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The Central Institute of Indian Languages is concderned with the promotion and development of Indian languages for meeting the challenges of the modern age. The development of Indian languages can take place by their use in new domains which requires development of materials, methods and manpower for work in the areas of codification, standardisation and modernisation. The work of the institute encompasses basic research, material production and in-service training.The institute is also entrusted with the responsibility of assisting and improving the teaching of Indian languages at various levels by developing new methods, models and materials and by making use of modern technology. The six Regional Language Centres of the Institute are engaged in regular language teaching programmes. The seventh viz. NEREC at Guwahati is entrusted with the responsibility of conducting various programmes in the languages of the North East. The institute is also a clearing house of information relating to Indian languages.

A major programme of the institute is the study of tribal and other minor languages resulting in writing of grammars and dictionaries. This study helps in codification of these languages and also in standardisation, which are primary steps for the development of any language. The lingustic description is also a prerequisite for preparation of language teaching materials. It thus forms part of the institute’s work to improvise the language education. The institute is also engaged in finding out shared features between tribal languages and major languages which is an important component in the making of India as a linguistic area.

The grammatical description of tribal and other minor languages prepared by the staff of the institute do not raise and discuss theoretical questions. These questions are dealt with by the authors in papers in various national seminars. The grammars try to give a basic knowledge of the structure of these languages with the hope that they will be useful to language teachers and to linguists interested in macro studies of languages. Thses grammars also fill in the gaps in the knowledge of the linguistic heritage of the country by describing the lesser known languages. The Hmar Grammar is our latest effort in bringing out a book of grammar in a lesser known language like Hmar spoken in Assam, Manipur and Mizoram.
Data for the Hmar Grammar were collected in the field primarily from three informants by elicitation through word and sentence lists. To our advantages, one of the co-authors is a native speaker of the language. The data, however, were again cross-checked with some other informants. The description may not be exhaustive and there might be gaps to be filled by future researchers. 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.

While congratulating the authors, I look forward to see that the book is well received among Hmar readers and the community of linguists.

December 31,
Dr. N. Ramaswamy
Director I/c     







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