Jeseri dialect

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Jeseri (also known as Jesri or Dweep Bhasha) is a dialect related to Malayalam,[1] spoken in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep in India.[2][3] It is spoken on the islands of Chetlat, Bitra, Kiltan, Kadmath, Amini, Kavarathi, Androth, Agathi, and Kalpeni, in the archipelago of Lakshadweep. Each of these islands has its own dialect.

Phonology[edit]

The phonology is similar to that of Malayalam, but with certain notable differences.

The initial short vowels, especially 'u', may fall away. For example: rangi (Mal. urangi) - slept, lakka (Mal. ulakka) - pestle.

As for the consonants, the following differences are notable:

1. Initial ch in Malayalam, becomes sh: sholli (Mal.(old) cholli) - said. 2. Initial p in Malayalam, becomes f: fenn (Mal. pennu) - girl. 3. Initial v in Malayalam, becomes b: bili (Mal. vili) - call. 4. The zh sound in Malayalam, becomes retroflex l (mostly), or y: mala (Mal. mazha) - rain, bayi (Mal. vazhi) - way.


Grammar[edit]

The grammar shows similarities to Malayalam.

The case endings for nouns and pronouns are generally as follows:

Nominative: nil; Accusative: a, na Genitive: aa, naa, thaa; Dative: kk, n, oon; Communicative: oda, aa kooda, naa kooda; Instrumental: aa kond, naa kond; Locative: nd, naa ul, l(only in traces); Ablative: nd; Vocative: e, aa;


Pronouns:

naan: I; nee: you (sing); on: he (remote); ben: he (proximate); ol: she (remote); bel: she (proximate); adh: it (remote); idh: it (proximate);

nom, namma, laaba: we (inclusive); nanga: we (exclusive); ninga: you (plural); aba: they (remote); iba: they (proximate); thaan: self;


Verbs:

The conjugations of verbs are similar to Malayalam.

The verb 'kaanu' - meaning 'see', the same as in Malayalam, is illustrated here.

There are three simple tenses.

1. Present: suffix added is nna (mostly nda); so kaanunna/kaanunda - sees, is seeing. 2. Past: the stem of the verb may change as in Malayalam and Tamil. For 'kaanu', past is kanda - saw. 3. Future: the suffix added is 'um'. So, kaanum - will see.


The negatives of these tenses show some differences:

1. For present tense, the negative is formed by adding vela (ppela for some verbs)to the stem. Not only that, a present negative may also function as a future negative. So, kaanuvela - is not seeing, does not see, will not see. 2. For past tense, the negative is formed by suffixing ela to the past stem. So, kandela - did not see, has not seen. 3. For the future tense, the old Malayalam poetic suffix 'aa' may be used (kaanaa).


The interrogative forms are made by suffixing 'aa' with some changes effected. So, kaanundyaa (does/do ... see?) for kaanunda (sees), kandyaa (did ... see?) for kanda (saw), and kaanumaa/kaanunaa/kaanungaa (will ... see?) for kaanum (will see).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lakshadweep Pradesikabhasha Nighandu (Translation: Lakshadweep Regional Language Dictionary), Editor: Dr. Koyammakoya M. ISBN 978-81-922822-9-9. 
  2. ^ Sura's Year Book 2006. 2006. p. 250. ISBN 978-81-7254-124-8. 
  3. ^ India, a reference annual. Government of India. 2004. p. 851. ISBN 978-81-230-1156-1.