Overview for Manual of the Andamanese Languages
The Aborigines of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lying in the Bay of Bengal), are among the most ancient races on earth. These people have remained secluded from rest of the world for centuries-so much so that to know about their history, origin, manners and customs, is an anthropological revelation of high importance. In this endeavour, the knowledge of their languages is a must, for each of the tribes possesses a distinct dialect, traceable however to the same source. The Andamanese languages though belong to one group, have no affinities by which we might infer their relatedness with other known group or groups. There is also a distinct poetical dialect, and in their songs they subordinate to rhythm, not only the form of worlds but even the syntax. The 'Manual' is the first of its kind on the subject of various Andamanese dialects. The author, who lived among these people for a long time, took the services of several interpreters for each dialect to ensure correctness. Beginning with an introduction on grammar, the Manual is divided into three parts: Part I deals with the dictionary, English-Andmanese; Part II with different sentences regarding weather, the coastal and jungle life, eating and drinking, diseases, emotions, relationships etc. while Part III gives a list of items used like food, articles made and used by the Andamanese, principal trees found in the Islands. 'Manual' will be immensely useful for anthropologists, sociologists, administrators and the researchers alike.
M.V. Portman (Author)
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