Bengali literary heritage
originates from and is neatly intertwined with the classical Indo-Aryan Sanskrit language and literature. But the influence of other non-Aryan
languages on Bengali cannot be ignored. It is now more or less accepted that Bengali and languages of neigbouring states belong
to the Austric (or Austro-Asiatic) family of languages. Whilst Bengali carries the distinct mark of the Indo-Aryan social and cultural values,
expressions or syntactic and grammatical constraints, according to Professor Sunitikumar Chatterjee, "there is, of course, the preserve of Kol
and Dravidian (the Santals, the Malers, the Oraons) in the western fringes of the Bengal area, and of the Boda and Mon-Khmer speakers in
the northern and eastern frontiers." It then follows that literary works in Bengali would also bear some unmistakable affinities to non-Aryan
"phonetics, morphology, syntax and vocabulary" including myriads of symbolisms defining the local customs and traditions foreign to the Aryan
or Vedic literature.
Professor Nihar Ranjan Roy (in his Bangalir Itihas: Adiparba) concluded that "... in addition to Sanskrit, there were two other languages
in vogue in Bengal in the 9th and 10th centuries: one was derived from Souraseni and the other derived from Magadhi. The latter is said to have
evolved later into Bengali. Some writers would write pad, doha and verses in both languages and the readers [reciters and listeners]
too would understand them equally well."