Accepted paper:

Impact of Migration on Evolution of Bengali Language


Amitava Bandyopadhyay

Paper short abstract:

An attempt is being made to relate human migration into Bengal since Indo-Aryans with development of modern Bengali language through historical times. However vocabulary is closely associated with land formation and climate. Religion and culture influence dialects

Paper long abstract:

A new angle of study envisages that in development of Bengali language, both literary and vocabulary including pronunciation, migration of people from different parts of Euro-Asian countries through ages is the most important factor supplemented by other controlling agents like the geological processes in developing this coastal land of Bengal and climate. The southern land of Bengal evolved 3000 years before. Distinct climate in the Himalayas and plains affects pronunciation. People migrate with their intellect, culture and language and so happened in case of Indo-Aryans too. The initial Austroasiatic (Dravidian and Tibeto-Burmese group) vocabulary words used by different tribes in distinct landforms get influenced with mixing of Indo-Aryan language. Magadhi prakrit develops typical eastern pronunciations following series of modifications and evolution with time. It later evolves into the Eastern Indo-Aryan languages including Bengali (1000-1200 AD), a dialect close to, but different from, Vedic and Classical Sanskrit. Later, words used by linguistics, traders and rulers from Middle and West Asia and Europe in successive time have enriched the Bengali language with Arabic, Turkish, Pashtun and Persian words followed by Portuguese, French, Dutch and English words. However, close contact with neighbouring peoples facilitates the borrowing of words from Hindi, Assamese and several indigenous Austroasiatic languages (like Santali). Study reveals that dialects in entire Bengal exhibit a greater variety. South-eastern West Bengal speaks in Standard Colloquial Bengali while a majority in Bangladesh uses notably different dialects. Due to cultural and religious traditions, Hindus and Muslims use Pali/Sanskrit-derived and Perso-Arabic words respectively.

panel MMM15
Migration and its linguistic consequences in South Asia and neighbouring regions