Mai Paharias of the centre of the Sonthal Parganas have, like the Kharias, abandoned
their own Dravidian tongue, and speak a corrupt form of the language of their Bengali
neighbours. They are 12,801 in number,
We thus find that Western Bengali is spoken by the following number of people :—
Name of District of
Burdwaa • •
Birblmm • »
Maytirbhaiija and Keonjliar (Native Slates) «
Lohardag-a (SarukI) f * • • • t
Manblmm (Kliaria-i.har) * • * *
Sonttal Parganas (Hal Paharm) , » .
The Western dialect differs principally from Standard Bengali, in having a broader
pronunciation. Thus a long b is often substituted for the a of Standard Bengali, e>g<>
bolle (pronounced bolle), he said, for balila (pronounced bolilo) ; liola (jx.hvld) for katta,
he was. On the other hand a Standard Bengali o often becomes tt. Thus chhutu, small,
for cJihoto (pr. chhoto) ; tumar, of you, for tomdr. The vowel S is often written 'a,
and is then pronounced a, like the short a in hat. Thus £#, one, is pronounced db, and
gela (pronounced gelo), he went, is often written g*ala, and pronounced goto.
The letter Z is frequently substituted for n. Thus, we have la'i (pronounced %), I
am not, for nai ; lack, a dauce, for n&ch ; Id, a boat, for na J Zarfi, a river, for tmcfo*.
The dialect is fond of nasalizing the final vowel of a verb, thus kkdyi, instead of
Jchdye (contracted for M&iya)9 having eaten; kari for Aari, let us make.
. The old singular forms of the personal pronouns (mui, I ; tui> thou) are frequently
used instead of the standard Ami and timi.
In the conjugation of verbs, the old singular forms, which are obsolete in Standard
Bengali, are frequently met with. Thus m&gli$ I asked for, instead of the standard
maffildm ; balli (pr. bolli) for balildw. So in the second person we find aehkia, for
dchhq, thou art, and so on.
In the third person of the past tense we find the three following terminations, 5, with
intransitive, and e and ek with transitive verbs. Thus hold, * he was/ balle, or tallSk,
* he said,' instead of the standard balila (pr. bollo).
The tendency to contract verbal forms is very marked in the Conjunctive Participle
of causal verbs. Thus, we have uriye for uraiy&9 having caused to fly, and buliye for
toldiya, having summoned/