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Learn Punjabi Punjabi Dialects And Geographic Distribution


1947-2014 (Archived)
Jun 17, 2004
Punjabi Dialects and geographic distribution

By Punjabi World on April 20,2007

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Punjabi is the official language of the Indian state of Punjab and the shared state capital Chandigarh. It is one of the second official languages of Delhi and Haryana. It is also spoken in neighbouring areas such as Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Punjabi is the predominantly spoken language in the Punjab province of Pakistan, the most widely spoken language in Pakistan, although it has no official status there, and both Urdu and English are preferred languages of the elite.

Punjabi is also spoken as a minority language in several other countries where Punjabis have emigrated in large numbers such as the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom (where it is the second most commonly used language) and Canada (where it is the fifth most commonly used language. Punjabi is the preferred language of the Sikhs because much of their religious literature is written in a similar language. It is the usual language of Bhangra music, which has recently gained wide popularity both in South Asia and abroad.

There are many dialects of Punjabi and they all form part of a dialect continuum, merging with Sindhi and related languages in Pakistan, and Hindustani in India. The main dialects of Punjabi are Majhi, Doabi, Malwai and Powadhi in India, and Pothohari, Lahndi and Multani in Pakistan. Majhi is the standard written form of Punjabi and is the dialect used in both Amritsar and Lahore.

The Punjabi University, Patiala, lists the following as dialects of Punjabi:
--Baar di Boli

Some of these dialects, such as Dogri, Siraiki and Hindko are sometimes considered separate languages, and are classified in different zones or divisions of Indo-Aryan:

--Eastern (Central Zone): Bhattiani (a mixture of Punjabi and Rajasthani), Powadhi, Doabi, Malwai, Majhi, Bathi

--Western (Northwestern Zone, Lahndi): Multani, Hindko, Pahari, Pothohari
--Northern Zone: Dogri

Continuing the hard work and study of NamJap ji who has started a conversation about dialect variation in Punjabi
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