The Brahui language, spoken by some 1,5 million people in Pakistan, Iran
and Afghanistan, is the earliest offshoot of the Dravidian stock. Isolated
from the kindred languages for several thousand years, it combines ancient
features inherited from the Proto-Dravidian ancestor with numerous
borrowings from its Iranian and Indo-Aryan neighbours.
Apart from a detailed practical grammar, illustrated with copious examples
from Brahui texts, the book offers the latest comparative-historical
information on the evolution and origin of the main elements of the
language. The Brahui phonemes are traced to their Old Dravidian sources,
the origins of case Suffixes and other nominal desinences are expounded,
the Brahui numerals and pronouns are also traced to their ancient
archetypes, and so are the personal suffixes of the verb. The primary
systems of gender, tense and mood, lost or modified in the contemporary
language, are reconstructed in comparison with those of Old Tamil and other
The Brahui syntax, although basically Dravidian, lost many original
constructions, particularly those with nonfinite verbal forms. However,
Brahui suffered the greatest losses in its vocabulary, where the layer of
Dravidian words is remarkably thin. Etymologies of those which were
retained can be referred to in the book.
The position of Brahui within the Dravidian family and its relationship
ties with kindred languages are discussed at large in the final chapter.
General Information on Brahui is given in the Introduction. The history of
its study is also briefly outlined there. A bibliography of earlier works
on the Brahui language is appended in the end. The subject index will make
the use of the book easier. Second revised and enlarged edition. For more
details see our webshop: www.lincom-europa.com.