|கொங்கு தமிழ் tamiḻ|
|Native to||Tamil Nadu - Kongu Region|
Official language in
|India (Tamil Nadu)|
Distribution of native Tamil speakers in India and Sri Lanka
Kongu Tamil or Coimbatore Tamil (as common people call it) is the dialect of Tamil language that is spoken in Kongu Nadu, which is the western region of Tamil Nadu. It is originally known as "Kangee"` or "Kongalam" or "Kongappechu".
The name Kongu etymologically means 'border' in Sangam Tamil. Alternative theories seems to point at 'Ganga' as the source for the name. Gangeya (Kaangeyam) and Ganganadu are alternative historical names for the Kongu region.
The speciality of Kongu Tamil is the use of the alveolar ற - Tra/Dra (as in the English word track) instead of retroflex T/D (ட) of standard Tamil. For example, 'ennuDaya' (mine) of standard Tamil is pronounced enRa in the Kongu dialect. However, only Coimbatore district people use this. Additionally the use of guttural nasal (ங்) that sounds "ng" as in the English word Gang, is more prevalent in Kongu Tamil, leading to situations where the grammar of Kongu Tamil would not fit into the grammar of standard Tamil (as laid down in authoritative treatises like Tolkappiyam and Nannool). One of the examples is the use of ங் to end a word like வாங் "vaang", means 'come' expressed in a respectful tone, which in standard Tamil would be "vaanga".Also this is observed in the Kangayam,Dharapuram area.Both these are stereotyping Kongalam with regional,professional variations.
Kongu Tamil also uses certain Tamil words that are unique to Kongu region and are not used in standard Tamil.
The Tamil dialect is heavily influenced by Kongu dialect in Coimbatore district, Tirupur district, Erode district and Salem district and in other parts of Kongu Nadu region districts: Karur district, Nilgiris district, Namakkal district, Dharmapuri district, Krishnagiri district and Dindigul district.