Halbi language

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हलबी / ହଲବୀ
Native toIndia
RegionChhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra
Native speakers
766,297 (2011 census)[1]
Odia, Devanagari
Language codes
ISO 639-3hlb
Glottologhalb1244  Halbi
Halbi-speaking region

Halbi (also Bastari, Halba, Halvas, Halabi, Halvi) is an Eastern Indo-Aryan language, transitional between Odia and Marathi.[2] It is spoken by at least 766,297 people across the central part of India.

The Mehari (or Mahari) dialect is mutually intelligible with the other dialects only with difficulty. There are an estimated 200,000 second-language speakers (as of 2001). In Chhattisgarh educated people are fluent in Hindi. Some first language speakers use Bhatri as second language.

Halbi is often used as a trade language, but there is a low literacy rate. It is written in the Odia and Devanagari scripts.[citation needed] It uses SOV word order (subject-object-verb), makes strong use of affixes, and places adjectives before nouns.



Halbi has 6 vowels: /i, e, ə, a, o, u/. All vowels show contrastive vowel nasalization.[3]


Labial Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal voiced m n (ɳ) (ɲ) ŋ
voiceless p t ʈ k
aspirated ʈʰ tʃʰ
voiced b d ɖ g
breathy ɖʱ dʒʱ
Fricative s h
Approximant voiced ʋ l j
Rhotic voiced r (ɽ)
breathy (ɽʱ)
  • /n/ is heard as a palatal [ɲ] when preceding palatal affricates, and as retroflex [ɳ] when before retroflex stops.
  • Voiced retroflex stops /ɖ, ɖʱ/ are heard as retroflex flaps [ɽ, ɽʱ] when in word-medial positions.


  1. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". www.censusindia.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
  2. ^ Masica (1991)
  3. ^ Kaushikkar, Chitra Vijay (1972). A descriptive analysis of Halbi: An Indo-Aryan language. Poona: Deccan College.