200,000 (2003 E. Udayakumar).
Tamil Nadu, Nilgiri, Coimbatore, Periyar districts; Karnataka; Kerala, Palakkad district, Attapady and Walayar panchayats; Andhra Pradesh.
Mele Nadu Irula (Malanadu, Southern Irula), Northern Irula (Kasaba, Kasava, Kasuba), Vette Kada Irula (Irula Pallar, Vettakada), Irula Urali, Attapady Irula, Walayar Irula (Urali Irula). Dialects: Vette Kada 73% intelligibility of Mele Nadu; Northern Irula 83% of Mele Nadu; no intelligibility of Tamil [tam] (1993 Irula survey); Vette Kada 94% of Attapady; Walayar 84% of Attapady. (2004 Palakkad survey). Lexical similarity: 78%–86% between Mele Nadu dialect varieties, 67%–70% with Northern Irula, 64%–66% with Vette Kada, 47%–50% with Tamil [tam]. Attapady has 73%–75% with Mele Nadu and 85%–89% with Vette Kada. Walayar has 74%–79% with Attapady, 76% with Vette Kada, and 69% with Mele Nadu.
SOV; postpositions; nontonal.