Sadani / Sadri is a lingua franca used for inter-tribal group communication in eastern-central India. The term "Sadani" can be used in two senses. In the first, more general meaning, "Sadani" refers to the closely related linguistic varieties in Jharkhand, including forms such as Panch Parganiya, Khortha and Kurmali, which are generally considered independent languages. This term refers to the fact that these linguistic varieties are spoken by the "Sadan" (sadān), i.e., the non-tribal, Indo-Aryan speaking ethnic groups of Jharkhand. The second, more restricted meaning, the one used in this article, refers to the speech of central to western Jharkhand and refers to a group of more closely related dialects usually referred to locally as "Sadri" or "Nagpuri" / "Nagpuriya". The term "Sadani / Sadri" will be used in this article to refer to this one linguistic variety, which will be referred to in the following as "Sadri" only. This variety is generally referred to as "Sadani" in western studies.
The origin of Sadani / Sadri and other related terms (see below) is somewhat obscure. Nowrangi (ca. 1956:iff.) tentatively suggests deriving the term "Sadan" from OIA niʂāda-, referring to an ethnic group of Northeast India. Further research is required.
Sadri is known by many different names. Lewis (2011) lists the following alternate names: Chota Nagpuri, Dikku Kaji, Ganwari, Gauuari, Gawari, Goari, Jharkhandhi, Nagpuri, Nagpuria, Sadan, Sadana, Sadani, Sadari, Sadati, Sadhan, Sadhari, Sadna, Sadrik, Santri, Siddri and Sradri. Some names denote the region where it is spoken, e.g. Jharkhandi from Jharkhand with the adjectivizing marker -i, and (Chota) Nagpuri(ya), referring to Nagpur or Chota Nagpur, alternative names for Jharkhand. Some derive from the names of the groups that speak this language (e.g. Sadani from Sadan), while some refer to the fact that this language is usually spoken in the village or gãw, e.g. Gawari (gãwari 'village [language]').
Sadri is mainly spoken in western and central Jharkhand, but also in parts of Orissa, Chattisgarh, West Bengal, Assam and Bangladesh. Lewis (2011) estimates the total number of speakers to be 1,970,000 for 1997. The Census of India 2001 provides the figure of 2,044,776 speakers.
In addition to this group of native speakers, Sadri is also used as a lingua franca by a large number of so-called "tribal" groups, among others the Kharia (South Munda), Mundari, Bhumij (North Munda) and Kurukh (North Dravidian), and a number of speakers of these "tribal" groups have adopted Sadri as their first language and no longer speak their traditional language.
Since at least Grierson (1903) there has been general consensus that Sadri belongs to the eastern group of the Indo-Aryan languages. Furthermore, Sadri is often considered a dialect of Bhojpuri in western studies (cf. Grierson (1903); Tiwari (1960); Jordan-Horstmann (1969)). However, this classification is not accepted by many speakers of Sadri, who tend to view Sadri either as a separate language or as a dialect of Hindi, but not of Bhojpuri. Also in the Census of India it is subsumed under Hindi.
A large amount of literature has been and continues to be published in Sadri, including a number of works by Peter Shanti Nowrangi of different types, both prose and poetry, as well as translations of sections of the New Testament. Other works include Prasād (1992), a collection of folktales, Gaũjhu (2003), a historical drama, as well as a number of translations from other languages into Sadri. For a more detailed list of these and other works, see the following link:
Sadri is virtually always written in the Devanagari script.
The lexicon and morphology of Sadri closely resemble those of other eastern Indo-Aryan languages such as Bhojpuri. Some of the general, eastern Indo-Aryan traits found in Sadri include lack of grammatical gender, predominance of suffixes and enclitics for grammatical marking, numeral classifiers, which can also be used postnominally without a numeral as a kind of definite article, and unmarked and future imperatives.
Much work remains to be done on the phonological system of Sadri, and the following can only give the main characteristics. Some of the complexities involved in a description of the phonology of Sadri is the fact that there is considerable regional and ethnic variation.
The consonants in Sadri
The following provides an overview of the consonant phonemes of Sadri, based on the discussion in Jordan-Horstmann (1969:19ff.). The phonemic status of forms given in parentheses "( )" is uncertain. /ɽ/ and /ɽh/ are probably best considered intervocalic allophones of /ɖ/ and /ɖh/, respectively.
|Stops||p ph b bh||t th d dh||ʈ ʈh ɖ ɖh||k kh g gh|
|Fricatives||m||n||c [ʧ] ch [ʧh] j [ʤ] jh [ʤʱ]||(ŋ)|
The vowels in Sadri
The following gives an overview of the Sadri vowel system, based on the discussion in Jordan-Horstmann (1969:19f.); for allophonic variation of these phonemes, see there).
Nasalization is phonemic and appears to be compatible with all monopthongs (and perhaps all diphthongs, see below). Cf. uʈh- 'arise' vs. ũʈh 'camel', kha-e [eat-SUBJ.3SG] 's/he may eat' vs. kha-ẽ [eat-SUBJ.3PL] 'they may eat', choɖi [leave-FUT.3SG] 's/he will leave' vs. chõɖi 'girl' (Jordan-Horstmann, 1969: 28). Vowel length, on the other hand, is not phonemic.
There are also a number of diphthongs in Sadri; their exact number is uncertain. The following list is still quite tentative. Underlined forms were found in the corpus of the second author but are either not dealt with in Jordan-Horstmann (1969) or are not treated as diphthongs there. Most diphthongs are also found nasalized in the corpus of the first author of the present article.
The status of the diphthongs as phonemes is problematic for many reasons, including the following:
The following syllabic structures are found in the native vocabulary in Sadri:
Although loan words with other syllable structures do exist, there is a tendency to fit these into the (C)V(C) structure, cf. prem ~ perem 'love' (< Hindi prem), similarly pyar ~ piyar 'love' (< Hindi pyār) Jordan-Horstmann (1969:36).
Some intransitives form their transitive counterpart not by adding the causative morpheme -a but rather by alternating the vowel in the CVC-structure of the base, cf. mʌr- / mor- 'die' vs. mar- 'kill'; this process is not productive.
There are a few verbs with suppletive forms in their paradigms, e.g., ja- 'go', with the irregular past tense stem ge-, and the copula, with the following stems:
Identificational copula: positive: hek-, negative: nʌlag-. Existential / locative copula: positive: ah-, negative: nʌkh-. Other stems: (the details of which cannot be dealt with here): rʌh-, original meaning 'remain'; ho-.
Sadri is generally agglutinating, and almost all grammatical marking is via suffixes, enclitics or postpositions. There is also one marker, the erstwhile converbal marker -i/-e, which now functions as a linker in complex verbs (cf. section 5.2.3 for an example of a complex verb, i.e., the "compound verb construction"). It appears as a suffix with stems ending in a vowel and as an infix directly preceding the final consonant of roots ending in a consonant, cf. le-i 'take-LNK' vs. be<i>c- 'sell-<LNK>'. Only marking for TAM and person is fusional; all other grammatical marking is agglutinative.
Sadri has two major word classes: nominals and verbs, and a number of minor classes, most notably postpositions and adverbs.
For reasons of space, only nominals and verbs will be dealt with here.
Sadri has no grammatical gender. Sex distinctions can be indicated for some noun pairs by means of derivational marking, e.g., ghoɽa 'horse' / ghoɽi 'mare', aja 'grandfather' / aji 'grandmother', lohar 'blacksmith' / loharin 'blacksmith's wife'.
There are two numbers in Sadri in both nouns and verbs: singular and plural. In nominals the singular is unmarked, while the plural is formed by adding =mʌn to the last element of the noun phrase, e.g., chʌuwa 'child' chʌuwa=mʌn 'children'. =mʌn may also be used to express a large amount of something, e.g., dhan=mʌn 'paddy', denoting a large amount of paddy. It is also found in the pronominal system in the 3rd person singular (optionally) to denote politeness (see below).
Pronouns show further distinctions: In addition to number they also denote person (1, 2, 3) and various honorific levels. The following shows the pronominal system as used by a Chik Baraik speaker (i.e., of the weaver caste, all forms in the unmarked case; data from speakers of other ethnic groups can differ considerably): (note: =go 'CLASS')
Unlike nouns, the pronouns of the first and second persons have two stems: mõe / tõe (nominative) vs. mo- / to- (genitive and oblique stems) and hʌmre / tohre / rʌure (nominative and oblique stems) vs. hʌmʌr / tohʌr / rʌur (genitive). Nouns all have one invariable stem in Sadri.
Sadri possesses a small number of classifiers, the most common of which are =o, =ʈho, =go and =jhʌn. The first three do not appear to differ in meaning, whereas =jhʌn is restricted to humans. These classifiers occur after numerals to denote discrete entities, e.g., cair=ʈho / cair=go kukkur 'four dogs', ek=jhʌn bhai 'one brother'. They may also follow the bare noun to denote specificity / definiteness, as in the following example, in which the girl has already been referred to and is hence known to the listener:
There are three cases in Sadri: unmarked or "nominative", genitive, and the oblique.
Other "case relations" are expressed by various postpositions: mẽ 'LOC', le 'EXT' (= "extensional" 'from/to; since/until'), se 'ABL', tʌk 'ALL', etc. These postpositions differ from the case markers referred to above in that they either require or at least may take a noun phrase in the genitive case, whereas what are referred to here as case markers may never take a noun in the genitive.
As example (3) shows, Sadri also has a marker for inalienable possession, but only for the third person. This is especially common with kinship terms, as in (3), and body parts.
Finite predicates mark for the following categories: tense, aspect and mood (TAM) and person / number / honorific status of the subject.
Tense, aspect and mood
There are two predominantly aspectual markers in Sadri. One, the suffix -ʌt (after consonants) / -t (after vowels) is clearly aspectual and denotes imperfectivity. This form is found both as a nominal in conjunction with postpositions (cf. example (18)) and also in complex predicates: nikl-ʌt=he [emerge-IPFV=PRS.3SG] 's/he is emerging / emerges'.
The other form, in -ʌl / -l, with a similar distribution, is largely temporal in nature, as it is used to denote the simple past tense in finite verbs (cf. (4)). In non-finite forms, which are unmarked for person and number, it is a participial marker and is found with postpositions (cf. (19)), in attributive function (cf. (5)) and also with the auxiliary verb ja- 'PASS', from ja- 'go', to denote the passive (cf. (6)). We will consistently gloss it as 'PST' for the sake of convenience. Its exact status awaits further study.
There are three basic tenses in Sadri: past, present and future. In all three, there are two categories: one periphrastic category, with the main verb appearing as an imperfective participle with a form of the copula denoting tense, person, number and honorific status, and a second, synthetic form, with tense, person, number and honorific status marking expressed in a single portmanteau morpheme. While the imperfective form is explicitly marked for imperfectivity, ranging from iterativity and habituality to progressivity, the unmarked form is aspectually unmarked; cf. ja-t rʌhe [go-IPFV=PST.3SG] 's/he was going / used to go' vs. the aspectually unmarked ge-l-ʌk [go-PST.3SG] 's/he went'.
There are three moods: indicative, subjunctive and imperative, with an additional dubitative interpretation often found with the future referred to above. As is typical of eastern Indo-Aryan languages, Sadri also has a future/non-future opposition in the imperative. The future imperative is identical to the future tense, although unlike the future, which is negated by the non-modal negative marker ni, the future imperative is negated by the modal negative marker nʌ: a-b-a [come-FUT-2FAM.POL] 'come (later)!; you (FAMILIAR, POLITE) will come', negated: nʌ aba! 'do not come (later)!', ni aba 'you will not come'.
Person / Number / Honorific marking
The finite verb marks for the person, number and honorific status of the subject (= S / A). Agreement is with number (singular/plural), person (1, 2, 3) and honorific status: In the 3rd persons we have an honorific / unmarked opposition and in the second persons familiar, familiar polite, polite and honorific. Person / number / honorific status are marked by portmanteau morphemes which vary according to tense, aspect and mood. Unlike some of its Indo-Aryan neighbors, Sadri shows no object agreement (= P) and no morphological ergativity.
Non-finite verbs mark for one of the following categories:
The following sample paradigm of the verb kha- 'eat', based largely on the data in Nowrangi (ca. 1956:89ff.), shows the major categories and their respective forms. For reasons of space, it is not complete but should suffice to give the reader a general overview of the Sadri verbal system. Note that the individual honorific levels are only given for the present tense, for the sake of space. The forms given elsewhere are for the lowest honorific category for the respective person.
Future / Dubitative
|1||khabõ / khabũ / khamũ||khab(ʌi)|
Periphrastic (imperfective) forms
Present imperfective: kha-t + TAM/NUM/HON-marking for the present tense (deriving from the copula, see further below):
Past imperfective: kha-t + TAM/NUM/HON-marking for the past tense:
Future imperfective: kha-t + TAM/NUM/HON-marking for the future tense
Perfect: The perfect categories consist of the stem marked for the linker -e / -i (depending on the form of the stem), the erstwhile sequential converb, plus one of the TAM/PERS/NUM/HON-categories listed above for the periphrastic imperfective. Present perfect: kha-e=hõ, etc.
Past perfect: kha-e rʌhõ, etc. Future perfect: kha-e rʌhbõ, etc.
Imperative (non-future) (for forms of the future imperative, see "Future/Dubitative")
Conditional participle: kha-le
Imperfective participle: kha-t
Past participle: kha-l
Sequential converb: kha-e=ke(r)
Copula: (Infinitive: ho-ek)
|Exitential / Locative|
Other finite forms of the copula are generally based on the root rʌh- 'remain'.
Sadri makes extensive use of suffixation, but has few prefixes (excluding Sanskrit loans). In addition to TAM marking, there is also derivational suffixation which can change the word class, e.g., cor 'thief' cor-i 'theft', bec- 'sell' - bec-uwa 'seller'. A rare example of prefixation is nʌ- in the negative copula nʌ-lag- (5.2.2).
Sadri also has compound verbs in which a relatively small number of verbs, such as ja- 'go', follow the lexical verb which is marked by the linker -e / -i (5.2.2). These verbs, often termed "vector verbs" or, as here, "V2", no longer have any lexical meaning but only grammatical meaning, e.g., ja-, with its suppletive past stem ge-, by far the most common V2, denotes telicity and/or movement away from the deictic center, cf. bila-e ge-l-ʌk [dissolve-LNK V2-PST-3SG] 'it dissolved (entirely)', le-i ge-l-ʌẽ [take-LNK V2-PST-3SG.HON] 'he took [me] away'. Other V2s are far less common, such as de-, which as a lexical morpheme means 'give' and as a V2 denotes telicity and often that the action was performed on behalf of someone else, gira-e de-w-a [drop-LNK V2-w-2PL] 'drop [one piece] for me'. However, a beneficial interpretation is not always present (cf. (16)). This topic awaits further study.
Repetition is quite common and has varying semantics, the details of which still remain to be worked out, cf. doine doine 'through the fields', ode ode 'there', sapha sapha 'clearly'.
Sadri is a nominative/accusative language with differential object marking. A and S appear in the nominative, while the marking of P depends on its semantics/pragmatics: human/definite Ps are marked by the oblique marker =ke, as is the goal (G) in bitransitive clauses. There is no morphological ergativity in Sadri. Pronouns and nouns are not treated differently with respect to case.
Unmarked (= "nominative") S:
Unmarked A, unmarked P:
Unmarked A, marked P:
Unmarked A, P, marked G:
There is no special position in the clause for interrogative words. Like non-interrogative elements, these units may appear in various positions, as the two interrogative elements in the following questions ((11)), once clause-initially (ke), once clause-internally (ka).
Polar questions in the corpus of the second author are always marked by one of the following interrogative markers, all of which will be glossed here as 'Q'. These may appear clause-initially, clause-finally or clause-internally. At present, it is not known what semantic differences exist between them: ka (also: 'what?'), ki (also: 'CMPL'), kʌhna.
There are a number of coordinating conjunctions in Sadri, such as ʌur / aur 'and', mudam / mʌgʌr 'but', etc., which have no influence on word order. The following provides two simple examples.
There are many subordinating constructions in Sadri, far too many for this brief overview. These make use of either non-finite or finite forms. The following presents a very brief survey of some of the most common constructions.
Purposive clauses, especially those involving a verb of motion, generally mark the subordinated form by the simple infinitive, as with ɖegek cʌil gelʌẽ in (13) above. Alternatively, the infinitive may be marked by the "extensional" marker le.
Conditional clauses can be formed by a number of means; the protasis may be introduced by a conditional subordinator (ʌgʌr / ʌgur, hole 'if' (< conditional participle of ho- 'COP'; ʌgʌr / ʌgur appears clause-initially, hole clause-finally) with a finite verb; the subordinator may also be omitted, especially if the verb appears in the subjunctive; or the "conditional participle" may also be used, as in (16).
Causal clauses are formed by a clause-initial subordinator such as kaheki 'because' (< kah-e ki [say-LNK CMPL]), kale (ki) 'because' (< ka 'what' le 'EXT'), as in (17), or the postposed subordinator cʌlte 'because', all of which take a clause with a finite verb.
Clauses denoting the time until another action/event are formed with the imperfective participle followed by the extensional postposition le. The A or S of the subordinated verb appears in the genitive.
To denote that one action occured after another, the past participle is used, followed by pache 'after'. Note that in (19) the S appears in the nominative case. Further study is required.
For direct quotes and when reporting thoughts, the form kaike (< kʌihke) or boilke, the sequential converbs of kʌh- 'say' and bol- 'say', respectively, can be used:
A variety of languages are spoken in the region where Sadri is spoken, including several Munda languages and Kurukh (North Dravidian). While it is thus highly likely that Sadri has borrowed from its neighbors, identifying these elements is often difficult. Work in this area is currently in progress.
There are many dialects of Sadri, based on geography, caste and ethnicity (1), and both the pronunciation as well as certain grammatical features such as the pronominal system can vary considerably from one ethnic group to the next. Unfortunately, as no detailed work on this area has yet been undertaken, no further information can be given here. No dialect has been unanimously accepted as standard as yet.
The present article is a re-formated English version of the article which is to appear in Russian in Новые индоарийскиеязыки , ed. by L.I. Kulikov, T.I. Oranskaya and A.Ju. Rusakov in the series "Языки мира", т. 16, published by the Российская Академия Наук, Институт Языкознания, Moscow. The first author would like to thank the editors for their permission to post this article online.
The first author would also like to thank all those speakers of Sadri who aided him in his work during his visit to Jharkhand in March, 2009 to conduct research on Sadri, especially to Sunil Baraik, who accompanied him every step of the way and who also corresponded with him after his return to Germany on a number of issues. Thanks also go to Dr. Ganesh Murmu for all of his support during my visit. The first author would also like to take this opportunity to thank the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) for a generous grant which allowed him to conduct this research trip to Ranchi.
The "conditional participle" also has a number of other functions not directly related to conditionality.
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