Bihari languages

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Bihari
Geographic
distribution:
Bihar
Linguistic classification: Indo-European
Subdivisions:
ISO 639-1: bh
ISO 639-2 / 5: bih
Glottolog: biha1245[1]

Bihari is the western group of Eastern Indic languages, spoken in Bihar and neighboring states in India. Angika, Bajjika, Bhojpuri, Magahi, and Maithili are spoken in Nepal as well. The Angika, Bajjika, Bhojpuri, Magahi and Maithili speaking population form more than 21% of Nepalese population. Despite the large number of speakers of these languages, they have not been constitutionally recognized in India, except Maithili, which gained constitutional status via the 92nd amendment to the Constitution of India in 2003.[2] Even in Bihar, Hindi is the language used for educational and official matters.[3] These languages were legally absorbed under the overarching label Hindi in the 1961 Census. Such state and national politics are creating conditions for language endangerments.[4] Nalanda Open University offers various courses on Bihari languages (Magahi, Bhojpuri, Maithili).[5] After independence Hindi was given the sole official status through the Bihar Official Language Act, 1950.[6] Hindi was displaced as the sole official language of Bihar in 1981, when Urdu was accorded the status of the second official language. In this struggle between Hindi and Urdu, the claims of the three large native languages of the region – Magahi, Bhojpuri and Maithili were ignored.

Speakers[edit]

The number of speakers of Bihari languages is 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 educated and the urban population of the region return Hindi as the generic name for their language.[7]

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[edit]

1. Maithili (including its dialects Bajjika and Angika too)
2. Magahi (including Pataniya variance too)
3. Bhojpuri (including Chhapariya variance too)
Language[8] ISO 639-3 Scripts No. of Speakers[7] Geographical Distribution
Angika anp Previously Anga Lipi; Devanagari 725,000 Eastern Bihar, North-eastern Jharkhand, West Bengal
Bajjika mai? Devanagari 8,738,000 North-Central Bihar Eastern Terai
Bhojpuri bho Previously Kaithi; Devanagari 38,546,000 Western Bihar, Eastern Uttar Pradesh and Central Terai, Southern Nepal
Fiji Hindi[9] hif Latin and Devanagari 460,000 Fiji Islands
Kudmali kyw Devanagari, Chis (also suggested as its possible script) 37,000 Eastern Jharkhand, West Bengal
Magahi mag Previously Kaithi; Devanagari 20,362,000 South-Western Bihar
Maithili mai Maithili variant of Eastern Nagari script, Devanagari, Nepali 25,204,005 Northern Bihar, Jharkhand, Official Status in NepalMadhesh, Nepal (Country of Origin).
Majhi mjz N.A 21,841 Eastern Bihar, Nepal
Musasa smm N.A 50,000 Eastern Bihar, Nepal
Panchpargania tdb Devanagari, sometimes Bengali & Kaithi 274,000 West Bengal Jharkhand Assam
Sadri sck Devanagari 165,683 Jharkhand Bihar and Bangladesh
Khortha sdr Eastern Nagari script, Devanagari 1,965,000 Northern Jharkhand
Sarnami Hindustani[10] hns Latin, Devanagari 150,000 Suriname
Surajpuri sjp Devanagari 273,000 North-eastern Bihar

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References and footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Bihari". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ ^ National Portal of India : Government : Constitution of India
  3. ^ History of Indian Languages. Diehardindian.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-18.
  4. ^ Verma, Mahandra K. "Linguistic Structure and Language Dynamics in South Asia".  |chapter= ignored (help)
  5. ^ Courses. Nalanda Open University. Retrieved on 2013-07-18.
  6. ^ Brass Paul R., The Politics of India Since Independence, Cambridge University Press, pp. 183
  7. ^ a b Jain Dhanesh, mardona 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 lack of awareness. The uneducated and the urban population of the region return Hindi as the generic name for their language."
  8. ^ Bihari Languages
  9. ^ "Form of Bihari and Awadhi, spoken by Fiji Indians"
  10. ^ "Form of Bihari with Awadhi influence spoken by Surinamers of Indian descent"