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Sourashtra Language

Sourashtra or Sorathi is one of the Indo-Aryan languages, akin to Gujarati. The language is spoken in parts of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, especially in Salem, Thanjavur, Kumbakonam and Madurai. The alphabets of this language are very similar to Tamil alphabets. However, the language is also written in Devanagari and Telugu scripts. Though the origin of the language is uncertain, scholars believe that it was originally spoken by people living in southern Gujarat and that it is a pre-Gujarati language. In fact, this language preserves many archaic features of Gujarati and at the same time shows influence of Konkani and Marathi. There are several theories as to how the language was brought to South India. The most popular one being that during the reign of the Vijayanagar Empire, weaver families from Sourashtra or southern Gujarat were brought to Madurai and many of these families settled down here. These families spoke the Sorathi language. Later, they spread around to other surrounding areas.

Updated on 7th June, 2005

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