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Full text of "Linguistic Survey Of India Vol V Part I Indo Aryan Family Eastern Group"

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1NTBODTJCTION.                                          *                                3

of the Eastern Group, we may compare it with the total populations of France and
Germany combined,1 or of Prance, Italy, Spain, and Greece/

In stating these areas and these figures, it should be remembered that any such ac-

These areas and figures only   C01*nt can only be approximate ; for, though for convenience

approximate.                          ^fa we mfty ^jjj, oj a ^g^ge having definite boundaries,

such can seldom really be the case.   Unless separated by some great natural obstacle,
such ad a range of mountains, a large river, or a tribe speaking a non- Aryan form of speech,
the  Aryan languages as a rule merge insensibly into each other*   A well-known
saying in this country is that the language changes every twenty miles, and such
indeed is the fact.   A native of India travelling that distance from his home would
be sure to have his attention drawn to some expression, some name for a common
article of everyday use, or some grammatical form, which was strange to his ears,
It would be more correct but less convenient to say that, while the language spoken
at Dibrugarh in North-Bast Assam is extremely different, on the one hand,- from
that spoken at Tanda in J?yzabad, and, on the other hand, from that spoken in Jaipur
in Vizagapatam, each of these three shades off so continuously, yet so imperceptibly
into the other two, that it is impossible to say where it begins or ends.   At twenty
miles from Dibrugarh, the change both to Bihari and to Oriya has, although imper-
ceptible, already commenced.   At three hundred miles, the change is perceptible, but
the characteristic signs which distinguish Bihari from Oyiya are not yet manifest.
Prom this point, which roughly corresponds to the western end of the Assam valley,
we may discern two lines of progress, one through Northern Bengali into Bihari, and
the other, through Eastern,   Central, and South-Western Bengali into Oriya.   Oriya
itself merges into the Hal'bi dialect of Marathi, this again into Nagpuri Marathi, that
again  into Berari Marathi, that again into standard Maratbi, and that finally into the
Konkanl Marathi spoken in the neighbourhood of Goa,   To a man of Assam, Konkatfl
would be utterly unintelligible, and yet he might travel from Dibrugarh to Goa without
being able to point to a single Indo- Aryan boundary stone between these two widely differ-
ent languages.   An ideal map of the Aryan languages of India would therefore present to
the eye a number of colours gradually shading off into each other.   It would be possible,
but not convenient, to represent the localities in which various languages are spoken by
this method.   After all, what is wanted is definite information regarding a state of affairs
which is essentially indefinite, a want which it is manifestly impossible to supply.   It is
most nearly supplied by selecting fixed points, where, at each, we are certain that a well-
defined language is spoken, and, taking these as the foundations of our hypothesis,
by drawing arbitrary lines showing the imaginary boundaries which do not exist, but which
the needed definite impression of the approximate area in which each recognised

.       ..........      88,517,976

Germany    .....       ......      $2,279,900

TOTAL      .      9Q,7&7,875

 .     17,565,683
TOTJLI       .      90,185,413