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The tribal people in India have for long lived in isolation except to be exposed for exploitation. They have not participated to their benifit in the socioeconomic development of the country. To come out of their isolation, it is necessary for them to learn the language of majority people around them and a number of them have done so. But this bridges the communication gap only in one way and the whole burden of building up this bridge is carried by the minority group. It is necessary, however, for developing mutual understanding and good-will, to increase biderectional communication between the tribal people and the majority of people of the region. For this purpose, the majority people, especially those who come in contact with the tribal people for various reasons such as civil administration, securtiy, social service, trade, etc., should learn their language. The Grammar is prepared to help them in their learning of the tribal language.
The organisation of the Grammar is based on grammatical functions rather than on grammatical forms. This will help the new learner to find easily how the different functions, which he already knows and wants to express, are formalised in this language. Since this Grammar is primarily meant for pedagogical purposes, theoretical discussions and justifications for a particular analysis are kept to a minimum. The Grammar is divided generally into two broad categories of noun morphology and verb morphology. A description of adjectives precedes verb morphology and that of adverbs follows it. The chapter on syntax describes the order of the constituents at the surface level. The last chapter describes the position of Abujhmaria in Dravidian.
Though the Grammar is primarily aimed at the language learner and the teacher, it is hoped that it will also be useful to Linguists interested in typology and universals.
Data for the Grammar were collected in the field primarily from two informants by elicitation through word and sentence lists. They were then cross-checked with some other informants. The description may not be exhaustive and there might be gaps. There might be possibilities for alternative analyses. Comments and suggestions passed on to us will be useful to improve our future publications in this series.
E. Annamalai
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