Tamil (தமிழ்) has official status in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Tamil is also a national language of Sri Lanka and an official language of Singapore and Mauritius. It is also most spoken in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands as one of the secondary languages. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and was declared a classical language by the government of India in 2004. Tamil is one of the longest surviving classical languages in the world. Tamil belongs to the southern branch of the Dravidian languages, a family of around 26 languages native to the Indian subcontinent. It is also classified as being part of a Tamil language family. Tamil was written using a script called the vaṭṭeḻuttu amongst others such as Grantha and Pallava script. The current Tamil script consists of 12 vowels, 18 consonants and one special character, the āytam. Tamil is a consistently head-final language. The verb comes at the end of the clause, with a typical word order of subject–object–verb. The variety and quality of classical Tamil literature has led to its being described as "one of the great classical traditions and literatures of the world".