Bhojpuri is spoken in the western districts of Bihar such as Champaran, Saran, Shahabad, Palamau and Ranchi. Although the Ranchi district is mainly populated by Adivasis, the common language of the people is Sadari or Sadani, which is a form of Bhojpuri. Bhojpuri-speakers are also found in north-western Muzaffarpur and the Pirpanti and Golgong police stations of theBhagalpur district. There are more than ten million Bhojpuri-speaking people in Bihar. It is spoken also in the Varanasi and Gorakhpur divisions of Uttar Pradesh. Bhojpuri areas have helped much in the growth of Hindi literature. Although Bhojpuri has no such old written literature as Maithili has, the love with which its speakers cherish it is just as great. Bhojpuri is so called after the language of Bhojpur, a pergana of the Shahabad district.
The Bhojpuri people have a distinct and virile tradition and were famous in the past for their bravery. Bhojpuri is spoken in various forms and its grammatical structure differs in many respects from the other two languages in Bihar. It has peculiarities of declension and conjugation not found elsewhere. On the whole, its grammar is simpler than that of Maithili and Magahi.
Except in a few isolated instances, the form of the verb depends only on the subject. Bhojpuri is written in Kaithi, a script ascribed to the Kayasthas, the scribes of India, but this script is nowadays being given up by educated people in favour of Devanagri. A mass of oral literature is extant in Bhojpuri in the form of folk-songs, folk-tales and legends and it abounds in proverbs and riddles. In the works of such saintly poets as Kabir, Dharamdas, Dharnidas, Daryadas, and Lakshmi Sakhi, the influence of Bhojpuri is immense.
In recent times, many collections of folk literature have been published by Grierson, Ram Naresh Tripathi, Krishnadeva Upadhyay, Durga Shankar, Prasad Singh and W. G. Archer, and Sankata Prasad. The famous poem 'Batohia' written by Raghubir Narayan and the play entitled 'Bidesia' by Bhikari Thakur have made history by their popularity. Bhikari Thakur is the people's poet in Bhojpuri and in his poems are reflected the joys and sorrows, the toils and tears of the simple rural folk of his area.
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Maithili Language Maithili is one of the three subsets; Maithili, Magahi, and Bhojpuri of the Bihari language. Roughly speaking, we may say that Maithili occupies North Bihar, east of the river Gandak, although towards the east it has crossed the Ganges and is spoken in parts of South Bihar. Magahi occupies South Bihar, east of the Son, and the northern of the two plateaux of Chota Nagpur. Bhojpuri occupies the southern plateau of Chota Nagpur and the the country north and south of the Ganges as far west as, say, Benares.
Maithili and Magahi are much more closely related to each other than either is to Bhojpuri. Indeed, the last named might almost be called a separate language. Besides these there are speakers of the various Bihari dialects scattered all over Northern India and even in the Deccan. Turning more specially to Maithili, the standard form of the language is that spoken in the Madhubani subdivision of the Darbhanga district, and in the adjoining portion of the district of Bhagalpur. It is this form which is described in the present grammar.
Maithili is spoken in its greatest purity by the people of the north of the Darbhanga and Bhagalpur districts, and by those of western Purnea. These men have a literature and traditions that retarded the corruption of the dialect. It is also spoken with some purity, but with more signs of the wearing away of inflexions, in the south of the Darbhanga District, and in those portions of the Monghyr and Bhagalpur Districts which lie on the northern bank of the Ganges. This may be called Southern Standard Maithili. To the east, in Purnea, it becomes more and more infected with Bengali, till, in the east of that District it is superseded by the Siripuria dialect of that language which is a border form of speech, Bengali in the main, but containing expressions borrowed from Maithili, and written, not in the Bengali character, but in the Kaithi of Bihar.
The Maithili spoken in Purnea may be called Eastern Maithili. South of the Ganges, Maithili is influenced more or less by the Magahi spoken to its west, and, partly also by Bengali. The result is a well-marked dialect, locally known as Chika-chiki bolt, from its frequent use of the syllable ' chile,' the base on which the Verb Substantive is conjugated. The Maithili spoken in the Muzaffarpur District, and in a strip of country on the western side of Darbhanga, is strongly infected by the neighbouring Bhojpuri spoken in various forms in the adjacent district of Saran and in the greater part of Champaran. So much is this the case, that, as spoken by some people, it is difficult to say whether the dialect is Maithili or Bhojpuri. It may be called Western Maithili.