A Grammar of Kharia

A South Munda Language


Author: John Peterson
Kharia, spoken in central-eastern India, is a member of the southern branch of the Munda family, which forms the western branch of the Austro-Asiatic phylum, stretching from central India to Vietnam. The present study provides the most extensive description of Kharia to date and covers all major areas of the grammar. Of particular interest in the variety of Kharia described here, is that there is no evidence for assuming the existence of parts-of-speech, such as noun, adjective and verb. Rather functions such as reference, modification and predication are expressed by one of two syntactic structures, referred to here as 'syntagmas'. The volume will be of equal interest to general linguists from the fields of typology, linguistic theory, areal linguistics, Munda linguistics as well as South Asianists in general.

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John M. Peterson, Ph.D. (1997) in Linguistics, University of Kiel, is a visiting professor of Linguistics at the University of Leipzig. He has published extensively on South Asian languages of both Munda and Indo-Aryan stock, including "Grammatical Relations in Pāli and the Emergence of Ergativity in Indo-Aryan".
"This volume is not only a welcome addition to serious scholarship focused on indigenous languages of South Asia and the Himalayan region or to Austroasiatic linguistics overall (beyond the strict geographical boundaries of the subcontinent), but a highly laudable exemplar of thorough grammatical description based on meticulous (and respectful) linguistic documentation. In my view, it has also much to offer to practitioners of linguistic analysis who adopt rather more overtly theoretical approaches, by way of the sheer richness and intricacy of the challenges that the Kharia language poses, which the author has so ably captured in this landmark volume." Tista Bagchi, Himalayan Linguistics Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 17-20.
Scholars in general linguistics, including language typology, areal linguistics, and theoretical linguistics, as well as specialists in Munda linguistics and South Asianists in general.