Lexicography in India
Part 1:Dictionary Making in Indian Languages: Survery and Prospects

Lexicography in Assamese

Maheswar Neog

            The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines a dictionary as “a book of listing words of a language, with their meanings in the same or another language, usually in alphabetical order, often with data regarding pronunciation origin and usage.” In this sense no dictionary of the Assamese language, as of any other Modern Indian language, was compiled before the advent of the English and other European peoples and languages. The first Assamese dictionary to have been printed and published is : A Dictionary in Assamese and English (assamiya aru ingraji abhidhan) compiled by M. Bronson, an American Baptist Missionary and published by the American Baptist Mission Press, Sibsagor in 1867.

            Bronson acknowledges his debt to Reverend Nathan Brown “for a valuable list of words, and definitions partly given all in the vernacular. Rev. whiting also printed a list of words as far as the letter without definitions” : We have seen neither of these “lists” but it is important to note that Bronson calls neither one a dictionary in his “first dictionary of the language ever published “. We, however, have this information that Jaduram Deka Baruva, whom Bronson terms “a learned Assamese Pundit” wrote the first ever Assamese dictionary, and handed it over to a British official, who showed it off to the American Baptists in Assam. But the later history of the work remains unknown. It can perhaps be believed that Bronson was familiar with Jaduram’s “dictionary”, which, however, he does not mention. What he mentions is very significant : “The system of Orthography adopted in this work, is that Joduran Borua, a learned Assamese Pandit, which it is believed much better corresponds with the actual pronunciation of the people than any other system met with”, This is perhaps a reference to Jadhuram’s lexicography.

            Bronson’s system of orthography in his dictionary was framed and dictated by the Baptist’s monthly journal Orunodoi (1846), which wanted the written form wrodfos strictly to “correspond with the actual pronunciation of the people“. The biggest advocate of this system was Rev. Brown, who argued in its favour in the journal against the criticism of Assamese writers like Hemachandra Barua and was supported by the Assamese Christian, Nidhi Levi Farwell. In his Grammatical Notices of the Assamese Language (1848) Brown upheld the same principles. But long before the publication of Bronson’s dictionary (1867) the Orunodoi gave up these principles and adopted Hemachandra Barua’s as we see from the monthly’s 1861 volume; and when the third edition of Brown’s Grammatical Notices was brought out by P.H. Moore (Nowgong, Assam, October 1892), it was thoroughly revised and Brown’s own principles were superseded. Moore says in the Preface, “Certain changes have been made in the spelling, to conform to current usage. The system of spelling, which Dr. Brown said in favour of that system. As the letters discarded by Dr. Brown are now required in the modern spelling, the complete Bengali Alphabet is given instead of an abridged one”.

Brown dropped the long vowels (ī, ū) and their symbols as unnatural in Assamese and avoided r-kara and p-kara altogether, substituting for them. He retained only one------------------------------- for the three sibilants, and of s he remarked “A very prominent characteristic of this language is the pronunciation of the Sanskrit letter, and like the gutural h or kh, corresponding with the Greek X; a sound unknown in Bengali.”

Bronson says in his Preface, “In the fourteen thousand words here collected, will be found many in daily use by the people, that no Bengali scholar will understand. Many of these words have been written as they dropped from the lips of the people. While I have thus endeavoured to give the spoken language, I have also inserted the more common Sanskrit words that are used in the Puthis, and therefore known to the people.These words are also used in our school books, and scripture translation. But it should be borns in mind that they are often used in Assamese with a modified meaning, and a different pronunciation. “A few words are used with a slight difference of form and pronunciation”;

            The following comments of Bronson will be found interesting : i, ī “ “These two vowels are used indiscriminately to express the sound of i, in/pique;pin, pity. The Assamese language knows no distinction between them except what is produced by accent, to which the Sanskrit and Bengali distinction of long and short denoted by those two characters have no reference. Hence for all practical purposes the first character only need be retained:”

u, ū “They indiscriminately used in Assamese to represent the sound of u in rule or oo in poor. Hence the first only need be retained r, r”,, Ç : “These four compounds of r, l, and i, used in the Sanskrit and Bengali, are seldom used in writing Assamese”

            ch : This letter is properly an aspirate of hte preceding letter, s and as used in the Bangali and Sanskrit alphabets may be represented by the English letter chh; but in Assamese both forms of the letter are pronounced like simple s. Therefore for all practical purposes the first form only need be retained”

            y : “ In Assamese this letter is usually pronounced like the soft or .....................or french j, and should therefore be written, but when written with a dot underneath thus it becomes y

            s, s, ś : “The pronunciation of these three letters being one and the same in Assamese, the latter character h, need only be used. When combined with another consonant it has the sound s, as

-------------------- hastra, scripture; ------------hishyo disciple”

            ks, “This Sanskrit compound is composed of k, and sh, but it pronounced ‘ khy, an in Assamese is often softened to kh, as in the word akhyor, a letter; Assamese akhor, or aikhor. Hence this compound character is unnecessary in writing Assamese.”

            The dictionary is based on these principles. There are in it no words beginning with long ī, ū, ¤ r̄̄ l ,Ç, ch, y, s â and ks. In medial positions the palatal t, th,d,h, n are not uniformly used and sometime even in tatsama words their place is taken by the dental series. Bronson did not provide any note regarding the origin of the words.

            Hemachandra Barua, who was presented by Bronson personally with a copy of the dictionary, was absolutely revolted by this system. He expressed himself against Bronson’s work in the strongest terms. “Its orthography is absolutely wrong and as even in the matter of meanings it does not come to the desirable, it is of an will be of no use the learners of Assamese”. Barua had already fought and won the battle against the Baptists, and now set to make a new dictionary. The result was Hemakosha or an Etymological Dictionary of the Assamese language, which had Webster as its model and took help from Wilson’s Sanskrit-English, Thompson’s Hindi and Urdu-English, and Carey’s Bengali-English dictionaries. He set once and for all the spelling and grammar of the Assamese language through this dictionary, its abridged form, Parnasaliya Abhidhan (1828 Śaka/1906 A.D.), and his two grammars, the first of which was published through the Baptists in 1781 Śaka/1859 A.D.

            The following words will show the standard obtaining in Bronson and Hemachandra :

akathaniya, unspeakable, beyond expression akathaniya
akarja bhagi, worthless akajabhagi
akirti, without renown, infamous akīrtti, infamy
akripa, hardheartedness akrpā
agyan, ignorant ajñān
acardha, disregard aśraddhā
ajirna, indigestion ajīrn*a
atripti, unsatisfied atr,pti, instiableness
adrisya, invisible adr,śya
adhauriya, impatience adhairyya
anicai, uncertain aniścay
antarikhya, the sky antariks*a
aparhua, illiterate apadhuwa
ica, desire icchā
jakhar, saltpetre ya’khar
sastriya, sriptural śāstrīya

Bronson adheres to the form actually obtaining with the speaker, while very often Hemachandra neglects it and tries to make the words conform to the original Sanskrit to the extent of utter is regard for the medial stages of Middle Indo-Aryan through which the word has come.  The Assamese language, therefore, did not take the course the Baptist writers like Brown and Bronson wanted it to take, and was soon reclaimed to Sanskrit standards even though not always on a sound basis.

Parhasaliva Abhidhan was published ten years after his death, in 1906, and reprinted twice in 1912 and 1924 by his family.  The Hemakosha was edited by Capt.   P.R.T. Gurdon and Hemachandra Goswami and published by the Assam Administration in 1900, as the author himself could not dare risk his life’s savings during his life time.  This dictionary has since set the pace for the language. The work was later “revised” and “edited” by less able hands, and has thus come to have a lesser value. Hemachandra was not very scientific in his etymological notes, while he did not exploit old Assamese literature for sources of his words or their history.  The number of words in this beautiful work is 22,346. Meanings were given in Assamese and English.

Encouraged by an endowment made by Radhakanta Handiqui , Assam Sahitya Sabha set in September 1924 to make a new dictionary and employed three person to collect words from current use and old writings. The donor himself contributed a number of words particularly as used in the buranjis or old Assamese chronicles. The meanings of words in Assamese and English were newly written.  and fresh attempts were made to trace the origin of the words. The result, Chandrakanta Abhidhan, with 36,819 words, was published in 1933 with an Introduction by Devananda Bharati, a pioneer linguist, and a Preface by the Sabha’s General Secretary Deveswar Chaliha.  Very soon a mass of criticism of the work cropped up and at one time the Sabha contemplated the issue of a supplementary with exhaustive corrigenda; but his was not done.

In the meantime a scientific work on the language appeared in the form of Banikanta Kakati’s Ph.D. thesis (Calcutta University), Assamese : Its Formation and Development, and revolutionized people’s idea about the history of the Assamese language. After the death of Radhakanta Hanidqui in 1952, his son, Professor Krishakanta Handiqui, the then Vice-Chancellor of Gauhati University made a magnificent donation to the University for revison and publication of the second edition of Chandrakanta Abhidhan (1962).  The etymology and meanings of words were revised in the light of Kakati’s work, and new words were added, the total coming up to about 40,000. But some confusion crept up in the course of preparation of the press copy and seeing the work through the press and the result was not up to anybody’s expectation. Work on the third edition is now on, with Maheswar Neog as chief Editor and Upendranath Goswami as Editor. This Abhidhan is an all-purpose one, embracing Old and Modern Assamese, giving etymology of words, and so on. The third edition is to contain glossaries of scientific and technical terminology also.

Giridhar Sarma’s Asamiya Abhidhan is a popular dictionary.  There are other attempts also at dictionary-making going on. The Publication Board of Assam, for example, is compiling a dictionary of Modern Assamese in a handy form without etymology and meanings in English.

The main problem in dictionary-making in Assamese is the want of man-power and equipment required as well as of material resources. The Lexicographer here is yet to supersede samuel Johnson’s definition of him as “a harmless drudge”. The work of a dictionary is the work of a team of workers which is not to be found easily in Assam . Chandrakanta Abhidhan, the largest dictionary in Assamese, still excludes a large number of words in current speech and literature, while words are being constantly added to the language. There is scarcely any possibility of coping with this work, in the prevailing circumstances.


Requirements and Priorities of Assamese Lexicography

G.C. Goswami

The following in a brief survey of dictionaries,their requirements and priorities in Assamese.

(i) Existing dictionaries

a)      Assamese-Assamese Dictionary, compiled by Rev. Bronson and published in 1867. This is the first Assamese dictionary published by a missionary more than one hundred years ago. This dictionary contains a very good collection of Assamese tadbhav words of everyday use. It is not available now and is rare work.

b)      Hema Kosa compiled by Hemachandra Barua and published in 1900 A.D. This is the second Assamese English dictionary. Since its first publication, it has undergone four editions.

c)      Chandrakanta Abhidhana is another very good Assamese-Assamese-English dictionary compiled and published by the Asom Sahitya Sabha in 1932. Its second revised/edition was published by the Gauhati University in 1962. The third revised edition being brought out by the Asom Sahitya Sabha is now in press. This may be regarded as the only reliable and authoritative, though not exhaustive, dictionary of the language published so far.

d)     Anglo-Assamese Pronouncing Dictionary by B.N. Bhattacharya is a good and reliable English-Assamese dictionary.’ However, it cannot be regarded as comprehensive.

e)      Anglo-Assamese Dictionary by G.D. Sharma is a handy dictionary primarily intended for students and has undergone several editions. Besides these, there are a few pocket Anglo-Assamese dictionaries available in the market.

(ii) Dictionaries under preparation :

      The Assam Publication Board and the Dutta Barua and Co., have been compiling two Assamese and Assamese to English dictionaries separately which are expected to be good in quality.

(iii) Needs of various types of dictionaries etc : Priorities for Assamese :

      From the above it is quite evident that Assamese lacks in all these dictionaries : scientific and technical, commercial, scholarly and comprehensive, etc.

a)      The first an foremost need is a comprehensive dictionary of the Assamese spoken in every nook and corner of the Assamese speaking area.

      Such a dictionary of any Indian language should strive to be as comprehensive and exhaustive as possible in two respects : (i) synchronically, it should record all words and forms spoken and available at the present time and also used in the present day literature; the words being recorded in all their dialectical variants; and (ii) historically, it should contain all words and form available in the recorded literature of the early periods of the language.

      Many of the words and forms in different dialect areas are now fast dying out in Assamese (probably this is the case in many other Indian languages) either yielding place to borrowed words from other languages or those of the standard dialect. All efforts should be made to collect and preserve them before they are completely lost. This is necessary not only for the Assamese language but also for the historical and comparative study and for reconstruction of the history of the Indo-Aryan languages of India. Besides, Assamese has been exposed, perhaps to a greater extent than other languages, to the influences of many non-Aryan languages belonging to different language families. And therefore, proper evaluation of these languages and dialects will be possible only with comprehensive dictionaries done properly on all the languages of the country. And I am sure the CILL will do a signal service if it can, in anyway, assist in compiling such dictionaries at least in the major languages.

      I produced a scheme for such a comprehensive dictionary of the Assamese language some years ago but it still remains in the file for want of sponsoring authorities.

b)      Another urgent need in Assamese is a multilingual Assamese dictionary, - multilingual not with outside or foreign languages but with languages spoken by the major tribal linguistic groups such as Bodo-Kachari, Gaor, Khasi, Lushai, etc. There may be one or more than one such multilingual dictionaries with Assamese as the common language.There are very few dictionaries in the tribal languages; and there is no multilingual dictionary at all at present. Linguistic consciousness is growing among the tribal people and preparation and publication of such multilingual dictionaries will certainly go a long way in achieving emotional integration in this most sensitive border state of the country.

c)      Medical and other scientific and technical dictionaries are of primary necessity in every major regional language of the country for smooth and easy change over of the medium of instruction to the regional languages. There is no such dictionary of any subject in Assamese at present.

d)      Like other regional languages, technical terminologies are being prepared in Assamese also, Sanskrit has been accepted as the reservoir to draw upon words and forms in coining new terms. Therefore a good Sanskrit to Assamese dictionary is also necessary and as I understand the Gauhati University Coordination Committee for Text-book Production is engaged in the compilation of such a dictionary.

(iv) A general priority :

      At this head I want to say something about the necessity of a comprehensive comparative dictionary of the Indo-Aryan languages. The need for such a dictionary of the Dravidian languages/should also be examined (Emeneau’s dictionary will serve as the basis for this)

      R.L. Turner’s recently completed Comparative Dictionary of the Indo-Aryan Languages is, and will always remain, a monumental work done by a single hand. A comparative dictionary like this demands superhuman efforts and a very long life from a single individual and fortunately for us the industrious and learned compiler had been endowed with both these gifts by God. We Indians are deeply indebted to the author for this and other lasting contributions in the field or Indo-Aryan languages and linguistics.

      Now that we have got a very good work in hand we may take this dictionary as the basis and try to make it as comprehensive and exhaustive as possible. I feel the necessity of supplementing it because of the fact that although quite a large number of Assamese cognates have been cited in the dictionary a sizeable amount of words have also been shown without Assamese cognates are lacking for these words, but my preliminary observation shows that most of the head words shown without Assamese cognates really have such cognates. I don’t know if it is true in the case of the other languages, but probably it may be.

      I feel that the urgency and priority of supplementing and making Turner’s dictionary as exhaustive as possible for all the Indo-Aryan languages for comparative and historical linguistics in Indo-Aryan can never be overemphasized. The work may be taken up, perhaps, after preparation of comprehensive dictionaries in the languages in which such dictionaries are at present lacking.

(v) Availability of man-power etc :

      In Assam there will be a great dearth of technically qualified persons for compilation of dictionaries. However, there are quite a few college and university teachers who have received some training in linguistics in various schools and seminars. There are at least four teachers who received their doctorate degrees in linguistics and philology. Services of these persons as also of those of the M.A.s in Assamese B group may be utilized for the purpose.

(vi) For purpose of increasing qualified man power potential :

a) A training programme of three to four months may be organized at a suitable place.

b) Arrangement may also be made to conduct some courses on lexicography in the schools of linguistics.


A Survey of Bengali Dictionaries

Kamini Kumar Ray

      To be able to know a country intimately, it is necessary to understand its language. The chief ingredient of a language is its words. These words are scattered in the country’s literature, in he various books and scripts, in the colloquial speech of the people and in the ceremonies and institutions. The lexicographer who collects these words throughout his life by silent labour keeps them in an orderly fashion in his treasure-house-dictionary. His contemporaries as also his successors may unlock that treasure-house and see in the mirror of those words their own reflections and thus know each other more perfectly.

      A dictionary, is “A book dealing with the individual words of a language (or certain specified classes of them), so as to setforth their orthography, pronunciation, signification and use, their synonyms and history, or at least some of these facts: words are arranged alphabetically, etc . . . By extension: it is a book of information or reference on any subject or branch of knowledge, the items of which are arranged in alphabetical order....” (Oxford English Dictionary)

      From various available sources we come to know that there exist dictionaries of almost all the developed languages of India. But none of these are complete or perfect. We have a great deal to do in this field. I shall try here to give a short account of what has up till now been done in the field of Bengali dictionary making.

      In Bengali some 300 dictionaries or dictionary-like works have been written or published up to this date. In some of these dictionaries (which are unlingual meanings of the Bengali words are given in the Bengali language itself. In some others (which are bilingual) Bengali words are treated and illustrated in a language other than Bengali (sometimes in two or more languages) and vice versa. Today, most of these dictionaries are out of print. IF some of them still do exist, they are beyond the reach of ordinary people.

      In Bengal, work on language dictionaries was first started by some European scholars. (Vocabularies Em Idioma Bengalla Portuguez compiled by Manoel Da Assumpcan, a Portugese Missionary, is the first bilingual dictionary in Bengali and Portugese. It was published in Roman script in 1743 in Lisbon. Next we may mention the name of (Ingaraji O Vangali Vokebilari compiled by Upjohn (?) ‘to teach the natives English and to assist beginners in learning the Bengali language’. It came out in 1793 from the Chronicle Press, Calcutta. It is probably the first dictionary in which Bengali characterize were first used in printing Bengali words. Henry Pitts Forter’s dictionary is also worth mentioning here. Its first volume (English-Bengali) was published in 1799 and the second volume (Bengali-English) in 1802.

      William carey’s A Dictionary of the Bengali language (Bengali-English) came out in 1815-25 after he worked on it for 30 years. It contains 80,000 words in two volumes. In it, the words are traced to their origin and their various meanings are given.

      Carey’s word was superseded by Graves Chamney Haughton’s ‘Dictionary-Bengali and Sanskrit explained in English and adopted for students for either language’. It was published from London in 1833.

      In the field of dictionary making by European Scholars we may further mention the works of William Yates, John Mendies, Rev. William Morton, John C. Marshman, J.D. Pearson, P.Ś.D’. Rozario, Lavandier, J. Sykes, John Robinson, H.H. Wilson and others.

      Bengali scholars have no lagged behind in such endeavours. They also showed much zeal and enthusiasm in compiling dictionaries, in writing books and in translating foreign literatures in Bengali.

      Among the Bangalis, Mohanprasad Thakur was the first to compile an English-Bengali dictionary (1810) for the use of students. In his book words have been arranged under different categories (not alphabetically), viz. of Gods, of Spirits, of diseases, etc. In the field of Bengali-English dictionary making, the name of Tarachand Chakravarti also deserves mention here.

      In 1809 (c) Pitambar Mukerjea of Uttarpara published a dictionary by the name of śabda Sindhu or meanings in Bengali of the Amara Kosh, a Sanskrit Lexicon-Long. Haladhar Nyayaratna’s book Vangabhidhana came out in 1839. In it 6264 Sanskrit words current in Bengali were treated.

      Many are of opinion that Ramchandra Vidyavagish was the first Bengali to compile a unilingual Bengali-Bengali dictionary. The first edition his Banga-bhā s ābhidhāna was published in 1817. Its second edition came out in 1820 and the last edition in 1853.

      Ramkamal Sen’s English-Bengali Dictionary came out in 1834 in two volumes. It was “a work of great research, the result of 15 year’s labour, containing the meanings in Bengali of 58,000 English words” – Long. U.C. Addy’s “Dictionary of the English language with English definitions and a Bengali interpretation compiled from European and native authorities” was published in 1854.

      Of the bilingual (English-Bengali) dictionaries compiled by authors Charuchandra Guha’s Modern Anglo-Bengali Dictionary in 3 volumes is by far the best and biggest.

      In 1866 Ramkamal Vidyalankar compiled his Prakritivad Abhidnan – “a dictionary of the Bengali language, containing all the words in use, whether Bengali or Sanskrit, with their derivations and explanations”. Its sixth edition (by Sarachandra Sastri) came out in 1911. Many other great enthusiasts and lovers of Bengali language have also worked in the field of dictionary making. Yogeshchandra Ray Vidyanidhi’s Bangala Sabdakosh dealing mostly with tatbhava words and grammar was published in 1913 by the Bangiya Sahitya Parisad.

      Bangala Bhscar Abhidhan (2nd edition, 1937) by Jnanendramohan Das and Bangiya Sabdakosh (2nd edition, 1969) by Haricharan Bandyopadhyay are two of the biggest Bengali unilingual dictionaries. Subalchandra Mitra’s Adarsa Bangala Abhidhan is also worth mention, Chalantika by Rajsekhar Basu is very handy and ushers in a new era in dictionary-making in many ways.

      There exist some lexicons dealing with the Arabic and Persian words as used in the Bengali language and literature. The names of Sabdakalpa Tarangini by Jagannathprasad Mallik, Parsik Abhidhan by Jaygopal Taralankar Persian and Bengali Dictionary by Nilkamal Mustaphi may be mentioned here. These books were published in 1838. Bangla Sahitye Arbi O Pharsi Sabda by Harendrachandra Paul has been published very recently by the Dacca University. Here the words are traced to their origin and illustrations given.

      Calcutta University has moved farther in the field. They have published a dictionary – Dictionary of Foreign Words in Bengali compiled by Gobindlal Bonnerjee and revised and enlarged by Jitendr Bonnerjee. It deals with words not only of Arabic and Persian origin, but also of many other foreign languages used in Bengali. Only those words and names imported verbatim into the language, have been omitted.

      We have also two Dialect Dictionaries – (1) Laukik Sabdakosh in two volumes compiled by this humble author single-handed and (2) Purva Pakistani Anchalik Bhasa Abhidhan published by the Bangla Akademi, Dacca. In my opinion the synonyms of the words found in the different dialects of Bengali and at times also homonyms, have been given and they are traced to their origin. The dialects in which the synonyms and homonyms occur have also been indicated. The culture-words of importance have also been discussed. Words have been arranged alphabetically under different categories, viz., House and Home, Domestic Articles, Animals, Agriculture, Rites and Ceremonies and so on.

      We come to know of many other types of dictionaries, such as Bangla-Marathikosh by Vasudeva Govinda Apte. It is a Bengali-Marathi dictionary in Nagari script.

      There are also ‘Hindi-Bangla Josh’ by Sarma Isvariprasad and ‘Bangla-Hindi Sabdakosh’ by Gopalchandra Chakravarti published in 1915 and in 1958 respectively. These dictionaries, however, seem practically insignificant when measured up against “Hindi Sabda-Sagar” containing 3999 pages in seven volumes and published by the Nagari Pracharini Sabha; Kashi. We have also a ‘Banglarus Abhidhan’ in Bengali in Roman script. It was compiled by E.M. Bikova and others and published in 1957.

      Apart from the dictionaries already mentioned, there have been many specific subject dictionaries in Bengali. Some of these are no more available.

      In 1882 Mahendra Nath Ghosal compiled ‘Ayurvedokta Dravyagunabhidhan’. Two other books of this type ‘Ayurveda Bhasabhidha’ by Haralal Gupta and ‘Ayurvediya Dravyabhidhan’ by Saratchandra Sil were compiled in 1888 and 1918 respectively. All these books contain Bengali expositions of the medical terms prevalent in Ayurveda.

      Then there is ‘Yantrakos’ (1875) by Sourindra Mohan Thakur. It is a treasury of Indian and foreign musical instruments.

      Biographical dictionaries of different are in abundant in Bengali. I shall give the names of some of them only : ‘Bangla Bhasar Lekhak’ (1904) by Harimohan Mukhopadhyaya and ‘Bangiya Sahitya Sevak’ (1906) by Sivratan Mitra, - these two books give biographical accounts of most of the eminent writers in Bengali literature. Amulyadhan Ray Bhatta’s ‘Vrihat Sri Vaisnava Charita’ (1925) is a biographical dictionary of the renowned Vaisnava Mahajanas. ‘Pauranik Abhidhan’ (1958) by Sudhirchandra Sarkar is a mythological dictionary dealing with the words and names occurring in the Scared Scripures of ancient India. ‘Gaudiya-Vaisnava Abhidhan’ (1956-57) in two volumes, compiled by Haridas Das, is also worth mentioning.It deals with the religious terms of the Gaudiya Vaisnava sect.

      We have also ‘Bhaugolik Abhidhan’ by Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyaya, published in 1957. It gives geographical accounts in brief of the important place names of the world.

      ‘Bankim Abhidan’ (1969) by Asoke Kundu deals with the peculiar words and names occurring in the writings of the great novelist Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya. ‘Rabindra Sabdakosh’ by Birendranath Biswas is another such book dealing with words used by Rabindranath in his writings. ‘Rabindra Sahityer Abhidan (1961) by Hirendranath Ghosal is a bibliography of the works by and on Rabindranath.

      A number of booklets on different scientific terminologies have been published by the University of Calcutta. One of them published in 1960, is a glossary of almost all subjects related to science.

      ‘Sarkari Karye Vyavaharaya Paribhasa’ – terminology to be used in Public Services has been published by the Terminological Committee, Government of West Bengal. There the words are arranged in three languages-English, Bengali and Hindi. Another polyglot dictionary named ‘Chikitsakos’ by Prasad Kumar Mukherji was published as far back as in 1894. In it medical terms are dealt with in English, Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit and some other languages.

      In this age when integration is the talk of the day, usefulness of polyglot dictionaries cannot be overemphasized. Now-a-days attempts are also being made to coin native equivalents of English words. And so far as coining of such equivalents is concerned, the thing that should be uppermost in mind is national unity and integrity.

      In India a facade of unity in administration had all along been maintained.This had been so under the rule of the Hindus, the Muslims and the English. Whatever be the national language, attempts should be made to strike a balance of unity as regards these words connected with administration, science and some othermatters.

      I have just given a short account of the work done in connection with dictionary-making in my region. From the bibliography published by the National Library, Calcutta in 1964, we can have the details of most of the dictionaries and encyclopedias in different Indian languages.  Another bibliography viz. ‘Bangla Abhidan Granthus Parichay (17433-1867) by Jatindra Mohan Bhattacharya, published by CalcuttaUniversity in 1970, gives detailed information about Bengali dictionaries exclusively.

      It is only natural that in a language dictionary such words as are mainly used in the language should be incorporated. Each of the Indian languages has borrowed many words from Sanskrit. In some cases, these words have been taken unchanged; in some other, they have enriched the native vocabulary by assuming new shapes. Besides, each day, as a result of increasing contact with the outside world, new words are coming in. In newspapers new coinages are constantly being made by powerful writers to express new ideas. These words, though new, cannot be ignored by a language dictionary. The lexicographer should move in the past as well as in the present. Both the present world and the moving panorama of life must be equally important to him for collection of materials. Also there is no reason whatsoever to retain such Sanskrit words in a language dictionary as are unusable. For such Sanskrit words, we must as well consult a Sanskrit dictionary.

      The words used in old and in mediaeval literatures may not serve the purpose today; but such words have a place in a language dictionary, for otherwise, we shall not be in position to acquaint ourselves with the literature of the old and mediaeval periods; we shall lose contact with our tradition.

      In recent times, as a result of the endeavours of enthusiasts, hundreds of unprinted ancient manuscripts are coming to light in every region and language area. The printed books are not the last word in the field of our thought and learning. We should therefore delve deep into the mines of these unprinted manuscripts and collect new words from them. For want of suitable dictionaries the reader finds it difficult to appreciate fully the writings of many authors of the past and also of the present time. I have already mentioned that preparations for making dictionaries of words used by Rabindranath Tagore are well under way. It is time that there should be an elaborate discussion of the peculiar forms and uses of words made by eminent writers of different languages.

      I would also like to mention something about my own sphere, i.e., dialect dictionaries. Words form the most vital materials in so far as building the edifice of language is concerned. This body of words may be divided into colloquial words and literary words.The words that people ordinarily use amongst themselves in speech are colloquial; and the words that are used in serious books ‘literary’ words, not commonly employed to ordinary speech. These two separate streams of words together have formed the river of language which has been flowing since time immemorial. But in our languauge dictionaries, in many cases, the words that are considered ‘chaste’ and are used in books, are given importance. The every day language of the ordinary people, - their colloquialism is almost ignored. As a result, in these dictionaries, we do not get the words that are nearest to our heart, to our history, to our tradition.

      Now-a-days authors of distinction are using the colloquial words in a greater number than before. But the words used in the language of the common man are not the same in all the regions. The difference is not only in words; but also in pronunciations, in the forms of things meant by the words and in use. It is not also possible for one to collect all such words with their regional variations and meanings. And unless these are collected, a language dictionary remains incomplete. The usefulness of writing a dialect dictionary by collecting the colloquial words from various regions of Bengal has long been felt.But work in this respect has not yet progressed far in a systematic method. There have been many who, according to their own pleasure, published collection of words of certain regions in different periodicals. The name of the Bangiya Sahitya Parisat Patrika deserves special mention in this respect, At the very beginning of this century. Rabindra Nath Tagore in his ‘Sabdatattva’ and in many other writings made his countrymen aware of this necessity. In the preface of my ‘Laukik Sabdakosh’ (dialect dictionary), published recently I have given a broad survey of work done in this field.

      To collect words in rural areas is an uphill task. The same word has different connotations in different regions. As I have already stated, such difference is not in connotations only. The same thing is known by different names in different parts of the same state speaking the same language. In collecting words all these facts have to be constantly kept in mind. As for myself I have been working single-handed in my region, i.e., in Bengal (West Bengal and East Bengal1) for the last 30 years and have collected some 25,300 dialect words from various sources of which about 10,000 words have been published in Laukik Sabdakosh Vol. I, and another 15,000 words arranged subject wise and in an alphabetical order with their etymological meanings etc., are awaiting publication. 2 But such a work in any language can never be completed by one man single-handed. For accomplishment of this task is needed concerted and united effort of many, and also the patronage of the Government of an institution. The Government of Bangla Desh has been spending huge amounts in this endeavor. Their dialect dictionary named “Purva Pakistani Anchalik Bhasar Abhidhan” has already been published by the Bangla Akademi, Dacca. But it is to be noted that their work is limited to only 19 districts of East Pakistan. This may not satisfy us and we have got to act in our own way. The thing that should be uppermost in mind is national unity and integrity.

1Now Bangla Desh

2 This second volume has been published since.
The author has also been admitted to the D.Phil (Arts)
Degree of University for his ‘Laukik Sabdakosh’.


A Brief Survey of Dictionary –Making in Gujarat

A.S. Nagar

कोशस्यैव महीपाना कोशत्य विदुषामपि
उपयोगो महान् यस्मात् क्लेशस्तेन विना भवेत्

It has been correctly said that what the exchequer is to a king, a lexicon is to the scholar.  When any dialect develops into a language it becomes necessary to prepare on the one hand a grammar of the language and on the other a dictionary in order to standardize its form and structure.

            The eleventh century A.D. marks the evolution of the Gujarati language from Prakrit and Apabhramsha. This language was spoken over a large tract of western Rajasthan and the former Bombay Presidency, a region now known as Gujarati was the language originally used by the greater portion of the native mercantile community in particular.

Dictionary-making in this region started under the patronage of Gujarat kings Jaysimha and Kumarpala. Under their kind patronage the famous Jain scholar Hemacandracaraya (1088-1175 A.D.) compiled the following four lexicons :

1.            Abhidhanā Chintāmani
2.            Anekārtha Samgraha
3.            Nighantuśesa
4.            Deśīnāmmālā

These are the earliest lexicons available in Gujarati. After that we come across ‘Auktiks viz, Balshikha Auktik (1336 A.D.) and Mugdhavabodh Auktik (1450 A.D.) These works are combinations of grammar and lexicon and the two Auktiks mentioned above are the earliest specimens of their type in Gujarat.

Modern dictionary making in Gujarat standard in the beginning of 19th century under the influence of English, Marathi and Bengali Dictionaries. The earlier Gujarati lexicographers were interested in bi-lingual rather than uni-lingual dictionaries for two reasons. First, as Mirza Cauzim explains in the Preface to Gujarati-English Dictionary published in 1846 A.D., Gujarati was the “grand commercial language of Western and Central India” and therefore it was necessary to facilitate its study by outsiders. Secondly, as the Gujaratis themselves had mercantile contacts with other parts of the country and the world, it was considered useful to give assistance to native speakers who wished to acquaint themselves with English or other Indian languages such as Urdu, Hindi and Marathi etc. These objectives could be attained through the use of bilingual lexicons.

It would not be possible be survey all dictionaries in this brief paper. I have come across more than 46 dictionaries which are available. A list of them is attached herewith in the appendix. I would therefore like to devote myself to a classification and evaluation of some of the standard works available in this area.

The available lexicons can be classified as under :

1. Bilingual dictionaries

2. Monolingual dictionaries

3. Multilingual dictionaries

Bilingual Dictionaries

            It appears quite strange that monolingual dictionaries came into existence much later. First of all lexicographers devoted themselves to the making of bilingual dictionaries.  The first attempt in this direction was made by Drummond in his ‘Glossary’ 160 years ago. The glossary consists of only 463 Gujarati words and their English equivalents. Since then nearly two dozen Gujarati-English and English-Gujarati Dictionaries have been made upto this time. The Modern gujarati-English Dictionary prepared by Bhanusukhram of Baroda and his son Bharatram in 1925 consisted of above 51,595 words. Some other attempts have also been made in this direction recently but no standard, authentic and up-to-date English-Gujarat or Gujarati-English Dictionary is available at present.

            Besides Gujarati-English dictionaries, there have been attempts to prepare bilingual lexicons giving the meanings in Gujarat of Sanskrit, Persian, Urdu and Hindi words.  These attempts, however, are of a preliminary nature, and much remains to be done in this field.

Monolingual Dictionaries

            The attempts of Gujarati lexicographers in the area of  monolingual dictionaries are quite satisfactory. The first Gujarat to Gujarati Dictionary is called “Narmakosh” (1873) compiled by the famous poet Narmadashankar Lalshanker of Surat, which contains 25,268 words. The next significant Gujarati lexicon to be produced was “Sartha Gujarati Jodnikosh” compiled under the patronage of Mahatma Gandhi and published by Gujarat Vidyapith (1929). The latest edition of this work contains 75,000 words. This is standard and popular dictionary of the Gujarati language.

            The next milestone in Gujarati Lexicography is ‘Bhagwad Gomandal’ (1955).  This s a unique lexicon which can be called an encyclopedic dictionary of the Gujarati language and it represents the high-mark of achievement in Gujarati language and it represents the high-mark of achievement in Gujarati lexicography. This work done under the kind and generous patronage of H.H. Sir Bhagvat Singhji of Gondal (Saurashtra). This is a dictionary of about 2,00,000 words in/nine big volumes.  This lexicon does not merely contain a large number of classical and Deshya words with their etymology and meaning, it also contains many forgotten historical facts and other data definite value to the cause of knowledge.

Multilingual Lexicons

Multilingual Lexicons are a necessity in modern times. Attempts are being made now in this direction. But there is a rare and unparalled lexicon already available in Gujarat.

            It was half a century ago when H.H. Sir Sayaji Rao Gaikwad launched a project to prepare a Multilingual lexicon utilizing eight language viz. English, Gujarati, Marathi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Persian, Hindi and Bengali. This is a popular vernacular legal lexicon named ‘Shri Sayaji Shashan Kalpataru’ (1931).

            This is a unique work of its type. While undertaking this project Sri Sayaji Rao expressed his aim and object in these words : ‘It is the idea of Indians to have one common language for India and this is an humble effort towards that the fruit of this work will be relished in future’.

            In my opinion, Gujarati lexicographers have already achieved much room for further work in this field. The position, however, is different with regard to bilingual and multilingual lexicons. The crying need in our country is unity and integration. For this purpose we should encourage the study of as many languages as possible. Bilingual and multi-lingual dictionaries can play a very, important role in this respect. In Gujarat there is the imperative need for the compilation of up-to-date Gujarati-English English-Gujarati, Gujarati-Hindi and Hindi-Gujarati dictionaries.The production of such lexicons will contribute not only to the modernization of knowledge in various fields but also to the welding together of different language communities into an emotionally integrated unit.


List of Important Dictionaries Produced in Gujarat.


Details of Publication


1. Glossary (Gujarati-English)

1813 A.D.


2. Idiomatic Exercises Illustrative of the phraseology and Structure of English and Gujarati languages

1841 A.D. ( Bombay )


3. Gujarati-English Dictionary

1846 A.D.

Mirza Mohammad cauzim and Navroji Farmji

4. Glossary

1855 A.D. ( London )

H.H. Wilson

5. English-Gujarati Dictionary (8 vols.)

1857 A.D.

Ardeshar Farmjimus NanabhaiRustamji R

6. Gujarati-English Dictionary

1862 A.D.

Karsandas Mulji

7. Gujarati-English Dictionary


Shapurnji Adelji

8. Koshavali (13 vols.)

1865 A.D.

Hirachand Kanji

9. Shabd na mool

1868 A.D. (Ahmedabad)

Sayed Abdulla and Khimji Mulji

10. Sanskrit Tatha Gujarati Kosh

1871 A.D. ( Bombay )

Babarao Tatya raoji Ranjit & Shastri Shankerlal Maheswar

11. Pahelvi, Gujarati and English Shabd Kosh

1877 A.D. ( Bombay )

Jamsedji Dastur Meenachaherji

12. Gujarati Shabd Mool Darshan kosh

1879 A.D. (Bhuj)

Chhotalal sevakram

13. Apabhramsh Shabd Praksh

1880 a.d.

( Baroda )

Prabhakar Ramachaddra Pandit

14 Vyutpati Prakash

1881 A.D. ( Bombay )


15 Narmkosh

1861-1873 A.D. ( Rajkot )

Kalidas & Balkrishnadas Brijbhandas

16. Gujarati-English Dictionary

1885 A.D.

( Rajkot )

Kalidas & Balkrishnadas Brijbhandas

17. Gujarati Shabdarth Kosh

1886 A.d. (Sanand)


18. Gujarati Shabd Kosh


Lallubhai Goalbhai Patel

19. Gujarati English Kosh


Ukardabhai shivji Nensi

20. Gujarati-Gujarati and –English Dictionary

1874 A.D.( Bombay )


21. English-Gujarati Dictionary

1877 A.D.

Robert Montgomery & Ambalal Sakarlal Desai

22. Maha Kosh

1891 A.D.

( Baroda )


Kalyandas Gajjar

23. Shabdarth Bhed

1891 A.D.



24. Standard English-Gujarati Dictionary

1894 A.D.

Vyas & Patel

25. Gujarati-English Kosh

1895 A.D.

Malhar Bhikhaji Belsar

26 Laghu kosh Sabharath Sindhu

1895 a.D. ( Bombay )

H.G. Merchant

27. English-Gujarati Dictionary

1899 a.D.


28. Prantik Shabd Sangrah

1900 A.D. (Visnagar)

Govindbhai Hathibhai Desai

29. Sabda Chintamani

1900 A.D. ( Baroda )


30. Urdu mishra Gujarati kosh

1912 A.D. ( Baroda )

Syed Nizmuddin Nooruddin Husaini

31 Gujarati-Parsi-Arbi Shabdo no kosh

1926 A.D.

Amirminyan Hamduminya Faruki

32 Shabdartha

1929-30 A.D.

Girjashanker Mayashanker Mehta

33. Sartha Gujarati Jodni kosh

1929 A.D.

Gujarat Vidyapith Ahmedabad

34. Shabda Ratna Mahodadhi

1937 A.D

Munishri Muktivijayji

35. Ardhmagadhi kosh (5 parts)

1929-38 A.D ( Bombay & Indore )

Muni Ratna-chandraji

36. English-Gujarati Dictionary

1906 A.D.

B.C. Desai

37. English-Gujarati Dictionary


Lallubhai Gokulbhai Patel

38. Gujarathi Shabd kosh

1912-23 A.D.

Gujarat Varnacular Society

39. Hindi-Gujarati kosh

1924 A.D. ( Baroda )

Ganesh Dutta Sharma

40 Gujarati Shabdhartha Chintamini

1925 A.D.

Jivanlal Amarshi Mehta

41 Shri Sayaji Shashan Sabdet Kalpataru


Baroda State

42. Gujarati-English Dictionary

1925 A.D.

Bhanusukhram Bharatrm Mehta

43. Bhagvad Gomandal (9 vols.)


H.H. Bhagvadsinhji (Gondal)

44. Hindi-Gujarati Shabd kosh

1939 A.D.

Gujarat Vidyapith Ahmedabad

45. Gujarati-Hindi Shabdkosh

1961 A.D.

Gujarat Vidyapith Ahmedabad

46. Laghukosh


K.K. Shastri

47. English-Gujarati Dictionary


Deshpandey, Sardar Patel Uni.


Monolingual and Bilingual Dictionaries in Gujarat

Keshavram k. Shastree

Gujarat’s contribution in the field of lexicology is very ancient,.  Durgacarya, a well known author of a commentary on Yaska’s Nirukta was a resident of Jambusar in Broach district before 10th Century A.D. Dr. Laxman Sarup, in the preface of his Nirukta edition places him in 14th century and consider him a resident of Jammu (Kashmir).  Lexicons were prepared in Gujarat somewhat later by Acarya Hemachandra, the famous Jain monk of Gujarat and a court preceptor of Siddharaja Jayasimha and his successor Kumarapala, the rulers of Gujarat in the later part of the 11th century A. D. and the first half of the 12th century A. D. respectively. He gave us four lexicons : 1. Abhidhāna-cintāmani, 2. Anekārtha-samgraha, 3. Nigha¸¶u-kośa, and 4. Deśī nāma-mālā. First three are Sanskrit lexicons, while the last is perhaps the first bilingual lexicon so far known. The lexicon is in verse. All the words included in the lexicon are local Prakrit words, used in Prakrit literature all over India , which he thought to be non-Sanskritic. The commentary and meanings are given in Sanskrit.

            Gujarat is also fortunate to possess elementary Sanskrit grammars composed in local languages. Bālā-Śiksā of Thakkura Samgrā-msimha composed in 1280 A. D. is the first work of that kind so for known. At the end a list of some notable words of the then spoken language, call it pre-Gujarati or pre-Rajasthani are also given. Auktikas are a kind of grammars usually prepared to enable the beginners to learn Sanskrit. At present several manuscripts of such Auktikas are available in manuscripts libraries of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Mugdhavabodha Auktika of Kulamandana Gani, composed in 1394 A. D., also possesses a list of some peculiar words with Sanskrit equivalents in the appendix. This was discovered by Sri Hari Parshad Dhruv of Ahmedabad. Its discovery was reported in the London Congress of Orientalists in 1892 A. D. and was printed afterwards. Ukti Ratnākara of Sādhusundara Gani was another work of the same kind written at the time of Emperor Akbar. Phārasī-Sanskrit lexicons are available.

            East India Company of England brought several parts of India under their control in the second half of the 18th century A. D. and continued to annex other parts till 1857 A. D. Rulers needed to be familiar with local languages as well as with Mughal Rulers’ language i.e., Persian. An English-Persian Vocabulary was prepared for the Calcutta College in 1800 A. D. It was translated in several Indian languages. A Gujarat translation under the title of ‘Vocabulary, English & Gujarati’ was published by the proprietors of the Bombay Samachar, a Bombay daily in 1835 A. D. Within 10 to 15 years four editions of the work were brought out each time thoroughly revised and corrected.

            But the real honour of publishing the first Gujarati-English Dictionary goes to Father Drummond earlier in 1808 A. D. who in the first part of the work gave a short grammar. First part of the book gave a short grammar, first so far known, of the Gujarati language, with equivalents in Marathi and English. The title of the work is GLOSSARY and it contains 463 Gujarati words with full explanations in English. At present he is considered as the first lexicographer of bilingual dictionaries of Gujarati.

            Two other works are also noteworthy here. They are not vocabularies or glossaries. One is ‘Idiomatic Exercises, Illustrative of the Phraseology and Structure of English and Goojerattee Language’ by Sorabhshaw Dossabhoy, a Parsi Gentleman, published in the year 1841 A. D. in Bombay, while the other one is a ‘Collection of English Phrases’ translated in Gujarati from the same work of H. Green of Bombay. It was published from Bombay in 1851 A. D.

            The first work possessing the title ‘Dictionary’ is a ‘Dictionary of Goojerattee and English’ by Mirza Mahomed Cauzim of Cambay (a part in Gujarat). The work was corrected and revised by Nowrozjee Furdoonjee-general native interpreter to the Supreme Court, and published from Bombay in 1846 A. D. The compiler was cautious at several places to note Marathi, Hindustani, Zend, Turkish, Portugese, French, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic and Persian equivalents and roots also. The relation with Sanskrit was noted particularly. It must be said that the compiler was the first scholar, so far known, who paved the road in the field of Etymology of Gujarati words. The spellings of Arabic and Persian roots were given in Persian script. The dictionary contains 420 pages of 11.5“+9” with nearly 15,000 words.  

            English Gujarati Dictionary by E. P. Robertson was published in 1854 A. D. from Bombay . It contains 330 pages of 9“+6” size.

            Here it is worth nothing that ‘A Glossary of the Administrative words’ in several Indian languages, compiled by H. Wilson, was published in 1855 A. D. from London, in which several Gujarati synonoyms were also noted.

            Nanabhai Rustamji Ramina of Bombay compiled a Dictionary of English and Gujarati, which was corrected and enlarged by Ardesar Framji. The first part of this dictionary was published in 1857 A. D. This was the biggest dictionary, so far published, containing nearly 50,000 words, in eight parts. Meanwhile an abridged edition of the same was prepared by Mors and Ramina with the help of the famous poet Kavi Narmada Shankar Lalshankar of Surat, possessing 20,000 words, and was published in 1862 A. D.

            In the same year i.e., in 1862 A. D. a Gujarati English Dictionary compiled by Karsondas Mulji was published containing nearly 10,000 words. Next year a small English and Gujarati Dictionary of only 67 pages was published from Bombay . In this work Gujarati pronunciations were also noted. In the same year, in December, a Dictionary “Gujarati and English”, with 27,000 words, giving English equivalents as well as explanation in Gujarati, was published which was compiled by a Parsi gentlemen named Shapurji Edalji. The noteworthy feature of the work was its introduction, where origin and character of the Gujarathi language were treated.

            Next year a booklet of only 32 page, of 5.5 “+4” by the Christian Education Society was published from Bombay with the title ‘English and Gujarati Vocabulary’. The arrangement was such that there were two pages with sentences and two/pages with vocabulary.

            Kosavate-a collection of thirteen lists of words was compiled and published by Kavi Hirachand Kanji from Bombay Union Press in 1865 A. D. In 195 pages of 4.5 “+8”, the compiler gave lists of words alphabetically to help poets in getting words matching for ending Anuprasas.

            Here a mention should be made of two different kinds of attempts in 1865 A. D. in which Haridas Hirachand complied a dhātu manarji and S. Taylor with the help of Vrajlal Kalidas Shastri of Ahmedabad, produced a dhātu-Kośa. In both cases Sanskrit verbal roots are given with their Gujarati derivatives and equivalents.

            Sayed Abdullah and Khimji Premji prepared an Etymological Dictionary under the title of ‘Sabda-na Mula’ of 2,500 Arabic Phrases and Hindustani words selected from the Gujarati Reading Series-1st to 7th standards of Primary schools, prepared under the supervision of Mr. Hope, and published it in 1968 and 1870 A. D. separately.

            Dolatram Maniram and Revashankar Ambaram Bhatt-both of Ahmedabad, compiled a ‘Sabdartha Kosa’ each for the Hope Reading Series which were published in 1868 and 1870 A. D. separately.

            Sanskrit and Gujarati Dictionary by Baji Rao Tatya Raoji Ranjit, duly corrected by Kavishwar Sankarlal Maheshwar was the śecond bilingual Sanskrit-Gujarati Dictionary, so far known upto 1871 A. D. It was a small one of the Royal Octavo 175 pages only and contained 12,000 words. Here it is worth noting that Ranchhod Udayam-a noteworthy author of several Gujarati dramas and the prosodical work Rana-Pingala, and a translator of repute, with the help of the then famous linguist Vrajlal Kalidas Shastri prepared a full vocabulary of notable words from Sanskrit Hitopadesa, compiled alphabetically with Gujarati meanings and published it in 1864 A. D.

            Independently Kavi Narmadashankar Lalshankar of Surat began to collect and compile a masterly dictionary of the Gujarati language : Narma-Kosa. Its publication was started in 1861 A. d. and completed in 1873 A. D. It contains about 25,000 words in all. This was a scholastic effort and in this monumental work of repute, he gave an exhaustive history of the Gujarati literature in the Introduction for the first time. Meanwhile his Narma-Katha-Kosa-Dictionary of the proper names from Ramayana-Bharata-Bhagavata was published in 1870 A. D. Shah Ukardabhai Shivaji Nenshi brought out a Gujarati-English Dictionary in 1874 A. D.

            Two village school-teachers-Patel Jeshang Trikamdas and Patel Tribhoven Gangadas began to collect words which were not found in Narma-Kosa. Such items were approximately 1200 and were published under the title ‘Gujarati Sabda-samgraha-Pt-I’ in 1876 A. D. from Ahmedabad.

            Here a Pahelvi-Gujarati dictionary under the title of ‘Gujarati Sabda, Mula-darsak Kosa’ was compiled by Chhotalal Sevakram of Kutch and was published in 1879 A. D. with 1721 original Sanskrit words with their derived Gujarati words.

            A third Sanskrit-Gujarati dictionary under the title of ‘Gujarati Sabda, Mula-darsak Kosa’ was compiled by Chhotalal Sevakram of Kutch and was published in 1879 A. D. with 1721 original Sanskrit words with their derived Gujarati words.

            Next year, i.e. in 1880 A. D. Prabhakar Ramchandra Pandit of Vernacular Science College of Baroda published from Bombay , an Etymological Dictionary namely ‘Apabhrasta-Sabda-prakasa’. It is worth noting that Mahipatram Rupram Nilkanth, a renowned scholar of that time, took sufficient advantage from all the etymological dictionaries, then published, in preparing his ‘Vyutprakasa’, in 1881 A. D.

            Here an English-Gujarati Dictionary prepared by Montgomery with the assistance of Ambalal Sakarlal Desai and Manidhvrprasad, published in 1877 A. D. is worth noting. It was an authenatic and well conceived effort and gave appropriate Gujarati synonyms. The work underwent four editions, the fourth being in 1910 A. D.

            In 1885 A. D. ‘A Dictionary : Gujarati and Gujarati-English’ compiled by Cassidass Brij-bhukandas and his brother Balkrisnadas Vakil of Rajkot, was brought out with 1132 pages-Royal octavo size’ Authors noted that they had taken full advantage of the previous works of repute of Narmadashankar, Montgomery, Cauzim and Sapurji Edalji. The dictionary included some Saurashtrian words also.

            Motilal Mansukram Shah of Visalpur near Sanand (Dist. Ahmedabad) brought out a Gujarati Sabdartha Kosa in 1886 A. D. as the supplement of Narma-Kosa with new 1400 words not found in the same.

            Vithualdas Govardhandas Vyas and Shah Kerbhai Govardhandas Vyas and Shah Kerbhai Galabhai Patel published their standard English-Gujarati Dictionary in two parts in 1894 A. D. with illustrations where found necessary. It was a standard dictionary of Super Royal Octavo 1688 pages in small piece types.

            Gujarati Sabdartha-Samgraha under the main title of ‘Sabdartha sindhu’ by Vitthal Rajaram Dalal came out in 1895 A. D. In the same year Malhar Bhikaji Belsare’s Etymological Gujarati-English Dictionary was published by H. K. Pathak from Ahmedabad. A Sanskrit Gujarati Laghu Kosa-Sabdartha-sindhu was brought out by one Hargovind G. Merchant from Bombay in that very year.

            A ‘Rudhi-prayoga Kosa’ (Gujarati Idioms) was prepared by Bhogilal Bhikhabhai Gandhi and was published by Gujarat Vernacular Society (now called Gujarat Vidya Sabha) of Ahmedabad in 1898. In that very year i. e. in 1898 A. D. Bhagu F. Karbhari of Ahmedabad brought out ‘Students’ Gujarati English Dictionary’ and ‘Students’ English Gujarati Dictionary ‘ in two volumes : first one of Demy Octavo 644 pages and other one of 800 pages. The author was particular in giving idiomatic usages. It is notable that the foreward was written by Sir Ramanbhai Nilkanth, a scholar of repute.

            The Gujarat Vernacular Society, established in 1848 (at present known as Gujarat Vidya Sabha) at Ahmedabad launched a scheme to prepare an authentic Gujarati dictionary. A list of Gujarati words prepared by Mr. Hope for his Gujarati reading Series in earlier days was in society’s possession. Accordingly the Society made the list exhaustive and published the same in four parts in 1898 A. D. The next year is noteworthy for the publication of an etymological dictionary of sorts with the title ‘Suddh-Sabda-pradarsana’ meaning the correctness of words used in Gujarati with vocalic changes from Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, English, Portugeese etc. Undertaken by one Jayakrishnadas Gangadas Bhakta of Surat Mission High School and sponsored by his two publisher friends-Bhakta and kin-khabwala from Ahmedabad. The scientific approach was worth noting.

            In the field of Sanskrit-Gujarati Dictionaries, a monumental work-undertaken by one Savailal Chhotalal Vora of Bhavnagar under the title of ‘Sabdartha-cintamani’ was published by one Dolatram Maganlal Shah from Baroda in the last year of the 19th century A. D. It has 1408 pages of Super Royal Octavo size. Notable thing about this dictionary are the quotations from old classical Sanskrit words. It is also to be noted that no such other attempt has been made in the last seven decades. The number of Sanskrit words treated was 17,000.

             One Lallubhai Gokaldas Patel of Nadiad, who already published a pocket Gujarati-English Dictionary and Star English Gujarati Dictionary, undertook the preparation of a gujarati-Gujarati Dictionary and published it in 1909 A. D. in Royal Octavo 1054 pages in small piece types, supplying quotations from classical Gujarati works for the first time.

            After two years one Dharmachandra Kevalchand brought out a translation of Sanskrit amara-kosa, supplying proper Gujarati equivalents.

            In the year 1912 A. D. Sayed Nizamuddin Nuruddin Huseyuni of Baroda brought out Urdu misra Gujarati Kosa-Vowels only. It contained etymological information like usages, pronunciations, root-words, meanings and derivational hints.

            Gujarat vernacular Society of Ahmedabad entrusted the work of preparing an authentic exhaustive Gujarati Dictionary to Manilal Chhabaram Bhatt of Ahmedabad which was to give usages, derivations, proper meanings and idioms. The publication started from 1912 A. D. in fascicules and was completed in 1923 A. D.

            Here a special mention should be made of Munishri Ratnachandraji-a Jain Monk-who prepared an Ardhamagadhi-Gujarati Sabda-Kosa in four volumes. They were brought out from 1919 A. d. to 1930 A. D.

            It is also worth mentioning that a Gujarati Hindi Dictionary by Ganeshdatt Sharma Gaud was published in 1924 A. D. by Messrs. Jaydev Brothers from Baroda . It contained 27,000 words in Demy Octavo 1052 pages.

            Next year Salopayogi Gujarati-Gujarati Sabdakosa was brought out by Lallubhai G. Patel in Royal Octavo 863 pages. In the same year Gujarati English Dictionary by Bhanusukhram Nirgunram Mehta and his son Bharatram came out in two big volumes containing nearly 51,000 words. The same year is also notable for the publication of Gujarati-Gujarati Dictionary under the title of ‘Sabdarthacintamani’, mostly based upon the Gujarati Kosa of Gujarat Vernacular Society, from Ahmedabad.

            In 1926 A. D. the ‘Students English and Gujarati Dictionary’ (pronouncing and etymological), translated form Marathi by one Janmashamkar Tulsidas Mankodi, was brought out by the Chitrashala Steam Press of Poona. In the same year ‘Gujarati Farsi Arabi Sabda Kosa’ by Amironia Hamduma Faruki was published by Gujarat Vernacular Society of Ahmedabad.

            Years 1929 and 1930 A. D. saw the publication of a Sanakrit Gujarati Sabadarsa-a dictionary in two volumes by Girijashankar Mayaram Nehta of Ahmedabad. It is a noteworthy attempt form a Sanskritist.

            It is well known that even in the third decade of 20th century A. D. the spelling system of Gujarati words was not standardized from the time of publication of Hope Gujarati Reading series the attempts were afoot to frame rules, but with no success. After the establishment of Gujarat Vidyapith in Ahmedabad in the beginning of the third decade, it was decided that rules regarding consistency in spellings should be framed. Thus Gujarat Vidyapith first published a list of words, under the title ‘Jodani-Kosa’, spelt according to the framed ruled in 1929 A. D. Within two years it published the same supplying meanings in Gujarati. 4th edition came out in 1949 adding derivations. We have received its 5th edition just two years back. Now the Gujarati spelling system is fully standardized.

            In 1932 A. D. a Sanskrit Gujarati Laghu Kosa by Ganesh Sadashiv Talvalkar was published by Daksinamurti Prakasana Mandir of Bhavnagr (Saurashtra) and in the year 1939 A. D. a Hindi-gujarati Kosa by Maganbhai P. Desai was brought out by Gujarat Vidyapith of Ahmedabad.

            Harikrishna Vyas of Lalthi (Saurashtra), inventor of Gujarati Shorthand-system, brought out two works : complete Basic Sabda Kosa-English Gujarati and 2,000 English words common in Gujarat, both in 1939 A. D.

            Most noteworthy was the grand attempt of the Late Maharaja Bhagavatsinghji of Gondal (Saurashtra), who patronized the preparation of the biggest and most exhaustive Gujarati-Gujarati Dictionary. The work started in the year 1928. The first volume was published in 1944, while the last one in 1955, containing in all 9270 pages of double royal octavo, having nearly 2,81,377 words, 5,40,455 meanings, and 28,156 idioms. Quotations of the usages from classical Gujarati works were given at their proper places, and no attempt was spared to give all sorts of derivations. It must be admitted that this big work lacks scientific approach. Still it should frankly be accepted that it has supplied raw material for a future dictionary of higher merit.

            The latest production is an English-Gujarati Dictionary compiled by Pandurang Ganesh Deshpanee, published by the Sardar Patel University, Vallabhvidyanagar (Dist. Khera, Gujarat).

            Here I must mention some minor attempts also. They are : sabdarthmala of Harishankar D. Trivedi (Sadra-1937) a dictionary in verse following the style of Sanskrit Amara-Kosa; Gajave Ghumato Sabda-Kosa by Mulvantrai Tripathi and Nitirai Vora (Junagadh, 1940), Ajoda Antyaksari Sartha Kosa by Ramanlal Amritlal Desai (Baroda, 1945); and Nano Kosa by Upendra Bhatt and Ratilal Naryak (Ahmedabad, 1956). Shantilal Oza’s English-Gujarati and Gujarati-English Pocket Dictionaries are very popular, among the students.

            I have also produced 1. Laghu Kosa (in 1950). Guajrati Bhasano Anuprasa Kosa—Pt. I (one and two syllabic words only, in 1951) and Basic Gujarati Kosa (in 1956).

            Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad’s contribution is also noteworthy. A Vinit Jodani Kosa for students, Pocket Jodani Kosa, Gujarati-Hindi Kosa, Sanskrit-Gujarati Vinita Kosa and Desya Sabda Kosa brought out by the Vidyapith are to be noted.

            Stray attempts are also found to collect words form some peculiar dialects and their meanings, such as Katchi Sabdavali by Prabhudas Rangchodhi Pandya in 1886 A. D. and Prantika Sabdasamgraha of Kadi Taluka of North Gujarat by Govindbhai Hathibhai Desai in 1900 A. D. Upto-date attempts are from Dr. Shantibhai Acharya of Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad, who contributed in last three years, 1. Bhili—Guj. Sabdavali, 2. Katchi Sabdavali, and 3. Chodharioane Chodhare Sabdavali.

            Guj. Bengali Teacher and Bengali-Guj. Vocabulary was published by Thakkar Devji Gordhandas in 1924 A. D. from Bombay .

            Here I may mention two elaborate works : 1. Jnana—Cakra in 8 volumes by Ratanji Faramji Shethna—Encyclopedia in Gujarati, of which vol. I was published before 1901 A. D. 2. Gujarati Jnana-Kosa Vols I-II only upto the beginning of letter ‘A’ by Dr. Shridhar Vyankatesh Ketkar from Poona in 1929 and 1925 A. D. No further volumes came out. Gujarat Vidyapith of Ahmedabad has a scheme to publish and encyclopedia and is collecting material in that direction.

            Paurenika Katha-Kosa and bhaugolika Kosa by D. P. Derasari were published separately by Gujarat Vernacular Society-Ahmedabad in the fourth decade of this century. Paribhasika Sabda Kosa i. e. Eng. Guj. Vocabulary of Gujarati-literary terminology was published by the said Society through Vishvanath Maganlal Bhatt in 1930-32 A. D. which was thoroughly revised by Raghuvir Chodhri and brought out by the same institution. Vocabulary of the Philosophical Sanskrit terms was also published by the same Society in 1937 A. D. through Chhotalal Narabheram Bhatt, a veteran Sanskritist of Baroda.

            Purano-ma Gujarat (Geographical names of places of Gujarat found in Puranas) by Umashankar Joshi and Jaina Agama-Sahitya ma Gujarat (proper names of people and places of Gujarat found in Jain religious old literature) by Bhogilal J. Sandesara were both published by the Society in the years 1946 and 1952 A. D. respectively.

            Brahmavidya-no Paribhasika Kosa-a small epitome of Philosophical terms was prepared by Bhupatrai Mehta and published from Ahmedabad in 1938 A. D.

            A Glossary of the parts and Organs of the Human Body-Eng-Guj. And Guj- Eng. Was published by Dinsha Dadabhai Dordi of Navsari in 1941 A. D.

In the field of administrative terminology J. P. Joshipura and B. N. Mehta prepared a tentative vocabulary under the title-Shri Sayaji Vaijnanika Sabda-Samgraha and published it in 1920 A. D. Equivalents in Gujarati were mostly new, but easy to be understood. Old current Gujarati terms were also preserved where they were suitable. The then state of Baroda prepared an exhaustive vocabulary under the title-Shri Sayaji Sasana-Kalpataru and published it in 1931 A. D. In 92 pages of Foolscape 4 size. Equivalents in Marathi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Pesian, Hindi, Bengali, and current Gujarati were given and in the last column new Gujarati terms were also suggested. Both of these were able attempts to replace English terminology in Gujarati to facilitate the administrative set up of the state.

            Gujarat Vernacular Society of Ahmedabad published Osadhi-Kosa-Pt. I in 1899 A.D. prepared by Chamonarai Shivshankar Vaishnav. In this vocabulary names of 636 herbs were included giving Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi, Bengali, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Persian, Arabi, English and Latin synonyms. Their merits, uses, common class, natural class etc, were also mentioned. ‘Vanaspatisastra’ of Jai Krishna Indraji was virtually a descriptive vocabulary, best in the field, published, in 1910 A.D.  Nighantu-Adarsa in  2 volumes was another monumental work by Vaidya Bapalal Garbaddas published in 1927-28 A.D.

            It may also be mentioned that terms used in muscular and other bodily exercises were collected and published with illustrations by Dattatreya Chintaman karandikar (Majumdar) of Baroda in 1948 A.D.

            Popatlal G. Shah (one of the founders of Gujarat Research Society-Bombay) and Bhogilal K. Patva of Ahmedabad prepared a glossary of scientific terms-English Gujarati in 1938 A.D. and published it in a Gujarati quarterly published by the Forbes Gujarati Sabha of Bombay. Shri Shah, after retirement from Bombay Government Service, devoted much of his time on it and prepared an upto-date ‘English-Gujarati Glossary of Scientific Terms in Nagari Script’, and it was published by Gujarat Research Society-Bombay in 1949 A.D. Thus Gujarat terms in Accounts, Anatomy, Anthropology, Archaeology, Astronomy, Biology, Botany, Chemistry, Commerce, Economic, Geology, Geography, History, Mathematics, Medicine, Meteorology, Music, Navigation, Philosophy, Psychology, Physics, Physiology, Politics, Shipping and Zoology became easily available.

            Gujarat Vidyapith of Ahmedabad has made some contribution in this field and has published small booklets pertaining to herbs, arithmetic, science and literature. But noteworthy is the attempt of Gujarat University of Ahmedabad, through which from 1958 to 1964 A.D. a series of publications giving English Gujarati synonyms for items in about 15 different fields have been brought out.  Thus Gujarati has a huge store of terminology to meet the requirements of most of the technical subjects in Gujarati for preparing translations of English works and also for writing original works.

Thus a survey of more than 160 years is completed. I have tried my best to get first hand acquaintance of the works referred above, preserved in the library of B.J. Institute of Learning and Research, Ahmedabad, excepting a very few, for which I had to refer the Regional Library of Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad.

            This is our wealth, so far preserved. But this is not all. An exhaustive and descriptive dictionary on the liens adopted in the preparation of Oxford Dictionary is a bare necessity of the day, in which the historical development of the structure as well as the meanings and quotational usages from standard works ranging from the beginning of the Old Gujarati stage to the current Gujarati use should be shown. To make it upto date old as well as newly coined terminology is also to be noted therein separately.

            For the comparative study of the related languages and dialects of Neo-Indo-Aryan a dictionary on the lines of Nepali Dictionary of Prof. R.L. Turner is also timely need. I am glad to inform here that under my guidance Prof. Dr. L.D. Joshi of Modern College in Sabarkantha vocabulary of words with common roots from Gujarati, Vagdi, Marwari, Mewati, Malvi, Nimadi, Marathi and Hindi/with Hindi equivalents.  Preparation of purely etymological dictionary has been undertaken by me My friend Dr. H.C. Bhayani is collecting old Gujarati words with full references for preparing his Old Gujarati Dictionary.

            In conclusion, I have to say that the earnest need in of bilingual dictionaries involving all the languages of India as source and target languages. A language may be of the Aryan branch or of Dravidian Family, our cultural heritage being common it is not difficult to translate one language into another. If we have elementary bilingual grammars and basic bilingual dictionaries, our integration will be far more easy.


Hindi Lexicography since Independence and Its Future

Hardev Bahri

            Preface, In this paper I have dealt with Shabda-Koshas, i.e., dictionaries, and therefore no mention is made of encyclopaedias, Sahitya Koshas, Katha Koshas, Charitra Koshas or other kinds of non-lexical dictionary.

            This paper has a time-limit. Firstly, because the period before the Independence has to tell the same story of earliest verified dictionaries of synonyms and polysemes, of English-Hindi or Hindi-English dictionaries compiled mostly through field work by English civil servants and missionaries, and of students’ dictionaries prepared mostly from the materials provided by foreign lexicographers. The story tells a tale but lends no guidance. The only landmark was the Hindi Shabda Sagar by Shyam Sundar Das and others published by the Kashi Nagari Pracharini Sabha, and this has been revised, enlarged and republished. Therefore, it will be included in my survey in the following pages.

            Secondly, I have already made a survey of the entire lexicographical development in Hindi from the 13th century to the present day in a paper read in a seminar organized jointly by the American school of Indian Languages and the Linguistics Department of the University of Delhi in 1968.

            Hindi has been especially active during the last twenty-two years in three areas of lexicography :

(1) Monolingual dictionaries, i.e., Hindi into Hindi;

(2) Bilingual dictionaries, particularly Hindi-English; English-Hindi; Hindi-Russian; Russian-Hindi etc., and/or Indian languages into Hindi and the vice versa and

(3) Terminological dictionaries, which are, in fact, mostly glossaries.

            I shall deal with these at length in the following pages. Before that, let me present a very brief survey of the miscellaneous types of dictionaries in Hindi.

            The first in this category are dialect dictionaries : (a) Rajasthan by Lalas, Jodhpur , 1962 ; (b) Dingal (a literary language in the early medival period in Rajasthan) by Narayan Singh Bhati, Jodhpur , 1956-57 ; (c) Braj Sur Kosh in 4 vols. (based on Poet Surdas’ work) by Prem Narayan Tandon, Lucknow, 1949; (d) Ramayan Kosh (a dictionary of words from Ram Charit Manas of Tulsidas) by Kedarnath Bhatt, Lucknow, 1948 ; (e) Tulsi Shabda Sagar (based on all the works of Poet Tulsidas) by Hargovind Tiwari, Allahabad, 1954; (f) Awadhi Kosh by Ramajna Dwivedi, Allahabad, 1955; and (g) Mithila Bhasha Kosh by Dinabandhu, Darbhanga, 1950.

            There are no dictionaries of Haryani, Kannauji, Kauravi Bhagheli, Chhattisgarhi, Bhojpuri, Mahahi and Middle, Pahari (Garhwali and Kumaoni). Bundeli has one of proverbs, namely Bundeli Kahavat Kosh by Krishnand Gupta, Lucknow , 1960. There is a dictionary of proverbs prevalent in Bihar. ‘Kahavat Kosh’s Patna , 1965 and also a dictionary of Rajasthani proverbs by Narottam Swami, Calcutta , 1949, and one of Malavi Proverbs by Ratan Lal Mehta, Udaipur , 1952. Even Braj Bhasha does not have a general dictionary i.e., one based on common speech. The Rajasthani dictionary is the biggest venture in this respect. It is good that the study of dialects has attracted the attention of scholars and that has happened only since the independence. But it must be remarked that not even 10% of the total lexical wealth of Hindi dialects has yet been explored. Much field work is needed. Without a thorough investigation into the dialect field, a standard Hindi dictionary may not be possible.

            The methodology of existing dictionaries is simple and hackneyed, and required no special comments.

            The second category is that of dictionaries of idioms and proverbs. Besides the dialect dictionaries mentioned above, purely Hindi dictionaries are quite varied. ‘Hindi Muhavara Kosh’ by Bholanath Tiwari, Allahabad , 1951, is the biggest though not the most comprehensive.

            I have seen a number of Urdu dictionaries which contain hundreds of proverbs and thousands of idioms which have not yet found place in Hindi lexicons.  Some of the general dictionaries have compiled a large wealth of idioms. They, too, have not been explored.

            ‘Muhavare aur Kahavaten’ by Balmukund Arsh, Delhi, 1957, and ‘Muhavara Kosh’ by Raghuvir Sharan and Shriram Gupta, Hyderabad, 1956, are worth mentioning here.

            They may not be good compilations, but they have one merit in common, namely, a clear explanation of usage of idioms and proverbs.

            In the third category, I include a dictionary of synonyms by Bholanath Tiwari, Allahabad, 1954, which is based on ‘Amar Kosh’ and does not fully represent Hindi ; a dictionary of synonyms discriminated, entitled ‘Shabdartha Dharshan’, by Ramachandra Varma, Allahabad 1968, which is an extremely useful source-book for the study of the various shades of meaning of synonymous words in Hindi ; and a dictionary of definitions (Paribhasha Kosh) by Badrinath Kapur, Varanasi 1968, which is, in fact, a glossary of selected terminology.

            I shall now revert to the earlier survey of the chief categories of dictionaries.

Terminological Dictionaries :

The earliest of such dictionaries appeared before the Independence , but they were mere glossaries of common terms. The first attempt at dictionary-making was that by Bharatiya Hindi Parishad, Allahabad , 1949-1950. But the work was immediately taken up by the Ministry of Education, Government of India, which practically stopped all terminological programmes except at the center.  The Government mainly through its Hindi Directorate and then also through the Commission for Scientific and Technical Terminology, published quite a large number of subject glossaries.  The number of glossaries detailed before is based on figures available upto 1964.

            Accountancy and auditing 2                              Agriculture 5

            Anthropology 1                                                Banking 2

            Botany 4                                                          Chemistry 5

            Commerce 1                                                    Defence 10

            Diplomacy 6                                                     Economic Theory and thought 2

            Education 6                                                      Electrical Engineering 2

            Engineering 4                                                    General Administration 2

            Geography 4                                                    Geology 1

            History 3                                                          Information & Broadcasting 1

            Labour Economics 1                                         Law 3

            Literary Criticism 1                                           Mathematics 5

            Medicine 6                                                       Meteorology 5

            Overseas communication Services 1                 Philosophy 2

            Physical Geography 2                                       Physics 3

            Political Science 2                                             Posts and Telegraphs 3

            Railways 1                                                        Shipping 3

            Social Services 1                                              Steno-typing 1

            Tourism 1                                                         Transport 1

            Zoology 2

            100 glossaries in all.

            These were edited into a consolidated Glossary of Technical Terms, Delhi , 1962. Till then not much has been done by the Hindi directorate and the commission for the Scientific and Technical Terminology. The glossaries cover a vast field but are not intensive. They do not satisfy any expert.

            These glossaries have since been revised and finalized by the Commission which published thirteen glossaries upto the end of 1968: Science 3 Vols. (including Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Zoology), Engineering, 3 Vols (including irrigation, Railway, Hydraulic and Soil Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Telecommunication, Engineering, Building  and Highway Engineering), Medicine l vol., Humanities 4 vols. (including), history, archeology, politics, philosophy, psychology, education, sociology, social psychology and social work) and Administration 1 Vo1.

            These glossaries have given Hindi a great Hindi a great impetus in becoming a medium of instruction and examination in schools and colleges. Hindi has thus stolen a march over its sister languages in the field of vocabularies. Glossaries for terms in administration have also been published by Governments of Madhya Pradesh, 1953; Bihar, 1955; and  Uttar Pradesh, 1962; and also by the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan, 1948. The Lok Sabha has published a Glossary of Parliamentary Legal and Administrative Terms, New Delhi , 1957.

            Of private ventures, the Vidhi Shabda Sagar i.e., Law Dictionary by Jagidsh Prasad Chaturvedi, Agra, Samacharpatra Kosh by Satya Prakash, Allahabad and Ganitiya Kosh (i.e. Mathematics) by Vra\ Mohan, Varanasi, 1954 are worth mentioning and also the most important Raghuvira’s Consolidated Great Indian, 1950-52 and Comprehensive, 1955.

            The technical, scientific and other terms have been mostly taken from English text-books or terminological dictionaries. The result is that they are neither exhaustive nor quite practical.

            The Hindi Directorate and Commission have taken twenty years to finalize their glossaries, and during these twenty years at least ten thousand terms have entered into the scientific and technological world. The text-books in our schools and colleges are far behind the march of science and technology and so is the vocabulary based on and culled from thes.

            The Government of India has practically killed all private venture in this field, and the result has been disastrous for the advancements of terminological lexicography.

            Another fact is that the educational policy of the Indian Government vis-a-vis the medium of instruction in textbook writing has been almost nil. The terms exist in government glossaries rather than in books, and therefore the practical value of such terms has not been fully tested.

            The terminologies have been coined or adopted to meet the need to schools, colleges and government offices. They do not encourages original thinking in Hindi . They have no bearing on research. They are not the expression of scientists engaged in original thinking.

            There is no dictionary of Hindi terms, except Dr. Raghuvira’s  which is now out of date. It is the reverse of his reverse of his consolidated dictionary.

Bilingual Dictionaries:

I may now enumerate bilingual dictionaries of general nature which have shown rapid progress during this period The number of such dictionaries is quite large. Mention may be made here of Hindi-Assamese by Chhangan Lal Jain, 1952; Hindi-Bengali-Hindi also by Gopal Chandra Chakravarty, Calcutta; 1958; Bengali-Hindi also by Gopal Chandra Chakravarty, Calcutta; 1958; Hindi-Chinese, Peking Universty, 1960, Hindi-English by R/C. Pathak, Varanasi; English- Hindi by P.N. Agrawala ,Delhi 1954, Kedranath Bhatta; Agra, R.C. Pathak, Varanasi ,1958 Hardev Bahri, 1960, and Comil Bulcke, 1967; Hindi-English Sindhi by Dipchand Trilok Chand, Ajmer. 1962; Hindi-Gujarati and Gujarati-Hindi both published by Gujarat Vidyapith, Ahmedabad, 1961; Hindi-Kannada published by Daksnin Bharat Hindi Prachar Sabha, Madres, 1951, one auch dictionary by Gurnuath Joshi, Hubli, 1950, and another published from Dharwar , 1954; Hindi-Marathi by Date and Joshi, 1948, and such bilingual dictionary. By Krishna Lal Varma ,1951, another by Kulkarni, and stiil another by Nene; Marathi-Hindi by Date 1948 and another one by Vaishampayan;1949; Hindi-Malayalam one published from Ernakulam , one from Quilon, 1951, one from Kottayam, 1956 and another from Alleppy 1958; Malayalam-Hindi from Trivandrum , 1959; Hindi-Oriya by Nihar Patra, Cuttack, 1951 Hindi –Punjabi –Hindi (only vol. I, expected to be completed in four volumes) from Language Dept., Patiala, 1953 and 1963 respectively; Prakrti-Hindi by Bechandras Jivdas Joshi, Bombay, 1960; Hindi-Russian (Beskrovny) and Russian-Hindi from Moscow, 1953, and 1959 respectively, and another Russian Hindi by Rajendra Rishi from Delhi, 1957; Hindi-Sanskrit by Ram Swarup Shastri, Varanasi, 1957; and Sanskrit-Hindi by Rashishwar Nath Bhatt, Agra, 1955 : Hindi-Tamil and Tamil-Hindi by Tripathi, 1951 and published by Dakshin Bharat Hindi Sabha , 1959 and 1962 respectively : Hindi-Telugu one  from Rajamundry,  1953, and one from Madras, 1950; Telugu-Hindi from Madras, 1960; Urdu-Hindi from Aligarh, 1955 and one from Agra and another from Lucknow, 1959.

            These dictionaries have mostly been compiled and edited by non-Hindi writers.  For a bilingual dictionary, the writer should be a master in both the languages. Such men, unfortunately are not numerous in India .  Therefore, the qualitative value of our bilingual dictionaries is very poor. They do not teach a language, which, of course, is the main objective of the modern dictionaries of this type. They contain a large number of substandard and doubtful words which have been taken indiscreetly from Hindi dictionaries rather than from the living language.

            Dictionaries from and to Punjabi, Marathi and Gujarati are good.  They are comparatively large also.

            We have dictionaries of the following types :--

Indian :      Assamese Hindi; Sindhi-Hindi; Kannada-Hindi; Hindi-Kashmiri; Kashmiri-Hindi; Oriya-Hindi; Pali-Hindi; and Hindi-Urdu.

Non-Indian : We very much need dictionaries with important languages like German, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Swahili and Iranian etc., as one of the languages.

Monolingual Dictionaries :

(a) Dictionaries of less than 1000 pages :

            This category constitutes of monolingual dictionaries i.e., Hindi into Hindi dictionaries of differing sizes : (a) Dictionaries having less than 1000 pages – Hari Shankar Sharma’s ‘Abhinav Hindi Kosa ‘, Agra, 1947, 1951; Braj Kishore Mishra’s ‘Rashtrabhasha Kosh’, Lucknow, 1951; Navalji’s ‘Nalanda Hindi Shabda Kosh’, Patna, 1948; Shyam Sundar Dikshit’s Narayan Hindi Shabda Sagar, Agra, 1953; R.C. Pathak’s ‘Bhargava Adarsha Hindi Shabdakosh’, Varanasi, 1955; Adityeshwar Kaushik’s ‘Ashoka Hind Shabdakosh’, Delhi, 1953; Mukundi Lal Srivastava’s ‘Jnan Shabda-Kosh’, Varanasi, 1954; and still smaller dictionaries from Wardha, Hyderabad, Allahabad and other places.

(b)   Dictionaries of more than 100 pages :

            Srivastava and Chaturvedi’s ‘Hindi Rashtrabhasha Kosh’, Allahabad, 1952, pp.1555; Lal Dhar Tripathi Pravasi’s ‘Pracharak Shabda Kosh’ 1950, pp.1064; Gyan Mandal’s ‘Brihat Hindi Kosh’ by several editors, Varanasi, 1952, pp.1608; R.C. Varma’s ‘Pramanik Hindi Kosh’, Varanasi, 1949, pp.1256; P.N. Agrawala’s ‘Nalanda Adyatan Kosh’, Allahabad, 1957, pp.1586; R.C. Varma’s ‘Manak Hindi Kosh’, Varanasi, so far published six vols. (3253 pages) and to be completed in ten volumes (5500 pages in aggregate). The dictionaries in category (a) are generally meant for students and are based on bigger dictionaries. They are as old hackneyed in technique as their bases are. We do not have any dictionaries with progressive vocabularies, like those published in English language, Reader’s Dictionary for intermediate students engaged in wider reading and the Advanced Learner’s Dictionary of Current, English compiled for more advanced students. In English, much research work has been done in the needs of students of various grades and dictionaries compiled to meet their standards.  Compilers of Students’ Hindi Dictionaries have to learn much from Nuttel’s, Blackie Orient Longmans, Chamber’s and others. The selection of words herein is subject to the discretion and knowledge of the individual compiler, and the meanings, too, are neither scientifically arranged nor illustrated from speech or literature.

            Even the bigger dictionaries, classed under category (b) are far from satisfactory so far as modern lexicography is concerned. India is much behind the west in this respect.

            There is no dictionary of current Hindi or Kahri Boli.  Historically, Rajasthani, Awadhi and Braj Bhasha had in due course become literary languages.  And their literature is quite extensive and is studied in schools and colleges. Most of dictionaries, being verily meant students, teachers and libraries, contain hundreds and thousands of words which should now be labeled as dialectic, obsolete, archaic or poetic. The two biggest dictionaries of Hindi Sahitya Sammelan and Nagari Pracarini Sabha have now started marking such vocables with distinctive diacritics.  But the process is neither through nor authentic. Take, for example, any page of either of these lexicons. I refer to page 7 (Vol.III) of the ‘Manak Hindi Kosh’. The following words appear as standard!

‘thiti’ and ‘thiti’ for  ‘sthiti’ and ‘thir’  ‘sthir’, ‘thirjih for a fish, ‘thirata’ and ‘thita’ for ‘sthirata’ and ‘thuta’ for stuta’.

            The most important feature of a dictionary is its stock of words, Hindi lexicographers have been dictionaries, words which are never used in Hindi. Indiscriminate inclusion of such vocables is misleading and useless.

            There is no institution which aims at taking stock of words in the whole range of current Hindi literature, or which watches the growth of the lexical wealth of Hindi.

Isn’t it deplorable that such a big dictionary as ‘Hindi’ Shabda Sagar’, an ocean of Hindi vocables : does not give, e.g. under ātmá – such words as ātma-glani, ātma-darshi, ātma-nigrah, ātma-nirbhar, ātma-pratāranā, ātma-prvañcanā, ātma-balidān, ātma-shakti, ātma-shiksha, ātma-shuddhi, ātma-sanrakshan, ātma-stuti, ātmābhivyakti, and many others.

We do not find in it such words as ācäryatv, āksarik, spatik, ādhārabhūt, ādhunikatā.

            I have only shown a few words and those, too, under /a-/.  I collected a list of about 100 words from Prasad and another 100 words from Prem Chand which are not available in any of the dictionaries. Every year hundreds of vocables are entering into our lexical stock through news-papers, films, All India Radio, fiction, and other kinds of literature.  Hundreds of scientific and technological terms have found recognition. But no lexicographer has worried himself to collect them.  There is not a single organization or society which aims at taking stock of words in the whole range of Hindi literature, or which watches the growth of the lexical wealth of Hindi.

            Most of the lexicographers are linguistically ill-equipped and unqualified.  The planning in most cases, is done by the publisher who simply knows that any compilation bearing his name and place would sell well in his region. Dictionary-makers are usually not in touch with modern trends in lexicography.

            The order of words has now been fixed although the place of nasalized letters is still questioned because in the alphabetical orders   /au/ comes after the simple vowels; but in the dictionaries it precedes all vowels.

            The question of pronunciation presents some complications, but the Hindi lexicographers do not care to consider them. They have thought that Hindi script is scientific and as the Hindi-Hindi Dictionary is meant for Hindi-knowing readers, including pronunciation is useless.  But the question of inherent /a/ in a consonantal letter is bothersome. The stress-accent and syllabification also make difference in pronunciation.  These are not indicated even in bilingual dictionaries. It has to be borne in mind that Hindi is learnt by hundreds of thousands of non-Hindi learners and subtleties or pronunciation must be noted wherever they occur.

            Etymology has always been the weakest point in Indian lexicography.  Except Platts (1884 A.D.) no lexicographers has cared to take into account the researchers of linguists in the field.  An etymological dictionary of Hindi is a great desideratum.

            The grammatical designations of the words are now fixed, and most of the modern dictionaries are uniformly cautious. Some of the anamolies of Hindi grammar, however, have not yet been solved.  For example, lānā, in Hindi, is not a transitive verb. It is a compound word-le ānā. Khatm is shown as noun, but it is an adjective.  It is now a practice in modern dictionaries to show all irregular grammatical forms of a word.  For example, an English dictionary will show under ban, that the /n/ is doubled in past tense or gerundial form, that /t/ of write is doubled in past participle and that its /e/ is deleted in ‘writing’. No Hindi dictionary shows irregular forms which words take in their morpho-phonemic behaviour.

            It is worth consideration that derivations and compounds are given in the same paragraph after the main word. That would save much space and explain lexical connections.  ‘Brihat Hindi Kosh’ and ‘Brihat Angrezi-Hindi Kosh’, both published by Gyan Mandal, Varanasi , are the only dictionaries which do it.

            It is generally for meanings that a reader consults a dictionary, and it is this feature to which Ram Chandra Varma and the Nagari Pracharini Sabha have given their particular attention.  But there are two big flaws.  Meanings and nuances are seldom illustrated from speech and literature. In this respect Hornby’s Advanced Learner’ Dictionary or the Universal English Dictionary can serve as a good model.

            Definitions and explanations too, are not scientific. Compare pāni in ‘Hindi Shabda Sagar’ –‘a famous liquid substance which is transparent, odourless and tasteless. It is indispensable for moving and unmoving living beings.  Like air, no living being can live without it’, ‘water in Webster’s – ‘the colourless transparent liquid occurring on earth as rivers, lakes, oceans, etc., and falling from the clouds as rain: it is chemically a compound of hydrogen and oxygen, water and under laboratory conditions it freezes hard forming ice, at 32oF (O degrees centigrade) and boils, forming steam, at 212oF (100oC).  Or take ‘dhvani’ ‘sound’.  Hindi Shabda Sagar-‘a sensation produced in the organ of hearing of that object which is received by the organ of hearing’ and a small English dictionary, entitled ‘Words’ – ‘Sensation received through the organ of speech through vibration transmitted by the air or other medium’.

            Webster’s is of course, famous for its scientific definitions of terms. Hindi lexicographers need to learn much from it.

            Meanings should be indicated by specialized subjects in which they are so used.

            The Hindi lexicographers have yet to realize that such meanings as ‘a kind of bird’, ‘a species of herbs’, ‘name of a flower or plant’ land the reader nowhere.  A modern dictionary is getting encyclopaedic. Webster’s New World Dictionary gives the following meaning of ‘diarchy’.

            ‘Government shared by two rulers, powers, etc.’.

            The Hindi Shabda Sagar says :-

            ‘That form of administration or Government in which the right of administration rests into two persons’. And then it gives in about 20 lines the history of diarcy in India under the Government of India Act, 1919 and its working.

            So elaborate. !

            Also under ‘dollar’, the Hindi dictionary says—“a coin of America: It is equivalent to 100 cents. In value rate of exchange changes from time to time. Some time back a dollar was worth Rs. 3/2. Now its rate is India Rupees is about 4.87.”

            Please mark this particular volume was published in 1965.

            The rate since 1965 has been Rupees 7.50 for a dollar.

            The information, if it could be correct, was useful, although it could be written in one line in lexicographical style.

            But see the following in contrast :-

            Jwala Malini : Name of a Goddess, according to Tantra.

            Jyotiras : A kind of jewel mentioned in Valmiki’s Ramayana and Brihat Samhita.

            Jhallisak : A kind of dance.

            tandulaugh : A kind of bamboo

            tange : A kind of tree

            the ordering of meanings has attracted the attention of lexicographers in the West.  In India, no attempt has been made at finding frequencies of meanings of individual words. Without this, the order is fixed arbitrarily. The historical development of a meaning can be another consideration. But this, too, has not been given any attention.

            Sanskrit words have lost a large number of meanings in Hindi but as the Hindi lexicographers draw on Sanskrit lexicons, they never care to see that such meanings are not at all prevalent in Hindi. For example, ÖÖê, go.

1) Cow (2) Ray of light (3) A medicine  (4) Organ (5) Speech (6) Goddess Saraswathi (7) Eye sight  (8) Lightning (9) Earth (10) Direction  (11) Mother (12) Goat, Buffalo, Sheep or any other milk giving animal,  (13) Tongues and asmas  (14) Bull (15) Sun (16) Moon  (17) Arrow (18) Singer 19) Admirer  (20) Sound (21) Water (22) The number nine (23) Thunder bolt  (24) Animal etc.

The fact that there is no such word as ÖÖê in Hindi. It exists only in some compounds like goshālā, godān, godhūli, gop, gopal , gopastami, go-pucch, gobar, gomay, gomukh, gomūtra, gomedh, goraksak, goraj, goras, etc., in which only one meaning viz., ‘cow’ is available.  In ‘gochar’ there is another meaning.  That is all. The other twenty and old meanings given in the dictionary are redundant, useless and misleading.

A modern dictionary is supposed to give pictures, figures, charts and maps.  If all the pictures from the entire volumes of dictionaries in Hindi, unilingual as well as bilingual, are collected at one place their number may not go beyond 500. these too are of very minor importance. Picture of doors, pincers, stair-cases, aeroplanes, books, chairs and tables will not help. Our dictionaries should gives purely Indian articles which are not available anywhere outside the Hindi region. Such an illustrative material is expensive, indeed. And an expensive volume would not sell. Therefore, Hindi lexicographers do not feel encouraged to include such material.

It need not be repeated that accuracy in spelling, grammar usage and meaning is the very essence of a lexicographical work. But it is regrettable that even the glossaries published by the Government of India or by such responsible societies as the Nagari pracharini Sabha which have received lakhs of rupees in grants, are full of mistakes.  I here refer only to four pages of the Hindi Shabda Sagar :

            Page 1725  iÉi´É‡¨ÉºÉ …ÉäiÉEäòiÉÒ  for iÉk´É¨É‡ºÉ …ÉäiÉEäòiÉÉä


            Page 1770 Spelling iÉi´É, {ÉÉävÉÉ, ¨É½þÒxÉÆ, ¿º´ÉÉÆMÉ

                             Grammar ¤Éè±É EòÒ ºÉÓMÉ


            Page 1771  ºÉƤɇiÉ printed for ºÉÆiɇiÉ

          VÉÒ´ÉxÉ Sɇ®úiÉ  with final consonant three times.


            Meanings of VÉÒ´ÉxÉ VÉÒ‡´ÉiÉ ®ú½þxÉä´ÉɱÉÒ ´ÉºiÉÖ ‡VɺÉEäò EòÉ®úhÉ EòÉä<Ç VÉÒiÉÉ ®ú½äþ in which the last clause is redundant.


            Etymology of VÉÒ´ÉxÉ iÉi´É of VÉÒ´ÉxÉ Sɇ®úiÉ VÉÒ´ÉxÉ + SÉªÉ and VÉÒ´ÉxÉ SɪÉÉÇ is VÉÒ´ÉxÉ + SɪÉÉÇ.


All waste of space and time.


            Page 1774 ¨ÉÚqùÉÇ

I have to add a few more lines by way of additional information.  I understand that the Terminological Commission has published three additional glossaries of some post-graduate scientific subjects, and that four glossaries have been sent to the press.  The Ministry of Education, Government of India has announced a scheme to compile and prepare a dictionary of Hindi along the Webster’s.

I myself have finished compilation of an English-Hindi Dictionary on the lines of Universal and Advanced English Dictionaries. I intend to finish editing it by July, and then send it to the press.  I have also in hand the compilation of a Hindi-English dictionary of Current Hindi (i.e. it will not include archaic, obsolete, diatectic or purely poetic lexemes). It is expected to be as my English-Hindi dictionary. Dr. Bhola Nath Tiwari and Mahendra Bhatnagar have prepared a Hindi-English Dictionary which was due to be published in October last, but has not yet seen the light of the day. Dr. Badri Nath Kapur has prepared glossaries entitled ‘Shabda Parivar Kosh’ which can be good basis for a dictionary with items arranged etymologically.

Hindi has no historical dictionary, no dictionary of professional terms existing among artisans speaking various dialects, no graded dictionaries based on lexical and semantic frequencies, no rhyming dictionary, no word-finders, no etymological dictionary on scientific basis, no dictionary of names and surnames.  A dictionary of phrases and collocations is another desideratum. We also need a dictionary of difficult words. I have recently seen a small Hindi-Urdu dictionary, Banaras, 1968, which I can recommend to bilingual lexicographers. It gives only those words which are not common to Hindi and Urdu. Dictionaries of such exclusive words would be handy, useful and cheap.

In conclusion, I have to add that Hindi is, of course, most forward in its march on the lexicographical field. On an average it has annually produced eight dictionaries during the last twenty two years. It is creditable indeed.

But still, it is far behind any Western standards. I have indicated some defects which need our immediate attention.


Research Plan for the Production of Dictionaries by Central Institute of Hindi, Agra

N.V. Rajagopalan

            The Central Institute of Hindi has been engaged in research for producing various teaching materials and text-books for teaching Hindi as second language.

            This research work is being conducted on two lines, one, for evolving a method of teaching Hindi to the non-Hindi language speakers and two, for the production of teaching materials of various types and text books.

            In the area of the production of teaching materials contrastive study of Indian languages forms the basis of our work. With the help of the research assistants employed for such specific purpose and also with the help of the teacher-trainees of the Nish¸at course (which is equivalent to M.Ed., and where the student has to write a disseration on a linguistic or educational topic) a considerable amount of research work has been done. The members of the staff also have been engaged in research.  Part of this work has been published and much awaits publication.

            Preparation of various types of dictionaries forms an important part of our research plan. It is needless to say that in learning a second language, apart from the phonological and grammatical aspects of the language, its lexicon and the usage with particular semantic contexts are to be properly learnt. Indian languages have a common cultural background with characteristic regional differences and also draw heavily upon the Sanskrit language. This commonness apart, the use of the same vocabulary in these several languages varies and at times items are dissimilar in meaning. This poses a problem in learning Hindi usage.  Taking this into consideration, we have started our work on dictionaries on the following lines :-

            I.  Study of the vocabulary of common origin used in Hindi and other Indian languages. This study consists of the semantic similarity, dissimilarity, different derivative meanings acquired in different languages, and also the grammatical aspects, such as gender of the words.

The Common Vocabulary of Tamil and Hindi (by Sri V.R. Jagannathan) has been recently published by the Institute. A study of words of Arabic and Persian origin used in Hindi (by Sri Sitaram) has been completed and awaits publication. Similar work is nearing completion with respect to Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Gujarati languages. Some disserations prepared by our teacher trainees are :

1.         The Common Vocabulary of Hindi and Punjabi.

2.         The Characteristics uses of the common words found (in Hindi and Marathi).

3.         A linguistic study of words of common origin found in Telugu and Hindi.

II.         Second type of work on Vocabulary is as follows :

The basic vocabulary of Hindi (prepared by Sri V.R. Jagannathan) which proved very useful in preparing Hindi lessons. This is being published now with the synonyms in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam. Plans are underway for the preparation of graded lists of non-basic vocabulary pertaining to special situations.

The compilation of common idioms and proverbs also has been made our teacher-trainees of Nish¸at, such as :-

The proverbs of Hindi and Telugu

The idioms in Hindi and Marathi

The idioms in Hindi and Punjabi

IV.       The fourth type of work is bilingual dictionaries of Hindi and other languages. Our plan is to prepare about twenty dictionaries classified under three groups – One for High school students, containing about 6000 words with additional entries of derivatives usages of Hindi and with meanings given in any other Indian languages.

The second group is for the students of college courses. Such dictionaries will consist of about 18,000 words and their derivative usages.

The third group comprises :-

Hindi-Hindi dictionary

            Dictionary of Idioms

            Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms

            Dictionary of Allusions and Symbols

The dictionaries of dictionaries under No. IV are only a part of a major plan, and the rest is to be taken up after finishing the first phase.

The preparation of dictionaries is to proceed along with the preparation of text-books, and help-books of various types intended for different standards.

Central Institute of Hindi, Agra

Grade Listed of Vocabulary and Dictionaries

Published works :-

1)        A comparative study of common vocabulary of Tamil and Hindi.

2)        The Basic Vocabulary.

II.         Works ready for publication :-

3)        The words of Arabic and Persian origin used in Hindi

4)        The words of Common origin used in Telugu and Hindi

The common vocabulary of Punjabi and Hindi.

5)        The structural peculiarities of common vocabulary Marathi & Hindi.

6)        A comparative study of idioms in Marathi and Hindi

7)        A comparative study of idioms in Punjabi and Hindi.

8)        The Tamil synonyms of the basic vocabulary of Hindi.

9)         The Kannada synonyms of the basic vocabulary of Hindi.

10)        The Telugu synonyms of the basic vocabulary of Hindi

11)        The Kannada synonyms of the basic vocabulary in Hindi

12)        The Malayalam synonyms of the basic vocabulary of Hindi.

III.       Works to be completed :-*

13)       The common vocabulary of Malayalam and Hindi.

14)       The common vocabulary of Kannada and Hindi.

15)        The common vocabulary of Telugu and Hindi.

IV.       Works to be taken up :-


1.         Bilingual Learner’s Dictionary    – Hindi-Tamil,



2.         Bilingual Learner’s Dictionary    – Hindi-Telugu,



3.         Bilingual Learner’s Dictionary    – Hindi-Malayalam,



4.         Bilingual Learner’s Dictionary    – Hindi-Kannada,



5.         Bilingual Learner’s Dictionary    – Hindi-Marathi,



6.         Bilingual Learner’s Dictionary    – Hindi-Assamese



7.         Bilingual Learner’s Dictionary    – Hindi-Naga,



Bilingual Intermediate Dictionaries


8.         Bilingual Learner’s Dictionary    – Hindi-Tamil,



9.         Bilingual Learner’s Dictionary    – Hindi-Telugu,



10.       Bilingual Learner’s Dictionary    – Hindi-Malayalam,



11.       Bilingual Learner’s Dictionary    – Hindi-Kannada,



12.       Bilingual Learner’s Dictionary    – Hindi-Marathi,



13.       Bilingual Learner’s Dictionary    – Hindi-Assamese



14.       Bilingual Learner’s Dictionary    – Hindi-Naga,


Hindi-Hindi Dictionary

            15.        Dictionary of Idioms

            16.        Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms

            17.        Dictionary of Allusions and Symbols

  *       After this paper was presented work on these was postponed in the Central Institute of Hindi, as the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore undertook to prepare Hindi – modern Indian languages common vocabularies. The three mentioned here and some more have already been published by now.

-- Editor.


A Brief Survey of Dictionary in Karnataka*

Gurunath Joshi

             Kannada, the language of Karnataka has a rich literature which has grown and become rich during the last two thousand years.  If we go through the history of Kannada literature from its beginning to this date, we find that attempts have been made in the area of Dictionary-making by individuals as well as by groups of scholars and editors.  The following types of Dictionaries have been published so far from the 12th Century to the present times:

             I.                Sanskrit-Kannada Dictionaries in Verses and Prose.

II.                Glossaries of Technical terms

III.               Kannada-Kannada Dictionaries in Verses and Prose

IV.              English-Kannada Dictionaries

V.               Kannada-English Dictionaries

VI.              English-English-Kannada Dictionaries

VII.            Dictionaries of Proverbs in Kannada

VIII.            Dictionaries of Idioms in Kannada

IX.              Hindi-Kannada Dictionaries

X.               Kannada-Hindi Dictionaries

XI.              Kannada-Kannada-Hindi Dictionary

XII.            Hindi-English-Kannada Dictionary

XIII.           Kannada-Sanskrit Dictionary

XIV.         Prakrit-Kannada Dictionary

XV.           Hindi-Marathi Dictionary


    *  Based on

i.                     Articles published in ‘Karmaveer’ by Sri Betageri Krishna Sharma

ii.                   Dictionaries of different lexicographers



            Dictionary is a book containing the words of a language alphabetically arranged with their meanings, etymology and information on any field of knowledge.  If we examine all the above mentioned types of dictionaries keeping in view the definition of a dictionary, we find that majority of them have in one way or other some draw-backs.  In many of them, words are n etymology has been neglected.  Therefore, they cannot satisfy the needs of scholars who desire to study Kannada literature deeply and these dictionaries can at best satisfy the requirements of students, particularly of High Schools and Colleges, studying Sanskrit, Kannada, English and Hindi.  Some dictionaries have been prepared only with a view to impart adequate knowledge of Kannada to the ruling class knowing English only.

             Some attempts have been made in compiling dictionaries useful for the study of scientific subjects.  However, after independence, literary Association, Universities etc., have taken up the dictionary making work with broader objectives.

             We shall study and evaluate the dictionaries so far published one by one, in brief.

I.           Sanskrit-Kannada Dictionaries :

1)         Abhidhana Ratnamala Karnatak Teeke :

1.       (1145) :- by Nagavarma-II.  This is in prose containing Sanskrit words with meanings in pure Kannada.

2.       Vastukosha :-  by Nagavarma-II.  This has been compiled by taking help of many Sanskrit works in verses, and Kannada meanings have been given for Sanskrit words.

3.       Abhinavabhidnan :- (1398) by Abhinava Mangaraj is in verses.

4.       Amarakosh Teeke :-  (16th century) by Kavi Vithala.

5.       Nanartha Ratnakara : by Devottama is in verses.

6.       Sanskrit-Kannada Kosh : (1967) by S.V. Hanji.

7.       Sanskrit-Kannada Shabdakosh : (1965) by G.B. Joshi

             Kannada literature has been influenced by Sanskrit literature to a great extent.  The study of Sanskrit language and its literature was considered essential for the growth and richness of Kannada language and literature and for the study of Kannada classics. Therefore these dictionaries were compiled and published for the use of Sanskrit and Kannada students. Except in the last two dictionaries, only meanings have been given to nouns in Kannada, Etymology has been neglected in all these works.

 II.        Glossaries of Technical Terms :

             Though we find many fine works on different branches and subjects of Science from the Century viz., Zoology, Mathematics, Botany, Grammar, Astrology, Astronomy, Music and Science of love, we do not have a consolidated glossary of technical terms.  We have very few glossaries pertaining to medical science, but we find vocabularies different branches of science in some English-English-Kannada Dictionaries.  These are the dictionaries we find under this category :

            1.         Akaradi Vaidya Nighantu : (1300) by Amrita nandi.  In this meanings are given for Sanskrit words.

Marathi-Kannada-Sanskrit Vanaspati Kosha :

            2.         Marathi-Kannada-Sanskrit Vanaspathi Kosha – by Dr. Bodharao Mahishi. Meanings have been given in Kannada for rare herbs used in Ayurvedic system of medicine.  Etymology, is also kept in view.  Marathi is used in this work as this language was also studied in northern part of Karnataka.

            3.         Oshadhi Kosha : (1940) by A. Venkat Rao and H. Shesha Iyangar.  This is published by Madras University .  It is a very good dictionary on medicine and is useful for the students of medical science.

            4.         Brihannighantu : (1948) Dr. Halsikar of Hubli has mentioned about this in ‘Arya Vaidya’ magazine.

             5.         A Kanarese Vocabulary of some Homonyms and Technical Words : (1928) – This is published by Basel Mission Press, Mangalore.

             6.         Kisamvar Glossary of Kanarese words : (1925) by U. Narasingarao.

             7.         English-Kannada scientific Glossary has been published by Mysore Government Oriental Research Institute to the best of my memory.  Department of Education, Mysore State , has published a few small dictionaries on the technical subjects for the use of textbook writers in Kannada.

III.       Kannada-Kannada Dictionaries in Verses of Prose. Attempts have been made in dictionary-making in Kannada from 10th Century to 19th Century.  Dictionaries produced during this period are useful for the study of Kannada literature.  They contain only selected words with meanings in Kannada without etymology.

            19th Century is considered as a dark period in Kannada literature.  At this time Karnataka was not an independent State; its parts were attached to Bombay , Madras , Hyderabad States and Mysore was a princely state under the influence of British Government.  Under such circumstances, Kannada survived with the patronage of Mummadi Krishnaraja Wadeyar.

            In the later half of the 19th century, in northern part of Karnataka, Kannada primary schools and training institutions were started. Missionaries and Kannada Pandits began to work for the renaissance of Kannada.  Because of the efforts of these people, Kannada dictionaries were published.

            Dictionaries prepared in the later half of the 19th century to the present day, are mainly for the use of students of Kannada and English.  Except one or two, these dictionaries contain words with meanings and do not give without etymology etc.  The dictionaries under this category published so far are under:

            1.         Rannakand : (10th century) by poet Ranna, is in verses.  We find no proper arrangement nor any order in this.  This work is not available in a completed form.

            2.         Kabbiqara Kaipidi-I : (app. 15th cent.) is a very small dictionary in verses ; the name of its author is not known.

            3.         Kabbiqara Kaipidi-II : (1530) by poet Linganamantri is also in verses. No proper arrangement of words is found in this work.

            4.         Chatursya Nighantu : (15th century) by Bommarasa, is in verses.  No proper order of words and meanings is found in this also.

            5.         Karnataka Shabda Manjari : (16th century) by Virakta Tontadarya, is in verses. In this we find Kannada meanings for Sanskrit words and also for corrupted words used in Kannada, in a proper order.

            6.         Karnatak Sanjeewana : (1600) by Shringara Kavi is in verses.  This is a very useful glossary for the students of poetry.

            7.         Kavi Kantha Hara : (1640) by poet ‘Surya’ is in verses.

            8.         Karnatak Nighantu : is in verses : the name of the author and his period are not known.

            9.         Karnatak Sabda Saran : (1400) is in pure Kannada prose.  Meanings for nearly 1500 literary words have been given, but the name of the author is not known.

            10.       Shabdagamaj : (16th century) is in prose (?) many meanings for a word are given, but author’s name is unknown.

            11.       Sbhabda-Manjari : (19th century) is by Gangadhar Madiwaleshwar Turmari, who was a wellknown Kannada Pandit of Northern Karnatak.  This work contains meanings for Kannada words and is meant for Europeans who want to study Kannada.  This dictionary though meant for foreigners, is also useful to the students of Kannada, and the copies of this were distributed to all the schools in northern Karnataka.

            12.       Shabda Vyutpatti : (19th century) is by Pandurang Chintamani Petkar. In this we find etymological meanings for Kannada words. This helps one to understand the Shabda_manjari  by Turmari.

            13.       Shabda Sangraha : (19th century) :  It is by Gururao Vithalrao Mohare and is a very small glossary in Kannada.

            14.       Nanarth Shabdawali Mattu Sabdarthagalu : (19th century) : It is by Bolar Ramakrishnaiah, and is a dictionary containing many meanings for word and also nouns.

            15.       Kannada Nighantu : (1951) : It is by Macchimale Shankar Narayan Rao, R.S. Nawurukar and sediyaru Krishnabhatta ; It is a very good dictionary containing words used in Kannada classics with many meanings for them.  It is found very useful for the students of Kannada classics.

            16.       Sachitra Kannada-Kannada Kasturi Kosha : (1957) is by Pandit C.A. Kawali.  It is also very useful for Kannada students.

            17.       Kannada-Kannada Shabdakosha : (1952) is by Shivaram Karanth, a versatile writer of Kannada and is very useful for the students and is published recently.

            18.       Mangabhidhan athawa Abhinawabhidhan : (1952) is by Mangaraj and is published recently.

            19.       Kannada Nighantu :  (1968)  is edited by eminent professors and scholars of Kannada, and published by Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Bangalore .  Only a few parts have so far been published.*  This dictionary and therefore when all the parts of the dictionary are published it would be very useful to scholars, students, authors, translaters etc., of Karnataka.

            Prof. S. S. Basawanal had compiled a very good Kannada-Kannada dictionary, but it did not see the light of the day.

            Some edited works of famous old Kannada writers and magazines like ‘Kasturi’ of Hubli are contributing their mite for the advancement of dictionary-making work.


            Dictionaries under this category from 1 to 12 are rarely found.  If these dictionaries are edited and published, they would be very helpful not only to the students of Kannada but also for the compilers of dictionaries and writers of text-books.


IV.       English-Kannada Dictionaries :

             Under this category we have the following dictionaries :

             1.         An English-Kanarese School Dictionary : (1876) by Rev, F. Ziegler, Dharwar.

             2.         Anglo-Kanarese Crown Dictionary (1888 ?) by Christanuja Wasta, Mangalore.

             Sharada English-Kannada Dictionary (1955) published by Sharada Sadana, Mysore .


IV.       English-Kannada Nighantu :  (1946) by an editorial board of Kannada scholars, published by the University of Mysore .

             The first three dictionaries are compiled for the use of Kannada students of English language especially of boys of first and second grade Anglo-Vernacular schools.  They are not only useful to Kannada students of English but also to English and European students of Kannada.

             The fourth dictionary has been compiled by eminent scholars of Kannada for the use of persons possessing knowledge of English of about High school standard and seeking lexical help in the study of English book and journals on the various subjects of living interest to the world of today.  This is also useful to teachers, professors, writers and journalists etc.  But this is not within the reach of a common man of Karnataka.


V.        Kannada-English Dictionaries :

             We have very few dictionaries under this category :

             1.         Kannada-English Dictionary : (1857) by Rev. Reeveand  Sanderson.

             2          Kannada-English Dictionary : (1894) by Rev. Dr. F. Kittel.

             3.         Kannada-English Dictionary : (1899) by Rev. J. Bucher, chiefly based on the work of Dr. F. Kittel. The first and this dictionary are mainly compiled for the use of high school students of Kannada and also for English people who learn Kannada. The second one is as useful as the English Kannada Nighantu of Mysore University is.

             Deccan College publications on different dialects of Kannada will serve as very useful glossaries for Kannada students and scholars.

VI.       English-English-Kannada Dictionaries :

             Under this category we have only two important dictionaries :

             1.         Standard English-English-Kannada Dictionary : (1944) by D.K. Bharadvaj, Vaidyaguru.

             2.         English-English-Kannada Dictionary : (1962) by K. Vithal Shenai, B.A., L.T. Orient Longmans publication.

             Bharadwaja’s Dictionary is very popular and is useful to the students of high schools and colleges since it meets their requirements.


VII.     Dictionaries of Proverbs in Kannada :

             We have the following dictionaries under this category :

             1.         Kannada Gadegala Kosha : (1963) by T.V. Venkataramayya

             2.         Karnataka Lokokti nidhi : (1912) published by Basel Mission Press, Mangalore.

             3.         Kannada Gadegalu : (1959) by Achhappa H.S., Mysore

             4.         Nalnudi-Nannudi : (1962) by Prof. M. Mariyappa Bhatta, Shri. N. Venkat Rao, Dr. R.P. Sethu Pillai and Dr. S. K. Nayar

             5.         Gadegal-Geetagalu : (1960) by Ramaradhya H.M.

             6.         Samatis Sangraha : (1906) by Hanumant Govind Joshi.  This contains proverbs in Kannada and their equivalents in English.  It is useful for the students of English and Kannada languages.

             The first five dictionaries are only collections of proverbs alphabetically arranged.  The usages of proverbs are not given.  They are useful only for those who have a fair knowledge of Kannada, common sense and experience.


VIII.    Dictionaries of Idioms in Kannada :

             We have no dictionaries of idioms separately except one, Glossaries of Kannada normally contain idioms also.

             1.         Kannada Padenudigala Kosha : (1968) by T.V. Venkataramayya.


IX.       Hindi-Kannada Dictionaries :

             When Mahatma Gandhi emerged on the horizon of Indian politics, he declared that Hindi is the only language which can be accepted as a national language. He advised the congress workers to learn Hindi.  In 1937 Congress Governments in different provinces introduced Hindi in schools and colleges.  Hindi has been accepted as the official language of India in our constitution.  For the use of students and other lovers of Hindi, some Hindi teachers knowing Kannada also compiled Hindi-Kannada dictionaries.  They are as under :

             1.         Hindi-Kannada Nighantu : 1945?) by Prof. Jambunathan

            2.         Hindi-Kannada Shabda Kosha : (1956) by Gurunath Joshi

            3.         Hindi-Kannada Kosha : (1948) by Pandit Sidhanath Pant.

            4.         Hindi-Kannada Kosha : (1948-50) by Shri Mannur

             Among these four dictionaries Hindi-Kannada Shabda-Kosha is very popular because it is alphabetically arranged and contains more literary, scientific, Urdu words and idioms etc. with meanings.


X.        Hindi-Hindi-Kannada Dictionaries :

             We have at present only one dictionary under this category useful for the students of Hindi.

             1.         Hindi-Hindi-Kannada Ratna Kosha : (1951) by J.D. Maisale.


XI.       Kannada-Hindi Dictionaries :

             Under this category we have two dictionaries useful only for the students of Kannada and Hindi.

             1.         Sachitra Kannada-Hindi Adarsha Kosha :  (1957) by J.D. Maisale, Prof. S.V. Bhat and Prof. Chandulal Dube.

             2.         Kannada-Kannada-Hindi Shabda Kosha : (1957) by Gurunath Joshi.


XII.     Hindi-English-Kannada Dictionaries :

             We have only one dictionary of this type which is useful for the students of Hindi who have knowledge of English Kannada.

             1.         Adhunika Hindi-Kannada-English Shabdalokha : by L.S. Chitaguppi.


XIII.    Kannada-Sanskrit-Dictionary :

             There is only one dictionary of this type viz.,

             (1)        Shabdamanidarpana : (18th century) by Keshiraja.  Though this is a grammar book, it gives meanings to pure Kannada root verbs.


XIV.    Bharata Nighantu : (16th century)  Author is not known.  But this book contains Prakrit words used in Kannada and is useful for Kannada students of Kannada classics.


Suggestions :

There is a need for the following types of dictionaries.

   Comprehensive consolidated glossary of technical terms useful to the students and teachers as Bangalore and Mysore universities are adopting Kannada as the medium of instruction.

            1.         Hindi-Kannada dictionary : Such a dictionary would by useful to the students of Hindi for B.A. and M.A. examinations.

            2.         Kannada Sahitya Kosha : Such a dictionary like Hindi Sahitya Kosha Part II and I published by Jnanmandal, Kashi would be useful to the students of Kannada studying for B.A. and M.A. examinations.

            3.         A glossary of Kannada Phrases and Idioms  with meanings and usages in Kannada.

            4.         A glossary of Kannada proverbs : with meanings and usages in suitable situations as we have no dictionaries of these types (4 & 5) in Kannada.


History of Dictionaries in Kannada with Special Reference to Bilingual Dictionaries

A. S. Kedilaya


History of Kannada Lexicography has a hoary past.  Ranna Kanda, a Kannada-Kannada lexicon in verse, seems to be composed by Ranna.  IF this poet is the same Ranna (993 A.D) who wrote the famous Kavya, the Gada Yuddha, then  Ranna Kanda will be the earliest lexicon in Kannada.  In this lexicon, meanings are given to words selected at rendom.  There is no proper division as to semantic area nor any order in giving words and their meanings.  This lexicon is useful only in that it gives meaning to a host of Kannada words.

       Attempt at lexicon-making is seen in some parts of Sabdamanidrapana, a work on old Kannada Grammar by the celebrated grammarian Kesiraja (C. 1260 A.D.). In the first chapter, Letter and Euphonism, while dealing with the letter la, he gives a list of 181 words with this letter, The meaning of these words vary from a single meaning to as many as five.  In the ninth chapter, Prayogasara or Sabdartha nirnaya, meanings in Kannada for 237 Kannada words are given.  In Chapter VI, named as Dhatu Prakarana, 973 Kannada Verbal roots are given with their meaning in Sanskrit.  Thus this chapter is in the form of a Kannada-Sanskrit bilingual dictionary.

       In 1400 A.D., Kannada-Kannada lexicon (nighantu) in prose, Karnataka Sabdasara, has been composed by an unknown author.  The word-list in the Prayogasara of Sabdhamanidarpana has been fully utilized here.

       Caturasys Nighantu (c. 1450 A.D.) by Caturasya Bommarasa, a Veerashaiva poet is a lexical work of 64 verses.  There is no order in selecting the words while giving their meanings here.  The words are not arranged either semantically or are in alphabetical order.

      Linga Mantri, a Veerashaiva poet (c. 1530) has composed a Kannada-Kannada lexicon in verse, titled Kabbigara Kaipidi, comprising of 100 verses. Here the author has given meaning of a large number of Kannada words.

       Virakta Tontadarya’s Karnataka Sabdamanjari (c. 1560), comprising of 120 versees, Sringara Kavi’s Karnatak Sanjeevana (c. 1600 A.D.) a short work of 35 verses, Sabdagama, a lexical work of 202 verses and Bharata Nighantu in 67 verses, are the other Kannada-Kannada lexicons.

       The early bilingual lexicons in Kannada are the following:

 (i)                  Abhidhan Vastukosa by Nagavarma II (C.1145) – a Sanskrit-Kannada Dictionary.

(ii)                Halayudha’s Abhidhana Ratnamala, with Kannada Commentary.

(iii)               Nanartha Ratnakara by Devottama (1600) Sanskrit Kannada Dictionary.

(iv)              Naciraja’s Nacirajiya (1300), A Kannada commentary on Amarakosa.  Sanskrit-Sanskrit-Kannada Dictionary.

    Some Sanskrit-Sanskrit dictionaries are also available, which were compiled in Karnataka.  The important ones among them are the following two:

(i)                  Abhinavabhidhana by Mangaraja (1398), where words are semantically classified and arranged.

(ii)                A New commentary of Amarakosa by Siddhanti Subramanya Sastri (1873)

     The Kannada Nighntus noted above are excellent source-books for the compilation of dictionaries on scientific principles, as meanings to many obsolete words are found preserved here.  We also find all the possible equivalents for a given word, which are n their turn classified semantically.

    Such dictionaries were useful especially to verse composers as they supplied them with a wealth of vocabulary.

     Sanskrit-Kannada lexicons are also useful as they supply material for Kannada Dictionary compilers. Many Sanskrit words have been used in Kannada literary works and to know their meanings Sanskrit-Kannada lexicons are  of a great help.

    Dictionary-making on the models of English Dictionaries makes a beginning in the nineteenth century.  Words were classified according to alphbetical order and completeness of vocabulary was aimed at.

   At first this work was taken by missionaries like Reeves and Kittel. They composed Kannada-English Dictionaries to enable non-Kannada English knowing Kannada scholars to know the correct meanings of Kannada words.  William Reeves English-Kannada Dictionary appeared in 1824.  This has gone out of print and its re-printing is an urgent necessity for Kannada Lexicographers.  Kittel composed his monumental Kannada-English Dictionary in 1874.  This work has now been revised and re-edited by the Kannada Department of Madras University.  This work was undertaken as Kittel’s Kannada-English dictionary had gone out of print and those who needed it for reference had to look for secondhand copies and buy them at fancy prices, if available.

    If the revised edition many of the earliest Kannada classics, to which Kittel did not have access at that time, have been consulted and references from the texts have been entered.  In all, about 7800 new items have been added into this revised edition (some of them entirely independent new entries and others as quotations in appropriate places).  Meaning for the variants of a word are also given to facilitate easy reference.  Some of the new featured of the revised and enlarged edition of  the dictionary are :

(a)    For some of the Desya words given by Kittel, if apt quotations containing such words are available in the texts now scrutinized, these quotations have been incorporated within square brackets.  These would go a long way to fix the chronology of words in Kannada.

(b)   Additional cognates (especially Tulu words) have been given and wrong ones deleted.

(c)    Meanings have been suggested wherever possible with a question mark.

(d)   Wrong derivations have been corrected where possible

(e)    Almost all the colloquial words given by Kittel (even if they have littel literary value) have been retained.

(f)     Word given with apparent wrong splitting of compounds have been omitted

(g)    Almost all words standing as main entries have now their meanings given (unless the variant is very near it).

Rev. J. Bucher’s Kannada-English school dictionary was published in 1923.

   Many  English-Kannada dictionaries have been published to cater to the needs of students and others studying English.  Rev. F. Zeigler’s English-Kannada school Dictionary published in 1896 is one such attempt.  The English-Kannada Dictionary edited by the University of Mysore in 1946 is the most significant work in this respect.  It has been useful not only to students and the lay man but also to scholars who translate english works into Kannada.

     Bharadwaja’s Kannada-Kannada Dictionary, Sirigannada Artha-Kosa by Dr. K.S. Karanth are some of the Unilingual Kannada dictionaries.  In this connection the project undertaken by Kannada Sahitya Parishat is worth mentioning.  An extensive Kannada-Kannada Dictionary is being prepared by the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Bangalore at present.

     In order to discuss some of the problems of bilingual dictionaries, I may refer to the Tulu-English Dictionary of Manner and the recent Tulu-English Dictionary published by the Madras University .  The Tulu-English Dictionary by Manner was published in 1888. The dictionary  by Manner had many drawbacks.  In it a host of learned Sanskrit terms had been treated as Tulu due to Brahminical influence.  Such items needed to be deleted in a good Tulu Dictionary.  Similarly a large number of Kannada words – some of them not even loans – had been imported into Manner’s Dictionary.  These drawbacks have been removed in the Tulu-English Dictionary compiled by Prof. M.M. Bhat and myself and published by the Madras University in 1967.

     In this dictionary the following kinds of lexical material has been utilized :

(1)   Pure native (desya) words current among native speakers.

(2)   accepted loans from Kannada

(3)   special derivatives from Sanskrit.

(4)   Sanskrit words which have undergone some semantic changes in Tulu, and

(5)   popular foreign vocabules (from Arabic, Persian, English etc)

(6)   certain family names of Tulu people and also proper nouns (names of men and women) have been included, as they would throw light on the anthropological and social aspects of the community.

(7)   with the cooperation of native speakers, many new words relating to fisheries and agricultural operations, social custom and manners have been included in this dictionary.

   As the authors of the dictionary belonged to the same place of Tulu Nadu viz.  Puttur Taluk in South Kanara District, it is quite likely that some lexical items have been left out.  There is also an apparent lack of source materials for the compilation of the dictionary.  A study of the occupational terms of Tulu Nadu, collection of the Tulu vocabulary of different localites in Tulu, like Karkal, Mangalore, Udipi etc., and collection of the vocabulary of different social groups of Tulu people will provide a rich source for bringing out a more comprehensive Tulu Dictionary .

     In Trivandaum, The State Institute of Languages has  a project of bilingual dictionaries of Malayam and other South Indian language and vice-versa.

     Preparation of a bilingual dictionary in two parts, (i) Kannada Malaylam an d(ii) Malayalam-Kannada, has been undertaken by myself and Dr. K.N. Ezhuttaccan of the Madras University .

     For preparing bilingual dictionaries, it is necessary that scholars proficient in both the languages should be employed. Even then there is bound to be some drawbacks.  However competent one may be, sometimes one cannot get the right word while giving equivalents in his own language.  Then he has to give a meaning in a cumbersome and round-about mannar.  This is found occassionally in bilingual dictionaries.  For example, for the Malayalam word kappata, kappana Kannada equivalents cannot be readily found.  One has to give its meaning as ‘a pit from where rectangular stonepieces are taken for use in building a house’.  In coastal Karnataka (Tulu Nadu) there is an equivalent kalpada kaane which may be assimilated in Kannada, Malayalam karuka is another such word.  It means ‘gnawing by the rats’.  To give an equivalent meaning in Kannada is difficult.  One has to describe it by giving its meaning as ‘to eat as by rats’. kamaram in Malayalam is another example.  The descriptive meaning of this word is ‘the pillars on which the timber is kept for sawing’.  Word decade in Tulu Nadu ( a part of Karnataka) is an equivalent and may be borrowed in Kannada.  kalippu in Malayalam does not have an equivalent to be found readily in Kannada.  It means the pain when one feels when the oil applied to the head gradually drips into the eyes’.  kadamba in Malayalam means’pieces of wooden rods kept horizontally in the fence to enable people to cross it’.  This word does have an equivalent in Kannada. I suggest, the Tulu word tadame may be borrowed with advantage.

     The names of the various parts of a country-lift, devices for catching fish, etc., are semantics areas where such other examples are to be found easily

     In some cases generalized and vague meanings are given which lead the reader nowhere.  This occurs especially in the case of names of trees, flowers, seeds, creepers, fishes, insects, etc.  In such cases, the lexicographer either cannot find suitable equivalents because they do not exist or are atleast difficult to find in the absence of good reference materials in the language on such semantic areas.  As examples I may mention some in Kannada words Malayalam equivalents of which are not readily available.

Kannada words  

 Meaning give in Malayalam


a kind of plant


a kind of itch


a kind of cake baked in steam  


an old gold coin of ikkeri


a kind of jasmine    


a kind of medicinal creeper


a kind of grass


    Similarly there are examples of Malayalam words Kannada equivalents of which are not readily available :  

Malayalam word
Meaning given in kannada


a kind of herb


a kind of medicinal plant


a kind of fish


a kind of fish


a kind of creeper


a kind of bird (a quail)


a kind of fish ( A jelly-fish)


    Even if the lexicographer were to give equivalent technical terms as gloss for such objects, it will not be a much help to the ordinary reader.  The only way to remedy this defect is that of (1) consulting the nighantus or lexicons arranged subject-wise and (2) consulting experts in the specific fields in the particular language.

    Sometimes giving meaning of certain words of a language in another is difficult as the social customs of the particular language group may not be shared in the other language group.  For examples it will be difficult to give meanings of Kannada word udiko ganda or udike hendati in Malayalam.  In Malayalam the meaning of the former may be given as ‘the husband of a widow’, and the latter ‘a widow remarried’.  But in Kannada the connoted meaning is something different. uduke-ganda means ‘a husband taken as a partner by widow under a simple social rite sanctioned by the society’.  Similarly, udika-hendati means ‘the widow of the divorced woman taken as  a partner according to such a rite.’

     Another example may be given.  The word kolli-uttu in Malayalam means ‘meals given to those who render help in the cremation of dead person’.  The exact equivalent word cannot be given in Kannada as the custom is not in vogue in Kannada speaking area.

     The word adda-pallaki in Kannada means a palanquin having great personages seated in and borne crosswise as a great honour conferred on them.  As this practice is not in vouge in Malayalam an apt equivalent cannot be found in that language.

     Idioms are found in comprehensive dictionaries but omitted in compact dictionaries.  Whether they are to be given in all the dictionaries and  to what extent is a question to be decided by the lexicographers. In this connection, I may mention here some of idioms in Kannada as examples.  

Kannada idiom

Literal meaning

Meaning of the idoim

uppillada matu   

talk without salt

useless talk

uppukara haccu

to add salt and hot

to exaggerate

kanda ede

seen place

any place         

kannige manneracu

to throw dust into eyes

to deceive

kaikalu tole

to wash hands and feet

to go to the urinal or bathroom

nalku niru

four waters      

the bath taken on the fourth day of menstruation

benne haku

to put butter

to placate

horage hogu

to go out

to pass stool

hogi baru

to go and come

to take leave of  (someone)


Malayalam idiom

kumbi valikkuka                       to bend the wire                        wire-pulling (manouvering)

   When there are a number of derivate words one has to decide whether these derivative words are to be given under the main entry or should be entered in their respective places in the alphabetically arranged dictionary. In comprehensive dictionaries these are given under the main entry as separately. Thus Kannada words, bilidu, bilupu, bel, bellage come under bili ‘white’ and also separately, kappage, kappu, karlya will come under kari ‘black’ and also separately.  Similarly keccage, keccane, kempage will find entries under kempu ‘red’ and also separately.  Words like kenjede, kendali, kendengu, kennalage, kempiruve, kebanna, kembaralu, kemmise, kesadi, kesuri, cendengu, cembonnu, all combinations with the word kempu are found under kempu and also separately in big dictionaries.  But whether the same procedure is to be followed in compact dictionaries also is a matter for consideration by the lexicographers. The reason for giving these derivatives separately is to facilitate finding their meanings. For examples if all these entries are given only under kempu a person may not be aware that he has to find out kempage, or keccane under kempu and therefore may be put in difficulty.

     Giving variants of a word in the same entry and also separately is also considered desirable by some persons as this would facilitate easy reference.  For example the Kannada words agase, agace, agise would be shown against the common word agase and also separately. Similarly the words, agalike, agaluvike, agalke would be found under agal and also separately.

     As further examples, the related words, akkasaliga, akkasaligit, akkasaliti and akkasale may be mentioned.  If the related words are given under akkasale only, one coming across the word akkasaliga may not know that he has to search for it under the head akkasale. If these related words are given separate it will be easy to refer to them.

   The same procedure holds good for verbal forms also. In some dictionaries the forms tinda, tinnuva, etc., come under tinnu and alo find entries in their respective place.  The forms banda, banditu are shown against baru and also find separate entries.

   The arrangement of the words under the letters au and ai demands the attention of the lexicographer as the same letters have the forms of avu and avi also.

     In the selection of words also one has to bear in mind the objective of his dictionary.  The inclusion of colloquial forms, the local variants of a word, Sanskrit and foreign words, etc., in a dictionary depends upon these considerations.

     However, one has to watch against the entry of words of other languages into a dictionary as the language, in border areas is frequently influenced by the neighbouring languages

     These are some of the interesting problems worth consideration.


Preparation Of Kannada-Kannada Dictionary On Historical Principles

N. Basavaradhya


The history of lexicography in India goes back to the fourth century B.C. and even earlier.  In Sanskrit the Vaidika Nighatu is the earliest, although its author and ate are not known to us.  This lexicon has many commentaries.  The earliest commentary is Yāska’s Nirukta, which probably belongs to fourth century B.C.  In this work, the words found in Vaidika Nighantu are explained along with their usages.

   A Dictionary is a book which gives us in one place, ready for reference, either the synonyms or different meanings or extended meanings of the words of a language.  A dictionary is an absolute necessity for understanding a language.  This is the reason why our ancestors used to make children memorise the lexicon.  Even today there are scholars who can recite the whole of the Amarakōśa by memory.  A dictionary has its own role to play in our pursuit of knowledge.  That is the reason why it is said in Kannada “Kōśa Ōduı Dēśa Nōdu” “ Go through the dictionary and travel round the world”. A dictionary makes us wiser in the use of language; trave, makes us wiser in matter of living.

   There are many kinds of ancient lexicons Ēkāksara-Nigantu, Vaidya Nighantu, Nānārtha Nighantu, Ōsadhi Kōśa etc.  These lexicons have specific purposes and do not contain all the words of  language.  Also, no historical information is obtainable from these lexicons.  The only dictionary that is free from these drawbacks is the one based on historical principles.  But even in such a dictionary, all information that is available pertaining is to a word in a language is given; but it need not necessarily contain the cognate words and information found in other languages about them.  Thus the best dictionary that is suited to modern times is the one base on historical principles with application of linguistic science.

    Preparation of such a dictionary is not an easy matter.  It is a task which needs long and laborious work by scholars.  To begin with, a comprehensive collection of words is needed.  For this, one must go to the unpublished and published-works and inscriptions ranging from their earliest period.  The upper limit will always be that of the earliest inscription or work, or an written document as the case may be. It is always advisable to fix a lower limit; for example, from the earliest times up to say 1950.  The words consulted must comprise every kind of that particular language; they may be ‘laukika’ or ‘vaidika’; the words collected may be technical or non-technical.

   All languages have standard forms as well as substandard forms. Weather to include the regional variations, sub-standard or obscene terms in ‘standard’ dictionary is a real problem.  It is clear that such words must have a dictionary of their own. Many languages do have such dictionaries.

   There are other problems, which a lexicographer must face.  I will present a few of them.  It is well known that collection of words for dictionary must be made only from good critical editions of old texts.  But when critical editions are not available or when the collections to be made from manuscripts, all kinds of mistakes creepin.  Let us suppose that we have collected words from an unpublished work written on a palm leaf manuscript.  When the work is critically edited and published which necessarily needs the use of many manuscripts, we observe that many ghost-words (apasabdas) will have crept into the dictionary.  How to solve this problem? While collecting words from manuscript it is possible that some letters are misread; or it also possible to ommit some rare and difficult words from recording on the supposition that the scribe might have erred there.  Again, while collecting words from printed works there are problems to face.

i.         Printer’s mistakes : While collecting words from printed works these mistakes must be listed first.  If there is an errata in the end, it can also be utilized.  But the real difficulty is in distinguishing a ghost-word from an obsolete words.

ii.       Wrong-Cutting of Words : As a result of this, two or three words get clubbed together and give rise to a wrong form.  a good example is ‘agulunela’ from Kittel for which he gives meanings as ‘a deep place, a ditch’ (agul, a ditch).  But its actual usage is ‘ondagulu neladalli bīlalu’ (Basava Purana 53-40), where agulu (=grain of rice) and nela (=floor) are two different words.

   Sūryakavi of 1640 A.D. has in his lexicon, recorded the meaning of ‘edda’ as manohara, beautiful (edamene manōhara) which is clearly a misreading of Sūryakavi’s statement.  There is a joke still prevalent in the rural areas of the Kannada country.  It seems a mother asked her son to bring menasu jīrige (pepper and cumin seed) from the shop.  The boy who did not hear it well, or who did not care to cut the speech correctly, went to the shop and asked for mēna (wax) sūji (needle) and rige(?).  The shopkeeper could not understand what rige was.


Regional Words : When a speech area is surrounded by two or three different language it is possible that the people belonging to different parts of the area borrow words of the same meaning from the languages with which they come into contact. As a result, two or three words of the same meaning originally belonging to three different language come to be used in different regions of the same language area.  This could clearly be seen in the three major regions of the Kannada area : North, Coastal and South Karnataka .  How should these words be treated in the dictionary?

Occupations Terms : Just as there are regional dialects, there are occupational dialects. People belonging to a particular caste have pursued a certain occupation for many centuries, and a set of occupational terms, technical in nature, come into vogue in their community in this process.  For example, the carpenter, the potmaker, the goldsmith, the farmer, the shoemaker etc.  The oldest of these terms are unrecorded. How to collect the history of these terms?

    These are some of the problems which the committee of the Kannada Dictionary sponsored by the Kannada Sahitya Parishat had to face.  I am going to discuss certain matters about this dictionary.  Before that I would like to give a short account of the earlier Kannada lexicons (Sanskrit lexicons which have Kannad commentaries are not dealt with here) that were available for further use.

   The ancient lexicons found in Kannada may be classified as follows :


i.                     Lexicons which give synonyms for Sanskritic words.

ii.                   Lexicons which contain commentaries for Sanskrit works

iii.                  Lexicons of medicine.

iv.                 Kannada Lexicons.

v.                   Kannada Lexicons with commentaries

    The earliest Kannada lexicon is Rannakanda by the famous poet Ranna (10th century A.D).  It is in verse.  It is incomplete; only eleven Kandas are found. In this, meanings for Kannada words are given in the same language.

   Sabdamanidarpana, though a grammar by the famous grammarian Kesiraja, is important from the point of view of lexicography. The work contains the list of verbal roots and words containing.

    Sabdamanidarpana, though a grammar by the famous grammarian Kesiraja, is important from the point of view of lexicography. The work contains the list of verbal roots and words containing l l sounds. There is also a chapter called ‘prayōgasāra‘ where he has quoted a number of rare words along with their meanings.

    The third Kannada lexicon is Karnataka ‘Sabdasāra (1400 A.D.) This prose work contains 1416 sets of words which are unfortunately not listed alphabetically.

    The next in Karnataka Nighantu.  Its author and date of composition are not known.  The work is composed in verse form, and contains meanings of Kannada words.  IT has 98 verses.

    Next come Caturasya Nighantu by Chaturasya Bommarasa (1450 A.D.). He has in his work given meanings for dēśya, tadbhava and tatsama words.  It contains 130 Kannada verses and Kittel has mentioned in his introduction that he utilized two versions of this work in preparing his Dictionary.

   The Sixth is Kabbigara Kaipidi by Lingamantri (1530 A.D.). There are 100 Vārdhaka Satpadīs in this work and old Kannada words are explained here.  There is a word-to-word commentary called Vibhudānandini for this work by Honnapa of Hesaraghatta.

   The next in the series is Karnataka Sabdamanjari by Virakta Tōntadarya (1560 A.D). Words found in old Kannada are explained in 120 Vārdhaka Satpadīs verses.  There are four commentaries for this lexicon and it seems that this was one of ht emost popular lexicons in Kannada.

   The next lexicon is what is called Bhārata Nighantu (c. 1600 A.D.).  A few of the rare and difficult words found in the famous Gadugina Mahābhārata by Kumāravyāsa are explained here.  It contains 67 Kanda verses.  There is a view that Kumāravyāsa himself wrote this lexicon.

    The next is Karnataka Sanjīvana by Sringara Kavi (c. 1600 A.D.).  This is composed in 35 Vārdhaka Satpadīs verses.  It contains meanings for Kannada words which contain l native  l  and ksala l.

   The last in the series of old Kannada lexicons is Kavikantahāra by Sūrya Kavi (1640 A.D.).  Meanings are given for words found in earlier works and the work, as such contains 271 Kandas.

   This is a short survey of old Kannada lexicons. Modern Kannada lexicons will be mentioned later.

   Now I will refer to the Kannada Dictionary under taken by the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Bangalore .


Kannada Dictionary

   The Kannada Sahitya Parishat has undertaken a stupendous task of preparing a Kannada Dictionary based o historic principles.  When it is completed, it will be the first comprehensive, authoritative and scientific Dictionary of the Kannada language, with the application of modern linguistic methods.

   It is estimated that-this Dictionary will run up to five thousand pages distributed over four volumes of about one thousand two hundred and fifty pages each.  Each page contains two columns and each column in turn contains fortysix lines.  About one hundred and fifty thousand words are expected to find their way into the Dictionary as main entries. So far about eight hundred thousand prayogas or usages are recorded on separate cards.

   Usages are gathered from every kind of writing in Kannada Inscriptions both published and unpublished, ranging from the earliest Halmidi inscription of C. 450 A.D. upto about 1800 A.D. are tapped as sources of information.  For this purpose, inscriptions published in Epigraphia Carnatica, Epigraphia Indiaca, Indian Antiquary, South Indian Inscriptions, Bombay Karnataka Inscriptions, Karnataka Inscriptions, Mysore Archaeologial reports, Hyderabad Archaeolocal reports, Inscriptions in Kolhapur District, Kannada Inscriptions in Andhra Pradesh etc. are consulted.

   Coming to literary works, books consulted range from the earliest work KAVIRĀJAMĀRGA (C. 850 A.D.) upto RĀMAYANA DARSHANAM of the modern period.  A few of the more recent works are also consulted.  In the case of the works of the old and middle Kannada periods, many were consulted in manuscripts.  While choosing works from the modern period, care has been taken to see that they represent the different regions of the Kannada land.  Words have been collected from ancient scientific and technical works also.  For example from VAIDYA ŚĀSTRA, ‘Medicine’, AŚVA ŚĀSTRA, ‘Horselore’, GAJA ŚĀSTRA, ‘Elephantlore’, CHHANDAS ŚĀSTRA, ‘Metrics’, ALANKĀRA ŚĀSTRA, ‘Poetics’, SANGĪTA ŚĀSTRA, ‘Musicology’, SILPA ŚĀSTRA, ‘Architecture and Sculpture’, KĀMA ŚĀSTRA, ‘Erotics’, SŪPĀ ŚĀSTRA, ‘dIETETICS’, JYOTISH ŚĀSTRA ‘Astrology’, TATAVA ŚĀSTRA, ‘Philosophy’.  /many of the significant technical terms pertaining to current living religions like Jainism and Veerasaivism are also listed.  Besides, many of the words which are to be found only in folk literature have also found their way into the Dictionary.

   Many of the earlier Dictionaries have been utilised.  Among such Dictionary, the Kannada-English Dictionary by Rev. F. Kittel tops the list.  IT happens to be an important source book.  Many of the dictionaries which preceded Kittel’s (for example Rev. Reeve’s Kannada-English Dictionary and English-Kannada Dictionary, Rev. Sanderson’s Kannada-English Dictionary, Gangādhara Madivāle-śwara Turumuri’s Kannada-Kannada Dictionary, Gururāva Vittala Mōhare’s Kannada-Kannada Dictionary etc.) and many of the dictionaries which came later (for example Pandita Prabhaņņa’s Kannada-Kannada Dictionary, Parishat’s ‘the Dictionary of Dictionaries’, the Dictionary of Pampa Bhārata, the Dictionary of Shatpadi Kāvyas, Tirumakudlu shamanna’s Dictionary, Mathada Rudraiah’s Dictionary,                           T.K. Ananthanarayana’s Dictionary are all fully utilised.  A few of these dictionaries are still in manuscripts.

   This is primarily a Kannada Dictionary.  Yet tadbhavas, tatsamas, anyadēśyas, religious and non-religious terms, technical terms-all these are incorporated besides, of course, the dēśyas or the native words, e.g. angāngibhāva, ance, andhatamasa, akki, aksāmsa, āmlajanaka, kōrtu, tōrana, dravya, pitaka, satsthala.  That is to say that all the words in the Kannada language whether native or non-native find a place in this Dictionary.

    In addition to full words, suffixes like krit and taddhita which are productive by nature and also suffixes denoting question, emphasis and doubt are list separately.


Sanskrit Words :

Sanskrit words occupy an important place in the Dictionary.  All the Sanskrit words which are being used by Kannada authors and all those words listed in Kittel’s Dictionary have been included.  In addition to simple words, even compounds which are frequently used are also included in this Dictionary.  Some of the compound words listed in this Dictionary are not listed even in Sanskrit Dictionaries.  Usages are not usually given for Sanskrit words.  But usages are given for those Sanskrit words, which have semantic developments in Kannada.  Also, if the word is of a technical nature, usages are given.

    Proper names are usually omitted in this dictionary.  But those native proper names which are found in inscriptions prior to 1000 A.D. having some linguistic significance have been included.

    Provincial words are listed; but dialectal variations are omitted.  Coming to the dialectal forms, words which are purely provincial by nature are listed here.  But colloquial and dialectal variations are, as a rule, omitted.  Many of the idioms which have come into the language, both in literary and conversational varieties are explained under the respective main entries.


Main Entries

Words which are treated as main entries are grouped under verbs (kriyāpada), nouns (nāmavāchaka), adjectives (gunavāchaka), participles (avyayas), and suffixes (pratyayas).  The category to which each main entry belongs is shown in closed brackets using the symbols (kri), (nā), (gu), (a) and (pra).  Next the meanings are given.  The main criterion for deciding the meaning of a word is its usages.  As far as possible the basic meaning (vāchyārtha) is given first.  Next the secondary meanings are indicated.  Each and every shade of meaning is annotated and the usages given.  If the chronology of the different meanings of a word is not clear, then the order of meanings follow that of usages.  In case a word had different forms, the meaning is explained on the basis of its earliest occurrence.  The explanation of subsequent forms comes later.  Similarly if a word has many meanings, these meanings are sifted historically and explained chronologically along with the usages.  To make the meanings for a word clear, usages are quoted from works belonging to all the stages of Kannada language, i.e. the old Kannada, the middle Kannada and the modern Kannada.

   The derivation of each main entry is given below the word itself.  If it is a compound, the components are separated in the derivation.  If the word is from Sanskrit, it is shown as [Sam.] in square brackets.  If it is a desya or a native word, it is shown as [De.] and the cognates from other Dravidian languages are given.  So also, if a word is an anyadēśya or a borrowing from a non-Sanskrit source, the language from which it is borrowed is shown after the sign “ß” along with the original form.  If the derivation of a word is not known or clear a question mark (?) is used.



The following examples will give an idea of how the Dictionary is being prepared.


AKKA. aka, akkal (nā). 1. Hiriya sahōdari : Tammakkanam Kānal pōdātam (Pampabhā 8-58 va); Tammakkanathimabbeyllige Gundamabbe bandu (Ajipu 1-46 va); Ātana akka Siriyabbe paralōkavineyam mādi (Eka. VIII, Soraba 46-6; 1008); Hingadyakkatangiyara mēladalli purānganajanvaididudud (Kamnavi 21-22); Akkana hage bhāvana nantu (Gade). 2. (Gowravārthadalli) Hengasu: Gāndhārivesarinakkangalu Thām (Punyāsra 2-46); Maneyolagakkandiranuve (Jayakā 1-20) 3 Hengasararru sambōdhisuvāga sarvasārnavāgi upayōgisuva māthu (avva, amma embanthe); Akka Pēlarolim nudivō bēsaram (Ādipu 3-31); Lathāngi nondinisumalliradakkana barpa batteyam nōduva mēlimendu (Kādam U 95); Akka ninnamatāre jagadoladaballar (Dharmāmru 5-98); Bannire akkagalu, hogire ālada marakke; (asava 562); Akka kēlavva akkayya nānonda kanasa kande (Mahade 15-2);  Tharale ninnam nambi hōdapevakka chenuakka (Basapu 14-); Akka bappenu bidu seraga (Bharacha 36-35); 4. Hengasina hesarina koneyalli (avva, ama embanthe) sēruva māthu : Udā-Nambiyakka Mahadēviyakka, Rāmakka. 5. Apūrvavāgi gandasara hesarina koneyalli sēruva māthua : Mārakka arasar banamā[vā]si pannichhāsiramanale (Ei VI, 163-1; 780) AKA : Beralgaloppirduvāyakananghriyugala pallavadi (Mōhatha 23-14). Mōhatha 23-14). (Mōhatha 13-36, 24-19, 25-5, 31-21, 33-52, 33-63, 40-26 nō) ā + aka = āyaka; Niruthadindavaru suchiyāgi hāsuthalāyakana kullirisi balikkam (Prabhupu 8-66); Muppolal

a jaisida sadāsivana pathniganthahkaranadanneyeēyaja-nenippudnudāharisuvanthe (Saundapu 13-40) (Ēo + aka =Ēeyaka). 

AKKAL : 1. ‘Akkalamaga’ parā 2. Suleyaranegalthe nāde thanagalthi dalakkale sūleyagalē  (Pampabhā 4-94); Konthimādevigamonduttharamādal karnanbetthakkale (Pātam. KKane, rkale (Pampabhā. 12-125).


Bahuva Akkamgal, Akkagalu, akkandiru, akkadiru, akkanavaru ithyādi.


Gowravannu athavā preēthiyannu thōrisuvāga akkachhi, akkanni, akkamma, akkayya, akkavva, akkavva munthāda samasa rūpagalū untu.


AKKA THANGIYA KALLU = Jothe jotheyāgiruva eradu kallugalu.  Ivugalalli ondu doddadu, ondu chikkadu.  Akkathangi katte Jodi jodiyāgiruva kattegalu.  Ivugalalli ondu doddadu, ondu chikkadu : Ēesanyadalu akka thangeya katteya olagereyolagana guddada paduvan kōdugallē gadi (Eka. VII. Sivamo 71-37; 1431).


Dē. Tam. akka, akkai, akkan, akkāl; Mala. akka; Tulu.  akka, akke; Koda. akke; Telu. akka; Kōla. akkabayee; Gondi. akka, thakka. [Sam Akkā-thayi, arka=Jyēshtabhagini; Pra. akkā=sahōdari]


Akka2 (nā)-Ainasi emba mara : akka (Ainasi)-madyama Ākaraddu; kattige minchulla haladi; Adarinda harivanagalannu maduvaru (Kabhāge. 35). (?)


Akkhada, akkada, akhāda (nā). Kusthi maduva pradēsha; Mallayuddhada ranga: Sumtranembarasam mānakashaya mahāgarvitham mallayuddhadol kuslanakkhadadol palarumanikki geldu-( Chāvum U. 46-2); Mattham malethu nindu akkhadadol pokku bāhappalisi (Girika 2-105 va); Ikkuladanthakkha.


[-kha] dadol kadangi pididaunkal balla mallar  (Dharmanā 2-48); Kembatteya misuguva pāsenbajjgadadiky nava Ghasrunavi misritha gandha rajanamanangadolittu (Jayakā 8-50)


AKKADA : Jagajattigalakkadangalol maralade pōarva (Sūkthisu 4-85); Karathalava māruddi bhujadali siradalandakkadadamannanuberalaludirichi (Kuvyāka 19-41); Jattigalā piriyakkadama polala bahēyolu bandhuramāgiye thēevihudu (Srēepala 1-68). AKHADA : Mūraneya jāvada hotthige ellarū akhādadalli sēridaru (Jhārani 28).


[Pra Akkhādaga, Akkhādaya (Sam. Akshavātaka, Akshavāta); Pali. Akkhavata/Marā. Akhāda, Akkhāda; Hin. Akhāda]


   It is sufficiently clear now that this Dictionary is a living symbol of the Kannada language, literature and culture.  This is the first of its kind in Kannada.  It is significant  to note that no other Indian language possesses a dictionary of this kind and magnitude.  Many very interesting quotations full of literary value make this dictionary a living book also.

    To sum up, this Dictionary is not just a replica or an enlarged version of the Kittel’s Dictionary, though it is highly indebted to the latter work.  This Dictionary has gone far ahead of all the former attempts.  Many of the inscriptions, works and articles which were not available to Kittel are used here as source material.  It really supplies a longfelt need of the scholars interested in Kannada language and literature and will be the high mark of the Kannada scholarship.

   So far I have discussed in my paper some of the problems which one has to face while preparing a Dictionary on historical principles with linguistic implication.  Since I am one who is actively engaged in the Dictionary project taken up by the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, naturally.  I am  interested in knowing the problems which the lexicographers in other languages are facing.  I am equally keen on a discussion of the problems and see whether we could put our heads together and try t solve some of them.


The Kashmiri Dictionary

S.K. Toshakhani


            The Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages was founded in 1958.  It did not take long for those concerned to realize that any language worth its name must have standard dictionaries of its own so that the vocables of the language and their significances are not altogether lost with the march of time and that such ready reference works are available to students and scholars for scholarly use.  This is more true of Kashmiri than of any other language of India as a good part of the vocabulary of the language has shown signs of fast becoming obsolete yielding place to all sorts of adhoc words borrowed unnecessarily from other languages and known only to those versed in those languages.  To quote a report submitted to the Central Committee of the Academy on the 23rd of July 1964 by Shri Akhtar Mohi-Ud-Din, “This idea of compiling a dictionary of the Kashmiri language was for the first time evolved in a meeting of the last Advisory Sub-Committee for Kashmiri held on May 28th 1959 .  The committee had for its members among others some eminent men of letters like Prof.  Toshakhani, Prof. J.L. Kaul and master Zinda Kaul”.  A linguistic survey was then conducted for several years in winter season. But in order to quicken the pace of the work undertaken and to co-ordinate and finalize the work done by compilators the urgent need for the appointment of a Chief  Editor was pressed in the report quoted above. In November 1966 a Chief Editor was appointed by the President of the Academy, Khawaja G.M. Sadiq Sahib who has always been a patron of men of letters, scholar and other Intellectuals of the Jammu and Kashmir state.  Two series of dictionaries were then undertaken to be compiled in June, 1967 with the material then available; one, a unilingual dictionary consisting of Kashmiri vocable and their renderings in the same language and the other, an Urdu-Kashmiri Dictionary.  The first volume of the latter series was ready for the press by the end of 1967 and has since been printed.  The second volume is already in the hands of the calligraphist to be shortly sent to the press.  The lexemes included are from such standard works as Farhang-e-Asfia, Noor-ul-Lughat and that by Platts.


            The first volume of the Kashmiri-Kashmiri Dictionary has also been printed.  It covers all words under alif and be that had already been listed by late Sir George A. Grierson, supplemented by the words listed by the surveyers of the Academy.  The form in which the substantives have been given is that of the nominatve singular.  But as this differs considerably from its declineable base the latter, along with derivation has, in every case, been given after each-head word.  The same is true of verbs in which case also the base has been shown separately against each head word which usually takes the form of an infinitive.  Kashmiri has several dialects Siraji, Pogli, Kishtwari and Gurezi, but the vocable and idioms peculiar to these have not found a place in the present works.  A separate glossary may have to be prepared for these dialects.  The script used in a broad adaptation of that used for Urdu with diacritical marks or ‘arabs’ as these are called to indicate peculiarities of Kashmiri as far as practicable.  The old script of Kashmiri was Sharada and later Persian has been used for Kashmiri.  Kashmiri as a language was neglected over the centuries, the language used for governmental and literary purposes having been Sanskrit earlier and then Persian or Urdu.   There was, therefore, no standard script consistently used by writers of the language and , in this respect, every one was more or less a law unto himself.  It stands to the credit of the present Government to have appointed two Committees to go into the matter and to submit their recommendations for Governmental approval.  The script used is, therefore, the one which has thus received government recognition.


Report On The Progress Of  Maithili-English-Hindi Dictionary And Bibliography Of Maithili Books

K.K. Mishra

The Vaidehi Samithi, Darbhanga, the sponsor of the All India Maithili Writers’ Conference, undertook several important publications for the development of Maithili language and literature. 

   In pursuance of resolutions adopted in the first session of the conference held in November, 1956 under the General Presidentship of shri S.N. Sahay, M.P., Padmabhushan, Vice Chancellor, Bihar University , Patna , the scheme of publication of Maithili-English-Hindi Dictionary was undertaken.  Till 1959 very little progress has been made due to lack of funds.  It was decided, therefore, to approach the state and central governments besides other organisations for piloting the scheme.

   In the middle of 1962, the scheme was again undertaken in right earnest after considerable enthusiasm had been raised due to the holding of the next session of the All India Maithili writers’ Conference under the General Presidentship of Shri Satyanarain Sinha, Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, New Delhi .

    The scheme was under consideration of the Government of India for a long time and it was only in March, 1963, the decision of the Government of India was known.  The main scheme of  Maithili Encyclopaedia was staggered and the publication projects of Maithili-English –Hindi Dictionary and Maithili Bibliography were approved for final assistance.

   This is an outstanding dream of the people of this part as well as Maithili-speaking people in U.P., Rajasthan, Gujarat , Maharashtra etc.  The Samiti decided to collect words in two ways : one through the books available such as Maithili chrestomaty (by Sir George A. Grierson), Bihari grammar, Bihar Pesant life, Appendices published in the Linguistic Survery of India by Sir George A. Grierson; Formation of Maithili language by Dr. Subhadra Jha; Dictionaries compiled by Mahavaiyakaran Pt. Shri Dinabndhu Jha, Pt. Shri Kanchinatha Jha ‘Kiran’; Prof. Surendra Jha ‘Suman’ and others.

    For the second part of the work, it was decided to approach different people residing in villages and other places in different parts of Mithila engaged in different trades and pursuits to cooperate by sending the words collected.  The material so far collected have been copied in separate cards and are arranged alphabetically.  some more work has yet to be done in this respect and the first stage will be complete.

Aims and Objects : For the purpose of maintaining and strengthening the national unity and integrity there is an imperative need to publish bilingual and multilingual dictionaries of regional languages.

   The Vaidehi Samiti, has accordingly taken up a scheme for the publication of a Maithili-English-Hindi Dictionary to cater to the needs of the Indians as well as the foreigners interested in the language, literature and culture of Maithili.

   The proposed dictionary is designed to enlist all words and phrases of Maithili including its dialects and slangs.  As this language is fortunate enough to have a continuous stream of literature since tenth century A.D., special care will have to be taken to all words  and phrases found in the literature.  These are expected to throw a considerable light on the development of Maithili as well as many other contemporary languages of India , and for this purpose a philological note regarding etymology and history will be added to appropriate words as far as possible.

   The dictionary so compiled will serve not only as a practical dictionary for general use but also as a guide to the students of philology all over the world. 

    The utility of bibliography is universally acknowledge.  It makes the task of research easier and preserves rare work from being lost or neglected.  In the case of Maithili, its utility is all the more in as much as the works of this literature are mostly unpublished.  Hundreds of Maithili manuscripts are scattered all over Mithila  and Nepal .  For the preservation of these valuable works, it is urgently necessary to bring them to the notice of those who may be benefited from them.  The Vaidehi Samiti therefore, has desired to prepare and publish an up-to-date bibliography of Maithili  books in general.

   The proposed bibliography will be the first venture in this field as no bibilography of any kind has so far been published in Maithili except  some catalogues meant only for commercial purposes.  It is, therefore, designed to cover all works in Maithili language of all periods and on all subjects.  It will furnish inter alia the following information :  

1.       Author and his time

2.       Title and year of composition

3.       Subject and brief account of contents

4.       Condition, i.e. whether printed or not, number of pages scribe and date of copying

5.       Publishers with year of publication and price.

6.       In the case of manuscripts and rare books, location and the owner of the book etc.

These details will be gathered mostly by means of correspondences.  In some cases, however, personal contact or local enquiry may be necessary.  The work may take about one year’s time in compilation and publication if one whole-time scholar with a correspondence clerk is engaged.  It is quite impossible to estimate the volume of the work even tentatively.  It seems, however, safe to say that the work may take more than two hundred pages of crown sixteen size.

       The cost of the scheme may be estimated at Rs. 3,900-00 approximately.

       The project received considerable sympathy from scholars and a large number of our of print publications were spotted.  Nearly 1500 scholars, important institutions and libraries in Maithili speaking areas were contacted through correspondence (by printed leaf lets) to supply the information for compilation.  The response was encouraging and it was decided to visit the different centres of Maithili for collecting rare works and manuscripts which remain still unnoticed.

       This spade work, having been completed, the information received was tabulated subject wise which was further checked up with original entries.  Later on, these were arranged alphabetically for easy verification.

       The material, thus collected, requires verification.  It is proposed to make personal contacts widely by intensive tour to different centres for ensure correct entries as far as possible.

       It is intended to include also informations regarding old manuscripts and also prepare in appendices detailed information regarding all publication of scholars in Mithila and allied publications regarding Maithili-Mithaila and Maithili together with photographs, maps etc. provided funds are available.  The Samiti desires to make this work exhaustive as far as possible.

       The material collected under this project covers the publications under different branches of literature and it is intended to publish the information available in different journals, magazines and papers so that Maithili scholars may point out any omissons in the proposed bibliography.  Indexing and proper classification of information available in Mithila-Mihir, Vaidehi Batuk has been done. Press copy is nearly complete (after editing.)

       Verification of the material has resulted in finding several important works done by Pravasi Maithils in Jaipur, Ajmer , Varanasi , Agra , Calcutta . Manuscripts in Calcutta University and Asiatic Society have yet to be explored.

      Information has been also collected regarding the major unpublished work of scholars which requires the close scrutiny of editors.  These may be included in the appendix.

       Further attempts in collection of more words will be continued.  A voluminous collection by a Maithili Pandit, Vedamitra Mishra of Indore has enriched our material. The editorial staff is now concentrating on editing the material already collected.  A revision will be necessary before putting the material for final publication.

       The repetition have been eliminated, the language of explanation has been improved and reference to variant forms and synonyms have been provided where necessary.  More contacts with people have been made to get information.

       It is hope that much of the final shape of the two projects will be ready for press soon.

 1.       General method of execution : It will be executed by a Board of Editors consisting of

i)                     One chief editor

ii)                   Twenty sectional editors and

iii)                  Two assistant editors

     The chief editor will nominate sectional editors one from each branch of knowledge, and will, with the help of assistant editors, collect and compile the topics of entries and send them to their respective sectional editors.

    The sectional editors will prepare a list of the authoritative scholars in the sphere of their respective branches of knowledge and allot to them the topics of entries as supplied by the chief editor.

   The sectional editors again will revise and improve and said draft and submit them to the chief editor.

    The chief editor, after satisfying himself that the length of the entries is proportionate and the expression correct and clear will arrange the topics alphabetically.  

   The sources of collection of words will be two fold-the verbal and the written.  For the purpose of the collection from the written source, the total words and phrases of some selected books including dictionaries so far available will be indexed in separate cards.  But the collection from verbal source will be an arduous task.  The scholar entrusted with this work will have to approach village-folk engaged in different trades and pursuits. the collection work in this sphere will of course be topic-wise, and afterwards every word will be copied on separate cards and arranged alphabetically.

   In the second stage, materials thus collected will be properly edited by arranging words, bringing different meanings in order, saving repetitions, improving the language of explanations, providing reference to variants of forms, synonyms etc.  and putting signs and abbreviations, so on.

    The third stage will be the preparation of the press copy from the finalised cards and printing.

Personnel :

There will a Chief Editor with the sole responsibility for the work.  He will be provided with eight assistants.  At the first age, four of them will be entrusted with the collection work from verbal sources, and the remaining four will be engaged in indexing words and phrases from the books selected for the purpose.  In the second stage all of them will come together and will be engaged in editing  work as explained above.  At the third stage services  of only one or two assistants will be required to guide and supervise the copying work for which less qualified hands in requisite number will be appointed.

Volume and Duration of Work :

The work is estimated, of course very roughly, to cover one thousand pages of demy size, and to be completed in two years if the strength of the staff may be as below :


2. Sources of knowledge :

The chief editor will seek and supply the sources of necessary information to the editors, scholars and the staff.

   Books will be the best and prime source.  A requisite number, of course, will be engaged in selecting topics from authoritative treatises on varies subjects and from other encyclopaedias lexicons etc. They will also make drafts of entries on easy and non-technical subjects solely on the basis of the information derived from such books.

   The other source of knowledge will be the correspondence and interviews with the experts.  Correspondents will be engaged and travelling facilities will be given to the editors for necessary interviews.

   Academic institutions will be approached, and they are expected to be a valuable source of knowledge.


3. Staff and equipments :

In addition to the editors, scholars and readers as mentioned above a number of clerks will be employed for sorting and arranging papers, keeping accounts, copying, typing and correspondence.

    Stationery, furniture and books will be supplied  to all who may need.

    For accommodating the staff and the work, a building of about 3000 square feet floor area will be acquired on lease.


1.    Bulk of work and period of execution :

    The work is roughly estimated to embrace about 2000 pages octavo super royal size.

    The work may take a period of atleast five years in its compilation as well as printing.

    The work may be printed in 2000 copies and bound in two volumes.



A Note On The Work Undertaken By  Marathi Samshodhan Mandal, Bombay

A. B. Joshi

This Mandal has undertaken two projects.  One is the compilation of Marathi Encyclopaedia of Literature and the other a Dictionary of terms used in literature, literary criticism and allied subjects.

    The language of the Encyclopaedia will be Marathi, but its contents will not be confined to literature in Marathi.  It will include articles on literatures in all the languages of India as well as on literatures in important European and Asiatic languages (other than Indian).  It will also include articles on such other branches of learning as Philosophy, Psychology Aesthetics, etc. which are not only helpful, but essential to the proper understanding and appreciation of literature.

     Modern literature and literary criticism in Indian languages owes much to the literatures and literary criticism in Modern European languages.  European and American literary criticism of the last thirty years or so has used many new words and expressions for which  there are no adequate equivalents in Indian languages.  “Establishment”, “Outsider”, “Insider”, “Alienation”, “Drama of the Absurd”, “Total Man”, “Monumental man”, “Charisma”, “Charismatic personality”, “Tragic hero”, “Pain-threshold”, etc. are some such words.  Even such words as Classicism, Classic, Classics, Classical, romanticism, Romantic, Melodrama, Tragedy, Comedy, Farce, have no equivalents in Indian languages which can express their exact import.  Searching for suitable equivalents, one naturally turns to Sanskrit, and, therefore, different Indian languages use different Sanskrit equivalents.  Sometimes the same Sanskrit word is used in a slightly different sense in different languages, so that there is no vocabulary common to all the Indian languages, though all tap the same source.  This sometimes proves to be a barrier to communication between speakers of different Indian languages although each may know the language of the other.

     In our Encyclopaedia we will need to use equivalents for all the terms that are commonly found in European literary criticism, aesthetics, philosophy, psychology, etc. So we must have a set of words which will serve our purpose.

     Our second project is an attempt to provide a set of Marathi equivalents.  It is going to be a dictionary of words used in literature, literary criticism, art and art criticism, and all other branches of learning relevant to the understanding and appreciation of literature.  The preliminary work is already done and we are at present at the revising and sifting stage.

     The dictionary is being compiled primarily for the Marathi speaking reader.  But as in almost every case the Marathi equivalent is derived from Sanskrit, we elieve that the dictionary could with a few modifications, be useful to speakers of all Indian languages, at least all North Indian languages.  If lexicographers doing the same or similar work were to come together, it should be easier to evolve a common vocabulary.

     The Government of India, through its different agencies, is bringing out glossaries of terms used in different branches of learning. We are consulting those that have been already published.  Probably, it is a part of the scheme of the Government of India to bring out a glossary of terms used in literature and arts.  Some of the lexicographers meeting at Mysore are perhaps engaged in doing this kind of work.  If this note is placed before them it might, we hope, serve some useful purpose.


Dictionary Making In Orissa

Binode  Kanungo

There are a large number of small dictionaries in the Oriya language.  But they are mainly meant for students.  So no useful purpose would be served by going into the history of these small dictionaries.

We have at present three dictionaries worth the name.  They are



3)                   PROMODA ABHIDHAN

    Towards the end of the nineteenth century, late Pandit Gopinath Nanda made a serious attempt to prepare a comprehensive dictionary in Oriya.  After seven ears of hard labour he prepared the manuscript.  Inspite of his personal efforts and all the sympathies of the Utkal Sahitya Samaj, the only representative literary organisation of Orissa in those days, it could not be published.  He had to wait for full ten years when the Governments of Madras, Bihar and Orissa came forward with some financial help.  The Maharaja of Parlakhimedi also made some substantial contribution and the dictionary was published in 1916.  This 1100 page SHABDATATTWABODHA ABHIDHAN in the first Oriya dictionary to be published which could be usefully referred to by the educated people of Orissa.

     When the above mentioned dictionary was published late Gopal Chandra Praharaj felt the necessity of a bigger and more comprehensive lexicon, He started to prepare his manuscript in 1919.  He was assisted by a number of people in the venture and after full eight years of labour the manuscript for a voluminous Oriya lexicon was prepared.  The first volume was published in 1931 and the last of the seven volumes was published in 1940.  The total cost was Rs. 1,25,000-00 (One hundred and twenty five thousand rupees) It contains 1,85,000 words in 9000 pages.

     The third one was prepared by late Promoda Chandra Deba Barma and Pandit Domoda Misra.  The 2900 pages and 1,50,000 word-dictionary was published in three volumes in 1942.

     Besides these three big dictionaries, smaller ones have been published by Pandit Mrutunjaya Rath, Pandit Kulamani Das, Pandit Jagannath Tripathy, Sri Krusna Chandra Kar and others.

     From the above mentioned facts we can safely conclude that during the last forty years there has been no serious attempt made to produce a comprehensive dictionary in Oriya.  Thousands of new words have come into use during this period although new words have been coined and words of foreign origin have been borrowed and thoroughly assimilated in the languages.  There is a serious attempt to write books on all subjects of human knowledge.  At every step the necessity of either coining of borrowing new words is intensely felt.

     When I started writing articles for my 75 volume (71,00,000 words) Encylopaedia (JNANMANDAL) I intensely felt that a voluminous comprehensive dictionary in Oriya is an absolute and immediate necessity.  Without the help of such a dictionary, it is not easy to understand fully the new Oriya words or terms used in the Oriya Encyclopaedia.  The old dictionaries do not serve the purpose.  This is the feeling of almost all the Oriya writers who are now writing books on different branches of science and technology in Oriya.  There is an attempt made to prepare technical dictionaries.  These dictionaries will simply tell us what should be the Oriya equivalents of the English terms  But unless and until those newly coined words find  a place in the pages of the Oriya comprehensive dictionary, the true meanings of those words will not be clear to the readers. A comprehensive English dictionary contains all the words used in the English language, though there are so many scientific and technical English dictionaries also.

     So the first priority so far as the Oriya language is concerned is a comprehensive dictionary.

     By emphasising this point so much,  I do not at all minimise the importance of other types of dictionaries.  What I mean is this-once we prepare a comprehensive dictionary it will be easy for others to prepare other types of dictionaries.

     In other parts of India comprehensive dictionaries have already been prepared.  So it is natural that priorities would vary in different languages.

     The Oriya lexicon, the BHASHAKOSHA  should be revised, edited and published.  That would serve the purpose.  But it must be emphasised that it requires a thorough revision.  In his anxiety to prove that the Oriya is a rich language so far as vocabulary is concerned, the author of the lexicon has introduced hundreds of words  that have a very limited usage and local importance.  A thorough revision would prove that the Oriya language contains nearly 100,000 words.  But after a careful calculation during the last sixteen years of my work on Encyclopaedia I have come to the definite opinion that at least 150,000 words are to be added to our vocabulary if we seriously mean to express ourselves adequately in Oriya in any branch of human knowledge.

     So far as the availability of competent manpower in Orissa is concerned, I am sure Orissa has the required manpower.

     Our second priority is the production of bilingual dictionaries.  The Utkal University is making a serious effort to produce a comprehensive technical and scientific dictionary.  But as I have said earlier, two dictionaries should be published at the same time one from English to Oriya and the other from Oriya to English.  Unless we immediately publish the “Oriya to English Technical Dictionary” the real meanings of the newly coined words will not be understood by the people.  This second type of  dictionary may not be of great use later, say after twenty years.  But it is a great necessity at present.

     We have an English to Oriya Dictionary produced by Sri Jagan Mohan Patnaik.  In contains 70,000 words.  This two volume dictionary was published in 1964.  I feel this will serve the purpose for the present with only a supplement volume added to it.  He has also prepared an up-to-date Anglo-Oriya dictionary for the students.

    We very badly need a “Hindi-Oriya Dictionary”.  In this connection I want to make a point absolutely clear. It has not been possible for many people outside Orissa to believe that Oriya language is not Non-Hindi in the sense that Telugu or Tamil are Non-Hindi languages.  Anybody can see that many words are almost similar in Hindi and Oriya.  So when I say that a ‘Hindi-Oriya Dictionary’ should be produced I simply suggest that only those very words that are peculiar to Hindi can be included in the proposed dictionary.  I am sure their number will never be more than 10,000.  With the help of that publication any Oriya would be able to understand the Hindi language.  The vice-versa is also true.  If a Hindi-speaking man has an Oriya to Hindi dictionary containing practically the same number of words he will have no difficulty in reading or understanding Oriya.  These two dictionaries will help other Non-Hindi speaking people of India to have some idea about the Oriya language.



(with special reference to Punjabi)

Harkeerat Singh


Dictionary making, like any other work, has its own problems.  In this brief paper I shall try to touch some of these.  My aim is to give expert opinion on these problems, and therefore I have simply posed the questions in most cases, without making any personal suggestions.

    The first and the most vital problem is that of collecting vocabulary. I don’t think any Indian language can claim that is total vocabulary is recorded in a particular dictionary.  I think the vocabulary has to be collected from two sources, firstly through extensive and intensive field work particularly in rural areas, and secondly through examination of the literature of all types.  No dictionary can be complete until both these phases of the programmer are finalised.  District dictionaries should be completed before a comprehensive dictionary of the language can be started.  What should be the method and form of the survey of the dialects and of the literature, can be decided by the experts who have previous experience of specialized knowledge about such work.

     After collecting the vocabulary comes the question of arrangement of words in alphabetical order, which is not an easy job, as far as the dictionaries of Indian languages are concerned.  There is no uniform order in arranging the nasalized vowels Punjabi has a further problem of stressed vowels, as distinct from unstressed ones.  Thus ‘satt’ with a stressed medial vowel means ‘seven’ while ‘sat’ with an unstressed vowel means ‘essence’.  In what order should these stressed vowels be arranged? There should be some uniform rules for mentioning the different parts of speech of an item.  The same word could be a noun, a verb, an adjective or an adverb.  Which of these should come first? Again should the different parts of speech come under the same head entry or be recorded as separate entries? The vocabulary from dialects creates some further difficulties. When a dialect word has a form quite different from its synonym in the standard languages, that word can easily be entered in its alphabetical position.  But in Punjabi some dialect words differ from the standard form only in tone.  Tone is not transcribed in general orthography, and the dictionaries are arranged according to the general orthography i.e. spelling system, not according to the phonetic transcription.  How, then are such dialect words to be given? Loan words present another problem : Numerous English words are in current use in all Indian language. Which should be the criterion for selecting such English words which could be entered in the dictionaries of our languages as part and parcel of the native vocabulary? Generally, it is said that the foreign words in common use should be accepted in the dictionary of the receiving language.  But the phrase ‘in common use’ in courts, offices, university campus etc may be unknown to the common man. The question requires deeper consideration.

     More important than the selection of foreign words is the decision about the shape in which they be accepted in the dictionary.  The borrowed words do not get currency in the new language in their original form, they are reshaped according to the phonological structure of the receiving language.  But the dictionaries, in most cases, persist in recording such words in their original form.  Many of these words look very old strangers as they do not fit in the phonological patters of the receiving language.  Do we, as linguists, approve of the policy of accepting words in their original shapes?

     Another important question is as to how much of grammar is to be introduced in a dictionary of a language which has a grammatical gender. But the problem has much greater implications.  The gender is not linked with the nouns alone; in Punjabi it is extended to most of the verbal forms, those containing the participles, to majority of adjectives and even to some adverbs, kərda ‘doing’ is masculine singular.  Other forms are kərde kərdi kərdia.  Will all these forms be recorded under the head Karda? And if so, will they not be recorded as separate words?

     Again, how will the different forms of a ver-participles, gerunds, etc.  be arranged in a dictionary? Will these forms be entered as separate words without expressing any relationship with the basic form? In such a case how will a non-Punjabi speaker know from the dictionary that kita is the past participle of the Verb kər ‘do’, and that it is related to kərda ‘doing’?

     At the other end is the question of maintaining distinction between a dictionary and an encyclopaedia.  It is true that a dictionary cannot afford to handle all that information which an encyclopaedia contains or should contain.  But it is also a fact that most of our dictionaries omit some pieces of information should essentially be recorded.  For instance, it is not enough to state in a Punjabi dictionary that “sənichər var ‘Saturday is the day of the week between Friday and Sunday.’ I believe the dictionary must tell that this mane is after one of the planets of the solar system, which bears the same feature.  Again it may not be too much for a dictionary if it also records that this day as well as the planet is considered to be an ill-omen according to the belief of certain people.

     Whereas it may not be very difficult to lay down rules for selection of grammatical information to be given in a dictionary, it looks almost impossible to draw a clear-cut line between a dictionary and an encyclopaedia.  However, some broad guideline for the guidance of compilers of dictionaries must be provided,

     Then there is the problem of arrangements of meanings. Should they be arranged historically, i.e. as they developed in the language, or should they be arranged i order of their popularity based on frequency?

     The question of arrangements of idioms  and compounds also deserves attention.  Most of the dictionaries give compounds as separate words; but modern dictionaries include these as sub-words.  Should the compounds and idioms be arranged immediately after the meaning to which they are related, or should they be, given at the end of the entry?

     Then there is the question of giving illustrations from literature.  The limits of such quotations should be defined.

     These are only some of the problems of lexicography, not all. I admit that most of these problems are not so serious that they cannot be easily solved by a board of compilers, I have presented them in this assembly of scholars only to get the views of the experienced linguists and to find the best possible solution for most, if not all, of these problems.

     I am no expert and do not claim to have any special qualification for lexicography.  But since we have assembled here to find out certain ways and means for successfully handling the project of dictionary making, I venture to make some suggestions concerning the problems posed by the conveners of this conference.

     It is well known that there are mainly two categories of dictionaries, the general dictionaries, and the specialized dictionaries.  The subject  dictionaries, technical terminology dictionaries, dictionaries of different occupations and vocations, commercial dictionaries, all come under the heading ‘specialized dictionaries’.  I am of the opinion that the nomenclature ‘dictionary; should be reserved only for general dictionaries; specialized  dictionaries ma be called ‘glossaries’.

     The general category may include comprehensive dictionary, concise dictionary, students dictionary, pocket dictionary etc.  In this category priority should be given to the comprehensive dictionary, because the concise, pocket and students dictionaries have to be based on he comprehensive one and not vice versa.  However, all glossaries must be prepared before the final phase of the compilation of the comprehensive one and not vice versa.  However, all glossaries much be prepared before the final phase of the compilation of the comprehensive dictionary begins.  Terminologies recorded in these glossaries have to be incorporated in the comprehensive dictionary.  Vocabulary for this dictionary should be collected from speakers and also from literature as suggested earlier.  It is a colossal work and requires a long term planning.  I believe a fully representative dictionary cannot be completed in less than fifteen years time.  We must accept that an Institute responsible for preparing a dictionary should normally be an independent department, and it should not be tagged to the language or linguistics department.  Of course, the scholars employed for the purpose must have qualification both in language and linguistics and in addition should have experience or training in lexicography. Such training should be imparted centrally.  IT will be better if a course of the duration of 4 to 6 weeks be run in the very beginning. Experts should be engaged as resource person for such a training programme and, if necessary, foreign scholars may also be invited.  Five to ten scholars from each regional language may be trained in this course.

     For organisational purposes, separate lexicography cells may be opened for all regional languages.  These cells should be located in Universities, preferably where a department of linguistics is already functioning. There may be a centre of lexicography for the whole country.  It should be located along with one of the cells.  This should be the central organisation in coordinating the work of all the cells.  It should hold seminars, and conduct short term courses.  IT should also publish a quarterly bulletin containing the details of work done by different cells, problems faced y any of the cells, with suggestions, for solving these problems if possible, and also articles concerning any aspect of lexicography.

     One word of caution about the selection of staff.  Scholarly and highly intellectual type of people may rpove to be weak as adminstrators.  But the success of this project depends as much on the efficiency of administration as on scholarship or technical proficiency.  The administrative heads, at all levels, must be carefully selected.  Senior members of compilation wing should normally be elderly persons, either retired or nearing retirement.  The youngsters will not stick to the stick to the job.  They will always be looking for better opportunities outside.  But there must be some scholars who should remain in the board of compilers of comprehensive dictionary, from the beginning to end.  I am personally of the opinion that the entries for dictionary may be written by four or five person, but all these entries must be checked, revised and finalized by a single scholar, otherwise the same dictionary will have different styles and diversity in presentation.

    In the end, I beg to add that it may not be possible to finalise the whole scheme and make decisions about all aspects of the project in this conference.  A board of advisers or experts may be constituted for this purpose.  They may go into the details of the scheme and give a final shape to it in two or three meetings.


Lexicographical Studies In Sindhi

Parso j. Gidwani

The tradition of lexicography is not very old in Sindhi language.  During Talpur dynasty (1783-1843) brief vocabularies such as Persian-Sindhi-Persian and Sindhi-Persian were compiled for individual or court use in Persian and Gurmukhi scripts.  However, these have remained unpublished so far, and the first publications in this field were brought out by the British scholars.  Lexicographical studies in Sindhi are classified here into the following sub-headings depending on the number of language covered, their contents and coverage.

1.       Monolingual Dictionaries :

Not much has been done in this field.  Sahijram Tahilram had compiled a monolingual dictionary called Sahijkoshu before 1947.  But the unfortunate and sad demise of the compiler, and the commercial attitude of his sons, has prevented this valuable work from being published so far.  The exact nature and contents of this dictionary are not known.

    Sindhi Adabi Board in Pakistan had a project for compiling a comprehensive Sindhi-Sindhi Dictionaroy in five volumes.  The first volume edited by Nabi Bux Khan Baloch, was published in 1960.  It covers only the first three letters of the Sindhi-Arabic script

پب׀, (a,b,p) and consists of approximately 16,000 vocables and a number of compounds.  This exhaustive work, covers words and idioms from all walks of life.  It incorporates quite a number of words from the dialects as well.  But it is inconsistent in using diacritical marks, in assigning the grammatical categories and in giving the meaning of various entries.  In some cases homophonous vocables with different etymological sources have been grouped together whereas in other cases they have been kept apart.

      There are two more dictionaries which are in manuscript form : Sindhi-Lughat compiled by Ali Mohammad in 1920 and Sindhi-Dictionary compiled by Lala Hasanand in (about 1947).  Both are not available for examination.

2.       Bilingual Dictionaries :

The first set of bilingual dictionaries produced was the unpublished Persian-Sindhi and Sindhi-Persian vocabularies compiled during the Talpur dynasty (1783-1843).  These were followed by two small lexicons mainly to meet the needs of foreign students.  Wathen (1836) and Eastwick (1843) prepared small vocabularies of Sindhi and the same were published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta .  In 1843, Leech prepared a vocabulary of seven Indo-Aryan languages for the Government of Bombay, which includes Sindhi as one of the languages.

     After these meagre attempts, a real beginning in the field of dictionary making was made by Captain George Stack, a gifted lexicographer, who compiled English-Sindhi and Sindhi-English dictionaries.   Of these, the English-Sindhi  dictionary was published in 1849 and the Sindhi-English posthumously in 1855.  In these dictionaries, Sindhi vocables are written in Sindhi-Devanagari script.  The Sindhi-English dictionary contains approximately 17,000 Sindhi vocables. A number of loan words from Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic sources have also been included. These dictionaries are not exhaustive but were prepared for the requirements of European learners, to be appointed in the newly conquered province of Sindhi in 1843.  One of the reasons for adopting Devanagiri characters in these dictionaries was said to be that the British officers in other provinces had already learnt the script while staying in other provinces.

     In 1866 Jawahar-al-Lughat, a Sindhi-Persian dictionary was compiled by Abdul Rahim Abbasi but it remains unpublished.

     This was followed by Sindhi-English dictionary compile by Father Shirt with the assistance of Uditram Thakurdas aud S.F. Mirza.  This was the first Sindhi-English dictionary written in Sindhi-Arabic characters.  This is no doubt a significant work.  The meaning of Sindhi word is given in English along with referances to grammatical categories.  This is the only bilingual dictionary which gives the source of Sindhi words.

     Father Shirt’s dictionary was followed by a number of smaller dictionaries mainly meant for school and college use; of these, the two compiled by Oarmanand Mewaram are of great significance.  They are : (1) A Sindhi-English dictionary (1910); and (ii) A new English-Sindhi dictionary. (1933).  In preparing these dictionaries.  Parmanand had taken great pains by eliciting as many native Sindhi words as he could and by contacting native speakers of English for the English entries and also to give closest possible renderings of the native Sindhi words.

     Most of the remaining Sindhi-English and English-sindhi dictionaries are greatly influenced by the above dictionaries of Parmanand Mewaram.  There does not appear to be any effort toward improving either the contents or the technique in these dictionaries.  Shahani’s dictionary gives the pronunciation of English words in Sindhi-Arabic script but surprisingly enough in most of the instances (especially in crucial cases) this is of no use.

     An Urdu-Sindi Dictionary, compiled by Ibn-I1yas, was published in 1950.  It is a small dictionary containing about 14,000 vocables.  Each Urdu vocable is followed by one or more Sindhi equivalents.  IT also gives the grammatical category and the etymological source, of these vocables.  The absence of diacritics is a great short coming of this dictionary. Sindi –Arabi Board in Pakistan has published Sindhi-Urdu Dictionary (1959) containing about 24,000 Sindi words, and an Urdu-Sindi Dictionary (1960) containing about  20,000 Urdu words.  These are prepared under the editorship of Nabi Bux Khan Baloch and Gulam Mustafa, and are however meant for the students.


3.       Trilingual Dictionaries.

Two trilingual dictionaries have so far been published.  The first is Pak-Triple compiled by Memon Abdul Hussain and published in 1959.  A Hindi-Engl