it does not prove the identity of any two dialects. It is to the gammar that we must look, to decide their identity.’’
Now in regard to the supposed identity of Assamese and Bengali, let it be borne in mind that wherever Hinduism goes, it takes Its sacred language, the Sanscrit, along with it. In all the dialects of India, spoken by Hindoos, religious and scientific terms are mostly of Sanscrit origin, modified more or less by the peculiarities of each dialect. But the grammars of these dialects are different hence they are distinct languages, notwithstanding they have many words in common. So the case before us. Both Assamese and Bengali borrow, largely from the Sanscrit, but the grammars are quite different, as will be readily seen by comparing them together. It might as well be said that French and Italian are one language because both are sprung from the latin, as that, Bengali and Assamese are one, because they borrow in common from the Sanscrit.
After thirty years familiar acquaintance with the people, I am fully persuaded that it is a mistake to ignore their language. It ought rather to be cultivated. If suitable encouragement were given the educated Assamese would soon supply vernacular School Books and a new impulse in favor of education would mnnifest itself among the masses. In no other way can education ever be popularized among them.
In regard to the present work, it is the first dictionary of the language ever published, and has necessarily been a difficult task. In the fourteen thousand words here collected, will be found many in daily use by the people, that no Bengali scholar would understand. Many of these words have been written as they dropped from the lips of the people. While I have thus endeavored to give the spoken language, I have also inserted the more common Sanscrit words that are used in the Puthis, and therefore known to the people . These words are also used in our School Books, and Scripture Translations. But it should be borne in mind that they are often used in Assamese with a modified meaning, and a different pronunciation. A few words are used with a slight difference of form and pronunciation. These have been placed together as one word, and coupled by a bracket. English definitions have been simplified and