Tulu is a language
spoken by perhaps 1,200,000 people in India
Tulu is one of the Dravidian languages of India, and a geographical surprise. Sandwiched between the much larger numbers of Kannada speakers to the north, and Malayalam speakers to the south, Tulu is spoken in a small part of coastal Karnataka; traditionally between the Chandragiri and Kalyanapuri rivers. However, it is in no way a dialect of either Kannada or Malayalam, and is somewhat reminiscent of the Central Dravidian languages from further north.
When written, which is seldom, the Kannada script is used. Tulu has a very powerful oral tradition.
... or so many people think. Actually Tulu does have its own script, Tulu Lipi, which was only discovered by outsiders rather recently.
Details can be found at www.yakshagana.com/Tululipi.htm, which will find their way into this writeup Real Soon Now™.
The dialect spoken by the Brahman caste is notably different from standard Tulu. Most speakers of Tulu are bilingual in Kannada which is the state language of Karnataka.
How to count to ten in Tulu, with pronunciation in American pseudo-english and IPA/ASCII :
- onji /UndZi/
- rad /rad.d./
- muji /mjudZi/
- nail /neIl/
- ain /Iin/
- edgy /eIdZi/
- el /il./
- enma /In.ma/
- ormba /Urmba/
- pat /pat/
A proposed Unicode code block for Tulu can be found at http://www.evertype.com/standards/iso10646/pdf/tulu.pdf