Marathi language

Marathi language

Overview
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people
Marathi people
The Marathi people or Maharashtrians are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group, that inhabit the Maharashtra region and state of western India. Their language Marathi is part of the southern group of Indo-Aryan languages...

 of western and central India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. It is the official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 of the state of Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most spoken language in the world. Marathi has some of the oldest literature of all modern Indo-Aryan languages, dating from about 1000 AD.
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Encyclopedia
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people
Marathi people
The Marathi people or Maharashtrians are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group, that inhabit the Maharashtra region and state of western India. Their language Marathi is part of the southern group of Indo-Aryan languages...

 of western and central India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. It is the official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 of the state of Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most spoken language in the world. Marathi has some of the oldest literature of all modern Indo-Aryan languages, dating from about 1000 AD. The major dialects of Marathi are called the Standard Marathi and the Warhadi Marathi. There are a few other sub-dialects like Ahirani, Dangi, Samavedi, Khandeshi . Standard Marathi is the official language of the State of Maharashtra.

Geographic distribution




Marathi is primarily spoken in Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

 and parts of neighbouring states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh , often called the Heart of India, is a state in central India. Its capital is Bhopal and Indore is the largest city....

, Goa
Goa
Goa , a former Portuguese colony, is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in South West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its...

, Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

, Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

, union-territories of Daman-diu and Dadra Nagar Haveli. The cities of Baroda, Surat, Ahmedabad and Belgaum (Karnataka), Indore, Gwalior (Madhya Pradesh), Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) and Tanjore (Tamil Nadu) each have sizable Marathi-speaking communities. Marathi is also spoken by Maharashtrian emigrants worldwide, in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, UAE, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, UK, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

. The Ethnologue
Ethnologue
Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International , a Christian linguistic service organization, which studies lesser-known languages, to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language and support their efforts in language development.The Ethnologue...

 states that Marathi is also spoken in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 and Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

, and Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

.Ethnologue report of Marathi language

Official status


Marathi is an official language of the Indian state of Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

 and co-official language in the union territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. In Goa
Goa
Goa , a former Portuguese colony, is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population. Located in South West India in the region known as the Konkan, it is bounded by the state of Maharashtra to the north, and by Karnataka to the east and south, while the Arabian Sea forms its...

, Konkani
Konkani language
KonkaniKonkani is a name given to a group of several cognate dialects spoken along the narrow strip of land called Konkan, on the west coast of India. This is, however, somewhat an over-generalisation. Geographically, Konkan is defined roughly as the area between the river Damanganga to the north...

 is the sole official language; however, Marathi may also be used for all official purposes. The Constitution of India
Constitution of India
The Constitution of India is the supreme law of India. It lays down the framework defining fundamental political principles, establishes the structure, procedures, powers, and duties of government institutions, and sets out fundamental rights, directive principles, and the duties of citizens...

 recognizes Marathi as one of India's twenty-two official languages.

In addition to all universities in Maharashtra, Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda (Gujarat), Osmania University (Andhra Pradesh), Gulbarga
Gulbarga
Gulbarga is a city in the Indian state of Karnataka. It is the administrative headquarters of Gulbarga District. It was formerly part of Nizam's Hyderabad state...

 university (Karnataka), Devi Ahilya University of Indore
Indore
Indore is one of the major city in India, the largest city and commercial center of the state of Madhya Pradesh in central India. Indore is located 190 km west of the state capital Bhopal. According to the 2011 Indian census, Indore city has a population of 1,960,631...

 and Goa University (Panaji) all have special departments for higher studies in Marathi linguistics. Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi) has announced plans to establish a special department for Marathi.

History


The Prakrit
Prakrit
Prakrit is the name for a group of Middle Indic, Indo-Aryan languages, derived from Old Indic dialects. The word itself has a flexible definition, being defined sometimes as, "original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual", or "vernacular", in contrast to the literary and religious...

 vernacular languages, including Maharashtri Prakrit
Maharashtri
Maharastri or Maharastri Prakrit, SIL: Mahārāṣṭri Prākrit , is a language of ancient and medieval India which is the ancestor of Marathi, Konkani, Sinhala and the Maldivian language as well. It is one of the many languages of a complex called Prakrit, and the chief Dramatic Prakrit...

, were originally derived from Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

. Further change led to apabhraṃśa
Apabhramsha
Apabhraṃśa is a term used by Sanskrit grammarians since Patañjali to refer to dialects that deviate from the norm of Sanskrit grammar. The term in Sanskrit literally means "corrupt" or "non-grammatical language". It is used as a cover term for the dialects forming the transition between the late...

languages like Marathi, which may be described as being a re-Sanskritised, developed form of Maharashtri Apabhraṃśa. The more recent influence of Persian, Arabic or Urdu has also made this language seem close to mainstream Hindi.

Maharashtri Prakrit was commonly spoken until 875 CE (875 AD) and was the official language of the Sātavāhana empire
Satavahana
The Sātavāhana Empire or Andhra Empire, was a royal Indian dynasty based from Dharanikota and Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh as well as Junnar and Prathisthan in Maharashtra. The territory of the empire covered much of India from 230 BCE onward...

. It had risen to a high literary level, and works like Karpurmanjari and Saptashati (150 BCE) were written in it. Maharashtri Prakrit was the most widely used Prakrit language in western and southern India.

Maharashtri Apabhraṃśa remained in use for several hundred years until at least 500 CE (500 AD). Apabhraṃśa was used widely in Jain literature and formed an important link in the evolution of Marathi. This form of Apabhraṃśa was re-Sanskritised and eventually became Marathi.

According to the written forms and historical attestations and evidences, Marathi is said to date to the 8th century.

Earliest forms


The first written attestation of Marathi, a document found in Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

, dates from 700 CE. The earliest known written form is on a copper plate of Vijayaditya found in Satara
Satara
Satara is a city located in the Satara District of Maharashtra state of India. The town is 2320 ft. above sea-level, near the confluence of the Krishna and its tributary river Venna. The city was the capital of the Maratha empire in the 17th century, hence one of the the historical cities of...

, dated 739 CE (739 AD).

The stone inscription at the feet of Bahubali
Bahubali
According to Jainism, Bahubali, called Gomateshwara , was the second of the hundred sons of the first Tirthankara, Rishabha, and king of Podanpur. The Adipurana, a 10th century Kannada text by Jain poet Adikavi Pampa According to Jainism, Bahubali, called Gomateshwara , was the second of the...

 in Shravanabelagola
Shravanabelagola
Shravana Belgola is a city located in the Hassan district in the Indian state of Karnataka and is 158 km from Bangalore. The statue of Gommateshvara Bahubali at Śravaṇa Beḷgoḷa is one of the most important pilgrimage destinations in Jainism, one that reached a peak in architectural and sculptural...

, South Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

, whose first line reads as "Chavundarajen Karaviyalen" ( "Built by , son of "), is another old specimen, constructed in 983 CE. This inscription has been quite controversial, and was being touted as being in old-Marathi since the time it was noticed and interpreted. However, given that the distinctive instrumental ending of the verb is the hallmark of Konkani language
Konkani language
KonkaniKonkani is a name given to a group of several cognate dialects spoken along the narrow strip of land called Konkan, on the west coast of India. This is, however, somewhat an over-generalisation. Geographically, Konkan is defined roughly as the area between the river Damanganga to the north...

, and the verb not being prevalent in Marathi, linguists and historians such as S.B. Kulkarni of Nagpur University, Dr V.P. Chavan (former vice-president of the Anthropological society of Mumbai), and others have thus concluded that this inscription is in Konkani.

Also, an interesting couplet is found in the monk Udyotansuri's Kuvalayamala in the 8th century, referring to a bazaar where the Marhattes speak Didhale (Dile - given), Gahille (Ghetale - taken). The Marathi translation of the Panchatantra
Panchatantra
The Panchatantra is an ancient Indian inter-related collection of animal fables in verse and prose, in a frame story format. The original Sanskrit work, which some scholars believe was composed in the 3rd century BCE, is attributed to Vishnu Sharma...

 is also considered very old.

It is because the language was spoken so widely that the deeds of charitable gifts like the one at Patan
Patan, Maharashtra
See Patan for disambiguationPatan is a census town in Satara district in the Indian state of Maharashtra.-Geography:Patan is located at . It has an average elevation of 582 metres .-Demographics:...

 recording the maintenance grants given by King Soidev to Changdev's University and the imperial mandates expected to be obeyed by all, like the Edict of King Aparaditya
Aparaditya I
Aparaditya I was Shilahara ruler of north Konkan branch from 1170 CE – 1197 CE.Aparaditya I was a versatile man. He took keen interest in music and was also proficient in Dharmtarhastra. His commentary Apararka on the Yajnyavalkya-smriti is still regarded as the standard work on Dharmashastra in...

 (1183), were inscribed in Marathi. The Pandharpur
Pandharpur
Pandharpur is an important pilgrimage city on the Bhimā river in Solāpur district, Maharashtra, India. The Vithoba temple attracts about half a million Hindu pilgrims during the major yātrā in the month of Ashadh ....

 inscription (1273) of the days of Raja Shiromani Ramdev Rao is in flawless Marathi. Marathi was now spoken by all classes and castes.

Yadava


Marathi literature
Marathi literature
Marathi literature is the body of literature of Marathi, a Sanskrit-derived language spoken mainly in the Indian state of Maharashtra and written in the Devanagari script.-Early Marathi Literature :...

 began and grew thanks to the rise of both the Yadava dynasty of Devgiri (who adopted Marathi as the court language and patronized Marathi scholars) and two religious sects - Mahanubhav Panth and Warkari Panth, who adopted Marathi as the medium for preaching their doctrines of devotion. Marathi had attained a venerable place in court life by the time of the Yadava kings. During the reign of the last three Yadava kings, a great deal of literature in verse and prose, on astrology, medicine, Puranas
Puranas
The Puranas are a genre of important Hindu, Jain and Buddhist religious texts, notably consisting of narratives of the history of the universe from creation to destruction, genealogies of kings, heroes, sages, and demigods, and descriptions of Hindu cosmology, philosophy, and geography.Puranas...

, Vedanta
Vedanta
Vedānta was originally a word used in Hindu philosophy as a synonym for that part of the Veda texts known also as the Upanishads. The name is a morphophonological form of Veda-anta = "Veda-end" = "the appendix to the Vedic hymns." It is also speculated that "Vedānta" means "the purpose or goal...

, kings and courtiers were created. Nalopakhyan, Rukmini swayamvar and Shripati's Jyotishratnamala (1039 CE) are a few examples.

The oldest book in prose form in Marathi, Vivekasindhu , was written by Mukundaraj, a yogi of Natha Pantha and arch-poet of Marathi. Mukundaraj bases his exposition of the basic tenets of the Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 philosophy and Yoga
Yoga
Yoga is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India. The goal of yoga, or of the person practicing yoga, is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on Supersoul...

 Marga on the utterances or teachings of Shankaracharya
Shankaracharya
Shankaracharya, is a commonly used title of heads of mathas in the Advaita Vedanta tradition. The title derives from Adi Shankara, a 9th century CE reformer of Hinduism. He is honored as Jagadguru, a title that was used earlier only to Lord Krishna...

. Mukundaraj's other work, Paramamrita, is considered the first systematic attempt to explain the Vedanta in the Marathi language. One of the famous saints of this period is Sant Dnyaneshwar
Dnyaneshwar
Dnyāneshwar , also known as Jñanadeva , was born into a Deshastha Brahmin Kulkarni family.He was a 13th century Maharashtrian Hindu saint , poet, philosopher and yogi of the Nath tradition whose works Bhavartha deepika teeka ,...

 (1275–1296) who wrote Bhavarthadeepika, popularly known as Dnyaneshwari
Dnyaneshwari
The Dnyaneshwari is the commentary on Bhagavad Gita written by Marathi saint and poet Dnyaneshwar during the 13th century at age 16...

 (1290), and Amritanubhava. He also composed devotional songs called abhangas. Dnyaneshwar gave a higher status to Marathi by bringing the sacred Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
The ' , also more simply known as Gita, is a 700-verse Hindu scripture that is part of the ancient Sanskrit epic, the Mahabharata, but is frequently treated as a freestanding text, and in particular, as an Upanishad in its own right, one of the several books that constitute general Vedic tradition...

 from Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 to Marathi.

Mahanubhav sect


Notable examples of Marathi prose are "" , events and anecdotes from the miracle filled life of Chakradhar Swami of the Mahanubhav sect compiled by his close disciple, Mahimabhatta, in 1238. The Mahanubhav sect made Marathi a vehicle for the propagation of religion and culture.

Warkari sect



The Mahanubhav sect was followed by the Warkari saint-poet Eknath
Eknath
Eknath was a prominent Marathi scholar and religious poet. He is called a "sant" in the Marathi tradition as are most other religious poets...

 (1528–1599). Eknath's Bhavarth Ramayana brought the message of the Bhagvat cult to the people. Mukteswar translated the epic Mahabharata into Marathi. Social reformers like saint-poet Tukaram
Tukaram
Sant Tukaram was a prominent Varkari Sant and spiritual poet during a Bhakti movement in India.Sant Tukaram was born and lived most of his life in Dehu, a town close to Pune in Mahārāshtra, India. He was born to a couple with the family name "More", the descendent of the Mourya Clan with first...

 transformed Marathi into a rich literary language. Saint Tukaram’s
Tukaram
Sant Tukaram was a prominent Varkari Sant and spiritual poet during a Bhakti movement in India.Sant Tukaram was born and lived most of his life in Dehu, a town close to Pune in Mahārāshtra, India. He was born to a couple with the family name "More", the descendent of the Mourya Clan with first...

 (1608–49) poetry contained his inspirations. He was a radical reformer. Tukaram wrote over 3000 Abhangas. He was followed by Ramadas. Writers of the Mahanubhav sect contributed to Marathi prose while the saint-poets of Warkari sect composed Marathi poetry. However, the latter group is regarded as the pioneers and founders of Marathi literature. Jainism
Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

 too enriched Marathi during Bahamani period.

Modern period


Since 1630, Marathi regained prominence with the rise of the Maratha
Maratha
The Maratha are an Indian caste, predominantly in the state of Maharashtra. The term Marāthā has three related usages: within the Marathi speaking region it describes the dominant Maratha caste; outside Maharashtra it can refer to the entire regional population of Marathi-speaking people;...

 empire beginning with the reign of Chhatrapati Shivaji (1627–1680). Subsequent rulers extended the empire northwards to Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, eastwards to Orissa
Orissa
Orissa , officially Odisha since Nov 2011, is a state of India, located on the east coast of India, by the Bay of Bengal. It is the modern name of the ancient nation of Kalinga, which was invaded by the Maurya Emperor Ashoka in 261 BC. The modern state of Orissa was established on 1 April...

, and southwards to Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

. These excursions by the Marathas helped to spread Marathi over broader geographical regions. This period also saw the use of Marathi in transactions involving land and other business. Documents from this period, therefore, give a better picture of life of common people - who spoke the language - than the documents in Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 which was used previously but understood only by the elites of the Islamic rulers. At the time, Saint Tukaram made important contributions to Marathi poetic literature in Warkari Pantha. But by the late 18th century, the Maratha Empire's influence over a large part of the country was on the decline.

18th century


In the 18th century, some well-known works such as Yatharthadeepika by Vaman Pandit
Vaman Pandit
Vaman Pandit was a Marathi scholar and poet of India. Some sources say that his family hailed from Nanded but had moved to Dharwad where Vaman Pandit was born and grew up. Later he migrated to Kashi for a significant period of his life. His most significant work, the Yatharthadipika is a...

, Naladamayanti Swayamvara by Raghunath Pandit
Raghunath Pandit
Raghunath Pandit was a Marathi poet who was active around the year 1800.Marathi poetry went through a phase where text drew heavily on religious mythology and was dominated by language influenced by Sanskrit, a language which few in contemporary times understand. This literature is called...

, Pandava Pratap, Harivijay, Ramvijay by Shridhar Pandit and Mahabharata by Moropanta were produced. Krishnadayarnava and Sridhar were poets during the Peshwa
Peshwa
A Peshwa is the titular equivalent of a modern Prime Minister. Emporer Shivaji created the Peshwa designation in order to more effectively delegate administrative duties during the growth of the Maratha Empire. Prior to 1749, Peshwas held office for 8-9 years and controlled the Maratha army...

 period. New literary forms were successfully experimented with during the period and classical styles were revived, especially the Mahakavya and Prabandha forms.

After 1800 to 20th century


The British colonial period
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 (also known as the Modern Period) saw standardization of Marathi grammar through the efforts of the Christian missionary William Carey. Christian missionaries played an important role in the production of scientific dictionaries and grammars.

The late 19th century in Maharashtra was a period of colonial modernity. Like the corresponding periods in other Indian languages, this was the period dominated by English-educated intellectuals. It was the age of prose and reason. It was the period of reformist activism and a great intellectual ferment.

The first Marathi translation of an English book was published in 1817, and the first Marathi newspaper was started in 1835. Newspapers provided a platform for sharing literary views, and many books on social reforms were written. The Marathi language flourished as Marathi drama gained popularity. Musicals known as Sangeet Natak
Sangeet Natak
Sangeet Natak in Marathi language literally means Musical Drama. As the name suggests, this form of drama combines prose as well as poetry in form of songs to convey the story. In a manner, they are much similar to Operas. Sangeet Natakas played a vital role in the development of Marathi theater...

also evolved. Keshavasut, the father of modern Marathi poetry published his first poem in 1885. First Marathi periodical Dirghadarshan was started in 1840 while first Marathi newspaper Durpan was started by Balshastri Jambhekar in 1832.


The first half of 20th century was marked by new enthusiasm in literary pursuits, and socio-political activism helped achieve major milestones in Marathi literature
Marathi literature
Marathi literature is the body of literature of Marathi, a Sanskrit-derived language spoken mainly in the Indian state of Maharashtra and written in the Devanagari script.-Early Marathi Literature :...

, drama, music and film. Modern Marathi prose flourished through various new literary forms like the essay, the biographies, the novels, prose, drama etc. Chiplunkar's Nibandhmala (essays), N.C.Kelkar's biographical writings, novels of Hari Narayan Apte, Narayan Sitaram Phadke and V. S. Khandekar, and plays of Mama Varerkar and Kirloskar's are particularly worth noting. Similarly Khandekar's Yayati which has won for him, the Jnanpith Award
Jnanpith Award
The Jnanpith Award is a literary award in India. Along with the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship, it is one of the two most prestigious literary honours in the country...

 is a very noteworthy novel. Vijay Tendulkar's plays in Marathi have earned him a reputation beyond Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

.

After Indian independence, Marathi was accorded the status of a scheduled language on the national level.

By May 1, 1960, Maharashtra emerged re-organised on linguistic lines adding Vidarbha and Marathwada region in its fold and bringing major chunks of Marathi population socio-politically together. With state and cultural protection, Marathi made great strides by the 1990s.

A literary event called Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan (All-India Marathi Literature Meet) is held every year. In addition, the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Natya Sammelan (All-India Marathi Theatre Meet) is also held annually. Both events are very popular amongst Maharashtrians.

Dialects




Standard Marathi is based on dialects used by academics and the print media, and is influenced by the educated élite of the Pune
Pune
Pune , is the eighth largest metropolis in India, the second largest in the state of Maharashtra after Mumbai, and the largest city in the Western Ghats. Once the centre of power of the Maratha Empire, it is situated 560 metres above sea level on the Deccan plateau at the confluence of the Mula ...

 region. Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad (MSP) is the apex guiding body for literary institutions of Marathi language.

Indic scholars distinguish 42 dialects of spoken Marathi. Dialects bordering other major language areas have many properties in common with those languages, further differentiating them from standard spoken Marathi. The bulk of the variation within these dialects is primarily lexical and phonological (e.g. accent placement and pronunciation). Although the number of dialects is considerable, the degree of intelligibility within these dialects is relatively high. Historically, the major dialect divisions have been Ahirani, Khandeshi, Varhadi, Zadi Boli, Vadvali, Samavedi and Are Marathi.

Zadi Boli


Zadi Boli, Jhadi Boli or Zadiboli is spoken in Zadipranta (Forest rich region) of far eastern Maharashtra or eastern Vidarbha or western-central Gondvana comprising Gondia, Bhandara, Chandrpur, Gadchiroli and some parts of Nagpur and Wardha districts of Maharashtra.

Zadi Boli Sahitya Mandal and many literary are working for the conservation of this important and distinct dialect of Marathi.

Varhadi


Varhadi
Varhadi language
Varhadi is a dialect of Marathi spoken in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra and by Marathi people of adjoining parts of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh & Andhra Pradesh states of India.- Vocabulary and Grammar :...

, Varhādi or Vaidarbhi is spoken in the Western Vidarbha region of Maharashtra.
In Marathi, the retroflex lateral approximant  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.

Ahirani


Ahirani is spoken in the west Khandesh
Khandesh
Khandesh is a region of central India, which forms the northwestern portion of Maharashtra state.Khandesh was the terminal territorial part under the rule of Mughals. The Start of Deccan region demarcated by the boundary of Khandesh....

 North Maharashtra region.

Ahirani is a language today spoken in the western and southern parts of Jalgaon (Chalisgaon, Bhadgaon, Pachora, Erandol, Dharangaon, Parole, Amalner, Chopada talukas), Nandurbar
Nandurbar
Nandurbar is a city and a municipal council in Nandurbar district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It came into limelight during February 2006 Bird Flu crisis which struck many of its poultry farms. Thousand of chickens from the farms had to be killed and buried in nearby grounds to stop the...

 (Shahada, Maharashtra
Shahada, Maharashtra
Shahādā , one of the 7 Tehsils in the Nandurbar district, is a town situated in the northwest corner of Maharashtra state in India. Shahādā town was in Dhule District until 1 July 1998...

, Taloda, Navapur), Dhule
Dhule
Dhule is a city and a Municipal Corporation in Dhule district in northwestern part of Maharashtra state, India. It is one of the very few well-planned cities of India before Indian Independence.-Geography:Dhule is located at...

 (Shirpur, Shindkheda, Sakri)and eastern Nashik (Baglan, Malegaon and Kalwan talukas) districts of Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

. This dialect has a considerable influence of Gujrati and Hindi, the languages spoken in the neighouring states Gujrat and Madhya Pradesh.

Khandeshi


Khandesh
Khandesh
Khandesh is a region of central India, which forms the northwestern portion of Maharashtra state.Khandesh was the terminal territorial part under the rule of Mughals. The Start of Deccan region demarcated by the boundary of Khandesh....

 was an old district of Bombay presidency. Later it was divided into East and West Khandesh
Khandesh
Khandesh is a region of central India, which forms the northwestern portion of Maharashtra state.Khandesh was the terminal territorial part under the rule of Mughals. The Start of Deccan region demarcated by the boundary of Khandesh....

. East Khandesh is now known as Jalgaon District and West Khandesh is now known as Dhule district. Ahirani was the languages of Ahir's who lived in Khandesh
Khandesh
Khandesh is a region of central India, which forms the northwestern portion of Maharashtra state.Khandesh was the terminal territorial part under the rule of Mughals. The Start of Deccan region demarcated by the boundary of Khandesh....

.

Khandeshi has social and territorial dailects. Taptayngi, Varlyangi, Khallyangi, Baglani, Nandurbari, Ghatoi, Dhakani, Jamneri are territorial dailects of Khandeshi. Ahirani, Bhilli, Rajputi, Pardeshi, Ladsikkiwani, Tavadi, Levapatidari and Gujari are social dailects of Khandeshi.

Konkani


Konkani refers to the collection of dialects of Marathi language spoken in the Konkan region. It is often mistakenly extended to cover Goan Konkani
Konkani language
KonkaniKonkani is a name given to a group of several cognate dialects spoken along the narrow strip of land called Konkan, on the west coast of India. This is, however, somewhat an over-generalisation. Geographically, Konkan is defined roughly as the area between the river Damanganga to the north...

 which is an independent language. George Abraham Grierson
George Abraham Grierson
Sir George Abraham Grierson OM KCIE was born to a prominent Dublin family in 1851. His father and grandfather, both also named George, were well-known printers and publishers.-Biography:Educated at St...

 has referred to this dialect as the Konkan Standard of Marathi in order to differentiate it from Konkani language
Konkani language
KonkaniKonkani is a name given to a group of several cognate dialects spoken along the narrow strip of land called Konkan, on the west coast of India. This is, however, somewhat an over-generalisation. Geographically, Konkan is defined roughly as the area between the river Damanganga to the north...

. The sub-dialects of Konkani gradually merge from standard Marathi into Goan Konkani from north to south Konkan. The various sub dialects are: Parabhi, Koli, Kiristanv, Kunbi, Agari, Dhangari, Thakri, Karadhi, and Maoli. These sub-dialects are together considered by the ISO to be a separate language and is assigned the ISO 639-3
ISO 639-3
ISO 639-3:2007, Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 3: Alpha-3 code for comprehensive coverage of languages, is an international standard for language codes in the ISO 639 series. The standard describes three‐letter codes for identifying languages. It extends the ISO 639-2...

 code knn.

Vadvali


This dialect may not necessarily be named thus. It was primarily spoken by Vadvals, which basically means agricultural plot owners, of the Naigaon
Naigaon
Naigaon is the name of a railway station on the Mumbai suburban railway on the Western Railway railway line.Naigaon is closely connected to Vasai Road. It mainly consists of Marathi speaking muslims,Hindus and Christians. The language spoken by the Christian community is different dialect of...

, Vasai to Dahanu
Dahanu
Dahanu is a coastal city and a municipal council in Thane district in the western state of Maharashtra, India.-The Town:The name "Dahanu Gaon" originates from the word "Dhenu Gram" meaning the village of cows. A lot of cattle, particularly cows were owned by the people in Dahanu. Today, Dahanu...

 region. Somavamshi Kshatriyas speak this dialect. This language is preserved mostly by the Roman Catholics native to this region, since they are a closely knit community here and have very few relatives outside this region. It was also widely spoken among the Hindus native to this region, but due to external influences, ordinary Marathi is now more popular among the Hindus. There are many songs in this language. Recently a book was published by Nutan Patil containing around 70 songs. The songs are about marriage, pachvi etc. The dialect of the Kolis (fisherfolk) of Vasai and neighbouring Mumbai resembles this dialect closely, though they speak with a heavier accent.
There is a village in Vasai called Chulna, which was predominantly Roman Catholic (now cosmopolitan).
The striking feature of the dialect here contrasting it with Vadvali, is the preference of pronouncing the thinner 'l' and 'n' ('ल' and 'न') instead of the thicker 'l' and 'n' ('ळ' and 'ण'), which is retained even in the current generation of speakers even for conversing normal Marathi.

Samavedi


Samavedi is spoken in the interiors of the Nala Sopara
Nala Sopara
Nala Sopara is one of the suburbs of Mumbai city. It is a town within the Mumbai Conurbation. The town lies in Thane district of Maharashtra state in India. The population of the city is 184,664 . It is also the name of a railway station on the Mumbai suburban railway on the Western Railway ...

 and Virar
Virar
Virar is a name of a suburb of Northern Mumbai. Virar is a city and a part of Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation in Thane district in the Indian state of Maharashtra....

 regions to the north of Mumbai
Mumbai
Mumbai , formerly known as Bombay in English, is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million...

 in the Vasai Talukauran
Uran
Uran is part of the Navi Mumbai city township lying in the Raigad district near Panvel and Karjat. It is situated east of Mumbai across the Dharamtar Creek, and is primarily a fishing village, which has developed into a special economy zone. Even famous for its salt pans later after the revolt by...

 panvel
Panvel
Panvel is city and a municipal council in Raigad district in the state of Maharashtra. Panvel is also known as the gateway of Konkan region. It adjoins Navi Mumbai, and is just after the Thane district border. Panvel is located on the Yashwantrao Chavan Expressway about 21 kilometres from...

, Thane District
Thane District
Thane is a district in northern Maharashtra state in western India. As of 2011 it is the most populated district in the nation. The headquarters of the district is the city of Thane. Other major cities in the district are Navi Mumbai , Kalyan-Dombivli, Mira-Bhayander, Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar,...

 of Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

. The name of this language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

 correctly suggests that its origins lie with the Samavedi Brahmin
Brahmin
Brahmin Brahman, Brahma and Brahmin.Brahman, Brahmin and Brahma have different meanings. Brahman refers to the Supreme Self...

s native to this region. This language, too, finds more speakers among the Roman Catholic converts native to the region (who are known as East Indians), but nevertheless is popular among the Samavedi Brahmins. This dialect is very different from the other Marathi dialects spoken in other regions of Maharashtra, but resembles Vadvali very closely. Both Vadvali and Samavedi have relatively high proportions of words imported from Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 as compared to ordinary Marathi, because of direct influence of the Portuguese who colonized this region till 1739.

Thanjavur Marathi and Namdev Marathi


Thanjavur Marathi, Namdev Marathi and Bhavsar Marathi are spoken by many Southern Indians. This dialect evolved from the time of occupation of the Marathas in Thanjavur in southern Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

. It has speakers in parts of Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

, Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh , is one of the 28 states of India, situated on the southeastern coast of India. It is India's fourth largest state by area and fifth largest by population. Its capital and largest city by population is Hyderabad.The total GDP of Andhra Pradesh is $100 billion and is ranked third...

 and Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka , the land of the Kannadigas, is a state in South West India. It was created on 1 November 1956, with the passing of the States Reorganisation Act and this day is annually celebrated as Karnataka Rajyotsava...

.

Others

  • Tharki
    Tharki
    Tharki is a village development committee in Rupandehi District in the Lumbini Zone of southern Nepal. At the time of the 1991 Nepal census it had a population of 3588 people living in 561 individual households....

    (Spoken by the Adivasi
    Adivasi
    Adivasi is an umbrella term for a heterogeneous set of ethnic and tribal groups claimed to be the aboriginal population of India. They comprise a substantial indigenous minority of the population of India...

     community found in Raigad
    Raigad district
    Raigad District , also known as Raigarh District, is a district in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is located in the Konkan region. The district was renamed after Raigad, the fort which was the former capital of the Maratha leader Shivaji, and is located in the interior regions of the district,...

     district of Maharashtra)
  • Dangii (spoken near the Maharashtra
    Maharashtra
    Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

    -Gujarat border)
  • Judæo-Marathi
    Judæo-Marathi
    Judæo-Marathi is a form of Marathi spoken by the Bene Israel, a Jewish ethnic group that developed a unique identity in India and in Pakistan. Judæo-Marathi is, like other Marathi, written in the Devanagari script...

    (spoken by the Bene Israel
    Bene Israel
    The Bene Israel are a group of Jews who migrated in the 19th century from villages in the Konkan area to the nearby Indian cities, primarily Mumbai, but also to Pune, and Ahmedabad. Prior to these waves of emigrations and to this day, the Bene Israel formed the largest sector of the subcontinent's...

     Jews
    Jews
    The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

    )
  • Kadodi
    Kadodi
    Kadodi is the language spoken by the Kupari community in Vasai, Maharashtra, India. It is also called Samvedic. It may be a divergent dialect ofKonkani, with Marathi and Gujarati influence....

    (spoken near Vasai)
  • Agari (Spoken by the Agari community found in Raigad & Thane district of Maharashtra)
  • Ahirani ( spoken in north maharatra esp in Jalgaon and some parts of Dhule, Nandurbar )

Other dialects of Marathi include Warli of Thane District, Dakshini (Marathwada), Deshi (Eastern Konkan Ghats), Deccan, Nagpuri, Ikrani and Gowlan.
  • Malvani ( spoken in South Maharashtra esp in down below southern part of Kokan
    Konkan
    The Konkan also called the Konkan Coast or Karavali is a rugged section of the western coastline of India from Raigad to Mangalore...

    .)
  • Satari/Deshi ( spoken in South Maharashtra, especially in Satara
    Satara
    Satara is a city located in the Satara District of Maharashtra state of India. The town is 2320 ft. above sea-level, near the confluence of the Krishna and its tributary river Venna. The city was the capital of the Maratha empire in the 17th century, hence one of the the historical cities of...

    , Sangli
    Sangli
    Sangli is a city in the state of Maharashtra of India. Sangli is known as the Turmeric city for its vast production of Turmeric. Sangli is situated on the banks of river Krishna and is the largest market place for Turmeric in Asia and houses many sugar factories, which it is also noted for...

     and Kolhapur Districts)

Other languages having considerable Marathi influence

  • Dakhini and Hyderabadi Urdu
    Hyderabadi Urdu
    Hyderabadi Urdu is a dialect of Urdu spoken in the Indian region of Hyderabad State and its diaspora. It is also known as Deccani Urdu from its former name Hyderabad Deccan...

     spoken in Hyderabad and some parts of Deccan are considerably influenced by Marathi. The grammar of Hyderabadi Urdu is adapted from Marathi. In fact, it is also called a creole between Marathi and Urdu
    Urdu
    Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

     with some Telugu
    Telugu language
    Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...

     words.

Sounds


The phoneme
Phoneme
In a language or dialect, a phoneme is the smallest segmental unit of sound employed to form meaningful contrasts between utterances....

 inventory of Marathi is similar to that of many other Indo-Aryan languages
Indo-Aryan languages
The Indo-Aryan languages constitutes a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family...

, especially that of the Konkani language
Konkani language
KonkaniKonkani is a name given to a group of several cognate dialects spoken along the narrow strip of land called Konkan, on the west coast of India. This is, however, somewhat an over-generalisation. Geographically, Konkan is defined roughly as the area between the river Damanganga to the north...

. An IPA chart of all contrastive sounds in Marathi is provided below.
Consonants
  Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex Alveopalatal Velar Glottal
Voiceless
stops
p

t̪ʰ
ts
ʈ
ʈʰ

tʃʰ
k
Voiced
stops
b

d̪ʱ
dz
dzʱ
ɖ
ɖʱ

dʒʱ
ɡ
ɡʱ
Voiceless
fricatives
s ʃ h
Nasals m

n̪ʱ
ɳ
Liquids ʋ
ʋʱ
l ɾ
lʱ ɾʱ
j

Older aspirated *tsʰ, dzʱ have lost their onset, with *tsʰ merging with /s/ and *dzʱ being typically realized as an aspirated fricative, [zʱ]. This /ts, dz, zʱ/ series is not distinguished in writing from /tʃ, tʃʰ, dʒ, dʒʱ/.
Vowels
  Front Central Back
High i   u
Mid e ə o
Low   a  


There are two more vowels in Marathi to denote the pronunciations of English words such as of a in act and a in all. These are written as and . The IPA signs for these are [æ] and [ɒ], respectively. Marathi retains the original Sanskrit pronunciations of certain alphabets such as the anusvāra
Anusvara
Anusvara is the diacritic used to mark a type of nasalization used in a number of Indic languages. Depending on the location of the anusvara in the word and the language within which it is used, its exact pronunciation can vary greatly....

(for instance, saṃhar, compared to sanhar in Hindi). Moreover, Marathi preserves certain Sanskrit patterns of pronunciation, as in the words purṇa and rāma compared to purṇ and rām in Hindi.

Writing


Written Marathi first appeared during the 11th century in the form of inscriptions on stones and copper plates. Marathi alphabets are similar t0 hindi alphabets. From the 13th century until the mid-20th century, it was written with the Modi alphabet. Since 1950 it has been written with the Devanāgarī alphabet.

Devanagari script


Marathi is written in the Devanagari
Devanagari
Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

 script, an alphasyllabary or abugida consisting of 16 vowel
Vowel
In phonetics, a vowel is a sound in spoken language, such as English ah! or oh! , pronounced with an open vocal tract so that there is no build-up of air pressure at any point above the glottis. This contrasts with consonants, such as English sh! , where there is a constriction or closure at some...

 letters and 36 consonant
Consonant
In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; , pronounced with the back of the tongue; , pronounced in the throat; and ,...

 letters making a total of 52 letters. It is written from left to right. The Devanagari used to write Marathi is slightly different than that of Hindi or other languages. The Marathi Devanagari script is called Balbodh script.

Modi script


From the thirteenth century until 1950, Marathi was written in Modi script
Modi script
' is one of the scripts used to write the Marathi language& Rajasthani language, which is the primary language spoken in the state of Maharashtra & Rajasthan in western India respectively. MoDiis also known as MuDiya, MuDi & VañiyāvaTi...

 — a cursive script designed for minimising the lifting of pen from paper while writing. Most writings of the Maratha empire are in Modi script. However, Persian-based scripts were also used for court documentation. With the advent of large-scale printing, Modi script fell into disuse, as it proved very difficult for type-setting. Currently, due to the availability of Modi fonts and the enthusiasm of the younger speakers, the script is far from disappearing. (See Reference Links).

Consonant clusters


In Marathi, the consonants by default come with a schwa
Schwa
In linguistics, specifically phonetics and phonology, schwa can mean the following:*An unstressed and toneless neutral vowel sound in some languages, often but not necessarily a mid-central vowel...

. Therefore, will be 'təyāche', not 'tyāche'. To form 'tyāche', you will have to add + , giving .

When two or more consecutive consonants are followed by a vowel then a jodakshar (consonant cluster) is formed. Some examples of consonant clusters are shown below: - tyāche - "his" - prastāv-"proposal" - vidyā - "knowledge" - myān "Sword Cover" - tvarā "immediate/Quick" - mahatva - "importance" - "only" - "dolls"
Marathi has a few consonant clusters that are rarely seen in the world's languages, including the so-called "nasal aspirates" and liquid aspirates (rh, , lh, and vh). Some examples are given below.
- - "a shrub known for flowers" - - "bath" - - "because" - - "different way of behaving" - kolhā - "fox" - "when"

Grammar




Marathi grammar shares similarities with other modern Indo-Aryan languages
Indo-Aryan languages
The Indo-Aryan languages constitutes a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family...

 such as Hindi
Hindi
Standard Hindi, or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi, also known as Manak Hindi , High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, and Literary Hindi, is a standardized and sanskritized register of the Hindustani language derived from the Khariboli dialect of Delhi...

, Gujarati
Gujarati language
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is derived from a language called Old Gujarati which is the ancestor language of the modern Gujarati and Rajasthani languages...

, Punjabi
Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region . For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most widely spoken language...

, etc. The first modern book exclusively concerning Marathi Grammar was printed in 1805 by William Carey. Sanskrit Grammar used to be referred more till late stages of Marathi Language.

The contemporary grammatical rules described by Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad and endorsed by the Government of Maharashtra
Government of Maharashtra
Government of Maharashtra is the government for the state of Maharashtra in Western India.It is an elected government with 288 MLAs elected to the legislative assembly for a 5 year term.-Ministers:...

 are supposed to take precedence in standard written Marathi. Traditions of Marathi Linguistics and the above mentioned rules give special status to 'Tatsam' (Without Change) words adapted from the Sanskrit language. This special status expects the rules for 'Tatsam' words to be followed as in Sanskrit grammar. While this supports Marathi Language with a larger treasure of Sanskrit words to cope with demands of new technical words whenever needed; maintains influence over Marathi.

The primary word order of Marathi is SOV (subject–object–verb) An unusual feature of Marathi, as compared to other Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

, is that it displays the inclusive and exclusive we feature, common to the Austronesian languages, Dravidian languages
Dravidian languages
The Dravidian language family includes approximately 85 genetically related languages, spoken by about 217 million people. They are mainly spoken in southern India and parts of eastern and central India as well as in northeastern Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, and...

, Rajasthani
Rajasthani language
Rajasthani Rajasthani Rajasthani (Devanagari: , Perso-Arabic: is a language of the Indo-Aryan languages family. It is spoken by 50 million people in Rajasthan and other states of India and in some areas of Pakistan. The number of speakers may be up to 80 million worldwide...

, and Gujarati
Gujarati language
Gujarati is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is derived from a language called Old Gujarati which is the ancestor language of the modern Gujarati and Rajasthani languages...

.

Unlike its related languages, Marathi preserves all three grammatical gender
Grammatical gender
Grammatical gender is defined linguistically as a system of classes of nouns which trigger specific types of inflections in associated words, such as adjectives, verbs and others. For a system of noun classes to be a gender system, every noun must belong to one of the classes and there should be...

s (Linga) from Sanskrit, masculine, feminine and neuter. Marathi contains three grammatical voices (prayog) i.e. Kartari, Karmani and Bhave. Detailed analysis of grammatical aspects of Marathi language are covered in Marathi grammar
Marathi grammar
The grammar of the Marathi language shares similarities with other modern Indo-Aryan languages such as Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, etc. The first modern book exclusively on Marathi Grammar was printed in 1805 by 'William Kerry'....

.

Marathi organisations


Many government and semi-government organisations exist which work for the regulation, promotion and enrichment of the Marathi language. These are either initiated or funded by Government of Maharashtra. Few Marathi organisations are given below:

Outside Maharashtra state

  • Gomantak Marathi academy
  • Madhya Pradesh Sahitya Parishad, Jabalpur
  • Andhra Pradesh Sahitya Paraishad, Hyderabad
  • Marathi Sahitya Parishad, Karnataka
  • Gomantak Sahitya Sewak Mandal, Goa

Sharing of linguistic resources with other languages



Over a period of many centuries the Marathi language and people came into contact with many other languages and dialects. The primary influence of Prakrit
Prakrit
Prakrit is the name for a group of Middle Indic, Indo-Aryan languages, derived from Old Indic dialects. The word itself has a flexible definition, being defined sometimes as, "original, natural, artless, normal, ordinary, usual", or "vernacular", in contrast to the literary and religious...

, Maharashtri
Maharashtri
Maharastri or Maharastri Prakrit, SIL: Mahārāṣṭri Prākrit , is a language of ancient and medieval India which is the ancestor of Marathi, Konkani, Sinhala and the Maldivian language as well. It is one of the many languages of a complex called Prakrit, and the chief Dramatic Prakrit...

, Apbhramsha and Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 is understandable. At least 50% of the words in Marathi are either taken or derived from Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

.

Marathi has also shared directions, vocabulary and grammar with languages such as Indian Dravidian languages
Dravidian languages
The Dravidian language family includes approximately 85 genetically related languages, spoken by about 217 million people. They are mainly spoken in southern India and parts of eastern and central India as well as in northeastern Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, and...

, and a few foreign languages like Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, Arabic, English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and a little from Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

.

While recent genome studies suggest some amount of political and trade relations between the Indian subcontinent and East Africa, Middle East, Central Asia over a millennium, these studies are still not conclusive about the exact effect on linguistics.

Morphology and etymology


Day-to-day spoken Marathi retains a noticeably higher number of Sanskrit-derived (tatsam) words compared to sister North-Indian languages like Hindi, and many of these words are more or less unchanged versions of their original Sanskrit counterparts. Examples of such words used more or less daily by Marathi speakers include nantar (from nantaram or after), ( or complete, full, or full measure of something), ola (olam or damp), ( or cause), puṣkaḷ (puṣkalam or much, many), satat (satatam or always), vichitra (vichitram or strange), svatah (svatah or himself/herself), prayatna (prayatnam or effort, attempt), bhīti (from bhīti, or fear) and ( or vessel for cooking or storing food). Others such as dār (dwāram or door), ghar (gṛham or house), vāgh (vyāghram or tiger), paḷaṇe (palāyate or to run away), kiti (kati or how many) have undergone more modification.

Examples of words borrowed from other Indian and foreign languages include:
  • Adakitta "nutcracker" directly borrowed from Kannada
    Kannada language
    Kannada or , is a language spoken in India predominantly in the state of Karnataka. Kannada, whose native speakers are called Kannadigas and number roughly 50 million, is one of the 30 most spoken languages in the world...

  • Begeen "early" directly borrowed from Kannada
    Kannada language
    Kannada or , is a language spoken in India predominantly in the state of Karnataka. Kannada, whose native speakers are called Kannadigas and number roughly 50 million, is one of the 30 most spoken languages in the world...

  • Estek "estate" corrupted from English
  • Jaahiraat "advertisement" is derived from Arabic zaahiraat
  • Shiphaaras "recommendation" is derived from Persian sefaresh
  • Marjii "wish" is derived from Persian "marzi"
  • Hajeri Attendance from Hajiri Urdu


A lot of English words are commonly used in conversation, and are considered to be totally assimilated into the Marathi vocabulary. These include "pen" (native Marathi ), "shirt" (sadaraa).

Influence of foreign languages


Usage of punctuation marks was one of the major contributions to Indic script by foreign languages. Previously, due to Sanskritised poetry, textual punctuation requirements of many texts may have been less.

Forming complex words


Marathi uses many morphological
Morphology (linguistics)
In linguistics, morphology is the identification, analysis and description, in a language, of the structure of morphemes and other linguistic units, such as words, affixes, parts of speech, intonation/stress, or implied context...

 processes to join words together, forming complex words. These processes are traditionally referred to as sandhi
Sandhi
Sandhi is a cover term for a wide variety of phonological processes that occur at morpheme or word boundaries . Examples include the fusion of sounds across word boundaries and the alteration of sounds due to neighboring sounds or due to the grammatical function of adjacent words...

(from Sanskrit, "combination"). For example, ati + uttam gives the word atyuttam.

Another method of combining words is referred to as samaas (from Sanskrit, "margin"). There are no reliable rules to follow to make a samaas. When the second word starts with a consonant, a sandhi can not be formed, but a samaas can be formed. For example, miith-bhaakar ("salt-bread"), udyog-patii ("businessman"), ("eight-hands", name of a Hindu goddess), and so on. There are different names given to each type of samaas.

Counting


Like many other languages, Marathi uses distinct names for the numbers 1 to 20 and each multiple of 10, and composite ones for those greater than 20.

As with other Indic languages, there are distinct names for the fractions , , and . They are paava, ardhaa, and , respectively. For most fractions greater than 1, the prefixes savvaa-, , are used. There are special names for and .

The powers of ten are as follows:
  • 10: daha (Devanagari
    Devanagari
    Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

    :)
  • 100: shambhar (Devanagari
    Devanagari
    Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

    :शंभर) (also constructed with number prefix and "-she" suffix)
  • 1,000: hajaar (Devanagari
    Devanagari
    Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

    :हजार/सहस्र) (or sahasra, a word close to the Sanskrit version)
  • 100,000: laakh (Devanagari
    Devanagari
    Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

    :लाख/लक्ष) (or laksha)
  • 10,000,000: koti (Devanagari
    Devanagari
    Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

    :कोटी)
  • 1,000,000,000: abja (Devanagari
    Devanagari
    Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

    :अब्ज)
  • 10,000,000,000: kharva (Devanagari
    Devanagari
    Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

    :खर्व)
  • 100,000,000,000: nikharva (Devanagari
    Devanagari
    Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

    :निखर्व)
  • 100,000,000,000,000,000: parardha (Devanagari
    Devanagari
    Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

    :परार्ध)


A positive integer is read by breaking it up from the tens digit leftwards, into parts each containing two digits, the only exception being the hundreds place containing only one digit instead of two. For example, 1,234,567 is read as 12 laakh 34 hajaar 5 she 67.
Every two-digit number after 18 (11 to 18 are predefined) is read backwards. For example, 21 is read एक-वीस (1-twenty). Also, a two digit number that ends with a 9 is considered to be the next tens place minus one. For example, 29 is एकुणतीस (Thirty minus one). Two digit numbers used before hajaar, etc. are written in the same way.

Marathi on computers and the Internet


Shrilipi, Shivaji, kothare 2,4,6 Kiran and many more (about48) based on ASCII
ASCII
The American Standard Code for Information Interchange is a character-encoding scheme based on the ordering of the English alphabet. ASCII codes represent text in computers, communications equipment, and other devices that use text...

 code were used prior to the introduction of Unicode
Unicode
Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems...

 standard for Devanagari script. Fonts (Tanka) in ASCII
ASCII
The American Standard Code for Information Interchange is a character-encoding scheme based on the ordering of the English alphabet. ASCII codes represent text in computers, communications equipment, and other devices that use text...

 code are in vogue on PCs even today since most of the computers in use are working with English Keyboard. Even today a large number of printed publications of books, news papers and magazines are prepared using these ASCII based fonts. However, these fonts cannot be used on internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 due to new restrictions.

Earlier Marathi suffered from weak support by computer operating systems and Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 services, as have other Indian languages. But recently, with the introduction of language localisation projects and new technologies, various software and Internet applications have been introduced. Various Marathi typing software is widely used and display interface packages are now available on Windows
Microsoft Windows
Microsoft Windows is a series of operating systems produced by Microsoft.Microsoft introduced an operating environment named Windows on November 20, 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces . Microsoft Windows came to dominate the world's personal...

, Linux
Linux
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

 and Mac OS
Mac OS
Mac OS is a series of graphical user interface-based operating systems developed by Apple Inc. for their Macintosh line of computer systems. The Macintosh user experience is credited with popularizing the graphical user interface...

. Many Marathi websites, including Marathi newspapers, have become popular especially with Maharashtrians outside India. Online projects such as the Marathi language Wikipedia, with 25,000+ articles, the Marathi blogroll and Marathi blogs have gained immense popularity.

Voyager Golden Record


The Voyager Golden Record
Voyager Golden Record
The Voyager Golden Records are phonograph records which were included aboard both Voyager spacecraft, which were launched in 1977. They contain sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, and are intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or for...

 carries greetings from earth to the Universe in 55 different languages including Marathi. The message in Marathi is "नमस्कार. ह्या पृथ्वीतील लोक तुम्हाला त्यांचे शुभविचार पाठवतात आणि त्यांची इच्छा आहे की तुम्ही ह्या जन्मी धन्य व्हा". ("Namaskar! Hya prithvitil lok tumhala tyanche shubhavichar pathavitat, ani tyanchi iccha ahe ki tumhi hya janmi dhanya vha").

See also


  • Devanagari
    Devanagari
    Devanagari |deva]]" and "nāgarī" ), also called Nagari , is an abugida alphabet of India and Nepal...

  • Languages of India
    Languages of India
    The languages of India belong to several language families, the major ones being the Indo-European languages—Indo-Aryan and the Dravidian languages...

  • Languages with official status in India
  • List of Indian languages by total speakers
  • List of Marathi writers
  • Maharashtra
    Maharashtra
    Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...

  • Marathi literature
    Marathi literature
    Marathi literature is the body of literature of Marathi, a Sanskrit-derived language spoken mainly in the Indian state of Maharashtra and written in the Devanagari script.-Early Marathi Literature :...

  • Marathi Newspapers
  • Marathi people
    Marathi people
    The Marathi people or Maharashtrians are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group, that inhabit the Maharashtra region and state of western India. Their language Marathi is part of the southern group of Indo-Aryan languages...

  • Modi script
    Modi script
    ' is one of the scripts used to write the Marathi language& Rajasthani language, which is the primary language spoken in the state of Maharashtra & Rajasthan in western India respectively. MoDiis also known as MuDiya, MuDi & VañiyāvaTi...


External links



Dictionaries