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{{Infobox Language family
name=Bihari
region=Biharmarker
familycolor=Indo-European
fam2=Indo-Iranian
fam3=Indo-Aryan
fam4=Eastern Zone
child1 = Angika (anp)
child2 = Bhojpuri (bho)
child3 = Fiji Hindi (hif}
child4 = Kudmali (kyw)
child5 = Magahi (mag)
child6 = Maithili (mai)
child7 = Majhi (mjz)
child8 = Musasa (smm)
child9 = Panchpargania (tdb)
child10 = Sadri (sck)
child11 = Sadri, Oraon (sdr)
child12 = Sarnami Hindustani (hns)
child13 = Surajpuri (sjp)
child14 = Vajjika
iso2=bih}}

Bihari is a name given to the western group of Eastern Indic languages, spoken in Biharmarker and neighboring states in Indiamarker. Bhojpuri and Maithili are spoken in Nepalmarker as well. The Bhojpuri and Maithili speaking population form more than 20% of Nepalese population. Despite the 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. These languages were legally absorbed under the subordinate label of HINDI in the 1961 Census. Such state and national politics are creating conditions for language endangerments. Nalanda Open University offers various courses on Bihari Languages (Magahi, Bhojpuri, Maithili). The first success for spreading Hindi occurred in Biharmarker in 1881, when Hindi displaced Urdu as the sole official language of the province. In this struggle between competing Hindi and Urdu, the potential claims of the three large mother tongues in the region - Magahi, Bhojpuri and Maithili were ignored. After independence Hindi was again given the sole official status through the Bihar Official Language Act, 1950.

Speakers of 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 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 Maithili community with Bhojpuri and Magahi communities – 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 Maithili has 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

  1. http://www.diehardindian.com/demogrph/moredemo/histlang.htm
  2. http://www.nalandaopenuniversity.com/courses.html
  3. Brass Paul R., The Politics of India Since Independence, Cambridge University Press, pp. 183
  4. 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."
  5. http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=90424 Bihari Languages
  6. "Form of Bihari and Awadhi, spoken by Fiji Indians"
  7. "Form of Bihari with Awadhi influence spoken by Surinamers of Indian descent"


See also



External links



Language
ISO 639-3
Scripts
No. of Speakers
Geographical Distribution
Angika anp Anga, Kaithi, Devanagari 700,000 Eastern Biharmarker
Bhojpuri bho Kaithi, Devanagari 23,384,562 Western Biharmarker, Eastern Uttar Pradeshmarker and Central Terai
Fiji Hindi hif Roman and Devanagari 460,000 Fijimarker Inlands
Kudmali kyw N.A. 37,000 Biharmarker West Bengalmarker Orissamarker Assammarker.
Magahi mag Kaithi, Devanagari 11,362,000 Southern Biharmarker
Maithili mai Maithili, Devanagari 13,500,000 Northern Biharmarker Delhimarker Eastern Terai and .Maldivesmarker.
Majhi mjz N.A 21,841 Eastern Biharmarker, Nepalmarker
Musasa smm N.A 50,000 Eastern Biharmarker, Nepalmarker
Panchpargania tdb N.A. 274,000 West Bengalmarker Jharkhandmarker Assammarker
Sadri sck N.A. 165,683 Jharkhandmarker Biharmarker and Bangladeshmarker
Sadri, Oraon sdr N.A. 1,965,000 Jharkhandmarker and Bangladeshmarker
Sarnami Hindustani hns N.A. 150,000 Suriname
Surajpuri sjp N.A. 273,000 Kishanganjmarker, Katiharmarker & Arariamarker.
Bajjika Devanagari 11,500,000 North-Central Biharmarker Eastern Terai

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