Linguistic consequences of the Migration of East Bengalis to West Bengal in the aftermath of Partition of Bengal
(Banwarilal Bhalotia College, Asansol)
Amitabha Mukhopadhyay (Government of West Bengal)
Paper short abstract:
The main objective of this paper is to evaluate the linguistic consequences of the migration of the religious minorities from East Bengal to West Bengal in the aftermath of the Partition of Bengal in 1947.
Paper long abstract:
Migration is a leading external and extra-linguistic factor of language change. In this paper we would like to make an attempt to understand the linguistic consequences of the migration of the religious minorities from East Bengal/East Pakistan to the West Bengal due to the Partition of Bengal in 1947. The coming of millions of East Bengali refugees to West Bengal in the aftermath of Partition led to a closer contact between the migrants from East Bengal and host population of West Bengal, popularly known as Bangal and Ghati respectively. This contact has a far reaching impact on the Bangla dialect in terms of vocabulary, pronunciation and syntax. For example, the local people previously used to pronounce 'lebu'(lemon) as 'nebu', 'nati'(grandson) as 'lati', 'lekha' (writing) as 'leka', 'majhkhan' (middle point) as 'majkhan', 'bandho' (closed) as 'bando', 'shok' (mourning) as 'shog' and so no. This sort of pronunciation has been discarded nowadays and new words have poured into the Bangla vocabulary due to the process. Moreover, the local people were habituated to apply the suffix 'um' in first person past tense, namely 'kortum'(used to do), 'jetum'(used to go) etc. which has gradually been replaced by the suffix 'am'('kotram', jetam', 'khetam' and like that). Similarly, the speech of the migrants from East Bengal was also transformed to a great extent in this process. They quickly acquired a common speech in vogue and actively helped the process of the development of a standard dialect of Bangla which is extensively used nowadays in print and electronic media all over West Bengal.
Migration and its linguistic consequences in South Asia and neighbouring regions