An Indo-European language and a member of an Indo-Aryan group spoken by c. 30 million people mainly in the Indian state of Orissa, as well as in nearby parts of Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Assam with some further speakers in Bangladesh; it is one of the 14 officially recognized local languages of India.
The earliest written documents date from the 12th century and the classical work of Oriya literature is the adaptation of Mahabharata from the 14th century. Today the language is spoken in a variety od dialects and modern standard Oriya is based on the Mughalbandi dialect.
It is spelt in the Oriya script, a derivative of Brahmi with many ligatures; the Roman alphabet is also used.
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