Dictionary and Grammar of the Nicobarese Language
The territory of Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal had no contacts with the rest of the world till the close of the last century even though the desire on the part of the advanced West to know this unexplored region was too great. As an important step towards developing understanding between the Nicobars and other parts of the world a comprehensive vocabulary of the local language was developed by an outstanding geographer, anthropologist, explorer and linguist. Who this brilliant personality could be except E.H. Man, the legendary historian of the Nicobarese islands? He went to Port Blair as Assistant Superintendent of the Andamans and Nicobars towards the end of the last century. But he overcame his bureaucratic barriers and observed the islands through the sympathetic eyes of a genuine lover of the local scene. E.H. Man’s vast knowledge of almost every subject required for the study of human beings made him eminently qualified to compile this dictionary. Since he lived among the people without barriers of any sort, he mastered the local language and could write with absolute authority. Man’s dictionary is divided into two parts : Part I gives the English-Nicobarese vocabulary; Part II contains, apart from the Nicobarese-English vocabulary, a cogent note on Nicobarese grammar that could be assimilated by any serious student of the subject. As a new interest in the reorganisation of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands has being aroused, the re-issue of this dictionary, originally published in 1888, is imaginative.
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