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

18
sudden change of language or dialect is when populations are separated by sotno natural
obstacle, such as a great river, or a range of mountains, or when one nationality is
brought face to face with another* Otherwise, it is incorrect to draw dividing linos on a
map which will show definitely that on one side of each, one diaket, and on the other,
another dialect is spoken. All that we can do ia to take central points?, such as district
head-quarters, pretty widely apart, as the place where* we can definitely locate the
existence of a specified dialect; and, taking these as centres, to mark boundary lines,
wbich confessedly do not illustrate the actual state of affairs, as carefully as we can*
With this proviso, we may give the following brief account of the areas covered by the
various dialects of Bengali*
Bengali is divided, first, into two main branches, a Western and an Eastern, The
boundary line between the two may be taken to be the Eastern boundary of the Districts
of the. Twenty-four Parganas and Nadia. It then follows the River Brahmaputra till it
conies to the Ran^puv District, up the western boundary of which it runs, and, thence,
along the west of Jalpaiguri till it meets the lower ranges of the Himalayas. The
points of difference between these two branches are marked, and will be found described
under the head of Eastern Bengali.
The Wfstern Branch includes the following Dialects :~~the Central or Standard, the
South. Western, the Western, and the Northern. These are all marked on the accompany-
ing map, and the peculiarities of each will be found described in the proper place.
Suffice it to say here, that the purest and most admired Bengali is spoken in the area
marked as Central, and that, perhaps, that spoken in the District of Hooghly,* near the
river of the same name, is the shade with which it is considered the most devsirable to be
familiar* The South-Western Bengali is infected by tho neighbouring Oriya, and that
of the west and north have provincialisms due to their distance from the centre of en-
lightenment, Calcutta. Western Bengali has one sub-dialect called Kharia-thar, spoken
by the wild tribes, who inhabit the hills in the south of Manbhum, and another called
Mai Pabaria spoken in the centre of the Santal Parganas* Another variety of the
dialect, called Saraki, is spoken by the Jains of Lohardaga. The Northern dialect hag
two sub-dialects spokeiion the Bihar border, called, respectively, Koch and Siripuria.
The centre of the Eastern Branch of the language may be taken to be the District
of Dacca, where what may he called Standard Eastern Bengali is spoken. The true
Eastern dialect is not spoken to the west ol the Brahmaputra, though, when we cross
that river, coming from Dacca, we meet a well-marked form of speech, spoken in
Itangpur and the Districts to the east and north, called Bajbangfi, which, while un-
doubtedly belonging to the eastern variety of the language, has still points of difference,
which entitle it to be classed as a separate dialect. It has one sub-dialect, called BahS,
spoken in the Darjeeling-Tarai, Eastern Bengali Proper commences in the Districts of
Khulna and Jessore, and covers the whole of the eastern half of the Gangetic Delta.
It then extends in a north-easterly direction following the valleys of the Hegna and
its affluents over the Districts of Tippeara, Dacca; Maimansingh, Sylhet, and Cachar*
In every direction, its farther progress is stopped by the hills which bound these
* According to tradition, the Bengali ipokjm in Hadi* it the port form of the language, tat actual eiperience howg
that tin* if tradition and nothing more. All that on be nid in it* f troor i* that tho ooHoqmal Bengali of Nadia it mo*a
unskritifled (ban eliewhere, a peculiarity which is no doubt duo to the inflaewe of tin Bawkrit scnoolt which ftwrteh in that
district.