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|Spoken in|| PunjabPakistan (80 million speakers)|
India (30 million speakers)
Other countries with Punjabi migrants
|Total speakers|| Western: 61-62 million|
Eastern: 28 million
Siraiki: 14 million
Total: 104 million
|Language family|| Indo-European|
|Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. See IPA chart for English for an English-based pronunciation key.|
It is an Indo-European language of the Indo-Iranian subfamily. Unusually for an Indo-European language, Punjabi is tonal; the tones arose as a reinterpretation of different consonant series in terms of pitch. In terms of morphological complexity, it is an agglutinative language (also very unusual for an Indo-European language, most of which are inflecting) and words are usually ordered 'Subject Object Verb'.
The Punjabi people suffered a split between India and Pakistan during the Partition of 1947. However, Punjabi language and culture tend to be uniting factors in spite of national and religious affiliations.
Dialects and geographic distribution
Punjabi is the official language of the Indian state of Punjab and Chandigarh. It is one of the second official languages of Delhi and Haryana. It is also spoken in neighbouring areas such as Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Punjabi is the predominant spoken language in the Punjab province of 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, in which some of their religious literature is written. 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.
As classified in Ethnologue:
Indo-European └Indo-Iranian └Indo-Aryan │ ├Northern zone │└Western Pahari │ └Dogri [dgo] │ ├Northwestern zone │└Lahnda [lah] │ ├Jakati [jat] │ ├Khetrani [xhe] │ ├Mirpur Punjabi [pmu] │ ├Northern Hindko [hno] │ ├Pahari-Potwari [phr] │ ├Siraiki [skr] │ ├Southern Hindko [hnd] │ └Western Punjabi [pnb] │ └Central zone └Eastern Punjabi [pan]
Western and Eastern Punjabi
Many sources subdivide the Punjabi language into Western Punjabi or Lahndi (ਲਹਿੰਦੀ), and Eastern Punjabi. They tend to do so based on GA Grierson's Linguistic Survey of India. The decision to divide the language has been controversial. The exact division of the language and even the legitimacy of such a division is disputed.
The dialect spoken in central Punjab — on both the Indian and Pakistani side — is Majhi. Grierson defined Western Punjabi as being west of a line running north-south from Montgomery and Gujranwala districts. This is well within present day Pakistan. Contrary to this, Ethnologue has come to classify Lahndi as the dialect of Punjabi spoken in all of Pakistan.
Much like English, Punjabi has moved around the world and developed local forms by integrating local vocabulary. While most loanwords come from Hindustani, Persian and English, Punjabi emigrants around the world have integrated terms from such languages as Spanish and Dutch. A distinctive "Diaspora Punjabi" is thus emerging. As there is no formal consensus over vocabulary and spelling in Punjabi, it is likely that Diaspora Punjabi will increasingly deviate from the forms found on the Indian Subcontinent in the future.
There are several different scripts used for writing the Punjabi language, depending on the region and the dialect spoken, as well as the religion of the speaker. The script used for writing Punjabi in the Punjab province of Pakistan is known as Shahmukhi (from the mouth of the Kings) which is a modified version of Persian-Nasta'liq script. Sikhs and others in the Indian state of Punjab tend to use the Gurmukhī (from the mouth of the Gurus) script. Hindus, and those living in neighbouring states such as Haryana and Himachal Pradesh sometimes use the Devanāgarī script. Gurmukhī and Shahmukhi scripts are the most commonly used for writing Punjabi and are considered the official scripts of the language.
|Hello||ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ
|سات سری اکال
|Sat Srī Akāl (Sikh)
As'salām Alaikam (Muslim)
|The greeting used depends on the religion of the speaker and the person to whom is being spoken to.|
|Yes (Formal)||ਹਾਂ ਜੀ||ہاں جی||Hāṁ Jī|
|No (Formal)||ਨਹੀਂ ਜੀ||نہیں جی||Nahīṁ/Nahīṁ Jī|
|My name is ___.||ਮੇਰਾ ਨਾਂ ___ ਹੈ ।||میرا نا ___ ہے۔||Mērā Nāṁ ___ Hai|
- Bhatia, T. "Punjabi: A Cognitive-Descriptive Grammar", 1993. p 279. ISBN 0-415-00320-2
- The Times of India - "Punjabi, Urdu made official languages in Delhi" 25 June 2003
- "Punjabi Community". The United Kingdom Parliament.
- Canadian Census Data (2001)
- Advanced Centre for Technical Development of Punjabi Language, Literature and Culture
- Masica, CP, "The Indo-Aryan Languages", ISBN 0-521-29944-6, p 20
Bhatia, Tej K. Punjabi. Facts about the world's languages: An encyclopedia of the world's major languages, past and present. Ed. Jane Garry, and Carl Rubino: New England Publishing Associates, 2001.
- A Punjabi Portal
- Live Punjabi Radio
- Online translator English to Punjabi, or vice-versa
- Punjabi Dictionary (Gurmukhi)
- Punjabi language online tutorial
- Panjabi / Punjabi Primer
- Punjabi Computing Resource Centre
- Academy of the Punjab In North America (APNA)
- Free online Punjabi (Gurmukhi) lessons
- Learn Gurmukhi - Sound and Graphics
- Punjabi Network
- Peoples and Languages in Pre-Islamic Indus Valley
- Ethnologue - Languages of India
- Ethnologue - Languages of Pakistan
- Panjabi Language
- Punjabi Literature (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਸਾਹਿਤ)
- Academy of the Punjab in North America
- Punjabi Community Forums