YB WEB DESK. Dated: 1/22/2020 11:06:13 AM

Anvita Abbi: Reciepint of Padma Shri

Anvita Abbi is a linguist and scholar of minority languages, known for her studies on tribal languages and other minority languages of South Asia. The Government of India honoured her, in 2013, the fourth highest civilian award the Padma Shri, for her contributions to the field of linguistics. Anvita Abbi was born on 9 January 1949, in Agra, the land of Taj Mahal, in family that had produced a number of Hindi writers. After schooling at local institutions, Anvita graduated in Economics (BA Hons) from the University of Delhi in 1968. Subsequently, she secured a master's degree (MA) in Linguistics from the same University with first division and first rank in 1970 and continued her studies to obtain a Ph.D from the Cornell University, Ithaca, USA, in 1975. Anvita Abbi worked as Professor of Linguistics at Centre for Linguistics, School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies. Anvita Abbi is credited with extensive research on the six language families in India and the languages and culture of the Great Andamanese which she did as a part of the Endangered Languages Documentation Project (ELDP) project on Vanishing Voices of the Great Andamanese (VOGA), SOAS, University of London. Her studies of 2003-2004 have helped in identifying the distinct characteristics of two Great Andamanese languages, Jarawa and Onge which promoted the concept of a sixth language family of India. Later researches on Andamanese people by other scholars have reported to have confirmed her Professor Abbi's findings by discovering two distinct haplogroups of the region, viz. M31 and M32. Anvita Abbi resumed her research on the topic in 2006, concentrating on the morphosyntax and lexicon of three dying languages of Andaman Islands and is reported to have unearthed the evidences proving that Great Andamenese belongs to a linguistically different language family. She has brought also out an English-Great Andamanese- Hindi Dictionary. Her current project covers the grammar and the evolution of Great Andamanese languages and its people.


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