Vital Statistics

Artur Karp hart at POLBOX.COM
Fri Jan 7 02:05:15 UTC 2000

At 01:21 1980-01-04 +0000, Bharat Gupt wrote:
>Artur Karp wrote:
>> What for convenience sake is called Hindi linguistic area has several
>> centers and unstable peripheries. Historically, each of the components of
>> this continuum, whether they are treated as dialects or languages, is
>> to its own local center of political power, usually in control of a
>> or trans-regional market.
>I am anxious to know if in ancient times the same situation prevailed in
the regions
>(Madhyades'a, Udici, Pancaal,Magadha etc.,) now controled by Hindi and its
>What was the bhaas.aa/praakita situation then ? Was there rivalry between
>languages (Aavantika, Maagadhii, Ardhamaagadhii, etc,  to control political
power and
>market and in what way ?  If not, why so ?

Folk wisdom has it short-cuts should be avoided - as they usually turn out
to be long-cuts. I do apologize for creating one. Let me then reformulate my
earlier statement. <<Historically, each of the components of this
continuum... was linked in its development to a local center of political
power; each of such centers usually in control of a regional or
trans-regional market.>>

Looking at what happens at present, one may assume that also in the past
entering any kind of transaction in multilingual/multicultural millieu
presupposed ability to negotiate for and effectively use a proper (that
situation-specific) instrument of communication - social dialect,
territorial dialect, other language, link language. In their colloquial
forms the dialects of the Hindi linguistic area are end-results of such
processes of negotiation and adjustment. If this is so, then the main
characteristics of the colloquial dialects should mirror  the language
habits of the possessors of  the largest number of important transactions,
i.e. the most influential groups of local organizers of production and trade
(land-owners. merchant guilds, court).

Some rivalries for the rights to such transactions may have been presented
in the guise of language/religion conflicts. I would be very much grateful
for the List Members' comments on that. Any early historical examples?

>I do not know if even the most fanatic proponents of Hindi believe or want
a "Hindi
>nation". They have undoubtedly ask for much of the space that is controlled
by English
>in education, administration, and business for "linking" the country. >
>it does not go against literary prizes being given for Bundelkhandii,
>Chattisgarhi, Brijbhaas.aa or Avadhii or Rajasthaani and a dozen other

No one, I believe, denies the ability of Khari-Boli to function as a
link-language. But expressions like: "...who has an interest in denying the
unity of Hindi..." suggest that a much greater future might be planned for it.

With regards,

Artur Karp
University of Warsaw

P.S. According to recent rumors that have reached this provincial town of
Warsaw, not one, but three new States are being planned to be created:
Chattisgarh, Uttarkhand and Jharkhand. Any truth in it?


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