Heinz Werner Wessler
Cosmopolitan Hindustani Under Aurangzeb
Terminological Matters in François Marie de Tours' Thesaurus Linguae Indianae
The article explores terminological issues in a hitherto hardly explored chapter in early Hindi lexicography, namely in Francois-Marie de Tours' extraordinary dictionary of 1703, the Thesaurus Linguae Indianae. The manuscript consists of 490 folios verso and recto organized in four columns: Latin keyword, Hindi word in Devanagari, French rendering, and a phonological transcription with an advanced self-styled set of diacritics. Altogether, the language that the author presents in the dictionary and also in his grammar of Hindustani is astonishingly close to Modern Standard Hindi. Both extraordinary documents appear to be meant to go to the press, but for unclear reasons survived only as manuscripts. The dictionary is an important contribution to the early history of Hindi as well as of the early forms of the European encounter with South Asia. The following article is a provisional report on the project at Uppsala University and some of its findings.
Keywords Hindi, François Marie de Tours, Early Hindi, Surat, Hindi dictionaries