The Indo-Aryan language spoken on the Pothohar Plateau in the far north of Punjab, as well as in most of the Pakistani territory of Azad Kashmir and in western areas of the Indian territory of Jammu and Kashmir, is known by a variety of names, the most common of which are Pahari (English: //) and Pothwari (or Pothohari).
|Native to||Pakistan, India|
|Region||Pothohar region, Azad Kashmir and western parts of Jammu and Kashmir|
The language is transitional between Hindko and Standard Punjabi. Its speakers have a local linguistic, but not ethnic, identity that is separate from that of Punjabi and there has been a nascent, if not yet coherent, language movement. There have been efforts at cultivation as a literary language, although a local standard has not been established yet.
Grierson in his early 20th-century Linguistic Survey of India assigned it to a so-called "Northern cluster" of Lahnda (Western Punjabi), but this classification, as well as the validity of the Lahnda grouping in this case, have been called into question.
Geographic distribution and dialectsEdit
|Azad Kashmir and surrounding areas with some of the locations mentioned in this section. Places where Pahari–Pothwari is spoken are in dark red.|
There are at least three major dialects: Pothwari, Mirpuri and Pahari.[b] They are mutually intelligible, but the difference between the northernmost and the southernmost dialects (from Muzaffarabad and Mirpur respectively) is enough to cause difficulties in understanding.
Pothwari (پوٹھواری), also spelt Potwari, Potohari and Pothohari (پوٹھوہاری), is spoken in the Pothohar Plateau of northern Punjab, an area that includes parts of the districts of Rawalpindi, Jhelum , Chakwal and Gujrat. Pothwari extends southwards up to the Salt Range, with the city of Jhelum marking the border with Punjabi. To the north, Pothwari transitions into the Pahari-speaking area, with Bharakao, near Islamabad, generally regarded as the point where Pothwari ends and Pahari begins. Pothwari has been represented as a dialect of Punjabi by the Punjabi language movement,  and in census reports the Pothwari areas of Punjab have been shown as Punjabi-majority.[c]
East of the Pothwari areas, across the Jhelum River into Mirpur District in Azad Kashmir the language is more similar to Pothwari than to the Pahari spoken in the rest of Azad Kashmir. Locally it is known by a variety of names:[d] Pahari, Mirpur Pahari, Mirpuri,[e] and Pothwari, while some of its speakers call it Punjabi. Mirpuris possess a strong sense of Kashmiri identity that overrides linguistic identification with closely related groups outside Azad Kashmir. The Mirpur region has been the source of the greater part of Pakistani immigration to the UK, a process that started when thousands were displaced by the construction of the Mangla Dam in the 1960s and emigrated to fill labour shortages in England. The British Mirpuri diaspora now numbers several hundred thousand, and Pahari has been argued to be the second most common mother tongue in the UK, yet the language is little known in the wider society there and its status has remained surrounded by confusion.
Pahari (پہاڑی) is spoken to the north of Pothwari. The central cluster of Pahari dialects is found around Murree. This area is in the Galyat: the hill country of Murree Tehsil in the northeast of Rawalpindi District (just north of the capital Islamabad) and the adjoining areas in southeastern Abbottabad District. One name occasionally found in the literature for this language is Dhundi-Kairali (Ḍhūṇḍī-Kaiṛālī), a term first used by Grierson who based it on the names of the two major tribes of the area – the Kairal and the Dhund. Its speakers call it Pahari in Murre tehsil, while in Abbotabad district it is known as either Hindko or Ḍhūṇḍī. Nevertheless, Hindko – properly the language of the rest of Abbottabad District and the neighbouring areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – is generally regarded as a different language. It forms a dialect continuum with Pahari,  and the transition between the two is in northern Azad Kashmir and in the Galyat region. For example on the road from Murree northwest towards the city of Abbottabad, Pahari gradually changes into Hindko between Ayubia and Nathiagali.
A closely related dialect is spoken across the Jhelum River in Azad Kashmir, north of the Mirpuri areas. Names associated in the literature with this dialect are Pahari (itself the term most commonly used by the speakers themselves), Chibhālī, named after the Chibhal region or the Chibh ethnic group, and Poonchi ((پونچھی), also spelt Punchhi). The latter name has been variously applied to either the Chibhali variety specific to the district of Poonch, or to the dialect of the whole northern half of Azad Kashmir. This dialect (or dialects) has been seen either as a separate dialect from the one in Murree, or as belonging to the same central group of Pahari dialects. The dialect of the district of Bagh, for example, has more shared vocabulary with the core dialects from Murree (86–88%) than with the varieties of either Muzaffarabad (84%) or Mirpur (78%).
In Muzaffarabad the dialect shows lexical similarity[f] of 83–88% with the central group of Pahari dialects, which is high enough for the authors of the sociolinguistic survey to classify it is a central dialect itself, but low enough to warrant noting its borderline status. The speakers however tend to call their language Hindko and to identify more with the Hindko spoken to the west, despite the lower lexical similarity (73–79%) with the core Hindko dialects of Abbottabad and Mansehra. Further north into the Neelam Valley the dialect, now known locally as Parmi, becomes closer to Hindko.
Pahari is also spoken further east across the Line of Control into the Pir Panjal mountains in Indian Jammu and Kashmir. The population, estimated at 1 million, is found in the region between the Jhelum and Chenab rivers: most significantly in the districts of Poonch and Rajouri, to a lesser extent in neighbouring Baramulla and Kupwara, and also – as a result of the influx of refugees during the Partition of 1947 – scattered throughout the rest of Jammu and Kashmir. Pahari is among the regional languages listed in the sixth schedule of the Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir.
Comparison with PunjabiEdit
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- Use of Sī-endings for Future Tense
|Mãi karsā̃ ਮੈਂ ਕਰਸਾਂ میں کرساں||Mãi karāngā ਮੈਂ ਕਰਾਂਗਾ میں کرانگا|
|Asā̃ karsā̃ ਅਮੀੰ ਕਰਸਾਂ اساں کرساں||Asī̃ karānge ਅਸੀਂ ਕਰਾਂਗੇ اسیں کرانگے|
|Tū̃ karsãi ਤੂ ਕਰਸੈਂ توں کرسیں||Tū̃ karengā ਤੂੰ ਕਰੇਂਗਾ توں کریں گا|
|Tusā̃ karso ਤੁਸਾਂ ਕਰਸੋ تساں کرسو||Tusī̃ karoge ਤੁਸੀਂ ਕਰੋਗੇ ںتسی کروگے|
|Ó karsi ਉਹ ਕਰਸੀ اوه کرسی||Ó karega ਉਹ ਕਰੇਗਾ اوه کرے گا|
|Ó karsan ਓਹ ਕਰਸਨ اوہ کرسن||Ó karaṇge ਉਹ ਕਰਣਗੇ اوه کرݨ گے|
- Use of Nā as a genitive marker
Lokā̃ Nā (ਲੋਕਾਂ ਨਾ لوکاں نا )vs Punjabi’s Lokā̃ Dā (ਲੋਕਾਂ ਦਾ لوکاں دا) – ‘of the people’
Very clear point of departure occurs in the use of Acchṇā (ਅੱਛਣਾ اچھݨا‘to come’) and Gacchṇā (ਗੱਛਣਾ گچھݨا‘to go’) as opposed to Saraiki Āvaṇ (ਆਵਣ آوݨ) and Vaññaṇ (ਵੰਞਣ وڄݨ) and Punjabi Āuṇā (ਆਉਣਾ آؤݨا) and Jāṇā (ਜਾਣਾ جاݨا)
- Baart (2003, p. 10) provides an estimate of 3.8 million, presumably for the population in Pakistan alone. Lothers & Lothers (2010, p. 9) estimate the Pakistani population at well over 2.5 million and the UK diaspora at over 0.5 million. The population in India is reported in Ethnologue (2017) to be about 1 million as of 2000.
- According to Lothers & Lothers (2010, p. 2). Abbasi (2010, p. 104) adds as a fourth dialect the Poonchi spoken from Poonch to the Neelam Valley. Yet another classification is reportedly presented in Karnai (2007).
- For example, according to the 1981 census report for Rawalpindi District, 85.1% of households had Punjabi as mother tongue. In any census, only a small number of major languages have been counted separately, and there has not been a separate option available for either Pahari or Pothwari.
- One language activist from the diaspora in Britain "[has] said that he does not give the language a single name because those who speak the language call it many different things." (Lothers & Lothers 2012, p. 3).
- Some, at least in the British diaspora, consider this term to be a misnomer if applied to the language. (Lothers & Lothers 2012, p. 3).
- The similarity between wordlists containing 217 items of basic vocabulary from each location. (Lothers & Lothers 2010, pp. 15–16)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Pahari Potwari". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- "Pahari". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Shackle 1979, pp. 200–201.
- Shackle 1983, p. 182; Shackle 1979, p. 198.
- Masica 1991, p. 440.
- Shackle 1983, p. 183.
- Shackle 1979, p. 201: Pothohari "is often so close to Panjabi that any attempt to maintain the Lahndi scheme ought probably to reckon it as 'Lahndi merging into Panjabi'."
- Lothers & Lothers 2010, p. 2.
- Lothers & Lothers 2010, p. 86. Speakers from Muzaffarabad "consider the Mirpur dialect different enough that it is difficult to understand."
- The alternative English spellings are from Ethnologue (2017).
- Abbasi & Asif 2010, p. 201.
- Grierson 1919, p. 432.
- Lothers & Lothers 2010, pp. 2–3, 19, 112.
- Lothers & Lothers 2012, pp. 12, 26. At least in terms of lexical similarity..
- Lothers & Lothers 2010, pp. 2–3, 5, 19, 100.
- Lothers & Lothers 2010, p. 44.
- Shackle 2007, p. 114.
- Lothers & Lothers 2012, p. 1.
- Hussain 2015, pp. 483–84.
- Lothers & Lothers 2010, p. 23.
- Lothers & Lothers 2010, pp. 2, 5.
- Abbasi 2010, p. 104.
- Hindko according to Lothers & Lothers (2010, pp. 5, 39) and Dhundi according to Grierson (1919, p. 495). Pahari is reported in both sources.
- Lothers & Lothers 2010, pp. 40, 126–27. The speakers of Pahari in Abbottabad District regard the Hindko of the city of Abbottabad as a different language.
- Lothers & Lothers 2010, pp. 2, 40.
- Lothers & Lothers 2010, pp. 2, 5, 8.
- Grierson 1919, p. 505.
- Grierson 1919.
- Abbasi 2010, p. 104; Abbasi & Asif 2010, pp. 201–202
- Lothers & Lothers. The varieties surveyed here are from Bagh and Muzaffarabad.
- Lothers & Lothers, p. 24. The wordlists that form the basis of this comparison are from the variety of Neela Butt.
- Lothers & Lothers 2010, p. 24–25.
- Lothers & Lothers 2010, pp. 26, 80.
- Lothers & Lothers 2010, pp. 108, 110.
- Lothers & Lothers 2010, p. 24.
- Lothers & Lothers 2010, p. 26; Akhtar & Rehman 2007, p. 68. The conclusion is similarly based on lexical similarity and the comparison is with the Hindko of the Kaghan Valley on one hand and with the Pahari of the Murre Hills on the other.
- A 2000 estimate reported in Ethnologue (2017)
- Singh 2014, p. 18; Bhat 2014, ch. 1, pp. 38, 40
- Lists of regions and settlements are found in Bhat (2014, ch. 1, pp. 40, 43–44) and Kour (2014).
- 1981 District Census Report of Rawalpindi. District census Report. 44. Islamabad: Population Census Organization, Statistics Division, Government of Pakistan. 1984. p. 95.
- Abbasi, Muhammad Gulfraz (2010). "Is It a Language Worth Researching?". Language in India. 10 (7).
- Akhtar, Raja Nasim; Rehman, Khawaja A. (2007). "The Languages of the Neelam Valley". Kashmir Journal of Language Research. 10 (1): 65–84. ISSN 1028-6640.
- Baart, Joan L. G. (2003). Sustainable Development and the Maintenance of Pakistan's Indigenous Languages. Islamabad.
- Bhat, Javeed Ahmad (2014). Politics of Reservations: A Comparative Study of Gujjars and Paharis of Jammu and Kashmir (PhD). Aligarh Muslim University. Retrieved 2018-02-07.
- Grierson, George A. (1919). 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.
- Hussain, Serena (2015). "Missing From the 'Minority Mainstream': Pahari-speaking Diaspora in Britain". Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 36 (5): 483–497. doi:10.1080/01434632.2014.953539. ISSN 0143-4632.
- Lothers, Michael; Lothers, Laura (2010). Pahari and Pothwari: A Sociolinguistic Survey (Report). SIL Electronic Survey Reports. 2010-012.
- Lothers, Laura; Lothers, Michael (2012). Mirpuri Immigrants in England: A Sociolinguistic Survey. SIL Electronic Survey Reports 2012. SIL International.
- Masica, Colin P. (1991). The Indo-Aryan languages. Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-23420-7.
- Kour, Updesh (2014). "Punchi". In Devy, G. N.; Koul, Omkar N. (eds.). The Languages of Jammu & Kashmir. People's linguistic survey of India. 12. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan. pp. 261–78. ISBN 978-81-250-5516-7.
- Shackle, Christopher (1979). "Problems of Classification in Pakistan Panjab". Transactions of the Philological Society. 77 (1): 191–210. doi:10.1111/j.1467-968X.1979.tb00857.x. ISSN 0079-1636.
- Shackle, Christopher (1983). "Language, Dialect and Local Identity in Northern Pakistan". In Wolfgang-Peter Zingel, Stephanie Zingel-Avé Lallemant (eds.) (eds.). Pakistan in Its Fourth Decade: Current Political, Social and Economic Situation and Prospects for the 1980s. Mitteilungen des Deutschen Orient-Instituts. 23. Hamburg: Deutsches Orient-Institut. pp. 175–87.CS1 maint: uses editors parameter (link)
- Shackle, Christopher (2007). "Pakistan". In Simpson, Andrew (ed.). Language and National Identity in Asia. Oxford linguistics Y. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-922648-1.
- Simons, Gary F.; Fennig, Charles D., eds. (2017). "Pahari-Potwari". Ethnologue (20 ed.). (access limited).
- Singh, Kuljit (2014). Identity Formation and Assertion: A Study of Pahari Speaking Community of Jammu and Kashmir (PhD). University of Jammu. hdl:10603/78359.
- Karnai, Mian Karim Ullah (2007). Pahari aor Urdu: ik taqabali jaiza (in Urdu). Islamabad: National Language Authority.
- Nazir, Farah (2014). Light Verb Constructions in Potwari (PhD). University of Manchester.
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