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Books > Language and Literature > Boro Vocabulary (With a Grammatical Sketch)
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Boro Vocabulary (With a Grammatical Sketch)
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Boro Vocabulary (With a Grammatical Sketch)
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Description
Foreword

On the 15th of October 1964 the Deccan College celebrates the centenary of its main Building, and curiously enough this period coincides with the Silver Jubilee of the Postgraduate and Research Institute which, as successor to the Deccan College, started functioning from 17th August 1939 when members of the teaching faculty reported for duty. When I suggested to members of our faculty the novel idea that the centenary should be celebrated by the publication of a hundred monographs representing the research carried on under the auspices of the Deccan College in its several departments they readily accepted the suggestion. These contributions are from present and past faculty members and research scholars of the Deccan College, giving a cross-section of the manifold research that it has sponsored during the past twenty-five years. From small beginnings in 1939 the Deccan College has now grown into a well developed and developing Research Institute and become a national centre in so far as Linguistics. Archaeology and Ancient Indian History, and Anthropology and Sociology are concerned. Its international status is attested by the location of the Indian Institute German Studies (Jointly sponsored by Deccan College and the Goethe Institute of Munich), the American Institute of Indian Studies and a Branch of Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient in the campus of the Deccan College. The century of monographs not only symbolises the centenary of the original building and the silver jubilee of the Research Institute, but also the new spirit of critical enquiry and the promise of more to come.

 

Preface

Boro is a Tibeto-Burman language spoken by about 362,000 persons mainly in the three districts of Assam (eastern India), viz. Darrang, Nowgong and Kamrup. It is also used by a few hundred speakers of the districts Goalpara, Sibsagar, Lakhimpur and Garo Hills. The name of the language, which also happens to be the name of the community speaking it, is pronounced with a high tone on the second syllable, (phonemically boro). It is written as Bodo, Bara, Baro etc. by earlier scholars. The tribe is also known by the name Kachari.

Boro as a language, has a prominent position in the family of Tibeto-Burman languages, with the well-cultivated Garo (307,000 speakers), Tripuri (299,000 speakers), Mikir (154,000 speakers) and a few other languages being considered as its closest allies. As can be seen from the select bibliography given at the end, the number of scholars who had come forward to contribute for the study of Boro is not very small either, especially because, most of the languages of this family are only known by their names. In spite of these publications, however, there still remained quite a number of important grammatical as well as lexical features to be analysed and reported properly, and that exactly is the justification for the appearance of the present grammatical sketch and vocabulary.

Some of the salient features of this language may be mentioned here. It is very well known, that the language of the Tibeto-Burman family are all of the monosyllabic-root type. Any given polysyllabic word can be reduced into two or more monosyllabic roots, and most of the suffixed and particles can generally be traced back to one or the other of these root-elements in these languages. Boro is in no way an exception to this rule, even though the reduction of Boro vocables into monosyllabic roots and suffixes is rather difficult and hazardous, thanks to the existence of a large quantity of Indo-Aryan borrowings in its vocabulary, and also the profound influence these languages have made in its morphological network.

The noteworthy features of the grammar of this language are, (1) the long list of derivative suffixes than can be added to verbs as well as nouns (most of which, of course, go back to verbal roots roots or bases), (2) the prefixes and the case of vowel harmony attached to them, (3) the rather loose structure of nominal constructions, (4) the two co-existing counting systems with their complicated quantifier-qualifier-numeral hierarchy, and (5) the interesting twin-word structure.

Instead of giving a running alphabetical list of vocables, it was found useful to group together, as far as it was practicable, all the vocables containing a particular morphological element. Thus a vocale containing two elements will generally be listed twice in the vocabulary, once under the first element, and then under the second. The procedure, however, was not strictly adhered to, for the fear of unnecessarily increasing the bulk of the bocabulary, as for example, the entry za to eat would otherwise be followed by a host of derived verbal bases numbering about three hundred.

Materials for preparing the grammar and vocabulary were collected with the help of Mr. Madhu Ram Baro, native speaker of Boro (from Hajo, Kamrup district). In addition to being an informant, Mr. Baro was also the collaborator of an earlier version of the grammatical sketch. The author wisher to express his sincere gratitude to him.

Acknowledgements are also due to Dr. S. M. Katre, Director, and Dr. A. M. Ghatage, Joint Director, Deccan College, for their kind help and encouragement, and to Dr. A. R. Kelkar for his suggestions with respect to the grammatical analysis.

 

Contents

 

  Forward v
  Preface vii
  Grammatical Sketch  
1 Phonology 1
1.1 inventory 1
1.2-7 consonants 1
1.8,9 tone and nasalization 3
1.10.14 vowels 4
1.15.20 distribution 5
2. Morphophonemics 8
2.1 vowels 8
2.2,3 consonants 9
2.4,5 tone 9
2.6 vowel harmony 10
3 Verbs 10
3.2-5 transitive-intransitive 10
3.6,7 other derivative suffixes 13
3.8 finite forms 16
3.9 non-finite forms 20
4 Nouns 20
4.1 kinship terms 20
4.2 derivative prefixes 23
4.3-5 derivative suffixes 23
4.6 derivative particles 24
4.7 prefixes for verbs 26
4.8 plural suffix 27
4.9 case suffixes 27
4.1 pronouns 28
4.11 numerals 29
4.12 classifiers 30
4.13 quantifiers 32
4.14 borrowed numeral system 33
4.15 twin-words 34
5 Particles 36
  Vocabulary 37
  Select Bibliography 177

 

Sample Pages








Boro Vocabulary (With a Grammatical Sketch)

Item Code:
NAM048
Cover:
Paperback
Edition:
1968
Language:
English
Size:
8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Pages:
196
Other Details:
Weight of the Book: 238 gms
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$25.00   Shipping Free
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Foreword

On the 15th of October 1964 the Deccan College celebrates the centenary of its main Building, and curiously enough this period coincides with the Silver Jubilee of the Postgraduate and Research Institute which, as successor to the Deccan College, started functioning from 17th August 1939 when members of the teaching faculty reported for duty. When I suggested to members of our faculty the novel idea that the centenary should be celebrated by the publication of a hundred monographs representing the research carried on under the auspices of the Deccan College in its several departments they readily accepted the suggestion. These contributions are from present and past faculty members and research scholars of the Deccan College, giving a cross-section of the manifold research that it has sponsored during the past twenty-five years. From small beginnings in 1939 the Deccan College has now grown into a well developed and developing Research Institute and become a national centre in so far as Linguistics. Archaeology and Ancient Indian History, and Anthropology and Sociology are concerned. Its international status is attested by the location of the Indian Institute German Studies (Jointly sponsored by Deccan College and the Goethe Institute of Munich), the American Institute of Indian Studies and a Branch of Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient in the campus of the Deccan College. The century of monographs not only symbolises the centenary of the original building and the silver jubilee of the Research Institute, but also the new spirit of critical enquiry and the promise of more to come.

 

Preface

Boro is a Tibeto-Burman language spoken by about 362,000 persons mainly in the three districts of Assam (eastern India), viz. Darrang, Nowgong and Kamrup. It is also used by a few hundred speakers of the districts Goalpara, Sibsagar, Lakhimpur and Garo Hills. The name of the language, which also happens to be the name of the community speaking it, is pronounced with a high tone on the second syllable, (phonemically boro). It is written as Bodo, Bara, Baro etc. by earlier scholars. The tribe is also known by the name Kachari.

Boro as a language, has a prominent position in the family of Tibeto-Burman languages, with the well-cultivated Garo (307,000 speakers), Tripuri (299,000 speakers), Mikir (154,000 speakers) and a few other languages being considered as its closest allies. As can be seen from the select bibliography given at the end, the number of scholars who had come forward to contribute for the study of Boro is not very small either, especially because, most of the languages of this family are only known by their names. In spite of these publications, however, there still remained quite a number of important grammatical as well as lexical features to be analysed and reported properly, and that exactly is the justification for the appearance of the present grammatical sketch and vocabulary.

Some of the salient features of this language may be mentioned here. It is very well known, that the language of the Tibeto-Burman family are all of the monosyllabic-root type. Any given polysyllabic word can be reduced into two or more monosyllabic roots, and most of the suffixed and particles can generally be traced back to one or the other of these root-elements in these languages. Boro is in no way an exception to this rule, even though the reduction of Boro vocables into monosyllabic roots and suffixes is rather difficult and hazardous, thanks to the existence of a large quantity of Indo-Aryan borrowings in its vocabulary, and also the profound influence these languages have made in its morphological network.

The noteworthy features of the grammar of this language are, (1) the long list of derivative suffixes than can be added to verbs as well as nouns (most of which, of course, go back to verbal roots roots or bases), (2) the prefixes and the case of vowel harmony attached to them, (3) the rather loose structure of nominal constructions, (4) the two co-existing counting systems with their complicated quantifier-qualifier-numeral hierarchy, and (5) the interesting twin-word structure.

Instead of giving a running alphabetical list of vocables, it was found useful to group together, as far as it was practicable, all the vocables containing a particular morphological element. Thus a vocale containing two elements will generally be listed twice in the vocabulary, once under the first element, and then under the second. The procedure, however, was not strictly adhered to, for the fear of unnecessarily increasing the bulk of the bocabulary, as for example, the entry za to eat would otherwise be followed by a host of derived verbal bases numbering about three hundred.

Materials for preparing the grammar and vocabulary were collected with the help of Mr. Madhu Ram Baro, native speaker of Boro (from Hajo, Kamrup district). In addition to being an informant, Mr. Baro was also the collaborator of an earlier version of the grammatical sketch. The author wisher to express his sincere gratitude to him.

Acknowledgements are also due to Dr. S. M. Katre, Director, and Dr. A. M. Ghatage, Joint Director, Deccan College, for their kind help and encouragement, and to Dr. A. R. Kelkar for his suggestions with respect to the grammatical analysis.

 

Contents

 

  Forward v
  Preface vii
  Grammatical Sketch  
1 Phonology 1
1.1 inventory 1
1.2-7 consonants 1
1.8,9 tone and nasalization 3
1.10.14 vowels 4
1.15.20 distribution 5
2. Morphophonemics 8
2.1 vowels 8
2.2,3 consonants 9
2.4,5 tone 9
2.6 vowel harmony 10
3 Verbs 10
3.2-5 transitive-intransitive 10
3.6,7 other derivative suffixes 13
3.8 finite forms 16
3.9 non-finite forms 20
4 Nouns 20
4.1 kinship terms 20
4.2 derivative prefixes 23
4.3-5 derivative suffixes 23
4.6 derivative particles 24
4.7 prefixes for verbs 26
4.8 plural suffix 27
4.9 case suffixes 27
4.1 pronouns 28
4.11 numerals 29
4.12 classifiers 30
4.13 quantifiers 32
4.14 borrowed numeral system 33
4.15 twin-words 34
5 Particles 36
  Vocabulary 37
  Select Bibliography 177

 

Sample Pages








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