Parayas secret language -A STUDY BY Dileep.V -Research Scholar -Dept. of Linguistics-- University of Kerala -( Thanks- from internet)



                                                   Research Scholar
                                                   Dept. of Linguistics 
                                                   University of Kerala


Paraya is one of the communities among scheduled caste in Kerala
It is believed that Paraya community has been existing since Dravidian age
The name Parya is delivered from the Tamil word ‘parai’
Parayas are also referred by the name Sambava
They find the name Sambava more honorific and acceptable
In the former times parayas were slaves and occupied a low status in the society.
The concept of untouchability has manifested itself in so many ways.
Present generation has improved from the old.
 Not only that, they were characteristically different from other
     scheduled castes in Kerala, for instance they 
     showed great dexterity in martial arts.
    Traditionally they were engaged in producing baskets from
      bamboo materials. 
     Even now they are following that traditional job
     Nevertheless parayas are also engaged in agricultural labor,
      sweeping, ect
     Their religious faith was on the basis of ancestral belief and customs.
      Now they have been completely absorbed in to the Hindu
     Earlier, many Parayas had converted in Christianity but
      now a days they have begun reconverting to the Hindu fold 


Language is the medium or tool for communication but secret language also comes under this definition. A secret language is used by a special group to preserve its identity and to exclude outsiders.  Thus the term refers rather to the social function of a speech from than to any property of its structure. Occasionally, the Toda language in India, a quite distinct language was serve the function of secrecy. Most so-called secret languages are grammatically the same as the surrounding community, but consist in systematic substitutions for individual words. In this case it is difficult to distinguish clearly between secret language in a strict sense and argot, slang which used ephemeral substitutions and cast, class, technical occupational dialects

To examine the structure of Parayas secret language

The language variety is used among the Parayas for their special purpose
Parayas keep this language variety as their own and never allow others learn or use it
They keep it in their own families.
Paraya dialect has been commonly used in relation to the paddy cultivation.  It was also used as code language to escape themselves from the attacks of dominant classes
It is little known to public, other than person who know that they have such a dialect still practiced among them 
It kept using secretly 

There is a mythical belief that this language is disinterred from the
      time of  ‘Paakkanaar
    The name of this language is different in different region
     In some place this language is known as ‘vaaplanc
     In some other place is referred as ‘paRappeecc’.
    One important feature of this language is that its unique vocabulary
    The code has a special vocabulary of its own which is very
      much different from Malayalam
    The most important feature of this language is that it has no script 

To examine the structure of Parayas secret language
To analyze the surroundings which lead to the development and usage of the secret language
To bring out the dialect variation of the language
To compare all the above with Malayalam 
           The methodology used for this study was field study method.  For the progress of the work direct contact with the speakers was done. People belonging to different age groups and who were educated and non educated status were selected for this study. The areas which I have selected for this study belong to Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram district in Kerala.
            Dialect variation is common to all the languages in the world. Each language varies according to the regional differentiation. For instance two different regions use separate word to represent same meaning, but they would understand the differences in the usage. Likewise this Paraya script also has regional variation in the word usage. 

kumita   house  viit
koonta    house  viit
navaatt,                speak  paRayuka
meRRappa tt,                speak  paRayuka
anump                 alcohol  madhyam
tul,ump                 alcohol  madhyam
taamaR               police  police
kuuRump               police  police
kelali    face  mukham
mohamaaR    face  mukham
Comparative analysis with Malayalam
          As compared with the Malayalam this language use several Malayalam words, but it differ in their meaning when applied in the secret language.
mayakkuka    to come
kooccuka  throw
ceRayuka    died
minni  rupees

unnu - is present tense markers
     meekk unnu                   to drink
     cerRakk unnu                to kill
i, u -  is the past tense Marker
     meekk i                            drank
     ceRacc u                          killed
um  -is the future tense marker
     meekk um                        will drink
     ceRakk um                       will kill

/e/, /oot /, / u /, / il /  these are the case markers in the Malayalam
    ‘pikkin e’                      him (accusative)
    ‘pikkin oot,                   with him (sociative)
    ‘pikkan u’                     to him (dative)
    ‘pikkan il                      in him (locative)

Gender/ an /, / atti /- are the masculine, feminine gender markers in Malayalam
Paal,,uv an                     Paraya man
Kalinnׂan                      Pulaya man
Paluv atti                      Paraya women
Kalinn atti                     Pulaya women
                Another important resemblance between these two languages are in the numerals. The number system both ordinal and cardinals are almost same as the Malayalam numerals.
onnu                     one
rantu                     two
onnaamatte           first
rantaamatte          second

Sentence Structure
         The basic sentence structure of this language is same that of Malayalam, it follows the S O V order.
raaman  raavanane  ceraccu (raaman raavanane konnu)
(Rama    Ravana       killed)
Rama  killed  Ravana
raaman  anump meekkum (raaman kallu kudikkum)
(Rama    alcohol will drink)
Rama will drink alcohol
minnippaat  ilunna (kaasu illa)
(Money        no)
No money

                                                     The present situation of this language:-

            This language is in the way to extinction. Their communities are not willing to teach this language to other communities or person.  Their narrow minded men  lead this language to extinction. Another reason for this condition is the youngsters in Paraya community are not initiated to study or use this language.  So it is vanishing from the adversity at parayas.  Perhaps educated people among them hesitate to use this dialect in public because it brings to them social inferiority in front of others

This topic tries to analyze the secret language used by the Paraya community. This language verity is being used among the Parayas for special proposes  .They hardly revile the structure of the code nor give the details about the vocabulary or the secret behind the use and development of variety. The basic structure of the language is Malayalam.  The Phonology, Morphology, and the Syntactic structure of the language variety are almost same as that of the language of the state. As this study could collect data from only fifteen informants, it could not claim that this is the detailed study of the variety.  A detailed analysis collecting more data and their socio-linguistics feature may give a flamboyant picture of the verity.  Of course this study stresses that clear documentation of the code is a must for the knowledge world