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The Bishnupriya or Bishnupriya Manipuri (BPM) (বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in parts of the Indian states of Assam, Tripura, Manipur and others, as well as in Bangladesh, Burma, and other countries.
Bishnupriya Manipuri is spoken in parts of Assam, Tripura in India, as well as in Bangladesh, Myanmar, and in several other countries.
It is different from many Indo-Aryan languages like Bengali, Assamese, Oriya, etc.
The language originated and developed in Manipur and was originally confined to the surroundings of the Loktak Lake.
mention that the language was in existence in Manipur before the 19th century. Grierson calls the language as "Bishnupuriya Manipuri", while some other writers call it simply "Bishnupriya".
The principal localities where this language was spoken are now known as Heirok, Mayang Yamphal, Bishnupur, Khunan, Ningthankhong, Ngaikhong, Thamnapoxpi.
A great majority of speakers of BPM fled from Manipur and took refuge in Assam, Tripura, Sylhet and Cachar during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries due to internal conflicts among the princes of Manipur and due to Burmese attack. Grierson found the existence of a considerable number of speakers in two or three villages near Bishnupur, locally known as Lamangdong.
Consequently, it was difficult for the small number of Bishnupriyas who remained in Manipur to retain their language in the face of the impact of Meitei, although in 1891 Dr. The language slowly started losing its ground in Manipur against a vast majority of Meiteis and is slowly facing its decay in Cachar and Bangladesh against a vast majority of Bengali-speakers.
At a different stage of development of the language the Sauraseni, Maharashtri and Magadhi languages and the Tibeto-Burman languages exerted influence on it as well.
So it was probably developed from Sanskrit, Sauraseni-Maharashtri Prakrit and Magadhi Prakrita.
The Sauraseni-Maharastri relation can be traced by observing some characteristics of pronouns.
This language is still being spoken in Jiribam (a sub-division of Manipur), Cachar (a district of Assam) and in some pockets in Bangladesh and Tripura.
The language is known to its speakers as Imar Thar (ইমার ঠার ), meaning "Language of my Mother." They call themselves and their language "Manipuri", and use the term "Bishnupriya" to distinguish them from other ethnic races of Manipur.
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The term "Bishnupriya" is most probably derived from "Bishnupur" along with the suffix "-iya", meaning "people of 'Bishnupur', the old capital of Manipur.