01 June 2009

Urdu a model of future literary languages?

Urdu appears to be the end result of poets writing in mixed languages, as recounted in this passage:

"The poets of the Mughal period who wrote poetry in the mixed language of Persian and Hindi, which was spoken in and around Delhi, called it Naz'm-e-Rekh'ti or Naz'm-e-Rekh'ta, meaning a kind of verse (naz'm) written in a language with a mixture of two or more languages. Later on all forms of poetry written in this mixed language were called Rekh'ti and the language itself was referred to as Zabaan-e-Rekh'ti. The basis for using this mixed language was laid down by the poets of Zabaan-e-Rekh'ti, which got its patronage from the Mughal court and people in the high places.

"Therefore, we can conclude that Urdu as a literary language was a product of various practices in written poetry in the amalgamated languages, born out of a mixture of Persian, Arabic, and local Hindi of the Delhi region in the Mughal period."

Is it possible that, in the future, there will evolve a literary language from the mixed-language poetry currently being written by multilingual poets? History tends to repeat itself, and it might well repeat itself with a new literary language. The poets now usually marginalized or even met with derision by monolingual critics might very well be the pioneers to be cited by future historians of literature.

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