Kharia language

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RegionIndia (Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, Assam, Tripura, Andaman and Nicobar Islands), Nepal
Native speakers
297,614 (2011 census)[1]
  • Munda
    • Kharia–Juang
      • Kharia
Devanagari, Bengali script, Oriya script, Latin script
Language codes
ISO 639-3khr

The Kharia language (IPA: [kʰaɽija] or IPA: [kʰeɽija][3]) is a Munda language that is primarily spoken by the Kharia people of eastern India.


According to linguist Paul Sidwell, Austroasiatic languages arrived on the coast of Odisha from Southeast Asia about 4000-3500 years ago.[4]


Kharia belongs to the Kharia–Juang branch of the Munda language family. Its closest extant relative is the Juang language, but the relationship between Kharia and Juang is remote.

The most widely cited classification places Kharia and Juang together as a subgroup of the South Munda branch of the Munda family. However, some earlier classification schemes placed Kharia and Juang together, as an independent branch deriving from the root of the Munda languages, which they named Central Munda.

Kharia is in contact with Sadri (the local lingua franca), Mundari, Kurukh, Hindi, and Odia (in Odisha).[3]


Kharia speakers are located in the following districts of India.[3]


  1. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues – 2011". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kharia". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b c The Munda languages. Anderson, Gregory D. S. London: Routledge. 2008. p. 434. ISBN 9780415328906. OCLC 225385744.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ Sidwell, Paul. 2018. Austroasiatic Studies: state of the art in 2018. Presentation at the Graduate Institute of Linguistics, National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, 22 May 2018.
  • Gagan Chandra Banerjee (1894). Introduction to the Khariā Language. Bengal Secretariat Press. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  • Peterson, John. 2008. "Kharia". In Anderson, Gregory D.S (ed). The Munda languages, 434–507. Routledge Language Family Series 3.New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-32890-X.

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