A few Odia (earlier Oriya) lexicographers have accepted /ma:rkuNDi/ as a native word with the following meaning: ‘a boy accompanying the bridegroom to the bride’s house for marriage.’ But interestingly this boy cannot be just any boy; but either the bridegroom’s brother or cousin. Thus, /ma:rkuNDi/ represents a special role in the Odia society. I intend to discuss the socio-semantic aspects of this word along with its synonym /kuilibara/ used in the northern Odia dialect. In fact, both these expressions represent a Munda custom verbalised through Dravidian words and used in Odia, a prominent Indo-Aryan language.
Key words: Odia, Indo-Aryan, Munda, Dravidian, socio-semantics, convergence.
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