A language of India

Alternate Names

3,370 (1991 census).


Kerala, Palakkad district, Mannarkad Taluk, Attapady block, Chundakki, Thazhachundakki, Veeranuru, Karuvare, Ommale, Kallamale, Kottamale, Chitturu, Chandakulam, Koravanpady, Ummathupadiga, Molakambi, Thekkumpanna, Abbannuru, Kottiyuru, Pettikkallu, Kakkuppady, and Mukkali hamlets; Tamil Nadu, Nilgiris, and Coimbatore.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Also influenced by Kannada [kan] and Tulu [tcy]. Has grammatical similarities with Tamil [tam], but cannot be treated as a dialect. It is distinct in the Dravidian family (Menon 1996:274 citing Rajendran). No dialects determined on survey. Lexical similarity: 55%–57% with Malayalam [mal], 59% with Muthuvan [muv], 60% with Tamil [tam], 75% with the Attapady dialect of Irula [iru], 82%–83% with Attapady Kurumba [pkr].

Language Use

Vigorous, children learn it first. Home, village, religion. All ages. Positive attitudes. Education plays major role in determining bilingualism levels, but even some higher educated Muduga are not adequately bilingual in Malayalam [mal]. Used as L2 by Attapady Kurumba [pkr], Kannada Kurumba [kfi].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 25% (31% men and 17% women) (1991 census). One of the least literate communities in Kerala, but 73% of survey respondents claim to be literate in Malayalam [mal].
Other Comments

National census population figures combine Muduga of Attapady with Muthuvan, who, despite the similarity of the spelling of their ethnonym, are entirely different and separated by geographic and cultural distance (Menon 1996). Traditional religion, Hindu.