Various Languages in India

Topics: India, Sanskrit, Languages of India Pages: 2 (785 words) Published: January 24, 2013
The Languages of India belong to several language families, the major ones being the Indo-Aryan languages (a subbranch of Indo-European) spoken by 74% of Indians and the Dravidian languages spoken by 23% of Indians.[1][2] Other languages spoken in India belong to the Austro-Asiatic, Tibeto-Burman, and a few minor language families and isolates.[3] The official language of the Central Government of Republic of India is Standard Hindi, while English is the secondary official language.[4] The constitution of India states that "The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script."[5] Neither the Constitution of India nor Indian law specifies a national language, a position supported by a High Court ruling.[6] However, languages listed in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian constitution are sometimes referred to, without legal standing, as the national languages of India.[7][8] Individual mother tongues in India number several hundred;[9] the 1961 census recognized 1,652[10] (SIL Ethnologue lists 415). According to Census of India of 2001, 30 languages are spoken by more than a million native speakers, 122 by more than 10,000. Three millennia of language contact has led to significant mutual influence among the four language families in India and South Asia. Two contact languages have played an important role in the history of India: Persian and English.[11] The northern Indian languages from the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European family evolved from Old Indo-Aryan by way of the Middle Indo-Aryan Prakrit languages and Apabhraṃśa of the Middle Ages. There is no consensus for a specific time where the modern north Indian languages such as Hindi-Urdu, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Rajasthani, Sindhi and Oriya emerged, but AD 1000 is commonly accepted.[12] Each language had different influences, with Hindi-Urdu (Hindustani) being strongly influenced by Persian. The Dravidian languages of South India had a history independent of...
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