|Spoken in||India, Pakistan, South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, U.S., UK, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Canada, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Portugal|
|Total speakers||46.1 million|
|Writing system||Gujarati script, former use of Devanagari before invention of Gujarati Script.|
|Official language in||Gujarat (India)|
|Regulated by||No official regulation|
Gujarati (ગુજરાતી Gujǎrātī?) is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the greater Indo-European language family. It is native to the Indian state of Gujarat, and is its chief language, as well as of the adjacent union territories of Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.
There are about 46.1 million speakers of Gujarati worldwide, making it the 26th most spoken native language in the world. Along with Romany and Sindhi, it is among the most western of Indo-Aryan languages. Gujarati was the first language of Mohandas K. Gandhi, the "father of India", Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the "father of Pakistan," and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the "iron man of India."
Gujarati (also having been variously spelled as Gujerati, Gujarathi, Guzratee, Guujaratee, Gujrathi, and Gujerathi) is a modern Indo-Aryan language evolved from Sanskrit. The traditional practice is to differentiate the IA languages on the basis of three historical stages:
Another view accords successive family, tree splits, in which Gujarati is assumed to have separated from other IA languages in four stages:
The principal changes from Sanskrit are the following:
Gujarati is then customarily divided into the following three historical stages:
Old Gujarati (AD 1100 — 1500), ancestor of Gujarati and Rajasthani, was spoken by the Gurjars in northern Gujarat and western Rajasthan. Texts of this era display characteristic Gujarati features such as direct/oblique noun forms, postpositions, and auxiliary verbs. It had 3 genders as Gujarati does today, and by around the time of 1300 CE a fairly standardized form of this language emerged. While generally known as Old Gujarati, some scholars prefer the name of Old Western Rajasthani, based on the argument that Gujarati and Rajasthani were not yet distinct at the time. Also factoring into this preference was the belief that modern Rajasthani sporadically expressed a neuter gender, based on the incorrect conclusion that the [ũ] that came to be pronounced in some areas for masculine [o] after a nasal consonant was analogous to Gujarati's neuter [ũ]. A formal grammar of the precursor to this language was written by Jain monk and eminent scholar Hemachandra Suri in the reign of Rajput king Siddharaj Jayasinh of Anhilwara (Patan).
Major works were written in various genres, for the most part in verse form, such as:
Narasimha Mehta (c. 1414 — 1480) is traditionally viewed as the father of modern Gujarati poetry. By virtue of its early age and good editing, an important prose work is the fourteenth-century commentary of Taruṇaprabha, the Ṣaḍāvaśyakabālabodhavr̥tti.
Middle Gujarati (AD 1500 — 1800), split off from Rajasthani, and developed the phonemes ɛ and ɔ, the auxiliary stem ch-, and the possessive marker -n-. Major phonological changes characteristic of the transition between Old and Middle Gujarati are:
These developments would have grammatical consequences. For example, Old Gujarati's instrumental-locative singular in -i was leveled and eliminated, having become the same as Old Gujarati's nominative-accusative singular in -ə.
Modern Gujarati (AD 1800 — ). A major phonological change was the deletion of final ə's, such that the modern language has consonant-final words. Grammatically, a new plural marker of -o developed. In literature, the third quarter of the 19th century saw a series of milestones for Gujarati, which previously had had verse as its dominant mode of literary composition.
Of the approximately 46 million speakers of Gujarati, roughly 45.5 million reside in India, 150,000 in Uganda, 250,000 in Tanzania, 50,000 in Kenya and roughly 100,000 in Pakistan. There is also a large Gujarati community in Mumbai, India.
The United Kingdom has 300,000 speakers, many of them situated in the London areas of Wembley, Harrow and Newham and in Leicester, Coventry and Bradford. A considerable population exists in North America as well. A portion of these numbers consists of East African Gujaratis who, under increasing discrimination and policies of Africanisation in their newly-independent resident countries (especially Uganda, where Idi Amin expelled 50,000 Asians for not participating in the local cultures or allowing Asian women to marry African men though Asian men did marry African women), were left with uncertain futures and citizenships. Most, with British passports, settled in the UK.
Besides being spoken by the Gujarati people, non-Gujarati residents of and migrants to the state of Gujarat also count as speakers, among them the Kutchis (as a literary language), the Parsis (adopted as a mother tongue), and Hindu Sindhi refugees from Pakistan.
Similar to other Nāgarī writing systems, the Gujarati script is an abugida. It is used to write the Gujarati and Kutchi languages. It is a variant of Devanāgarī script differentiated by the loss of the characteristic horizontal line running above the letters and by a small number of modifications in the remaining characters.
These are the three general categories of words in modern Indo-Aryan: tatsam, tadbhav, and loanwords.
તદ્ભવ્ tadbhav, "of the nature of that". Gujarati is a modern Indo-Aryan language descended from Sanskrit (old Indo-Aryan), and this category pertains exactly to that: words of Sanskritic origin that have demonstratively undergone change over the ages, ending up characteristic of modern Indo-Aryan languages specifically as well as in general. Thus the "that" in "of the nature of that" refers to Sanskrit. They tend to be non-technical, everyday, crucial words; part of the spoken vernacular. Below is a table of a few Gujarati tadbhav words and their Old Indo-Aryan sources:
|falls, slips||khasati||khasvũ||to move|||
|causes to move||arpayati||āpvũ||to give|||
|attains to, obtains||prāpnoti||pāmvũ|||
|equal, alike, level||sama||samũ||right, sound|||
તત્સમ્ tatsam, "same as that". While Sanskrit eventually stopped being spoken vernacularly, in that it changed into Middle Indo-Aryan, it was nonetheless standardized and retained as a literary and liturgical language for long after. This category consists of these borrowed words of (more or less) pure Sanskrit character. They serve to enrich Gujarati and modern Indo-Aryan in its formal, technical, and religious vocabulary. They are recognizable by their Sanskrit inflections and markings; they are thus often treated as a separate grammatical category unto themselves.
Many old tatsam words have changed their meanings or have had their meanings adopted for modern times. પ્રસારણ prasāraṇ means "spreading", but now it's used for "broadcasting". In addition to this are neologisms, often being calques. An example is telephone, which is Greek for "far talk", translated as દુરભાષ durbhāṣ. Though most people just use ફોન phon and thus neo-Sanskrit has varying degrees of acceptance.
So, while having unique tadbhav sets, modern IA languages have a common, higher tatsam pool. Also, tatsams and their derived tadbhavs can also co-exist in a language; sometimes of no consequence: dharma-dharam, other times with differences in meaning, with the former holding a "higher" one:
|karma||Work — Dharmic religious concept of works or deeds whose divine consequences are experienced in this life or the next.||kām||work [without any religious connotations].|
|kṣetra||Field — Abstract sense, such as a field of knowledge or activity; khāngī kṣetra → private sector. Physical sense, but of higher or special importance; raṇǎkṣetra → battlefield.||khetar||field [in agricultural sense].|
What remains are words of foreign origin (videśī), as well as words of local origin that cannot be pegged as belonging to any of the three prior categories (deśaj). The former consists mainly of Persian, Arabic, and English, with trace elements of Portuguese and Turkish. While the phenomenon of English loanwords is relatively new, Perso-Arabic has a longer history behind it. Both English and Perso-Arabic influences are quite nation-wide phenomena, in a way paralleling tatsam as a common vocabulary set or bank. What's more is how, beyond a transposition into general Indo-Aryan, the Perso-Arabic set has also been assimilated in a manner characteristic and relevant to the specific Indo-Aryan language it's being used in, bringing to mind tadbhav.
India was ruled for many a century by Persian-speaking Muslims. As a consequence Indian languages were changed greatly, with the large scale entry of Persian and its many Arabic loans into the Gujarati lexicon. One fundamental adoption was Persian's conjunction "that", ke. Also, while tatsam or Sanskrit is etymologically continuous to Gujarati, it is essentially of a differing grammar (or language), and that in comparison while Perso-Arabic is etymologically foreign, it has been in certain instances and to varying degrees grammatically indigenized. Owing to centuries of situation and the end of Persian education and power, (1) Perso-Arabic loans are quite unlikely to be thought of or known as loans, and (2) more importantly, these loans have often been Gujarati-ized. dāvo - claim, fāydo - benefit, natījo - result, and humlo - attack, all carry Gujarati's masculine gender marker, o. khānũ - compartment, has the neuter ũ. Aside from easy slotting with the auxiliary karvũ, a few words have made a complete transition of verbification: kabūlvũ - to admit (fault), kharīdvũ - to buy, kharǎcvũ - to spend (money), gujarvũ - to pass. The last three are definite part and parcel.
Below is a table displaying a number of these loans. Currently some of the etymologies are being referenced to an Urdu dictionary, so it should be noted that Gujarati's singular masculine o corresponds to Urdu ā, neuter ũ groups into ā as Urdu has no neuter gender, and Urdu's Persian z is not upheld in Gujarati and corresponds to j or jh. In contrast to modern Persian, the pronunciation of these loans into Gujarati and other Indo-Aryan languages, as well as that of Indian-recited Persian, seems to be in line with Persian spoken in Afghanistan and Central Asia, perhaps 500 years ago.
|fāydo||gain, advantage, benefit||A||||khānũ||compartment||P||||kharīdī||purchase(s), shopping||P||||tājũ||fresh||P|||
|humlo||attack||A||||makān||house, building||A||||śardī||Common cold||P||||judũ||different, separate||P|||
With the end of Perso-Arabic inflow, English became the current foreign source of new vocabulary. English had and continues to have a considerable influence over Indian languages. Loanwords include new innovations and concepts, first introduced directly through British colonialism, and then streaming in on the basis of continued Anglosphere dominance in the post-colonial period. Besides the category of new ideas is the category of English words that already have Gujarati counterparts which end up replaced or existed alongside with. The major driving force behind this latter category has to be the continuing role of English in modern India as a language of education, prestige, and mobility. In this way, Indian speech can be sprinkled with English words and expressions, even switches to whole sentences. See Hinglish, Code-switching.
In matters of sound, English alveolar consonants map as retroflexes rather than dentals. Two new characters were created in Gujarati to represent English /æ/'s and /ɔ/'s. Levels of Gujarati-ization in sound vary. Some words don't go far beyond this basic transpositional rule, and sound much like their English source, while others differ in ways, one of those ways being the carrying of dentals. See Indian English.
As English loanwards are a relatively new phenomenon, they adhere to English grammar, as tatsam words adhere to Sanskrit. Though that isn't to say that the most basic changes have been underway: many English words are pluralized with Gujarati o over English "s". Also, with Gujarati having 3 genders, genderless English words must take one. Though often inexplicable, gender assignment may follow the same basis as it is expressed in Gujarati: vowel type, and the nature of word meaning.
|station||sāykal||(bi)cycle||rum||room||āis krīm||ice cream||rôbaṭ||robot||ṭāym||time|
The smaller foothold the Portuguese had in wider India had linguistic effects. Gujarati took up a number of words, while elsewhere the influence was great enough to the extent that creole languages came to be (see Portuguese India, Portuguese-based creole languages#India and Sri Lanka). Comparatively, the impact of Portuguese has been greater on coastal languages and their loans tend to be closer to the Portuguese originals. The source dialect of these loans imparts an earlier pronunciation of ch as an affricate instead of the current standard of [ʃ].
|“||1676, from Gujarati bangalo, from Hindi bangla "low, thatched house," lit. "Bengalese," used elliptically for "house in the Bengal style."||”|
|“||1598, "name given by Europeans to hired laborers in India and China," from Hindi quli "hired servant," probably from kuli, name of an aboriginal tribe or caste in Gujarat.||”|
|“||c.1616, "pool or lake for irrigation or drinking water," a word originally brought by the Portuguese from India, ult. from Gujarati tankh "cistern, underground reservoir for water," Marathi tanken, or tanka "reservoir of water, tank." Perhaps from Skt. tadaga-m "pond, lake pool," and reinforced in later sense of "large artificial container for liquid" (1690) by Port. tanque "reservoir," from estancar "hold back a current of water," from V.L. *stanticare (see stanch). But others say the Port. word is the source of the Indian ones.||”|
Gujarati is a head-final, or left-branching language. Adjectives precede nouns, direct objects come before verbs, and there are postpositions. The word order of Gujarati is SOV, and there are three genders and two numbers. There are no definite or indefinite articles. A verb is expressed with its verbal root followed by suffixes marking aspect and agreement in what is called a main form, with a possible proceeding auxiliary form derived from to be, marking tense and mood, and also showing agreement. Causatives (up to double) and passives have morphological basis'.
Simple gloss —
Transliteration and detailed gloss —
|khajūr-ī-Ø-n-ā̃||chaṭiy-ā̃-n-ī||ek||jhū̃pṛ-ī-Ø-mā̃||tā.||14 4 1930thī||tā.||4 5 1930||sudhī|
|palmdate–FEM–SG–GEN–NEUT.OBL||bark–NEUT.PL.OBL–GEN–FEM.OBL||one||hut–FEM–SG–in||date||14 4 1930–from||date||until|
Translation (by Wikipedia) —
Translation (provided at location) —