Punjabi is an Indo-Aryanlanguage. It is the native language of about 130 million people, and is the 10th most spoken language in the world. Most of the people who speak this language live in the Punjab region of Pakistan and India. It is also widely spoken in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. It is natively spoken by the majority of the population of Pakistan.
Punjabi developed from the ancient language of Sanskrit just like many other modern Indo-Aryan languages. Punjabi is unusual among this group for being a tonal language.
Punjabi is written in two different scripts, called Gurmukhī and Shahmukhī. Punjabi is the main language spoken by the Sikhs. Most parts of the Guru Granth Sahib use the Punjabi language written in Gurmukhī, though Punjabi is not the only language used in Sikh scriptures. The Janamsakhis, stories on the life and legend of Guru Nanak (1469–1539), are early examples of Punjabi literature.
Dialects[change | change source]
Punjabi has many dialects. The dialects are similar enough to each other that speakers can understand most of the dialects that are related to theirs. In India, the main dialects of Punjabi are: Majhi, Doabi, Malwi and Pwadhi. In Pakistan, the main dialects are Majhi, "Shahpuri", "Jhangvi", "Dhanni", Pothohari and Hindko.
Majhi is Punjabi's standard dialect because it forms the standard for writing in Punjabi. It is spoken in the centre of Punjab, including the districts of Lahore, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Okara, Nankana Sahib, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Pakpattan, Hafizabad and Mandi Bahauddin. In India it is spoken in Amritsar, Tarn Taran Sahib and Gurdaspur districts.
Other dialects of Punjabi include Pahari, Rachnavi, Chenavari, Chhachi, Jandali, Ghebi. The Saraiki, spoken in southern Punjab, and Dogri, spoken in Kashmir, are closely related to Punjabi. The relation of several dialects to languages other than Punjabi creates problems in assigning them to one or another "language".
Distribution[change | change source]
Over 93% of people who speak Punjabi as their first language live in Pakistan and India. It is the most widely spoken native language in Pakistan. It is spoken as a first language by over 44% of Pakistanis. There were 76 million Punjabi speakers in Pakistan in 2008. In India, Punjabi is spoken as a native language by 3% of the population. This was about 33 million in 2011. It is the official language of the Indian states of Punjab and Haryana.
Punjabi is also spoken as a minority language in several other countries where large numbers of Punjabis have emigrated.In the United Kingdom, it is the second-most-commonly used language. In Canada, it is the fourth-most-spoken language. There were 1.3 million Punjabi speakers in the UK in 2000, and 368,000 in Canada in 2006.
Phonology[change | change source]
Writing system[change | change source]
There are three ways to write Punjabi: Gurmukhī, Shahmukhī, and Devanāgarī. In the Punjab province of Pakistan, the script that is most used is Shahmukhī. The Majhi dialect is the written standard for Punjabi in both parts of Punjab.
References[change | change source]
More reading[change | change source]
Punjabi phrasebook travel guide from Wikivoyage
- Bhatia, Tej (1993 and 2010) Punjabi: a cognitive-descriptive grammar. London: Routledge. Series: Descriptive grammars.
- Singh, Maya (1895) The Panjabi dictionary. Lahore: Munshi Gulab Singh & Sons.
- Ethnologue: Languages of India and Pakistan
- ↑Ernst Kausen, 2006. Die Klassifikation der indogermanischen Sprachen (Microsoft Word, 133 KB)
- ↑Pakistan Census
- ↑Barbara Lust, James Gair. Lexical Anaphors and Pronouns in Selected South Asian Languages. Page 637. Walter de Gruyter, 1999. ISBN 978-3-11-014388-1.
- ↑"Punjabi language and the Gurmukhi and Shahmuhi scripts and pronunciation". Omniglot.com. Retrieved 2012-08-03.
- ↑Phonemic Inventory of Punjabi
- ↑Geeti Sen. Crossing Boundaries. Orient Blackswan, 1997. ISBN 978-81-250-1341-9. Page 132. Quote: "Possibly, Punjabi is the only major South Asian language that has this kind of tonal character. There does seem to have been some speculation among scholars about the possible origin of Punjabi's tone-language character but without any final and convincing answer..."
- ↑Melvin Ember, Carol R. Ember, Ian A. Skoggard, ed. (2005). Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant and Refugee Cultures Around the World. Springer. p. 1077. ISBN 978-0-306-48321-9.
- ↑Grierson, George A. 1904–1928. Grierson's Linguistic Survey of India. Calcutta.
- ↑Masica, Colin (1991) The Indo-Aryan languages. Cambridge Univ. Press. p 25.
- ↑Burling, Robbins. 1970. Man's many voices. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
- ↑Shackle, C. 1972. Punjabi. London: English Universities Press. p 240.
- ↑Pakistan 1998 census – Population by mother tongue
- ↑Indian Census
- ↑ 14.014.1McDonnell, John (7 March 2000). "Punjabi Community". Parliamentary Business: Commons Debates. UK Parliament. p. Column 142WH. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- ↑"Punjabi is 4th most spoken language in Canada". The Times of India. 14 February 2008.
- ↑Population by mother tongue in Canada
Greater Panjabi is the series of dialects spoken in the region of Punjab in India and Pakistan. A distinction is usually made between Punjabi in the east and the diverse group of "Lahnda" in the west. The literary languages that have developed on the basis of dialects of this area are Punjabi in eastern and central Punjab, Saraiki in the southwest, Hindko in the northwest, and Pothwari in the north. The varieties of "Greater Punjabi" have a number of characteristics in common, for example the preservation of the Prakrit double consonants in stressed syllables. Nevertheless, there is disagreement on whether they form part of a single language group, with some proposed classifications placing them all within the Northwestern zone of Indo-Aryan, while others reserving this only for the western varieties, and assigning the eastern ones to the Central zone alongside Hindi.
Majhi (Standard Punjabi)
Majhi is Punjabi's prestige dialect because it is standard of written Punjabi. It is spoken in the heart of Punjab which include Lahore, Gujranwala, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Wazirabad, Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Okara, Nankana Sahib, Faisalabad, Wazirabad, Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Jhelum, Pakpattan, Vehari, Khanewal, Sahiwal, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahauddin and Chiniot districts of Pakistan's Punjab Province along with some major cities.
In India Amritsar, Tarn Taran Sahib, and Gurdaspur Districts of the State of Punjab and sizable population also in major cities of the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Mumbai India.
In Pakistan Standard Punjabi dialect is not called Majhi which is Indian terminology, in Pakistan it is simply called Standard Punjabi. This dialect is used for both Punjabi Films, TV and Theater industry to make Punjabi language content in Lahore.
Malwai is spoken in the eastern part of Indian Punjab and also in Bahawalnagar and Vehari districts of Pakistan. Main areas are Ludhiana, Patiala, Ambala, Bathinda, Ganganagar, Malerkotla, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Moga. Malwa is the southern and central part of present-day Indian Punjab. It also includes the Punjabi speaking northern areas of Haryana, viz. Ambala, Hissar, Sirsa, Kurukshetra etc. Not to be confused with the Malvi language, which shares its name.
Doabi is spoken in both the Indian Punjab as well as parts of Pakistan Punjab owing to post-1947 migration of Muslim populace from East Punjab. The word "Do Aabi" means "the land between two rivers" and this dialect was historically spoken between the rivers of the Beas and the Sutlej in the region called Doaba. Regions it is presently spoken includes the Jalandhar and Kapurthala districts in Indian Punjab, specifically in the areas known as the Dona and Manjki, as well as the Toba Tek Singh and Faisalabad districts in Pakistan Punjab where the dialect is known as Faisalabadi Punjabi.
This Dialect is also used as a standard for Indian Punjabi Films and TV shows.
Pwadhi, Powadh, Puadh or Powadha is a region of Punjab and parts of Haryana between the Satluj and Ghaggar rivers. The part lying south, south-east and east of Rupnagar adjacent to Ambala District (Haryana) is Powadhi. The Powadh extends from that part of the Rupnagar District which lies near Satluj to beyond the Ghaggar river in the east up to Kala Amb, which is at the border of the states of Himachal pradesh and Haryana. Parts of Fatehgarh Sahib district, and parts of Patiala districts like Rajpura are also part of Powadh. The language is spoken over a large area in present Punjab as well as Haryana. In Punjab, Kharar, Kurali, Ropar, Nurpurbedi, Morinda, Pail, Rajpura and Samrala are the areas where the Puadhi is spoken and the dialect area also includes Pinjore, Kalka, Ismailabad, Pehowa to Bangar area in Fatehabad district.
The literary language of Lahnda speakers has traditionally been Standard Punjabi.[dubious– discuss]
Shahpuri dialect (also known as Sargodha dialect) is mostly spoken in Pakistani Punjab. Its name is derived from former Shahpur District (now Shahpur Tehsil, being part of Sargodha District). It is spoken throughout a widespread area, spoken in Sargodha and Khushab Districts and also spoken in neighbouring Mianwali and Bhakkar Districts. It is mainly spoken on western end of Sindh River to Chennab river crossing Jehlam river.
Jhangochi (جھنگوچی) dialect is spoken in Pakistani Punjab throughout a widespread area, starting from Khanewal and Jhang at both ends of Ravi and Chenab to Hafizabad district.
Jangli is a dialect of former nomad tribes of areas whose names are often suffixed with 'Bar' derived from jungle bar before irrigation system arrived in the start of the 20th century, for example, Sandal Bar, Kirana Bar, Neeli Bar, Ganji Bar. Former Layllpur and western half of Montgomary district used to speak this dialect.
Pothohari is spoken in north Pakistani Punjab and Azad Kashmir. The area where it is spoken extends in the north from Muzaffarabad to as far south as Jhelum, Gujar Khan, Rawat and Rawalpindi, Murree Hills north of Rawalpindi, and east to Bhimber. Chibhali and Dhundi-Kairali dialects may be related. It merges with Majhi dialect at Saraialamgir/Kharian in the south and with Hindko dialects in the north at Attock.
The diverse dialects of the furthest northwest areas of "Greater Punjabi" are known as Hindko. The central Hindko dialects comprise Ghebi, Awankari, Chacchi and Kohati. Peshawari, the divergent dialect spoken to the northwest in Peshawar, has been used as a basis for a literary language. The dialect of the Hazara region to the northeast forms a dialect group of its own known as Northern Hindko or Kagani.
Ghebi is quite similar to the Potowari dialect, but differs slightly, for example in the past tense, in which it uses (ahay+prefix) for 'was'. For example, "Mea ahayaan" means "I was". It also uses "Vinjna" instead of "jaana" or "gchna" for "going". It is mostly spoken in Fateh Jang Tehsil and Pindi Gheb Tehsil in Pakistani Punjab.
Its lot of different from Potohari
It is also called Rohi. It is mostly spoken in Jand Tehsil and Mianwali district in Pakistani Punjab.
Spoken in parts of Rawalpindi Division (Pothohar) of Pakistani Punjab. Its name is derived from Dhan valley where its spoken. It is spoken in Chakwal,Khewra, parts of Jehlam Districts and Attock Districts. The people of Pothohar speak Pothohari dialect. However, the people of Chakwal or the Dhanni area in particular do not speak Pothohari and are ethnologically not regarded as Potoharis. They speak a distinctive Chakwali or Dhanni dialect of Punjabi.
These are a form of Derawali very strongly influenced by baluchi and sindhi languages, spoken in Musakhel and Barkhan, districts of Pakistani Province Balochistan respectively. Khetrani may not actually be a Lahnda language, but originally a Dardic language that gradually merged into neighboring lahnda dialects.
West of Chenaab river in Jhang district of Pakistani Punjab the dialect of Jhangochi merges with Thalochi and resultant dialect is Chenavari. Name is derived from Chenaab river.
The emergent language of the southern parts of Punjab is Saraiki. Its standard is based on the central dialect of Multani. Other dialects that are commonly associated with it are Riasti (also known as Bahawalpuri or Choolistani) to the south and Thali (or Thalochri) to the northwest. The varieties of Multani and Thali spoken in the west along the boundary with Balochistan and Pashtun dominated regions are also known as Derawali.
Videsi (Barli Boli)
There are several dialects all cited in the dialect link. Note as the language is spreading with immigration throughout the world variations on the exported dialects of the immigrants mixed with local languages are now emerging where Punjabi has managed to sustain itself. For example, in the UK and North America English words and grammar have begun infiltrating Punjabi spoken there as has Swahili in Kenya. The effect of this is a myriad of Diaspora Creole variations that deviate from the source language somewhat like English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French have in Latin America, the Caribbean, and North America.
- Burling, Robbins. 1970. Man's many voices. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
- Ethnologue. Indo-Aryan Classification of 219 languages that have been assigned to the Indo-Aryan grouping of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages.
- Ethnologue. Languages of India
- Ethnologue. Languages of Pakistan
- Grierson, George A. (1903–28). Linguistic Survey of India. Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India. Online database
- Masica, Colin P. (1991). The Indo-Aryan languages. Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-23420-7.
- Rahman, Tariq (1996). Language and politics in Pakistan. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-577692-8.
- Rahman, Tariq. 2006. The role of English in Pakistan with special reference to tolerance and militancy. In Amy Tsui et al., Language, policy, culture and identity in Asian contexts. Routledge. 219-240.
- Rensch, Calvin R. (1992). "The Language Environment of Hindko-Speaking People". In O'Leary, Clare F.; Rensch, Calvin R.; Hallberg, Calinda E. Hindko and Gujari. Sociolinguistic Survey of Northern Pakistan. Islamabad: National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University and Summer Institute of Linguistics. ISBN 969-8023-13-5.
- Shackle, C. 1970. Punjabi in Lahore. Modern Asian Studies, 4(3):239-267. Available online atJSTOR.
- Shackle, Christopher (2003). "Panjabi". In George Cardona; Dhanesh Jain. The Indo-Aryan languages. Routledge language family series. Y. London: Routledge. pp. 581–621. ISBN 978-0-7007-1130-7.