is spoken by the Gondi people
The Gondi, Goindi or Gond people are people in central India, spread over the states of Madhya Pradesh, eastern Maharashtra , Chhattisgarh, northern Andhra Pradesh, and Western Orissa. With over four million people, they are the largest tribe in Central India.The Gondi language is related to...
. It is a Central-Dravidian language, spoken by about two million people chiefly in the states of Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....
, Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...
, Chhattishgarh and in various adjoining areas of neighbouring states. Although it is the language of the Gond people, only about half of them still speak it.
Gondi has no written literature, but it has a rich folk literature, examples of which are marriage songs and narrations. The language has a two-gender system, substantives being either masculine or nonmasculine. Gondi departed from the parent Proto-Dravidian language by developing initial voiced stops
In phonetics, a plosive, also known as an occlusive or an oral stop, is a stop consonant in which the vocal tract is blocked so that all airflow ceases. The occlusion may be done with the tongue , lips , and &...
(g, j, ḍ, d, b)
and aspirated stops (kh, gh, jh, dh, ph)
Most of the Gondi dialects are still inadequately recorded and described. The more important dialects are Dorla, Koya, Maria, Muria, and Raj Gond. Some basic phonologic
Phonology is, broadly speaking, the subdiscipline of linguistics concerned with the sounds of language. That is, it is the systematic use of sound to encode meaning in any spoken human language, or the field of linguistics studying this use...
features separate the northwestern dialects from the southeastern. One is the treatment of the original initial s,
which is preserved in northern and western Gondi, while farther to the south and east it has been changed to h;
in some other dialects it has been lost completely. Other dialectal variations in the Gondi language are the alteration of initial r
with initial l
and a change of e
Gondi is typically written in the Devanagari script or Telugu script
Telugu script, an abugida from the Brahmic family of scripts, is used to write the Telugu language, a language found in the South-Central Indian state of Andhra Pradesh as well as several other neighboring states. The Telugu script is derived from the Bhattiprolu script...
but actually has its own writing system, the Gondi script, which was designed by a Gond in 1928. Most Gonds are illiterate, and do not use any script, however some adopt the Devanagari or Telugu scripts as their own and the Gonds’ own script is being used far less than before
- Beine, David K. 1994. A sociolinguistic survey of the Gondi-speaking communities of central India. M.A. thesis. San Diego State University. 516 p.
- Chenevix Trench, Charles. Grammar of Gondi: As Spoken in the Betul District, Central Provinces, India ; with Vocabulary, Folk-Tales, Stories and Songs of the Gonds / Volume 1 - Grammar. Madras: Government Press, 1919.
- Hivale, Shamrao, and Verrier Elwin
Verrier Elwin was a self-trained anthropologist, ethnologist and tribal activist, who began his career in India as a Christian missionary...
. Songs of the Forest; The Folk Poetry of the Gonds. London: G. Allen & Unwin, ltd, 1935.
- Moss, Clement F. An Introduction to the Grammar of the Gondi Language. [Jubbalpore?]: Literature Committee of the Evangelical National Missionary Society of Sweden, 1950.
- Pagdi, Setumadhava Rao. A Grammar of the Gondi Language. [Hyderabad-Dn: s.n, 1954.
- Subrahmanyam, P. S. Descriptive Grammar of GondiAnnamalainagar: Annamalai University, 1968.
- [Gondi–Telugu–English–Hindi Dictionary and Phrasebook]http://www.gondwana.in/ap/index.htm by New Zealanders – Mark and Joanna Penny
- [Gondi–Telugu–English–Hindi-Marathi Dictionary] http://www.gondwana.in/mh/index.htm by Benny and Mary Kurian