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Dictionary of Common Words in India Languages (Set of 2 Volumes)

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Item Code: NAX393
Author: Lalita Handoo
Publisher: Central Institute Of Indian Languages, Mysore
Language: English
Edition: 2015
ISBN: Vol-1 : 9788173431548 , Vol-2 : 9788173431548
Pages: 889
Other Details 11.00 X 9.00 inch
Weight 2.28 kg
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Book Description


The main objective of the Central institute of Indian Languages has been the development of Indian languages by way of documentation, research, teaching and material production in Indian languages and promotion and maintenance of multilingualism and multiculturism to strengthen the bond among the Indian languages.

Bilingual and multilingual dictionaries, to a great extent, help in bridging the gap between two or more languages and serve as a very important language learning aid. Central Institute of Indian Languages has brought out a number of bilingual and multilingual dictionaries besides some common vocabularies as an aid to teaching of Indian languages as second language. This also includes the present author’s Hindi-Kashmiri common vocabulary (1975). Dr.Lilita Handoo, who has been associated with CIIL’s Lexicography Unit since its inception, has been instrumental in organizing and conducting various workshops and training programmes in lexicology and lexicography involving all Indian languages, besides guiding various dictionary projects. This dictionary establishes the underlined cultural and linguistic uniformity, a commonness that binds various Indian languages cutting across regional and ethnic barriers and the emergence of pan-Indian vocabulary. This dictionary of common words in Indian languages is printed in two volumes.


Common words in Indian languages offers a very significant area of study indicating to a long process of acculturation and identification spread over thousands of years and resulting into the emergence of a pan Indian culture with common cultural and linguistic features. These - words common in two or more Indian languages may broadly be attributed to the common inheritants with or without phonological adaptations or mutations and common political, historical past, or shared ethno-cultural circumstance, migration and industrialization. The bulk of the common words in Indian languages come from Sanskrit which due to historical reasons enjoyed a venerable position in India cutting across geographical and ethnic barriers. These words at the initial juncture of ethnic fusion might have entered as loans but in due course of time over generations have become a common cultural continuum, these words of Sanskrit have been passed on through successive stages of diversification and assumed the status of lexical inheritants and conceptual affiliates and form a chunk of common words in Indian languages.

Another major source for common words in Indian languages has been, Perso-Arabic, Mughals settled down in India along with their functionaries and armies. They promoted literature and arts and the contact with the local people was not mundane. The processes of acculturation and language convergence were both strong and faster which also resulted in linguistic parallelism and gave birth to Urdu which served as the transmitter of Perso- Arabic words into Indian languages. The large number of these Perso-Arabic words in Indian languages is the result of these fast need based processes and have become part of our lexical repertoire throughout the entire stretch of the country such as Sealed, Yet another large stock of common words are the result of foreign influence during the time of East India Company.

With the coming of East India Company English came into prominence and in British rule enjoyed the status of official language, the languages of the rulers. The colonial bilingualism which originated during British rule, fostered in official and upper socio-. economic circles, continued unhindered even after independence till date. As a result of industrialization these English words came into Indian languages as accompaniment to newer innovations, filling lexical gaps particularly in scientific and technical fields. Even after over 50 years of independence, English today continues to enjoy the status of second official language or the link language along with Hindi and other Indian languages for administrative purposes and for inter-lingual communication and academic discourse. Although Indian languages scholars for research and academic purposes may distinguish between the native and non-native words, yet these very loan words have in due course of time got assimilated and have become part and parcel of the Indian languages and their common parlance. These undoubtedly form a large part of the body of common words and have been included in the present dictionary, for obvious reasons.

The work on the present dictionary project commenced in the year 1976 and was completed in the year 2002. It covers fourteen modern Indian languages of India which are recognized as national languages in the VIH schedule of the Constitution of India. However, due to constraints of time and resources. Nepali, Manipuri and Konkani could not be included in this dictionary as they were included in the list of the schedule languages much later. English has been included to provide glosses. Considering the fact that these different major languages have developed from two major language families - Indo Aryan and Dravidian, the strategy for selection of entries adopted and their presentation is as follows:

  1. A word should be common between at least two non-cognate languages.

  2. A word is considered common if it has a common form, with or without phono- adaptations, and shares at least one common meaning.

  3. If a word has more than one extended meaning in any one or more languages, only the shared meanings are given. Restrictions in a particular language or languages and the absence of meaning are indicated by blank space, or..........in case of polysemous words.

  4. Polysemy of words is indicated in the gloss by giving numbers 1, 2 etc. Homonymous entries however are repeated, and treated as individual words.

  5. Words with similar form but different meanings do not fall under the purview of this study and are hence not included in the present dictionary. There is a sizeable stock of such words called ‘false friends’ across languages that require to be studied separately.

  6. Hindi word list is the basis of comparison to find commonness with other Indian languages.

  7. Grammatical category of only Hindi entry word, restricted to part of speech is indicated. Differences in grammatical categories if any in other languages are not indicated.

  8. Because of its wider use, and user friendly nature, Devanagari script is used to teanscribe the words in other Indian languages, which have a script of their own.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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