Sourashtra Language

February 22, 2009 | General

The Sourashtra Community has its own language and script. The Sourastra script looks very much like Tamil script, although you can also find an infusion of Telegu and Devanagiri alphabets in it. It is closely related to the Gurato language also. This script began development towards the latter part of the 19th century.

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Sourashtra Community members living in the Indian States of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu (mainly in cities Madurai and Salem), speak this language and use its script. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan group of languages.

In Hindi ‘Sou’ means 100 and ‘Rashtra’ means region. Put together they mean a province of 100 regions. Linguists today have been able to trace the origins of the Sourashtra language to the language spoken by the people of Sourashtra, though the script that is spoken and written there today is mostly Gujarati, while the Sourashtra script is more of Marathi, Konkani, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. This difference is because both Gujarati and Sourashtra has a common parent language, but in course of time the Sourashtra language diversified and imbibed the elements that we see in it today. It is also felt that the vocabulary and grammar of this language is mainly from Sanskrit.

There are some very noted features of this script. First is the syllabic alphabet, which includes all consonants infused with a vowel. The vowel can be changed through the use of diacritics, place before, below or above the consonant. The second most noted characteristic is that vowel appearing in the beginning of a syllable are written out as independent letters.

As of today, this language is not taught in schools and is just spoken by members of the community. There are various dialects for this language each of which are used by Sourashtrians living in their respective areas. This lends an even more unique feature to this ancient language.

Comments (101)

 

  1. Balaji says:

    super.. i like very much.. i pray and lot of thanks to “NADANA GOPALA NAYAKI”

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Sourashtra or “Sourashtras” refer to a community of people who originated from Gujarat and now settled in different parts of Tamilnadu.They are also called as Palkars or in Tamil as Pattunulkarars which refers to the silk thread workers.

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