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Assamese Language and Script

A brief history of Assamese language and Script submitted by Jayanta Das (05-mar-2010)

The rock inscriptions and copper plate inscriptions are the evidance of Assamese script and the Assamese language as well. A details study of these inscription may help us to know the begining of Assamese script. The rock inscriptions and copper plate grants issued by the Kamarupa kings of the fort towns in Guwahati and Tezpur used Sanskrit language. Till about the beginning of the 13th century Sanskrit was the language of the court and a few learned people were conversant with it.Non-Aryan languages of the Austric and Tibeto-Burman varieties were prevalent among common people.A local variety ( Kamrupi variety ) of the Magadhi Prakrit was in existence and between the 6th and 12th century AD this language had crept into some of the inscriptions found. Hiuen Tsang noted this distinct variety of Prakrit in his observations on the language of the people of Kamarupa.The earliest specimen of script so far discovered in this area is the 5th century rock inscription.This is the Eastern Gupta alphabet offshoot of the brahmi script.This variety of the East India script developed into the Kutila script (6th to 9th century AD.The alphabet of the early Assam inscriptions initially resembles the Kutila script but by the 12th century some of the alphabets assumed shapes of what is known as proto-Assamese variety. Here one more evidance is Kalika puran which was compiled in Assamese during 9th-10th century from original sanskrit version.

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