Hindi hĭn´dē [key]
, language belonging to the Indic group of the Indo-Iranian
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. The official language of India, Hindi is the written or literary variant of Hindustani
that is used by Hindus. It is written in the Devanagari alphabet employed for Sanskrit
and has a vocabulary of Indic origin. There are two main dialectal groups of the Hindi language: Western Hindi and Eastern Hindi. The former has four principal dialects. The latter is the medium of an extensive and outstanding literature. Some 300 million people speak Hindi as their primary language; most of them live in India.
See E. Bender, Hindi Grammar and Reader (1967); V. R. Jagannathan, Handbook of Modern Hindi Usage (1981); M. C. Shapiro, A Primer of Modern Standard Hindi (1989).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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