Introduction to the Munda Languages

Authored by: Gregory D.S. Anderson

The Munda Languages

Print publication date:  March  2008
Online publication date:  April  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415328906
eBook ISBN: 9781315822433
Adobe ISBN: 9781317828860

10.4324/9781315822433.chOne

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Abstract

The Munda languages are a group of Austroasiatic languages spoken across portions of central and eastern India by perhaps as many as ten million people total. The Munda peoples are generally believed to represent the autochthonous populations over much of their current areas of inhabitation. Originally, Munda-speaking peoples probably extended over a somewhat larger area before being marginalized into the relatively remote hill country and (formerly) forested areas primarily in the states of Orissa and the newly constituted Jharkhand; significant Munda-speaking groups are also to be found in Madhya Pradesh, and throughout remote areas of Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra (see Map 1.1). Of course much of this territory was settled or colonized by the Indo-Aryan speakers and, at an earlier period, by the Dravidian-speakers as well, which concluded about 2,500 years ago or so.

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