Study of a 1922 voice recording of DM
कोह्ला अणी कावळा
The Fox and the Crow
The Linguistic Survey of India (LSI) is a comprehensive survey of the languages of British India, describing 364 languages and dialects. It was first proposed by Sir George Grierson, ICS and linguist. The survey formally began in 1894 and continued for over thirty years till 1928. At Sir. Grierson's suggestion, during 1922-26 gramophone recordings were made of the dialects and languages of Madras Presidency and the relative transcripts were published in 1926 by the Madras Museum. Samples of DM contained in the two pages reproduced here are from that collection. The original sound recordings are held by the Madras Museum. It will be interesting for us now to see how our DM was spoken in the early part of the 20th century ie, almost 100 years back. The transcripts were done at that time in devanagari. It is probable that the majority of the community had already given up writing DM and so the samples of transcripts shown here would be as conceived by the the person who wrote it. Still, it will be worth our while to examine the written words also.
Ananda Rao Vasishta
A few samples of what was written in 1922 and how we would write it now is given below :-
1. येक दुकान गल्लींदी (1922) for एक दुकान बीदींत॑ (now)
2. सेट्टीवार (1922) for चेट्टियार (now)
3. देकून for our पाव्हून
4. येमाराला and मोस करून are used for "to deceive". The Marathi word फसविणे has already been dropped by our people.
5. येमारल्याल is used for "careless" also.
6. पळत जावून is used instead of उडत जाऊन.
7. हमी, हमि की, हमाला को etc used for अम्ही, अम्हाला and मला
8. अपेक्षा is written as अपेट्छा. Probably because of Tamil influence. (some DMs use ट्छा in place of क्षा currently also).
9. ऐकून written differently. (the present day key-boards cannot reproduce that character)
10. घेटला (घेतला of MM) written as घेठल
11. As regards accent and inflection, even 100 years back they had moved far away from MM