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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Malayalam is an ideal representative of language contact and convergence in South Asia. This chapter discusses Malayalam’s contact with a dozen languages around the world. The first part of the chapter discusses the historical contexts of these contacts. The results of contact are discussed in the second part of the chapter. The borrowing of phonological, lexical, and grammatical features is discussed, along with supporting evidence. Based on the discussion, it is argued that contact is the major factor of the development of Malayalam and the major “inter-linguistic trigger” that facilitated the development of Malayalam within a short span of time.

Keywords: Malayalam, Dravidian, language contact, loanword, contact-induced, phonological change

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