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As its name implies, the Eastern Group of Indo-Aryan vernaculars includes
Area in which Bpoken. ^*™ ^ laiW<* which m spoken in the east
ot India, ws., Assamese, Bengali, Oriya, and Bihati. The
last-namd has hithf-rto been considered as helonging to the Mediate Group, but
there can be no doubt that such a classification is erroneous.
With a f«w isolated exceptions, the Aryan vernaculars of Assam, of the Lower
Province of Bengal, of the Extern Districts of the North-Western Provinces, and of
the extn-mtt <vwt of the Central Provinces, all belong to the Eastern Group. Its
western limit may bo roughly fixed at the longitude of Taa4a in the Eyzabad district
of Oudh, say roughly 83°E., and it covers the rest of Aryan-speaking India as far as the
eastern border of Assam, say, i)7*B. Between these limits it is also spoken in the
Nopal Tarai along tho base of the Himalayas, which form its northern boundary, and
it extends south to about Jaipur in the Madras district of Vizagapatam, say latitude
10°N., where the (Eastern) Oriya meets, and shades off through the Eal'bi of Bastar (a
mixed form of sjiwwh) into the (Southern) Marafhi spoken in the Central Provinces.
On thw other «idw of tho Bay of Bengal it is spoken in the Ohittagong district, and,
southwards, into the district of Akyab where, at about N. lat. 20°, it meets Burmese.
It will thus bo scon that this group of languages covers, roughly speaking, about
fourteen decrees of longitude from cast to west, and about nino degrees of latitude from
north to (south, In this area it i» spoken by more than eighty-eight millions of people.
This group of languages is bounded on the west by the Mediate Group of Indo-
Aryan dialects, which together form the Eastern Hindi Ian-
Llnguittic Boundary. * .« , i •». » » .-, •,
gUDge. In the extreme south-west, however, it is bounded
by Hal'bt, which is spoken in the State of Baatar and the neighbourhood. Everywhere
else it is bounded by non-Aryan dialects, Thus, on the south, it meets the Dravidian
Telugu of the north-test of the Madras Presidency, while on the north and east it
IB bounded by a nanaber of Tibeto*Burman languages spoken in the Himalayas and in
the hill country of ^l»aam and northern Burma.
The languages which constitute the Eastern Group have been enumerated above.
Unguarti which cmtfttutt ^e* h*WWa wjl1 ^e found Described with some minuteness
tb« group. jn the sections devoted to each. Putting the state of
affair* roughly, we may say that Assamese is the language of the Assam valley, in
which it 'ii upokvn by 1,435,950 people; that Bengali is the language of Bengal
proper and of Sylbot and Cachar, in which area it is the vernacular of 41,696,343
people; that Oriya is the language of Orissa and of the neighbouring portions of
Madras and of the Central Provinces, the number of its speakers in this tract being
8,952,413; and that BihaA is the Aryan vernacular of the Provinces of Bihar and
Caota Nagpur, and of the Eastern portion of the Nortb»Western Provinces, where