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Indo-Aryan
Indic
Geographic
distribution:
South Asia
Genetic
classification
:
Indo-European
 Indo-Iranian
  Indo-Aryan
Subdivisions:
ISO 639-2 and 639-5: inc
Indoarische Sprachen Gruppen.png

Geographical distribution of the major Indo-Aryan languages (Urdu is not shown because it is mainly a lingua franca with no prevalence as a first language. Outside of the scope of the map is the migratory Romani language).

The Indo-Aryan languages (within the context of Indo-European studies also Indic[1]) are a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family.

SIL International in a 2005 estimate counted a total of 209 varieties, the largest in terms of native speakers being Hindustani (Hindi and Urdu, about 540 million), Bengali (about 260 million), Punjabi (about 100 million), Marathi (about 90 million), Gujarati (about 45 million), Nepali (about 40 million), Oriya (about 30 million), Sindhi (about 20 million), Sinhala (about 16 million), Saraiki (about 14 million) and Assamese (about 14 million) with a total number of native speakers of more than 900 million. They form a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, which consists of two other language groups: the Iranian and Nuristani.

Contents

History

Old Indic

The earliest evidence of the group is from Vedic Sanskrit, the language used in the ancient preserved texts of the Indian subcontinent, the foundational canon of Hinduism known as the Vedas. The Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni is of similar age as the Rigveda, but the only evidence is a number of loanwords.

In about the 4th century BC, the Sanskrit language was codified and standardised by the grammarian Panini, called "Classical Sanskrit" by convention. Outside the learned sphere of Sanskrit, vernacular dialects (Prakrits) continued to evolve.

Middle Indic

In medieval times, the Prakrits diversified into various Middle Indic dialects. "Apabhramsa" is the conventional cover term for transitional dialects connecting late Middle Indic with early Modern Indic, spanning roughly the 6th to 13th centuries. Some of these dialects showed considerable literary production; the Sravakachar of Devasena (dated to the 930s) is now considered to be the first Hindi book.

The next major milestone occurred with the Muslim invasions of India in the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries. Under the flourishing Mughal empire, Persian became very influential as the language of prestige of the Islamic courts. However, Persian was soon displaced by Urdu. This Indo-Aryan language is a combination with Persian elements in its vocabulary, with the grammar of the local dialects.

The two largest languages that formed from Apabhransa were Bengali and Hindi; others include Gujarati, Oriya, Marathi, and Punjabi.

Modern dialect continuum

In the Hindi-speaking areas, the main form was Braj-bhasha, which is still spoken today, but was replaced in the 19th century by the Khari Boli dialect. However, a large amount of modern spoken Hindi vocabulary is derived from Perso-Arabic.

This state of affairs continued until the Partition of India in 1947. Hindustani (Urdu) was replaced by Standard Hindi as the official language of India, and soon the Persian-Arabian words of Urdu began to be excised from the official Hindi corpus, in a bid to make the language more "Indian". A return to Hindi poets such as Tulsidas resulted in what is known as a Sanskritisation of the language. Persian words in common parlance were slowly replaced by Sanskrit words, sometimes borrowed wholesale, or in new compounds. In contemporary times, there is a continuum of Hindi–Urdu, with heavily-Persianised Urdu at one end and Sanskritised Hindi at the other, although the basic grammar remains identical. Most people speak somewhere in the middle: Hindustani. Contemporary evolution of Hindustani also has a British angle to it - since the Indian subcontinent was a colony of Britain - the classical Persian and Sanskrit words are increasingly being replaced by their equivalents in the English language. This development is more apparent in the urban & affluent regions and specially among the younger generation that has better access to English education and media.

Classification

Indo-Aryan languages, grouping according to SIL Ethnologue:      Central zone      Northern zone      Northwestern zone      Eastern zone      Southern zone      Insular

Because there are not always clear breaks between languages, there is no definite classification of the Indo-Aryan languages. However, they are commonly divided as follows:

Phonology

Consonants

Stop positions[2]

The normative system of New Indo-Aryan stops consists of five points of articulation: labial, dental, "retroflex", palatal, and velar, which is the same as that of Sanskrit. The "retroflex" position may involve retroflexion, or curling the tongue to make the contact with the underside of the tip, or merely retraction. The point of contact may be alveolar or postalveolar, and the distinctive quality may arise more from the shaping than from the position of the tongue. Palatals stops have affricated release and are traditionally included are involving a distinctive tongue position (blade in contact with hard palate). Widely transcribed as [tʃ], Masica (1991:94) claims [cʃ] to be a more accurate rendering.

Moving away from the normative system, some languages and dialects have alveolar affricates [ts] instead of palatal, though some among them retain [tʃ] in certain positions: before front vowels (esp. /i/), before /j/, or when geminated. Alveolar as an additional point of articulation occurs in Marathi and Konkani where dialect mixture and others factors upset the aforementioned complementation to produce minimal environments, in some West Pahari dialects through internal developments (*t̪ɾ, > /tʃ/), and in Kashmiri. The addition of a retroflex affricate to this in some Dardic languages maxes out the number of stop positions at seven (barring borrowed /q/), while a reduction to the inventory involves *ts > /s/, which has happened in Assamese, Chittagonian, Sinhalese (though there have been other sources of a secondary /ts/), and Southern Mewari.

Further reductions in the number of stop articulations are in Assamese and Romany, which have lost the characteristic dental/retroflex contrast, and in Chittagonian, which is in danger of losing its labial and velar articulations through spirantization in many positions (> [f, x]).

/p, , ʈ, , k/ Hindi, Punjabi, Dogri, Sindhi, Gujarati, Bihari, Sinhalese, Oriya, Standard Bengali, dialects of Rajasthani (except Lamani, NW. Marwari, S. Mewari)
/p, , ʈ, ts, k/ Nepali, E. and N. dialects of Bengali (Dacca, Maimansing, Rajshahi), dialects of Rajasthani (Lamani and NW. Marwari), Northern Lahnda's Kagani, Kumauni, many West Pahari dialects (not Chamba Mandeali, Jaunsari, or Sirmauri)
/p, , ʈ, ts, , k/ Marathi, Konkani, certain W. Pahari dialects (Bhadrawahi, Bhalesi, Padari, Simla, Satlej, maybe Kulu), Kashmiri
/p, , ʈ, ts, , , k/ Shina, Bashkarik, Gawarbati, Phalura, Kalasha, Khowar, Shumashti, Kanyawali, Pashai
/p, , ʈ, k/ Rajasthani's S. Mewari
/p, t, k/ Assamese
/p, t, , k/ Romani
/, ʈ/ Chittagonian

Nasals[3]

Sanskrit was noted as having five nasal stop articulations corresponding to its oral stops, and among modern languages and dialects Dogri, Kacchi, Kalasha, Rudhari, Shina, Saurasthtri, and Sindhi have been analyzed as having this full complement of phonemic nasals /m n ɳ ɲ ŋ/, with the last two generally as the result of the loss of the stop from a homorganic nasal + stop cluster ([ɲj] > [ɲ] and [ŋɡ] > [ŋ]), though there are other sources as well.

Charts

The following are consonant systems of major and representative New Indo-Aryan languages, as presented in Masica (1991:106-107), though here they are in IPA. Parentheses indicate those consonants found only in loanwords: square brackets indicate those with "very low functional load". The arrangement is roughly geographical.

Romani
p t (ts) k
b d (dz) g ɡʲ
tʃʰ
m n
(f) s ʃ x ()
v (z) ʒ ɦ
ɾ l
j
Shina
p ʈ ts k
b ɖ ɖʐ g
t̪ʰ ʈʰ tsʰ tʃʰ tʂʰ
m n ɳ ɲ ŋ
(f) s ʂ ɕ
z ʐ ʑ ɦ
ɾ l ɽ
w j
Kashmiri
p ʈ ts k t̪ʲ ʈʲ tsʲ
b ɖ g d̪ʲ ɖʲ ɡʲ
t̪ʰ ʈʰ tsʰ tʃʰ pʲʰ t̪ʲʰ ʈʲʰ tsʲʰ kʲʰ
m n ɲ
s ʃ
z ɦ ɦʲ
ɾ l ɾʲ lʲ
w j
Siraiki
p ʈ k
b ɖ g
t̪ʰ ʈʰ tʃʰ
d̪ʱ ɖʱ dʒʱ ɡʱ
ɓ ɗ ʄ ɠ
m n ɳ ɲ ŋ
ɳʱ
s (ʃ) (x)
(z) (ɣ) ɦ
ɾ l ɽ
ɾʱ lʱ ɽʱ
w j
Punjabi
p ʈ k
b ɖ g
t̪ʰ ʈʰ tʃʰ
m n ɳ ŋ]
(f) s (ʃ)
(z) ɦ
ɾ l ɽ ɭ
([w]) ([j])
Nepali
p ʈ ts k
b ɖ dz g
t̪ʰ ʈʰ tsʰ
d̪ʱ ɖʱ dzʱ ɡʱ
m n ŋ
s ʃ ɦ
ɾ l
ɾʱ lʱ
[w] [j]
Assamese
p t k
b d g
ɡʱ
m n ŋ
s x
z ɦ
ɾ l
[w]
Sindhi
p ʈ k
b ɖ g
t̪ʰ ʈʰ tʃʰ
d̪ʱ ɖʱ dʒʱ ɡʱ
ɓ ɗ ʄ ɠ
m n ɳ ɲ ŋ
ɳʱ
s (ʃ) (x)
(z) (ɣ) ɦ
ɾ l ɽ
ɾʱ lʱ ɽʱ
w j
Marwari
p ʈ k
b ɖ g
t̪ʰ ʈʰ tʃʰ
d̪ʱ ɖʱ dʒʱ ɡʱ
ɓ ɗ̪ ɗ ɠ
m n ɳ
s ɦ
ɾ l ɽ ɭ
w j
Hindi/Urdu
p ʈ k
b ɖ g
t̪ʰ ʈʰ tʃʰ
d̪ʱ ɖʱ dʒʱ ɡʱ
m n
(f) s (ʃ)
(z) ɦ
ɾ l ɽ
ɽʱ
([w]) ([j])
Bengali
p ʈ k
b ɖ g
t̪ʰ ʈʰ tʃʰ
d̪ʱ ɖʱ dʒʱ ɡʱ
m n
ʃ ɦ
ɾ l ɽ
[w] [j]
Gujarati
p ʈ k
b ɖ g
t̪ʰ ʈʰ tʃʰ
d̪ʱ ɖʱ dʒʱ ɡʱ
m n ɳ
ɳʱ
s ʃ ɦ
ɾ l ɭ
ɾʱ lʱ
w j
Marathi
p ʈ ts k
b ɖ dz g
t̪ʰ ʈʰ tʃʰ
d̪ʱ ɖʱ dzʱ dʒʱ ɡʱ
m n ɳ
s ʃ ɦ
ɾ l ɭ
ɾʱ lʱ
w j
Oriya
p ʈ k
b ɖ g
t̪ʰ ʈʰ tʃʰ
d̪ʱ ɖʱ dʒʱ ɡʱ
m n ɳ
s ɦ
ɾ l [ɽ] ɭ
[ɽʱ]
[w] [j]
Sinhalese
p ʈ k
b ɖ g
mb ɳɖ ŋɡ
m n ɲ ŋ
s ɦ
ɾ l
w j

See also

References

  1. ^ Note that, unlike the generic adjective "Indian", "Indic" is the term used in the context of Indo-European linguistics, and is not strictly a geographical term; non-Indo-European languages spoken in India are not included in the term, while the Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni, on the other hand, probably testifies to speakers of an Indic language that never settled on the Indian subcontinent
  2. ^ Masica (1991:94-95)
  3. ^ Masica (1991:95-96)
  • John Beames, A comparative grammar of the modern Aryan languages of India: to wit, Hindi, Panjabi, Sindhi, Gujarati, Marathi, Oriya, and Bangali. Londinii: Trübner, 1872-1879. 3 vols.
  • Cardona, George & Dhanesh Jain, eds. (2003), The Indo-Aryan Languages, Routledge, ISBN 9780415772945, <http://books.google.com/books?id=jPR2OlbTbdkC&printsec=frontcover&dq=indo-aryan+languages>.
  • Madhav Deshpande (1979). Sociolinguistic attitudes in India: An historical reconstruction. Ann Arbor: Karoma Publishers. ISBN 0-89720-007-1, ISBN 0-89720-008-X (pbk).
  • Chakrabarti,Byomkes (1994). A comparative study of Santali and Bengali. Calcutta: K.P. Bagchi & Co. ISBN 8170741289
  • Erdosy, George. (1995). The Indo-Aryans of ancient South Asia: Language, material culture and ethnicity. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-014447-6.
  • Kobayashi, Masato.; & George Cardona (2004). Historical phonology of old Indo-Aryan consonants. Tokyo: Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies. ISBN 4-87297-894-3.
  • Masica, Colin (1991), written at Cambridge, The Indo-Aryan Languages, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521299442, <http://books.google.com/books?id=J3RSHWePhXwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=indo-aryan+languages>.
  • Misra, Satya Swarup. (1980). Fresh light on Indo-European classification and chronology. Varanasi: Ashutosh Prakashan Sansthan.
  • Misra, Satya Swarup. (1991-1993). The Old-Indo-Aryan, a historical & comparative grammar (Vols. 1-2). Varanasi: Ashutosh Prakashan Sansthan.
  • Sen, Sukumar. (1995). Syntactic studies of Indo-Aryan languages. Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Foreign Cultures of Asia and Africa, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.
  • Vacek, Jaroslav. (1976). The sibilants in Old Indo-Aryan: A contribution to the history of a linguistic area. Prague: Charles University.

External links


Simple English

File:Indoarische Sprachen
Indo-Aryan languages spoken in Southern Asia of the Indian continent

The Indo-Aryan languages make a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, which belong to the Indo-European family of languages.

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