Mikhail S. Andronov
Institute of Oriental Studies, The Russian Academy of Sciences
Malto is a nonliterary tribal language spoken by nearly one hundred thousand Dravidian tribesmen in the hilly tracts of Rajmahal in Northern Bihar. They prefer to reside in small settlements hidden in jungle thickets and surrounded by prickly hedges. There they lead a life of hunters, fishermen and collectors of edible plants, eggs, insects and small animals. Often they practise goat-, and sheep-breeding and even rear buffaloes. Tillage and husbandry are less popular with them.
Linguistically Malto belongs to the north-eastern group of the Dravidian family of languages. Of its three dialects one, called Sawriya, was thoroughly studied and described by B.Droese in the mid 19th Century, the other, Malpahariya, was described by B.P. Mahapatra in the 70s of the last Century, and the third, Kumarbhag, can be known from Mahapatra´s notes, too. In the present book phonetics, morphology and syntax of all the three Malto dialects are summarized and systematized with due account of the comparative data received so far (written in Russian).
ISBN 9783895861284. LINCOM Studies in Asian Linguistics 74. 66pp. 2008.