Loan words and influences also from Hebrew, Syriac and Ladino abound in the Jewish Malayalam dialects, as well as English, Portuguese, Syriac and Greek in the Christian dialects, while Arabic and Persian elements predominate in the Muslim dialects.The Muslim dialect known as Mappila Malayalam is used in the Malabar region of Kerala.The salient features of many varieties of tribal speech (e.g., the speech of Muthuvans, Malayarayas, Malai Ulladas, Kanikkars, Kadars, Paliyars, Kurumas, and Vedas) and those of the various dialects Namboothiris, Nairs, Ezhavas, Syrian Christians (Nasrani), Latin Christians, Muslims, fishermen and many of the occupational terms common to different sections of Malayalees have been identified.

Malaylamsex-36Malaylamsex-49

This seems to reveal the significance of political divisions in Kerala in bringing about dialect difference.

Divergence among dialects of Malayalam embrace almost all aspects of language such as phonetics, phonology, grammar and vocabulary.

In addition to these forms most widely spread among the areas specified above, there are dozens of other forms such as 'kotumpu' (Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram), 'katirpu' (Kottayam), krali (Pathanamthitta), pattachi, gnannil (Kollam), 'pochata' (Palakkad) etc. It may be noted at this point that labels such as "Brahmin Dialect" and "Syrian Caste Dialect" refer to overall patterns constituted by the sub-dialects spoken by the subcastes or sub-groups of each such caste.

The most outstanding features of the major communal dialects of Malayalam are summarized below: According to Sooranad Kunjan Pillai who compiled the authoritative Malayalam lexicon, the other principal languages whose vocabulary was incorporated over the ages were Pali, Prakrit, Urdu, Hindi, Chinese, Arabic, Syriac, Dutch and Portuguese.

Thus for examples, the survey of the Ezhava dialect of Malayalam, results of which have been published by the Department in 1974, has brought to light the existence of twelve major dialect areas for Malayalam, although the isoglosses are found to crisscross in many instances.

Sub-dialect regions, which could be marked off, were found to be thirty.

This number is reported to tally approximately with the number of principalities that existed during the pre-British period in Kerala.

In a few instances at least, as in the case of Venad, Karappuram, Nileswaram and Kumbala, the known boundaries of old principalities are found to coincide with those of certain dialects or sub-dialects that retain their individuality even today.

Malayalam script (Brahmic) Malayalam Braille Vatteluttu alphabet (historical) Kolezhuthu (historical) Malayanma (historical) Grantha (historical) Arabi Malayalam (historical/rarely used now) Syriac script (historical) it was developed into the current form mainly by the influence of the poet Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan in the 16th century.