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Santali Language Structure

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A. Phonetic structure

There are 8 vowels, 35 consonants and 5 Semi-consonants in Santali. The

vowel system of Santali language in the Santal Pargana as described by

Bodding and others, contains 8 or 9 vowels (Zide, 1996), in West Bengal in

Bengali characters it contains 10 (D.N. Baskey), In Singhbhum district of

Jharkhand basic vowel system has the six vowels (Minegishi & Murmu 2001) and

in Ol Chiki it contains 6 vowels which are the first characters of each row

in 6 by 5 matrix arrangement.

Santali has eight phonemes: there are nasalised variants as well, which are

used father rarly. Vowellength is not destinctive in Santali.


  front central back front central back
high i   u i~   u~
mid high e a o+ e~ a o~
mid low E   c E~   c~
low   a     a~  


Outline of the phonology of the Singhbhum Dialect


Santali basic vowel system has the five (or six) vowles as shown below.

  Front mid back
close i i~   u u~
half close e e~ (ǝ, ǝ~) o o~
open   a a~  


Basic Vowels:

5 vowels, /1, e, a, o, u/ woul be postulated as basic ones in the original

Santali vowls, system. In the present Santali, /ǝ/ constitute a six vowel

system. Originally, [ǝ] had been a variant of /a/ This /ǝ/now not only

appears in the above circumstance but eather independently; thus, it would

be regarded as an independent phoneme.

Length of the vowel:

Santali has no phonological distinction between long and short vowels

phonetically speaking, however, a vowel in the word final position is

prono-unced longer, Simiarly, a vowel in a monosyllabic woed is relatively


Nasalized Vowel:

Santali has no phonological distinction between long and short vowels.

Phonetically speaking. However, a vowel in the word final position is

pronounced longer. Similarly, a vowel in a monosyllabic word is relatively


Nasalized Vowels:

Original Santali vowel system seem seems not to have had nasalized vowel. In

the present system, however, mostly in loans, a vowels due to assimilation

to the preceding or following nasal consonant is observed, thus marked with

a bindu in Devanagari transcription, but it is not regarded as phonemic.

Vowel system:

Some descriptions, including that of Bodding, of the Santali Dialects in the

west Bengal or in its adjacent part of Jharkhand show the distinction of

half close and open /e,3 ,o,ǝ/. Singhbum clearly has no such distinction.

Which would be a characteristic of the dialect.

Consonants found in the dislect in the following:

Articulatory Position Iabial dental post-alveolar palatal velar glottal
Voiceless unaspirated stop p t t c k ?
Voiceless aspirated stop ph th th ch kh
Voiced unaspiated stop b d d j g  
Voicet aspirated stop bh dh dh jh gh  
Nasal m n n n n  
Liquid   l, r r      
Fricative   s       h
Approximant w y        


Unaspirated / aspirated distinction:

It seems that Santali have had no distinction between unaspirated and

aspirated stops. As a result of contacts, however, with adjacent Indo-Aryan

languages like Hindi, Santali has obtained such distinction in its consonant


Syllabl final stops:

The syllable final stops of words of Santali origin are unre leased stops

[p', t', c']. There is no unrelesed post-alveolar stop in Santali. It should

be noted that loans from the Indo -Aryan languages maintain, if any a

release in the syllable fineal stop, like [p, t, t, c, k,] etc. Also

distinction between voicless, voiced, unaspirated or aspirated stops in the

syllable final position are observed only in the loanwords.

[Rh] :

The combination of post-alvolar /R/ and /h? Is not regarded as a single

phpneme, but as a succession of two phonemes /R/ and /h/. This is due to the

fact that metathesis as in [dohRa] and [doRga] exists in the language, which

shows the degree of independence of the each consonant.


In most of the Indo-Aryan languages, nasals are homoorgani to the stop that

follow them. It follows that postulating one archiponeme, like anusuara

would be suffcient for the nasal in this phonological environment. Besides

homoorganic sequences, Santali, however, has phonological distinctions

between /n, n,n~, n/ even in the word final position. Note that /n/ in the

intervocalic position where either of the surrounding vowels is at least

nasalized , or in the syllable final position following a nasalized vowel ,

is realised as nasalized flap.


		a. as in father.

e. as in men.

i. as in bit.

o. as in sort.

u. as in put.

e. as in air.

o. as in not.

a. some what like in hurt, fur, slur.

All vowels may be nasalied with( ) above the vowel.


Santali possesses the same sets of consonants as Hindi, viz. Four gutterals

four palatals, four cerebrals, four dental and four labial with

corresponding nasals. They are written and pronounced as in Hindi. Two

consecutive syllables can not begin with an aspirated letter. From jhich,

open we must therefore from jhijhi-ich one who open. Four ssound which has

been called semi-consonent and are written k' ch', t,' and p'. The

pronunciation of satali

Santali has the following consonant (the status of the glottalised series is

doubtful, see below):


    bilabial alveolar retrofl palatal velar glottal
plosives voiceless p t t c k  
  vcl. Asp ph th th ch kh  
  voiced b d d j g  
  ved. asp. bh dh dh jh gh  
  glott. P' t'   c' k'  
nasals   m n   n n  
fricatives     s       h
liquids     l r r rh      
glides   w     y    


K, kh, g, gh like the Hindi gutturals.

N as ng in song.

C,ch, j, jh, like the Hindi palatals.

N as in nyaya.

Y as in yes.

T, th, d, dh, r, n like the Hindi cerebrals.

T, th, d, dh, n, r, l like the corresponding Hindi consonants.

P, ph, b, bh, like the Hindi labials.

W as in wind.

S as in sink.

K, c, t, p are peciliar to santali. Each of these is formed in the mouth and checked.


From s phonolgical point of view, Santali is typical the northeast Indian

area of south Asia (Neukom, f.c.): It has retroflex consonants, aspirated

stops, very few fricatives (only two,/s/ and/ h/), abd glottalised final


Aspirated consonants are commonly found in word of Indo-Aran origin.

According topinnow (1959) I aspiration was absent in the Proto-Munda,

system, wheres nowadays aspiration is fully phonemic and has spread into the

native vocabulary as well.e.g. Dhiri 'stone' Mu , diri, or dhumbek' crumple'

(glottalised consonants do not occur in Indo-Aryan loans).

With aspiration without aspiration
bhul 'mistake' cf. Hi. Bhu~l bul 'drunk'
khicri 'mixed' cf.Hi. Khicri~ kicric' 'clothes' cf. Mu. Kicric
thck 'rebel' cf. Hi. Thok tck 'desire'

7. Diphthongs and related phenomenon

The follwing diphthongs are found in Santali:

Table 3: Diphthongs

V\V i e E a a c o u
i       ia     io iu
e         ea   eo  
E             Eo  
a       ia       au
a   ae         ao  
c   ae            
o   oe     oa      
u ui     ua        


	ia	nia	'this'		ae	sedae	'old times'

io tiok' 'reach' ao dhao 'times'

iu maeiiu 'woman' ae ckce 'who'

ea dea 'back' oe hoe 'become'

eo deonao 'be sulky' oa noa 'this'

Eo heo 'carry' ui nui 'this'

ai gai 'cow' ua ruar 'return'

au bujhau 'understand'

Sequeces of more than two vowels are possible, e.g. Eae 'seven'

Within one stress unit (i.e. A mono- or dissyllabic word or part of a word

,not necessarily mono-morphemic) the distribution of vowels is restricted as

well. The Santli vowel harmony can be described by three sets: a vowel tends

to occur exclusivelv. with the

B. Phonology (organization of speech)

11. Tone

A phonetic or phonological unit belonging to a set distinguished or

primarily distinguished by levels or by changes in pitch. E.g. In Ngbaka

(spoken mainly in the Central African Republic), ma 'magic', ma 'I', and ma

'to me' are distinguished phonologically by a low tone (') a mid tone (~),

and a high tone (`).

12. Intonation

A distinctive of tones over a stretch of speech in principle longer than a

word. Thus there is a difference in intonation between e.g. That's it (I'm

finished') and that's iT? (Is that all). A description of intonation usually

has three main aspects. First, the relevant stretches of speech must be

identifies: in that way sentences or utterances are divided into successive

intonational units or tone groups. Secondly, a syllable or series of

syllables within each will be described as nuclear or tonic: this will be a

position of prominence, indentified e.g. By rapid change of pitch. Thirdly,

a specific pattern of tones will be distinguished: this might be described

as an overall tune or*contour (rising, falling, falling and then rising,

etc.) or might alternatively be divided intoa sequence of smaller

components, each with its own pitch level. Descriptions in terms of contours

are usual e.g. In British treatments;

15. Vowel harmony & consonant harmony


Santali has richly developed system of vowels. All the vowels can be short

as well as long. Some specimens distinguish between short and long vowels,

but in a very arbitary way. The long ā , the sound of it 'all', is written

a, the short a of the German mann. The short vowels are frequently

lengthened when the meaning is emphasized; thus gaµch-ena-e he died becomes

gầchen-ā-e with a very much lengthened ầ. The vowels of monosyllabic word

are usually long if the word does not end in a semiconsonent, in which case

it usually short. Thus ñäl, see . The long vowels of monosyllables is

shortened when an accepted syllable is added : ñälâk'. All the vowel can be

nasalised are then marked in the usual way, ã, ǐ, ẽ.

Harmonic sequence:

There is a distinct tendency in Santali to approach the sound of vowels in

consecutive syllables to each other, the vowel affected by this tendency in

sometimes the preceding and sometimes the following one. This tendency is

known under the name of harmonic sequence, and it is familiar as occuring

also in other languages

In Santali the facts as follows I and U neutralize all vowels which come

under their influence but instead of the short or long,

The difference between o and o, e and e is never shown in printed books.

Here too we will not mark the long and short o and e. You will have to rely

on satali speaking people to help you with the pornunciation.

Singuler, Dual And plural

In English we have singuler and plural. In santali we have singuler , dual

h(two) and plural (more than two). To form the dual we add kin to the noun

and to form the plural we add ko. When the number is sh(Many tree).


(11) The golttalised plosives involve a closure which happens at the same

time as the primary closure in the oral cavity (labial, dental, where the

voiceless and the voiced series of plosives tend to be neutralised. Note

that there are no retroflex glottalised plosives.


Syllable structure

Santali syllables can be light or heavy, Light syllables have the shape CV,

whereas heavy syllables are of the form.

		(C)	V X

Wher X can be filled either by a vowl (-> disphthong) or by a consonant

(CVC). Syllables that are not word-final can end in two consonants

(super-heavy syllables). Santali stems are mono- or bisyllabic, rarely


(i) Monosyllabic stems

	CV	n'	'hand'

CVV dea 'back

CVC hec' 'come'

VC ic' 'shit'

(ii) Disyllabic stems

Stress falls on the first syllable: however, if the first syllable is light

and the second heavy (iambia structure), stress falls on the second

syllable. Note that the heavy monosyllabic CVC above and the iambic

dissyllabic CV. CVC are presumed to be typically Austroasiatic (Donegan


The following syllabic strucres have found:

	CV.CV	'tree'		V.CV	e. ra	'wife'

CV.CVV se.dae 'old times' V. CVV u. Pei 'measure'

CV.CVC bc.tcr 'fear' V.CVC o.rak' 'house'

VC.CV 'anger'

VC.CVV et.kir 'carryaway'

CVC.CVC dal.pan 'nalf-naked' VC.CVC en.dak' 'cross'

CVCC.CV dang.ra 'bullock'

VV.CV 'much'

VV.CVV ei.keu 'feel'

C. Morphology (Word structure):Parts of speech / grammatical

categories Criterion: Function & structural


Morphology is the study of the minimum meaningful units of a language, and

the way in which these units are arranged in words. The smallest meaningful

units are called morphemes. In any language, some words will be found which

cannot be divided into meaningful parts. These are morphemes. Other words

will be found which can be divided into meaningful parts. Each word part

which cannot be further subdivided is said to be a minimal unit or morpheme.

With regards to the morphology of words, morphemeare primary or secondary.

The primary morphemes are radicals or stems; the secondary or formative

elements are affixes. Stems may be simple stems of one morpheme, called

roots, or they may be more than one morpheme. Stems composed of a root plus

affix are derived stems; stems composed of two roots are called compound

stems. Affixes are generally bound forms. These include prefixes, infixes,

suffixes, internal vowel changes, and reduplication. Depending upon the

language, words will consist of (1) free forms; (2) bound plus bound form;

(3) free plus bound form ; or (4) free olus free form, or combination of


The Morphology of Santali serves to establish this language as an

agglutinative language. As such, it has primary elements or radicals in

combination with secondary formative elements or affixes. The elements are

not simply justaposed, they are joined into words. And in the formation of

these words, neither the radical nor the formative element undergoes any

substantial phonological change.

1. Inflection:

a. Noun - Structure of root, stem etc.

iv. Case marker & past positions of subject, direct object, indirect

object,locative, ablative etc.


Santali nominals are marked for the following cases:

Table 6: Case markers

Case Markers e.g. Kora 'boy' Function
Nominartive 0 koŗa subject,object
Dative -then / -thec' koŗa indrect,object
      possessor, instrument
Allative -sen / -sec'   destination, beneficiary
Instrumental/Allative -te koŗa-te instrument cause,destination
Abative -khcn / -khcc' koŗa-khcn source,separation, origin
Locative -ren / -reak' -rean koŗa-ren / -reak' possessor


The dative suffixes -thdn" and -then' express

(i) the possessof argument of menak' 'to exist' (the genitive is used in

the same function):

		hakim-then		ektieri		menak'-a

magistrate -DAT Ektier menak' -a

The magistrate has authority; (Bo13)

(ii) the goal:

		cedak'    mcre     hcr-then-dcm             lalis-ker' -a?

Why five person -DAT -TOP-2s complain -PST : ACT- IND

why did complain to the five persons (i.e. Village council)? (ft. 3. 12, p.20)

ona dare-then calao-te-ko met -a -kan -a:

that (tree- DAT go-PST: MID- DAT- 3p say-APPL -3s -IPFV-IND

They went to the tree and said ti it: (ft 2.67.p14)

Instrumental / Allative ǝ з ә כ

The case suffix -te is used to express two distinct functions allative and


(i) With allative function it indicates destination (only towards


apan-apin           ako-ak'                     orak'-ko-te-ko            rucr-calao-en-a.

One's own' they (p)-GEN:INAN house-PL-ALL-3p return-go-PST:MID-IND

They rerurned home, everyone to his own house. (if 2.50, p.12)

The other uses can be subsumed under the label instrumental. They include:


The suffixes -khcn and -khx' are used to express

	(i) source or origin:

(ii) ona bir-kh כn -dc-le parcm-ǝgu-ket'-me-teetak'

that (INAN ) forest-ABL-TOP-IPe pass-bring-PST:ACT-2s CONV other

bir-bon tiok'-akat'-a

forest-lpi reach-PF: ACT-IND

we have now brought you from that forest away and have reached another forest


The locative case marker -re indicates general location in space and time.

	in-ge        ona           bosta-re     bhorao-oko-ka-n-pe.

IiFOC that(INAN) bag-LOC fill-hide-RES-Is-2p

'put me into that bag and hide me.

in bכhu sopo-re sap' -kate-y -e כr-e-ken-a

my wife sopo-re sap'-kate-y-e כr-e-kan-a

'He hsa caught hold of my wife's hand and is pulling at her.'


The genitive markers seem to be composed of the loeative marker -re and an

additional element -n, which has no clearly definable meaning, and the two

nominalisers for inanimates -ak' and -at) The suffixe -ren is used when the

folloing possessed noun is animate, whereas -reak' and -rean are used when

the following noun is inanimate.


Lכkhכn-ren hכpכn Lokhon's son

Lכkhכn-ren hכpכn Lokhon's son

Lכkhכn-reak' ti 'Lokhon's hand'

The genitive case markers -ren and -reak are used to express possessive

relationships (see below 2.1.4) -read' and -rean mark clausal arguments as


b. Pronoun:

Personal Demonstrative Reflexive Reciprocal Possessive

Interrogatives & Question words Relative pronouns

A pronoun is a word used in place of a noun, such as

	Ramo is my fried. He is an honest boy.

Sumi is a good girl. She belong to a noble family

This is my chair. It is made of steel.

The children are hungry. They want food.

In these sentences `he` is used for Ramo; she is used for Sumi; `it` is used

for chair; and `they` for children. All are pronoun

Kinds of pronouns

a) Personal Pronouns:

	These are three kinds:

First person pronouns: I, my, me, we, our, us, mine, ours.

Second Person Pronouns: you, your, yours.

Third Person Pronouns: He, she, it, they, his, her, its, him, them, their, hers, theirs.

b) Reflexive Pronouns:

They are formed by adding self or selve to personal Pronouns as myself,

ourselves, yourselves, himself, herself, themselves, itself.

c) Demonstrative Pronouns:

This, that, these, those are demonstrative pronouns. When these words are

put before nound, they do the work of adjectives.

		This is my book. (Pronoun)

This book is mine. (adjective)

That is your house. (pronoun)

That house is yours. (Adjective)

These dolls are hers. (Adjective)

These are her dolls. (Pronoun)

Those pictures are his. (Adjective)

Those are his pictures (Pronoun)

d) Interrogative Pronouns:

The words – who, what, whom, which, what – are used for asking questions.

These are called interrogative Pronouns.

		Who has come?   

What is in your hand?

Which is your pen?

Whom do you want to see?

Whose is this watch?

Who is used for asking wuestions about persons.

What is useed for asking wuestions about things.

Which is used for asking wuestions about the particular person or a thing.

When these words are put before nouns, they are called interrogative adjectives.

Which book do you like? (Adjective)

Which is you favourite books? (Pronoun)

What book do you want? (Adjective)

What do you want? (Pronoun)


Personal pronouns

Table: Personal pronouns

person singular dual

excl incl

excl include
1 in ǝlin alan ale abo(n)
2 am aben ape
3 ac' ǝkin ako


The personal pronouns differ from the respective verbal suffixes by the

preposed vowel a- / ǝ-: exceptions are Ist person -in with verbal suffix

-n/-in and 3rd person ac' with suffix -e.

The pronominal stems aer invariable; case, focus and topic markers are added

to them . There are reflexive nor reciprocal pronoouns in Santali.

Reflexivity is expressed by middle voice, see 2..2.3. and reciprocity by

infixes on the verb,

c. Verb morphology (Finite and non-finite verb)



An action sone is called a verb. When the action is done in the present time

it is called Present Tense. When it was done in the past time, it is called

past Tense, when the action will take place in future time, it is called

Future Tense.


The Santali verb is obligatorily marked for four categories:


  1. Tense, aspect and mood;

  2. voice;

    Voice :

    Different trends or particular inclination of sentences are called Voice

    in Grammar.

    There are four voice in Santali, namely the Active, the passive, the

    Reflexive and the Reciprocal voice.

    Active Voice

    The Active voice trend sentences denote simply statements or information

    of actions as they occur, e.g.

    	Bading siyuk'  kana. : I am ploughing the field.

    Orak' ko tek' yar kana. : They are building houses.

    Noa gaDa re tayanko menak' koa. : There are crocodiles in this river.

    Ja~ha~e ho~ bako hec' lena. : No body came here.

    Node duRub ko ta~he~kana. : They were sitting here.

    Passive Voice

  3. one or more pronominal arguments;

  4. sentential modality.


    Optionally, furter cregories can be expressed:

  5. Parallel to the set of neutral TAM markers

    there are two sets, the applicative and the resultative set (Santali has

    three "conjugations")

  6. Auxiliaries allow the formation of an

    additional series of past tenses, of I ntentional forma and of some

    Continuous forms.

  7. The verb stem can be composed (cauative and

    serial verbs ) or denved (Intensive, Repetitive or Reciprocal).

The strucrure of the Santali verb is represented by the following diagram

(the numbers refer to the respective chaprers):

Diagram 1: Structure of the Santali verb.



Stem*+ Conjug.+ TAM+ Voice (+ Pron)+ Aux (+ Pron)+ Modality (+ Pron )

Neutral Nonpast Active Background Past Indicative

Applicative Imperf Middle Continuative other

Resultative Past, etc. Intentional


stem:		simple

derived (Intensive, Repetitive, Reciprocal)

composed (root serialization).

1.stem + 2. stem



other verbs



Santali has two sets of TAM affixes, one for active and one for middle voice

(see 3.3). The table below lists the suffixes of the two sets (they may be

called "neutral" TAM suffixes, in contrast to the respective sets of the

applicative and the resultative,

Table 18: "Neutral" TAM affixes

TAM categories Active Middle
Nonpast ^ -ok' -^
Imperfective -et (-kan) -ok'-kan
past -ket' -en
pluperfect -let' -len
perfect -akat' -akan
Irrealis -le -len
Optative -ke -k-ok'


Table: Example paradigm with dal-'strike"

Active Middle
NPST da-a-e he will strike' dal-ok'.a-e 'he will be struck'
IPFV dal-et' -a-e 'he is striking' dal-ok'-kan-a-e / dal-er' -kan-a-e 'he is being struck'
PST dal-ket'-a-e 'he struck' dal-en-a-e 'he was struck'
PLUP dal-let'-a-e 'he struck' dal-len-a-e 'he was struck'
PF dal-akat' -a-e 'he has struck' dal-akan-a-e 'he's been struk'
IRR dal-le-a-e 'he would strike' dal-len-a-e 'he would be struk'
OPT dal-ke-a-e 'he shoul strike' dal-k-ok'-a-e 'he should be struck'



The Nonpast is the unmarked catrgory within the TAM system. The forms:-

Table: Nonpast verb forms

Naeutral Active dal-a-e 'he will strike'
Middle dal-ok'a-e 'he 'll be struck'
Applicative Active dal-a-k'a-e 'he will strike at it'
Middle dal-jכn 'he will strike for himself'
Resultative Active dal-ka'-k'-a-e 'he will strike it'
Middle dal-ok'-a-e 'he will be struct'


Taking first the ACTIVE Voice only, the following are the commonly used


  1. THE GENERAL, OR FUTURE: is formed simply by

    adding the verbal suffix a- the sign that any word is being used as a

    verb -to the root n^e+lan^ -I will see . This is the only tense which

    you have so far been taught to use. In addition to the future, it is

    general sense, for a habitual reference to the present time. N^e+tko may

    mean they will see, or they see. (are in the habit of seeing ) according

    to the context. It is also used of actions in the past in vivid

    narratives. Tehen^ amak^ oRak^in^ n^ela -To day I will see your house;

    Maejiuko do+ko dakaea, he+re+lko do+ko sia ^ Women cook rice. Plough.

  2. THE INDEFINITE PRESENT : is formed by adding

    -ef to the root: n^e+let^, or n^e+ledan^- I see , I do see. This is used

    of actions in the present time, with no particular stress on the present

    moment.Whille not so gemeral as the tense above (which may refer to past

    and future as well as present).It is not so particular as the one which

    follows. Khe+treye kAmiyet^ a- He works in the rice-field.

  3. THE DEFINTTE PRESENT: is formed by adding – <

    ef^ kan > to the root: < n^e+lef^ kanan^ > I am at the moment aeeing.In

    this case, stress is laid on the present moment of time. Either of these

    present tense be used with a past meaning in vivid narratives. <

    khe+treye kAmiyet^ kana >. He is now working in the rice – field.

  4. THE INDEFINITE IMPERFEOT : is formed by adding

    < -et^ tahe~+kan > to the root:< n^e+let^ tahe~kanan^ > - I was seeing

    .It refers to an incomplete action in the past – an action still being

    performed at the time referred to. < Hols khe+tih^ siet^ tah~kana > -

    Yesterday I was ploughing the rice -field.

  5. THE DEFINITE IMPERFECT: is sformed by adding <

    -et^ kan tahe~+kana > - to the root: < n^e+let^kan an^ > -I was, at the

    moment, srring. The distinction between these two imperfect tenses is

    the same as that between these two imperfect tenses is the same as that

    between the two imperfect tenses is the same as that between the two

    present ten-ses -i, e., in the definite, more stress is laid on a

    particular moment of time.< Unre khe+tin^ siet^ tahe~kana > - At that

    time I was ploughing the rice -field.

  6. THE RECENT PAST: is formed by adding < -kef >

    to the root: < n^e+lhef^ an^ > - I saw, This is the tense mormally

    corresponding to the past tense in English , but is not used in negative

    stative statments < Noays ro+Rkeda > He said this.

  7. THE ANTERIOR PAST: is formed by adding < -LET^

    > TO THE ROOT: < N^E+LLET^AN^ OR N^E+LLEDAN^ > -i SAW , This refers to

    an action in the past more remote than the above , or one which has

    since been neutralised by a more recent action:< nahe+lin^ iditeda > -I

    took away the plough. This is the logical tense to use with negative

    statements in the past: < ban^ n^e+lled > (not ban^ n^e+lkeda.) -I did

    not see. - He preciously said this (but now says some

    thing els); < In^ak^ katha baka an^jo+mleda >- they did not hear (or

    heed) my woed.

  8. THE ANTERIOR PLUPERFECT: is formed by sdding ,

    < -let^ tahe~kan > to the root: < n^e+he~+kanan^ > -I has (previously)

    seen, This is used in the same way as the anterior past when something

    HAD subsequently happened to neutralisethe action described. It is also

    used in negative state ments. < Idilet^ tahe~kanan^ > I had taken it

    away (but subaequebtly brought it back); < Dumke bae n^e+llet^

    tahe~+kana > - He had not (up till then ) seen Dumka.

  9. THE PERFEOT : is formed by adding by adding ,<

    -akat^ > to the root: < n^e+l akat^an^or n^e+l akadan^ > -I have seen.

    Seen. It refers to a completed action in the past and corresponds to the

    same tense in English, < Orak^e benao akat^a > - He has made a house.

  10. THE RECENT PLUPERFECT: is formed by adding , <

    -akat^ tahe~+kan > to the root: < n^e+l akat^ tahe~+kanan^ > -I had

    seen. This refers to a completed action in the past more remote than the

    above -i e., an action already completed at the same tense in English. <

    Orak^e benao akat^ tahe~e~+kan > - He had made a house.

  11. THE ANTERIOR: is formed by adding < -le > to

    the root: < n^e+llen^ > I first see. This is used in the future and past

    as well as the present to signify that the future and past as well as

    the present to signify that the action it describes takes place, or

    ought to take place, or ought to take place, before some other action

    does, or can, take place: < n^e+llem, ado+m pAtiAuk^a >- you will first

    see, then you will belive (i.e., seeing's believing) Excet when used

    with < o+ho+ >, it does not take the verbal < a. Ul jo+mlem ado+

    sebeltet' em baDaea > You must first eat a mango to know its savour. The

    emphatic negative, < o+ho+ > is generally followed by this tense : <

    o+ho+m n^e+llea > (not < n^e+ls >) you will by no means see it.

    The verhal a may in this tense be replaced by certain particles rather

    subtle differences in meaning. You may, if you like , list these forms

    as separate tenses undery persuasive, and preliminary expostulative!

  12. THE INFINTIVE : consists simply of the root

    without the verbal a: < n^e+l >- to see .This is a mood rather than a

    tense, but for various reasons it is more convenient to consider it

    here. Clauses with an infinitive construction in English are however

    often put in different ways in Santali :-

    1. By the use of the infinitive with the

      performative base (Section G): < n^e+n^e+lin^ calak^a > - I will go

      to see. This is a very common use.

    2. By the use of the postposition < lAgit^ > -

      for the sake of -after the infinitive : < n^e+l lAgit^ in^ calak^a >

      I will go to see, for the sake of seeing .

    1. By the use of the future tense including

      the verbal a, followed by < me+nte > (that, in order that, for the

      purpose of): < n^e+la me+nten^ calak^a > -I will go to see, for the

      purpose of seeing .

    1. By the use of the future tens, excluding

      the verbal a, preceded by < je+mgn > (in order that I may see


So far, all tenses considered have been in the Active Voice. We now come to

consider the other Voice, generally called Middle
foreigner the for one easy an always not is voices two between distionction The

sense. passive, a sometimes middle, in used it sense Passive,>

As a general rule, it may be said that when a verb is used transitively,

when it is used passively object, if is in the active voice; when it is used

passively, it is in the middle or passive voice; in interally used, there is

no definite rule, and you must learn for yourself the normal use difficulty

arises < n^e+lae > - he will see; < n^e+lok^ae > -he will bw seen. In the

former, the sense is active, in the the latter, passive; and this of course

applies to many common verbs.

The middle or passive is sometimes used where the active would seem more

logical. 'He ploughs' would seem, for instance, to suggest the active coice;

but in Santali it is generally < siok^ kanae >. If, however, an object is

expressed or definitely implied, the active is generally used:- < khe+le

sief kana >- he is ploughing the field. Similarly used :- < khe+te siet^

kana > he is ploughing the field. Similarly, < e+mok^ako > - they give; but

< Takako e+ma> - they give money.< Takako e+mok^a > is also, however, used,

when the emphasis is on the giving rather thau what is given). Similarly,

Conversely, the active is sometimes used where the middle and passive would

seem more logical. Thus, while < gitic^enae > (mid & pass.) is used for 'he

lay down ; < iApifkedae > (act) is used for 'he slept', and < be+nget^

akadae > - for 'he has wakened up', which seem more logical. Thus, while <

gitic^enae > (mid & pass.) is used for 'he lay down'; < ia+pit^ kedae >

)act.) 'he has wakened up' has wakened up', which seem equally passive acts.

But the literal meaning of < iApit^ > is shut the eyes, and of < be+n^ge+t^

> to open the eyes; and therefore their use in the active voice is here

quite logical.

Thw following are the TENSE-SIGNS of the middle and passive voice. While

rather less numerous, they correspond in their meaning to those of the

active vouce, so nothing more need be said of their individual use, though

examples will be given:-

  1. GENERAL OR FUTURE : < ok^ -n^e+lok^an^ >- I

    will be, or am, seen. < In^ak^ aRak^ do+ no+NDe+ khon ban^ n^e+lok^a > -

    my house is not visible from here.


    -n^e+lok^ kanan^ >- I am being seen. This one tense serves the purposes

    of both the general and particular presents of the active voice :<

    tehen^ gapako siok^ kana > - in these days are ploughing; < piprAten^

    calak^ kana > I am (at the moment) going to pipra.


    tahe~+kana -n^elok^ kan tahe~+kanan^ >- I was being seen. < So+ro+kreko

    se+nok^ kan tahe~kanren^ n^e+lket^koa > -I saw them as they were going

    on the road.

  4. RAST PAST PAST :- < -en -n^e+lenan^ >- I was

    see . < Holako he+c^ena>- they came yesterday.

  5. ANTERIOR PAST: < -len -n^ellenan^ >- I was


    they came yesterday (but has since risen: in making the

    statement of anyone else, < go+c^ena > would be used).


We have till now been considering verbal forms in which there is no object,

or in which it is inanimate and therefore is not shown in verb. If ,

however, the object is animate, it is shown by the insertion of the short

form of the appropriate personal pronoun at a specified place in the verb.

Objects are of two kinds: direct and indirect. Dome verbs, from their

inherent meaning, are normally followed by the direct object; other by the

indirect, , < Ne+t >, to see, normally takes the direct object- I saw him,

you , them, it etc. < Be+n^ge+t^ > meaning literally to open theb eyes, but

also used with the meaning to look, takes the indirect object- I looked at

him, at you, etc. Other verb may be used with either, In English, when we

bsay "I gave him to him' is used with two different meanings. In the first

case, it is the direct object of the verb; in the second, an indirect

object, meaning 'to him' or 'for him' Santali , the form for the direct

object would be used in the first case, for the indirect object in the


The DIRECT OBJECT occurs obviously only in the active voice. It is shown by

inserting the short form of the pronoun (chap. II Lesson III, and Chap. VI)

after the tense, -sign and befor the verbal a Taking the General tense, with

3rd pers, singular subject, you get the following:-

		< N^e+lin^ae > (or < n^e+len^ae >, for euphony) -he will see me. 

< N^e+lmeae >- he will see you .

< N^e+leae >-he will see him.

< N^e+llin^ae >

} -he will see us two.

< N^e+llan^a >- he will see you two.

< N^e+lbenae > -he will see them (dual).

< N^e+lleae > -he will see us.

< N^e+lbonae > - he will see us.

< N^e+lpena > - he will see you .

< N^e+lkoae > -he will see them.


While the tense of a verb distinguishes as to the time with respect to which

it is used, the mood expresses the mode or manner in which it is used. A

part from the Infinitive (a mood itself), the tenses listed from the

Infinitive (a mood itself), It is doubtful whether all the fors in this

section should strictly be elassified as moods ; but it is convenient to

gather them under this head. The following are the commonest:-

  1. THE IMPERATIVE: used in commands or in

    tructions. This is formen by adding a special form of the 2nd. Pers.

    Pron. To the root, in place of the verbal a : ,n^e+lme, n^e+lben,

    n^e+lpe- see, according to whether the command is given to one, two, or

    more than two Animate objects and genitives may be included in the

    regular way: < gAi idikotin^pe > -take away my cows: < gidrA daleme>

    -beat the child.

  2. THE BENEDICTIVE: is formed by adding < ma > to

    the rrot in place of the verbal a, followed by the subject pronoun.<

    n^e+lmae >- he may see, let him see. It is used (a) sometimes as a

    softened imperative < kAmi mam > -you may do the work: b) sometimes as a

    benediction: peace be with you, or to you; (c) sometimes permissively: <

    hijuk^ mako > -let them come. The negative used with this is always

    -May they not come.


    replacing the verbal a by < khan>. Unlike the above, it may be used with

    different tenses. < noam baDae khan lAian^me+ baRe+ >- if you know this,

    please tell me; < amge nuiem dalakade khan in^ do+ am go~+n^ dalmea >

    -if you have beatrn this person, I will bwst you also; < anam n^e+lle

    khanem pAtiAuk^a > -if you will first see that, you will believe.

    As suggested by its name, it is used with rather different meanings:-

    (a) subjunctively, were 'id' would be used in English < amem se+nok^

    khan, in^ ho~+n^ senok^a > if you (will) go, I will go also; (b)

    conditionally where some such phrase as provided that you, will first

    go, I will go. In negative clauses, while is used when the sense is

    subjecttive, , is used when it is conditional: < uni bae hijuk^

    khan in^ do+ ban^ se+nok^a >- if he does not come, I will not go; uni

    bae hijuk' khan in^ do+ o+ho+n^ se+nlena.> i. e. I won't go unless he


    There is also a common use of
    ka+mi noa meaning conditional or sub-junctive with>- if this work is good for

    me, then I will do it. This is not to be confused with the conjunction

    meaning 'but' This comes at the end of the claise it governs, the

    conjunction at the beginning It is probably a subjunctive of the verb

    to say ; and the literal meaning of the example given above would be: If

    (you or they) say that this work is good would be : If (you or they say

    that this work is good for me .

  4. THE OPTATIVE: is formed by adding < -ke > to

    the root in the active, < -kok^ > in the middle and passive voice. As

    its name indicates, it signifies choice, wish , or desire or the part of

    the subject of the verb, and can often be translated by would' or'could;

    < in^ak^en? Would you like to see my house? < tehen^ thora gan dakan^

    gan dakan^ jo+mkea >- to-day I would like to eat a little rice . It is

    often used is a clause following what the subject may be willing to do

    provided certain conditions are fulfilled: < uniye hijuk' khan, amem

    se+nkok'a >? - if he comes, would you go?;

  5. THE CAUSATIVE is formed by adding < oco > to

    the root followed in the active voice by the DIRECT animate object if

    present, and is also used with the vaious tenses. Its meaning is elear

    from its name, and is illustrated in the following examples: < kuRin^

    se+n ocokedea > - I caused the girl to go : < khe+tre kAmi ocokom >-

    cause them to work in the field; < dhiriko rakap ocokeda >. They raised

    the stone (lit.caused it rise). In the middle or passive voice, it is

    used to emphasise a passive meaning, sometimes where the simple passive

    would seem to meet the case:
    n^e+t then>- I will show myself to him dit.

  6. THE PERMISSIVG is found in the active voice

    only, and is formed by adding to the root, followed by the INDIRECT

    animate or inanimate object (in distatinction to the direct in the

    causative). While the causative is used with the sense of to cause or

    force, this is used in the sense of to allow or permit: < n^e+l

    ocoadean^ > - I allowed him to see; < kAmi ocoakome > - let them work; <

    n^ir oco akawat^koae > -he has let them run away ;

  7. THE INTENTIONAL : is formed (a) by adding < -ka

    > to the root in the future, persent imperfect, and imperative in the in

    the future, preesent imperfect, and imperative in the active voice; <

    dalkakoae > he will beat them , < dalkako kanae >- he is beating them; <

    dalkako kan tahe~+kanae- he was beating them ; < dalkakome >- beat them;

    (b) by adding <-lak^ > to the base in the recent past tense of the

    active voice: < dalkat^ koae >- he best them; (c) by adding < -lak^ > to

    the base in the anterior past tense of the active voice; < ona khe+t-in^

    irlak^a > -I previously reaped that rice-field; by adding < kok^ > to

    the rrot in the future, present , imperfect, and imprative of the middle

    or passive voice:< n^e+lkok^ae > -he will be seen; < n^e+lkok^ kanae >-

    he is being seen; - he was being seen ; <

    n^e+lkok^me > be seen. It does not modify tenses other rhan the above ,

    But it is probably the same particle which appears in the normal perfect

    and pluperfect tenses, which contain in themselves the idea of

    completion which this form implies. It is used to give the sense of

    completion or thoroughness of an action:

  8. THE CONTINUATIVE : is formed by adding < akae

    tahe~n > to the root in the active , < akan tahe+n > to the root in the

    middle or root in the active, < akan tahe+n > to the root in the middle

    or passive voice. It is found in both cases only in the future, present,

    imperfect, and imperative: < n^e+l akae tahe+-nae >- he will continue to

    see; < n^e+l akae tahe+n kanae > - he cohtinues to see; < n^e+l akae

    tahe+n kan tahe~+ tahe~+kana > he was continuing to see; < n^el akae

    tahe+n kan tahe~+kanae > he was continuing to see; < n^e+l akae tahe+nme

    > continue to see ; < n^e+l akan tahe+nae > -he will continue to be

    seen, etc. Its use is suffinciently indicated by its name and the above

    examples. When there is an animate object, the short form of the pronoun

    is shown in place of the final e in < akae >:


Certain particles may be inserted in the verb to modify the meaning

corresponding to adverbs in English. They are inserted between the root and


The commonest are:- < ho+t^ or go+t^ > - quickly, suddenly : < n^ir go+t

enae > - suddenly he ran off: < sab ho+t^kedin^ako > - They suddenly seized


< Agu > -to do something when coming; to do something, then come: < hiri

Agukom > - visit them as you come;

             	< n^e+l Aguime > - see it and bring word.

< idi > - to do something when going; do something, then go :

< n^e+l Aguime > - see it and bring word

< idi > - to do something when going; do something, then go:

< n^e+l idikom > -see them as you go, on your way.

These two are also used to expresent continued action, < Agu > from the past

towards the present,

< idi > from the present towards the future: < setak khonin^ kAmi Agu akada,

Ayub hA-bic^in^ kAmi idia > - I have worked continuously from the morning, I

will continue to work till the evening; < kAmi idime > go on working..

< dara > - along with; like < Agu > it is used with the idea of coming: <

Agu darakedeako > - they brought him along with them. It is also used as an

impersonal verb (Section K).

< tora > - along with, with them .

< n^o^+k^ > - little, slightly: < n^e+l n^o~+k^kedean^ > - I caught a

glimpse of him.

< baRa > - here and there, frequently, habitually: < boge baRa > - < geape

>?- are you keeping well?; < ro+R baRakedin^ae > - he said me a great deal,

told me off, spoke a mouthful.

< hataR > - in the mean time, for the time being: < take+n hataRok^me >

-remain meanwhile.

< maRan^ > - in the first place, foremost (not to be confused with < maran^

> - big, old); uniye dal maRan^kedin^a> - it was he who first struck me.


Two or more verbs are often used in conjunction, forming a combination-verb.

If one of them is transitive, the combination- verb takes its construction:-

< n^e+t he+c^kedean^ > - I saw him come; < an^jo+m roa;aaar akat^ koam >?

Have you heard them say so?; < se+n n^amkedean^ >- I went and found him.

With two intransitive verbs, the first gives the emphasis: < he+t^ ruAr

akmae >, and < ruAr he+c^ akanae > - both mean he has come back; but in the

first case the emphasis is on the coming, in the second on the returning.

If, however, the second word of the combination be , used with the

indirect object in the sense of to be able (Section D,it always governs the

structure, i.e. The combination word takes the indirect object: < ban^ kAmi

daReak^a >- I cannot work; < ban^ an^jo+m daReat^ koa > - I could not hear



The following. Are the commonest alteration in the root word or nase of the


  1. THE RECIPROCAI, BASE is formed by reduplicating

    the vowels in the first syllable, and inserting < p > between the two

    vowels thus formed. From is formed < n^e+pe+l >; from < dulAr,

    dupulAr >; from < e+m, e+pe+m >, etc. It is used to indicate reciprocal

    action: < n^e+pe+takin > - they two will see each other; < r+po+r kanako

    > - they are talking to one another (i. e. Quarreling); duplAr – mutual

    love. It is found in both voices and in all tenses.

  2. THE PERFORMATIVE BASE is formed in two ways:-

    (a) by reduplicating the first two letters of the word; becomes <

    n^e+n^e+l >; : < go+c^ go+go+c^ >; < dal dadal >, etc.:

    (b) by inserting < k^ > after the first vowel. This form is always used

    where the initial letter is a vowel: < idi > becones < ik^di >; < Ak^gu;

    an^jo+m, ak^jo+m >; but it is also sometimes used in other words; < kAmi

    > becomes < kAk^mi; be+n^ge+t^; calao, cak^lao; taRam tak^tam; dak^re >,


    It is used (a) to indicate that a certain action is at the moment being

    performed ; < n^e+n^e+l kanako > - they are now engaged in looking; (b)

    to indicate habit or wont; dak'Re < ho+R kanae > he a strong man; <

    cak'laoic^ > - the one who manages, the supervisor; < nui do+ Adiye

    e+k^Re+a > this man tells many lies; (c) very commonly as an infinitive;

    < n^e+n^lko he+c^ akban > they have come to look on: < dadalko baDaea >

    they know how to strike (they are quarrelsome).

    Ther base is used only with the futre tense and tenses forned by adding

    < kan and tahe~kan se+n akana > he has gone to visit relatives.

  3. THE PASSIVE PERFORMATIVE is a corresponding

    construction in the middle and passive voice, formed by reduplicating

    the sign of this voice < ok^- i.e. Ok^ > plus < ok^ > becomes < ogok^ >;

    < k^ > plus < ok^ > becomes < gok^ > -to show that a real passive is

    meant; < n^e+logok^a > it will be seen, visble, evident; < ro+rogok^-

    kana > - it is being said.


These, which are adjective formed from verbs, are formed simply by omitting

the verbal
. The verb is otherwise formed normally as to tense, mood,

object, etc., but does not show an animate subject if present: < n^e+lkedin^

ho+rko >- the people who saw me; < se+n go+t^ akantin^ gidrA > - my child

who has gone suddenly; < e+mat^me maejiu > - the womsn who gave it you; <

burure n^e+logok^ kan dare > - the tree visible on the hill . < po+anak^

kAmi > beneficial work ( reflexive form of the past, middle and passive).

These participles are often employed as nouns, by adding the appropriste

suffix (Chap. IV ): < n^e+logok^ic^ > - the one who is visible; < n^e+logok^

> the thing that 18 visible; < baDaete+t^ > knowledge.



1.Ges. & Future– n^e+la- n^e+la...a- n^e+lok^a - n^e+ljona

2.Indef. Pres.- n^e+let^a- n^e+a...kana- n^e+lok^ kana– n^e+ljon^ . kana,

3.Def. Pres.- n^e+let^- do.- do.- do.

4.Ind imperf.- n^e+let^- n^e+la.. kan- n^e+lok^ kan- n^e+ljonkan

tahe~+kana- tahe~+kana- take~+kana- tahe~+kan

5.Def. Imperf.- n^e+let^ kan- do- do- do


6.Recent past.- n^e+lket^a- n^e+lat^...a- n^e+lena- n^e+lana

7.Ant. Past.- n^e+llet^a- do- n^e+llena- do.

8.Ant. Plup.- n^e+llet^- n^e+akauat^- n^e+llen- n^e+l okawan

tahe~+kana tahe~+kana tahe~+kan tahe~+he~+kana

9.Perfect.- n^e+l akat^a- n^e+l akawat^.. a- n^e+l akana– n^e+l akawana.

10.n^e+l akat^- n^e+l akawat^- n^e+l akan- n^e+l akan- n^e+l-

tahe~+kana- tah^e~+kana- ------ -----

11.Anterior- n^e+llea- ____- n^e+llena- ___

l2.Perfomative– n^e+n^e+la ____ n^e+logok^a ___

Direct (animate) and indirect (animal or inanimate) objects, genitive

pronouns, and verbal particles may also be inserted.


Certain words, generally describing bodily sensations, are commonly vervally

in an impersonal form. Instead of saying used verbally in an impersonal

form. Instead of saying 'I, am hungry', the Santal says 'It hungers me', i.

e., the subject in English becomes the direct object of the verb, the

subject being inanimate (i, e, it), The commonest of these words are: <

re+n*ge+c^ > - hunger < tetan^ > -< thirst; ,hoso >- pain;

- heat; < raban* >- cold; < sana > - < desire >, wish;

drowsiness; -to come < Re+n^ge+c^edin^ kana > - I am had a hedace

(lit the head was hurting me); < raban^ket^pea > - were you cold?;


A part from those mentionad in the section above, there is only one, rarely:


- found only thus in the part tense, meaning went7: they went.

Its meaning presupposes that they have since returned.

The verb < me+r >- to say – is also irregularly constructed in come tenses,

i, e., in the future, present and past of the < n > is changed to < t >; <

metaean^ > (not < me+naean^ >) - I will tell him;
is kanae metadin^ain them; telling -he me+nako) (not>(not < me+nadin^am >) - you

told me. < Metak^me > - namely, that is to say (lit. Say to it) – is very

commonly used. Other tenses both in the active and middle and passive are

regular: < me+n akawat^koan^ > - I have said to them; < ne+njon^ kanan^ > -

I am saying to myself (i. e. Thinking, or wishing); etc.

Ithers, which may irregular in certain tenses, are really regularly

constructed, but modified for the sake of euphony.

The verb < he+c^ >- to come – when used in the tenses of the middle and

passive where < ok^ > occurs, shoud become . This has been modified

to < hijuk^ > Thus we get: < hijuk^ae > he come; < hijuk^ kan tahe~+kanae >

he was coming.

Similarly the verb < calak^ > - to go- is a modifcation of < talaok^> to be

driven, to be caused to go. Thus: < calak^ kan > . < tahe~+kanae > - he was

going; but < go+c^enae > - he died.


There are two ways in which the English word 'must' is expressed in

Santali,. One is by using the word to be, become – with a short

genitive orinoun < calak^ hoyok^tin^a > - must go (lit to go will be mine);

< calak' hoyentaea > - he had to go (to go became his).

The other is by the use of the word - need or necessity. This be used

as an adverb: < jAruRin^ calak^a > - I must go (lit., I will of necessity

go; or as a verb with the genitive pronoun, in the same way as < hoe: calak^

jAruRtin^a >- I mustgo (to go is my need; < ca+lak^ jAruR lahe~ kantin^a > -

I had to go (to go was my need). < JaruR >, however, when used as a verb in

its more literal sense of 'need' or 'want' takes the indirect object instead

of the genitive: < mo~+Re~+ taka jAruRan^a > - I need five rupees;


The distinction made in the verb between an animate and inanimate subject

has already been stressed; but it remains to say that the Santal, being an

animist, draws his own distinction but ween animate and inanimate, and

therefor the animate construction is often used wher the inanimate would

seem more natural. This is generally in connection with the weather, the

sun, moon, stars, wind, rain, etc. - natural elements personified in the

mind of the animist. Thus: < dak^kedae > - it(lit. he) rained; < setonabon

kanae > it is hot (lit. he) rained; < seton*abon kanae > - it is hot (lit he

is shining on us); < ipile n^e+lo+k^ kana > - the star (he) is visible;

- it has become cloudy.

Abstract ideas and other impersonal words are also occasionally personified,

in rather a poetic way: < dulAr do+e go+Ro+ame >- love will help you; <

amak^ li~ do+e kAmia > - your hand will do the work.

d. Adjectives



An adjective is a word used to add something to the meaning of a noun as:

	Ramo is a good boy.

This is a black horse.

I have many books.

She has little money.

The words – good, black, many, and little – are adjectives. They are used

before nouns and add something to their meaning.

	Kinds of Adjectives: 

) Adjective of quality:

Ramo is an honest boy.

Sumi is noble girl.

They are kind people.

This is white horse.

) Adjective of Quantity:

There is a little milk in the pot.

He has enough money with him.

There is a sufficient water in the tank.

Put some sugar in the milk.

) Adjective of number:

There are a few boys in the class room.

I shall come after ten days.

He killed many birds.

Some boys do not come in uniform.

) Demonstrative Adjective:

This horse is mine.

That book is yours.

These clothes are dirty.

Those flowers are charming.

This, That, These, Those are all demonstrative adjectives. They are place before nouns.

) Interrogative Adjectives:

What colour is your shirt?

Which boo do you like?

Whose house is this?

The words what, which, and whose are used before nouns and are used to ask questions.

) Possessive Adjectives:

This is amy house.

That is your school.

This is our village.

His brother has come.

Her sister is weeping.

Teir team has won the match.

There is no word class in Santali. A number of lexemes of lexemes are used

as predicates with stative meaning, corresponding semantically to adjrctives

of other languages. These lexemes can be used as prenominal attributes. A

number of stative verbs borrowed from Indo-Aryan (Hindi or Bengali), 2.g.

'lelha' foolish', kala 'deaf', distinguish two gender forms: -a used with a

masculine noun, -i with a femmine noun. Besides this the "adjectives" make

no distinction of gender.

	(1)	a. Lelh-a kora		b.Lelh-i kori

foolish-M boy foolish-F girl

a, foolish boy' a' foolish girl'

This agreement takes place in predicative function as well:

(2) kora kuri-ko ǝdi-ko konk-a-konk-i-akan-a

boy girl-PL very-3p foolish-M-foolish-F-PF:MID-IND

The boys and girls have become very foolish.

D. Syntax (Sentence structure)

1. Sentence types

1.1. Sentences with mena-

The verb mena-'be, exist' is invariable and never takes any TAM markers.

Mena- has no subject pronouns: arguments with experiencer function are

marked by object pronouns. The suffix -k', used for inanimate objects

elsewhere, appears here. When the experience is non-singular.

Table : parading of mena-be, exist'

  singular dual plural
1.inct mena-n-a 'I am' mena-k'-lan-a mena-k'-bon-a
excl   mena-k'-lin-a mena-k'le-a
2. mena-m-a ..... mena-k'-lin-a mena-k'pe-a
3.AN mena-e-a mena-k'-lin-a mena-k'-ko-a
INAN mena-k'-a    


The verb has three functions:

i) It has existential meaning ('exist,'live)

	1.ona-reak'	mi-tan	kahni	mena-k'-a

that (NAN)-GEN:INAN one-CL story exist-3s: INAN-IND

There is a tale about this. (ft 16.2.p.228)

The protagonist reached another country. There kings were appointed every

day. And were dying daily.)

	2.eken	raj-ren	era	ar	hcpcnera-ge	menak'-kin-a

only king-GEN:AN wife and daughter-FOC exist-3d-IND

Only the queen and a princess were living' (ft 9. 102, p 118)

Paradigm of banuk” not to be'

  singular dual plural
1.incl banug-in-a 'I am not' banuk'-lan-a banuk'-bon-a
excl   banuk'-lin-a banuk'-le-a
2. banuk'me-a banuk'-ben-a banuk'-pe-a
3.AN banug-ic'-a banuk'kin-a banuk'-ko-a
4.INAN banuk'-a    

5.(i)  Existential meaning:-

patia banuk'-a busup' atet'-jcn-me.

Mat be:NEG-IND straw spread-REFL-2s

There is no mat, spread some straw (to lie down on).

6.(ii) Loxative sentence :-

oRak'-re banug-ic'-an

house-LOC be: NEG-3s-IND

He is not at home.

(iii)Possessive sentence:

orak'-re cet' jcm-ak' banuk-ta-bon-a

house-LOC-also what eat-NOM:INAN be:NEG-POSS-lpi-IND

We have nothing to eat in the house.

Identificational sentences:

Identificational sentences are marked by < kan- or tahe~kan >. They

correspond to nominal sentences in other languages. < kan- and taheekan- >

function as copulas, < -kan > referring to persent time (1.2), < tah3~kan >-

to past time (,4). Whereas the past copula < tah3~kan > is used as full

verb, < kan > should be considered as an auxiliary since the subject

pronoun. When preceding. Does not immediately precede < kan >. But the

predicate noun; e. g. in the second part of first example the pronomial

subject < -m > 2s is suffixed to < ma-m > instead to
copula, attached be can pronoun subject Altematively>

Two men both claim to be the womwn's husband.)

1.	a.	nui    ma       in-ren            hoR           kan-e,

this (AN) MOD I-GEN:AN person COP-3s

b. ar am ma-m pera hoR kan.

And you MOD-2s friend person COP

This is my wife, and you are a there acqvain tance

2. oen-re-n baDae-ket'-a

that (INAN) -INST-s kanow-PST:ACT-IND

nui gai-da-e ban kan-t-in-a m3nte.


That's why I know that this cow is not mine,' (fi 3.169. p.56)

3. Simple sentences:

Word order

Generally the head precedes its determiner. In the simple sentence, subject

and object normally precede the verb. In unmarked word order the object

follows the subject Consider the following example, where the jackal (toyo)

is the subject, preceding the object, < hoR' the person:

1.	toyo-do     onko          hoR      met-at'-ko-a:

jackal-TOP those (AN):P person-3s say-APPL:PST-3p-IND



The jackal said to the men: *Did you see?” (ft 2.137, p.18)

Within the noun phrase deterniners (possessof nominals, demonstratives.

Adjectives. Etc) preced the head, for examples see the respectives.

The position after the phrase the head, for examples see the respective


The position after the predicate can be used as afterthought:

2.	cala-k'  calak'-te   mit-tan  gaDa-ge hoR-re-ko nam-ket'-a

go-MID Rdp-CONV one-CL river-FOC-3p find-




As they walked along they came to a river, running full'.


Agreement reflects natural number.

(1)	ado sari  ina     neND   din  hilok'-do uDi utar

then trely that (INAN-ENPH) oppointed day-TOP much


phad-ko jarwa-y-en-a

crowd-3p gather-y-PST: MID-IND

'On the day an immenese crowd came together.

The subject < phad' 'crowd', which is unmarked for number, agrees with the

3rd plural suffix-ko.

Agreement reflects the natural person of the participants. The objcet of the

second clause is a third person,
on suffix pronominal person?, haR?>

	(Answer to the question: Will they bring is rice?)

Sanam hoR -do agu-ke-pe-a, con ban canal

all person-TOP-3p bring-OPT-2p ever NEG every

mankhan mit' hoR-do khati-ge-ko

E. Lexicon

2. Basic vocabulary

Names of the days of a week

    	singe  --  'Sunday

ote -- ‘Monday’

bale -- ‘Tuesday’

sagun -- ‘Wednesday’

sardi -- ‘Thursday’

jarum -- ‘Friday’

Juhum -- ‘Saturday’


	mit ‘one’

bar ‘two’

pe ‘three’

pun ‘four’

mo~Re ‘five’

turuy ‘six’

eyay ‘seven’

iral ‘eight’

arel ‘nine’

gel ‘ten’

isi ‘twenty’

mit' isi gel ‘thirty’

bar isi ‘forty’

bar isi gel ‘fifty’

// ‘sixty’

pe isi gel ‘seventy’

pun isi ‘ eighty’

pun isi gel ‘ninety’

mit' sae ‘hundred’

gel sae/hajar ‘thousand’

gel hajar ’10 thousand’

lakh ‘lakh’

gel lakh ’10 lakhs’

karoD ‘crore’


	sing cando  ‘the sun’

nida cando ‘the moon’

ipil ko ‘planet’

 ‘star’

ara~D ipil ‘pole star’

bhurkak' ipil ‘ morning star’

suk@r ipil ‘evening star’

buDhi parkom ipil '4 in great bear'


Human beings:


hopon ’son’

kuRigidra ’daughter’

kuRi hopon /woman’


 ’man’


Natural Objects:

	bir  hill’

buru ’mountain’

gaDa ’river’

cenal ’canal’

jharna ’spring’

rimil ’cloud’

japut ’rain’

cituing taras ‘sunlight’

umul ’shadow’

hoy wind’

bijali ’lightning’

hudur ’thunder’


 	dare  ’tree’

naRi ’creeper’

buda ’shrub’

tasad ’grass’


	ul ’mango’

kanthaR ’jackfruit’

lici lichi

supra ’guava’

ananas ’pineapple’

sew ’apple’

tarbuj ’cucumber’

kaera ’banana’

angur ’grapes’

dalim ’pomegranate’


 	tarrup ’tiger’

kul ’lion’

hati ’elephant’

sadom ’horse’

tayan ’crocodile’

garuR hinoceros

jil deer’

gai ’cow’


merom ’goat’

pusi ’cat’

seta ’dog’

sukri 'pig


 	saRi sari’

saya ’petticoat’

gamcha ’Indian edition of towel’

tuturi ’veil’

lung ’lungi, a long skirt like cloth for men to tie from the waste’

dhuti ’dhoti, a white big cloth for men to tie from the waste’

gamcha' loth the upper portion of the body taken with dhoti’

angrop -shirt for the men to wear with pajama or dhoti’

jama salwar ke loose outfit for men’


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