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KANNADA GRAMMAR

 

We often talk of using a language in its correct form. In order to use a language in its correct form it’s very much essential that you know the grammar of that language. The grammar of a language can be derived on various theoretical principles and linguistic models that have already been accepted in that language. However we can obtain a proximate reality by historical reconstruction and the resulting comparison with cognate languages.                                                                               

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Since Kannada has been heavily under Sanskrit influence Kannada grammar too is more or less similar to Sanskrit grammar. Kavirajamarga of 850 AD can be considered as the first book on Kannada grammar, the name of the book literally means ‘the main road for a poet’. This has laid down many principles to be followed by a poet in creating his works. There is a reference of earlier Sanskrit works of Kalidasa, BanaBhatta and also a call for contemporary writers to emulate the high standards set by those works. Kavyavalokana and Karnatabhashabhushana by Nagavarma (12th century AD) is also a notable work on Kannada grammar. Kannada grammar is primarily based on Shabdamanidarpana (1260AD) by Keshiraja.

 

Kannada has got 50 letters in its alphabet (Varnamale), 16 vowels (Swara) and 34 consonants (Vyanjana). Syllables (Kaagunita) are formed by combining vowel sounds with the consonants. There are 8 parts of speech; (1) Noun (Naamapada), (2) Pronoun (Sarvanaama), (3) Adjective (Naamavisheshana), (4) Verb (Kriyapada), (5) Adverb (Kriyavisheshana), (6) Preposition (Sambandha suchaka) (7) Conjunction (Samuchhaya suchaka) and (8) Interjection (Avadharana suchaka).

Shabdamanidarpana describes 9 different forms of genders (Linga) but in modern Kannada there are three genders namely, (1) Masculine gender (Pullinga), (2) Feminine gender (Strilinga) and (3) Neuter gender (Napumsakalinga).Numbers (Vachana) are 2, (1) Singular (Ekavachana) and (2) Plural (Bahuvachana). There are 8 different case endings (Vibhakti-Pratyaya) commonly in use. Tenses are three, namely (1) Present Tense (Vartamanakala) (2) Past Tense (Bhutakala) and Future Tense (Bhavishyatkala). The word (Pada) is a set of letters (Akshara) which has a meaning and in turn a sentence (Vakya) is a group of words arranged in a sequence to get a proper meaning or that make sense. The sentence has in turn a subject (Kartru), a predicate (Kriya) and an object (Karmani) in general. The articles are of two types (1) Definite and (2) Indefinite articles.

 

There is a general debate that due to Sanskrit influence and too much adherence to Sanskrit hegemony in its earlier days Kannada has blindly adapted some grammatical features that are not its own. Certain features are derived without any rationality. This intentional emulation from Sanskrit for sometime had led to a belief that Kannada must have been derived from Sanskrit. There is an argument to reconstruct the grammar of Kannada at various levels such as phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics on its Dravidian lineage. It is opined that reconstruction has to be based on modern models relinquishing the redundant patterns derived from Sanskrit. This is inevitably a question of political as well as social will!  For Kannada translation by native translator contact www.indianscripts.com 

 

 

 

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