Paragraph on Linguistic diversity In India!
India occupies a unique place in the world for its amazing linguistic heterogeneity. That is why it has been a subject of great interest among the linguists.
The inhabitants of India speak so many languages and dialects because of the fact that this subcontinent has been, for quite some time, the destination о diverse racial groups.
Any linguistic group contains within it a number of features of social importance. One of the important features is the sentiments of social integration between the speakers of the same language or dialect. Common language also promotes emotional integration in the society.
Diverse languages and dialects came into existence because of a prolonged geographical isolation of a group. In this way language plays an important role in the understanding and identification of a regional identity.
The magnitude of India’s linguistic diversity can be estimated from the fact that here more than 200 languages are spoken by different groups. Among these half of the languages are spoken by less than ten thousand people each and the speakers of twenty-three languages only constitute about 97% of the total population. Among these twenty-three, 22 (including English) are in the eighth schedule of the Constitution of independent India.
The languages spoken by Indian population may be divided into four languages families:
(i) Austric family
(ii) Dravidian family
(iii) Sino-Tibetan family
(iv) Indo-European family.
The languages included in these four language families demonstrate a great diversity. The speaker is of Aryan languages are around 73% of Dravidian languages about 23%, of Austric languages 1.38% and the speakers of Sino-Tibetan languages are around 0.85% only.
In the Austric language family mainly the languages and dialects of central Indian tribal belt are included, The Santhals, Munda, Ho, Koraku etc, belong to this language family. The speakers of Sino- Tibetan language family are generally the tribal populations of North-Eastern region.
Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Malyalam, Gondi, etc., are prominent Dravidian languages. The largest number of speakers come from the Indo-Aryan language family. In this category come, on the one hand languages like Punjabi and Sindhi and on the other, these are such languages like Marathi, Konkam, Rajasthani, Gujarati, Marwari, Mewati, Hindi-Urdu, Chhattisgarhi, Bengali, Maithili, Kumayuni and Garhwali etc.
In the presence of such an amazing variety of languages and dialects one may conclude that such a great linguistic heterogeneity may prove to be disruptive for national integration. Such an apprehension may largely be deceptive. Side by side with this linguistic diversity one may also witness the pleasant development of an All India Common Vocabulary.