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Missionary activity on behalf of other Indian languages

Missionary activity was, as is well-known, discouraged in India until the Act of 1813, which allowed, in its 13th resolution, ``such measures may tend to the introduction amongst them of useful knowledge, and of religious and moral improvement" (Spear 1958:526). Almost immediately, we begin to see missionary activity focussing on language, since it is impossible to save souls and otherwise evangelize a population if their language is not known (especially in the protestant approach.) Thus began the tradition of the missionary-grammarian, the English-educated divine[*] whose classical education (in Greek, Latin, and often Hebrew) had prepared them to look at language within a particular paradigm. The list is too long to even begin to mention, but for each literary language, and for many non-literary ones as well, the nineteenth century production of grammars, dictionaries, guidebooks, textual editions, etc. is impressive.[*]

Harold Schiffman