a book on the languages of one of the world’s most endangered and ancient
linguistic groups - the Andamanese. Andamanese, a language isolate,
is considered the fifth language family of India. Based on fieldwork
conducted in the impregnable jungles of the Andaman Islands, the author
brings out a comparative linguistic sketch of Great Andamanese, Jarawa,
and Onge. The book provides the first detailed description of phonology,
word formation processes, morphophonemic processes, lexicon containing
words from various semantic fields, and syntax of the three languages.
Similarities and differences between Great Andamanese, Jarawa and Onge are
discussed to suggest possible genealogical affiliations and language
contact. Considered to be the remnants of the first migration out of
Africa 70,000 years before present, Andamanese communities and their
language are highly endangered.
provided CD-Rom contains songs rendered by the tribes, sound and video
files, which help to provide more detailed phonetic and prosodic
information as well as phonetic variation among the speakers of the dying
and ‘mixed’ language such as Great Andamanese.
unique linguistic structures and the comparative typology will be of
interest not only to linguists but also anthropologists, historians, South
Asian and Southeast Asian scholars, social activists, sociologists, and
Anvita Abbi is a zealous field
linguist who has worked extensively on indigenous and tribal languages
belonging to virtually every language family of
South Asia. Her research focuses on areal
typology and language contact. Her work has been recognized by editorial
positions; visiting professorships at universities in the United States,
Germany, and Australia and advisory positions with UNESCO and Sahitya
Akademi. She is an author of nine books and several research papers.
Recipient of national and
international awards for her work on lesser-known languages, Anvita Abbi
is currently Professor of Linguistics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University,
New Delhi, India.