Rajasthani language: Wikis

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Rājasthānī
राजस्थानी راجستھانی
Spoken in India India
Pakistan Pakistan
Region Rajasthan and its adjacent areas in India. Also in some parts of Sindh and Punjab of Pakistan.
Total speakers 80 million (approx.)
Language family Indo-European
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 raj
ISO 639-3 variously:
raj – Rajasthani (generic)
bgq – Bagri
gda – Gade Lohar
gju – Gujari
hoj – Harauti
lmn – Lambadi
mup – Malvi
wbr – Wagdi

Rajasthani (Devanagari: राजस्थानी, Perso-Arabic: راجستھانی) is a language of the Indo-Aryan languages family.[1] It is spoken by 36 million people in Rajasthan and other states of India[2] and in some areas of Pakistan. The number of speakers may be up to 80 million worldwide.[3] Its word order is of SOV type.

Contents

Classification

The Rajasthani language is a part of the Central Indo-Aryan family[3], although some classify it as a Western Indo-Aryan language.

Geographical distribution

Most of the Rajasthani dialects are chiefly spoken in the state of Rajasthan but also in Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab.

Besides, Rajasthani is also spoken in the Bahawalpur and Multan sectors of the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Tharparkar district of Sindh. It merges with Riasti and Saraiki in Bahawalpur and Multan areas, respectively. It also comes in contact with Sindhi from Dera Rahim Yar Khan through Sukkur and Ummerkot. Many linguists (particularly Gusain, 2000b and Shackle, 1976) agree that it shares many phonological (Implosives), morphological (future tense marker and negation) and syntactic features with Riasti and Saraiki. Though, it needs a closer inquiry.

Dialects

Some major dialects or languages (when you label Rajasthani as a cluster) are[3]:

  • Bagri: about five million speakers in Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar districts of Rajasthan, Sirsa and Hissar districts of Haryana, Firozepur and Muktsar districts of Punjab of India and Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar areas of Punjab of Pakistan.
  • Shekhawati: about three million speakers in Churu, Jhunjhunu and Sikar districts of Rajasthan.
  • Marwari:about thirteen million speakers in western Rajasthan comprising Churu, Bikaner, Nagaur, Ajmer, Jodhpur, Pali, Jalore, Jaisalmer, and Barmer districts of Rajasthan. It is also spoken in eastern parts of upper Sindh province of Pakistan.
  • Dhundhari: about nine million persons in Jaipur, Dausa, Tonk, Ajmer, Karauli and Sawai Madhopur districts of Rajasthan. It was first surveyed upon by G. Macliester who published specimens of fifteen varieties of Dhundhari spoken in the territory of the former state of Jaipur in 1898.
  • Harauti: about four million speakers in Kota, Bundi, Baran, and Jhalawar districts of Rajasthan state of India. Interestingly, it has a nominative marker /nE/ which is absent in other dialects of Rajasthani.
  • Mewari: about five million speakers in Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Udaipur, and Chittorgarh districts of Rajasthan state of India.
  • Mewati: about five million speakers in Mewat region of Haryana(Gurgaon and Mewat districts) and adjoining Alwar district of Rajasthan.
  • Ahirwati: spoken in Mahendragarh and Rewari districts of Haryana.
  • Other major dialects/languages are: Dhatki, Goaria, Godwari, Loarki, Merwari, Gade Lohar, Gujari, Gurgula, Lambadi, Malvi, Nimadi

Official Status

In the past, the language spoken in Rajasthan was regarded as a dialect of western Hindi (Kellogg, 1873). George Abraham Grierson (1908) was the first scholar who gave the designation ‘Rajasthani’ to the language, which was earlier known through its various dialects. Today, however, Sahitya Akademi, National Academy of Letters and University Grants Commission recognize it as a distinct language. It is also taught as such in the Universities of Jodhpur and Udaipur. The Board of Secondary Education, Rajasthan included Rajasthani in the course of studies and it has been an optional subject since 1973. Since 1947, several movements have been going on in Rajasthan for its recognition, but it is still considered a ‘dialect’ of Hindi. Recently, the Rajasthan Government has recognized it as a state language, but still, there is a long way for Rajasthani language to go. The reason is it lacks a comprehensive reference grammar and latest dictionary prepared based on a thorough linguistic survey of Rajasthan. Now an extensive descriptive grammar of Rajasthani is under process.

Writing system

In India, Rajasthani is written in the Devanagari script, an abugida which is written from left to right. Besides, Muriya script was also in use for business purposes only. In Pakistan, where Rajasthani is considered a minor language,[4] a variant of the Sindhi script is used to write Rajasthani dialects.[5][6]

Salient features

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Phonology

Rajasthani has 10 vowels and 31 consonants. Three lexical tones: Low, Mid, High (Gusain 2000). Three implosives (b, d, g). Abundance of Front Open Vowel (e.g., javɛ, Khavɛ..)

Vowels
Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e o
ɛ ə ɔ
Open ɑ
Consonants
Bilabial Labio-
dental
Dental/
Alveolar
Retroflex Post-alv./
Palatal
Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɳ
Plosive p
b

t̪ʰ

d̪ʱ
ʈ
ʈʰ
ɖ
ɖʱ
k
ɡ
ɡʱ
Affricate
tʃʰ

dʒʱ
Fricative s ʃ ɦ
Tap or Flap ɾ
Approximant ʋ l ɭ j

Morphology

Rajasthani has two numbers and two genders. Three cases. Postpositions are of two categories. Mostly omitted in actual discourse. (Gusain 2003)

Syntax

  • Rajasthani belongs to the languages that mix three types of case marking systems:nominative – accusative: transitive (A) and intransitive (S) subjects have similar case marking, different from that of transitive object (O); absolutive-ergative (S and O have similar marking, different from A), tripartite (A, S and O have different case marking). There is a general tendency existing in the languages with split nominal systems: the split is usually conditioned by the referents of the core NPs, the probability of ergative marking increasing from left to right in the following nominal hierarchy: 1-st person pronouns – second person pronouns – demonstratives and third person pronouns – proper nouns – common nouns (human – animate – inanimate).(Dixon 1994). Rajasthani split case marking system partially follows this hierarchy:first and second person pronouns have similar A and S marking, the other pronouns and singular nouns are showing attrition of A/S opposition.
  • Agreement: 1. Rajasthani combines accusative/tripartite marking in nominal system with consistently ergative verbal concord: the verb agrees with both marked and unmarked O in number and gender. Another peculiar feature of Rajasthani is the split in verbal concord when the participial component of a predicate agrees with O-NP while the auxiliary verb might agree with A-NP. 2. Stative participle from transitive verbs may agree with the Agent. 3. Honorific agreement of feminine noun implies masculine plural form both in its modifiers and in the verb.
  • In Hindi and Punjabi only a few combinations of transitive verbs with their direct objects may form past participles modifying the Agent: one can say in Hindi:‘Hindii siikhaa aadmii’ - ‘a man who has learned Hindi’ or ‘saaRii baadhii auraat’ - ‘a woman in sari’, but *‘kitaab paRhaa aadmii ‘a man who has read a book’ is impossible. Semantic features of verbs whose perfective participles may be used as modifiers are described in (Dashchenko 1987). Rajasthani seems to have less constrains on this usage, compare bad in Hindi but normal in Rajasthani.
  • Rajasthani has retained an important feature of ergative syntax lost by the other representatives of Modern Western NIA, namely, the free omission of Agent NP from the perfective transitive clause.
  • Rajasthani is the only Western NIA language where the reflexes of OIA synthetic passive have penetrated into the perfective domain.
  • Rajasthani as well as the other New Indo-Aryan languages shows deviations from Baker’s ‘mirror principle’, that requires the strict pairing of morphological and syntactic operations (Baker 1988). The general rule is that the ‘second causative’ formation implies a mediator in the argument structure. However, some factors block addition of an extra agent into the causative construction.
  • In the typical Indo-Aryan relative-correlative construction the modifying clause is usually marked by a member of the “J” set of relative pronouns, adverbs and other words, while the correlative in the main clause is identical with the remote demonstrative (except in Sindhi and in Dakhini). Gujarati and Marathi frequently delete the preposed “J” element. In Rajasthani the relative pronoun or adverb may also be deleted from the subordinate clause but – as distinct from the neighboring NIA – relative pronoun or adverb may be used instead of correlative.
  • Relative pronoun ‘jakau’ may be used not only in relative/correlative constructions, but also in complex sentences with “cause/effect” relations. Source

Prominent linguists

Linguists and their work and year: [Note: Works concern only with Linguistics Not with Literature]

Works on Rajasthani Grammar

  • Agrawal, K.C. 1964. Shekhawati boli ka varnatmak adhyayan. Lucknow: Lucknow University
  • Allen, W.S. 1957. Aspiration in the Harauti nominal. Oxford: Studies in Linguistics
  • Allen, W.S. 1957. Some phonological characteristics of Rajasthani. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 20:5-11
  • Allen, W.S. 1960. Notes on the Rajasthani Verb. Indian Linguistics, 21:1-13
  • Asopa, R.K. 1950. Marwari Vyakaran. Jaipur: Popular Prakashan
  • Bahl, K.C. 1972. On the present state of Modern Rajasthani Grammar. Jodhpur: Rajasthani Shodh Samsthan, Chaupasani (Rajasthani Prakirnak Prakashan Pushp, 5)
  • Bahl, K.C. 1980. aadhunik raajasthaani kaa sanracanaatamak vyaakaran . Jodhpur: Rajasthani Shodh Samsthan
  • Chatterji, S.K. 1948. Rajasthani Bhasha. Udaipur: Rajasthan Vidayapith
  • Grierson, George A. 1918. Linguistic Survey of India (Volume VIII, Part II). Calcutta: Government of India Press
  • Gusain, Lakhan. 1994. Reflexives in Bagri. M.Phil. dissertation. New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Gusain, Lakhan. 1999. A Descriptive Grammar of Bagri. Ph.D. dissertation. New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Gusain, Lakhan. 2000a. Limitations of Literacy in Bagri. Nicholas Ostler & Blair Rudes (eds.). Endangered Languages and Literacy. Proceedings of the Fourth FEL Conference. University of North Carolina, Charlotte, 21-24 September, 2000
  • Gusain, Lakhan. 2000b. Bagri. München: Lincom Europa (Languages of the World/Materials, 384)
  • Gusain, Lakhan. 2001. Shekhawati. München: Lincom Europa (Languages of the World/Materials, 385)
  • Gusain, Lakhan. 2002. Endangered Language: A Case Study of Sansiboli. M.S. Thirumalai(ed.). Language in India, Vol. 2:9
  • Gusain, Lakhan. 2003. Mewati. München: Lincom Europa (Languages of the World/Materials, 386)
  • Gusain, Lakhan. 2004. Marwari. München: Lincom Europa (Languages of the World/Materials, 427)
  • Gusain, Lakhan. 2005. Mewari. München: Lincom Europa (Languages of the World/Materials, 431)
  • Hook, Peter and Man Singh Mohabbat Singh Chauhan. 1986. Grammatical Capture in Rajasthani. Scott DeLancey and Russell Tomlin, (eds.), Proceedings of the Second Annual Meeting of the Pacific Linguistics Conference. Eugene: Deptt. of Linguistics. 203-20
  • Hook, Peter and Man Singh Mohabbat Singh Chauhan.1988. The Perfective Adverb in Bhitrauti. Word 39:177-86
  • Hook, Peter and Man Singh Mohabbat Singh Chauhan. 1988. On the Functions and Origin of the Extended Verb in Southern Rajasthani. Gave.sa.naa 51:39-57
  • Khokhlova, Liudmila Viktorovna. in press. "Infringement of Morphological and Syntactic Operations' Pairing in "Second Causative" Formation (Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Rajasthani)." Indian Linguistics 64.
  • Khokhlova, Liudmila. 2001 Ergativity Attrition in the history of western New Indo-Aryan Languages (Panjabi, Gujarati, Rajasthani). In The Yearbook of South Asian Languages and Linguistics. Tokyo Symposium on South Asian Languages. Contact, Convergence and Typology. Edpp.158–184, ed. by P. Bhaskararao & K.V. Subbarao. New Delhi-London: Sage Publication
  • Lalas, S.R. 1962-78. Rajasthani Sabad Kol. 9 Volumes. Jodhpur: Rajasthani Shodh Samsthan
  • Macalister, George. 1898. A Dictionary of the Dialects Spoken in the State of Jeypore. 1st edition. Allahabad: Allahabad Mission Press
  • Magier, David S. 1983. Topics in the Grammar of Marwari. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California
  • Magier, David S. 1984. Transitivity and valence: Some lexical processes in Marwari. Berkeley Linguistic Society 10
  • Magier, David S. 1985. Case and Transitivity in Marwari. Arlene R.K. Zide, David Magier & Eric Schiller (eds.). Proceedings of the Conference on Participant Roles: South Asia and Adjacent Areas. An Ancillary Meeting of the CLS Regional Meeting, April 25 1984, University of Chicago. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Linguistics Club. 149-59
  • Miltner, V. 1964. Old Gujarati, Middle Gujarati, and Middle Rajasthani sentence structure. Bharatiya Vidya 24:9-31
  • Sakaria, B. & B. Sakaria. 1977. Rajasthani-Hindi Shabda-Kosh. Jaipur: Panchsheel Prakashan
  • Shackle, Christopher (1976). The Saraiki Language of Central Pakistan: A Reference Grammar. London: School of Oriental and African Studies.
  • Shackle, Christopher (1977). "Saraiki: A Language Movement in Pakistan". Modern Asian Studies 11 (3): 279–403.
  • Smith, J.D. 1975. An Introduction to the Language of the Historical Documents from Rajasthan. Modern Asian Studies 9.4:433-64
  • Swami, N.D. 1960. Sankshipta Rajasthani Vyakaran. Bikaner: Rajasthani Research Institute
  • Swami, N.D. 1975. Rajasthani Vyakaran. Bikaner: Navyug
  • Tessitori, L.P. 1914-16. Notes on the Grammar of Old Western Rajasthani. Indian Antiquary:43-5

External links

References

  1. ^ Grierson, George A. 1918. Linguistic Survey of India (Volume VIII, Part II). Calcutta: Government of India Press
  2. ^ Census of India, 2001. Rajasthan. New Delhi: Government Press
  3. ^ a b c Peter Constable and Gary Simons, "An Analysis of ISO 639, Preparing the way for advancements in language identification standards", SIL International, p. 11
  4. ^ "Language policy, multilingualism and language vitality in Pakistan". Quaid-i-Azam University. http://www.sil.org/asia/ldc/parallel_papers/tariq_rahman.pdf. Retrieved 2009–08–09.  
  5. ^ "Goaria". Ethnologue. http://www.ethnologue.com/15/show_language.asp?code=gig. Retrieved 2009–08–09.  
  6. ^ "Dhatki". Ethnologue. http://www.ethnologue.com/15/show_language.asp?code=mki. Retrieved 2009–08–09.  

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