by Andronov, Mikhail Sergeevich
The Brahui language, spoken by some 1.5 million people in Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan, is the earliest offshoot of the Dravidian stock. Isolated from the kindred languages for several thousand years, it combines ancient features inherited from the Proto-Dravidian ancestor with numerous borrowings from its Iranian and Indo-Aryan neighbours. Apart from a detailed practical grammar, illustrated with copious examples from Brahui literary texts, the book offers the latest comparative-historical information on the evolution and origin of the main elements of the language. The Brahui phonemes are traced to their Old Dravidian sources, the origins of case suffixes and other nominal desinences are expounded, the Brahui numerals and pronouns are also traced to their ancient archetypes, and so are the personal suffixes in the verb. The primary systems of gender, tense and mood, lost or modified in the contemporary language, are reconstructed in comparison with these of Old Tamil and other classical languages. The general information on Brahui is given in the Introduction. The history of its study is also briefly outlined there and, in particular, the position of Brahui within the Dravidian family is discussed. A bibliography of earlier works on the Brahui language is appended in the end. The subject index will make the use of the book easier. [Original and unabridged version, set with a typewriter].
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