On the 15th 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 member of the teaching faculty reported on 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 twentyfive 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 of German Studies (jointly sponsored by Deccan College and the Goethe Institute of Munich), the American Institute of Indian Studies and a branch of the 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 and the promise of more to come.
This monograph on Kharia is a somewhat revised version of my Ph. D. dissertation submitted to and accepted by the University of Poona. Kharia, phonemically /k’ariya/, belongs to the central subgroup of the Munda family of languages, It is spoken about 160,000 people most of whom are concentrated in the Ranchi district of the Chotanagpur Division in Bihar. Kharia has two main dialects: Dhelki Kharia and Dudh Kharia. The dialect described here is referred to as Dudh Kharia by the informant.
The main informant on whose speech this description is based is Shri P.C. KERKETTA. Besides his mother-tongue, he knows English, Hindi and Mundari. He hails from Muryadih, a village about 125 miles from Ranchi.
Work on Kharia was commenced by me in August, 1958, and was completed in April, 1961. The present grammar is the result of data gathered in about 1000 hours of work with the informant. The data consist of about 1500 world, texts and a number of sentences and paradigms.
Most of the previous work on Kharia was done by persons not trained for linguistic work. The earliest reference to Kharia that I can find is in an ethnological article by Dalton published in 1866. This article (published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. XXXV, Part 2, Supplementary number, pp. 153-198) lists a few words from “Kherriah”. Various other articles have appeared since that time, all of them being mostly ethnological. In 1894, Gagan Chandra Bannerjee’s “Introduction to the Khariya Language” was published. This was, perhaps, the attempt to describe the grammar of Kharia found in the Linguistic Survey of India (Volume 4) is based on Bannerjee’s work which was considered unsatisfactory even by those who wrote that account.
The “English-Kharia Dictionary” by H. Floor and V. Gheysens, and the “Kharia-English Dictionary” by G. Druart (Calcutta, 1934, Tea Districts Labour Association) are not satisfactory. There is a reference to a “Language Hand-Book Kharia”. But I have not been able to have a look at the book and no comments can be made on its quality.
Recently, Heinz-Jurgen Pinnow’s “Versuch einer Historischen Lautlehre der Kharia-Sprache” (1959, Otto Harrassowitz, Wies-baden) has appeared. This voluminous work attempts to give a historical phonology of Kharia. Pinnow gives, in brief outline, the phonemic system of Kharia. The differences between his phonetic data and mine are small in number and minor. The phonemic interpretation, however, differs in many respects. Pinnow has also to his credit a full scale description of the phonemic system of Kharia. But it is as yet unpublished. The book also contains a very useful and fairly exhaustive bibliography on Kharia.
More recently pinnow has edited a volume of Kharia Texts (1965). It is very good and I will be writing on this in a more detailed fashion elsewhere.
This monograph present in a fairly exhaustive manner, the essential details about the Phonemics, Morphology and Syntax of Kharia. The description of intonation, however, is not attempted. It also includes a Kharia-English Vocabulary.
I wish to express my sense of gratitude to the following:
(1) Shri P.C. Kerketta who was the main informant for this study and whose patience and intelligence were of great value.
(2) Dr. S.M. Katre, to whom I cannot adequately express in words my gratitude for the innumerable ways in which he has helped me.
(3) The Authorities of the Spicer’s Memorial College who have helped in making available the services of the informant.
(4) Drs. A.M. Ghatage, N.G. Kalelkar, .N.S. Bhat and AR. Kelkar who have read this grammar and given many useful suggestions.
Item Code: NAM134 Author: H. S. Biligiri Cover: Paperback Edition: 1965 Publisher: Deccan College Postgraduate and Research Institute Language: English Size: 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch Pages: 219 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 285 gms