Talk:Saraiki language

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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)


  1. ^ a b c Masica, Colin (1991), The Indo-Aryan Languages, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-29944-2 

Requested move 22 October 2017[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: moved. There is a consensus here that Saraiki is commonly referred to as a language. Jenks24 (talk) 10:12, 30 October 2017 (UTC)

Saraiki dialectSaraiki language – The article should be moved back to its stable title Saraiki language, as this has much better support in the sources (see this statement for the details). Noting that the use of "dialect" in the title goes against the naming conventions: The word "language" is used for varieties which have standard forms, per common usage, even if they are not distinct languages by other criteria. – Uanfala 23:53, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

Pinging participants in the previous discussion: @Bd2412, Bradv, Amakuru, Kautilya3, Paine Ellsworth, Kashmiri, Mar4d, SheriffIsInTown, RegentsPark, SmokeyJoe, and Ish ishwar:. – Uanfala 23:53, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

I'd also point to the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (ethnicities and tribes)#Self-identification policy.
How the group self-identifies should be considered. If their autonym is commonly used in English, it would be the best article title. Any terms regarded as derogatory by members of the ethnic group in question should be avoided.
It's a related issue. Perhaps that page should be modified to include self-designation of language as well or the language modified to include the topic. (Otherwise, wikipedia will treat language names and people names by different criteria, which would seem strange to me.) – ishwar  (speak) 01:26, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support, and for reasons as to why, refer to my previous comments in the lengthy discussion here. Saraiki has been spoken for centuries and has its own words, literature, poetry, oral history, culture, and more recently, media. These are not the typical characteristics of a "dialect"; it is by far a language in its own right, and the sources supporting this have been covered to death in past discussions. The Census of Pakistan has in the past recorded it separately from Punjabi. The 20 million people who speak this language, known as Saraiki people, are a separate ethnolinguistic group in Pakistan with diverse origins. Most importantly, the region where Saraiki is predominately spoken, South Punjab, is distinct from mainland Punjab which stretches from the Majha plains of the north to the eastern Doaba region in India, where the Punjabis are found. Sure, Saraiki shares and even derives much from Punjabi, but to simply downgrade it to a dialect is rather oversimplifying its status. Mar4d (talk) 06:22, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - reliable sources more often than not treat this as a language rather than a dialect, as indicated in the nomination. Note that the distinction between these two concepts is not just whether they are mutually intelligible, but it is also linked to the ethnicity and national affiliation of the speakers. The Seraiki people are a separate ethnicity from other people that speak Punjabi, and hence why their tongue is considered a language. This is similar to, for example, Northern Sotho language, Sotho language, Tswana language - these are all mutually intelligble tongues, all spoken in South Africa (and neighbouring countries), but divided into languages according to their speakers. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 11:54, 23 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Opposed recent sock master added checklist hmmmmm its very relevant. [1]. It ends as Saraiki not a language. Elevonjan (talk) 16:52, 23 October 2017 (UTC) Elevonjan (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
  • Support. Now that the issue has been separated from "Saraiki" as a PTOPIC language title, I can more clearly see that moving this page to Saraiki language would be an NPOV improvement to Wikipedia. The nom has worked long and hard on making this improvement, and so should be commended for the effort by renaming this page as suggested.  Paine Ellsworth  put'r there  17:46, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support. Per Wikipedia policy mentioned above and per the sources and arguments previously mentioned and per general linguistic practice. – ishwar  (speak) 05:33, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support, the proposed title better matches our naming conventions and the content of the article. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 18:09, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Support - The "language" label is adequately supported by the reliable sources. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 18:19, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Someone has asked me to intervene on this, because I am supposedly neutral. The edits requesting that I do this have been reverted.
I have no particular expertise on the question of Saraiki as a language vs. dialect (although someone at my organization is about to publish a grammar of Punjabi, Saraiki and Hindko, and I believe they consider S and H to be distinct languages from P). But I will say this: the question of language vs. dialect is fraught with difficulty. For a linguist, two varieties are distinct languages if there is not "mutual intelligibility". But what "mutual intelligibility" means is itself a difficult question; I can understand Spanish because I learned it, but that obviously does not make Spanish a dialect of English. I suspect (but don't know) that most Saraiki speakers can understand Punjabi, but that could simply be because they're exposed to it on TV, radio etc. And I'm sure most Punjabi speakers (at least speakers of Punjabi as spoken in Pakistan) can understand Saraiki to some extent. But how well they understand Saraiki is probably an open question, and perhaps speakers of Punjabi spoken in different regions can understand Saraiki more or less well.
The average person, on the other hand, understands the distinction between 'language' and 'dialect' in quite a different way, as more of a social or political question. I'm more familiar with the situation in South America, where indigenous languages, which are entirely different from Spanish (or Portuguese) in every way, are often referred to as 'dialects'. This is a purely derogatory usage, and simply means a language that the Spanish speaker doesn't consider as prestigious as Spanish.
So in my opinion, the fact that someone has referred in print to Saraiki as a 'dialect' of Punjabi is probably irrelevant to the discussion here, because that terminology will in most cases refer to the average person's point of view. The Wikipedia is, from what I understand, committed to a scientific/ linguistic viewpoint. And if linguists say that Saraiki and Punjabi are mutually unintelligible (probably on the basis that Punjabi speakers cannot reliably understand Saraiki speakers, and possibly the other way around), then that's probably the stance that the Wikipedia article should reflect.
The real question, then, that people should be asking in this discussion is to what extent P and S are not mutually unintelligible. In my opinion, lining up a bunch of references to people calling Saraiki a dialect is no more evidence that Saraiki is a dialect of Punjabi, than the fact that Spanish speakers have called Cofan (an indigenous language of Ecuador) a dialect would count as evidence that Cofan is not a distinct language. The evidence that should count is rather linguistic studies of mutual intelligibility, preferably done with standard testing methods. SIL (who btw is the source of the Ethnologue) is an organization that has done that kind of testing; perhaps other organizations have too. Ask them whether S and P are distinct languages. Mcswell (talk) 20:06, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Leaning oppose, despite much sympathy for the Saraiki-speaking people. The dialect vs language question here is more of a political than linguistical one. The mutual intellegibility test is hard to carry out in South Asia where gaon gaon pani badal jata hai, panch panch gaon zuban badal jati hai (water changes every village, speech changes every five villages) and, primarily for historical and geographical reasons, more interrelation and, thus, intellegibility is observed between neighbouring vernaculars than the test foresees. Under Rajasthani language for instance, we read about "50 to 65 percent overlap with Hindi based on ... Swadesh list" and even about "conflation of the two", but this does not prevent Rajasthani from being considered a language. I expect at least a similar degree of ovelap for Punjabi, Saraiki and Hindko.
So, here we come to the first (the more scientific) meaning of dialect where the deciding factor is the existence of dialect continuum. In Punjab, there is, of course, a dialect continuum that encompasses Saraiki, Punjabi and Hindko.
Sure, one can argue that use of "dialect" for Saraiki is mostly in the second meaning of the term dialect where social and political factors decide that Punjabi is a language and Saraiki is not ("A language is a dialect with an army and navy", as Max Weinreich once said). But then – do we want Wikipedia definitions to depend on social and political factors or, rather. be based on science?
Hence my !vote. — kashmiri TALK 23:56, 29 October 2017 (UTC)
If Saraiki is part of a dialect continuum then it is more likely better described as a set of dialects, rather than a single dialect. If Punjabi and Saraiki are part of a dialect continuum but we're going to have articles called "Punjabi language" and "Saraiki dialect" then we are using socio-political criteria to name the articles. – filelakeshoe (t / c) 08:37, 30 October 2017 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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