About Rajasthani language

Lakhan Gusain lgusain at HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Nov 25 17:43:21 UTC 2003

>Dear List members,
>I keep receiving mails regarding Rajasthani language and its dialects. I
>try my best to reply instantly. There are very curious mails like, what is
>Rajasthani language and how many dialects are there? Some mails are very
>nice: how to learn Rajasthani?
>The answer for the first question is: Rajasthani is a member of Indo-Aryan
>language family spoken by some eighty million speakers. It has EIGHT
>dialects: Bagri, Shekhawati, Mewati, Dhundhari, Harauti, Marwari,
>Mewari,and Wagri. The standardization of Rajasthani was carried out in
>March 1965 at Jaipur(cf. Prof. Kali Charan Bahl).
>Those who are serious scholars know it that Rajasthani has a history of
>more than one thousand years, but there are some persons who know nothing
>about Rajasthani language nonetheless start commenting on it. I should
>suggest them; they should go through LSI Vol 8, P.II a monumental work by
>Sir George A. Grierson. Among the modern Rajasthani linguists, I would like
>to recommend Professor Kali Charan Bahl’s (1971) and David Magier’s (1983)
>The answer to the second question: As you know there is no good pedagogical
>grammar in Rajasthani one can really rely upon. In the name of Rajasthani
>(a secular code), people start learning or teaching Marwari (one of the
>Eight dialects of Rajasthani, dominated by Charan, Rajput and Banias) that
>is not justifiable and any rational person would certainly will NOT like
>it. In the name of Rajasthani language and literature, people start
>learning or teaching genealogy of Banias, Charans and Rajputs!! There are
>also 90 percents persons in Rajasthan other than these communities most of
>them speak Rajasthani.
>Keeping these aspects in mind, I started working in early nineties on
>Rajasthani and its dialects at the Centre of Linguistics and English,
>Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. I worked (in the field for more
>than a decade, not in office) on Rajasthani grammar and was granted M.Phil.
>and Ph.D. under the supervision of noted linguist Professor Anvita Abbi.
>Resultantly, got published eight books ($40 each)on the different dialects
>of Rajasthani from Lincom (www.lincom-europa.com), Munich, Germany. One of
>my books "A Reference Grammar of Rajasthani" (some 870 pages, tentative
>price $274) is going to the Press (Routledge, New York)in January, 2004.
>Right now, I am busy in preparing "A Pedagogical Grammar of Rajasthani
>Language". It will go to the New York based publisher during the second
>week of December, 2003.
>If you have further questions regarding Rajasthani, please contact me and I
>will respond you as always.
>Lakhan Gusain
>Department of Asian Languages & Cultures
>3511, Frieze Building
>University of Michigan
>Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1285
>Tel: (734) 936-8809 (Office)
>     (734) 996-4065 (Home)
>Fax: (734) 647-0157

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