From “finite” to “narrative” – The enclitic marker =a in Kherwarian (North Munda) and Sadri (Indo-Aryan)

This study deals with what we refer to here as the “ narrative marker ” =a in Sadri, the traditional Indo-Aryan lingua franca of western and central Jharkhand in eastern-central India. We argue that this marker in Sadri is the result of the reanalysis of an inherited focus marker which originally attached to the present tense in Sadri and that this reanalysis was influenced by speakers of Kherwarian languages using Sadri as a lingua franca, as the distribution of this marker in Sadri closely resembles that of the homophonous finite marker in Kherwarian. Finally, we show how this feature contributes to further define a micro-linguistic area centered on western-central Jharkhand.


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