Doabi dialect

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Doabi is a Punjabi dialect spoken in the Doaba.[1] It is spoken in the Indian Punjab and parts of Pakistani Punjab owing to post-1947 migration of Muslim populace from East Punjab. The word "Do Aabi" means "the land between two rivers" and this dialect was historically spoken between the rivers of the Beas and the Sutlej in the region called Doaba. The region it is now spoken include the Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Nawanshahr districts in Indian Punjab, including the areas known as the Dona and Manjki, and the Toba Tek Singh and Faisalabad districts in Pakistan Punjab where the dialect is known as Faisalabadi Punjabi.

The sub dialects of Doabi include Dona and Manjki.[2]

Punjabi dialects


The Doabi dialect in its eastern part blends with the Malwai dialect of Ludhiana district, and in its Northern side, it shares the linguistic features of the Pahari. Some of the linguistic features of the Doabi dialect that separate it from rest of the Punjabi dialects are as below:[3]


Consonant Doabi word English translation
p ⟨ਪ⟩ pəl ‘moment’ (ਪਲ)
⟨ਫ⟩ pʰəl ‘fruit’ (ਫਲ)
b ⟨ਬ⟩ baːl ‘child’(ਬਾਲ)
⟨ਤ⟩ taːɾ ‘wire’ (ਤਾਰ)
t̪ʰ ⟨ਥ⟩ tʰaːl ‘round tray’(ਥਾਲ)
⟨ਦ⟩ daːl ‘pulse’
ʈ ⟨ਟ⟩ ʈəl ‘pile’
ʈʰ ⟨ਠ⟩ ʈʰiːk ‘correct’ (ਠੀਕ)
ɖ ⟨ਡ⟩ ɖaːk ‘mail’ (ਡਾਕ)
t͡ʃ ⟨ਚ⟩ tʃəp ‘imprint’
d͡ʒ ⟨ਜ⟩ dʒoːk leech (ਜੋਕ)
k ⟨ਕ⟩ kəɡ ‘crow’
⟨ਖ⟩ kʰoːl open
ɡ ⟨ਗ⟩ ɡəl ‘abuse’
m ⟨ਮ⟩ moːɾ peacock
n ⟨ਨ⟩ nəɾ ‘male’
ɳ* ⟨ਣ⟩ ɦʊɳ ‘now’ (ਹੁਣ)
l ⟨ਲ⟩ ləl ‘red’
* ⟨ਲ਼⟩ koː ‘near’ (ਕੋਲ)
(s ⟨ਸ⟩) sɪɾ ‘head’
(ʃ ⟨ਸ਼⟩) ʃeːɾ ‘lion’
(z ⟨ਜ਼⟩) zoːɾ ‘strength’ (ਜ਼ੋਰ)
(f ⟨ਫ਼⟩) fəslə ‘distance’
ɦ ⟨ਹ⟩ ɦoːɾ ‘more’ (ਹੋਰ)
ɾ ⟨ਰ⟩ ɾoːɡ ‘disease’
ɽ* ⟨ੜ⟩ pɪɽ ‘pain’ (ਪੀੜ)

* does not occur word initially


Doabi has ten vowels. These are /ə, ɪ, ʊ, aː, ɛː, eː, iː, ɔː, oː, uː/

For example:

Vowel Word Translation
ə ək 'eye'
ʊ ʊʈʰ ‘awake’
ɪ ɪt ‘brick’
aːs ‘hope’
ɛː ɛːnək spectacles’
uːʈʰ ‘camel’
ʃeːɾ ‘lion’
ਅੋ moːɾ ‘peacock’
ɔː ɦɔːɾ ‘more’
tiːɾ ‘arrow’

Other suprasegmental phonemes[edit]

Tone, stress and nasalization in Doabi are phonemic.


Three tones are used in Doabi; low, mid and high. For example;

Tone Doabi word English translation
Low bha/pa[clarification needed] ‘rate’
Mid pa/pa[clarification needed] ‘put’
High pah/pa[clarification needed] ‘influence’


Stress in Doabi is realized in two ways. Syntagmatically and paradigmatically.

Syntagmatically, stress-shift results in change of meaning.

For example:

Doabi word English translation
gharha[clarification needed] ‘pitcher’
gharha[clarification needed] ‘get something worked into some shape’

Paradigmatically, Doabi has stressed and unstressed syllables;

Unstressed Doabi word English translation
s[clarification needed] satt[clarification needed] ‘essence’
t[clarification needed] pata[clarification needed] ‘address’
Stressed Doabi word English translation
s[clarification needed] sat[clarification needed] ‘seven’
tt[clarification needed] patta[clarification needed] ‘leaf’

Some basic vocabulary items[edit]

Doabi pronunciation English translation
papa ‘father’
paen ‘sister’
bhara ‘brother’
se/seb ‘apple’
conna ‘paddy’
bara ‘elder’


Substituting letters[edit]

Doabi's drop the letter "v" at the start of a word and use the letter "b"[4] as in "Vada" (big) to "Bada". They also use the letter "o" elsewhere in a word instead of a "v" as in "Khvab" (dream) to "Khoaab". A distinctive feature of Doabi is the use of the "w" sound. Where "v" appears in the middle of a word in standard Punjabi, Doabis use "w" so that "hava" (wind) becomes "hawa". Also, the vowel "u" is pronounced with an "o". Accordingly, "khush" (happy) becomes "khosh" or "kuht" (to beat) becomes "koht". In Doabi, any word beginning with "i" is pronounced with "e". For example, the word "khich" (to pull) is pronounced as "khech" or the word "vich" (inside) is pronounced as "bech".

Doabis do not use "z" and therefore substitute "j". This is common in the Punjabi language as "z" is not indigenous to the area.

Sentence structure[edit]

Doabi's end sentences with "aa" (present tense) and "sigey" (past —tense), instead of "han" (present tense) and "san" or "si" (past tense). "Aiddan", "Jiddan", "Kiddan" are all commonly used adverbs in Doabi as opposed to the ”Inj / Aistaran", "Jistaran", Kistaran" used in Punjabi's prestige dialect, Majhi.

Present Tense: Usage of vaa (sing.) and aa (plu.)


Doabi Standard Punjabi
Oh karda vaa

ਉਹ ਕਰਦਾ ਵਾ

اوہ کرداوا

Oh karda hai/aye*

ਉਹ ਕਰਦਾ ਹੈ/ਏ*

اوہ کردا ہے/اے

Oh karday (y)aa

ਉਹ ਕਰਦੇ ਆ

اوہ کردے آ

Oh karday han/ne*

ਉਹ ਕਰਦੇ ਹਨ/ਨੇ*

اوہ کردے ہِن/نے

*spoken forms

Past Tense: Universal Role of Si/Siga in Doabi


Doabi Standard Punjabi
Oh karda si/siga

ਉਹ ਕਰਦਾ ਸੀ/ਸੀਗਾ اوہ کردا سی/سیگا

Oh karda si

ਉਹ ਕਰਦਾ ਸੀ اوہ کردا سی

Oh karday si/sigay

ਉਹ ਕਰਦੇ ਸੀ /ਸੀਗੇ اوہ کردے سی/سیگے

Oh karday san

ਉਹ ਕਰਦੇ ਸਨ (also ਸਣ in spoken Majhi)

اوہ کردے سن
Tu karda si/siga

ਤੂੰ ਕਰਦਾ ਸੀ/ਸੀਗਾ توں کردا سی/سیگا

Tu karda señ

ਤੂੰ ਕਰਦਾ ਸੈਂ توں کردا سیں

Tusi karday si/sigay

ਤੁਸੀਂ ਕਰਦੇ ਸੀ/ਸੀਗੇ تسی کردے سی/سیگے

Tusi karday so

ਤੁਸੀਂ ਕਰਦੇ ਸੋ تسی کردے سو

Main karda si/siga

ਮੈਂ ਕਰਦਾ ਸੀ/ਸੀਗਾ میں کردا سی/سیگا

Main karda saañ

ਮੈਂ ਕਰਦਾ ਸਾਂ میں کردا ساں

Aapañ karday si/sigay

ਆਪਾਂ ਕਰਦੇ ਸੀ/ਸੀਗੇ آپاں کردے سی/سیگے

Asi kaday saañ

ਅਸੀਂ ਕਰਦੇ ਸਾਂ اسیں کردےساں


Doabi English Standard Punjabi
"Houga" Will Happen "Hovega"
"Baarha" Cow shed "Haveli"
"Dhaun" Neck "Gardan"
"Paala or Thand" Cold weather "Sardi"
"Kunji" Key "Chabi"
"gathay" Onions "Gandeh"
"Neyaneh" Children "Bacheh"
"Dekhna" To See "Vekhna"
"Karda Haigah / Karda Si” To Be Doing "Kar Riha Hai"
"Gabey" Middle "Vichkaar"
"Leeray/Kaprhey/Talley" Clothes "Kaprhey"
"Leeta" Bought "Khareeda"

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Punjabi University, Patiala.
  2. ^ Tribune 28 January 2009 Sarbjit Dhaliwal
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2014-04-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2014-11-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)