Comparative Grammar of the Modern Aryan Languages of India
The Indo-Aryan language family is a branch of the Indo-European phylum, and includes Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi, Kashmiri and Gujarati. First published in 1872, this three-volume comparative grammar of the family was written by the British civil servant John Beames (1837-1902). From 1866 he spent twelve years in India, during which he gathered data for what he intended to be the first comprehensive and accurate Indo-Aryan grammar. Volume 1 focuses on phonetics and phonology. Drawing on evidence from Indo-Aryan sound systems, it shows Sanskrit to be the languages' parent, while exploring some non-Sanskritic exceptions. It also gives a detailed historical background to the languages, provides careful descriptions of their vowel and consonant systems, and explores how Indo-Aryan phonology has changed over time. Beames' findings remain central to the work of general linguists, phonologists and language typologists.