412 The Loom of Language it, by a population equivalent to that of France. The gap between the written and the spoken word forces the foreigner to learn two different languages This complete separation of the spoken from the written medium is the work of the Pundits of Calcutta who recently borrowed an enormous number of Sanskrit words with a spelling fashionable two thousand years ago The Bengali verb has eight synthetic tenses There are but three irregular, but only slightly irregular, verbs (give9 come, go) Bengali developed a synthetic though as yet very rudimentary declen- sion of the noun, e g ghar (house), genitive gharer, agent case ghare It has gender-distinction, but Bengali gender is a paragon of orderly behaviour in comparison with that of Sanskrit All male animals are masculine, all female feminine All inanimate things are neuter Only masculine and feminine nouns take the plural ending Hindustani is a dialect of Western Hindi It is the daily speech of a population slightly larger than that of England, but it is better known as a lingua franca, current over all India According to the Linguistic Sw vey, it developed as such in the bazaar attached to the Delhi Court From there, officials of the Mogul Empire carried it everywhere One form of Hindustani is Urdu. Its script is Persian, and it has a strong admixture of Persian and Arabic words Owing to expansion over a wide area and hence contact with peoples of diverse speech communities Hindustani grammar has shed many irregularities and superfluities With few exceptions the verb follows one and the same pattern. The present and past forms of a single helper (hona> to be) combine with two participles to do most of the daily work of a tense system Like the Romance languages Hindustani has scrapped the neuter gender, and the case system has completely disappeared Particles* placed after the noun (postpositions) do the job of our prepositions, e g : mardke of man mardonke of men mard ko to man mardon ko to men THE BALTIC AND SLAVONIC GROUPS Among modern Indo-European languages, those of the Baltic and Slavonic groups have almost entirely escaped this tendency towards easing the flexional burden They still preserve a welter of flexional forms The Baltic group survives in a region north-east of Germany. It * In spite of this regularity of the Hindustani word, some Indian and Euro- pean compilers of Hindustani grammar-books still stick to the Sanskrit or Latin pattern and arrange nouns with their post-positions in seven cases East and West meet in the scholarly tradition ot making difficult what is easy.