A Grammar of Gujarati
University of Pune, India
Gujarati, belonging to the Indo-Aryan family, is spoken by approximately 46,100,000 or more speakers. It is the official language of Gujarat state and is also used in 16 other countries around the world, thanks to the Gujarati diaspora. Having several dialects, which moreover have been little explored, Gujarati is very rich in literary style and has a long literary tradition. The grammatical analysis proposed here is of Gujarati as taught and used by educated speakers of the language.
The grammar provides basic information on the phonology, writing system, morphology and the syntax of the language. A short introduction outlines the geolinguistic situation of Gujarati. The chapter on phonology studies the vowels, consonants as well as the syllable structure of Gujarati. Special attention is given to the murmur sounds of the language, since these are a marked feature of Gujarati. A short overview of the syllable structure and of the prosody of Gujarati is also furnished. The analysis of the writing system starts off with a brief historical sketch of the evolution of Gujarati graphemes, followed by a script grammar of the consonants, vowels/matras, and other modifiers. Conjuncts and ligatures both of the vowels and the consonants are also analysed.
Gujarati is essentially a morphological language and hence major stress is laid on its morphology. This chapter describes nominal and verbal morphology as well as the adjuncts. There are two numbers, three genders and three cases, with the nominal elements being declined according to their final elements. The analysis of the verbal system outlines the tenses and the moods. Causatives, which are a special feature of Gujarati, are of particular interest. Non-declined elements constitute adverbs, clitics, particles and connectives. A special section is also given over to derivational morphology with a study of the most important suffixes and prefixes of the language, derived both from Sanskrit and Persian. The broad overview of syntax describes the basic sentence types of Gujarati, word-order, participial structures, negation and coordination and subordination. The last chapter provides a list of the most common idiomatic structures of the language. The study is essentially corpus-linguistics driven and examples provided are based on a large oral and written corpus of present-day Gujarati. For the convenience of those familiar with the Gujarati script, the examples are transcribed both in IPA and in Gujarati.
ISBN 9783895863974. LINCOM Studies in Indo-European Linguistics 28. 100pp. 2004.