Now let us explore further this region. Though Kannada is a minority language in this area, surprisingly, there are three dialects(whatever that means... or probably means if they standardise the words they would sound like standard Kannada) of Kannada. To make the matters worse at least one dialect, Havyaka, is sort of close to archaic Kannada or probably also to archaic Tamil. I do not know much about other two dialects viz.. Kundakannada (spoken in Kundapura) and Are Bhashe(spoken in Sullia). While Havyaka and Are Bhashe are community specific tongues, Kunda Kannada is a mass language.
So, how come so much diversity in Kannada in a Tulu region? Probably, this BBC report can give us some clues?
Teachers in Cameroon are concerned that the new language frananglais - a mixture of French, English and Creole - is affecting the way students speak and write the country's two official languages.
From nursery to primary and secondary schools, frananglais is fast becoming the lingua franca over Creole (pidgin English) which until recently was the best-known and widely used language across the country.
Francoise Endwin, head of the French department of the Linguistic Centre in Douala says it developed because French and English have a lot of similarities, despite their different syntax.
Jacques Towe, head of the English department of the Linguistic Centre in Douala, says: "Only time will tell what will happen to frananglais. It might develop into a new type of language"
Let us say a Proto-SD-I language was spoken initially in this region. And there was a big migration from Proto-SD-II region to this region(mostly merchants and their bodyguards etc... may be rice farming priests too!). Just as the case in Cameroon, where a Romance language mixes with a Germanic language, an SD-I language mixes with an SD-II language. Just as both English and French are IE tongues, these two are Dravidian languages. Now the question is, to which language tree this new language belongs. That we will come to know if Frananglais becomes a new independent language. But I believe considering SD-I base in this region the new language became part of SD-I family but not really related to any of the other languages in this tree. I say this because according to linguists SD-I does not start with Proto-Kannada-Tulu but with Proto-Kannada-Tamil.
I do find one example in Tulu numbers. "Eight" is enuma in Tulu and enimidi in Telugu. However, other languages in SD-I family have slightly different sound for this number (entu in Kannada, ettu in Tamil/Malayalam).
Another example is communities in this region. I have already talked about Shetty surname. Now, let us consider the community they belong to, "Banta". In Telugu region, Bantu was an erstwhile suicide squad(Now, members of this community are called Mudiraju). This suicide squad of bodyguards was a common feature in South Indian region. In Telugu region they were called Bantu, in Kannada region they were called Garuda, in Malayalam region they were called Chaver and in Tamil region they were called Tamizh. They were the last rung support in an army(or for a feudal chieftain), I believe. Curiously, a Tulu community name finds an echo in Telugu region.
Other day, a Tamil propagandist(a nice chap who helps me with many facts. Of course, I keep the rights to interpret them to myself) told me the dialect of Malayalam spoken in Mangalore region(my own dialect is very close to it) is close to archaic Tamil. Some other Tamil propagandist wrote on the web that Havyaka dialect is close to archaic Tamil. Now, I add these two together. I believe the base language in this region could have been close to Kannada considering so many varieties of it here. The Malayalam(Byari Bhashe) that the person told close to archaic Tamil sort of sounds like Tulu(but intelligible to North Malabar Malayalis). Considering that these two archaic languages are still "alive" I propose a new SD-I language tree.
The root langauge was Proto-Kannada-Malayalam which branched out of Proto-Dravidian in Maharashtra region. This clan migrated along West coastal region. Tulu branched out because of Telugu family language influence. Then Kannada branched out as it spread inland from coastal region. Then Proto-Malayalam-Tamil clan continued their journey along Kaveri river and Tamil branched out in Tamil region. However, few dialects of Kannada and Malayalam still retained their archaic nature in coastal region. I think, the standard Malayalam is in fact a new language heavily influenced by literary Tamil( see b -> v change) of first millennium.