Indresh Thakur

Central Department of Linguistics, Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur, Kathmandu.

<>, <>



Case Markers in Santhali


This paper presents a linguistic analysis of the case markers of Santhali, an Austro-Asiatic language of Kherwarian group of north Munda spoken in Nepal. Santhali has fairly a large community of speakers as it is spoken by 40,260 people (Census of Nepal, 2001) mostly in two districts of Nepal: Jhapa and Morang. The cases found during the study are locative, genitive, nominative, accusative, dative, instrumental, ablative, and allative.

Nominative, accusative and dative cases are unmarked in Santhali whereas other cases are simply marked by suffixes/postpositions. The locative case is marked by the suffix ‘-re’, the genitive case in Santhali is marked by three suffixes or genitive markers viz. ‘-ren’, ‘-aʔ’, and ‘-rijaʔ’. Similarly, instrumental case is marked by the suffex ‘-te’ and ablative and allative cases are marked by the suffixes ‘-kʰʌi’ and ‘-seʔ’ respectively.

The cases in Santhali can be shown through the following table:



Case markers








-ren, -aʔ, and ‘-rijaʔ











Acharya, T. 2055(VS). Nepali ra Satar Bhashako Padsangatiko Tulnatmak Adhyayan. An Unpublished M.A. Thesis. Kathmandu: Ratna Rajya Laxmi Campus.

Hansdah, R.C. and N.C.Murmu.2005. A Framework for Learning and Understanding Santhali in Ol Chiki Script.

Grierson, G.A. 1909. Linguistic Survey of India: Munda and Dravidian Languages. Vol.iv. Delhi/ Baransi/ Patna: Motilal Banarsidas.

Thakur,I. and S. Kumari. 2008. The Documentation of the Santhali Language. Lalitpur: NFDIN.

Thakur, I. 2008. The Structure of Verbs and Sentences of Santhali. An Unpublished M.A. Thesis. Kathmandu:  Central Department of Linguistics, TU.

Yadava, Y.P. 2003. Language. Population Monograph of Nepal. Vol.1. Kathmandu: CBS: 137-171.