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Marathi language


Marathi (मराठी) (English pronunciation: i/məˈrɑːti/; मराठी Marāṭhī [məˈɾaʈʰi]) is an Indo-Aryan language. It is the official language of Maharashtra state of India and is one of the 23 official languages of India. There were 73 million speakers in 2001; Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India. Marathi has some of the oldest literature of all modern Indo-Aryan languages, dating from about 1000 AD. The major dialects of Marathi are called Standard Marathi and Warhadi Marathi. There are a few other sub-dialects, such as Ahirani, Dangi, Vadvali, Samavedi, Khandeshi, and Malwani. Standard Marathi in Devnagari Script is the official language of the State of Maharashtra. Official status Marathi is the official language of Maharashtra and co-official language in the union territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli. In Goa, Konkani is the sole official language; however, Marathi may also be used for all official purposes. The Constitution of India recognizes Marathi as one of India's twenty-three official languages. History Marathi is one of several languages that descend from Maharashtri Prakrit. Further change led to apabhraṃśa languages like Marathi, which may be described as being a re-Sanskritised, developed form of Maharashtri Apabhraṃśa. Dialects Standard Marathi is based on dialects used by academics and the print media. Indic scholars distinguish 42 dialects of spoken Marathi. Dialects bordering other major language areas have many properties in common with those languages, further differentiating them from standard spoken Marathi. The bulk of the variation within these dialects is primarily lexical and phonological (e.g. accent placement and pronunciation). Although the number of dialects is considerable, the degree of intelligibility within these dialects is relatively high.