Rajasthani language

Rajasthani language

states=Rajasthan (India)
speakers= 80 million (approx.)Fact|date=January 2008
fam4=Central Indo-Aryan
lc1=raj|ld1=Rajasthani (generic)|ll1=none
lc2=bgq|ld2=Bagri|ll2=Bagri language
lc3=gda|ld3=Gade Lohar|ll3=Gade Lohar language
lc5=hoj|ld5=Hadothi|ll5=Hadothi language
lc6=mup|ld6=Malvi|ll6=Malvi language
lc7=wbr|ld7=Wagdi|ll7=Wagdi language

Rajasthani (राजस्थानी) is a language or language cluster [ [http://www.ethnologue.com/14/iso639/An_analysis_of_ISO_639.pdf SIL International: "An Analysis of ISO 639, Preparing the way for advancements in language identification standards" by Peter Constable and Gary Simons] (page 11, among other things)] of the Indo-Aryan languages family. It is spoken by around eighty million persons (total number of speakers 36 million as per Census of India, 2001 Fact|date=January 2008) in Rajasthan and other states of India and in some adjacent areas of Pakistan. Its word order is of SOV type.


The Rajasthani language is a part of the Central Indo-Aryan family, although some classify it as a Western Indo-Aryan language.

Geographical distribution

Most of the Rajasthani dialects are chiefly spoken in the state of Rajasthan but also in Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab.

Besides, Rajasthani is also spoken in the Bahawalpur and Multan sectors of the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Tharparkar district of Sindh. It merges with Riasti and Saraiki in Bahawalpur and Multan areas, respectively. Many linguists (particularly Gusain, 2000 and Shackle 1976) agree that it shares many phonological, morphological and syntactic features with Riasti and Saraiki. Though, it needs a closer inquiry.


Some major dialects or languages (when you label Rajasthani as a cluster) are [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=90927 Ethnologue.com: Ethnologue report for Rajasthani] ] :

*Bagri: about five million speakers in Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar districts of Rajasthan, Sirsa and Hissar districts of Haryana, Firozepur and Muktsar districts of Punjab of India and Bahawalpur and Bahawalnagar areas of Punjab of Pakistan.
*Shekhawati: about three million speakers in Churu, Jhunjhunu and Sikar districts of Rajasthan.
*Marwari:about thirteen million speakers in western Rajasthan comprising Churu, Bikaner, Nagaur, Ajmer, Jodhpur, Pali, Jalore, Jaisalmer, and Barmer districts of Rajasthan. It is also spoken in eastern parts of upper Sindh province of Pakistan.
*Dhundhari: about nine million persons in Jaipur, Dausa, Tonk, Ajmer, Karauli and Sawai Madhopur districts of Rajasthan. It was first surveyed upon by G. Macliester who published specimens of fifteen varieties of Dhundhari spoken in the territory of the former state of Jaipur in 1898.
*Harauti: about four million speakers in Kota, Bundi, Baran, and Jhalawar districts of Rajasthan state of India. Interestingly, it has a nominative marker /nE/ which is absent in other dialects of Rajasthani.
*Mewari: about five million speakers in Rajsamand, Bhilwara, Udaipur, and Chittorgarh districts of Rajasthan state of India.

Other major dialects/languages are:
*Gade Lohar

Official Status

In the past, the language spoken in Rajasthan was regarded as a dialect of western Hindi (Kellogg, 1873). George Abraham Grierson (1908) was the first scholar who gave the designation ‘Rajasthani’ to the language, which was earlier known through its various dialects. Today, however, Sahitya Akademi, National Academy of Letters and University Grants Commission recognize it as a distinct language. It is also taught as such in the Universities of Jodhpur and Udaipur. The Board of Secondary Education, Rajasthan included Rajasthani in the course of studies and it has been an optional subject since 1973. Since 1947, several movements have been going on in Rajasthan for its recognition, but it is still considered a ‘dialect’ of Hindi. Recently, the Rajasthan Government has recognized it as a state language, but still, there is a long way for Rajasthani language to go. The reason is it lacks a comprehensive reference grammar and latest dictionary prepared based on a thorough linguistic survey of Rajasthan. Now an extensive descriptive grammar of Rajasthani is under process.

Writing system

Rajasthani is written in the Devanagari script, an abugida which is written from left to right. Besides, Muriya script was also in use for business purposes only. Now, Rajasthani uses Devanagari script only.

alient features


Rajasthani has 10 vowels and 31 consonants. Three lexical tones: Low, Mid, High (Gusain 2000). Three implosives (b, d, g). Abundance of Front Open Vowel (e.g., jaavE, KhaavE..)


Rajasthani has two numbers and two genders. Three cases. Postpositions are of two categories. Mostly omitted in actual discourse. (Gusain 2003)


To be written.

Prominent linguists

Linguists and their work and year:

*Anvita Abbi: Bagri, 1993
*Christopher Shackle: Bagri and Saraiki, 1976
*David Magier: Marwari, 1983
*George Abraham Grierson : Almost all the dialects of Rajasthani, 1920
*George Macalister: Dhundhari and Shekhawati, 1892
*John D. Smith: Rajasthani, 1970-present
*J. C. Sharma: Gade lohar, Wagri or Bhili, Gojri, 1970-present
*Kali Charan Bahl: Rajasthani, 1971-1989
*K. C. Agrawal: Shekhawati, 1964
*L. P. Tessitori: Rajasthani and Marwari, 1914-16
*Lakhan Gusain: all the dialects of Rajasthani, 1990-present [http://www.bastigiri.org/lakhan website]
*Liudmila Khokhlova: Rajasthani and Marwari, 1990-present
*Narottam Das Swami: Rajasthani and Marwari, 1960
*Peter E. Hook: Rajasthani and Marwari, 1986
*Ram Karan Asopa: Rajasthani and Marwari, 1890-1920
*Sita Ram Lalas: Rajasthani language, 1950-1970
*Suniti Kumar Chatterjee: Rajasthani, 1948-49

Prominent Poets

* Chander Singh Bika
*Kanhaiyalal Sethia
*Suryamal Misran

Works on Rajasthani Grammar

*Agrawal, K.C. 1964. Shekhawati boli ka varnatmak adhyayan. Lucknow: Lucknow University
*Allen, W.S. 1957. Aspiration in the Harauti nominal. Oxford: Studies in Linguistics
*Allen, W.S. 1957. Some phonological characteristics of Rajasthani. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 20:5-11
*Allen, W.S. 1960. Notes on the Rajasthani Verb. Indian Linguistics, 21:1-13
*Asopa, R.K. 1950. Marwari Vyakaran. Jaipur: Popular Prakashan
*Bahl, K.C. 1972. On the present state of Modern Rajasthani Grammar. Jodhpur: Rajasthani Shodh Samsthan, Chaupasani (Rajasthani Prakirnak Prakashan Pushp, 5)
*Bahl, K.C. 1980. aadhunik raajasthaani kaa sanracanaatamak vyaakaran . Jodhpur: Rajasthani Shodh Samsthan
*Chatterji, S.K. 1948. Rajasthani Bhasha. Udaipur: Rajasthan Vidayapith
*Gusain, Lakhan. 1994. Reflexives in Bagri. M.Phil. dissertation. New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University
*Gusain, Lakhan. 1999. A Descriptive Grammar of Bagri. Ph.D. dissertation. New Delhi: Jawaharlal Nehru University
*Gusain, Lakhan. 2000a. Limitations of Literacy in Bagri. Nicholas Ostler & Blair Rudes (eds.). Endangered Languages and Literacy. Proceedings of the Fourth FEL Conference. University of North Carolina, Charlotte, 21-24 September, 2000
*Gusain, Lakhan. 2000b. Bagri. München: Lincom Europa (Languages of the World/Materials, 384)
*Gusain, Lakhan. 2001. Shekhawati. München: Lincom Europa (Languages of the World/Materials, 385)
*Gusain, Lakhan. 2002. Endangered Language: A Case Study of Sansiboli. M.S. Thirumalai(ed.). Language in India, Vol. 2:9
*Gusain, Lakhan. 2003. Mewati. München: Lincom Europa (Languages of the World/Materials, 386)
*Gusain, Lakhan. 2004. Marwari. München: Lincom Europa (Languages of the World/Materials, 427)
*Hook, Peter and Man Singh Mohabbat Singh Chauhan. 1986. Grammatical Capture in Rajasthani. Scott DeLancey and Russell Tomlin, (eds.), Proceedings of the Second Annual Meeting of the Pacific Linguistics Conference. Eugene: Deptt. of Linguistics. 203-20
*Hook, Peter and Man Singh Mohabbat Singh Chauhan.1988. The Perfective Adverb in Bhitrauti. Word 39:177-86
*Hook, Peter and Man Singh Mohabbat Singh Chauhan. 1988. On the Functions and Origin of the Extended Verb in Southern Rajasthani. Gave.sa.naa 51:39-57
*Khokhlova, Liudmila Viktorovna. in press. "Infringement of Morphological and Syntactic Operations' Pairing in "Second Causative" Formation (Hindi-Urdu, Punjabi, Gujarati, Rajasthani)." Indian Linguistics 64.
*Lalas, S.R. 1962-78. Rajasthani Sabad Kol. 9 Volumes. Jodhpur: Rajasthani Shodh Samsthan
*Macalister, George. 1898. A Dictionary of the Dialects Spoken in the State of Jeypore. 1st edition. Allahabad: Printed at the Allahabad Mission Press
*Magier, David S. 1983. Topics in the Grammar of Marwari. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California
*Magier, David S. 1984. Transitivity and valence: Some lexical processes in Marwari. Berkeley Linguistic Society 10
*Magier, David S. 1985. Case and Transitivity in Marwari. Arlene R.K. Zide, David Magier & Eric Schiller (eds.). Proceedings of the Conference on Participant Roles: South Asia and Adjacent Areas. An Ancillary Meeting of the CLS Regional Meeting, April 25th 1984, University of Chicago. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Linguistics Club. 149-59
*Miltner, V. 1964. Old Gujarati, Middle Gujarati, and Middle Rajasthani sentence structure. Bharatiya Vidya 24:9-31
*Sakaria, B. & B. Sakaria. 1977. Rajasthani-Hindi Shabda-Kosh. Jaipur: Panchsheel Prakashan
*Shackle, Christopher (1976). The Saraiki Language of Central Pakistan: A Reference Grammar. London: School of Oriental and African Studies.
*Shackle, Christopher (1977). "Saraiki: A Language Movement in Pakistan". Modern Asian Studies 11 (3): 279–403.
*Smith, J.D. 1975. An Introduction to the Language of the Historical Documents from Rajasthan. Modern Asian Studies 9.4:433-64
*Swami, N.D. 1960. Sankshipta Rajasthani Vyakaran. Bikaner: Rajasthani Research Institute
*Swami, N.D. 1975. Rajasthani Vyakaran. Bikaner: Navyug
*Tessitori, L.P. 1914-16. Notes on the Grammar of Old Western Rajasthani. Indian Antiquary:43-5

External links

* [http://www.bastigiri.org/crs Centre for Rajasthani Studies]
* [http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=90927 Ethnologue Report for Rajasthani]
* [http://www.bastigiri.org/lakhan/rajbiblio.html Rajasthani Bibliography]
* [http://www.jatland.com/home/Rajasthani_Language Online Rajasthani-English Dictionary]
*Rajasthani literature
*List of Rajasthani Poets


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