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A little-known ‘Kannada’ dialect on the wane

B.A. Samvartha

MANGALORE: The people living in the area from Brahmavara in the south to Shiroor in the north, and from Arabian Sea to Shankarnarayana and Siddapura in the east, use a typical language which is just known as Kota-Kundapura Kannada.

The people outside this area know little about this dialect and many Kannada-speaking people themselves may find it difficult to follow this language.

Vaidehi, a novelist, who hails from Kundapur but resides in Manipal, uses this dialect in her works.

“This dialect has two styles. The one is spoken by caste Brahmins and the other by non-Brahmins,” Ms. Vaidehi says in an essay. This dialect, she said, is now undergoing a lot of change with English words replacing the original ones.

Ms. Vaidehi regrets that the new generation is not speaking the dialect in its native land. “They are exposed to other languages due to increased mobility,” she says.

But, to G. Rajshekhar, a thinker, the vanishing of a particular way of life style and livelihood has made the people to discard some of the words. “Pounding of paddy is not done these days at home or pounding of beaten rice. Hence, words related to such activities are no longer used,” he said and added that it was the same case with the food habits. Certain foods that were intertwined with the culture of the soil were no longer consumed by the people. Hence the words related to that were out of context now.

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