Hindi, Hindvi, Hindavi

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by BP., May 25, 2009.

  1. BP. Senior Member

    Mod note: Thread split from here.

    I think the use of hindvi in language name was a much better choice. hindvi means 'of Hind' or 'Indic'. hindi is the name of one Indic language, and the one the question is about is different from modern Hindi.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2009
  2. chrysalid Member

    Ankara, Turkey
    Thank you for your attention BelligerentPacifist, I didn't even notice the change. I deliberately used the name "Hindvi" thinking that "Hindi" would have a modern sense and thus be misleading in this context. However, I am not an expert on this issue; so, let's see what the others have to say.
  3. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    I did notice that the thread title has been changed to Hindi, which I’m afraid is wrong! The original title, Hindvi, was correct. To say the language of Amir Khusrau is simply Hindi, is like saying that Horace and Ovid composed in Italian, which they didn’t. I therefore have to agree with the sentiments expressed by BP and support Chrysalids original reason.

    As Chrysalid indicates, the term Hindi is usually a reference to a later language than what Amir Khusrau was using. Clico (Cilquiestsuens post #9) quite correctly names the language of Amir Khusrau as Braj -once the primary literary language of the region around Delhi, where it remained so for a considerable period. Although Braj came under the influence of surrounding dialects / languages, it essentially retained its character.

    I think we do need to differentiate between Hindavi / Hindvi (both spellings used) on the one hand and the Hindi-Urdu languages on the other, the two sister-languages we have been dealing with in this forum. The latter two are most closely related to KhaRiboli, the language that eventually replaced Braj between the 17th and 18th centuries – by the 19th this process seems to have been more or less complete. The former (i.e. Hindvi / Hindavi) though essentially Braj had started borrowing words and grammatical forms from other languages – a natural process seen in all living / spoken languages.

    Despite the fact that the earliest forms of KhaRiboli can be seen in some verses of Amir Khusrau and the other great poet, Kabir, the former always referred to his own verses as Hindavi / Hindvi, sometimes even Dehlavi. However, the basis of these verses was Braj.

    Unfortunately there is some confusion here as we also refer to a language group that comprises, modern Hindi, Urdu, (or their earlier form called Hindustani), Deccani and Rekhta – the older name of Urdu which was a more Persianised form used in poetry - also as Hindi. Very often these languages are collectively called Western Hindi dialect group, to distinguish them from the Eastern Hindi dialect group:Purabi /Awadhi-Bhojpuri.

    I think I wouldn’t be wrong here if I said that we are using the term Hindi in the above classification more as a generic rather than a reference to a specific language. We all know that the term Hindi literally means Indian and that this has gained a much wider use than might be suspected at first.

    When my family was in Iraq, decades ago, each member was given the epithet al-Hindi (the Indian) by our neighbors and local shopkeepers. So we came to be called <fulaa.n fulaa.n al-Hindi>. Similarly, another Indian gentleman we knew, who happened to have studied in Najaf, had his name stamped on his “certificate” from Najaf as <Syed Sa’eed Musavi al-Hindi >. This was quite normal as almost anything in the Middle East associated with India was referred to being Hindi. This custom is both proper and very old. Even the female proper name <Hind> has an ancient history in Arabia.

    Not only did Amir Khusrau refer to his own verses as Hindavi, the same was said of verses composed by the famous Persian poet Sheikh Sa’di when he reached Delhi in 1225 /6 CE and tried his hand at this genre of poetry. Moreover, later scholars too have continued to refer to these verses as Hindavi. Consequntly in recent times Gopi Chand Narang , one of the best-known authors on Khusrau, wrote a book entitled: Amir Khusrau ka Hindavi Kalam( The Hindavi Works of Amir Khusrau).

    I would once again stress that Hindavi is the correct term to refer to these poetical works of Khusrau as not he himself called them so but later Indian scholars have also done the same.
    Clico you are right on all counts! The language here of Khusrau is indeed Braj ( the use of the words in bold) and one sees “foreign” influences. Regretably, I do not know Rajisthani so cannot coment on the –o endings! But yes Braj was influnced by surrounding languages and was eventually replaced by KhaRiboli as the dominant literary language of the North.

    I’m still in search of good resources for Braj, the dialect promoted by both the Sufis and the Bhaktis of India for a long time making it especially rich in Sufi-Bhakti poetry.

    Although I’m able to handel these verses, due primarily to my exposure to Awadhi, I’d rather get hold of some serious books on this language.

    Know any good reference grammars, dictionaries etc.?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 27, 2009
  4. Cilquiestsuens Senior Member

    There is that one Braj Bhasha reader from SOAS with plenty of texts.... If you can find it, buy it. It is the best resource I've ever found.... Check it out here
  5. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Good work Clico! Many thanks!!

    .... and if you do get anything on grammar then please let me know.

    Edit: I just noticed, it has some grammar at least. Perhaps enough to get me going.
  6. Koozagar Senior Member

    discovered this thread during my aimless wandering through the boundless wilderness of Googleland, in the trace of one Khusro Dahlawi, the disciple of Hazrat Nizam-ud-Din Awlia.
    My question is this: If Khusraw was writing in Braj, how did Khariboli eventually become the standard register for Urdu Ghazal?

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