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The following lectures on the History of the Bengali 
Language are intended to give a sketch, in broad outline, 
of the origins of that language and the various influences, 
linguistic, ethnic, social, that shaped and moulded its earlier 
history. One essential requirement of a scientific procedure 
ill an investigation of this sort, I have steadily kept in 
view. The ethnic as well as the social history of a people 
or group of peoples must corroborate and light up the 
linguistic history, if the latter is to be rescued from the 
realm of prehistoric romance to which the story of philo- 
logical origins, as so often told, must be however reluctantly 
assigned by the critical or scientific historian of to-day. 
One or two incidental results of my application of this 
anthropological test may be here mentioned. I have had 
no occasion to invent different Aryan belts for the imaginary 
migratory movements of some unknowable patois-speaking 
hordes, to account for the distinctive and peculiar pheno- 
mena of the provincial languages or dialects, e.g., those of 
Bengal : they are fitly explained by the successive ethnic 
contacts and mixtures with neighbouring or surrounding 
indigenous peoples. Similarly I have had no hesitation in 
recognizing within proper limits, the principle of miscege- 
nation in the growth of language, as of race, provided that 
the organic accretions from outside grow to the living 
radicle or nucleus which persists as an independent or 
individual entity. In this way I have sought to explain 
many of the phenomena, regarding the grafting of Dravi- 
dian structural and syntactical elements, on some languages 
or dialects of so-called Aryan stock (including those of 
Bengal). One interesting example of this is to be seen in 



the accent systems of the different Bengali dialects, which 
natural!}- show traces of that ethnic miscegenation to which 
the anthropological history of the people, bears an unmis- 
takable testimony, the more so as tone and accent are 
among what may be called tertiary racial characters of 
speech, and in their deep working predispositions, and 
relative stability, supply fit material for experimental 
variations of th*s sort. 

In the course of these lectures, I have dealt with the 
more important topics relating to the origins of the 
Bengali language, explaining my own views and conclusions, 
rather than combating the theories that hold the field, and 
I have used the illustrative material briefly and sugges- 
tively, rather than exhaustively. 

A few words may be necessary to explain the occasion 
of the present publication. It was in 1909 that I first 
gave a definite shape to the results of my study of the 
Bengali language and its history, but certain eye troubles 
which began at about that time, interfered with the im- 
mediate completion of my plans. Three or four years 
later, after those troubles had ceased with the total loss of 
eye-sight, I turned to my materials again, and worked at 
them, till in 1917, not knowing what to do with these 
unpublished papers, I sent them at the instance of a friend, 
to the Hon'ble Sir Asutosh Mukerjee, President of the 
Council of Post-Graduate Teaching in Arts in the Uni- 
versity of Calcutta to see if any use could be made of them 
in connection with that scientific study of the Vernacular, 
which had long been one of Sir Asutosh's cherished projects 
in his scheme of University reconstruction and extension. 
To my great surprise, not unmixed with thankfulness, I 
found myself called upon, months later, to deliver a course 
of lectures on the History of the Bengali Language, in the 
Post-Graduate Department in the University of Calcutta. 


I took the advantage of the opportunity so generously 
afforded, to revise my original papers, in view of a number 
of facts, that had been since brought to light. I have to 
thankfully acknowledge, that when revising these papers, 
I was very much benefited by some highly valuable sug- 
gestions, which my friend, the eminent scholar Dr. Brojen- 
dranath Seal very generously offered. 

Having had to use an amanuensis, and being without 
the means of inspecting either the manuscripts or the 
printed proofs, I am afraid, the following pages must 
contain numerous errors and misprints, for which the reader 
will, I know, excuse me. 1 am thankful to my young 
friend and colleague Babu Hemantakumar Sarkar, M.A., 
who has prepared the indexical contents and has brought 
several serious misprints to my notice. 

I cannot end these prefatory words, without giving an 
expression, however feeble and halting, to the feeling of 
deep gratitude which overpowers me, when I think of the 
opportunity, which Sir Asutosh as the presiding genius of 
University education in Bengal, has opened to one circum- 
stanced like me, an opportunity not only of that active self- 
expression, which has now become the staff of my life, but 
also of the fruition of my life's studies and constructive 
endeavours in one important direction. 




A. Preliminary. How Philology is related to Ethno- 
logy pp. 1-2 ; the unscientific methods of Philologists cri- 
ticised by Karl Pearson, pp. 2, 3 ; Grierson's theory, about 
the origin of Indian Dialects, pp. 3, 4; Rislev's explanation, 
p. 6 ; Grammar and not vocabulary which gives a dialect 
its character, p. 6. B. Preparatory. Bengali-speaking 
tracts, pp. 7, 8 ; Bengali loosely called a sanskritic 
language, p. 8 ; Aryan vernacular, a better name, p. 8 ; 
the term Aryan has no ethnic significance, p. 8 ; structure 
and accent system are great factors in a language, p. 8 : 
for derivation of words sound suggestions are misleading, 
p. 9 ; subjects necessary to discuss, as a preparatory 
measure : (1) Geographical limits of Ancient Yanga 
or Bengal and the character of the Pre-Aryan tribes 
of Bengal, ( - i) The form of Aryan speech first intro- 
duced in Bengal, (3) The Aryan or Aryanized and 
the non-Aryan hordes which made inroads into Bengal 
from the earliest known time to the end of the 12th 
century A. D., p. 9 ; some important propositions stated : 

(1) Linguistic miscegenation Keaue's view struc- 
ture may be influenced to some extent by foreign influence 
the mixture of vocabularies is not of much conse- 
quence The example of Urdu pp. 10-11. 

(2) When a new structure is gradually built with 
new elements on a fresh basis, a new language is evolved ; 
The natural and organised mode of thinking of a people 
can never be radically changed, p. 12. 


(3) What is called a patois or vulgar speech is 
never a separate language Isolation and want of culture 
bring about deformities, p. 12 ; Phonetic peculiarities and 
the anatomical structure of the vocal organs, p. 13 ; How 
pronunciation may at times be wholly due to the education 
of the ear, p. 13. Difference in pronunciation may at times 
be explained by climatic conditions as well as by the social 
life of ease cr difficulty, pp. 14, 15; Racial character of 
speech, p. 15; Heredity and variation Wundt's inheri- 
table predisposition, p. 15; Primary, Secondary and Tertiary 
racial characters in speech, pp. 15, 16 ; unity or homo- 
geneity of a race cannot be postulated on linguistic basis 
alone, p. 17. [pp. 1-17. 


Section I. The antiquity of the names Vanga and 


The Veda samhitas and the early Vedic literature do 
not mention the name Vanga Atharva Veda mentions 
Anga In the Atharva Veda Parisista the word Vanga 
occurs with Magadha as a component of a compound 
word The value of this silence, p. 18 ; Aitareya Brahman a 
mentions Vanga as a country of the barbarians, p. 20 ; 
Early Buddhistic literature is as silent as the Vedas ; 
Vanga not colonised by the Aryans till 6th century B. C., 
p. 20; the aboriginal tribes known by their totem names, 
p. 21 ; the story of Vijaya Sinha and the colonisation of 
Bengal, p. 22; Early Magadhi influence in Ceylon, p. 23; 
Remnants of Bengali vocabulary and accent system in 
Sinhalese, p. 24 ; First Aryan settlement in Bengal, 
pp. 24, 25; Baudhayana's and Vasista's limits of Aryavarta, 


pp. 25-2H ; The unholy Vanga, p. 26 ; sea voyage allowed 
in some northern countries of the Aryans, p. 26 ; Re- 
searches in Farther India by Phayre and Gerini Early 
colonisation of Burma by the Dravidians and then by the 
Aryans, p. 27 ; Telegu supremacy in Arakan and Chitta- 
gong in 850 B.C. Bengali colony in Annam not later than 
7th century B.C., p. 27; the leader of the Bengali adven- 
turer Luck-lorn coming from the province of Bong-long, 
p. 28 ; belonged to Naga Yamsa Bong-long the original 
form of Bangla people of Bong-long known by the name 
Bong Vanga as the name of a tribe in old Hindu Litera- 
ture Anga, Vanga, Kalinga regarded by the Aryans to 
have been of non-Aryan origin Kins of Bong tribe 
replaced by Huddhist Ksatriyas of Magadh in Annam in 
second decade of 3rd century B. C., p. 28 ; Dravidian tradi- 
tion regarding many Na^a-worshipping tribes proceeding 
to south from Bengal and its neighbourhood The Marans, 
Clients and Pangala Tirayers, the most important, p. 29 ; 
The Paugalas, or people of \ffa^ founded kingdom at 
Kanchi, p. 30 ; The Yangas, a sea-faring people, p. 31. 

[pp. 18-31. 


Section //. The GevgrapJiy of Old Bany!* >ind >/' u/Jfr 

n-Lded tritcfs 

Home of the non-Aryan Yangas as we find in the 
Mahabharata and Puianas A portion of Kiilaka-vana, 
came to be designated as Jhajakhamja A portion of 
Jhw.iakhai.K.-a got the name Racllia or Ladha, p. 32 Temple 
of Yaidyanath situated in Radha Anga corresponds 
to Bhagalpur, Suhma to portions- of Miduapur, with 


Tamralipti for its capital five sons of Bali, progenitors 
of the allied races An gas, Pundras, Yangas, Suhmas and 
Kalingas. Account of Bali Raja from a Dravidian source, 
p. 33 The value of the story of Behula, p. 85 Original 
inhabitants of Bengal were by race and habits allied to 
those who are now designated as Dravidians, p. 35 The 
situation of Vanga as in the Raghuvarhsa, p. 35 Banga 
not Eastern Bengal Situation of Uttara Racjha, Daksin 
Radha, Vanga and Barinda as appears from Tirumalai 
Inscriptions. The significance of Tippera- Raj-Ensigns, 
bearing representations of pan and fish, 3(>. Vanga called 
Samatata in the Yrhatsamhita, p. 37. Hinen Tsiang's 
Topography and Geography Kaichu-ho-khilo Culture 
of Magadha prevailing all over Bengal, pp. 38-39 
Assam inhabited by a Mongolian tribe, p. 39 
Karnasuvarna in Rajha, Narendra Gupta's capital, 
pp. 39-40 How Oriya is related to Bengali, p. 40 
Utkalas mentioned in the Puranas and in the Raghu- 
vamsa, p. 4-1 Geography of Utkala, pp. 41-42. Mu<;U 
Kalinga became Trikalinga in the language of the Aryans 
Trikalinga = Telinga = Telegu, p. 42. [pp. 31-42. 



Section IJL Ganda, HadJni and Bftnya 
The name Gau-> is of comparatively recent origin, 
p 43 Geography of Gani'a, in the 8th century A. D., 
]>. 43 Meaning of the word Gauda, p. 44 Alberuni's 
reference to Gauda. p. 44 A. K. Iyer, on the Gaura 
(Triholrapur) origin of some Cochin Brahmins, p. 45. 
Political condition of Bengal from 8th- 12th century A. D, 


daring the Pala Rajas, p. 45 Northern Bengal under 
the Kambojes, p. 46 Transfer of the capital of the 
Pala Rajas from Magadha to Bengal, p. 46 Affinity 
between Eastern Bihari and Bengali, p. 47 Bihar under 
the sway of Westerners, Bengal the real representative 
of old Bihar, p. 47. The Pravangas, ris., Malas, Mahi- 
?ikas and Manabattika?. The Kosala Guptas and the 
Bengalis, p 48 Vanga as general name of the country, 
p. 49 The Kayastha and the Babus, pp. 49-50. The 
Vaidyas, pp. 50-53. The origin of the Sena Rajas 
of Bengal, pp. 50-51. The Ambattans, p. 52. The 
invasion of the Indo-Chinese people, p. 53 Unexplained 
Geographical names in Bengal, p. 54. [pp. 43-54. 



How changes in a language and deviations from the 
norm may be explained, p. 55 The non-Aryan influence 
on the Aryan speeches, p. 55 Stenkonow's remarks on 
the 3hange of Aryan dentals into cerebrals, pp. 55-56. 
Cerebrals are never initials of genuine Dravidian words, 
p. 56 Bengali cerebrals are not so much cerebral as 
dental, p. 57 Mongolian influence, p. 58 Sir R. G. 
Bhandarkar's explanation criticised, p. 58 Dravidian 
phonetic peculiarities noticeable in the formation of Pali 
and other Prakrita words, p. 59 Bengali ' C$ ' from 
Dravidian ' f/ p. 59 Caldwell Trumpp, Beams and 
Bhandarkar on the point, pp. 59-60 Stenkonow on the 
similarity between Etruscan and Dravidian, p. 61 Some 
of their common characteristics distinctly noticeable in 
Bengali language, p. 61 Illustrations of Early Dravidian 


influence, pp. 62-63 List of Dravidian words in use in 
Bengali, pp. 03, 67 Some essential Grammatical pecu- 
liarities of the Dravidians noticeable in Bengali, p. 67 
Origin of plural forming '^f^ and ^1, pp. 67, 68 Position 
of the negative particle srl betrays Dravidian influence, 
pp. 68-69 Cf*lt words which cannot be traced either to 
any Sanskritic origin or to any other n on- Aryan origin, 
pp. 09-74. [pp. 55-74, 



Bengali vowels, pp. 75-76 Pronunciation of Bengali 
^, pp. 75-76 Oriya % p. 76 The Vedic sarhvrta *r, 
pp. 76-77 Vedic <sf and *sft carried at times a half nasal 
sound, pp. 77-78 The nasal of ^1, pp. 78-79 Pronun- 
ciation of <srt, p. 79 Words of one letter in Bengali 
pronounced long as in Tamil, p. 80 Change of ^fl to ^, 
pp. 80, 81 ^ changed to 4, 3, pp. 80-82 Pronuncia- 
tion of ^, $, pp. 8-!-85 %, fe, p. 854, ^, , $, pp. 85-89 
Rabindranath's rule regarding the pronunciation of tj 
accepted and expanded, p. 88 Visarjaniya, pp. 89-90 
The nasal sound, p. 90 q, ^, *l, ^, P- 93 ^, ^|, v\ and s>, 
pp. 94-96 Bengali consonants, pp. 96-105 Phonetic 
value of Tamil consonants, pp. 96-97 Consonants of the 
Aryan speech, pp. 97-98 <F, % 5f, ^, p. 975, ^, ^, 3f, 
p. 98 Sibilants, pp. 99-100--? and f, pp. 100-102 Rules 
relating to the occurance of non-?^ final, pp. 102. 

[pp. 75-105. 



Section 1. A Comparative Study of Accent. 

Meaning of Aksara, p. 106 Accent in Vedicand Classi- 
cal Sanskrit, p. 106 Sentence accent in Yedic, pp. 106- 
107 ^jtfrs, ^ffTs and ^f?R, p. 107 Change of meaning by 
change of accent, pp. 107-109 Veclie accent in metrical 
composition, p. 109 Accentual peculiarities in the vocative 
case, p. 110 Pronunciation of the word <5fffl in the 
Veda, pp. 110-111 Survival of Vedic accent in Pali and 
Prakrit, p. Ill Jacobi's criticism, p. Ill Emphasis on 
phrases in Sanskrit, p. 112 Accent system in Oriya, p. 113 
Marked peculiarities of the Accent system in Bengali, 
p. 114 Central and East and West Bengal pronunciation, 
114 Dravidian influence, 115. [pp. 100-116. 



Section 2. Bengali Metrical System. 

Bengali Metrical system based on syllables and not on 
letters Metrical system of early Vaisnava Poets is artificial, 
p. 117 Character of Bengali syllables, p. 118 frfa 
metre based on 14 syllables and not 14 letters, p. 1 18 
Illustrations of Bengali metrical system, p. 118 How 
from indigenous songs literary verses originated, p. 120 
The opinion is wrong that spTS words do not practically 
exist in old Bengali, p. HO Madhusudan and Hem- 
chandra's versification, p. HI Evolution of our Metrical 
system, p HI Sanskrit metres of late origin, p. 121. 
Their Bengali prototypes, pp. 12 1-1 2(5 Hindi and Oriya 
modes of reciting poetry, p. 12(5. [pp. 117-27. 




Section 3. Accent traced in Sandhi and Compound 

Formation . 

Yedic and Sanskrit Sandhi, p. 128. Sandhi in 
Pali, p. 129. Bengali Sandhi system, p. 130. Samasa, 
p. 133. Adverbial compounds ^r^jft^st^, p. 133. Deter- 
minative or ^3^ -(1) <F3|-*ttR (2) ^-SfoK (3) 
<j?<r1-fsff^ (4) ^W-TT^, (o) ^rtMsMT^ (6) *^i-^t5^, 
(7) ^fa-^ffi ^tW, pp. 1 34-5. Descriptive or ^fatsra, p. 135. 
f^ ^ftf?[ 1% p. 135. Duplicated words of nine classes, 
pp. 136-39. Appendices to Lectures VI to IX. 

Appendix I. A study of some Onomatopoetic Desi 
words, pp. 1-10-3. 

Append! r II. The Phenomenon of Sandhi, pp. 
144-55. [pp. 128-55. 




Relation between Vedic, Sanskrit and Vernaculars, p. 
156. Keane, on the spread of Aryan speech amongst non- 
Aryan peoples, p. 157. The linguistic strata in the Vedas, 
p. 158. Personal Pronoun in the Vedic, p. 159. Their 
various stems, p. 159. Lost forms of Pronouns, p. 163. 
The literary character of the pre- Vedic language, p. 164. 
The Chandasa language, a very rich and well developed 
literary speech, p. 164. It was a living language, p. 165. 
The phenomenon of phonetic decay or ' Apabhransa ' in 
Chandasa, p. 160. Loss of initial conjunct mutes, p. 166. 


Losses in words denoting Numerals, p. 167. Vedic man- 
tras preserved as a hieratic speech, p. 169. The term 
'Jaukika' for Sanskrit, p. 170. The term ' Sanskrta,' p. 
173. Provincial dialect at the time of Patanjali, p. 174. 
That the Prakrta dialects are derived from Sanskrit is an 
erroneous proposition, p. 175. Variety of past forms in 
Sanskrit, p. 175. Pronunciation, p. 177. Dual, p. 178. 
AVhy later Prakrtas were more Sanskritic, p. 179. Prakrta 
forms Sanskritized, pp. 181-85. Vernacular words traceable 
to the Vedic, pp. 185-87. Append i.r. Pseudo-Sanskrit 
words drawn from Prilkrts, pp. 189-91. [pp. 156-91. 



Prakrta defined, p. 19:1. Prakrta the language of the 
common people, p. 193. Pali defined, p. 193 . Pali, an early 
Magadhi Prakrta, p. 193. The character of Pali, p. 196. 
Pali, a literary speech, p. 197. The Gatha language, a 
curious mixture of Sanskrit and Apabhransa, p. 199. 
Artificial literary Prakrta the language of the old Prakrta 
works, p. 199. The language of the Asoka inscriptions 
not artificial, p. 199. Old Magadhi Prakrta or Pali and 
Bengali, p. 200. Similarity of Accent system, p. 201. 
Survival in Vocabulary, p. 201. Morphological comparison 
between Pali and Bengali, p. 206. Origin of a class of 
long-winded Samasa compounds, p. 207. Jaina Prakrta, 
p. 207. A link between Pali and Modern Vernaculars, 
p. 207. Study of Jaina Praktra essential for the history 
of Bengal, p. 208. Points of agreement between Jaina 
Prakrtu, and Bengali, p. 210. Peculiarity of Bengali 
names, p. 213. [pp. 192-213. 



Prakrta speeches of the dramas were not spoken Ver- 
naculars, p. 214. Some examples from Gauda Baho Kavja 
and Setubandha, p. 215. Words 'that have not undergone 
any decay in Bengali from remotest antiquity, p. 216. 
Magadhi, Sauraseni and Maharastri Prakrtas, p. 216. 
Some anomalies in the survivals of Maharastri and Saura- 
seni forms. Maharastri as the name for the standard 
Prakrta, p. 217. The real significance of the name indi- 
cates culture centre, p. 220. Standard Prakrta, a language 
fabricated by reducing Sanskrit to Prakrta forms, p. 221. 
The significance of various dialect names for different 
classes of Dramatis persona-, p. 228. The language of 
Gatha Saptasati, p. 228. The Prakrta Paingala, p. 225. 
Aryan Vernacular as well deveolped literal y languages 
before 14th century, p. 225. Metrical } eculiarities of 
these Vernaculars, p. 226. Verses in Prakrta written when 
modern vernaculars were current, p. 227. Proto- Bengali 
verses, pp. 228-82. Mixed character of the language of 
some Prakrta verses, p. 229. Literary languages r.\. Ver- 
nacular speeches, pp. 288-84. [pp. 2)4-84. 


P. 2, L. 33 for spaeks /vW speaks. 

P. 32, L. 18 Avaranga read Ayaranga (AcSranga) 

P. 68, L. 2o ffo .'-: IN 

-26 -Jiffa ^ffa 

Addition. Of words listed in pp. 71 74 the following 
have been traced by me to known origins : (1) 'srtfa 
(Dravidian), ('2) ^f% (Mongolian see Lecture XIII), (3) 

C& (from wl, see Lecture XIII), (4) fe^fa (from 

(5) ^q (from f^*q,see Lecture XIII), () iftfa (Dravidian, 

see Lecture XIII), and (7) rfi? (from ^?^6, see Lecture 


P. 72, L. 26, the words <?/V to should go over to 
column 2 before words l keep fish.' 

P. 83, L. 14 also at other places -for metathysis read 

P. 131, last line,/"/- ^fl-^fl />W ^t^f*f. 

P. 1 69, L. 7, for hiyeratic r<>a<1 hieratic and other places. 

P. 175, L. :26, for time rend tense. 

P. 176, L. 20, for heterogenuous refill heterogeneous. 

P. 177, L. 10, for ?rf3 rend 3^. 

P. 1 78, L. 9, for recent rend accent. 

P 179, L. 18, for mflinteinance read maintenance. 

For p. 343 read p. 243. 

The History of the Bengal 




I should state at the outset, that my inquiry regarding 
the origin and development of the Bengali Language will 
necessarily lead me to consider and discuss some facts 
relating to the ancient and modern inhabitants of Bengal ; 
for, in my opinion, a discussion which is merely philological 
and does not take into account the people or peoples, whose 
language is the subject-matter of inquiry, is bound to 
prove abortive. The philologists, for example, may 
establish, by a comparative grammatical study of the 
modern vernaculars of Northern India, that the inhabi- 
tants of different provinces speak one form or another of 
some common ancient speech. So far so good. The 
linguistic taxonomists, again, may classify the modern 
vernaculars in different groups by looking into their essen- 
tial structural peculiarities, and may also, with reference to 
the phonetic peculiarities of each speech, set down some 
rules to indicate what sound or peculiarity of one speech 
should be equated with what other sound or peculiarity of 
another. No one can belittle the usefulness of this work, 


but we cannot afford to forget that neither Vararuchi nor 
Grimm nor Verner, nor all of them taken together, can 
be wholly relied upon to explain all the deviations from 
the norm. How the ear of a man will be the recipient of 
a sound, or how he will imitate it in speech, will depend 
upon his culture ; what the " apabhramsa " will be in oue 
stage of culture, will not be so in another. Consequently, 
the generalised rules of equation applicable to some words 
of one speech, may not be applicable to other words of that 
very speech. There are also other good reasons why we 
cannot acknowledge the all-sufficiency of the rules alluded 
to, but it will be a digression to adduce them here. What 
I want to bring out prominently is that, we cannot study 
the phonetic changes in a speech without taking the speakers 
of it into account. After observing the differences among 
the sister dialects, we raise the question, why the parent 
tongue underwent different sorts of changes in different 
provinces, we ask why the " apabhramsa " forms in use in 
Hindi for example, did not become current in Bengali ? 
What were the solvent elements in different provinces that 
brought about the characteristic changes noticeable in 
different speeches of common origin ? To get to the facts, 
which induced different sorts of changes and modifications 
in different provinces, we must direct our attention to 
provincial racial peculiarities, as well as to the physical 
conditions of life, which were present in those provinces. 
This is exactly what is not done by many philologists. 
And we shall presently see how they create imaginary races 
to explain away their difficulties without caring to study 
the actual racial peculiarities existing in different provinces. 
This is the reason why many scientists look to the philo- 
logists and their work with much disfavour. Such an 
eminent man of science of our time as Karl Pearson spaeks 
slightingly of the philologists, as 'they do not generally 


pursue the scientific method in their inquiry, for they ask 
us to enter into the "play-room for their individual 
fancy," and accordingly we cannot always get into the 
domain of philology any classified fact or system " inde- 
pendent of the individual thinker " (vide " Grammar of 
Science," p. 10). Grierson's fanciful theory regarding 
the origin of Indian dialects may be adduced as a 
fitting example of this sort of philological vagaries. As 
the theory of this oriental scholar appears in an essay 
contributed by him to such a work of authority as the 
" Imperial Gazetteer of India," a brief discussion of it 
seems called for.* To show up obscurantism is to pave the 
way to the true scientific method of inquiry. 

I set forth first of all the propositions which Grierson 
has asked us to accept on his authority and from which he 
has drawn all his conclusions. They are : 

(?) Modern Aryan languages were not derived from 
Sanskrit. " Some pastoral tribes (long before the Vedic days) 
found their way across the Hindukush " and spread their 
languages over the whole of Northern India as far as 
Dibrugarh in the extreme east of Assam, and Canara to 
the south of Bombay. All the modern vernaculars have 
their origin in the " patois of these pastoral tribes." 

(*Y) The latest comers of the Indo-Aryans settled them- 
selves in the so-called Midland by forcing the earlier 
immigrants " outward in three directions to the east, to 
the south and to the west." The latest comers would not 
necessarily be on good terms with their predecessors, who 
quite possibly opposed them as intruders, nor did they 
speak the same language." One particular Indo-Aryan 

* Remarks I here offer are abridged from what I wrote in 1908 in 
criticism of Sir George Grierlon's views published in the " Imperial 
Gazetteer," Yol, I. My criticism appeared in " Modern Review," 
August 1908. 


dialect of these late comers may be taken to represent the 
archaic language of the Rigveda. 

(Hi) Sanskrit is the polished form of the archaic Vedic 
tongue. This polish was given to the Vedic tongue by 
the labours of the grammarians, culminating in the work 
of Panini. This Sanskrit was never a vernacular, and even 
in olden times it was learnt as a second language. 

(iv) The other languages (i.e., the languages derived 
from the patois of the earliest settlers), namely, Marhatti, 
Bengali, Oria, etc., remain unaffected in their essence by 
the speech of the Midland. 

It is very difficult to meet Sir George Grierson, for he 
has not chosen to cite authorities, nor has he adduced reasons 
in support of his propositions beyond what he has added at 
the end of his paper by way of his own signature. Where 
he has adduced reasons, he has rather stated new proposi- 
tions in the name of reasons which stand equally in need 
of support. As to the original cradle-land of the pre- 
historic Aryans, nothing has yet been settled ; and the 
oldest record of the Aryans, the Vedas, being far from 
replete with evidence as to their original home and migra- 
tory movements, the question relating to the appearance of 
Aryans in India is still a matter for careful inquiry and 
research. However, we do not hold Grierson responsible 
for the unscientific theory about the origin of the Aryans, 
which seeks to establish ethnic unity among races of men 
of different countries on the basis of some linguistic 
agreement. This is not the place for me to show that the 
facts established by the anthropologists tend to demolish 
the theory of there being necessarily any genetic affinity 
between the races of men speaking different Aryan dialects. 
We shall only notice here that Grierson has put the old 
theory into shadow by formulating a new theory of con- 
siderable proportions by the sheer force of his imagination. 


He has mapped oat the whole imaginary cradle-land of the 
Aryans and given a graphic description of the migratory 
movements of some unknown people of an unknown time. 
May we ask what facts justified Grierson in taking up the 
vague suggestion of Hoernle as an established fact and to 
put down with confidence that the patois of some pre-Vedic 
pastoral tribes had taken root in India before the Vedic 
dialect prevailed ? 

The evidence is declared to be linguistic, and, it is said, 
has been obtained by Grierson while pursuing his linguistic 
survey. The method of reasoning, the fact set forth in 
support of the proposition, and the proposition itself, may 
be briefly stated thus : The Aryan languages in use in 
Northern, Eastern and South-Western countries not only 
differ from the languages of Mid-India, but also differ 
from one another*; the Vedic Aryans must have occupied 
the Midland j hence it is established, in the opinion of 
Grierson, beyond any doubt that the languages other than 
those of the Midland originated from the patois of some 
pastoral tribes who preceded the Vedic Aryans. The 
method of reasoning is wholly unscientific. All the dialects 
are admitted to be Aryan in origin, but as they differ from 
one another, their origin has been presumed to be different. 
The very fact that they are so many dialects, shows that 
they must not be one and the same, and they must have 
marked points of difference, even though they might have 
been derived from one and the same language. Dialectic 
variations always take place because of distance from a 
centre and because of contact with other tribes or races. 
Facts have not been adduced to show that the dialects in 
question were not thus formed, as they are formed normally 
everywhere. On the other hand with reference to Grierson's 
remarks in the " Report of the Census of India, 1901 " 
and in his monograph on the " Pisacha Languages," I 


am constrained to say that the learned author has built 
a stupendous structure with very weak materials, on 
the foundation of a fancy of his own. Sir Herbert 
Risley has very rightly remarked that without at all 
resorting to the theory of patois -speaking hordes, the 
changes in the dialects of Central India can easily be 
explained, with reference to the people speaking them. 
Need I make a statement of the well-known truth, that it 
is " grammar " and not " sound " or " vocabulary " which 
gives a dialect its character ? Merely because some tribes 
of the Punjab frontier use some words of Aryan origin, 
Grierson concludes that these tribes -ire remnants in hilly 
countries of the oldest Aryan people. It is on the evidence 
of sound and vocabulary he has thought out different 
origins for some dialects of Northern India. It is such 
reckless assumptions that have brougnt philology into 
disrepute with all anthropologists, though philology as a 
branch of knowledge has a useful sphere of its own. 
Merely from similarity of sounds Grierson has inferred 
that the " Pakthas " of the Rigveda are the modern 
Pathans without caring even to ascertain if those, who are 
now called Pathans, existed in the Vedic days with such 
a tribal name. I would not have wondered if the Afridis, 
who, to serve the convenience of a theory, may be called 
Apridis, were similarly put forward as the authors of the 
Apri hymns. I cannot bring myself to imagine that 
Grierson, who is widely known to be a great oriental 
scholar, has made his authoritative statements regarding 
our archaic and classical languages without possessing 
sufficient knowledge of them. But, on the other hand, it 
appears so strange that one having (-ven a very common 
acquaintance with the languages of old India could for a 
moment think that Sanskrit is the polished form of the 
Vedic language. The grammarians, who have been given 


the credit of having polished the Vedic language, called 
this language by the name " Chhandasa " and described 
what is now called Sanskrit by the term " Laukika-Bbasa " 
(or current language). Grierson could not but have noticed 
the matter in Paniui's book, but he has not attempted to 
explain it. The great oriental scholar must also have 
noticed in Panioi's Grammar that the Chhandasa language 
was an object of reverential study, and nobody could even 
dare to handle it with a view to reform it. There are 
stringent rules that under no circumstances the Vedic form 
should be deviated from ; it has been stated that to do so 
will be to commit sin. I should not discuss the point at 
any further length, for later on I shall have to deal with the 
character of the Vedic language in an independent lecture. 
The reasons why the Classical Sanskrit varied from the 
Vedic language will be discussed in its proper place. I have 
only suggested here that the history of a language involves 
the history of the people speaking it, and as such we 
cannot trace it by philological research alone. 


If we exclude the recently acquired district of Dar- 
jeeling from the political map of Bengal, the entire 
indigenous population of the Presidency of Bengal will be 
found to be wholly Bengali-speaking. The district of 
Sylhet to the north of the Chittagong Division and the 
district of Manbhum to the west of the Burdwan Division, 
though falling outside the Presidency of Bengal, are but 
Bengali-speaking tracts and nearly three million souls live 
in those two districts. By eliminating the exotic elements 
from the Bengali-speaking areas indicated above, we get a 
population of not less than fifty million that has Bengali for 
its mother-tongue. It is quite an interesting history how 
Bengali was evolved, and how it became the dominating 


speech of various tribes and races who were once keen 
in maintaining their tribal integrity by living apart from 
one another, over the vast area of eighty thousand square 

Bengali is called a Sanskritic language by some philo- 
logical scholars, but what these scholars definitely mean by 
the term Sanskrit is not always explicitly stated. If we 
can only tolerate such a loose use of the term as to make 
it indicate indiscriminately the Chhandasa speech of the 
early Vedic days as well as the speech which Panini de- 
scribed as Laukika, the nomenclature of the philological 
scholars may be allowed to stand. I consider it, however, 
safer to call the Bengali speech as an Aryan vernacular to 
avoid the suggestion that the language in which the poets 
from Kalidasa to Jayadeva composed their works was the 
progenitor of Bengali. It has to be distinctly borne in 
mind that the word " Aryan," as used by me, has not even 
remotely any ethnic significance ; it will indicate the 
Vedic speech and those speeches which are allied to, or 
have affinity with, the Vedic speech. 

Let me repeat explicitly what I have suggested above 
just now : that a language is mainly, if not wholly, deter- 
mined by its grammar or structure and not by its vocabu- 
lary which may always swell by the process of word- 
borrowing. I should also add here that the accent system 
is a great factor in a language, and should be considered 
as an essential element of it ; different forms of 
"apabhramsa " in different dialects of one common original 
speech are partly due to different accent systems. It will 
be necessary, therefore, to refer to the accent systems of 
our neighbouring tribes to solve some points of difficulty. 
In ignorance of the fact that some non-Aryan speeches 
exercised some influence upon Bengali, and misled by the 
description of our language as Sanskritic, many capable 


scholars have devoted themselves of late to the ingenious 
but wasteful work of digging out Sanskrit roots and stems 
for such Bengali words and inflections as are entirely of 
other origin. This work is conducted on the flimsy basis 
of feeble sound suggestions. It may interest you to know 
that this very unscientific method was once resorted to in 
Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, and many 
scholars attempted to reduce all languages to Hebrew and 
in some cases to an original Gothic on the strength of 
some remote or imagined sound similarity. 

If our work is not to be barren of good results, we 
must direct our inquiry to the solution of the following 
questions, as preparatory to the analysis of our language, 
with a view to detect and unravel all the influences which 
were at work in building it up : (1) We have to consider 
carefully the geographical limits of ancient Vanga or Bengal 
which has given our language its distinctive name and 
the character of the tribe or tribes which inhabited the area 
previous to the settlement of the people who brought in 
what may be termed a form of Aryan speech. Along with 
these must also be considered the ancient political or ethni- 
cal character of other tracts which, together with the 
ancient Vanga, constitute now the province of Bengal in 
which Bengali is the dominant language. (2) As far as 
it can be traced, we must determine what form of Aryan 
speech was first brought into or superimposed upon the 
country roughly defined above. (3) The Aryan or Aryan- 
ised and the non-Aryan hordes which made inroads into 
Bengal, from the earliest known time to the end of the 
12th century A.D., i.e., up to the time of the Muhammadan 
influence in Bengal, and secured settlements in different 
parts of the country, must also be taken into account to 
explain some factors which generally appear anomalous in 
our language. 


It is too much to expect that we shall succeed in map- 
ping out definitely how the stream of our language flowed 
with an unbroken continuity from a well-defined source 
and received in its bosom many affluents in its successive 
course of progress. No doubt what is true in all cases is 
true in respect of the evolution of our language, that 
nature never allowed any break to occur in her process of 
upbuilding, but as many earlier forms, while fading away 
imperceptibly into new and newer forms, were not preserved 
in literary records, we may only surmise their existence 
from a very small number of what may be termed " fossil 

Before entering upon my subject, I set forth and dis- 
cuss some propositions which are generally accepted as 
correct and are of such value as no one should lose sight 
of in such an inquiry. The first proposition, if put in the 
language of A. H. Keane, will stand as follows : There 
is no such phenomenon as linguistic miscegenation. I fear 
I cannot accept the proposition as universally correct. It 
will be noticed later on that in our syntactical forms, that 
is to say, in the very structure of our language, some 
elements foreign to our language have accommodated 
themselves. This sort of mixture cannot but be recognised 
as miscegenation. I admit, however, that the foreign 
elements which no doubt change the structure are absorbed 
by the main organism ; this assimilation by intussusception 
takes place according to the active principles inherent in 
the organism. Consequently the new structure which 
becomes wholly separate and independent cannot be said 
to be mixed as a language in the individuated form. No 
language of this world can coincide with another, for every 
language has its own separate grammar or structure ; but 
it can be shown that in their growth many languages in 
India incorporated many foreign elements and had adopted 


foreign methods of expression. We can only say that no 
two languages are identical, but as in the case of human 
races, so in the case of human speeches, absolute purity 
cannot be thought of. I must no doubt acknowledge that 
we are at times misled by some instances of mixed voca- 
bularies and wrongly pronounce a language to be mixed 
on that account. If Mr. Keane has emphasized upon 
this proposition in stating that there cannot be any mis- 
cegenation of languages 1 am in entire agreement with 
the views of the distinguished anthropologist. AS an 
example, I may cite the case of the so-called Urdu 
speech by endorsing the valuable opinion of Mr. Keane 
which is wrongly supposed to be different from Hindi and 
is asserted by some to be a mixture of Hindi, Persian and 
Arabic. My suggestion to do away with the name Urdu 
as an additional name for the standard Hindi language 
was no doubt accepted by Mr. L. S. S. O'Malley during 
the census operations of the year 1911, but the sentiment 
of some people for the ridiculously unscientific term had to 
be, I fear, respected. The whole structure of the speech 
is Hindi ; the Hindi pronouns are conjugated with verbs 
in all tenses and moods according to the Hindi rules, yet 
forgetting the fact that no amount of word -borrowing 
can change one language into another, Urdu has been set 
up as a different language. That the words of Persian and 
Arabic origin are much in use in Hindi and more free 
use of them is possible, is lost sight of. Words of such 
foreign origin are prevalent in Bengali and Oria as well. 
If we borrow European words more freely and adopt what 
is called Roman script in our writing, will the Bengali 
language be entitled to claim another name ? The vulgar 
people confound language not only with vocabulary but 
also with script. The Nagri letters which have no better 
pretensions to antiquity than Bengali letters, are called 


even by many educated persons " Sanskrit Aksar," merely 
because to serve some convenience, many Sanskrit books 
are published in Bengal in Nagri character. One word 
more regarding word-borrowing. It must be noticed that 
the words borrowed from other languages have all to 
conform to the genius of the languages into which they 
are adopted. This is what takes place in the Bengali 
language and this is what as a matter of course takes 
place in Hindi even though the speakers, through whose 
agency the adoption is accomplished, are Muhammadans.* 
That an adherence to an 'unscientific situation has a 
mischievous effect on education must be duly appreciated. 

(it) The second proposition I should put forward 
is, that it is only when a new structure is gradually built 
with new elements on a fresh basis, a new language is 
evolved ; but that this new language, by merely coming 
in contact with other languages cannot change its own 
structure, for such change means nothing but death or 
extinction of that language. The imperceptible slow 
change with which a new language is developed is by 
itself a matter for study. Never can a living people 
change radically or discontinuously, nor can its natural and 
organised mode of thinking, which expresses itself in the 
form or structure of its speech, be radically changed. 

(Hi) My next proposition is that what is called a 
patois or a rude or vulgar speech, is never a separate 
language. Isolation and want of culture bring about 
deformities, and these deformities characterise a language 
as a rude dialect. The language of the Mai Pahadjs is as 
much Bengali as the language of the peasants of Northern 

* The sort of composition which at times our Sanskrit Pandits 
and Arabic scholars indulge in by introducing artificially Sanskritic or 
Arabic forms to make a flourish of pedantry, can hardly be classed 
under any dialect of the world. 


Yorkshire is English. Such an unscientific term as " Sub- 
dialect " cannot be tolerated. 

I come now to another matter of great interest and 
significance in this inquiry. The shibboleth test is usually 
applied to distinguish one race from another, but without 
duly judging its value. I cannot therefore conclude this 
lecture without uttering a word of caution in that 

That different phonetic systems do exist as racial 
peculiarities must be fully recognised and appreciated both 
by the anthropologists and philologists, though we may 
avoid treading the debatable ground as to whether the 
phonetic peculiarities imply necessarily in all cases differ- 
ences in the anatomical structure of the vocal organs. 
For all practical purposes we can safely leave aside the 
extreme case of the Papuans illustrated by Miklukho- 
Maclay, for I shall presently show that the races I have 
to deal with in this book are not absolutely incapable of 
imitating those utterances with which we are here con- 
cerned. We may spare the vocal organs an inspection 
when differences may be clearly explained by climatic 
influences or by the long-standing habit acquired by un- 
conscious imitation of the sounds of some neighbours. 

The shibboleth test may be of practical value when 
two races remain apart from each other. It must, however, 
be borne in mind that the pronunciation of words in a 
particular manner does not necessarily indicate peculiarity 
in the structure of the vocal organs ; it may at times be 
wholly due to the education of the ear. If an infant born 
in England of pure English parents be nurtured wholly in 
an Indian home he will not display the peculiarities 
of English pronunciation, and will never mispronounce 
Indian names. I can speak from what I have carefully 
observed myself that the English baby born in India and 


brought up by Indians utter with perfect ease, when 
grown up, those words which the English people say it is 
impossible for them to pronounce. Bengalis who have 
settled in Orissa, but have not mixed their blood with the 
Orias, pronounce Bengali words in Oria fashion with Oria 
pronunciation and Oria intonation. Not to speak of the 
higher caste people of Bengal, there is overwhelming 
evidence that the very people whose environment has 
changed the pronunciation of even the Brahmans in East 
Bengal, do change their pronunciation when they settle 
in the district of Hooghly. 

The racial peculiarities in the matter of uttering vocal 
sounds are no doubt very marked but my personal ex- 
amination of various Indian tribes in the matter of their 
capacity to utter certain sounds has strengthened my view 
that there is no difference between man and man as far as 
the inhabitants of this country are concerned as to the 
construction of the organ or organs of speech. I have 
found the ears of some practically isolated tribes so trained 
that they fail to catch certain sounds uttered to them and 
accordingly they imitate them very badly ; but when they 
are for some time with us, the}- do not betray any or- 
ganic defect in uttering new sounds. The Muiu'as and 
the Onions are well known for their very settled phonetic 
peculiarities, but when employed in our houses as domestic 
servants they learn to speak Bengali very faultlessly, 
though when speaking their own tongue they do not de- 
viate from their own path in the matter of pronouncing 
their own words. 

The hilly accent of Manbhum, the nasal twang of 
Bankura and Burdwan, the drawl of Central Bengal, 
which becomes very much marked in the slow and lazy 
utterance of words by women, and the rapid wavy swing 
with which the words are uttered in quick succession in 


East Bengal may to a great extent be explained by climatic 
conditions as well as by the social life of ease or diffi- 
culty ; but the influence of the tribes of different localities 
among whom the speakers of the Bengali language had 
to place themselves, must not be either minimised or ignor- 
ed. It should be remembered that a man of the so-called 
Aryan descent may lose the power of uttering such sounds 
as are generated, for example, by "sh " or " bh " because 
of the dominant environing influence of the people of 
other races. That the disability is not organic and cannot 
invariably be considered to be a racial characteristic has 
been partly demonstrated. 

It is desirable that I should here clearly deh'ne what 
I mean by a racial character of speech. 

All phonetic or linguistic peculiarities that mark off 
one race or stock from another are not necessarily racial 
characters in the scientific sense of the term. By a 
primary racial character I mean only such of the linguistic 
peculiarities, or marks of a people as have an organic or 
physical basis in the cerebral or vocal mechanism and as 
are also transmitted from parent to offspring under the 
operation of the principles of Heredity and Variation. 
The capacity for speech, for example, is such a primary 
character for the human race. But I am free to admit 
that over and above such hereditary organic characters, 
there are secondary characters of speech, racial peculiarities, 
which, though not embedded in the physical conformation, 
are accompanied by what Wundt has called inheritable 
predisposition and which, therefore, appear in individuals 
from generation to generation under the normal condi- 
tions of existence though, no doubt, in the absence of suit- 
able stimulus or under very marked changes of environment 
they do not persist but give place to acquired or induced 
variations. I am inclined to think that the forms and 


relations of thought, which lie at the basis of the syntax 
of different families of languages, though not the gram- 
matical structures or paradigms themselves, constitute 
secondary racial characters of the nature of predisposition. 
There is reason to believe also that accent systems, 
though originally acquired under persistent climatic, 
dietic and social conditions, have now come in many cases 
to be more or less stable, more or less transmittable 
characters and may have given rise to predispositions of 
the sort. But besides these primary and secondary charac- 
ters there is a third sort of racial peculiarities of speech 
which, no doubt, distinguish one people from another but 
which are acquired under the influence of the tradition 
or of the environment, physical and social, and have to be 
so acquired by the individuals from generation and genera- 
tion, and which disappear whenever the tradition or 
environment is changed. This traditional element in a 
speech constitutes that part of it which is a social tradi- 
tion and has no ethnic significance in the biological sense 
of the term. Among these traditional elements of speech, 
which may be loosely termed tertiary racial characters, 
I would place the phonetic system (the vowel and consonant 
system) as well as the grammatical paradigm (including 
the feense-formatives) of a language or family of languages. 
But as we have seen, all the racial characters, secondary 
no less than tertiary, the predispositions no less than the 
merely traditional elements, are liable to be changed under 
change of environmental conditions, and replaced by newly 
acquired or induced characters. 

The fact, therefore, stands that different sections of the 
Bengali people have the capacity of speaking the Bengali 
speech alike. But I must utter a caveat here lest a wrong 
anthropological use be made of this philological fact as hai 
been done in so many cases. On the basis of this fact we 


cannot necessarily postulate a unity or homogeueit ' of race. 
We cannot necessarily formulate the theory that either 
there has been a thorough-going miscegenation of blood 
among all the sections, or that these sections do not re- 
present different races of bygone days. I purposely strike 
this note of caution, though I am perfectly aware that 
there has been considerable miscegenation of blood among 
many races of India, for I consider it unsafe to draw any 
conclusion from facts furnished by linguistic investigation 

We are not much concerned in this inquiry with those 
linguistic phenomena which fall legitimately within the 
province of the physiologists, L though it is pretty certain 
that the time is not distant when to explain even the 
ordinary phonetic changes in a speech, the help of the 
physiologists will be requisitioned in preference to that 
of the linguists as philologists. We shall have to study 
carefully the settled and abiding peculiarities of some 
races of men in the matter of their accent systems and 
syntactical forms to measure the influence of those races 
in the upbuilding of our language, but as to how a par- 
ticular race became settled in its habits to a particular 
mode of thinking or in a particular way of intonating 
certain sounds, will not concern us in pushing on our re- 
search. Practically speaking, accent being a thing of 
very hard growth, it survives through many changes ; as 
such a comparative study of the accent system of different 
races may help us in determining the origin of many 
peculiarities disclosed by the people of different prov- 
inces of Bengal. 


The antiquity of the names Vanga and Bangla 

It is a fact that the Veda Samhitas and the early 
Vedic literature do not mention the name Vanga either in 
connection with the names of Indian tribes or in any 
enumeration of the countries owned by the Aryans as 
well as by the non-Aryans. The Rigveda Samhita does 
not know even Anga, but this Anga country is mentioned 
in the Atharva Veda. In the Atharva Veda Parisista, 
however, the word Vanga occurs with Magadha as a 
component of a compound word ; but as the scholars do 
not attach any value to it owing partly to the lateness of 
the Parisista itself, I advisedly leave this mention out 
of consideration. It will be quite unscientific, however, 
to come to such a positive conclusion on the basis of this 
silence, that the Vedic fathers had no knowledge of the 
country or tribe which bore the name Vanga. I cannot 
too highly speak of the critical acumen of the learned 
scholars who have attempted to reconstruct the history of 
the Vedic times with the materials furnished by the Veda 
Samhitas, but we have no patience with those who have 
gone the length of making this bold statement with much 
confidence that the state of things not disclosed by the 
Vedic mantras was non-existent in the olden days. The 
uncritical scholars do not see that, even if it be conceded 
that all the mantras or prayers to gods, as had 
been composed at different times by the Rsis, were 


wholly collected and we get them now fully preserved 
in the Samhitas, it cannot be asserted that a complete 
picture of the Vedic times can be presented with the help 
of the mantra material alone. Let me take up a hypothe- 
tical case just to illustrate the force of my remarks. Just 
fancy that a cataclysm sweeps away all that we possess 
and are proud of to-day, and some historical critics arise, 
after the deluge, to write a history of our time with the 
help of such a prayer-book as the Brahma Sanglt of the 
Brahmas, or a collection of Ramprasad's songs, unearthed 
in the debris of some buildings, will the material be 
sufficient for the purpose ? Will not such an inference 
on the basis of the hymns and prayers of the Brahmas, 
that the Bengalis of our imaginary pre-deluged era were 
all monotheists of the Brahma type, be a gross misstate- 
ment of faet? Is there anything in the hymns of the 
Brahmas to indicate that there is such an institution as 
the Calcutta University or that this country is being 
ruled by the British people ? Ramprasad's songs may 
supply the information that we had such a thing as oil- 
pressing machine, and that machine was worked by bullocks 
being blindfolded ; but will not this be a very poor picture 
of the civilization of Ramprasad's days ? We meet with 
an entertaining passage in a drama of our celebrated 
dramatist and humourist, the late D. L. Roy, which pur- 
ports to be a taunting challenge to the effect should we 
think that the GopTs of Brindaban did not know the use 
of jira marick, since there is no mention of this condiment 
in the Srimadbhagabatam ? We cannot afford to forget 
that however much the Vedas relate to the general condi- 
tions of life of the ancient times, they are but ideal prayers 
and hymns, which, again, only a section of the Indian 
Aryans offered to the gods. There is ample evidence in 
the very Veda Samhitas, that all the Aryans of India did 


not pursue the religion which is reflected in the Vedic 

No doubt we do not meet with the name Vanga in the 
Veda Samhitas and the Atharvan mentions only Anga as 
the outermost border country lying to the south-east of 
the territories of the Aryas ; but when we come upon 
this fact, that the later Vedic literature such as the 
Aitareya Brahmana mentions Vanga as a country held 
by a barbarian tribe, while the early Buddhistic literature 
(not likely of a date earlier than the Brahmana) is as silent 
as the Vedas are, it becomes difficult to attribute such a 
silence to ignorance. From these facts we can only make 
this plausible inference that Vanga and its adjacent parts 
were not colonized by the Aryans till the 6th century 
B. C. Let me discuss this important point of chronology 
by considering the value of the facts disclosed by the 
aforesaid literature. 

It is evident from the manner in which the border 
tribes have been mentioned in the 22nd Sukta of the 5th 
Book of the Atharva Veda that the Magadhas and the 
Angas were alien barbarous people who resided outside the 
pale of Aryan country but it is also clear that the countries 
of these barbarians were in close proximity to the land of 
the Rsis. In this Sukta this wish has been expressed 
in offering a prayer to Agni that the fever called "takman " 
may leave the holy land of the Aryas and may reside in 
such border countries as Anga and Magadha which are 
really the home (okah) of the fever. This fever which is con- 
sidered to be of malarial type has been asked in the prayer 
to assail the barbarians and specially their wanton fugitive 
women (described as Sudras) on account of their having 
left the Aryan protection in Aryan homes. It is rather 
clear from this mention that the Rsis of the Atharva 
Veda utilised the services of the people of Magadha and 


Anga and were particularly keen about keeping the Sudra 
women in Aryan villages. Looking to what has been 
stated of Anga we may only provisionally hold that Vanga, 
which lay still farther off to the south-east, was only 
inhabited in those days by people other than the Aryans. 
We get in the Satapatha Brahmar.a of a much later date 
that the holy sacrificial fire travelled as far east as Videgha 
(Videha) in Mithila. It is, therefore, pretty certain 
that the Aryans did not even then come in any real 
contact with the Vangas of Bengal. We notice in the 
Atharva Veda that the Kirata people of the Himalayan 
region were the neighbours of the Aryans and the 
Kirata women supplied such roots and herbs as were used 
for charms and for medicine ; such a peaceful relation 
with the south-eastern border tribes is not indicated in 
any Sukta. In the Aitareya Aranyaka the Vanga tribe 
finds only a bare mention in conjunction with the Magadha 
people. Some early references relating to the people of 
Magadha, of Anga and of other neighbouring barbarian 
tracts in such a fashion, that they were beasts or snakes, 
have been misinterpreted by some scholars. We cannot 
forget the fact that almost all the tribes were known by 
the totem names of their clans or tribes ; it is therefore 
strongly suspected that when the Aryans knew the totem 
names of different tribes, they had some intimate know- 
ledge of them. When the tribes are not made identical 
with the names of birds and snakes, quite another inter- 
pretation has to be given. In the history of the conquest 
of the rude aboriginal tribes, we get one and the same 
mythical account all over the world : the rude tribes in 
their mountain fastnesses and forest tracts are represented 
as giants or dwarfs with mysterious powers, or they are 
imagined to possess power of transforming themselves into 
beasts or birds. The Fsis were no doubt of superior 


mental and spiritual powers, but they represent the Raksas 
and the Yaksas as magicians and Mayavis, as invested 
with abiding authority over the elements. The reason is 
not far to seek. The aboriginal people who knew every 
part of their land in the hills and the forests, could appear 
suddenly and could escape unnoticed to places which were 
difficult of access to the conquering trespassers ; moreover 
the rude tribes, who were unable to cope with the civilized 
intruders, took to some subterfuges which made their 
hostility to be dreaded in proportion to its secrecy. When 
the blow was struck in darkness, the awe-struck Aryans 
who had supreme contempt for the valour of their foes, 
were led to attribute it to supernatural or non-human, 
rather than to human agency. In any view of the case, 
knowledge on the part of the Aryans of the people of their 
country may be presumed. It has been just mentioned, 
that in the early Buddhistic literature, where detailed lists 
appear of many countries and peoples, the name Vanga is 
conspicuous by its absence (" Buddhist India " by Rhys 
Davids, pp. 23-29). The importance of this omission lies 
in this, that Buddha, who flourished towards the end of the 
6th century B.C., had his activities mostly in Magadha 
which is not far off from Bengal. The story of Vijaya 
Simha, on the other hand, points to a pre-Buddhistic colo- 
nization of Bengal by the Aryans. How far we can rely 
upon the Sinhalese account, based upon a tradition merely, 
or rather upon a legendary account, that Vijaya Simha was 
a king of Bengal and that he led his victorious campaign 
into Ceylon the very year the Buddha attained his Nirvana 
has not yet been critically discussed. It can, however, be 
asserted on the evidence of linguistic palaeontology, that 
the early conquerors of their land went from the eastern 
Gangetie valley, and carried with them the speech which 
prevailed in Magadha at least during the 4th century B.C. 


Not only the Sinhalese, but even the Vaeddas and their 
very wild congeners, use a large number of Magadhi 
words in their speech, which are of the time I have spoken 
of. The use of the words " gini " for fire, " gona " for 
cows, " goya"and "goyi" (the Prakrta forms of godha and 
godhika), " vaso " to indicate residence (as in kaeto-vaso, 
forest residence), " ini " from the root ^ = to go (as in 
gamanini), etc., which occur in the old Magadhi Prakrta, by 
even such Sinhalese as lead a rude life in distant forest 
tracts, raises a presumption in favour of very early 
Magadhi influence in Ceylon. It has to be noted that 
the Sinhalese are non-Aryan people, and the Tamil- 
speaking Hindus, who have most influence with them, are 
not at all familiar with the Magadhi words noticed above. 
As the early chroniclers of Ceylon could always prevail 
upon the Gotama Buddha to visit the island off and on, 
it is unsafe to rely upon the dates given by them in their 
pious zeal for the cause of religion. 

The account that Vijaya and his successors proceeded to 
Ceylon from Vanga, cannot also be easily dismissed, for 
there are indelible marks of the influence of the eastern 
Gangetie valley on the speech of the Sinhalese. It is a 
fact that many words and grammatical forms, as had their 
origin in the soil of Bengal at a comparatively recent 
time, are current in the speech of even some isolated forest 
tribes of Ceylon, along with the Magadhi words of earlier 
date as just now noted above. This argues in favour of 
the proposition that the later immigrants must have pro- 
ceeded directly from Bengal. Whoever the early con- 
querors of Ceylon may be, it will be quite reasonable to 
suppose that even when the old Magadhi of .the 3rd or 
4th century B.C. changed its own character considerably 
in farther east, lots of people of the lower Gangetie valley 
continued to pour into Ceylon, to exercise linguistic and 


other influences upon the aboriginal races of that island. 
As to the currency of the modern Bengali forms in Ceylon, 
I may just by way of illustration refer to the following 
words, namely Macha (fish), gacha (tree) (occurs also as 
gaha in one tribal speech), petti (small) (the Bengali word 
peti or pati is used now to signify contempt). A good 
deal will have to be said in a subsequent lecture, regarding 
the accent system of our speech, by comparing the pre- 
vailing system with the systems of some Dravidian races, 
and the old and the modern grammatical forms will have to 
be similarly considered. As such we cannot do anything 
beyond pointing out here, that in Ceylon, the word "bhumi " 
is pronounced as " bumi " or " bimi/' the word " bhat " 
is pronounced as " bat " and the form " karana " (to do), of 
which the modern Bengali form is " kara," is in use. I may 
only note in passing, that in some eastern districts of Bengal, 
"ba " is nearly the sound of " bha " and "karana" is 
the form of " kara "; the sentence Ar ki deon jay for 
Ar ki deoa jay occurs in a humorous song composed by 
our poet Rajani Kanta Sen whose early death we all 
mourn. As to Sinhalese accent system, the remarks of 
Mr. R. L. Turner may be profitably quoted. He writes : 
" With regard to Sinhalese, it is hard to come to a 
decision, because, firstly, all long vowels have been shortened, 
and, secondly, an extensive umlaut has taken place/' The 
importance of the phenomenon, noticed by Mr. Turner, 
will be appreciated by you when you will be treated to our 
Bengali accent and phonetic system. The facts relating 
to Ceylon, as have been discussed here rather perfunctorily, 
do not fail to show, that men of Aryan speech and civiliza- 
tion commenced to colonize Bengal from a time not 
later than the 4th century B.C. 

Probabilities, however, seem to be on the side of the 
supposition, that an appreciable number of Aryans chose 


to make Vanga their home, even when the Aryans of the 
holy Midland country had neither occasion nor liking to 
take any notice of the eastern tracts of the barbarians. 
Even when the notice of the tracts was forced upon them 
later on, they looked down upon those of them who resided 
among the barbarians. Some statements in the old 
Dharmasastras warrant us in making this inference. 

There are some good reasons to suppose, that the 
Dharmasastras fathered upon Baudhayana and Vasistha, 
though older than many other Dharmasastras, cannot be 
placed beyond the 6th century B.C. Baudhayana has 
given the limits of Aryavarta in the following words : 
Aryavarta lies to the east of the region, where the river 
Saraswati disappears to the west of the Kalaka-vana 
(the forest region which extended over a large area 
to the south and south-east of Magadha), o the north of 
the Paripatra mountains, to the south of the Himalayas 
(I Pr., I Ch., K. 2). That Bengal is here excluded from 
the land of the Aryans, is sufficiently clear. After stating 
the accepted orthodox view regarding the geography of 
the Aryavarta, Baudhayana as well as Vasistha very grudg- 
ingly extends the limits of the Aryavarta, on the authority 
of " some " who have been mentioned as " others." By 
virtue of the extended definition, Bengal and some other 
countries fall within Aryavarta ; for, according to this 
definition of the holy laud, Aryavarta lies to the south of 
the Himalayas and to the north of the Vindhya range 
being limited east and west by the two oceans (Vasistba I, 
8 and 9). The conclusion seems inevitable, that the 
stray settlements of the Aryas, at places beyond the limits 
of the holy land, commenced long before the time of 
Baudhayana, and the settlers were being recognized with 
some reluctance during the time of Baudhayana and 
Vasistha. This proposition will receive full confirmation 


from the following facts. Baudhayana, whom all the 
authors of the old-time Dharmasastras follow, has laid 
down some model rules of life for the twice-born Aryas in 
the second Kanaka, of the 1st Prasna of his work; I 
give here the purport of the whole Kanrjika because of its 
special importance. It has been stated on the one hand, 
inverses XIII and XIV, that 'the people or peoples of 
Ariga, Magadha, Avanti, and other lands lying close to 
the land of the Aryas, are of the mixed origin, while 
the lands of the Puwjras, the Vangas and the Kalingas 
are so unholy that one should go through a penance on 
one's return from those countries ; or? the other hand, 
it has been stated, in noting certain deviations from the 
model rules of the holy Madhya Desa or Panchala country, 
that those who reside in southern countries, marry the 
daughters of maternal or paternal uncles, and those, 
who belong to some northern countries, follow the trade 
of arms and go to sea. As these deviations have been 
excused on the ground of their being special provincial 
customs, we cannot fail to see, that the Aryas who were of 
the twice-born rank, became the settled inhabitants of the 
unholy lands, long before the time of Baudhayana. We 
notice that Puncjra and Vanga were separate countries in 
those days, and that there were Aryan settlements in 
Punrira and Vanga, though they might not have been as 
extensive as in Magadha and Anga. We should further 
notice, that sea voyage was allowed in olden days in some 
northern countries of the Aryans, which fell outside the 
limits of the Madhya Desa. This fact is in support of 
the proposition, that the Aryans of the eastern Gangetic 
valley proceeded to Ceylon as early as in the 4th century 
B.Ci We thus see that however scanty be our materials, we 
cannot definitely assert that the Aryans did not commence to 
colonize Vanga, during or earlier than the 6th century B.C. 


Let us now discuss some other facts for further light 
on the subject ; let us now see what accounts we may 
get of the ancient Vanga people, on examining some 
records of non-Aryan activities of a time when the Aryans 
disdained to take any notice of the tribes, who were not 
within the pale of Aryavarta. Recent researches in Farther 
India by such scholars as Mr. Phayre and Col. Gerini 
have disclosed these facts, that the Telegu-speaking and 
Tamil-speaking Dravidians of India reached Farther 
India both by land and sea, and established colonies and 
political supremacy in many parts of Farther India ; and 
that the Hindus poured in, only subsequently, to dominate 
that land by displacing the Dravidian supremacy. The 
earliest date we get of the Hindus, who went to Burma, 
is 923 B.C. I accept this date on the authority of some 
scholars, but I cannot vouch for its correctness. The 
Ksatriya adventurers, who are said to have proceeded 
from Hastinapur and to have established an extensive 
territory in Upper Burma with Bhamo for its capital 
in 923 B. C., are reported to have displaced the 
Dravidians who had organised their new Kalinga Ratta 
previous to the Aryan inroads into the country. This 
should* lead us to suppose, that the Dravidian invasion 
in Farther India took place at least a century before 
923 B. C. It is also reported of the Telegu adven- 
turers, that they established their supremacy over Arakan 
and the tract of country now covered by the Chittagong 
Division in about 850 B. C. The accounts of Kyauk-pan- 
dang by Mr. Phayre in his history of Burma may be 
profitably referred to in this connection. 

What concerns us principally here is that the people of 
Bengal formed a powerful colony in Annam in Farther 
India not later than the 7th century B. C., when they were 
being despised and not taken any notice of by the Aryans 


in India. The traditional and legendary accounts relatin g 
to Annam, as are reported to appear in some Chinese 
records, affirm that the leader of the Bengali adventurers, 
who became the king, of Annam, bore the name Luck-lorn, 
and that he married one Annamese girl named Auki. It 
has been gathered from these records, that the province of 
India to which Luck-lorn and his people belonged, was 
called Bong-long, and that Luck-lorn and his followers 
were of Naga Vamsa or rather had Naga for their tribal 
totem. It becomes pretty clear, that the name of the land, 
which was then unknown in Aryavarta, was Bong-long 
(the original form of Bangla) and the people of 
Bong-long were known by the name Bong. That the 
term Vanga indicated the name of a tribe may be amply 
proved on the authority of the old Hindu literature. You 
may refer to Col. Gerini's accounts regarding the Bong- 
long kings in his work entitled " Researches in Ptolemy's 
Geography. " Archaeological research in Cambodia and 
Annam by Ayomounier, De la Ponte and other European 
antiquarians should be carefully studied in the interest of 
the History of India. We will presently see that those 
who bore the names Anga, Vanga and Kalinga, were re- 
garded by the Aryans to have been of non-Aryan* origin. 
I should also mention here, that the kings of Bong tribe 
reigned till the second decade of the 3rd century B. C., 
when some Buddhist Ksatriyas of the Magadha country 
became supreme in Annam. It is known that eighteen 
kings of Bong-long origin reigned for over 350 years in 
Annam. We find that the compound letter or suffix 
" long " was added to " Bong " to signify the country be- 
longing to the Bong people. I am inclined to think that 
this " long " is the Annamese form of the non-Aryan suffix 
" la," and that not only the name Bong or Vanga as the 
name of a tribe, but the word " Bangla " is as old as the 


word Vang a. I shall not be accused of giving reins to wild 
imagination, if I consider this non-Aryan suffix " la " to be 
still persisting in our language, and that ive detect this suffix 
in such words as " phogla," " totla/' etc. I should, however, 
note that the " la " or its derivative " la " which indicates 
past tense (as in karila or karila), has nothing to do 
with the " la " spoken of here. Be that as it may, we get it 
as a certain fact, and that is a great gain with us, that the 
word Bong-long or Bangla was the name of some in- 
definite portion of our present Bengal, at least as early as 
the 7th century B. C., and the name Vanga (which origin- 
ally signified a people) is of great antiquity. 

We learn this good lesson from the accounts of the 
Vanga people, that we should not invariably make the 
Aryan activities in a province the sole starting point for the 
historic period in that province, and should not consign 
all pure and unmixed non-Aryan activities to the limbo of 
all forgotten formations, by writing the convenient term 
" Pre-historic time " over the events of the non-Aryan 
people. We see that trie Vangas, previous to their being 
influenced by the Aryan civilisation, created a history in 
this world. Far from therefore being ashamed, we are 
rather proud of this ethnical record, that those who have 
to be presumed to form the bulk of our population to-day, 
are the Vangas, who founded once a ruling house in An 
nam in Farther India. 

Another fact of great historical significance relating 
to the early migratory movements of the people of Bengal 
has to be narrated from the records of the Dravidians of 
Peninsular India. Very ancient Tamil books inform us 
that many Naga-worshipping tribes proceeded from 
Bengal as well as from other parts of Northern India to 
establish their supremacy in the Tamilakam country. Of 
these tribes, the Marans, the Cheras and the Pangala 


Thiraiyar interest us most. The Cheras, it is stated, pro- 
ceeded to Southern India from the north-west of Pangala 
or Bengal and established the "Chera" kingdom of much 
historical note. It is significant that the Cheras are men- 
tioned in the old Brahman literature as occupying the 
eastern tract of the Magadba country. As to the Marans, 
who are said to have been the neighbours of the Cheras in 
Northern India, it is equally important to note, that the 
mighty Pandya kings claim to be of Maran descent. The 
Marans, who were also called Maravars, are reported to 
have been a very fierce and warlike people, and that they 
worshipped the goddess Kali on the top-knot of whose 
hair stood an infuriated cobra snake. The Pangala 
Thiraiyars are recorded as the latest immigrants, and 
it is narrated of them, that they proceeded from the sea- 
coast of Bengal by boat and founded the Chola kingdom 
at Kanchi. As the phrase Pangala or Bangala Thiraiyar 
is equivalent to \ffa-^ (Tlra-Vanga), we can assert un- 
hesitatingly, that these people had received Aryan 
influence in Bengal before they left for the Madras 
coast. These traditional or legendary accounts may not be 
strictly correct in all their details, but the general story 
must be accepted as historical truth, since the ancient 
Tamil writers knew nothing of Bengal and its neighbour- 
ing tracts, when they recorded these traditional accounts. 
We shall see later on, that these accounts are quite in 
harmony with what will be narrated in a subsequent lec- 

Let me mention another fact of importance in this con- 
nection. It is narrated in the old Tamil books, that when the 
Naga-worshipping tribes were colonising Southern India, 
the Makkalas were the principal and the most influential 
people in the South. As this Dravidian term Makkala or 
Makkada could be easily transformed into Markata, I 


suppose the poet of the Ramayana was pleased to make 
monkeys of them. To do justice to the Makkalas, it must 
be mentioned, that they have a very high social status in the 
Tamil-speaking country and many aristocratic zamindar 
families belong to the clan of the Makkalas. It is 
reported, that these Makkalas once occupied those high- 
lands of Central India, which are included in the Danda- 
karanya of the Ramayana. Be that as it may, these 
Makkalas once freely intermarried with the Naga tribes 
and brought about racial homogeneity in many parts of 
Southern India. We associate nothing but rudeness and 
barbarity with the term non-Aryan; but adverting now to 
the momentous activities of the high class non- Aryan 
people of olden days, we should do well to change or 
modify our notions considerably. 

We have noticed that the Thiraiyars, or the sea-coast 
people of Pangala or Bangla, took a sea-route to proceed to 
Southern India ; we also notice that the Bong people 
established a ruling dynasty in Annam when the Telegu 
people were influential in Burma. It will therefore be 
very reasonable to conclude, that the Vangas of ancient 
time were a sea-faring people, and reached the coast of 
Tonquin Bay by a sea-route. 


The Geography of Old Bangla and of other related tracts 

In order to fix with some definiteness the land which 
was the principal home of the non-Aryan Vangas, let us 
follow the geography of the ancient time, as we find in 
the Mahabharata and in the Puranas. I am strongly 
inclined to think, that the eastern portion of the indefinite 
tract which was once called Kalaka-vana, and which once 
formed the eastern boundary of Aryavarta, came to be 
designated as Jhadakhanda in comparatively later times. 
It is pretty clear that the name Jhadakhanda came to be 
associated with the tract which lay to the south of Gaya, 
to the east of Shahabad, to the south of Bhagalpur and 
to the west of Bankura and Midnapur. The temple of 
Baidyanath at Deoghar in Bengal (now in Bihar), is still 
considered to be situated in the JhaVakhamJa tract, for the 
priests of Baidyanath recite a mantra by indicating this 
geography, in worshipping the image of Baidyanath. 
A portion of JhaYjakharuJa got the name Ra jha or Ladha 
as we notice in the Jaina records. The Avaranga Sutta 
of the Jainas, though it narrates things of Buddhistic 
and pre-Buddhistic era, was composed at a time which 
may be regarded recent. According to the accounts of 
this book, the temple of Baidyanath is in Ra/Jha or Ladha 
country. The people who inhabited Racjha are described 
to be black-skinned and rude in manners, and are reported 
to have been fond of robbing the pious Jaina intruders. 


In the Brahmanda section of the Bhavisya PuriSna, the 
whole tract lying to the north of the Darukesvara river 
and extending along the Panchkot hills, has been called 
the llalha country and the temple of Baidyanath has 
been mentioned as existing in that tract. 

That the main portion of the Bhagalpur Division \vas 
designated as Anga country, is well established now, and 
there is no need of demonstrating it here. It has also 
been well ascertained that the Suhma country which had 
Damalipti or Tamralipta for its capital, must be identified 
with a very considerable portion of the district of Midnapur. 
We get in the Mahabharata, that the five sons of Bali 
were the progenitors of the allied races of the Angas, the 
Pundras, the Vangas, the Suhmas, and the Kalingas 
(Adi, .V. IV, 4-U7-21). All these tribes have been so 
described in the Mahabharata, as 'to indicate that they 
lived in close proximity to one another. The Punijras 
have been mentioned as Snhmottaras in the Matsya Purana, 
and in the Mahabharata too, the Puiyjras and the Suhmas 
have been placed near to each other (Adi, C. XIII, 24, 58). 
No doubt the Pundras proceeded northward subsequently, 
and founded Pundravardhan in North Bengal, but their 
early distribution points to the fact, that they occupied 
the tract of Bengal which lies to the north of Midnapur. 

The account we get of Bali Raja from the Dravidian 
source should interest us all. The Hindu account is that 
^rikrisna by resorting to a godly trick sent Bali, to Patala 
or Nether world. It is interesting that Bali, who was a 
Daitya, is worshipped in Southern India as an ideal Raja 
of the good old days, and there is a town by the sea-coast 
of the name Mahabalipuram over which Bali presides. 
Bali is called Mabali or Mahabali, and there is a religious 
festival of high importance to celebrate his memory in 
the Malayalam tract of the Madras Presidency ; this 


festival is called Onam. It is narrated, that no one ruled 
the earth with so much justice as Bali did, and all sorts 
of sins and iniquities were unknown in his time. The 
song that is sung at the Onam festival, relates these 
accounts; two lines of it are given here, which purport 
to say that in Bali's time theft and other crimes were 
unknown : 

MSveli nadathu bajjum kalain 
Kalla khedilla kalabhu milla 

You can clearly see that it is the Southern country 
which is our Patala, and the Pauranic account relates to 
the invasion of the country by the Aryans. That Bali 
was considered to be the forbear of the Vanga people as 
well as of other allied races, shows that the non- Aryan 
origin of all these races was fully known to the Aryans. 
That Bali's queen gave birth to Anga and his brothers, 
was narrated to Hiuen Tsiang when he was at Monghyr. 
The feminine form of Bali as Bali-am ma, is the name of 
the principal goddess of the Sinhalese and the Vaeddas of 
Ceylon ; her consort Kande has assumed now the name 
Skanda because of Tamil-Hindu influence. 

Let us now halt to consider a point of ethnic interest. 
The writer of the passages occurring in the Mahabharata 
and the Puranas as relate to the history of the non- 
Aryan tribes, did not certainly make a scientific ethno- 
logical study of the tribes in question, but the facts 
narrated above justify us in holding that they carefully 
observed and noted some important points of agreement 
and difference between those tribes. The Angas, the 
Vangas, the Pundras, the Suhmas and the Kalingas were 
noted in the first place as tribes perfectly distinguishable 
from one another, and in the second place as peoples 
closely allied to one another. It was noticed that they 
were all Naga-worshippers and that they were all the sons 


of Bali. Regarding Naga worship, I may remark in 
passing, that the story of Behula commemorates how the 
new-comers in the lands of the Angas and the Vangas 
had to accept and venerate the religious cult of the original 
inhabitants. We can see from the account we now ob- 
tain of Bali, that the name of the common ancestor of the 
tribes under review was not .the creation of a fancy of 
the Aryans. It has been stated in the previous section, that 
those who proceeded to Southern India from Bengal, and 
its neighbourhood, had Naga for their totem, and we have 
now seen that Bali is still worshipped in the Southern 
Presidency. The cumulative effect of the whole evidence 
is in favour of this supposition, that the original inhabitants 
of Bengal were by race and habits allied to those who are 
now designated as Dravidians. 

The Vangas who were always connected with the 
Puncjras and the Suhmas, must have occupied the tract of 
country which lay to the east of our modern Burdwan 
Division. The fact that the Parujavas conquered Vanga 
after subverting the Pundras, and ' led their victorious 
soldiers to Suhma after devastating Vanga, supports this 
position fully (M. Bh., Sabha, XXX, 23-25). We find 
also in the Raghuvamsa, that Raghu conquered the 
Vangas after finishing his task with the Suhmas, and 
planted his victorious banner in the midstream of the 
Ganges. The popular notion that Vanga, as described by 
Kalidasa, should be identified with the modern Eastern 
Bengal, is erroneous. To clear up the point, I have first to 
note that in all old records we get the Vangas in close 
proximity to the Pundras and the Suhmas ; we may then 
refer to the historical fact, that when Suhma lost its old 
name and became a sub-province with the name Daurja- 
bhukti, it became a Bhukti or sub-province of Banga. 
The Tirumalai inscriptions decide this point clearly and 


unmistakeably. It has been recorded in the inscriptions 
(E. I., Vol. 9) that the celebrated Chola Raja first came 
upon Daksina Rarjha on crossing the northern frontier 
of Orissa ; he then raided Vanga, and at a place in the 
north of Vanga (not in Barinda, nor in any other prov- 
ince) defeated the then Pala Raja in a battle, and just 
after finishing that work came upon Uttara Radha which 
was the adjoining country. It was from Uttara Radha, i.e., 
from the tract covered by the districts of Hooghly, Burdwan 
and Birbhum, that the adventurer proceeded to the coast of 
the greater Gauges on the other side of which lav Barinda. 
What was the extent of this Vanga in olden days, has 
next to be ascertained. With reference to the geography 
of the Mahabharata and the Puranas, we may say that the 
main portion of Northern Bengal and some portion of the 
district of Mymensingh were included in the Pragjyotita 
country or Assam, over a portion of which the Kiratas 
predominated. The Tripura country or the Chittagong 
Division was no doubt once under the sway of the Telegus 
of Kalinga, but as the Vaugas also extended their influence 
over Annam in Farther India, their extension in the Tri- 
pura country in the dim past cannot be very much doubted. 
It is highly interesting that not knowing them to be the 
relics of bygone days, the present ruling chiefs of Tippera 
use the ensigns of those old rulers who are now almost 
forgotten in history. The ensign bearing the representa- 
tion of a fish and the pan or betel-leaf-shaped ensign are 
used among other ensigns on ceremonial occasions. Let 
me mention, that fish has alwa}-s been a subject of venera- 
tion and an emblem on the royal banner of a powerful 
section of the Dravidians, and a broad leaf is the emblem 
of the Kiratas, who now reside in the wild tracts of Cachar. 
As to the eastern limit of Vanga, we have obtained a rough 
and indefinite idea only. We have to approach this point 


again, after considering some other facts which are import- 
ant for the history of our language. 

In the Vrhatsamhita of Baraha Mihira (6th century 
A.D.), Vanga is mentioned by the name Samatata but no 
definite geography is indicated ; all that we know is, that 
Samatata lay between Utkala and Mithila. This state- 
ment tends to show, that even as early as the 6th century 
A.D., one general name Samatata could be used for all 
the provinces of Bengal, as lay between Orissa and North 
Bihar. In this connection it is interesting to learn, that 
in the enumeration of some tribes of minor importance, 
dwelling in the Racjha country on the Bengal frontier, the 
Puradas have designated the tribes as Pravangas. The 
extension of the name Vanga to the Radha country, is 
clear in this statement. Let us then refer to the accounts 
of Hiuen Tsiang who is not much removed in time from 
Varaha Mihira. The celebrated Chinese traveller went 
from Champa in Bhagalpur to a place called Kie-chu-ho- 
khi-lo which was 4-00 li from Champa to the east. The 
traveller or pilgrim kept the hilly or jungly tracts of 
Rajmahal to the right, and proceeded to this place, follow- 
ing the stream of the Ganges. No identification of this 
place las yet been made, but this country or province 
appears to have been composed of the northern portion 
of the Burdwan Division, the whole of the district of 
Berhampore and a considerable portion of the district of 
Nadia, since, going from this country eastward and cross- 
ing the Gauges after trudging the distance of about 600 li, 
Punrlrabardhan was reached. At this time Kie-chu-ho- 
khi-lo contained six or seven Buddhistic monasteries and 
there were 300 Buddhist priests there. 1 It has been 

1 Kuchiakol is a familiar village name in this tract ; it is not unlikely 
that such a name the capital town of this province or political unit 
bore in the 7th century A.D. 


stated that the people were fond of learning and were 
simple and honest. It is reported that the people spoke a 
dialect of the Midland language. By "Midland" the 
Magadha country is meant. Existence of ten Hindu 
temples was also noticed by the traveller. It appears from 
his description, that the country had then only recently 
lost its independence and was being governed by the king 
of a neighbouring country, before oiladitya Harsavardhan 
annexed it to his kingdom. It will be presently seen, that 
the Radha country was at this time being ruled by Raja 
Sasauka or rather by his descendants who were sworn 
enemies of Harsavardhan. I think therefore, that the 
neighbouring Raja who then dominated Kie-ehu-ho-khi-lo 
was, of the family of asanka alias Narendra Gupta. The 
description that somewhere on the northern portion of this 
country, not far from the Ganges, was a high tower made 
of bricks and stones, and that this structure was ornamented 
with rare sculptures, and on the four faces of the tower 
there were sculptured figures of the saints, Devas and 
Buddhas in separate compartments, is of great archaeolo- 
gical interest. Looking to the fact that wild elephants 
roamed about on its southern frontier, it may be supposed 
that between Samatata (which stretched along the coast 
of Bay of Bengal) and Kie-chu-ho-khi-lo, lay a tract 
covered with wild vegetation, which could invite the wild 
elephants of Rajmahal hills. Who kuows that Banagram 
(now the headquarters of a sub-division) does not carry 
in its name the memory of the old physical aspect of the 

The description given of Pundravardhan of rather vast 
area, shows that a very considerable portion of Northern 
Bengal was then under the influence of the culture of 
Magadha country, and that this country extended to the 
frontier of Assam. It is to be noted, that the culture of 


Magadha which prevailed over all parts of Bengal, was 
absent in Assam, where Buddhism could not make any 
impression. This phenomenon partly explains why the 
Assamese speech was not then exactly identical with that 
of Northern Bengal. The people of Assam of those days 
are reported by the traveller to have been " of small 
stature and of dark-yellow complexion " ; this description 
leads me to think, that the Mongolian element predomi- 
nated then in Assam, and because of this ethnic, character, 
the language of mid-India became slightly different in 
Assam. Hiuen Tsiang then goes to Samatata of Bengal, 
after travelling a very long distance from Kamrup. As 
particulars of that route are not on record, the geography 
remains incomplete as to the extent of Vanga to the east. 
But it seems to be implied in a statement, that the hilly 
tracts of Tippera and Chittagoug which were not visited 
by the traveller, were included in the Samatata country, 
for the traveller speaks of those tracts, when describing the 
Samatata country, as a wild country difficult of access. 
Another fact is quite clear, that just to the west of Samatata 
was the Suhma country. This tallies exactly with what 
we inferred regarding the geography of old Bengal from 
ancient Indian records. It must be specially noted, that the 
influence of Buddhist priests and Magadha culture were 
as extensive in Samatata as they were in Suhma, Kie-chu- 
ho-khi-lo, Punrlravardhan and Karnasuvarna. The Pun- 
dras, the Suhmas, and the Vangas, who were kindred 
tribes, were dominated by one and the same cultural 
influence, during the seventh and very likely during the 
sixth century A.D. 

^asanka or Narendra Gupta who annexed some por- 
tions of Orissa and Ganjam to his empire, had his principal 
seat at Karnasuvarna in the seventh century A.D. This 
Karnasuvarna was no doubt located somewhere to the 


south of the wild tract which stretched forth from the 
Rajmahal hills, since going 700 li north-west from Tanira- 
lipta, Karnasuvarna was reached. Having narrowed 
down the limits of different provinces with the help of 
Hiuen Tsiang's topographical survey, it may be safely 
asserted that Karnasuvarna was the capital of the Ka-.'ha 
country, in the seventh century A.D. The records of 
moral and intellectual advancement of the people of Karna- 
suvarna, as left behind by Hiuen Tsiang, justify us in 
making this inference, that all over the country which 
forms now the presidency of Bengal, the influence of the 
Magadha civilization of the seventh century A.D. did 
effectively and extensively prevail. 

I have related several facts which have some bearing 
upon the province which is now known by the name Orissa ; 
it will be necessary also to relate what relation subsisted 
between Bengal and Orissa, to explain some points of 
linguistic unity between the languages of those provinces. 
I have just now mentioned that Sasauka alia* Narendra 
Gupta annexed some portions of Orissa, but it must be 
stated that his influence can only be traced in Kongada 
(*.*., over the Puri district) and in some parts of G an jam, 
where Oria language now 'prevails. It must be made 
clear, that the Kalinga country of historical note and the 
territories of 3asanka had no connection with the land, 
which was possessed in ancient time by the tribes which got 
the names Odra and Utkala. With reference to the people 
of that part of Orissa, which was within the range of 
^asanka's influence, we get this account from Hiuen Tsiang, 
that with respect to their written characters, they were the 
same as those of Mid-India, but their language and mode 
of pronunciation were quite different. 

It is a significant fact, that we do not get a well-defined 
country bearing the name Utkala in the Mahabhurata 


though the situation of Kalinga to the south of Suhma 
and Vanga, is rather well defined in many parts of that 
work. In the Visma Parva for instance (IX, 348), the 
Utkalas have been mentioned as rude people, and nothing 
has been stated regarding their owning any country in an 
organised form. Vanga seems to have been in olden times 
connected with Anga on one side, and with Kalinga on the 
other; for the Angas, the Vangas, and the Kalingas are 
found constantly linked together in the Mahabharata, as 
people closely allied by race and position. [Vide for 
instance Drona Parva (Chap. LXX).] In the Puranas 
also the Utkalas have been distinctly mentioned as a rude 
tribe of very early origin, having no affinity with the races 
around them. (Vide Markan<>ya Purana, Canto LVII, 
Hari-vamsa, X, 631-32.) From the description given by 
Kalidasa in the 4th Canto of the Raghuvamsa, it becomes 
clear that just on crossing the river Kapisa, the country of 
the Utkalas was reached. Here too, there is mention 
of the Utkalas, i.e., of a tribe but not of any country 
possessed by that tribe. The river Kapisa is the modern 
Kasai or Kansai, which Hows through the southern parts of 
both Chutia Nagpur and Midnapur. The Utkalas in Kali- 
dasa's days, had no political organization, for Raja Raghu 
had not to conquer the country of the Utkalas, and the 
people only showed the soldiers of Raghu their way leading 
to Kalinga. Again, in the Puranas the Utkalas have been 
mentioned in the east, near about the Bay of Bengal, 
and in the west, in connection with the wild tribes of 
Mekhala of the districts of Raipur and Bilaspur in the 
Central Provinces. It is also to be noted, that in the Pura- 
nas, the river Vaitarani is described to be flowing right 
through the Kalinga country. All these facts taken 
together lead us to suppose, that the hilly and wild tract 
of the Utkalas, extended from Nilgiri and Mayurbhanj to 


the borders of Bilaspur and Raipnr, and that the Utkala 
country lay to the south of the river Kansai, and did not 
extend much to the south beyond the northern portion of 
the district of Balasore. The sea-board districts of Orissa 
were then within the Kalinga country, and the whole of 
the Kalinga country as far as the Godavari to the south, 
had the designation of Mudu (three) Kalinga. This Mudu 
Kalinga became Trikalinga in the language of the Aryans, 
and the people who had their sway over the country, got the 
name Trikalingas or Telingas or the Telegu people. Thus 
we see, that a very long and narrow strip of land, extending 
mainly through hills and forests, was recognised in olden 
days, as the land of the Utkalas. But about 200 years 
after the time of Kalidasa, the political situation was much 
changed. A considerable portion of the district of Midna- 
pur to the south, was no doubt still then a part of Utkala 
or O(jra, but the bulk of the population continued to be the 
rude Utkalas, whom Hiuen Tsiang describes as uncivilised, 
tall of stature and of a yellowish black complexion. 
Some portions of the districts of Balasore and Cuttack, 
seem to .have been included at this time in the O(.ra 
country, and the Rajas having -their seat somewhere 
in the district of Midnapur (J. R. A. S., N. S., 
Vol. VI, p. 249) presumably governed the newly 
formed Utkala country, during the seventh century 
A.D. That the capital town of Utkala, during the 
earliest days of Hindu influence, was in Midnapur, is fully 
supported by the statement of Hiuen Tsiang, that the 
capital of " U-cha " (Utkala) was over 200 miles to the 
north of " Kongada " country. It has now been estab- 
lished by the discovery of old inscriptions that, the district 
of Puri bore the name Kongada in the seventh century 
A.D., and Sasanka alias Narendra Gupta of Karna- 
suvari.-a was about then its mighty lord. The country of 
Kaliuga 'became limited at th time to the territories 
where Telegu is now spoken 


Gaiida, Radha and Vang a 

It is regrettable, that it is too often assumed by some 
Bengali scholars devoted to historical research, that in the 
tenth century and earlier, the name GauJa signifies Bengal. 
That the name Gaucja is of comparatively recent origin, and 
that we do not meet with the name during the time of the 
Imperial Guptas, must be admitted by all. In the Calcutta 
edition of the Matsya Purana (Ch. XII, 30), it has been 
stated that Sravasti, was founded in the Gauxja desa by 
Raja ^ravasta, son of Yuvanasva of the Iksaku family.* 
The date of this passage is unknown, but it can be said that 
for the well-known town Sravasti to have been founded 
by the Raja in the Gauca desa, Gauria must have been 
lying to the north of Kosala ajid to the north-west of 
Mithila. That this was the geography of Gaucja in the 
eighth century A.D., is perfectly clear from poet Vakpati's 
description in his Gauda-vaho Kabya. The hero of the 
poem first proceeded against the king of Magadha who 
was also the Lord of Ganr'a, and after having slain him, 
led 1m army against the king of Bengal, whose territory 
lay far to the east near the sea coast (verses 413, 417, 418 
and 419). On noticing the fact, that Yasovarman did 
not proceed to any other part of Bengal, and some time 

* On reference to the text of the Parana, it will be unmistakably 
seen that the old Kosala conntry of the Iksakus, has been described and 
place names in Oudh and its neighbourhood, have "been strictly dis- 
cussed ; there will then be no room for supposition, that this reference 
to Sravasti is to any other Sravasti of any other province lying outside 
the Oudh territory. 


after his return home at the termination of his warlike 
expedition, went straight to Oudh to erect a pillar at 
Ayodhya, to signify his already accomplished conquest of 
Magadha cum Gau<ja, we cannot but be inclined to 
hold, that Gau>ja at this time lay to the north of Magadha. 
The meaning or import of the word Gawja is not 
very clear. Those who keep cattle and sell milk are 
called Gauda in Orissa ; here this term must either be 
the Apabhrarnsa form of Gopala or a slightly changed 
form of the Vedic word Gaura which meant wild ox as 
well as buffalo. If the origin of the name has anything 
to do with the term Gopala, we may identify Gopala 
Kaksa of Mahabharata with the Gau .'a country of our 
inquiry, since Gopala Kaksa is placed near about Kosala, 
and not far away from the Kausiki Kaccha or the valley 
watered by the Kusi (M. Bh., Sabha, XXX, 3). The 
evidence of the Puranas is in support of this identification, 
We get the name of a tribe called Gomanta (those who 
keep cattle) just after the name of the Magadha people, 
in the enumeration of the eastern tribes in the 44th verse 
of the 57th chapter of the Markanrjeya Purana. In the 
Vayu Purana (XLV, 12-3), after enumerating the tribes 
of Assam and North Bengal, the Videhas and other tribes 
of north Bihar have been mentioned ; in this enumeration 
the Govindas come after the Magadhas, while we get 
Gomanta for Govinda in the Markam.'eya. The geography 
of Gaufja as indicated above and the presence of a tribe 
near about that Gauda with the name Gomanta or Govinda, 
persuade me- to believe, that the word Gauda is derived 
from the name of a tribe who grazed cattle and kept 

When Alberuni visited India, Thaneswar was included 
in the Gauda country. Mr. Jackson has rightly observed 
with reference to this extension of Gaurja country, that 


" this explains why the Sarasvat Brahmanas of the holy 
Sarasvati are the Gaudas pare .c.ellcnce, and why Gau'Ja 
and Vanga are mentioned separately in the Bai'oda grant 
of 8H A.D. We find in the second volume of the Cochin 
tribes and castes by Mr. A. K. Iyer, that the Brahmanas 
in that country who claim to be Gaiv'a Brahmanas, and 
have now no manner of knowledge of the geography of 
northern India, assert on the strength of their family 
tradition, that a place called Trihotrapur was their original 
home. This Trihotrapur must be identified with Tirhut 
or Terhot, which also once fell within the limits of Gau(Ja. 
Mr. Iyer says, that these Brahmanas still use some words 
in their speech, which belong to the Prakrta of Magadha 
and Mithila,. I myself noticed, that the women of this 
sect of the Brahmanas, wear a single Saree like the women 
of Mithila and Bengal, and do not dress themselves like 
the other Brahmana women of the southern country. 

The political condition of Bengal from the latter "half 
of the eighth century to the twelfth century A.D. during 
the supremacy of the Rajas, who on account of their 
having compounded their names with the word Pala, 
are known as Pala kings, has been clearly set out by 
Babu Rakhaldas Banerjee, in two easily available works. 
I shall therefore refer briefly, to those facts alone of that 
period, as have direct bearing upon my subject. The early 
Pala rulers were principally lords of Gaurja and Magadha, 
and ruled Bengal from their headquarters in Bihar. 
As a dependency or as an annexed province of Magadha 
cnm Gauc'a, Northern Bengal which lies between Vithila 
and Assam, could at this time be called Gauda or a 
part of Gaur'a, but it must not be forgotten, that in 
the Geography of the Puranas, Northern Bengal has 
always been mentioned as a tract lying outside the limits 
of Gau<..'a and Mithila. Let me cite an analogous case to 


explain the situation. When Orissa constituted a part 
of the Presidency of Bengal, the term Bengal could be 
found, in some works of history and geography, to signify 
Orissa along with Bengal proper ; if because of such political 
inclusion of Orissa in Bengal, no portion of Orissa 
could be confounded with Bengal proper, no one will be 
justified to identify any portion of the Barinda country, 
with the Gauda Desa of the 10th century, or of earlier 

When the Westerners such as the Gurjaras and the Ras- 
trakutas became supreme all over Bihar, the successors of 
Narayana Pala, ruled over a limited area which is supposed 
to be the Rarjha country, having lost Gauc'a and Magadha. 
When these successors of Narayana Pala, lost their real 
dignity, Northern Bengal came into the possession of a 
Mongolian tribe, known in History as the Kambojas. 
Very likely these Kambojas came from Farther India, 
but no discussion on the point is here necessary. W 7 hen 
Mahlpala regained the possession of Northern Bengal, he 
styled himself as Gau(. 7 esvara in memory of the past 
glory of the family. True it is, that Mahlpala and his 
successors regained subsequently a footing in Mithila and 
Magadha, but the good old time did not return. Constant 
invasion of Bihar by the Westerners and the permanent 
domination of the province by some of them, wrought 
such changes as had far-reaching effect both in BihSr and 

We have seen that in Racjha, Punc'rabardhan, and 
Variga, that is to say all throughout the country of 
Bengal, Magadhi culture including the Magadhi speech 
was prevailing since long ; and now we see that at the 
transfer of the capital of the Pala Rajas from Magadha 
to Bengal, the chance for a very free development of 
Magadhi civilization in Bengal became very great. If we 


compare to-day, the eastern Bihari speeches with Bengali 
on one side, and with what is called Western Bhojpuri on 
the other, we find that the Eastern Bihari speeches, in their 
colloquial and vulgar form, agree in many essential points, 
with Bengali, and differ much from Western Bhojpuri. 
This fact has been noted by Hoernle and Grierson. The 
fact is, that Bihar of to-day is altogether a changed 
country on account of the mighty influence of the 
Westerners, while Bengal continues to be the I'eal heir and 
representative of old Bihar. 

Incessant migrations and displacements of various 
tribes, make it uncertain as to \\ hich people formed the 
substantial lower stratum in Raoha, when the civilisation 
fostered in Karnasuvarna, was humanizing the frontier 
lands of Vaiiga. The Puru'ras are found mentioned in 
the Puranas, once in conjunction with the Suhmas and 
another time in North Bengal, on Assam frontier in the 
company of two other tribes, namely the Pravijayas and 
the Bhargavas. It seems that the Puri(Jras thrived better 
in North Bengal, while in Radha they could not secure 
any prominent position. Of the other tribes mentioned in 
the Markand^eya Purana, either under the general name 
the Pravangas (/.., the tribes of Vanga frontier), or as 
stray tribes such as Mala, Mahisika, and Manabattika, 
we get to-day the representatives of the Mai people in 
Bankura and Manbhum, and the Manas or the Manabat- 
tikas may only be surmised to have been the originators 
o the geographical name Manbhum. 

The epigraphic records of a line of rulers of some 
parts of Orissa and Paksina Kosala, during the tenth and 
eleventh centuries, disclose some facts which are of real 
interest in the history of Bengal. I have given elsewhere 
these rulers, the designation Kosalendras, as their volitical 
activities lay principally in the Sambalpur tract. 


These Kosala Guptas, though they originally came of the 
family of iva Gupta cf Rajim and Ratanpur (Chattisgarh 
Division, C. P.), their immediate ancestors, or rather the 
branch of the Kosala family to which they belonged, got 
something to do in ruling some parts of Bengal. It is 
found recited in the plates of Yayati, who is the second 
ruler of this line (vide ray paper in J.B. & O., March, 1916) 
that his father Janamejaya, and after him he himself, 
became Kosalendra as well as the lords of Trikalinga or 
the sea-board tracts of Orissa and Ganjam, and that the 
family to which they belonged, was a ruling family some- 
where in Vaiiga, as clearly distinguished from Radha 
and Varinda. These KoSala Guptas had a large number of 
Bengali Kayasthas in their service (ride my paper Ep. I. 
XI), and in the course of their inroads into the Sam- 
balpur tract, helped lots of Bengali people to settle per- 
manently in Sambalpur, Sonepur and Bolangir-Patua. 
The Tewars (or Tivaras or Dhivaras) who migrated from 
Bengal in large number, call themselves Bengalis, though 
in language as well as in other matters, they have become 
Oria, and do not even know where Bengal is. The Orias 
call it a Bangali Parja, where the Tewars live. It is 
amusing to note that the Tewars who live now over 400 
miles away from (he farthest limit of Bengal, and do not 
know even a syllable of our language, returned Bengali 
as their language at the census of 1911, to the census 
officer of Bolangir Patna. As we meet with the Kalitas in 
Northern Bengal, and also get a very large number of 
Kultas in the Sambalpur tract, and as the widely apart 
Kultas and Kalitas agree in many social customs, I 
throw out this suggestion, that a clan of the Punoras bore 
the caste name in question, and those of them who did 
not proceed to North Bengal, got into the Sambalpur 
tract, in the time of the Kosalendras, as Sudra cultivators. 


That a large number of Aryanised people was necessary 
for the new Rajas in a backward country, full of abori- 
ginal tribes, cannot be much doubted. 

I shall show what indelible marks our language put 
upon the Oria speech, as prevails in the Sambalpur tract, 
when in a subsequent lecture, I shall take notice of the 
old forms of our language. The epigraphic records of 
Bengal proper, of the Kosala Guptas and of the Chola 
kings, have amply proved that even during the time of 
the later Palas, the different parts of Bengal bore different 
country-names of Varendra, Uttara Radha, Daksina Radha 
and Vanga, though the general name Vanga prevailed as 
the country-name over all the tracts. It is only to be 
noted that, Suhma which lost its name long ago, became 
then a province of Vanga, and the tract covered by the 
Kantai subdivision, got th " a me Dandabhukti and be- 
came a Bhukti or subdivision ot Vanga. 

Some facts which reveal the plasticity of the society 
of Bengal, during the time of the Palas and Senas, may 
be noted, to examine the old formative elements of our 
population. I have just spoken of the Bengali Kayasthas, 
as were in the service of the Kosala Guptas ; these 
Kayasthas with their surnames Ghosa, Dutta, and Naga, 
have described themselves as Ranakas, that is to say, as 
descendants of the Anabhisikta families of the Rajas of 
Kosala, who must be regarded as Ksatriyas. The Kosala 
Guptas were Ksatriyas, even though their remote ancestor 
comes of a clan of the ^abaras, since from Tibaradeva 
do svn wards, the Rajas of this line formed their marriage 
alliance with the recognised Ksatriya families of Northern 
India ; the Rajas of Kosala and their descendants, 
assumed the title Gupta from the time of their connection 
with the Magadha Guptas. I may mention here that the 
rule or custom still continues in the Raj families of Orissa, 


that the descendants of the Anabhi^ikta members of 
the Raj family, become Babus,* and these Babus are 
employed as ministerial officers. 

More interesting seems to me the history of the 
Vaidyas of Bengal, who like the Kayasthas are in no way 
inferior to the Brahmans, in intellectual powers and moral 
virtues. The term Vaidya, we all know, is singularly 
peculiar to Bengal, to indicate a caste ; this term for 
medical profession may be assumed, by any man of any 
caste from Brahman downwards, in other parts of India. 
It is an interesting history, how a high class of people 
got Vaidya as a caste-name in Bengal. As the Vaidyas 
acknowledge universally, because of their family tradi- 
tion, that their origin has to be traced from the Sena 
Rajas of Bengal, we should see what history we may 
get of the origin of these Senas. 

That the Senas described themselves as Karnata 
Ksatriyas, i.e. the Ksatriyas of the Dravidian country, is 
well known. Referring to these Senas and the rulers 
of their kin, who once became supreme in the Northern 
Mithila, Mr. R. D. Banerjee writes in the Memoirs of 
the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. V, No. 3 : 

The invasion of the Co}a King did not change the 
political divisions of the country, but it left one permanent 
mark in the shape of a body of settlers, who occupied the 
thrones of Bengal and Mithila, as the Sena and Karnata 
dynasties, during the latter days of the Palas (p. 73). To 
unveil the mystery of the warlike people who came 
with Rajendra Cola and settled in Western Bengal, 

* The term Babu is a diminutive of Baba and is a term of endear- 
ment generally ; the Bengali word Bapn to signify this meaning is of 
similar origin being derived from Bapa ; BapS is another variant of 


we have to peep into the history of some castes of 

Southern India. 

Regular Brahmanic supremacy and the settlement of 
new Brahmans in Southern India, commenced no doubt 
from the 10th century A.D., when Jaina supremacy came 
almost wholly to an end, but Brahmanic ideas had com- 
menced to prevail over Jain ism nearly a century earlier, to 
pave the way for the new condition of things, which dates 
from the 10th century A.D. Very likely those who had 
priestly functions in the Jaina temples, assumed Brahmanic 
rank during the earliest period of Brahmanic influence, 
for we get such genuine Dravidian sects as the Kammalas 
and the Visva-Brahmans, who though not recognised by 
the modern Brahmans as men of Brahmanic order, do return 
themselves as Brahmans, and perform priestly functions, 
in the houses of many people of lower order. The Vellalas, 
who were superior to the sects named above, and who 
were known for their military prowess, became Brahmans 
some time earlier than the 10th century A.D. As to the 
derivation of the term ' Vellala/ there are two views ; 
according to one it comes from ' Vellam ' (flood) and 
' alam ' (ruler). According to the other derivation the 
word comes from ' vel ' the god of war. Both these 
derivations suit the Vellalas who were once dominant 
people in the country. It is a historical fact, that these 
Vellalas of warlike disposition, studied the Vedas and 
performed fire- rights, when Brahmanic influence com- 
menced to grow in the land ; on account of their knowledge 
or rather the study of the Vedas, they got the designation 
Vaidya in southern country. This term Vaidya does not 
signify or relate to medical profession. That besides being 
engaged in Vedic studies, the Vellalas or the Vaidyas, 
became military leaders and high civil officers of the 
Rajas, is what we know from the old records. Many 


Vaidyas are known to have become the priests of the 
Dravidian Kings, and their occupying the situation of 
high class officers of the Co-a as well as the PanJya Rajas, 
is also on record. It is also very significant to note, that the 
Vaidyas or the Vellalas who were not employed in the 
Raj service as mentioned above, followed very generally 
the medical profession, though this profession did not give 
them the name Vaidya. In Southern India, the physicians 
were called AmbaUa-is and not Vaidyas. The barbers 
once took largely to the medical profession, and now the 
barbers in general are called by the honorific name 
Ambattan, though the term does not really indicate the 
barber caste. 

I strongly suggest that the Vaidyas of Bengal, 
owe their origin to the Vellala Vaidyas, on reference 
to the above facts, which may be summarized as 
below : 

(a) The Vellalas were Vaidyas because of their Vedic 
studies, were recruited as high officers of the Rajas and 
were physicians very commonly. 

(b) The Vellala Vaidyas are known to have been in the 
service of the Cola Rajas. 

(c) Those who came in Bengal at the time of the Cola 
invasion, described them as the people of Karriata. 

(d) Those who claim to be the descendants of the 
Senas, are physicians by profession, wear Brahmanieal 
thread, call themselves Vaidya, and assert the right and 
privilege to read the Vedas. 

(<?) The term Vaidya as the name of a caste is un- 
known elsewhere in Northern India and is peculiar to 
Bengal alone. 

Though the surname Sena can be easily explained 
without referring to any . caste-name in the southern 


country, I may mention this fact that a section of the 
Vellala Vaidyas in the Tamilakam country is known by 
the name Shanan. If my suggestion is not a bad one and 
may at least be considered arguable, I point out the fact 
that an early Raja of the Sena dynasty had the name 
Ballala, which is meaningless in a sauskritic language but 
is honorific in the South Indian speech, according to the 
derivation already given. I may consider another fact 
along with it. The name of the ancestor of the Senas, 
who first settled in Bengal is not known, but the claim of 
the Senas that th<-y belong to the Candra Vamsa, has some 
reference perhaps to the name of their ancestor ; that the 
first military leader, from whom the Senas trace their 
pedigree, bore the name Candra, appears pretty certain from 
what the poet Gobardhan Acarya has written in his Arya 
Saptasati ; the word ^t^l (f"U moon) as occurs in the 39th 
verse is what I allude to here. The line of the verse 
stands as : 

To complete my survey of the races and tribes of 
different parts of the presidency of Bengal, who after 
adopting the speech which flowed in from Magadha and 
Mithila, developed some provincial peculiarities in the 
language, I should mention, that the Indo-Chinese people 
of Farther India, raided Bengal from time to time. The 
sway which the people of the Mekhong Valley established 
once in Eastern Bengal is perhaps still commemorated 
in some geographical names. I suspect that the river 
Meghna in eastern Bengal is the changed form of the 
name Mekhong. As to the Indo-Chinese origin of the 
name Dacca I do not entertain any doubt : the word 
Dhakka means " old Ganges " in the language of the 


people of the Mekhong Valley, and we get the river Burli- 
Granga, flowing past the town called Dacca.* 

Lots of geographical names in the Bengal Presidency 
as well as in other parts of India, remain unexplained, and 
such names as Hooghly, Bentra, Talci, Jagulia, etc., appear 
meaningless to us, though it is perfectly certain that our 
meaningless geographical names had some meaning, in 
some forgotten speeches of past time. That the anthro- 
pologists and the philologists have collected a deal of 
information, regarding the old races and their languages, 
by rightly interpreting the seemingly meaningless geogra- 
phical names, is perhaps too well-known. In Bengal it is 
a huge task fraught with numerous difficulties. In the 
first place, many old tribal dialects have now died out 
altogether ; secondly, many names have been partly trans- 
formed into other names, because of the altered pronun- 
ciation of them, by people who speak now quite a different 
speech ; and thirdly, in our mania to Sanskritise the old 
names, we have intentionally effaced the history which was 
impressed upon the old geographical names. As this 
subject requires a separate and independent treatment, I 
need not dilate on it any further. 

* The Laos have been the principal people of the Mekhong Valley ; 
this induces me to suppose that the name Lao Sen as a name of an old 
time Emperor of Bengal, is only a generalised form to indicate that 
the Lau people once came into Bengal. The carious form of the name 
is altogether nou-Indian, for Lau (a gourd) is not likely to be tne name 
of an anointed Hindu Emperor. 


The Influence of the Dravidian Speeches on Bengali 

The Vedic or the Chandasa speech was very much 
changed when the Brahmanas were composed ; the language 
of the Brahmanas again differs widely in many essential 
particulars from what is called the classical Sanskrit, as 
well as from the speech which has unfortunately come to 
be designated by the name Pali. That the later Prakrtas 
and the provincial vernaculars, differ similarly from one 
another, as well as from the earlier speeches, is a well- 
known fact. Even the scholars who are mere linguists, 
and have only made a comparative study of all the speeches 
of N. India, without any reference to the characteristics 
of the speakers thereof, have not failed to notice, that the 
changes and deviations from the norm cannot be wholly 
explained by those laws, which the philologists have 
formulated, to account for all sorts of linguistic changes 
and modifications. The orthodox philologists have how- 
ever been forced to admit, either directly or by implication, 
that the influence of some people other than the original 
speakers of the Aryan tongues, must have been at work 
in bringing about the aforesaid changes, though no parti- 
cular non- Aryan people has been pointed out, from whom 
this influence emanated. Looking to the fact that cerebral 
sounds prevail very much in the Dravidian speeches, it has 
been vaguely asserted that some Dravidian people, as 
speakers of the Aryan speeches, induced dentals to be 
changed into cerebrals. Mr. Stenkonow's remarks on this 
point, as appear in the IVth volume of the Linguistic 
Survey of India, are very correct in my opinion. Since 
such a change of a dental into a cerebral is not wholly 


unknown in some Indo-European languages, Mr. Stenkonow 
considers quite possible, that the Indo-Aryan cerebrals 
developed quite independently, without there being any 
special inducing cause. Referring then to the phenomenon 
in the later Prakrta speeches, that there is almost a whole- 
sale change of dentals into cerebrals, the learned scholar 
offers a very reasonable suggestion which I quote in his 
own words : 

" The cerebral letters, however, form an essential 
feature of Dravidian phonology, and it therefore seems 
possible, that Dravidian influence has been at work, and at 
least given strength to a tendency which can, it is true, 
have taken its origin among the Aryans themselves." 

It has not, however, been noticed by the philologists, 
that even though cerebral letters prevail very much in 
Dravidian speeches, these letters are never initials of 
genuine Dravidian words. No doubt, we observe this very 
peculiarity in the Vedic as well as in the earliest classical 
Sanskrit, but we notice that in later Sanskrit as well as in 
the Prakrta speeches, there are many words, which though 
not onomatopoetie in origin, have cerebrals for initials. 
ly% (the top of the hill), ^ft or ^t^ (a word of respect), 
vg^ (a musical instrument), and U^ (to signify entering 
into) are some examples. As India has been the home of 
diverse races of men, since remotest antiquity, it is diffi- 
cult or rather unsafe to particularize definitely the influence 
of any special non-Aryan race, as the sole cause of any 
unusual linguistic change. 

I must, however, notice in this connection, an important 
peculiarity of Bengali phonology, which has not to my 
knowledge, been noticed hitherto by any philologist. I 
have made it sufficiently clear in a previous lecture, that 
the people closely allied to the Dravidians, or rather who 
have to be presumed to be pure Dravidians, form the bulk 


of our Bengali-speaking population ; yet it is to be noted 
as a fact, that the cerebral letters are not so much cerebral 
as they are dental in our speech. If we carefully notice 
our pronunciation of the letters of the ' fe ' class, we will 
see that we articulate ' TJ ' and ' \5/ for example, almost 
like English T and D without turning up the tip of the 
tongue much away from the region of the teeth. We can 
detect this peculiarity very clearly, if we compare our. 
sounds with those of the Mahrattas. As we articulate 
\5 and more as dentals than cerebrals, we have been 
required to introduce two new consonants \5 and I? to pro- 
duce special cerebral sounds ; that for the latter sounds the 
letters \5 and 1? quite do in other Indian speeches, is well 
known. This natural organic aversion to articulate cerebral 
letters with distinctness explains why the cerebral f is 
uttered wholly as dental ^, and why in some eastern dis- 
tricts \5 and 1? are wholly pronounced as ^ and 5 ; in 
Eastern Bengal the letters are not articulated by the 
learners of the Alphabet, but their physical appearance is 
described as \5 4 *J27 and U 4 ^ letters. 

I am perhaps creating new difficulties without seeking 
to explain things by a Dravidian influence. To be able 
to face all difficulties properly, is better than offering a 
plausible solution. 

The phenomenon I have spoken of, may be partly ex- 
plained by postulating a Kiranti influence ; but since when 
and to what extent this influence has been in existence, 
need be inquired into. The earliest reference to the 
Kiratas occurs in the Atharva Veda which discloses a good 
deal of knowledge of the eastern lands, from where the 
original form of out speech flowed into our country. We 
find in the Atharva Veda (X, 4. 14) that the Kirata 
women were employed to dig out medicines for use as 
charms in the Himalayan region. That the Kiratas were 


mountaineers, is clear from some statements in the Vaja- 
saneyi (XXX, 16, etc.) and in other later Samhitas. These 
hilly people have been mentioned however in Manu 
(X, 44) as Vratya Ksatriyas. We get in the Brahmana 
literature, in connection with the story of Asamati, that the 
Kirata priests, who knew charms came into prominence in 
the Aryan society. I cannot say if the dark yellow colour 
of skin ascribed to the Ksatriyas in the Kathaka ( ^t^O 
Sarhhita, has anything to do with Kirata ( f^f^ ) inter- 
mixture. The Kirata cult of magical charms and mystic 
mantras being universal in Northern India, a special 
influence of the Kiratas in Bengal cannot be formulated. 

It is true that in Eastern as well as in Northern Bengal, 
direct Mongolian influence can be formulated from some 
known facts of history. It is also true that the inability 
to articulate *5 and 5 occurs in some eastern districts only, 
but not in Northern Bengal. The consonants of 5 class, 
however, are made very much palatal in Eastern Bengal, 
unlike what the Mongolians do, while these consonants are 
made semi-dentals or i-ather pronounced by almost closing 
the teeth, in Central Bengal. This question, however, will 
be discussed in a subsequent lecture. 

It is really very curious, that some peculiarities which 
are doubtless due to Dravidiau influence, have been sought 
to be explained by some eminent philologists by a cause 
other than the real one. Such an eminent scholar as Sir 
Ramkrishna Gopal Bhandarkar considers such changes in 
the oldest known Prakrta, as *O1 for *R', *P?t?ri for *IW, 
t^Tl^P for C?lt^, etc., to be due to the natural vocal tenden- 
cies of the Aryan speakers themselves. Explanation for 
these changes was not sought anywhere outside the mouth 
of the speakers, as the influence of the Dravidians who 
now reside far .away from the limits of Northern India, 
could not be thought of forty years ago, when the Wilson 


Philological lectures were delivered. The fact that the 
Dravidians could once be the neighbours of the Aryans in 
the Northern country, did not suggest to the scholars. 
I have mentioned before, that according to the Dravidian 
traditions, all the dominant tribes of S, India migrated 
from Northern provinces to Peninsular India. It is a 
distinct and a definite characteristic pf essential nature, in 
the Tamil language, that an initial of a word can never be 
formed of double consonants, and compound letters formed of 
consonants of different Varga can occur nowhere in a word. 
If we refer the changes under consideration to the essential 
peculiarities of the Tamil speech, our problem will be 
solved. Compounding of ^ with s[ as in ?ffi and T with f 
as in 3p?^ cannot be tolerated according to this rule, and to 
maintain the long sounds of the compound letters in 
question, the very letters have to be doubled. This is how 
at first in Prakrta, the consonants joined unto ^ were 
doubled by dropping the 3 or (C^p), and then in giving 
Sanskritic form to the changed words additional '(C^p) was 
added, and the new rule was formulated that a consonant 
may be optionally doubled if it is joined unto a ^ in the 
shape of a '(CsJ). If we compare the early Prakrta forms 
or the so-called early Pali forms with the later Prakrta 
forms, we can see that as time went on, the Dravidian 
influence went on increasing ; the early forms such as 
^t^ 6 !, C^, etc., as have been considered to have been 
exceptions by Sir R. G. Bhandarkar, were reduced to 
WfTR or cWt**R and to fr^ or C 5 ^, etc., at a later time. 

When, by about 1865, Bishop Caldwell suggested that 
the Tamil ^ as a dative-denoting suffix was identical with 
Oriya f>, Bengali C<$, and Hindi C^Fl, denoting exactly the 
dative case, a host of critics ruse up to throw away the 
right suggestion of the Bishop. Sir R. G. Bhandarkar 
clearly saw the mistake of Trumpp and Beams, but could 


not accept the suggestion of Caldwell, as he thought that a 
Dravidian language could not possibly influence the Aryan 
speeches in that manner. Trurnpp suggested that C$ of 
Bengali came from ^Fs and Beams rightly rejected the 
derivation, as ^U could not signify the sense conveyed 
by C^. Beams himself, however was wrong, when he 
sought to derive the suffix denoting the dative from old 
Hindi ?R[. Sir R. G. Bhandarkar showed that as in no 
Prakrta, either ^F or'^pf (derived from ^^ according to 
Mr. Beams) signified any dative sense, the proposed 
derivation could not be accepted. Sir R. G. Bhandarkar 
is right that for many case-denoting suffixes we have to 
look to pronouns and pronominal roots, but his imaginary 
case that C^ff as well as C*f| might have been in use to 
signify instrumentality, and C^ff might have been 
subsequently used to denote a dative case cannot be accepted, 
or rather may be easily rejected, by using the very 
argument with which the learned scholar himself has 
rejected the theory of Mr. Beams. Sir R. G. Bhandarkar's 
suggestion that ^t in a phrase as ^ff ^t might mean 
at first " Rama's somewhere," and thence the sense " to 
give to Rama," might have originated, is very faulty 
as the old time forms do not warrant such transformation. 
The derivation would not have been sought in such a 
roundabout manner, if the cause of such changes as *f*3, 
>T^?t and f*rcrft^Fl could then be rightly detected. 

How the Dravidian people could influence the speakers 
of the Aryan speeches in dim past, should be a subject of 
special research. Many ethnological problems, relating to 
the Dravidians, have not yet been solved. The ethnologists 
of our time agree in the main, that the Dravidians have 
been autochthonous in India : even though this proposition 
is not free from doubts and difficulties, the situation of the 
Dravidians in India as neighbours of the Aryans, since 


the earliest time of Aryan activities, cannot be denied. 
Again, adverting to a list of the races of man, made 
out either by the ethnologists or by the linguists, we can 
see that the representatives of all races in greater or smaller 
number came to live in India, and did not find the country 
an uncongenial home. How the jetsam and flotsam of the 
floating races of the world were absorbed in the main body 
of the Indian population, is impossible now to ascertain. 
I cannot discuss all these questions here ; but one fact 
relating to the range of influence of the Dravidians during 
the days of early migrations of peoples will be noticed 
here to draw the attention of scholars to some hither-to- 
neglected facts of great importance. 

The ethnologists agree to some extent in holding that 
the old inhabitants of Etruria in Italy proceeded to the 
latter country from some parts of Asia-Minor. It is also 
very reasonably supposed that the language of the 
Etrurians did not belong to the family of speech which 
is generally known by the name Indo-European. Mr. 
Stenkonow has shown in his essay on " Etruscans 
and Dravidian" (J. B. A. S., 1912) that there are many 
interesting points in which the language of the Etruscan 
follows the same principles as that of the Dravir-as. It 
is interesting to note, that the plural-forming suffixes ' gal' 
and ' ar ' of the Dravidians are in existence in Italy, the 
Etrurian verbs like those of Malayalam do not change for 
number, and words in genitive case are freely used in 
Etrurian as adjectives. We shall see that all these 
Dravidian and Etruscan characteristics, are distinctly 
noticeable in Bengali language. If the Dravidians have 
been autochthonous in India, their migration to western 
countries indicates a state of their early social condition, 
which has not been hitherto considered. The influence of 
this people upon the proud Soma-pressers and their 


successors cannot make us wonder. I am concerned, as 
my subject indicates, with the Dravidian influence on the 
Bengali language ; as such I give a few examples only 
to show that our early speeches were not also free 
from the Dravidian influence. Patanjali's Mahabhasya 
proves that much was done to maintain the purity 
of the classical Sanskrit : yet borrowing of words from 
Dravidian sources could not be altogether stopped. 
(I) In genuine colloquial Tamil (which is called 
Kudam) the word sft^Tl signifies flower ; this word to indi- 
cate a garland, does not occur in the Vedic speech and we 
first meet with 3^1 or stf 9 !! in the Upanishads, which were 
written in the land of the Kosalas and Videhas. (2) >3nr| ^ 
properly ^^1 of Telegu speech became C*rF5l as a desi 
word ; this 0^51 was no doubt Sanskritised into C^t^ 
for such a synonym of "Sf^ is unknown not only in the 
Vedic, but also in old Sanskrit. In the district of Barisal 
the Telegu pronunciation of the word as ^3<Tl is 
maintained. (3) ^fo signifies a mountain in the Tamil 
as well as in the Malayalam language ; very likely in the 
3rd centuiy B.C., when the Aryans after some acquaintance 
with the people of the south, confounded the general name 
for a mountain, with the name of a particular mountain, 
a sfsf^ f5ff?r (tautology) was made the seat of the spring 
breeze flowing from south. (4) ffa as a word to signify 
' fish' was unknown not only in the Vedic speech but 
also in very old classical Sanskrit, but this sffa or fish 
which was on the ensign of the Pandyas and was the name 
of the Dravidian tribe Minavar, became a synonym for 
3f<^ and fish-god as well, very likely when the Pamlya? 
established some relation with the northerners. ' Mina ' 
of Tamil is also Min in the Kui dialect of the Kands, and 
Minu in the Canarese tongue. We meet also with many 
Dravidian words in Pali ; I cite only two examples here : 


^Tt 1 indicates 'assent'; this is exactly the meaning of 
the Tamil word ^rfr, ^\g*f signifies ' come here' in the 
imperative mood. Compare Tamil ^\t^>, Mahrati ^?J05 
and Telegu ^<5l indicating the same meaning. But 
occasional word-borrowing does not signify much. I 
proceed to notice now such Dravidian words as are in use 
in Bengali, as imply a very close and intimate relationship, 
between the Dravidians and the so-called Aryans of Bengal. 
Those words which may be borrowed in consequence of the 
existence of a trade, or on account of some occasional 
social touch, will not be included in the list ; for example 
we have got fofsM (S. O^Tt^t, Oriya ^1% ) and ^| 
(kitchen knife) of Mundari which can be explained by 
occasional touch in market places. Some words, common 
to Bengali and Dravidian, however, which are extremely 
indecent, and which cannot be traced to any classical 
origin, and which one people can learn from another if both 
of them happen to be close neighbours, are of importance; 
but they cannot certainly find a mention here. I think the 
list of words I append below, will go a great way to 
establish the social influence of the Dravidians upon us, in 
a past time. 

N..In the following list T. stands for Telegu, 
Tm. for Tamil and B. for Bengali. 

(1) ^t'Ftft (Tm. and T.) hunger, Gondi <srf<Ffa (famine). 
B. ^5rt^t*1 (famine) ; that it is not from Sanskrit ^-f ^rfq 
will be presently discussed. (2) ^e^ Tm. stone is also 
pronounced as t*Tj it is 9fs|^ in Ceylon ; there is only one 
letter in Tm. for ^ *f 5f and ^; our ^ (a mortar) was 
originally of stone only and hence the name. This word 
occurs in Sanskrit as an inseparable portion of the word 
<S5(9l. (3) <Ftt (Tm.) vegetable in general, as in ^rft tfo 
(from ^tfr comes B. 97^tft and Anglo-Indian currv) ; 
or as in <J^j ft^ (tamarind) ; we can see that from j 


^t^ came the simple obsolete Bengali word ^t^ to signify 
tamarind; ^t^ f^fs still signifies tamarind seed. (4) ^r 
(Tm.) to leap; this word is of general use in northern 
India. (5) C^t^l and C^tf^F son and daughter as in 
C^PFt^ ^t^, ^t'fa ^t5, B. C*rfl and sffo are derived 
from them. The E. B. equivalents are exactly c'^1^1 and 
^f^f. The Mundari c^t\5l and <gfs are perhaps in exis- 
tence in Eastern Bengal in the form of C^fl and ^fif. 

(6) ^ft^t1 sea in Tm.; it is very significant that our 
Uf ^fTft* is called *(t% The very word ^S^\ is in 
use in some parts of Bengal to indicate the stagnant 
portion of a river which may fitly be called a pool. 

(7) 3[\3$\ (Tm.) to pick up or gather = C$\$\ to pick 
up in B. (8) <ff1 Tm. to bind, the upper edge of our 
lower garment when tightened around the waist and a 
portion is tucked in to fasten the tie is called C*f tT? v - 

(9) *tf1^ (Tm.) a piece of wood or fuel ; compare B. 
C^ft^l a peg and E.B. 3[fjj>3l (pronounced in Jessore as 
ff| ^ ^ ) a log. Compare E.B. *f^5 fuel or firewood; 
there is also another word *ffg in Tm. to signify forest. 

(10) ^tt5l C^T T. a tumult or noise = B. 9|>Wfsr. 

(11) C*tt^ (Tm.) Gum = B. fa. (12) C^5l T. wall, 
hence basis or foundation. B. C^tl^l indicates beginning or 
lower or base portion of a thing. (13) 5t*fl (T.) a mat 
(is pronounced as scapa ; there is only one letter for 5 and 
T in Tm. = -ft of B. as in "ft Flfcfc (14) 

T. beautiful = f^f of B. as in ' f^Fl ^N ' or 
(15) fall T. and Tm. = small. The old use of this word 
may be noticed in f5Tft^t^ or fbC'iC^'t^ a tiny leech. In 
certain parts of Bengal the form has been wrongly reduced 
to fewcsTt^- The Oria form of the word is Jfj 7{ and in 
Nepalese also the word is in use in that sense and form. 
In the district of Sambalpur the third brother who is 
next below artful (lit. middle) or the second brother is 


called Tffa Ttf^l and sometimes in the contracted form 
*ffa fi?f1 or *ftf^3l which corresponds exactly with c*TC3l 
of B. as in C 7 ^ fl, both in form and meaning, and so the 
word >Tfa is imbedded in the word ClOSrl. (16) CFf^lf 
(Tin.) maize, in T. common name for grain of gram class; 
CS>t*Ti f B. comes from it, the Sanskrit name for which is 
5FF. (18) <5l *rl T. and vgtfo Tin. head, we get in such 
a phrase as ^rHt^f C55ETl, Sanskrit \t^ bears another mean- 
ing and has no connection with it. (19) vSrfsjfsT T. and \t3 
Tm. signifies mother or one of the rank of a mother. It 
is interesting to note that the word ^rppf| is also used to 
signify the same meaning. We have the words ^t*!^ or 
^tf| in masculine and ^tbf or spf^ in feminine to 
indicate respectable persons who are of the rank of father 
and mother. (20) ftfisrH (T.) true, compare fa'^s?^ of B. 

(21) tt^(T.) or *$*[ Tm. milk, in the word ' 1t*Tfa ' signi- 
fying ' udder ' of a cow, this word is retained in B. 

(22) *^fe T. and Ti^. silk and silk cloth. Cf. <tfo *fe ^ 

(23) fWi^ Tm. or f^ffil (T.) a child ; occurs in some 
compound words in B. as in CI?^ f^K^f, in E. B. CtN is 
in use. (24) f*^ (T.) cat = f^C^ Oria and Kui = E. 
B. f^Tt^ (even in old Sanskrit f^5t*1 is unknown, the word 
was sjt^tW ; f^lt^l Y ftTfl or fwH of Pali comes from 
Dravidian; in B. f^fi an d C^^t 5 ! are in use). (25) ^| ^ 
(T.) rain = B. <rfa flood. (26) ^| sf) Tm. flag, same in Oria 
and same in old B. as in Chandidasa. (28) CTf T> (T.) 
(pronounced, as it should be as CTtl?!, C^t^ Tm.), a heavy 
bundle of luggage, same in B., in the district of Sambalpur 
it is pronounced as (TfllJl following Dravidian pronuncia- 
tion. (29) ^t^ as in >s?(W ^t$ the central stem like 
solid portion of banana plant. B. C^t^ seems to be derived 
from ' ^\^- } It is curious that banana flower and this 
^^ or C^Jt^ are used as vegetable food in Bengal and in 
the Madras Presidency only. 


Those who try to trace all our words to some 
Sanskrit origin, may on reference to the foregoing list 
suggest some Sanskrit words for the Dravidian words 
depending upon very remote sound similarity; for instance 
the word ^rt^tf% may be rejected, as the Sanskrit word 
^fl may anyhow be made to be a component of 'ST^Fl^I. 
With a view to point out the right method that has to be 
pursued in such an enquiry, let me show that the sugges- 
tion of the Sanskritists on the point will be wrong. We 
do not get any word, either in Sanskrit or in the old 
Prakrtas, which has ' ^ft\ ' for stem to signify the idea 
conveyed by &f*s*J (famine). What led our ancestors 
then, to coin a new word in Bengali agreeing with Tamil 
and Gondi, to express an old and familiar idea, is difficult 
to imagine. It is curious that the word which was current 
in Prakrta was given up and an unidioaiatic expression 
was introduced in a slovenly way by joining ^ and ^fsj 
together. If <5rt^t*t be said to be a/jorruption of ^sf^rj^ 
the argument will not be stronger, for no Sanskrit or 
Prakrta lexicon will give us the word -*|<*>H to signify 
famine. A word may anyhow be made to look like a 
Sanskrit form, but it is to be seen whether such a form or 
its prototype was at all in common use in old time. In 
their zeal to derive all Bengali words from Sanskrit roots 
and stems, such old and obsolete words are at times drawn 
out of the Sanskrit Dictionary as were not even in use 
in Sanskrit for centuries previous to our time. We cannot 
avoid looking to the people and their antecedents in our 
inquiry relating to language. Let me also cite an example 
of contrary character to illustrate the right method of get- 
ting a derivative. The word 'TtC^I (bridge) looks like a 
desi word and is treated as such, for it is difficult to see 
that the word comes from *K + ^5. With our knowledge 
of Oria we can see that ^f is the Oria word for a bridge 


which is in a less decayed or <5J*f3;*t form. One who 
knows Pali cannot fail to notice that the Pali word ^'^ 
derived from 1? + ^v5 is the adjective form from which 
*f5f as noun came out; ^^ in Pali signifies 'put 
together ' ' constructed,' ' prepared.' That we are not to 
follow sound alone, but have to look to many other facts 
in this sort of research, is what I want to impress upon 
you all. 

I have spoken of some essential grammatical peculiari- 
ties of the Dravidian language as have been detected in the 
Etruscan speech of Italy ; that these very peculiarities are 
noticeable in Bengali, is a highly interesting fact to take 
note of. As to this phenomenon that as in Dravidian and 
in Etruscan, the Bengali verbs do not distinguish between 
singular and plural, nothing beyond a mention of the fact 
seems necessary; as to the use of genitive forms as adjec- 
tives such idiomatic expressions as ta& 4 
(first-rate cheat), fjR tf)<T \5ffi (third part) 
(happy news) C?rftR ^f1 (a complicated affair) 
(a dish of fish hot in preparation), etc., may be referred 
to. The use in Bengali of the Dravidian plural forming 
suffixes ' gal ' and ' ar,' must however be explained care- 
fully. That ^1% or its variant ^1 (in use in Beng. and 
Oriya only) comes from 5f5f will be evident from the follow- 
ing facts: (1) In the Jataka stories composed in old 
Magadhi Prakrta or Pali, we get *^J1 ^f (lit. many 
flowers) to signify a nosegay; (2) in the Prakrta works of 
later days, we notice such expressions as ^ spl TN ^P^ 
fa 5fffj 3[-<5f 5|q, etc., as plural forms; (3) ^ft or 13^1 of 
Beng. and Oriya signifies plurality exactly as 5pf does in 
Tamil and as it did in old Prakrta as 'noted above. We 
notica that ^3^1 has assumed the form f^ll or f^Tt^ in 
that Bengali-speaking tract which is quite close to Assam ; 
Mr. Laxmi Narayan Bejbarua has suggested to me that 


the Assamese f^lt^ is very likely a variant of 

since that Assamese form cannot be traced to any 

Mongolian sonrce. 

That our plural-forming suffix ^1 originates from 
Tamil <SRJ need be discussed next. We have to notice first 
that the plural form with ^1 is peculiarly Bengali as 
distinguished from Magadhi, Oriya and Assamese. We 
have next to notice that neither any Prakrita form, nor any 
provincial idiomatic use can be cited in support of the 
view that the possessive case-ending ' 3" ' became the 
plural-forming suffix ' ^1.' That this suffix was adopted 
in Bengali on the soil of Bengal, is quite evident ; being 
a new suffix of vulgar or popular origin it was not much 
used in the literary language of olden days ; the Editor of 
Sree Krsnaktrtau has noted only three instances of its use 
in the whole book. One early use of the suffix exactly in 
the form of <5[3 may be noticed in the formation of the 
word tlfa ( 9 fW = 9 t^ + ^ra) which signifies a couplet or 
verse of two lines. We will see that ' <Q\ ' became once a 
plural-denoting suffix in <2Tt^ ; that this ' <5f1 ' could natu- 
rally be compounded with ^ to give rise to the suffix ' ?rl ' 
can be easily formulated, since ' such compounding of 
different suffixes in the formation of one new suffix is 
noticeable in other cases : for example, ' ^ ' of ^^5^ 
^(, etc. was joined with honorific ftl of 
., and the whole portion (i.e., ^fa+^) was 
compounded with possessive-denoting ' ^ ' to form the 
suffix tiftsf^. I shall have to discuss this question, over 
again, later on. 

The position of negative-indicating particle ^ in a 
sentence in Bengali seems also to be due to Dravidian 
influence; in Chandasa, in Sanskrit, in Pali and in later 
Prakritas, the negative-indicating 5? has its place before the 
verb, and this idiomatic use is current in Hindi, while in the 


Sanskritic Vernaculars of the tracts bordering on the lands 
of the Dravidians, this particle has its place after the verb; 
that Assamese is naturally expected to agree with Bengali 
and Oriya in this respect as well as in many other 
points of significance, will be explained in a subsequent 

I have made out a list of hundred words which may be 
called Of% and which cannot be traced either to any 
Sanskritic origin or to any other non-Aryan origin. On 
reference to this list as appears in the form of an appendix 
to this lecture, you will notice that in their physical 
appearance they do not look either like Dravidian words or 
like the Kiranti words. As many tribes have lost their 
original speeches and speak one form or another of the 
Aryan speech, it is difficult to get to the origin of these 
words. It is not the place where I can discuss the ethno- 
logical problems but I can say on the strength of some 
known facts of Southern India, that the word Dravidian 
does not cover the whole ground, when we take even those 
tribes into consideration, who speak uniformly one Dravi- 
dian speech. I purposely avoid here the question of 
fusion of races in Bengal. I notice here a very familiar 
saying of the Tamil country, that an Akallan became a 
Maravan, the Maravnn became an Agambadiyan and an 
Agambadiyan became a Vellalan. That the tribes who are 
quite mixed up now spoke once different speeches, may be 
detected from such a phenomenon that, in the Tamil 
language there are 31 synonyms for the word ' wind,' 
50 for ' water/ 35 for ' cloud,' 62 for 'earth ' and 60 for 
' mountain.' 

We cannot dissolve a thoroughly mixed-Op people into 
their original elements, but we can push on our research to 
see if the words of unknown origin and the terms of 
expressions not in agreement with the idioms of Aryan 


speeches or the idioms of the known Dravidian speeches, 
can be traced to some other origin or origins. I shall 
consider the influence of the Dravidian accent system in 
my next lecture when a comparative study of all the 
accent systems, Aryan as well as non- Aryan, will be special- 
ly dealt with. 


The following words of uncertain origin are given in 
two lists as owing to their nasal sound, the words on the 
first list (left hand side) seem to be different from those 
on the second list (to the right hand side), in the matter 
of origin. , 



(i) "aftS? (a scratch), 
(2) Wt^f^fl, (in Bengal 
and Sambalpur, a man not 
blessed with progeny), (3) 
<5T t^j tight ^t^l (gum) seems 
to be connected, since ^i$\ 
(to stick or to paste) is the 
verb form. (4) <5r[^, a mar- 
ket (^t^ seems connected 
as it signifies a farm), (5) 
or <4l?S, a reen or un- 

ripe jack fruit, (6) f*f (in 
eastern parts of Jessore and 
in some parts of E.B. it indi- 
cates a cockroach), (7) ^sT's 
(as in ^F<s <tF1 said of an 
animal, addressing itself to 
swoop upon the object of 
prey), (8) ^f^3 = branch of a 
bamboo, (9) ^5\ (the form 
is <H^ in Hemchandra's 
Cf^t TfRfll ) = husking or 

(1) <5[^ (veritable as ^fSf - 
9 ltffafel)j (2) <srtfq, in 
Bengali and Oriya, a female 
friend of a female, (3) ^, 
white ant, (4-) ^, thatching 
grass, (5) f^, a blow, (6) 
<T?1, a straw, (7) ^f%, 
twenty (is it connected 
with ^*fW ^fj> in its count- 
ing to the number making 
up a score unit ?), (8) ^, 
winnowing fan, (9) C^tTf 
(fafff) perverse or strong de- 
termination, ( 1 0) C^tfi? (used 
in Sanskrit but not in use 
in Vedic ; it is to be noted 
that C^tfi' in vernacular form 
used as Crore, though nor- 
' ( mally a word made up of 
, compound consonants is re- 
I duced to simpler form and 
' not viceversa), (11) 





polishing, (10) C^CBl, earth- 
worm, (11) <*ft5l (a cage), 
(12) CWI, a broom, (13) 
^x5l (a variant of V 8^1) = 
dust-like particles, (14) C^5, 
the stump or rather the 
hard upper portion of root. 
(15) C5^5l (bearing almost 
the sense of a flippant) ; in 
E. B., a young boy, (16) 
Efftf? (a basket, Flctflf^ in 
Pali), (17) C5W, a pipe, 

(18) C5t5, a thin bamboo 
slip with sharp cutting edge, 

(19) CFN (worthless), (20) 
Sf^T in Sans, also, (1) 4rT^, 
a multitude as in a flight of 
birds, (22) <ffa (a broom), 
(23) 3f tf , a screen, and a 
sudden falling in water ; 
(Oriya ^Tft in the latter sense 
and W\ in pseudo-Sanskrit) ; 
Is ^l**| an intensive variant 
of <p*f? (24) <&?rl as in ctfo 

dicates high mound in 
Assamese; compare also 
fc, or Tjlfs?, or cfeff a raised 
bamboo platform), (eel to 

keep fish), (12) tfsfr, (to 
I roll), (13) 5ffi| (5|5^ or $tl> 
and ^3^ or C^tt^l in Prakrta 
and in vernacular equally of 
non-Sanskritic origin), (14) 
sffffl, a heap and also the 
| dorsal portion of a fish, (15) 
j ^$ or ^"ji? or ?[$ (in 
Assamese and in Nepalese ^| 
means a fruit, a 'fruit in its 
early stage is so called in 
Bengali ; a small piece of hard 
clay or stone is also called a 
^*f), (16) C^ffffl, a head or a 
leader as in *f|t*l*r C^fPfl, 
(17) ^5f (sleep) in Bengali 
and in old Oriya) may be 
from to close which is Dkama 
S.; compare ft^ c^\\ (he 
has slept) in Marathi, (18) 
^5, shoulders or neck. (19) 
F|ffTj a roof, (20) 5t^5 (com- 
pare Oriya 5tQ quickly) 
eagerness as in tf| ^tc^f 5^5 
($$, (21) fFt^l (young plant), 
(22) <rft (basket), (23) Cft^ 
(may be a variant of *tt$, 
from *j3r we get $% as well 
as m in old Prakrt, from ^ 





(25) cfo, a leg, Hindi fo, 

(26) drfsflj a cup made of 
leaves or of paper, (27) ^|5f1, 
land as opposed to water 
(may be connected with 
either CT>5f^ of Assamese or 
^5ffa, a hillock of Goudi), j 
(28) f^l or CvStSfl, a boat 
(f^f_ is to leap as f^srfa or j 
in f^jTtft), (29) R, a fashion ! 
or a queer mode, (30) Clff^ 5 , j 
husking machine, (31) Clff?1> j 
(hollow) hence inoffensive 
as cift^l Ttf, (32) (Trf'sifl, 
unclean, (33) ^t^l (used 
in E. B. only = sham kind- 
ness), (34) *fn>1> a goat (in 
Oriya the feminine form 
C^ is in use), (35) C*ffa 
(entrails of an animal), (36) 

x, a grasshopper, (37) 
(a disturbing obstruc- 
tion), (38) C^<N also in 
Sambalpur, a careful hand- 
ling, (39) C<ft5l, snub-nosed 
(40) ^t^tfa, a bamboo slip 
used, say for the thatch of 
a house, (4 1 ) C^"t^1; a 
bundle, (42) v<5?, a show of 

we may get ^$ or *$\$ and 
so from ]j>^, dtll and then 
CCfr (24) ^S\ a verse 
and sprinkling of water, 

(25) fst x (a fishing rod), 

(26) w$, root, (27) ^?, 
forest, (28) fa, baldness, 
(29) ^fn; a bait, (30) c^fl 
a school, (31) M^^ (pseudo 
Sans. ^f% a term of res- 
pect), (32) tT*l, jeering 
(Oriya & ), (33) ^, a 
gesture, (34) (^5^1, a shame- 
less bold fellow, (35) Ffal, 
a cover, (36) CFtTlj to enter 

also in pseudo-Sanskrit), 
1, a fit in a fever, 
(38) vstl, a bundle, (39) 
^T^t, (a plant in general in 
Itf^l ; Hem Chandra simply 
mentions as a flf% word ; 
now a special aromatic plant), 

(40) *Tft1, the paw of an 
animal, and one handful. 

(41) CWHused in E.B. only 
to signify 'down/ (42) SffTl, a 
basket, (43) ^fft (beggar's 
bag), (44) ^efl, a paw, or one 
having the arm paralysed, 






vanity, (43) C^Ffr, to imi- 
tate one by gestures, to 
irritate that one (may be 
from <5f), (4-4) ^?, as in 
^ C*f*fH to hold out a false 
hope, (45) C5 t^l, dull-edged, 
(46) ?ft5, widow (?ftft, a 
bad woman in Hindi), (47) 
Ctftfa, a riddle, (48) 
meanly craving for food 

(45) C*rc*1, a pretender or one 
who shams, (46) C*fl>1 as a 
C5^1 ^, one who cannot use 
his right hand. [In E. B. 
the word C\5^1 is in use, 
which is also in use in 
Oriya and Nepalese.] (47) 
C*IT> ( C 9 ^ in Marathi), the 
belly; (48) CTW> a worm, 
(49) C^Sl (burning), (50) 
(without teeth), (51) 
, a goat, or a silly fellow 
is the form in 2ttfv5 
as noticed by Hem Chandra] 

(52) ^1, down stream, 
shallow water in Sambalpur, 

(53) twl^ to bring to the 
shore as a boat, (54) f&$^ 
crowd, (55) ^I, mistake, 
(56) 3R (40 seers), (57) ?Ttfr, 
a woman (^Tt^t a wife in 
Behari), (58) ftfe (thin), 
(59) (?iH, ^o dose, as in 
^ CTfH, (60) W, as the 
woi'd C^t^t> so i ^^ a 
non-A edic term, (61) fff, 
secret signs, (62) I^H to 
slip away unnoticed, (63) 
JTt^l, (alarm), (64) ^, 


An analysis of the character of our vocalic and 
consonantal sounds can only lead us to form a definite idea 
regarding our provincial accent system. As such, a com- 
parative study of Bengali phonology should be carefully 
pursued, though this sort of study involves a detailed 
consideration of the phonology of not only the ancient 
Vedic and the post-Vedic languages, but also of the 
Dravidian accent system. It is a hard work to do ; but I 
must make an attempt in this direction, in the hope that 
my failure may lead to success, by attracting the attention 
and calling forth the energies of worthier scholars. 

The letters of the ancient alphabet, which are not 
articulated in our pure Bengali speech, and which we keep 
in stock for the only purpose of representing the words of 
the ancient languages of India, will be dealt with only 

<sr. (?) The usual sound of this vowel may be 
represented by ' o ' as it is pronounced in pot, not, hot, etc. 
The sound of it in ancient times, may be presumed to have 
been like ' u ' in but, cut, hut, etc., and so the long sound 
of this short 'Sf may easily be made into <5T| (as ' a' in part, 
calm, large, etc.). This may explain why ^\ is the long 
form of "51, as Ir and ^ are ther long forms of ^ and ^. 
In Marathi, Canarese, Tamil and Telegu, ^T is pronounced 
as short fl ; this sound is exactly similar to our short 
unaccented ^ sound as in ^tlt^, ^t^ftW, ^tFfa, etc. 
The Mundas and the Oiaons of Bengal frontier do also 


pronounce <5f as ^r) short. The Bengali sound of % as 
verging upon the sound of ' ^/ is naturally subdued when 
it is in the beginning or in the middle of a word, but it 
is distinct at the end of a word, when the final vowel, as a 
matter of course, is not 3?f in sound. Forgetting this 
natural mode of pronunciation, some writers unnecessarily 
write ?U3\ for 3f\s (like), <tWl for *&\*\ (good), C^tt^l for C^fr 
(certain), etc. This process may be called wasting the 
black paint to paint a Negro black. The spelling 
reformers, moreover, fail to see that the sound of ^ as a 
final, only approaches the sound of ^8, and it will be creat- 
ing confusion, if this sound be made identical with '<$'. 

(ii) The pronunciation of <5f in Oriya is midway 
between the Bengali and the Tamil pronunciation. The 
sound in Oriya is similar to ' a ' in ball ; while we pronounce 
^f^ as Robi, the Oriyas pronounce it as Raw-bi. This 
Oriya pronunciation of ^ is the highest exercise we make 
in producing the ancient sound, when reading Sanskrit, 
and this is the sound we produce, when accent is put upon 
<5[ not followed by ^ or ^ sound in a word. For example, 
when there is an accent on <5T of <5f\5 (so much), the ^ 
sounds like ' aw ' in raw or like ' a ' in ball. <BT in rf%, 
however, does not change the normal Bengali sound, even 
though accented, as the ^ sound follows it. Our spelling 
reformers may also take notice of the fact, that even when 
we attempt to maintain the purity of the sound of <5[, as 
in *V5, the sound is almost an ' \s ' to the men of other 
provinces of India. 

The Vedic sound for <5f may no doubt be presumed to 
be our short ^\, but we notice in the Atharvan Pratisakhya 
(e.g., 1,36) that besides the open sound, there was also a 
close or, samvrta, sound of ^5f, which it appears, we have 
only inherited in Bengal. It is difficult to say, if this 


sarfavrta sound has come down to us through Pali and 
other later Magadhi Prakrtas, for we have no Prakrta 
Pratisakhyas to bear evidence to such a transmission. 
No doubt in Pali, i.e., in the old Magadhi Prakrta, all 
nouns ending with the vowel sound of ^ are found in the 
form 5}3l, ^fUSf!, etc., in nominative singular, but this 
cannot perhaps be said to have been due to the peculiarity 
of the pronunciation of ^ at the end of a word, for 
though there was no visarjania in use in Pali, it may be 
said that, in its origin the sound came out of an elision of 
visarjania. It is, however, worth noting, that besides a 
general samvrta sound for 'Sf, we can detect in the Vedic 
itself a tendency of <5I (as final) to be reduced to the sound 
of \S when joined to the visarjaniya : we first notice it 
very unmistakably in several euphonic combinations, where 
the final ^ sound with the conjoined visarjaniya is reduced 
to ^ ; we again may notice that the dual form of Of^:, for 
example, is C^ft^n ; the word (TRS must have been pronounced 
as OR3\ (as in Pali) for, to create a dual form by the 
lengthening of the final sound, the long sound of ^ (which 
is ^) was reached, and this became the dual denoting 
suffix. It should be mentioned here, that the dual with ^ 
is later in date in the Vedic language, and that the earlier 
f^f% is noticed as ^rj in Chandasa. 

In consequence of their settled habit of pronouncing 
<5[ with its long and open sound, the people of Upper India, 
when pronouncing such words as ' long,' ( follow,' etc., by 
half adopting them in Hindi, utter those words as art 5 ?, 
*Fft?Tt, etc. The Bengali boys on the other hand, not being 
accustomed to emit the sound of ' i ' and ' u ' as in 'bird ' 
and ' cut,' pronounce them as ^|-^ (bard) and ^1-fe, etc. 

We gather from the works on Vedic phonology, that 
both^sf and <5Tl carried in their full-bodied open utterance, 
a half-distinct nasal sound. We can detect that the 


half-distinct nasal sound developed into a full-bodied 
nasal letter, when the sound in ^ and <5Tf was very long 
drawn to create, for instance, the plural form ; this is why 
<3^f% became ^^f%_, and we get in the Vedic speech ^f% 
as an additional plural form by the side of 1^f%. How a 
fM sound naturally evolves a nasal, will be noticed 
presently. For want of any work on phonology, relating to 
the old Magadhi speech, we cannot say, if the Prakrta 
speakers of old Magadha displayed the peculiarity noticed 
in the case of the Vedic speech. It is, however, a fact 
that in the district of Bankura, as well as in the western 
portion of Burdwan, a final half-nasal occurs at the ends 
of such words as ^f?T3l, *tt^9l, etc., and they are pronounced 
as <piWt, *ft^$fl, etc. We also find that in some cases of 
our 'Sf^vf words, where <5rj or any other vowel is accented 
to maintain the long sound, occurring in the original 
word, we put a half-nasal " on the accented vowel, though 
the derivation of the word, does not justify the nasal, ^ti? 
(from S. <5rf% or ; 3lTt), C*Tfr (from ^C^ffaF), and pfal 
(from fw) are some fitting examples. That in old 
Magadhi Prakrta a nasal was introduced in similar cases, 
can be presumed from some ^^?*t forms ; for example, 
from ^3? comes ^, and from Vedic f>9f comes the 
form T^l ; our vernacular forms tfal and $t<*fl, I need 
hardly say, are from 3$ and ^1 respectively. We may 
note that ^ and ^1 were adapted in Sanskrit from Pra- 
krta. *ft*f from >ff in Hindi may be compared with the 
above forms. 

The nasal of ^Tl. I proceed now to show, that there 
is a natural basis in our very organ of speech, for the 
occurrence of this phenomenon, that ^\ carries at times 
a nasal sound with it. To do this, I have to also notice 
that < ar! is sometimes transformed into ^ in the lengthen- 
ing of the voice, as will also be pointed out presently. 


To serve our purpose, the results of a scientific research 
touching" the origin and character of the vowel sounds, 
may be briefly stated here. Helmhotz and Koenig made 
very accurate and delicate experiments, in the mouth 
of men, and thereby accomplished a nice analysis of 
the natural sounds, produced by our vocal organs; it 
has been established by these experiments, that U (^) 
is musically speakiug the lowest, I (^) the hightest, 
and A (<5f) the central of all the vowels. This scientific 
evidence in support of this proposition, that <5[, ^, and ^ 
are the three cardinal vowels, shows with what degree of 
accuracy, the old grammarians of India, analysed and classi- 
fied the vowels, as well as the consonantal sounds, many 
centuries before the Christian era. We all know that 
^^ is the first sftC^^t ^3f, with which the old Sanskrit 
Grammar starts. It will not now be difficult to see, how^rf 
becomes ^ in the Vedic speech in the lengthening of that 
long vowel, some examples regarding which will be 
presently adduced. It has also been established by physi- 
cal experiments, referred to above, that if <sj or ^r| sound is 
lengthened without allowing the sound to reach a high 
pitch, that is to say, without allowing it to develop into 
^ sound, the lengthened voice is sure to become nasal ; this 
is why ^r| carries with it a nasal when the sound is leng- 

<ST|. (') Generally speaking our ^ is a short vowel and 
it becomes long only when there is accent upon it. In 
respect of all long sounds, it has however to be noted, that 
there are different grades of them, and one sound, though 
long, may not be so long as another long sound may be. 
It is difficult to symbolise these grades of length, but we 
may formulate at least a ' half-long ' sound, as inter- 
mediate between short and long. When ^ is followed by 
a 3*^3, consonant, that is which does not carry a vowel 


sound, it becomes a half-long vowel as <5Tl in 
^5, tfa, etc. In the words i srt*fa, ^tt5, *TFs1, 
etc., ^1 is short; this short sound of a long vowel may be 
termed as the normal long sound in Bengali. We do not 
make any distinction between lon<* and short sounds of 
vowels according to Sanskrit rules. As a rule, the single 
letters when uttered separately, as independent syllables or 
words, ara uttered long ; our children, unlike those of Upper 
India, pronounce ^ % ^Tl *ft, ^ ^, $r ^, ^ *Q, 
3 <si, etc., when learning the alphabet. Words of one 
letter are pronounced long, as it is the case in the Tamil 
speech. In Tamil, there are 42 one-letter words and they 
are all sounded long. The Bengali one-letter word ' ?Tl,' 
to indicate a reply in the negative, is rather long, while it 
is short in fl srtfr, Tfa *fi, etc., where it has been joined to, 
or compounded with other words. The initial letter of a 
word of two letters is pronounced long, when the final letter 
is ^Jfg ; cf. ^v\, ffy ^5, etc. ; it is to be noted, that here 
the words of two letters are words of one syllable, and as 
such, the rule regarding one syllable is applicable. 

() I have spoken of the nasal sound which ^\ develops 
at times ; it may be noticed that when <5Tl carries a nasal 
sound in Bengali, it has the tendency to be pronounced 
long, no matter whether it is followed by a ^7^ consonant 
or not ; the long sounds of W t in ^f||ri>, <sftW> ^frK tt*ft 
tf^ are examples. 

(m) In the Vedic speech, ^1 when made very long, 
was at times transformed into ^ sound ; compare f^*frf% 
and *Tfaf5 (succeeds), ft^S (teaches) and f*f| (taught) ; this 
is especially marked in final ^Tl, as fi$3 from ^f, %5 from 
5f|, f)H as a variant of 5ft<*[, ft^ from W\ and ffa from ^1 
(Macdonell's Vedic Grammar, p. 4). We may notice in this 
connection, that in the ^fgft'f formation of i rl from ^f , 


the ^ sound of the original has been reduced to *rl in 

It will be noticed that in a large number of cases, the 
final <ST| followed by ^ sound is changed into c), as it is 
in the Vedic speech. Here the rule of law is, the pre- 
ceding vowel sound influences the one coming after. 
This is the inverse of ' umlaut.' In our pronunciation fs&| 
becomes fsrcfc, f?TWl becomes fw?, f^stt^ becomes ffofo, etc.* 
If however, the final 'Sfl comes after the ^ sound, the <sr| is 
changed into ^, <j>l>|, *fa1, ^51, etc., are pronounced as fRH?!, 
*2prl, ^p?1, etc. If the final "5ft is attached to 3 (which is 
pronounced as ^ in Bengali) in a word of more than two 
letters, the whole of the final letter fl is changed into <4 
or ^ as the case may be, and this i) or ^9 takes the place 
of ^ or ^ of the next preceding letter ; ^ftfl becomes ^(f, 

etc., f5f^|, fvf?|1, qq\, ^\ } etc., being words of two letters 
they will be changed into fVft?, fff^f, ^p|1, ^3Tl 
(^p(t^5tW contracted into CSft^^t^), etc. We thus see, that 
though ' 3 ' is seemingly pronounced as ' <5f ' the ^-^ sound 
is partly in our ears, to effect the phonetic change des- 
cribed above. Since the words are sure to be pronounced 
in the manner indicated above, even though they are spelt 
correctly in their original form, our spelling reformers 
may give up the attempt of spelling the words by repre- 
senting all sorts of change of sounds, caused by phonetic 
decay. The writers, I speak of, want to introduce the 
verbs only in their contracted forms, but not the nouns, 
adjectives, etc. With what logic this distinction is sought 
to be made, is not easy to see. Why should we not write 
, fotfTf, fel, "fe^ (as in ^t5ft fe<T), etc., 

* As in Eastern Bengal the last syllables are accented, the final 
of fr&1 and such other words, does not change into 4. 


if ^t?T, faiSIC^, etc., for ^f?Jfl, f^tff^ ete., may be intro- 
duced with propriety. 

Having enunciated the rule regarding the change of 
final "srl into if), I must further note that the change spoken 
of, takes place even though other words are compounded 
with the words ending with <5fl, and even when suffixes or 
inflections come after the final "5f| ; 3TC^fl>T from sifo^tf^j 
(Sft from ^Ttt^j <3W5 from ^tfPt^, (33 from ?t^*> etc., 
may be noted. No one should confound the forms ^tt^5> 
STt^Fs, Ft^, etc., with *rfe, tftCS, *rf$U3, etc.; in the 
former series, the letter f ^ ' of the verb stems, has only lost 
the sharp aspirate sound, and as such ?fff3\5, Tt%/5, and 
5T%5 have been reduced to the softened down forms ; 
it will therefore be ridiculous, if one would attempt a 
further contraction of the words of the first series into 
C^t5j C^TC^, C5C5, on the analogy of C^5, C*fc and 
which are the contracted forms oP Tt^, *fi%< and 
We shall see from other examples later on, that even 
where we use the letter ' ^,' our tongue glides over the 
sound of f ^ J almost unawares, to allow the letter to perform 
its physiological work. 

f , ^r. I have said that there is no vowel in Bengali 
which has an inherent long sound ; as such, 5r and ^ 
are used onlj to spell the words of Sanskrit origin. 
I have also noticed, that the vowels are sounded long, 
when we put accent or emphasis upon them, and they 
are all short when not accented. In pronouncing the 
Sanskrit word lK^ we do not really make ^ long, but only 
a slight long sound is uttered as the result of our pronun- 
ciation of the compound letter which follows ^; all 
letters become slightly long in our pronunciation, when it 
is followed by a duplicated or a compound letter , no 
distinction can be made between the sounds of ^ and 5r 


when we pronounce ^5^1 and &ft. Since we cannot indicate 
by phonetic representations, the long or rather accented 
sounds of % <5f|, -^\, and ^, and since 5r has not got a long 
sound in Bengali, it is hardly correct to write ^t for 1% to 
indicate accent or emphasis; for example, when we put 
emphasis upon the word ^fsf (you) in such a sentence as 
^tTlW C Tfa3 ? ^fsf ? no one can seriously think of 
spelling the word as ^f. 

1 have shown under the heading ^ how this sound 
is changed into <4 ; it is also to be noted that when 
as a general rule, the aforesaid change takes place in 
our pronunciation, one exception is observed in some 
parts of Eastern Bengal. In the district of Dacca, the ^ 
sound without being changed into d\, a metathysis in the 
sound occurs ; for example ^f?fl1 becomes ^?Tl, Ttf^BTl 
becomes Sfftfl (&&\ = sandy), etc. It is to be further noted, 
that this phenomenon also occurs when the compounded 
^-^ sound which is represented by what is called *HpTl 
is taken by a consonant after the ^ or the ^r| sound, and 
so 5f?fT aad TftJ are pronounced in some eastern districts, 
as s^*f *f and ^1^,5. As a letter with ^-^fl is pronounced 
in Bengali as a duplicated letter, the ^ sound comes before 
a compounded letter, specially when there is an aspirate 
sound at the end of the compound letter ; thus the word 
3t^t will bs pronounced 3t^fi in Dacca. T. must point out 
in this connection, that we meet with the forms ^T and 
5f^ for ^-f?TT and *ff?|T, in our old Bengali books which 
were composed in the Radha country. I have shown in a 
preceding section, that the Pundra people, who inhabited 
the Ra jha-land, proceeded to North Bengal in early times, 
and a large number of them migrated also to the Sambal- 
pur tract, during the time of the Kosala Guptas. There 
may be or may not be any causal relation between this 
fact and what I am going to state now ; it is curious, that 


unlike their neighbours on all sides, the people of Sambal- 
pur reduce "ttfr, Ttf*I, Ttfo, etc., to tftsi, Tt^I, Tf^I, etc.; 
a line of a song composed in the vulgar speech of the 
Rangpur district, will disclose the above peculiarity in that 
far off locality in Northern Bengal : 
husband) f 


We utter the ^ sound in some eases to prepare 

the ground as it were, for pronouncing a compound 

letter, of which sibilant is a component part. The 

English word school is pronounced sa-kul in the Punjab, 

e-skool in the U. P., us-kul in some parts of Orissa and 

is-kul in Bengal, in the sea-board districts of Orissa, and 

in the Madras Presidency. I nafty remark in passing, that 

the disinclination to pronounce a compound letter as an 

initial, is India-wide ; as the speakers of Aryan speeches 

in Europe pronounce the initial compound letters aright, 

and as it is a rule in the Dravidian speeches, that the 

initial letter can never be a compound letter, I am inclined 

to formulate a widespread Dravidian influence since a 

remote past, to explain this peculiarity in our pronuncia- 

tion. It will be noticed later on, that this inclination to 

drop the letter ' s' as a first part of a compound initial letter, 

is noticeable in the Vedic speech as well. In the II . P., the 

introductory vowel sound becomes <sft, when the initial 

compound letter terminates with ^r| sound, and so ^Tfa is 

uttered as Tfafa ; i n the case of other terminal vowel 

sounds, if) becomes the introductory sound. In the Punjab, 

the compound letter is split up, and one letter is pronounced 

after the .other ; in the Tamil pronunciation however, ^ 

must be pronounced not only before the compound letters 

of the class spoken of above, but even before other initial 

compound letters ; if even the second letter of a word is 


a compound letter, and the initial letter is a simple one, 
the ^ sound is uttered by the Tamil people ; the Tamil 
Apabhransa of ?TfaR is ^ + ^t^^*Rj this is also a rule in the 
Tamil speech, 'hat an introducing vowel is added to a 
word beginning with 3". 

^ ^. I need hardly repeat that ^ has got no place 
on the list of pure and genuine Bengali vowels. ^ is 
changed into ^Q, when as a pure vowel it is followed by 
^r| or accented % in a word of two syllables ; we may 
notice this change in ^, \s^1 and ^^51. In the Chittagong 
division, \s is changed into ^ sound in some cases ; I 
could not obtain a sufficiently large number of words to 
frame a generalised rule for this peculiarity of pronuncia- 
tion in Chittagong. 

In our vulgar Bengali pronunciation, a compound or 
duplicated letter with final ^ sound, takes ^ or ^ when 
followed by ^ or ^ in the syllable, and so ^|, ^| (f 33), 
fsfl, etc., become ^fr, f%f (in C^Wfolt), and f^fc and *j|, 

<$l and ^65 become *fl , <l and ^5 : it will be noticed 

*. ^ ^ *> d^ *. 

that at the dropping of one 5, the long sound of ^ has 
generated the half nasal 5^f^^. Consideration of the 
sound of t)| will follow after taking notice of the sounds of 
q, <T, 1 and ^ (v). 

(f\, i^, ^3, ^. These vowels or dipthongs have lost 
their original sounds and are pronounced as ' e ' in met 
(or as ' a ' in mate), as ^, as ' o ' of the English vowel, 
and as <5p. The original sounds of these vowels have 
been partially retained in Tamil and Telegu ; or rather, 
the Dravidian sounds of those letters nearly approach the 
ancient Aryan sounds of them. We learn from the re- 
marks of the ancient Grammarians (e.g., Vartika of 
Katyayana,VIII-2, 106; under Mahabhasya, 1-1, 48), that 
(f\ is equal to <3f + ^ and 3 is equal to ^ + ^, and <*? and ^ 


being respectively the farther long sounds of ^ and ^9, 
the sound ^ for ^ has to be prefixed to ^and ^ respec- 
tively, to obtain the proper sounds generated by *<? and ^. 
The following examples collected by Prof. Macdonell in 
his Vedic grammar, may be profitably cited. We get in 
saptami singular <5p^ + ^ = '3T^, fff + 3r = *faf , and ^-i-lrs 
= v^; ; notice also ^+5?=^ (twin sisters). When we 
get ^9\ (pond) from ^ + ^Tf% we see that ^ has become 
long under the influence of succeeding <sr|. The two 
examples s5Tl + <| = ; fo and C*Rfl + <*l = C*f^7 are illu- 
minating. I may notice in passing, that in Orissa, ^ is 
pronounced as <*^ and ^ as 'sfl^. It is clear that our 
Bengali pronunciation is wholly peculiar to us. ^ and 
^ being merely long or augmented forms of (\ and ^ 
respectively, they ceased to be in use in the Prakrta 

(<). (i) The sound of the vowel as indicated above 
is after the ancient Aryan sound of it, and this sound is 
uttered only in pronouncing the words which are at times 
designated by the technical term vg^R. The initial sound 
of tfl in indigenous Bengali words, can be represented 
by* a' in mat. This normal sound of Bengali 14 is so 
very exclusively peculiar to Bengali, that no letter or 
letter-signs of our ancient script, can represent it. It 
took me full six days to make a boy of the U. P. to 
pronounce the English word ' bat ' correctly ; the sound 
was altogether new ro his ears and he was constantly 
varying his pronunciation from bet to bate. It is very 
important to note, that this a sound, as it occurs in bat, 
mat, etc., exists in the Dravidian tongue of Tamil ; the 
pronunciation of the word ^1 (stone) as Kail or of 
"31^ (cajoling) as anbu, are examples. Some Bengali 
writers, who do not know what the real sound of 5 is, 
make at times the unscientific and useless attempt to 


represent the sound by ^ + ^Tl to convey the peculiar 
Bengali sound to the ears of the foreigners. They do not 
know that the spelling sfJt*T for C^T is highly misleading 
to the people all over India, for ^ ^ is the sound of both 
3, and ^ ^pefl, outside the presidency of Bengal. The 
Indians of all other provinces, as well as the Europeans, 
who come to learn Bengali after studying Sanskrit or 
Hindi, are sure to pronounce 5|I|1 as fait 5 !. This method 
of representation will therefore be of no help to the 
outsiders, and will have the mischievous effect of teaching 
the Bengali boys a very wrong sound of y, which they 
have to deal with in their Sanskrit text-books. The 
Bengali boys learn the normal sound of Bengali ($ even 
when they commence to lisp in their early infancy. All 
that we should do, is to frame rules regarding the normal 
and Sanskritic pronunciation of the vowel t|. As we 
have to learn the sounds of the vowels of the foreigners 
from the foreigners, our special Bengali sound has to be 
learned by those who are not Bengalis. To indicate 
this special sound of 4, we shall put a circumflex upon it. 
I have stated that the initial <n in the ^5^^ words, 

does not become the normal Bengali^ 4. I could notice 

A A A A A 

only four words, namely, 4^, C^ or C*Rl C3Tl and C^*Tl, 
which only seemingly form exception to the rule; we 
see that the old <W became 49 in the Prakrta, and 
so the newly formed Bengali word <PF, is not, iuspite 
of its physical identity, identical with the original 

Sanskrit form ; the words C^H and C^fl are not of ^PT 
origin, and they were only adopted in Classical Sanskrit 
from Prakrta ; words with *j initial are suspected to be 
non- Aryan in origin; *Ff*T, <?R and 5pf are the only 
words which occur in the Vedic language, of which C*R 


alone belongs to the Aryan stock, being perhaps a decayed 
form of spena. I notice here that in the Northern and 
Eastern Bengal, the general tendency is to pronounce the 


initial <$ of even the WR words, as i), and so C^*!, 


CWT, Cft, CW51, C*ft, etc., are pronounced with <n initial. 

tfj as a single letter, and as an adjective, taking indicative 
particles as fi> or frl, or particles of emphasis ^ or ^, or 
being joined to other altogether separate words as 3i% >^% 
etc., retains its Sanskritie sound. The initial <) sound in 
a monosyllabic word, where the final consonant is ^TS, is 

pure; compare (fa (to perceive) and CGfal (one who 

A A 

squints) and Ott (much) and CTJ^I (clumsy as in G?s1 *&). 
When however the final 3pFS consonant is nasalised, the 

normal tfl sound will prevail, as C^"F (a sound), C*fo- 
C$$ (sumptuous feast), C3ff^, C5^ (a fish), df ^, C^5f 
Cl^ (slow teasing murmur), etc. 

The words which are designated by some as 
including the <5T*f^1 words, are subject to the rule 
governing the indigenous words. In Sir Rabindranath 
Tagore's highly suggestive work *ftr5^, the rule regarding 
the Sanskritie sound of 4, where normal Bengali sound 
might be expected, has been very nicely enunciated. His 
statement, that the c*i sound when followed either by t or 


^ sound, does not change into cfl, is quite correct, the 
other rule formulated by him as noted below, should also 
receive universal acceptance. When the Prakrta or 
^tq^f or Of*tt root or stem of a word has an initial ^, 
the word derived from it with an initial tfl will be 
pronounced with pure ^ sound ; C^5?1 begins with pure ill 
sound as the original stem or root is 1%^ (compare the 
forms fcf^Tfa, faftatff*!, fte.), while C^l having C3t> v and 


not 1%2R for its origin, is pronounced otherwise ; CWl from 
ftH (of. fif?R, ftf^mt 5 !), CFSl from foa (cf. fofa*l), (3Ptt from 
f*P*f s (#" f*ff*fff5) ar >d Cfll from f^ (e/ 1 . ft^H, frf1F$) are some 
examples. CWl from fsjs^may be contrasted ivith (*Hv\\ (many) 
which claims no root having the ^ initial. This will give 
us a clue to see that <)SR, C^*R, C^t^Tl, etc., are not the direct 
descendants of ^^ f%*f> ^Ft 5 ? > &c., but are derived from 
the Prakrta forms <<&*,, C^R and C*TT respectively. It is 
to be noted that when f ^ } as a particle of emphasis, comes 
after the 4 sound (<4-^), the normal pronunciation is 
not changed ; in t), f% ? however, c| is an independent 
word and so it retains the Sanskritic sound. Those who 
resorting to an unseientific method, do not keep ^ and *$, 
indicating emphasis, distinct and separate from the words 
to which they are joined, must see on looking to the two 
foregoing forms, what a confusion may be created by 
their wrong spelling ; if ^ of -emphasis is joined to SpT5-^ 
final of the word <4^ in the shape of ^-^ft"> the two forms 
illustrated above will be identical. It becomes physically 
impossible to make ^ or ^8 indicating emphasis, an insepar- 
able part of such following words as <|>fsj, C^T, TftsTl, etc., 
and one is bound to write ^ft-^, ^f*P3, CT-f, Cfi-', TfCTl-^ 
<5Tfr 5 Tl-'S, etc.; why then such an exception should be made 
as to spell O^tWl for C^faQ when the emphasis itself is 
drowned in the new spelling, is difficult to understand. 
It must be pointed out, in this connection, that though $ is 
not pronounced as ^ + ^, th* sound ^ is in our ears uncon- 
sciously, as it were since the general rule governs our 
pronunciation of such following words as C^fl, C^BTt^ 
CCTt^. (chair), CSBTffi, CWt*t, Cf*H CWnl, d^fa, Ct*tf*k etc. 

Fisarjaniya. Neither the sign nor the sound of it was in 
use either in Pali or in the later Prakrta speeches ; properly 
speaking, we do not use it in Bengali, and only three or 
four Sanskrit words as are spelt with visarjaniya, have 


been adopted in Bengali ; these Sanskrit words again, are 
pronounced in the very fashion in which they were pro- 
nounced by the speakers of the ancient Prakrta tongues ; 
^:*f is pronounced as $^*f and fa: 1 ^ as t^*f s -*ft^ Some 
of our Pandits in their zeal and eagerness to give the 
Bengali language the sort of dignity which ^Esop's 
jackdaw sought in the land of fables in dim backward 
of time, persuade us in vain to believe, that it is not SR 
but ?R^ which is the original word with us. They forget 
that we have borrowed 1Wt^4, ^R^Tt^f, etc., in their entirety 
from what is called the Sanskrit language, and not that 
we have made euphonic combinations of *^ N +^, etc., 
in our current speech, following the stringent Sandhi rule. 
The Sanskritists of the olden days borrowed Jffi^f ungrudg- 
ingly from a Prakrta speech, and JRtFtiT is not found fault 
with, though CFfa is a Sanskrit word; why should 
then our Pamjits shy at SR-^I or similar other forms in 
Bengali ? Our natural sound has a history, and it cannot 
be obliterated. I may notice by the way (even though 
it is a digression) that in the Vedic speech we can notice 
; simple 5R by the side of sfpj, as disclosed by such a 
term as ^1*1 & signifying having the mind or disposition 
to be friendly. 

The nasal sound The sound of the full-bodied final 
nasal is what may be represented by 'si^'fr; it is 
something like ^-( N in Bengali while it is <5R in Sanskrit. 
In Telegu and Tamil there is an indigenous ^ which 
is articulated as a final nasal at the end of all words, which 
are nouns. The Andhras and the Tamil people have not 
got the half-nasal" in their script, and they do not also 
utter the sound involved by it ; they have an abundance 
of ' am ' and ' un ' as terminal endings, but the half-nasal 
is altogether wanting. As the Mongolians are notorious 
for their excess of nasal sound, we cannot attribute the 


inability of the people of Eastern Bengal to utter the 
half-nasal sound to Mongolian influence. I may note that 
the half-nasal or " is freely used by the people of Assam. 
The absence of the half -nasal must therefore be due to 
excessive Dravidian influence, in Eastern Bengal. 

vg and <p which are not strictly speaking indepen- 
dent letters, but indicate only the sort of nasal sound which 
must be generated, when occurring in conjunction with 
the letters of T-^f and 5-^^f respectively, have now lost 
their original sounds. *f5f and ^5P are pronounced almost 
as >T'-^f and ^V^f ; the full sound of *t is always subdued 
in 5f?f|, ?f^, Jfsp, etc. When iip sound comes first and the 
letters of 5-^f are pronounced next, ^p is pronounced as 
f^|, <3[gR, 3tyj are pronounced as ^^5l, Tt^, 
and ^^D. When tfp comes after ^, the sound becomes 
peculiar ; s? which is no doubt a variant of 5|, is replaced 
by 5f, and the final nasal is uttered as half -nasal ; 'STfa -<41 
<srfisr| and tsfsf^-i'p'l (2f1 are pronounced as < 5lt*t v -C'f and 
<2H s -'fl in Bengal and Orissa. 

|. 1 is never sounded correctly iu Bengal, and it 
is useless as a letter to spell the indigenous Bengali words. 
The use of | is limited within the sphere of spelling the 
Sanskrit words. It is worth noting, that though in the 
sea-board districts of Orissa, and in the eastern Garjat 
states, i is pronounced with considerable distinctness, the 
Oriyas in the Sambalpur tract, do not pronounce this letter, 
unless they are forced to produce the sound in schools, 
by abandoning their natural ^ sound. Though we get 
enough of | in the script, representing Magadhi speech of 
old, we notice the rule in the Prakrta Grammar by Hem 
Chandra that ? takes the place of <1 in the Magadhi 
Prakrta. This is a very good evidence of the fact, that 
we have been pronouncing the cerebral j as ? since long. 
(to dig) comes from the Prakrta word fM, and 


hence a half-nasal and the cerebral ^ have evolved out of 
| sound. lu C^| and fife or folj for ^^ and f^ the 
cerebral 1> has been substituted to represent the cerebral 
sound. The initial 4 of C*p|, comes from the tendency to 
pronounce ^ for ^ ; it is no doubt a rare tendency, but 
it is noticeable in the pronunciation of C33F5 for ^5, by 
some villagers, who attempt at Sanskritic pronunciation. 
I may notice, that the Iranian pronunciation of 31 was 
<*l^-'5f in near approach of the old Vedic pronunciation 
of the vowel t||. 

As we do not pronounce ^i^ ^ and identify it with 
^ of *f-^f, we do not keep the ^^T separate from it, 
and compound it with 3f which is the nasal sound of the 
letters of *l-^f ; we write and pronounce ^TVf, fc^l and 
<3^fa*f ; this practice has been in vogue since long, as we 
meet with the above sort of spelling in ancient epigraphic 
records ; I think this wrong use should be avoided, as 
it is necessary to know, which nasal sound is appropriate 
to which class of letters. We meet with such wrong 
spelling of words as ^Sffi and 'srpf in the old epigraphic 
records of East Bihar, Bengal and Orissa. The people of 
Orissa, pronounce <srt^ and not Tfr, and even now write 
\5t^ for v5t5 in rural districts ; it is noteworthy, that 
in some parts of Bengal rtT is pronounced as ^srft and 
^fil as $fa1. 

. It is significant, that when sf becomes a *F*Tl or nasal 
adjunct of a consonant, it is not at all pronounced in 
Bengal, and the consonant with which it is compounded, 
is pronounced as if it is duplicated ; *t! and T^t are pro- 
nounced as *f^f and ^T^fo, while our silent 1 is distinctly 
pronounced in all other parts of India including Urissa. 
In s<>me cases, it is noticed, that the consonant to which 
5f is coqjoined, is dropped altogether, and sf is alone 
articulated ; .as from "Wfa the word 3T"ftf has been 


derived. It is worth noting here, that this particular 
word " *Pffa " as the ^^Vf of 1 $*tfa, is in use in some 
parts of Western India as well ; the Pali apabhransa form 
was "^Rt 5 ?," from which our "*t*ft*f," has originated. I 
may notice one ^f^^f of this class, which is in common 
use all throughout Northern India : *%2p was first reduced 
to sfsj 5 and then to sj^ in old Prakrta, and from this H?\3( 
the forms C 5 ft5 s and 01^1 came into use, and are still in use 
in some modern Vernaculars. I have shown in a previous 
lecture, that the peculiarity here noticed, is fully in 
accordance with the rule of grammar, as obtains in the 
Dravidian speeches; according to this rule, the initial 
letter of a word can never be a compound letter, and that 
double or triple consonants of different vargas, cannot 
occur anywhere in a word. The word ^t*T ( ^-^"fa ) has 
the pronunciation of ' gan ' ; but when the compound letter 
is a medial as in R STfa, the pronunciation will be ' Dham- 
ma-ggan' without any nasal sound. 

3, ?r, 1, ^. Though these letters are regarded as conso- 
nants, their real character as compound vowels, has always 
been admitted by the old Sanskrit Grammarians. That 3 is 
a compound sound of ^ + ^ has been pointed out before. 
As q is pronounced as ^ in Bengali and Oriya, special 
mark has been added to the letter to signify the ' y ' sound. 
It is worth noting, that in old Prakrta speeches, we get Sf 
for ^ and (7Tf^*f for instance was pronounced as 

* In Bengali as well as in Oriya, 3 as an initial or taking another ? 
as a *fZ(\ is uttered as Sf and in any other situation, it is 5 as a rule. 
In Oriya.T could notice a single exception to the rule in the pronun- 
ciation of 15 K -which is pronounced as 3RS % That this general rule, 
I have stated obtained in old Prfikrta, is pretty well known. It is 
noticeable in later Magadhi speech, that the name wfo for example 
has been spelt with the usual flf initial, while this word occuring after 
*| or rather compounded with (5*t, ^Wf'T has been the form adopted. 


3", t|(, <?I and i. The reason why I take up to discuss the 
sounds of the vowel t(| and S along with the discussion of the 
value of ^ and ?\ will be clear from the remarks I offer 

3". I should explain that ^ originated from the com- 
pounding of tn + <5f. It may be gathered from the Prati- 
sakhyas (Rk. Pra-8-14 ; Atharvan. Pra-I. 37, 71) that 
the sound of a liquid was the final sound which ^ produced. 
Again we get in the Vajasaneyi-Pratisakhya (IV. 145). 
that the initial half of t|| had almost an <5f sound. The 
Punjab frontier tribes pronounce 31 as ^-^ ; the old Iranian 
pronunciation of tjl, as may be detected in A vesta literature, 
was <SFH-(\ and ^-^ at times. We may notice that 
in ancient Prakrta, fo^T? became a variant of f^5, ^5 
became ^5 and *p> became T5 ; this shows I hat *N 
had once the initial <5[ sound. The vulgar tendency to 
reduce ^5 to CW and the pronunciation of ^R3 as 
C^cll, and of ^ as c<^Wl (as in C^C^I-^^) remind 
us of the old Iranian pronunciation of H. In the 
Rangpur district, the letters ^1 and ?f are interchan- 
geable, when they are initials; this tendency is not wholly 
unknowu among the populace in central Bengal as well. 
That the Prakrta forms with ^ and ^ finals, were reduced 
to forms with ?f and ?p finals may also be noticed, though 
in this case, the flat and boneless Prakrta forms were really 
given stronger or more easily-pronouncible forms ; thus 
we get \ftiT, from ^Ifrsr (g*-n.) and 5ft 5 , from ^ (c*ft). 
We may further notice, that when <T is the adjunct to 
an initial letter of a 3>^5[ word, the sound <H is induced 
in pronunciation : <2ftfl, <2pfr, ^^T^f, 3JW, etc., are reduced to 
C*t'Jfa (^er^T in H.), c*f1?T (WR. in H.), C^ 
in H.), C^^ (T^5? in H.); contrast the forms 
^^r ^, 3F$1{, etc., from fsr^, 1^5, ^S, etc., where the letters 
with It-adjunct are not initials. 


UK. It becomes perfectly clear from the Pratisakhyas, 
that the Aryans in India were settled in their pronuncia- 
tion of <d as ' ri.' Adverting however to such apabhranisa 
forms as ^Jj from lf, ^ from ^vjj, etc., some scholars have 
wrongly asserted, that the Dravidian pronunciation ' Ru ' 
for || was in vogue in Northern India, when Pali prevailed 
as a Northern Prakrta speech. They have failed to 
see that only when the sound of *N had to be har- 
monised with the dominating ^ sound in a word, 
that this vowel sound ^ took the place of <H ; we get 
1% or f^f from ^p5 where neither ^ nor ^ sound has 
to be assimilated ; from tnf*f however, we get ^f*f, 
while from *NVJ> we get ^j|> because of the final ^ sound. 
^ (v) is compounded of ^ and ^ ; so the vowel <D conjoined 
to the accented ^ (v) changes into ^ ; thus we get 3^*f, 
3\5 5 or ^l, ^^, etc., from |^[, ^jj, |^, etc. When how- 
ever the final ^ is not accented, and the letter joined 
with D is accented, <H is not reduced to ^; for example, 
^J has been reduced to 3(65 , because of the accent on i|| 
of ^ preceding a compound letter. 

?T Grammatically considering i generated 1, but 
this vowel never got any prominence. We should not for- 
get to notice, that there was a field of a very free inter- 
changeability of ?r and 9\ in the Vedic as well as in the post- 
Vedic speeches of the Aryans ; this being an essential 
feature of the Dravidian speeches, the Dravidian influence 
in this matter as well is generally formulated. An addi- 
tional '?T as a mixed sound of ( ^ ' + '^5 ' occurs in all the 
Dravidian speeches ; this ' \ ' producing a cerebral sound, 
is in full use in Oriya and Mahrathi. Though this letter 
did not get admittance into the Vedic alphabet, the trans- 
formation of ^ into ' ^5 Ms recognised in the Vedic Gram- 
mar ; we meet with the Vedic phonetic rule, that when 
' 1 ' occurs between two vowel sounds, the letter may be 


optionally pronounced as l ?! ' or ' ^5 ' and so ' x ' C*1 may be 
uttered as '^fU5.' We have not got this cerebral in 
Bengali, but there are a few words in Bengali, which dis- 
close the transformation of ' v\ ' into ' *S ' ; ^5 (to-dy) 
the juice of Tal (palm), may be an imported word, but <|>f^> 
from ^t% (bud), ^\ (extremity) from ^, *ftS\ from *f?ft 
(village), f"fa^? (on account of the chainlike ramifications 
of the roots) from ffare| ( c k. *$$&, Pr. f*teTF?and fWtfo) 
etc., are pure Bengali words. These forms, however, should 
not be confounded with those in which '^g'or'xS' has 
originated from f if ' or ' \5.' 

Though ? (P) has lost its position in the Bengali alphabet, 
its ^-<3p sound is retained in many words of ra origin ; ^$1 
from ^Tft*, (Tf^RT from C*R3", 5Tfr from ^fr, ^Tt^l from 
ft^, C^tTt 5 ? from ^ , and (TTfttW from Tt?, are some in- 
stances. It must be familiar to the students of Prakrita, 
that at times no distinction is made between ' b ' and ' v ' 
and that in the later Magadhi, ' v ' as an adjunct to a 
consonant, drops out altogether ; such as, fa is reduced to 
simple fw. The reduction of ' v ' to 'b' cannot be said 
to be due to Dravidian influence, as distinction between 
' b ' and ' v ' is strictly mantained in Telegu, Tamil, 
Malayalam and Canarese ; but the dropping out of ' v/ 
when it is an adjunct to a consonant, can be explained by 
the rule of the Dravidian Grammar, which does not allow 
consonants of different classes to form a compound. Accord- 
ing to this rule, f^and ^1 of Ttff have to be reduced to fff or 5 
and to (TTl or fl, if they are initial letters ; but if they occur 
as medials, they have to become fw and >prl respectively ; 
compare the forms 5^, and CTfal, Tff or ^ff on the one 
hand, and the p -enunciation of the words 'srfcf? Offasfa) 
and f^>|>it^ (f^Tt?) on the other. 

Consonants. As the question of Dravidian influence is 
being considered all along, I should add here a few remarks 


regarding the Dravidian alphabet system. In the Tamil 
sqript, we get only ^ to represent all the consonants of f - 
^sf and this ^ is uttered with slight variations to pronounce 
*f, 5| and .^. The usual Tamil sound of T is almost *f to 
our ears. Similarly there are only T>, 1> and *f for all the 
letters of their ^f or class. There is only one letter to 
represent 5 and *f and the sound of 5 is peculiarly sibilant 
in all the Dravidian languages. In connection with the 
phonetic value of the Tamil consonants, a few remarks 
relating to the consonants of the Aryan speech, may be 
fittingly introduced. 

From the admirable scientific analysis of the sounds 
of our letters, in old grammatical works, we get consider- 
able information, regarding the genesis of the consonants. 
Professor Sayce, after considering the value of the gram- 
matical works of the Greeks and other peoples, has rightly 
made this remark, regarding the Sanskrit grammar and 
phonology : " Far more thorough-going and scientific 
were the phonological labours and classification of the 

Hindu Pratisakhyas The Hindus had carefully 

analysed the organs of speech, some centuries before the 
Christian era, and composed phonological treatises which 
may favourably be compared with those of our own 

That ?F changes into 5f by slightly raising the accent 
(^ + -^f=^t$t*f) and that ^ and ^ are but aspirated 
sounds of ?F and 5|, need not be demonstrated ; that 5 is a 
variant of ^, ^ is an aspirated sound of 5, that ^ and 5f 
are always interchangeable, may be detected even on 
reference to the Sandhi rules. To serve the purpose I have 
in view, let me adduce here some examples from the Vedic 
or Chandasa speech. From ^l? (glow of light) we get 
<5^ and $<|, both of which are identical in form and 


meaning, as ?T and \ are one and the same ; we get also 
fo (to perceive), C^5 (desire) and CF5 ( = fF) lined 
together in one series. We may also notice, that from 
C?t5 v (bright with light) c^fa (light) was derived ; the 
later word < 5Tft ! ltT owes its origin to C^t^ or CTfa with an 
addition of ^ as a prefix to the word. I draw the atten- 
tion of the readers to the words C&\^ (Ct^t), 3^ (C^t^t), 
fas? (c^5f) and <5f, (^3). Thus we see that the ^ of 
Tamil may fitly represent the whole series of letters of 
the T-?^f ; similarly 1?, \5 and f may be made as the sole 
legitimate fathers of the letters of their class. That 1 
is the same as 5 may also be shown by phonetic analysis ; 
in the old Iranian ^, *f and *T were interchangeable. 

The pronunciation of the consonants of class is 
nearly as sibilant in Eastern Bengal, as it is in the 
Dravidian speeches ; to represent this sound in letters I 
write here 5, ^, ^ and ^f as scha, ssa, dza, zha. 

That the letters ^, ^ and ^f were imported into ihe 
Tamil script, some time after the introduction of what is 
called the ' Vatteluttu alphabet,' can be detected on com- 
paring the modern Tamil alphabet with the ' Grantba 
character ' (prevailing now in Malabar) as well as with 
the Telegu script. The Telegu script, which agrees in 
the main with the Canarese, came into existence, at least 
as early as the 7th century A. D., since Hiuen Tsang 
speaks of the script, in the accounts of his travels in India. 
The epigraphic records show, that in the 6th century A.D., 
northern script was in use in the Tamilakam country, 
and that the modern Vatteluttu cannot be traced to 
a time earlier than the 8th century A. 0. The Granth 
character was introduced in the 10th century A. D., to 
represent the North Indian Alphabet completely. At 
this day, the speech of Malabar was identical with 


the Tamil speech, and some letters from the Grantha script 
were adapted in the Vatteluttu. These remarks will be 
sufficient to show, that when the Dravidian people first 
adopted the Northern script, they could, if they liked, intro- 
duce all the letters of the North Indian script ; they elected 
to adopt a limited number of letters, so as to represent 
their natural sounds, they did not require all the letters 
for their use. 

What I have stated in the previous lecture, of the 
origin and character of the cerebral letters, may just serve 
the purpose we have in view. I proceed now therefore, to 
consider the sound value of the sibilants and of the 
letter ^. 

8. It appears that 3 was derived from sibilant 5 
which is intimately connected with *f in the matter of 
origin ; fff^t is pronounced *n|ft in the U. P. and in 
Orissa, and *f represents ^ in many speeches in Western 
India ; in the Canarese script ^ is written by giving one 
additional stroke to *[. Since ^3f, which is identical with 
^?pf in the Vedic speech, became ^ in early > s anskrit, to 
signify small (as in ^5^5 = ^1), we mav safely assert, 
that ^ was pronounced as *[ in very early times, and this 
peculiarity is not due to corrupt pronunciation in Bengal. 
We must not forget, that in Pali and in the later Prakrtas, 
^ *f was written to represent ^ as well as *f, occurring 
after a f^*TSsH)3. ^ is clearly pronounced as 1 in Bengal and 
is never reduced to the sound of v\. The sound of "f prevails 
in our speech, and this *f is pronounced as T, only in some 
cases where compounded with ^ and i, as in H), 'snffrsy, etc. 
?f is pronounced as a dental only when compounded with <3 
and *t. For purely Bengali words t is the only sibilant 
that can be used. 

Let me notice here some words of onomatopoetic 
origin, in which besides other sounds, ^ and $ played a 


good part. ^ indicated a heavy and solemn sound, while 
$ (v5 included) signified a roaring sound ; f and ^ also 
conveyed or were made to convey a sonorous sound. ^, 
f*^> 1 *^f^ signified the sound of a horse or an elephant ; 
C^fa comes from ^; (a heavy dull sound) + *[ ; ^^j is com- 
posed of ^' 4-1*1 (^1 being the sound produced by striking 
something which is hard). Compare also the words C*R 
C CT ' + ^ indicating sound), csffi, ^, C$$\, ^, ^fa, ?[f^, C<Tft 
OF + 3)i Tt^ (^ or ^l v sound + *), and ^ (from the 
sound ^ s occasioned at the dryiug-up of water on fire). 

In the Sanskrit language of a comparatively later time, 
as well as in the Prakrtas, ^ may be pointed out as the 
letter which has been used to indicate an awe-inspiring 
sonnd ; 3v + v5=^3 of the later Vedic speech, may also be 
noted. Our ^F, (&?S, Cfh?, ^5 ^5, ^ ^5, ^ ^5, etc., 
are examples in point. 

^ and 1. The aspirate sound of ^ which has 
created the extra consonants *f, % ^, ^f, etc., is not as is 
very distinctly marked, fully pronounced in Eastern 
Bengal ; the subdued sound of it is something like ^ ^ 
which cannot be properly pictured ; ^ as an initial letter, 
is very clearly pronounced in other parts of Bengal, but 
that there is a tendency to soften its sound when it occurs 
as a medial or a final, is to be duly noted. It is a pecu- 
liarity all over Bengal, that ^t"(3 is pronounced almost 
like f*ft^ by dropping ^ and by retaining a portion of 
the sound of the final 9 or ^ + ^1 ; sff^ is pronounced as (TTft 
by introducing the long ^ sound compensating the loss of 3, 
and ^1 appears in our speech and script as ^s$1. Even 
when we omit to write ^ in such a word for . example as 
'Sf^fr, our tongue glides a little over the ^ sound, and thus 
we can distinguish this word in our pronunciation from ^t?T 
to signify either ' wire ' or ' taste.' When ^ takes a *J- 
it is pronounced as ^-^ in Bengali as well as in Oriya- 


The pronunciation of ^ or <y\\5 is not exactly 
5|?r or ^F* in Eastern Bengal, but is something like ^-^ 
or ^1'5r|-\s, while in Dravidian pronunciation, they are 
uttered as 5f3 [and ^S. The non-aspirated pronunciation 
of ^, *f, \5, etc., seems therefore due to Dravidian influence. 
I remind you, that I noticed previously, the similar pro- 
nunciation of the people of Ceylon. In the Chittagong 
division of Eastern Bengal, however, the Mongolian in- 
fluence has been so very much predominant, that in some 
points, regarding the articulation of sounds, the Dravidian 
peculiarities (though not obliterated) have been drowned; 
unlike their neighbours of the Dae. a division, the people 
of the Chittagong division, breathe the ' h ' sound into ^, 
5, T, v5 and *f, and pronounce ^f^ (1t^), *PR fa*R), |*f ^T, 
(*f ^0, etc. ; not having done away with the original 
Dravidian influence, they do not pronounce ^ and ^S, 
but they pronounce them as $|$t?r and ^^5 by doubling 
the initial letters as it were. 

Though the letters 5 to ^ are made markedly sibilants 
in Eastern Bengal, as they are done in the Dravidian 
lands, *f is seldom rightly pronounced by the ordinary 
people of Eastern Bengal ; the reduction of *f to f in 
Eastern Bengal (or more properly to a half ^ with 
a wavy swing) cannot wholly be attributed to Mongolian 
influence, since such a change of sound, may be noticed in 
other parts of Bengal as well ; the word C^tHt 5 ! has been 
changed into cft-ft*! or C^tTfa all throughout Bengal. 
In the Sambalpur tract, we hear C^fl (there) for (Tf^fl 
of standard Oriya ; this substitution of ^ for *f is 
noticeable in Marhatti as well. I have already stated, 
that the sound of ( *f ' predominates in Bengali ; I 
should mention also, that Hem Chandra has noted in his 
Prakrta Grammar, that '*f' takes the place of ' *f ' all 
throughout, in the Magadhi speech, though the representa- 


tion in script of the Magadhi Prakrta, shows the use of 
dental Jf for the palatal *f. 

Non-^fRS final. We cannot conclude without noticing 
a peculiarity in the pronunciation of a simple consonant 
occurring as a terminal in a word. On reference to the list 
of words arranged in pairs below, it will be observed that 
final letters of the first words of the pairs are pronounced 
as distinct syllables, while those of the second words of the 
pairs are ^Tg or silent. *5\*\ and ^Tfa, 3T5 and sj\5 (opinion), 
^tq (black) and *fK ^5 and %s, <2Rf and ft<f, faf^s and 
CTtf^S, constitute the short list in question, to illustrate 
roughly this peculiarity. Let us frame tentative rules, 
regarding the pronunciation of the simple consonants, 
when they are final. We must first note, that as a rule, 
the final simple consonants are 3?TS in Bengali, unlike 
what the case is in Oriya ; the following are the rules for 
what form exceptions. 

(1) When the penultimate is ^*fS, no matter whether 
the penultimate and the final are made into one compound 
letter or not in spelling, the final is bound to be pronounced 
as a distinct syllable, unlike what is the case in Hindi ; "fes, 
^f, T&, etc., are examples. (2) The final simple conso- 
nants of the verbs in the Imperative mood, second person, 
are distinct syllables as in ^, ^f, $v\, etc., where the impera- 
tive-indicating final ^ has now been dropped ; when the 
expression is either non-honorific or highly honorific, ^T5 
sound prevails, as ^3, ^ , PT , etc. and ^?R, ^f, 5^. 
etc. (3) () When the final letter is the representative 
of a compound letter of the original word, or (b] where 
the final letter of our vernacular word has become final by 
the decay of a syllable or of some syllables, ^f3 
pronunciation prevails. It is not asserted, that in all 
cases of such origin of words, the final simple consonant, 


must as a rule be pronounced as non-3pf^ ; what is 
pointed out is, that where the normal ^T^ pronunciation 
is deviated from, the words disclose the history of 
their origin as formulated above. *5\e\ (from ^5f = <ff), 
43 (from 43t^), ^t* (from ftff*t = ^t^*t), etc., are 
some examples. Contrast sffl, 3t*I, <4^, f%f> TF, 
Jf*f, etc. Notice also 5f\5 (like) decayed form of our 
vernacular *T5^ and Sf (opinion). It has also to be noticed, 
in the history of such words as C$$, ^5, ^5\e\, etc., that 
their earlier forms were Gstft, ^1, ^fll, etc. ?F[*[= black 
is pronounced as Tt*Tl in Eastern Bengal, and this form 
TtTl obtains in Upper India. It is further noticeable, that 
~5fl, like ^-'srj and ^-<5r| is found conjoined f o many noun 
sterns, to indicate the adjective forms of the nouns ; we are 
not, however, concerned with that phenomenon here. (4) 
The participle-forming \ (but not ^5) is pronounced as a 
distinct syllable, as <^5, J^e, <S?t\5 ; '^rf^f, etc.; contrast 
with them ^f^s, CTt%, ff^s, etc. (5) The past-indi- 
cating T suffix, which owes its origin to participle-forming 
^>, is pronounced uon-^ff, as ^f?R, (ffi, ^^\, etc. ; the ^ 
ending of the suffix ^rf^ (occurring in second person only) is 
also similarly pronounced, as <sr% ^f^^, ffafo etc. (6) 
When the initial letter is compounded with ^ or *I, and (a) 
vowels other than ^ do not come between the initial and 
the final, and (b] the consonant ^ or ^ does not intervene, 
the final letter is pronounced as a distinct syllable ; e.g., 
3&, 3T5, (SWf (contrast with *f*M of ^fg ending), ?fcf, etc.; 
but notice the ^^ finals of (a) sfff , <2fff, Itl, <2ft1i <2PTl?i 
*2tft% C^It^, GH, ^-^, etc., where vowels other than ^ 
intervene ; mark again, (b) <2f^ and ^^\, where ^ and ^ 
intervene. As an exception to the general rule, we get 
first, the word ^, the final of which is uttered as a 
syllable ; we notice the general exception, where f is final ; 
as 1R, qf, at?, etc. (7) The simple finals of the words of 


two letters are ^t^, when the initial letter has t|i for its 
adjunct ; e.ff., f*f, ^5, [*l, ^*f, etc. ; contrast with them 
the ^S sounds of the finals of f W, ^*H, ^fW, etc. (8) 
The finals of only a few re-duplicated words develop into 

sounds, when emphasis is put upon the words, as 

in ' fo *ICT&t ^Hg[ " and *{< *?5 in 

In the name of framing rules, the cases where 
pronunciation prevails, have been set out in a classi- 
fied order ; to frame regular rules, we have to find out the 
essential underlying cause or causes, governing the pheno- 
menon. latuleNo. 1, we observe convenience in the 
matter of pronunciation. In rule No. 3, we notice, tlvat to 
compensate the loss of letters at the end, a T^1~ sound is 
drawn long; this is virtually the guiding cause in rule 
No. 2, since ?F?T, PT, ^, etc., are the reduced forms of 
^^, 5*Tf> ^^j etc. As to other oases, I fail to enunciate 
any natural law, which causes the occurrence of the 

The scope of my subject did not allow me to notice 
the allied and cognate sound peculiarities as occur in other 
Aryan languages ; I refer you however to a few Iranian 
peculiarities, just to suggest how wide our field of research 
is. In the first place we may notice, in connection with 
the sound of the vowel 31, that in Iranian, the radical ' ar ' 
(Hi) is reduplicated by ^ ; that the Indian sound of t|( has 
always been ' ri ' and not ' ru,' is clearly demonstrated by 
it. In the second place, we may observe without any 
reference to the ethnic composition in Iran, that ' s/ is 
generally reduced to ' h,' which has been noticed as a 
special peculiarity in Eastern Bengal. In the third place, 
we may refer to the phenomena of Epenthesis and Prothe- 
sis, as occur in the old Iranian speech for comparison with 


similar phenomena, noticed before. As an example of 
Iranian Epenthesis, we may notice that the Vedie \<?f\5 
stands as Bava-i-ti in Iranian ; by Epenthesis, I mean the 
introduction of anticipatory ^ or ^ in the middle of a 
syllable. As to Prothesis, i.e., regarding the introduction 
of an anticipatory ^ or ^, initially before a consonant, we 
may cite the example of t *H1 3^> which corresponds to 
Vedic <N e tf% 5 . Many other Iranian peculiarities, as agree- 
ing with some provincial peculiarities in India, may be 
studied very profitably by the Indian students of Com- 
parative Philology. 



A Comparative Study of Accent 

The term aksara (literally " undying/' i.e., the ever- 
living and essential factor in human speech) signifies a 
letter as well as a syllable in the Vedic and so also in 
the later Sanskrit language. Diffei ent sounds of letters 
coalescing themselves in euphonic combination, and 
eonsonauts unvitalized by vowel sounds, being joined 
to other consonants, generate compound letters; these 
compound letters, as well as the simple letters, being 
so many independent syllables in a word, must be 
separately pronounced. No doubt, in this method of 
pronunciation, we find the Vedic in agreement with the 
Sanskrit speech, but we have to notice that in the matter 
of accent, Vedic language differs very widely and radi- 
cally from Sanskrit. In the Vedic language, the vowel 
sounds were not so very rigidly and unalterably fixed as 
long or short, as they are in Sanskrit ; though, no doubt, 
a definite value is found assigned to each and every vowel, 
we can clearly see, on reference to the pada-patha system, 
that the accentual stress of ^fF, ^fa 1 ^, and ^f^ft^j change 
what may be called the normal sounds of the vowels. 

We have to first notice, that the final vowel of many 
flexional endings and of several adverbs, is given by the 
text, sometimes as short, sometimes as long. We have to 
notice next in the Vedic accent system, that not only the 
syllables, the words, and the phrases, but even many 
sentences are found accented. This fact, which discloses 


the living character of the speech, may be studied in the 
excellent analysis and discussion of the matter, in Prof. 
Macdonnel's Vedic Grammar. It may no doubt be said 
of the Vedic verses, that the general rythm of versification 
is not affected by accents j but that because of musical 
stress and accents, the verses are not lifeless quantitative 
ones (as in Sanskrit), should be duly appreciated. Since 
it is a fact, that natural gestures and modulations of voice, 
which contribute to the growth of the human speech, do 
survive as living factors in some proportion in each and 
every developed speech, since it is undeniable, that every 
real and living speech must have an accent system of its 
own, a few examples of the Vedic accent should be adduced 
here, to form some notions regarding the Vedic, as well 
as the post- Vedic classical languages. Before citing 
the examples, I should note that ^Jff^i (as the meaning of 
it indicates) is the high accent in the Sama Veda, while 
as a later innovation, 3 ^1% ( ? 1 of the next grade, is the high 
accent in the Kg veda ; it will therefore be convenient 
to name the grades of accent by high, middle and low 
pitch or accent. 

The first example I cite, is to show how by change 
of accent, a Vedic word changes its meaning. If the 
high accent be put upon ^1 of ^t^*J<3, the word will mean 
(being constructed as ^fff^) ' a person who is the father 
of sons who are or became kings ' ; but if the last letter ^ 
is accented, the meaning will be, in the ^5VJ?R compound, 
' the son of a king. ' For A similar change of meaning 
in Bengali, let me cite a few examples : if the Bengali 
word ^R is accented on the first syllable ^, the meaning 
will be ' a graft/ but with accent on the last syllable ?R, 
it will mean ' a pen.' How because of change in pronun- 
ciation, occasioned by difference in stress, a word varies 
in meaning, should be studied to realize the importance 


of accent in Bengali. Cf. ^tf\ (flour) and ^rf$\ (gum), 
^1% (beam) and ^5 (shell), <Pt^1 (blind) and ^t^l (edge), 
CTN (open) and C*TN (tile), c|t^1 (boy) and c|t^1 (to 
throw), CSft^l (a knot) and C^ft^l (as derived from <5fc 
signifying ill luck), ITfa (a bath, derived from ^fsj) and 5t*[ 
(he wants), *TtT> (bathing place) and ^Ttl> (dereliction of 
duty), etc. Notice again, a case of accent where gesture 
becomes partly prominent. If a smell be pleasing, the 
word for our agreeable sensation will be normally accented, 
and the word ^ will be accented on the first syllable, but 
our feeling of disgust about bad smell, will be expressed 
by putting a long accent upon the last letter, without any 
qualifying adjective being added : the utterance ^-^-^i 
is sufficiently expressive. To express agreeableness, the 
particles of interjection in Bengali, are accented closely 
on the letter when the particle is of one letter, and on the 
first syllable, when the word is of more than one syllable ; 
while on the other hand, in expressing our painful feeling 
or feeling of disgust, the accent is on the last syllable, and 
when the interjection is of one letter, the accent is put in 
such a manner on the letter, as to generate an additional 
syllable with a drawl sound upon it. For example, in 
expressing the feeling of admiration, the first syllables of 
4t^1 and Ttlt^ will be accented, and a close accent 
will be put upon the letter 31 ; on the other hand 3t*lpr 
(not as exclamation of admiration), is accented on the last 
syllable, to express the feeling of pain. Similarly <5fl ! 
gets a broad accent, generating a drawl, to express pain or 
disgust. It may again be noted, that Tf^l ! will be 

something like ^1-^8-^1? with accent on the second 
syllable, when there is a banter in the tone ; to signify 
such a sentiment, the interjection 31 will be so modulated, 
as to make it a word of three syllables, with two ^Tl sounds. 
This is difficult to express in script. We may consider 


also, that the emphasis-indicating ' very much ' tends to 
duplicate the final consonant of a word ; <5H5\5 from ^^5 
and <SF5^ (so much !), ^J (very small), C^t^ft^i C^tt^l 
from C*tt5l, C5tH yfa from ff% or ct^, fW and H**\, 
Wl from *FW, ^5J5, ^$^ from Wl, ^5f| from C^fl? ^t%> 
as in ;|^3f, from rfs, and ^l^t 5 ! G^Tl (very early in the 
morning) are examples. We may compare similar forms 
in Oriya of Sambalpur, as *f\5^5| (to fry) to indicate C^% 
^5 ^US 3Ft^ xot^fl (to make crisp by overdoing), and ($V$\ 
(for C 5 !^ = moustache) ^f% (twirling) to express one's 
defiant attitude. 

For my second example, regarding Vedic accent in 
metrical composition, I quote a Vedic verse, which is full 
of emotional sentiments. In this verse, the mixed feeling 
of eager solicitude and despondency has been expressed. 
The first portion of the first verse of the 95th Sukta of 
the 10th Mandal, which is addressed by Pururava to his 
fugitive wife Urvasi, on meeting her accidentally, stands 
with accents as follows : 

SfttS 5^*11 f%& 

We cannot fail to notice, that many long vowels have 
been made either short or semi-short, with accents of lower 
grade upon them, and the short syllable 5? in SR^fl has a high 
accent on it. How on account of the subdued utterance 
of ' 3>t3/ and a high accent on the final syllable of ' SfftV 
the feeling of coaxing with fervour, has been expressed, 
may be explained and appreciated, if in the first place, the 
verse is correctly recited, and in the seeoiH place, we care- 
fully consider, how to express this very sentiment, we 
accentuate, our words and modulate our voice to-day. If 
we translate ^S SfftS by SC^II ^% or by ^etffte, we can 


see that to express anxious solicitude or cajoling, we have 
only to half accentuate ^t^fl, but have to fully accentuate *ft 
of ^^*t, or the last ^ of ^SC^fl-S, with a peculiar modulation 
of voice. This thorough agreement of Bengali accent, with 
the Vedic, in this particular instance, may be merely a 
chance agreement, but all the same, it is interesting to note, 
that in Hindi, as well as in Oriya, the method of accent is 
different. In the corresponding Hindi form of the expres- 
sion, as C9 ^^*ft or tc$ f*faft^, the interjection 3^3 will be 
pronounced with high accent or great emphasis ; similarly 
'4' of if) ^% or <n <R of Oriya idiom, will require the high 
accent to be placed on ($. Even though <$ comes before a 
name in the vocative case in Bengali, the name itself is 
modulated peculiarly, to signify address, and the interjection 
portion is not so vigorously pronounced, as it is done in 
Hindi ; the forms, ^fa C^l (Hindi) and ^ C^l 3t*l (Sambal- 
pur Oriya) may be compared with our corresponding 
Bengali form. In the Nepalese, cfj must invariably come 
before a word in the vocative case. When thus noticing 
different accentual peculiarities in the vocative case, I 
should note, that in the Dravidian speeches, interjections do 
not occur before the words in the vocative case. 

The third example, I cite 'for Vedic accent, relates to 
the pronunciation of the word Agni, as occurs in the Sama 
Veda, the Maitrayani Samhita, and the Kathaka Samhita ; 
we find the high accent placed upon the compound letter 
ftf (i.e., to sav upon the final ft) and not upon the initial 
% which alone should be pronounced long in the Sanskrit 
'language. That with this very accent on the second 
syllable, the word ^Sfftf was pronounced in our oldest-known 
prakrta (misnamed Pali), may be gathered from some facts 
which I should notice here. We get ftft and W^ftl, as two 
different decayed forms of ^rf?t in the aforesaid Prakrta ; 
they represent presumably, two different provincial forms 


of the old time. We can clearly see in the history of the 
word fVffsr, that on account of accent on the last syllable, 
the unaccented first syllable dropped out, following the 
natural rule of phonetic decay. In our consideration of 
the form ^tfa, we first notice, that according to our previ- 
ously formulated rule (stated in illustrating the Dravidian 
influence),^ of the second syllable has been doubled, as letters 
of different ^f cannot form a compound; the word is there- 
fore, more in a changed form than in a decayed state. As 
to the pronunciation of it, I refer to a line of a verse 
composed in $sr<q@l, as occurs in the Thera Gatha : 
<8H|f9t ^ is^SffaffSl Wftsf (like the fire blazing in the 
midnight). The metre ^liere is only seemingly faulty, 
as the second syllable of wf^t is not long ; but if we 
accept the proposition, that the short syllable in question 
has a high accent on it, it will be admitted that the accent 
makes up for the shortness in question. 

We notice, both in the so-called Pali and the later 
Prakrta dialects, that their speakers changed the spelling 
of the words according to accent and pronunciation, but did 
not introduce like the Dravidians, such additional vowels 
as short <) and short ^3. The fact however, that long and 
short vowels were articulated short or long, following the 
natural accent, can be easily determined by referring to the 
prose composition with which the Prakrta literature 
abounds. Professor Pischell has rightly asserted in his 
work on the Prakrta Grammar, that the Vedic accent or 
tone did not die out, but existed in the so-called Pali 
Prakrta. The learned scholar came to this conclusion, by 
looking deep into the causes, that led both to the phonetic 
decay and the accretion of new letters in the Pali words. 
Professor Jacobi, misled by the modern artificial method of 
reading Pali, has criticized this view, and has asserted, thai 
the Vedic tone did not survive in the Pali speech, but only 


it was a sort of stress, that was in use in the- utterance of 
words. We must remember, that accent is a thing of hard 
growth and cannot die out easily. By the introduction 
of new racial elements, the old accent system of a speech 
may undergo some change, but the system itself is not 
wholly effaced. 

We have seen, that a very regular and thorough-going 
accent system prevailed in the Vedic speech ; we have 
also seen from an example of a Vedic verse, that emotions 
were freely expressed in the Chandasa speech, and in 
consequence thereof, the vowels could not be kept 
rigidly fixed in their long or short pronunciation. It is 
on the other hand perfectly clear, that the Vedic text 
for illustration (beginning with 3J3 ^113, etc.) will be a 
lifeless quantitative verse in Sanskrit, requiring artificial 
and meaningless raising and lowering of vowel s <unds in 
the following form : 

We should not however overlook, that inspite of 
rigidity of rules, we have to put different stress upon 
different words occurring in a Sanskrit verse, when there 
is a feelingly recitation in contradistinction with what 
may be called metrical articulation. No doubt, we can see, 
that this sort of putting emphasis upon phrases, is not 
due to the living character of the language, in which the 
poems are composed; there are many good Sanskrit 
verses, wherein we find, that their poets by virtue of their 
skill, have arranged the words of long vowels in such 
a manner, that the feelingly expressions may be appro- 
priately brought out, by putting emphasis upon the long 
vowel? only : The example of the verse in the ^f$*t^, 
beginning with f^fl ^tf^ fr^fl *f1wl ^<T1, is in point. 
This is rather infusing life in dead bones. 


I have judged here the Sanskrit language, by taking 
the question of accent only into consideration ; other 
facts, as are necessary to be discussed in determining the 
character of a language, will certainly be discussed 
relevantly in a subsequent lecture, but we should not 
forget, that accent is the life breath which vitalizes the 
words, and a speech without accent is a contradiction in 
terms. We have seen from the accent point of view 
only, how unnaturally rigid the Sanskrit language is; we 
will see on references to other facts, that this artificial 
rigidity is due to the fact, that Sanskrit had to accommo- 
date itself within a frame-work of generalized rules, 
which some mighty grammarians constructed in their 
zeal to perpetuate linguistic purity, when in consequence 
of a natural change, the speech of the holy Vedas was 
transformed into a new popular speech. 

I should mention in this connection, that some persons 
are very wrong in their opinion, that such a living speech 
as Oriya, is without an accent system. The misconception 
is due to the fact, that in Oriya, as in Sanskrit, all the 
letters are pronounced as distinct independent syllables. 
That inspite of it, the letters and words are accented by 
the Oriyas, without any reference to the long or short 
sound of a vowel, is instructive. I cannot deal with the 
Oriya accent system here ; I adduce only one example 
to serve my purpose. ^Tl (gone) as an exclamation of 
surprise, will be articulated with accent on the first syllable, 
which is short, and the word will sound like 5j-^r-^c[| 
(Oh ! it is gone), while the accent on the second syllable 
in similar feeling of surprise will bring in another 5tTl 
as <2f53 or accumulated unaccented letters, like a tag to 
the word, and the sound will be like sffil-^rfsffll. I should 
inform you in this connection, that in Oriya the final 
syllable of a word is generally accented and this is why, 


(a) the final simple consonants are not pronounced ?T3, 
(6) 3t^1 has been reduced to ^1 and the Apabhraiisa 
form of ^\?& is ^*Tl, and (c) the half nasal " is placed 
on the final letters of such words as ^rfff", ^, etc. ; it is 
noticeable, that when the Bengalis write the Oriya words 
^tf^f* ^f > e te., they represent them as ^tf^> 3f^, etc. 

In my general criticism relating to the question of 
accent, I have noticed many peculiarities of ours ; I pro- 
ceed now to consider some other marked peculiarities, 
as should engage the attention of all scholars. As a 
general rule, in our standard Bengali speech, the first 
syllables are accented, while curiously enough the last 
syllables are accented in Eastern Bengal. Mr. J. D. 
Anderson, late of the Bengal Civil Service, has written 
of late some very suggestive and learned notes in the 
J. R. A. S. on the character of Bengali syllable and 
accent. To the students of philology these original notes 
are of very high value. Misled by the wrong idea 
or information, that the people of the districts of 
Mymensingh and Dacca, have the tendency to make 
the first syllable accented, Mr. Anderson has com- 
pared the Assamese mode of pronunciation with that of 
Eastern Bengal, and has subjected the Eastern Bengal 
accent system to Assamese influence. As the case is quite 
the contrary, we must look to some other influence for 
this phenomenon. Let me just give a few examples as 
to how the words are accented differently in Eastern 
Bengal and Central Bengal. In Central Bengal, ^f*f1 
having the accent on the first syllable, the unaccented 
syllable is pronounced soft, and T sounds like ^5 ; in East 
Bengal, however, srNt, 3>'f1, C^tif , etc., are the accented 
forms. With accent on the first syllable, the final g of 
C^t*tfa is wholly or partially dropped in Central Bengal, 
while the accent on the last syllable in Eastern Bengal 


brings out Rfl and 9 distinctly. As a result of accent 
being placed on the first syllables, the unaccented second 
syllables of many words, have undergone a natural phonetic 
decay, in the common speech of the people of Central 
Bengal, and thus the unaccented ^ sound in the second 
syllables of ^f<R, <?f?r$r| and ^fa^Tfa have become extinct, 
and the forms ^^, ~^8 and <Ml - t5( have prevailed. As 
in Eastern Bengal the last syllables of ^1^*1, 'srf^Jf, etc., 
are accented, and the first portions must be uttered to 
come to the last syllables, almost no change takes place 
in those words ; but when the first portions are accented, 
the two vowels < 5Tl and t, coalesce and long *$, which is 
the combination of ^ and ^ takes the place of the first 
two letters ; thus iil and <fi take the place of ^^1 and 
'srf^f. In Manbhum and in some parts of Bankura, which 
are contiguous to the lands of the Dravidiaus, the last 
syllables are mostly accented; in the sentence 0t*Tfr C^T*I 
^tT^j ? (Is he your son ? ) the last, syllables of all the three 
words are accented. Because of change of accents, C^l 
is pronounced (3$\ in Central Bengal. ^><?f, the old Prakrta 
or proto- Bengali form of C^Tfl still survives in Manbhum, 
partly because of the hilly accent, and partly because the 
accent is placed on the last syllable. It is notorious, that 
the last syllables of words are generally very much 
accented by the Draridians. The final 'Sfi of foreign nouns 
are for this reason made into ai, as for example sff*tW^Tl 
becomes sff^sWfr. This is why the vulgar people in the 
South, pronounce the English words ' government/ 'and/ 
etc., as governmen-ta, an-d, as, etc. I have spoken before 
of the Dravidian element in Bengal ; it is the excess of this 
element which I suppose to be the cause of Eastern Bengal 
peculiarity. In the Chittagong Division however, where 
the Mongolian influence is considerable, the first syllables 
are mostly accented vigorously, by almost duplicating 


the accented syllables, and thus ffa, C^tTt^, etc., are 
reduced to Wfc, CTtTfa, etc. ; but in other respects the wide- 
spread Dravidian influence of basic character, peeps through 
the thin Mongolian veil. 

I have spoken before of the general disinclination in 
Bengal, of not fully articulating ^, when it is not an initial 
letter, and that thus we have got such forms as ^Tt^, 
*T^, *^w>, etc., for ^flfec, *iRc^, nfec, etc. When the 
tendency to put the stress of accent upon the first syllable 
is coupled with this phenomenon, we see how ^t^T and 
xsl^lto are reduced to \st^ and \5ftv5. That in spite of the 
decay of ^, the sound of the letter is partially retained in 
our tongue, can be detected in the mode of our pronunciation 
of those words, in contrast with the pronunciation of \5t^ 
meaning taste or wire and \5t5, a verb which signifies 
"becomes hot." Really speaking therefore,^ is not dropped, 
but its sound fades into indistinctness, after the accented 
^5t^ ; as such, it is improper and useless to leave out ?[ in 
our spelling in these cases ; those who elect to pronounce 
Ngfa for ^fit^Tfr will do so in spite of the letter ^, for accent 
on the first syllable will soften the sound of the letter ^. 
The so-called reformers should see, that if f is re- 
tained, it will not be sounded much because of the accent 
on the preceding syllable; again presence of 3> will main- 
tain the right pronunciation of the words concerned. 



Bengali Metrical System 

We should do well to proceed now to ascertain the 
character of the Bengali accent of olden days, by examining 
the metrical system, preserved in the poetical works of old 
Bengal. Adverting to the fact, that the early Vaisnava 
poets of Bengal treated each and every letter as a syllable, 
and made the final consonantal sounds non-hasanta, by 
imitating the old fashionable poet Vidyapati of Mithila, 
many people have formed two wrong notions ; one is that 
Bengali was derived from Maithili, and the other is 
that our mode of pronunciation and of counting syllables, 
was of the type presented by those poets. Mithila became 
no doubt, at one time, a portion of old Gaucj which extended 
to the foot of Nepal if not into Nepal itself, but the 
Maithili speech of the days of the Vaisnava poets, had 
nothing to do with our Bengali language. As to elements, 
common to Bengali and Maithili, we have to look to the 
older Magadhi speech of which, notice will be taken 
later on. From the earliest known time, our Bengali poets 
(excepting those who followed the Maithili fashion) have 
uniformly composed their poems, not by counting letters 
but by counting syllables. Looking to the fact, that the 
fourteen letters of the *ftft verse for example, are the same 
as fourteen matras of fourteen syllables, the tffW may be 
seemingly regarded as composed of fourteen letters ; 
but that it is a syllable (which may consist of more than 


one letter) and not a letter which is the unit in a 
Bengali word, should never be lost sight of . How is it 
that consistently with or rather in harmony with the 
phenomenon, that our metrical system is grounded on a 
syllabic and accentual basis, a fixed number of letters come 
in a chanda, will be explained presently, after considering 
some facts leading to the point. 

To explain the character of Bengali syllables, let 
me set forth some words with their syllable divisions by 
marking the syllables off, by the sign hyphen : fl-^j 'STl-fl- 
&W> ^H^C^fOj ^f-^-^t^> etc., will show that there may be 
less number of syllables than the number of letters in a 
word. Mr. J. D. Anderson has rightly remarked with 
reference to our phrase accents as well as in respect to the 
syllables in a word, that this special aspect of phrase accent 
in a word, " is sufficiently dominant to be the basis of 
accentual verse in Bengali." Mr. Anderson has very 
successfully demonstrated what I once feebly pointed out 
in a Bengali essay, that the assertion of our Pandits, that 
the *fSfS metre is not composed of syllables but of fourteen 
letters, is wrontr. The two lines quoted by Mr. Anderson 
from Krttivasa in J. R. A. S., 1913, 861, maybe cited to 
show, that the lines of fourteen letters consist of twelve 
and thirteen syllables respectively, and that the verse moves 
on with syllables and not with letters. The lines, as 
accented by Mr. Anderson stand as : 

It will be noticed that it is the accent on C*R of 
in the second line, which ha? given the easy motion required 
by the rhythm, and by virtue of accents, lines of seemingly 
unequal syllables have agreed in the metre. I adduce 
now another example, to illustrate our metrical system. 


Take first a line of verse which accommodates fifteen letters 
which coincide with fifteen syllables : 

Let us then notice, that maintaining this very metre, 
lines of fifteen syllables may be introduced in a verse, 
though counting by letters, the lines may contain twenty 
or twenty-two letters : 

To indicate caesura, I have divided the lines above keep- 
ing eight syllables in the first foot. The first line of the 
verse contains twenty-two and the second twenty letters. 
Refer to whichever poet of the past time you please, except- 
ing the Vaisnava pouts, who imitated non-Bengali forms, 
you will find that our verses are all based on accentual 
basis. I quote here only some lines from Dasarathi Ray 
and Isvar Gupta, who preceded our immortal poet 

If read according to the natural accents of the words, 
it will be seen that the syllables being taken as units, there 
are eight distinct sounds of eight letters in each of the first 
two feet, and sounds of ten letters occur in the third, 
fulfilling the requirements of number of letters for such a 
f^*fft metre. Next after this verse of Dasarathi, a verse 
of Isvar Gupta in our indigenous C^Ft^f may be noticed. 



Before proceeding to show, how from our indigenous songs 
which unmistakably disclose our accent system of old 
times, not only the literary Bengali verses but the Sanskrit 
verses as well originated, let me notice here the wrong 
opinions of some eminent Bengali writers, regarding the 
character of our versification. It has been wrongly held 
by some, that in the old poetry of Bengal, ^Jfg words 
practically do not exist. It has been wrongly asserted, that 
in our old poetry, natural accent was not o.ared for and the 
" unnaturalness of recitation was made up for by chanting 
the verses to a tune." This is only true of those writers, 
who imitate the old Vannava poets in the matter of their 
versification and diction, that an adventitious artificial 
jingle has been introduced. 

In addition to what I have quoted from the old poets, 
I quote below another verse from Krttivasa to substantiate 
my statement and to show the incorrectness of the opinion 
just referred to. 


The word fetVs rhyming with i>srfsr<J, leaves no room for 
even a careless reciter to articulate its final \5 with a vowel 
sound ; that C^5 and Tft*fa carry normal pronunciation, 
is absolutely clear. The supporters of the contrary opinion 
are found even to name ^nl 3 ^! of Bharatchandra in the 
list of the delinquents, without noticing that if we leave a 
few artificial Sanskritic verses out of consideration, Bharat- 
chandra must be given the credit of having composed 
verses with words of common use with their natural accent. 
'ST^fl^Sfffl as well as his other works, abounds with verses 


When, more than fifty years ago, we read Madan- 
moban's poem *ft%\ 5R, etc., we were not asked by our 
village teachers to deviate from the usual pronunciation, 
and did never read *R, <R, ^^, iTNK 1** *IH f"IWt (?ff 
5H, etc., with final ^ sound. 

Despite the fact that Madhusudan has drawn largely 
upon the Sanskrit vocabulary for some effect in the 
blank verse, his verses have to be read by putting proper 
accents upon the words. Is it not true, that far from 
imposing an adventitious artificial jingle upon our verse, 
and far from throttling our natural accented words to 
death, Hemchandra has made the Bengali verse to move 
with natural accent, with uncommon vigour and rapidity ? 
I think I have made it clear, that Bengali words with 
their accent have always been used in our Bengali verse, 
and the exception to the rule has only been occasional, 
where there has been an imitation of the forms of some 
Vaisnava poets. The imported metrical system of some 
Vaisnava poets could never take root in Bengal. 

I proceed now to show from the history of evolution 
of our metrical system, '[ that the accent system which 
now prevails, has been the accent system of the Bengali- 
speaking people, from the time about which faint sug- 
gestions can only be made, by taking a stand at the 
shadowy threshold of dim past. The history of the evo- 
lution of human institutions has made us familiar with 
this phenomenon, that our verse with our metrical system 
owes its origin to tribal festive songs, which in their turn 
originated from primitive expressions of emotions. In 
its normal condition, therefore, no metrical system of any 
race, can have any other basis than an accentual one. 

To ensure convenience, I refer first of all to such 
Sanskrit metres as are of undoubted late origin. srfrWf-3^5 
is a <$^f of late origin and its origin in Magadha-Gauda 


cannot be seriously doubted. The hemistiches of 
one line of this verse are divided below by partition 
lines : 

? I TO* i t * w i sm TO* i 

Each hemistich is really a complete foot, and the 
characteristics of it are repeated in subsequent hemistiches. 
A portion of our nursery rhyme will be seen to be exactly 
in accord with it. It is as follows : 

| 5TT? Of^ I tf tfS I C^t^fl tfa I 

The apparent inaccuracy in the second hemistich of 
the first foot disappears if the 3f?T or tune underlying the 
Sanskrit as well as the Bengali verse is rightly caught. 
Uniformity in Sanskrit metre is maintained by the fixity 
of long and short sounds, while without following the 
Sanskrit rule, mere tune may maintain the purity of the 
metre with natural accent in the Bengali verse. Compare 
the same !pf in another nursery rhyme : 

fclf*W *ttm, fr!^ TIES ; S5tf fRtf<R ^tfo ^IW I 
It will be seen that how the four aksaras required in each 
hemistich in Sanskrit, correspond exactly to the four 
syllable-unit of Bengali. No one will venture to say, that 
our village girls or matrons imitated the *CH4$1<4|v|? ; that 
the Pancjits utilised the indigenous chhanda for a Sanskrit 
metre verging upon Ulc^^ve, cannot be doubted. When 
songs were composed with matras, numerous chhandas 
cropped up in Sanskrit, and the verses were set in indi- 
genous tunes. To illustrate this properly, I take a verse 
of a very familiar song from the ^St^ftf^ 5 *. I divide 
the lines for the purpose of my analysis, and put the tag 
portions in brackets. 

^fr qfr i fcfotffa | 



i ^ ^R i (raroi) i 

I (SWfaO II 
etc., as sj3l or refrain. 
It is first to be noticed, that each portion divided by 
partition lines consists oi either five letters or five matras. 
The beginning of the refrain portion if divided similarly, 
a great artificiality will be noticed, since the first division 
will take in only the first three letters f<2ten>1 ; but if sung 
according to the tune, this unnaturalness will disappear, 
and the whole refrain will be found to be set in music 
with all regularities. Compare with it the line composed 
in Bengali C^^t^^f, already quoted above, and is quoted 
again, for facility of reference : 

If we exclude the introductory STtsTtrfa Tf 5 T|c^ci which is 
pronounced as ^ffFs, and if we set apart the word srffa as 
a tag, the essential agreement between the Bengali metre 
and the Sanskrit metre, will be obvious ; the word ^tfr if 
pronounced with lengthening sound as is done in reciting 
a verse of the C*r*tWfj its agreement with C^fr'> will also 
become clear. In C*T<FfSpf there is an introductory portion 
which is of pecuUar nature ; the first portion of the 
first line becomes the independent introductory portion of the 
verse. The introductory line (?\ (3 C^f! *$1% ^VS, must fi'st 
be articulated as ^^WtS, and then it is to be repeated as 
^TF with the other portions gf the verse. The verse then 
will stand thus 


That the refrain portion, therefore of the Sanskrit song, 
originates from the introductory tag, becomes rather clear. 
No doubt there has been some lengthening of the tune in 
Sanskrit in the refrain portion, but this is because a 
uniformity of the metre has been maintained. To explain 
the matter more clearly, let me notice here a verse which 
has been composed by exactly adopting the metre of Jaya- 
deva's song wfa tftf, etc. ; it will be observed in this verse 
that the essential character of the chhanda has not been 
affected, even though there has been either a little length- 
ening or a little shortening of some matras, in conformity 
with the genius of the Bengali metre. The Bengalicised 
Sanskrit verse runs as : 

If the portions ^fs, etc., and C*1bilfo>, etc., of Jayadeva's 
gong, and the corresponding lines of the Bengali verse be 
put aside, the following Bengali verse composed after an 
indigenous Bengali metre, will be found to be in perfect 
agreement with the chhanda in question : 

* Cft CW\ CWft, 3 


For an example of a Sanskrit metre, corresponding 
to or agreeing with the Bengali I^*tfl, which may 
easily be conceived to have evolved the longer or ftffsptft, 
I lay again the poet Jayadeva under contribution. In his 


if f^C5t1 be separated from the third foot, the three feet 
will be found to be of equal length in quantity. We can 
therefore see, that the final fa'CSt^* comes in as a tag to 
break the monotony. Consquently, to trace the origin of 
the chhanda, we may safely take into consideration, the three 
feet of the verse leaving the tag portion out. Corresponding 
exactly to these three feet in form and tune, we get the 
lines of a country song, which is sung in a game, that may 
be fitly described as choral dance. In this game a boy 
usually stands in the centre of a ring, formed by a num- 
ber of little boys and girls standing hand in hand : the 
boy in the centre, seeking slyly the opportunity to 
break through the circle to run away, goes on singing 
an action song <p^ ^ Tffa, and the boys and girls 
who encircle him, sing half dancing the chorus- C3\ Wl 
3tf*1, C^l C^l 3tf*U It is significant to note, that this 
very game of Bengal, prevails in the far off Sambalpur 
tract, and it is this very C^l C3\ Ttf*l> conveying no meaning 
to us, is sung as chorus in the country places of that tract ; 
that the game and the song originated in remote past, is 
forcibly indicated by this very circumstance. Again, when 
C^l C^l Tffa is sung twice as chorus, the whole portion 
becomes a ^T^lwfft minus the tag, which may be an 
improvement upon the song, in the line set forth above. 

The Pandits who look for our 'fafa, a respectable 
origin, make the Sanskrit ^3$ vg } the forbear of our 
humble "fttS, though the tune and the form of the one 
do not agree with those of the other. That our nursery 
rhyme ftU t5 frf^T Tj^S, etc., is wholly in accord with 
our *f3t<T, cannot even for a moment Le doubted. Though 
the lines move on keeping time with the note of a tune 
imbedded in syllabic accent, they contain fourteen letters, 
and at the end of the first foot of a line consisting of 
eight letters, we get the requisite caesura. It will be 


noticed in the last line of the verse quoted below, that 
<Tl of tTffi being lengthened by the stress of an accent, the 
loss of one letter has been made up for. The verse is : 

? it* i 

The purpose I have in view, does not allow me 
to write elaborately on the genesis of our metrical system ; 
a separate treatise should be devoted to the execution of 
the work. The nature of our accent, the accentual basis 
of our metrical system, and the fact that our accent has 
been retaining its peculiar character since long, are factors 
which should principally engage our attention. That 
in respect of our accent, a long continuous current may 
be observed to have flown through ages, will be clearer 
when we consider other facts, and the readers will have to 
form their opinion, by considering the effects of what may 
be called cumulative evidence. 

As to the origin of many Sanskrit metres from popular 
rhymes, such non-Sanskritic names as 0*11>4 ( indicating 
special emphasis on the third letter f%3T? + ^F ), Cfft^ 
(of equal length with Cttv^, leaving out the initial and 
the final accented syllables ; the accent falls regularly after 
two intermediate unaccented syllables i. e., ^ or ffa1 or 
' push ' comes after ' Ofl ' or two) ^fat C*ffi (the word c*f*l 
indicates the origin), etc., may be referred to. 

I cannot certainly deal with our metrical system at 
a greater length here, but I cannot at the same time con- 
clude this section of my lecture without referring you to 
the Hindi and the Oriya modes of reciting poetry, in 
contrast with our mode. I speak of the mode of recita- 
tion only, as it is not possible to analyse here the metrical 


system of Oriya and Hindi. I doubt not, that you have 
heard in this city the Oriyas and the up-country men to 
read aloud their verses. It must be a familiar experience, 
that from the sound alone from a good distance, a Bengali 
can know whether an Oriya poem or some Hindi Ott^l's 
are being recited. Even where there is no musical chant- 
ing, the character of the metres will indicate the charac- 
teristic difference. All this is due wholly to different 
accent systems. As the style of a language is the ex- 
pression of the thought of the speakers, so is the metrical 
system in a language, due to the special accent system 
of the people. The Oriya verse of lines of 9 aksaras, if 
read in Bengali fashion, the composition will sound like a 
disjointed prose piece ; so also it will be with such 
lines of Upendra Bhanja, as : 

Similarly if the lines of a Hindi C^Tl be not read in 
the Hindi fashion, the music of the lines will fade away. 
Without pronouncing any definite opinion as to whether 
the lines quoted below, were composed in old Bengali or 
Hindi, I may bring to your notice, the basic Hindi charac- 
ter of the metre of the lines; the non-hasanta sound of the 
final syllable and the long sound of the penultimate, as 
have to be maintained in rightly reciting the lines, are 
to be duly noted. The lines are : 

I do not mean to be exhaustive here ; I want however to 
impress upon you, that we can solve many linguistic pro- 
blems at least partly, if we take the factor of accent, deep- 
ly into our consideration. 




Accent traced in Sandhi and Compound Formations 

Sandhi. The phenomenon of euphonic combination or 
Sandhi should engage our attention next, as by a study 
of it we can partly ascertain many phonetic and accentual 
peculiarities. How some stiff Sanskrit rules of Sandhi 
can be simplified on reference to the original Vedic sound- 
value of some letters, has been discussed separately, and 
this discussion has been relegated to an appendix to this 
lecture. It is true, that unlike what is noticeable in Greek, 
Chandasa does not allow any hiatus to exist in a word, 
but the rigid Sanskrit Sandhi-rules by virtue of which 
two or more independent words are linked together in 
an agglutinated unit, do not appear to have obtained 
in Chandasa. I need hardly assert, that in a living speech, 
in which ease and fluency in the matter of articulation of 
sentences can never be disregarded, and in which words 
must be uttered in an intelligible manner, Sanskrit rules 
of Sandhi cannot be strictly enforced. The component 
parts of Purohita for example, may not be allowed to stand 
separate, since the newly-formed word, has a distinct 
signification of its own, but the force of the word Adya, 
("5H)) for example, disappears, if Adyendrasya oic'&ar^ be 
substituted for *TS ^. We get such a line as ^ "STS 


^1 in the Vedic Padapatha, while the Sanskritic 
form of the text gives us ^qwidt* C&fe\, which involves 
the loss of three syllables required by the metre. I cannot 
speak here anything regarding what is called g ^<f^ i as 
noticed in the Vedie pronunciation of ^f?T for ^3, but 
the example will fully show, how the rigid Sandhi rules 
of Sanskrit Grammar make a simple speech, unintelligible. 
We find in the Vedic verses, as is natural in a living 
speech, that each foot, nay each hemistich, stands apart, 
without being united in Sandhi with a succeeding foot 
or hemistich. We observe only in some rare cases in 
Sanskrit, that one hemistich is not united with another 
in a verse, where Sandhi combination is possible; the 
following is a couplet which illustrates this sort of 
deviation from the usual rule : 

It becomes perfectly clear, that once when the Vedic 
language became obsolete, various cases of euphonic combi- 
nation occurring in that language were studied very care- 
fully, and a good number of generalized artificial ^1% 
(Sandhi) rules were framed for their rigid application in 
what is called the Sanskrit language. This is why the 
processes noticeable in Chandasa in such euphonic combi- 
nations, as are due to the influence of accent (which is a 
living factor in a living speech), are not at work in 
Sanskrit; instances of lengthening the accented vowel, 
as in faltfag (fat + fas) or ^*f (^ + <qff) O r of 
dropping the unaccented vowel as in Fft't<F ( Ffa + ^ ), 
are not obtainable in Sanskrit. 

It is a fact that the rules of Sandhi, as are noticeable 
in Pali, are not wholly in agreement with the Vedic rules ; 
that this very deviation shows the living character of 


that earliest-known Magadhi Prakrta, is what we should 
duly appreciate. How because of the natural accent of 
the speakers, and owing to the changed value of the sound 
of some letters, such euphonic combinations occurred in 
Pali, as OKffe ( <?W + $f% ), *fa?TCT^R ( feraOT + ^ ), 
1t*ftfo ( ft?* + ^fs ), etc., should be a subject of special 
study. That the Sanskrit Sandhi-system does not support 
this claim of Sanskrit, that it was naturally evolved 
out of Chandasa should be duly noted ; we can very clearly 
see, that the natural Vedic rules of euphonic combination 
have only been artificially extended in Sanskrit, to cases 
where combination brings about stiffening of the speech 
and unintelligibility of meaning. 

It is certainly very true, that our Bengali Sandhi 
system is not worked by the rules of the old time speeches, 
but we proceed to show that the very principle which 
governed the phenomenon of euphonic combination, in the 
speeches of ancient times, governs to-day the Sandhi 
system of ours. Before I cite examples to substantiate 
my proposition, I should notice an objection which i s 
raised by some in this direction. On the basis of a 
superficial and unscientific observation of the fact, that 
the rules which govern the formation of such combinations 
as ^<sltf^, 1Wt^> etc., do not prevail in Bengali, some 
scholars have gone the length of asserting that the 
natural phenomenon of euphonic combination does not at 
all exist in Bengali. We have certainly borrowed the words 
^5Jtf? and IS^S in their entirety, and cannot disjoin 
them in our language; no doubt our ^f% means finish, ^rtf? 
means original, and $\*jlfo means etcetera ; again there is 
no such word as SRTJ in Bengali, nor the word 5$, if not 
a name of a man, can have any meaning independently. 
It is also true that ^ and < rl do not combine according to 
Sanskrit rule to form jj, but we have noticed previously, 


that they coalesce in Bengali quite in another fashion. 
Non-observance of Sanskrit rules does not however justify 
us to formulate, that euphonic combination is unknown 
in Bengali. 

In Bengali, we do not and cannot combine different 
words into one agglutinated whole, for we utter our 
words one after the other, to convey distinct meaning 
of them to other ears; but different vowel sounds and 
allied consonants do combine to form one word. With 
the *Pfq?t word ^tl, the Sanskrit word ^rfr (enemy) 
being joined in sandhi, we have got one word to mean 
the distinct article 'Ktfr (mosquito curtain) to signify 
a special sort of ^sft^i (bulb) the adjective C^ttT and ~^fa 
have been joined to form the word C^tt^I Tt^; the 
word ^t5l as an adjective of ^ref! does not and cannot 
change its form, but when the words are combined to- 
gether 10 signify the sort of ^Tl which is used as vege- 
table, the final 'Sfl of the adjective being dropped, the 
word 4>|b<^1 has been formed ; we may also get the 
examples CTt^l + ttt^ = CTt^ttfo C^5l + tf*fl = CTt^tl1, 
C4te1 -j- 55 = C3t^53f (fool), etc. In such examples as 
%5 <F*Vl, CTt^t*n> etc., we notice the loss of unaccented 
"ST! h'nals of the first component parts of the words ; simi- 
larly we find the loss of $ of ^ in the phrase 4|tbfcv1$, 
where the accented ?fcl in the form of ?l occurs as the 
first component. We have seen that in the Vedic lan- 
guage, there were elision of the final vowel sounds of 
the unaccented syllables in their euphonic combination 
with unaccented syllables, and that is why the final ^ 
of 5t^ dropped in euphonic combination with accented 
^tf , to form the word 9ftfr to signify a man of per- 
suasive speech. 

That the lengthening of vowel sound as noticeable in 
the Yedic words, foltftar, lHff*tS etc., is also noticeable 


in the old Prakrtas as well as in modern Vernaculars, 
requires to be pointed out. We may notice, for example, 
the Pali idiomatic expression *prl*pq (various sorts of 
fruits) in such a sentence as *p*lt*J<1 *ffi ^MJl { Tfa, to see 
unmistakeably that the word has not been formed by the 
combination of ^q + T^T. This sort of duplication to 
indicate either variety or etcetera is very much current 
in Bengali ; it is also the rule in Bengali, that in the process 
of duplication, an ^r| comes in as a joining link. We 
must clearly see, that the Bengali words vp*lt*P e 1> \k^>] f^>, 
r*1i^, b^ji?*!, etc., do not combine good and bad ideas 
together ; bltbt*IH ?Tfa1 does not signify the path for going 
and not going. The ' ^Tl ' that comes in here as a join- 
,ing link, indicates emphasis only, when occurs in the 
formation of compound words ; compare the emphasized 
forms ^tl^t, 5T?t*IT>, t>*tfl?' ! 1 , etc., with the ordinary forms 
^*fa*t, 51>1T>, !>11>*f, etc. I feel tempted to notice, that in 
common parlance it is difficult to many of us to keep the 
purity of the Sanskrit word ^^^1 ; because of accent on 
"SR^I the word is pronounced usually as Wfa^l- 

The natural rule by which one consonant is changed 
into another, because of the genetic affinity between the 
consonants, is also at work in Bengali ; <|^ -f- 5f3f| = 
*fc + ^ = *ft$H, c^ti? (Cffc = younger) + iffffl = 
^5 + f^ = ?rf^ are examples. The Sandhi rules of 
Prakrta Grammar as are still at work, should be carefully 
studied by the students in this connection ; I point out 
here a few cases only, where Bengali is in agreement with 
the old Prakrtas, in the matter of euphonic combination. 
From F? N 4- 5^ we get 55F5 and from ^fc + ^j we get 
^$fa^j ; final s, is very often dropped in Pali even though 
there is no euphonic combination with the initial letter of 
a succeeding word, for example, fM^ is the form for 
and Tf^ft is the representative of the fuller form 


I may remark in conclusion, that the Dravidian 
m ethod of Sandhi combination, is noticeable in some rare 
cases only; in Tamil *3f + ?Ft^ ' and ' C + t^' for 
example, will be it 9 ? t^ (mango) and OS^ft (cocoanut) 
respectively; this growth of nasal sound in Sandhi has 
only been noticed by me in C*ffTl + ^fs = C^It^rfr f^f&- 

Samasa >Rt^. I have spoken above, that change of 
vowel as well as of consonant takes place in the formation 
of compounds called samasa (^TfT) ; but as many noted 
scholars are of opinion, that barring a few stray examples, 
we canuot get samasa compounds of genuine Bengali 
words, I must show that compounds or samasa of all sorts 
exist in Bengali. I consider this question to be important, 
for it is to be seen, whether the old mode of thinking which 
brought about samasas in particular forms, is still our 
inheritance or not ; it must be borne in mind, that the 
racial peculiarity in the matter of thinking, governs the 
style and structure of a language. I cite below the Bengali 
samasa forms exactly in that classified order which is 
maintained in authoritative Sanskrit Grammars. 

<5RTfFt3 Adverbial Compounds. I. In the following 
examples, ^13 words do not occur as in Sanskrit, but the 
compound forms indicate the sense of the 
*PTf*T () indicating ^ft^l *ffa $*], ^5 ^^ 

, etc. ; (4) I3R TOMr, f*lff*lf , etc. ; (r) 
, TO tffa, 11 ttfsr, etc. The following examples may 
be contrasted which are not compound forms, viz, 
(quickly), t^TTS F^T5 (by excessive walking), 

(in the course of growth) sfon C*F\, ^1 
(just on falling) ^>(^cn f^R, etc. ; in these 
cases, infinitives being doubled, the sense of repetition 
has been expressed, but the words do not form Samasa 
compounds, (fl) The following examples indicating "the 
whole of " are closer in relation with <5ftjf^fa forms than 


with others : srfrjre srft, <Tt5?1<rc^ ^larfa, *KFf *K, etc. (?) 
Where to indicate t^FS (up to) ' ^\' occurs in Sanskrit, as 
in 'STt^, <5rfa etc., only the doubling of the word takes 
place in Bengali ; e.g., c 5fTft sfsrft ' ^tt^fl, ' TfatS ^fafa ' ^Tl, 
etc., <& C^fol CTfa, ^tlT?, 1n>fV ^4t may be compared 
with these forms, as indicating the sense of ^Rjft^t^ I 

^*(?R Determinative 2. If the examples grouped 
under the following sub-heading (1) be regarded as I 
suggest, as of ^,*j^ class (being Determinative, or rather 
Dependent) wherein the nominative case predominates, we 
may hold that we have <<s*jlR with vengeance in Bengali. 
I may then classify the ^*(?R forms as ^| <5jsffr, <p? <2f*Tfa 
and so forth, looking to the sense which the forms convey. 

(1) The ^'J^ of nominative prominence, or "^fl 
<2f*ffa \5<s*J^ : For this entirely new class of Bengali 
compounds, my examples are, ffl^rt^tlj ^t^t^Sl, etc. We 
have to note that such Sanskrit forms as fcsrfa3, ^ffclJ, 
etc., are construed as vp\ift1 ^5^*J^R ; the form ^ftTffl may 
be construed as ^<H2frfa W^R, but ^M^t^tl cannot be 
so construed ; we have also to notice that the forms of my 
example cannot be classed under 4&3lf3>, for, in ^ftff forms 
a person or thing must be indicated irrespective of the 
meaning of the component parts. This is why I have 
suggested this new nomenclature for a class of compound 
words. Mine is a suggestion merely, and not an authorita- 
tive statement. Compare all the compound forms occurring 
in the sentence 'STfTfr lFK*fC$ C^T-sjf^ sflSTfr ^ ^1^1 
^t^fN^tft* 1t^-C5tt1 ttf-Tfal ^TJT W?ft ?ffi-*rN ; the 
1st is ^Jlf^, the 2nd is ^pw of 4th class, the 3rd is qt| 
^*l?W, the 4th is ffo1 <S^n, the 5th is ift ^^^ ; and 
so now the character of ffffl-^Tt^tl may be appreciated. 

(2) ^<2tTfa ^^R (object-indicating) : ^^ 
(as a tiger), ^ ^Tfr, ^^ <Hrt (as a f*\ or machine), 
(as in ft <f?1 f^l), etc., are examples. 


(3) ^l-t2t*ffa or agency-indicating : 

CWl, i^-^5f-f>f& (signifying ^| or less by one) ; at times 
' 4 ' is added to the final letter of the first part of the com- 
pound as ^$fmfll-5ifcl (*Tl*Tl-5tfcl is another form), 
CfC^ <e?rl (also Cf^-^^l), etc. In ^\W$ C^fTl, the final letter 
does not take an ' (*) ' \ 

(4) Purpose-indicating or ^w ^t5<F : C^-^f^ (cloth 
worn for besmearing the person with oil), tJ-SfW (for fl, i.e., 
trousers), JHrt-^fal (wailing befitting the occasion of death 
in the family), ^*rV3t^t (house intended for dwelling), etc. 

(5) 'SfttTfa-^^, to signify ' away from ': fffi-^N 
(straying away from the nock or herd), ^(^-^51 (different 
from what is usual), ^-' 9 ttTfa C^1 (a run-away boy), 
It^-^Tl ( *ftCt^ C^^ ) fl, etc. 

(6) Relation-indicating or >f^ ^t5^ : ^ ^ (the 
word ^ does not affect the character of the compound in 
Bengali), fTOHfpft, TpHFfat*, ^-C^fl, etc. 

(7) Locative or ^t? ^t*^ ^t5^ : tt^-'fW (npened on 
the tree), (T^I-^Tl Clt^ (*.*., C^Wt^f full p in the boat), 
^ CTW, etc. 

^5ft^?( Descriptive 8. (1) TrtWlfr, ^fTC^5l (an 
inauspicious owl) ; (2) $t5l *tfFl (ripe and unripe), 
^tsrl q%\ ; ^3) frf N -ffI (black like f^ff or black tooth powder, 
here the final t of ftf*f has been dropped), C^C1^f^i, ^t5- 
C*ttn (looking like glass), (Tft^-^ (a lentil, like gold in 
colour), etc. 

f^ Numeral compounds 4. 'tfF-^tf^ (as a cloth), 
C5-^tf5, Sj-f*td? (lit. having two sides), <& CFl^l (as a 
judgment, disclosing partiality). 

^^ftf^ Possessive compounds 5. Tl-^1, ftf^C^Tl 
(long-faced), t|^1 C^t^tj ^tt*t ^fl (one who does nothing), 

^Copulative 6. srt^^-^, <?Pf-$tl1, 
*f, etc. 


Duplicated Words. The words which are duplicated on 
accoinl of emphasis, to indicate repetition, or to express 
the idea of excessiveness, should be noticed and classified 
here, to distinguish them from the Sarrasa compounds. 
I need hardly remind you that according to the ^5 
rule and by the rule of the 't^iSfxaH, words are duplicated 
in Sanskrit to indicate repetition or excess. I refer you 
to the whole section of the Siddhanta Kaumudi entitled 
Dvirukta Prakaranam which begins with the rule i^w, 
wherein reduplication of various sorts has been illustrated. 

1. (a) The adverbs <7ftrftfa (q uite direct), ffftftfr 
(close by the side), arWTtf% (right through the middle), 
etc. (indicating ' very much '), and tfTTtf5, ^t^j ^Ht^tf^ 
etc., (indicating ' repetition '), may be classed under one 
head. Such adverbs as CTt^f!? from CTtT? (total ; taking the 
whole roughly into consideration) and C^tt^^f^ from C^fP5l 
(beginning from the very beginning) come also under 
this head, as the idea involved in the words is that (3$ or 
C>fT5l is taken repeatedly or much into- consideration. The 
vowel changes in this class of duplication must be noted. 

(b) ^tl>1^tfi>, TWTtfr, l1$>Rl, ^tetf^> etc., fall also 
under this head as a sub-class, as a slightly-differing sense 
of reciprocity in fight is indicated by them. ^Tf^lR (tete-a 
fete), C5l*tl CFffa (each seeing the other), C*t*TtWtf*I (the 
act of embracing), etc., are also of this class. 

2. Though the idea " very much " is in the following 
words, they differ from the first class in meaning as well 
as in form; the words are duplicated without undergoing 
any change. Thinking too much of, or having anxious 
solicitude for, or making too much of, will be found to 
be the idea involved in ^ffis ^tf?, *TtWl fW, a d 

l, in the following sentences, ^tTt^ 3 R1 


3. When duplication takes place to indicate ' almost 
like,' or ' similar to/ no change of vowel takes place. 
The forms ^ftl ^Ifl, [* *S1, ft1 ft!, 1ft$ Hft$, etc., 
are examples. 

4. In the class of duplication noticed below, there is 
this special peculiarity, that in the process of duplication, 
the original word without being repeated, is conjoined to a 
synonym of it. Agglutination of two seemingly different 
words, should not mislead us to consider the word as a 
Samasa compound. The adverbs ^IWFSf, CC<lfbM!, 
C*K1^t^, ^Cl^c^l, Cft^lt^, etc., are fitting examples. The 
noun forms ^^tf^> C^ft^^, (TTt^ff 5 !, Tt*fl^> 'MtT5^> etc., 
are also similarly duplicated. Some duplicated words of this 
class, may elude detection of their character, as in either 
the first or the last augmented portion, some obsolete or 
unfamiliar words appear. I give a few examples. In 
the word < 5rft*f*tft*f, the first portion is the Vedic word 
^Tt*Ti, which has the same meaning as fft of Bengali ; 
the adverb R*^*! and the noun form (B*tf*ft?\ may also 
be considered ; the word f*M1 is a Dravidian word for 
child, and the word ?j^Tl meant walking in old Bengali, 
and in that sense the word is still in use in Oria ; in 
the word *[t& C^fcS, the last portion c*fc$ or *ft1 comes 
very likely from Hindi tf^l (?/' *fF1 C*ff^ ftw\, no trace 
is obtained) ; the word *ftf% in Tff Itfs ^fwl C^$, 
seems to be also of the same origin. Let me adduce a 
few examples to show, that a word of foreign origin or 
of classical origin, though really a synonym of a word, 
is used either as an adjective or an adverb to its synonym, 
because the real import of the foreign or classical word 
is lost sight of, or is imperfectly understood ; the word 
5fi is a corruption or <*fgvt of Pali ftfa (Sanskrit ^fa) ; 
this ^"tevt form is found retained in the phrase >fty& 

. The word or stem ^ is of Kolarian origin, and 


it signifies walking ; it is this ^ which we meet with in 
our ^^ ^frsl C5t1. These words should not be 
confused with the words of onomatopoetie origin. In 
*ttf*K*tt3ffrj the second Persian word is a synonym of the 
first. I have heard school boys saying ^t^t"l ^5 clear 
*tfwfa 5&K& ; as a translation of police investigation we 
at times meet with 15fTfat^ ^RPT^tt^ in our Bengali 
newspapers. Whatever that may be,*let me add a few 
more examples as may fall under this class. They are : 


5. Almost connected with the fourth class is the 
class I now describe. To give special emphasis to an 
idea, two words are so joined together, as the second por- 
tions may indicate the consequence or completion of the 
action, indicated by the first portions of the compounds. 
A few examples are : ! 5It1 TtWl, ^*H> *tt1I>, 

= to see), 

6. Such duplications as sjft^ ^f^ } t^ 6 ! fft c 1 should 
perhaps be classed separately, as they indicate anyhow 
saving or protecting srpff (honour) and ffl (life). 

7. It is difficult to say whether the second portions 
of the following compounds are meaningless additions, or 
that they once had some significance, and as such should be 
grouped under the fifth class. The words are: ^1%W Tff^C3, 
3jr? C5C5, ^t*P5 CFfT?- If the last named example is the 
representative of the 5Tff\5 idiom W^-f^JS, <5t*F? may 
be easily explained. 

8. To indicate etcetera or ' the like,' the words are 
generally duplicated with the loss of the initial letters and 
by the substitution of t> for the initial letters, ^t^ ^^ 
<5fa %F5, Tte t>tf are very familiar examples. When 


disgust is sought to be expressed, the initial letter of the 
duplicated portion is usually changed into *p, as <ii 

^t^ fa ? etc. It is to be noticed, that in some cases, 
duplication is made not with the l> initial but with some 
other letters. &tS *Tft% ?t*R C*t*R, il^ *Wl, etc. 
are examples; it is rather difficult to enunciate any 
general rule for these irregular forms. It may be, that 
in the cases of these exceptions, the augmented portions 
are but representatives of some obsolete words, and if 
so, must be grouped under class four. As in [w! * 5 ftl the 
augmented portion is a contracted form of ^T^1, so there 
may be many augmented forms, the meaning of which 
may be traced. 

9. Such onomatopoetic words as ^>5 , *fv, fT>, *?& are 
generally duplicated in their use. It is worth noting 
here, that many words simulate onomatopoetic origin, 
though they are really but ^*t^?*t forms ; sf3*R3 is from SRsf 
(white) or from C*Tfa1 (washed clean), fsj*rfot*f is from fsff*f 
(black tooth powder), ffefflj is from Sanskrit *^, f^<I 
is from Sanskrit *Tj^, ^^ i g from ^1% (much). A 
special class of onomatopoetic words as &\g^ &5^ ^ ^*(, 
^ ^T6, etc. is of special interest in the Prakrta dialects 
in olden times the use of such words as well as of 
Desi words of all sorts was prohibited by the Sanskrit 
Grammarians because of their vulgar origin. This is 
exactly why they are of importance in a history of lan- 
guage. I reproduce in Appendix I. my paper on onomato- 
poetic words which was published in the Journal of the 
Royal Asiatic Society in 1905. 



(Reprinted from J.R.A.S. 1905.) 

There can be no doubt, that onomatopO3ia and inter- 
jeetional cries played a great part in the formation of our 
languages. It is (.rue that the ' Bow-wow ' theory alone 
is insufficient to trace the origin of all words; and it is 
not true, what Professor NoirS would have us believe, 
that all roots can be traced to some interjectional cries 
of primitive men. But it is true that a carefully insti- 
tuted philological analysis can disclose the influence of 
onomatopoeia and interjectional cries in the formation 
of a very large number of Vedic and Laukika roots. 

When by strict, rigid, and thorough-going rules of 
grammar, an artificial check was placed upon the growth 
of the Sanskrit language, new words could not be coined 
except by the fixed rules of grammar, from the definitely 
established list of roots. How jealously the purity of 
the literary language was being guarded in the second 
century B.C., can be known from the Mahabhasya of 
Patanjali. It has been declared sinful in that book, to 
use words, other than what are strictly Vedic and 

In the Sanskrit works which have been, with consider- 
able certainty, fixed to a time previous to the second 
century B.C., no other words than Vedic and Laukika 
(in the strictest Panini sense) can be met with. Since 
the Mahabharata abounds in words not strictly Laukika, 


may we not venture to say that this is evidence, so far 
as it goes, that the building up of the poem did not com- 
mence till at least a century later than the time of the 
Mahabhasya ? Such an orthodox work as the Maha- 
bharata came eventually to be, could not have departed 
from the much respected orthodox rules, if time had not 
then made the rules almost obsolete. What is true of 
the Mahabharata, is true also in respect of the Ramayana, 
as we now have it. To my humble thinking, the latter 
shows signs of lateness to a great extent. 

Of words formed by imitating natural sounds and un- 
derivable from the fixed stock of Sanskrit roots, kolahala, 
kilikila and the like are only found in the eighteen lengthy 
Parvas of the Mahabharata. Halahala, Gadgada and 
Humbha (lowing of the cow) are found used in the 
Ramayana ; in the :2-Srd Chapter of the Aranyakanrja, 
we find exact sounds of birds used as Sanskrit words. 
" Chlchlkuchitl vasyanto babhubustatra sarika," would 
have defiled the purity of language in the second century 
B.C. This very " chlchlku " we find also in the Hari- 
vamsa. These words, as well as the words Khat-khat, 
Than -Than, Jhau-Jhan, and RaUarayaka of still later 
literature, have been called Desi wonte (words of Provincial 
origin) by Hemchandra. It is known to all that Hem- 
chandra's Desi Namamala contains such words as were 
considered not to have been derived from Sanskrit roots. 
It is true that Hemchandra has declared such a few 
words to be Desi, as are really apabhransa words, but 
I must also note that some ingenious attempts have been 
made at a forced affiliation of many real Desi words to 
some recognised roots ; I do not however consider it 
worth while to offer any criticism on this point. 

When literature grew, the writers felt the want of 
words, and were forced to borrow many words from the 


Prakrtas. To commence with, it was only sparingly done 
but when once it was tolerated and approved, the writers 
introduced the Prakrta words very largely. This infer- 
ence receives full corroboration, from the languages of the 
old inscriptions which have now been chronologically 
arranged in many books. 

The Desi words of onomatopoetie origin, such as 
Jhankara, maijnwja, Pat-pat, and the like, are nowhere 
found in the works of Kalidasa and Bharavi.* It might 
be plausibly argued, that the use of such words in digni- 
fied Kavyas was studiously avoided by the poets. But 
it is worthy of note, that Kalidasa has not used these 
words even in the Prakrta dialogues in his drama, while 
Mrcchakatika and Ratnavali abound with such expressions. 
It is also not true, that the use of " Gharghara " for 
Nirghosa and ' Jhankara ' for Aliruta lessen the dig- 
nity of the language. These words have been profitably 
used, to heighten the effect of grand descriptions, by 
Bhavabhuti in his Uttara-carita and Malatfmadliava. 

The poet Subaudlm flourished towards the end of the 
sixth century, say about a century after the death of 
Kalidasa. We find the use of a small number of ouoma- 
topoetic words in his Vasavadatta as nouns only. Three 
or four such words of this class as are found in Maha- 
bharata and Ramayana are also found used as nouns, -as 
I have already shown. This is the sort of use made of 
them (though very sparsely) in the Paficatantra. Kola- 
hala is the only word I have met with in the existing 
Paficatantra, even though this is not exactly the book 
which was written in the fifth century. 

* It should be noted that the word Marmara (and not Madmada) 
is derived from the root Mr, and as such cannot be treated as a word 
of onomatopoetie origin. 


In the writings of Banabhatta, Bhavabhuti, and 
Sudraka, these words have been very freely and largely 
used. Verbs also were made of them, and expressions 
like Khat-khatayate, Phurphurayati, and Madmadaisma 
are found frequently. The use of these words as verbs 
commenced only in the seventh century, so far I have 
been able to ascertain. From the seventh century onward, 
there is scarcely any Sanskrit composition, wherein these 
DesT words of onomatopoetic origin are not found. 

I should like what I have asserted to be tested by 
reference to the books, the dates of which have been fairly 
established. If the use of this particular class of DesI 
words grew in the manner indicated in this paper, the 
words will have a special value in determining the chrono- 
logy of some old books. 




i if% c^t^t 



*l <rft ^froi, 'tiprtcfr 1 cw* irf% -rft, 

ff 1 5fl 


' *Pl ftf *f ; 



f , 


""*t*ii C<R " ^ " ^ " ^n 

rt i itvtni^ *nr 
?f9i c^!, 'Stfl rl 

4 fr^n ^trf^i ^Tt^w <^ f^^i ^ ^ } ^rtfir 

f^i^ ^3f^f^ 
CT, $59 fa* 



tiHTOnr tffoi ^Ffri ^farai JICT ^ i ^ 
5% stst* ft* 'srftt* rs:^ *faf*i c* 


^ i 




'I I 




, <2f -f tU^r* i2! ; ff% ^CT 





; 1, *, 

it i 

' "f ' 

, ^sw ' "f ' 

^t * r } 

fnr I 

5 ^8 ^ ^Cf^ fe55t^1 <Sfft 
I 5 ^tTtt|?T 5 ^S f ^S 5ft? 



x ) + ^ 

t^Ttf? I 


f?r 5, 


*rtt c*, T 


f^nrt ig^itf ca^i 

APPENDIX ii 153 

I <**t *N> fa ytl ( 

spire: ssc^ws: (f, 

' ^ ' tor 
nrl TO CT, 


Ttar i 


(idiomatic use) 

" 4^ " i ^^"fe " 
j f^^ rtCT dfcstfi i 

i fsi; + ^55 5t^^s itf'i ^sftts, 

^ I 


Analogy ff5 

^rfes ^ ^f^ii wrt^ Jiara fwfa 

f^* 5 ! *(\ I f^ 



ChhSndasa, i.e., the Vedic language of old, has been 
spoken of in these lectures, by implication generally, as 
the source-head from which the Indian Aryan speeches of 
all times and of all provinces have evolved. I am aware, 
some noted European names are associated with theories, 
which run counter to this proposition or assumption ; but 
as those theories rest wholly upon the authority of noted 
names, and not on facts which can be handled and dis- 
cussed, no one can possibly combat them : facts, I have 
adduced before, I adduce presently in this lecture, and 
I shall have to adduce in subsequent lectures, should all be 
considered together, to test the correctness of my proposi- 
tion. I have stated in some detail, of the influence of the 
speakers of non- Aryan tongues, to explain various devia- 
tions from the norm ; I shall try to show in this, as well 
as in another subsequent lecture, how in a prakrta or 
natural way, many Prakrtas or provincial vernaculars 
arose from Chhandasa, and how the ever-progressing 
Prakrita speeches went on modifying and being in turn 
modified by the literary language of curious genesis, which 
has come to be designated q,s Sanskrit. It will be seen, 
how failing to notice the influence of a mixed people, 
in the matter of formation of the Prakrta speeches, and 
how failing to observe the influence, which could not but 
be exercised by the living vernaculars, upon an artificially 
set-up literary language, some philologists (Dr. C. C. 
Ullenbeck, whose words I presently quote, is one of them) 
have asserted that " the Sanskrit dialect of middle countrv 


descends from some other old Indian dialects than the 
dialect met with in the Vedas." As to this part of our 
proposition, that the growth of various Prakrtas has been 
partly due to diverse ethnic influences, a good deal has 
already been said, and something more will have to be 
said later on ; I may however notice here, what Mr. 
A. H. Keane has observed, regarding the cause of wide 
diversity existing among the speeches of various groups of 
Aryan origin (both Asiatic and European), after consider- 
ing all the groups on a comparative table at p. 412 of his 
Ethnology. His words are : " The profound disintegration 
which is shown in this table and which is immeasurably 
greater than in the Semitic family, is mainly due to the 
spread of Aryan speech amongst non- Aryan peoples by 
whom its phonetic system and grammatical structure were 
diversely modified." That for the very reason, the | 
Chhandasa speech in its turn, has transformed itself into i 
various dialects in different provinces of Northern India, 
is what has all along been emphasized. 

As in all sober and serious investigations into the 
causes of phenomena, we have to determine the natural 
causes and not their supernatural seemings, we have to 
push on in the matter of our enquiry an intensive study 
of actual facts, and should not seek to explain things by 
what might have dropped from the skies by importing 
some imaginary patois-speaking hordes from elsewhere. 
If even the explanation, we offer, prove inadequate, there 
will not be any justification in setting up the figments of 
our imagination in the name of theories, to solve our 

We have to first direct our attention to the character 
of the language of the Vedas, called Chhandasa. I use the 
word Veda in a very restricted sense here ; in this restrict- 
ed sense the word Veda, indicates the mantra literature, 


preserved in the four Samhitas, viz., the Saman, the 
Rk, the Atharvan, and the Yajur. The very term 
Samhita clearly signifies, that Mie Mantras or hymns and 
prayers as were extant (no matter whether in writing or 
in the memory of some priestly families) at the date of 
the compilation, were compiled either exhaustively or by 
making a selection of them in the books named above. 
We can very unmistakably see, from the arrangement of 
the contents of the Samhitas, and from what has been said 
of the Vedas in the old time works relating to them, that 
different ritual purposes led to the compilation of different 

It is to be noted however, on the one hand, that the 
old orthodox works from which the purpose of compiling 
the Vedic mantras can be gathered, show by their sug- 
gestions and discussion regarding the Vedie vocabulary 
and the Vedic Grammar, that at the date of the compilation 
of the Samhitas, the mantras of varying times (i.e., both 
old and new) were old and archaic enough to the com- 
pilers ; on the other hand, we have to notice, that though 
many mantras are much removed in time fro'm one another, 
the language of the Vedic Samhitas may be declared to be 
one and the same. What Whitney has said by comparing 
the oldest and the latest linguistic forms occurring in the 
Vedas, may be profitably quoted here, in support of the 
latter statement ; the scholar writes in his well-known 
Sanskrit Grammar, that " the language of the ^sf^t^ff 
though distinctly less antique than that of the Rigveda, is 
nevertheless truly Vedic. The students should do well to 
study Professor Macdonnell's excellent work on the Vedic 
Grammar to learn aright the character of the Chhandasa 
speech, and to see clearly how the language even of the oldest 
Brahmana literature differs from the Vedic. I can there- 
fore say, that since the compilers of the Vedas got 

LECTURE x 159 

together the then extant hymns and prayers, no matter 
whether they had been composed at a very early date or 
at a comparatively recent time, it cannot be asserted with 
any degree of propriety, that any portion of the contents 
of a Samhita, is a later addition or interpolation in that 
Samhita. The language of the mantras, new or old, was 
old to the compilers, and lateness in the matter of com- 
position, did not or rather could not detract from the 
religious merit of any mantra. The western scholars, I 
have stated before, have set forth distinctly, what elements 
are old and what are new in the Vedic language. The 
contents of the Vedic Samhitas may now be arranged in a 
rough chronological order on the basis of linguistic evidence. 
The light furnished by this research, enables us to make 
this important discovery, that even in the earliest known 
times, the Aryans of India spoke various dialects of one 
common speech, and that the mantras were composed in a 
standard central language, which as a literary language 
dominated all the provincial dialects, and at times helped 
the fusion of those dialects. I use the word ' literary ' very 
advisedly, and propose to explain the significance of it 
later on. The facts which warrant us in arriving at this 
conclusion, that even the earliest Vedic mantras point to 
the currency of many dialects in ancient India, cannot be very 
fully and fitly discussed here, but as we have to build a 
good deal on the basis of this proposition, some examples 
should be adduced to prove its soundness. As of the 
essential factors which determine a language, the pronouns 
have a high value, let me put forward here very briefly, the 
evidence which the personal pronouns tender in this 

Prof. A. A. Macdonell has observed with his usual 
scholarly acuteness in his monumental work on the Vedic 
Grammar, that the personal pronouns seem to be derived 


from several roots or combinations of roots, as they are 
specially anomalous in inflexion. An analysis of the 
pronouns will perhaps justify us in striking' a less uncertain 

<5f^ (^spsfff) and . ^ ('3^0 are accepted by all the 
old grammarians as the basic words for the pronouns of the 
1st and 2nd person respectively. I need hardly point out, 
that the very <5ffl and ^f x occur in many formations in 
the declension of pronouns of the 1st and 2nd person respec- 
tively. It has to be noted that the personal pronouns in 
the nominative case take ^^ like a suffix (cf. ^ + <5R = 
^3R and also the ^ endings in dual and plural), and this 
<5f*j in like manner occurs in the Nominative Singular of 
the Demonstrative '^HW and the Reflexive ^$?. I do 
not feel inclined to accept the suggestion that this 
case-differentiating ^pf came from the Dravidians who affix 
*5W to nouns of all classes, though the close proximity of 
the Dravidians to the Aryans of the earliest time cannot 
be very reasonably denied. That f*J v and ^\ are reducible 
to <5is and ^| in Sanskrit, need not be stated. That the 
Yisarjaniya of ^l develops the simple aspirate of ^ in pro- 
nunciation, is also very clear. We can see, that denuded 
of the appendage ^, ^1 stands as ^ x . We may 
note in passing that this ^ corresponds with Ich of 
German, I of English, lo of Italian, or rather Ego of Latin 

* I have nothing to do with the theory of Aryan migration, nor with 
the hypothetical parent tongue of the so-called Indo-Germans, as I 
have to study the speeches as actually developed on Indian soil. The 
unscientific theory of the philologists who may be said to be represented 
by Brugmann, regarding the imaginary old pronouns of a supposed old 
language, may be left out of consideration, as we are concerned here 
with the forms of which actual evidence may be collected. The Dodo 
birds of nasal sonants of an unknowable people may be allowed to 
remain in the fancy museum of the philologists, for we have to deal with 
the actual fossils as may be found imbedded here in India. 


and Egon of Greek. ^ however, does not appear to have 
been the only form in the Nom. Singular ; a pronoun either 
of simple 1 basis or in the form of a ft is strongly sup- 
posed to have been a form, in use in a dialect when ^ s was 
current in another dialect, for in the first place afsf is found 
agglutinated with the Parasmaipadi verbs in the first 
person singular, and in the second place the singular 
forms 5(1, srft (fl + ^sf), 1*1, 1?, CT, and Ufa point 
to a simple sj base with which etymologically they must 
be connected. That no sf can be traced either to <5j^ or 
W\ is pretty clear. Moreover such a Vedic form as Tf^ 
(like me, cf. ^t^J like you) shows that s(1 was treated as 
a stem, i.e., a word unchanged in form in the process of 
declension. While considering the early fossils of the 
pronouns of the 1st person, we have to notice that besides 
vj>, ^ is a form of the pronoun of the 2nd person, though 
the latter form occurs only in dual and plural. 

For further fossils let us analyze the interesting dual 
forms of the personal pronouns. In the language of the 
early Samhitas, we get ^ as the dual form of <5ffi and this 
very ^ is the accusative dual of ^ or ^ . The form 
'STftl^ is a very late form, occurring not earlier than the time 
of the <^stfra gW, while the *fs*W gt^l gives perhaps 
the earlier form **fr\ . We know that <ffi occurs as a 
plural form of the personal pronoun of the 2nd person and 
5ffl as a plural form of the personal pronoun of the 1st 
person. The dual ^ff appears pretty distinctly as the 
combination of ^ + '5[ + : 5ffi to signify ' you and I' together. 
Perhaps to avoid confusion, ^ of ^ was further prefixed 
to Tt^ to signify the 1st person, while additional ^was 
prefixed to signify the second person in creating the forms 
<5Tfrt^ and ^fty. In the plural form W[, we only notice 
the lengthening of the penultimate vowel sound with a 
stress to denote plurality as if by the primitive case-denoting 


gesture or modulation of voice. This ^ or rather ^} 
and 3?Pl no doubt occur as plural forms only here in India 
as well as in other Aryan speeches elsewhere; but we find 
in India Cft as a dual and ^ in conjunction with <5[ of ^ 
in some dual formations. As &ft can be detected as a com- 
paratively later time formation, I am strongly inclined to 
suppose by looking to the use of ^ and ^ in the Vedic 
language, that Vffi of the 1st person and ^ of the 2nd, were 
such very early forms in an Aryan dialect as denoted all 
numbers and cases alike, and their various significations 
could only be gathered from such accents of the speakers as 
are allied to primitive case and number-denoting gestures. 
In this connection I just refer to the personal pronoun of 
the 1st person in use in Dravidian tongues which has only 
seemingly the ' 5? ' stem. I refer to this fact to show that 
there is no connection or affinity of Aryan ^ with the 
Dravidian ^ ; I should point out that 3\ of Tamil and 
(( of Telegu (as in (&% or (7^ ) which signify ' I/ are 
based not on ^, but on % as the early Dravidian forms 

We thus see, that pf, ^ and a pronoun of sf stem for 
the pronouns of the 1st person, and ^, ^j, and ^ for the 
pronouns of the 2nd person were once in use in pre- Vedic 
days. The remarks of Joseph Wright as recorded in his 
Comparative Grammar of the Greek language, are no doubt 
correct that many forms of one single pronoun may come 
into existence in one and the same dialect, and that by 
virtue of different sort of accent on different forms of a 
pronoun, one form may represent one case and another, the 
other ; but when altogether different forms occur, it is 
reasonable to hold, that they come from different dialects, 
since looking to the history of different languages and to 
human psychology, we have to admit that to express a 
common or familiar or oft-occurring idea, more than one 

LECTURE x ies 

word does not become current in a dialect. Ethnology 
discovers to us that the Aryans were not a homogeneous 
people, but as forming a culture group, they were composed 
of various ethnic elements ; I think what we have discussed 
confirms the proposition of Ethnology. 

Just another fact regarding the lost forms of pronouns. 
I have spoken of the verbal suffix f*[ as a fossil of a personal 
pronoun of the Jst person ; let us now inquire into the 
origin of ft of the second person as in ^rsdfr, and of f^s 
of the 3rd person as in ^^t^- As for f we can trace 
the origin to \sW stem which is virtually but a simple ^5, 
for excepting in the Nominative Singular the stem 1> does 
not lose its identity. Adverting to the cases of ft and f, it 
may be naturally supposed, that f^ of the '2nd Person Sing, 
was not an arbitrary symbol at starting, but that ft must 
have been originally connected with a stem of the personal 
pronoun of the second person. I am not competent to say 
if the German form " sich " lends some support to this 
view. Referring to the history of some Greek suffixes, 
Joseph Wright has rightly remarked, that though little is 
known of the origin of numerous suffixes, it may be 
reasonably supposed that those suffixes had originally an 
independent meaning and that in some cases they were 
independent words. A word of caution, how r ever is needed 
here : some symbols or endings to denote case, or number, 
or person, as simple ^ or ^ or ci for instance may be 
reasonably supposed to have originated from primitive 
gestures and modulations of voice, and not from words 
conveying independent meaning. I may add that the 
Dravidian pronouns <sr, ^, 4 and ^ as well as the Aryan 
sf of *5(J\ and ^ of ^ might have originated from mere 
gestures accompanying sounds in primitive days. 

We have not discussed words and forms of various 
classes, but all the same our brief discussion leads us to 


hold, that long before the dissemination or dispersion of 
Aryan speech or speeches in Europe, the Aryans developed 
a central dominating language, amid a good number of 
dialects of theirs. This dominating language seems to 
have attained such a perfection in the dim past, as charac- 
terizes a literary language, even though lettera or art 
of writing did not come into existence. I just cite two 
examples, in addition to what has already been stated, 
to explain what I mean by the literary character of the 
pre-Vedic language. Such natural lispings or utterances 
of children, as have been the roots of words for father 
and mother in many languages of the world, as Ba, Abba, 
Pa, Amma, Ma, etc., are found in well shaped forms in all 
Aryan speeches, and the forms f*F5^ and srfl>? framed 
by a generalized grammatical rule, are found grouped 
with other relation-indicating words, such as ^s\, and 
fi^53. For the next example, I refer to the tense system ; 
on the evidence of tense system of old Greek as agreeing 
with those of Vedic, we may hold that the pre-Vedic 
language attained a high literary character. 

I have thrown out suggestions, as to what was in all 
probability, the position and character of the Aryan language 
in pre-Vedic days. It goes however without saying that 
the Chhandasa language as disclosed by the early Vedic 
Samhitas, is a very rich and well-developed literary speech. 
It has to be borne in mind, in this connection, that inspite 
of the unifying influence of a central literary language, 
the provincial dialects do not all necessarily die out, and 
they may at times continue to live with full vigour, getting 
fresh lease of life under some changed conditions. That 
the Vedic language became in course of time purely hieratic, 
because of the sacredness of the mantras, and was not, or 
rather could not therefore be allowed to be changed with 
the changing conditions of time, can be well established 


by the evidence of the Vedic Grammarians. Every lan- 
guage is bound to be transformed into a new and a newer 
form with the progress of time, but if for any reason 
any particular class of a people seek to keep the 
obsolescent speech intact, the old speech becomes the 
special property of the particular class, and ceases to be 
the language of the people. Moreover, when a people 
loses its homogeneity, or when class differences occur 
because of cultural difference, and as a compensating measure 
a wide mass education through the standard literary 
language is not adopted, provincial dialects grow with 
great vigour, and no class, howsoever influential, can keep 
the literary speech alive. We notice a gap between the 
language of the Vedas, and that of the Brahmanas, and 
a wider gap between the language of the Brahmanas and 
the language which may very fitly be designated as 
Sanskrta, to signify its character as dressed up, polished 
or perfected. That these gaps have to be explained by 
circumstances broadly indicated above, will be discussed 

Our discussion will no doubt be extremely brief for 
the subject ; but all the same we have to take all the 
salient points into consideration step by step. First of 
all we have to notice, that Chbandasa discloses the character- 
istics of a living language. That the artificial rigid rules 
of Sandhi or euphonic combination were not in force in 
Chhandasa, and that a regular and thoroughgoing accent- 
system existed in the speech, have been shown in some 
previous lectures. That we are required to read Sanskrit 
verses (which are wholly quantitative) by raising or lower- 
ing our voice according to the unalterably fixed vowel 
sounds as long or short, and not according to word accent 
or phrasal accent, has also been noticed before, to show 
the artificiality of Sanskrit, from accent point of view. 



As it is impossible for a real human speech to be without 
an accent system of its own, so is it that a living speech 
must undergo to some extent, what is called phonetic decay. 
I proceed to show that the phenomenon of phonetic decay, 
which can be fitly translated in our Vernacular by the 
term * Apabhransa, is distinctly noticeable in Chhandasa. 
Shades of Prakrta grammarians ! What a heterodoxy 
it is to notice apabhransa in the holy speech of the 
Risis ! 

Before giving some examples of loss of letters in the 
Vedic words, we may remark that during the Vedic days 
(specially the later Vedic days) the speakers did not very 
much tolerate initial conjunct mutes ; that in the Dravi- 
dian language Tamil, such a thing is not tolerated as a rule 
has been distinctly stated in a previous lecture. The 
examples of loss of vowels and of change of sounds 
cannot be taken up for discussion, as that task in- 
volves detailed exposition of the Vedic morphology. I 
have already spoken of the reduction of many dentals into 
cerebrals and of the growth of such forms as f^T> from 
f%^5 and tSfal?* from cf{^. I give here below, first some 
examples of loss of consonants, and then some examples 
relating to general phonetic decay, as the history 
of the forms for numerals indicates. (1) We get 

* Apabhransa, in its proposed use requires an explanation. Very 
arbitrarily, this term which literally means decay or rather phonetic- 
decay, has been made to denote a class of Prakrfca speech of no definitely 
distinctive character. As all the Prakrta dialects grew by varying 
from the norm (no matter what that norm is), and as no standard 
Prakrta can really be set up without resorting to an artificial and 
unscientific method, the term Apabhrania cannot be misused to designate 
a particular class of Prukrta speech. We cannot forget that all our 
provincial vernaculars have always been called Prakrta by the Hindu 
scholars. Consequently the word Apabhransu may be fitly used in 
its literal sense to indicate phonetic decay. 


Kambhana for Skambhana in many passages in the 
Rgveda, though Skambhana is not extinct ; (2) Scandra 
(brilliant) occurs no doubt in many passages, but 
candra (brilliant) is generally met with ; the word candramas 
derived from it, is the only form to signify moon ; (3) 
and (4) along with ?&tfw$ , (from ^( thunder) and *$\\ 
(thief from stena) we get tanayitnu and tayu ; (5) we 
get the earlier form str as well as the later form tr for 
star ; the feminine form 3ft (wife, one who shines in the 
house) retains the original stem ; (6) we notice the loss 
of initial consonant in ^jffa (fourth) derived from the 
word 5^. Such examples of decay as have been 
rightly inferred by Prof. Macdonell from the words of 
cognate languages, are purposely left unnoticed in this 

Numerals. In the history of the growth of many 
numeral forms, as discussed hereunder, all such losses will 
be noticed as are characteristic of downright apabhransa 
words of the Prakrta grammarians. In the compound 
cardinals of genuine early formations, we should notice 
that ^ which develops into ^1 in euphonic combination, 
indicates two, while f^ signifies ' twice ' and i$3 : and FS^ 
signify ' three ' and ' four ' respectively, while fa and 
signify ' three times ' and ' four times ' respectively ; 
(two + ten), ajBlttPi (three + ten) and Fj^f (four + ten) 
may be contrasted with the forms analysed below. (1) 
In the formation of the word f^f we get f^ + ff*f; there 
has first been the loss of initial ff, and then we notice that 
to compensate for the loss of Vf of ff*f, a long ?ound comes 
in, which is represented by ^Tfr ; that a nasal naturally 
develops at times in making a sound long, has been fully 
discussed in the 6th Lecture. As to the decade indicating 
f^ which occurs unchanged as final in f^*ff, 3ft, 1$fe etc., 
and in ajchanged form in f^'"^, E^fas*! 1 ?,, and *W*K, some 


remarks will presently follow. I may remark by the way, 
that in the formation of ^t*n% in Pali, the loss of ^THT 
has been made up for by the fH ^- (2) In the formation of 
' ; 5p^f% (<5f! or 'Sfll + fpf + fs) we notice the loss of the second 
and the 3rd syllables, and the penultimate is conjoined 
to the long vowel 5r. (3) In the formation of (7Tf^"f (^ + 
Jf*f) the compensating long Q and the development of 
cerebral sound ^ may be explained by *ff% rules partly. (4) 
The history of decade indicating 'fe' is shrouded in 
mystery. When we compare, for example f^t*ff% with 
Venti of Italian, we may say that the latter form is merely 
a reduced form of the former, but when we take the history 
of 'ty '-ending of twenty, for example, our difficulty increa- 
ses ; the word twenty is derived from twain (old mas- 
culine form of two) shortened form of twegen, + tig; 
the last component tig is from Gothic tigjus = ten. 
Here we see that *ty' represents the number ten ; if 
we suppose that our fa had such a history to become 
naturally a decade indicating suffix, we must admit that 
in the formation of Vedic Compound-Cardinals an addi- 
tional or unnecessary suffix was added. In Vedic Com- 
pound Cardinals Sasti (^\ + f%), Saptati and Navati, 
' multiplication by ten ' is indicated by ' f% ' alone ; if 
these three be really the earliest forms, * f% ' may be 
regarded as a fossil of a word for ten as might have been 
current in one dialect of the Aryan language beside Fff 
of another. 

Though our illustrative examples have been a few 
only, we think we cannot fail to see from the examples of 
some pronominal forms and from the historv of some 
words, that Chhandasa was subject to the processes of 
dialectic regeneration and phonetic decay, processes to 
which all living languages have always been and ever will 
be subject. I mention over again, that by its regular and 


thoroughgoing accent system, Chandasa discloses the 
character of a living speech. 

I have said that we do not know when the Vedic 
Mantras were compiled as Samhitas. We do not also know 
what became the form of the language of the people, when 
the Mantras having been an object of special preserving 
care of the priestly class, a hiyeratic speech had to be neces- 
sarily maintained, as Latin was once maintained in Italy, 
to express religious thoughts with such purity of speech 
as the gods were supposed to demand. That a long time 
intervened between the time when the Vedic language 
was current and the time when a scholastic revival took 
place can be inferred from lots of statements occurring 
in the Brahmanas. The fanciful history we get of the 
Vedic Mantras, the manner in which the Mantras have 
been explained and grammatical and accentual pecu- 
liarities of the Vedic language have been discussed, war- 
rant us in holding that the earliest Brahmana must be 
much removed in time from the latest Vedic Mantta. 
The propositions in the Brahmanic literat ire, that the 
Vedic forms should never be deviated from, and the proper 
accent of the Vedic words, should be carefully studied 
and learnt, very distinctly show, that for religious purposes 
a hiyeratic speech was artificially maintained, on the Vedic 
lines. I am going to adduce many facts in support of 
my position in the course of this lecture, but the facts 
noted above justify us in holding tentatively, that when 
the Samhitas were compiled with the Mantras of varying 
times, the grammarians of the priestly class studied the 
language of the holy works with an astonishing scientific 
accuracy and framed artificial generalized rules to make 
some heterogeneous elements look like one homogeneous 
whole. This is why various shades of meaning of 
many forms merged into a dead unity in the artificial 


language adopted by the priests in writing on the subject 
of the Vedas. 

As to the true nature of successive changes (I pur- 
posely use the word successive and not progressive) noticeable 
in the polished literary speech or speeches from the post- 
Vedic days onward, as differing essentially in character 
from what may be noticed in a living language in its 
course through ages, a deal will have to be stated presently ; 
as a preliminary step, I offer my observations, as to 
why it could be possible for the Brahmana and the cog- 
nate literature produced at different times to present 
essentially one and the same language. It is a familiar 
phenomenon, that even to-day our high class Pandit* 
imitate very closely and wonderfully not only the ancient 
language, but also the style of some ancient works when 
dealing with them, or when writing something new 
after those ancient works. For a disquisition, or disserta- 
tion on the subject of 3\fc> or polity for example, scholars 
of a very late time have been noticed to have adopted 
the form and style of the old time Sutras : such a 
work of a very late time (not earlier than the 6th 
century A.D.) as the ^PTN^H will be found executed 
in the style of and partly in the language of the ancient 

I cannot say when the term laukika as occurs in 
Panini's grammar came into use to designate the hiyeratic 
language of post-Vedic days ; in all likelihood it was long 
after the time of Gautama Buddha, since that sage who 
was undoubtedly a great sist-a person, did not know the 
term as my reference to the Vinaya Pitaka (Cullalvagga 
V. 33. 1) will clearly prove. Two Brahman disciples 
of the veritable ista class who avoided speaking the 
vulgar speech of the time and spoke the speech which was 
then associated with culture and prosperity in life re- 


quested their master that his words or teachings might 
be allowed to be recorded in the language used by the 
cultured Brahmans, ri~., the Chandasa (^ft^Ti '^rfr^'ft't 5 !' 
are the words in the text) and should not be allowed to be 
vulgarized by being recorded in the current speech of the 
people (*T^ft fa^ifslil are the words in the text). The 
celebrated orthodox commentator of the Vinaya text 
rightly interprets the polite language by the Sanskrta 
language of the Fedas, and explains T^f^^f% as sffiTCTt^t^1 
i.e.) the language then current in the Magadha Country. 
The whole of this important text is given in the foot-note 
below for reference.*" 

We have to first notice, that if the polished respectable 
literary language of the time were known by the name 
laukika as distinguished from the obsolete Chhandasa, 
Budha and his learned Brahman disciples were sure to use 
the term laukika, for it was the Classical Laukika of the 
Brahmana literature as distinguished from the real Vedic 
language, which came into vogue in those days as the fit 
vehicle for all serious thought. 

I [Then Buddha says, ......... 

I s ] The commentary has : i^fl, etc.,... 
etc., Tf^t^ fsnpf^l = [ In the ] 

N.B. -It should be noted that though there is mention 
of ordinary 1%^% to have been recruited from various sec- 
tions it has not been said that the teaching were being put 


We have to consider, in the second place, that if the 
hieratic language in which holy thoughts relating to the 
Vedas were being expressed, were regarded as altogether 
different from Chandasa, the literature relating to the 
Vedas, would have much suffered in the estimation of the 
people. The language in question, we must therefore 
hold, was worked out on the Chandasa lines, when 
Chandasa became altogether an obsolete speech ; this is 
why, in spite of very close imitation, this language differs 
from Chandasa in many essential particulars. I proceed 
presently to take note of some of the important characteris- 
tics of this hieratic language. What I specially emphasize 
upon here is that in the days of Gautama Budha there was 
at least in the Magadha country a living vulgar speech, 
called ?(5ft C^t^t* by Buddha Ghosha and there was by 
the side of the dialect (or many other dialects) one literary 
language which still then claimed the name ^t^T- 

It is now agreed, on all hands, on reference to the 
rules for C^fa^ in *ltf*ffa's Grammar, that generally 
speaking the language of the Brahmanas cau be designated 
as laukika. We do not exactly know when the term 
laukika, came into use, but we may infer on reference to 
the import of the term, that when secular literature 
composed in the hieratic language, forced itself to the 
recoguitiou of the orthodox class, the term laukika, a? 
distinguished from Chandasa became the name of the 
fashionable literary language. We do not also know 

in various speeches for, in the first place we get the instru- 
mental singular of ft?pf% and in the second place we 
do not get ( ^^\^t *I^tS' to indicate as usual 'even-body'? 
own ' ; as the commentator gives only 3JW^t^tt<Jl for the 
fa$>fts3 dialect in question, the word T^ft should % be 
carefully judged for its proper significance. 


when the term f\^5 was brought into use as a substitute 
for pjjfPFi but it is an undoubted fact that the 
grammatical rules for C^tfo^F as occur in ttf*tfr as well as 
in the ^t^^J of the hid Century B.C., are essentially the 
rules of standard Sanskrit Grammar of later days. We 
iind that what is called cHtf%^ at one time and 
>KT3 a t another, is closely related etymologically with 
the Chandasa language ; at the same time it must be 
observed, that even in early times, the Classical Sanskrit 
or the Laukika language of Panini so very materially 
differed from the Vedie or Chandasa speech, that a fresh 
set of rules had to be framed to give the Classical Sanskrit 
a well-defined individuality. We should not here fail to 
notice that those orthodox Grammarians who gave to C*uf%^ 
the name ^'^5, were perfectly aware of the character of 
the language as a polished, dressed-up and perfected speech. 
The Yedic has all along been, from Panini, downwards, 
the object of veneration, as an ideal language and conse- 
quently the polish or perfection referred to above, could 
not be given to the Vedic for the formation of a laukika 
in the sinful days; that a polish was given to the vulgar 
speeches or dialects of natural growth will be abundantly 
clear from the remarks of the Grammarians themselves. 

In the grammatical work of Panini (which will never 
fail to extort a high tribute of wonder and respect) and 
in its learned commentories, we meet with this definite 
statement that the forgotten things of the Chandasa 
speech should be diligently resuscitated while things 
occurring in the popular speeches should be studiously 
eschewed to save one's soul from being contaminated by 
sin. It has been stated under a sutra, that the enemies of 
the cultured Aryas met with defeat and discomfiture for 
having uttered their barbarous apabhransa word C^ffl ; we 
get also one statement of emphatic expression that to 


know the Vedic words is to acquire religious merit, while 
to know the popular or vulgar speech is to commit sin. 
Writes the author of the Mahabhasya I^^Rf^ "far 
(meanngi Vedic words) *tfi <H? <5[*i*faf tP^*H^Sj 
^t^^t <2Tfr?!tf% etc, etc. 

In his tirades against the popular speeches, Patanjali 
gives us materials to find out that many provincial dialecs 
were current during his time. That the pure Vedic words 
were very limited in number while the vile words were 
very many, has been thus expressed 
"farts ^bi^lf^ rW TOSTfSVtTs ; 
*ttft CTfft CfN C*fft*tt^f*IWraHl1f(1 ^Wl^1q*"!t: I 

We meet with c*lt% and its plural ctttl in the 
standard Prakrta called *tlfsf, and meet also sparingly with 
the form 5ffft in a <2ft^5 dialect which though despised 
by the sages assumed the form 5ftt in the classical 
Sanskrit itself at a later time. We can very well see that 
in the second century B.C., many Prakrta dialects flourished 
in N. India. No doubt for the evidence of this fact we 
have other definite records but I make the sage *F3|f*l 
to give evidence on the point, to serve a special purpose 
I have in view. I have to show that the sages and 
f*fl's made an infructuous attempt to rule the dialects 
which were rolling on all around like the waves of the 
sea by taking a boat of literary language on the waves, 
not seeing that the boat itself was bound to be 
tossed about and the waves were not to be dominated. 
It is interesting that the sage Patanjali knew other 
forms of Prakrta than what we learn not only in the 
Bhudhistic works but also in the Asoka inscriptions. 
It has been mentioned that for the usual standard word 
of 5R origin S^fs was in use in (TfatJ? and ^^f% in the 
North-Western India. We may note that ^f^> (is crawling) 
is the Oriya form which has, come on somehow or other, as 


a further ^f*te?*f of 3T^f^, and ' w$ ' by itself came into use 
in later Sanskrit in a secondary or tertiary sense ; again 
though ' ^*J[ ' of ^f% is not uow in use either in Surat or 
in any part of Western or Northern India, the direct 
descendant ^3( (to crawl) on all fours may be unmistakably 
identified with our Bengali ^-fsrl as in ^Tl C?3l. 

The existence of various provincial Prakrta dialects by 
the side of the old laukikn or classical Sanskrit is not 
denied bv the scholars ; but some want us to accept the 
proposition that the Classical Sanskrit evolved naturally 
from the Vedic speech and the Prakrta dialects were 
formed by corrupting the Sanskrit language. The facts 
which are principally adduced in support of the proposition 
are: (1) All the past-indicating forms, viz., f^l$ !$ and *& 
are in use in Sanskrit while there is principally but one 
generalised past form of finite verbs in the Prakrtas old 
and new. (2) The dual form unknown in the Prakrtas is 
fully maintained in Sanskrit. (3) The Prakrtas of a very 
late date are more Sanskritic than the earlier ones and 
as such these late time Prakrtas cannot be said to have 
descended from the older Prakrtas. I proceed to examine 
all these points which stand against my proposition. 

The variety of Past Forms It is true that all the 
systems of past tense are set forth in the Sanskrit Gram- 
mars, old and new, but is it true that in their use in litera- 
ture the time systems represent their value correctly ? Can 
it be denied, as was pointed out long ago by Whitney? that 
in the Brahmanas, the distinction of tense value between 
perfect and imperfect is almost altogether lost, as in the 
later Sanskrit language? It is giVen, no doubt in the 
Grammatical works, that the perfect is to be used in the 
narration of facts not witnessed by the narrator, but 
Whitney has rightly remarked that there is no evidence of its 
being either exclusively or distinctively so employed in the 


literature. That in the Vedas, the case is quite different. 
may be seen on reference to Maodonell's Vedic Grammar. 
It is to be noted that all the varieties of the Aorist, as 
occur in the Vedas, have been bound together in the Post- 
Vedic times, and have been made into one system. In the 
Classical Sanskrit, the Aorist forms are only preterites 
and are freely exchangeable with imperfects and perfects. 
Whitney remarks, after collecting examples, that the aorist 
of the Classical Sanskrit is simply a preterite, equivalent 
to the imperfect and perfect, and frequently co-ordinated 
with them. It is a significant thing to note that adverting 
to a particular use of the Aorist in the Vedas (though that 
use is not exclusive in the Vedas) a definite generalized rule 
was framed for the use of the Aorist sis is disclosed by the 
Brahmana literature ; the use of Aorist as a tense of narra- 
tion is very closely observed in the language of the 
Brahmanas, the Upanishads and the Sutras of early time. 
I have already remarked that to create a hieratic language 
on the Vedic lines, generalized rules were framed and 
thereby the naturally developed heterogenuous elements 
were reduced to a state of homogeneity. Indiscriminate 
use of the past systems distinctly shows that the past sys- 
tems in their variety were only maintained in grammar to 
make the hieratic language look respectable when in reality, 
the classical language had no natural link to bind itself 
with the Vedic language. It has to be specially and parti- 
cularly noted that ff$ , T5^and ^g forms do not only exist 
in the early *ttf^ forms but their use in Pali, unlike what 
we have noted just now in the Brahmana literature is 
much after the Vedic use : the supposed irregularities in 
the Vedic speech, have been artificially avoided in the 
Brahmana literature by framing some generalized rules. 
Again the simplified past system of the later Prakrtas. 
shows what naturally came into use in the country in the 


speech, in contrast with the unmeaning retention of 
various obsolete systems in Classical Sanskrit, in its un- 
natural attempt to get away from the natural state of 
things. It is notorious that the Ramayana, and the 
Mahabharata in all its parts, abound with examples of 
indiscriminate use of various past forms in one and the 
same sense ; it is not in the late time literature alope that 

we get ^3^5 f^fa " 5 ft*Tt*, etc., along with ^5?^ 3t3f| 

[V1^t4t*tfS but we get 'STf^H ?Tt3fl 5ftTfrfa, etc., by the side 
of J*1 ^, etc in the Sf^ot<T. 

We notice that for the mode of expression ' I have 
done " or " It has been done," participle forms came into 
use in the Prakrta and even long before the time of *F3?f5T, 
the form was being freely used to indicate that sense in the 
Classical language ; it could not but be so, as the writers 
of the Classical language, possessed the very mind and 
thought of the speakers of the vulgar tongue. To assert 
that the use of finite verbs in their special past form, where 
participle form was in current use, should not be regarded 
obsolete, the author of the s^t^faT has cited some examples 
which are very often quoted. The examples show that for 
C5?T, 53, C*f5, the forms ^ftfis, ^5^^: and I^^S were in 
use. However much the f*f! people kept themselves aloof, 
they could not possibly create a narrow little world of 
theirs but had to hold conversation at least with their 
wives, who could not but speak the vulgar tongue, being 
always in close touch with the neighbours ; howsoever easy 
it might be for the sons of the f*f|s to learn their ff! speech, 
they could not lisp in Classical Sanskrit, when in the arms 
of their nurses. The influence of the real language of the 
people could never be kept off by setting up a barrier-wall 
of culture. 

Pronunciation. Not only in the matter of the use 
of tenses, but in other matters as well, the f*f|s imported 


the peculiarities of the vulgar speeches in their holy litera- 
ture ; being men of the society, the f*f|s imbibed the altered 
pronunciation of the common people, and thus unawares 
deviated from the Vedic norm : we notice in the very 
gt^fqs how in some cases the fa^ss-Hfa has been disregarded, 
a[ has been reduced to l, and ^ has been reduced to ^. 
That in the matter of general accent, the f*ffcs do not 
disclose a regular accent system but only uphold the Vedic 
recent for the words of the Yedic mantras alone, by a study 
of the Vedic accents, cannot be illustrated in this brief 

Dual. A dual in addition to a plural was no doubt a 
commonly accepted form in the pre-Vedic days, for the 
classical Aryan languages of Europe disclose some almost 
effete dual forms. To express two together as a pair, is 
a familiar mode of thought exhibited by all peoples all 
over the world, but to retain a regular dual system, does 
not appear to be a normal inclination in man, in any part 
of the globe. I am inclined to think, that the formation 
of dual, was in the case of some people, the first step 
towards expressing a general plural number ; but when a 
regular plural was reached, the earlier form in_this grade 
of evolution, either died out or was retained only for very 
occasional use. It is not unlikely, that dual was a regular 
plural form in the dialect of one section of the culture 
group of the Aryans, and at the fusion of dialects in the 
growth of one generalized common speech, the non-regular 
plural (i.e.y the dual) forms stuck to the language as dual, 
but for practical purposes, the dual was only restricted in 
use, in expressing the special thought relating to a pair. 
That in the Vedic language, the dual has this sort of 
restricted use, cannot be very much doubted. What has 
been observed by the Vedic scholars in this matter, has been 
fitly expressed by Whitney in the following words : " The 


dual is (with only very rare and sporadic exceptions) used 
strictly in all cases, where two objects are logically indi- 
cated, whether directly or by combination of two indivi- 
duals. Dr. Bloomfield has very rightly observed, that 
while the employment of the dual is generally strict in 
the truly post-Vedic language, the plural is often used 
instead of the dual of natural pairs in the archaic parts 
of the Rgveda. It is because of natural disinclination, 
that the dual system was not maintained in the European 
languages of Aryan origin, and it was owing to this 
naturalness of thought, that a regular dual system was 
falling into disuse in the living Vedic speech ; the dual 
system could not survive into the Prakrtas, because the 
Aryan people of India ceased to have the sort of thought 
in their mind, which either generates or cherishes such a 
system in addition to plural system. We may consequently 
assert, that the co-existence of the dual forms with the 
plural forms, and the maintenance of the dual forms, not 
as worn-out unnecessary survivals, but as forms having 
meaning and use, point to a fixed literary character or 
rather to an unnatural artificial character of the post- 
Vedic language as well as of the classical Sanskrit. In 
their zeal to perpetuate the purity of the Vedic speech, 
the f"fls out-Heroded Herod, in maintaining a rigid dual 

Why the Prakrtas of rather a very late date, are more 
Sanskritic than their early predecessors, should now be 
explained. Had it not been for the religious activities of 
the Buddhists and the Jains, what we can know of some 
old time Prakrtas, would have been out of our reach. For 
reasons I shall state in a subsequent lecture, these Prakrtas 
were standardized, and became the sacred language of 
some religious sects ; even though new Prakrta speeches 
came actually into being, the sectarian religious works 


\Vere composed during those later times, in the earlier 
obsolete Prakrtas. Consequently, a general continuity of 
the Prakrta speeches in their transformation through ages, 
cannot very easily be traced in literature. Properly speaking, 
no general secular literature existed in the provincial dialects, 
to give models of language to the Prakrta-speaking people 
of successive generations. The people continued to speak 
in their Prakrta speeches, but serious literature was always 
being composed by the learned in Sanskrit. When, 
therefore any good or elevated thought had to be expressed 
in a public document for universal use, in any Prakrta 
dialect, a great want was felt in getting adequate terms in 
the current speech of the people. Sanskrit words were 
therefore laid under contribution, from the current literary 
works. This is why during the early literary activities in 
all our Vernaculars, we notice the influence of Sanskrit 
upon the Vernaculars. We should not, at the same time, 
fail to notice, that the Prakrta or vernacular-speaking 
people of all times, have maintained the non-Sanskritic 
structure of their speech. It is by Grammar principally, 
and not by Vocabulary, that the character of a speech is to 
be judged ; if we do so, we will find that the genetic 
affinities between the Prakrtas of early and late times, will 
be clearly noticeable. As the subject will be specially 
deliueated in another lecture, no further remarks need be 
added here. 

That the classical Sanskrit has been through all times 
greatly influenced by the Prakrtas, has been shown by a few 
examples only ; a further consideration of the subject is 
necessary. The f*f|s who could not but belong to the 
dialect-speaking people, could not but use the Prakrta 
forms (though unawares) in their Sanskrit composition. 
I adduce below some examples to show how this was done. 
I cannot however resist the temptation of quoting here 


the words of Dr. Skeat, which are applicable to the f*fls of 
all countries and times : " The speaker of the 'standard' 
language is frequently tempted to consider himself as the 
dialect-speaker's superior, unless he has already acquired 
some elementary knowledge of the value of the science of 
language, or has sufficient common sense to be desirous of 
learning to understand that which for the moment lies 
beyond him." 

First of all I notice, that as after framing some arti- 
ficial general rules, the f"f^s were forced to explain away 
some naturally developed Vedic words, by setting them 
down as cases of ^Tf^ license, so in respect of some Prakrta 
or Desi words assimilated by them unawares in the Sans- 
krit language, the sistas invented the nipatana rule, con- 
sidering perhaps what was but a natural growth, to be 
due to vagaries or freaks of nature. 

That there was a scholastic revival in building up 
Sanskrit, and that the popular dialects (which could not 
but have been the property of the f"f|s) had to be polished 
from time to time, to make sanskrita of them, will be 
partly demonstrated by the following examples. The 
examples are given in an alphabetical order and not 
in what may be called chronological order ; the remarks 
against them will however show in some cases, when they 
were introduced from the Prakrtas into the holy speech. 

(1) ^5(31 means no doubt the lower part as adjective or 
adverb. It is interesting to note, that in the popular 
speech, ^3\ the first component of the compound word 
^CTfS came to designate the lower lip ; this ^^ was 
taken into the classical Sanskrit without any question. 

(2) ^*BT. In Vedic denotes lower; but by false 
analogy of other words connected with the ^1^4 '^' it 
was made by the f*f|s, themselves to convey exactly the 
opposite meaning. 


(3) ^Tt^-5?. How in the early Brahmana language 
this round-about and clumsy expression took the place of 
Vedic s?3 (nine, pronounced as sf-^Bf) of the cardinal 
compounds 5ffiwf (nineteen) 5f^fa*ff^5 (twenty-nine) and 
so forth to 5R^^f% (ninety-nine), is not clear. The ear- 
liest Prakrta has ^ which may be formed by metathysis 
from ^-^ ; it is not likely that <4^t^ was reduced 
to &(. I think ^s[ being un-orthodox, the new expression 
was coined, when R fell into disuse, and ^ was wrongly 
supposed to be something like viftrft- 5 ! because of its 
final *. 

(4) ^*$Tfr. in Vedic it means the smith ; ^JTfa is the 
natural Prakrta form of it, from which the vernacular TfTfr 
has come out. The purists, in ignorance of Vedic form 
polished the prakrta form in analogy of other words, by 
adding ^fr indicating doing to ^*jf, to form <*tf<J>t4. 

(5) The word tl signified a married lady and a god- 
dess in the early speech, and so who was not a $1, i.e., who 
was not lady-like was ^f-31 ; thus sf^t* 1 ^ came to signify 
af^SJl (visya) or courtesan. The shamelessness of a courtesan 
gave the significance naked to the word. So by its deri- 
vation neither tfl nor s^tTl was a feminine form of any 
masculine word ; but not knowing the character of the 
word, the word sot was created as the original masculine 
form, even in the Brahmaya literature. I must also note, 
that from the original meaning of the word ffj, a married 
woman, the v-ord 331 also came into use to signify an 
unmarried girl ; in this meaning of the word the age of 
the girl could not be and cannot be read. The Vedic rule 
having come down by tradition, it was prescribed in the 
ideal form of marriage, that one who was not married to 
another, was to be taken as wife. The commentator?, in 
the teeth of the fact that the ceremonials recorded in the 
(Trhyasutras, relate to the marriage of girls of mature age, 


interpret the word *(%\ as a girl walking about without 
covering her shame. The Philologists should take care 
not to equate nude with J?tf because of the lateness of its 

(6) fp*ff%. In Vedic means master of the house (W3 
house + 1%). Exactly when W% (i>r-> *f?) coming to 
signify ^ff^rt, the meaning changed in a popular dialect, is 
not known ; fp^fs with its Prakrta variant ^*|f% (cf., W*W$ 
for ffr*{?r, ^Sf^rH for faWf<tf, etc.) came no doubt into use in 
Sanskrit, as the false Sanskrit derivation shows. In ignor- 
ance of Vedic form, the Prakrta forms were explained and 
reconciled in Grammar by a false rule, which gives us W\$\ 

-f *ff^5 = ^ J pff^and *?"*!!%. That the phonetic change of ff 
into ^ is noticeable in the Vedic itself, may be illustrated 
by one example : we get C^Ttf^s as a changed form of 5jf% 
in the Vedic ; C^Itf 7 !. however became in the Vedic a new 
stem to signify a meaning different from but allied to ^jf^. 

(7) 5Tff*F*. The word is unknown in the Vedic speech ; 
the word for it was 3^1 (vapta). The barber on some 
ceremonial occasions had the duty of cleansing the body 
of a man and so he was called in the Magadhi Prakrta or 
Pali a 5fStf*F5 ; this 5^tf*T5 is the causative form of ^t^l 
derived from the root ^|. The purists in the analogy of 
other words, made s^tf*l>5 a rff*ra, and thought they are not 
using a vulgar word in the place of the orthodox Vedic 
word. The word occurs in the Brahmana language. 

(8) ^^t 5 ^- When a generalised rule relating to ^~ 
<2F5T? was framed in Sanskrit, and Pali words with Tl final 
were thought by a false analogy to be the words of ^ 
origin, the word <?ft1 was reduced to ^^tI ; then again 
to meet a difficulty the Vedic vocative form v'iR had to 
be declared as an arsa license. 

(9) Tt^l. No word for maternal uncle is traceable in 
the Vedic ; Macdonell very rightly infers that this word 


was presumably a dialectic form which made its way into 
Sanskrit. In Sutra literature, it is spf^q which was no 
doubt taken from the popular speech. The popular word 
was wrongly sought to be derived from a Vedic stem, and 
as such sif^pl was imagined to be a valiant of sft^, and 
then the curious word sjt^ t1 wa * coined as the supposed 
original word in the Maitrayani Samhita,. 

(10) sj:j[5f. I have shown in a previous lecture that 
this purely Prakrta word was adopted on account of long 
use in the Classical Sanskrit, but failing to derive it pro- 
perly from sf^yj of Sanskrit (which was only 3R in Pr- 
krta), a rule of exception was invented for its justification. 

(11) ft<Rl. In the Vedic speech f^ means ' alone ' 
and fa^with the feminine suffix ^Tl became fo*Rl (a 
widow) ; there was no ^ in the Vedic speech to dominate 
this ftiral and we get a Vidova in Italian, for example 
without any masculine form for it. As ft (vi) was 
wrongly thought to be the initial ^fl^f, ft*Hl was derived 
as a woman who lost her never existent *R ; *& is a pseudo- 
Sanskrit word. (12) fasrl, a courtesan, signified in deriva- 
tion a woman who was accessible to the Vis or the Aryan 
people in general. When the corrupt Prakrta form Vissa 
was purified, an imaginary origin of the word was sought 
in the dress, etc , of the displayer of beauty, and hence Vesya 
(from Ves'a), was used as the correut form. (13) ^>5rt of 
Vedic use was made a F3 by imagining a hundred 
streamlets for the river. 

(14) Jf^*! signifies 'a species of pine tree' as 
well as ' straight.' The original Vedic for the class of the 
pine tree is *f?R (the tree which is straight like a *fa) ; the 
word *fflv\ occurs in the Brahmana literature after the 
pronunciation of the common people. 

It is notorious that the Classical Sanskrit has swelled 
with words of Prakrta and Desi origin ; as these words are 


interesting for many reasons, I give a small number 
of them in an appendix to help the students to study the 
matter separately. 

I cannot possibly dilate upon the subject any further. 
We may veiy well hold, that the non-existence of dual and 
the currency of a simplified past system in the Prakrtas, 
argue in favour of the natural growth of the Prakrtas. 
That the early Prakrta or Pali, retains many archaic Vedic 
forms, as are unknown in Sanskrit, is admitted by all 
scholars ; this point of structural unity of early Pali with 
the Vedic, will be very briefly noticed in the subsequent 
lecture. I now proceed to notice a fact, which will show 
(though perhaps faintly) that a continuity of the Vedic 
was maintained through many Prakrta dialects, which have 
now died out without leaving any literary evidence of 
their existence. 

It is a striking phenomenon, that we have stored up 
many words in our vernacular which are met with in the 
oldest known Vedic speech only, and which were not in use 
in Sanskrit, which is wrongly regarded as a direct 
and pure offspring of the Vedic language. I do not 
claim to be exhaustive, but I should think that the list 
I append here, is not a very short one. (1) <Mft and 
*Fj$l correspond in meaning exactly with ^ft^?t in 
ignorance of the origin, the wrong derivation ^Tl + ^ has 
been imagined. The word <3lf*r is a separate word 
altogether. (-2) The Vedic word ^5^ is used by us in the 
form ^r|^rl ; <arfa*rT became a pedant word even in 
the days of the early ^tftws and the word <st*rft 
derived from it, is used in our high flown language. (3) 
^81 is an egg as well as a foetus iu the womb. The 
Sanskrit form ^ is a later form derived from ^91. 
Considering it a Prakrta word, the frls dropped the tinal <3l, 
as non-feminine forms with <BT| final could nut be adopted. 


(4) ^tfffr The pungent juice of it became once the substi- 
t ite for (TTtWT- Our <srftf1 is closer to the early word in 
form ; the Sanskrit word <5Tf^f is only a pedantic form. 

(5) ^TWl means side in the Vedic speech ; in that sense 
we use the word in the phrase <5rft w f tfff. The word is in 
use in Sanskrit in a secondary meaning indicating direc- 
tion. (6) <Rl means like this ; from this comes our 
now poetic word ($3. (7) vfi^ft 1 to be wet with dew ; <SWl 
signifying wet was in general use in old Bengali, and is 
still in use in the district of Bankura and in Orissa in 
that sense. (8) fft and 3<ft jujube; the Bengali form is 
fpf and the Oriya form is f>sft. (9) ^*f?T a sort of reed ; 
this word is in use in Eastern as well as in Northern 
Bengal to mean sugarcane ; in this very sense the word is 
in use in Eastern Magadhi and in Oriya of the district of 
Sambalpur, while in the intervening tracts of Bengal the 
word <5Tfa from ^ is in use ; the form is <5Jt^ in Orissa proper. 
The word ^*ft^ as in <F*Tfa 3fl to indicate cluster of reeds, is 
however in use in Central Bengal. (10) We get in tho 
Rgveda the interjection ^ (truly) and ?vs (alas) ; our 
^tt> (truly) comes from the earlier Bengali form 3T> as 
in "C<F ^ C?." It is not correct that this word 
comes from ^Q to stay or exist ; the Western Bhojpuri 
3 from ^Q is not in use in Eastern Magadhi, nor 
there is any verb in Bengali or Oriya which is even 
remotely connected with ^t. (11) ^3l, a Vedic inter- 
jection, which signifies confusion of thought ; C&3V5 *Jt\S3l 
conveys exactly the same meaning. (12) ^1, the aerial root 
of a tree. The aerial root of the Peepul tree (^) is 
called ^1 in many parts of Bengal. (13) ^*(1, a calf 
almost mature enough to become a cow ; in this very sense 
the word is in use in the district of Sambalpur, where it is 
pronounced as ^1. The word is in use in the Bengali- 
speaking district of Pimilia. (14-) Tf?t occurs also in Pali 


and our Tt*f is exactly the instrument which is used by the 
carpenters. (15) f*ffiq its synonym *tt*P^t is in use in 
Sanskrit, while our f*t^1 comes directly from f*t^| through 
the medium of Pali. (16) ^ (not <3^ which is a sepa- 
rate word, and from which we have got ^ a pillar) has 
its ^*f3?"t form *tfa1 or *ffa in Bengali ; it signifies a prop 
and so is closely related to ^ig in meaning. 

I speak of a few other words in this connection, though 
to illustrate a different phenomenon. The words sff^ 
(limb), Vfji^ (knife), etc., of the Vedic, were formed with the 
suffix ^, and as such the words 5f| and ff|, as original words, 
may be supposed to have existed in an once-existing 
dialect. Coming through Sanskrit, '^\^' has been reduced 
to 5f\s^[ in some vernaculars, but sf| and W\ seem to have come 
to us like the words just set forth in the above list, through 
some provincial dialects, of which no trace can now be 
obtained. As not altogether irrelevant, I cite the history 
of another word here. The word ' ^*tl*I ' indicating skull or 
skull-bone, though of pure Vedic origin, was regarded as 
unfit to be uttered by the holy people (at least in Patan- 
jali's time), on account of its gruesome association ; the 
euphemistic term ^^\ was recommended for substitution. 
We know, however, that the fate of ^*t|1 was not doomed 
in Sanskrit, but it is curious that this euphemistic word 
x$ttffl had the ill-luck of earning for itself the very un- 
pleasant idea, which it was intended to dispel ; the 
slightly-changed form of \^ttl as *N1^5 denotes in Bengali, 
the place where dead animals are allowed to rot and the 
bones of the animals bleach in the sun. 

From the cumulative evidence it is rather clear that 
the literary Vedic speech stood in a close relationship 
with many provincial dialects, some of which at least 
continued through all ages, to live to be transformed 
into later vernaculars, and that the Classical Sanskrit, 


on the other hand, came into existence as an artificial 

We have shown to a certain extent, that Laukika or 
Sanskrit was sought at first to be kept in close unity with 
the Yedic, but as a matter of fact this language could not 
maintain any continuity with the Vedic, and with the 
progress of time, it went on drawing largely upon the 
Prikrta dialects. Facts have also been adduced, to show 
or rather to suggest, why most of the important links in 
the chain of evolution of the Prakrta dialects, leading up 
to our modern vernaculars, are missing or rather irrevocably 


Only a few Sanskrit or rather pseudo-Sanskrit words 
are listed below, just to show the influence of Prakrtas of 
all times, upon the language which is said to have kept 
itself aloof from the Prakrtas. 

(1) cVf%f from ^ + *ffr*Tf5{ or f*tffa. The vernacular 
word ^tt^S and the provincial Oriya word 
^*fj?| are derived from it. In the Sanskrit 
of a verv late time, this ^*fc was made into 

(2) C^f^T from 3p\*S came out }f two Prakrta words, f%cf 
and c*Pl ; C^I is from f?jre| and C^\, as in 
Of*! 3 *, C*fT^ etc., remains unchanged. 

(8) *pfa from ^1t*l (skull) we get ^*\fs and its 

variant fflj^ j from rtfa we get ^fq as 

Tfat* tj*l as we ^ as <ft1^1 either sfflfs or 

^ft^l has been sanskritized into ^*f?T. 

3".^. ^fq as of ^TfSt^T t^> should not be confounded 

with C^Tffil which is a synonym of *ffnrl j from C^ we 

have got both C^ft^ll as well as C^ftTl ; from C^Ft^ we have 

got C^ft^I besides C^(t11- This C^t^l again is not identical 

either with C*t11 derived from *f! to excavate, or with C^tt^I 

to loosen, derived from ^ffi. 

(4) C^ from ^ requires no comment. 

(5) ^*$ from ^t^T came out f^fa$, and this f^f^; gave 

birth to *PJ[ ; TSJ was sanskritized into T^ in 
the analogy of P5, ^5, etc. 

(6) 5^ from 5^. Very likely from 5^><T (clever) we 

also got 5^ and this word came to signify 
a clever thief, and thus the Sanskrit words 


CSfr and CFfa were formed. Prof. D. R. 
Bhandarkar thinks that the Sanskrit word 
CFfa comes from the tribal name CFf1 or C5t^ 

(7) *|f?F5 from ^f?n. 

(8) H>| from ^? ; a matted lock of hair not being easily 

separable into component parts. 

(9) ^^1 from ^5 so also other words of ^ initial. 

(10) All words with fc, fr, \5, U initials. 

(11) ^5<s from ^ indicating quickness. From the very 

word H3T, ^t^ was formed as an independent 
root (cf., *$$${, ^t'^tlt 5 !, etc.). 

(12) ^1 Sanskritic form of ^ or SFfll which is an 

^*f^*f of fr. 

(13) *TfaT a pseudo-respectable form of Tft ; *(t^t (fried 

paddy = *j|^1 ) was adopted in Sanskrit 
without change. 

(14) ^Tt^ from ^\5^ to dance. 

(15) ife from <S\^5 comes *j?>\5 or t^ and then by 


(16) ^5, ^t^ comes from f|| of the root fl\. 

(17) Excepting a few words such as *pv\, ^<?\ (plough- 

share) and C^R almost all words having ^ 
initial ; even the word W-*\ is suspected to be 
of Dravidian origin. 

(18) ^ from <e3l. 

(19) sf^F from ^ ; used in the sense of plague. 

(20) STfr and sfl^f already referred to and discussed. 

(21) 3^1 a pure (^ word. 

(^2) ^5? from ;jT>, originally that which is lost by theft, 
i.e., which becomes $$. 

(23) ^f%?f from ^5|5 we got first ^ in Pali. 

(24) wffa from ^1 , ^ and ?I being one and the same 

the word was formed by metathysis. 

(25) ^f5 from 1ft'. 


(26) *t\ a new root to indicate curse; original 
form ^f^' 3 ^ = ^rf% -I- *t + *ft5 that which 
befalls by destroying "f? signifying ^Tlt 6 ! ; 
this shows that "ft is a corrupt form of 

(2?) C*f1 from f*fT| stone implement originally. 

(28) ^ (walking or wandering about) from the Vedic 

root ; SF (compare 

(29) ^55 or ^^tf from ^. 


Pali and other old Prakrta*. 

Prakrtm defined. Sanskrit as a hieratic language, 
occupies naturally a position of very high honour. It 
is no wonder therefore, that our old Prakrta grammarians 
regarded it in their fancy, to be the very speech, in its 
original purity, which the gods and holy men spoke at the 
very dawn of human creation. Some Prakrta grammar- 
ians have formulated (no doubt very wrongly) that Sans- 
krit is in the state of <2f|Fl% or natural purity, while, the 
provincial dialects alone disclosed f^fs or corruption of 
the original iSHpfs, by deviating from the norm of Sans- 
krit. This is how these grammarians have sought to 
explain the term Prakrta, though the word <2f^f cannot 
be shown to have been in use at any time, to signify a 
speech, holy or unholy. Prakrti no doubt signifies nature, 
but in its secondary signification as ' subjects ' or 'common 
people ' or ' people in general,' the word is in very common 
use in our literature of all times. Prakrta, in its signi- 
fication as a speech, seems therefore to be associated with 
prakrti or the common people. No matter what the 
derivation may be, it is undoubted, that the term Prakrta 
has always denoted the current speech of the people in 
general, in contradistinction with the cultivated literary 
speech of the learned. It is significant that our provincial 
vernaculars of to-day, are called by the orthodox Pandits 
as so many Prakrta speeches. No one can fail to notice, 
that the early poets of Bengal as well as of Orissa have 
designated the language of their effusions as Prakrta. 
It is therefore admitted in a manner on all hands, that 


Prakrta is the speech, in which the babies commence to 
lisp and which the people very naturally learn untaught. 
The oriental scholars of Europe however, make a sharp 
distinction now between the modern vernaculars and the 
obsolete Prakrtas, to secure some definiteness in the matter 
of classification. In this classification, the scholars have 
followed those Prakrta grammarians, who have appro- 
priated the name prakrta for an artificial standard literary 
speech, and have given the term < 5f*f^f, to the vernacu- 
lar speeches of their time; I should notice in this connec- 
tion, that Apabhransa as reported by the grammarians is 
also an unreal apabhransa speech. That the term apa- 
bhransa should now only be used to denote phonetic 
decay, has been my suggestion in the foregoing lecture. 
We have to again notice with reference to the use of the 
term prakrta by the modern scholars, that where a prakrta 
ends and a vernacular begins, is not at all easy to deter- 
mine and demarcate ; it will not help us in the matter of 
classification, nay it will create anomaly and confusion, 
if the obsolete forms of our present day vernaculars be 
all designated as prakrtas. If the term prakrta be applied 
to signify those remote forbears of the modern vernaculars 
of Northern India, as may not be quite directly traced 
to be such forbears, a workable definition may be obtained. 
Practically speaking, this definition does not militate 
against the current definition of the scholars. I need 
hardly point out, that by the phr-ase ' remote forbear ' in this 
definition, I do not refer either to Chhandasa, which is the 
source-head of all our Aryan speeches, or to Classical 
Sanskrit, which has made from time to time some contri- 
butions to the Aryan Vernaculars. 

Pali defined. Pali, 1 have all along designated as an 
early Magadhi prakrta. on the authority of Buddha Ghosa, 
who has called' it ' Magadha Bohara.' The capital to-wn 


of the Magadha country, we know from the phonetic 
representation of it in Greek as Palibothra, was once called 
*ftfa*3p3l or *ttf%*2p1 ; the name Pali, as a place name, 
is still in existence in Behar. I think that the people of 
Ceylon gave the name Pali to the prakrta speech in ques- 
tion, as the Buddhist canonical works were obtained by 
them in the Paliputto country. Now that we see, that 
the word Fatal iputra could be, or rather was in reality 
reduced to the form Paliputto, the objection that the term 
Pali cannot come out of Patali, will not be seriously urged. 
It will certainly be admitted, that the meanings given to 
the word Pali by the Singhalese, are wholly unknown 
in the literature of India; once the Simhalese gave the 
name Pali to the language of the canonical works, the 
secondary or tertiary meaning of the term could easily 
come into use in Ceylon. 

Since Pali has never been in use in India, as a term 
to denote either Prakrta in general or any special Prakrta 
in particular, Prakrta should be the legitimate name 
for the language in question; if the Prakrta of the 
Tripitakas be given a special name, the students of the 
Prakrta speeches will be led into the wrong notion, that 
in the matter of origin and general character, Pali differs 
widely and essentially from the other Prakrtas. To use 
the word Pali to signify " Buddhistic Prakrta/' is equally 
misleading ; for the prakrta in question was not during its 
currency, the speech of the Buddhists alone. In their 
canonical works the Buddhists have preserved a class of 
Prakrta and the Jainas another; we are not on that 
account justified to designate those Prakrtas by the names 
of those religious sects. I should also notice here another 
suggestion regarding the origin of the term Pali : it is 
urged by some, on the strength of the supposition, that 
the speeches of the common people were not much in 


current in urban tracts, that the word Pali may be a 
decayed form of the non-Aryan term Palli (*f?ft = village). 
Certainly phonology does not offer any difficulty in the 
matter of this etymology, but facts of history do not 
support this proposition. In the first place, it cannot 
be proved that the people of the rural tracts differed 
widely from the people of the urban tracts, in the matter 
of speech. In the second place, the word Pali cannot be 
proved to have ever been in use in India, to denote a 
speech, and consequent!}' it will not be correct to suppose 
that the people of Ceylon coined the term, by making 
historical investigation regarding the rural origin of the 
speech of their canonical works. I must however mention 
here, a hitherto unnoticed fact, which may be urged with 
some force in support of the theory. To speak in praise 
of the "speech in which the 5Tf9!t*f^*tf% has been composed, 
the author has designated the language by the name 
' ^TjWSf ' in the 2nd verse of the work. The commentator 
has explained the term ' ^5^( ' by <2fff ^ very correctly, 
but he has not given us the derivation of the word. The 
word looks like an apabhransa of the word lift, since 
*ft^1 of modern vernaculars can easily be derived from 
*f?fi*. But as this solitary use of a comparatively later 
time cannot be connected with a cognate word of idiomatic 
use of earlier times, Pali, as an Indian name for a <2ftip5, 
cannot be accepted. Again it is difficult to say. how far 
the word *tt^5^T for ^\^ is a genuine ^*f^*f form of a 
particular time ; that we meet with fanciful corruptions 
of Sanskrit terms in the literary prakrtas, will be specially 
discussed afterwards. f|^!, and tt&r are two terms 
for i2ftfl5 which occur in the ^^fafssft ', in this case 
it is rather certain that the terms were coined to maintain 
the character of the prakrtas as given in some Prakrta 
Grammars. I do not propose to do away with the term 


Pali, which denotes a particular class of Prakrta of the 
olden time, but I discuss the question to remove the 
wrong notions which this term, as well as the term 
prakrta may generate, regarding the origin, position, and 
value of the obsolete speeches of India. 

The Character of Pali. I have tried to show in the 
previous lecture, that if we look into the evidence fur- 
nished by a comparative study of the early and later 
forms of Vedic speech, and if again we compare the Yedic 
speech as a whole, with Classical Sanskrit, we are led 
to the conclusion, that the old Grammarians seized on the 

! salient features of the Vedic speech, and moulded them 
into one harmonious whole, to create a hieratic language. 
I have moreover setforth some facts, which make it pro- 
bable, that even when Chhandasa continued to be a living 
literary language, some provincial vernaculars (though 
derived originally from Chhandasa) co-existed with Chhau- 
dasa as closely related dialects. One fact indeed can never 
be doubted, that when the priestly class was busy in 
reviving, or in maintaining the purity of the Chhandasa 
speech, the Aryan people in general spoke one form or 
another of the Aryan speech, which must be designated 
as Prakrta. How far Pali is removed from a Prakrta 
speech, which co-existed with, or succeeded immediately 
to the latest phase of the Chhandasa speech, is perhaps 
impossible to determine now, but that the early Pali may 
be regarded to be closely allied to Chhandasa, is admitted 
by all scholars. 

I have pointed out in the previous lecture, that by 
unmeaning retention of the dual forms and of the tense 
systems of Chhandasa, Classical Sanskrit reveals its own 
artificial character, while the structure of the Pali lan- 
guage, discloses a natural modification or change of the 
early Aryan language. To show that how in some other 


points, Pali retains to some extent the morphological struc- 
ture of the Vedic speech, I refer here to some scholaily 
remarks of V. Fausboll, as appear in his preface to 
" Sutta Nij.ata " (S. B. E., Vol. IX). He has shown with 
reference to the oldest portions of the Sutta Nipata, that 
those richer forms of Vedic language which we find 
wanting in the Classical Sanskrit, were in use in the oldest 
Pali. The great scholar has pointed out, that we meet with 
in Pali, " the fuller Vedic forms of nouns and verbs in the 
plural, the shorter Vedic plurals, and the instrumental 
singular of nouns, Vedic infinitives, and many other Vedic 
forms and words." 

The position of Sanskrit as a literary language, in its 
relation with Chhandasa on the one side, and with the 
Prakrta speeches on the other, has been discussed in several 
lectures from various viewpoints. The relation of Pali 
however, with several provincial Prakrtas of the Post- 
Mauriyan times, is not easy to determine. I discuss some 
facts which show how this investigation is involved in 
difficulties: (1) Pali was retained and used as a literary 
language by the Buddhists when it actually became an 
obsolete speech ; (2) Sanskrit, though an artificial literary 
language ceased, at one time, to be a purely hieratic speech, 
and having become the vehicle of thought of all men, 
dealing with different branches of knowledge, it exercised 
such an influence in the country, that the living speeches 
which succeeded Pali, could not become respectable enough to 
leave literary monuments for us ; (3) To ensure intelligibility 
in all provinces of India, the Prakrta books (very limited in 
number), were composed in such an unreal generalized form, 
as does not help us to reconstruct the living speeches of old 
days. I notice the significance of all the points briefly below. 
Pali, a literary xpeech. We clearly see, why Gotama 
Buddha insisted upon getting his teachings recorded in 


the vernacular of his time. What he aimed at however, 
was not secured, when without following the spirit of his 
words, his disciples stuck to the speecli of his time in their 
literary composition, when the speech in question became 
obsolete, and as such uninteresting and repulsive to the 
non- Buddhistic people. Even to the ordinary Buddhistic 
people of mundane thoughts and worldly aspirations, this 
literature which was severely religious, could not be attrac- 
tive; despite their deep veneration for their Saxf-ra, the 
people in general, who as a matter of course wanted 
to enjoy life, left the dull works of holy character to the 
care and custody of a small number of religious teachers. 
The language of the Asoka inscriptions and references to 
(<5ft*f3?) apnmbfla* by Patanjali, distinctly show that the 
Pali speech of Buddha's time was being changed with the 
progress of time, and various provincial dialects came into 
existence in f he 2nd Century B.C. ; yet it is a fact, that 
the author of the Milinda panha tried his best to write in 
the language of the Buddhistic canonical works. Changes 
effected by time are distinctly noticeable in the Pali cano- 
nical works themselves, even though a general standard 
was set up for the language. No doubt the old Pali of 
Buddha's days was being transformed into new and newer 
dialects, but the old-time I'ali failed to become a living 
heritage with the speakers of the newly-transformed 
speeches. Tn that the literary Sanskrit in its broader and 
more catholic character was being enriched every day by 
the composition of interesting and entertaining secular 
literature of various genre, the influence of Sanskrit became 
more potent and abiding, upon the laymen of letters all 
throughout the country. True it is that the author of 
Sanskrit works, who lived, moved and had their being in 
the living atmosphere of the Prakrta speeches of their 
davs, introduced various Prakrta forms in Sanskrit, but 

LECTURE xi 199 

the speakers of the Prakrta tongues, could not but draw 
upon Sanskrit for want of a living literary tradition of the 
Prakrtas, when they sought from time to time to enrich 
their dialects. 

It became impossible in those days to write in any 
particular vernacular of the province which might be 
intelligible to the people of all the provinces. The Bud- 
dhistic writers, who wanted to adhere to the Prakrta 
speech, but found Pali could not be made intelligible even 
in the Magadha country, mixed up Sanskrit forms with 
some ^"f^N*! forms common to many provinces, and thereby 
created a curious hvbrid language, which has acquired the 
designation, the Gatha language. It was to ensure universal 
intelligibility that an artificial literary Prakrta was set up, 
and it is the artificial Prakrta, which is generally met 
with, in the old Prakrta works. These Prakrta works do 
not give us the real vernaculars of the past time, and so 
we cannot directly trace the evolution of our modern 
vernaculars through the speeches preserved in those works. 

It is perfectly certain that the language of the Asoka 
inscriptions is not artificial ; but one thing strikes us very 
much, that there are many words in these inscriptions, 
which are more Sanskritiu in form than the words occurring 
in Buddhistic canonical works. I am strongly inclined 
to think, that some words in the inscriptions were made 
purposely Sanskritic to make the edicts thoroughly intelli- 
gible at places far away from Magadha. If we compare 
the Pali language of Buddha's days, as preserved in the 
canonical works, with the contemporary classical Sanskrit 
of the Brahmana literature, we may notice, that the latter 
artificial language cannot be said to be only the literary 
form of the former ; but the classical Sanskrit of the 3rd 
Century B. C., can be easily set down as the literary form 
of. the language of the inscriptions. Mr. F. W. Thomas 


very rightly observes, in his paper published in the J. R. 
A. S. 1904 (p. 461), that " It is not too much to say that 
in modern English both spokeu and written, we find 
greater deviations from the norm, than what may be 
observed between classical Sanskrit and the language of 
the edicts of Asoka." The learned orientalist has further 
asserted, that if the text of the Pali inscriptions of Asoka's 
time and the literal translation of those texts in Sanskrit 
were placed side by side, one would find only such differ- 
ences in pronunciation, etc., as always exist between the 
literary and spoken forms of the same dialect. I need not 
halt to explain this phenomenon, for I have already stated, 
how with the progress of time, Sanskrit was being modified 
by Prakrta, and how Prakrta was being influenced by 

How, stage by stage the Magadhi language underwent 
successive changes for one thousand years after the time 
of Asoka, cannot be very easily determined, for reasons 
already suggested ; I may however add this observation, 
that it will be very unsafe to judge the Magadhi language 
by the language of the inscriptions of later times, since it 
appears, that at one time it became a fashion, even in far 
off Southern India, to use the Magadhi language in inscrip- 
tions. I am not concerned with the question of introduc- 
tion of Magadhi language into Peninsular India, nor 
have I to trace the influence of it on the languages of 
Western India. How the Magadhi language was shaped 
in the province of Magadha itself, and how and in 
what form it got into Bengal, are questions which 
should be relevantly discussed. How the old Magadhi 
Prakrta or Pali is related to what is called the Jaina 
Prakrta, is a subject of very high importance for inquiry ; 
it is also necessary to discuss the character of the speech 
which has been called Magadhi by the Prakjta 

LfiCTtRE XI 201 

Grammarians ; but before I take up these questions for 
discussion, I proceed to examine if we can trace the 
blood of old Pali itself (unstrained through the transformed 
Prakrtas of subsequent times) in the veins of our Bengali 
language. It may be repeated here, what has been shown 
before, that the province of Magadha-cum-gau(ja always 
overflowed itself into Bengal, till the end of the 10th 
Century A.D. 

I have noted in previous lectures, that in the 
matter of accent, there is much agreement between Pali 
and Bengali. I doubt not this will be admitted to be a 
factor of much importance in a language. We should 
also remember in this connection, Mr. Pischell's weighty 
observation, that Vedic accent and stress survived in Pali. 
The importance of the matter urges me to repeat one or 
two facts in this connection over again. 

That because of the old time accent on the first sylla- 
bles, the words rcfa Olf%), TO , (<2ffisO, ^*f (w), etc., have 
been reduced to ^rtf^ (not ^f as in Oriya and Maithili), 
Cf^ (not tiPR of other provinces), ^ pronounced as 
^ (not ^ as in Oriya), etc., in Bengali, can be clearly 
seen; that the pronunciation of *Ol, ^FJTl, etc., of the 
old days has only been retained in Bengal, and that the 
forms *f?R, ^SR, etc., have only been recently borrowed 
in a class of artificial poetry, cannot be denied. However, 
I give below a list of words which have come to Bengali 
perhaps direct from Pali, for they are not met with in the 
Prakrtas of later days. 

(1) : sn>l3 = ; 5ftfe stone of a fruit, we do not get either 
<5ftii or any word derived from ^f^ in use in other dia- 
lects to indicate this meaning. (2) ^t5 and ^f*f5, these 
words signify ' and ' or ' still more ' in Sanskrit ; the mean- 
ing ' nevertheless ' as they signify in P5li, is only found in 
Bengali in the use of *WB. In Oriya, this word, with its 


Pali or Bengali meaning, has ouly very recently been 
borrowed. (3) ^-t^^ (seems to be Deni word and not an 
Apabhramsa) means indisposition or illness, Bengali "5f^^ 
f^^ or simple "SR^F does not seem to be derived from ^*f, 
happiness, for the idea of illness is not expressed with 
reference to the feeling of happiness ; I think ^t^^ is the 
originator of the Bengali word. (4) ^5 stands at the 
end of a speech, or section to denote ' this is what it is " ; 
this use of %fa at the end of a composition, became once 
a mere form in Bengali, and subsequently from its posi- 
tion in a sentence, it acquired the meaning " the end " 
in which sense, it is now in use. This ^5 does not occur 
in other dialects ; in Oriya for example, the word indicating 
" finish " or " the end," as occurs at the end of an epistle 
is &8. (5) ^5 (' hot,' &), ^sjj^ (the act of heating), 
[^s? or rather ^ signifies warmth in Bengali] Bengali 
^5R^ (oven) comes from it though ^R is the word we 
get in Pali for oven. (6) 3j<Tf^T (by metathysis from ^Tfa^ 
shoe ; the ^ ending again represents earlier ^ ), the 
Oriya form is *R^t^> which was in use in old Bengali. 
(7) #1 signifies ' this side,' but *tt* signifies both the 
banks of a river and also the far-off bank of a river ; only 
in old Bengali, we get this word in such a phrase as ^Tft 
indicating <pRt$, i.e., the other bank cannot be reach- 
ed, i.e., endless. (8) ^^ = old Bengali f><*f, modern C^tf1 
where. (9) <F^I (as in Sanskrit) a mouthful to be swal- 
lowed ; only in Bengali, there is the Apabhramsa form of 
it in use which is *rft*J. (10) ^ (from 3^ = bad, 
vile, by metathysis) indicates a thing of bad or insipid 
taste ; Bengali 3^ttf>. f insipid taste is from this word ; 
the word ^t3 of Sanskrit is of comparatively later date, 
and so it is a Sanskritization of a Pali word ; the readers 
should not confound this with Sanskrit 3^ N which exists in 
the word ?Rt signifying unripe (distinguish this also from 


^ , to touch or to injure) ; from ^ , unripe, we get the 
Oriya word^fr. unripe, and this old form ^fa unripe is in 
use in Bengali, in the shape of ^f^. (11) C^ltll (cows in 
plural) in this form, the word travelled to Ceylon from 
old Bengal, our ^> is from 5f-^, where ^ has been changed 
to ^. (12) ^S or ^s (ghee). "It is curious that following 
the traditional spelling, the rude villagers of Bengal still 
write Ws and not ^5, when they make an attempt at 
dignified spelling. (13) *! exactly signifying hair, as in 
Bengali ; this word is found at one or two places in the 
Jataka stories, bearing evidently marks of lateness. (14) 
SPPtfc, a bamboo basket = Bengali Ffertfe and Oriya FtWtfo. 
(15) ITfu? a pot or a vessel, is found exactly in this 
sense in Oriya; that it was in use in old Bengali can be 
detected in the modern Bengali phrase 5tfi> 3tfi as in 5tfi> 
^tfc NgCT 5OT 3tS3l (to leave a place by carrying away 
all pots and pans). (In) $1% (a skin disease ; the Oriya 
form C^tf signifying the same meaning is similar to Pali, 
as the final f is equivalent to the final vi (fa) of the Pali 
word ; the Bengali word derived from it is ^fa. (17) ^<Q 
(rice gruel originally barley-gruel SRt^) equal to Bengali 
W&. (18) ^ excessive, is in use in Oriya and was in use 
in old Bengali ; its real origin is from ^1 to leave, which 
gives rise to the form ^tf^ ' something in excess that 
had to be thrown away was the idea at the root. (19) F% 
a pool, is from ff^, which is formed by metathysis from 
jf ; we use the word ^ as in Pali but the Oriya form is tf^. 
(20) ^ from Sanskrit ^ ; in many parts of Bengal, little 
pieces of wood or sav the internode portion of sugarcane 
is called ^ or ^\. (21) cffl1 (pure* innocent or inoffen- 
sive) ; Buddhaghosa gives the derivation of it in 
his commentary on the Dlgha Nikaya '<j*fl ' ^5% 
CTtCTl-j ( 'fPTl ^1*tf^ (?Wl ; a goodnatured innocent 
man is alwavs regarded as a fool or an insane, and so we 


get the word in our Bengali phrase C^|1 CVfl to indicate a 
fellow without common sense and so also the word (Tffil by 
itself conveys the same meaning in the Oriya speech of 
Sambalpur. (22) ft^R-^ji Bengali ^rtw-ltfe. (23) 
f^C^R (f rom Sanskrit f^-f-C?^ house) the vulgar people 
ask of the ftt?"t of a man to inquire where he hails from 
or where he lives, but wrongly considering the form to be 
incorrect, we have substituted f^f^T for it. (:24) tf*[-f<[ 
a muddy road ; the first portion of the compound *tfil indi- 
cating mud is in use in Bengali in the case of sediment 
thrown by streams of water. (-25) Cl^lj tne feather of 
a peacock ; our word C*fa"f as in Ct^ *nf1, blandishing the 
wings by a peacock, comes from the word. ('26) sf^fs^ 
signifies old ; hence the word conveyed the meaning 'wise' 
in later times ; in Orissa, the state councillors were called 
' mallikas ' and one particular State, once governed by eight 
malliks, still bears the name 'srfg^f^; this word as surname 
is in use in Bengal and Orissa. (27) 51^3 5 bribe ; the Oriya 
word Tf still tears the same meaning, but 1 do not know 
if it was in use in Bengal ; my information, that it is in 
use in Purulia, has not been confirmed. (28) ^*t> (from 
^), a peduncle = Bengali C^t^l. (29) f^f^F^I doubt 
or rather an impious doubt regarding the truths of reli- 
gion ; hence what is bad or undesirable ; Bengali faf^fafar 
is equivalent to it in form and in secondary meaning. 

(30) ?^"rfa (from Dftf) = Bengali "Kfa, because of 
this derivation, no nasal sound is attached to the first ' t.' 

(31) f^% is the passage that is made in the river for a 
boat by removing the sand ; the passage was perhaps 
chalked out by dragging the boat itself ; in this meaning 
the word is used in the district of Sambalpur and that 
very use was current in old Bengali. (32) C?^ under, 
beneath; Bengali cO, as in srW ct$ ^1, comes 
from it. 


We have to look very carefully into the deep signifi- 
cance of what has been illustrated above. Even though 
we fail to get definite literary evidence of successive 
changes which Pali underwent on the soil of its birth in 
the course of a thousand years or more, we cannot but 
admit, that change did occur, and the older forms faded 
imperceptibly into new and newer forms. On reference to 
the Jaina Prakrta and to the Prakrtas either noticed in 
the Prakrta Grammars or preserved in some works of 
poetry and drama, we may notice, that the old Pali forms 
and Pali pronunciation were very much changed in later 
times ; yet it is a fact that the method of Pali pronuncia- 
tion and many Pali words and phrases, unknown to the 
later Prakrtas (with which Bengali must have been 
directly c nnected), stick to Bengali. This shews very 
unmistakably, that a genuine genetic bond of affinitv 
exist between Pali and Bengali ; the people who had 
originally Pf !i for their language, could only retain the 
obsolete things as so many survivals, in course of successive 
transformation of their speech. We are at times led to 
form wrong notions regarding the origin of Bengali, bv 
looking to the non-Prakrtic or rather the Sanskritic form of 
many Bengali expressions ; we forget that for reasons stated 
more than once before, there has been purposeful sanskriti- 
zation of Bengali as well as of other vernaculars from 
time to time. Owing to intermittent Sanskrit renaissance, 
a very large number of Bengali words are now so dressed 
up, that their real pedigree cannot be easily determined ; 
that our ^^sf words, ^F, f*[, Wffl> etc., were once ^, sj^, 
f^spsi, etc., may be easily seen,, on reference to some 
common expressions as ^fljj^, C*itetT, and fol. I have 
stated before, that it is because of this sort of sanskritiza- 
tion, that the Prakrtas are more in I Bft^;f form than the 
modern vernaculars. W r e should notice moreover that in 


the outlying tracts of Bengal, ma \y words and grammati- 
cal forms of Pali and of later Prakrtas are still retained : 
in the district of Rungpnr, for example, the word $fa for 
tNft, S'ffa for ff^ft, trfa for -5ffH etc., and such a gramma- 
tical form as the formation of nominative by 'df are in full 
use. It is also noticeable that many archaic forms which 
were in use in Prakrta, and are now in use in Rungpur. 
are in general agreement with the Oriya words 
where (Oriya C^t^, Marathi C^K^),^lfC^, here (Oriya ifl 
aflfcft (for srfa) fr^fr (for fafr), tte (for *tet 
(bald headed), d>&\ (for d>^1 fish), are some examples. 

In spite of the prevalence of Pali words and Pali forms 
iu Bengali, some are doubtful if Bengali actually originated 
from Pali and its later successors, as looking into the 
morphological structure of the above speeches, they find 
*fff^> a highly inflexional language, and Bengali as mainly 
agglutinative, like the Dravidian speeches. We must 
now all learn that reversion from inflectional to agglutina- 
ting has been observed in many European and Indian 
languages. How by the mere process of phonetic decay, 
an inflectional or agglutinating speech may be reduced 
to what is called monosyllabic or isolating, has also been 
very scientifically demonstrated in the case of the Chinese 
language. The old theory of gradation from isolating to 
inflectional has been found utterly untenable. To account 
for the agglutinating character of our speech, we need not 
import a Dravidian influence, though in other matters such 
an influence upon the Bengali language cannot be denied, 
or rather has been fully admitted. We should bear in 
mind that all the modern Sanskritic speeches of the Gauijian 
group are mainly agglutinating. Certainly, no one can 
possibly deny the potent factor of non-Aryan influence in 
the matter of the formation of provincial dialects, but it 
will be too much to assert that the contact with the 


savage races alone had, ou the Aryans, the effect of break- 
ing down their rigid inflectional system, and of causing 
the Aryans to substitute, for case-endings in nouns and 
verbs, distinct particles and auxiliaries. 

Origin <>f u da** <>f lii<j-ii-iuilnl JT^Tffi '-"/////"/W-f. Let 
us take account of one simple case which illustrates how a 
tendency to agglutinate words arose, and a class of long- 
winded samasa compounds came into being in Sanskrit 
composition. It will be observed in the Prakrta prose, 
that nouns or objectives in apposition in a sentence are not 
usually linked together by conjunctions. This style of 
composition was no doubt after the general style of ordi- 
narv conversation, in which not only the copulative but 
the. disjunctive conjunction as well is at times dispensed 
with. Let me illustrate by example this conversation 
style, as still obtains in Bengal. 

Q Ttm 

A. ^rfa f^wfisj, 

A. *rfft "Sfl ^fw, 3tTfr *tffa spf =ra, [here ^FJ but 
is seldom used] srfa ^)^F| ^^<t I 

The authors who had the Prakrtas of their time for 
their real speech, did not like to put in such a conjunctive 
conjunction as 5 in their elegant Sanskrit composition, as 
that would not make the sentence sweet-sounding to their 
ears, trained to regard the Prakrta method as sweet and 
agreeable ; to compensate for the loss of 5, long samasa 
chains were forged which in their natural sonorousness 
heightened the effect of the style. 

Jaiuu Prakj'ta. I have stated that the links which 
bind Pali with modern vernaculars are almost missing; 
the Prakrta, which we meet with in the Jaina works, is in 
my opinion, a real link in the chain. I should not proceed 
seriously to controvert such a queer opinion that the 


Jaina Prakrta is Maharastri ; I shall show presently that 
not only the term Maharastri, but other terms as well as 
have been used by the Prakrta grammarians to classify 
the Prakrta speeches, are misleading. This Jaina Prakrta 
discloses many characteristics of a real speech, and it is 
almost doubtless that it was once a vernacular in the land 
of Mabablr's birth, but when did this language flourish, 
has not been satisfactorily determined. The verv fact 
that many forms occurring in this speech, cannot be 
explained by the rules formulated hy Vararuchi, urges us 
to believe, that unlike the PrEkrtas of the grammarians 
and the dramatists, which were no real spoken verna- 
culars, but were essentially literary fictions founded on 
the vernaculars, the language in question, was once a living 
speech in some parts of the province of Behar. This 
speech is no doubt highly important; but it is regrettable, 
that in proportion to its importance, the material avail- 
able at present is rather scanty. It must be mentioned 
however, that minds of scholars are not free from doubt, 
as to the thorough correctness of the Prakrta texts of the 
Jaina canonical works, hitherto published. The Jaina 
scriptures, which have been critically edited, are only 
a few in number ; it has been rightly observed by 
Dr. Barnett that this language "is a rich mine for the 
seekers of philological treasures." The learned author 
remarks, that as long as the whole of the Jaina scriptures 
have not been critically edited, many dark pages of the 
history of the ancient and modern Indian languages and 
literature will not be illumined. Dr. Barnett says that 
" neither the political nor the literary nor the religious 
history of India, can ever be written until an exact study 
has oeen made " of the Jaina scriptures composed in this 
Magadhi Prakrta. What has been opined with reference 
to the history of India in general, is specially and parti- 


cularly true regarding the history cf Bengal in a^ its 
aspects. We generally speak of the Buddhistic influence 
in Bengal, but it will be very soon recognized that the 
influence of the Jainas in this country, has been of far 
greater importance and consequence. This is not the 
subject which I can deal with here, but I doubt not that 
our Bengali scholars will direct their serious attention to 
this matter of great moment. 

As far as it has bee-i ascertained, even the oldest por- 
tion of the Jaina scriptures did not come into existence, 
in the form in which it is now obtained, earlier than 
the last half of the 5th century A.D. ; consequently, to 
be on the safe side, we may hold that the language 
which the Jaina canonical works present, is the Eastern 
Magadhi Prakrta of a time, not later than the 6th century 
A.D. Be they Jaina inscriptions or not the Khandagiri 
Inscriptions of Kharavel give us the Magadhi language 
of the second century B.C. But as this language differs 
only slightly from Canonical Pali, and as it differs on 
the other hand, very greatly from the Jaina Prakrta, 
this inscription language cannot be considered to be a 
link in the chain of evolution of this so-called Jaina 
Prakrta. As the time of the Kusana kings has not yet 
been satisfactorily established, it is difficult to assign dates 
to the Mathura inscriptions of the Jainas, which have 
been preserved by being transcribed in Sir A. Cunningham's 
Archaeological Survey Reports (vide ibid, Vols. Ill 
and XX). It is curious that the language of the Mathura 
inscriptions does not much differ from the language of the 
second century B.C. ; but as the texts of the Mathura 
inscriptions contain only a small number of sentences, 
we should refrain from offering any remarks regarding 
the character of the language of the texts. This is how- 
ever very clear and definite, that the language of the 


Jaina canonical works differs very widely from the afore- 
said inscription language either of the second century B.C. 
or of the second century A.D. Looking to all these 
circumstances, we are inclined to think that, the canonical 
works of the Jainas disclose the speech, which was cur- 
rent in some Eastern parts of Behar, some time between 
the third and the 6th century A.D. In the Mathura 
inscriptions of Kusana time, we get, for example, the same 
nominative case eudings as we meet with in the Asoka 
inscriptions and Kharavela inscriptions, but the nomi- 
native case ending in the canonical works under review is 
<4 (e) ; Mahavlra Bardhamana is always Mahavire Bar- 
dhamane. A critical consideration of this (SfflFs should be 
a subject for separate study. We may notice here only 
those points which are in agreement with Bengali. (1) We 
know that <$[ and 3 have the same sound value in Bengali ; 
even in Oriya ' *( ' is pronouced as ^-^ ; in the Jaina 
Prakrta, ' <5f ' which is the particle to signify ' and ' ( = >Q of 
Bengali) and which appears exactly in the form of ^ 
in the ' Cl^^R ' and the ' C^^t^i ' occurs indiscriminately as 
' ^5f ' or ' 3 '; this shows the sound value of ' ^ ' in the Magadhi. 
In Bengali it is a peculiarity that when y is the initial 
letter, it is sounded as ' ^ ' and is uttered as ' <ST ' when it is 
a medial; we find, for instance in the Anuttarovavaiya 
Dasao, that ' ^ ' is the initial of the word ^1% (a name), 
while ' ^ ' occurs as medial in spelling the name ^*t?tt%. 
(2) The letter <} discloses the Bengali pronunciation, as 
<i?^t^ has been very often spelt as ^f^t^. It is no 
doubt true that in all Prakrtas, iff occurs as ^ but as ^ 
is also at times met with, as for instance in 
the Kharavela inscriptions, as r ^f*|/ this point has been 
noted here. (3) The form for f%sfa is at times $56 and at 
times W$ ; in the pronunciation of some words in Eastern 
Bengal, as well as in Jessore, we detect the use of the 


early form of ^, for example the ceremony of consum- 
mation of marriage is called 51>-f<RCS, the loss of one ' \5 ' of 
the final ^ of the word ^3 is indicated by the doubling of ^ 
of f^tl ; as to ^66, the Bengali form C^t^f as in C*ft^^ may be 
noted. (4) It is exactly CFfa (and not l^f) that occurs 
in this Prakrta to denote fourteen ; this form of pronun- 
ciation is wholly peculiar to Bengali. (5) I have just 
noted above that the nominative case ending is t|, it may 
be noticed, that in the provincialism of Rungpur, this 
case-ending is strictly maintained, and in the standard 
Bengali this case-denoting suffix has not been done away 
with. f\ became C^ in Pali and this (7f1 occurs in the form 
of (7f as is current in Bengali and Oriya. (6) The Vedic 
adverb ^f% (how much) is not wholly extinct in this i2ft^, 
but we get also the additional form ^F?, which is just 
equivalent to ^ and is in use in Bengali. (7 ) To denote 
' which ' or ' what ' (though not ' who ' as in Bengali), we 
meet with ' (7F '; fa for f?R occurs with the adjunct 
<ST as f^sj. (8) I notice here one case-forming 
particle which is of much interest and importance. Not 
knowing the origin of our instrumental case-ending f^l, 
an imaginary Tftl was brought in by some Pandits as its 
originator. We get the particle ' <?f ' in this speech which 
is exactly equivalent to our obsolete *f(f' (still in use in 
Rungpur) and modern ' f^?1.' This C*f also occurs in the 
form of C\5 ; the passage which stands as ^tf% 

WQS (of) ^rc 351 f^irsl f^3?ra fartw arises 

means that Jali, after passing through the bimanapatha 
went to the higher world, etc. The pandits, who accuse 
the old Bengali poets for using the word ' falfr,' deviating 
from its Sanskrit meaning, should take note of the Prakrta 
use of it in this text, (9) The ^ ending of a verb, to 
signify past tense (or more properly present perfect) may 
be noted in such a form as ' f^l ' (did or has done) ; ' v\ ' 


as additional ending does not appear, but if this is added, 
the modern Bengali present perfect form is fully obtained ; 
there is another form for the present perfect which takes 
* ^ ' (as C^t^) and not ' ^ ' as the ending. ' fVsl ' also 
became ' ^f?T?^| ' later on and both ' ^f?T36$1 ' and ' C5ff^ ' 
stand as ' ^f?RtfV and ' ^1 ' in modern Bengali. 

I just notice three words which clear up the history of 
those Bengali words which are regarded as, Desl. (10) '^j ' 
as the word for peas has been mentioned along with the 
name of lentils ' ^f ' and ' ~3fi\ ' ; our modern word is ' 5f^, ? 
but we have not lost the word as the pod oE it is still 
called ^F^t^ffi?; in North Bengal, in East Bengal, as well 
as in Jessore, the name ' ^^ ' for peas is still in use. (11) 
' signifies the sprout or shoot of a plant ; ' C^t^l ' or 
' (as ^tt*f^ C^t^) is now in use ; in the District of 
Sambalpur, the bamboo sprout, which is used as vegetable 
is called ^?rj^, or ^fe or VWj>|. (12) The origin of the 
word is unknown, but it is curious to note that the word 
<^f%<t' signifies ' foot ' in this Prakrta, while '?R-^g' 
signifies the ' hand ' or ' the palm of the hand '; I a in 
inclined to think that ' ^^?-^t^1 ' originally signified toe 
in Bengali, but now only a particular toe is meant by it ; 
the Dravidian ^f?pF^ or bad foot shows that ^^ which 
is easily transformed into ^\5 indicates Boot. It is very 
interesting that not only in Jaina Prakrta but in Jaina 
Sanskrit works also several Prakrta words occur which in 
their old meaning and almost in their old form, are in use 
in Bengali only. For example (13) : f?R t%^t^ (in Jaina 
Sanskrit form) = f^st% S^rj^T (Jaina Prakrta form) signifies 
exactly "Back door" as in Bengali, f^5J?P ^^Tf^. (14-) 
^WJfafaFl (both in Jaina Sanskrit and Prakrta) = House- 
maid and specially the kitchen maid who throws away the 
offal or other ^Bfjftfo matter ; the first sellable ^ and the 
otiose ^ final, having been dropped, the word is in use in 


Bengali only as f% to denote maid servant. This form 
should not be confounded with f^t or f%^f^5 derived from ft 
(^%5l=f^1 = ft = f%). (15) The Bengali word <$*, to see 
(now in poetic use only; fully in use in Assam), 
occurs even in Jaina Sanskrit in the form C^fr^l, on 

I think a short interesting article may be written on 
the peculiarity or rather the speciality of the names of men 
and women of Bengal. It is no doubt a speciality in 
Bengal that though the real portion of the name of a man 
does not require any additional word, such words, as 53f, 
5Tf^, etc., are added to the names, but it is not on account 
of this alone, that the Bengali names indicate the national- 
ity of the men bearing the names to the people of other 
provinces. ' 3ts[ ' as an addition to the names of the Jain 
Tirthankars and 55 as a part of the old Magadhi names, 
as well as the names themselves bear a sort of provincial 
peculiarity ; and this may be illustrated in a separate paper 
as I have suggested. Though we cannot judge the na- 
tionality of men of old times by the form of their names 
alone, the peculiarity of Bengali names may be studied to 
see if men, having such names ^>^, Tt^, can be supposed 
to have flourished in Bengal. I note here a few old time 
Magadhi names of women which are popular in Bengal ; 
they are ' ^1 ' Ojj^?1) ^ff1 (*tj^sd%) ; TtTl, (TTfat, C^ftl, and 
t*t1 ; the second name *ffsr| is current in Bengal alone in 
the shape of ' i5.' ^-9355, ^tforfa, ^tW^TW, tEHThf, 
(and not *ft<H), etc., are some special male names of 
Bengal. We have got such a name ^fl but such 
names for men and women as sjf^l (m), Vf*fs?t (f), ^ 
(m) and v sVt^)' (fern.) are unknown in Bengal. Such 
names as <^SMf*f> ^tf^ (contraction of sfoj^tft), fts d<J>*H, 
*fjr^3, 513 5 , 53*^, 3^T$, f^^ft?t, etc., are never met with 
in Bengal.- 


Mr. Stenkonow very rightly holds that the Prakrta 
speeches, we meet with in the dramas of olden days, or 
in which the poetical works like the (7F|>^ and the C^thS^I 
were composed, were not really spoken vernaculars, but 
were rather essentially literary fictions founded on the 
vernaculars. It was no doubt unavoidable in the very 
nature of things, that the authors of the class of literature, 
indicated above, had to use many words and grammatical 
forms, as were really current in the living vernaculars of 
their time, but it is difficult now to differentiate the real 
from the unreal elements, as occur in their works. 

The Prakrta grammarians of old did not think 
very much to preserve for us the provincial vernaculars of 
their time, but were concerned in the main, to frame some 
rules (with reference to some actual phenomena, no doubt) 
by which Sanskrit could be reduced to the Prakrtas of 
their classification. These rules were useful alike to the 
-authors and the readers, in dealing with not only the 
literary Prakrtas, but also the ^^"f forms of partially 
artificial character. Again, the rules were needed not 
merely to standardise the provincial Prokrta or <5f*f5*"f 
forms, by referring them to their Sanskrit originals, but 
also to serve a curiously queer purpose : the ^^ words 
which were in actual use in the vernaculars and those which 
had to be used as loan words, to express new ideas, had to be 
reduced to imaginary Prakrta forms, as in their queer sense 
of propriety, in the matter of diction, the authors could not 


allow the ^<s*F! words to be mixed up with the 
words. Even to-day the use of our highly expressive C?^t 
and <5lt5;*t words in the company of popular \5^sf words, 
are not countenanced by some Pandits, for in their opinion a 
' *R-Ctr?1 ' or '3F5t*ft^' speech may be created thereby. 
Mr. Beams has rightly shown in his work on the com- 
parative grammar of our vernaculars, that though of 
the word ^t1%, for example, 3tf%3, Ttf^s and 3"t^> have been 
the real ^*te?*f forms with the peoples of all provinces, 
the unreal form ^t^ occurs in the Prakrta works. No 
doubt the Prakrta literature abounds with genuine 'Sf^f^'t 
forms, but it is difficult to determine now, when and where 
those forms came into use : for instance, as derived from 
<5T)H^, h'rst ^^ and then ^?R appear to have come into 
use, but exactly when and where we do not know. 

I take the following words from the Gauo'a Baho 
Kabya, edited by the late renowned scholar Sankar 
Pandurang Pandit, which will show what an anomaly the 
Prakrta authors created by reducing different words into 
one and the same form. The words are ' OTfa ' from 
^f^^t^j ^IFfa and <5f*fat^ ; ^T from ^, 5fvf, and ^; 
?pst from ^5 and ^5, TO from ^5, ^5f, sjff, W5 and Sffi, 
^t<5f from 3t^ ^ff, ^^ and ^f^- We may also notice that 
though the word ^1% (very much) has retained its pristine 
purity from the Vedic times to the present day, it has been 
reduced to ^ (as in ^^t^ = ^ft^) in the ^?Rgft. 

I adduce here one example from the Setubandha, to 
show how by reducing different words artificially to one 
and the same form, a verse in W3> has been composed 
almost in the form of a riddle ; the verse 47 of the 9th 
Canto stands as : 



The Sanskrit form of the verse will be : 


As many old Aryan words have been reduced to 
unreal forms in the (Sff^Fs, it will be interesting to notice 
the following words, more than 50 in number, as have not 
undergone any decay or <5i*f;^*f in Bengal from remotest 
antiquity till now ; the words here grouped together are 
such as are used and understood by even the uneducated 
people in rural areas in Bengal. Some of these words have 
no doubt changed their original meaning, but have not 
changed their form. The words marked with asterisks were 
not in use in the early Vedic time, but have been in use in 
Sanskrit, since a very remote time. The words are : 

(as in 

R, 5W, TPI, *Rf, 1, *lt*l, 

t 7 !, ^l, C'W, 

It is difficult to say what linguistic value should be 
attached to the old time classification of the literary 
Prakrtas. Looking to such names of the Prakrtas as 
Magadhi, Sauraseni and Maharastri as occur in some works 
on poetics and dramaturgy, one is naturally inclined to 
hold, that there were good grounds for classifying the 
Prakrtas by their respective provincial names, but these 
Prakrtas now survive in such an artificial form that the 
elements of real, provincial speech in them elude our 
grasp. Moreover, the characteristic peculiarities of Maha- 
rastri, for instance, as have been noted in the aforesaid 
works, are not what can be shown to bear genetic affinities 
with the modern vernaculars of the Maharastra country. 


If really the Maharastri <2ft$Fs was based upon a living 
vernacular, we must say, that either the old ethnic element 
has disappeared from the Maharastra country, or that by 
virtue of a serious revolution, a new ethnic element of 
dominating nature has come into the composition of the 
people of the country. I am aware that one or two 
scholars have tried to show on the strength of a few 
examples of word-forms, that the modern Marathi can be 
affiliated to the old PraVrta of the same name. Referring 
to this unscientific procedure, I can simply say, that if the 
scholars under review, choose to collect an equally good 
number of words from the literary Magadhi Prakrta, they 
will find that they may equate them as well with some 
words of the modern Marathi speech. It will be interest- 
ing to the aforesaid scholars to note this anomaly, that 
manv so-called Marathi and Sauraseni forms of old are 
conspicuous by their absence alike in Marathi and W. 
Hindi, and by their presence in Bengali and Oriya, which 
are directly connected with old Magadhi (as has been 
demonstrated before) and are not at all connected either 
with Maharastri or Sauraseni. Here are a few illustrative 
examples : 

(1) -*(W>\! if "ST^**! of this very so-called Sauraseni 

form became current in Bengal and Orissa ; Oriya still 

retains the early form ^f56i^I1 and in old Bengali we get 
it as <5ft5Ff ;5 ri. (2) ^Qft?ft (Maharastri) = Carving stone, 
etc., into statues. This form unknown in the literary 
Magadhi of the artificial classification, is in existence in 
Oriya ; we get the ^*f;^*f of it as ?FC^ to signify a doll. 

(3) The Maharastri form ^^( and not the Sauraseni form 
^R as derived from ^>sffi is traceable in Hindi and Oriya. 

(4) C^\^55 (Maharastri) = strong desire; its ^fg^f (TFf?, 
signifying strong persistent desire, is in use in Bengali 
only. (5) fasfo ^rfiT (MahSiasbri) = back-door; 



, to signify the very meaning, is in use in Bengali 
only. On reference to Jaina Sanskrit, we get the form 
' fo^lf^S ^'spfa ' ; this shows that the literary Marathi of 
old classification must have borrowed the term from 
Magadhi. (6) From t%&% comes the Sauraseni form 
fe^fff, and the MaharaStri form of it is $tt ; fwl of Oriya 
and tt^l f Bengali are connected with the first form, 
while the second form is in use in Bengali, as an un- 
declinable adverb in such a phrase as Si ^*$\ frftfl ^tf?C3 15 ft^i 
note also that the form fi^f from f^5 is similar to Vt^, 
and the current Oriya form is f^l to indicate standing. 

(7) O^Tfa (Maharastri) from *$*] = large; in use in old Oriya 
only as in C^Tt^ ^, to signify the trunk of the elephant. 

(8) Cf^ as the Maharastri form of Wt^ is in Oriya 
and in old Bengali ; the modern Bengali form is with an 
otiose ^ as <x&f or f^. (9) ft^t or rtt>t ( Maharastri) = 
assault ; in this meaning the word is met with in old 
Oriya only. (10) *p<jfoit (Maharastri) = that which swings 
( 3 ft^t^ x ) ', ^fr is in use in Oriya to signify the end of 
the ttfft (head-dress), that swings about. The plume 
of a bird is still called ^5 or Ct^ v in some parts of Eastern 
Bengal, but it is from the foreign word t?T = plume. 

(11) CTSf x (Maharastri) = to loosen, to scatter; to loosen 
the rope of a boat, for example, is expressed in Oriya 
by 5{t^ CTfa tff<l ; to spread or to scatter for drying 
a thing is OT?! CTQSl in Bengali ; <?/'. also CT1tf^ of old 
Bengali and modern Oriya, which signifies parting or 
farewell ; we may note the name of the ceremonial dinner 
given at parting which is called CT^tft ^ in Bengal. 

(12) Tt^, which is the Maharastri form of ^f is often 
met with in the poetic literature of Bengal ; e.y., ' ^ wft C^ 

One or two grammatical forms of the standard literary 
Pi-akrta may be noticed in this connection to further 


illustrate the case. (1) It is very well known that in the 
Prakrtas, no distinction is made in the use of the ^ suffixes 
Ijl and 3, and both the suffixes are found reduced to one 
simple form ' ^ ' ; thus we get for example ^f^T andftftfs^5r 
for ^1 and f^ffff%T respectively. It is in Bengali that we 
get the forms ^f^Hl, ^{tf*^t etc., exactly corresponding to 
the standard ff^ forms, and these forms or rather this 
form cannot be met with either in Marathi or in Hindi. It 
may be noted that the contracted Bengali form ^f?T or <2f3*tf*t 
for^forl or tff^tf*t^1, is in use in Oriya. (2) The case-denot- 
ing suffix ^ of the so-called Maharastri Prakrta, as occurs 
extensively in the Setu Bandha for example, is in use 
in Bengali in its later form -J ; in our modern literary Bengali 
this' <4 'is written as ' 3 ' ; for example ^t^ = t e ^Tl (because 
of the desire or by the desire) corresponds to old Bengali ^E| 
<4 or modern Bengali ^Gffa ; to express the sense convoyed 
by the form, either (71 or C^ has to be added to ^51 in Hindi 
which is supposed to be derived from Sauraseni ; how the 
modern Marathi form differs from this form need not be 
mentioned. What these seeming anomalies mean or tend to 
prove, will be discussed presently. I may notice however, 
that Oriya, the origin of which must undoubtedly be traced 
to an old Magadhi speech, had developed in it some forms 
akin to modern Marathi, centuries before Orissa came in 
contact with the Marathas : for example, the Oriya forms 
^f?T| (by doing) and (<f (from here) are closely allied to the 
Marathi forms ^i and ifl^ respectively. 

As to the name WlTttt f r the standard (2ftlF5, a word 
need be added. We do not exactly know when the noted 
work JTt^T "Tf3f which is fathered upon v^\s^, was com- 
posed, or rather compiled ; but we can confidently pro- 
nounce that the bulk of the book including the Chapter 
XVII came into being long before the time of the 
Prakrta Prakasa of Vararnchi. In Vararuchi's work, 


Maharastri is the tt^5 par excellence, while Sauraseni 
occupies the second place. In the Natya Sastra of 
Bharata Muni however, the name Maharastri for a 
Prakrta is wholly unknown, and it is Sauraseni which 
has been accorded the rank of honour. Be the com- 
position in prose or in poetry, the language of 
a drama should be C'ffaPf^t according to the dictum of 
the Natya oastra ; the direction is ' 

Even the country name snrt^to was unknown in the 
days of STflrPttSf, since in noticing a provincial lin- 
guistic peculiarity of the Maharastra country, as well as 
of some tracts adjoining to that country, only a general 
geographical description occurs in the 60th verse which 
runs as : 

If the statements and illustrations of the STt^T'Tt^ be 
compared with those of later works on Dramaturgy, we can 
clearly see that the high class artificial i2Tff* which is 
closely allied to Sanskrit, has been called C*!^*!*?) in the 
5TtT>I"tt3r and sf^lTttt in the later works. It appears that 
the artificially got-up standard Prakrta obtained the name 
C'fhrC'T^t in the 5Tt^I*ft3[, as perhaps the seat of Northern 
culture was transferred in the days of the Natya Sastra, 
from Magadha to the country watered by the Jumna; 
it seems that for similar reasons, the standard Prakrta, 
acquired the name Maharastri, in the days of Vararuchi. 
It is highly probable, that the name of the standard 
Prakrta indicates culture-centre, and does not signify any 
provincial language or dialect. That the standard <2TT3F5 
was the Prakrta, of no particular province, but was in 
reality a language fabricated by reducing Sanskrit to 


Prakrta forms, can be detected very easily, on referring 
to the poetic composition in the standard Prakrta language. 
For example, the Prakrta verses are found composed 
in such works as "f^^l, 3Wt^> etc., in such an artistic 
manner, that if for the tSTf^s words their Sanskrit equi- 
valents are substituted, the verses correctly maintain their 

The rules laid down in the first part of Chapter XVII of 
the Natya Sastra relating to the use of provincial pecu- 
liarities in the speeches of the actors cf different rank and 
position, very distinctly mention that the standard Prakrta 
of the drama has only to be nominally modified to suggest 
provincial peculiarities to the audience. The peculiarities 
or rather the points of deviation from the standard Saura- 
seni have been noted as follows : (1) The speech of all 
people of the Eastern Gangetic valle\ is to be made full 
of 4-sound : l *t*1 Tffi* TO1T ^ CT GFtti ^^f&At ; 4^fr 
^*Tt* C5^ ! t^t* ^^? itC?t"S>t$ ! s. (2) 5f is said to be the 
characteristic peculiarity of all peoples of the tract 
extending through the Vindhyas to the sea-coast ; 2 
(3) '^' is said to be the peculiarity in North-West 
India, 3 and (4) '5' is noted to be the characteristic of the 
speech of the peoples of Surastra and its neighbourhood 
as has been mentioned above. 4 Begarding the aboriginal 

1 This is perhaps on reference to the nominative-denoting 4. 

5 The tract seems to be of the Hinduized Dravidians using ^ or ^ at 
the end of nouns; the fwW speaking tribes including Odras. were 
certainly excluded. 

* In later times the apabhrahsa-speaking Abhiras are given this 
characteristic ; but the Abhiras are fwW speaking here. ^ is rather 
the Maithili characteristic in later <2ftf^s. To reduce some vowels to ^ 
sound in names as in <Ft^, *tff, ^f, ^, etc., has been usual in Bengal, 
since long. 

4 In modern Marathi. genitive indicating suffix is 5 ; bnt this 
could not possibly have been the characteristic here referred to. 


tribes (Barbaras), it has been said that they have not to 
speak their own speeches but that a few *ffi^ peculiarities 
have to be introduced by them. It is highly interesting to 
note by the way, that in the list of non-aryan peoples 
or hordes, we get the ^ft^t^s in the company of ^Ijs, 
"ffiSTs, S^f^ls and so forth ; these <5rf\fas have been mentioned 
by Hem Chandra of the 12th century as wh lly ^t^*f- 
speaking people. 

The directions in the works on Dramaturgy that the 
domestic servants and artisans should speak the Magadhi 
speeeh, may be interpreted perhaps by the fact, that from 
the 6th century onward, the people of various industrial 
occupations flowed from Magadha into other parts of the 
country. It will not be correct to hold, with reference to 
the statements in the works which are later in date than 
the Nitya Sastra, that actual Magadhi speech had to be 
spoken by dramatic characters representing the industrial 
or labouring classes. That the dramas had not really to 
be made polyglot in character, but only some suggestions 
had to be offered to the audience regarding the various 
provincialities of the Dramatis Personae can be clearly 
gathered from the rules occurring in the ^t^PttSf; however 
to make the matter convincing an analogous phenomenon 
which occurs in our widely popular and very familiar 
Jatra-Gan, may be noticed here. In this Jatra-Gan, a 
person enacting the part of a door-keeper or a porter 
speaks Bengali slightly incorrectly, in the manner in 
which the Beharis at times speak Bengali, merely for this 
reason that the Beharis usually come to Bengal to do the 
work indicated above ; the clown usually imitates Eastern 
Bengal provincialism by only substituting ^ for *f all 
throughout. Here the door-keeper does not speak Beliari, 
and the clown does not care to imitate correctly the 
provincialism of our Eastern districts ; the actors, by 


their linguistic suggestions only work up the imagination 
of the audience regarding the special situation iu the plot. 
That this is exactly what took place in ancient times in 
the matter of representation of provincial speeches on the 
stage, can be very clearly inferred not only from the rules 
given iu the works on dramaturgy but also by the analysis 
of the language of the plays. 

It may very reasonably be urged that the early time 
Prakrta works which contain many C^% words and no 
portion of the text of which can be easily rendered into 
Sanskrit, by only substituting corresponding Sanskrit words 
for the Prakrta words, should be considered to represent 
some ancient living vernaculars. ?ft<T1*f$*^t which is 
regarded by some a^ the earliest known Prakrta work, is 
the only book I know, which answers to some extent the 
description given above, but questions relating to its time, 
authorship and place of origin, are not free from difficulties. 
From the reference to iD by ^ft^l, it appears that the book 
once bore the title ^tf^^H a-tid according to general 
tradition, it was composed under the auspices of some 
Andhra rulers at Paithan or ^f^t*!*^. The present book 
does not appear to be that old work, for in the first place, it 
is an anthology containing the poems composed by various 
poets, as admitted in the colophon portions of the work 
at the end of each section ; in the second place the verses 
O3curring even in one and the same section are very loosely 
connected together without there bein^ any unity of 
thought or purpose ; in the third place, many verses bear 
evident marks of lateness, all of which cannot be fully 
discussed here. I note here however, one point which will 
show that this book of anthology cannot be said to have 
been composed in the 2nd century A.D. We know that ^t'fl 
as the principal heroine among the C^tt^us? around whom 
all other C^ttnts are but satellites, does not appear in any 


secular literature or ^^fj which is of a date earlier than 
the 8th century or at best the 7th century A. D., but this 
^t*f| is met with in the 89th verse of the first section of this 
book ; moreover the relationship that 3lf| is a ' sitft,' of her 
lover, is also found in the i*3rd verse. It must be admitted 
however in respect of many words used in this book, that 
they are not artificial reductions of Sanskrit words ; a few of 
these words are noted here : (1) C^3> (akin to vernacular 
^)=3t^, (2) *F5% (read in one manuscript as *f^ akin to 
CIT^I of Bengali and Oriy a) =%$, (3) fe (to touch as 
well as to sprinkle in the first sense it is equal to ffr^R = "*)!, 
but in the second sense it is akin to f^$1 of Bengali), (4) Tft 
= (2ft?lf^ (the final ^ (v) being pronounced as '^ as usual it 
becomes wholly akin to vernacular ffS of the Imp. Mood), 

(5) <[v55 (^51 or C^t^l and its variant ^ or OSftl current in 
many vernaculars) =5}^, (6) C^TI-^ (or CTt^) = C^t^ (compare 
our adverb OTft^ in such a phrase 

As it is uncertain when and where all the poems of the 
book were composed, nothing definitely can be said of the 
language of it. I must notice, that at the time of the col- 
lection of the manuscripts one copy of this sftTK^t^t with a 
Bengali commentary was obtained at *ftT3*25 i the ^jffal 
District ; how old that manuscript was, is not on record. 

As it appears that the authors of the <fft^* books 
used the ^*f5s"f forms of various provinces in one and the 
same work, in order to make their composition universally 
intelligible, we fail to localize the literary TT^ S ; under the 
circumstances, we can refer to all the --Stt^ works to trace 
the history of our ^t^s'f forms, no matter in which verna- 
cular those <5f*f ^f words now occur. I shall have occasion 
presently to adduce some undeniable evidence of the fact that 
the authors of many ^ffllFs works used indiscriminately the 
forms of various provinces in the same composition. 


We see that the class of literary Prakrta, we have 
reviewed in this lecture, does not give us such definite 
material, as may enable us to determine the character of 
the Magadhi speech with which we are mainly concerned 
in tracing the history of the Bengali language. We 
may note however, that in enumerating various styles 
(ftfe) of composition ^t^*!^ substitutes the term Tffift 
for the usual term Gaudi in the introductory portion of 
his <P^V5f??ft ; this indicates, what has been asserted 
previously, that Bengal did not get the name Gauda 
before the 10th century. How the early Magadhi speech 
Pali, and the Jaina Prakrta are related to Bengali, has 
been discussed in the previous lecture ; that these old 
Prakrtas in their later transformation, have not been 
properly represented in the dramatic literature of old, 
need not be any further discussed. We may now take up 
for consideration some Prakrta effusions of a comparatively 
recent date, which now survive only in fragments, and 
are found embodied in the Prakrta Paingala. This work 
on the Prakrta metrical system has been very ably edited 
by Dr. Chandramohan Ghose, B.A., M.B., and I take all 
my examples from that edition of the work. The learned 
editor has very rightly held that this work did not come 
into its present form earlier than the latter half of the 
H-th century A.D., and that it cannot be later than the 
early decades of the 1.6th century. I need hardly point 
out that all the Aryan Vernaculars of India which are 
literary languages to-day, became well-developed literary 
languages, previous to the 14th century. Many effusions 
appearing as illustrations in the Prakrta Paingala, which 
can be eisiiv detected on account of historical allusions, to 
have been composed in the L:Zth or in the 13th century, 
must be admitted to have been artificially composed in 
Prakrta, at a time when full-fledged vernaculars, could 


be made by the authors their .vehicles of thought. That 
even Oriya acquired its distinctive characteristic? in the 
12th century A.D., by being fully differentiated from 
Bengali and Bihari, can be proved by the text of the 
Rock inscription which has been preserved in the Khames- 
wari temple at Sonepur ; a portion of this inscription 
runs as : ($ ^f *&ffi$ ^Qt3 3^t^ 3If ^t 5 ! t^. 

As the literary fragments which will be quoted present- 
ly very liberally, came into existence when the mainten- 
ance of artificial long and short sounds of vowels became 
very difficult with the authors on account of their settled 
pronunciation and the prevalence of provincial pronunciation 
in the vernacular composition, many metrical irregularities 
may be noticed in them ; the author of the Prakrta 
Paiugala has been forced to formulate a rule as to where 
the long vowel is to be treated short. The rule reads : 

**), <^tt ($3) CTt (cro) 15 i ^s 

f^5), Ofl %fr ft 4^ ^tC 6 -,^ i 

The rule purports to indicate, that if a varna is fH or long 
in form, but it is usual to read it ^or short, it is to be 
read as ^; again, if the usage of the language requires 
it, two or three letters should be read together in quick 
succession to form one syllable, for a word of two or three 
letters may be required to be treated as one syllable. 
The verse illustrative of the rule is : 

Cl I 

The directions in respect of the verse are that the first C3 of 
f, and 5fl of 3T^ are to be treated short, while f^ of 
is to be read (no doubt on account of emphasis) 
long ; again, <55ffi5f is to be read as >5?|sf^, and though 
the first two syllables of TOT* af e long, only the first 
syllable 1 has to be read long ; then it is stated that cfi of 


the 4th line is to be read ^ for the evident reason that a 
stress or emphasis on 5fff? renders the initial syllable 
short in the metre. That the irregularities have been 
due to the usual vernacular pronunciation of the words, 
can be well illustrated by the example of a Bengali C^t^, 
in which only unawares, the Bengali author has made the 
last two syllables of >ft5tC* " : <?., $1 and C?f) short ; the 
lines are : 

* ?& i 

In respect of the language of the above-quoted 
verse, a few remarks may be offered. The metre is no doubt 
Hindi ; but there are many forms which are foreign to 
Western Hindi, and which prevailed only in a compara- 
tively recent time in Eastern Magadhi, which is undeni- 
ably very closely allied to Bengali. \s& for thou is Eastern 
Magadhi ; this very form was in use in old Bengali 
and it is now current in Assamese. The Magadhi 
form ^fsf became a special property of Bengali amid the 
speeches of the Eastern Gau ji group ; the ablative case- 
denoting suffix fa as occurs here, has transformed itself 
in modern Bengali into 'O*l' which appears as 'C^ft^ ' with an 
otiose ^. The form C*ft is wholly equivalent to our old 
Bengali form, and this very form is still current in Oriya ; 
the modern Bengali form fwl only slightly varies from it. 
The locative denoting f^ as in ^-f^ is also peculiar to 
Eastern Magadhi. We can therefore very easily say that 
the language of the verse represents the Magadhi speech 
which was current at a time not far removed from the 
date of birth of the Eastern modern vernaculars. 

I proceed now to give some examples to show that the 
authors of several verses wrote in Prakrta, at a time when 
modern vernaculars became respectable literary languages. 


I shall quote generally those verses which have been com- 
posed in that Magadhi which is very much allied to 
Bengali, or which may be reasonably supposed to be pro to- 
Bengali. I use this word of caution here, that some ex- 
amples will disclose the fact that some authors in collecting 
obsolete t2ft3F5 words could not discriminate between 
different provincial forms, and as such mixed up the forms 
of different languages in one and the same poem. The 
first example given below is of a poem which was composed 
to describe the expedition of ^ffr of admittedly recent 

i i 

It should first be noted that this metre of 'fifths which 
was taken up by the author is more allied to Bengali metre 
than to any other. The dropping of the locative si;n 

* A few remarks as to the correct reading are needed 

L. 1. affi ffaf of MS. B for *pMf$ seems better. 

L. 2. <p^ as the initial word in the published text requires that for 
the sake of metre two syllables of the text should be deleted ; in the 
second place proper construction with ^ requires a negative particle 
in the line to signify nothing could be visible anywhere because of 
the conflagration ; as such, either the reading of MS. F is to be partly 
accepted or ^ has to be omitted ; I omit "^ to avoid all complications. 

L. 3 The reading ffa of MS. A is adopted. 

L. 4. Wt of MS. B, C & E substituted for f^t : Wft f MS. F 
to signify ' to hanker for ' is evidently a better reading. 


i<l n TO =TOT, f-i = 

*fc[ ), etc., is due to the metre in which long sound with 
t<l cannot be tolerated. t?f 0f?R or ^f%?tfll), ^E?f 
O%T%i), fOT (f TTtaTfs*!), and WT (&frotff I) are inter- 
esting past forms ; the older past forms ^fjft, ^<ft, fft, etc., 
should be compared with these forms, and it is to be 
noted, that in t ie 3rd person <<n' came into use for '5f.' It 
is significant that the past form here illustrated, is in use 
in modern Bengali, as we may note the use in such a 
sentence as CT <srfaft^ srftl Tftif, ^ft ^Tf ft lift ; again, 
when negative sense is indicated, this past form is specially 
idiomatic in Bengali, for example, (71 ^t?T *Tt^, ^rlft *Tif?T 
5Tt^ are more idiomatic than CT ^tWtfl^ Tl, or :; srffif 
.Ttf^lf^^tT Tl,asat times noticed in Eastern Beugal speech. 
It is highly interesting that the commentators of the 
verse, have failed to understand the meaning of the word 
*ffa which means woman in the text ; that the soldiers 
were seeking for women is clear from what subsequent 
lines distinctly indicate ; Hem Chandra gives the right 
meaning of the word in his <?fft JTfWpTl, but the word is 
in use in B-ngal alone. ^^r<?[f%^ sff^T is equivalent to 
Bengali \5C3 *J?Ft^fl 9 tft%l which is exactly the meaning 
of the phrase. The women, it has been stated, did flee 
afterwards from their hiding places on hearing the fearful 
sound of C^t ; so we see that 0^1%^ is in the possessive 
case. Thus it is doubtless that the language of the text 
is not only Eastern Magadhi, but is proto-Bengali. 

The following verse shows that the Oriya form ^t^" 
has been used in the midst of that Magadhi language 
which did not develop the special provincial Oriya form 
on the soil of Magadha. It is also noticeable, that the 
term ^t 5 ! or ^f%, which means coquette and is in 
use in Oriya now, occurs in the verse; the word fofo% 
was, we know, reduced to fc?1%% or ^fr^t on one side, 


and to f fsrfo or ffsrff* on the other; the form 
which occurs in Hem Chandra's CWft STftsffsfl under a 
misconception, ha.s been the form in Hindi, as well as in 
Bengali. I have to add, that the metre of the following 
verse was never adopted in Oriya, and the term *ffa for 
a woman has been the special property of Bengal. 

C* rfsf, 

The next verse I quote, contains grammatical forms 
which were undoubtedly formed on the soil of Bengal, 
when Bengali was wholly differentiated alike from Maga- 
dhi and Oria. 

The reading f^lf^sf for ff^'Sf (>ff^\5) does not alter 
the speech, for we get the form ffffs^ in such an old 
Bengali TS^pft formula as ^tfrft ^^1 Tt^l ^IC^f. p^ 
(|K^^ for srfFTC) seems unnecessary prakrtization, since 
it is <5rfa and not ^Fs which has ever been in use in all the 
Northern Indian Vernaculars. It is true, that for emphatic 
expression of possessive, ' ^ ' was generally used in Prakrta 
for the possessive-denoting ^, which being boneless had 
subsequently to be reduced to '*.' The forms 5ft5 and 'STfCf 
are purely Bengali ; from 5fEgj we got ^ff^ because of our 
accent on the first syllable, while on account of the accent 
on the last syllable ^|-^ and 5fs> came into use in Oriya 
and Maithili respectively ; for similar reasons it is not ^[f^ 


but <3rft^ (in the 3rd person) which has been the Bengali 
form derived from *Kf% We notice again, that it is not 5f? 
but ^ (qfif) which is the form here, as met with in Bengali, 
Oriya and Assamese. That (fl^f^T is proto- Bengali, has 
already been remarked. The ^Tl final of ^t^ and ^F5 
is peculiar to many nominative (as well as objective) forma- 
tions in old Bengali. The f^ suffix in the subjunctive 
mood, indicating futurity, is a speciality in the later 

That the following verse was composed in Bengal has 
partly been admitted by a commentator : 


It is significant that the non- Bengali commentators 
have failed to explain $ t 5\y$ ^1 ; >8^1 'Ff^is a familiar thing 
with us in Bengal and it must be therefore provincial in 
formation. We notice that to denote possessive case there 
is the old ^ in iT^5T as well as the later <F in ^ft^F ; pos- 
sessive with ^-ending is in use in Hindi now. sj^f fish is 
(TJHffTl which is a delicacy in Bengal, and ^tfcfSl which 
signifies the leaves of jute plant may be found still in use 
in Bengal. 

The poem I next quote reminds us of Jayadeva ; there 
are many lines in some other poems occurring in the <2fl^3 
^*f^ffj which are almost word for word equivalent to some 
lines of Jayadeva's %5l$flf^ 5 f7 : for example, 
is met with in the 


if OT 

(711 s TOW fatf 

^- fTl I 

f %f^' (who honorific) is wholly and purely Bengali. Some 
foreign commentators unfamiliar with Bengali have read it 
f^ as a variant of Sanskrit c*R and have made f^^tf^ 1 ^ 
(fortfari), ^T^rrf^f (2PFtfni1), etc., falftvS, 2f?Ftfr^, etc.; no 
doubt '^ stands equally for vg, for ?T (of modern vernaculars), 
and for the i2^5n '^T or %' but the construction '(7R f^Tff*!^ 
etc., fails, because the passive voice cannot be thought of in 
the sentence ending with the finite verb ?Fi^ ; again, it 
will be noticed that 'f^fr' is related to 'CTl' which occurs 
in the beginning of the 7th line. I must remark by the 
way, that old Bengali did not inherit C^J? or fiR (by whom) 
as is supposed by some ; in CTf5t^^t^ edited by the 
renowned scholar Haraprasad Sastry, very wrongly a 
'(' has been added to ^5t"f (in thirst) to indicate instru- 
mentality ((7f1^t^t^> P- Ho); the ^ in question has been 
wrongly taken over to the end of wf, while really it is the 
initial letter of the next following word, which has been 
reduced to r ^*l signifying rain water ; that the meaning 
of the decapitated word is rain water, has been admitted 
by the commentator, but he has not seen that it is rj^-ssi*! 
which yields the proper meaning. Why the form (Tfl 
occurs for (71, in the poem above quoted has been stated 
before in a general remark. In f^fsi S51?T <O (<7Rf ^T?T 


^<T) the ease-denoting suffix if) of the Eastern Magadhi 
Prakrta, has to be noted. That the form Of^ is in use in 
Oriya, and was in use in Bengali, and that it does not 
differ from C*T^ and later f^^, need not be discussed. 
The ^5f ending of f^f??^ is certainly equivalent to (! .' 

I dare say we have got enough material to examine the 
various forms of sit^tft speech which transformed itself 
into Bengali. We do not exactly know, when the effusions 
quoted above adorned the Prakrta literature, but we 
can see very clearly, by comparing the language of the 
poems with our modern language, that the forms which 
occur in the poems are genuine predecessors of our modern 
forms. I do not mean to say that the passages, I have 
quoted from the Prakrta Pain gala, should alone be referred 
to in tracing the history of our modern forms, and that the 
other literary Prakrtas dealt with in this lecture, should 
be left altogether out of view because of their artificial 
character. I have no doubt tried to show, that the old 
classification of the literary fTf^s by some names 
indicating provincial origin of the speeches, is highly 
misleading, but it must be remembered that inspite 
of their provincial names, the artificially got up (SJt^s 
contain forms and idioms of the dialects of the 
provinces, which their names do not indicate ; as such 
we must look into the treasures of all the literary <2tf^s, 
to get the THft elements of our quest. 

We have noticed this significant peculiarity in our 
investigation, that from the remotest time our literary 
languages have been different from the real living speeches 
of the people. The standard literary speech is bound to 
differ from the vulgar speech in every country, but the 
sort of gap which we notice in India, between the literary 
and the popular, is of such width and character, as is 
generally unknown in Europe. I cannot take up to 



discuss those social and other conditions of India, by 
virtue of which the people of this country were never 
stirred up to do those adventurous deeds, which all nations of 
Europe have always been forced to undertake. For various 
reasons, the Indian peoples of all social conditions, did never 
combine together to attain an object of common aspira- 
tion ; the high class literary men of ample leisure and 
decent competence have always created a literature in 
India, which the common people settled in industrious or 
agricultural life, could never take any interest in. There 
was never such a thing as mass education, for hardly the 
common people felt any necessity to make themselves 
literate. I cannot discuss this subject of great historical 
moment in these lectures, but this special peculiarity of 
Indian civilisation should always be remembered, to 
account for the character and qualities of our literature. 

It concerns more the history of literature than the 
history of language, to deal with the questions why the 
literary men of old, took at all to writing in the Prakrtas, 
when they were conversant with Sanskrit, and how for 
erotic composition the authors were principally drawn to 
the Prakrtas ; but in tracing the history of a language, 
we cannot afford to forget facts as they stand, and must 
take due note of them. We should also bear in mind, 
that the special Indian tendency, I have spoken of, in 
giving the peculiar character to literary speeches, is still 
our heritage ; if we overlook this fact, we are sure to fail 
to estimate properly the value of our modern literary 
idioms and syntactical structure. 



In this lecture I propose to survey briefly the whole 
field traversed up to now, to offer some suggestions or 
practical hints as to what should be the right method of 
investigation. To get together the broken parts, scattered 
all about, and then to put them in order, to effect a recon- 
struction, is a hard work. It becomes harder still when 
some broken parts survive in fragments only, and when 
again, some fragments elude recognition in having been 
polished off and fitted into a new structure. Hard though 
the task has been, I have tried with my best effort to col- 
lect, examine, and classify such facts relating to the history 
of our vernacular, as I could lay my hands upon. I am 
perfectly aware that the facts I have collected and classi- 
fied, cannot all be interrelated with equal success, though 
in the main they all point to the conclusion I have 
arrived at, or rather I have suggested. As facts, their 
value cannot be overrated, but I have to admit that they 
are a bit shadowy here and a little definite there, 
amorphous here and partly crystallized there, in broken 
fragments here and i i their entirety there. However, I 
hope they will readily render themselves useful in the 
constructive hands of the trained scholars. 

I have sketched out, though in shadowy outlines, the 
course of the stream of our language that stretches forth 
itself from the Vedic source-head to the Gauf-a-Magadha 
valley, by receiving numerous affluents at several points 
from various directions. That the main current of this 
verv stream inundates Bengal, has only been partly 


demonstrated in the previous lectures ; for the full 
demonstration of it, the next lecture which will be 
the last, has been reserved. By keeping up the metaphor, 
I may say that the limpid stream of this river 
running parallel to the artificial channel of Classical 
Sanskrit, from a dim past to the second century B. C., is 
distinctly noticeable. If the Jaina inscriptions unearthed 
at Muttra, be of the second century A. D., we may unhesi- 
tatingly say that the Magadhi speech of the second cen- 
tury B. C. did not undergo a very severe change in its 
course of progress for full three centuries, but the chrono- 
logy of the Kushana time remains still unsettled. 
From this time forth to the end of the 5th century A. D., 
we can get no definite trace of this stream. During the 
6th and the 7th centuries we find the Magadhi speech in 
the Jaina scriptures considerably altered and modified ; 
we learn from the records of Huen Tsiang that at this 
time the speech of Magadha prevailed over all the different 
provinces of Bengal, namely, over RaVjha or Karna 
Suvarna, over Kie-chu-ho-khilo or Berhampur cum 
Nadiya, over Northern Bengal, consisting of Punrjra- 
bardhan and Barinda, and over Samatata, consisting of a 
portion of 24 Parganas, of Jessore and of a considerable 
portion of Eastern Bengal. How this speech was sub- 
sequently modified both in Behar and Bengal till the 
displacement of the Pala rule in Kehar by the western 
invaders, can only be guessed from some literary fragments 
which have been noticed in the previous lecture. 

I have stated in a previous lecture that when the 
rulers of "Western and Central India conquered Magadha- 
cum-Gaada of old, the civilization of Magadha found 
a safe shelter in the extensive country of Bengal, while 
the people who were left in Behar or Gaucja-Magadha 
country, had to adopt in due course of time, not only many 


forms of newly imported speeches, but also the food and 
the dress of the powerful new-comers. The people who 
took kindly to the habits of life which the Buddhist house- 
holders had brought into vogue, did not care either for a 
head-dress or for a garment which was not wholly white. 
The Dravidians, among whom these people came to live, 
had not then or have not now any head-gear, but were 
fond however of coloured pieces of cloth for their 
garment. The flowing white dress of the Bengali male 
people is now coming into fashion in other provinces also, 
but the Bengalis and Oriyas are only found to use no head- 
dress at all. I mention these facts with the object of 
showing, how deep and abiding, how intense and extensive, 
has been the influence of Magadha culture in Bengal. We 
may, I daresay, be fully justified to assert, what has been 
asserted before, that we in Bengal represent to-day the old 
Behar, more than the modern Beharis do in Behar. Our 
language is essentially Magadhi ; and trace it as far back 
as we may, it cannot be found to have been originated from 
the Classical Sanskrit language, to which we only owe a 
debt of many loan words only, to express high thoughts in 
the Vernacular. 

The Behari speeches of to-day contain elements 
foreign to the old Magadhi ; we have to be consequently 
very careful in taking up Behari forms in elucidating the 
history of our Bengali forms. What light the speeches 
of Assam and Orissa may throw on the history of our 
Bengali forms, should also be duly gauged to avoid much 
misconception. I cannot halt to discuss fully the history 
relating to the origin of Assamese and of Oriya, but a few 
words relating to the topic need be added. 

The very geographical situation of Assam clearly 
shows, that Aryan culture could not possibly reach 
that country, without passing through Magadha and 


Northern Bengal. Huen Tsiang records in the 7th 
century A. D., that the then short-statured people of 
Assam, who had no faith in Buddha and who were 
worshippers of Devas, spoke a dialect which was a little 
different from Magadhi. The difference that existed in 
those days between the speeches of Bengal and Assam, 
was no doubt due to what the Chinese traveller has sug- 
gested in a short sentence : in the first place, the then 
short-statured people of Assam differed ethnically from the 
pecple of Bengal, and in the second place, because of non- 
adherence to the Buddhistic faith on the part of the people 
of Assam, the culture of Magadha could not How freely 
into that country. That in later times religious differences 
disappeared, and for some time during the rule of the so- 
called Pala Rajas, Assam came directly under .the influence 
of Bengal, are too well known to be repeated here. We may 
notice, that in many particulars Assamese agrees with the 
provincial dialect of Rangpur, which retains nothing but 
the old Bengali forms; we shall also see from examples 
which will be adduced in the next lecture, that many gram- 
matical forms of old Bengal which were once abbreviated 
on the soil of Bengal itself, are current in Assamese. 
Another fact need be pointed out. We shall presently see 
that the main stream of Oriya language flowed into 
Orissa, through Bengal. It is a striking phenomenon 
that there are some linguistic peculiarities, wherein Oriya 
agrees with Assamese, and differs from Bengali. This 
phenomenon can only be explained by this, that Bengal 
as a progressive country has altered the early forms, while 
the archaic forms have been retained in Orissa and Assam. 
We can safely hold, that the Magadhi language, as was 
once fashioned and modified on the soil of Bengal, got 
into Assam to take a fresh root there to develop into a new 
language under the influence of a lanouage altogether 


foreign to the Aryan speed). That the script of modern 
Bengal, which can be proved to have taken its modern 
shape and form on the soil of Bengal at a comparatively 
recent time, is current in Assam, should not also be for- 
gotten. There are instances, how many scholars by forget- 
ting this fact have pronounced very wrongly the language 
of some old books to be Assamese, on the ground that the 
language discloses many forms which are now current in 

How after the complete disintegration of the old 
Kalinga Empire, a province bearing the name Orissa was 
constituted, and how a new Aryan speech, now called 
Oriya, came into being, cannot be detailed here. It will 
suffice to say, that when Huen Tsiaug visited the land in the 
7th century A.D., the people of Kaliriga with their Dravi- 
dian speech were found confined within the confines of the 
Andhra country, and Orissa was struggling into a new 
life, with new ethnic elements and a new speech ; the 
Utkala people, in the north were not aryanized at that 
time, and the people in the District of Puri (Kongada) 
were only learning Northern Indian speech and script 
under the influence of the successors of Raja Narendra 
Gupta of Karna Suvarna in Bengal. We learn also from 
some old works on Dramaturgy that the Odras and their 
congeners the Sabaras, used only some Aryan words in 
their non- Aryan speeches in the 6th century A.D.. and 
their speeches were then called fo^i^l on that account. 
How because of the supremacy of the Kosala Guptas for 
about three centuries, a Magadhi speech took deep root 
in Orissa, has been narrated briefly in the 4th lecture. 
The Northern boundary-line of Orissa runs from the North- 
East corner of the District of Balasore to the North-West 
corner of the Feudatorv State of Gangpur, along the 
Southern limits of Bengali-speaking and Hindi-speaking 


tracts ; how therefore two different varieties of the 
Magadhi speech could come together to form the Oriya 
speech, may be easily imagined. We should be very care- 
ful therefore in referring to the archaic forms of Oriya, 
to trace the history of our words. The reason why Oriya 
abounds with archaic forms, may be stated in the words 
of Mr. Beams : " Oriya is the most neglected member of 
the group [of the Aryan languages], and retains some 
very archaic forms. The repulsive and difficult character 
in which it is written, the rugged and mountainous nature 
of the greater part of Orissa, and its comparative isolation 
from the world at large, have combined to retard its 
development." It is not the place where I can show that 
many letters of the Oriya script owe their origin distinctly 
and definitely to their corresponding Bengali forms 
brought into use on the soil of Bengal at a comparatively 
recent time ; ^, i[, I? and ^ are some of these letters ; these 
letters only seemingly differ from the Bengali letters 
because they are written in a mode wholly peculiar to 
Orissa ; that this mode of writing has made the Oriya 
letters unattractive to the foreigners, may be known from 
the following remark of Mr. Beams as appears in his 
Comparative Grammar of the Aryan Vernaculars : " The 
Bengali is the most elegant and easiest to write of all the 
Indian alphabets, Oriya, is of all Indian characters the 
ugliest, clumsiest and most cumbrous " (Vol. I, p. 62). 

We can very well assert on the strength of the facts 
adduced in this as well as in some other lectures, that the 
Eastern Magadhi vernaculars were very much alike and 
did not much differ from one another, when they llrsi 
came into being by being differentiated in different pro- 
vinces ; consequently we may refer to many archaic forms, 
retained alike by Oriya and Assamese, to trace the history 
of our words. Written vernacular literature of this very 


early period has not been hitherto discovered, and old 
songs, proverbs, adages .and saws as have come down to 
us, have lost their old linguistic character in the course of 
being transmitted orally from generation to generation. 
10th century A.D. is the approximate time when Oriya was 
fully differentiated as a provincial vernacular, but of this 
time we do not get even any literary fragment composed 
in a genuine vernacular. In the name of the Bengali 
language of the 10th century A.D. , a recently published 
volume of verses has attracted our attention ; it is quite 
fitting that the language of this collection should be 
examined here. The book I have to notice in quest of the 
old Bengali language, is a collection of three doctrinal 
works recently published by the Bengal ' Sanity a Parisat ' 
under one general title 'C^Hi^ffa '3 C^t^l ' ; the noted Scholar 
Mahamahopadhyay Haraprasad Shastri brought the doc- 
trinal works from Nepal, and it is he who has edited them 
in the aforesaid collection. It has been prominently 
inscribed on the very title page, that the contents of the 
collection preserve for us the language of Bengal as was 
current thousand years ago. What Pandit Shastri says, 
commands my respectful attention, but I fear that it is 
difficult to support the claim of antiquity that has been 
preferred for the hieratic effusions in question. I have 
to remark here that I do not take any account of the 
iJWffa portion of the collection, as it i.s not in Bengali, 
but composed in corrupt Sanskrit, interspersed with some 
Prakrta slokas. 

These doctrinal works, \ve learn, were translated into 
Tibetan, but when, we do not know. The fact that 
some scholars of Tibet are known to have been active 
during some centuries in collecting various books in India, 
does not prove when these works were collected; it could 
be previous to this period of special activity, or it could 


be subsequent to it. Looking to the metrical system and 
the grammatical forms, some verses may be declared to 
be composed in Hindi. Generally the language of many 
effusions is such a jumble of various words and gramma- 
tical forms of various provinces and of various times, that 
we can hardly say that the writings represent any parti- 
cular dialect. I do not think anybody will proceed se- 
riously to determine the language of the following hybrid 
sentence, which 1 compose to illustrate my case, ric. : 
TfaHt^CS (I think Marhatti) c^t t ^^ 1^f x (somebody 
Hindi) CTf^ ^f^ f^T (told me Asamese) CT t)^ ^ 
(that in this house Bengali) *$W3 (previously Oriya) 
f?nit*T (one Mundari) f^t^'R (Brahman, Nominative 
Tamil) ^^ (lived Telegu). "VVhy this strange pheno- 
menon occurs in this book is partly explained by the 
name of the language ' TOl ^ftl.' The male <5R^5's 
and the female ' f%tfa ' s came together very likely 
in a colony of theirs, and there composed the secret 
tenets, etc., of their cult for their disciples in such 
a manner, that when the songs would be sung or muttered, 
the uninitiated might not understand either the language 
or the purport of them. Though the language is mainly 
Hindi, the authors allowed words and forms of many 
dialects to flow freely into their composition. No doubt, 
to us now, the veil is very thin, and we can see the 
whole thing through and through. The collection is highly 
important to the philologists and the Anthropologists. 
We are not concerned here with the doctrine, but can say 
that such a sentence of the book as " 
*ff'*I " reminds us of the Baul son 


I cannot pick up examples for insertion in this book, 
for that will be besides my purpose; I must however, 
say that in some songs, Bengali elements predominate. 
Our very late forms occur in one and the same piece 
along with many archaic Bengali forms as well as Oriya 
and Maithili forms. This can be noticed by the students 
by merely glancing at the texts. The very first song with 
which the book begins, contains 'fV ("Sffr) and ' *!^S&1 ' in 
the opening lines, which are presumably Hindi. I fear 
5*tt\5 and tft^ have been wrongly interpreted by dis- 
regarding the commentary. In song No. 33 along with 
the pure Bengali form ' f tf^ff5 ^t^s ($,' occurs the line 
which is either Oriya or Hindi in form, namely ' $f^Tl ^ 
f% (/ft^lffa ' ; the word ' ^Tft ' was no doubt in use in 
Bengali, but its use is now only confined to the district 
of Sambalpnr ; the form ' 5,f^1 5*f ' (the milk that has 
been drawn) is either Oriya or Behari. We cannot 
fail to notice that the very late Bengali form 
is in company with Hinai ^t^T, <P^1, ^* 
etc., and Oriya 4fl", vf>f^, ^^, <$, etc. ; the special 
Oriya grammatical forms St^W,, f^3S3 (in locative) 
and ^, ^Fi^l (archaic), f^f^l (verbs in different 
tenses), etc., occur side by side with modern Bengali forms 
^t^Tj ^1%t^ sf^^f, 'Tt^, etc. We cannot also overlook 
such special Oriya words as *lf%cf) (in a moment), f^f^I 
(slippery), ^t (cultivated plot of land) and C^fa (two) 
as occur in the text ; of these words I notice particularly (1) 
tffc as a special W*\3W form of f^ or (R (tffo in old 
Prakrta and in old Guzrati) and (2) ^%^ formed as adverb 
according to the rule of Oriya Grammar. We can see that 
it is a hopeless state of thing:?, which the >f^Tl t^1 or the 
mystic language of the <5R5f5s discloses. 

No matter which Channidiisa of exactly what time is the 
author of the Sri Krisna-klrtan, which has been very ably 


edited by Babu Basanta Ranjan Kay, but 1 have no hesita- 
tion to say that the book was composed during the early 
years of Mahomedan influence in Bengal. There are a 
very small number of words of Persian or Arabic origin, 
but we must notice at the same time, that though it is a 
Vaisnavite work, it has not been composed in that artificial 
language, and non-Bengali metres which the early Yaisnava 
poets, including our popularly known S^fft 7 !, resorted to 
in the composition of the Yaisnava lyrics or Iffft^ts. 

The archaic grammatical forms as occur in this book, 
will be noticed in the subsequent lecture ; I should only 
mention here, that we get in these forms a few connect- 
ing links between the late Magadhi and modern Bengali 
forms. A few examples will only do here: (1) The 
pronominal forms ^, \s^, etc., aie intei mediate between 
the late Magadhi and modem Bengali ; (2) The final 3?\% 
' ^> ' was formerly pronounced almost like '(&' and this is 
still the case with the Oriyas who pronounce *Tf^> ^>t^j etc. 
as *TfaC, ^TftF, etc. Thus it was that the ablative case- 
ending of ^\^ became 3>^-^, or ^^fos, or 3^-3^ in old 
Prakrta ; we get pure ft" in this book as ablative case- 
ending, and this is what has become ^ in Bengali ; 
it has no connection with the verb ^tf = ' to be '; in Hindi, 
we get for it the ending f and the corresponding Oriya 
form is ^* ; compare \s^f of Hindi and ^ (from the 
house) of Oriya. (3) The emphasis indicating 'f^' of 
Prakrta, as in (Tlf^ (He it is) is found as ft in this book 
as in C*ffr ; C'l-C'R of Eastern Bengal and (71 fr^l of 
Oriya may be compared. cSfjf in this book is equivalent 
to modern ^^5 or ^1^5 (for that reason). (4) Many idiom- 
atic expressions now obsolete in Bengali but current even 
now in Oriya are met with in this book ; " ^ ^JTSFJ " 
(the market will disperse) is in use in Sambalpur, T( 
(guided or showed the way) is idiomatic throughout 


Orissa. More examples need not be multiplied here. 
How one is liable to mistake one old language for 
another allied speech, may even be illustrated by an 
example of a sentence composed in a modern language. 
The line of our poet Rabindranath which reads, C^ ^Tffw 
^ft f*T!, <n?3i3l ^fa Gst 5 ^, can be easily pronounced as 
Assamese if the Bengali metre is disregarded; Aryan 
Vernaculars other than Assamese can also very well claim 
the line to be theirs, but for the grammatical form C^t^t^, 
which occurs at the end of the line. How very careful 
therefore we should be, to avoid reckless assumptions in 
determining the provincial character of a speech of a time, 
when the provincial speeches were being formed and 
differentiated, can be easily appreciated. To trace the 
history of our words, we have to look alike to those 
outside and inside influences which have been at work in 
the province of Bengal in the up-building of our speech. 
Just to throw out some hints as to the right procedure 
to be followed in such an investigation, I take up to 
discuss the character of some words, which have come to 
us from various sources. No doubt I have spoken of these 
sources before, but some illustrative examples may be of 
practical help to those who are new in the field of 

The Dravidian sources. I have said a good deal before 
how the Dravidiaus best represented by the Tamil-speak- 
ing people of to-day, have influenced the Aryan tongues ; 
I have also said how words of foreign origin may simulate 
the appearance of Aryan words, and how by comparing 
the roots and idioms of different languages we have to 
determine the real character of the words. Some addi- 
tional examples are adduced here to make the matter con- 
vincing. V|, ^j, or ^>\3, ^fffii and *tt), are words without 
roots in the Sanskrit language, while they are found 


well-rooted in the Tamil speech and they are there in the 
company of many words derived from their living roots. 
For similar reasons we may say, that fasf^ (appearing 
some times as ^f^) signifying eye-lid, is the progenitor 
of the Sanskrit word fcfsR (twinkling of the eye), and ^s\ 
(to surround) is the root for the Sanskrit word ^*\g ; the 
very form T|Tl, a bangle or a bracelet, which is in use in 
Bengali is met with in the Dravidian language. We 
note again the origin of srffat^T which though unknown 
in Yedio, has been a fruit of great importance with the 
Aryans. Kel is the word for it in the Kerala country ; the 
first portion of the Aryan form of the word does not 
convey any meaning, and so I suppose that when the 
Aryans inquired of the name of coeoanut in the Western 
portion of the Dravidian country, the vendors gave the 
name tiaf (good) kef in response and hence 5Ttfac^1 
became the name of the fruit. The Sanskrit word ^t 6 ! 
for ^i does not also come out of a Sanskrit root, while we 
get ?F1 (eye) as a genuine Dravidian word ; it is the defect 
of this ^1 which has no doubt been expressed by ^tl in 
Sanskrit. We may notice along with it that as a synonym 
of the word ^f?HT (<TC^T, ^^1 and Wl in Prakrta and in 
Vernaculars), we use the word ^t*Tl which also seems 
to be derived from ' Kel,' to hear. It should be generally 
remembered that a very familiar object or idea is always 
expressed in all languages by one word only,* and an 
independent synonym of such a word (not a word expressive 
of the character or quality of the object or idea), cannot 
but be suspected to have come from a foreign source ; for 

* Various tribes coming together with their tribal speeches to form 
one people, may give rise to many synonyms for a word, ami most of 
these synonyms may for some time live in non-literary provincial 
j'alects to assnme literary dijrnity afterwards. 


example, the synonym ^t or 3t^ for ^1% to denote stream- 
ing or (lowing', can be very naturally coined, but such 
synonyms as 3\^, C\$, or ^l, may be suspected to be of 
foreign origin. If the word ^ has come out of $H (trickle 
out), the existence of it may be justified, but the two other 
words sjfa and C5tU which cannot be connected with Sans- 
krit roots naturally arouse our suspicion regarding their 
origin. The Dravidian root ^ which we get in ^-^ (tear- 
drop , ^t-3 3 (river) is in the Tamil word sjfa of which ^[^ 
or sft^ is a Telegu variant ; we have to notice along with 
it that, the word ^fr does not occur in the Vedic language ; 
we are therefore justified to hold that the word was intro- 
duced in Sanskrit from the Dravidian source. As to 0t3 
unknown in early times, we notice that an aboriginal tribe 
of Tippera use the word for water, and tin to signify water 
occurs in many dialects spoken in and near Mauipur. 
T. C. Hoclson shows (J. R. A. S., 19U, pp. 143-50) 
that this ' tui ' is connected with Chinese 'sui/ The word 
in question may therefore be presumed to have come from 
the Kiiatasource. The word kari for twenty occurs 
in some Mongolian speeches in the liimalayan region ; 
this word may be presumed to be identical with 
our 3>f%. 

We notice in this connection another phenomenon of 
equal importance. Some Sanskrit words naturalized by 
theDravidians, in their Dravidian method, are found retaken 
in Sanskrit as new words, unconnected with their original 
forms ; for instance, *r$, reduced to i-tampan, has come 
again as atopa (cf. *rfti>t*ft N ifrspsff^) in Sanskrit, and the 
Dravidian C^Q a derivative of *f^f, appears in Sanskrit in 
the form f^^ as in ffrs^t^ . It is very interesting to note 
that some Sanskrit derivatives, in Bengali, disclose this fact 
that we have reduced some Sanskrit forms to Bengali, 
exactly in the manner in which the Dravidians do ; 


e.ff., (!) In pure Dravidian such as Tamil, a vowel must 
come before the initial ^ and \, and according- to this rule, 
we find that ^ reduced to ^ has taken the vowel ^ before 
it, in the formation of the word ^5? (cf. Oriya, ^l^R) ; 
(2) in Tamil ' *f ' and '5' are not different letters and so 
the word *ftTl (house) has been reduced to Ff^l and in this 
very fashion we have formed the word St^ll or Ffl (roof or 
thatch) in Bengal. (3) <J^t<J has been reduced to kodal and 
ko'.jali in some Dravidian speeches, and we too, have given 
currency to exactly similar forms C^frt'f and C^fttf^l, 
independently of the Dravidians ; (4) we get C 9 ^ from ^J 
(force) in Tamil (and so also ifa from ^t, strong), and 
it is striking that our obsolete Bengali form C*ffi1 C"ff^T 
(cf. ^\V^f\ as a method in chess-playing in Maiuthi), which 
still exists in Oriya, and of which our moidern form is 
d>*rft^fa, has been formed according to Dravidian method. 
I have given previously a list of Dravidian words as are in 
use in Bengali ; I add a few more examples of those words 
which have been wrongly considered by some to be Sanskrit 
derivatives ; they are : (1) Katal as a variant of ^tF?^ or ^ftf^, 
indicates sea in Tamil, and it is this word which is used 
in Bengali to signify the swelling of the sea, as ^Rt^fa 
^T?t*l ; (2) *F5 (to move) of Tamil is exactly the word which 
i> in use in Bengali and Oriya; (3) Pala (pronounced 
in Tamil almost as tfl) signifies many in Tamil, and it is 
thi> word which is in use in Bengali to signify a tiock or 
herd, as in ^Mf^ *RF ; (4) the Bengali word Htfa has no 
doubt come from 3fi^fa ( w 'f e )> still in use in Behar, but 
the original word is Dravidian ^T$| or (?rftR or CTt 5 P>R 
( Kota dialect) ; the Oriya form 5}fff%JRl is closer to the origi- 
nal ; I should also note that our next-door neighbours, the 
Oraons of Chutia Nagpur, who have given us the words 
W\3>\ and *jf% (C^t^t^ ?tS, ^1% rf5), have the use of the 
word ^1 in their speech. 


foreign influence in India,. Even our village school 
boys learn to-day that many foreign nations of Western 
Asia and of Europe have been influencing us in diverse 
ways, at least from the 4th century B.C. ; what impress 
our religious and social institutions have received thereby, 
should be studied diligently in special works. Not that 
these questions do not bear upon the history of our languages, 
but I am constrained to leave them out of consideration to 
avoid dealing with facts of complex nature. I touch only 
some points very superficially and irregularly, just to 
awaken the interest of the students in this subject of much 
moment. The use in the ^tt^^ of the word 3<T3? (of 
Greek origin) to signify a tunnel, in a chapter bearing no 
mark of lateness, is of greater significance than the adop- 
tion in our later time Astronomical works of the term C^t^l 
of Greek vocabulary, or of the Zodiac system of Ptolemic 
Astronomy. Many words which are treated as (Tf% in 
consideration of their uncertain origin, may one day reveal 
their history to show what relation one day subsisted 
between us and some foreigners. The words which have 
come to us, either because of trade or because of casual 
acquaintance with foreigners, may not be of much value 
to us, but the fact of trade relation with outside peoples, 
may throw much light on many dark parts of the history 
of our language. The use of the word 3^^ for ^f (Vedic 
^| = horse, and only later, a camel) by Kalidasa and other 
poets, by adopting the Arabic name of the animal, may not 
signify much, and similaily our acceptance of such Potu- 
guese words, as f^?1 (egreja), 5tfa (chave), ^ft^pfi' (pao)> 
3)t^ 1 orTftlFt 5 ! (martello) and *tt^fa (sabao = Fr. savon) may 
not be a matter of serious importance, but there are other 
things related therewith, which we cannot afford to ignore. * 

1 We may notice that in ignorance of their origin, some have 
sought to derive Ffft from 5l*t (pressure) and <ft^Pt5 from *f1 


Regarding important facts, disclosed by the records of 
early trade relations, some instances may be taken from 
the accounts of the early European traders. We learn 
from some Greek accounts, that the Greek people traded 
with the Dravidians at least as early as the 1st century A.D.; 
the names of ports and towns of southern India as recorded 
by the Greeks, distinctly show that the land of the Dravi- 
dians came then under the influence of the Aryans, for 
many ports and towns are found to bear names of Sanskri- 
tic origin. It is in consequence of this trade relation, that 
many Indian articles still bear Indian names in disguise in 
Western Asia and in Europe. Here are some examples : 
(1) The English word 'rice' comes from Greek 'oruzo' 
which is the phonetic representation of the Tamil word 
' arici.' (2) *f^1 in early Aryan language indicated sand 
or sand-like things, and then very likely, in the second cen- 
tury B.C., it commenced to signify sugar by distinguishing 
itself from fw<5 *T^1 (sand), and this name of the article 
went to Italy through the Arabs, to become the progenitor 
of the word sugar. (3) The English word ' tamarind ' is 
derived from Persian Tamar-i-Hind (the sour fruit of 
India). (4-) It is admitted by the Romans, that they got 
' Ivory ' from the Kalinga people of India, and that the 
word is of Indian origin ; it is -then certainly to be derived 
from ^5 (elephant) + ?pf (tooth) +^3 (suffix), which may 
take the Prakrta form ^'fafl ; this example distinctly 
shows, that in the second century A.D., the Telegu people 
used many Sanskrit derivatives in their language. 
(5) Along with the above examples I may mention the 
recent word mango which is the Portuguese form of the 
Dravidian word 

(foot) ou the wrong supposition that the dongh is kneaded with 


A curious example as to how a word or phrase of 
Aryan origin may return to India in a changed garb, after 
a sojourn in a foreign country, and on its return may be 
used in a different sense, may be illustrated by the example 
of our phrase vj>\5-CJ\s ; for information on this point I owe 
my debt to Dr. Brajendra Nath Seal : the worshippers of 
Buddha in Western India, got the name C^tf C*fS3^ or 
0tVC*ft^>f5, the word C^t*f being the changed form of 
Buddha and C*fil^5 being the Persian word, signify- 
ing worshipper; the Mahomedans were enemies of the 
CSt^t C'TC^W people in Western Asia and they applied 
the term to some sections of the Indian people during 
the early years of their rule in India ; from the sound 
suggestion of the phrase we haye reduced it to ^5 02T ; 
I should note that from the name of the idol of Buddha 
the general name for an idol as C3T*f (not ^) came into use 
among the Mahomedans. 

I know that some Sanskritists have tried to derive the 
foreign words sj'fa'H'F, *f?R , ^R, and Tff^Pf (pillow) from some 
Sanskrit words ; of these I comment only on the first two 
words. One who attains majority is called ^t^H in Arabic, 
and so one who is not ^t^ffct or is in his hi-aiiat is a {-^f^f}^ 
in our correct court language ; very curiously enough this 
term has been reduced to srfat^ in Bengali, though ' not 
a ^f^ ' is the opposite meaning of the term. It is true 
that the Persian word-sffi^ comes from an Avestic word 
which is but a variant of Vedic 5?fa, but it is not correct 
that the form *f?R is an Indian ^f^T of sffa. It 
is therefore important to know the time and circumstances 
under which a word comes to be used in a country. I 
may note along with it that the derivation of ^"f^fi as 
given by some from the word ?rt?l is equally faulty; it is 
to be first noted that according to Persian grammar the 
noun form <Tt^1 cannot be formed from <Tf^ by the addition 


of ^ ; in the second place, we clearly see that l^Tl was 
reduced iu Pali to ^61 and this form H^$\ was always in 
use in Prakrta to become naturally the progenitor of TftSll. 
I note here two other important words of Persian (origi- 
nally Avestic) origin ; Vedic ?[^ is hazarra in Avestic and 
this word as hazar has now become popular with us. The 
word ^f^ (an ornament worn on the left arm) is not our 
own coining but has come from Persian source; certainly 
it is from 3te> ; but this is the Avestic form of the Vedic 
word, 3t^ ; e -y-i Avestic dar e jo bazu corresponds to tft^fat^; 
the word ff^t^ from dar e jo" is also now in use in Bengali. 
I proceed next to notice those Bengali words, which in 
their decayed form cannot be recognised as Sanskrit 
derivatives, and are therefore treated by many scholars as 
CW*fr words of uncertain origin. The words I note below are 
of much interest and importance ; my suggestions regarding 
their origin, should be treated as merely tentative. 

(1) *tetf* That it is from ^<<rfa, can be detected, 
when the Samba Ipuri Oriya form ^FWfa as well as T'fcffr 
(usually a helm of the boat and at tim< j s the man at the 
helm) is compared with it, PrSkrta, ^IFfr or ^SHffr (from 
^Hi + Tfal) to signify edge or bank, is not to be confounded 
with the above word. 

(2) ^Tl (a piece of cloth) having a provincial variant 
C5T| (pronounced as C^T| in E. B.). Seems to be from 
f%^ reduced to fa, W3 or flj$ or cfcfl. I consider another 
word along with it. From the fact that a sect of the Jainas 
was called fsffisftj, the men of which sect did not care much 
for covering themselves with cloth, the word ^ as well 
as its variants *t-l-^, and *t1t were perhaps wrongly taken 
for cloth by some vulgar people, as appears from a technical 
term of the Alekhs, viz., QW\>. The word ^Tf$ very likely 
comes from it. ^Ct^ is met with in C^faiTfa S dfftl 
perhaps to signify that piece of cloth which the women in 


some tracts still wear as nnderlinen, and as such may be 
called sffft in the Vedic sense; ^Tfc is in use to signify a 
piece of cloth or a tent, (^ee C=W> below.) 

(8) <Ftsfl (edge) being wrongly supposed to be derived 
from ^<f, it is spelt usually with |, but the word comes 
really from ^, for we see, that not only in the District 
of Jessore, and Eastern Bengal Districts, but also in the 
Districts of Nadya and Berhampore as well, the word ^t(1 
is in use. No doubt the line, ' (TflT^ ^Pffa Tfat ' has 
become widely popular even within the area indicated above, 
but in common parlance the form is always 3rtf| and 
not ^t*fl- 

(4) f%t^ (oath) ; the Hindi form as well as the form 
used in Sambalpuri Oriya is faf^rsfl. The history of it 
is highly interesting. The method of taking an oath by 
what is called ^56 f^f^rl ( J^j fgv8l ) is certainly familiar 
with the Pali scholars ; it has been illustrated by a good 
number of examples by E. \V. Burlingamein the J. R. A. S., 
1917, pp. 4:29-67. That fofa^l or f^R?T comes from JT65- 
fofa^l is doubtless. In this connection, I may refer the 
students to the method of warding off curses and also 
of taking oath bv touching the hair, as was once universal 
all over the globe and is now also in vogue among many 
rude tribes of India as well as of other countries of the 
world ; it is because of this custom that the word sjl^fa 
(Dravidian srf^-hair) is still a term for assiveration ; 
JTf^fr is the form in use in Orissa and in Nepal. 

(5) *CF?I The origin of it may be easily traced on 
reference to Oriya f^Wl derived from fg\s as discussed 

(6) sfF? This word as well as ^Fl. 3J5, etc., must be 
traced to rfj. 

(7) ^fT> That the pseudo-Sanskril form ^TJ should be 
ignored, need not be asserted. Certainl the word *rf$ 


(mountain pass) comes from f%t%->f^, since *T**rtf>, to 
signify the meaning, occurs in Prakrta, but the word ^f5 
is not associated, in idea with ^tfi>. (See ^t^ below ) 

(8) ITfc In Asoka inscriptions, we meet with'Et 5 !' 
from which Biihler derives the word, but no Aryan root 
has been suggested for Btt ; it is certainly not Dravi- 

(9) frfa The supposition of Carey's Pandits that the 
word comes from the name f^{ (China) is absurd. 
As ft'f means divided, or split, I think the term fcfa for 
sugar is from ftfF5 ^5. 

(10) (&&\ The earlier Bengali form of it is ftSSfa 
or 5t^fl- Certainly the word ^1 or ^1 or ^fl comes from 
TR or *tt^F ; in Eastern Bengal, the word ^tS, exactly 
corresponding to *fft is still in use. The Oriya word ^sfl 
is applied to human young ones also, in the Sambalpur 
tract ; it is difficult, however, to form ^fSVt*! or Wfrt 5 ! 
by adding ^ to either ^fs or Jgsft, since the 1 suffix as 
diminutive-indicating (i.e., indicating affection) is not met 
with in Bengali. V r ery likely the word Tfl (child) was 
added to ^1, or that the *\ suffix signifying the very idea 
indicated above was once in use, for ft, ^1> an( l ftSSfl 
are very closely related. Sir R. G. Bhandarkar's supjxisi- 
tion that the word comes from CS^I (disciple) cannot but 
be rejected ; CFT( comes from (5$ (originally CF?, r/*., c^tt 
a female attendant of the Raksasas) ; neither the idea of a 
disciple nor of a servant can be associated with the term for 
an infant darling ; moreover, there is a phonetic difficulty, 
since the original derivative is not C^tl but is ^t^t^l. The 
word 5"ftt*J could perhaps be reduced to ^t^'Tff^l and then 
to ^tf^T?! and again to CWf^RJl to become C^fl- 

(11) d?t^1 comes distinctly from CtT? which is a 
decayed form of ^^ = ^ = ^f5. The Nepalese form is 

(properly C^t?f ; final ^ is nominative-indicating) ; 


the Hiudi form Gt^3l with ^ in the middle is only a 

(12) $31 as in $fl srtfore?! is generally treated as Of*jl, 
but it suggested to me once, that it may be a deri- 
vative of ; sftf, as 3j^1 (old) is in use in some provinces, 
but as we get ^rft in Prakrta as derived from flfaf, it does 
not appear unlikely that the term <Jt^1 was applied to that 
cocoanut, which produces a splashing sound when shaken. 

(13) ^tfai seems to be derived from ft<T or ffa1 (sharp 
cutting edge), as pungency is indicated by the term. Oriya 
meaning of the word is 'perspiration ' ; ffa or Tfa1,a stream, 
is also closely associated with the idea ; our C$\*\ (Oriya ^tl) 
which signifies broth, seems connected with ft^; cf. ^<fl> 
^t1, etc. The word &tT, to pour, seems also to be 
derived from *ft^- 

(14) Tl no doubt 1 is in Sanskrit, but there it is a 
dignified <5tt^ word. It may be derived from 51, but 
very likely the original word is ^ffi. 

(15) |>3 or Tj^ there cannot be any doubt that it 
is to be derived from C^Tfa ; from the very word C^t^ we 
have also got C^t^S as I have shown before. One Prakrta 
variant of OSt^F is f*fa or R^, as we meet with in the 
ft^ll l^t^ ; so we think the Oriya word t^f^ifl also comes 
from the word C^t^ (for the origin of fi> see next lecture). 

(16) fa (slang a leg, Hindi &t?) is an *{&& form 
of ^3?Tt ; the word 5f? indicates ^^1 as well as ' bone ' in 
Eastern Hindi or Laria ; the meaning hone, comes perhaps 
from Mun<Jari ^^ = bone which is not connected with SfW). 
The word ^t* for thigh is in use (I am told) in the 
District of Berhampur. 

(17) \5t*l (branch) comes from Prakrta (ftJ a branch, 
derived from ffft 5 . 

(18) C^tfl to pluck is not from ^Fst 3 ^ but from <5T> ; 
or ^f%*fl is the Oriya form and CxSt^fl is the Hindi 


form ; to raise up is not the idea associated with it ; 
(a nose-gay) is also a cognate word. 

(19) OStt^Tl (a big earthen pot) comes from 

the prinaiy <5t1^*t form vg*^ a big cooking pot, is in use 
in Hindi. 

(20) CTOfct (affectionately attached) and sfll (indul- 
gence) are derived from Prakrta (^ S. C^- 

(21) C^5l a torn piece of cloth ; it is difficult to 
derive it from 0?\%\> or (?$$ or (?(*$, which is, no doubt an 
apology for a piece of cloth to cover nakedness ; I 
cannot uphold that 5ffl is the word from which CT^T> is 
derived. How the words ^ft (Oriya), and ^T5l (Hindi) 
may be connected with sjfsf I do not know ; but (?\yT> is 
not connected with it. I think the apology for a cloth 
worn by a f^^t*^ ( f^ffll^ ^^ ) was called a fasRfl which 
may be equated with CH&, (?W>, C*IW1>, etc. 

(22) "ttsffi (insane) this word seems to have a 
curious history : *tft*t*I (a man) is a term which the 
Buddhists appropriated and Buddhist mendicants not caring 
for the world very likely won the name f\tfe\ as derived 
from *( < 5t9f9J ; hence the modern meaning. 

(23) tt^T? Hill the term *f*R for stone as derived 
from Tftt*! is well known ; to the Buddhists Tp^Q was he, 
who did not care for the Buddhist religion, being impervious 
like a stone ; the derivation given by ^ OTfa as *ft*K 

has to be rejected. It is from Tt^Q that 
seems to have originated, being a heap of 

(24) *X$*\ (Pseudo-Sans-form *^1 or - |^f^) must be 
traced to *{j5^ used to signify a doll. Cf. Kalidas^ descrip- 
tion of ^Tl's play by the phrase 3>f^ *)^P^"f>' 

(25) c^pi-c?p2l as in c^l <&*\ ^f^ft 5t8?Tl, to look 
vacantly and innocently. From <sr i ftTf^f we get ^C'lt^'T or 
rather 3tTt^ ; this ^C^lt^ 5 in the shape of ^*J^ (to peep in) 


is in use in E. Bengal, and the form C&*\ to look vacantly 
is in use in the west ot Burdwan, as we ma}- notice in the 
expression ^IJ^F 0TO> (he is looking vacantly) ; CWf C*T, 
most likely comes from 0^. 

(26) (.^1^1 The Persian prefix '(^'(corresponding 
to Vedic ft ) as in C^Tft^I. C^-^sT, C^-1^1 (Beng. C^Wt), 
etc., and which is in use with many Bengali words, such as 
(TK-nt^t*! (untidy), (3-W{\ (ill-shaped), C^-tN (irregular), 
etc., is wrongly supposed to be the prefix in C^fl^l ; this 
word is identical with f^sps derived from fw5 as met with 
in the Gauoa Bahd. In this connection, I may mention 
that the word C^spf used at times in non-urban tracts is 
not a hybrid formation, but is really the original form of 
^f, since the word ^ comes from ft^ffl. 

(27) <'-Q like the word y ft^T this word has a curious 
history : the Buddhist religious men of high order were 
addressed by the term \ff3 -which was, as we know, reduced 
to ^sj^f ; it is the history of a satire, that \ : 5f^ in the form 
of \NQ signifies a hypocrite. 

(8) ^et^Tl (floating) The word is wrongly treated 
by some as Sanskrit, for we can notice such a curious form 
as <t*TSTfa- The original Sanskrit word ^ was reduced, 
to f^t (a raft) in Pali ; from the idea, that which floats, 
comes the word ^^1 to signify the meaning. The word 
C^11 seems to be connected with the word. I need not 
perhaps point out that the original Prakrta form of ^5 *f 
is ^3^f which is derived from ^+?f^ s . 

(29) 1^, 5 l^> or ^$ The last word is the pseudo- 
Sanskritic form of sj^rj? which was formed from the first 
word by a metathysis. The word snj>^ signifying a head- 
gear comes from 3F$^ ; <?/'. ^^1 the top of a thatched 

(30) Ol^ this name for a cat is not current either 
in Western Bengal or in Central Bengal, but that it was 



once so current, appears from a line of a nursery rhymewhich 
runs as (3^3 C 5 ^*, ^T>t STfal- Sir R. G. Bhandarkar gives 
us two 'Silg^ forms of sft^ffa m use m different parts of 
Western India, which are s(^t^ and (3^3 ; that from C*^?T 
the form CT^T may easily come out, ne^d not be asserted. 

(81) ttT?1 as the verb f^ occurs mostly in Jaina 
Sanskrit, it has become difficult to many to derive tf^l from 
f^Q (to trudge). 

(32) %ff^5 from the genuine San.-krit word ^t^*f 
comes the pseudo- Sanskrit term \t*? by the process o 
metathysis (^t^ = ^t5p ^t1 x ^5 ; cf. ;j^l = ^;^ of 
Prakrta = ^Q, which is pseudo-Sanskrit.) Itf^ as a variant 
of <5 1^5 is derived from ^- 

In concluding this lecture I make this general remark, 
that to identify the Bengali language with any old time 
obsolete language, we have no doubt primarily to look to 
the Grammatical structure of the obsolete speech, but the 
examination of phrases and vocables is also necessary, for, 
pecial idiomatic expressions and peculiar formation of 
words bear peculiar marks of particular provincial origin ; 
as foreign words are naturalized according to the genius of 
6very language, proper study of them cannot be also over- 
looked. Various are the sources from which we have 
derived material for our language, and there are languages 
which are allied to Bengali ; how very careful we should 
therefore be to determine the history of our words and in 
fine to determine the history of our language, should be 
duly appreciated. 



I propose to pursue in this lecture, a stratigrapbical 
study of the Bengali language with the help of the facts 
set forth and discussed in the previous lectures. In the 
present state of our knowle !ge, we cannot make a definite 
pronouncement of the ethnic elements that came into 
the composition of our people ; we are not in possession 
of a history which deals with the evolution of our social 
structure. It was therefore only possible for me, to state in 
a general manner, of some of the influences that have been 
at work in shaping our speech in its present form. I have 
however made it tolerably acceptable that philology can 
be employed as a good strata-metre, if this instrument 
be fitted into the handle of the history of the races 
speaking the language under investigation. We have seen, 
that in their old and archaic forms, the speeches of the 
Gauclian group resemble one another oo closely, that it 
becomes ordinarily difficult to distinguish them as separate 
speeches, by noticing those points of difference which 
determine their character as so many independent dialects. 
To recognise aright our early forms as differentiated 
Bengali forms, separate from the forms of allied languages 
or dialects, let us proceed first to examine the structure 
of our speech primarily with reference to declension in a 
comparative method, that is to say, by considering care- 
fully the inflexions of nominal stems (both noun and 
pronoun) by means of such endings as represent the various 
cases. This involves the consideration of the nominal for- 
mations connected with the verbs as participles, infinitives, 


etc., and the finite verbs indicating different tenses and 
moods. Other important points of grammatical or struc- 
tural changes or evolution will be next noticed to determine, 
or rather to confirm the proposition advanced before, re- 
garding the origin and character of Bengali. 

We may set down on the evidence of old literary 
records, the language of which must be accepted on all 
hands to be Bengali, that 'sff and < 3^ ' are the earliest 
forms of personal pronoun of the first person in singular 
number and ' ^Ttfr ' or ' ^srfsff^ ' is the plural form of ' 1^ ' 
and ' ^.' The earliest Prakrta form ' ft ' from which ' ^ ' 
comes out, is in use in Marhati, but we do not meet with 
the form in old Bengali, 's|^' and c ^. } occur indis- 
criminately in the " 111 j^^tlR " noticed before; f ^' is still 
current in the provincial Bengali dialect of Rangpur. and 
this is the form that obtains in Assamese. ' ^f^ ' was only 
the accented form of ' ^ ' as ' ^rfsff^ ' was the accented 
or emphatic form of ' ^Ttfsi.' In Oriya the singular form 
is *^f^' (though reduced very often to "%$.' and ' ^' in 
colloquial speech) and the plural form is '^rfcg ' which is a 
changed form of ' ^Tf^f^.' ' ^Ttfsi ' the oldest singular form 
acquired the dignity of being treated as plural when ' ^ ' 
came into use ; it is still the plural form in Marhati 
and also in Assamese which is closely related to Bengali. 
As the ending ' <3 ' invariably occurred in old times to 
signify nominative case, ' ^rfsff^' became ''srp^' in 
Oriya and this ' ^^\T^ ' when reduced to one word assumed 
the shape ' ^'fcg-' As we cannot be sure of the time 
of the ' C^Ni sffa S Ctt^l ' edited by Pandit Hara Prasad 
Sastri, we must say (for want of literary evidence in 
support of any proposition to the contrary) that these 
differentiated forms cannot be shown to date from a time 
earlier than the 10th century A.D. ; that the 10th century 
A.D. is the probable time when Oriya was formed as 


a distinct inde endent language, has been tried to be 
shown in the next preceding lecture by adducing some 
historical facts. 

When the genuine singular forms were regarded non- 
honorific and vulgar, the plural forms were brought into 
use as singular and such plural-forming suffixes for 
nouns as <rl (Beng.), sffW (Oriya), OTfW (Assamese), etc., 
were added to the real plural forms to make plural of 
them. The plural-forming suffixes ' ^| ' of Bengali, ' 5ftC^ ' 
of Oriya and ' C^Tft^ ' (as well as ' C^ftS,' ' 3U5/ ' fal1c^ ') of 
Assamese are of provincial growth of which 3Tft5{ and C^ft^ 
can be traced to old Magadhi source. It is interesting 
to note that though the original form of the Oriya speech 
flowed into Orissa, through Bengal, the Behari plural- 
forming suffix ^ (which is only ^ in two dialects) has been 
adopted as Hfa in Oriya; neither^ nor *{ can be shown 
to have been in use in Bengali at any time. This confirms 
what has been stated before that two streams (one through 
Bengal and the other through the Kosala tract) flowed 
into Orissa to form the language of that country. 

My remarks regarding the pronoun of the 1st person 
are applicable to the pronouns of the second person 
which are ' ^>,' ' ^f^,' ' ^t ' and ' \s^ ' in singular and 
' l>ft ' (now singular in Bengali), * C^t^l/ , ' 03t*rftTn^ ' 
(Assamese), ' <J>C ' and ^g*rfW (Oriya) in plural. 
Regarding the form ^tTR^tC^, it is to be remarked, that 
though ^tTft^tt^ is idiomatic in Assamese, and the very 
form <5rfttt*TtFF is freely used in Xaogaon and Tejpur, the 
form is considered incorrect to-day in the standard Assamese 

The honorific form alike of '^' and ' ^fr ' is 
in Bengali ; the corresponding Assamese form is ' 
and the Oriya form is ' Tf^f 6 !.' It comes from 
the possessive case; the oldest ' Aj)abhransa ' 


and the later form was ' ^t*fa ' ; the original possessive 
sense is retained by ' <5ft*fa ' as adjective as in <3rt*fa ^ 
(one's own house). ' "STlffa' as pronoun, signifies literally 
' your own self.' This form however is seldom met with 
in very old literary records to signify ' you ' ; its use was 
restricted mainly to indicate ' by one's own self ' as adverb ; 
' I,' ' you ' or ' he ' did a thing, ' ^t*ffa ^*ffr ' (Bengali) or 
'<3itt*1 or <5rttt' (Oriya) or ' ^fjft ' (Assamese) means 
that the doer did not take the help of any other person in 
doing the act. At times it also signifies ' I myself ,' 
'you yourself ' or ' he himself ' as the case may be, as in 
^T *jt5t <5Tf*ffa ^t^ (first person) <5TF5t?r (Bengali) or in 
*rfc*t ^Ttfr <Wfr C*TCI if*"fa (Oriya). 

I need hardly point out, that the genuine Magadhi 
form Of (the successor of the earlier form CTl) is in use in 
Bengali and Oriya, and its slightly altered form ' f>f ' is 
in use in Assamese. The forms ' 0? ' and ' C<F ' may also be 
noticed along with it. Oriya wholly agrees with Bengali 
in the use of these forms; the use of f^fl for C^ is wholly 
irregular being a new departure from the standard oriya 
use according to the Eastern Provincial peculiarity in 
pronunciation. I mention this fact, so that this provincial 
Oriya ' focfl/ may not be mistaken for the Eastern Tffifft f^P 
<5[, of which the modern representative is f^|. 

The plural form of ' (7f ' is ' C ' in Magadhi while (3 
and O^F are found used both in the singular and plural. The 
ylural form f C' is noticeable in old Bengali but not 
in old Oriya; '0^' and '05^' as derived from it were in 
use in Bengali till the other day, and ' 05 ' itself is still in 
use (both as singular and plural) in the provincial speech 
of Chittagong, as a co-relative pronoun linked with 
' C^,' which is introductory. That our 'C5^ ' and ' C&$ ' <ire 
generally found in use in singular to indicate honour, need 
not be pointed out. ' c^t ' (the honoured he) is not to be 


confounded with the identical form, which is an indeclin- 
able to indicate ' for that reason ' : the pun on the word by 
Bharat Chandra in ' ^TC^ *ff% d&tffs tsrf^ ^"ft ' may be 
referred to ; the primary meaning is He, who is the lord 
of many is my husband, and the other meaning suggested 
is My husband is also the husband of others, and for 
that reason he is not favourably disposed towards me. 
They are identical in form but different in origin : C^ 
(for that reason) is derived from \sf^ = ~ff and our f ^tt ' 
signifying the same meaning is a variant or a changed 
form of ' Ct ' ; this ' <tt ' being wrongly spelt as ' ^fsft^ ' is 
confounded with the provincial form ' ; *t^1 + t ' of emphasis ; 
the latter form is derived from \5? = <^. In our honorific 
f%fr, there is the pronoun ' 5f ' in an enelit-c manner ; 
in Pali, we get this ' {' in the accusative case only 
in the form of 3? ( = ^t^t^ ) ; ' that respected he 'is 
the round about expression to indicate honour : C^Tft" 
and 0H<l1 (his) are not unusual in the mouth of our 
vulgar people. The Bengalis who settled in Orissa, long 
ago, carried with them, as a matter of course many 
archaic forms, and their descendants now, not being in 
touch with the progress and change effected in Bengal, 
use C\5^tS (his), vSfaJTfa (they), etc., very commonly. The 
forms, ftfr (occurs as feft in old Bengali), ^ft and ^f^f, 
as are peculiar to Bengali should also be taken note of 
here. I think, that the ^ of direct pronominal origin, as 
has been noticed here, is not the 5? which we get in c^rfa, 
signifying certain person or certain object. C^"R appears 
to me to be the decayed portion of c^fos, since c^lft 
almost representing C^f^ obtains in Oriya as well as in 
Hindi. That the ^ of C^ comes directly from s? O f f^j 
need not be pointed out. 

I may note here that both the earlier emphatic form 
of C^ (who) as C^> and the later form C^, are in use in 


Bengali ; on reference to the modern Behari, we can see 
that C^ (and not merely C^) grew in ^Tffift on the very 
soil of Magadha, yet it is only C^t^ (corresponding to 
our C^) which we get in Oriya. 

Case declension The sign for nominative. The ' <5f ' 
sound of the non-^TS finals of all nouns in the Nominative 
Singular was reduced to ' Q ' sound in Pali, to represent 
very likely the >Kf* pronunciation of <5f, as I have sug- 
gested before. This sound of { ^ ' which is almost <Q 
continues with us, as an inherent Bengali speciality but 
we do not write ' q^JTl ' for ' *P3| ' to paint the special shade of 
our ' <5f ' sound. This form of the word in the nominative 
case did not become extinct in the Tffift speech, when the 
ending i<| for ^ came into general use, for we get in the 
Jaina Prakrta, that though all nouns in the nominative 
case took generally the ^ final, the forms with 'S final were 
also in use; along with the forms fft^fcf, flf*lCT, C*TC^, 
etc., we meet with the older form with \S ending as occurs 
for instance in such a sentence as ' ^1 C^l ^| ^tf^-' As 
it is in the provincial Bengali of Rungpur, so it is in 
Assamese that the nouns in the nominative case take ' ^ ' 
final invariably, t for i) in such cases in Assamese as 
5ft*f^ (ass) ffTsf^ (creeper), etc., is rightly explained in the 
Assamese Grammar as the euphonic mutation of '<H.' This 
' <' was once much in use both in Bengali and Oriya, but 
now the use is limited to some special cases only. Almost 
all the nouns in the nominative case have '4 ' or '^' final 
in the ^1^3 ^t*R of a time not earlier than the Hth cen- 
tury A.D. The modern use of it in Bengali in such cases 
as C'Tft^ ^fl (so the people say), sftf^ ^^ ( so men gene- 
rally- do), ffflOT *tt* (the goats usually eat) is sufficiently 
expressive to denote the idea of plurality in an indefinite 
way. In Oriya, however, when a particular Pandit for 
example is alluded to it will be correct to say 


; we cannot but notice that this Oriya idiomatic use 
indicates honour. As signification of honour is associated 
with the form of plurality, it may be noted here that 
when distinction between singular and plural was not 
being strictly observed, the nominative-forming suffix 14 
came to be used to. signify singular and plural alike, and 
the older plural-forming suffix ^1 fell fully into disuse. 

This supposition is not correct that the nominative- 
indicating <3 originates from the sign-indicating instru- 
mentality ; the reduction for instance of C^Tl to (7T may be 
sufficient to show the wrongness of the proposition ; the 
instances tf the use of all sorts of words in the nominative 
case in the Jaina Prakrta will clear up the situation. The 
nominative singular forms of pronouns are quite fixed ; 
in other cases the pronominal stems in the shape of 'srfal, 
CStTl, ^t^ 1 , etc., take those case-endings which are generally 
usual with the noun stems. It will also be seen, that some 
case-denoting suffixes though pronominal in origin, are 
applied equally to nouns and pronouns. 

The sign for accnsatire. It will not be less than 1400 
years when the author of the Natya Sastra noted the 
predominance of ^ sound in the speeches of the Eastern 
Gangetic valley extending from Behar to the Bay of 
Bengal ; perhaps the lines I cite below show this predomi- 
nance of (f\ sound in modern Bengali, far in excess of what 
it could be in olden time. ^ of different origins and of 
various sinifications may be noted in the lines : 

We see in the first place that ii as a case-denoting 

particle signifies many cases : C^K^ is in the nominative 

case or has the <2t<ift1 fTof^, omtt and ^ftfl are in the 

objective case, i.e., in the ff^tfl f^fe>, ^~&>\ is in the 



instrumental case, i.e., in ^\ffa1 f^^e>, CTT^ c 1 ^ ( 
f^xsts) is technically in W^l favfa and SftW indicating 
locative is in the ^sft fo^fs 5 . Then again the ^ final of 
c*)3Rt3 is a<l verb-forming, ^fsft? is in infinitive and ^td> is 
a finite verb; the last three cases will be dealt with in their 
proper places later on. 

We have studied the history of the nominative-indi- 
cating^; it is this i*l which signifies accusative as well 
as dative at times ; ' CTl-4,' (ne) and ' ^rfs^-^i ' (us) have 
been in use, since long, and the modern form '^fTfa' is 
but a slightly changed form of them. When ^ or ^ 
ceased to denote the accusative case in Wt^ft, nominative 
sign of nouns came to be used to signify the accusative 
as well as dative in a large number of cases. When 
again, the noun stems ceasad to take any nominative- 
indicating suffix, it was only at times that the accusative 
was marked with a suffix ; this rule, I should say still 
holds good. The following sentence will be illustrative of 
the phenomenon, that in the case of noun ft, it is with refer- 
ence to syntax that we have to distinguish nominative 
from the accusative, and not by looking to the case -end i ng : 
afl-^tt C5OT "TPR 31 *Ff*OT, C5OT ll-^tf Tfc3 31 ; translated 
into old Bengali the sentence will stand as 
*t<4 ^Itf CTl-tfl 'ft 5 !^ ^ ^ft C*Tl-cl ajl-^111 (or atf T(C1) 

The ^1 final of nouns to signify both nominative and 
accusative, as we meet with at times in the latest '5lt^5 
and in old Bengali, has not altogether fallen into disuse ; 
this <sfl is more emphasis-indicating than case-denoting in 
such a sentence as S?m ^1, (object). ..f^t ^1, *H *t?T 
^Sl (nominative). It is at times diminutive-indicating, 
that is to say, indicative of affection or familiarity : in 3T(-ci 
^13 f^ ^1> ^' ie word <Jv5l is in diminutive form ; in 
common conversation this "srl is added to names to signify 
either familiarity or contempt. 


As to the Dravidian origin of the suffix C^ to signify 
dative as well as accusative, my remarks in the 5th lecture 
(pp. 59-60) should be referred to. The Dravidian ^ remains 
unchanged in Oriya, and in old Bengali, we get it both in 
the shape of (^ and ^ ; in the provinciality of Rungpur 
the form ' ^ ' is still in use, as may be noticed in the forms 
CTf^ ( ^t^tW ) and \sT<P ( ^fttW ) 

To convert possessive form to objective, adding t<| to 
the possessive form, we need not import any foreign in- 
fluence ; for, an idea, relnting to an object may be express- 
ed in the objective case, without drowning the sense of 
relation the line' qtfffE* ttfc*1 flStTft* ^C*rfs, NstTO 
Ffc^t sgrfrft^/ will sufficiently illustrate the case, if the 
thought underlying the sentence is properly analysed. This 
form of the objective case is met with more in poetry than 
in prose, in oui modern language ; in Eastern Bengal, 
however, this form obtains in common conversation lan- 
guage ; cf., the Eastern Bengal sentences, sffa-^ 3Tft?Rt = 
ItC* ^tfaffS 5T& and CTtW ^8 s1 ^ft^t* ? (How dare you 
suggest that the boat will be sunk by me?). We can easily 
trace this form of expression (o a <2Tt^ idiom : ^^-<5 
(whomsoever you may meet) is equivalent to 
( Tft^ ) Cf It 5 tt8 ; '^ J is in the possessive form 
being the ^f*f^s*t form of "^ and ifj is clearly object-indi- 
cating here. 

Inftlnimeiiial Gftxe. To signify the instrumental ca&e 
we have in Bengali the suffixes (5, ff5l, and ^ ; their 
history may be briefly narrated here. 

(1) The Pali Instrumental Plural suffix fj comes no 
doubt from f%*f or fci . It is well known that distinction 
between singular and plural was not much observed in 
the later Prakrtas, and one well-formed suffix, no matter 
whether it was originally singular or plural-indicating, 
became the general case-denoting- suffix. There are lots 


of instances of ff being used as suffix to denote instru- 
mental singular ; take for instance the line STtfafa, 
Tfaff ^T^PI (What does it avail, Oh Manini, by be- 
coming cross ?). No doubt at first f^ was reduced to ^ 
as we meet with in the old literary Prakrta works, but 
its reduction to t|^ is not also very recent. The instru- 
mental ^ ending in such cases as ts^f^ (^6^1) f^Tft 
(f^Jfl), etc. as we meet with in the (Tf^^F may be 
considered with some reasons to be derived from $i, 
but the early history starting with f? is not in favour 
of this supposition. Be that as it may, we get the suffix ^, 
as well as iflt, in old ^TT^ works of uncertain dates ; : 5^^f^ 
or ^I\5tf^ being reduced to ^ft?[^ or 1t^, the path for 
further reduction to ^^3 or'T^|-4 (or Tt3) was paved. 
The history of the idiomatic use of the instrumental case 
forms, if studied iu regular succession, it does not become 
easy to hold that ' <ffi ' (say of Ctft30 generated the ' <4 ' in 
question by dropping the final *(. I have discussed in the 
previous lecture that in our proto-Bengali, ' iR ' does not 
occur and that its occurrence in one passage in a C^Ni C^t^l 
has been wrongly formulated because of incorrect reading 
of the text. The cases where 'tR ' seems to occur in Oriya 
as instrumental suffix have not been in my opinion pro- 
perly studied ; it will be observed that the words with 
seeming <ft suffix in Oriya have been used to denote 
locative case as well ; I am inclined to hold, on reference 
to the use of ^ as a particle of emphasis in Oriya, that the 
words with a suffix (denoting either instrumental or 
locative case) stand with additional ^ to indicate emphasis. 
The half-nasal occurring in \($ (by the desire) or CT^t^T 
(by the affection) does not seem to represent the loss of ?, 
for the instrumental form with iH is not met with iu the 
Prakrta speeches which are later than Pali in date ; corres- 
ponding to '^) ' we get '4ft3 ' in Assamese and C^ in Oriya ; 


the growth of <T here is but euphonic growth. In 
Bengali the noun-stems having ^ or ^ iinal take an addi- 
tional ^5 which is but an euphonic growth to facilitate easy 
pronunciation ; compare the forms ^ftTS flf and ^3 
^fjj. This euphonic transmutation is noticeable alike in 
Nominative and Locative, where d\ is the case-denoting 
suffix. Where however difficulty does not occur in pro- 
nunciation, the ouphonie < does not occur ; for instance 
faE3 *t^ i* commoner than f*ft\5 \f^. Besides the ordi- 
nary examples of instrumental with if) final, I notice the 
instance where a peculiar Sanskrit idiom is expressed in 
Bengali : In ^rfaft OsfatS C^t^l *r?1 ^TCS, *tfr\* and CSfaft 
correspond to ^Sl-?I3l as in ^ ^i*f ^Il-sffl. 

ffffl -We have noticed the instrumental case-ending 
* ' and its variant f (?f ' in the Magadhi Prakrta which is 
usually designated as Jaina Prakrta. It is surmised by 
some that this Of is but the changed form of earlier f^. 

This C? can be clearly ivcogaised in the instrumental 
case-ending ' fff ' in use in the district of Rangpurand 'tffe ' 
in use in Oriya. This archaic 'ft' of Rangpur is now 
used as ' fwl ' in standard Bengali language; as such it 
has no connection with ' ffl ' to give ; nor the upstart ^t^l 
set up by the Pandits, can have any relationship with it. 

5U3 I have traced the genesis of ^5 in the previous 
lecture and have shown there, that in its origin as well as 
in its general use in our vernacular, ^^5 is purelv the sign 
of the ablative case. Jn such a use as ^|5f1 ^frs C%3 ^>t% 
Ti ^S3 ?\\W, the word ^\s signifies certainly instrumentality, 
but ils ablative sense is also noticeable in the use; the 
action ' flowing out of me ' can be construed to be the 
underlying idea. 

Dative. In Assamese we get '1 ' as a special dative 
case-ending, while in Bengali and Oriya, we have the same 
' 3 ' or ' ^ ' or ' C^F '-suffix both for accusative and dative. 


This ' fo/ noticeable afeo in Nepalese and in a Behari 
dialect, is the reduced form of ' ^tf*f/ in use in Bengali as 
well as in Oriya; CTfTfr Tff*f (for you) is rather a poetic 
UPC iu Bengali. 

Aljlnlire. $F (not to be confounded with ^c = to 
be) and Cft^ are the two ablative suffixes in Bengali. 
How the ablative denoting ^ generated the suffix ^5, 
has been discussed in Lecture XIII, p. 244. Both the 
<5ff^ forms f^ and ?K are met with in old Hindi. 
IK has been reduced to ^5 in Bengali and to if in Hindi. 
It is the further reduced form of if in the shape of & , 
that we meet with in Oriya as well as in Marathi. The 
Oriya form ^3p, from hous 1 , is not the contracted form of 
W^ Oriya ^" or corresponding Marathi f^ is quite 
another suffix as we shall presently notice. It has been 
stated that from ^ we have got ^5 (cf. ^sff ?, = 3pfcs = 
W^$ ^Ts) as a general ablative forming suffix; then again 
we have to notice that this very ^T?, being joined to the 
demonstrative pronouns '$' or ^ff, and tfj or if) (contrac- 
tion of <$%) gave rise to the particular forms ^fa and 
(from here) and this newly formed fa of ^^ and 

, is the progenitor of the suffix ft or Cf We have 
to further note that it is Cf and not CfC^ 5 which is in 
use in the speech of the Bengali-people all throughout 
the Northern and the Eastern districts and in the Dis- 
tricts of Jessore and Khulua. C'Kt'f Cf and not C'Ht*! 
CfC^F is what we hear in the tracts mentioned above. We 
can thus clearly see that CfZ^ 5 of the stmdard language 
has HCquired an otiose or euphonic ^. 

In the district of Chittagong we get the form f^for 
Cf which by ch.ince agrees with the Marathi form ^. 
Corresponding Oriya form is ^ or ^" which is reducible 
to ^ or s or ^. I have already suggested that the 
Marathi ^ and Oriya 3s are not contracted forms of 


^ and ^f respestively, but that they are derived from 
^ which comes out of ^ (the progenitor of 3). ^ 
of Marat hi and '* of Oriya are additional suffixes; cf. 
the double Marathi forms <4 ^ and ^t^Jl It^and the 
double Oriya forms (S\ ^ and ^ . In ^t?p (Oriya), the 
suffix ^ is added to fcfr. 

Genitire There have been various suggestions regard- 
ing the genesis of ^, of which one or two will be noticed 
here. As such Sanskrit genitive forms as ft?TS, St^l?, etc 
evolve '~$' in their conjunction with vowels, semi-vowels, 
and consonants which are not surds, some suppose that the 
Vernacular ^ suffix has to be traced to this special pheno- 
menon ; in this supposition, it is lost sight of that f^T^j- 
sfts was never in use in the Prakrtas, and the Sanskrit 
forms in question were never idiomatic in the Prakrta 
speeches. What we have to really notice, is the Prakrta 
idiomatic form to trace the history of ^. We first notice 
that J^Jf took the place of ^5 and then ^ as the represen- 
tative of *T cj,me into use. We have also noticed in earlier 
lectures that the suffix ^ (indicating genitive) was not 
only liable to be mistaken for other suffixes but was in- 
capable of expressing the idea of possession with some 
emphasis, on account of its fluid pronunciation or boneless 
character ; that very often ^ h?,d to be substituted for the 
sake of forcible pronunciation, has been noticed in the 
course of examination of some Prakrta forms. That the 
final boneless vowels have been at times either liable to be 
reduced to ~3, or require to be otherwise strengthened, may- 
be noted over again : 5|-^ has been reduced to sfo 5 , and 
^fa'Sf has assumed the form ^T%^1 in Bengali. The tend- 
ency to put in <t to ensure distinct pronunciation is 
observable in such a Sandlii conjunction in Pali, as I^CT 
+ ^ = t^^ff^R, where according to Sanskrit Sandhi rule 
a 3 is not justified. 


Most convincing proof of <T coming out of *T (or from 
a vowel sound representing Jf) is to be sought in the 
phonetic peculiarity which is almost universal : change of 
* s ' into ' r ' as a Dravidian peculiarity, has been elaborately 
noticed by Bishop Caldwell and others and this very 
peculiarity in all the Aryan languages of Europe has been 
well studied by the Philologists. How the ( s ' of the geni- 
tive-indicating ^ of the Aryan speech has been reduced 
to ' r ' in a very large number of cases in Italian, French, 
German and English, is too well known to scholars to re- 
quire an illustrative statement. Thus in accordance with the 
universally prevalent phonetic law, and quite consistently 
with the actual idiomatic use of the old times, we get the 
history of the growth of our genitive- signifying suffix 
3. is to be noted is that in tracing this history 
one is not forced to create an imaginary condition of things, 
disregarding the actual idiomatic use which has always 
been in force. 

Having given the real history of 3", I just refer to an 
untenable theory regarding it upheld by some learned 
scholars. On the flimsy basis of a farm which cannot be 
shown to have been idiomatic in the Prakrtas, ' t^<T ' has 
been set up by some as the progenitor of ?r ; only one 
solitary instance of very doubtful import is cited from the 
^S$^l5^ in support of the existence of the form C^$, by 
wholly overlooking the clear cases of the use of genitive 
in the Prakrtas. It is clear that the form C?F<j has been 
specially favoured, by the scholars under review, as an 
explanation, regarding the form ' <*ft ' has been needed ; 
it should be seen, in the first place, that in Western Hindi 
and in Oriya, it is ' ^ ' and not ' fl* ' which is the suffix ; in 
Oriya ' <\\' is wholly unknown and the Hindi forms 
^tTfalj C5frfr1> etc., point simply to a simple ' ^ ' suffix. 
1 proceed to show in the second place that <n\ is merely 


an euphonic mutation of ' ^,' in Bengali ; and (/$\ as a 
suffix has never been knnwn in our language. 

That <(\ is but an euphonic mutation of ^ will be 
clearly seen on reference to the rules of idiomatic use of 
?T and <SR in Bengali : (1) ^STfa-* (where final is non-3?F5), 

are examples of words of various final sounds taking ' ^ ' as 
the genitive-signifying suffix. (2) When the final is ^T5, 
which is never the case in Oriya, the simple suffix 3 can- 
not be assimilated with the word, and so if^r is to be 
suffixed ; e.g., 3t*ft*T-^ makes ' ^ ' a separate or non-^>f3 
syllable unsuited to the genius of Bengali pronunciation, 
and so we have 3TWT-4iT, ^-4<T, W"f-<fl^, etc. (3) Non- 
?*T words of one letter, i.e., to say non-^pg single con- 
sonants treated as words must take ' <$% ' to maintain their 
distinctness as words ; e.g., ^-<ft ^sft^ft, "f (contracted 
form of t^)-yq^ ^f^, etc. ; contrast with them ^f^fa, ^\5-?T 
^5f (ff$-<l ^ot^ f^ 5 ! ^*Tl- (4) Words ending with compound 
letters always generate non-^TS sounds (unlike what it is 
in Hindi) in Bengali and yet they take ^ and not ?f as 
we may notice in ^I?T, sTOT, ^C^^, etc. In Eastern Bengal, 
however, simple ^ is affixed in such cases in spoken lan- 
guage following perhaps the general rule which is in 
the air. (5) When the final sound is ^ (<sj^) or ^ (*5p), 
the final ^ or ^ becomes separate syllable and as such the 
euphony requires the affixing of i*T3 [; e.g., fft-^3, <Fl-<43", 

I have heard this example adduced by some to illus- 
trate the use of C^3 as a suffix in Bengali, viz., ^t^ as 
in ^^FF3 f*frft but it is overlooked that here ^ is an otiose 
^ to which according to the previously illustrated rule <ft 
has to be suffixed ; if we refer to ^^ in such an expres- 
sion as ' <$ Tff t?1 <fsC^ f^ (ft ' the situation will be clear. 
It will be invariably found, that where C^S occurs, it 


does not occur as a suffix but only (fi is added to a word 

which has an otiose ^ as final. 

^ and: ftft5f?j. In Eastern Magadhi and in proto-Bengali 
we meet ?Fas a sign for geuetive ; the history of it, as well 

as of fefa is interesting. Sir R. G. Bhandarkar has rightly 
remarked that ^ of say, "SR^F ( ^FSTfaR ) once came to be 
used as a genitive-indicating suffix. Since difference 
between singular and plural has not been maintained in 
the Vernaculars, such forms as '^rftl-^ and 'sfl^F 
fwT (noticed previously) may easily be explained; I 
need not state that this ^ is now in use in Hindi. 
Sir R. G. Bhandarkar has also very rightly shown in 

- his Wilson Lectures, that when ^3} or \5^ was not consi- 
dered to be either very forcible or honorific, iffa and nffa, 
etc., became highly fashionable in Sanskrit as well as in 
Prakrta speeches; that the history of our plural ftft^ is 
to be traced to this phenomenon is what I assert here. 
That the case-denoting suffixes for our nouns are gene- 
rally pronominal in origin, and that a portion of an ex- 
pression used as a post-position becomes a suffix, have also 
been ably illustrated by Sir R. G. Nhandarkar ; fft or rather 
f^ of sffffa, Ijffaj etc., being joined to the general suffix ^ 
to indicate honour, the plural-denoting f^f<T has origi- 

The Locative sign ' tf) ' is as old as the hills, and so no 
remark regarding it is necessary. I have to notice that 
in old Bengali ' N ' (from ^) was once in use, and this use 
is now noticeable in the provincial speech of Rangpur. It 
is on this account, that the unusual particle ' ^ ' comes now 
in such euphonic combinations as ^tf%tf, sf?PC* ; this 
euphonic ' <5 ' though grown in locative formations appears 

* For the'history of the plnral-forming ?1 and ^fa, vide Lecture 
V, pp. 676-8. 


in other case formations also where ^ is the suffix and 
|, ^, etc., are the finals. 

Verbs. The history of the forms, which verbs assume 
in different tenses and moods, should next engage our atten- 
tion. How the Vedic tense systems were gradually sim- 
plified in the Prakrta speeches has been discussed at some 
length in Lectures X and XI, here our discussion will 
be directed more to the history of our current forms than 
to the history of the reduction of old systems into their 
present condition. 

The Present system. ^3tf^5 in the 3rd person singular 
gave rise to the form ^^ and from ^$\ comes .the modern 
form W&(, whi(?h is common to Bengali, Oriya and Assamese. 
C*\ ^3 of Bengali as well as of Oriya has the corresponding 
Assamese form ft (as well as C5^T and ^Tf0 ^*T. The 
older form ^^ current in the Prakrta speeches is 
often met with in the old time literature of Bengal 
and Orissa. It is to be first noted, that unlike in Oriya, 
the Bengali verbs are alike in form in singular and plural. 
On reference to the archaic Bengali forms ^^f%, *Tff%, ^f%, 
etc., one may be led to suppose that once our verbs had 
plural forms ; but it is not so. It should be first observed 
that the plural forms referred to here, were in use in the 
3rd person onlv, and that use again was limited to present 
time ; in the second place it is to be noted that a verb took 
the ^f% ending when honour of the person agreeing with 
the verb was sought to be denoted. Of the^f% ending, now 
only T remains and in the case of honorific mention, we say 
f^sft ^C^, as well as ^t'tft ^t^f; it need be mentioned that 
though 'srtlfr is treated as 2nd person, it is not strictly so 
from grammatical point of view. The f>f of <Ft3lf^f, in the 
2nd person is not wholly obsolete - } f ^ } of ^f?R, as in ^t 
^f^T, is the representative of it. Again, we may notice 
that the old ft has assumed the form (tf and is treated as 


an indeclinable particle ; when we say <F?TC*I, W?T, etc., an 
emphasis is put upon the vtrb by the addition of C*f j pure 
'fSf' to signify second person, occurs very much in the 
Srikrsna Kirtan. 

It is wrongly urged by some, that the fsf ending of the 
verb in the 1st person indefinite, so common in the 2TtlFs, 
is not met with in Bengali ; the mistake is due to the fact 
that some provincial future-indicating forms which take the 
suffix y or f?f, are not recognized as forms of present in- 
definite. That in the following instances, the present 
indefinite has been reduced to future (a* is done in all 
languages), m?y be easily noticed: (1) ^f?R as the con- 
tracted form of ^fofsf (cf. Oriya ^f%f^ as well as ^f?ff^ 
where ^ and y are interchangeable) is in use as 1st person 
future in the provincial dialect of Raugpur ; (2) the forms 
*f*R, *fty 1% etc., as well as ^^, qft, 3\\, etc., tre 
current in the speech of the common people of My men- 
sing; (3) the <Jf ' ending of the verb in the 1st person, 
present tense, as is traceable in the Singhalese; speech, 
must be owing to the influence which the ^ttf* of old 
Bengal exerted there. 

The Present Progressive. presents a very interesting 
form. In ^faust^, we get the infinitive form of the 
principal verb linked with the present indefinite form ^tft% 
(derived from <5(<? l f9[ = '5ffi4-f%), in such a manner that 
the latter appears, not as an auxiliary but as a suffix. 
The formation of corresponding Oriya form ^p5TJ% has been 
exactly in the above manner. It is noteworthy, that a 
contracted form of Bengali ^foc^C^', is in use in Assamese ; 
it is therefore doubtless, that Assamese ^f^^ had its 
origin in Bengal ; ^f?TtI> from ^f?TF^ is in use in 
Bengal and its further contracted form <p<^ is also in 
use in our common speech. As ' ^f^^s' (formed originally 
by the *f^ suffix) is closes to the Prakrta form ^3<s, it is 


earlier in date than Oriya ^Rp. Tnongh the form 
is now unknown in the standard Oriya, it is in use in the 
Provincial dialect of Sambalpur, and was in use in old 
Oriya as noticeable in the writings of Balaram Das, As 
an example of its use in ^ambalpur, I may cite this 
sentence, ^C^s ^fefa (I was observing when I was 
coming). This '^f^Fs' formed by *f^ suffix should not 
be confounded with f ^Fl%' (for doing) formed by the 
?uffix \^f. How words in English formed originally by the 
suffixes ' ing ' and ' ung/ look now wholly alike, may be 
noticed as a parallel case. 

Present Perfect and Pa$t. The Bengali present perfect 
has two forms such as ^faT and ^>fwtt^ ; to the archaic 
past forms of the verbs either the partic e <f\ signifying past 
participle or the verbal stem ' ^rf^ ' noticed above, is added 
or suffixed or agglutinated. That the introduction of 
past participle to denote present perfect, is of great anti- 
quity has been shown in Lectures X and XI, but it is 
interesting to inquire how two distinct forms, to denote 
present perfect has been brought into use. 

I have noticed before that the past form of ^ff^T ( ^f%) 
is <srf^ Osrfjfte ) in old Magadhi ; *fffi as the past form 
assumed the shape <srf^t wnen ^^. became the stem of 
the Bengali verb, derived from ^. That in the analogy 
of ^t^t, the past forms qfa, qfr, cffo etc. became 
the past forms in the Prakrtas, has been shown before ; 
it has also been shown that in the 3rd person singular, 
those past forms assumed the shape ^^, *fl^, etc., 
in Proto-Bengali, when, ^1%, *ff%, etc., commenced to signify 
1st person in the past tense ; though the matter has been 
discussed before, I cite over again an example, to show 
that these aichaic past forms are still in use in Bengali : 

c*i ^Wr frw ^F(^ [i.e., ^f?ret%[] sit ^rffsf ' ^fa ' ^ 

[here ^fwtf^q^l $ will be unidiomatic bad Bengali]. 


The agglutination of the present stem ' ^Tfe ' with the 
past form ^fa, to signify the present perfect, may very 
well be done in the formation of ^f?R[ft^ ^f?Rt^ and 
^fwtfej ^t why in addition to the form with 1 suffix, 
another form was introduced, has to be examined. We 
notice on examining the archaic paradigms, that when 
*Ffr, <ff?T, etc., became identical in form with the infinitives, 
and <srfff Osn^H) could not clearly signify the past 
tense, being almost similar with the present form of the 
stem ^^, v\ was given an extended use to signify the 
past, and the form ^t^^I (Modern Bengali ffl) was made to 
denote the past tense ; to distinguish then between the 
present perfect and the past, say of the verb ^3, ^1%1 1 srftS[ 
(contracted into ^pf?T1d>) was made the present perfect and 
^f^-<5rff^ ( f*Tfftff*l) was made the past form. iDf^fll^, 
which of all hitherto known old books abounds with 
archaic forms, furnishes us with the present perfect forms 

*feiE5 Olf^l + 'rftf) ete -> Since 
Ij etc., were in existence previous to the 
formation of ^f?ffit^ etc., we can clearly see, how the 
present forms with only zf-suffix could not be lost to the 

Some special participle forms. Though regarding the 
origin of \ no doubt exists now, I refer briefly to the 
history of it to notice some important grammatical forms. 
Professor Lassen has rightly suggested that ^S underwent 
the changes fa? and fa\5 and 1 took the place of \5 and 
became finally a sign for the past tense. Pointing out 
along with it the fact that the Slavonic preterites are formed 
by ' 1,' Prof. Laseen has remarked that the characteristic 
1 1 ' of the Slavonic preterite, arises out of ' d ' which in 
its original form again is ' 1.' The analogy being com- 
plete, we have been rightly asked to compare in this 
connection such forms of our language as *TF5, ft 5 !, 


etc. It is very clear that *| of our 
past tense came out of either ^ or ^ of the past participle. 
The Prakrta from which Bengali is directly derived, 
gives us <5f as the <5f*T3V*t form of \s of the past participle; 
the ^ of iSttl 5 ^ became <5f1 in Bengali to give rise to 
special forms as ^1 ^t^> ^3l ^1, ^| e Tl $t^1, J$$5\ ^t*F5, 
Ct?5l ^t^fsj, ^1 Tt?^, etc. The corresponding Oriya 
forms are however like these, ^1 ^t 5 ^ *t*Tl ^^> 1*11 
CTf^ etc. As to the ^ forms of \5as we get in f%^ (Sans.) and 
ff$ (i2jttF)> w e may notice the Bengali past participle 
forms, such as w'tP^t"? f^> C^t^t^ ^Ptt^S, ^Tf'^fa ^Wf, etc. 
Special past form. A special form in the past tense 
may be noted here. The particle ' ^ ' indicating negation 
coalesced with ' rfa ' and gave rise to the form ' sjfa ' (does 
not exist) as a single word ; ' 3$$' in our vernacular being 
the decayed form of ^fcf is not a simple particle to 
signify negation but carries with it the verb ' to be ' in 
enclitic form. ' JTf^' is alone sufficient to express ' does not 
exist ' and such a Hindi form as ' Crf^ ^ft ' has no place in 
Bengali. I have already stated that if to indicate negation 
this word ' srf^ ' be joined to the archaic past form, the 
full-bodied modern past form will be dispensed with ; 
' *f?T =Ttt ' fully signifies ' I did not do.' 

The Imperative mood. Before dealing with the future 
system, an examination of the Bengali Imperative mood 
is necessary. I had occasion to show in a previous 
lecture that such -2ftf^ forms to denote the imperative 
mood in the 3rd person, as ^-^, ^1-^, *tl-^j, etc., are in 
use in Oriya, and the Bengali forms ^W^, ?f^j *tt^, etc., 
are the very old forms with the addition of an otiose ^ j 
that the forms in the 2nd person ^3, ?f v Q, ^S, etc., 
are almost universal, in the vernaculars, and that they 
come from the Prakrta ^Ri, srfc (as well as^t^f), *Tf? (*Tt 5 0, 
etc., need hardly be pointed out. As in the Prakrtas, so 


it is in the modern vernaculars, that the forms of the 1st 
person present indicative, signify the imperative mood in the 
1st person. One-special characteristic in Bengali is that to 
indicate stress or emphasis the particle ' C">\ ' (which is the 
same in origin as ' C^t ' or ' ^ ' of Hindi, used almost as an 
auxiliary with the Hindi, verbs to indicate futurity) is 
used as a post-position after the forms in the imperative 
mood as illustrated above. 

There is one special form of the imperative mood in 
the second person which is formed by the suffix < t-S ' ; 
^f^S, jfoBf *(t^S, etc., signify ^^^\ or command in such 
a manner that the action indicated by the verbs, is asked 
to be done, not immediately consequently the form with 
^8 in the imperative mood is akin to future tense. It 
is of much importance to note (though it is a very common 
fact of phonology) that ^ and VQ are very much inter- 
changeable alike in Prakrta and vernacular ; it is certainly 
well known that <?fa<Q (contracted in ordinary speech into 
C^ttffl) is found at times in old Bengali in the shape of ^f?R 
(earlier ^f^). We shall presently see, that it has been quite 
organic with us, since dim past, to develop the sound of 
^ at the end of the verb stem, when even in a little degree 
the idea of futurity is sought to be conveyed. If on 
reference to the arguments to be adduced presently, this 
phonetic peculiarity be considered to be a genuine pheno- 
menon, the ' ^8 ' suffix of the imperative mood may be held 
to tender a good explanation of the origin of the future 
indicating ^. However, I proceed to consider the whole 
question in connection with the origin of our future system ; 
I may only note here that in the imperative form discussed 
here, the idea conveyed by the Sanskrit suffix ' v*l' is not 

As the particle ' ^\ ' which is added to the words in 
the imperative form to give a stress, will be dealt with 


separately, I do not discuss here, such a form as 
rather do. 

The future system. Some general remarks regarding 
the evolution of tenses seem called for, to explain some 
phenomena connected with the formation of future tense. 
I dj not state a new proposition, when I say that it is 
the doing of an act, or the happening of an event, that is 
to say, the present tense of a verb that arises first in the 
primitive grammar ; it is also but a repetition of the 
recognised truth that an action in the past and an expecta- 
tion of a thing to happen in the future, were at first 
expressed differently, only, by the change of accent, and 
not by changing the form of the verb in the present tense. 
I have discussed in a previous lecture, what the probable 
origin of 'f%,' ' f*f ' and ' ft ' might be ; it may be observed 
that the past-forming suffixes ' ff,' ' *T ' and ' "5R ' are formed 
by clipping the final '^' sound of the present-indicating 
suffixes and thereby shortening the accent to indicate as 
it were the faded away past ; this is also how '$,' ' C1 ' and 
' -fl ' were reduced to ' vg,' ' ^Tt^ ' and '^.' The present creating 
^ff*sf (derived from ^ + f^) and the past creating ' *3{ ' also 
disclose the same history. This analysis will help us to 
ascertain the character of the future-indicating suffixes. 

The fact that the present indefinite which is the real 
present to start with, indicates futurity in all languages, 
proves that a special gesture or accent was only added to 
the present form to signify futurity. Some remnants of 
old forms justify us in supposing that the final vowel 
sound of the present-indicating suffixes was prominently 
intonated to indicate futurity ; I bring up for comparison 
the Prakrta present form ' C^t^ ' which is changed into 
' C^tt^ 'to indicate future tense merely by the putting of 
an accent on the final ' ^ ' sound. As the ' ^ ' sound 
to denote futurity, was prominently intonated, the sound 


became a special characteristic of the future tense, 
and as such stuck to the root or stem of the verb, even 
when a special time differentiating suffix (>uf%, 'fffr, etc.) 
was introduced. 

It thus appears on examining the morphology of the 
t'uture-for mine suffixes, that the characteristic ' ^ ' to denote 
partly the future tense, became in a manner an inseparable 
part of the verbal stem as ^f?r, ^|f^, ^fa, etc., and the present 
indefinite form of ^^ as ^5, ^f*T, 3Ttft, etc., were made 
suffixes in the place of articulated gestures for signifying 
futurity. These newly formed suffixes assumed rather 
the character of auxiliary verbs like ^rfff , 'Sfl^, etc., of 
Bengali, which are joined to Bengali verbal stems to 
amplify the tenses. We notice this faot in the Magadhi 
speech, that when the auxiliary portion was dropped, the 
simple ^ remained with a special accent attached to it, to 
indicate futurity ; at times f^ was introduced to fully 
represent the future indicating stress, as may be noticed 
in such a form for example as ^tt f^ ; in the subjunctive 
mood as well, we meet with ' ^t ( *rfw ) ^fofc,' ' ^ ^ 4 
f^/ etc., for ^ ^^. ^ 3l<4 (present forms indicating 
Fnture sense), etc. Thus we clearly see, that in some 
-STttjiNSS (specially in the Tt^f^t we are concerned with) ^ or 
f^ became sufficient to express the idea of futurity. As 
it i- not simply ^ but ^3, which is the future-forming 
suffix in Bengali, Oriya and Assamese, some scholars give 
us ^ from a source which is not connected with the 
future denoting form which obtained in the Prakrtas. It 
has been formulated by some European scholars, that 3>^T 
which forms the participle of the future passive, generated 
the complete form t^ as the future-forming suffix. I must 
fully admit that this theory explains the matter completely 
but as it implies a Ireak of cvutinuily icitli the jiast, I 
proceed to examine the claim which has been set up for \3T. 


The words formed by ^T were adopted in the early 
Magadhi speech in such forms as, ^Il^l, S6f*C33l, 
*ret?Rl, (TTteral, (Sl^fl or C^tf^l/* etc. We see that 
there was no ^ in these forms to begin with. I think 
that when the idea of futurity involved in those words 
had to be prominently brought out in the new infinitives 
with a shade of some difference in meanin t was inserted 
or rather grew up in the new form 
$^Wi C^t^fl, etc. The forms 

and C^t^Tfa are arranged in a regular series or chrono- 
logical order to show that C^t^fa which comes directly out 
of C^ft^> does not fully express the meaning indicated by 
*^fr^I ' ; ' *FW &t^ ' may be nicely translated by ' ft^fa 
^fa/ but the full meaning of <2lt^I is not obtained in the 
Bengali form and as such in addition to ' tt^Tfa -' we have 
borrowd ' t2tt$3J ' from Sanskrit in our modern Bengali, t 
has to be translated into Bengali by '?fc1 
^l-' This ' ^>3l ' which has given rise to such 
infinitive forms as C*ff*Rl, ^f?Rl, etc., in Oriya and C^f^PTt^" 
^f?Rt^ etc., in Bengali, may very likely give us ' ^V in 
question, but whether such an extraction was made out 
of vs^J to form future tense anew by breaking with the past, 
is a matter for much consideration. Purposeful coining 
of a new suffix to indicate a tense is not a natural pheno- 
menon ; that the old idiomatic forms are transmuted 
imperceptibly is what should be accepted to be the natural 

It is difficult to imagine that the suffix which was not 
extracted from ^J in the shape of ^ even in the latest 
known ^tf^ to signify futurity, was given currency in 

* Though '' is attached to the verbal stem in 'lT5^I,' its 
original Prakrta form is without it. 

t tt^ft ' 5 Ttt, ^f^t3 ^rfag, etc., do not imply the idea 


that lost language which gave rise to the dialects (now 
languages) in which ^ is now used. How in a far-fetched 
way ^ has to be extracted from W to make it a future- 
denoting suffix, and how in accepting the theory to be 
correct, we have to accept the situation that the idiomatic 
use of the past time was wholly ignored in some modern 
vernaculars, have been sufficiently discussed. We have 
seen, on the other hand, in our analysis of the forms of 
verbs in the imperative mood, that such a form as ^^ 
(do immediately now) was naturally reduced to ^f%^ and 
then to <?f^5l or ^>f?PS to denote a command relating to 
doing in future ; that this naturally evolved suffix ^Q, easily 
transmutable to ^, could be taken up for use as a future- 
forming suffix, without violating the idiomatic use of the 
past time, is, in my opinion, sufficiently clear. 

It is not true, what is generally supposed to be 
the case, that most of the Bengali verbs require the help 

of the verbs of ' v ' and ' 3> ' origin to 
Auxiliary verbs. . 

express their action, \\ecaneasily 

notice that the verbs in the old Magadhi speech did not 
stand in need of any additional support from other verbs 
as auxiliaries ; it is equally clear that our genuine Bengali 
verbs '*tt3fl/ '5*Yl/ ' C*It^t/ etc., do not require the verbs 
of ' *%' or ''$' origin to come to their help in expressing 
their own action. When in consequence of Sanskrit 
renaissance, our Bengali verbs were looked down upon as 
inelegant and vulgar, the Sanskrit verbal nouns were formed 
according to the rules of Sanskrit grammar, and a new 
method of expression being devised, the verbal nouns were 
made to be governed by the verbs of '^ ' or < f ' origin. 
^tt^Fsf^, 5f^^, VS$?\ are the natural and genuine Ben- 
gali forms, while CtSR ^fafsff , ?fSR ^f^, *f?R ^T 5 ! are 
unnatural Sauskritic forms. The influence of the Pandits 
became so very much dominating, that some verbs 


(denoting mental acts generally) were reduced wholly to noun 
forms ; '^' to wish, c f&~3' to think, ' ^ ' to worship, etc., 
are not allowed now to be declined as verbs and such forms 
as ' tfs* 5 ! ' ' f&f%t^ ' and ' 5 jf*^ ' are regarded as archaic 
or obsolete. 

The peculiarity of the forms ' (?o CW*\ ' (kill outright), 
' Gftft Wt' ' (throw away), ' fp> |\5 ' or ' CTffiift'S ' (join up), 
1 'TC^ *F5 ' (get away), C*R^[ U^S (finish up), etc., need be ex- 
plained. That ' CV ' *ff3 ' ' *f5,' etc., are mere stress-giving 
adjuncts and are not verbs in reality, cannot be easily noticed 
on account of the fact that these mere emphasis'indicating 
adjuncts take the tense-forming as well as other suffixes. 
It may be seen, that when emphasis is not put upon the 
verbal phrases of this class, the adjuncts naturally fall off; 
compare the sentences '^Ff^ C^FSfV and 'Tfs? (7TC?rf^' in con- 
trast with ' <Ft*F5 C^FS CWlf^ ' and ' ^f (TH^T ferff .' It is 
amusing to note that the Pandits, considering the emphasis- 
indicati.ig adjuncts to be the real verbs, sanskritise some of 
these verbal phrases in a highly ridiculous manner ; not 
seeing that ' Cf 3f! ' in ' (Tlt^t (7^831,' does not mean ' giving,' 
they use the hideous phrase 'C^t 5 !?!^ WK\' for f C?ffi Of^r ; 
in their mania to sanskritise Bengali phrases and idioms, 
they forget also that the word ' Fffr ' does not signify 
simple 'giving ' in Bengali, but that it signifies ' giving 
away ' or { making a gift in charity.' The full absurdity 
of the situation will be realised, if in the analogy of < C ? Tf^ftt 
^31/ the phrases ' CJ?5 C^i 5 *!' and ' ^^ 9 ^5 > be sanskritised 
into ' (%5 f^c^^t ^ ' and ' f\l^ *tf^5 ^.' 

Some verbs do not usually take suffixes in declen- 
sion and exist as decayed forms of old verbs ; when these 
verbs are used, additional verbs as auxiliaries are joined 
to them ; as usual the added adjuncts are only changed in 
conjugation. The verb ' W^S\ ' ' to snatch away is in use, but 
independently it cannot take verbal suffixes '<?\ 


' etc., are not in use ; the forms in use are ' C*\ 
ft C^ f^TfV etc. 

The infinitives called ' 'SfRtfa^l ' verbs formed by ^ 
(= Pr. ^ = S. 3 and ^1;, as ^finrt, ffasl, Stf^Sl, etc., are 
identical with Prakrta ^fipsr, ^f^TT, 5fS5% etc. ; as their 
later contracted forms ^f?T, sffr, ^tf^, etc., are only met 
with in Oriya literature, and the fuller early forms cannot 
be proved to have existed at any time in Oriya, we may 
presume that the forms as contracted on the soil of Bengal 
flowed intoOrissa. In addition to the forms ' ^fa/ ' qft/etc., 
we meet with ' ^fo 6 !/ ' <ff?M/ etc., in use in the literature of 
Orissa and not in the common speech of the people ; this 
exclusively literary | suffix of Oriya, is in existence in 
Marathi, but it is not from Marathi that Oriya borrowed 
it, since from the earliest known time, the use of this 
suffix is noticeable in Oriya literature. We do not exactly 
know, who those Marhattas are, who have been named in 
the Puranas, along with the wild hordes of the frontier 
of Bengal. 

The adverbial use of the 'spFTtf^Fl verbs in Eastern 
Vernaculars, including Bengali, is interesting. C5tf> (i.e., 
is '5[ J Prff*fa1 verb in such a sentence as ' 'srffsi cfl^ 

5,' but it is adverb, having the meaning " quickly" in 
the sentence " C3Tl 3tt65 cttf> t*\ * ; in some cases, ' ^f?fi1 ' 
being compounded with some adjectives or nouns, adverbs 
are formed, such as, ' ^fa ^ *T?/ ' VS ^C^ ^t^f,' ' ^ ^^ 
?Ftsf <j>3,' etc. ; ^f?T5l or ^^ referred to here, is identical 
with ^TSl winch indicates instrumental case, as in 
^fcs ^T^ *& A class of compounds similar in form is in use 
in the Burdwan Division, but the compounds of this class 
are adjectives and their final component ( ^^ ' conveys the 
meaning 'T5 ' or like, as may be noticed in such phrases as 
' C3t*fl ^^ C^Tt^,' ' ^t*T^tfT CSOJ^/ etc. It may also be noted 
here, that in the idiom of some Eastern Districts, for such 


a phrase as ' ^ ^\^ ' (as in <Tfa ^tW ^ CTfa f*0 ' 3fa 
^3' is used. 

It is necessary to point out, that the adverb-forming <n 
suffix, as noticeable in 'CSTfcT,' 'ffc?T/ etc., is identical with the 
dj which signifies the instrumental case ; as such the forms 
' ftC^T,' ' O^tt^V etc., should not be confounded with the con- 
tracted forms of 'ttfi^Tl/ ' ^feV etc., which are used as^ 

Voice. Our Bengali idiom does not admit such an 
expression as ' t^l ^Tfal-^frl ' (or tf5t*fl-> O1> ^\^'} W*> ; 
only our Pandits at times write such horrid things in 
close imitation of sf^l (or iftl or (^5*0 ^fsffR s . It is a 
peculiarity with our Magadhi vernaculars that even when 
the voice is not active, the finite verbs retain their usual 
form; e.(j., ' *ft5 Vtfcl ^ttf , ff^^ tf5\ ^R, t^5 ^1 ^^ ' 
etc. ; in these cases what is called the <5J*^F nominative 
cannot be introduced anywhere in the sentence by putting 
ftnrl, ^t?T| or ^|^ after the ^^ nominative. In those 
cases where there is a distinct reference to the person doing 
an act, the ^j^ ; nominative takes the form of genitive 
case, e.g., ^rtSTfr ^S *tflfte'P s & ^t^ . 5Tt'?1 ^3tt5, 
etc. It is noticeable in all the above illustrations, that 
verbal nouns, ^1, ^r?1, ftfl, ^Tt^1, and s?t^1 have been 
made objects of the finite verbs. In the following ex- 
amples, <5Tfsrft *Tt^C ^C^, C^stft^ ^t%C^ ^^Hfk*1, etc., ^sft? 
and C^tTft are certainly in the instrumental case, but 
the verbs are unchanged in their form, and the infinitive 
forms *Tf^5, ^>flTfrs, etc., have been used with the finite 
verbs. It is also noticeable, that 'STf 5 !^ and C^tTftf of the 
above sentences, may be optionally reduced to 'srfsrfr^ and 
, indicating perhaps thereby, that the ^ final of 
and C^tsft is wholly otiose, and is not a sign of the 
accusative case. The following impersonal form <|T>| \t1 
(or C*ftTft ) 5Tl = it does not look (or hear) well, shows 


that the causative forms of the verbs to see and to hear, 
have been idiomatic in such a case in Bengali ; in Oriya 
in such cases we get 3^ and fr*[ for ordinary '3^1 and tfftl 
respectively, but they are not causative forms ; in some 
ordinary cases too ffff x and ^ occur optionally in Oriya, 
e.g., c*rrifa "TO ^k or Wl 4$ ^ (4^1 t*f 
.and, *rfo4 C^Wl ftst^ or C*f*{1 ^ *tfk (^ *TN 
?fa55). According to special Bengali idiom, such honorific 
expressions as '5ri'*t;rfa ^tTl ^t*!l, and ^t^t^ ^Pf-Stf! ^J^, are 
very common. As for special peculiarities of Bengali 
voice, the above examples will quite do. 

Some particles and indeclinaljles. The scope of these 
lectures does not allow me to deal with all the parts of 
speech and with all primary and secondary suffixes ; it is 
not to write a regular grammar, but to trace the history 
of our language, that these lectures are intended. I pro- 
ceed now to deal with those particles and indeclinables, 
which being peculiar to the Bengali language, differentiate 
Bengali from the allied Vernaculars, and which have to 
disclose to us the interesting history of their origin. 

(1) 'Sff^. This peculiarly Bengali interjection is no 
longer in use; we get it, for example in the ^f^rftsffl, " ^t^ 
<5Tf^ <5Tft ! ^ ^51 fo ^ CSn^fr ^ C*fl f " ; in some Eastern 
districts however, it survives in the form of <5Tf as an inter- 
jection expressing disgust, and is often heard with f| at 
the end of it, as *fl^ f^ ? 

(2) ^tgll in respectful response to a call, is not much 
in use in the sea-board district-; of Orissa, where the Hindi 
word fir is much in vogue, but this Bengali form is fully 
in use in the Sambalpur tract. 

(3) ^f^, 'STfa, <5Tfa-^ and 3 from <5f*ft" we got ^<TS 
and this ^RS is <srf^ in Hindi and Oriya and is ^t^t^ in 
Bengali; in Hindi the pronunciation is ^T^-^^j but in 
Oriya it is pronounced with ' b ' and not with ' v.' We 


should remember that <5Tfat^ has no connection with 
< srf?R'fa, for <5Tfa has a different history. *r| as a variant 
of <5f (derived from 5) was once compounded with another 
particle ^ to form the compound conjunction ^1, which 
is still in use in Oriya ; this <rt^ reduced to the form ^T|?p 
is in use in Bengali, but "Sff^ is now generally confounded 
with "STf^-S ; ' ^^ ' is a changed form of ^^ or rather 
^fc, and its signification is ' and ' as well as ' also.' To 
denote ' also,' the particle 1%, a broken part of ^ff or 
'Bfft, has been in use in Hindi and Oriya, and never in 
Bengali, so far as literary records show. ' <5ffo ' was very 
likely pronounced in Bengal, as -oftk, as our phonetic pecu- 
liarity warrants us to hold ; and thus perhaps we got 3 
which signifies ' even ' as in <5Ttf?f \S ; this ^S is different in 
meaning and origin from \8 which signifies ' and* which 
comes from "Sf (=5) by virtue of the peculiarity of our 
Bengali pronunciation. It is significant, that ^ ( = and) is 
also in use in Oriya, though the full ?J?<F5 sound of <5f does 
not prevail in Oriya. [For another \S see (5) below.] 

(4) ^" a particle, uttered in response to a call ; though 
a variant of <f (=yes), it has a different signification; 
the corresponding Oriya form is ^sf which is different from 
f ( Bengali tl ) as signifies assent. 

(5) ^ which is uttered in response to a call as well 
as in addressing a man, is in use in Oriya as well. 
Vedic ^3 was reduced to <5^ and then to 3tf ; ^C^ 
is used in Bengali in addressing, following the traditional 
meaning, but its decayed form ^9 is generally uttered 
in response to a call. 

(6) ^f% and ^of%. These two Vedic indeclinables, signi- 
fying 'how much' and 'that much ' respectively, are not met 
with in Sanskrit. We have added fa (from fr to signify 
many steps perhaps) to ^f% and the compound form ^fs^fa 
is in use in high-flown Bengali ; ' vgf^ ' being compounded 



with *H, once came into use in Bengali as ^f^*! ; this 
form is wholly different from v5^>*R (Prakrta as well as 
old Bengali) which is derived from v&^pj. 

(7) C*t Its use with verbs in the imperative mood has 
already been commented upon. Its another use as a 
resting ground for thought, like ' m ^ f%' (cf. Sanskrit 
and Prakrta, (^{ of singular use) or ^flfft or fosfl, etc., may 
be noticed, in such phrases as <5Tfa 3^55^ (further more), 
^11 $mi*\ (the thing is), etc. 

(8) Ff^ in such a sentence as 5t^f% f^>fa ifif Tt^ *Tfa, is 
but the representative of CF?, which was reduced to simple 
C5 in Prakrta. 

(y) f^ It is curious that some scholars have missed 
its real derivation which is from f*^> (fq = f^). 

(10) 15 and c*ttfr. The fact that the derivation of the 
particle has been a puzzle to many scholars, is partly in 
support of its origin from the Dravidian source. A very 
definite and distinct root of this particle is found deeply 
planted in the Dravidian speech or speeches ; all the 
branches of the Dravidian language possess it in one form 
or another, and the very form fi> is in the speech of the 
Andhras, who once established intimate relation with all 
parts of Northern India. This $ of Telegu which corresponds 
to other forms in other Dravidian language?, is a charac- 
teristic inflectional increment at the end of neuter nouns. 
That in our use of \, as definite article in Bengali and 
Oriya, we agree with Telegu, will be convincing on 
reference to the history of this particle as given in 
Cald well's Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian 
Languages (vide ibid, p. 264). It seems that to begin 
with, J5 used to bn affixed to neuter nouns only, and its 
variant 'fig ' was being used with other nouns, for in old 
time idiom, we meet with rt-ff[f5, 1t^Mt>, Ttffff5, etc., on 
one side and ^f^, f^f%, *ttf^?, etc., on the other side ; 


we may notice that in Eastern Bengal, such forms as 
^l^f^, CTfafe, etc., are still in use. We may compare 
with the above forms, the Hindi particle C&1 used with 
adjectives and neuter nouns, as in Telegu and so also 
the Hindi use of f^ as agreeing with ^f%, f^f%, etc. 
I may further remark, that the pseudo-Sanskrit form ^ffi, 
of a very late time Sanskrit, points to the extensive use 
of the particle in question in past time. 

The supposition, that the definite article $ comes from 
C^ffl?! ( = entire in Bengali), is doubly faulty. We have 
no doubt seen that $ in its form and function as agreeing 
with our usage, is in its natural position in the Dravidian 
language, but we have to further notice that Cff^l has never 
been in use in Hindi, and yet we meet with C^| and f^5 in 
that language ; I should note that I exclude purposely 
Nepalese from the list, as owing to a special Dravidian 
influence the word C^tt^l has gone over to that country to 
signify exactly ' one ' as in Oriya. In the next place we 
have to take note of the fact that cftfr signifying either 
' entire ' or ' one/ comes from the Telegu cardinal 
numeral okati ; that okati is not an adaptation of Sanskrit 
ifl^, but is connected radically with the original Dravidian 
term for ' one,' cannot be discussed here and the students 
may refer for it to Caldwell's work as named above. I 
only notice that C^tt^l in the form of C^tf^t^ is a suffix in 
the speech of our Dravidian neighbours the Oraons. 

(11) ^%3 (for the purpose of). It is specially to be 
noted that to indicate the meaning ' for the purpose of ' the 
particle f^ was in use in the Chhandasa or Vedic language, 
and this f^ was not adopted by the Sanskrit language ; it is 
well known that we meet with ' ^^ ' in Pali, exactly to 
serve the purpose of the Vedic f^, and so we may rightly 
presume that this W.3 is a genuine Cf^t particle ; we then 
notice that in Sanskrit the corresponding form is "5ft[, 


which is nothing but an amalgamation of the Prakrta 1T3" 
and old-time f^. 

From ^ of Sanskrit again, came the Prakrta *& 
(for that reason), which should not be confounded 
with vsf^? and its later form vft; as derived from 
^5fTR. From 'sft of tSft^s, there came out another 
form 0ft or 0$^ of which Cs became the contracted form. 
In my opinion does not come direct from ' C53 ' to 
indicate C5{ ^faW. That our old Bengali cfe and 
modern \t^ have to be derived from <2tt^5 ^f| of v?ft^ 
origin, has been already discussed. We have to note that 
' ^5C3 ' of old-time <2ftf^5 or Itfa, is itself in use in the 
Bengali language. 

(12) ?Tl, ft, and C 5 ^ It is well known that the particle 
3 of Vedic times (as in^eftt^fg ante, p. 109) has always 
been in use in Sanskrit, and ';?' has been its form in the 
Prakrtas. I am strongly inclined to hold by differing from 
the time-honoured opinion of the grammarians of old days, 
that 5J as occurs for instance with ' c ' and ' ^sft? ' in such 
Pali sentence as 03R C*f1 *R l^ttW, has the force of f^ and 
is the ^ of ^-origin, and not the sign of instrumental 
case, for, the regular locative forms are in plenty in 
ttf^T. This suggestion of mine, however, has no concern 
with what I am going to illustrate. I have no doubt that 
our emphasis-indicating 5fl as in iWl (please do come) 
is identical with (2ft^5 ' 5? ' of % origin. In Oriya we meet 
with the particle both in the shape of ' f{' and 'ft'; the 
latter is in literary use (as in c^Tl ft it is done) and the 
former is in the mouth of all people, along with ft in 
the Sambalpur tract ; jpf ^fs?Tl-^ and fff Tff%*!t-ft are 
used alike in common parlance. In some parts of the 
District of Jessore, in the Eastern parts of the District of 
Nadiya, and in Northern Bengal, C*{ and ft are of general 
use as articles of emphasis ; 'srfft *rfrt5? (Eastern parts of 


Jessore and Nadiya) and (7f qtft fa (Eastern Nadiya and 
Northern Bengal) are examples. I think these examples 
from various quarters, show, that ^ } C3, fa, and ^ itself, 
are identical with <2ft^5 ' ^ ' of ancient % origin. 

We have noticed in the 13th Lecture, that 'fa' per- 
forming the function of 5? or , was reduced to fa (as 
in (?\-fa of i||R3^o^ = modern C 3 ^) ; it is pretty 
clear that this fa with the appendage of aforesaid ^ 
or sfl, appears in Oriya, as fjRl (e.g., <7f fasti ^f$fa*i1 = c*J 
N ^t$fl>*0 and in the Eastern Districts of Bengal, as 
C*R (e.g., C1 C^^CTflf C'W fCTfi^l). It may be supposed 
that fasti or (7R comes from Sanskrit f^s, ; but as f^ 
in any form does not occur in the <2ftW s > the derivation, 
I have suggested, seems to be the right one. 

(13) ^, as in C$W ^ ^tW ^tfafa is certainly the 
decayed form of ^TJfrs ', it will be very wrong to identify 
it. with Sanskrit particle ^ of the series, 5, ^, f , f^. 
1 need hardly point out that <5 comes from ^ of the 
above series. 

(14) *jfif and ?^. I notice qfif, as re-sanskritised from 
t2ft^5 and old Bengali ^, for this reason that it has been 
mostly in use in Bengali, and the introduction of it in 
Oriya has been at a very recent date. In Oriya C^ 
(Bengali *K3, Hindi *p[) has been always the form in use. 
The <2ft3F5 form of Wl as ^t^ has been in use in Bengali 
only, in the form of *Tt?> (e.g., (71 *Tt^ ^\, ^ft <5f|fSf c^Tfa)- 

(15) 3T This particle which is used as a prefix is of 
much interest. Formation of adverbs with this prefix in 
strict accordance with the Sanskrit usage, is no doubt in 
vague in Bengali, as may be noticed in such expressions 
as *Itfrf, T^KR, etc., but it is the non-Sanskritic use of this 
prefix, which we have to note here. f T' as opposite of 
privative '^ ' in such an expression, for instance as >ff%^J? 
(opposite of <5rf^33^) has been in use in Pali as well as in 


other Prakrtas of later days ; it is this use which is now 
idiomatic in our Vernacular. Such instances as *ppf|, 
*T*tt**t, "PR, etc. (opposite of *t^1, ^It^t, <m, etc.), 
are often met with in Bengali ; here the form ?^3[ for 
instance may be bad according to Sanskrit Grammar, 
but it is not so according to Bengali idiom, as may be 
noticed on reference to the following Bengali idiomatic 
expressions. f^F is an adjective and it takes the prefix T\, 
signifying very much, to express intensity of meaning ; 
^ftt^ (very much accurate) does not change its character 
and remains an adjective ; ^3Ft^> T&f^s, etc., are similar 
expressions. Neither the adjective form JfSjt^t (very wake- 
ful) nor the adverb form *TC3ftt^ (with force), should be 
referred to any rule of Sanskrit Grammar. 

Some Secondary Suffices. I proceed now to notice 
a few secondary suffixes of Bengali, as disclose some special 
characteristics of our language. 

Feminine-forming 8uffi$es. It has to be noted that the 
^t^l rules for reducing masculine to feminine were not 
always strictly followed in Pali ; the feminine form of 
' CFfr ' is C5f?t in Pali, and it will be seen that our modern 
rules are fully in harmony and accordance with the spirit 
of the Magadhi usages. The suffix ^Tl of the Sanskrit 
Grammar, did not come into use in the Prakrta from 
which Bengali originates. In the (2ft|^s ^ and sft were 
the two suffixes which have been inherited by Bengali ; our 
Pandits only at times violate our idiomatic use by import- 
ing the Sanskrit suffix <5fl. 

It is rather a simple rule in Bengali, that all mascu- 
line nouns having ^ or 'srl final, take ^ (occasionally ^ in 
feminine), and all other words (i.e., having ^, ^, <4 and ^Q 
finals) take ^JJt (at times reduced to ^t^t in euphonic 
mutation) to indicate feminine forms; the only important 
proviso is, that the words having "^f or <sr| final do also 


take ^J?t, when they signify a class or a trade-guild. The 
examples are : 

(1) From words having <5f final. f^^^t (^l^^tlS'O 
<Ttft (F^tftT)) ^fft, "ft'st^t, etc. Here we notice two excep- 
tions, viz., *Ttf*|ft from 3Tff Osfa<55S) and Ttf^t from <rft, 
which is usual in our speech ; in respect of these 
two exceptions, I should say, that they are due to euphonic 
reasons. In C^fat^ from C^H and spfrt^ from sffiff perhaps 
we get the ^ to denote masculine from the ending of 
SftTf^ by false analogy. It may also be supposed that the 
words were compounded with *ff^> which was reduced first 
to *f^ and then to ^. 

(2) From words having ^\ final. Tt^t, *|^t, |f ' 
(from CTO*l1)i ^ft, S^^ft or -^ (from Prakrta 

(mas. is not-^J^I but virtually-^! or ^(1), 
(really from T|$flfat, which is only reduced to 
J ^Tt?f^^t is a pseudo- Bengali form coined by Jatra- 
walas to make the word dignified). Like T^ff?rt 
is a pseudo- Bengali term, for in our speech the word 
(be it from It 5 !*! or ^ft^lfll) is in universal use. 

N.B. As the feminine forms of words of ^ final have 
the suffix 5r, the masculine words, formed grammatically 
from feminine words, with ^ final, have been made words 
with <5Tl final ; for example, from srtft and f*ff[ (orig. 
and f^l^fJT), we have got ^f>n^1 (CTC^l) and 
(f^ftT)- Similarly when from ^jf^ the ^^'"f form (^ 
was formed, a new regular masculine word was coined 
as c^l. 

(3) The words signifying class or trade-guild must take 
^t (or its variant ^rf^t or ^t), no matter whether the 
final is ^ or has <5f or ^ or any other vowel. The 
examples are : ^3 ^<jf;ftj ^tf't's Ttf^t or STtf't^t^t, 

c*n c^rm^, i^t^t, crr^, TT^ ^f^t 

etc. We have also 


to notice, when new words are formed by our villagers they 
follow the unwritten law of our grammar aud coin such 
femiuines from words denoting occupation as ft^t^t* 
^t^t^^t and if^Tst^t- 

N.B. When the feminine forms themselves have come 
to ns having already been formed in Sanskrit, as a matter 
of course, we do not Bengalicize them, even when we 
make ^^""f of them ; thus it is, that though the word 
3t^1 signifies a class, the ^^"t of gffi^, as ^f^t re- 
mains unchanged in Bengali. It may also be said in 
respect of this particular example that as 5? happens to be 
the final of the word in question, ^ of the suffix ^t is 
bound to be dropped for euphonic reasons. 

I notice also here the words having 3^1 suffix which 
seemingly appear as exceptions ; the words having been 
borrowed from Hindi, the Hindi forms are used in femi- 
nine, and the suffix ^t appropriate to trade-signifying 
class, is not used. 

I make this general statement that all masculine 
forms as do not come under (1) and (2) above take ^t for 
feminine forming suffix. What I have stited in com- 
menting on ^tffHRt and ^tfflf^ft may be said in respect of 
the following words ; some words which are never used in 
Bengali as sff^Sf, ?W, etc., present the forms iFsfa^t, ^fsf^t, 
etc. ; we clearly see that these forms could never be coined 
in a natural way in Bengali, and certainly our Jatrawalas 
coined them to make a show of pedantry. Our genuine 
Bengali words conform to the rules I have enunciated. 

Suffix <5r| of various significations. The diminutive- 
forming -sd is rather universal in Northern India, aud as 
such special examples need not be cited in using such a 
form as ^fo*fl (^t<j), for ^fa to signify non-honorifix ad- 
dress ; we agree with other Indian Vernaculars, but we may 


note that to signify affection, we use the suffix ^ where 
euphonic combination becomes possible ; ^t$, S3 5 , ^fij, etc., 
are examples. It is supposed that the ^ suffix mentioned 
above is virtually the contracted form of ^ "5T| which is a 
variant of $ 'sfl or rather the euphonic mutation of ^\. For 
examples of "Sfl as signifying diminutive, and as not 
connected with or derived from the final <F which is 
diminutive-indicating in Sanskrit, I may just mention 
two words namely Tt'fi (temporary lodging or nest) from 
^t 5 !, and ^31 (a little hole, say, a button -hole) from ^. 
That 9J$5\ for 5l (*-.'/< TO ^V* ^ *F1) from ^^ 
is entirely different from either q%\ or ^f^fl, is clear and so 
we may hold that there is a pure and independent 'sfl 
which signifies diminutive. 

The adjective-forming W\ is generally considered to be 
a combination of ^ and 'srl ; this appears doubtful to me, 
on reference to the signification of the following forms, 
vV., (1) *<WJ = liable to break easily (from f5 to fall 
+*1), (2) mvl = liarht (^=if=?g+^1 ), (3) ifc*\, 
that which causes a *f$ or doubt in the mind (here old 
agency-signifying ^ in the form of ^| may be the suffix) 
(4) ^?T$i as in ^<?1 ^ (which is slightly ^ft 5 or rather 
trfr$&5 or boiled). 

As to the adjective-forming ^1, derived from past- 
partici pie-form ing T g? = \5 = p 5f. remarks have already been 
made in a previous lecture. 

The adjective-forming t?1 as in ^rctfTOl or ^^CTPT 
has no connection with general ^ suffix ; it is Sanskrit ^ 
(as in sfft?) which is our adjective-forming 3l ; this H, 
we clearly see, indicates relation. 

I have omitted to take notice of the Sanskrit suffixes 
and forms in use in Bengali, as no special remarks re- 
garding them may be considered needed in these lectures, 
though it is interesting to know when and under 


what circumstances Sanskrit language \va.s made to 
contribute to the stock of our language. 1 should 
not omit to mention, however, that a real necessity 
impelled our writers to import Sanskrit words and 
Sanskritic forms. It has already been mentioned that 
as our proud ancestors did not care to express their high 
thoughts in the vernaculars of the people, the living 
speeches dragged on a miserable existence. We needed 
suitable expressions and new serviceable suffixes to express 
ourselves properlv. Sonorous Sanskrit words were also 
laid under contribution, to maintain an elegance of stvle. 
I may remind you that classical words and old flexiors are 
for the very reason employed iu modern European lan- 
guages to give vent to ;esthetic ideas in an effective manner. 
Some tine sentiments and associations may only be best 
expressed, if, as in English, classical forms are resorted to. 
The remarks of the English philologists, that while the 
old forms are useful and effective in an elegant composi- 
tion to express a-sthotic ideas, the modern simple forms 
are very much necessary to make very accurate and lucid 
statements of facts, are wholly applicable to Bengali. I 
mention these facts, not so much to justify the procedure 
in question, as to show how changes are effected and have 
been effected. 


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