Talk:Saraiki dialect

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Dialects of Saraiki Languages[edit]

Dialect group of Saraiki Subdialect Where spoken Alternate_names Notes
(Central or Pure Saraiki)
Saraiki Language Multan District, Lodhran District, Bahawalpur District, Muzaffargarh District, Rahim Yar Khan District, Dera Ghazi Khan District, Rajanpur District, Derawal Nagar, Delhi, India 1.Riyāsatī in Bahawalpur District.
2.Ḍerāwālī in Dera Ghazi Khan
1.According to Masica, the two names Bahāwalpurī and Riyāsatī are locally specific names for the Multani dialect group, possibly specific dialects within the group.[1] According to Shackle, they instead denote a distinct dialect group. Also according to Shackle, the Bahawalpur District of Punjab Province (i.e., within its 1976 boundaries) is split between Mūltānī in the north and Bahāwalpurī in the south, with the dialect of Bahawalpur city being of blend of these two.
2.According to Masica, this use of the name Ḍerāwālī is to be distinguished from its use as an alternate name for a different dialect group (see following row). The spelling with retroflex 'Ḍ' instead of 'D' is according to Masica.[1] The name dialect name "Thaḷī" is used to refer to the local dialects of both Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan, but "Thaḷī" in the former is the Multani dialect and "Ḍerāwālī " in the latter is the Thaḷī dialect.[1]:239ff:Appendix I:220-245
Thaḷī, Shahpori Bhakkar District, Layyah District, Dera Ismail Khan District, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Tank District, Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Derawal Nagar, Delhi, India 1.Thalochi and Thaḷochṛi in Bhakkar District.
2.Jaṭkī; Hindko or Hindki on the west of Indus River.
3.Thaḷī in Dera Ismail Khan District and Tank District
1.Named after the Thal Desert, a region bordered by the Indus River to the west and the Jhelum and Chenab Rivers to the east.
2.Hindko is classified as Lahnda language whose southern dialects are closer to Saraiki. Sometimes, in Mianwali, it is referred as Mianwali di Boli and has close link with Hindko.
Sindhi-Saraiki Northern part of Sindh including Kashmore District, Jacobabad District, Shikarpur District, Tando Muhammad Khan District, Tando Allahyar District, Sobho Khan Mastoi, Kamal Khan Mastoi, Thatta District, Sujawal, Dadu District and Ghotki District. Sireli (of north) Dialect of Saraiki which has some features of the Sindhi language. Sindhi Saraiki is also categorized as a dialect of Sindhi language. In the Interier Sindh, 40% of population speak Sindhi-Saraiki.
Jhangvi Jhang District, Faisalabad District, Gujrat District, Mandi Bahauddin, Chakwal, Hafizabad, Gujranwala District, Jangal Bar tract of Faisalabad District, Okara, pakpattan and all regions encompassing the former Montgomery District Jhangochi, Jhangi Jhangvi dialects actually be closer to the Saraiki language. It also includes Nissoani sub-dialect or local name of Jhangi spoken by a tribe, Nissoana, as of 1919 in northern parts of Jhang District. Another sub-dialect of Jhangi, Kacchī, is named for alluvial desert plain of Kacchi, southwest of Jhang town.Dialect of Jhangochi spoken by the pastoral tribes of the mentioned areas, such as the Kharals, Wattus, Johiyas, who used to rear cattle and sheep in the jungles, before irrigation of the region. It is also called Chenavari (Cināwaṛī or Cinhāwaṛī) due to the name of an area on the right bank of the Chenab River.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:01, 10 October 2016‎ (UTC)

Saraiki :: continued discussion on 3 January 2017[edit]

  • It seems that whether Saraiki is a language or a dialect, has not been decided in many years of discussions among linguists, and we cannot re-fight all those old arguments here on Wikipedia. It is possible for two dialects A and B to be different enough for it to be difficult or impossible to decide with full agreement whether or not A and B are dialects of one same language. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 09:12, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
@Anthony Appleyard: Every person speaks a dialect . So retaining saraiki as a dialect is not controversial. Even in all elections in Pakistan no pro saraiki party could win even a single seat out of 60 electrical seats in saraiki area. It's pro Punjab unity party Pmln who has won majority seats in saraiki speaking areas. U can verify it online. (talk) 09:32, 3 January 2017 (UTC)sockpuppet of a blocked user
  • In the case of Saraiki, as in probably most others, the discussion of whether it's a dialect or not, is only happening in the popular literature, invariably written by the speakers themselves, or the neighbouring community who feels it has a stake. Dialect vs. language questions aren't generally part of academic discourse, they're just conventional elements of the nomenclature, and whenever there is a discussion about that, it typically takes the form of at most a paragraph-long justification for the particular term used. There's a relevant discussion towards the end of this recent thread. – Uanfala (talk) 09:37, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
  • This dispute could be restated as: "Which dialects are in the same language as the Saraiki language"". Anthony Appleyard (talk) 11:57, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
    • What dispute? In academia? In that case, your question, reformulated more precisely as "Which dialects are in the same group as the standard Saraiki" is linguistically sound, although I'm not aware of any proper research, let alone dispute on the topic (Well, of course, there's the early-20th-centry Linguistic Survey of India, but its coverage of the area is sketchy and its grouping of Punjabi dialects seems to have been challenged by virtually anyone who's said anything on the matter. And there's also the tentative dialect classification that's covered in our article, but that doesn't seem to be based on explicit, rigorous research).
    • As for the popular dispute, I don't think the two sides are conducting it on common terms. The Punjabi side denies the existence of a Saraiki language altogether, whereas the Saraiki camp comes forward with reportedly exaggerated assertions of distinctiveness, as well as inflated claims for both the language's antiquity and its geographical extent. – Uanfala (talk) 19:36, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

The popular discourse is actually pretty decently covered in this old revision of the present article, which I'd assume was removed during the extensive sockery the last couple of years. Although it's not explicitly sourced, it's probably based on Tariq Rahman's writings. If someone decides to follow up on Mar4d's suggestion that this topic should be treated at greater length in the article, I guess the text in that old revision could serve as a good starting point. If anyone takes up that task, I'd be happy to share the literature I've encountered so far. – Uanfala (talk) 15:13, 4 January 2017 (UTC)

  • Having had a look at that old revision again, it's obvious that it's in the wrong tone, probably not quite neutral and possibly taken off some published essay. So whoever takes up the topic will have to work from scratch. – Uanfala (talk) 17:47, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

Back to fundamentals[edit]

I'm wondering if we can establish some agreed upon facts here, preferably sourced, so that we can understand where to go from here. Here's a few things I've taken away from the long long debate on this.

  • Some facts which may not be in dispute (correct me if I'm wrong on this):
    1. The Saraiki people are a people. A distinct, recognised, ethnic group.
    2. They speak a tongue which is known as Saraiki. Perhaps it's a dialect, perhaps it's a language, but certainly that's what they speak.
    3. Linguistically, this tongue is mutually intelligible with Punjabi language, and if we were to go purely on linguistic grounds we would classify them as dialects of each other. Note that we would also classify Serbian language and Croatian language, as well as Kinyarwanda / Kirundi and Tswana language / Sotho language as "dialects" under this strictly academic definition.
    4. Within the Saraiki community, they regard their tongue as a "language". They do not think of themselves as Punjabi speakers.
    5. Other Punjabi speakers (some, most, or all?) regard Saraiki speakers as amongst their own. They think of them as fellow Punjabi speakers.
  • Other facts which are disputed:
    1. The international community regards Saraiki as a language. Third party sources which have analysed this question tell us this.
    2. International reliable sources call it a langauge more than they call it a dialect.
    3. Academics regard Saraiki as a language
    4. Academics regard Saraiki as a dialect

Any comments or objections to the above welcome. @Paine Ellsworth: and @Uanfala: what say you? Once we establish these basic facts, then I think we can move on to working out where we should place this article in the context of everything else on Wikipedia as well as policies and guidelines. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 17:45, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

This is a fair summary of where our previous discussions have taken us. This is a complex issue because, while the above are generalized truths, there are details that make this subject more complicated for linguists and for editors. Yes, the Saraiki can be seen as a single ethnic group; however, they are composed of many smaller ethnic groups or "tribes". While their tongue is certainly Saraiki, they also speak several other languages and varieties of languages, such as Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, Sindhi, Thali and so on. Another thing that can be exasperating is the large range of difference between what linguists call a "language" and what that word means in non-scientific settings. Many dialects are therefore called languages in sources such as Ethnologue, where "language" is treated as a general term rather than a term with specific connotations. I'm not sure that #4 and #5 in the first group above have been demonstrated, since there may be Saraikis who are not a part of the movement to have one of their tongues regarded as a language rather than a dialect, and there may be Punjabis who could also not care less about the issue.  Paine Ellsworth  u/c 02:41, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
You know you can completely bypass the issue of the loaded word dialect by using the term lect which is ambiguous between language and dialect. – ishwar  (speak) 08:51, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
I'd limit undisputed point #3 to "Saraiki is mutually intelligible with Punjabi". I don't think we can use that as a basis for any "linguistic" classification – I haven't seen that in the literature on Saraiki and I wouldn't expect to see it used. There's a good discussion of the matter in Masica (1991, p. 24): mutual intelligibility is a relative, rather than an absolute concept, and it's extremely difficult to apply it in the context of Indo-Aryan languages, where widespread bilingualism and diglossia produce a very different pattern of mutual intelligibility from that found in the neatly delineated nationalities of Europe. As for #4 and #5, these are sourced in footnote no.3 of the article (although as Paine Ellsworth correctly observes, "many" does not mean "all").
Now about the disputed points: #2 is sourced again in footnote no.3 of the article, #1 comes from Shackle 2014 and #3 ("Academics regard Saraiki as a language"), I think has been demonstrated in the nomination at the start of the move request (let me know if that's not the case). As for #4, "Academics regard Saraiki as a dialect", although there probably are some, I haven't seen any, and it would be nice of this statement was backed with a source of some kind. – Uanfala (talk) 11:13, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
Ish ishwar's idea to use the term "lect" instead is generally a sensible one, but it doesn't help in this particular case – "lect" can be used to refer to a single variety (like Standard Saraiki), but I'm not sure its use is appropriate for a group of varieties with a shared language identity. Also, it's not a word that most reader are aware of, so I don't think it should appear in an article's title or in its lede. – Uanfala (talk) 11:13, 7 January 2017 (UTC)
Sure, it's appropriate. One can have sub-lects and sub-sublects, or a variety that's a variety of a variety. It goes all the way down to idiolect.. The different speech communities of a high school can be members of the set of communities in that metroplex of a local region of a greater region or an even greater region. It just means a group of individual mental grammars that are more or less similar to each other (which is the same definition of language). No, it's not a common word as it's used by only linguists pretty much. One doesn't need to use the most common word if there's a better alternative. Linguistics uses technical vocabulary for a reason. – ishwar  (speak) 07:51, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
I just noticed this discussion and I wanted to raise awareness about some facts. Firstly I'm a native Punjabi and an editor on the western Punjabi wikipedia.

The word "Saraiki" does not exist on Pnb wiki, instead the word multani dialect is used. I myself can speak many dialects of Punjabi and when I hear the multani dialect I quickly understand it as Punjabi. The word "saraiki" was coined for political purposes. For example the dilect spoken in the district Bhakhar is Thalochi not saraiki, similarly in Multan "Multani dialect" is spoken not saraiki. If Saraiki is a language than why do we(I) find no such reference in our text books. Saanvel (talk) 16:16, 13 March 2017 (UTC)

Well, the issue you're raising, Saanvel has been raised more than once before on this talk page, and you're bound to find an answer to your question if you browse though the archives, though that's not something I'd recommend as you you'll also find much talk that's not edifying. I think the best you could do is actually read the article. What I could add is that the question whether something is a language or a dialect is of the same category as the question "How long is a piece of string?". There's a continuum of dialects that runs from one end of the Indian subcontinent to the other without anything like a sharp break that could signal a proper language boundary. How that continuum could be conceptually segmented into languages is an open-ended question. Similarity and differences between dialects do play a role: it was the similarity between the various dialects of the Punjab that led most early Raj-era administrators to regard them as constituting a single language. And it was the difference between the dialects of the eastern and western halves of the Punjab that led the early 20th-century linguist G.A. Grierson to postulate them as different languages, so different that he assigned them to separate branches of Indo-Aryan. But such considerations are made only when there isn't a local tradition or a sense of identity that dictates what would be called a language, as was indeed the case prior to the 19th century – then neither Saraiki nor Punjabi existed as overarching language labels, the people instead having more narrow local identities as speakers of for example "Riasti" or "Multani" or "Mahji" or "Doabi". But nowadays both this hyperfragmentation and the early British clumping labels have given way to a situation where the speakers of the southwest identify as Saraiki, those in northwest – as Hindko, while those in the eastern and central parts see themselves as Punjabi. It is also the case that many of the latter would like to see this identity extending throughout the whole region, which as the dominant view within that community is exemplified by that community's texbooks and its version of wikipedia. – Uanfala (talk) 18:53, 15 March 2017 (UTC)