As an Institute under the Ministry of Human Resource
Development, Department of Education, Government of India, the
Central Institute of Indian Languages is charged with the
responsibility of serving as a nucleus to bring together all the research
and application work done on various Indian languages to a common
purpose and to narrow the gap between the basic research and
applications research in the field of languages and linguistics in
India. In order to achieve this goal the Institute brings out research
monographs, instructional materials, maps audio visual materials,
computer software, etc., as part of its publication programme.
PhD. theses are one of the sources of new knowledge. Most of
these theses however do not get wider dissemination. Several
important findings made in the PhD. dissertations do not reach other
investigators resulting in duplication and lack of progress in research.
The CHL, charged with the development of Indian languages,
has also the responsibility of dissemination of research on Indian
With these objectives the CIIL is introducing a new series of
publications called Doctoral Dissertation Scrims. It intends to publish
doctoral research work of high quality in linguistics and related
fields, which has direct relevance to the research, material production
and training programmes of the Institute. This will be very selective
and limited in number.
The present book, A Descriptive Analysis of Yerava, describes
in detail the phonology and morphology of the Yerava language. It
also gives a brief ethnographic description of the community and
discusses the place of Yerava in the Dravidian family. This study
adds to the current knowledge about Dravidian languages.
I hope that this dissertation will stimulate further research in the
area and will be useful for applicational work for the development of
This dissertation presents a description of Yerava based on Paniya
Yerava speech, following the Neo Bloomfieldian model. Another
and in all probability the only other, section of Yerava, with a distinct
speech of its own is Panjiri Yerava. Both the sections of Yeravas are
in Kodagu, Karnataka.
The first chapter on Ethnography has twelve sections in which
the geographical description of area where Yerava are living, the
groups and sub-groups of Yerava, the name of the tribe, the origin
and migration, population and distribution, somatoscopic
observations, anthropometric measurement, and racial affinity are
described. The family descent, kinship, the naming pattern and
material culture like house, dress, daily routine, entertainment are
identified and described. In the section on life cycle, birth, puberty,
marriage and death are explained along with some of the rituals
connected with these ceremonies. The final section of this chapter
discusses language, folk literature, bilingualism, literacy and
communication pattern among Yeravas.
The second chapter on Phonology presents the phonemic
inventory of vowels, consonants and supra-segmentals with
phonemic contrasts and their distribution; all these contrasts and their
distribution are ‘lustrated. The other part of the chapter deals with
Yerava phonotactics which includes types of clusters and types of
syllables. In case of clusters, both identical and non-identical
clusters are classified and illustrated. The description of Yerava
syllable system presented here describes the initial medial and final
syllable types. The different types of syllabic structure are explained
The third chapter on Morphophonemics gives formulae
formulated and ordered to illustrate the morphophonemic changes
taking place while the morphs juxtapose. Each formula is given a
number. The same number is given in parenthesis in the other parts
of the thesis to enable cross reference.
The fourth chapter on Noun Morphology is divided into ten
sections. The first section presents an outline of the general
classification of Yerava stems and the second section presents :
classification of noun stems. The simple, derived and compound
nouns are described in the next three sections. The sixth section deals
with the inflection of nouns for gender and number. The eighth
section identifies the case markers, and the eleven cases identified
are illustrated. The ninth section of this chapter describes personal
and derived pronouns. The last and the tenth section describes the
cardinal and ordinal numerals along with formation of numerals of
higher order and numeral stem alternants.
The fifth chapter on Verb Morphology is divided into sixteen
sections. In the first section, the Yerava verb stems are classified on
the basis of the past tense marker, they are also illustrated. The verbs
are further classified into intransitives, transitives, derived transitive
and non-transitivisable intransitives. In the following sections, the
transitives, Causalives, imperatives, hortatives, permissives and tense |
markers — past, present and future — are illustrated.
The non-finite verb forms, adverbial participle forms, adjectival
participle forms — form the content of the ninth section. The complex
verb stems formed by modal auxiliaries and aspectual auxiliaries arc
also identified and described in eleventh section. In the next four
sections, conjunct verbs, modal verbs, appellative verbs and stem
alternants arc explained. In the last section of this chapter an
‘Hustration for inflection of verbs and suffixes is given.
This sixth chapter Adjectives and Adverbs deals with the
modifiers of nouns and verbs. They are identified and illustrated in
three categories — simple, derived and reduplicated.
The seventh chapter Clitics and Particles, has two sections.
The first section deals with clitics —- enclitics, pro-clitics and post
clitics. The second section deals with the particles of three types
the one that occurs with nouns, the one that occurs with adjectives
and one that occurs after the relative participle form of the verb.
The eighth chapter of the thesis is devoted to Syntax of Yerava.
There are four sections in this chapter. The first section illustrates
the simple sentence — equational, copula, dative, modal, existential,
imperative, intransitive; inherent transitive, derived transitive,
causalive, interrogative and negative sciences. In complex
sentences, the sentences of conditional, relative, infinitive and
conjunctive types are illustrated. The compound sentences are also
identified and described. Minor sentences form a separate section.
In the section on phrases, noun, adjective, adverb and verb phrases
are identified and described. The last section describes the concord
The ninth chapter provides a sketchy Comparison of the Yerava
speech form of the present thesis with the speech of Panjiri Yeravas,
and with Kannada, Kodagu and Malalayam, the languages of the
geographical contiguity and with whose speakers Yeravas come into
The Appendix has three sections. The first section presents a
Classified list of verbs. The second section contains a text with
analysis. In the third section, the vocabulary collected during the
investigation is listed.
The references are listed under References.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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