Linguistic Survey of India - Tamil Nadu
13 July 2023
The Linguistic Survey of India (LSI) is an ongoing project of the Government of India that aims to document and study how languages have changed in the country over the years. It considers shifts in society, administrative regions and the reorganisation of states based on linguistic identity. This project has been undertaken by the Language Division, Office of the Registrar General, Government of India. Part of this project is the Linguistic Survey of India – Tamil Nadu which studies twelve languages spoken in Tamil Nadu. The survey was carried out between December 2021 and January 2022. The survey works on the census framework according to which ‘language’ and ‘mother tongue’ are ‘co-terminus’ or mean the same. The volume lists Tamil as the official language of the state and Badaga, Chettibhasha, Irula/Iruliga, Kathodi, Kota, Maliyad, Pania, Toda, Solaga, Urali and Saurashtra/Saurashtri as the mother tongues. The selection of these languages is based on regional importance, number of speakers and the locations where the survey was conducted. The present-day LSI is an extension of the survey first proposed by George Abraham Grierson, an Irish linguist who documented Indian languages during the pre-Independence era. This project ‘supplements and complements’ Grierson’s work conducted back when the state was known as Madras Presidency and covered a considerable portion of southern India. This is divided into four main chapters: Introduction (Chapter 1); Dravidian Family (Chapter 2); Indo Aryan Family (Chapter 3); and Comparative Lexicon (Chapter 4). The first chapter introduces the state, its linguistic history and composition, the administrative system, the geography, rural-urban breakup, district wise population, and status of multilingualism...