Language Documentation in the Hindi Heartland


Bhojpuri-Hindi-English Lok Shabdakosh, Kendriya Hindi Sansthan, Agra

Hindi Lok Shabdakosh Pariyojana is an ambitious dictionary making project of Central Institute of Hindi, Agra (an autonomous institute of Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, New Delhi) for strengthening and enriching lexical resources of Hindi by conserving and documenting cultural and linguistic repertoire of 48 varieties of Hindi (based on the report ‘Language: India and States’, 1997, Census of India, 1991).The project is housed at Agra headquarters of Central Institute of Hindi.

The project aims to build modern trilingual dictionaries (Variety-Hindi-English) for each of these varieties of Hindi using state of the art techniques of lexicography. In addition to printed editions, to gain wider readership, project plans to publish these digital dictionaries on internet.

In order to achieve these goals, the project employs a tri-layered strategy for making the dictionaries:

  1. Data collection by field work in the language area using specially prepared elicitation questionnaires and from published sources
  2. Data entry on Indic computing enabled computers in Unicode using modern lexicographic and database software (Currently Flex and Lexique Pro of SIL, USA)
  3. Editing, proof-reading, translation  and publication

In the first phase of the project, the project is working on Bhojpuri (dictionary Published in 2009, see pic above), Braj Bhasha, Rajasthani (Marwari), Awadhi, Bundeli, Chattisgarhi, Malwi, Magahi, Kangari, Garhwali and Hariyanvi.

The project was started in the year 2007 under the dynamic leadership of eminent Hindi lexicographer Shri Arvind Kumar (editor and compiler of Hindi’s first thesauruses – Samantar Kosh), who was the chief editor of the project and now an advisor. Bhojpuri-Hindi-English Dictionary was edited with the help of Dr Rajendra Prasad Singh, Sasaram, Bihar (eminent Bhojpuri language expert).

Currently Brajbhasha-Hindi-English Dictionary and Rajasthani (Marwari)-English-Hindi Dictionary is being edited with the help of Dr Ramrajpal Dwivedi, Etah, Uttar Pradesh (famous grammarian and Brajbhasha Expert) and Dr Bhanwar Singh Samaur, Churu, Rajasthan (Eminent Marwari language expert) respectively.

The project has an in-house library of various published books, monographs, Newspapers, magazines and dictionaries of various Hindi varieties. There are around 200 titles currently on the shelf and this library is being constantly updated.

The Project has the following full time staff:

Lexicographers (Koshkarmi) – Dr Digvijay Sharama and Mr Suresh Chand Meena

Data Operators – Mr Rahul Devrani and Mr Girdhar Singh

Project I/c and Coordinating Editor: Mr Abhishek Avtans

The project aims to bring forth the vast linguistic wealth of these varieties of Hindi for general public, Hindi lovers and researches around the globe.

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