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

ll-WESTERN BENGALI.
The Western dialect of Bengali is spoken in its extreme form in the east of the
Chota Nagpur Division, in the District of Manbhum, and in the tract called Dhalbhum, in
the east of the Singhbhum District. It is bordered on the west by the Munda dialects of
Chota Nagpur, by the Bihari spoken in the North and Centre of Chota Nagpur, and by
the Oriya of that Division spoken in the south of the Singhbhum District. Going east,
we find it spoken in the Birbhum and Bankura Districts, and in the western portion
of the Burdwan District, especially about Eaniganj, but in these Districts it gradually
merges into Central or Standard Bengali. As already stated when speaking of that
dialect, it is impossible to fix any definite line as dividing tUte two Districts in Burdwan.
All that we can do is to estimate that of the Bengali-speaking population of that
district. We may say that a million speak the Western dialect. Western Bengali is
also spoken, principally by immigrant Kurmis, in the north of the Orissa Native States
of Keonjhar and Mayurbhanja, while the language of the mass of the people is Oriya.
Similarly, it is spoken in the Eastern,and Southern portions of the Sonthal Parganas
by immigrants from the plains, who have settled among the aboriginal inhabitants (see
map, facing this page). Here, however, it has no other Aryan language with which to
compete, as is the case in the Orissa Native States, except in a small tract south and
east of Deoghur (Deogarh) where Bihari and Bengali overlap, the former being spoken
by natives of Bihar, and the latter by natives of Bengal.
On the western boundary of this dialect, there are various mixed dialects which are
generally known as Khotta, or Impure, Bengali. It is often difficult to say whether
these should be classed as dialects of Bengali, or of the neighbouring Bihari. Por
instance, there is the curious dialect bearing many names, but which is usually known as
Kurmali, spoken in Manbhum, Singhbhum and the neighbouring Native States. This is
sometimes written in the Bengali, sometimes in the Kaifchi, and sometimes in the Oriya,
character. Closely connected with it are the so-called Bengali of Hazaribagh, and the
P5ch-pargania dialect spoken in East Ranch! These, on the ground that their gram-
matical basis is distinctly that of Bihari, I have classed as dialects of that language,
although, in the case of Hazaribagh, it is called Bengali by the local authorities. On
the other hand, there are two mixed dialects whose grammatical basis is that of Bengali,
and these I have classed as sub-dialects of Western Bengali. One of these is the
language spoken by the Jains in the south-east of the Ranchi District, a District, be it
remembered, of which the language of the main bulk of the population is not Bengali
It is called indifferently by the surrounding people, whose language is a form of Bihari,
Khotta Bangala, Sarawak! or Sarakl. The last two names are derived from £rawak,
one of the names of the Jain community* It is reported as spoken by 48,127 people in
the Banchi District. The other mixed sub-dialect is spoken by the aboriginal tribe
of Kharias who inhabit the hills in the south of Manbhum. The Kharias of Manbhum
have abandoned their own tribal language, which belongs to the Muncla family, and
speak a broken Bengali. A similar dialect is spoken by the Paharias of the same
neighbourhood, and the form of speech is known either as Kharia-thar or as PabajiaĞ
|bar, according to the speakers. It is reported as spoken by 2,760 people. EroaUy, the