Hindi Language is a part of the Pahari subgroup of the Indo-Aryan group of the Indo-European languages’ Indo-Iranian division. Hindi is spoken by around 17 million people, the majority of whom live in Nepal and neighboring India. Bhutan, Brunei, and Myanmar all have smaller speech communities.
History of Hindi Language
Hindi is connected to the languages of northern India, particularly Sindhi, Lahnda, and Punjabi, based on patterns of phonetic change. Comparative vocabulary reconstructions have substantiated this assessment by linking Hindi to proto-Dardic, Pahari, Sindhi, Lahnda, and Punjabi.
Archaeological and historical investigations reveal that current Hindi is a descendent of the old Khasha language. The term Khasha appears in a variety of Sanskrit legal, historical, and literary sources, including the Manu-smriti (about 100 CE), Kalhana’s Rajatarangini (1148 CE), and the Puranas (350–1500 CE). The Khashas governed a wide region that included what is now western Nepal, portions of Garhwal and Kumaon (India), and southwestern Tibet. In a copperplate inscription discovered in Bodh Gaya, Ashoka Challa (1255–78 CE) referred to himself as khasha-rajadhiraja (“emperor of the Khashas”). Throughout the 14th century, his ancestors inscribed countless copperplates in old Hindi.
Following the Muslim invasion, the Rajputs of Chittaurgarh, the Brahmans of Kannauj, and a large number of others sought refuge in the Himalayan foothills. The pressures of the migrants and the growing ambitions of local powers resulted in the Khasha monarchy disintegrating into smaller principalities. Some Khasha settled in eastern Nepal, where their language developed into a lingua franca for the region’s linguistically diverse ethnic groups.
Prithvi Narayan Shah (1723?–75) eventually united the smaller states. Throughout and after unification, the Nepalese were known to as Gurkhas or Ghurkhalis, while their language was referred to by its singular forms. The rise of linguistic nationalism increased the popularity of the moniker Hindi among Nepalese living in Nepal and India.
Varieties and lexicon
Hindi is divided into three dialect groups: western, central, and eastern. Additionally, the royal family and the elite classes have a separate dialect. This dialect, which has a distinct lexicon and a four-tiered honorific system, is gaining popularity among the educated middle class and newly wealthy.
Hindi has a rich oral literature tradition as well as a body of written literature generated over the previous two and a half centuries. Hindi’s written language and style are influenced by Sanskrit and are written in the Devanagari script.
The register of legal Hindi has been constructed and enriched with Persian and Arabic words as a medium of law and administration. Technical names for the main administrative branches of government have been developed and, where necessary, adapted from Sanskrit and English. Hindi has borrowed vocabulary from Hindi, Sanskrit, and English in modern spoken Hindi.