Kannada /ˈkɑːnədə/ or /ˈkænədə/, (ಕನ್ನಡ kannaḍa, IPA: [ˈkʌnːəɖɑː]) or Kanarese /kænəˈriːz/, is a language spoken in India predominantly in the state of Karnataka and by minorities in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala and Goa. With roughly 40 million native speakers, who are called Kannadigas (Kannaḍigaru), Kannada is one of the 40 most spoken languages in the world. It is one of the scheduled languages of India and the official and administrative language of the state of Karnataka. History Kannada is a Southern Dravidian language and according to Dravidian scholar Sanford Steever, its history can be conventionally divided into three periods; Old Kannada (halegannada) from 450–1200 A.D., Middle Kannada (Nadugannada) from 1200–1700 A.D., and Modern Kannada from 1700 to the present. Kannada is influenced to an appreciable extent by Sanskrit. Influences of other languages such as Prakrit and Pali can also be found in Kannada language. Status The Director of the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Udaya Narayana Singh, submitted a report in 2006 to the Indian government arguing for Kannada to be made a classical language of India. In 2008 the Indian government announced that Kannada was to be designated as one of the classical languages of India. Dialects There is also a considerable difference between the spoken and written forms of the language. Spoken Kannada tends to vary from region to region. The written form is more or less consistent throughout Karnataka. The Ethnologue reports "about 20 dialects" of Kannada. Among them are Kundagannada (spoken exclusively in Kundapura), Nadavar-Kannada (spoken by Nadavaru), Havigannada (spoken mainly by Havyaka Brahmins), Are Bhashe (spoken by Gowda community mainly in the Sullia region of Dakshina Kannada), Malenadu Kannada (Sakaleshpur, Coorg, Shimoga, Chikmagalur), Soliga,Gulbarga Kannada, Dharawad Kannada etc. All of these dialects are influenced by their regional and cultural background.