Saturday, August 18, 2007

Dialects of Marathi language

      Standard Marathi is based on dialects used by academicians and the print media, and is influenced by educated élite of the Pune region. Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad (MSP) is apex guiding body for literary institutions of Marathi language. From time to time, MSP helps out in discourses over various aspects of Marathi and in laying down precedents by framing rules, whenever required.

Historically, the major dialect divisions have been:


Ahirani is spoken in the west Khandesh North Maharashtara region.
Ahirani is a language today spoken in the Jalgaon, Nandurbar, Dhule and Nashik (Baglan, Malegaon and Kalwan tehsils) districts of Maharashtra, India. It is further divided into dialects, such as Chalisgaon, Malegaon and Dhule group. Amalner is considered the cultural capital of Khandesh as Amalner has witnessed Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan. Adapting & bending the words from Hindi and Gujarati, Ahirani has created its own words which are never found in these languages. Ahirani is a colloquial form and uses the Devnagari script for its writing. Though it is the written form of devnagari but it is very difficult to write rather than to speak.


Khandeshi is spoken in East Khandesh specifically in Yawal and Raver Talukas. Khandeshi is also called as Tawadi which is specifically spoken by Leva Patils dominant cast of east Khandesh. Bahinabai Chaudhari is well known poet in Khandeshi, the study of her literature is studied and included in Marathi language. It is often misquoted that Bahinabai is an ahirani poet.


Varhadi or Vaidarbhi is spoken in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.
In Marathi, the retroflex lateral approximant ḷ (IPA: [ɭ]) is common, while in the Varhadii dialect, it corresponds to the palatal approximant y (IPA: [j]), making this dialect quite distinct. Such phonetic shifts are common in spoken Marathi, and as such, the spoken dialects vary from one region of Maharashtra to another.


The constitution of India considers Konkani as one of the 22 scheduled (official) languages. In Maharashtra, Konkani is considered a dialect of Marathi. Konkani in Maharashtra-Goa is sub-divided into several sub-dialects. Warli, Kankon Konkani, Mālvani (spoken in southern Konkan near Malvan), Dangi are some of them. Maharthis and Konkanis in Goa have had bitter fights over the official language issue. Most Konkani people in Maharashtra speak and write fluent Marathi.


This dialect may not be named thus though, but was primarily spoken by Wadvals, which essentially means agricultural plot owners, of the Naigaon, Vasai region. This language is preserved by Roman Catholics native to this region; it is also spoken by the Hindus, but due to external influence, ordinary Marathi is now more popular among them.


Samvedi is spoken in the interiors of Nala Sopara and Virar region to the north of Mumbai in the Vasai Taluka, Thane District of Maharashtra. The name of this language correctly suggests that its origins lie with the Samavedi Brahmins native to this region. Again this language too finds more speakers among the Roman Catholic converts native to this region (who are known as East Indians). This dialect is very different from the other Marathi dialects spoken in other regions of Maharashtra, but resembles Wadvali very closely. Both Wadvali and Samavedi have relatively higher proportion of words imported from Portuguese as compared to ordinary Marathi, because of direct influence of the Portuguese who colonized this region till 1739.

Thanjavur Marathi & Namdev Marathi

(Also Bhavsar Marathi) spoken by many Southern Indians. This dialect evolved from the time of occupation of the Marathas in Thanjavur in southern Tamil Nadu. It has speakers in parts of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.


Dangii (spoken near the Maharashtra-Gujarat border)
Judæo-Marathi (spoken by the Bene Israel Jews)
Kadodii (spoken near Vasai)

Other dialects of Marathi include Karwari(a sub-dialect of Konkani spoken in Karwar, Mangalore and nearby areas of South Kanara), Chitpavani(original dialect spoken by Konkanastha Brahmins but most speak standard Marathi), Kudaalee(dialect spokan in Kudal Taluka of Ratnagiri District), Kunabi of Mahad, Cochin Konkani(spoken in west coast of Kerala), Konkani of Kasargod, Warli of Thane District, Gawdi of Goa(spoken by Gawdi tribes in Goa), Dakshini (Marathwada), Deshi (Eastern Konkan Ghats).

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