Indic languages

Indic languages,

group of languages belonging to the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. See Indo-IranianIndo-Iranian,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by more than a billion people, chiefly in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka (see The Indo-European Family of Languages, table).
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Indic Languages

 

(also called Indo-Aryan languages), languages that originated in the ancient Indie branch of the Indo-European family. They are most closely related to the Dardic and Iranian languages, which, like the Indie languages, can be traced back to the Indo-Iranian linguistic community. The Indie languages are spoken mainly in the northern part of India and in Pakistan, Sri Lanka (in the southern half of the island), and Nepal. Indie languages that are official languages include Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Oriya, and Assamese in India; Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi, and Sindhi in Pakistan; Nepali in Nepal; and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka.

The modern Indie languages share a number of features that to a certain extent are explained by the subsequent development of tendencies peculiar to the Prakrits and by interlanguage contacts.

A rather rich literature exists in the Indie languages (Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Punjabi, and so on). The Indie languages use numerous alphabets that are historical variants of the Brahmi alphabet (including Devanagari, “Bal-Bodh,” and Gurmukhi), or Arabic and Persian writing, as well as specific local alphabets (Grantha, Lahnda, and others).

Significant contributions to the study of Indie languages have been made by J. Beames, R. Hoernle, R. G. Bhandarkar, G. A. Grierson, J. Bloch, T. G. Bailey, S. K. Chatterji, and R. L. Turner.

REFERENCES

Zograf, G. A. Iazyki Indii, Pakistana, Tseilona i Nepala. Moscow. 1960.
Grierson, G. A. Linguistic Survey of India, vols. 1-11. Calcutta, 1903-28.
Bloch, J. L’Indo-Aryen, du Veda aux temps modernes. Paris, 1934.
Bailey, T. G. Studies in North Indian Languages. London, 1938.
Chatterji, S. K. Indo-Aryan and Hindi. Ahmadabad, 1942.
Turner, R. L. A Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages. London, 1966.

V. N. TOPOROV

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