Saurashtra

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A language of India

Alternate Names
Palkar, Patnuli, Saurashtri, Sourashtra, Sowrashtra
Population

185,000 (2001 census). Each listed district has communities of at least 5,000.

Location

Tamil Nadu, Madurai, Thanjavur, Dindugul Quaid-E. Milleth, Ramanathapuram, Chengai-Annai, Salem, Tiruchchirappalli, Tirunelveli, and North Arcot districts; Chennai, Deccan, Madurai, Thanjavur, and Salem cities; Karnataka; Andhra Pradesh.

Language Maps
Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Northern Saurashtra, Southern Saurashtra. Indo-Aryan elements reveal Gujarati [guj] relationship; some structure from Dravidian, lexicon from Telugu [tel] and Tamil [tam]. An Indo-European island surrounded by Dravidian languages. The 3 main populations in Salem, Thanjavur, and Madurai cities had between 67% and 97% inherent intelligibility among themselves. Lexical similarity: 77%–96% between all varieties. The 3 main populations: 84%–96%. Southern dialects have 83% or higher lexical similarity with Thanjavur variety.

Language Use

Vigorous. Home, prayer. Also use Tamil [tam].

Language Development
Radio programs. Dictionary. NT: 2001.
Writing

Devanagari script [Deva]. Saurashtra script [Saur], a modern version developed in the late 1800s, used for centuries. Tamil script [Taml], primary usage. Telugu script [Telu].

Other Comments

Most are weavers; nonweavers are generally better educated. System of exogamous clans. Hindu.