Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language. It is the first 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, India Himachal Pradesh, India and Delhi, India. It is spoken by the majority of the population of Pakistan.
'Punjabi' written in Shahmukhi (top) and Gurmukhi (bottom) scripts
|Native to||Punjab region|
|Eastern Punjabi: 34 million (2011)|
Western Punjabi: 93 million (2015)
Official language in
| Pakistan (Punjab) |
India (Punjab, Haryana, Chandigarh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh)
pan – Eastern Punjabi
pnb – Western Punjabi
Areas of the Indian Subcontinent where Punjabi is natively spoken
|Punjabi edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
|Western Punjabi edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
Punjabi developed from the ancient language of Sanskrit just like many other modern Indo-Aryan languages such as Hindi, Bengali, Urdu and Marathi. 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.
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".
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 2.2 million Punjabi speakers in the US in 2017. and 1.3 million in the UK in 2000.
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.
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- 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.
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- 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.CS1 maint: multiple names: editors list (link)
- 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
- McDonnell, 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.
|Punjabi edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
Punjabi phrasebook travel guide from Wikivoyage