DMPQ Premium-. Give an account of historical origin of Kannada language and literature.

. The origin of the Kannada language can be traced back to 3rd century BCE, as found in the Ashokan inscriptions. It is the second oldest of the four major Dravidian languages with a literary tradition. The Geography written by Ptolemy, a scholar from Alexandria, during the first half of the second century A.D. Ptolemy speaks of many places in Karnataka such as Kalgeris, Modogoulla (Mudugal), Badamios (Badami) and so on. All these are not only places in Karnataka, but are also names of Kannada origin.

The Kannada script originated from southern varieties of the Ashokan Brahmi script. In the 150 CE Prakrit book GaathaaSaptashati, written by Raja Haala,also contained Kannada words. But written evidences are available only from 5-6 century AD., like a stone inscription in brahmi characters, resembling Tamil, as was found in the early periods of other Dravidian languages. The language is classified as Old Kannada. Halmidi, Chitradurga, and Chikkamagaluru inscriptions are some examples.

The copper plates of 8th century, and palm leaf manuscript of 1478 pages of 9th century, giving milestones of the language’s march forward. three Jain writers, Adikavi Pampa, Sri Ponna (939-966 AD) and Ranna (b. 949 AD), collectively called ‘Three Gems of Kannada literature’, are credited to have introduced the age of classical Kannada in the 10th century. Pampa, the author of Adipurana (941 AD), is considered one of the greatest of Kannada writers. Vikrmarjunavijaya, another contribution from Pampa, is based on the epic Mahabharata. AkkaMahadevi, who lived in Karnataka around 1100 was a great poet. Her poems, written in Kannada, in free verse style, were all dedicated to Shiva.

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