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|Region||Tamil Nadu, The Nilgiris|
|135,000 (2001 census)
|Tamil script|
Badaga is a southern Dravidian language spoken by approximately 135,000 people in the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu. It is known for its retroflex vowels. It has similarities with neighbouring Kannada language as Hale Kannada, and has now been identified as an independent language by a French linguistic scholar, Christiane Pilot-Raichoor. The word Badaga, meaning "northerner", refers to the Badaga language as well as the Badaga indigenous people who speak it.
Badaga has five vowels qualities, /i e a o u/, each of which may be long or short and until the 1930s were contrastively half and fully retroflexed, for a total of 30 vowel phonemes. Current speakers only distinguish retroflection for a few vowels.
|/ha˞ːsu/||to spread out|
Note on transcription: rhoticity ⟨◌˞⟩ indicates half-retroflexion; doubled ⟨◌˞˞⟩ it indicates full retroflexion.
Several attempts were made at constructing an orthography based on English and Kannada. The earliest printed book using Kannada script was a Christian work, "Anga Kartagibba Yesu Kristana Olleya Suddiya Pustaka" by Basel Mission Press of Mangaluru in 1890.
List of Books in Kannada Script:
The Badaga language is also written in the Tamil script.
The Badaga language is well studied and several Badaga-English Dictionaries have been produced since the latter part of the nineteenth century.
|Badaga language test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|