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Jeseri
Jasari, Dweep Bhasha
ജസരി
Native toIndia
Lakshadweep
RegionLakshadweep
EthnicityLakshadweep people
Native speakers
(undated figure of 65,000[citation needed])
DialectsAminidivi, Koya, Malmi, Melacheri
Malayalam script
Language codes
ISO 639-3
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Jeseri (also known as Dweep Bhasha) is a dialect of Malayalam,[1] spoken in the Union Territory of Lakshadweep in India.[2][3]

The word 'Jeseri' derives from Arabic word 'Jazari' (جزري) which means 'Islander' or 'of island'. It is spoken on the islands of Chetlat, Bitra, Kiltan, Kadmat, Amini, Kavaratti, Androth, Agatti, and Kalpeni, in the archipelago of Lakshadweep. Each of these islands has its own dialect. The dialects are similar to Arabi Malayalam, a traditional dialect spoken by the Mappila community of Malabar Coast.[4]

Phonology

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The phonology is similar to the Mainland dialect of Old 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 Mainland Malayalam, becomes sh: sholli (Mal.(old) cholli) - said.
  2. Initial p in Mainland Malayalam, becomes f: fenn (Mal. pennu) - girl.
  3. Initial v in Mainland Malayalam, becomes b: buli/ bili (Mal. vili) - call.

Grammar

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The grammar shows similarities to Mainland Malayalam.

Nouns

Case endings

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

Pronouns

singular plural
1st person exclusive naan nanga
inclusive noo, namma, laaba
2nd person née ninga
3rd person proximate masculine ben iba
feminine bel
neuter idh
remote masculine on aba
feminine ol
neuter adh

Verbs

The conjugations of verbs are similar to Mainland Malayalam.

The verb 'kaanu' - meaning 'see', the same as in Mainland 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 Mainland Malayalam. 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

  1. ^ Kōyammakkōya, Eṃ (2012). Lakshadweep Pradesikabhasha Nighandu (Translation: Lakshadweep Regional Language Dictionary), Editor: Dr. Koyammakoya M. Sāhityapr̲avarttaka Sahakaraṇasaṅghaṃ, Nāṣaṇal Bukkȧ St̲āḷ. ISBN 978-81-922822-9-9.
  2. ^ Sura's Year Book 2006. Sura Books. 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.
  4. ^ Subramoniam, V. I. (1997). Dravidian Encyclopaedia. Vol. 3, Language and literature. Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala): International School of Dravidian Linguistics. pp. 508-09. [1]