Marathi ranks 4th in India according to the number of speakers as their primary language. Marathi belongs to the group of Indo-Aryan languages which are a part of the larger of group of Indo-European languages, all of which can be traced back to a common root.
History of the Marathi language:
Marathi can be traced back far beyond the 10th century. It descends from Sanskrit through Pali, Maharashtri and Maharashtra - Apabhramsa. A gradual process of change and modification in the spoken language has led to the rise of the present Marathi. The origin and growth of Marathi literature is indebted to two important events.
The first was the rise of the Jadhava dynasty whose capital was Devgiri. The Jadhava's adopted Marathi as the court language and patronized Marathi learned men. The second event was the coming of two religious sects known as Mahanubhav Panth and Warkari Panth which adopted Marathi as the medium for preaching their doctrines of devotion. Writers of the Mahanubhav sect contributed to Marathi prose while the saint-poets of Warkari sect composed Marathi poetry. However, the latter group is regarded as the pioneers and founders of Marathi literature.
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