Showing posts with label Galliat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Galliat. Show all posts

Wednesday 21 February 2018


Northern Pakistan boasts a rich variety of linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Much has been learned about the sociolinguistic situation of this part of the world through recent research, such as the Sociolinguistic Survey of Northern Pakistan (O’Leary 1992). Cultural societies in various language communities are supporting mother-tongue literacy and production of vernacular literature as a means of preserving the rich ethnic heritage of this area.

 The Punjabi dialect chain in the Indo-Aryan language family includes millions of speakers in northern Pakistan. This is one area where the sociolinguistic situation has not been investigated. Choosing a well-respected and widely understood dialect for development of printed and oral materials is an important factor in literacy and literature development. Knowledge about language vitality and domains of use is important for language planners who make decisions about future education and training.

Pahari, which means “mountainous,” is primarily spoken in the Murree and Kotli Sattian tehsils of the Rawalpindi District in northern Pakistan. The Murree dialect of Pahari ends at the Jhelum River, but another dialect of the same language, also called Pahari as well as Chibhali, extends into Azad Kashmir. As one travels from Murree to Abbottabad, one passes through a transitional region between Ayubia and Nathiagali, where the language gradually changes from Pahari to Hindko. 

Pothwari is spoken in the plateau south of the Pahari dialect area. Its southern border is formed by the Salt Range; from there the area runs northward to Rawalpindi and eastward to the Jhelum River. As one travels from Rawalpindi to Murree, the language transitions from Pothwari to Pahari around Bharakao, approximately where the Murree Hills begin. Mirpuri is spoken in the district of Mirpur in Azad Kashmir. People who live in this area refer to their language sometimes as Mirpuri but also as Pahari. Hundreds of thousands of those living in this district have immigrated to the UK and other countries (Lothers and Lothers 2003).

Michael Lothers and Laura Lothers published a survey report in 2010, comprised of 262 pages. This report gives a snapshot of the Pahari-Pothwari language complex. It addresses questions of dialect versus language and the number of dialects through synchronic, descriptive means rather than a historical, phonological comparison. The survey team used oral interviews, questionnaires, wordlists, comprehension testing, and our own observation from the two and a half years we lived in Murree, Pakistan.
The Pahari-Pothwari language complex includes three major but mutually intelligible dialects: Pahari, Pothwari and Mirpuri. Those speaking the latter, Mirpuri, also refer to their language as Pahari.



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