Toward a religious-colonial linguistic model of early Hindi Grammars
The aim of this paper is three-fold: to call for a re-examination of the early Hindi grammars; secondly, to demonstrate that the grammars in question follow a unique model of language which can best be characterized as the ‘religious-colonial’ model; and finally, to argue that the existing criteria used to evaluate the traditional grammars cannot be indiscriminately applied to the grammars in question and, therefore, a set of new evaluationary criteria is required to arrive at the satisfactory perception of the grammars. The grammars depart from the perception of language embodied in the traditional prescriptive grammars. Compromising between the sociological and a purely linguistic view of language, the grammars are sometimes delinquent in presenting an accurate description of the language. However, treated as socio-historical data, they constitute a rich storage of sociolinguistic information which awaits exploitation by linguists working in the area of socio- and psycholinguistics in general and Hindi linguistics in particular. The claims made in the paper are supported by the analysis of the data drawn from the three oldest grammars of Hindi, primarily, from the oldest grammar, namely, that by Joan Josua Ketelaar (1659–1785?) of 1698, and secondarily, from those of Benjamin Schultze (1689–1760) of 1745 and of Cassino Beligatti (1708–1785?) of 1771.
Published online: 01 January 1986
A History of the Hindi Grammatical Tradition. Leiden: E.J. Brill. (In press.)
Dvivedi, Mahavir Prasad
Ketelaar, Joan Josua
Vogel, J(ean) Ph(ilippe
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