian group are: Telugu, Goni, Kona (Ku:bi), Pengo, Mana, Kui, Kuvi, Kolami (Naiki dialect), Naiki (Chanda), Parji and Gadba (Ollari and Salur dialects) (to this list zvelebil (1970 : 13) added Savara (next to Telugu), Pottangi dialect of Gadba and various dialects of Gondi such as, Dorli, Koya, Maria, Murai and the Gondi spoken by Raj Gonds.
       Earlier Telugu was regarded as belonging to both SDr. as well as CDr. showing some features in common with SDr. as a whole or in part and others in common with CDr. Krishnamurti (1961 : 236-74) established that Telugu, long thought to be a SDr. language was actually a Central Dravidian language with stong affinities to the Kuli-Kuvi-Kona sub-group but which had had close geographic contact with SDr. languages for a long time. Kolami, Naiki, Parji-Gadba as constituting a subgroup was first indicated by Burrow and Bhattacharya (1953: xi) and the full evidence was presented by Emeneau (1955 : Ch.X). Burrow and Bhattacharya also indicated that “there are also many signs of special connection between Gondi-Kona and Kui-Kuvi”. Subrahmanyam (1969 : 125) demonstrated that a study of the noun plural suffixes in the CDr. languages clearly brings out the fact that Gondi, Kona, Kui and Kuvi (also Pengo and Mana) on the one hand and Kolami, Naiki, Parji and Gadba on the other are very intimately-related, although Telugu in this matter deviates not only from these languages but also the rest of the Dravidian languages. The latter (ibid.) made an elaborate discussion about all the important characteristic features of the languages that belong to the CDr. sub-group. The following are the characteristic features of the CDr. languages:
(1) Gender distinction (in all CDr. languages excepting Telugu) is masc. versus non-masc. (i.e., feminine and neuter) in both singular and plural. Telugu retains the proto system in showing the contrast of masculine versus non-masculine in the singular but human versus non-human in plural. While in the other CDr. languages feminine was grouped with the neuter in the plural also on the analogy of the constrast in the singular;
(2) Female kinship term with *-a:;
(3) Obligatory use of neuter plural;
(4) PDr. *ya- > a-;
(5) Loss of *n- in the second person pronouns;
(6) Past adverb with *-ci; and
(7) All the CDr. languages excepting Telugu and Gondi contain a morphological construction to express the past negative.
       The languages of the North Dravidian sub-group are Kurukh, Malto and Brahui. Emeneau (1962 : Ch. 5) proposed that Brahui and Kurukh and Malto are probably a sub-family due to certain phonological isoglosses and some common retentions and shared innovations but he states that additional evidence is needed to show conclusively that Brahui is closer to Kurukh-Malto than to some other Dravidian language or whether some other kind of branching is to be proposed. The characteristic features of this sub-group are:
(1) Kurukh-Malto have no neuter plural marker while Brahui has;
(2) Brahui preserved the negative tense while Kurukh-Malto lost it;
(3) Kurukh-Malto retained the inclusive-exclusive distinction (even in finite verbs) while Brahui lost it;
(4) Brahue is characterised by the loss of the gender distinction; and
(5) Kurukh-Malto has separate female speech forms in finite verbs.
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