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Oriya: Language from the land of Lord Jagannath

Brief Description

Oriya is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language belonging to the Indo-Aryan language family. It is thought to be directly descended from the Prakrit known as Purva Magadhi that was spoken in eastern India over 1,500 years ago. It bears a very strong resemblance to the modern languages Bangla (Bengali), Maithili, and xmiya (Assamese). Oriya is a syllabic alphabet wherein all consonants have an inherent vowel embedded within. Diacritics, which can appear above, below, before or after the consonant they belong to, are used to change the form of the inherent vowel. When the diacritics appear at the beginning of a syllable, vowels are written as independent letters.

Also, when certain consonants occur together, special conjunct symbols are used which combine the essential parts of each letter.

Regions where spoken

It is one of the Indian languages mainly spoken in the Indian state of Orissa, though there are also significant Oriya-speaking populations in other linguistic regions, such as the Medinpur District of West Bengal and the Saraikela Kharsawan District of Jharkhand. Due to the increasing migration of labor, the west Indian state of Gujarat also has a significant Oriya speaking population with Surat being the second largest Oriya speaking city in India. It is spoken by over 35 million people all over the world

Development & Spread

The modern Oriya script is a development of the early form of the Bengali script, which in turn was one of many descendents of the Brahmi script. A key feature of the Oriya script is the curved appearance of the letters. Though the cursive shape might appear to suggest influence from southern Brahmic scripts, it is thought that this appearance was the result of the longstanding practice of writing manuscripts on palm leaves with a pointed stylus, which have a tendency to tear if too many straight lines are made on the surface.

Script

The Oriya script is used to write the Oriya language and can be used for several other Indian languages, for example, Sanskrit.

Important Writers or Works

Shri Chaitanya, Sisu Sankara Dasa, Kartika Dasa, Deva Durlabha Dasa, Ramachandra Pattanayaka.

Source: www.odisha.com , www.odia.org, www.bhashaindia.com






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