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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Language contact in Jharkhand: Linguistic convergence between Munda and Indo-Aryan in eastern-central India

  • Author(s): Peterson, John
  • et al.

Published Web Location Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License

The present study takes a closer look at language convergence in Jharkhand in eastern-central India, concentrating on Indo-Aryan and Munda languages. Although it is well-known that the Indo-Aryan languages which function as linguae francae in the region – such as Sadri, Bengali and Oriya – have had an enormous impact on the morphosyntax and lexicon of the Munda languages, in this study I call attention to a number of convergences which to my knowledge have so far gone unnoticed, many of which appear to originate in Munda, while others are of uncertain origin. These include, among others, the emergence of inalienable possession as a morphological category and incipient dual marking in the pronominal paradigm in Sadri, similarities in categories denoting 'from' and 'to' or 'begin' and 'keep on', as well as a number of interesting areal developments of the genitive, including 3rd person marking, focus marking, or becoming part of the copular stem in several languages of the region.

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