Konekor Gadaba belongs to the Parji-Kolami subgroup of Central Dravidian subfamily of language.
Bhattacharya’s work on Ollari (1957) was the first published scientific account of this language. Ollari is
spoken in the Karaput district of Orissa and was though by Bhattacharya (1957:8) as a dialect different from
Konekor Gadaba (referred to by him as Poya in his book) which is spoken around Salur in the Srikakulam
district of Andhra Pradesh (bordering Orissa). A later study by Burrow and Bhattacharya (1962-63:43)
revealed that Konekor Gadaba and Ollari are the same, of course, with “the inevitable local differences
which are always found in vernacular speech”.
Konekor Gadaba was also called Poya and Salur Gadaba by Burrow and Bhattacharya. Of these three
names, Poya was found to be a wrong one by Burrow and Bhattacharya (Burrow and Emeneau 1961: xxiv).
Among the other two names. Konekor Gadaba is preferable because the speakers of the language
themselves like to be called Konekors. Konekor is alternatively pronounced as Kondekor [kone: ko: or-
konde: ko: r]. An intervocalic n is alternatively pronounced as [n] or [nd] in this language. So the spelling
konekor is preferred as compared to kondekor. Konekor Gadaba is different from Gutob Gadaba, a Munda
language which is spoken also around Salur area elsewhere and which is often not distinguished from
konekor Gadaba by the native Telugu and Oriya people around there.
The konekors also use the name Mundi [mundli] while referring to themselves. The informant told me
that this is an older name of their tribe and the elderly people of their still prefer by this name.
This book is a thoroughly revised version of the author’s doctoral dissertation, ‘Kondekor Gadaba: A
Dravidian language’, which was submitted to the University of Poona in 1972 and was awarded a Ph. D.
degree in 1973. The analysis is based on materials collected during three field trips prior to 1972 and two
more trips in 1975. Informants were selected from Panukuvalasa (pronounced as panukolsa) village near
Salur in the Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh. It is a situated near Salur town on the Andhra-Orissa
The konekors of Panukuvalasa, both men and women work mainly in the surrounding quarrys as stone-
cutters and occasionally as agricultural labourers. They are bilinguals and speak Telugu with the
neighbouring Telugus. Occasionally they come into contact with the Gutob Gadabas also. The main
informant for this work was Onsol Parayya. He knows Telugu besides his mother tongue and had no
I am highly thankful to Prof. S.B. Deo, Director of Deccan College for his constant help, encouragement and
inspiration. The original dissertation was written under the guidance of Prof. Ashok R. Kelkar. I am
extremely grateful to him. Prof. F.B.J. Kuiper and Prof. P. S. Subrahmanyam were the referees for the
original thesis. My thanks are due to them for suggesting several revisions including the phonemic nature
of the vowel length in the word final cvc syllables and the nature of vowel harmony etc. The responsibility
is entirely mine for any drawbacks that still remain in the work. It was Prof. Bh. Krishnamurti who had first
suggested the topic of Konekor Gadaba to me I am thankful to him.
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