BADAGA AND KANNADA, RELATED OR NOT?

The Badaga language is at times seen as a dialect of Kannada. The dialect was once widespread in its use by the ancient South Dravidians and has properties similar to current Alu Kurumba. Yet, at present, he Badaga language is now seen as an independent language and not a variety, owing to its phonology, syntax, case systems, verb classes, and so forth, affording the language a genetic separateness from other languages, including Kannada. 

The argument for separation points to, or emerges from, the fact that historically, there may have been a connection, but at present, extensive language shift has occured, and so much so that the languages are distinct. The grammar of the Badaga language may even have strong similarities with other Nilgiris languages, which also contain Dravidian facets.

As such, the four communities – the Nilgiris, Todas, Kotas, Alu Kurumbas and Badagas have sustained elements of their languages, as distinct from others, thus affording these languages a purity.

More interestingly, the Badaga community and language may have evolved from the Nilgiris, evident in the fact that the runiqueness of the etroflex sounds of the Badaga language.