Bihari languages

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Bihari
Geographic
distribution
India and Nepal
Linguistic classificationIndo-European
Subdivisions
ISO 639-1bh
ISO 639-2 / 5bih
Glottologbiha1245[1]

Bihari is a subgroup of the Indo-Aryan languages that is usually included in the Eastern branch of Indo-Aryan.[2][3] The Bihari languages are mainly spoken in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh and also in Nepal.[4][5] The most widely spoken languages of the Bihari subgroup are Bhojpuri, Magahi and Maithili.

Despite the large number of speakers of these languages, only Maithili has been constitutionally recognised in India, which gained constitutional status via the 92nd amendment to the Constitution of India, of 2003 (gaining assent in 2004).[6] Both Maithili and Bhojpuri have constitutional recognition in Nepal.[7]

In Bihar, Hindi is the language used for educational and official matters.[8] 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.[9] After independence Hindi was given the sole official status through the Bihar Official Language Act, 1950.[10] Hindi was displaced as the sole official language of Bihar in 1981, when Urdu was accorded the status of the second official language.[11]

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.[12]

Some major languages and dialects[edit]

Language[13] ISO 639-3 Scripts No. of speakers[12] Geographical distribution
Angika anp Devanagari; previously Kaithi; Anga Lipi 743,600[14] Eastern Bihar, North-eastern Jharkhand, West Bengal and Eastern Madhesh
Bajjika Devanagari; previously Tirhuta; Kaithi 8,738,000[citation needed] North-Central Bihar and Eastern Madhesh
Bhojpuri bho Devanagari; previously Kaithi 39,519,400[15] Western Bihar, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Northwestern Jharkhand, Northern Chhattisgarh, Northeastern Madhya Pradesh and Central Madhesh
Khortha Devanagari; previously Tirhuta 8.04 million[16] North-eastern Jharkhand
Kudmali kyw Devanagari; sometimes Bengali 556,809[16] South-Eastern Jharkhand, West Bengal, northern Odisha
Magahi mah Devanagari; previously Tirhuta; Kaithi, Siddham script 14,035,600[15] South Bihar
Maithili mai Devanagari; previously Tirhuta, Kaithi 33,890,000[15] Northern and eastern Bihar, Jharkhand[17] and Eastern Madhesh
Panchpargania tdb Devanagari, sometimes Bengali; Kaithi 274,000[citation needed] West Bengal, Jharkhand and Assam
Sadri (Nagpuri) sck Devanagari; previously Kaithi 5.1 million[16] West-central Jharkhand, North-eastern Chhattisgarh, Northwestern Odisha
Tharu thl, tkt, thr, the, thq, tkb, soi Devanagari 1.9 million[16] Terai regions of Nepal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar
Kumhali kra Devanagari 12,000[16] Nepal

References and footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Bihari". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Masica, Colin P. (1991). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge University Press. pp. 12, 26, 446–462.
  3. ^ Bihari at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020).
  4. ^ Yadava, Y. P. (2013). Linguistic context and language endangerment in Nepal. Nepalese Linguistics 28: 262–274.
  5. ^ Brass, Paul R. (1974). Language, Religion and Politics in North India. Cambridge University Press.
  6. ^ "The Constitution (Ninety-Second Amendment) Act, 2003". National Portal of India. 7 January 2004. Archived from the original on 12 April 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  7. ^ Kumayaa, Harshitha (6 September 2018). "Nepal". The Hindu.
  8. ^ Damani, Guarang (2015). "History of Indian Languages". Die-hard Indian. Archived from the original on 13 April 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  9. ^ Verma, Mahandra K. (2001). "Language Endangerment and Indian languages : An exploration and a critique". Linguistic Structure and Language Dynamics in South Asia. ISBN 9788120817654.
  10. ^ Brass, Paul R. (8 September 1994). The Politics of India Since Independence (Second ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 183. ISBN 9780521459709. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
  11. ^ Benedikter, Thomas (2009). Language Policy and Linguistic Minorities in India: An Appraisal of the Linguistic Rights of Minorities in India. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 89. ISBN 978-3-643-10231-7.
  12. ^ a b Cardona, George; Jain, Dhanesh, eds. (11 September 2003). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Routledge Language Family Series. Routledge. p. 500. ISBN 978-0415772945. ...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.
  13. ^ "Browse by Language Family". Ethnologue. Archived from the original on 4 January 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
  14. ^ "Angika". Archived from the original on 24 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
  15. ^ a b c "India". Ethnologue. 2016. Archived from the original on 2 October 2017.
  16. ^ a b c d e "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues – 2011". censusindia.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  17. ^ "मैथिली को भी मिलेगा दूसरी राजभाषा का दर्जा".

External links[edit]