Saurashtra language

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Saurashtra
Word "Saurashtra" in Saurashtra Script
Region Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala (India)
Native speakers
190,000 (2001 census)[1]
Saurashtra, Latin, Devanagari, Tamil
Language codes
ISO 639-3 saz
Glottolog saur1248[2]

Saurashtra is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Saurashtrian community of Gujarat who migrated and settled in South India. Madurai in Tamil Nadu has the highest number of people belonging to this community and also remains as their cultural center.

The language is largely only in spoken form even though the language has its own script. The lack of schools teaching Saurashtra script and the language is often cited as a reason for the very few number of people who actually know to read and write in Saurashtra script. Latin, Devanagari or Tamil script is used as alternative for Saurashtra Script by many Saurashtrians. Census of India places the language under Gujarati. Official figures show the number of speakers as 185,420 (2001 census).[3]

Geographical distribution[edit]

Main article: Saurashtra people

Speakers of the Saurashtra language, known as Saurashtrians, maintain a predominant presence in the city of Madurai, in the southern part of Tamil Nadu. Though official figures are hard to come by, it is believed that the Saurashtra population is anywhere between one-fifth and one-fourth of the city's total population.

In the course of migration, Saurashtra people moved in groups and settled in different regions of South India and that caused a slight dialect variation between each group and is noticeable by a Saurashtra speaker when interacting with another group.[citation needed]

Phonology[edit]

The phoneme inventory of Saurashtra is similar to that of many other Indo-Aryan languages, especially that of the Konkani language. An IPA chart of all contrastive sounds in Saurashtra is provided below.

Consonants[4]
  Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex Alveopalatal Velar Glottal
Voiceless
stops
p

t̪ʰ
ts
ʈ
ʈʰ

tʃʰ
k
Voiced
stops
b

d̪ʱ
dz
dzʱ
ɖ
ɖʱ

dʒʱ
ɡ
ɡʱ
Voiceless
fricatives
s ʃ h
Nasals m

n̪ʱ
ɳ
Liquids ʋ
ʋʱ
l ɾ
ɾʱ
ɭ j
Vowels
  Front Central Back
High i   u
Mid e ə o
Low   a  

Writing system[edit]

Main article: Saurashtra alphabet

Saurashtra script[edit]

The letter order of Saurashtra script is similar to other Brahmic acripts. The letters are vowels, consonants, and the compound letters which are formed essentially by adding a vowel sound to a consonant. Recently Saurashtrians adopted Devnagari Script for writing.

Vowels and consonants[edit]

Vowels in Saurashtra language.jpg
Saurashtra Consonants.jpg

Compound letters[edit]

Compound Form of letters in Saurashtra language.jpg

Numerals[edit]

Numerals in Saurashtra Language.jpg

In recent adoption of Devnagari script the alphabet chart as follows :

Sourashtra alphabet chart released with guidance of CIIL

Vocabulary[edit]

Loanwords[edit]

The language itself is more similar to modern day Hindi and Marathi. However, in the course of migration to South India, the language was influenced by Dravidian Languages such as Telugu and Kannada and accumulated words from those language in its vocabulary as loanwords.

English Saurashtra loanword Donor-language word
"Rasam" (Tamarind extract) Pilchar Charu (Telugu)
Read / Study Cheduvi Chaduvu (Telugu)
Mirror Adhham Adhham (Telugu)
Pressed rice Adkul Atukulu (Telugu)
Rangoli Muggu Muggulu (Telugu)
Cloth Bottal Battalu (Telugu)
Gulp/deglutition Mingi Miṅgaḍamu (Telugu)
Jump Dhungi Dumuku (Telugu)
Scratch Giktha Gīkuḍu (Telugu)
Vehicle Bondi/Bandi Bandi (Telugu/Kannada)
Children Pillan Pillalu (Telugu)
Way Dhaar Daar (Telugu)
Punch(blow with the first) Guddhu Guddhu (Telugu)
Sprinkles Chinkul Cinukulu (Telugu)
Drop Bottu Bottu (Telugu)
Work Kaam Kaam (Telugu/Marathi/Hindi)
Monkey Kothi Kothi (Telugu/Kannada)
Milk dhoodh dhoodh (Hindi)
Water pani paani (Hindi)
cow gaaye gaaye (Hindi)
who kon kon (Hindi)
Out Bharad bahar(Hindi)
Come Aav Aavo(Hindi)
Do Ker Ker(Hindi)
Go Jha Jha(Hindi)
Home Ghar Ghar(Hindi)
Rice Bath Bath(Hindi)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Saurashtra at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Saurashtra". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ "Census of India 2001: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues". New Delhi, India: The Registrar General & Census Commissioner. Retrieved 2013-12-03. 
  4. ^ Colin Masica, 1993, The Indo-Aryan Languages