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Bihari languages: Wikis

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Bihari
Geographic
distribution:
Bihar
Genetic
classification
:
Indo-European
 Indo-Iranian
  Indo-Aryan
   Eastern Zone
    Bihari
Subdivisions:
Angika (anp)
Bhojpuri (bho)
Kudmali (kyw)
Magahi (mag)
Maithili (mai)
Majhi (mjz)
Musasa (smm)
Panchpargania (tdb)
Sadri (sck)
Surajpuri (sjp)
ISO 639-2 and 639-5: bih

Bihari is a name given to the western group of Eastern Indic languages, spoken in Bihar and neighboring states in India. Bhojpuri and Maithili are spoken in Nepal as well. The Bhojpuri and Maithili speaking population form more than 20% of Nepalese population. Despite the large number of speakers of these languages, they have not been constitutionally recognized in India. Even in Bihar, Hindi is the language used for educational and official matters.[1] These languages were legally absorbed under the subordinate label of HINDI in the 1961 Census. Such state and national politics are creating conditions for language endangerments.[2] Nalanda Open University offers various courses on Bihari Languages (Magahi, Bhojpuri, Maithili)[3]. The first success for spreading Hindi occurred in Bihar in 1881, when Hindi displaced Urdu as the sole official language of the province. In this struggle between competing Hindi and Urdu, the potential claims of the three large mother tongues in the region - Magahi, Bhojpuri and Maithili were ignored. After independence Hindi was again given the sole official status through the Bihar Official Language Act, 1950. [4]

Contents

Speakers of Languages

The number of speakers of Bihari languages are difficult to indicate because of unreliable sources. In the urban region most educated speakers of the language name Hindi as their language because this is what they use in formal contexts and believe it to be the appropriate response because of unawareness. The uneducated and the rural population of the region return Hindi as the generic name for their language. [5]

The relationship of Maithili community with Bhojpuri and Magahi communities – the immediate neighbors have been neither very pleasant nor very hostile. These two groups have rather been very envious of the series of achievements – both literary and socio-political. But Maithili has been the only one among them which has been trying to constantly deny superimposition of Hindi over her identity. The other two have given up their claims and have resigned to accept the status of dialects of Hindi.

Languages included in Bihari group

Language [6] ISO 639-3 Scripts No. of Speakers [5] Geographical Distribution
Angika anp Anga, Kaithi, Devanagari 700,000 Eastern Bihar
Bhojpuri bho Kaithi, Devanagari 23,384,562 Western Bihar, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Central Terai
Fiji Hindi[7] hif Roman and Devanagari 460,000 Fiji Inlands
Kudmali kyw N.A. 37,000 Bihar West Bengal Orissa Assam.
Magahi mag Kaithi, Devanagari 11,362,000 Southern Bihar
Maithili mai Maithili, Devanagari 13,500,000 Northern Bihar Delhi Eastern Terai and .Maldives.
Majhi mjz N.A 21,841 Eastern Bihar, Nepal
Musasa smm N.A 50,000 Eastern Bihar, Nepal
Panchpargania tdb N.A. 274,000 West Bengal Jharkhand Assam
Sadri sck N.A. 165,683 Jharkhand Bihar and Bangladesh
Sadri, Oraon sdr N.A. 1,965,000 Jharkhand and Bangladesh
Sarnami Hindustani[8] hns N.A. 150,000 Suriname
Surajpuri sjp N.A. 273,000 Kishanganj, Katihar & Araria.
Bajjika Devanagari 11,500,000 North-Central Bihar Eastern Terai

References and footnotes

  1. ^ http://www.diehardindian.com/demogrph/moredemo/histlang.htm
  2. ^ Verma, Mahandra K.. "Language Endangerment and Indian languages : An exploration and a critique". Linguistic Structure and Language Dynamics in South Asia. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=tcfJY7kANo8C&pg=PA5&lpg=PA5&dq=awadhi+and+magahi+languages&source=web&ots=CXhEbrAUH5&sig=e3GeSyfuGmTbRXtRK-vT100cFAQ&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=10&ct=result#PPA3,M1.  
  3. ^ http://www.nalandaopenuniversity.com/courses.html
  4. ^ Brass Paul R., The Politics of India Since Independence, Cambridge University Press, pp. 183
  5. ^ a b Jain Dhanesh, Cardona George, The Indo-Aryan Languages, pp500, "..the number of speakers of Bihari languages are difficult to indicate because of unreliable sources. In the urban region most educated speakers of the language name Hindi as their language because this is what they use in formal contexts and believe it to be the appropriate response because of unawareness. The uneducated and the rural population of the region return Hindi as the generic name for their language."
  6. ^ http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=90424 Bihari Languages
  7. ^ "Form of Bihari and Awadhi, spoken by Fiji Indians"
  8. ^ "Form of Bihari with Awadhi influence spoken by Surinamers of Indian descent"

See also

External links

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