SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

McGregor, Ronald S. (1965) A study of early Braj Bhasa prose, as exemplified in the Nitisataka commentary of Indrajit of Orcha. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

PDF - Submitted Version
Download (143MB) | Preview


This study is an attempt to enlarge our knowledge of the type, or types, of language which will have underlain the literary language of the mediaeval Braj Bhasa poets. It originates in the fact that the India Office Library contains a MS of one of the earliest texts in Braj Bhasa prose (composed c.A.D.1600) which are known to exist. The work consists essentially of an edition of this unpublished text, and a descriptive study of its language. The Introduction, after describing the chief existing studies of literary and colloquial Braj Bhasa, suggests the ends which might be served by the analysis of an old, carefully transmitted prose text at this time, and outlines the scope of the present study. Chapter I summarises our scanty knowledge of early prose in Hindi dialects and lists the Sanskritised prose texts in Khari Boli and Braj Bhasa which are usually claimed to date from before A.D. 1600, with comments on their authenticity and transmission. Chapter II describes the known MSS of works by Indrajit of Orcha, indicating the grounds on which one of them is chosen as a basis for the study. Chapter III presents an edition of the text of this MS, with textual, interpretative and grammatical notes; the last bear chiefly on minor points of morphology and syntax, Chapters IV-Vi contain most of the detailed conclusions of the study. It emerges that the prose language of Indrajit differs in many features from Braj Bhasa as described in the standard studies, based chiefly on mediaeval poetic texts and 19th century prose. In morphology, it has "been possible to add at many points to existing accounts, and there is room for suspicion that some of the additions bear on the general morphology of mediaeval Braj Bhasa, rather than merely on that of the particular text studied. Certain forms found in the text are not mentioned at all elsewhere. It seems that a very restricted number of Khari Boli forms were genuinely current in the language of the text. In syntax, the material presented in Chapter VI is largely new for Braj Bhasa, the existing studies having dealt not at all fully with the topics concerned. The clear affinities of the syntax of the text with that of modern Khari Boli have been underlined, and the divergences, of which there are a number, noted. In phonology, the fact that a non-poetic text was being analysed has enabled more definite statements on the weakening of short vowels to be made than has been possible hitherto, while various other aspects of phonology have been studied more fully for this text than for any other specimen of mediaeval Braj Bhasa.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:11

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item