Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Tamil (TAMUL), next to the Telugu, the most numerous division of the Dravidian race, Southern India. [DRAVIDIANS.] The Tamils are concentrated especially in the Carnatic, in Travancore, and in the northern half of Ceylon, and the census of 1891 returned altogether 22,324,000 as of Tamil speech, of whom 21,600,000 were on the mainhnd and 724,000 in Ceylon. Tamil is the most harmonious, the richest, and most highly cultivated of all the Dravidian languages, with a literature ranging over a period of nearly 1,000 years, and abounding especially in poetic works, largely of an erotic character. It is written in a peculiarly graceful form of the Grandonic or Southern Devanagari, which has given rise to a great variety of syllabic alphabets current in India, Indo-China, and Malaysia. (Bishop Caldwell, Grammar of the Dravidian Languages.)