Saturday, 11 August 2012

The Origin Of Language

 We wake up in the morning, say our morning prayers, wish our parents go to work, meet our friends and chat with them, we come back home again and we’re on our phones for hours. But all this while do we ever think of the language we’re speaking? Where has it come from? In what all language do we communicate with everyday? Well for that,  let’s just take a little time out of our busy lives, rewind the gear  and go back to see the “Origin Of Language”. 
Language for a layman is any mode of communications. It can be written, spoken, symbolic, anything. However the dictionary meaning of language is “human communications through the structured use of words, particular system of style of this, system of symbols and rule for writing computer programs”. Language also includes body language, mathematics and not just the customary notion of speech or writing. In our daily lives we not only communicate among humans but we also communicate with animals, human objects, like clocks and compute. 
It’s beautiful to note that there is a common language for all us, if one is blind he communicatse by speaking, if one is deaf he communicates by writing and expression. And if one is blind, deaf, and dumb, they communicate through physical touch. One such noble example was “Madam Helen Killer”. In fact we human are so intelligent that we learn to communicate right from the time we are conceive and the first person that we start our communication with is, Mother.

World’s different languages:
Every family, village, city and country have their own languages in which they communicate. There can be a number of languages in one country for example India. There are countries where they have only national language. Major world languages are influenced or dominated by the European languages. The basic historical reason for the same is the period of expansionist European imperialism and colonialism.  Other major languages include:
1.)   Greek 
2.)    Roman
3.)    Persian
4.)    Chinese
5.)    Sanskrit

                             World’s Historical Languages  
Some of the worlds historical languages are 
1. Greek
2. Latin
3. Arabic
4. Sanskrit
5. Chinese 
6. Spanish
7. French
8. Russian
9. English
10. Sumerian
11. Akkadian
12. Aramaic
13. Koine

                                Major Indian languages

“Kosh Kosh  Pe Pani Badle Chaar kosh pe wadi” 
The above phrase in Hindi language is used in India and means that at 'every mile water changes in India and at every four miles the languages.'  Thus taking the above facts into consideration we know for the fact that India is one of the richest countries in languages. Out of so many languages that is spoken in India, some are accepted nationally while the others are accepted just as dialect of the region. All the languages spoken in India have originated from 4 parent languages. They are as followed.

1.) Indo- European
2.) Dravidian
3.) Austroasiatic and
4.) Sino-Tibetan

  However the majority of the languages has originated from the above two languages are Indo- Europeans and Dravidians.  Indo-European is spoken mainly in North and Central region where as Dravidian is spoken in the South. Some groups in Assam and the other part who are ethnic in Eastern India speaks Austric language.

Some ethnic groups in Assam and other parts of eastern India speak Austric languages. People in the northern Himalayan region and near the Burmese border speak Sino-Tibetan languages. 
The written form of script or language originated from ancient Indian, and the script was known as “Brahmi”. In total India has 22 recognized language, 33 different languages and 2000 dialects. Hindi, in Devanagari script is the official language of the Federal government of India and English is an associate official language. The beginning of Sanskrit literature may be traced back to Rig Vedic period. Sanskrit is the classical language of India and it represents the highest achievement of the Indo Aryan language. It is the oldest literary language of India, which is more than 5,000 years old and is the basis of many modern Indian language including those of Hindi and Urdu. Its earliest dialect from Vedic was spoken by the Aryans. All the classical literature or epic of India are written in Sanskrit.

1.) Indo-Aryan Language 
Vedic Sanskrit:-
The oldest Indo-Aryan Language is the Vedic Sanskrit which is the language of the Vedas. A large collection of hymns, incantations, and religio-philosophical are  in Vedic Sanskrit which forms the earliest religious texts in Indian and the basis of much of Hindu religion. The hymns preservation in the Rigveda were Preserved by oral tradition alone over several centuries before the preface of writing, the oldest Brahmi is as much as millennium old.
The Upanishada was followed by the Vedic period which formed the concluding part of the vedic corpus in the traditional compilation, roughly dated 500 BCE. It was this time that Sanskrit began the evolution from a first language to a second language of religion and learning, and thus it marked the beginning of the classical period.

One of the oldest surviving Sanskrit grammer is “Panini’s Astadhyayi” which has eight-chapters  od grammar, dating 5th Century BCE. 

2.) Dravidian Language:-
About 73 languages comes under Dravidian language. People speaking this language can basically be found in the Southern India and Northern Shri-Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and eastern and central India. It is also found to be spoken in Afghanistan, Iran, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Malaysia and Singapore. However the origin and subsequent development of the Dravidian language is not clear. It was only after when Robert Caldwell published his Comparative Grammar Of “The Dravidian Or South-Indian Families Of languages” in the year 1856 that the Dravidian umbrella was expanded and thus the language was established as one of the major language group of the world. It was Caldwell who actually coined the very term “Dravidian” from the Sanskrit word “dravida”

Other Indian Languages :

1.)Tibeto-Burman Language:-
The languages that comes under this category are Naga Language, Garo Language, Bodo Language, Meitei Language.

2.)  Austro-Asiatic Languages:-
This category includes languages like Santal and Munda Language of Nepal, Bangaladesh and Eastern India, along with the Mon-Khmer Languages spoke by Khasi and Nicobarese in India, Burma, Colombia, Vietanm, Laos, South China and Thiland. Austro- Asiatic was considered to be the 1st language to be spoken by the ancient Indians.

3.) Indo-Pacific Language:-
The proper Indo-Pacific relation has not been established through the comparative method and has been dismissed as speculation by the most comparative linguists. According to Joseph Greenberg, the language of the Andaman Island and the Nihali language of certain Indian are thought to be Indo-Pacific language related to the Papuan language of New Guinea, Halmahea, Timor, New Britain, etc. Nihali has been shown to be related to Kushuda of Central Nepal.

Thus we see India is not only rich in Languages. It is thus the only countries with so many Languages, script, dialects etc.
Ranjana Bharti