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Thaḷī, is a Western Punjabi dialect spoken in parts of the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It has a widespread area, starting from Tank to Muzzafargarh on eastern end of Indus River and from Bannu runs down to D I khan at western end of Indus River. It is classified as a northern dialect of Saraiki, although it has also been described as transitional between Shahpuri and the central Saraiki Multani dialect.Its name is derived from the Thal Desert.
It is one of several Saraiki dialects that are commonly known as Jaṭkī. It is spoken in Jhelum District and parts of the former Shahpur District where it is known as Thaḷī. Its local name in Jhang District is Thaḷochṛī. In Dera Ismail Khan District it goes by the name of Ḍerāwāl or Derawali, and in Mianwali and Bannu districts it is known as Hindko or Mulkī. Inhabitants of Dera Ismail Khan District, presumably speakers of this dialect, variously identify their language as Saraiki or Hindko. Likewise for those living in Mianwali District, who identify their language as either Punjabi or Saraiki.
Thali is spoken in the following districts of Punjab Province and districts of Kyber Pakhtunkha Province:
- Layyah District
- parts of Muzaffargarh District
- Dera Ismail Khan District
- Tank District
- Lakki Marwat District
- Wagha 1997, pp. 229–31.
- Shackle 1976, p. 8.
- Singh 1970, p. 142.
- Use of the term Jatki: Singh 1970 (for Thali), Masica 1991, p. 430 (for other Saraiki varieties).
- Grierson 1919, p. 381.
- Masica 1991, p. 426.
- Rensch 1992, pp. 7–8, 57.
- South Asia Partnership-Pakistan. Profile of district Mianwali (PDF). pp. 12–13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 May 2013.
- Grierson, George A. (1919). "Thali". Linguistic Survey of India. Volume VIII , Part 1, Indo-Aryan family. North-western group. Specimens of Sindhī and Lahndā. Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India.
- Masica, Colin P. (1991). The Indo-Aryan languages. Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-23420-7.
- Rensch, Calvin R. (1992). "The Language Environment of Hindko-Speaking People". In O'Leary, Clare F.; Rensch, Calvin R.; Hallberg, Calinda E. Hindko and Gujari. Sociolinguistic Survey of Northern Pakistan. Islamabad: National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University and Summer Institute of Linguistics. ISBN 969-8023-13-5.
- Shackle, Christopher (1976). The Siraiki language of central Pakistan : a reference grammar. London: School of Oriental and African Studies.
- Singh, Atam (1970). "An introduction to the dialects of Punjabi". Pākhā sanjam. 3 (1). ISSN 0556-4417. The account of Thali here is based entirely on Grierson's Linguistic Survey of India.
- Wagha, Muhammad Ahsan (1997). The development of Siraiki language in Pakistan (Ph.D.). School of Oriental and African Studies. (requires registration).