Bihari languages

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Bihari
Geographic
distribution
India and Nepal
Linguistic classification Indo-European
Subdivisions
ISO 639-1 bh
ISO 639-2 / 5 bih
Glottolog biha1245[1]
Bihari languages
Red - Bhojpuri speaking region
Pink - Magahi speaking region
Brown - Maithili speaking region
Maroon - Angika speaking region

Bihari is the western group of Eastern Indo-Aryan languages, mainly spoken in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh and also in Nepal. [2][3]

Despite the large number of speakers of these languages, they have not been constitutionally recognised in India, except Maithili, which gained constitutional status via the 92nd amendment to the Constitution of India, of 2003 (gaining assent in 2004).[4] Even in Bihar, Hindi is the language used for educational and official matters.[5] 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.[6] After independence Hindi was given the sole official status through the Bihar Official Language Act, 1950.[7] Hindi was displaced as the sole official language of Bihar in 1981, when Urdu was accorded the status of the second official language.[citation needed]

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.[8]

Languages and dialects included in Bihari group[edit]

Language[9] ISO 639-3 Scripts No. of Speakers[8] Geographical Distribution
Angika anp Previously Anga Lipi; Devanagari 743,600[10] North Bihar and Eastern Bihar, North-eastern Jharkhand, West Bengal and Eastern Madhesh
Bajjika Devanagari 8,738,000[citation needed] North-Central Bihar and Eastern Madhesh
Bhojpuri bho Previously Kaithi; Devanagari 39,519,400[11] Western Bihar, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Northwestern Jharkhand, Northern Chhattisgarh, Northeastern Madhya Pradesh and Central Madhesh
Kudmali kyw Devanagari, Chis (also suggested as its possible script) 37,000 Eastern Jharkhand, West Bengal
Magahi mag Previously Kaithi; Devanagari 14,035,600[11] South Bihar
Maithili mai Tirhuta, Kaithi and Devanagari 33,890,000[11] Northern and eastern Bihar, Jharkhand[12] and Eastern Madhesh
Majhi mjz N.A 21,841 Eastern Bihar and Nepal
Musasa smm N.A 50,000 Eastern Bihar and Nepal
Panchpargania tdb Devanagari, sometimes Bengali & Kaithi 274,000 West Bengal, Jharkhand and Assam
Sadri sck Devanagari 3,290,000 [11] Jharkhand Bihar and Bangladesh
Khortha N.A. Eastern Nagari script, Devanagari 1,965,000 Northern Jharkhand
Surjapuri sjp Devanagari 1,220,000[11] North-eastern Bihar

Some linguists dispute the inclusion of Maithili within the Bihari languages grouping, stating that it shares more similarities with neighbouring Bengali as compared to other Bihari languages.[13]

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. ^ Yadava, Y. P. (2013). Linguistic context and language endangerment in Nepal. Nepalese Linguistics 28: 262–274.
  3. ^ "Language, Religion and Politics in North India". p. 67. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  4. ^ "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. 
  5. ^ Damani, Guarang (2015). "History of Indian Languages". Die-hard Indian. Archived from the original on 13 April 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015. 
  6. ^ Verma, Mahandra K. "Language Endangerment and Indian languages : An exploration and a critique". Linguistic Structure and Language Dynamics in South Asia. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Bihari Languages Archived 2012-01-04 at the Wayback Machine.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-24. Retrieved 2016-03-17. 
  11. ^ a b c d e "India". Ethnologue. 2016. Archived from the original on 2 October 2017. 
  12. ^ https://m.livehindustan.com/jharkhand/story-maithili-will-get-second-state-language-status-in-jharkhand-1835624.html
  13. ^ "Language, Religion and Politics in North India". p. 67. Retrieved 1 April 2017.

External links[edit]