A Grammar of the Great Andamanese Language: an ethnolinguistic study

Abbi, Anvita (2013) A Grammar of the Great Andamanese Language: an ethnolinguistic study. Brill's Studies in South and Southwest Asian Languages, 4 . Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands.

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Abstract

On the brink of extinction, the Great Andamanese language, one of the oldest in the world, had been crying out for concerted effort for salvage and documentation. A Grammar of the Great Andamanese Language. An Ethnolinguistic Study is the first-ever detailed and exhaustive account of Great Andamanese, a moribund language spoken on the Andamanese Islands belonging to India in the Bay of Bengal. This important documentation covers all major areas of the grammar of Great Andamanese and gives us a first detailed look at this unique language, which is on the verge of extinction. Of particular interest here is the discussion of the body division class markers which play an important role throughout much of the grammar and which are documented in this volume for the first time. This grammar gives us a glimpse, at the last possible moment, of the possible first language of the South East Asia. The arduous circumstances in which this vast body of information was collected were quite challenging in the world of language documentation.

Perhaps most importantly, PGA is a unique language; there is strong linguistic and genetic evidence to suggest that the people of the Andaman Islands represent a distinct genetic group who populated the islands from the mainland tens of thousands of years ago. According to some geneticists, Andamanese are the survivors of the first migration out of Africa 70.000 years BP. The language is a fast-closing window on a very ancient form of cognition.

This grammar is the result of a major language documentation project Vanishing Voices of the Great Andamanese (VOGA), which was undertaken from 2005 to 2009 in the Andaman Islands.

Item ID: 32556
Item Type: Book (Research - A1)
ISBN: 978-90-04-23527-4
Keywords: language; documentation; body-division; anthropocentric; Andamanese; endangered languages; markers; evolution; proclitics
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2014 04:04
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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