Thali dialect

Thaḷī is a Lahnda dialect spoken in parts of the Pakistani provinces of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It has a widespread area, starting from Tank to Muzzafargarh on eastern end of Indus River and from Bannu runs down to D I khan at western end of Indus River.[citation needed] It is classified as a northern dialect of Saraiki,[1][2] although it has also been described as transitional between Shahpuri and the central Saraiki Multani dialect.[3] Its name is derived from the Thal Desert.[3]

Thali dialect
Native toPakistan
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Approximate location where the language is spoken
Approximate location where the language is spoken
Thali dialect
Coordinates: 31°N 71°E / 31°N 71°E / 31; 71

It is one of several Saraiki dialects that are commonly known as Jaṭkī.[4] It is spoken in Khushab District and parts of the former Shahpur District where it is known as Thaḷī.[5] Its local name in Jhang District is Thaḷochṛī.[6] In Dera Ismail Khan District it goes by the name of Ḍerāwāl[7] or Derawali,[3] and in Mianwali and Bannu districts it is known as Hindko or Mulkī.[3] A dialect of Thali spoken in the northeast is known as Kacchī.[8] Inhabitants of Dera Ismail Khan District, presumably speakers of this dialect, variously identify their language as Saraiki or Hindko.[9] Likewise for those living in Mianwali District, who identify their language as either Punjabi or Saraiki.[10]

Thali is spoken in the following districts of Punjab Province and districts of Kyber Pakhtunkha Province:[citation needed]


  1. ^ Wagha 1997, pp. 229–31.
  2. ^ Shackle 1976, p. 8.
  3. ^ a b c d Singh 1970, p. 142.
  4. ^ Use of the term Jatki: Singh 1970 (for Thali), Masica 1991, p. 430 (for other Saraiki varieties).
  5. ^ Grierson 1919, p. 381. The description here mentions Jhelum, rather than Khushab, but the current Khushab District occupies the parts of the erstwhile Jhelum District that are under discussion.
  6. ^ Grierson 1919, p. 381.
  7. ^ Masica 1991, p. 426.
  8. ^ Bahri 1963, pp. 16–17.
  9. ^ Rensch 1992, pp. 7–8, 57.
  10. ^ South Asia Partnership-Pakistan. Profile of district Mianwali (PDF). pp. 12–13. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 May 2013.


  • Bahri, Hardev (1963). Lahndi Phonetics : with special reference to Awáṇkárí. Allahabad: Bharati Press.
  • Grierson, George A. (1919). "Thali". Linguistic Survey of India. Vol. VIII, Part 1, Indo-Aryan family. North-western group. Specimens of Sindhī and Lahndā. Calcutta: Office of the Superintendent of Government Printing, India.
  • Masica, Colin P. (1991). The Indo-Aryan languages. Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-23420-7.
  • Rensch, Calvin R. (1992). "The Language Environment of Hindko-Speaking People". In O'Leary, Clare F.; Rensch, Calvin R.; Hallberg, Calinda E. (eds.). Hindko and Gujari. Sociolinguistic Survey of Northern Pakistan. Islamabad: National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University and Summer Institute of Linguistics. ISBN 969-8023-13-5.
  • Shackle, Christopher (1976). The Siraiki language of central Pakistan : a reference grammar. London: School of Oriental and African Studies.
  • Singh, Atam (1970). "An introduction to the dialects of Punjabi". Pākhā sanjam. 3 (1). ISSN 0556-4417. The account of Thali here is based entirely on Grierson's Linguistic Survey of India.
  • Wagha, Muhammad Ahsan (1997). The development of Siraiki language in Pakistan (Ph.D.). School of Oriental and African Studies. (requires registration).