Central Institute of Indian Languages is concerned with
the development of Indian languages. The development
of Indian languages can take place by their use in new
domains, which requires development of materials and
methods of manpower for work in the areas of codification.
standardisation and modernisation. The work of the Institute
encompasses basic research, material production and
inservice training. The Institute is also entrusted
with the special responsibility of assisting the development
of tribal and other minor languages. The work of these
languages include preparation of grammar, dictionary
and learning materials besides providing training to
teachers in tribal schools in the use of tribal languages
in a bilingual model of education.
dictionary in any language is an important instrument
for its codification and standardization. It is more
so in the case of tribal languages with very recent
literacy practices and with variations in language use,
particularly in spelling. The dictionaries in tribal
and minor languages therefore are an important step
in their development. They are also a tool for learning
language. The speakers of these languages have to learn
the dominant language of the State and also to some
extent the officia Ilanguages of the Union. Therefore
the dictionaries are in some cases quadrilingual and
in most cases trilingual. The dictionary should also
be useful for the speakers of the State language to
learn the tribal language.
entries of the tribal language are given in the script
adapted for the language .following the spelling system
developed for it. This is followed by phonemic transcription
when the script is not Roman to guide pronunciation
as well as to muke the dictionaries usable to linguists.
are special lexicographic problems in compiling a dictionary
for pre-Iiterate and neo-Iiterate languages. The data
are to be collected primarily from spoken sources and
word boundaries are to be established by the linguist.
The meanings are to be obtained not from the context
of use of words but from the statement of speakers.
These have their own limitations. It is hoped that this
dictionary will initiate interest in further lexical
studies of the langulige to help to enlarge and enrich
dictionary is not only a description of the lexicon
of a language but is also a description of the culture
of its speakers codified in the words. The tribal language
dictionaries are particularly useful from this point
of view for culture studies, though cultural information
is kept to the minimum in this dictionary, which is
primarily meant for linguistic and pedagogical purposes.
major objective of the Institute is to preserve and
promote multilingualism in the country. We hope that
codification and teaching of the tribal and other minor
languages will contribute towards achieving this objective.
We hope that not only the tribals become bilingual,
which they normally are, but also non tribals become
bilinguals by learning the tribal language for better
communication and understanding of each other.