origins (time frame) of Hindi

l.m.fosse at l.m.fosse at
Mon May 29 11:20:48 UTC 1995

Development of Hindi:

>Remember that the standard Hindi (Khadi boli), as used in books, is
>just a dialect of Hindi. The Khadi boli (Urdu/Hindi) is the dialect of the
>Delhi->Meerut region.
>The history of evolution of Hindi can be represented in this way:
>Early Sanskrit
> |
>Prakrits (6th cent BCE-4th cent AD)
> |
>Apabhranshas (6th cent AD to 12th cent AD)
> |
>Modern North Indian languages (12 cent AD- )

The idea that Hindi originated a hundred years ago (actually I think 150
years ago) is related to the kha.r-i bol-i standard. Before that you had
literary dialects like avadh-i and braj with rich literatures, but these
dialects are somewhat different from the kha.r-i bol-i version. As is often
the case with Indic languages/dialects, we have a kind of definition
problem: What is a language and what is a dialect? The answer to this
question is, I think, often more political than linguistic, compare the
Scandinavian languages Norwegian, Swedish and Danish that are mutually
intelligible and could very well be regarded as dialects of the same
languages, but that for political reasons are treated as separate

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse

Lars Martin Fosse
Research Fellow
Department of East European
and Oriental Studies
P. O. Box 1030, Blindern
N-0315 OSLO Norway

Tel: +47 22 85 68 48
Fax: +47 22 85 41 40

E-mail: l.m.fosse at


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