|ਪੰਜਾਬੀ • پنجابی|
Pañjābī written in Gurmukhi, and Shahmukhi (Nast'aliq style)
|Native to||Punjab region|
|100 million (2010)|
Shahmukhi (Extended Perso-Arabic)
Punjabi Braille (in India)
Official language in
| India (Indian State of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, and Chandigarh, secondary officially recognized language in the states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, and West Bengal)
Pakistan (Pakistani Province of Punjab, Azad Kashmir, and Islamabad Capital Territory)
pan – Indian Punjabi
pnb – Pakistani Punjabi
Distribution of native Punjabi and Lahnda speakers in Pakistan and India
Punjabi (//; Gurmukhi: ਪੰਜਾਬੀ pañjābī; Shahmukhi: پنجابی, paṉjābī) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by 102 million native speakers worldwide, making it the 10th most widely spoken language (2015)  in the world. It is the native language of the Punjabi people who inhabit the historical Punjab region of Pakistan and India. It is the only living language among the Indo-European languages which is a fully tonal language.
Punjabi is the most widely spoken language in Pakistan and the 11th most widely spoken in India and the 3rd-most natively spoken language in Indian Subcontinent. Punjabi is the fourth most spoken language in England and Wales and third most spoken mother tongue in Canada. The language also has a significant presence in the United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Saudi Arabia, and Australia. The influence of Punjabi as a cultural language in the Indian Subcontinent is increasing day by day due to Bollywood. Most Bollywood movies now have Punjabi vocabulary mixed in, along with a few songs fully sung in Punjabi. At any point in time, Punjabi songs in Bollywood movies now account for more than 50% of the top of the charts listings.
- 1 Dialects and related languages
- 2 Etymology
- 3 History
- 4 Geographic distribution
- 5 Phonology
- 6 Grammar
- 7 Writing systems
- 8 Sample text
- 9 Gallery
- 10 See also
- 11 Notes
- 12 References
- 13 Further reading
- 14 External links
The major dialects of Punjabi include Majhi, Doabi, malwai, Powadhi, Pothohari, and Multani. The dialects in the Lahnda dialect continuum, including Saraiki and Hindko, are considered as dialects of Punjabi by many linguists but as distinct languages by others.
In Indo-Aryan dialectology generally, the presence of transitional dialects creates problems in assigning some dialects to one or another "language". However, over the last century there has usually been little disagreement when it comes to defining the core region of the Punjabi language. The British linguist George Abraham Grierson came to the conclusion that a group of dialects known collectively as "western Punjabi" spoken north and west of the Punjab heartland, in the Indus valley itself and on the lower reaches of the other four tributaries (excluding the Beas River), in fact constituted a language distinct from Punjabi. He named this group of dialects "Lahnda" in a volume of the Language Survey of India (LSI) published in 1919. He grouped as "southern Lahnda" the dialects that are now recognized as Saraiki. In the National Census of Pakistan (1981) Saraiki and Hindko (previously categorized as "Western Punjabi"), got the status of separate languages, which explains the decrease in the percentage of Punjabi speakers.
The Majhi dialect spoken around Lahore is Punjabi's prestige dialect because it is the standard of written Punjabi. Majhi is spoken in the heart of Punjab in the region of Majha, which spans Lahore, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Kasur, Tarn Taran, Faisalabad, Nankana Sahib, Pathankot, Okara, Pakpattan, Sahiwal, Narowal, Sheikhupura, Sialkot, Chiniot, Gujranwala and Gujrat districts The Majhi (and Lahnda) spoken in Pakistan is more Persianized in vocabulary, and the usage of the sounds /z/, /x/ and /ɣ/ is more profound.
|English||Gurmukhi based (Indian)||Shahmukhi based (Pakistan)|
The word Punjabi is derived from the word Panj-āb, Persian for "Five Waters", referring to the five major eastern tributaries of the Indus River. Panj is cognate with Sanskrit pañca and Greek pente "five", and "āb" is cognate with the Av- of Avon. The historical Punjab region, now divided between India and Pakistan, is defined physiographically by the Indus River and these five tributaries. One of the five, the Beas River, is a tributary of another, the Sutlej.
In India, Punjabi is written in Gurmukhī, a standardized script. The word Gurmukhi translates into 'from the Guru's mouth'. In Pakistan, the Shahmukhī script, meaning "from the King's mouth", based on the Persian abjad is used.
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language, descended from Shauraseni, which was the chief language of mediaeval northern India. Fariduddin Ganjshakar is generally recognised as the first major poet of the Punjabi language.
The Sikh religion originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region and Punjabi is the predominant language spoken by Sikhs. Most portions of the Guru Granth Sahib use the Punjabi language written in Gurmukhi, though Punjabi is not the only language used in Sikh scriptures. The Janamsakhis, stories on the life and legend of Guru Nanak (1469–1539), are early examples of Punjabi prose literature. Guru Nanak himself composed Punjabi verse incorporating vocabulary from Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, and other Indic languages as characteristic of the Gurbani tradition. Punjabi Sufi poetry developed under Shah Hussain (1538–1599), Sultan Bahu (1628–1691), Shah Sharaf (1640–1724), Ali Haider (1690–1785), Saleh Muhammad Safoori (son of Hazrat Mai Safoora Qadiriyya, whom Ali Haider had given great tribute) and Bulleh Shah (1680–1757).
Punjabi Sufi poetry also influenced other Punjabi literary traditions particularly the Punjabi Qissa, a genre of romantic tragedy which also derived inspiration from Indic, Persian and Quranic sources. The qissa of Heer Ranjha by Waris Shah (1706–1798) is among the most popular of Punjabi qissas. Other popular stories include Sohni Mahiwal by Fazal Shah, Mirza Sahiban by Hafiz Barkhudar (1658–1707), Sassui Punnhun by Hashim Shah (1735?–1843?), and Qissa Puran Bhagat by Qadaryar (1802–1892).
Heroic ballads known as vaar enjoy a rich oral tradition in Punjabi. Prominent examples of heroic or epic poetry include Guru Gobind Singh's in Chandi di Var (1666–1708). The semi-historical Nadir Shah Di Vaar by Najabat describes the invasion of India by Nadir Shah in 1739. The Jangnama, or 'War Chronicle,' was introduced into Punjabi literature during the Mughal period; the Punjabi Jangnama of Shah Mohammad (1780–1862) recounts the First Anglo-Sikh War of 1845–46.
Majhi-Standard Punjabi is the written standard for Punjabi in both parts of Punjab. In Pakistan, Punjabi is generally written using the Shahmukhī script, created from a modification of the Persian Nastaʿlīq script. In India, Punjabi is most often rendered in the Gurumukhī, though it is often written in the Devanagari or Latin scripts due to influence from Hindi and English, India's two primary official languages at the Union-level.
In India, Punjabi is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India. It is the first official language of the Indian State of Punjab. In Pakistan, Punjabi has not been granted official status at the national level though it is the most spoken language and is the provincial language of Punjab, Pakistan, the second largest and the most populous province of Pakistan.
Punjabi in modern culture
Punjabi is becoming more acceptable among Punjabis in modern media and communications. Punjabi has always been an integral part of Indian cinema. A large number of Hindi movies now incorporate Punjabi vocabulary in music and dialogue. At any point in time, Punjabi songs in Hindi movies now account for more than 50% of the top of the charts listings. Punjabi pop and folk songs are very popular both in India and Pakistan at the national level. The number of students opting for Punjabi literature has increased in Pakistani Punjab. Punjabi cinema in India has also seen a revival and more and more Punjabi movies are being produced. In India, the number of students opting for Punjabi Literature as optional subject in IAS examinations has increased along with the success rate of the students. Punjabi music is very popular today throughout the world.
Punjabi is the most widely spoken language in Pakistan. Punjabi is the provincial language in the Punjab Province of Pakistan. Punjabi is spoken as a native language by over 44.15% of Pakistanis. About 70.0% of the people of Pakistan speak Punjabi as either their first or second language, and for some as their third language. Lahore, the capital of the Punjab Province of Pakistan, is the largest Punjabi-speaking city in the world. 86% of the total population of Lahore is native Punjabi and Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, is 71% native Punjabis at 3rd after Faisalabad where 76% are native Punjabi speakers.
|Year||Population of Pakistan||Percentage||Punjabi speakers|
|3||Islamabad Capital Territory||1,343,625||71.66%|
|6||Federally Administered Tribal Areas||0||0.0%|
In the 1981 National Census of Pakistan the Saraiki, Pothohari and Hindko dialects of the Western Punjabi were accorded the status of separate languages, which explains the decrease of the percentage of Punjabi speakers.
Punjabi is spoken as a native language by 2.8% of Indians, as per the 2001 census of India. Punjabi is the official language of the Indian states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. Punjabi is also the main language in north parts of Rajasthan and western parts of Uttar Pradesh. Some of its major urban centres in northern India are Ambala, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, and Delhi.
|Year||Population of India||Punjabi speakers in India||Percentage|
Punjabi is also spoken as a minority language in several other countries where Punjabi people have emigrated in large numbers, such as the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, where it is the fourth-most-commonly used language, and Canada, where it is the second-most-spoken language.
There were 76 million Punjabi speakers in Pakistan in 2008, 33 million in India in 2011, 1.3 million in the UK in 2000, 368,000 in Canada in 2006, and smaller numbers in other countries.
|Close||i(ː) ਈ||u(ː) ਊ|
|Close-mid||e(ː) ਏ||ɪ ਇ||ʊ ਉ||o(ː) ਓ|
|Open-mid||ɛ(ː) ਐ||ɔ(ː) ਔ|
The long vowels (the vowels with [ː]) also have nasal analogues.
|Nasal||m ਮ||n ਨ||ɳ ਣ||ɲ ਞ||ŋ ਙ|
|tenuis||p ਪ||t̪ ਤ||ʈ ਟ||t͡ʃ ਚ||k ਕ|
|aspirated||pʰ ਫ||t̪ʰ ਥ||ʈʰ ਠ||t͡ʃʰ ਛ||kʰ ਖ|
|voiced||b ਬ||d̪ ਦ||ɖ ਡ||d͡ʒ ਜ||ɡ ਗ|
|Fricative||voiceless||f ਫ਼||s ਸ||ʃ ਸ਼||(x ਖ਼)|
|voiced||z ਜ਼||(ɣ ਗ਼)|
|Flap||ɾ ਰ||ɽ ੜ|
|Approximant||ʋ ਵ||l ਲ|| ਲ਼||j ਯ||ɦ ਹ|
Punjabi has three phonemically distinct tones that developed from the lost murmured (or "voiced aspirate") series of consonants. Phonetically the tones are rising or rising-falling contours and they can span over one syllable or two, but phonemically they can be distinguished as high, mid, and low.
A historical murmured consonant (voiced aspirate consonant) in word initial position became tenuis and left a low tone on the two syllables following it: ghoṛā [kòːɽɑ̀ː] "horse". A stem-final murmured consonant became modally voiced and left a high tone on the two syllables preceding it: māgh [mɑ́ːɡ] "October". A stem-medial murmured consonant which appeared after a short vowel and before a long vowel became modally voiced and left a low tone on the two syllables following it: maghāuṇā [məɡɑ̀ːʊ̀ɳɑ̀ː] "to have something lit". Other syllables have mid tone.
The grammar of the Punjabi language concerns the word order, case marking, verb conjugation, and other morphological and syntactic structures of the Punjabi language. The main article discusses the grammar of Modern Standard Punjabi as defined by the sources cited therein.
Extended Perso-Arabic script
In the Punjab province of Pakistan, the script used is Shahmukhi and differs from the Urdu alphabet in having four additional letters. East Punjab, located in India, is divided into three states. In the state of Punjab, the Gurmukhī script is generally used for writing Punjabi.
This sample text was taken from the Punjabi Wikipedia article on Lahore and transliterated into the Latin script.
Transliteration: lahor pākistān panjāb dā dārul hakūmat ē. lōk giṇtī dē nāḷ karācī tō᷈ bāad lahor dūjā sab tō᷈ vaḍḍā shahr ē. lahor pākistān dā siāsī, rahtalī tē paṛā̀ī dā gā́ṛ ē tē is laī ihnū᷈ pākistān dā dil vī kehā jāndā ē. lahor dariāē rāvī dē kanḍē tē vasdā ē. isdī lōk giṇtī ikk karōṛ dē nēṛē ē.
- Punjabi Wikipedia
- Languages of Pakistan
- Languages of India
- List of Indian languages by total speakers
- List of Punjabi-language newspapers
- Hindi-to-Punjabi Machine Translation System
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Sikhs often write Punjabi in Gurmukhi, Hindus in Devanagari, and Muslims in Perso-Arabic.
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|Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Punjabi/Gurmukhi/Tone|
|Eastern Punjabi edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
|Western Punjabi edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
|For a list of words relating to Punjabi language, see the Punjabi language category of words in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Punjabi phrasebook.|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Punjabi language.|
- Let's Learn Punjabi Animation Punjabi Film on YouTube
- English to Punjabi Dictionary
- Learn how to read Gurmukhi, Muharni and count in Gurmukhi/Punjabi
- Listen to some basic Punjabi words on WikiBabel
- Online Punjabi keyboard for typing in Punjabi