The Newly Discovered Dialect of Bihar
Mohammad J Warsi
Washington University in St. Louis
This is the first linguistic study of Mithilanchal Urdu, a dialect of Urdu language of Indo-Aryan family, spoken by around four million speakers in Darbhanga, Samastipur, Begusarai, Madhubani, and Muzaffarpur districts of the state of Bihar in India. It has SOV word order and it lacks script and literature. Needless to say, this work is an attempt to document this dialect so that it should contribute in the field of descriptive linguistics.The book describes the structure of expressions about Mithilanchal Urdu that include the structure of words, phrases, clauses, and sentences. There are clear differences in linguistic features of Mithilanchal Urdu vis-à-vis Urdu, Maithili and Hindi. Though being a dialect of Urdu, interestingly, there is only one second person pronoun tu and lack of agentive marker -ne.
Although, being spoken in the vicinity of Hindi, Urdu and Maithili, it undoubtedly has its own linguistic features, of them, verb conjugation is remarkably unique. This grammar includes chapters on phonology, morphology, syntax, and a sample text. Consonants, vowels, diphthongs and suprasegmentals have been described in the chapter of phonology. Intonation is significantly prominent. Dental fricative is replaced by glottal stop at initial and medial positions. Inflection and derivation have been discussed in detail in the chapter of morphology. There are two numbers - singular and plural, two genders - masculine and feminine, and three cases-simple, oblique, and vocative. Case marking is postpositional. Concord is of object-verb type in perfect tense. Nouns are declined according to their endings. Pronouns are inflected for number and person. Three participles are there - present, past, and prefect. Simple, compound and complex sentences, including coordination and subordination, are analyzed in the chapter of syntax. Sample text is also given with transcription and translation.
ISBN 9783862885435. Languages of the World/Materials 499. 84pp. 2014.