Malto is a nonliterary tribal language spoken by nearly one hundred
thousand Dravidian tribesmen in the hilly tracts of Rajmahal in Northern
Bihar. They prefer to reside in small settlements hidden in jungle thickets
and surrounded by prickly hedges. There they lead a life of hunters,
fishermen and collectors of edible plants, eggs, insects and small animals.
Often they practise goat- and sheep-breeding and even rear buffaloes.
Tillage and husbandry are less popular with them.
Linguistically Malto belongs to the north-eastern group of the Dravidian
family of languages. Of its three dialects one, called Sawriya, was
thoroughly studied and described by B.Droese in the mid 19th Century, the
other, Malpahariya, was described by B.P. Mahapatra in the 70s of the last
Century, and the third, Kumarbhag, can be known from Mahapatra´s notes,
too. In the present book phonetics, morphology and syntax of all the three
Malto dialects are summarized and systematized with due account of the
comparative data received so far (written in Russian).