|Extinct||developed into Eastern Indo-Aryan languages: Magahi]], Bengali-Assamese languages, Bihari languages and Odia languages|
Ardhamagadhi Prakrit was a Middle Indo-Aryan language and a Dramatic Prakrit thought to have been spoken in modern-day Uttar Pradesh and used in some early Buddhist and Jain drama. It was likely a Central Indo-Aryan language, related to Pali and the later Sauraseni Prakrit.
It was thought to be a predecessor of the vernacular Magadhi Prakrit, hence the name (literally "half-Magadhi").
Pali and Ardhamāgadhī
Theravada Buddhist tradition has long held that Pali was synonymous with Magadhi and there are many analogies between it and an older form of Magadhi called Ardhamāgadhī "Proto-Magadhi". Ardhamāgadhī was prominently used by Jain scholars and is preserved in the Jain Agamas. Both Gautama Buddha and the tirthankara Mahavira preached in Magadha.
Ardhamāgadhī differs from later Magadhi Prakrit on similar points as Pāli. For example, Ardhamāgadhī preserves historical [l], unlike later Magadhi, where [l] changed into [r]. Additionally, in the noun inflection, Ardhamagadhi shows the ending [-o] instead of Magadhi Prakrit [-e] in many metrical places.
Pali: Dhammapada 103:
Yo sahassaṃ sahassena, saṅgāme mānuse jine;
Ekañca jeyyamattānaṃ, sa ve saṅgāmajuttamo.
Greater in battle than the man who would conquer a thousand-thousand men,
is he who would conquer just one — himself.
Ardhamagadhi: Saman Suttam 125:
Jo sahassam sahassanam, samgame dujjae jine.
Egam jinejja appanam, esa se paramo jao.
One may conquer thousands and thousands of enemies in an invincible battle;
but the supreme victory consists in conquest over one's self.
- South Asian folklore: an encyclopedia : Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, By Peter J. Claus, Sarah Diamond, Margaret Ann Mills, Routledge, 2003, p. 203
- Cardona, George; Jain, Dhanesh, eds. (2003), "The historical context and development of Indo-Aryan", The Indo-Aryan Languages, Routledge language family series, London: Routledge, pp. 46–66, ISBN 0-7007-1130-9
- Constance Jones; James D. Ryan (2006). Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Infobase Publishing. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-8160-7564-5.