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

13                                                                  JJKNGALI.
The area in which Bengali is spoken may he roughly stated to coincide with the
Province of Lower Bengal, as distinct from Chota Nagpur,
Area in which spoken.            ^^ ^ Q^^    ^ ]angua«j0 als(> ^^  Qn ,ho  ^
into Chota Nagpur, being spoken in the eastern portions of that Division, below the
plateau of Huzaribagh and Lohardaga. On the East it extends into the Assam Valley,
where it gradually merges into the cognate Assamese language. It also occupies the
Assam Districts of Sylhetand Cachar, which formorly woru counted as a portion of Lower
Bengal, and which in ancient times formed part of the original kingdom of Banga or
Vanga. Here its further progress is stopped in all three directions by the languages of
the wild tribes of the 'Hill tracts of the Assam Province* It stretches down the East
littoral of the Bay of Bengal into Northern Burmnh, its way eastwards being similarly
barred by th<j Hill tribes of Arakan. To the South, it meets the Burmese languagD
in the District of Akyab. It reaches to the soa-eoafct along the North of the Bay of
Bengal, From the mouth of the Itivor Hooghly its southern boundary extends in a
north-westerly direction across iho centre of the District of Midnaporc and then curves
south again so as to include the !I)halbhum portion of the District of Singhbhum,
running-along the northern frontier of the hilly Native State of Mayiirbhanja (Mohur-
bhunj), till it moots its own western boundary. South of Singhbhum, in the north of the
Native States oŁ Keonjhar and Mayiirbbanja there are largo numbers of «poaker« of
Bengali, principally of the Kurml casto; but these arc immigrants from the north and
northeast, and the true language of thege states is Oriya. Its extreme south-western
boundary eannot be defined exactly, as it here shades off gradually into Iho cognate
language of Orissa, and in the boundary tract it is often difficult, or impossible, to say
whether a man is speaking dialectic Bengali, or dialectic Oriya.
Its western boundary  runs through the District of Singhbhum, and includes the
whole of the District of Manbhutn.   It then meeta the hill country of tine Santal
Parganas in which languages belonging to the alien Mujjda family are spoken, and
is forced in a north-easterly direction up   to the River Ganges which it cresset*
near Eajmahal   Thence it runs nearly due north, following closely the course of the
Mali&nanda (Mahanadi of the maps) Kivetf, through the Districts of Malda and Purnea,
up to the Nepal frontier*   Except where it meets the -unrelated Mu?4& tongues of tho
Suntal Parganas (with which it shows no signs of mixing), the language mergea
gradually into the neighbouring Bihar! spoken k Bihar and Chota Nagpur, but its
Banner of doing so is different north and south of the Eiver Ganges.   North of
the Ganges, in the Districts of Malda and Purnea, there is an intermediate dialect, partly
Bengali and partly Bihari, but with its grammatical construction, mainly based on the
stronger and more cultivated language of Bengal  On the other hand, on the borderland
in Manbhum and Singhbhum, a large proportion of tho uneducated classes "(ft8»a*n
principally Kupmis) is bilingual, speaking by preference a corrupt form of the Bihari
of Chota Nagpur, but also able to use the western dialect of Bengali.   Here* tho country
is a meeting place of nationalities.   It is peopled partly from tho east, Bengal, and partly
from the west, Ohota Nagpur, and the languages of each nationality mix but do not
unite,   A somewhat similar state of affairs, but to a less marked degree, exists north of
tlie Ganges, in Malda, but, as a general statement/ we may borrow a metaphor from
another science, and say that, north of the Ganges, there is a chemical combination of tho
two languages, while, south of it, there is a mechanical mixture-