(Last Updated on : 14-11-2013)
Apabhramsa is a term that is collectively provided to the dialects that deviate from Sanskrit. It is a term for the dialects forming the transition between the late Middle Indic and early Modern Indic languages. This is the period spanning between the 6th and the 13th centuries. Apabhramsa has now evolved into the regional languages. They became distinctive by the end of twelfth century. The languages such as Western Hindi, Rajasthani and Gujarati came from Qaurasena Apabhramsa. From Maharashtra Apabhramsa the languages derived is Marathi; from Magadha Bengali, Bihari, Assamese, and Oriya. From Ardha-Magadha came the language of Eastern Hindi. Apabhramsa is the collective term that is used to denote literary languages other than Sanskrit or Prakrit.
Apabhramsa was originally an effort to infuse into Prakrit a measure of their vernacular.
In Apabhramsa there was an effort to simplify Prakrit by adopting as the base of the grammar the vernacular. In the main the Prakrit vocabulary is used and to some extent Prakrit inflexions too.
Once Apabhramsa had become popular it had spread beyond west and various local Apabhrancas arose. In Bengal there is a type of Apabhranca that is used in Buddhist texts. The much degraded form is Avahattha however the basis of this Apabhranca is Maharashtri that proves its ultimate western origin.
There is a considerable similarity in inflexion in Apabhranca to Old Gujarati. Therefore in Bengal the Apabhranca used was not formed by applying vernacular inflexions to the local Prakrit. However it cannot be firmly supposed that Apabhramsa formed a necessary step towards composition in vernaculars. Apabhramsa literature has been found in Jain texts. There were many poets especially in regions that were ruled by Hindu kings who wrote in Apabhramsa. These authors include Devasena of Dhar, Sarahapad of Kamarupa, Dhanapal, Pushpadanta of Manyakheta, Hemachandra of Patan, Muni Ramsimha and Raighu of Gwalior. One of the early examples of Apabhramsa is in Vikramorvashiyam of Kalidasa
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