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The Munda languages are a language family spoken by about nine million people in central and eastern India and Bangladesh. They constitute a branch of the Austroasiatic language family, which means they are related to languages such as Mon and Khmer languages and Vietnamese, as well as minority languages in Thailand, Laos and Southern China.[2] The origins of the Munda languages are not known, but they predate the other languages of eastern India. Ho, Mundari, and Santali are notable languages of this group.[3][4]

Munda
Geographic
distribution
India, Bangladesh
Linguistic classification Austroasiatic
  • Munda
Subdivisions
  • Kherwari (North)
  • Korku (North)
  • Kharia–Juang, Khonda
  • Koraput (Remo, Savara)
ISO 639-2 / 5 mun
Glottolog mund1335[1]
{{{mapalt}}}
Distribution of Munda language speakers in India

The family is generally divided into two branches: North Munda, spoken in the Chota Nagpur Plateau of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, and Odisha, and South Munda, spoken in central Odisha and along the border between Andhra Pradesh and Odisha.[5][6]

North Munda, of which Santali is the most widely spoken, is the larger group; its languages are spoken by about ninety percent of Munda speakers. After Santali, the Mundari and Ho languages rank next in number of speakers, followed by Korku and Sora. The remaining Munda languages are spoken by small, isolated groups of people and are poorly known.

Characteristics of the Munda languages include three grammatical numbers (singular, dual and plural), two genders (animate and inanimate), a distinction between inclusive and exclusive first person plural pronouns and the use of suffixes or auxiliaries to indicate tense.

In Munda sound systems, consonant sequences are infrequent except in the middle of a word. Other than in Korku, whose syllables show a distinction between high and low tone, accent is predictable in the Munda languages.

Contents

HistoryEdit

Paul Sidwell (2018) suggests that proto-Munda probably arrived on coast of Orissa about 3,500-4,000 years ago from Indochina and subsequently spread after the Indo-Aryan conquest of Orissa.[7]

ClassificationEdit

Munda consists of five uncontroversial branches. However, their interrelationship is debated.

Diffloth (1974)Edit

The bipartite Diffloth (1974) classification is widely cited:

Diffloth (2005)Edit

Diffloth (2005) retains Koraput (rejected by Anderson, below) but abandons South Munda and places Kharia–Juang with the northern languages:

Munda 

 Koraput 


Remo



Savara



 Core   Munda 


KhariaJuang


 North   Munda 


Korku



Kherwarian





Anderson (1999)Edit

Gregory Anderson's 1999 proposal is as follows.[8]

However, in 2001, Anderson split Juang and Kharia apart from the Juang-Kharia branch and also excluded Gtaʔ from his former Gutob–Remo–Gtaʔ branch. Thus, his 2001 proposal includes 5 branches for South Munda.

Anderson (2001)Edit

Anderson (2001) follows Diffloth (1974) apart from rejecting the validity of Koraput. He proposes instead, on the basis of morphological comparisons, that Proto-South Munda split directly into Diffloth's three daughter groups, Kharia–Juang, Sora–Gorum (Savara), and Gutob–Remo–Gtaʼ (Remo).[9]

His South Munda branch contains the following five branches, while the North Munda branch is the same as those of Diffloth (1974) and Anderson (1999).

SoraGorum   JuangKhariaGutobRemoGtaʔ

  • Note: "↔" = shares certain innovative isoglosses (structural, lexical). In Austronesian and Papuan linguistics, this has been called a "linkage" by Malcolm Ross.

Sidwell (2015)Edit

Paul Sidwell (2015:197)[10] considers Munda to consists of 6 coordinate branches, and does not accept South Munda as a unified subgroup.

Munda

DistributionEdit

ReconstructionEdit

The following Proto-Munda lexical proto-forms have been reconstructed by Sidwell & Rau (2015: 319, 340-363).[11] Two asterisks are given to denote the tentative, preliminary state of the proto-language reconstruction.

Gloss Proto-Munda
belly **(sə)laɟ
big **məraŋ
to bite **kaˀp
black **kE(n)dE
blood **məjam
bone **ɟaːˀŋ
to burn (vt.) **gEˀp
claw/nail **rəmAj
cloud **tərIˀp
cold **raŋ
die (of a person) **gOˀj
dog **sOˀt
to drink (water) **uˀt, **uˀk
dry (adj./stat.) **(ə)sAr
ear **lutur, **luˀt
earth/soil **ʔOte
to eat **ɟOm
egg **(ə)tAˀp
eye **maˀt
fat/grease/oil **sunum
feather **bəlEˀt
fire **səŋal
fish (n.) **ka, **kadO(ŋ)
fly (v.) **pEr
foot **ɟəːˀŋ
give **ʔam
hair (of head) **suˀk
hand **tiːˀ
to hear/listen **ajɔm
heart, liver **(gə)rE, **ʔim
horn **dəraŋ
I **(n)iɲ
to kill **(bə)ɡOˀɟ
leaf **Olaːˀ
to lie (down) **gətiˀc
long **ɟəlƏŋ
louse (head) **siːˀ
man/husband, person/human **kOrOˀ
meat/flesh **ɟəlU(Uˀ)
moon **harkE, **aŋaj
mountain/hill **bəru(uˀ)
mouth **təmOˀt
name **ɲUm
neck **kO, **gOˀk
new **təmI
night **(m)ədiˀp
nose **muːˀ
not **əˀt
one **mOOˀj
rain **gəma
red **ɟəŋAˀt
road, path **kOrA
root (of a tree) **rEˀt
sand **kEˀt
see **(n)El
sit **kO
skin **usal
sleep **gətiˀc
smoke (n.) **mOˀk
to speak, say **sun, **gam, **kaj
to stand **tənaŋ, **tƏŋgə
stone **bərƏl, **sərEŋ
sun **siŋi(iˀ)
tail **pata
thigh **buluuˀ
that (dist.) **han
this (prox.) **En
thou/you **(n)Am
tongue **laːˀŋ
tooth **gənE
tree **ɟiːˀ
two **baːˀr
to walk, go **sEn
to weave **ta(aˀ)ɲ
water **daːˀk
woman/wife **selA, **kəni
yellow **saŋsaŋ

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Mundaic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ Bradley (2012) notes, MK in the wider sense including the Munda languages of eastern South Asia is also known as Austroasiatic
  3. ^ Pinnow, Heinz-Jurgen. "A comparative study of the verb in Munda language" (PDF). Sealang.com. Retrieved 22 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Daladier, Anne. "Kinship and Spirit Terms Renewed as Classifiers of "Animate" Nouns and Their Reduced Combining Forms in Austroasiatic". http://elanguage.net. Elanguage. Retrieved 22 March 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  5. ^ Bhattacharya, S. (1975). "Munda studies: A new classification of Munda". Indo-Iranian Journal. 17 (1): 97–101. doi:10.1163/000000075794742852. ISSN 1572-8536. Retrieved 22 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Munda languages". http://www.languagesgulper.com. Retrieved 22 March 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  7. ^ Sidwell, Paul. 2018. Austroasiatic Studies: state of the art in 2018. Presentation at the Graduate Institute of Linguistics, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, May 22, 2018.
  8. ^ Anderson, Gregory D.S. (1999). "A new classification of the Munda languages: Evidence from comparative verb morphology." Paper presented at 209th meeting of the American Oriental Society, Baltimore, MD.
  9. ^ Anderson, Gregory D S (2001). A New Classification of South Munda: Evidence from Comparative Verb Morphology. Indian Linguistics. 62. Poona: Linguistic Society of India. pp. 21–36. 
  10. ^ Sidwell, Paul. 2015. "Austroasiatic classification." In Jenny, Mathias and Paul Sidwell, eds (2015). The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages. Leiden: Brill.
  11. ^ Sidwell, Paul and Felix Rau (2015). "Austroasiatic Comparative-Historical Reconstruction: An Overview." In Jenny, Mathias and Paul Sidwell, eds (2015). The Handbook of Austroasiatic Languages. Leiden: Brill.

General referencesEdit

  • Diffloth, Gérard. 1974. "Austro-Asiatic Languages". Encyclopædia Britannica. pp 480–484.
  • Diffloth, Gérard. 2005. "The contribution of linguistic palaeontology to the homeland of Austro-Asiatic". In: Sagart, Laurent, Roger Blench and Alicia Sanchez-Mazas (eds.). The Peopling of East Asia: Putting Together Archaeology, Linguistics and Genetics. RoutledgeCurzon. pp 79–82.

Further readingEdit

  • Gregory D S Anderson, ed. (2008). Munda Languages. Routledge Language Family Series. 3. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-32890-X. 
  • Anderson, Gregory D S (2007). The Munda verb: typological perspectives. Trends in linguistics. 174. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-018965-0. 
  • Donegan, Patricia; David Stampe (2002). South-East Asian Features in the Munda Languages: Evidence for the Analytic-to-Synthetic Drift of Munda. In Patrick Chew, ed., Proceedings of the 28th Annual Meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society, Special Session on Tibeto-Burman and Southeast Asian Linguistics, in honor of Prof. James A. Matisoff. 111-129. Berkeley, CA: Berkeley Linguistics Society. 
  • Śarmā, Devīdatta (2003). Munda: sub-stratum of Tibeto-Himalayan languages. Studies in Tibeto-Himalayan languages. 7. New Delhi: Mittal Publications. ISBN 81-7099-860-3. 
  • Newberry, J (2000). North Munda hieroglyphics. Victoria BC CA: J Newberry. 
  • Varma, Siddheshwar (1978). Munda and Dravidian languages: a linguistic analysis. Hoshiarpur: Vishveshvaranand Vishva Bandhu Institute of Sanskrit and Indological Studies, Panjab University. OCLC 25852225. 

External linksEdit