পৃষ্ঠা:অসমীয়া ভাষাৰ মৌলিক বিচাৰ আৰু সাহিত্যৰ চিনাকি.pdf/3

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Introduction.

The Assamese language is the Easternmost member of that family of speeches which sprang from the common source called Aryan, Indo-German or Indo-European. At present it is the vernacular of about twenty lacs of people inhabiting the Brahmaputra Valley and a few isolated villages in Cachar and Sylhet. But in ancient times it spead over a much wider area. It was not only the language of the ancient Kingdom of Kamrupa which was almost identical with the once famous province of Eastern Bengal & Assam together with Bhutan, but also it was the language of the whole of Bengal as shown in this book. The boundary of Kamrupa as given in the Yoginitantra is as follows :—

"উত্তৰস্যাং কঞ্জাগিৰি কৰতোয়া তু পশ্চিমে।
তীর্থ শ্রেষ্ঠা দিক্ষুনদী পূব্বৰ্স্যাং গিৰিকন্যকে॥
দক্ষিণে ব্ৰহ্মপুত্রস্য লক্ষায়াঃ সঙ্গমাবধি।"

The indigenous people who inhabited this land were the Kiratas[১] They most probably belonged the Austro-Asiatic race that overran Northern

  1. The 'Kiratas' have been mentioned in the Mahabharata and many other Sanskrit works including the Yujur and Atharvaveda. The Ramayana describes them as কর্ণচূড়াঃ (with hairs tied into knots above the ears) হেমাঙ্গাঃ প্ৰিয়দৰ্শনাঃ—