Term of Art: Indo-Aryan

Indo-Aryan: Branch, within Indo-European, of Indo-Iranian: first attested by texts in Vedic (Sanskrit) dating from the 2nd millenium BC, and by transcriptions from the first. Also called ‘Indic.’

The modern Indo-Aryan languages are indigenous to most of the north and centre of the Indian subcontinent, with outliers in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) and the Maldives. Hindi-Urdu and Bengali are by far the largest; of the remainder, Marathi, in the south of the main area, Gujarati in the south-west, Sindhi to the west, Punjabi in the north-west, Assamese in the east, Oriya in the south-east, and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka all have a current literary standard and are linked to major political units. Others, such as Bhojpuri or Maithili, also have speakers in the tens of millions.

Across the main area, separate languages have arisen largely by divisions within a geographical continuum. Hence internal branches are not definitively established.”

Excerpted from: Marshall, P.H., ed. The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.