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 and 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. In 1894-95 visited Kashmir. From 1898 superintendent of the Linguistic Survey of India (in Simla) and organized government officials to collect material for it. In 1900 returned to the U.K. and in 1903 retired, now concentrating on editing of its reports, which lasted until 1928. Also contributed to the New English Dictionary. Lived and died at Camberley, Surrey. Married 1880 Lucy Collins (—> Mrs. Grierson), no children. C.I.E. 1894, K.C.I.E. 1912, Ph.D. 1894 Halle, D.Litt. 1902 Trinity College, Dublin, Hon. dr. also of Oxford and Patna.

Grierson 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., covering all known languages and dialects spoken in the areas of British India under direct British rule. Thus it covers 179 languages and 544 dialects. For non-Indo-Aryan languages in the L.S.I. he had assistant (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. 1-2. JASB Extra No. Calcutta 1880 (1881); 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.

Translation of Manbodh’s Haribans, with index, JASB 52:1, 1884, Special No., 1-75; “Twenty-one Vaishṇava Hymns, edited and translated”, JASB 52:1, 1884, Special No., 76-94 (in Maithili) & “The Song of Bijai Mal”, Ibid. 94-150 (in Bhojpurī); “Selected Specimens of the Bihārī Language”, ZDMG 39, 1885, 617-673 & 43, 1889, 468-524.

Bihar Peasant Life. 431+155 p. ill. Calcutta & L. 1885, rev. 2nd ed. Patna 1926.

With A. F. R. Hoernle: A comparative dictionary of the Bihari language. 1-2. Calcutta 1885-89.

– “The Mediaeval vernacular literature of Hindūstān”, Verh. 7. OC Wien 1886 Arische Sektion 1888, 157-210 & JASB 1889, 30+170 p. Calcutta 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 of Maluk Muhammad Jāyasī and Sattasaī of Bihārī Lāl (both 1896).

Edited: Kaçmīraçabdāmṛta, a Kaçmīrī Grammar written in the Sanskrit language by Īśvara-kaula. 1-2. Calcutta 1897-98.

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

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

Piśāca Languages of North-Western India. 7+192 p. L. 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.

Edited: Shivapariṇayaḥ, a poem in the Kâshmîrî language by Kṛishṇa Râjânaka (Râzdân). Edited by G.A.G., with a Sanskrit chāyā by Mukundaram Sastri. 9+619 p. Bibl. Ind. Calcutta 1913-24.

A Dictionary of the Kashmiri language. Compiled partly from materials left by Pandit Iśvara Kaula. Assisted by Mukundarama Sastri. 1-4. B.I. 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.

Edited & transl. Umāpati Upādhyāya: Pārijātaharaṇa-nāṭakam. Patna 1917 (in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and Maithili); transl. 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). 186 p. Bombay 1934 (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.; J.L.M., Man 41, 1941, 62f.; *S. Sen, D.I.B. 4, 272f.; Sengupta 1996, 172-183; *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; *Turner rev. by J.D. Haigh, Oxford D.N.B. 23, 908f. with photo (1920); *bibliography by E. M. White in BSOS 8, 1936, 297-318, with photo, another in Chatterjee & Burn 1943; Wikipedia with photo.

Last Updated on 2 years by Admin


Comments are closed.