Student working on a research project.

Documenting Hindi And Urdu Inscriptions In South Asia

Hindi-Urdu (H-U) was just one among the many vernacular languages that emerged in South Asia during the medieval period in a linguistic system dominated by Sanskrit and Persian. Beyond the courts, H-U functioned as a language of skilled trades, education, and commerce. Some catalogues document inscriptions in H-U preserved across the Indian subcontinent. This project seeks to collect records of as many H-U inscriptions as possible by collating references in these catalogues of Indian epigraphy and requesting through Delivery+ (UB's interlibrary loan system) articles and other notices describing them. This epigraphic approach will permit a more rigorous analysis of H-U’s varied linguistic forms and range of communicative functions than prior scholarly efforts that have relied solely upon literary texts preserved in ink on paper. Students interested in assisting with this project do not need to have prior experience using Hindi or Urdu, but do need to possess working familiarity with either the Arabic or Devanagari scripts. Prof. Hakala enthusiastically supports students who seek to present their research at conferences, travel to South Asia, and/or author or co-author journal articles on this or related topics. Interested students may schedule a meeting to discuss this or other projects with Prof. Hakala by visiting

Students may also apply for compensation through work study for this project. Ask Prof. Hakala for details.

Research Project Information

Disciplines: Asian Studies, Classics, History, Linguistics, Computer Science, Art History, Anthropology, Urban Studies, Jewish Thought, Transnational Studies, Library Sciences
Student Skill-Set Needed: Familiarity with Delivery+ (UB's interlibrary loan system), working knowledge of the Arabic and/or Devanagari scripts
Compensation: Academic Credit, Volunteer, Work Study, Students may also apply for compensation through work study.
Available: Fall, Spring, Summer


For further information on this opportunity, or to apply, contact:

Faculty Member: Walter Hakala
Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Asian Studies
Office: 315 Clemens Hall
Phone: 716-645-3419