Page:A catalogue of the Telugu Books in the Library of the British Museum.djvu/7

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PREFACE.

In the great family of Dravidian languages, the mother-tongues of some fifty-seven millions of men, covering the whole of Southern India and Northern Ceylon, northwards appearing in smaller scattered areas, and lastly represented after an interval of hundreds of miles on the west by the isolated Brahui of Baluchistan, numerically the most important is the Andhra or Telugu, spoken by about twenty millions.

The origin of the word tdelugu or tenugu is rather obscure, and both forms seem ancient. The most reasonable derivation, however, is from ten, "south," so that tenugu would mean "southern"; and this may well have become corrupted into teluju, especially as a popular etymology from teli, "bright," was ready to hand.*[1]

"The Telugu country is bounded towards the east by the Bay of Bengal from about Barwa in the Ganjam District in the north to near Madras in the south. From Barwa the frontier line goes westwards through Ganjam to the Eastern Ghats, and then south-westwards, crosses the Sabari on the border of the Sunkam and Bijji Talukas in the Bastar State, and thence runs along the range of the Bela Dila to the Indravati. It follows that river to its confluence with the Godavari, and then runs through Chanda cutting off the southern part of that district, and farther eastwards, including the southern border of the district of Wun. It then turns southwards to the Godavari, at its confluence with the Manjira, and thence farther south, towards Bidar, where Telugu meets with Kanarese. The frontier line between the two forms of speech then runs almost due south

  1. * The pandits' derivations from Sanskrit Trilinga ("land of the Three Liiigas") or Telugu tene (honey) also deserve mention.