The Indo-Aryan languages are spoken by at least 700 million people throughout India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldive Islands. They have a claim to great antiquity, with the earliest Vedic Sanskrit texts dating to the end of the second millennium B.C. With texts in Old Indo-Aryan, Middle Indo-Aryan and Modern Indo-Aryan, this language family supplies a historical documentation of language change over a longer period than any other subgroup of Indo-European.
This volume is divided into two main sections dealing with general matters and individual languages. Each chapter on the individual language covers the phonology and grammar (morphology and syntax) of the language and its writing system, and gives the historical background and information concerning the geography of the language and the number of its speakers.
'This carefully produced book is an important reference work. It contains ... a lot of information hard to find elsewhere, and the three indexes ... make this wealth of data easily accessible.' - Asko Parpola, University of Helsinki