Punjabi (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ in Gurmukhi, پنجابی in Shahmukhi) is a word that refers to the native language of the residents of the area of India and Pakistan (formerly India) called Punjab and also to the people who live in this region. This area is situated in North West part of India and North East Pakistan and includes the cities of Amritsar, Lahore, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, etc.

The Punjabi language can be written in two different scripts – Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi script. The Gurmukhi script is derived from the Landa Script and standardized by Guru Angad Dev (the second Sikh Guru) in the 16th century. This script was designed to write the Punjabi language and other native languages. The word Gurmukhi literally means - "From the Mouth of the Guru". The whole of the Guru Granth Sahib's 1430 pages are written in this script.

Punjabi is an Indo-European language of the Indo-Iranian subfamily. Unusually for an Indo-European language, Punjabi is tonal; the tones arose as a reinterpretation of different consonant series in terms of pitch. In terms of morphological complexity, it is an agglutinative language (also very unusual for an Indo-European language, most of which are inflecting) and words are usually ordered 'Subject Object Verb'.

The Punjabi people suffered a split between India and Pakistan during the Partition of 1947. However, Punjabi language and culture tend to be uniting factors in spite of national and religious affiliations.

Dialects and geographic distribution

Punjabi is the official language of the Indian state of Punjab and Chandigarh. It is one of the second official languages of Delhi and Haryana. It is also spoken in neighbouring areas such as Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. Punjabi is the predominant spoken language in the Punjab province of Pakistan although it has no official status there, and both Urdu and English are preferred languages .

Punjabi is also spoken as a minority language in several other countries where Punjabis have emigrated in large numbers such as the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom (where it is the second most commonly used language) and Canada (where it is the fifth most commonly used language). Punjabi is the preferred language of the Sikhs, as some of their religious literature is written in it. It is the usual language of Bhangra music, which has recently gained wide popularity both in South Asia and abroad.

There are many dialects of Punjabi and they all form part of a dialect continuum, merging with Sindhi and related languages in Pakistan, and Hindustani in India. The main dialects of Punjabi are Majhi, Doabi, Malwai and Powadhi in India, and Pothohari, Lahndi and Multani in Pakistan. Majhi is the standard written form of Punjabi and is the dialect used in both Amritsar and Lahore.

See Also

External Links

This page uses content from the English Sikhi Wiki. The original article was at Punjabi. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the Religion-wiki, the text of Sikhi Wiki is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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