more on Kannada "endangerment"

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Wed Aug 24 16:50:53 UTC 2005

I finally found the pages on the Indian Census page that give language
figures by state.  The page is:

These are still 1991 figures; the 2001 census data for language by state
aren't available yet.

They list the major language and the next two highest figures in these
tables. The figures for Karnataka are:

Kannada 29,785,004 66.2%
Urdu    4,480,038  10.0%
Telugu 3,325,062   7.4 %

Notice that the number of Tamil speakers in Karnataka is not among the 3
highest (which is what they give for each state).  10% Urdu means,
according to Khubchandani (various writings) a declaration of ETHNICITY,
not of mother tongue.  Telugu is next, but it is usually the Tamils who
are viewed as a threat.  Add up the percentages and you get 83.6% which
still leaves 16.4% other (Tamils, Konkani speakers, Tulus, Kodagu
speakers, Marathi speakers...)

Kerala, in contrast, has probably the highest mother-tongue figures for
any state in the Indian Union:

Malayalam 28,096,376 96.6%
Tamil 616,010        2.1%
Kannada 75,571       0.3%

There would also be Kannada speakers in Andhra Pradesh, in TamilNadu, in
Bombay and other places.

So the "endangerment" of Kannada is no greater today than it was some
decades ago, but the FEELING of endangerment is higher, perhaps because of
the glaring lack of Kannada speakers in the capital, Bangalore.


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