From: Amitha Jagannath Knight <amithaamithaknight.com>
Subject: 11th Century North Indian Languages
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I'm a children's writer from Somerville, Massachusetts and am looking
for some help with a research question (I was referred to your list by a
linguistics graduate student friend of mine).
One of my books takes place in 11th century India (approximately
1000-1010 AD) and is about a young girl who travels around the Bay of
Bengal on a merchant ship. She is from South India and travels
specifically to Chittagong and Puri/Bhubaneswar.
I am trying to figure out what languages they would have spoken in
those areas back then. Currently, I believe they speak a local dialect of
Bengali/Bangla in Chittagong and they speak Oriya in Puri, but I'm
having a harder time figuring out what they would have spoken in the
year 1000 AD. It looks like Oriya is an older language that would've
existed back then, but it looks like Bangla evolved from "Magadhi
Prakrit" around 1000-1200 AD.
What I'm trying to figure out is--what would they have called their
languages in these areas back then? Would they have called it
"Magadhi"? Or Bangla? Or Chittagongian?
Where can I find this information? Are there any textbooks or research
articles that could be helpful in coming up with a reasonable answer?
Any help with this would be greatly appreciated!
Amitha Jagannath Knight
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