On the 15th of October 1964 the Deccan College celebrates the centenary of its main Building, and curiously enough this period coincides with the Silver
Jubilee of the Postgraduate and Research Institute which, as successor to the Deccan College, started functioning from 17th August 1939 when members of the
teaching faculty reported on duty. When I suggested to members of our faculty the novel idea that the centenary should be celebrated by the publication of a
hundred monographs representing the research carried on under the auspices of the Deccan College in its several departments they readily accepted the
suggestion. These contributions are from present and past faculty members and research scholars of the Deccan College, giving a cross-section of the manifold
research that it has sponsored during the past twentyfive years. From small beginnings in 1939 the Deccan College has now grown into a well developed and
developing Research Institute and become a national centre in so far as Linguistics, Archaeology and Ancient Indian History, and Anthropology and Sociology are
concerned. Its international status is attested by the location of the Indian Institute of German Studies (jointly sponsored by Deccan College and the Goethe
Institute of Munich), the American Institute of Indian Studies and a branch of the Ecole Francaise d’Extreme-Orient in the campus of the Deccan College. The
century of monographs not only symbolises the centenary of the original building and the silver jubilee of the Research Institute, but also the new spirit of
critical enquiry and the promise of more to come.
Way back in 1921 when I was studying the Mahabhasya of Patanjali under the guidance of Pandit Srinivasacarya the idea first struck me of developing a grammar
of Konkani as I knew it in its relation to Sanskrit. I was not acquainted then with the modern methods of linguistic research or the great works which already
existed for a study of Indo-Aryan. It was chance acquaintance with the Prakrtaprakasa of Vararuci that excited my interest in this direction. When during the
period 1928-1931 I spent four summers in England, France and Germany and became acquainted with the comparative grammars of Indo-European, Romance,
Germanic and Indo-Aryan, the seed already planted during my study of Panini and Patanjali sprouted and at the very first opportunity which I had in 1931 after
my return from Europe I began the collection of material from a first-hand observation of my own and several cognate dialects for a scientific treatment of these
dialects. But the work of collection and study had been interrupted on and off by other scientific undertakings of vaster proportions so that ultimately it has been
reduced to the position of a by-product of my major research in the field of Indo-Aryan linguistics.
The first outcome of this attempt was my short study of Konkani Phonetics, completed in 1932 but published in the Journal of the Department of Letters,
Calcutta University, in 1934. This was followed during 1934-35 by the serial publication of my Comparative Glossary of Konkani in the Calcutta Oriental
Journal. The first instalment of the present work was ready in 1936 but could only be published in the January 1937 issue of the Annals of the Bhandarkar
Oriental Research Institute. Altogether seven instalments have now appeared, covering 160 royal octavo pages. The unity of the work has been to some extent
affected by this serial publication and the interval separating the first from the last instalment, but the fault is entirely mine, and the only excuse I have to offer is
my pre-occupation with more urgent undertakings.
The occasion of the Silver Jubilee celebration of the Bhandarkar Institute seemed to me appropriate to bring out all these seven instalments in book form with a
comparative etymological index of the vocables treated therein. That it has been possible for me to do so is chiefly due to the accommodation and
encouragement given to me by Dr. I. J. S. TARAPOREWALA, Director of the Deccan College Post-graduate and Research Institute, Poona by including the
Index in the Bulletin of that Institute, and to Dr. R. N. DANDEKAR, Secretary of the Bhandarkar Institute for expediting the completion of the last instalment. I
wish to express here my deep obligation to these two Institutes which have never failed to give me the encouragement needed for the pursuit of such studies.
That the study has been at all possible¬¬–however imperfect in its execution or presentation of the facts–is a matter for which I am thankful to a number of
friends and well-wishers who spared no pains in helping me with the material I needed for the work. In particular my wife has been my constant companion in the
search for material needed on every aspect of this study; and it is but meet that her father who helped me all along in actively collecting a large part of the
vocables and who would have rejoiced today in the publication of a work which he initiated and of which he saw only the first two instalments should be
permanently associated with this work, and accordingly it has been dedicated to his memory.
Turning to the pleasant duty of thanking those who in one way or another helped me in the printing of this work, I must mention my colleague Mr. P. K. GODE,
who has sustained me in all this work with his advice and co-operation. Mr. G. N. SHIRIGONDEKAR of the Bhandarkar Institute has taken special care in the
reading of the proofs and saved me from a number of errors, and despite the inevitable lapses of the compositors, I have to thank them all for the patience with
which they met the additional demands for special types and corrections. I have also to thank the Karnatak Printing Press for the expedition and care with which
they have printed the Index.
In conclusion I hope that this work, with all its limitations and imperfections which were inevitable in the very manner of its publication, may yet initiate a new
era in dialect studies by interesting the younger generation of linguists in India in this line of fruitful investigation.
The present reprint corrects some of the typographical errors of the first edition with, it is hoped, avoidance of fresh misprints. The progress of historical
linguistics in the field of modern Indo-Aryan has not materially changed the views expressed in the original essay and no attempts, therefore, have been made to
modernise the presentation in terms of descriptive techniques.
The Index has been deliberately omitted from this reprint, since its main object at that time was to present the etymological material pertaining to Konkani word
forms. With the recent appearance of Sir Ralph TURNER’S Comparative Dictionary of Indo-Aryan (CDIA) it was thought desirable to delete this section, for
those interested in the history of Konkani word forms can get most of the materials in the CDIA with the latest materials drawn from the whole range of I-A
A great deal of descriptive work remains to be done with regard to the dialects of Konkani; beginning has been made by Dr. A. M. GHATAGE, but there are
certain inherent defects in the information elicited and much more needs to be done in the field of dialectology. The reissue of this early study of Konkani, it is
hoped, will fill in a real need and stimulate new work not only in the field of Konkani, but in the whole range of Indian languages and dialects.
The Deccan College has been entrusted by the Government of India with the preliminary work of completing the Linguistic Survey of India begun by the late Sir
George Abraham GRIERSON, and the need for dialect study has already been recognised by the unanimous recommendations of the conference of linguists and
educationists which met in Poona in 1953. With the growing number of linguists and the larger opportunities our Universities are offering it should be possible
for full dialect studies to be undertaken by use of modern techniques to enrich our linguistic wealth and make signal contributions to linguistic theory and
applications. With this hope the present reprint is being offered to students of Indian and General Linguistics.
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