GRIERSON, George Abraham

GRIERSON, George Abraham. Glenageary near Dublin 7.1.1851 — Camberley, Surrey 7.3.1941. British (Irish) Indologist. Son of G. A. G., LL.D., Queen’s Printer for Ireland, and Isabella Ruxton. Educated at St. Bee’s School in Shrewsbury and at Trinity College in Dublin, studied mathematics, Hindi and Sanskrit (under Atkinson), then at Cambridge and Halle. In 1873 joined I.C.S., served in Bihar as Inspector of schools. From 1893 Additional Commissioner in Patna. From 1898 head of the Linguistic Survey of India, in 1903 retired and came to England to edit its reports. Also contributed to the New English Dictionary. Lived and died at Camberley, Surrey. Married with —> Mrs. Grierson. C.I.E. 1894, K.C.I.E. 1912, Ph.D. 1894 Halle, D.Litt. 1902 Trinity College, Dublin.

GAG was a many-sided and much esteemed philologist, one of the pioneers of NIA philology and linguistics. Also a folklorist and ethnologist, whose Bihar Peasant Life is a classic. In addition to his early Bihari, his special interests included Kashmiri, Dardic, Romani, and MIA (Prakrit). His main work was of course the L.S.I. For non-Indo-Aryan languages in the L.S.I. he had assistants (Konow). Worked until very advanced age. He was active in the founding of S.O.A.S. and acted as its Director 1917-25.

Publications: “Notes on the Rangpur Dialect”, JASB 1877, 186-226; “The Story of Raja Gopichandra”, JASB 1878, 135-278 (in Bengali).

An Introduction to the Maithili Language. JASB Extra No. Calcutta 1880; A Handbook to the Kayathí Character. Calcutta 1881, 2nd ed. A H. to the Kaithí Ch. Calc. 1899; Seven Grammars of the Dialects and Subdialects of the Bihari Language, spoken in the Province of Bihar, in the Eastern Portion of the North-Western Provinces. 8 parts, 816 p. Calcutta 1883-87.

ed. & transl. “Some Bihārī Folk-songs”, JRAS 16, 1884, 196-246; “Some Bhoj’pūrī Folk-songs”, JRAS 18, 1886, 207-267.

Bihar Peasant Life. Calcutta & L. 1885, rev.2nd ed. 178+462 p. Patna 1926.

with A. F. R. Hoernle: A comparative dictionary of the Bihari language. 1885-89.

– “The Mediaeval vernacular literature of Hindūstān”, Verh. 7. OC Wien 1886 Arische Sektion 1888, 157-210 & JASB 1889; “Notes on Tul’si Das”, IA 22, 1893, 89-98, 122-129, 197-206, 293-311, 327-341 & 369-373; “Gleanings from the Bhaktamālā [of Nābhādās]”, JRAS 1909, 607-644 & 1910, 87-109, 269-306; “The popular literature of Northern India”, BSOS 1, 1919, 87-122.

edited Mediaeval Hindi texts, e.g. the Padumāvatī and Sattasaī.

ed. Kaśmīraśabdāmṛta, a Kaśmīrī Grammar written in the Sanskrit language by Īśvara-kaula. 1. Declension. Calcutta 1897.

– “On the Kāçmīrī Verb”, JASB 68:1, 1899, 1-92; Manual of the Kashmiri Language. 1-2. 1911.’

edited: Linguistic Survey of India. 11 vols. in 19 parts. 1898/1903-1928.

The Languages of India. 1903; Piśāca Languages of North-Western India. 1905.

– “Modern hinduism and its Debt to the Nestorians”, JRAS 1907, 311-335 & 493-503 (with rejoinders, ib. 477-492).

– “Paiśācī, Piśācās, and ‘Modern Piśāca’”, ZDMG 66, 1912, 49-86.

A Dictionary of the Kashmiri language. Compiled partly from materials left by Pandit Iśvara Kaula. Assisted by Mukundarama Sastri. 1-4. BI Work 229 (issues 1405, 1464, 1508, 1518). Calcutta 1916-32.

– “On the Sarada Alphabet”, JRAS 1916, 677-708, and other articles on North Indian scripts.

ed. & tr. Umāpati Upādhyāya: Pārijātaharaṇa-nāṭakam. Patna 1917 (in Sanskrti, Prakrit, and Maithili); tr. The Test of a man, being the Puruṣa-parīkṣā of Vidyāpati Ṭhakkura. 20+194 p. Or.Tr.Fund N.S. 33. L. 1935.

– “The Prakrit Vibhasas”, JRAS 1918, 488-517; “The Prakrit Dhātv-ādēśas, according to the Western and the Eastern Schools of Prakrit Grammarians”, MASB 8:2, 1924, 77-170; “The Sauraseni and Magadhi Stabakas of Tarkavagisa”, IA 56-57, 1927-28 & sep. 56 p.

Ōrmurī or Bargistā Language. 101 p. MASB 7:1. Calcutta 1918.

The Lay of Alha. A Saga of Rajput Chivalry as sung by Minstrels of Northern India. Partly translated in English Ballad Metre by the late W. Waterfield. With an Introd. and abstracts of the untranslated portions. 278 p. Oxford 1923.

– “On the Adbhuta-Ramayana”, BSOS 4:1, 1926, 11-27.

The Language of the Mahā-naya-prakāśa. 58 p. MASB 11:2. Calcutta 1929 (mixed Sanskrit/Kāśmīrī).

On the Modern Indo-Aryan Vernaculars (An Unifinished Study). Bombay 193? (from IA 60-63, 1931-33).

a great number of shorter articles in IA, JASB, JRAS, BSOS, ZDMG, etc.

Sources: *N. Balbir, Lex. Gramm. 1996, 369f.; Buckland, Dictionary; S. K. Chatterji, JASB 3:8, 1942, 196-202; P. K. Gode, ABORI 21, 1939–40, 310f.; *F. W. Thomas & R. L. Turner, Proc.Br.Acad. 28, 1942, 283-306; *R. L. Turner, JGLS 3:20, 1941, 97-100; *R. L. Turner, D.N.B. & JRAS 1941, 383-386; *bibliography by E. M. White in BSOS 8, 1936, 297-318; Wikipedia (little more in German version).


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