Hindustani

Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu)
हिन्दुस्तानी, ہندوستانی Hindustani
Spoken in:India, Pakistan, Fiji, Guyana, Malaysia, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago 
Region:South Asia, Oceania, Caribbean
Total speakers:541 million native, 904 million total
Language family:}}}
 Indo-Iranian
  Indo-Aryan[1]
   Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu)}}} 
Writing system:Devanagari script,
Perso-Arabic script 
Official status
Official language of: Fiji,
 India (as Hindi and Urdu),
 Pakistan (as Urdu)
Regulated by:no official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1:hi,ur
ISO 639-2:hin,urd
ISO 639-3:variously:
hin — 
urd — 
hif — Fijian Hindustani
hns — Caribbean Hindustani


Hindustani (/ hɪndustɑːniː /; Hindustānī; हिन्दुस्तानी, ہندوستانی), also known as "Hindi-Urdu," is a term used by linguists to describe several closely related idioms in the northern, central and northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent and the vernacular blend between its two standardized registers in the form of the official languages of Hindi and Urdu, as well as several nonstandard dialects. These two standardized languages of Hindustani are nearly identical in grammar and share a basic common vocabulary. In fact, before the Partition of British India, the terms Hindustani and Urdu were synonymous.[2]

History of the name

Originally the term Hindustani ("of the land of the Indus River") was the name given by the Turco-Persian Mughal conquerors of India to Khariboli, the local form of Hindi at their capital, Delhi, and nearby cities. As a contact language between the two cultures, Hindustani absorbed large numbers of Persian, Arabic, and Turkic words, and with further Mughal conquest it spread as a lingua franca across northern India. It remained the primary lingua franca of India for the next four centuries, although it varied significantly in vocabulary depending on the local language, and it achieved the status of a literary language, along with Persian, in the Muslim courts. In time it came to be called Urdu (zabān-e Urdu زبان اردو‎, ज़बान-ए उर्दू, "language of the camp" in Persian, derived from Altaic Ordū "camp"), and as the highly Persianized court language, Rekhta, or "mixed".

When the British conquered India in the late 1800s, they used the words 'Hindustani' and 'Urdu' interchangeably. They developed it as the language of administration of British India, further preparing it to be the official language of modern India and Pakistan.

With the partition of India in 1947, the new states of Pakistan and India chose Persianized and Sanskritized registers of Hindustani as their national languages. These they called "Urdu" and "Hindi" respectively. Since this time, the term "Urdu" has ceased to mean the lingua franca, although nonstandard Hindustani dialects are often still considered dialects of Urdu.

The term has had a complex history, holding different meanings to different people. For example, in recent times, the word has been used for the intentionally neutral language of Bollywood film, which is popular in both India and Pakistan.

Urdu

Main article: Urdu
Urdu is the national language of Pakistan and an officially recognized regional language of India. It is also an official language in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, National Capital Territory of Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh. The word "Urdu" derives from the more formal Persian phrase zabān-e Urdu-e mo'alla, meaning the "language of the camp". (The word Urdu has the same root as the English word "horde", a word that owes its existence to the armies of the Mongol ancestors of the Mughals.) The language began as the common speech of soldiers serving Mughal lords. The term became transferred to the court language of the Mughal aristocracy, whose dialect was based on the upper-class dialect of Delhi. Urdu's historical development was centered on the Urdu poets of the Mughal courts of north Indian metropolises such as Delhi, Lucknow, Lahore, and Agra. Urdu is written using a modified form of the Arabic script known as the Nasta'liq script. Before the Partition of India, the terms Hindustani and Urdu were synonymous.[3]

Hindi

Enlarge picture
Rigveda manuscript in Devanagari (early 19th century)
Main article: Hindi
Standard Hindi, the official language of India, is based on the Khariboli dialect of the Delhi region and differs from Urdu in that it is usually written in the indigenous Devanagari script of India and exhibits less Persian influence than Urdu. Many scholars today employ a Sanskritized form of Hindi developed primarily in Varanasi, the Hindu holy city, which is based on the Eastern Hindi dialect of that region.

Note that, the term "Hindustani" has generally fallen out of common usage in modern India, except to refer to a style of Indian classical music prevalent in northern India. The term used to refer to the language is "Hindi", regardless of the mix of Persian or Sanskrit words used by the speaker. One could conceive of a wide spectrum of dialects, with the highly Persianized Urdu at one end of the spectrum and a heavily Sanskrit based dialect, spoken in the region around Varanasi, at the other end of the spectrum. In common usage in India, the term "Hindi" includes all dialects, except the Urdu end of the spectrum. Thus, the different meanings of the word "Hindi" include, among others:
  1. standardized Hindi as taught in schools throughout India,
  2. formal or official Hindi advocated by Purushottam Das Tandon and as instituted by the post-independence Indian government, heavily influenced by Sanskrit,
  3. the vernacular dialects of Hindustani/Hindi-Urdu as spoken throughout India,
  4. the neutralized form of the language used in popular television and films, or
  5. the more formal neutralized form of the language used in broadcast and print news reports.


The term "Hindustani" is now used in India to deliberately convey the language of unified pre-1947 India, with a wealth of words of both Persian and Sanskrit origin, without an attempt at leaning towards either as has taken place with Urdu and Hindi. The term has a secular flavour; the speaker is rising above Hindu/Muslim visions of India.

Bazaar Hindustani

In a specific sense, "Hindustani" may be used to refer to the dialects and varieties used in common speech, in contrast with the standardized Hindi and Urdu. This meaning is reflected in the use of the term "bazaar Hindustani," in other words, the "language of the street or the marketplace", as opposed to the perceived refinement of formal Hindi, Urdu, or even Sanskrit. Thus, the Webster's New World Dictionary defines the term Hindustani as the principal dialect of Hindi/Urdu, used as a trade language throughout north India and Pakistan.

Variants of Hindustani

Hindustani has four commonly named varieties:
  • Hindi (High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, Literary Hindi, Standard Hindi);
  • Urdu (Standard Urdu);
  • Dakhani (literally, "southern"), a less Persianized dialect of Urdu spoken in the region of Hyderabad (India);
  • Rekhta, the highly Persianized variety of Urdu spoken in the Mughul court, and used for poetry.

Hindi and Urdu: sister tongues

While, at the spoken level, Urdu and Hindi are considered dialects of a single language (or diasystem), they differ vastly in literary and formal vocabulary; where literary Urdu draws heavily on Persian and Arabic, literary Hindi draws heavily on Sanskrit, Persian and to a lesser extent Prakrit. The grammar and base vocabulary (most pronouns, verbs, adpositions, etc.) of both Urdu and Hindi, however, are the same and derive from a Prakritic base.

The associated dialects of Urdu and Hindi are known as "Hindustani". It is perhaps the lingua franca of the west and north of the Indian subcontinent, though it is understood fairly well in other regions also, especially in the urban areas. A common vernacular sharing characteristics with Urdu, Sanskritized Hindi, and regional Hindi, Hindustani is more commonly used as a vernacular than highly Arabicized/Persianized Urdu or highly Sanskritized Hindi.

This can be seen in the popular culture of Bollywood or, more generally, the vernacular of Pakistanis and Indians which generally employs a lexicon common to both "Urdu" and "Hindi" speakers. Minor subtleties in region will also affect the 'brand' of Hindustani, sometimes pushing the Hindustani closer to Urdu or to Hindi. One might reasonably assume that the language spoken in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (known for its beautiful usage of Urdu) and Varanasi (a holy city for Hindus and thus using highly Sanskritized Hindi) is somewhat different.

Hindustani, if both Hindi and Urdu are counted, is the third or second most widely spoken language in the world after Mandarin and possibly English.[4]

See also: Persian and Urdu

Official status

Enlarge picture
Hindustani, in its standardized registers, is the official language of both India (Hindi) and Pakistan (Urdu).
Hindi, one standardized register of Hindustani, is declared by the Constitution of India as the "official language (rājabhāshā) of the Union" (Art. 343(1)). At the state level, Hindi is the official language in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, and Delhi. Some of these states have designated a "co-official language" (usually Urdu). Similarly, Hindi is accorded the status of co-official language in several Indian states and union territories: Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Daman and Diu, Gujarat, Maharastra, and Punjab.[5] The teaching of Hindi is compulsory in all Indian states and Union Territories except the states of Tamil Nadu, Tripura, and the Karaikal region of Pondicherry.[6]

Urdu, the other standardized register of Hindustani, is the national language of Pakistan. It shares official language status with English. Although English is used in most elite circles, and Punjabi has a plurality of native speakers, Urdu is the lingua franca and is expected to prevail. Urdu is also one of the official languages of India, and in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh, Urdu has official language status. While the government school system in most other states emphasises Standard Hindi language, at universities in cities such as Lucknow, Aligarh and Hyderabad, Urdu is spoken and learned and is regarded as a language of prestige.

Hindustani outside South Asia

Besides being the lingua franca of South Asia, Hindustani is spoken among people of the South Asian diaspora and their descendants.

In Fiji, Hindustani has official status under Fiji's Constitution, along with Bau Fijian and English; citizens of Fiji have the constitutional right to communicate with any government agency in any of the official languages, with an interpreter to be supplied on request. Fijian Hindustani descends from one of the eastern forms of Hindustani, called Awadhi, as well as the Bhojpuri dialect. It has developed some unique features that differentiate it from the Avadhī spoken on the Indian subcontinent, although not to the extent of hindering mutual understanding. It is spoken by nearly the entire Indo-Fijian community, 38.1% of Fiji's entire population, regardless of ancestry.

Hindustani speakers have a significant number of speakers in Caribbean countries such as Suriname, Guyana, and Trinidad & Tobago. The formal name of the language spoken in this region is generally called Caribbean Hindustani, although the Caribbean countries may add an adjective in front of the language name (i.e. Sarnami Hindustani) even though most individuals commonly refer to it as just Hindustani. One major country in which Hindustani is spoken is Suriname. Sarnami Hindustani is the second most spoken language in Suriname after Dutch. This is due to the emigration of East Indians (known locally as Hindustanis in Suriname) from the Indian states of Bihār and Uttar Pradesh located in North India. The emigration was mainly of Bhojpuri speaking people which has led to the local Hindustani language having various Bhojpuri words and phrases from other Bihari languages. Ethnic Indians form 37% of the population in Suriname, the largest ethnic group there. Hence, Hindustani is spoken frequently in Suriname and Indian culture plays a major role there in general. Hindustani is also spoken among ethnic Indians of Guyana and is popular there as South Asians make up around 45% of Guyana's total population.

Tadj-Uzbeki, a term coined by Tiwari, refers to the Hindustani dialect spoken by Indian immigrants from the 13th century onwards in the border region of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, specifically in the towns of Hisar, Shehr-e-nau, Regar, Surchi, etc. It is based on the Braj, Hariyani and Rajasthani dialects, and is highly influenced by Uzbek, Tajik and Russian languages.

Hindustani also has a significant number of speakers in North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East due to immigration by the people of India and Pakistan to these continents and regions. In South Africa, Kenya and other parts of Africa, older descendents of 18th century sugar cane workers also speak a variety of Bhojpuri as their second language.

Also see: Fiji Hindi

Vocabulary

Main article: Hindustani (Hindi-Urdu) word etymology

Standard or shuddha ("pure") Hindi derives much of its formal and technical vocabulary from Sanskrit while standard Urdu derives much of its formal and technical vocabulary from Persian. Standard Hindi and Urdu are used only in public addresses and radio or TV news, while the everyday spoken language in most areas is one of several varieties of Hindustani, whose vocabulary contains words drawn from Persian and Arabic. In addition, spoken Hindustani includes words from English and other languages as well.

Vernacular Urdu and Hindi are practically indistinguishable. However, the literary registers differ substantially; in highly formal situations, the languages are barely intelligible to speakers of the other. It bears mention that in centuries past both Sanskrit and Persian have been regarded as the languages of the elite, even by those of differing ethnic and religious backgrounds.

There are four principal categories of words in Hindustani:
  • tatsam (तत्सम्/تتسم same as that) words: These are the words which have been directly lifted from Sanskrit to enrich the formal and technical vocabulary of Hindi. Such words (almost exclusively nouns) have been taken without any phonetic or spelling change. Among nouns, the tatsam word could be the Sanskrit uninflected word-stem, or it could be the nominative singular form in the Sanskrit nominal declension.
  • tadbhav (तद्भव/تدبھو born of that) words: These are the words that might have been derived from Sanskrit or the Prakrits, but have undergone minor or major phonetic and spelling changes as they appear in modern Hindi. They also include words borrowed from the other languages.
  • deshaja (देशज/دیشج local): words that are unrelated to any Sanskrit words, and of local origin.
  • Loan words from non-Indian languages that include Arabic, Persian, Turkic, Portuguese or English.
Excessive use of tatsam words sometimes creates problems for most native speakers. The educated middle class population of India may be familiar with these words due to education, but less-educated persons or people of rural backgrounds lack familiarity with more formal registers. The issue also exists with high-register vocabulary borrowed from Persian and Arabic.

Writing system

Contemporarily, Hindustani is primarily written in the Devanagari script or the Perso-Arabic script. However, the Kaithi script was the historical popular script for the language. Hindi, one standardized register of Hindustani, utilizes the Devanagari script while Urdu, the other standardized register of Hindustani utilizes the Perso-Arabic script, with Nasta`liq being the preferred calligraphic style for Urdu.

Perso-Arabic script used to write Hindustani (Urdu):
ج? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
ɟʰʄɟpsʈʰʈtɓb*
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
ɽrzɖʰɖɗdxhcɲ
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
kxfɣztzs?sz
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? گ? ? ? ?
*h*ɳnmlŋɡʰɠɡ
Devanagari script used to write Hindustani (Hindi):
? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
aaiiuueaioau
? ? ख? ? ? ग? ? ?
kxɡɠɣɡʰŋ
? ? ? ? ज? ? ?
cɟʄzɟʰɲ
? ? ? ? ड? ? ढ? ?
ʈʈʰɖɗɽɖʰɽʰɳ
? ? ? ? ?
tdn
? ? फ? ? ? ? ?
pfbɓm
? ? ? ?
jrlʋ
? ? ? ?
?ʂsh


Because of Anglicization and international use of the Roman script, Hindustani is also sometimes written in the Roman alphabet. This adaptation is called Roman Urdu. Despite opposition from Devanagari and Perso-Arabic script script lovers, Roman Urdu is gaining popularity especially among the youth, who use the Internet or are "cyber-citizens." Another romanisation scheme, proposed by Syed Faish Uddin and Quader Unissa Begum is known as the Uddin and Begum Urdu-Hindustani Romanization system. It was adopted in 1992 by The First International Urdu Conference held in Chicago, entitled " The Modern International Standard Letters of Alphabet for URDU - (HINDUSTANI) - The INDIAN Language, script for the purposes of hand written communication, dictionary references, published material and Computerized Linguistic Communications (CLC)".

Also see: Devanagari alphabet and Perso-Arabic script

Grammar

Main article: Hindustani grammar (Hindi-Urdu) Grammar

Despite Hindustani and English both being Indo-European languages, Hindustani grammar can be very complex and is different in many ways from what English speakers are used to. Most notably, Hindustani is a subject-object-verb language, meaning that verbs usually fall at the end of the sentence rather than before the object (as in English). Hindustani also shows mixed ergativity so that, in some cases, verbs agree with the object of a sentence rather than the subject. Unlike English, Hindustani has no definite article (the). The numeral ek (एक, ایک) might be used as the indefinite singular article (a/an) if this needs to be stressed.

In addition, Hindustani uses postpositions (so called because they are placed after nouns) where English uses prepositions. Other differences include gender, honorifics, interrogatives, use of cases, and different tenses. While being complicated, Hindustani grammar is fairly regular, with irregularities being relatively limited. Despite differences in vocabulary and writing, Hindi grammar is nearly identical with Urdu. As a result, a Hindustani grammar article is appropriate for both Hindi and Urdu. The concept of punctuation having been entirely unknown before the advent of the Europeans, Hindustani punctuation uses Western conventions for commas, exclamation points, and question marks. Periods are sometimes used to end a sentence, though the traditional "full stop" (a vertical line in Devanagari script (।), short horizontal line in the Perso-Arabic script (-) is more generally used.

Genders

In Hindustani, there are only two genders for nouns. All male human beings and male animals (or those animals and plants which are perceived to be "masculine") are masculine. All female human beings and female animals (or those animals and plants which are perceived to be "feminine") are feminine. Things, inanimate articles and abstract nouns are also either masculine or feminine according to convention, which must be memorised by non-Hindustani speakers if they wish to learn correct Hindustani. While this is similar to Sanskrit and most other Indo-European languages such as French, it is a very challenging learning requirement for many people in South India who are native speakers of languages which do not feature such inflection, but are expected by the Government to learn standard Hindi or standard Urdu. It is also a challenge for those who are used to only the English language, which although an Indo-European language, has dropped nearly all of its gender inflection.

The ending of a word, if a vowel, usually helps in this gender classification. Among tatsam words, the masculine words of Sanskrit remain masculine in Hindustani, and same is the case for the feminine. Sanskrit neuter nouns usually become masculine in Hindustani. Among the tadbʰav words, if a word ends in long /αː/, it is normally masculine. If a word ends in /iː/ or /in/, it is normally feminine. The gender of words borrowed from Arabic and Persian is determined either by phonology (usually the last vowel in the word) or by the gender of the nearest Hindustani equivalent. The gender assignment of Hindustani words directly borrowed from English (which are numerous) is also usually determined by the gender of the nearest Hindustani "synonym" or by the ending. Most adjectives ending in a vowel are inflected to agree with the gender of the noun: /meriː beʈiː/ (मेरी बेटी, میری بیٹی) 'my daughter' vs. /merαː beʈαː/ (मेरा बेटा, میرا بیٹا) 'my son'.

Interrogatives

Besides the standard interrogative terms of who (कौन کؤن kaun), what (क्या کیا kyā), why (कयों کیوں kyoⁿ), when (कब کب kab), where (कहाँ کہاںkahāⁿ), how and what type (कैसा کیسا kaisā), how many (कितना کِتنا kitnā), etc., the Hindustani word kyā (क्या کیا) can be used as a generic interrogative often placed at the beginning of a sentence to turn a statement into a Yes/No question. This makes it clear when a question is being asked. Questions can also be formed simply by modifying intonation, exactly as some questions are in English.

Pronouns

Hindustani has pronouns in the first, second and third person for one gender only. Thus, unlike English, there is no difference between he or she. More strictly speaking, the third person of the pronoun is actually the same as the demonstrative pronoun (this / that). The verb, upon conjugation, usually indicates the difference in the gender. The pronouns have additional cases of accusative and genitive. There may also be multiple ways of inflecting the pronoun, which are given in parentheses. Note that for the second person of the pronoun (you), Hindustani has three levels of honorifics:
  • आप آپ (/αːp/): Formal and respectable form for you. Has no difference between the singular and the plural. Used in all formal settings and speaking to persons who are senior in job or age. Plural could be stressed by saying आप लोग آپ لوگ (/αːp log/ you people) or आप सब آپ سب (/αːp səb/) you all).
  • तुम تُم (/tum/): Informal form of you. Has no difference between the singular and the plural. Used in all informal settings and speaking to persons who are junior in job or age. Plural could be stressed by saying तुम लोग تُم لوگ (/tum log/ you people) or तुम सब تُم سب (/tum səb/) you all).
  • तु تُو (/tuː/): Extremely informal form of you, as thou. Strictly singular, its plural form being /tum/. Except for very close friends or poetic language involving God, it could be perceived as offensive in India and Pakistan.
Imperatives (requests and commands) correspond in form to the level of honorific being used, and the verb inflects to show the level of respect and politeness desired. Because imperatives can already include politeness, the word "kripayā" (कृपया کرپیا) or "meharbānī" (महरबानी, مہربانی) which can be translated as "please", is much less common than in spoken English; it is generally only used in writing or announcements, and its use in common speech is usually intended as mockery.

Word order

The standard word order in Hindustani is, in general, Subject Object Verb, but where different emphasis or more complex structure is needed, this rule is very easily set aside (provided that the nouns/pronouns are always followed by their postpositions or case markers). More specifically, the standard order is 1. Subject 2. Adverbs (in their standard order) 3. Indirect object and any of its adjectives 4. Direct object and any of its adjectives 5. Negation term or interrogative, if any, and finally the 6. Verb and any auxiliary verbs. (Snell, p 93) The standard order can be modified in various ways to impart emphasis on particular parts of the sentence. Negation is formed by adding the word नहीं نہیں (nahīⁿ, "no"), in the appropriate place in the sentence, or by utilizing न ن (na) or मत مت (mat) in some cases. Note that in Hindustani, the adjectives precede the nouns they qualify. The auxiliaries always follow the main verb. Also, Hindustani speakers or writers enjoy considerable freedom in placing words to achieve stylistic and other socio-psychological effects, though not as much freedom as in heavily inflected languages.[7]

Tense and aspect of Hindustani verbs

Hindustani verbal structure is focused on aspect with distinctions based on tense usually shown through use of the verb honā (होना/ہونا) (to be) as an auxiliary. There are three aspects: habitual (imperfect), progressive (also known as continuous) and perfective. Verbs in each aspect are marked for tense in almost all cases with the proper inflected form of honā. Hindustani has four simple tenses, present, past, future (presumptive), and subjunctive (referred to as a mood by many linguists).[8] Verbs are conjugated not only to show the number and person (1st, 2nd, 3rd) of their subject, but also its gender. Additionally, Hindustani has imperative and conditional moods. The verbs must agree with the person, number and gender of the subject if and only if the subject is not followed by any postposition. If this condition is not met, the verb must agree with the number and gender of the object (provided the object does not have any postposition). If this condition is also not met, the verb agrees with neither. It is this kind of phenomenon that is called mixed ergativity.

Case

Hindustani is a weakly inflected language for case; the relationship of a noun in a sentence is usually shown by postpositions (i.e., prepositions that follow the noun). Hindustani has three cases for nouns. The Direct case is used for nouns not followed by any postpositions, typically for the subject case. The Oblique case is used for any nouns that is followed by a postposition. Adjectives modifying nouns in the oblique case will inflect that same way. Some nouns have a separate Vocative case. Hindustani has two numbers: singular and plural — but they may not be shown distinctly in all declinations.

Common difficulties faced in learning Hindustani

  • the phonetic mechanism of some sounds peculiar to Hindustani (eg. (retroflex "r"), (retroflex "d") etc.) The distinction between aspirated and unaspirated consonants will be difficult for English speakers. In addition, the distinction between dental and alveoloar (or retroflex) consonants will also pose problems. English speakers will find that they need to carefully distinguish between four different d-sounds and four different t-sounds.
  • pronunciation of vowels: In English, unstressed vowels tend to have a "schwa" quality. The pronunciation of such vowels in English is changed to an "uh" sound; this is called reducing a vowel sound. The second syllable of "unify" is pronounced /ə/, not /i/ The same for the unstressed second syllable of "person" which is also pronounced /ə/ rather than "oh." In Hindustani, English-speakers must constantly be careful not to reduce these vowels.
  • In this respect, probably the most important mistake would be for English speakers to reduce final "ah" sounds to "uh." This can be especially important because an English pronunciation will lead to misunderstandings about grammar and gender. In Hindustani, "vo boltā hai" (वह बोलता है/وہ بولتا ہے) is "he talks" whereas "vo boltī hai" (वह बोलती ह/وہ بولتی ہے) is "she talks." A typical English pronunciation in the first sentence would be "vo boltuh hai," which will be understood as "she talks" by most Hindustani-native speakers.
  • The 'a' ending of many Sanskrit and Sanskrit borrowed gender-masculine words, due to Romanization, is highly confused by non-native speakers, because the short 'a' is dropped in Hindustani. There are exceptions, of course, if the Devanagari (used to write Sanskrit and Hindi among other languages) itself dictates the additional diacritical mark for the vowel "ā" at the end of certain masculine words, like honā.
  • the Verbal concordance; Hindustani exhibits split ergativity; see Ergative-absolutive language for an example.
  • Relative-correlative constructions. In English, interrogative and relative pronouns are the same word. In "Who are you?" the word who is an interrogative, or question, pronoun. In "My friend who lives in Sydney can speak Hindustani," the same word, who, is a relative, or linking, pronoun. In Hindustani, there are different words for each. The interrogative pronoun tends to start with the "k" sound: "kab" = when?, "kahān" = where?, "kitnā" = how much? The relative pronouns are usually similar but start with "j" sounds: "jab" = when, "jahān" = where, "jitnā" = how much.
  • Mastering gender for nouns due to lack of neutral gender. Therefore 'zameen' (Earth) is feminine, but 'chand' (Moon) is masculine; 'sarrak' (street) is feminine, but 'raasta' (way) is masculine, and 'qaum' (nation) is feminine, but 'mulk' (country) is masculine. Given almost arbitrary nature of these noun genders, it is very hard for a non-native to master them.

Hindustani and Bollywood

No mention of Hindustani may be deemed complete without mentioning the Bollywood films. The mighty Indian film industry Bollywood is located at Mumbai (Bombay), in the Marathi-speaking state Maharashtra in India. The dialogues and the songs use the dialects of Khariboli of Hindi-Urdu, Awadhi, Rajasthani, Bhojpuri, Punjabi and quite often Bambaiya Hindi (along with many English words). These movies are full of songs and dances—songs which are almost always upon the lips of many bollywood film viewers whether a native Hindi-Urdu speaker or not. Some of the songs are in Urdu Shayari style. See List of popular Bollywood films.

See also

Alphabetically arranged

Footnotes

1. ^ Ethnologue restricts the definition to Western Hindi, with a total number of 240 million speakers.
2. ^ The Oxford English Dictionary
3. ^ The Oxford English Dictionary
4. ^ The World's Most Widely Spoken Languages
5. ^ LANGUAGE IN INDIA: Volume 4 : 11 November 2004
6. ^ Government of India: National Policy on Education
7. ^ Bhatia 1996: 32-33.
8. ^ Shapiro, M: "Hindi"

Bibliography

  • Asher, R. E. (1994). Hindi. In Asher (Ed.) (pp. 1547-1549).
  • Asher, R. E. (Ed.). (1994). The Encyclopedia of language and linguistics. Oxford: Pergamon Press. ISBN 0-08-035943-4.
  • Bailey, Thomas G. (1950). Teach yourself Hindustani. London: English Universities Press.
  • Chatterji, Suniti K. (1960). Indo-Aryan and Hindi (rev. 2nd ed.). Calcutta: Firma K.L. Mukhopadhyay.
  • Dua, Hans R. (1992). Hindi-Urdu as a pluricentric language. In M. G. Clyne (Ed.), Pluricentric languages: Differing norms in different nations. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-012855-1.
  • Dua, Hans R. (1994a). Hindustani. In Asher (Ed.) (pp. 1554).
  • Dua, Hans R. (1994b). Urdu. In Asher (Ed.) (pp. 4863-4864).
  • Rai, Amrit. (1984). A house divided: The origin and development of Hindi-Hindustani. Delhi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-561643-X.

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Indian (1996) is a Tamil film directed by S. Shankar. The film stars Kamal Haasan, Manisha Koirala, Urmila Matondkar, Goundamani, and Senthil. The film's score and soundtrack are composed by A. R. Rahman.
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Motto
اتحاد، تنظيم، يقين محکم
Ittehad, Tanzim, Yaqeen-e-Muhkam   (Urdu)
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Motto
Rerevaka na Kalou ka Doka na Tui
Fear God and honour the Queen
Anthem
God Bless Fiji
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Motto
"One people, one nation, one destiny"
Anthem
"Dear Land of Guyana, of Rivers and Plains"


Capital
(and largest city) Georgetown
Official languages English
Demonym Guyanese
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Motto
"Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu"
"Unity Is Strength" 1

Anthem
Negaraku
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Motto
Justitia - Pietas - Fides   (Latin)
"Justice - Piety - Loyalty"
Anthem
God zij met ons Suriname
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Motto
"Together we aspire, together we achieve"
Anthem
Forged From The Love of Liberty


Capital Port of Spain

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South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is a southern geopolitical region of the Asian continent comprising territories on and in proximity to the Indian subcontinent. It is surrounded by (from west to east) Western Asia, Central Asia, Eastern Asia, and Southeastern Asia.
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Oceania (sometimes Oceanica) is a geographical, often geopolitical, region consisting of numerous lands—mostly islands in the Pacific Ocean and vicinity. The exact scope of Oceania is defined variously, with interpretations often including Australia, New Zealand, New
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Caribbean (Dutch: Cariben or Caraïben, or more commonly Antillen; French: Caraïbe or more commonly Antilles; Spanish: Caribe
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A language family is a group of languages related by descent from a common ancestor, called the proto-language. As with biological families, the evidence of relationship is observable shared characteristics.
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Indo-Iranian language group constitutes the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It consists of four language groups: the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Nuristani, and Dardic.
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Indo-Aryan languages form a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian languages, which belong to the Indo-European family of languages. The term "Indic" refers to the same group without what some see as the negative connotations of "Aryan".
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writing system is a type of symbolic system used to represent elements or statements expressible in language.

General properties

Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that one must usually understand something of the
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Perso-Arabic script (or Arabo-Persian) is a writing system that is based on the Arabic alphabet. Originally being used exclusively for the Arabic language, the Arabic script was modified to match the demands of being a writing system for the Persian language,
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Motto
Rerevaka na Kalou ka Doka na Tui
Fear God and honour the Queen
Anthem
God Bless Fiji
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This page is currently protected from editing until disputes have been resolved.
Protection is not an endorsement of the current [ version] ([ protection log]).
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Hindi}}} 
Writing system: Devanagari script 
Official status
Official language of:  India
 Fiji (as Hindustani)
Regulated by: Central Hindi Directorate (only in India)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-1: hi
ISO 639-2:
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Urdu}}} 
Writing system: Urdu alphabet (Nasta'liq script) 
Official status
Official language of:  Pakistan ;
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Motto
اتحاد، تنظيم، يقين محکم
Ittehad, Tanzim, Yaqeen-e-Muhkam   (Urdu)
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Urdu}}} 
Writing system: Urdu alphabet (Nasta'liq script) 
Official status
Official language of:  Pakistan ;
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This is a list of bodies that regulate standard languages.

Afrikaans Die Taalkommissie, South Africa
Arabic Academy of the Arabic Language (مجمع اللغة العربية, Syria, Egypt, Jordan,
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ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. It consists of 136 two-letter codes used to identify the world's major languages. These codes are a useful international shorthand for indicating languages.
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ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages. The three-letter codes given for each language in this part of the standard are referred to as "Alpha-3" codes. There are 464 language codes in the list.
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ISO 639-3 is an international standard for language codes. It extends the ISO 639-2 alpha-3 codes with an aim to cover all known natural languages. The standard was published by ISO on 5 February 2007[1].
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Hindi}}} 
Writing system: Devanagari script 
Official status
Official language of:  India
 Fiji (as Hindustani)
Regulated by: Central Hindi Directorate (only in India)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-1: hi
ISO 639-2:
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Urdu}}} 
Writing system: Urdu alphabet (Nasta'liq script) 
Official status
Official language of:  Pakistan ;
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Indian subcontinent is a large section of the Asian continent consisting of countries lying substantially on the Indian tectonic plate. These include countries on the continental crust— India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and parts of Afghanistan, Nepal and Bhutan, island countries
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A standard language (also standard dialect or standardized dialect) is a particular variety of a language that has been given either legal or quasi-legal status.
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