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The Marwari language (mārwāṛī; also variously Marvari, Marwadi, Marvadi) is spoken in the Indian state of Rajasthanmarker, but is also found in the neighboring state of Gujaratmarker and in Eastern Pakistanmarker. With some 13.2 million speakers (as of 1997, ca. 13 million in India and 200,000 in Pakistan) it is the largest of the Marwari subgroup of the "Rajasthani language".

It is written with the Mahajani and Devanagari script, as is Hindi, Sanskrit, Marathi and Nepali. In Pakistan it is written in the Perso-Arabic script with some changes (like Sindhi). Marwari currently has no official status as a language of education and government. There has been a push in the recent past for the national government to recognize this language and give it a scheduled status. The state of Rajasthan recognizes Rajasthani as a language.

In Pakistan, there are two varieties of Marwari. They may or may not be close enough to Indian Marwari to be considered the same language.

The Marwari language was used in the recent Indian movie, Paheli, where it was mixed with Hindi so it is understandable to the main stream (Hindi speakers) audience. Marwari is still spoken widely in and around Jodhpurmarker. Closely related languages to Marwari in the Rajasthani cluster are: Gojri, Shekhawati, Hadoti, Dhundhari, Mewari, Brij, Bagri, Wagri, Mewati, and others. There are ongoing efforts to identify and classify this language cluster and the language differences.

History

Marwari as a written language has a 1500 year history.

Classification and related languages

Geographical distribution

Dark green indicates Marwari speaking home area in Rajasthan, light green indicates additional dialect areas where speakers identify their language as Marwari.
is primarily spoken in the Indian state of Rajasthanmarker. Marwari speakers have dispersed widely through out India and other countries but are found most notably in the neighboring state of Gujaratmarker and in Eastern Pakistanmarker. With some 13.2 million speakers (as of 1997, ca. 13 million in India and 200,000 in Pakistan) it is the largest of the Marwari subgroup of the "Rajasthani cluster" of western dialects of Hindi.

Phonology

It shares a 50%-65% lexical similarity with Hindi (this is based on a Swadesh 210 word list comparison). Marwari has many cognate words with Hindi. Notable phonetic correspondences include /s/ in Hindi with /h/ in Marwari. For example /sona/ 'gold' (Hindi) and /hono/ 'gold' (Marwari). /h/ sometimes elides. There are also a variety of vowel changes. Most of the pronouns and interrogatives are, however, distinct from those of Hindi.

Grammar

Its primary sentence structure is SOV (Subject, Object, Verb).

Vocabulary

Writing system

Marwari had two scripts before the present Devanagari script. The present script is a modified form of the one used for Hindi with the most notable difference being the addition of a retroflex lateral "ळ". This character is found in Sanskrit but not in Hindi. Some publications in Marwari also use some other characters in substitution for accepted letters.

References

  • Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.), 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Fifteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International. Online version: http://www.ethnologue.com/.
  • Lakhan Gusain (2004). Marwari. Munich: Lincom Europa (LW/M 427)


See also



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