Home > Catalogue > Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie orientale > 53 | 2017 > Rājasthānī Features in Medieval Braj Prose Texts 

Rājasthānī Features in Medieval Braj Prose Texts 

The Case of Differential Object Marking and Verbal Agreement in Perfective Clauses

Andrea Drocco    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



One of the few scholars who paid attention to the ‘dark’ period of the evolution of NIA from late MIA was Luigi Pio Tessitori. The studies of this scholar resulted in his well-known Grammar of the Old Western Rajasthani. In the introduction of his Grammar, Tessitori advanced the hypothesis that probably in this first period of NIA there was an intermediate form of speech that surely separated Old Western Rājasthānī from what he called an Old form of Western Hindī, but in which these two linguistic varieties of Western NIA merged together. Tessitori called Old Eastern Rājasthānī this old intermediate form of speech. As stated by himself, one of Tessitori’s future objectives would be to find some proof to demonstrate or to invalidate this hypothesis. However, due to his untimely death, he was not able to do this. Due to the fact that at the present there’s lack of specific studies on this topic, the present study intend to pursue Tessitori’s hypothesis using some medieval published texts in Braj-bhāṣā prose. Even if the language of this kind of texts could be classified as a form of Braj, we will see that these texts show a language different from classical Braj, where many examples of a typical characteristic of Māravāṛī (i.e. Rājasthānī) are attested: the agreement of O with main verb, in a perfective construction, even if O presents an overt marking with the DAT/ACC postposition. Therefore these texts show the existence of a feature of convergence between different varieties. In the last section I will conclude that this seems to be in agreement with Tessitori’s hypothesis, but a more detailed study on language contact involved in the evolution and formation of Western Hindī dialects is necessary to validate this hypothesis.

June 20, 2017
May 22, 2017
Jan. 20, 2017

Keywords: RājasthānīDifferential Object MarkingErgativityBraj-bhāṣā

Copyright: © 2017 Andrea Drocco. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.