Hindi:Awadhi, Braj, Bhojpuri.. dialects, languages or Hindi?

Qureshpor

Senior Member
Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
Friends,

This thread is linked to the “Hamari Ataria” thread in which littlepond Jii gave his opinion on what the terms "dialect" and "language" mean to him. He went onto express his view on Awadhi and Braj. This is all linked to the couplets quoted by kahaani SaaHib.

"Hamaarii atariya pe, aaja re sanwariyaa
Dekhaa dekhii taniik huii jaaye.."

"Padosan ke gharva jaiho, jaiho na sabariyaa
Sautan se boli mori kaate jeheriyaa, jeheri najariyaa.."
[...] I recognise the verse as the usual Hindi with a rustic flavour added to it. Rustic being often classified as Braj or Awadhi, we are grappling with such useless* niceties.

*In my opinion only; a language is for me a spectrum. If something is perfectly comprehensible to all the native speakers of that language, I am sorry, but I don't call it as a dialect. I have heard some Hindi dialects, where I have understood only 10% of the things said (yeah, with a little time, I would get to around 70-80%): now, that's something that can be classified as a dialect according to me. Or even another language (just the absence of a script doesn't mean for me you can't call it as a language). Awadhi and Braj are however nothing but Hindi to me, its older/rustic flavours.
Responding to this, Dib Jii expressed his thoughts in the following manner. I have amended his response and included only the relevant parts.
[...] And, what is a dialect or not is, of course, subjective. But in my opinion, the criteria for deciding that should go beyond mutual intelligibility, and also include other features like phonology and grammar. But, I don't mind agreeing to disagree on that point. It's "useless nicety" - to borrow your words. In fact, I have intentionally avoided the word "dialect" and used the word "variety" in my posts in order to avoid getting into this controversy, except when I said "dialectology", because I thought it was okay as a technical term.

Of course, Awadhi and Braj have traditionally been considered part of Hindi, haven't they? But for me personally, they sound like - Hindi ... but I don't quite get it!...[...]
Whether Awadhi, Braj, Bhojhpuri and others are distinct languages, dialects of Hindi or are nothing but Hindi has come under discussion before, but only in passing. I thought it might be better if views were expressed in a thread wholly devoted to this topic. I have been reading and researching this topic and in so doing have been able to get some idea about this issue.

In the context of the quotes, I would like the participants in the thread to bear in mind whether by "Hindi" they mean the language that has the "Official Language" status in India and is known as "High Hindi" (or KhaRii-Bolii Hindi) as taught in schools and higher levels or a generic term that includes this form of Hindi as well as the colloquial language and all the languages and dialects spoken in areas stretching across all the directions of the compass. I dare say Urdu and Punjabi could conceivably come under this umbrella term. So, here is the question:

Do you think Awadhi, Braj and Bhojpuri (for example) are distinct languages in their own right, dialects of Hindi or are they nothing but Hindi?
 
  • mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Quresh jii, when I use the term "Hindi" I usually mean the colloquial speech plus the style taught in schools, that is KhaRiibolii. But I also refer to the other speech varieties you mentioned as regional forms of Hindi because the specific names are not always well known or it can be difficult to determine because of significant overlap which you can see from the Hamari Ataria thread. In the northwest, KhaRiibolii mixes with HariyaaNvii, to the east KhaRiibolii mixes with Braj, and further east Braj with Awadhii and Awadhii with Bhojpurii. There are also many others. People mix the forms. One speaker may use mixed KhaRiibolii and Braj forms and another may mix Awadhii and Braj forms. This is also reflected in medieval poetry if you've had the pleasure to read some of it.

    People themselves usually call their speech "Hindi" rather than by a specific name. On census results the majority return their native language as "Hindi" rather than specifying which variety. The reason is historical. The Turko-Afghan rulers who ruled India for centuries called all of the speech varieties between Punjab and Bengal as "Hindi", but they sometimes used it for Delhi speech in particular. This tendency spread among the people and is still true today.

    Punjabi and Urdu are not considered Hindi. But I've heard "Deccani" often referred to as "Deccani Hindi" even though I think it might be Urdu. Unless there is a separate Deccani Hindi and Deccani Urdu?
     
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    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    Thank you for starting this complicated, and potentially controversial, discussion. So, in order to remove as much scope of misunderstanding as possible, before going into answering the topic itself, I'll try to lay a base here - about what I mean by "language" and "dialect". I thought about it a bit, and found that I use these words in at least two distinct ways:

    1. Stand-alone speech pattern point of view:
    When I am looking at the approximately uniform speech pattern of a place/population segment stand-alone, i.e. without reference to any other speech pattern, I use the words "language" and "dialect" interchangeably. I'd say language/dialect of blah blah village as well as language/dialect of Delhi or if I am more careful - educated middle-class of Delhi, etc. This usage is/was also common in some spheres of linguists/philologists in a wider scope, where they would call Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, etc. new Indo-Aryan dialects/languages - interchangeably, even when comparing them.

    2. Language-complex POV:
    When looking at a "speech community", and the variations of the language usage within it, I use the terms - dialects (for areal variation), sociolects (for social class variation), etc. opposed to "language", which I'd use as an umbrella term to refer to all these dialects, sociolects, etc. found inside the speech community. The boundaries between the dialects in such cases are usually blurry, but I'd like to draw them on the basis of mutual intelligibility, vocabulary, linguistic features, etc. all considered together. This is what I was referring to in my post in the "hamarii aTariyaa" thread. The outer boundary of the "speech community" is also blurry. It often depends on social, linguistic and political factors - with their relative weightage extremely sensitive to the conditions of the individual speech community. But roughly, I'd look here for the speakers' consensus, if that exists.

    Within this framework, I think this particular thread points to the 2nd POV - the language-complex view. As you can see, I assume a very fuzzy boundary between the dialects themselves, and the outer boundary of the language itself. I am especially careful about not taking a stance about the external boundary of the Hindi language-complex, as it is very politicized, and people tend to have sentimental attachment to the question. I do, however, use the term "dialect" to refer to the internal variants when the external boundary of the language is established in a context. Otherwise, I just refer to them as "varieties" - to remain neutral.

    -----

    Now to address the topic:
    Under POV #1 as explained above, I consider - Fayzabad Awadhi, Mathura Braj, Gorakhpur Bhojpuri, Kolkata Bengali, Barisal Bengali, Chennai Tamil, Lahore Punjabi, Khadi Boli High Hindi, Khadi Boli High Urdu, Sentinelese, Bombaiya Tapori street talk - all interchangeably language or dialect.

    Under POV #2, as I said - I try to avoid taking a stance about the external boundary of Hindi itself. But I'd be rather confident about including Haryana in the West to about Mirzapur, UP to the East and from about Haridwar, UK in the North to about Jabalpur, MP in the South in the Hindi-Urdu speech community (thus: Hindi-Urdu language, or when I am lazy - just Hindi language), including High Hindi and High Urdu - plus the diasporic speech communities, including Dakhini Urdu. I am ambivalent about including Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, Kumauni, etc. inside Hindi speech community. I'd be rather apathetic about including, e.g. Chambyali (of Chamba valley, HP), Kangri (HP), etc. But it's a very fuzzy thing, as I explained. If we concentrate within the central part of this speech area, as I mentioned above (Haryana-Mirzapur + Haridwar-Jabalpur), I'd call Khadi Boli (Standard Hindi+Standard Urdu+their colloquial versions), Awadhi, Braj, Kannauji, Bundeli, etc. dialects of the Hindi-Urdu language, where High Hindi and High Urdu would be sociolects/registers of Khadi Boli. It has also been mentioned to me, that the modern spoken Khadi Boli of Delhi-Meerut countryside may actually be somewhat different from standard Khadi Boli. But I don't know enough about it to mark it as a separate dialect/sociolect, etc. All this is, of course, very approximate, as I have been stressing on the fuzziness of this whole business all the while. Pay special attention to the underlined parts: I consider Standard Hindi and Standard Urdu sociolects/registers of a dialect (viz. Khadi Boli) of the Hindi-Urdu language (or speech community), under the POV #2.
     
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    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    Under POV #2, as I said - I try to avoid taking a stance about the external boundary of Hindi itself. But I'd be rather confident about including Haryana in the West to about Mirzapur, UP to the East and from about Haridwar, UK in the North to about Jabalpur, MP in the South in the Hindi-Urdu speech community (thus: Hindi-Urdu language, or when I am lazy - just Hindi language), including High Hindi and High Urdu - plus the diasporic speech communities, including Dakhini Urdu. I am ambivalent about including Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, Kumauni, etc. inside Hindi speech community. I'd be rather apathetic about including, e.g. Chambyali (of Chamba valley, HP), Kangri (HP), etc.
    I should add that this opinion is not based on my personal knowledge of the dialects/lanaguages/varieties under question. It's based on the second-hand information, I have gathered through reading on the subject. I would not bet my life on it. ;)
     

    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    I agree with Dib jii's use of the word "variety". I am also okay with using "dialect". There are three important points to consider.

    1) People call their speech Hindi.

    2) There are some phonetic and morphological differences between the speech varieties.

    3) Most speech varieties mentioned are grouped as Eastern Hindi or Western Hindi by linguists.

    If you insist on calling each a "language" you are completely disregarding point #1 by going against the social phenomenon of language, perhaps ignoring point #3, and overemphasising point #2. If you call each a "dialect" you are focusing on points #1 and 3 but also taking into account point #2. If you call each a "variety" you have the benefit of completely avoiding the language vs. dialect controversy altogether. It's fine with me for all of the varieties to be called Hindi because it's been that way for a very long time.
     
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    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    When I said language is a spectrum, I also meant that if my neighbour will almost certainly use a slightly different Hindi than me: he will use different accent, vocabulary and even syntax. From such a micro perspective, each person is speaking a different language: and from a macro perspective, I am in agreement with the views expressed by mundiya jii and Dib jii (Dib jii has very well identified a Hindi-Urdu region).

    Going back to the OP, I don't think anyone means only the official Hindi (whatever that is, since I don't think there is any official body which has given any detailed guidelines regarding what words to employ, etc., though I might be wrong: I would be happy if someone could bring some proof for such a body to exist) when he or she says "Hindi": Braj and Awadhi in particular have always been subsets of Hindi (and Hindi's older forms).* A Braj speaker says he speaks Hindi in the census; a Braj speaker can perfectly understand a Khari Boli speaker; and so on.

    A language is never rigid & uniform: variations are bound to exist. (1) As long as the variations are not fissures, (2) as long as the people speaking those variations don't have a problem recognising themselves with the "umbrella term", and (3) as long as the grammar is basically the same with some minor differences - as long as these three conditions are satisfied, I call it one language, with its different variations. Of course, (1) can be subjective, as regarding where does a fissure start and where not: and hence this thread has the potential to be a controversial thread.

    *That is why, for many of us, Urdu, an Indic product, is born from Hindi (not the other way round!), with loanwords from Persian getting mixed with the then existing Hindi (Braj, Awadhi, etc.) and giving shape to the Urdu register of Hindi.
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    I agree to almost everything littlepond said - including his "micro perspective". I also subscribe to the view that no two persons speak the same language in its narrowest sense.

    I don't think anyone means only the official Hindi...
    This is the only point that I partially disagree with. People do mean only official Hindi by the term Hindi in some contexts, e.g. if you are asked to translate a text into Hindi on an exam. It's the same with other languages too, Hindi is no different.

    That is why, for many of us, Urdu, an Indic product, is born from Hindi (not the other way round!), with loanwords from Persian getting mixed with the then existing Hindi (Braj, Awadhi, etc.) and giving shape to the Urdu register of Hindi.
    I think it's a legit view, though you have to include khadi boli in the list of your "existing Hindi" variants for it to be accurate. When someone says, Hindi came out of Urdu, they, however, have a different definition of Hindi in mind. They mean modern standard Hindi. To me that claim is also reasonable, though there may still be some loopholes.
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    People do mean only official Hindi by the term Hindi in some contexts, e.g. if you are asked to translate a text into Hindi on an exam. It's the same with other languages too, Hindi is no different.
    I think, Dib jii, there's still a lot of leeway as compared to other languages: for example, in the translation you took as an example, one may not be able to use the Braj or Awadhi or some other registers, but mostly one does have a choice between official Hindi, colloquial Hindi-Urdu and high Urdu registers. However, I do get your point: there might be situations where even these choices would be excluded.

    I think it's a legit view, though you have to include khadi boli in the list of your "existing Hindi" variants for it to be accurate. When someone says, Hindi came out of Urdu, they, however, have a different definition of Hindi in mind. They mean modern standard Hindi. To me that claim is also reasonable, though there may still be some loopholes.
    I agree with you completely here.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    May I begin by thanking everyone for their detailed replies. I was hoping for a couple of more contributions but that may still happen in the days to come. From the replies received hitherto, I am glad to say that I am in agreement to a large extent with the following segments.
    Thank you for starting this complicated, and potentially controversial, discussion. [...]
    This thread indeed has the potential of controversy but if all of us agree that we are unlikely to agree with each other all the time and whenever there is a disagreement we will agree to disagree. We all have our views and we will agree to respect others' views.
    I should add that this opinion is not based on my personal knowledge of the dialects/languages/varieties under question. It's based on the second-hand information, I have gathered through reading on the subject. I would not bet my life on it.
    The same here Dib Jii! It would certainly have enriched this thread if there were participants who actually came from Awadhi, Braj and other such dialects/varieties/languages....call them what you will, background.
    [...]The Turko-Afghan rulers who ruled India for centuries called all of the speech varieties between Punjab and Bengal as "Hindi", but they sometimes used it for Delhi speech in particular. This tendency spread among the people and is still true today..[...]
    On the whole I agree with you mundiya Jii but I am not sure I could agree with your last sentence.

    I have read everyone's posts with interest. It is not always easy to get the gist of what each friend has said. I have tried to do this very thing but if you feel that what I have written below is out of context and not totally correct, I would like to assure you that this was not done deliberately or with any kind of malice. I found Dib Jii's write up quite difficult to summarize!:)

    mundiya: “...when I use the term "Hindi" I usually mean the colloquial speech plus the style taught in schools, that is KhaRiibolii. But I also refer to the other speech varieties you mentioned as regional forms of Hindi because the specific names are not always well known or it can be difficult to determine because of significant overlap which you can see from the Hamari Ataria thread.”

    “People themselves usually call their speech "Hindi" rather than by a specific name. On census results the majority return their native language as "Hindi" rather than specifying which variety..”

    Dib: Has provided a detailed view on what he considers a language or a dialect. He would look for speakers’ consensus if there was one and for internal variants within a language he prefers to call it a dialect or variety. He is unsure whether to place Bhojpuri as a dialect of Hindi.

    littlepond: “It's fine with me for all of the varieties to be called Hindi because it's been that way for a very long time.... Braj and Awadhi in particular have always been subsets of Hindi (and Hindi's older forms)..”

    "A Braj speaker says he speaks Hindi in the census"

    There appear to be two common themes, especially in mundiya and littlepond jii's replies. These are:

    1) Hindi is High Hindi, Colloquial Hindi as well as the various dialects/varieties of Hindi (e.g Braj and Awadhi) and these dialects/varieties have always been subsets of Hindi.

    2) It is the speakers of Braj, Awadhi etc who regard their languages as Hindi and if any proof is required, their census returns give credence to this statement.

    I hope to look into these themes in future posts.
     
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    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    It would certainly have enriched this thread if there were participants who actually came from Awadhi, Braj and other such dialects/varieties/languages....call them what you will, background.
    Surprise, surprise! There are actually such participants ... like me. A census form isn't the only proof required; half of my extended family are Braj speakers, and they have never felt themselves to be anything else than Hindi speakers. And I, a Khari Boli speaker, didn't even feel ever that they are not speaking Hindi.

    Qureshpor jii, I think you have missed a lot in the summarizing: especially the complete comprehension of a Khari Boli speaker by an uneducated Braj, Awadhi, etc., speaker. In any case, I hope your efforts have not been of use ... as for me, I would not like to participate further on anything in the ambit of this topic, because I sense controversy, twisting of what people said out of context and a lot more "summarizing," and bringing in of irrelevant scholarly material to buttress one's claims, if we go further.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ First paragraph. I propose to cover this point. Second paragraph. I have quoted you in the very first post in which you talk about the comprehensibility of various forms within the Hindi "spectrum". Of course it is your choice if you wish to abstain from further participation.
    [...]There appear to be two common themes, especially in mundiya and littlepond jii's replies. These are:

    1) Hindi is High Hindi, Colloquial Hindi as well as the various dialects/varieties of Hindi (e.g Braj and Awadhi) and these dialects/varieties have always been subsets of Hindi.

    2) It is the speakers of Braj, Awadhi etc who regard their languages as Hindi and if any proof is required, their census returns give credence to this statement.

    I hope to look into these themes in future posts.
    I hope I have tackled section 1) above in the following write up. More to follow.

    It is worth while looking at what the word “Hindi” historically implies as it is quite an ambiguous term and means different things to different people. The word “Hind” is of Arabic origins and signifies India whence we obtain “Hindi” which means “Indian” as in..“Hindi haiN ham vatan hai HindustaaN hamaaraa”. Hindi, as a language, signifies the following.

    a) Indian language as opposed to languages spoken by the Muslim newcomers, especially Persian.

    b) The language spoken by people in and around Dehli which scholars have come to name “KhaRii-Bolii” that laid the foundations of a language that developed over centuries and was known by various names such as Hindi, Hindavi, Dehlavi, Dakkani, Gojri and finally Urdu. Hindustani* was a term used mainly but not exclusively by the British and this was yet another name for Urdu. This language under b) has always been written in a modified form of Persio-Arabic script now known as the Urdu script. “Hindi” to denote Urdu has been used as late as the 20th century by Iqbal in his Persian book entitled “Asrar-i-Khudi” that was published in 1915.

    c) In the early 19th century due to various factors which we need not discuss here, a language came into being called “Hindi” that was based on the prevailing language at the time, stripped off most of its Persio-Arabic vocabulary and replaced with Sanskrit based terms and written in the Devanagri script. This is also known as “High Hindi”, “KhaRi-Boli Hindi” and “Manak Hindi”. This has the status of being the “Official Language” of India as defined in the Indian Constitution.

    d) * There was a period when some well meaning people wanted Hindustani to be the national language of India. In their eyes “Hindustsani” was a middle of the range register of High Urdu and High Hindi. One could call this “Colloquial Hindi”

    e) Last but not least, we have a situation where and I quote Christopher. R. King, the author of “One Language Two Scripts” published in 1994 page 25...”Because of this lack of antiquity in Khari Boli Hindi’s literary tradition, Hindi supporters of the nineteenth and Hindi historians of the twentieth century usually include the older literary traditions of Braj Bhasha, Avadhi, and other regional standards in discussing “Hindi” literature of the more distant past. When discussing literature of the more recent past and present, however, they largely ignore these other traditions in favour of Khari Boli. Thus the myth of the antiquity of “Hindi” literature masks the reality that Khari Boli Hindi literature lagged far behind its rival Urdu...”

    Professor Sushil Srivastava, a historian at the University of Allahabad in his review of King’s book writes..” However, in tracing the details of this development, King does not note the efforts of Allahabad University to establish a “genuine past” for Sanskritized “Khari Boli” Hindi and to construct the case that all other north Indian languages were somehow dialects of this “Hindi.” The ideas purveyed by the Hindi and Sanskrit departments of Allahabad University colored the thinking of successive generations of students and scholars alike in favor of the “new” Hindi. Bundelkhandi, Avadhi, Bhojpuri, and Magadhi lost their identity early in this game, but were allowed, somewhat grudgingly and late in the day, a regional and subservient character.”
     

    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Quresh jii, I don’t agree with some of the points.

    c) This is partly true. It became prevalent as a literary language and lingua franca from 19th century. But I want to stress that KhaRiboli Hindi did exist before 19th century. Professor RS McGregor of Cambridge University discussed in his book “Hindi literature from its beginnings to the nineteenth century” many of the Hindi varieties, including KhaRiboli Hindi, and listed works of prose and poetry. He also mentioned KhaRiboli Hindi was Sanskritised in these early times and mostly written in Devanagari.

    Here is part of a dohaa from Sant Kabir (15th century). To me this is KhaRiboli Hindi. I’ll let everyone judge for themselves.

    यह अंतरदृष्टि से भली भाँति निगाह कर लेता है कि मैं अपने कर्मों का कर्ता नहीं

    e) I don’t think there is any conscious effort to ignore non-KhaRiboli traditions. It just so happens the vast majority of literature since the 19th century has been in KhaRiboli and so that’s what is discussed when talking about Modern Hindi Literature. The majority of Hindi literature before 19th century was in Braj, Awadhi, and other varieties, so that’s what’s discussed when dealing with older literature. It was the choice of authors to switch to KhaRiboli so that their writings would reach a larger audience.

    I think Professor Srivastava has missed the point. I don’t know anyone who considers Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Magadhi, or any other variety to be dialects of KhaRiboli Hindi. They (meaning Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Magadhi, and KhaRiboli) are all varieties or dialects of “Hindi”.
     
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    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    I think Professor Srivastava has missed the point. I don’t know anyone who considers Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Magadhi, or any other variety to be dialects of KhaRiboli Hindi. They (meaning Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Magadhi, and KhaRiboli) are all varieties or dialects of “Hindi”.
    :thumbsup:
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    [...]Here is part of a dohaa from Sant Kabir (15th century). To me this is KhaRiboli Hindi. I’ll let everyone judge for themselves.
    यह अंतरदृष्टि से भली भाँति निगाह कर लेता है कि मैं अपने कर्मों का कर्ता नहीं
    This sentence is KhB Hindi, no doubt but it is not a doha at all and most importanlty not from Sant Kabir of the 15th century - it is in fact a sentence from a Hindi book on Kabir legends, published for the first time in 1953. Here is a brief description of this book:

    "Of the texts that I did have access to but have used only sparingly, the most important is a collection of mostly verse texts in Hindi edited by svami Yugalandanda Bihari [1953] and published in eleven small volumes under the general title of the Kabir Sagar. Most of these texts seem to date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Several of them recount various Kabir legends. Particularly important in this regard is the Kabir-charitra-bodh, a work in mixed prose and verse (including many of Garib-das’s verses) that may in fact have been written by Yugalananda himself in about the early 1930s [P. D. Barthwal 1978:281]"
    Kabir Legends and Ananta-Das's Kabir Parachai by David N. Lorenzen, State University of New York, 1991
    [underlining mine]​
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Quresh jii, I don’t agree with some of the points.

    c) This is partly true. It became prevalent as a literary language and lingua franca from 19th century. But I want to stress that KhaRiboli Hindi did exist before 19th century. Professor RS McGregor of Cambridge University discussed in his book “Hindi literature from its beginnings to the nineteenth century” many of the Hindi varieties, including KhaRiboli Hindi, and listed works of prose and poetry. He also mentioned KhaRiboli Hindi was Sanskritised in these early times and mostly written in Devanagari.
    Could you please kindly provide any relevant excerpts which provide credence to these assertions, with page numbers if possible.

    Dr. Ronald Stuart McGregor's book that you refer to came out in 1984. King's book was published ten years later and no doubt he would have been aware of it. This is what King says on page 25 of his book.

    "Some historians of Hindi literature claim an ancestry for prose in Khari Boli Hindi stretching back to the sixteenth century, but they can adduce only a handful of examples before 1800 (8). The tenuous nature of their claim becomes apparent when one authority argues on the strength of a single example that polished prose existed in Khari Boli Hindi more than sixty years before the founding of Fort William College, yet only a few pages later admits that "in reality at the time [c1800] prose works existed in neither Urdu nor Hindi"(9). Poetry in Khari Boli Hindi, as we have seen, did not appear until the last quarter of the nineteenth century".

    (8) R A Dwivedi, A Critical Survey of Hindi Literature (Delhi 1966) p136; Shukla, Hindi Sahitya, PP 387-398

    (9) Shukla, Hindi Sahitya pp 390, 393 Translation mine (i.e King's)

    e) I don’t think there is any conscious effort to ignore non-KhaRiboli traditions. It just so happens the vast majority of literature since the 19th century has been in KhaRiboli and so that’s what is discussed when talking about Modern Hindi Literature. The majority of Hindi literature before 19th century was in Braj, Awadhi, and other varieties, so that’s what’s discussed when dealing with older literature. It was the choice of authors to switch to KhaRiboli so that their writings would reach a larger audience.
    Ganpat Teli, M.Phil. in "Revisiting the Making of Hindi as a ‘National’ Language" (1st January 2012) is making an identical claim.

    "Defining Hindi Speaking Areas

    The above mentioned provinces and states which were defined as Hindi speaking areas themselves had great linguistic diversity. Various languages such as Braj, Awadhi, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Malvi, Bagheli, Bundeli, Chhattisgarhi, Marwari, Magahi, Kannauji, Mewati, Dhundhari, Mewari, Santhali were spoken there (See: the map) and where some of these languages had/have great literary heritage. Linguists divided these languages into five sections as sub-languages and dialects of Hindi– Eastern Hindi, Western Hindi, Pahari Hindi, Bihari Hindi and Rajasthani Hindi (Varma, 1966: 42). All these languages were placed as subordinate to Hindi, and their heritage was adopted as the heritage of Hindi. However, while doing so, the contemporary trends were ignored..."

    http://www.languageinindia.com/jan2012/ganpathindianationalfinal.pdf

    I think Professor Srivastava has missed the point. I don’t know anyone who considers Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Magadhi, or any other variety to be dialects of KhaRiboli Hindi. They (meaning Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Magadhi, and KhaRiboli) are all varieties or dialects of “Hindi”.
    I don't believe Professor Srivastava has missed the point. If he has, he is not the only one.

    Rama Kant Agnihotri, a Professor of Linguistics at the University of Delhi (now retired) writing for “The Hindu”.., says about Braj, Awadhi, Bhojpuri and others..

    “One such myth concerns the language/dialect dichotomy. Linguists who work on the science of language use these terms with the awareness that these are related varieties which are equally systematically organized at the levels of sounds, words, sentences, meaning and discourse. They are fully aware that what is one language today may become two languages tomorrow (mark the cases of Hindi and Urdu emerging from Hindustani or Serbian and Croatian from Serbo-Croatian) or that mothers may come to be called daughters (or dialects) as is the case with languages like Braj, Maithili, Awadhi, Bhojpuri, etc., which people without even a moment’s thought dismiss as dialects of Hindi. They are not even aware that not so long ago great poets considered it below their dignity to write poetry in Hindi; they would rather write in Braj...”

    http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead...cle4747023.ece (Rama Kant Agnihotri – The Hindu 25th May 2013)
     
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    Wolverine9

    Senior Member
    American English
    ^ The focus of King's book is on the Hindi-Urdu controversy not on Hindi literature. He is expressing doubts about the claims of Dwivedi and Shukla but makes no reference to McGregor. Either King was not familiar with McGregor's work or it was an oversight on King's part to not discuss it.
     
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    Wolverine9

    Senior Member
    American English
    If mundiya currently has access to McGregor's work, I assume he will do so. I currently do not have access to it.

    EDIT: My observations - Scholars such as Srivastava, Teli, and Agnihotri are equating Hindi solely with Khari Boli and claim that the other varieties have been usurped as dialects of Khari Boli. This contradicts the views expressed by native speakers (littlepond, mundiya) and second/third language speakers (Dib), who accept that Khari Boli has official recognition but consider the different forms to be varieties or dialects of Hindi not of Khari Boli.
     
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    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Quresh jii, aapki post no. 17 kaa taatparya samajhnaa is gariib ke liye thodaa kaThin hai. Kisi bhi hindi-bhashi vyakti ne is larii mein ab tak yeh to kahaa hii nahin hai ki hindi yaane ki khari boli hindi: to mujhe aapke diye hue ab tak ke saare references ka koii tukk nazar nahin aaya, maaf kariye gaa. Udaahran ke taur par jab Agnihotri jii keh rahen hain ki "They are not even aware that not so long ago great poets considered it below their dignity to write poetry in Hindi; they would rather write in Braj...", tab jab veh hindi keh rahen hain, unka matlab hai khari boli se. Par yahaan to charchaa kuchh aur hii hai! Official Hindi sambhavatah kharii bolii hoti ho, par hindi nahin! Kam se kam abhi tak sabhii hindi-bhaashiyon kii to yahi ra'e ban kar aayi hai. Agar aap asal mudde pe rahen, to sabhi ke liye upyogii aur gyaanvardhak rahegaa: sirf ik chhoTii-sii guzaarish hai, Quresh jii.
     

    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Quresh jii, I want to echo littlepond jii's earlier comments and say that this will probably be my last post in this thread. We will just have to respect our disagreements on this topic. I hope this thread has answered your questions.

    I think wolverine jii has provided a good summary. The opinions of the aforementioned scholars differ from the views of most people who actually speak those varieties of Hindi. I give more credence to the views of actual speakers.

    From Professor McGregor's “Hindi literature from its beginnings to the nineteenth century”

    “A ‘Madan-astak’ attributed to Rahim* consists of eight verses on virah and srngar in Sanskrit metres and chiefly in Sanskritised Khari boli language.” (p. 122)

    “An important development of the early 18th century was the rise of literary Urdu based on Khari boli. The Persian and Arabic loanwords of Urdu appear to have served occasionally as a stimulus to Hindi writers (reinforcing the constant stimulus from traditional culture) to the use of Sanskrit loanwords in both poetry and prose. The Sanskritised Khari boli prose of the 17th and 18th centuries represented an organic beginning to the modern Hindi literary language which arose in the new conditions of the 19th century, heralding an end to the long period of pre-modern literature which had been dominated by Brajbhasha.” (p.134)

    “The earliest documented use of connected prose in Khari boli is in Sikh chronicles of the 17th century, part hagiologies and part doctrinal discourses, called janam-sakhi.” (p. 213)

    “Other pre-19th century prose works in Khari boli can almost all be referred to the 18th century. A work called Srngar-ras-mandan, which has often been regarded as a vernacular composition by Vithalnath (16th century), is as the accessible fragment of text indicates a reworking of Vithalnath’s in mixed language of a type later than that used by the early Sikh prose writers. A substantial work purporting to be based on Persian versions of ‘Upanishads’ is said to be dated 1719 and appears to be in Sanskritised Khari boli with Brajbhasha admixture.” (p.213)

    “A letter from the Maratha general Sadashiv Bhav to northern Jat communities is extant, dated 1759. Other Khari boli materials reported from the 18th century include a version of Hitopadesha in mixed language; a commentary by Kasinath on a work entitled Ajirna-manjari, also in mixed language (by 1746); and several compositions of Jain authorship. […]” (p.214)

    *Rahim of Akbar's court

    There could be other examples of KhaRiibolii works mentioned by Professor McGregor but these are what I have found so far. They should be sufficient to support my point about KhaRiibolii's existence prior to the 19th century.

    I should add that Professor McGregor also mentions the presence of KhaRiibolii in many other works besides what I listed, but they are mostly Braj or other varieties in their overall characteristic. This illustrates that mixing of these varieties was common in medieval literature and is another reason why they are all called Hindi.
     
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    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    I think this is NOT the correct interpretation of wolverine's comment. The personal views of only 3 of us - 2 natives + 1 advanced non-native - contradicted the scholars. That's a very small sample - and a biased sample too, because - the fact that we are on a forum like this implies that we are likely more "linguistically aware/informed" than "most people who actually speak those varieties of Hindi". So, the situation is really a handfull of scholars' views vs. a handfull of wordreferencers' views. "Most people who actually speak those varieties of Hindi" actually do not feature in the picture (yet). ;)
    By saying "most" I am considering my own personal experience, knowledge, and acquaintanceship with speakers of other varieties of Hindi, and not just the views of three forum members.
     
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    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    It's an interesting discussion! Because I'd like to know more about it and frankly speaking I can only rely on what I can read on my own in here or elsewhere - since I've not had much of direct contact with these ... now, what to call them? I wish I can make my mind soon :) I am sharing below my general impression so far. I'm doing it for the sake of clarity so that I can ask my question at the end.
    This is the original question - as in the OP:
    1.In the context of the quotes, I would like the participants in the thread to bear in mind whether by "Hindi" they mean the language that has the "Official Language" status in India and is known as "High Hindi" (or KhaRii-Bolii Hindi) as taught in schools and higher levels or a generic term that includes this form of Hindi as well as the colloquial language and all the languages and dialects spoken in areas stretching across all the directions of the compass. I dare say Urdu and Punjabi could conceivably come under this umbrella term. So, here is the question:

    2. Do you think Awadhi, Braj and Bhojpuri (for example) are a) distinct languages in their own right, b) dialects of Hindi or are they c) nothing but Hindi?
    Now it seems to me that I don't have a clear answer to these question yet and that the discussion appears to be stuck on KhB - which is also part of the discussion as per point 1. in the OP - manifest both in the High Hindi and ''general'' Hindi so I don't consider discussing it to be misplaced. As far as I have understood, the references (McGregor, King, Srivastava etc.) which are connected to the history of literature and mention KhB are related to the topic at hand, that is the attitude towards Braj, Awadhi and other kinds of speech (historically and at present). To tell you the truth I am more interested in Hindi speakers' views.
    Luckily littlepond jii has clarified the matter for the first time in #21:
    Par yahaan to charchaa kuchh aur hii hai! Official Hindi sambhavatah kharii bolii hoti ho, par hindi nahin! Kam se kam abhi tak sabhii hindi-bhaashiyon kii to yahi ra'e ban kar aayi hai.
    Am I right to assume that you have answered point 1) from the OP? Are other participants (hindi-bhaashii) in agreement that Official Hindi is possibly KhB but not Hindi? And what about the remaining Braj (this has been answered by littlepond; what are others' views?) and Awadhi etc. etc.?

    QP SaaHib, can you tell us if I have understood the role of KhB in this conversation correctly?
    PS Apologies for editing the original question. I just wanted to clarify how I take it and what I would like to learn myself.
     

    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Are other participants (hindi-bhaashii) in agreement that Official Hindi is possibly KhB but not Hindi?
    Since your phrasing above can give ambiguous ideas, let me reiterate what I have said (and I think most other participants here have also already said this, but still):

    Official Hindi = Sanskritized Khari Boli - subset of Hindi
    Khari boli - subset of Hindi, often preferred for the official Hindi with some Sanskritization thrown in
    Braj, Awadhi, Haryanvi, Rajasthani, Bundelkhandi, etc. - subset of Hindi (also the older forms of Hindi); dialects of Hindi (what were once mothers can today be dialects: there is nothing inferior if a variant is considered dialect; what is "dialect" and what is "language" is a subjective area, and sometimes the same can be referred to as both by even the same person: to go away from any emotions, read a very succint overview of Occitan here)
    Urdu - subset of Hindi (an evolved product from interactions of KhB, Br, Aw, etc. with Persian loanwords); a different register of Hindi
    Bhojpuri - for me, a different language, even if closely related to Hindi

    I hope now things are clear!
     

    tonyspeed

    Senior Member
    English & Creole - Jamaica
    I believe the decision of what is a dialect and what is a language is political and not actual, especially when we consider forms of speech with similarities. If history played out differently and the Mughal seat of power had remained in Agra, we would be discussing today if khaRiibolii is a dialect of Braj or a different language.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    If one is of the view that “Hindi” just means only one entity, this could n’t be further from the truth. On the contrary this is a an ambiguous term and it can be misleading. It can have different meanings in a variety of contexts. I am sure we in the Forum can come to a consensus on at least what the word “Hindi” stands for by keeping things fairly simple and straightforward and without involving ourselves with impenetrable controversies. Having said this I am not 100% certain if my synopsis given below is in congruence with littlepond Jii’s # post 26.

    a) “Hindi” to start off means “Indian”. This applies to the people of India as well as the language of the people of India. This is how it was envisaged in the very early days of Muslim contact with India. If it was n’t Arabic, Persian or Turkish, then it was “Hindi”. The “Hind” that the Muslims first came into contact was (ignoring the earlier but brief Arabic contact with Sindh) North India.

    b) Not too long afterwards, this term “Hindi” was specifically applied to the speech variety spoken in and around Delhi.

    c) There were (and still are) many other speech varieties in North India, amongst which are Braj, Awadhi and Bhojhpuri.

    d) The speech variety in b) known as Khariboli (KhaRii Bolii) was the foundation of the language that eventually became known as Urdu.

    e) Modern Hindi, the Official Language of India as taught in schools and centres of higher learning also has its basis on Khariboli. Other names by which “Modern Hindi” is known are “Khaiboli Hindi”, “Manak Hindi” or simply Hindi. This Hindi under e) ranges from the everyday speech of people (call it colloquial Hindi if you will), the speech of characters in Hindi serials and films, for example the TV serial “Mahabharata”, the films “Mughal-e-Azam”, “Shatranj ke khilari” and the rest of “Bollywood” films and their songs.

    f) Last but not least there is the all embracing broad definition of Hindi about which I’ll have more to say in another post. This covers the “rustic” Khariboli of the rural areas surrounding Delhi, Western UP and Southern Uttarakhand as well as everything in c) and the already extensive Hindi under e). One could say that this resembles the concept of Hindi in a) but is possibly even more far-reaching.
    Quresh jii, I want to echo littlepond jii's earlier comments and say that this will probably be my last post in this thread. We will just have to respect our disagreements on this topic. I hope this thread has answered your questions.

    I think wolverine jii has provided a good summary. The opinions of the aforementioned scholars differ from the views of most people who actually speak those varieties of Hindi. I give more credence to the views of actual speakers.
    ​[...]
    Littlepond Jii has mentioned earlier ( in # post 10) his reluctance to participate in this thread for the reasons he gave in that post. Now, mundia Jii has indicated that the above post would probably be his last. As I have said earlier and I reiterate, I would like to have a healthy expression of views and opinions but if anyone feels uncomfortable with this, they are more than welcome to hold their peace.

    I do find it a wee bit odd that on the one hand one should give more credence to the speakers’ views but then immediately afterwards it is a scholar, the late Dr. Ronald Stuart McGregor who is being quoted to make a point!

    In light of my synopsis on Hindi, please allow me to return to the quotes in #posts 11 and 17 from the four scholars namely King, Srivastava, Teli and Agnihotrii. I have shortened the quotes a little.

    ”Because of this lack of antiquity in Khari Boli Hindi’s literary tradition, Hindi supporters of the nineteenth and Hindi historians of the twentieth century usually include the older literary traditions of Braj Bhasha, Avadhi, and other regional standards in discussing “Hindi” literature of the more distant past..” Christopher. R. King “One Language Two Scripts” OUP 1994 page 25

    ”However, in tracing the details of this development, King does not note the efforts of Allahabad University to establish a “genuine past” for Sanskritized “Khari Boli” Hindi and to construct the case that all other north Indian languages were somehow dialects of this “Hindi...” Professor Sushil Srivastava- University of Allahabad

    “... Various languages such as Braj, Awadhi, Maithili, Bhojpuri, Malvi, Bagheli, Bundeli, Chhattisgarhi, Marwari, Magahi, Kannauji, Mewati, Dhundhari, Mewari, Santhali were spoken there...and where some of these languages had/have great literary heritage... All these languages were placed as subordinate to Hindi, and their heritage was adopted as the heritage of Hindi. However, while doing so, the contemporary trends were ignored..." Ganpat Teli, M.Phil. "Revisiting the Making of Hindi as a ‘National’ Language" 2011

    “... They are fully aware that what is one language today may become two languages ... or that mothers may come to be called daughters (or dialects) as is the case with languages like Braj, Maithili, Awadhi, Bhojpuri, etc., which people without even a moment’s thought dismiss as dialects of Hindi. They are not even aware that not so long ago great poets considered it below their dignity to write poetry in Hindi; they would rather write in Braj...” Rama Kant Agnihotri, Professor of Linguistics at the University of Delhi

    To my mind the content of the quotes is patently clear. Hindi under section f) is being sold in the guise of Hindi under section e) by people who ought to know better and in fact do and did know better in order to fulfil their objectives. That these people have led others up the garden path is what Professor Sushil Srivastava has expressed in these potent words, “The ideas purveyed by the Hindi and Sanskrit departments of Allahabad University colored the thinking of successive generations of students and scholars alike in favor of the “new” Hindi”.

    Three of these scholars are Indian. There is no need for them to suggest this if it were not true. I have full respect for mother tongue speakers of Hindi and for that matter any language who would naturally have grass roots knowledge. But why are we assuming that these scholars are not mother-tongue Hindi speakers?

    “Some historians of Hindi literature claim an ancestry for prose in Khari Boli Hindi stretching back to the sixteenth century, but they can adduce only a handful of examples before 1800” Christopher. R. King “One Language Two Scripts” OUP 1994 page 25

    Let me begin by saying that I hold Dr. McGregor with the utmost respect. I have had the pleasure of knowing this gentleman, and he was a gentle man, on a personal basis. But you will have to admit there is nothing substantial; McGregor uses phrases like, “can almost be referred to”, “in mixed language” “is said to be”, “appears to be”. McGregor is only doing his best to be honest. Besides, King did say “a handful” and I am still of the view that King (in 1994) would most certainly have been aware of McGregor’s works of 1974 and 1984 considering that the latter was one of the foremost authorities on Hindi in the western world. In short, there is no Malik Muhammad Jayasi or Tulsidas.
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Surprise, surprise! There are actually such participants ... like me. A census form isn't the only proof required; half of my extended family are Braj speakers, and they have never felt themselves to be anything else than Hindi speakers. And I, a Khari Boli speaker, didn't even feel ever that they are not speaking Hindi.

    Qureshpor jii, I think you have missed a lot in the summarizing: especially the complete comprehension of a Khari Boli speaker by an uneducated Braj, Awadhi, etc., speaker. In any case, I hope your efforts have not been of use ... as for me, I would not like to participate further on anything in the ambit of this topic, because I sense controversy, twisting of what people said out of context and a lot more "summarizing," and bringing in of irrelevant scholarly material to buttress one's claims, if we go further.
    I take it that you regard both Khariboli and Braj as varieties of Hindi, which is defined as follows in Wikipedia. I hope this and other quotes are seen by readers to be relevant to the discussion.

    Hindi, in the broad sense, is a dialect continuum within the Indo-Aryan language family of the northern plains of India, in what is commonly called the “Hindi Belt”.... Hindi in this sense is an ethnic rather than a linguistic concept.”

    A dialect continuum is defined by Leonard Bloomfield "as a range of dialects spoken across some geographical area that differ only slightly between neighboring areas, but as one travels in any direction, these differences accumulate such that speakers from opposite ends of the continuum are no longer mutually intelligible”.

    From this one can safely assume that comprehensibility of a dialect depends upon the geographical distance between the speaker of one dialect and the speaker of another dialect. Colin. P. Masica is a Professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Department of Linguistics at the University of Chicago, in his book “The Indo-Aryan Languages- Cambridge University Press (1991)” says, “..these are the so-called regional languages of the Hindi area, sometimes less accurately called Hindi "dialects".

    Now for me it matters not whether any of these varieties are called dialects or languages. But no doubt, it does matter to the speakers how their speech variety or dialect or language is perceived. Once again, allow me to quote Professor Rama Kant Angnihotri.

    “Major languages, often with long histories and a respectable literary tradition, such as Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Bundeli, Chattisgarhi, Maghai, Mewari and Rajasthani (in fact over fifty languages) were subsumed under the rubric of Hindi. Bhojpuri alone is claimed as a mother tongue by over 23 million people. In fact languages like Awadhi and Bhojpuri should be treated as parents rather than the dialects of Hindi. For example it is not just that Tulsidas’ (1534-1623 CE) Ramcharitmanas is not in Sanskrit or Hindi but in Awadhi, but also even today there is an extremely rich and vibrant oral literary tradition in Awadhi. Why then Awadhi is not treated as a language? Why is it given the status of only a dialect of Hindi? Hindi is the official language of India; in fact many protagonists of Hindi mistakenly treat it as India’s national language.

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=89aPZJ3qCD4C&pg=PA277&lpg=PA277&dq=dialect+language+Braj+Awadhi+Bhojpuri+Hindi&source=bl&ots=63A7O_QvrF&sig=NoGuNnMYCYCpJSi-le0Zm270RrM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BTjdUrr8KsGthQeu4oCgCA&ved=0CDoQ6AEwAzgK#v=onepage&q=dialect language Braj Awadhi Bhojpuri Hindi&f=false (Orality and Literacy. P 277 Rama Kant Agnihotri-2008)

    In a short article entitled “Speaking of Speech”, Kuldeep Kumar, a well known journalist, here writing for “The Hindu” talks about the relationship between dialect, language and Hindi. Here are a couple of excerpts from it.

    “All the present-day dialects are not at the same stage of development. Some of them like Braj or Awadhi were fully evolved literary languages that could boast great poets like Surdas and Tulsidas among their finest writers. In fact, till the latter half of the 19th century, even Bharatendu Harishchandra, considered to be the father of modern Hindi Khadiboli prose, did not find Hindi suitable for writing poetry and opted for Brajbhasha instead. One may notice the nomenclature that assigned the status of a dialect to Hindi as it was called Khadiboli and the status of a language to Braj as it was known as Brajbhasha...”

    "Also, the question of dialect versus language involves linguistic and cultural identity and pride. The case of Maithili immediately comes to mind as its speakers have not been very comfortable with the dialect tag and have always felt proud of their literary tradition that produced a great poet like Vidyapati. In the years immediately preceding and succeeding Independence, there was a strong demand for the creation of a separate Mithila state. Even an eminent scholar like Dr. Amar Nath Jha considered it “shameful” that books in Maithili were being published by Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, and Dr Umesh Mishra, a Maithili scholar, declined to contribute to the three-volume “History of Hindi Literature” being brought out by the Indian Council of Hindi, as its third volume was supposed to include Awadhi, Bundeli, Marwari, Bhojpuri and Maithili literatures.”

    http://www.thehindu.com/features/met...cle5171367.ece (Kuldeep Kumar- The Hindu- 26th September 2013)

    How and why do the general public label their language when it comes to a national census? By “Hindi”, what kind of Hindi is implied in the government census? Unsurprisingly, this is what Wikipedia says.

    “This broad definition of Hindi is the one used in the Indian census and results in a clear majority of Indians being reported to be speakers of Hindi, though Hindi-area respondents vary as to whether they call their language Hindi or use a local language name. As defined in the 1991 census, Hindi has a broad and a narrow sense. The name "Hindi" is thus ambiguous.”

    Apart from the way the census is designed to capture all and sundry under the generic Hindi, is there any other reason why speakers of other varieties/dialects/languages would go along and tick the box “Hindi”? Professor Agnihotri provides one answer.

    “In addition to English it is the language associated with social mobility and power; for politicians of the northern belt it is convenient to project Hindi as the language of the north and subsume several full-blown languages like Awadhi and Bhojpuri under it. .....”

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=89aPZJ3qCD4C&pg=PA277&lpg=PA277&dq=dialect+language+Braj+Awadhi+Bhojpuri+Hindi&source=bl&ots=63A7O_QvrF&sig=NoGuNnMYCYCpJSi-le0Zm270RrM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=BTjdUrr8KsGthQeu4oCgCA&ved=0CDoQ6AEwAzgK#v=onepage&q=dialect language Braj Awadhi Bhojpuri Hindi&f=false (Orality and Literacy. P 277 Rama Kant Agnihotri-2008)
     
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    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Though I hoped I wouldn't have to, I feel the need to clarify a few things.

    I do find it a wee bit odd that on the one hand one should give more credence to the speakers’ views but then immediately afterwards it is a scholar, the late Dr. Ronald Stuart McGregor who is being quoted to make a point!
    Quresh jii, you asked me to provide references from Professor McGregor so I obliged. Are you suggesting that I should have turned down your request? Just because I disagreed with the views of some scholars doesn't mean I have to disagree with all scholars. When the views of scholars and speakers differ, more credence should be given to speakers. McGregor, by the way, uses terminology (such as dialect) that is consistent with the views of Hindi speakers.

    Let me begin by saying that I hold Dr. McGregor with the utmost respect. I have had the pleasure of knowing this gentleman, and he was a gentle man, on a personal basis. But you will have to admit there is nothing substantial; McGregor uses phrases like, “can almost be referred to”, “in mixed language” “is said to be”, “appears to be”. McGregor is only doing his best to be honest. Besides, King did say “a handful” and I am still of the view that King (in 1994) would most certainly have been aware of McGregor’s works of 1974 and 1984 considering that the latter was one of the foremost authorities on Hindi in the western world. In short, there is no Malik Muhammad Jayasi or Tulsidas.
    Professor McGregor doesn't use those phrases for every KhaRi Boli (KhB)* work he cited. Nevertheless, he considers them all to be KhB in their overall characteristic which is why he lists them as KhB works and says that they represented an organic beginning to modern Hindi. My point wasn't about the quantity or the quality of pre-19th century KhB works, but simply that they exist and that KhB wasn't completely brand new or invented in the 19th century as is sometimes asserted. If something already exists, in whatever quantity or quality, then by definition it can't be invented. Even King, as you noted, did admit to “a handful” of works. We know that King didn't cite McGregor in that discussion. I didn't see McGregor's 1984 book listed as a source in the bibliography either. Whether or not King was familiar with McGregor's findings about KhB is all just a matter of speculation, but to me it suggests a lack of familiarity. Besides, King didn't provide any new evidence that would suggest a refutation of earlier research. I also don't think it's fair to dismiss the findings of Shukla and Dwivedi just because King expressed doubt. Shukla and Dwivedi did detailed research on the subject before coming to their conclusions.

    Agnihotri and others you quoted have their theories about why various forms of speech are considered Hindi, but in addition to the views I have expressed in earlier posts, I have a theory too, and it's a credible one. I'll start by saying that I can accept the argument for Bhojpuri and Maithili as distinct languages because they are spoken in the outlying areas of the Hindi belt and properly belong to the Bihari language group, and not to Eastern or Western Hindi. On a personal note, my family's original native languages/dialects are Punjabi and Saraiki (depending on whether one considers Saraiki to be a dialect of Punjabi or a distinct language). But for most native KhB speakers their ancestral forms of speech are Awadhi, Braj, and various other Hindi dialects, of which KhB only encompassed a small percentage originally. Switching to KhB as it became more and more popular was not considered a switch to a different language. All of these dialects belong to the same cultural tradition and thus are not viewed as different languages. Whether one speaks KhB, Awadhi, or Braj, famous poets like Kabir, Tulsidas, Jayasi, and Surdas are considered part of their own tradition and not of another language. Famous authors who have written in KhB have also written in the other dialects. The target audience is the same, the geographic region overlaps, and they are mutually intelligible to most. The common person doesn't analyse forms of speech on a strict linguistic basis. That is for scholars to deliberate and even then there is not a consensus, as some prefer to use "language" while others prefer to acknowledge their close relationship and honour the cultural tradition by using "dialect". For the common person, it's cultural tradition that's important, and according to the cultural tradition they are dialects. This is what determines official policy, content of language courses, the steps taken by government agencies, etc. On a language forum such as this, it may seem important to some to advocate the view that each dialect is a distinct language, but it doesn't reflect the ground reality.

    *The use of the term KhB doesn't include Urdu
     
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    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Apart from the way the census is designed to capture all and sundry under the generic Hindi, is there any other reason why speakers of other varieties/dialects/languages would go along and tick the box “Hindi”?
    Linguistically, I would even include Urdu speakers among the Hindi speakers in the census ... that I would actually not do so is because the Urdu speakers themselves want a separate identity (thinking this gives them some high status?)**. For the rest, there is no need to add to a discussion which seems increasingly off-target. We are not discussing the politics of classifying something as language and dialect: people like Agnihotri apparently think the common man of India as a very befuddled, easily misled man (or woman) - which in itself is a very suspect argument, but cannot be pursued here, as it will take us into the domain of Indian politics and democracy. We are discussing what is Hindi. Most Braj speakers, to take an example, switch easily between Braj and Khari boli, and they are not even aware of their switching - forget talking two "languages"! It would be only a fool or someone who is mired in the politics of language to keep on asserting that languages like Braj, Awadhi, Khari boli are distinct, when for centuries the speakers of these languages have been living with each other, interacting with each other and affecting each other's lives and languages*.

    By the way, the "common man" holds much more weight for me for such a thread rather than these umpteen "scholars". Vaise bhii, bhaarat mein aaj kal aam aadmii kaa jo samay aan padaa hai :D

    *Here, by "languages", I revert to the base: that any two people are speaking actually two different languages.
    **I am adding this point after reading mundiya jii's post above; I agree with his last paragraph completely. Another reason that I wouldn't actually include Urdu under Hindi is because the cultural tradition for many Urdu speakers differs: speaking Urdu is somehow linked to being a good Muslim, etc. Of course, Hindus also speak Urdu and Muslims also speak Sanskrit: I am not talking of those few people who have the courage to cross societal norms. So, even though Urdu is linguistically Hindi, because of the cultural (and political) factors, it prefers to have a separate identity.
     
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    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    For the rest, there is no need to add to a discussion which seems increasingly off-target. We are not discussing the politics of classifying something as language and dialect: people like Agnihotri apparently think the common man of India as a very befuddled, easily misled man (or woman) - which in itself is a very suspect argument, but cannot be pursued here, as it will take us into the domain of Indian politics and democracy. We are discussing what is Hindi.
    I agree. It certainly seems like the conversation is going down the path of politics with some of the quotes. It was predictable to me and was the reason behind my discomfort in the first place. Another thing is I thought the purpose of the thread was to express our views about Hindi and not for it to turn into a debate with rebuttals.
     
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    littlepond

    Senior Member
    Hindi
    Another thing is I thought the purpose of the thread was to express our views about Hindi and not for it to turn into a debate with rebuttals.
    True ... at least that is what the OP seems to ask for. And then we all also agreed to disagree and stop at that. Shall we now? Speakers of Hindi who have still not had their say are of course welcome to express what they think (and what they think rather than the scholars they have swallowed like a ghuTTii).
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    True ... at least that is what the OP seems to ask for. And then we all also agreed to disagree and stop at that. Shall we now? Speakers of Hindi who have still not had their say are of course welcome to express what they think (and what they think rather than the scholars they have swallowed like a ghuTTii).
    This stance limits the possibilities for me to know how the things are perceived. I'll leave Urdu because this thread is not about it but back there in Pakistan we were told Awadhi was a language. I mean it was not linked to Urdu.
     

    Wolverine9

    Senior Member
    American English
    This stance limits the possibilities for me to know how the things are perceived. I'll leave Urdu because this thread is not about it but back there in Pakistan we were told Awadhi was a language. I mean it was not linked to Urdu.
    As littlepond mentioned, Urdu represents a different cultural tradition for many people, so Awadhi and Urdu would not be linked. I agree with the view that politics should be left aside. Obviously, it serves as a bait to participate in unnecessary discussions.

    I don't know if McGregor discusses this or not, but there was also 'Nagari Rekhta', which was rextaa style poetry in Devanagari based Khari Boli that some view as a predecessor to modern Hindi poetry and a part of the Hindi tradition. I believe 'Nagari Rekhta' was in vogue during the 16th-19th centuries. It was mainly done by Hindu poets who otherwise wrote most of their poetry in Braj, Awadhi, and other varieties.
     
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    asanga

    Member
    Indonesian
    I know this topic has been discussed here many times, but a search didn't reveal any previous mention of Mirza Khan ibn Fakhr's Tu7fatul-Hind. This work was written during the reign of Aurangzeb, so it pre-dates the Urdu-Hindi political controversies. Mirza Khan uses hindii and bhaakhaa interchangeably, and he has some very interesting things to say about this language:

    سیومبھاکھا، و اشعار رنگین و وصفِ عاشق ومعشوق بیشتر بدین زبان گویند -و آن زبانعالمی است که ما درویم -و اطلاق آن،سوای سَهَنسکِرت و پَراکِرت،عموماً شامل جمیع زبانهاست -و خصوماًزبان اهل بِرج بود -و بِرج نامِسر زمِینی است در هند و اصلِ آن مَتُهرابود - وچهار کروه نواحي آن حد بِرج باشد -و مَتُهرانام موضعی است مشهور و معروف -و زبان اهلبِرج افسح زبانھاست -و آنچه میاندو آبِ گنگا و جمنا که دو رود مشهور اند،واقع شدہ است، مثل چَندوار وغیرہ،بفصاحت منسوب است -و چَندوارنام موضعی است معروف و مشهور -و چَندوارنام موضعی است مشهور و معروف -و چوناین زبان شامل اشعار رنگین و عبارات شیرینو وصف عاشق و معشوق است، و بر زبان اهل نظم و صاحب طبع بیشترمستعمل و جاری است،بنابران بقواعد کلیه آن پرداخته آمد

    "Third [after Sanskrit and Prakrit] is Bhaakhaa. Florid poetry and the portrayal of the lover and beloved is mostly expressed in this language; it is the language of the world in which we toil. The application of this [term] generally includes all the languages [of Hind] except Sanskrit and Prakrit, and specifically the language of the people of Braj. Braj is the name of a region in Hind, whose principal town is Mathura. The borders of the territory of Braj measure four karveh. Mathura is famed and renowned. The language of the people of Braj is the most eloquent of languages, and whatever is spoken between the two famous rivers, Ganga and Jamuna, for example in Chandwar [Firozabad], etc., is also considered eloquent. Chandwar is famed and renowned as well.

    As it is a language of florid poetry, sweet expressions, and the portrayal of the lover and beloved, and since it enjoys most common use and greatest currency amongst poets and men of distinction, its grammatical rules are therefore formulated [in this book]."

    Mirza Khan doesn't use the word Hindii in this passage, but he uses it interchangeably with Bhaakhaa in the rest of his work. So for him, Hindi does not refer exclusively to KhaRi Boli, but to "all of the languages" جمیع زبانھا of Hind. He accords greatest prestige to Braj and its Vaishnava devotional poetry. Chandwar is praised, while Delhi doesn't even get a mention. It seems that he associates Hindi/Bhakha language with the Hindu cultural tradition, as the rest of the Tu7fatul-Hind is dedicated to explaining vRtta, alaMkaara, rasa, raaga, kaama-shaastra, etc. for a Muslim audience, and he clearly considered the linguistic portion of his work a tool for accessing this cultural tradition.

    Bhaakhaa
    is also described as "wordly" زبان عالمی. This is to contrast it with Sanskrit and Prakrit, which Mirza Khan previously called the language of heaven زبان عالم علوی and the language of the underworld زبان عالم سفلی, but to me it also suggests that Bhaakhaa was viewed as the language of the "world as a whole" (or rather the part of it that mattered in the traditional perspective: Aaryaavarta / Madhyadesha).

    So the situation described by Mirza Khan in the late 17th/early 18th century seems quite similar to what we have today: a single name can be applied to the speech of a broad area of northern India, even though it is acknowledged that there are significant regional differences, and some varieties are considered more suitable for literature than others. Only the prestige dialect has switched from Braj to de-Persianized KhaRi Boli.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    # post 30.

    Yes, mundiya Jii, I did indeed ask you to provide me references from the late Dr. Ronald Stuart McGregor’s works. My comment was made as a matter of principal and I accept your reasoning but I will say this much. Not all Hindi speakers accept that varieties such as Awadhi and Braj are distinct dialects under the umbrella of generic Hindi. They regard them as Hindi, full stop. And which Hindi do they imply? Manik Hindi, as has been made clear from the excerpts that have been taken from the learned authors. I can’t imagine men of letters such as Agnihotri, Teli, Srivastava, Jha and Mishra having lesser contact with “speakers” than you and littlepond Jii, for example.

    I do not know of anyone who has suggested that KhB has been invented and I don’t frankly know why you are saying this. If you look at my posts, I have quite categorically stated that Urdu has its foundation on KhB and so has Modern Hindi/KhB Hindi/Manak Hindi, whichever term you wish to use for the latter. What has been written by many scholars is that Modern Hindi has been invented, for example by Colin. P. Masica on page 29 of his “The Indo-Aryan Languages- Cambridge University Press (1991)”

    “On the one hand it is no doubt true that the British administrators (and missionaries) played a role in promoting and even creating Modern Standard Hindi at the beginning of the 19th century by encouraging the development at Fort William College, in place of the old and limited Braj literary language, of a new prose standard in the Nagri script “on the basis of Urdu”- that is to say on the basis of Khari Boli...”.

    [url]http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=J3RSHWePhXwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=indo-aryan+languages&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=indo-aryan%20languages&f=false[/URL]

    But we need not dwell on this topic. I shall provide a link to this topic in my reply to littlepond Jii.

    Thank you for relating to us your language background but I am afraid I did n’t quite follow Awadhi, Braj and others being the ancestral languages of most KhB speakers. Perhaps, you would be kind enough to clarify this point for me.

    If I may say so, I am not oblivious to the concept of a shared cultural tradition. From my Punjabi perspective, on the one hand I feel connected in distant times to Sanskrit and in more recent times to Urdu and on the other hand to Arabic and Persian. All these languages play a role in the cultural tradition of my mother tongue to a greater or lesser degree. But, leaving aside Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian, this does not make my tongue a dialect of Urdu.

    As I have mentioned before, for me whether these languages are called languages, dialects or varieties matter on. What does matter is this. If they are to be considered varieties or dialects, then what are they varieties and dialects of? If they are dialects or varieties within the generic Hindi term, then that is fine and also accurate. But surely they are not varieties or dialects of Manak Hindi which itself is a product of KhB! That is what all these scholars have a problem with. I am glad you have mentioned “content of language courses”. Professor Agnihotri in Chapter 1, section 1.3 says..

    “When one thinks of Hindi in the sense most people use it today, one should think of it as an umbrella term for a large number of related languages that are all actively spoken over the vast area indicated earlier. There is a language continuum where adjacent variations entail high levels of mutual comprehensibility and where the distant ends are mutually incomprehensible. [He then lists a number of languages including Awadhi, Braj, Bhojpuri] Each of these languages has its own rich literary tradition even though a textbook of Hindi may often present a rather awkward collection of Braj, Awadhi and Standard Hindi as Hindi literature!”
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Linguistically, I would even include Urdu speakers among the Hindi speakers in the census ... that I would actually not do so is because the Urdu speakers themselves want a separate identity (thinking this gives them some high status?)**. [...]
    **[...] Another reason that I wouldn't actually include Urdu under Hindi is because the cultural tradition for many Urdu speakers differs: speaking Urdu is somehow linked to being a good Muslim, etc. Of course, Hindus also speak Urdu and Muslims also speak Sanskrit: I am not talking of those few people who have the courage to cross societal norms. So, even though Urdu is linguistically Hindi, because of the cultural (and political) factors, it prefers to have a separate identity.
    Littlepond Jii, With regard to your first paragraph and the last sentence of the second paragraph, it might be worth your while to visit the thread, “Hindi-Urdu: Origin of the Division”, if you have n’t already done so. This will hopefully clarify for you how, when and why a certain party sought and got a separate identity. Linguistically, Urdu is indeed “Hindi” when by “Hindi” we mean Indian as mentioned in a) of my synopsis as well as b) and d). It can partially come under e) when we are talking about the colloquial language especially that of most of Bollywood “Hindi” films and their songs. It most certainly does not come under f).

    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=2140277&highlight=Division

    The rest of the second paragraph with religion and politics thrown in is off topic.
     

    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    I do not know of anyone who has suggested that KhB has been invented and I don’t frankly know why you are saying this. If you look at my posts, I have quite categorically stated that Urdu has its foundation on KhB and so has Modern Hindi/KhB Hindi/Manak Hindi, whichever term you wish to use for the latter. What has been written by many scholars is that Modern Hindi has been invented,
    By KhB I mean both the pre-19th century form and the modern form (Maanak Hindi). To be consistent with McGregor's usage I am not including Urdu in this term since his book doesn't discuss Urdu literature. I have amended my original post to make this more clear. Since McGregor indicates there was an organic beginning to modern KhB, it couldn't have been invented or created as is sometimes asserted. It already existed in its pre-modern form. Those scholars who choose words like invented or created are selecting a poor choice of words. In my view there is a subtle yet significant difference between saying something became prevalent in the 19th century versus saying it was invented then. It's similar to how some scholars say that the use of "Hindustani" for language was coined by the British when it's more correct to say that they popularised it. As much as the British may have promoted KhB Hindi prose, they did just as much if not more to promote Urdu under the name of "Hindustani" at Fort William College, in their administration, and elsewhere. But I agree that there's no need to continue dwelling on this topic as it seems to be taking away from the rest of the thread.

    Thank you for relating to us your language background but I am afraid I did n’t quite follow Awadhi, Braj and others being the ancestral languages of most KhB speakers. Perhaps, you would be kind enough to clarify this point for me.
    Most current native KhB speakers are from states like UP and Haryana. Their ancestors natively spoke dialects such as Haryanvi, Braj, and Awadhi before KhB became popular and replaced those dialects among a large segment of the population. Before its rise in popularity, KhB was natively spoken by a much smaller number than today.

    If they are dialects or varieties within the generic Hindi term, then that is fine and also accurate.
    Yes, this is what I have been saying and asanga jii's research seems to support it.
     
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    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Here’s what Professor McGregor has to say in his “The Progress of Hindi, Part 1 The Development of a Transregional Idiom” (2003). It confirms what I’ve already mentioned and is a more recent work than King’s. It also pretty much answers all of the other questions that have been posed in this thread. He considers Hindavi to have undergone a twofold development from early times, with one path leading to modern Hindi and the other leading to modern Urdu. There’s even an early grammar/dictionary in Devanagari. So it’s not all about Fort William College IMHO.

    “By the thirteenth century the word [Hindi] was used, along with its variants “Hindavi” or “Hindui,” to refer to the linguistically mixed speech of Delhi, which came into wide use across north India and incorporated a component of Persian vocabulary. This speech could be written down either in Persian script, which became normal practice in Indo-Muslim communities, or in Devanagari script, which happened mostly where Hindu influences prevailed. Those writing this language in Devanagari script normally had affiliations with traditional Sanskritic culture, and as evidence from the late seventeenth century indicates, their Hindi was liable to contain a smaller infusion of Persian vocabulary as well as a proportion of loanwords of cultural connotation borrowed from Sanskrit.”

    “This Hindi/Hindui became a major component of the mixed language of north Indian sant poets (discussed later), such as Kabir of Benares. In so doing it acquired a significant literary function alongside its general communicative role across north India, and beyond. It developed eventually, by different routes, into modern Urdu and modern Hindi, which linguistically regarded, are essentially complimentary styles - Persianized and Sanskritized, respectively - of the same language.”

    “Cultural continuities – as also the close linguistic kinship existing between Hindi/Hindui and Brajbhasha – ensured that when modern Hindi began to emerge on the grammatical base of Hindi/Hindui, the literary and lexical traditions of Brajbhasha, Avadhi, and Hindi/Hindui would be intimately familiar to its authors and their public. From the outset they would be infused into the new style of language. The literary traditions of Brajbhasha and Avadhi would continue to inform the development of modern Hindi into the twentieth century.”

    “It is historically and linguistically inappropriate to speak of early Brajbhasha and Avadhi as dialects of modern Hindi, which they long preceded as literary languages; however, in the context of an early twenty-first century consideration of questions of literary culture in north India, they may properly be regarded as falling within a composite “literary tradition of Hindi.”

    “It was natural, given the established sixteenth-century use of Avadhi in Sufi narrative poems, and of the caupai-doha stanza pattern, that Tulsidas should work in Avadhi and use that stanza pattern during the earlier part of his life, which preceded the main vogue of Brajbhasha. The nature of his subject, so deeply rooted in Sanskritic tradition, and the level at which he studied it, also naturally led him to use a considerably Sanskritized style of Avadhi: more so than we find in the Krishna poets’ Brajbhasha. This would eventually be of great significance for the development of modern Hindi. More so than the language of any other work, the language of the Ramcaritmanas, which became familiar everywhere and enjoyed a popularity of its own for nearly two hundred years before the rise of the modern language, created a consciousness of Sanskritic style as a formal linguistic resource.”

    “The available evidence [of sant poetry] indicates, however, that the Hindi/Hindui of general urban use was these verses’ major component, and that they were also liable to contain a mixture of Brajbhasha within a particular poet’s own regional speech. If Kabir’s usage is representative, the early sants’ language could have also included a signicant portion of Persian words and a smaller, though still appreciable, component of Sanskrit vocabulary, including tatsama forms. The grammatical and lexical roots of modern Hindi, in particular, and some of the same for Urdu, lie in this situation.”

    “Being a speech of Western Hindi type, Hindi/Hindui showed few major grammatical distinctions from Brajbhasha, though some distinctive differences in phonology. Its currency in areas far distant from Delhi (and the use of the Devanagari script to write it) can be observed in the record of a tax remission of Damoh district dating from 1512.

    Ketelaar’s introduction is of particular interest for his informed remarks about the mixed nature of Hindustani and the existence alongside it of a less hybridized, hence more “Indian,” style of language. It is in the existence of this style, and that of Francois Marie’s “Hindustani” written in Devanagari script, that the roots of the much later nineteenth-century concept of modern Hindi as a potential link language from Bengal through to west India and into the Panjab are to be seen.”
     
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    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    This will hopefully clarify for you how, when and why a certain party sought and got a separate identity.
    There's also another theory contrary to King's, which I didn't see mentioned in that thread. The theory is expressed by Amrit Rai in his "A House Divided: The Origin and Development of Hindi/Hindavi" and is largely consistent with Suniti Kumar Chatterjee's perspective in "Indo-Aryan and Hindi". It represents what's considered to be the mainstream or traditional view. Discussing this further would not be appropriate IMO.
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ Professor Suniti Kumar Chatterji wrote "Indo-Aryan" and Hindi in 1942 and Amrit Rai's "A House Divided" came out in 1984. Since then Chatterji wrote "India, A Polyglot Nation, and its Linguistic Problems vis a vis National Integration" in 1973.

    "Linguistically, it is quite correct to say that Hindi and Urdu are two forms or styles of the same 'Western Hindi Speech'—the Khadi-Boli Hindustani of Delhi. Urdu is not the modified, Muslimised form of what nowaday[s]passes as Hindi, i.e. Sanskritised Khadi Boli. It is rather the otherway about: Persianized Hindustani as it developed in the Mogul court circles during the eighteenth century (before that,we find [it] in the Dakni speech of the Deccan...),...was taken up by the Hindus...they adopted or revived the native Nagari and began to use a highly Sanskritic vocabulary...and thus they created the literary Hindi of today, round about 1800, mainly in Calcutta1.

    1 Suniti Kumar Chatterji, India, A Polyglot Nation, and its Linguistic problems vis a vis National Integration, Mumbai, Mahatma Gandhi MemorialResearch Centre, 1973, pp 50-54.

    Further, please see pages 217-219 of Professor's Srivestava'a Review already cited.

    http://www.urdustudies.com/pdf/10/28KingLanguage.pd

    Srivestava, in footnotes 1,2 and 4 on pp 217-219 refutes both Chatterji and Amrit Rai's line of thought.

    Here is a link to a review of Amrit Rai's book by David Lelyveld, in which he refutes his "theory".

    http://www.urdustudies.com/pdf/09/14LelyveldZuban.pdf

    You are right, discussing this further is not appropriate. I shall attend to your other two recent posts on my days off, soon.

    Edit: Alok Rai in first line changed to Amrit Rai
    Anything linked to Alok Rai removed.
    Footnote references added
    A further link to a review of Amrit Rai's book "A House Divided" by David Lelyveld added.
     
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    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Quresh jii, you're mixing up two different authors. Amrit Rai wrote "A House Divided". The other book and the interview are from Alok Rai.

    As McGregor indicates, the language was taken up by Hindus in Devanagari much earlier than the 18th century and in a more Sanskritised style by at least the late 17th century.
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ Apologies and thank you mundiya Jii. I shall rectify the error and tabulate the changes..
     

    Wolverine9

    Senior Member
    American English
    King admits that "Rai presents a detailed and convincing analysis of the linguistic evidence, including copious samples from numerous texts."

    All of these works are just theories. It's not surprising when scholars from one school of thought attempt to refute scholars who belong to another school of thought. Whichever theory one accepts (if any) is a personal choice.

    This might be relevant to the conversation too. It supports mundiya's view. From the Urdu scholar Alison Safadi's "The Fictional "Fallout" from Fort William?"

    Regarding those who argue that the British created Hindi at Fort William College: "The expression of such views towards the end of British rule, or in nationalistic writings during the first few decades of independence is, perhaps, to be expected. More recently such arguments have largely been discredited, yet, surprisingly, some twenty-first century scholars have continued to pursue them."
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    "King admits that "Rai presents a detailed and convincing analysis of the linguistic evidence, including copious samples from numerous texts. Since he gives his attention mainly to pre-British India, he also must perforce present a much less detailed picture of many facets of the later Hindi movement".
     

    Wolverine9

    Senior Member
    American English
    And King only discusses the 19th century so they're mainly covering different time frames. One can make the argument that they're both providing an incomplete picture.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    There's also another theory contrary to King's, which I didn't see mentioned in that thread. The theory is expressed by Amrit Rai in his "A House Divided: The Origin and Development of Hindi/Hindavi" and is largely consistent with Suniti Kumar Chatterjee's perspective in "Indo-Aryan and Hindi". It represents what's considered to be the mainstream or traditional view. Discussing this further would not be appropriate IMO.
    Just for completion....

    “As a work of philological scholarship Rai’s book, though rich in detail and helpful in guiding the reader to other sources and providing lengthy extracts for easy reference, leaves much to be desired. Insofar as there is an academic grounding to his work, however, it is to be found in a much older book by a distinguished linguist, Suniti Kumar Chatterji’s Indo-Aryan and Hindi,first published in 1942. What Rai does is to repeat and elaborate on Chatterji’s basic argument.”

    From “Zuban-e Urdu-e Muu’alla and the Idol of Linguistic Origins”- David Lelyveld

    http://www.urdustudies.com/pdf/09/14LelyveldZuban.pdf

    I have already quoted Professor Suniti Kumar Chatterji. Here is another quote from him, cited by Gyanchand Jain, 1981

    “[...]..Since the Persian and the Arabic words were useless for them, they embraced the Devanagri script and Sanskritized the language, shunning the alien vocabulary of Persian and Arabic . . ..The above-mentioned theory that the Sanskritized Hindi was fashioned in the mode of Persianized Urdu was first proposed by Dr. Tarachand. I was against it then but now I admit that Tarachand was right.” (A Polyglot Nation and Its Linguistics, Suniti Kumar Chatterji 1973)
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Post #39

    First paragraph. I believe further elaboration and rebuttal will naturally invite counter arguments and this will inevitably result in the thread veering off in a direction which is not the core subject of this thread. (For the same reason # post 45 may be ignored.)

    Last paragraph. In asanga Jii’s post (36)، “bhaakhaa” is nothing but Braj Bhasha and I do not see how it (the post) takes the subject matter further forward. At least it did seem this way to me.

    Post #40, you have provided further quotes from Dr. McGregor’s work entitled “The Progress of Hindi, Part 1 The Development of a Transregional Idiom”(2003). Professor Harish Trivedi goes onto write about “The Progress of Hindi, Part 2, Hindi and the Nation” published also in 2003. On page 959 while describing the position of Modern Hindi in the late nineteenth century, he seems to be in agreement with King’s remarks. King in fact only talks about Khari Boli prose but Trivedi also portrays the position of poetry in the same light.

    “Some historians of Hindi literature claim an ancestry for prose in Khari Boli Hindi stretching back to the sixteenth century, but they can adduce only a handful of examples before 1800...[..]”- Christopher. R. King

    “This public demand on the British government was accompanied by an internal literary development: the search for a form of Hindi suitable for the writings of prose, which until then had hardly existed but for which a growing need was now acutely felt. The form of Hindi selected, Khari Boli (a dialect or regional form spoken in the areas of Western UP, Delhi and Haryana) was a new literary medium and the choice was perhaps reinforced by the fact that virtually all the poetry in Hindi so far had been written in other regional forms mainly Brajbhasha and Avadhi. The new prose in Hindi was thus to be uncontaminated by any preceding poetry. In fact, when the early Hindi essays and novels, which were the most popular new forms of prose in the language, used poetic quotations and allusions, as they did quite frequently, they illustrated a conjunction of two different kinds of Hindi hardly ever seen before...”. Harish Trivedi

    http://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Literary_Cultures_in_History.html?id=xowUxYhv0QgC&redir_esc=y

    It is quite clear from the above quote that there was no Khari Boli prose and poetry of any substance that had the potential to form the basis of the new kind of Hindi, the “new literary medium” that was to emerge in nineteenth century and beyond. Had there been such a literary base in existence already, there would not have been any “acute need” to “search” for such a form. It is obviously clear that by the word “search”, Trevedi does not mean “to look for “ but he means “to bring in to being”.

    The most relevant part to this thread is your quote from Dr. McGregor given below.
    [...] “It is historically and linguistically inappropriate to speak of early Brajbhasha and Avadhi as dialects of modern Hindi, which they long preceded as literary languages; however, in the context of an early twenty-first century consideration of questions of literary culture in north India, they may properly be regarded as falling within a composite “literary tradition of Hindi.”..[...]
    Dr. McGregor makes it clear that Brajbhasha and Avadhi are not dialects of Modern Hindi but in fact much older literary languages. Professor Colin. P. Masica whom I have quoted in the past (# posts 29 and 37) makes this issue even more explicit.

    “[...] Confusion of another sort, mainly at the popular and political levels but obtruding at the academic level as well, complicates the picture with regard to Hindi itself, as we have seen (Chapter 2, section 3). Academic as well as popular tradition includes under earlier Hindi the medieval literature in every language and dialect from western Rajasthan (ḍingaḷ) to North Bihar (Maithili), but none of these stands in direct linguistic antecedence to Modern Standard Hindi. (The closest is perhaps the mixed dialect of the Nirguṇa poets sometimes called sādhū bhāṣā which at least incorporates some elements of KhariBoli.) Some of them even represent different branches of Indo-Aryan (see Chapter 8). The one language that is antecedent, namely Urdu, does not usually appear on the list, for reasons which have nothing to do with linguistics. "The Indo-Aryan Languages”, Professor. Colin. P. Masica Cambridge University Press, 1991, p. 54)

    Professor John Stratton Hawley explains the foundations of this “literary tradition” that Dr. McGregor refers to in the paragraph quoted above and the “shared cultural tradition” that you (mundiya jii) allude to in your #post 30.

    “Yet it is striking that Brajbhasa attained its particular place of privilege among the vernaculars of north India in a context that had a true geographical bias in favor of Braj. The ascent of Brajbhasa as a widely shared literary medium occurred only once it became part of the cultured diction of the Mughal Court and the Mughals ruled, essentially, from Braj. Given the Kachvahas’ special religious interest in the region, it is perhaps no wonder that the poetry of Krishna emerged as central to the enterprise, even though the Mughal emperors, to whom the Kachvahas gave daughters in marriage, remained Muslim.

    In cooperation with the rajas of Amber, the Mughal rulers doled out extensive grants in the Braj heartland, helping to create a dense temple culture that became home to a new wave of Krishna worship. Anchored in these temples and mapped by a series of devotional demographers who typically travelled great distances to do so, Braj quickly became a much more important focus for pilgrimage than it had been in preceding centuries. The Mughal roads, well kept and well defended, helped make it so; and the most important artery of all passed directly through the Braj country. It connected the imperial establishments at Agra and Delhi before proceeding farther north to Lahore and Kabul. Hence we have what many would regard as a great irony. It was a polity developed by Muslim rulers that largely made it possible for the language and worship of Krishna to flourish as never before.”

    Whilst discussing Avadhi and its renowned poet Tulsidas, Hawley states:

    “It was the Hindu poet Tulsidas who, writing towards the end of the sixteenth century crystalised the epic Ram, the Ramayana, in a vernacular form that many people consider Avadhi’s greatest classic. Yet in doing so, Tulsidas made use of epic and poetic conventions that had been established by Avadhi writers whose subjects were less Hindu than Sufi. Examples are Maulana Daud’s Candayan and Manjhan’s Madhumalati written in 1379 and 1545. ..” We must n’t of course forget Malik Muhammad Jaysi who wrote Padmavat in Avadhi in 1540.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=A2F...gregor&f=false (The Memory of Love: Surdas to Krishna, Translated with an introduction and notes by John Stratton Hawley OUP 2009-pp 5&7)
     

    mundiya

    Senior Member
    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Amrit Rai’s book has also received positive reviews, with various scholars supporting the arguments he made.

    I know modern Hindi largely developed during the 19th century, Quresh jii. I didn't say otherwise. As I mentioned earlier, whatever be the substance, quality, or quantity of pre-19th century KhB Hindi works, they existed and affected the development of modern Hindi as McGregor discussed. That’s the point I’ve been making.

    Trivedi’s view may differ from McGregor’s, but it doesn’t negate McGregor’s comments since he has been perhaps the foremost scholar of Hindi. So it's important to keep in mind McGregor's words below (from posts 22 and 40) about the roots and beginning of modern Hindi.

    “[…]The Sanskritised Khari boli prose of the 17th and 18th centuries represented an organic beginning to the modern Hindi literary language which arose in the new conditions of the 19th century, heralding an end to the long period of pre-modern literature which had been dominated by Brajbhasha.

    The available evidence [of sant poetry] indicates, however, that the Hindi/Hindui of general urban use was these verses’ major component, and that they were also liable to contain a mixture of Brajbhasha within a particular poet’s own regional speech. If Kabir’s usage is representative, the early sants’ language could have also included a significant portion of Persian words and a smaller, though still appreciable, component of Sanskrit vocabulary, including tatsama forms. The grammatical and lexical roots of modern Hindi, in particular, and some of the same for Urdu, lie in this situation.

    Also, as indicated in post 40, the widespread use of Devanagari is noteworthy, and Francois Marie's work shows that the use of pre-19th century KhB Hindi was substantial enough for him to write in Devanagari script.

    Ketelaar’s introduction is of particular interest for his informed remarks about the mixed nature of Hindustani and the existence alongside it of a less hybridized, hence more “Indian,” style of language. It is in the existence of this style, and that of Francois Marie’s “Hindustani” written in Devanagari script, that the roots of the much later nineteenth-century concept of modern Hindi as a potential link language from Bengal through to west India and into the Panjab are to be seen.”

    Contrary to Masica’s (1991) assertion and in support of McGregor’s (2003) view (and asanga jii’s example of “bhaakhaa”) is the view expressed by the scholar Vasudha Dalmia in "The Links between Bhasha and Braj" (2004).

    “Shiva Prasad Singh in his Surpurva Brajbhasha aur uska sahitya (1958) has shown convincingly that ‘bhasha’ consisted of at least two broad linguistic streams, which could be present in the literary corpus of one and the same poet, even that of so clearly a nirguna sant-poet as Kabir. These two streams were: 1) an earlier stage of Khariboli, represented by Sant Bani, (Ramchandra Shukla was to call it Saddhukari; it was to become the direct ancestor of modern-day Hindi) used in verse radically questioning and subverting traditional religious authority and 2) a more easterly literary dialect, which was used for more affective devotional verse, later associated exclusively with Vaishnava saguna bhakti poets emanating from the Braj area.”

    Trivedi echoes earlier comments from me and littlepond jii about cultural tradition.

    “Given the linguistic and literary as well as cultural and communal sensitivity of the issue, perhaps there is an apparently evenhanded assumption of political parity at work here to the effect that if Urdu has existed as a literary language for only a couple of centuries, as is the commonly accepted view, Hindi could not have possibly done so for considerably longer. A strong indicator of a vital historical continuity between older Hindi and modern Hindi is the comprehensive linguistic similarity among Brajbhasha, Avadhi, and Khari Boli (shared largely also with Urdu). But an even more crucial indicator is the literary and cultural tradition itself, which these three forms of Hindi share (and which Urdu, by contrast, does not). Significantly, the question whether or not Avadhi and Brajbhasha are to be called Hindi is never asked in Hindi (which has no such term as “Modern Standard Hindi”) but only in other languages, such as Urdu or English, possibly because the geographical and historical scope and variety of Hindi, unmatched by any other Indian language, may seem in some need of being broken down for external observers.”
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I don’t know if there is an end to this discussion, Quresh jii. There will never be an agreement on such topics, so it’s best if we respect our disagreements and move on. We’re both standing by our views, so I don’t see the point in discussing this further.
     
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