The Dravidian languages are native to South Asia and are classified into three subgroups:
- The northern group, in Pakistan, contains Brahui, the only language of the group that is not quite extinct.
- The central group, in central India, has several partly extinct languages and a developed prosperous language called Telugu.
- The southern group, in south India, has five highly developed languages - Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Tulu and Kodagu - with long literary traditions. Tamil is the most popular in the southern group, with the most ancient literature. Since 2005 the Indian government has officially recognized Tamil (Dravidian) and Sanskrit (Indo-European) as the two classical languages of India.
Several modern languages of the region, extending from central East Asia to Australia have borrowed a number of Dravidian structures and words. The Australian Aboriginal languages are also believed to have some links to the Dravidian language group.
Most researchers consider the classical Dravidian root language as the most promising for the still only partly deciphered Indus Valley Civilization writings.