Arun Ghosh

Department of Bengali, University of Burdwan ,West Bengal, India



Goal-marking in Munda with special reference to the Lower Munda languages


The main objective of this paper is to find out how human and non-human goals are marked in the Lower Munda languages as classified by S. Bhattacharya (1975), viz. Remo, Gutob and Gta’ and compare it with that of Upper Munda languages, especially Santali. There is clear distinction between human and non-human goals in Santali. While the human goals are cross-referenced in the verb the non-human goals are not. Cross-reference is done by the prefix ɑ- which is added to the TAM markers. The non-human goals are marked in the sentence by a postposition. When there are both patient and goal and both are human only the goal is marked. This is more or less the usual practice of Upper Munda (Bhattacharya 1975) and shared by Mundari, Ho, Kharia and Juang. The practice is partially followed by Sora and Gorum, close neighbors of Remo, Gutob and Gta’.

In the three Lower Munda languages, viz. Remo, Gutob and Gta’ human or non-human goal is not cross-referenced in the verb. They are referred to in the sentence and in a different way.

In the backdrop of the prevailing scenario an attempt has been made in the present paper to look into the process of goal-marking in Munda with special emphasis on the three extreme south Munda languages on the basis of a corpus of data collected by the present researcher during July-August 2009. The field work is done with a generous grant from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany.



Bhattacharya, S. 1975 ‘Munda Studies: A new classification of Munda.’ Indo-Iranian Journal, v. xvii:1, pp.97-101.

Bhattacharya, Sudhibhushan, 1975 Studies in Comparative Munda linguistics. Simla: The Indian Institute of Advanced Study.

Ghosh, Arun, 2009 Field notes on Gutob, Remo and Gta’.