The Middle Indo-Aryan
) languages are the early medieval dialects of the Indo-Aryan languages
, the descendants of the Old Indo-Aryan dialects such as Sanskrit
, and the predecessors of the late medieval languages such as Apabhramsha
, which eventually evolved into the contemporary Indo-Aryan languages, including Hindustani
, and Punjabi
. The term Prakrit
is also often applied to these languages (prakrita
literally means "natural" as opposed to sanskrita
, which literally means "constructed" or "refined"). Modern scholars such as Shapiro follow this classification by including all Middle Indo-Aryan languages under the rubric of "Prakrits", while others emphasise the independent development of these languages, often separated from the Sanskrit by social and geographic differences.Shapiro, Michael C. Hindi.
<u>Facts about the world's languages: An encyclopedia of the world's major languages, past and present.</u> Ed. Jane Garry, and Carl Rubino: New England Publishing Associates, 2001..
The Indo-Aryan languages
are commonly assigned to three major groups - Old, Middle and New Indo-Aryan -, a linguistic and not strictly chronological classification, since Classical Sanskrit
co-existed with Middle Indic vernaculars. And a number of their morphophonological and lexical features betray the fact that they are not direct continuations of Sanskrit
,... Read More