Telugu in history is known as ‘Tenugu’ language. It is spoken in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Yanam district of Puducherry also has a significant Telugu speaking population. Many other states of India also have a very large Kannada speaking population like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and West Bengal.
It is one of the 24 languages belonging to the Dravidian family of languages. Amongst the most widely spoken languages in India, Telugu stands right after Hindi in popularity. Burma, Indo-China, South Africa, and the USA also have migrants that are mainly Telugu speakers of Indian origin. Telugu originated from the Proto-Dravidian class of languages that had its roots mainly in the Deccan Plateau. Telugu finds similarity in many other similar and closely connected languages like Gondi, Konda, Kui, and Kuvi languages.
Telugu Literature Syllabus for UPSC
IAS Mains Telugu Paper 1
Answers must be written in Telugu.
Section A – Language
- Place of Telugu among Dravidian languages and its antiquity-Etymological history of Telugu, Tenugu and Andhra.
- Major linguistic changes in phonological, morphological, grammatical and syntactical levels, from Proto-Dravidian to old Telugu and from old Telugu to Modern Telugu.
- Evolution of spoken Telugu when compared to classical Telugu-Formal and functional view of Telugu language.
- Influence of other languages and its impact on Telugu.
- Modernization of Telugu language.
(a) Linguistic and literary movements and their role in modernization of Telugu.
(b) Role of media in modernization of Telugu (Newspapers, Radio, TV etc.)
(c) Problems of terminology and mechanisms in coining new terms in Telugu in various discourses including scientific and technical.
- Dialects of Telugu-Regional and social variations and problems of standardization.
- Syntax-Major divisions of Telugu sentences-simple, complex and compound sentences-Noun and verb predications-Processes of nominalization and relativization-Direct and indirect reporting-conversion processes.
- Translation-Problems of translation, cultural, social and idiomatic-Methods of translation-Approaches to translation-Literary and other kinds of translation-various uses of translation.
Section B – Literature
- Literature in Pre-Nannaya Period-Marga and Desi poetry.
- Nannaya Period-Historical and literary background of Andhra Mahabharata.
- Saiva poets and their contribution-Dwipada, Sataka, Ragada, Udaharana.
- Tikkana and his place in Telugu literature.
- Errana and his literary works-Nachana Somana and his new approach to poetry.
- Srinatha and Potana-Their woks and contribution.
- Bhakti poets in Telugu literature-Tallapaka Annamayya, Ramadasu, Tyagayya.
- Evolution of prabandhas-Kavya and prabandha.
- Southern school of Telugu literature-Raghunatha Nayaka, Chemakura Vankatakavi and women poets-Literary forms like yakshagana, prose and padakavita.
- Modern Telugu Literature and literary forms-Novel, Short Story, Drama, Playlet and poetic forms.
- Literary Movements : Reformation, Nationalism, Neo-classicism, Romanticism and Progressive, Revolutionary movements.
- Digambarakavulu, Feminist and Dalit Literature.
- Main divisions of folk literature-Performing folk arts.
IAS aspirants who are targeting UPSC Exam may check the linked article.
IAS Mains Telugu Paper 2
Answers must be written in Telugu.
This paper will require first hand reading of the prescribed texts and will be designed to test the candidate’s critical ability, which will be in relation to the following approaches.
i) Aesthetic approach-Rasa, Dhwani, Vakroti and Auchitya-Formal and Structural-Imagery and Symbolism.
ii) Sociological, Historical, Ideological, Psychological approaches.
- Nannaya-Dushyanta Charitra (Adiparva 4th Canto verses 5-109)
- Tikkana-Sri Krishna Rayabaramu (Udyoga parva -3rd Canto verses 1-144)
- Srinatha-Guna Nidhi Katha (Kasi-khandam, 4th Canto, verses 76-133)
- Pingali Surana-Sugatri Salinulakatha (Kalapurnodayamu 4 Canto verses, 60-142)
- Molla-Ramayanamu (Balakanda including avatarika)
- Kasula Purushothama Kavi-Andhra Nayaka Satakamu
- Gurajada Appa Rao-Animutyalu (Short stories)
- Viswanatha Satyanarayana-Andhra prasasti
- Devulapalli Krishna Sastry-Krishnapaksham (excluding Urvasi and Pravasam)
- Sri Sri-Maha prastanam.
- Jashuva-Gabbilam (Part I)
- C. Narayana Reddy-Karpuravasanta rayalu.
- Kanuparti Varalakshmamma-Sarada lekhalu (Part I)
- Racha konda Visswanatha Sastry-Alpajaeevi.
Also, Check Other Optional Subject’s Syllabus
More about the Telugu Language
Estimates taken in 2001 have placed that around 73.8 native Telugu speakers can be found in India alone and another 5 million non-native speakers can also be found. The first written script in the language can be traced to as early as 400 BC. The writing system involves the Brahmi and the Telugu scripts.
Kannada and Telugu are languages that have similar familiarities in the written context. Both originated from the Brahmi script together but split into their own branches between 12 and 15 century AD.
Earliest mention of Telugu language can be found inscribed on coins. The Renati Cholas are accorded the status of the first inscribers of the language in the written form. These royal affiliations did not take up Sanskrit as against the popular language of the time. They were innovative, in that they used Telugu language for all royal communications.
It was later during the 11th century that literature spread its wings in Telugu language and expanded into poems and literary creations.
New developments in the language began in the 20th century. Before the dawn of the 20th century the language was used in archaic style alone. The modern spoken language had an impact on the language only in the later part of the 20th century. The year 2008 was important for the language as it was accorded the classical language status by the government of India.
Syllabic alphabets are used in the Telugu language and they are unique because all consonants are profound to have an inherent vowel attached with them. Diacritics used in the language can be used to change the inherent vowel characteristics. Vowels can be used without dependency. This is especially true when diacritics are placed at the starting of a syllable. In such a case vowels are transformed into independent characters.
The language received plenty of acclaim from the great king Sri Krishnadevaraya of Vijaynagar dynasty. Italian merchants like Nicollo De conti was all praises for the language and has been etched in the pages of history. Rabindranath Tagore once questioned whether the language was a rhetoric form of language itself or its sweetness can be equated to a form of music in itself.
The language sought progress in six major developmental phases which are very significant given their contribution to Indian culture. Telugu is considered the first language out of the four Dravidian languages to split and bifurcate from the Proto Dravidian category.
This led to the independent creation and progress of the language. The other Dravidian languages in this category that also followed suit for independent development are Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam. The language is also notably influenced by Prakrit and Sanskrit languages.
The Assaka kingdom which existed in parts of today’s Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra was the birthplace of the epic creation in Telugu literature – Vedic Mahajanapadas. It was during the time of 700 to 300 BCE that the language came under the influence of Prakrit and Sanskrit. Coin inscriptions that were circulated during this time had the mention of Telugu language alongside Prakrit too.
The Shatavahanas collaborated for the joint development of Prakrit and Telugu languages together. From around 500 to 1000 AD the language declined the influence of Prakrit and took over the influence of Sanskrit. In fact the language became so sanskritized that it sometimes appears in history that the language is actually a direct descendant of Sanskrit itself. Lexically considering, almost 80% of the language sticks to Sanskrit roots.
Major development of the language in royal circles began from 1100 to 1400 in terms of patronage, utilization in royal decrees, and emergence of scholars and spread of language on coin inscriptions. The Ashtadiggajas in the Vijaynagar Empire during the golden period of Telugu language are major contributors for Telugu literature. From 1370 to 1800 the language became influenced by Muslim communities and hence many words from Urdu were flown into usage in Telugu language.
After 1800, many transformations of the language took place under Nizam rule plus colonial influences. Globalization has had its impact on the language and hence English has become part and parcel of its usage.
Many terms are anglicized and have lost their original Telugu usage with the passage of time. Famous contributors for Telugu literature include Viswanatha Satyanarayana, Rayaprolu Subba Rao, Gurazada Appa Rao, Jashuva, D Krishna Shastry, Puttaparthy Narayana Shatry, etc.
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