Source : Times of India
Eminent linguist Prof Anvita Abbi on Saturday called for steps to document and archive Andamanese languages on the verge of extinction.
“Andaman Islands is home to some of the few uncontacted peoples on earth, the indigenous languages spoken in the islands are on the verge of extinction and they need to be documented and archived,” said Abbi.
Among others, identification of Andamanese language is the greatest work of the Padamshri awardee linguist.
Speaking on her works, she said, “I identified the Andamanese language, which is genealogically different from the rest of the languages of the local tribes.”
“After years of research, I evolved a script to suit the sounds of the language. We called it the English-great Andamanese-Hindi dictionary, the first of its kind, to document the language on the islands,” she added.
Professor further said that it is difficult to know the exact number of languages because the distinction between a language and a dialect is not always clear.
The Department of Linguistics, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) conferred the Life-Time-Achievement-Award to Abbi for her contribution in preserving endangered languages to mark the year, 2019 as the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed ‘International Year of Indigenous Languages‘.