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Mundari is one of the principal language of the Munda group of language in India. The first scholar to christen this language family by the present name was Max Muller. George Abraham Grierson in his Linguistic Survey of India (reprinted by Moti Lal Banarasi Das in 1967) has traced some back history of this language group. Munda family forms a part of the bigger family of Austro-Asiatic language which includes Mon-Khmer, Nico-barese and the languages spoken by the tribals of Malay Peninsula. Scholars like F.A. Uxbond (Munda-Mayar-Maori, London, Luzac, 1928) and F.B.J. Kuiper (Munda and Indonesian, Orientalia Neerlandica, P. 372-410) suspect that Munda belongs to that great Austro-Asiatic family, the extent of which is form Madagascar to East Indies, including Newzealand and even a pocket in Hungarian. Mr. Ram Adhar Singh in his "Inquireis into the Spoken Languages of India "(Census of India 1961, Vol. I, Part xi-ci) presents a short but informative historical references about the Munda people and their language. In view of all the above, it is not necessary to supply such details here.
Coming to the classification of Mundari within Munda family, Grierson, after Skrefsrud and Prof. Thomson as well as some Santhal traditions, suggests that Mundari, along with Santhali, Ho, Bhumji, Birhor, Koda, Asuri, Turi, Korwa, Kurmali anf Mahle belongs to a sub-group named Kherwari. All of the above languages are spoken in the Chotanagpur division of Bihar state. Although Mr. R.C. Nigam, Linguist, Language Division (vide Census of India, 1961, Vol. I, Part II cii) does not accept the existance of any Kherwari, as a common source for all the above, there can be no objection in giving the name of Kherwari to such a common source, which may be easily reconstructed on the basis of





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