Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 12 : 12 December 2012
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.
         L. Ramamoorthy, Ph.D.
Assistant Managing Editor: Swarna Thirumalai, M.A.


Click Here for Back Issues of Language in India - From 2001




  • E-mail your articles and book-length reports in Microsoft Word to
  • Your articles and book-length reports should be written following the APA, MLA, LSA, or IJDL Stylesheet.
  • The Editorial Board has the right to accept, reject, or suggest modifications to the articles submitted for publication, and to make suitable stylistic adjustments. High quality, academic integrity, ethics and morals are expected from the authors and discussants.

Copyright © 2012
M. S. Thirumalai

Custom Search

Who is the M/Other of the Two? A Comparison of the Syntactic Systems of Punjabi and Siraiki

Junaid Hafeez, B.A. (Hons.), M.Phil. Scholar


Siraiki and Punjabi are two languages of Indo-Aryan family spoken in Pakistan (Shackle, 1976). According to 2008 Census of Pakistan, 44.15% of the total population speaks Punjabi. Likewise, Siraiki is the language of at least 15 million people (Shackle, 1976). The history of the origins of these two languages is debatable. Supporters of each language are of the view that their language is ancient than the other. Those who support Punjabi do not even consider Siraiki a separate language: they take Siraiki as one of the dialects of Punjabi spoken in southern regions of Punjab. The given paper is an attempt at studying syntactic systems of Siraki and Punjabi by analyzing grammatical categories. It is hoped that this syntactic comparison between these two languages will give a better idea about their origin.

Literature Review/Background

Beames (1867) argue that Punjabi is the language of the area lying between the river Ravi and the river Bias. According to him, Punjabi is mere a dialect of Hindi that digressed from the standard Hindi language. He further proposes that Punjabi had been considered as a separate/autonomous language only because of its Gurmukhi script that has been invented to document sayings and lessons of Guru Nanak 1469-1538), the first Punjabi reformist. This theory is reinforced by the fact that one does not find any mention of Punjabi in Ain-I Akbari (Blochmann, H. (tr.). 1927), a sixteenth century document that discusses Akbar’s administrative affairs in detail. Abu’l Fazl, Akbar’s vizier has documented thirteen languages spoken in India, but he does not include Punjabi. On the other hand, it is stated by the Punjabi language supporters that Siraiki language did not have a script before the partition of sub-continent. It is only after 1947 that Siraiki developed a script for itself, and hence, its birth is recent and that too has been fuelled by the politics. However, Rasoolpuri (1980) argues that Siraiki has been written in Dev Nagri script in the past times. To support his claim, he quotes a saying that has been inscribed on the main gate of the ancient fort of Amrot in Bahawalpur district. The inscription translates into English as: ‘This fort has been occupied by Jam Somro, and Jam Somro arranged repairs of this fort in 1491 A.D.’ Abdul-Haq (1977) contemplates that Siraiki was lingua franca in the sub-continent. He supports his claim by consulting Grierson’s Linguistic Survey of India (1967). Smirnov (1975) proposes that though Siraiki is kindred to Punjabi, it has many distinctions: Punjabi is an analytical language whereas Siraiki contains many synthetic forms. It has also been argued by Grierson (1967) that he collected language samples from Sindh, which share resemblances with the language spoken in the neighborhoods of Dera Ghazi Khan. Abdul-Haq (1977) interprets this finding to argue that Siraiki linguistics is different from Hindi or Punjabi because its origin lies in Dravidian languages, not in Indo-Aryan languages.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

JUNAID HAFEEZ, B.A. (Hons.), M.Phil. Scholar
Department of English
Bahauddin Zakariya University
Multan 60000

Custom Search

  • Click Here to Go to Creative Writing Section

  • Send your articles
    as an attachment
    to your e-mail to
  • Please ensure that your name, academic degrees, institutional affiliation and institutional address, and your e-mail address are all given in the first page of your article. Also include a declaration that your article or work submitted for publication in LANGUAGE IN INDIA is an original work by you and that you have duly acknowledged the work or works of others you used in writing your articles, etc. Remember that by maintaining academic integrity we not only do the right thing but also help the growth, development and recognition of Indian/South Asian scholarship.