Punjabi dialects and languages

(Redirected from Greater_Punjabi)

The Punjabi dialects and languages are a series of dialects and languages spoken in the Punjab region of Pakistan and India with varying degrees of official recognition. They have sometimes been referred to as Greater Punjabi.[1]

Punjabi languages
Linguistic classificationIndo-European

The literary languages that have developed on the basis of dialects of this area are Standard Punjabi in eastern and central Punjab, Saraiki in the southwest, Hindko in the northwest, Pahari-Pothwari in the north.

A distinction is usually made between Punjabi in the east and the diverse group of "Lahnda" in the west. "Lahnda" typically subsumes the Saraiki and Hindko varieties, with Pahari–Pothwari, Shahpuri and Jhangvi intermediate between the two groups.[2] Commonly recognised Eastern Punjabi dialects include Doabi, Majhi (the standard), Malwai, and Puadhi. The Bagri language in the southeast is transitional to Haryanvi,[citation needed] whereas the "Lahnda" variety of Khetrani in the far west may be intermediate between Saraiki and Sindhi.[3]

The varieties of "Greater Punjabi" have a number of characteristics in common, for example the preservation of the Prakrit double consonants in stressed syllables.[4] 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.[5]


Standard Punjabi

Main Punjabi Dialects

Standard Punjabi, sometimes referred to as Majhi in India or simply Punjabi, is the most widespread and largest dialect of Punjabi. It first developed in the 12th century and gained prominence when Sufi poets such as Shah Hussain, Bulleh Shah among others began to use the Lahore/Amritsar spoken dialect with infused Persian vocabulary in their works in the Shahmukhi script.[6] Later the Gurmukhi script was developed based on Standard Punjabi by the Sikh Gurus.[7]

Standard Punjabi is spoken by the majority of the people in Faisalabad, Lahore, Gujranwala, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Okara, Pakpattan, Sahiwal, Hafizabad, Nankana Sahib districts of Pakistan's Punjab Province. It also has a large presence in every district in the rest of Pakistani Punjab, and in all large cities in Pakistan's other provinces.

In India it is spoken in Amritsar, Tarn Taran Sahib, Pathankot 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.

See also


  1. ^ For the use of the term "Greater Panjabi", see Rensch (1992, p. 87) and Rahman (1996, p. 175).
  2. ^ Pothwari has previously been regarded as part of "Lahnda", but Shackle (1979, pp. 201) argues that it shares features with both groups. Jhangvi (Wagha 1997, p. 229) and Shahpuri (Shackle 1979, pp. 201) are transitional between Saraiki and Punjabi.
  3. ^ Birmani & Ahmed 2017.
  4. ^ Shackle 2003, p. 591.
  5. ^ Masica 1991, pp. 446–63.
  6. ^ Lal, Mohan (1992). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature. Sahitya Academy. p. 4208.
  7. ^ Bhatt, Shankarlal (2006). Punjab. Bhargava, Gopal K. Delhi: Kalpaz publ. p. 141. ISBN 81-7835-378-4. OCLC 255107273 .CS1 maint: date and year (link)


  • Birmani, Ali H.; Ahmed, Fasih (2017). "Language of the Khetrans of Barkhan of Pakistani Balochistan: A preliminary description". Lingua. 191–192: 3–21. doi:10.1016/j.lingua.2016.12.003 . ISSN 0024-3841 .
  • 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. (1903–1928). 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. (eds.). 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 at JSTOR.
  • Shackle, Christopher (1979). "Problems of classification in Pakistan Panjab". Transactions of the Philological Society. 77 (1): 191–210. doi:10.1111/j.1467-968X.1979.tb00857.x . ISSN 0079-1636 .
  • Shackle, Christopher (2003). "Panjabi". In Cardona, George; Jain, Dhanesh (eds.). The Indo-Aryan languages. Routledge language family series. Y. London: Routledge. pp. 581–621. ISBN 978-0-7007-1130-7.
  • Wagha, Muhammad Ahsan (1997). The development of Siraiki language in Pakistan (Ph.D.). School of Oriental and African Studies. (requires registration)

External links


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