Halbi

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A language of India

Alternate Names
Bastari, Halabi, Halba, Halvas, Halvi, Mahari, Mehari
Population

593,000 (2001 census). L2 users: 200,000 (2001 C. Thomas).

Location

Madhya Pradesh, Balaghat district; Chhattisgarh, Bastar district plains; Maharashtra, Gondia district; Odisha, Koraput district; Andhra Pradesh.

Language Maps
Language Status

3 (Wider communication).

Dialects

Adkuri, Bastari, Bhunjia, Chandari, Gachikolo, Govari of Balaghat, Kawari, Kunbi, Mahari (Mahara, Mehari), Muri (Muria), Sundi. Bhunjia and Kawari dialects considered more divergent dialects. Reportedly a creole language. Grierson and Konow (1901–1929) called it a dialect of Marathi [mar] for convenience, but noted similarities to Bhatri [bgw], a dialect of Oriya [ory].

Typology

SOV; postpositions; genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals before noun heads; 2 or 3 affixes per word; word order distinguishes given and new information; noun affixes indicate case; verb affixes mark person, number, gender of subject; passives; causatives; comparatives; CV, CVC, CVV; nontonal.

Language Use

Educated men also use Hindi [hin], for trading and common topics. Also use Bhatri [bgw]. Used as L2 by Bhatri [bgw], Duruwa [pci], Eastern Muria [emu], Maria [mrr], Mirgan [zrg].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 74% for Chhattisgarh plains (2001 census). Government literacy program uses Hindi primers. Bible portions: 1989–1998.
Writing

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

A Scheduled Tribe. Traditional religion, Hindu.