|Native to||India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan|
|Region||Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal,Chhattisgarh,Assam,Andaman Nicobar|
|2.28 million (2002-2011)|
|Tolong Siki, Devanagari, Malayalam|
Kurukh // (also Kurux and Oraon or Uranw; Devanagari: कुड़ुख़) is a Dravidian language spoken by nearly two million Oraon and Kisan tribespeople of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and West Bengal, as well as by 65,000 in northern Bangladesh, 28,600 a dialect called Dhangar in Nepal, and about 5,000 in Bhutan. Some Kurukh speakers are in South India. It is most closely related to Brahui and Malto (Paharia). The language is marked as being in a "vulnerable" state in UNESCO's list of endangered languages. The Kisan dialect has 206,100 speakers as of 2011.
Kurukh belongs to the Northern Dravidian group of the Dravidian family of languages, and is closely related to Sauria Paharia and Kumarbhag Paharia, which are often together referred to as Malto.
Kurukh is written in Devanagari, a script also used to write Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Nepali and other Indo-Aryan languages. Narayan Oraon, a doctor, invented the Tolong Siki script specifically for Kurukh. Many books and magazines have been published in Tolong Siki script. The Kurukh Literary Society of India has been instrumental in spreading the Tolong Siki script for Kurukh literature.
It is spoken by 2,053,000 people from the Oraon and Kisan tribes, with 1,834,000 and 219,000 speakers respectively. The literacy rate is 23% in Oraon and 17% in Kisan. Despite the large number of speakers, the language is considered to be endangered. The governments of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have introduced the Kurukh language in schools with majority Kurukhar students.
Alternative names and dialects
Kurukh has a number of alternative names such as Uraon, Kurux, Kunrukh, Kunna, Urang, Morva, and Birhor. Two dialects, Oraon and Kisan, have 73% intelligibility between them. Oraon but not Kisan is currently being standardised. Kisan is currently endangered, with a decline rate of 12.3% from 1991-2001.
Kurukh has five cardinal vowels. Each vowel has long, short nasalized and long nasalized counterparts.
The table below illustrates the articulation of the consonants.
- "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". www.censusindia.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
- "Kurux". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
- "Kurux, Nepali". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2018-07-11.
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kurux". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- "Kurukh". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Evans, Lisa. "Endangered Languages: The Full List". The Guardian.
- Stassen, Leon (1997). Intransitive Predication. Oxford Studies in Typology and Linguistic Theory. Oxford University Press. p. 220. ISBN 978-0199258932.
- PS Subrahmanyam, "Kurukh", in ELL2. Ethnologue assigns Nepali Kurux a separate iso code, kxl.
- Daniel Nettle and Suzanne Romaine. Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World's Languages. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000. Page 9.
- ORGI. "Census of India: Growth of Non-Scheduled Languages-1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001". www.censusindia.gov.in. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
- 1970-, Kobayashi, Masato,. The Kurux language : grammar, texts and lexicon. Leiden. ISBN 9789004347663. OCLC 1000447436.
- Revitalising a language - The Hindu
- Ferdinand Hahn (1903). Kuruḵh̲ (Orā̃ō)-English dictionary. Bengal Secretariat Press. pp. 126–. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- Ferdinand Hahn (1900). Kuruḵẖ grammar. Bengal Secretariat Press. Retrieved 26 August 2012.
- Kuruk̲h̲ folk-lore: in the original. The Bengal Secretariat Book Depot. 1905. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
- Kurukh basic lexicon at the Global Lexicostatistical Database
- Omniglot's page on Tolong Siki
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