Suniti Kumar Chatterji

Bengali linguist

Suniti Kumar Chatterji (26 November 1890 – 29 May 1977) was an Indian linguist, educationist and litterateur.

Suniti Kumar Chatterji (circa 1950)


  • MIA and NIA languages are not, strictly speaking, derived from the language of the Rigveda or from Classical Sanskrit […] these Aryans of the eastern tracts seem to be different from the Midland or Vedic Aryans in many respects―in religious observances, in many practices, in dialect […] these Aryans were distinct from those other Aryans of the West among whom the Vedic culture grew up, distinct in dialect, in religion and in practices...
    The morphology of Vedic […] retains most faithfully the inflections of primitive Indo-European.
    • CHATTERJI 1926: The Origin and Development of the Bengali Language―Vols. I and II. Chatterji Suniti Kumar. Calcutta University Press, 1926. 36-45
  • The first Bengali with a scientific insight to attack the problems of the language was the poet Rabindranath Tagore; and it is flattering for the votaries of philology, to find in one who is the greatest writer in the language, and a great poet and seer for all time, a keen philologist as well, distinguished alike by an assiduous enquiry into the facts of the language as by a scholarly appreciation of the methods and findings of the modern Western philologist. The work of Rabindranath is in the shape of a few essays (now collected in one volume) on Bengali Phonetics, Bengali Onomatopoetics, and on the Bengali noun, and on other topics, the earliest of which appeared in the early nineties, and some fresh papers appeared only several years ago. These papers may be said to have shown to the Bengali enquiring into the problems of his language the proper lines of approaching them.
    • S.K. Chatterji (1926) in: S.K. Chatterji. "Visva-manah Vak-pati" in: Rabindranath Tagore: A Centenary. S. Radhakrishnan eds. Sahitya Akademi. 1990. p. 124
  • “Throughout the whole range of Urdu literature in its first phase… the atmosphere of this literature is provokingly un-Indian - it is that of Persia. Early Urdu poets never so much as mention the great physical features of India - its Himalayas, its rivers like the Ganges, the Jamuna, the Sindhu, the Godavari, etc; but of course mountains and streams of Persia, and rivers of Central Asia are always there. Indian flowers, Indian plants are unknown; only Persian flowers and plants which the poet could see only in a garden. There was a deliberate shutting of the eye to everything Indian, to everything not mentioned or treated in Persian poetry… A language and literature which came to base itself upon an ideology which denied on the Indian soil the very existence of India and Indian culture, could not but be met with a challenge from some of the Indian adherents of their national culture; and that challenge was in the form of highly Sanskritized Hindi’.”
    • S.K. Chatterjee quoted in Aziz Ahmad, Studies In Islamic Culture in the Indian Environment, Oxford. 1964, pp. 252-55. [1]
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