A language of India

Alternate Names

1,960 (2004 survey), decreasing.


Kerala state: Thrissur district; Palakkad district, Chittoor sub-district; Tamil Nadu state: Coimbatore district.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened).


None known. Phonology related to Tamil [tam] and vocabulary related to Malayalam [mal] (Menon 1996). Lexical similarity: 56%–62% with Tamil [tam], 62%–65% with Malayalam [mal], 67% with Mala Malasar [ima], 61%–63 % with Kanikkaran [kev].

Language Use

Some language shift to Malayalam [mal] observed in Kerala. Home, village, religious services. Some young people, all adults. Also use Malayalam [mal], Tamil [tam].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 51% in Kerala, 56% in Tamil Nadu (2001 census).


Unwritten [Qaax].

Other Comments

3 groups named Kadar in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The Kadar who use the Kadar language live primarily Palakkad and Thrissur hills, and Coimbatore. A second group lives in Wayanad District and use Malayalam [mal]. A third Kadar (Kadir) group is in Tamil Nadu, Triuchirapalli and Tanjavur districts. They have nothing in common with Western Ghats Kadar. Seen as less developed than other tribes of Chittoor. Hindu, traditional religion.

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