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Sora-English Dictionary

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About the Book

Sora, also called Saora or Savara, is a language spoken by a tribe inhabiting a few districts of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. The tribe is generally identified with the ancient Sabaras mentioned in the epics and Puranas. The Sora language belongs to the Munda family, having close affiniteis with Kherwari and Kharia, ut greatly influenced by Oriya and Telugu. The sora language, due to the important position of its speakers in the former Madras Presidency and some of the former native states like Parlakimedi, received attention of the then Madras Government. It also inspired interest among some internationally known Indologists and linguistics. With the sanction and active patronage of the Government, Rao Sahib G.V. Ramamurti, retired teacher from Parlakimedi, took up the case of the Sora language, with a missionary zeal. He worked among the Savaras for a long time and acquired wonderful firsthand knowledge of the language. He compiled a manual of Sora and two dictionaries – English Sora and Sora –English. The latter is now being reprinted from the 1938 edition. A pioneering job in the field as it was, Ramamurti’s Sora-English Dictionary is by no means an elementary work. He based his work not on any earlier work or any other second-hand material but on vocabularies prepared by himself from Sora records as well as from the actual speech of the speakers. He selected all the words that deserve a place in a dictionary. Besides given correct English equivalents of Sora vocables and derivatives, the author has attempted to illustrate the use of difficult words. The Sora language has no script of its own. The learned author, with a view to representing the phonetic peculiarities of the Sora sounds, has very wisely used the phonetic symbols instead of simple Roman characters. Sora, being an uncultivated language, varies from village to village and at times from family to family. The author has taken great pain to notice those variants and records them in his dictionary as far as possible. Affinities of Sora with other languaes have also been noticed- which will prove very useful to the scholars engaged in the linguistic study of tribal languages. It is also very interesting to note that the author has been able to record similarities of some Sora words with words in foreign languages like Latin, Greek, and German.

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