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Telugu language :

Telugu (తెలుగు) is a Dravidian language mostly spoken by the people of Andhra Pradesh, one of the states in India. It is the mother tongue of Andhra Pradesh. It is also spoken in the state of Tamil Nadu where it holds a secondary language status, as well as in the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra and Jharkhand. It is the 12th largest spoken language in the world. Including non-native speakers, it is the most spoken Dravidian language and the third most spoken language in India. It was conferred the status of a Classical language by the Government of India.

It is one of the twenty-two official languages of the Republic of India. It is widely spoken in Andhra Pradesh and also spoken in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Orissa, and Puducherry, with major populations in Bengaluru and Chennai (Complete List); the dialects spoken in these places vary greatly from the standard version of the language. It is also spoken among a diaspora population in the USA, Malaysia, Mauritius, South Africa, Ireland, Fiji, Réunion, Trinidad and the UK among other countries around the world.

Contents :

History :

Origins

Telugu originated from a hypothesized Proto-Dravidian language. Although Telugu belongs to the South-Central Dravidiany venerable Midikilayakha".

Etymology

The etymology of Telugu is not known for certain. It is explained as being derived from trilinga, as in Trilinga Desa, "the country of the three lingas". According to a Hindu legend, Trilinga Desa is the land in between three Shiva temples namely Kaleshwaram, Srisailam and Draksharamam. Trilinga Desa forms the traditional boundaries of the Telugu region.The people who lived in these regions were also referred to as Telaga Caste seems to have been derived from Trilinga Desam. Other forms of the word, such as Telunga, Telinga, Telangana and Tenunga were also seen. It is also said that Trilinga, in the form "Triliggon" occurs in Ptolemy as the name of a locality to the east of the Ganga river. Other scholars compare Trilinga with other local names mentioned by Pliny, such as Bolingae, Maccocalingae, and Modogalingam. The latter name is given as that of an island in the Ganges. A.D. Campbell, in the introduction to his Telugu grammar, suggested that Modogalingam may be explained as a Telugu translation of Trilingam, and compared the first part of the word modoga, with mUDuga, a poetical form for Telugu mUDu, three. Bishop Caldwell, on the other hand, explained Modogalingam as representing a Telugu mUDugalingam, the three Kalingas, a local name which occurs in Sanskrit inscriptions and one of the Puranas. Kalinga occurs in the Ashoka Inscriptions, and in the form Kling, it has become, in the Malay country, the common word for the people of Continental India.

According to K.L. Ranjanam, the word is derived from talaing, who were chiefs who conquered the Andhra region. M.R. Shastri is of the opinion that it is from telunga, an amalgamation of the Gondi words telu, meaning "white", and the pluralization -unga, probably referring to white or fair-skinned people. According to G.J. Somayaji, ten- refers to "south" in Proto-Dravidian, and the word could be derived from tenungu meaning "people of the South".[citation needed]

The ancient name for Telugu land seems to be telinga/telanga desa. It seems probable that the base of this word is teli, and that -nga, or gu is the common Dravidian formative element. A base teli occurs in Telugu (teli meaning "bright" and teliyuTa meaning "to perceive"). However, this etymology is contested. Telugu pandits commonly state Tenugu to be the proper form of the word, and explain this as the ‘mellifluous language’ from tene or honey. However, this claim does not appear to be supported by scholarly opinion. The renunciation[clarification needed] of the name of the language; 'Telugu' is a British legacy that still clings on in the print media. In fact, many of the the 'Thelugu' words referred below in this article have to be rewritten to differentiate between 't' and 'th', and similarly 'd' and 'dh' sounds; otherwise some words mean either funny stuff, or a completely different meaning than what an intended word represents, or offensive.

Stages

It is possible to broadly define four stages in the linguistic history of the Telugu language:

400 BC – 500 AD

Inscriptions containing Telugu words dated back to 400 BC were discovered in Bhattiprolu in Guntur district. English translation of one inscription reads: “Gift of the slab by venerable Midikilayakha.. The discovery of a Brahmi label inscription reading Thambhaya Dhaanam is engraved on the soapstone reliquary datable to 2nd century BC on Paleographical ground proves the fact that Telugu language predates the known conception in Andhra Pradesh. Primary sources are Prakrit/Sanskrit inscriptions found in the region, in which Telugu places and personal names are found. From this we know that the language of the people was Telugu, while the rulers, who were of the Satavahana dynasty, spoke Prakrit. Telugu words appear in the Maharashtri Prakrit anthology of poems (the Gathasaptashathi) collected by the first century BC Satavahana King Hala. Telugu speakers were probably the oldest peoples inhabiting the land between the Krishna and Godavari rivers.

500 AD – 1100 AD

The first inscription that is entirely in Telugu corresponds to the second phase of Telugu history. This inscription dated 575 AD was found in the Kadapa and Kurnool district region and is attributed to the Renati Cholas. They broke with the prevailing fashion of using Sanskrit and introduced the tradition of writing royal proclamations in the local language. During the next fifty years, Telugu inscriptions appeared in the neighboring Anantapuram and all the surrounding regions. The first available Telugu inscription in the coastal Andhra Pradesh comes from about 633 CE. Around the same time, the Chalukya kings of Telangana also started using Telugu for inscriptions.[citation needed] Telugu was most exposed to the influence of Sanskrit, as opposed to Prakrit, during this period. This period mainly corresponded to the advent of literature in Telugu. This literature was initially found in inscriptions and poetry in the courts of the rulers, and later in written works such as Nannayya's Mahabharatam (1022 AD). During the time of Nannayya, the literary language diverged from the popular language. This was also a period of phonetic changes in the spoken language.

1100 AD – 1400 AD

The third phase is marked by further stylization and sophistication of the literary language. Ketana (thirteenth century) in fact prohibited the use of spoken words in poetic works. This period also saw the beginning of Muslim rule in the Telangana region.

During this period the separation of Telugu script from the common Telugu-Kannada script took place.[10] Tikkana wrote his works in this script.[citation needed]

1400 AD – 1900 AD

During the fourth phase, Telugu underwent a great deal of change (as did other Indian languages), progressing from medieval to modern. The language of the Telangana region started to split into a distinct dialect due to Muslim influence: Sultanate rule under the Tughlaq dynasty had been established earlier in the northern Deccan during the fourteenth century. South of the Godavari river (Rayalaseema region), however, the Vijayanagara empire gained dominance from 1336 till the late 1600s, reaching its peak during the rule of Krishnadevaraya in the sixteenth century, when Telugu literature experienced what is considered to be its golden age. Padakavithapithamaha, Annamayya, contributed many atcha (pristine) Telugu Padaalu to this great language. In the latter half of the seventeenth century, Muslim rule extended further south, culminating in the establishment of the princely state of Hyderabad by the Asaf Jah dynasty in 1724. This heralded an era of Persian/Arabic influence on the Telugu language, especially among the people of Hyderabad. The effect is also felt in the prose of the early 19th century, as in the Kaifiyats.

1900 AD to date

The period of the late nineteenth and the early twentieth centuries saw the influence of the English language and modern communication/printing press as an effect of the British rule, especially in the areas that were part of the Madras Presidency. Literature from this time had a mix of classical and modern traditions and included works by scholars like Kandukuri Viresalingam and Panuganti Lakshminarasimha Rao.

Since the 1930s, what was considered an elite literary form of the Telugu language has now spread to the common people with the introduction of mass media like movies, television, radio and newspapers. This form of the language is also taught in schools as a standard. In the current decade the Telugu language, like other Indian languages, has undergone globalization due to the increasing settlement of Telugu-speaking people abroad. Modern Telugu movies, although still retaining their dramatic quality, are linguistically separate from post-Independence films.

At present, a committee of scholars have approved a classical language tag for Telugu based on its antiquity. The Indian government has also officially designated it as a classical language.

Geographic distribution

Telugu is mainly spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district of Pondicherry as well as in the neighboring states of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa,Chhattisgarh, some parts of Jharkhand and the Kharagpur region of West Bengal in India. It is also spoken in Australia, New Zealand, Bahrain, Canada, Fiji, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Ireland,South Africa, the United Arab Emirates,the United States and the United Kingdom where there is a considerable Telugu diaspora. Telugu is the third most spoken language in the Indian subcontinent after Hindi and Bengali.

Telugu As Official Language - Vinukonda History

Telugu was made the official language by the Vishnukundina kings who ruled from their capital Vinukonda.

Official status - After Independence

Telugu is one of the 22 official languages of India. It was declared the official language of Andhra Pradesh when the state was formed in October 1953 on linguistic basis.

Telugu also has official language status in the Yanam District of the Union Territory of Pondicherry.

Dialects

Waddar, Chenchu, Savara, and Manna-Dora are all closely related to Telugu. Dialects of Telugu are Berad, Dasari, Dommara, Golari, Kamathi, Komtao, Konda-Reddi, Salewari, Telangana, Telugu, Vijayawada, Vadaga, Srikakula, Visakhapatnam, Toorpu (East) Godavari, Paschima (West) Godavari, Kandula, Rayalaseema, Nellooru, Prakasam, Guntooru, Tirupati, Vadari and Yanadi (Yenadi).

In Tamil Nadu the Telugu dialect is classified into Salem, Coimbatore, and Chennai Telugu dialects. It is also widely spoken in Virudhunagar, Tuticorin, Madurai and Thanjavur districts. Along with the most standard forms of Indian languages like Tamil, Kannada, Hindi, Bangla, Gujarati,Oriya and Marathi, Standard Telugu is often called a Shuddha Bhaasha ("pure language").

Sounds

Nineteenth-century Englishmen called Telugu the Italian of the East as all native words in Telugu end with a vowel sound, but it is believed that Italian explorer Niccolò Da Conti coined the phrase in the fifteenth century. Conti visited Vijayanagara empire during the reign of Vira Vijaya Bukka Raya in 1520s.

Achchulu అచ్చులు (vowels)

Like other major Dravidian languages, the Telugu vowel set adds short /e/ and /o/ in addition to the long /eː/ and /oː/ of the Indo-Aryan languages.

అం అః
/a/ /ɑː/ /ɪ/ /iː/ /u/ /uː/ /ru/ /ruː/ /e/ /eː/ /ai/ /o/ /oː/ /au/ /um/ /aha/

Hallulu హల్లులు (consonants)

క ఖ గ ఘ ఙ
చ ఛ జ ఝ ఞ
ట ఠ డ ఢ ణ
త థ ద ధ న
ప ఫ బ భ మ
య ర ల వ శ ష స హ ళ క్ష ఱ The letters for the consonants correspond almost one-to-one to the set in Sanskrit. However, the pronunciation of these letters diverges from that of Sanskrit with respect to the aspirated series: in most varieties of spoken Telugu, aspiration is not phonemic. That is, the presence or absence of aspiration in spoken Telugu, does not generally distinguish one word from another. There are two exceptions to the general correspondence of Sanskrit and Telugu consonants in their written form. One is the historical form of /r/ఱ. The other is the retroflex lateral ళ /ɭ/.

The table below indicates the articulation of consonants in Telugu.

Telugu Vyanjana Ucchārana Pattika

Phonology

Though the Telugu consonant set lists aspirated consonants (both voiced and unvoiced), they're reserved mostly for transcribing Sanskrit borrowings. To most native speakers, the aspirated and unaspirated consonants are practically allophonic (like in Tamil). The distinction is made however, rather strictly, in written or literary Telugu.

Numerals

Grammar

In Telugu, Karta కర్త (nominative case or the doer), Karma కర్మ (object of the verb) and Kriya క్రియ (action or the verb) follow a sequence. Telugu also has the Vibhakthi విభక్తి (preposition) tradition.

Telugu రాముడు (Ramudu) బంతిని (bantini) కొట్టాడు (kottaadu)
Literal translation Rama ball hit
Reformatted "Rama hit the ball"

Inflection

Telugu has its own grammar which mainly dictates how any two words or two letters or a word and a letter should be united to form a single word. These rules are defined under various types of సంధి (samdhi) and సమాసము (samasamu). According to these rules any two words or two letters or a word and a letter to be united to form a single word should be satisfying certain criteria. Hence, Telugu words can often be broken down into words or letters which carry a complete meaning themselves. Vice-versa, many words and letters can be combined to make a complex word that can carry more complex meaning which can be equated to a complete phrase or even a sentence when translated to English.

Ex: Nuvvostanante is formed from individual words Nuvvu,Vastanu,Ante which can be loosely translated into English as "if you want to come".

Reduplication, the repetition of words or syllables is done to create new or emphatic meanings (e.g., pakapaka ‘suddenly bursting out laughing,’ garagara ‘clean, neat, nice’).

Telugu is often considered an agglutinative language, where certain syllables are added to the end of a noun in order to denote its case:

Ablative Ramudinunchi రాముడినుంచి రాముడు(Ramudu) + నుంచి(from) "from" Rama
Genitive Ramuni రాముని రాము(Ramu) + ని(ni) "generic reference to" Rama)
Dative Ramuniki రామునికి రాము(Ramu) + ని(ni) + కి(ki) specifically referring something "about" referring to Rama)
Instrumental Ramunito రామునితో రాము(Ramu) + ని(ni) + తో(too) specifically referring something "with" Rama

These agglutinations apply to all nouns generally in the singular and plural.

Here is how other cases are manifested in Telugu:

Location

Motion

Morphosyntactic alignment

Case Usage English example Telugu example
Oblique case all-round case; any situation except nominative concerning the house ఇంటిగురించి /ɪŋʈɪgurɪɲcɪ/

Relation

Case Usage English example Telugu example
Benefactive case for, for the benefit of, intended for for the ఇంటికోసం /ɪŋʈɪkoːsam/ (ఇంటికొరకు /ɪŋʈɪkoraku/)
Causal case because, because of because of the house ఇంటివలన /ɪŋʈɪvalana/
Comitative case in company of something with the house ఇంటితో /ɪŋʈɪt̪oː/
Possessive case direct possession of something owned by the house ఇంటియొక్క /ɪŋʈɪjokːa/

Polyagglutination

While the examples given above are single agglutinations, Telugu allows for polyagglutination, a feature of being able to add multiple suffixes to words to denote more complex features:

For example, one can affix both "నుంచి; nunchi - from" and "లో; lo - in" to a noun to denote from within. An example of this: "రాములోనుంచి; ramuloninchi - from within Ramu"

Here is an example of a triple agglutination: "వాటిమధ్యలోనుంచి; vāṭimadʰyalōninchi - from in between them"

Vowel harmony

As in Turkish, Hungarian and Finnish, Telugu words have vowels in inflectional suffixes harmonised with the vowels of the preceding syllable.

Inclusive and exclusive pronouns

Telugu, in common with other Dravidian languages, distinguishes between inclusive and exclusive we. The bifurcation of the First Person Plural pronoun (we in English) into inclusive (మనము; manamu) and exclusive (మేము; mēmu) versions can also be found in Tamil and Malayalam, although it is not used in modern Kannada.

Gender

Telugu pronouns follow the systems for gender and respect also found in other Indian languages. The second person plural మీరు /miːru/ is used in addressing someone with respect, and there are also respectful third personal pronouns (ఆయన /ɑːjana/ m. and ఆవిడ /ɑːvɪɽa/ f.) pertaining to both genders. A specialty of the Telugu language, however, is that the third person non-respectful feminine (అది /ad̪ɪ/) is used to refer to animals and objects, and there is no special neuter gender that is used.

Vocabulary

Like all Dravidian languages, Telugu has a base of words which are essentially Dravidian in origin. Words that describe objects/actions associated with common or everyday life: like తల; tala (head), పులి; puli (tiger), ఊరు; ūru (town/city) have cognates in other Dravidian languages and are indigenous to the Dravidian language family. Though Telugu is highly influenced by Sanskrit it also contains lesser extent of Arabic and Persian words such as maidanam (maydan in Arabic), kalam (qalam in Arabic), Bazaar (originally Persian word) etc.

However, Telugu is also largely Sanskritized, that is, it has a wide variety of words of Sanskrit/Prakrit origin. The Indo-Aryan influence can be attributed historically to the rule of the Satavahana kings, who used Prakrit as the official language of courts and government, and to the influence of literary Sanskrit during the 11th – 14th centuries CE. Today, Telugu is generally considered the Dravidian language with the most Indo-Aryan influence.

The vocabulary of Telugu especially in the Hyderabad region has a trove of Persian-Arabic borrowings, which have been modified to fit Telugu phonology. This was due to centuries of Muslim rule in these regions: the erstwhile kingdoms of Golkonda and Hyderabad. (e.g. కబురు, /kaburu/ for Urdu /xabar/, خبر or జవాబు, /ɟavɑːbu/ for Urdu /ɟawɑːb/, جواب)

Modern Telugu vocabulary can be said to constitute a diglossia, because the formal, standardized version of the language, heavily influenced by Sanskrit, is taught in schools and used by the government and Hindu religious institutions. However, everyday Telugu varies depending upon region and social status. There is a large and growing middle class whose Telugu is substantially interspersed with English. Popular Telugu, especially in urban Hyderabad, spoken by the masses and seen in movies that are directed towards the masses, includes both English and Hindi/Urdu influences.

Writing system

The earliest evidence for Brahmi script in South India comes from Bhattiprolu in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. Bhattiprolu was a great centre of Buddhism since 4th century BCE (Pre-Mauryan time) from where Buddhism spread to east Asia. A variant of Asokan Brahmi script, called Bhattiprolu Script, the progenitor of Old Telugu script, was found on the Buddha’s relic casket.

The famous Muslim historian and scholar of 10th century, Al-Biruni referred to Telugu language and script as "Andhri".

Telugu script is written from left to right and consists of sequences of simple and/or complex characters. The script is syllabic in nature - the basic units of writing are syllables. Since the number of possible syllables is very large, syllables are composed of more basic units such as vowels (“achchu” or “swar”) and consonants (“hallu” or “vyanjan”). Consonants in consonant clusters take shapes which are very different from the shapes they take elsewhere. Consonants are presumed to be pure consonants, that is, without any vowel sound in them. However, it is traditional to write and read consonants with an implied 'a' vowel sound. When consonants combine with other vowel signs, the vowel part is indicated orthographically using signs known as vowel “maatras”. The shapes of vowel “maatras” are also very different from the shapes of the corresponding vowels.

The overall pattern consists of sixty symbols, of which 16 are vowels, three vowel modifiers, and forty-one consonants. Spaces are used between words as word separators.

The sentence ends with either a single bar | (“purna virama”) or a double bar || (“deergha virama”). Traditionally, in handwriting, Telugu words were not separated by spaces. Modern punctuation (commas, semicolon, etc.) were introduced with the advent of print.

There is a set of symbols for numerals, though Arabic numbers are typically used.

Telugu is assigned Unicode codepoints: 0C00-0C7F (3072-3199).

Carnatic music

Though Carnatic music (Karnataka sangitha) has a profound cultural influence on all of the South Indian States and their respective languages, most of the songs (Kirtanas) are in the Telugu language. This is because the existing tradition is to a great extent an outgrowth of the musical life of the principality of Thanjavur in the Kaveri delta. Thanjavur was the heart of the Chola dynasty (from the 9th century to the 13th), but in the second quarter of the sixteenth century a Telugu Nayak viceroy (Raghunatha Nayaka) was appointed by the emperor of Vijayanagara, thus establishing a court whose language was Telugu. Telugu Nayaka rulers acted as the governors in the present day Tamil Nadu area with headquarters at Thanjavur (1530-1674 CE) and Madurai(1530-1781 CE). After the collapse of Vijayanagar, Thanjavur and Madurai Nayaks became independent and ruled for the next 150 years until they were replaced by Marathas. This was the period when several Telugu families migrated from Andhra and settled down in Thanjavur and Madurai. Most of the great composers of Carnatic music belonged to these families. Telugu, a language ending with vowels, giving it a mellifluous quality, was also considered suitable for musical expression. Of the trinity of Carnatic music composers, Tyagaraja's and Syama Sastri's compositions were largely in Telugu, while Muttuswami Dikshitar is noted for his Sanskrit texts. Tyagaraja is remembered both for his devotion and the bhava of his krithi, a song form consisting of pallavi, (the first section of a song) anupallavi (a rhyming section that follows the pallavi) and charanam (a sung stanza which serves as a refrain for several passages in the composition). The texts of his kritis are almost all in Sanskrit, in Telugu (the contemporary language of the court). This use of a living language, as opposed to Sanskrit, the language of ritual, is in keeping with the bhakti ideal of the immediacy of devotion. Sri Syama Sastri, the oldest of the trinity, was taught Telugu and Sanskrit by his father, who was the pujari (Hindu priest) at the Meenakshi temple in Madurai. Syama Sastri's texts were largely composed in Telugu, widening their popular appeal. Some of his most famous compositions include the nine krithis, Navaratnamaalikā, in praise of the goddess Meenakshi at Madurai, and his eighteen krithi in praise of Kamakshi. As well as composing krithi, he is credited with turning the svarajati, originally used for dance, into a purely musical form.

Literature

Telugu literature is generally divided into six periods:

pre-1020 CE pre-Nannayya period
1020–1400 Age of the Puranas
1400–1510 Age of Srinatha
1510–1600 Age of the Prabandhas
1600–1820 Southern period
1820 to date Modern period

In the earliest period there were only inscriptions from 575 AD onwards. Nannaya's (1022-1063) translation of the Sanskrit Mahabharata into Telugu is the piece of Telugu literature as yet discovered. After the death of Nannaya, there was a kind of social and religious revolution in the Telugu country.

Tikkana (thirteenth century) and Yerrapregada (fourteenth century) continued the translation of the Mahabharata started by Nannaya. Telugu poetry also flourished in this period, especially in the time of Srinatha.

During this period, some Telugu poets translated Sanskrit poems and dramas, while others attempted original narrative poems. The popular Telugu literary form called the Prabandha evolved during this period. Srinatha (1365-1441) was the foremost poet, who popularised this style of composition (a story in verse having a tight metrical scheme). Srinatha's Sringara Naishadham is particularly well-known.

The Ramayana poets may also be referred in this context. The earliest Ramayana in Telugu is generally known as the Ranganatha Ramayana, authored by the chief Gona budhdha Reddy. The works of Pothana (1450-1510), Jakkana (second half of the fourteenth century) and Gaurana (first half of the fifteenth century) formed a canon of religious poetry during this period. Padakavitha Pithamaha, Annamayya, contributed many original Telugu Paatalu(Songs) to the language.

The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries CE is regarded as the "golden age" of Telugu literature. Krishnadevaraya's Amukthamalayadha, and Pedhdhana's Manucharithra are regarded as Mahaakaavyaas. Telugu literature flourished in the south in the traditional "samsthanas" (centres) of Southern literature, such as Madurai and Tanjore. This age is often referred to as the Southern Period. There were also an increasing number of poets in this period among the ruling class, women and non-Brahmins who popularised indigenous (desi) meters.

With the conquest of the Deccan by the Mughals in 1687, Telugu literature entered a lull. Tyagaraja's compositions are some of the known works from this period. Then emerged a period of transition (1850-1910), followed by a long period of Renaissance. Europeans like C.P. Brown played an important role in the development of Telugu language and literature. In common with the rest of India, Telugu literature of this period was increasingly influenced by European literary forms like the novel, short story, prose and drama.

Paravastu Chinnayya Soori (1807-1861) is a well-known Telugu writer who dedicated his entire life to the progress and promotion of Telugu language and literature. Sri Chinnayasoori wrote the Bala Vyakaranam in a new style after doing extensive research on Andhra grammar. Other well-known writings by Chinnayasoori are Neethichandrika, Sootandhra Vyaakaranamu, Andhra Dhatumoola, and Neeti Sangrahamu.

Kandukuri Veeresalingam (1848-1919) is generally considered to be the father of modern Telugu literature. His novel Rajasekhara Charitamu was inspired by the Vicar of Wakefield. His work marked the beginning of a dynamic of socially conscious Telugu literature and its transition to the modern period, which is also part of the wider literary renaissance that took place in Indian culture during this period. Other prominent literary figures from this period are Gurajada Appa Rao, Viswanatha Satyanarayana, Gurram Jashuva, Rayaprolu Subba Rao, Devulapalli Krishnasastri and Srirangam Srinivasa Rao, popularly known as Mahakavi Sri Sri. Sri Sri was instrumental in popularising free verse in spoken Telugu (vaaduka bhasha), as opposed to the pure form of written Telugu used by several poets in his time. Devulapalli Krishnasastri is often referred to as the Shelley of Telugu literature because of his pioneering works in Telugu Romantic poetry.

Viswanatha Satyanarayana won India's national literary honour, the Jnanpith Award for his magnum opus Ramayana Kalpavrikshamu. C. Narayana Reddy also received the award for his contributions to Telugu literature. Kanyasulkam, the first social play in Telugu by Gurajada Appa Rao, was followed by the progressive movement, the free verse movement and the Digambara style of Telugu verse. Other modern Telugu novelists include Unnava Lakshminarayana (Maalapalli), Bulusu Venkateswarulu (Bharatiya Tatva Sastram), Kodavatiganti Kutumba Rao and Buchi Babu. Gunturu Seshendra Sarma, a well known Telugu poet, has been a recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award. He is best known for his work, Na Desham, Na Prajalu (My country, My people) which was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature 2004. His works have been translated into many languages. He wrote under the pen name "Seshen".

Quotes on Telugu

  • "...Among these five languages, the Telinga appears to be most polished, and though confessedly a difficult language, it must be numbered among those which are the most worthy of cultivation; its varierty of inflection being such as to give it a capacity of expressing ideas with high degree of facilty, justness and elegance..." — by Rev. W.Carey (April 9, 1814).
  • "...But those who may at first question the utility of so many letters in the Teloogoo, will perhaps relinquish most of their objections, when they find that the variety of sound in this language is greater, and better represented than English..." — A.D Campbell (1949)
  • "Desa bhashalandu Telugu Lessa" ("Among the nation's languages, Telugu is the best") - Sri Krishnadeva Raya
  • "...Tamil has usually been considered to be the Dravidian language which has preserved the most traces of the original form of speech from which all other Dravidian dialects are derived. Some points will be drawn to attention to in the ensuing pages where this does not appear to be the case, and in many peculiarities the other Dravidian languages such as Telugu have preserved older forms and represent a more ancient state of development. " - George Abraham Grierson, Linguistic Survey of India

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