Indian languages, name for the languages of the Indian subcontinent; they are estimated to be more than 1,500 individual languages.
This multitude is divided into 15 main regional languages, most of which have more than 20 million speakers, and a number of smaller languages that are limited to retreat areas in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Bihar as well as some other language groups with a small number of speakers. The Indo-Aryan language family has the greatest distribution , to the v. a. Hindi, the Assamese language, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Oriya, Punjabi, Sindhi, Urdu, and Sinhala, which also have centuries of literary tradition. As a literary language, the ancient Indian Sanskrit is of great importance up to the present day. Vedic as the oldest form of the Indo-Aryan languages and – derived from it – Pali, the Prakrits (Magadhi, Ardhamagadhi, Maharashtri, Shauraseni) and the Apabhramsha are only survived in the literature and on inscriptions. Other Indo-Aryan languages on the Indian subcontinent are, since the 13th century also attested as literary languages, Braj Bhasha, Rajasthani, Avadhi and Maithili, further dialects such as Bhojpuri and Bundeli as well as the Pahari languages, mainly with Nepali.
The second largest language group are the Dravidian languages (Dravidas; today’s main distribution area: south of the 19th parallel). The peoples with Dravidian languages must have immigrated to India before the Indo-Europeans (around 3000 BC). The Dravidian languages include the North Dravidian remaining languages Brahui, Oraon and Malto, Central Dravidian with the regional language Telugu and the small languages Condi, Kui, Kuvi, Kolami, Naiki, Ollari, Gadba and Parji as well as South Dravidian with the regional languages Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada and the small languages Tulu, Kodagu, Kota and Toda. There are also well over 100 idioms that v. a. the Mundasprachen, the dardischen languages (in addition to the regional language Kashmiri the Kafirsprachen), the Iranian languages (with Pashto) and the Tibeto-Burman languages (Tibetan, Himalayan languages assam Burmese languages, Sino Tibetan languages) are attributable.
Indian scripts, collective name for all Indian scripts that are derived from the ancient Indian Brahmi script in the narrower sense.
In addition, there are special forms of limited local and only historical significance such as the still undeciphered script of the Indus culture (Indus script) and the Kharoshti script, derived from the Aramaic script of the Persian Empire (250 BC to around 400 AD), which like the Semitic scripts runs from right to left and only has symbols for consonants (vowels are indicated by the diacritical marks as in Indian scripts).
The Brahmi script seems to coincide with the Phoenician scripts of the 1st century BC. To be related to the Sanskrit phonetics: it runs from right to left; it has special symbols for bare and breathy consonants and differentiates between tenues and media; it denotes gutturals, palatals, cerebrals, dentals, labials, semi-vowels and sibilants. All characters stand for the respective consonant and the vowel “a” (e.g. ka, not k); There are separate vowel signs only for vowels in the initial position and after vowel; After consonants, vowels (except for “a”) are indicated by diacritical marks. This system is effective with only minor changes in the eight main scripts and a few special scripts in India and Bangladesh.
Of the later stages of development of the Brahmi system, the script of the Gupta empire (around 400 AD) is particularly important. Variants of it have spread to Central Asia. As Pali script, she designed the writing systems in Sri Lanka (Sinhala script), Burma (Myanmar) and Thailand. Also the old Javanese Kawischrift et al. historical Indonesian writings attest to their wide influence. In India the great scripts of the north go back to the Gupta script.
According to topb2bwebsites, the most important Indian script is the Devanagari script (or Nagari script), which has been in use in large areas of northern and central India since the 9th century. The southern font group, based more on wavy lines and ornaments, differs externally strongly from the northern, more acute-angled fonts, but its system is identical to them. Almost the same script is used for Telugu and Kannada. The Malayalam scripts and Tamil scripts are slightly similar, but the Tamil script has been simplified according to the consonant status (no signs for breathed consonants and for media).