Bihari languages


Bihari languages

Infobox Language family
name=Bihari
region=Bihar
familycolor=Indo-European
fam2=Indo-Iranian
fam3=Indo-Aryan
fam4=Eastern Zone
iso2=bih

Bihari is a name given to the western group of Eastern Indic languages, spoken in Bihar and neighboring states in India. Bhojpuri and Maithili are spoken in Nepal as well. The Bhojpuri and Maithili speaking population form more than 20% of Nepalese population. Despite of large number of speakers of these languages, they have not been constitutionally recognized in India. Even in Bihar, Hindi is the language used for educational and official matters. [http://www.diehardindian.com/demogrph/moredemo/histlang.htm] These languages were legally absorbed under the subordinate lebel of HINDI in the 1961 Census. Such state and national politics are creating conditions for language endangerments. [cite conference
last = Verma
first = Mahandra K.
coauthors =
title = Language Endangerment and Indian languages : An exploration and a critique
booktitle = Linguistic Structure and Language Dynamics in South Asia
place =
date =
url = http://books.google.co.in/books?id=tcfJY7kANo8C&pg=PA5&lpg=PA5&dq=awadhi+and+magahi+languages&source=web&ots=CXhEbrAUH5&sig=e3GeSyfuGmTbRXtRK-vT100cFAQ&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=10&ct=result#PPA3,M1
accessdate =
] Nalanda Open University offers various courses on Bihari Languages (Magahi, Bhojpuri, Maithili) [http://www.nalandaopenuniversity.com/courses.html] . The first success for spreading Hindi occurred in Bihar in 1881, when Hindi displaced Urdu as the sole official language of the province. In this struggle between competing Hindi and Urdu, the potential claims of the three large mother tongues in the region - Magahi, Bhojpuri and Maithili were ignored. After independence Hindi was again given the sole official status through the Bihar Official Language Act, 1950. [ Brass Paul R., "The Politics of India Since Independence", Cambridge University Press, pp. 183]

peakers of Bihari Languages

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 unawareness. The uneducated and the rural population of the region return Hindi as the generic name for their language. Jain Dhanesh, Cardona 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 unawareness. The uneducated and the rural population of the region return Hindi as the generic name for their language."]

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

References and footnotes

ee also

*Indian languages
*Magadhi
*Bhojpuri
*Maithili
*Angika
*Awadhi
*Brij

External links

*http://www.sil.org/iso639-3/documentation.asp?id=bih
* [http://www.languageshome.com Translation of useful phrases in Angika, Bhojpuri and Maithili]
*http://bh.wikipedia.org


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  • Bihari — [bɪ hα:ri] noun 1》 a native or inhabitant of the state of Bihar in NE India. 2》 a group of three closely related Indic languages spoken principally in Bihar. adjective relating to Bihar or its languages …   English new terms dictionary

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  • Bihari — noun A group of Indo Aryan languages spoken in Bihar and the surrounding states in India …   Wiktionary

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