Walmiki and Malhar: 2 unknown languages discovered
Linguist from University of Hyderabad have discovered two endangered languages Walmiki and Malhar predominantly spoken in remote regions of Odisha. They were discovered by Prof Panchanan Mohanty as part of activity of Centre for Endangered Languages and Mother Tongue Studies. The professor had collected some data and did preliminary analysis of these languages and published paper in proceedings of XX Annual Conference of Foundation for Endangered Languages, UK.
Walmiki: It is spoken in district of Koraput of Odisha and on bordering districts of Andhra Pradesh. It is an isolate language and does not belonged to particular family of languages. Its name is interesting and indicative as speech of the community claims to be descent from great Indian saint-poet Valmiki, who is credited to have written one version of epic Ramayana.
Malhar: It is spoken in a remote and isolated hamlet about 165 km away from Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Now it is spoken by community consisting of about 75 speakers including children. It belongs to “North Dravidian subgroup of Dravidian family of languages. It has close affinities with other North Dravidian languages like Malto and Kurux spoken in Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bihar.
India has been termed sociolinguistic giant and linguists paradise by various scholars across the world. Though Central government has made effort to document endangered tribal and minor languages, there are many languages which are unknown to world and are waiting to be discovered and documented.