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(mərä`tē), language belonging to the Indic group of 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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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



one of the national languages of India.

Marathi is spoken mainly in the state of Maharashtra by approximately 47 million people (1971, estimate). Marathi be-longs to the Indie group of the Indo-European language family. Marathi has two principal dialects: Deshi and Konkani. The latter is known as northern, or standard Konkani, as opposed to southern Konkani, an independent language, closely related to Marathi, which is spoken in Goa.

The modern Marathi literary language is based on Deshi. Marathi uses the Devanagari writing system. The grammatical structure, vocabulary, and phonetics of Marathi have features that associate Marathi with the Dravidian languages. A specific feature of Marathi phonetics is the presence of two affricate variants: apicodorsal affricates (as in the Telugu language) and mediolingual dorsal affricates. Marathi morphology makes use of agglutinative, inflectional, and analytic forms. Marathi has preserved three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. A specific feature of the syntax is the widespread use of participial constructions to express subordinating relations (as in the Dravidian languages). The Marathi vocabulary is characterized by a considerable number of “local” everyday words (in Deshi) of non-Indo-Aryan origin (Dravidian, Munda, Mon-Khmer).


Katenina, T. E. Ocherk grammatiki iazyka maratkhi. Moscow, 1963.
Lambert, H. M. Marathi Language Course. Calcutta, 1943.
Vaze, S. G. The Aryabhushan School Dictionary: Marathi-English. Poona, 1963.
Mone, M. S. Mara fhr vyaka ran. Poona, 1959.
Bloch, J. The Formation of the Marathi Language. Delhi, 1970. (Translated from French.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
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So, it was only natural for us to tie up with Harlequin for the distribution of the Marathi language translations for their iconic M&B brand."