Bihari is a group of the Indo-Aryan languages. The Bihari languages are mainly spoken in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh and also in Nepal. The most widely spoken languages of the Bihari group are Bhojpuri, Magahi and Maithili.
|India and Nepal|
|ISO 639-1||bh (deprecated)|
|ISO 639-2 / 5||bih|
Despite the large number of speakers of these languages, only Maithili has been constitutionally recognised in India, which gained constitutional status via the 92nd amendment to the Constitution of India, of 2003 (gaining assent in 2004). Both Maithili and Bhojpuri have constitutional recognition in Nepal.
In Bihar, Hindi is the language used for educational and official matters. These languages were legally absorbed under the overarching label Hindi in the 1961 Census. Such state and national politics are creating conditions for language endangerments. After independence Hindi was given the sole official status through the Bihar Official Language Act, 1950. Hindi was displaced as the sole official language of Bihar in 1981, when Urdu was accorded the status of the second official language.
The number of speakers of Bihari languages is 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 educated and the urban population of the region return Hindi as the generic name for their language.
The Bihari languages fall into four language subgroups:
- Unclassified Bihari
Languages and dialectsEdit
|Language||ISO 639-3||Scripts||No. of speakers||Geographical distribution|
|Angika||anp||Devanagari; previously Kaithi; Anga Lipi||743,600||Eastern Bihar, North-eastern Jharkhand, West Bengal and Eastern Madhesh|
|Bajjika||–||Devanagari; previously Tirhuta; Kaithi||8,738,000||North-Central Bihar and Eastern Madhesh|
|Bhojpuri||bho||Devanagari; previously Kaithi||52,245,300||Official language in Fiji (as the Fiji Hindi language) and Jharkhand (additional)|
|Khortha||–||Devanagari; previously Tirhuta||8.04 million||South Bihar, North-eastern and North central Jharkhand|
|Kudmali (Panchpargania)||kyw, tdb||Devanagari; sometimes Bengali, Kaithi||556,809||South-Eastern Jharkhand, West Bengal, northern Odisha, Assam|
|Magahi||mah||Devanagari; previously Tirhuta; Kaithi, Siddham script||14,035,600||South Bihar, North Jharkhand|
|Maithili||mai||Devanagari; previously Tirhuta, Kaithi||33,890,000||Northern and eastern Bihar, Jharkhand and Eastern Madhesh|
|Sadri (Nagpuri)||sck||Devanagari; previously Kaithi||5.1 million||West-central Jharkhand, North-eastern Chhattisgarh, Northwestern Odisha|
|Tharu||thl, tkt, thr, the, thq, tkb, soi||Devanagari||1.9 million||Terai regions of Nepal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar|
References and footnotesEdit
- Masica, Colin P. (1991). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge University Press. pp. 12, 26, 446–462.
- Bihari at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020).
- Yadava, Y. P. (2013). Linguistic context and language endangerment in Nepal. Nepalese Linguistics 28: 262–274.
- Brass, Paul R. (1974). Language, Religion and Politics in North India. Cambridge University Press.
- "The Constitution (Ninety-Second Amendment) Act, 2003". National Portal of India. 7 January 2004. Archived from the original on 12 April 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Kumayaa, Harshitha (6 September 2018). "Nepal". The Hindu.
- Damani, Guarang (2015). "History of Indian Languages". Die-hard Indian. Archived from the original on 13 April 2015. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Verma, Mahandra K. (2001). "Language Endangerment and Indian languages : An exploration and a critique". Linguistic Structure and Language Dynamics in South Asia. ISBN 9788120817654.
- Brass, Paul R. (8 September 1994). The Politics of India Since Independence (Second ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 183. ISBN 9780521459709. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Benedikter, Thomas (2009). Language Policy and Linguistic Minorities in India: An Appraisal of the Linguistic Rights of Minorities in India. LIT Verlag Münster. p. 89. ISBN 978-3-643-10231-7.
- Cardona, George; Jain, Dhanesh, eds. (11 September 2003). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Routledge Language Family Series. Routledge. p. 500. ISBN 978-0415772945.
...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 lack of awareness. The uneducated and the urban population of the region return Hindi as the generic name for their language.
- "Browse by Language Family". Ethnologue. Archived from the original on 4 January 2012. Retrieved 20 December 2019.
- "Angika". Archived from the original on 24 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016.
- "Bhojpuri". Ethnologue. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
- "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues – 2011". censusindia.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
- "India". Ethnologue. 2016. Archived from the original on 2 October 2017.
- Praveen (6 March 2018). "मैथिली को भी मिलेगा दूसरी राजभाषा का दर्जा". Hindustan (in Hindi). Retrieved 30 December 2020.
|Bhojpuri edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
|Fiji Hindi edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
|Maithili edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
- A Comparative dictionary of the Bihārī language, Volume 1 By August Friedrich Rudolf Hoernle, Sir George Abraham Grierson (1885)
- Documentation for ISO 639 identifier: bih, on www.sil.org
- Nalanda Open University offers courses on Bihari languages (Magahi, Bhojpuri, Maithili)
- Angika Language Wikipedia (incubator)