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Bengali, Spoken and Written. Sayamacharan Ganguli (1877). কিস্তি ১

শ্যামাচরণ গাঙ্গুলি কইছিলেন যে, বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় বলার চাইতে ইউনির্ভাসিটি বলাটাই বেটার, অথচ সংস্কৃত-খাদেমদের ফতোয়া-মতে ছোটলোক বাঙালিদের মুখ দিয়া বিশ্ববিদ্যালয় বাইর করার কোশিশ দেড়শ বছর ধইরা আমরা কইরা যাইতেছি, রিটেন ল্যাঙ্গুয়েজে।

উনার আর্গুমেন্ট সিম্পল – যে কোন ভাষাই চেইঞ্জ হয়, ফিক্সড না। এই চেইঞ্জগুলি হয় যেমনে আমরা কথা কই, ভাষারে ইউজ করি, তার উপর বেইজ কইরা। এখন ফর্মের কারণেই মুখের আর লেখার ভাষা একইরকম হইতে পারার কথা না, কিন্তু ডিফরেন্সটা মিনিমাম হওয়ার কথা। কিন্তু বাংলায় ঘটনা’টা পুরা উল্টা। মুখের কথার লগে লেখার ভাষার ডিফরেন্স যতো বেশি হয়, ব্যাপারটা জানি তত বেশি ‘সাহিত্যিক’ হয়া উঠতে পারে!i  এইটা কেন হয় বা হইতেছে? – এইটা নিয়া লিখছেন উনি, ১৮৭৭ সালে; ক্যালকাটা রিভিউ পত্রিকায়। ওই লেখাটা তিনটা কিস্তি’তে ছাপাবো আমরা বাছবিচারে।

শ্যামাচরণ গাঙ্গুলির পয়লা আর্গুমেন্ট’টা হইলো, লিখিত-বাংলা গ্রামার মাইনা চলে, যেইটার বেশিরভাগ নিয়ম আবার সংস্কৃত’র; কিন্তু সেইটা যেই বাংলায় আমরা কথা কই, সেইটার সাথে ম্যাচ করে না; যেইখানে করে না, সেইখানে জোর কইরা ঢুকানোর কোন দরকার নাই। অথচ লিখিত’তে এমনসব নিয়ম ঢুকানো হইছে, যেইগুলা কখনোই বলার মধ্যে আছিলো না। হরে-দরে সবকিছুই সংস্কৃত থিকা ঢুকানো হইতেছে, যেইটা ঠিক না। কারণ এইটা একটা জবরদস্তি; মানুষ এমনে কথা কয় না। (ব্যাপারটা এইরকম না যে, সবকিছু বলার ভিতর থিকাই আসবো, কারণ এইরকম অনেক জিনিস আছে আমরা বলি না, লেখা থিকাই মুখে আসে, কিন্তু এইটা খুবই কম; বেইজ হিসাবে নিতে পারা’র ব্যাপার না।)

একটা ইর্ম্পটেন্ট ইনফরমেশন হইতেছে, ওই আমলে স্কুল-কলেজে বাংলা’তে যতো নাম্বার ছিলো পরীক্ষায়, সংস্কৃত’তেও একই নাম্বার ছিলো। এইটার পলিটিক্যাল গুরুত্বের জায়গাটারে উনি হাইলাইট করেন নাই এতোটা, খালি মেনশনই করছেন যে, এইটা কেমনে এফেক্ট করতেছে; পরে পলিটিক্যাল জায়গাগুলি নিয়াও বলছেন কিছু, যে হিন্দু’রা কেন মুসলমান শব্দগুলি নিতে চান না। (আমিও পরে বলার ইচ্ছা রাখি আরেকটু, এইটা নিয়া।)

আরেকটা ঘটনা হইতেছে, মুখের বুলি তো সব জায়গায় একই রকম না। নদীয়া, হুগলি, কলিকাতা বা ঢাকায় ক্রিয়াপদ তো আলাদা আলাদা। এইখানে উনার অবজারভেশন হইতেছে যে, লিখিত-বাংলা পুব-বাংলার বুলির  চাইতে বেশি দূরের; আর এইখানের মানুষরা শরমও পায় কইতে গিয়া যে, অরা তো ‘শুদ্ধ’ না। এই ইনফিরিয়রিটি’টা যে খুবই পলিটিক্যাল একটা ঘটনা, শ্যামাচরণ গাঙ্গুলি ওই জায়গাটাতে যান নাই। মানে, ভাষা’র চেইঞ্জগুলি যে খালি গ্রামারের ঘটনা না বা হিস্ট্রির ঘটনাগুলি যে রেশনালিটি’র ভিতর দিয়া ঘটে না – এইটারে না-বলাটা আলাপের কিছু স্পেইস’রে বাইরেই রাইখা দেয়।

(এই জায়গাগুলি নিয়া পরে আরো কথা কইতে চাই আমরা। আপাতত, পয়লা কিস্তি পড়ার দাওয়াত রাখলাম।)

 

ই.হা.

……………………………………………………

THE language of a people is a reflex of that people’s mind. In language is faithfully mirrored every stage of social progress. Human development can never rest fixed at a point; language, like other human appurtenances must, therefore, change. In the past, languages have changed, and in the future too, they must change, unless by some inconceivable process all human affairs were to come to a stand-still. But people who speak any particular language at a particular time, scarcely ever imagine that language should ever change; and the great majority of Englishmen and Frenchmen, at the present day, little think that the languages they speak, now so full of vigorous life, could ever undergo any very extensive modification. Without a knowledge of the past history of languages, the possibility of a change would indeed be inconceivable. To the ignorant, therefore, lingual change must be an absolute inconceivability. But that people fully cognizant of the unstable, changeable, character· of languages should nevertheless try, though in vain, to give it fixity, after it bad arrived at a certain stage of growth, by persistently ignoring changes that have actually taken place in the current speech, would be quite unintelligible, but that we actually find this to be the case. In this, as in a host of other cases, we find that things, after they have acquired a definite existence, do obstinately resist the action of all antagonistic forces. This principle of conservation must be particularly strong in literary languages, for these are sure to be supported by the whole weight of learning; and learning in all ages has made itself the champion, in numerous instances, of the outgrown, the obsolete, and the useless. The bias of learning has thus helped to keep the written language of every country, at any given time, a little behind the spoken, a little archaic in comparison which the latter.ii

Another difference between written and spoken language must arise from the fact of the former being altogether a higher instrument than the latter. In oral conversation, there cannot be anything like that systematic grouping, that co-ordination and subordination of thought, that there can be in writing. Grouping of thought does not necessitate, however. any departure from the current grammar or the current vocabulary. It is only in poetry, and other artistic productions, that archaisms are allowable for the sake of aesthetic effect.

Some difference then between written and spoken language may be unavoidable from the very nature of things – may desirable, – but it is certainly as desirable that this difference should be at its minimum. In our Bengali language however, the divergence between its spoken and written forms, is about as wide as it well can be; and a discussion of this question, with suggestions for remedying the evil, is to form the subject of the present paper.

Grammar and vocables exhaust the whole field of spoken language. In respect of written language, however, the graphic system has further to be considered.

First, in respect of grammar, written Bengali differs from iii spoken Bengali far more than is perhaps the case with any other living human language. Indeed obsolete grammatical forms which, if employed in speaking, would call forth laughter, are the accredited book Bengali forms. Dramas, novels, and newspapers have indeed begun to partially adopt current grammatical forms, and this I look upon as the instrument which is destined eventually lo effect a thorough revolution. Men are gradually being accustomed to see in print colloquial forms side by side with the usual obsolete forms used in writing. Old associations are being thus gradually loosened, and men’s minds prepared for the utter exclusion in writing, eventually, of the grammatical forms that have become extinct in the spoken tongue.

Some of the inflexions of nouns and pronouns, the conjugations of rubs and the distinction of gender in nouns and adjectives, furnish very important points of difference between spoken and written Bengali. Several of these differences are to be traced to the influence of Sanskrit, and have been in part but recent innovations in a backward direction; while the others are archaic forms kept up in writing after they have dropped out of use in the spoken tongue. Illustrations will best shew the extent of the differences.

The proper Bengali plural termination of both nouns and pronouns is ra’ in the nominative case, and in this the book language is at one with the spoken. Along with this ra’, however, Bengali formsiv collectives by adding words signifying a group, and these words in current. Bengali are guno, guni, gulo, guli, guliu (corruptions, probably, of the Sanskrit gana,) aud sakol (Sanskrit sakala). Written Bengali though employing guli and gulin, and also gula’ and sakal for gulo and sakol respectively, delights in the use of words of a genuine Sanskrit stamp – gana (prouounced gan) samu’ha (pronounced somuha) vrinda (pronounced brinda), mandali (pronounced mondoli) &c., – words that are never employed in current speech.

In the oblique cases of nouns, tco, there are differences. Current speech has a’ma’der v for the absolete  a’ma’diger (ours) and am’adigake (to us) of books.

Into written Bengali, a vocative case has further been introduced. Our learned Pandits have evidently thought it an imperfection in Bengali that it should not have the full complement of Sanskrit cases. In the Bengali Grammar books, read in our schools, the Bengali cases are given the same in number as in Sanskrit. The fact, however, is that the instrumental case is wholly wanting in Bengali, the idea of instrumentality or agency being expressed, like numerous other relations, by some post-position after the genitive. The vocative case also is altogether wanting, the nominative form being universally employed in address. In this latter case our Pandits have been in sore straits. They have not been able, as in the matter of the instrumental case, to erect the genitive with certain post-positions into a case. They have transferred therefore bodily the Sanskrit vocative form into Bengali; and so it is that words like sakhe (pronounced sakhe). pitah, &c., have taken a firm hold of written Bengali.

The Bengali instrumental too calls for remark. The current language is without any instrumental case, agency being expressed by putting dva’ra’, and instrumentality by putting de, after the genitive. In writing, an instrumental (expressive of agency as well as instrumentality proper) is manufactured, however, by the employment of dva’ra’ (pronounced dda’ra’) and dropping the genitive sign of the preceding noun. There is besides another word, kartrik, very largely employed in writing to indicate agency, but which, when employed in oral speech, becomes a true post-position by coming after the genitive case.

The ablative case-ending of books is always haite, the ·corresponding colloquial form hote being at the same time occasionally employed in novel and dramas. For expressing the ablative relation, however, theke and tha’im (after the genitive) are more largely employed in current speech than hote; and in this, as in other kindred matters, there can be no reason why the written should differ from the spoken language. The plural oblique case forms of book Bengali, differ also from those of spoken Bengali. Digake ‘(accus. and dat.) and diger (gen.) of the former are ·represented by der in the latter.

The difference in the verb forms may now be pointed out:

In the spoken tongue, the infinitive anti the perfect participle have the same form: kara, to do, doing, and karil also done. Bengali grammar book would scarcely, recognise the form kara’ at all. The infinitive would be put down as karana (karan) and the perfect participle as krita. But unwilling though our grammar-makers are to admit the actual infinitive and perfect participle forms as correct forms, they are actually employed in writing. This, however, is not enough. The corresponding Sanskrit forms, except such as have been thoroughly naturalised in the spoken tongue, should be eschewed entirely; for where the resources. of the language do of themselves suffice, no benefit can result from borrowing.

The following table will show the most important differences in the verb forms of written and spoken Bengali:-vi

 

1 Book Bengali;    2 Calcutta Bengali         3 Nadia        4.Maldah Bengali     5 Dacca Bengali.

(I or We)

have done    Karia’chhi    Korichi                    Korichhi        Koirachhi

 

(I) am or

(we) are

doing …        Karitecchhi     Kochchi                    Kochchhi        Koirachhi

       

(I or we) did    Karila’m        Kollum or             ….        Kollem*        Korl’am

                rarely Kollem Kolla’m

(I) was or

(we) were

doing …        Karitechhila’m    Kochchhilum or

                rarely Kochchchhilem    ….        Kochchllem

 

(I or We)

used to do        Karitam        Kottum or            Katta’m        Kottem        Karta’m

                rarely Kottum

 

(I or We)

will do        Kariba        Korbo                    ….        Korbo

 

It will be seen that the Bengali dialects spoken in the Western half of Bengal differ much less from one another in point of grammar than each does from the standard book-Bengali. The East Bengal dialects would seem to be nearer this standard, but in the long run they would tend more and more to divest themselves of their peculiarities and shape themselves more and more after the pattern of the metropolitan dialect. The very inability of East Bengal people to pronounce aspirate sounds marks out the dialects they speak M inferior, at least in one respect, to those spoken in the Western section of the country. East Bengal people themselves are anxious to assimilate their speech to that of West and Central Bengal. All peculiarities whatever of the East Bengal or any ·other· Bengali dialect need not, however, disappear. But on this subject the writer’s views will be stated more fully further on.

 

 

আগের/পরের পর্ব<< বাঙ্গালা ভাষা – গ্রাডুএট্ (হরপ্রসাদ শাস্ত্রী)।
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বাছবিচার

এডিটর, বাছবিচার।

লেটেস্ট ।। বাছবিচার (সবগুলি)

  1. ক্রিয়েটিভ আর্ট
  2. ক্রিটিকস
  3. তত্ত্ব ও দর্শন
  4. ইন্টারভিউ
  5. তর্ক
  6. অন্যান্য