- Bihari languages
Infobox Language family
Bihari is a name given to the western group of Eastern Indic languages, spoken in
Biharand neighboring states in India. Bhojpuri and Maithili are spoken in Nepalas well. The Bhojpuri and Maithili speaking population form more than 20% of Nepalese population. Despite of large number of speakers of these languages, they have not been constitutionally recognized in India. Even in Bihar, Hindi is the language used for educational and official matters. [http://www.diehardindian.com/demogrph/moredemo/histlang.htm] These languages were legally absorbed under the subordinate lebel of HINDI in the 1961 Census. Such state and national politics are creating conditions for language endangerments. [cite conference
last = Verma
first = Mahandra K.
title = Language Endangerment and Indian languages : An exploration and a critique
booktitle = Linguistic Structure and Language Dynamics in South Asia
url = http://books.google.co.in/books?id=tcfJY7kANo8C&pg=PA5&lpg=PA5&dq=awadhi+and+magahi+languages&source=web&ots=CXhEbrAUH5&sig=e3GeSyfuGmTbRXtRK-vT100cFAQ&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=10&ct=result#PPA3,M1
accessdate = ]
Nalanda Open Universityoffers various courses on Bihari Languages ( Magahi, Bhojpuri, Maithili) [http://www.nalandaopenuniversity.com/courses.html] . The first success for spreading Hindioccurred in Biharin 1881, when Hindidisplaced Urduas the sole official language of the province. In this struggle between competing Hindiand Urdu, the potential claims of the three large mother tongues in the region - Magahi, Bhojpuriand Maithiliwere ignored. After independence Hindiwas again given the sole official status through the Bihar Official Language Act, 1950. [ Brass Paul R., "The Politics of India Since Independence", Cambridge University Press, pp. 183]
peakers of Bihari Languages
The number of speakers of Bihari languages are difficult to indicate because of unreliable sources. In the urban region most educated speakers of the language name
Hindias their language because this is what they use in formal contexts and believe it to be the appropriate response because of unawareness. The uneducated and the rural population of the region return Hindi as the generic name for their language. Jain Dhanesh, Cardona George, The Indo-Aryan Languages, pp500, "..the number of speakers of Bihari languages are difficult to indicate because of unreliable sources. In the urban region most educated speakers of the language name Hindi as their language because this is what they use in formal contexts and believe it to be the appropriate response because of unawareness. The uneducated and the rural population of the region return Hindi as the generic name for their language."]
The relationship of
Maithilicommunity with Bhojpuriand Magahicommunities – the immediate neighbors have been neither very pleasant nor very hostile. These two groups have rather been very envious of the series of achievements – both literary and socio-political. But Maithilihas been the only one among them which has been trying to constantly deny superimposition of Hindi over her identity. The other two have given up their claims and have resigned to accept the status of dialects of Hindi.
Languages included in Bihari group
References and footnotes
* [http://www.languageshome.com Translation of useful phrases in Angika, Bhojpuri and Maithili]
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