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Hindi

dialects, spoken, persian, panjabi, indus, sanskrit and bengal

HINDI is a term used all over Northern India, to denote the vernacular tongue of the districts. speaking generally, the whole of Upper India, including the Panjab, but exclusive of Bengal, may be said to be possessed by one language, the Hindi. This range, therefore, would include all the Rajput states, Jeysulmir, Ajmir or Rajasthan, Mewar, Marwar, Bikanir ; and also the N. and E. in Lahore, Multan, Dehli, Agra, Malwa, Gujerat, Oudh, Allahabad, and Behar. Indeed, in the entire tracts lying between the Vindhya on the south, the Himalaya on the north, the Indus on the west, and Bengal and Assam on the east, are spoken what are called Hindi dialects, some of which contain Sanskrit words to the extent of tline-tenths of their entire vocables. The lan guages spoken in the north-western border of India, between it and Afghanistan, and those of India adjoining Afghanistan, are dialects of Hindi, but sufficiently distinct to be called Sindi, Panjabi, and Kashmiri. Lieut. Leech, in deed, has given vocabularies of seven languages spoken on the west of the Indus. Accord ing to Colebrooke, Hindi owes nine-tenths of its vocables to Sanskrit roots ; but when it is spoken by Mahomedans, who added to it Arabic and Persian roots, it became converted into Hindus tani or Urdu, literally the camp tongue. It is that which the Mahomedans generally, and the Indian army everywhere, speak, and has hitherto been the language employed in personal inter course by the British in their communications with the people of the country, though only formed into a written tongue since the beginning of the nine teenth. century by Dr. John Borthwick Gilchrist of the Bengal Medical Service. The learned and the great retain Persian for epistolatory corre spondence. When, however, Hindi is spoken by Hindus, who draw on Sanskrit for enrichment or embellishment, it appropriately retains the name of Hindi. Modified in these various ways, it is found not only on the plains of Hindustan, but also on the southern slope of the Himalayas, for Mr. Trail informs ns that the language of Kamaon and Garhwal is pure Hindi Indeed, generally, along the Sub-Himalayan range an far as the Gogra river, the impure Hindi dialect introduced by the Gurkhas from the plains appears to be extirpating the vernacular Tibetan tongues of tho aboriginal mountaineers. Mr. Masson made him self understood throughout the whole of Kohistan ; and it will thus be seen that the term is used to bring under one common designation the various dialects of a language essentially one, but which has received no great cultivation in any of its forms. According to the Brahman pandits of

Benares, there are hundreds of dialects equally entitled to the name. The Brij Haslet (or Bhaka, as it is pronounced on the Ganges) and tho Panjabi are the two most cultivated varieties of it ; but the Panjabi passes into Multani, which a good philologist has shown to bo a corrupted form of Panjabi ; whilst Jataki, again, farther to the south, is a corrupted form of Multani ' • Sindi, according to Lieut. .Burton, is a perfectly distinct dialect, though directly derived from Sanskrit. When the Mahrattas extended their conquests into Hindustan, they saw Hindi everywhere prevalent, from the limits of the desert • to the frontiers of Bundelkhand, and, finding it different from their own tongue, they called it contemp tuously Rangri Basha, quasi barbarous jargon. Sir John Malcolm extends the Rangri Bhaka as far west as the Indus, and east as far as the fron tier of Bundelkhand, where, as in all the country to the Indus from the western frontier of Bengal, dialects of Hindi prevail. The Marwari and other dialects of Rajputana are evident varieties of Hindi introduced by the Rajput races.

The great variety of the Hindi dialects is doubtless owing to the absence or non-use of any common book, as the Bible or New Testament ; and from the prolonged dominance of the Maho medan rulers, and the encouragement given by them, by the ruling Hindu courts, and by the British, to the study of Persian, Hindi has been less studied than the Persian or modern Urdu. In 1872, in eight districts of the N.W. Provinces, the Urdu or Persian reading pupils in the Tahsili and Halkabandi schools largely exceeded the Hindi and Nagri reading scholars, ranging from Iths to ths.

The people speaking these Hindi dialects arc • of different races. Amongst the races in this tract arc the Mhairs of Ajmir, the Rajputs, the Hindus of the eastern counties, called Purbhiahs, and the descendants of the Aryan conquerors who have been residing there nigh two thousand years, men of large physical frame, proud, vain, self-reliant, and abstemious.