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Awadhi Language History

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Awadhi (IPA: [əʋ.ɖʱiː]; अवधी; 𑂃𑂃𑂃𑂃) is a major dialect of the Eastern Hindi branch of Indo-
Aryan languages spoken in northern India.[5][6] It is primarily spoken in the Awadh region of
present day Uttar Pradesh, India.[5] The name Awadh is connected to Ayodhya, the ancient town,
which is regarded as the homeland of Śrī Rāma. It was, along with Braj Bhasha, used widely as a
literary vehicle before being ousted by Hindustani in the 19th century.[7]

अवधी • 𑂃𑂃𑂃𑂃

'Awadhi' written in Kaithi (top) and Devanagari

(bottom) scripts.
Pronunciation [əʋ.d̪ʱiː]
Native to India and Nepal
Awadh (India)
Terai (Nepal)
Ethnicity Awadhis
Native 4 million in India[1] (2011 census)[2]
speakers 500,000 in Nepal (2011 census)[3]

 Indo-Iranian
Language o Indo-Aryan
family  Central Zone
 Eastern Hindi
 Awadhi

 Pardesi
Dialects  Mirzapuri
 Gangapari
 Uttari
 Caribbean Hindustani
o Trinidadian
Hindustani (Plantation
Hindustani, Gaon ke
o Guyanese Hindustani
(Aili Gaili)
o Sarnami Hindoestani
 Fiji Hindi

Kaithi (historical)
Official status
Fiji (as the Fiji Hindi dialect)
language in
minority Nepal
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-2 awa

awa – inclusive code

Individual codes:
ISO 639-3
hns – Caribbean Hindustani
hif – Fiji Hindi

Glottolog awad1243[4]

Linguasphere 59-AAF-ra
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols.
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This article contains Indic text. Without proper

rendering support, you may see question marks or
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From a linguistic point-of-view, Awadhi is a distinct language that has its own grammar. In
sociopolitical contexts, however, Awadhi is viewed simply as a style or spoken variety of Hindi
and is not used as a medium of instruction in any institution, though its literary heritage is
included as a part of Hindi literature. Awadhi is generally viewed as a rural tongue yet people in
urban areas tend to speak a mixed form of Awadhi with Standard Hindi.

Alternative names of Awadhi include Baiswāri (after the region of Baiswara),[8] as well as the
sometimes ambiguous Pūrbī, literally meaning "eastern", and Kōsalī (named after Kosala).[9]

 Geographic distribution
o In India
o In Nepal
o Outside South Asia
 Classification
 Literature
 Popular culture
 Sample phrases
 See also
 References
 Bibliography
 External links

Geographic distributionEdit
In IndiaEdit

Awadhi is predominantly spoken in the Awadh region encompassing central Uttar Pradesh along
with lower portion of Ganga-Yamuna doab.[10][11] On the west, it's bounded by Western Hindi,
viz., Kannauji and Bundeli, while on its East there is the Bihari dialect Bhojpuri. On the north,
it's bounded by country of Nepal while on it's south it's bounded by Bagheli which shares a great
resemblance with Awadhi.[12]

The districts of Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Lucknow, Unnao and Fatehpur form the western
portions of Awadhi speaking area. The central districts include Barabanki, Rae Bareli, Amethi
and Baharich. The eastern parts include districts of Faizabad, Allahabad, Kaushambi, Gonda,
Basti, Sultanpur, Ambedkar Nagar and Pratapgarh. It is also spoken in some parts of Mrizapur
and Jaunpur districts.[11]

<img alt="" src="//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/35/Awadhi.svg/200px-

Awadhi.svg.png" decoding="async" width="200" height="207" class="thumbimage" data-file-

width="2379" data-file-height="2466">
Awadhi speaking districts in Uttar Pradesh, India.

In NepalEdit

It's spoken mainly in Bheri zone: Banke and Bardia districts; Lumbini zone: Kapilvastu,
Nawalparasi, and Rupandehi districts; Mahakali zone: Kanchanpur district; Rapti zone: Dang
district; Seti zone: Kailali district.[13]

Outside South AsiaEdit

A language influenced by Awadhi (as well as other languages) is also spoken as a lingua franca
for Indians in Fiji, referred as Fiji Hindi Fiji Hindi is also classified as Eastern-Hindi. [14]
Awadhi is an Indo-European language and belongs to the Indo-Aryan sub-group of Indo-Iranian
language family. Within the Indo-Aryan dialect continuum, it falls under East-Central zone of
languages and often recognized as Eastern-Hindi. It’s generally believed that an older form of
Ardhamagadhi, which agreed partly with Sauraseni and partly with Magadhi Prakrit, could be
the basis of Awadhi.[15][16] The language is highly mutually intelligible with the neighboring
languages be it Eastern or Western Hindi.

<img alt=""
Awadhi_classification.png" decoding="async" width="220" height="160" class="thumbimage"

data-file-width="404" data-file-height="293">
Linguistic classification of Awadhi language.

Awadhi has many features that separates it from the neighboring Western Hindi and Bihari
vernaculars. In Awadhi, nouns are generally both short and long whereas Western Hindi has
generally short while Bihari generally employs longer and long forms. The gender is rigorously
maintained in Western Hindi, Awadhi is little loose yet largely preserved while Bihari is highly
attenuated. In regards to postpositions, Awadhi is distinguished from Western Hindi by the
absence of agentive postposition in the former agreeing with Bihari dialects. The accusative-
dative postposition in Awadhi is /kaː/ or /kə/ while Western Hindi has /koː/ or /kɔː/ and Bihari
has /keː/. The locative postposition in both Bihari and Western Hindi is /mẽː/ while Awadhi has
/maː/. The pronouns in Awadhi have /toːɾ-/, /moːɾ-/ as personal genitives while /teːɾ-/, /meːɾ-/ in
Western Hindi. The oblique of /ɦəmaːɾ/ is /ɦəmɾeː/ in Awadhi while /ɦəmaːɾeː/ in Western Hindi
whereas /ɦəmrən'kæ/ in Bihari.[7]

Another defining characteristic of Awadhi is the affix /-ɪs/ as in /dɪɦɪs/, /maːɾɪs/ etc. The
neighbouring Bhojpuri has the distinctive (i) /laː/ enclitic in present tense (ii) /-l/ in past tense
(iii) dative postposition /-laː/ which separates it from Awadhi language.[15]

Several important literary works were composed in the language,[17][18] namely:

 Chandayan by Mulla Da’ud. (1373-1375 A.D.)[19][20]

 Padmavat by Malik Muhammad Jayasi (1540 A.D.)
 Chitravali by Usman (1613 A.D.)
 Ramcharitmanas (popularly known as Ramayana) and Hanuman Chalisa by Tulsidas
(1575 A.D.)
 Indravati and Anurag Bansuri by Nur Muhammad (1757 A.D.)

<img alt=""
Queen_Nagamati_talks_to_her_parrot%2C_Padmavat%2C_c1750.jpg" decoding="async"
width="180" height="293" class="thumbimage" data-file-width="393" data-file-height="640">

Queen Nagamati talks to her parrot, Padmavat, c1750

Popular cultureEdit
The 1961 movie, Gunga Jumna had featured Awadhi being spoken by the characters in a
neutralized form. In the 2001 Bollywood movie Lagaan, a neutralised form of Awadhi language
was used to make it understandable to the masses.[21][22] The 2009 Bollywood movie Dev.D
featured an Awadhi song 'Paayaliya' composed by Amit Trivedi.[23] In the television series Yudh,
Amitabh Bachchan spoke parts of his dialogue in Awadhi which received critical acclaim from
Hindustan times.[24] Also in Movie Nadiya Ke Paar the awadhi language is spoken as the movie
is set in Ballia village of Uttar Pradesh.

Sample phrasesEdit
The Awadhi language comes with its own dialectal variations. For instance, in western regions
the auxiliary /hʌiː/ is used while in central and eastern parts /ʌhʌiː/ is used. The following
examples are taken from Baburam Saxena's Evolution of Awadhi, and alternative versions are
also provided to exhibit dialectal variations.
English Awadhi (IPA) Awadhi (Devanagari)
ɦʊãː koː or kəʊn ɾəɦəĩ हुआँ को (कउन) रहें ?
Who were there?
alt. ɦʊãː keː or kəʊn ɾəɦəin alt. हुआँ के/कउन रहे न?
ɪʊ lʌɾɪkaː d̪eːkʰʌiː sʊnʌiː mə इउ लररका दे खई सुनई म
This boy is fine in seeing and ʈʰiːk hʌiː ठीक है ।
hearing. alt. ɪ lʌɾɪkaː d̪eːkʰʌiː sʊnʌiː alt. इ लररका दे खई सुनई म
mə ʈʰiːk ʌhʌiː ठीक अहै ।
kʌɦɪn laːoː t̪ ʰoːɽaː kʰaːɪ leːiː कहहन, लाओ थोडा खाई लेई,
t̪ ʰoːɽaː jʌhu kɘ d̪ʌɪ d̪eːiː थोडा यहु का दै दे ई।
(She) said, let (me) eat a little and
alt. kʌɦɪn lyaːvː t̪ ʰoːɽaː kʰaːɪ
give a little to this one too. alt. कहहन, ल्याव थोडा खाई
leːiː raːçi keː jʌnhu kɘ d̪ʌɪ
d̪eːiː लेई, रहि के एन्हुुं के दै दे ई।
d͡ʒoː d͡ʒʌɪɦʌĩ soː maːrʊ̥
जो जइहैं सो मारउ खइहैं ।
Those who go will be beaten.
alt. d͡ʒèː d͡ʒʌɪɦʌĩ soː maːr
alt. जे जइहैं सो मार खइहैं ।
cɪɾʌɪjʌn pʌɾ chʌrːaː nə
हिरइयन पर छराा न िलाओ।
Do not shoot at the birds.
alt. cɪɾʌɪjʌn peː chʌrːaː jin alt. हिरइयन पे छराा हजन
cʌlaːwː िलाव।

See alsoEdit
 Awadh
 Languages of India
 Languages with official status in India
 List of Indian languages by total speakers
 Fijian Hindustani
 Caribbean Hindustani

1. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011".
www.censusindia.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India.
Retrieved 7 July 2018.
2. ^ Awadhi at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
Caribbean Hindustani at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
Fiji Hindi at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
3. ^ http://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/sources/census/wphc/Nepal/Nepal-Census-
4. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Awadhi".
Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
5. ^ a b Evolution of Awadhi (a Branch of Hindi). p. 1.
6. ^ Linguistic Survery Of India Specimens Of The Eastern Hindi Language Vol.6. p. 1.
7. ^ a b Evolution Of Awadhi. p. 6.
8. ^ Linguistic Survery Of India Specimens Of The Eastern Hindi Language Vol.6. p. 10.
9. ^ Saksena 1937, p. 1.
10. ^ Evolution of Awadhi (a Branch of Hindi). pp. 1–2.
11. ^ a b Linguistic Survey Of India Vol. 6. pp. 9–10.
12. ^ Saxena, Baburam. Evolution of Awadhi. pp. 2–5.
13. ^ "Awadhi". Ethnologue. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
14. ^ "Fiji Hindi". Ethnologue. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
15. ^ a b Linguistic Survery Of India Specimens Of The Eastern Hindi Language Vol.6. p. 2.
16. ^ Patterns of Regional Geography: Indian perspective. p. 127.
17. ^ Saxena, Baburam. Evolution of Awadhi (a Branch of Hindi). pp. 11–12.
18. ^ Grierson. Indo-Aryan Family. Mediate Group. Specimens of the Eastern Hindī
Language. pp. 12–13.
19. ^ "Historical dictionary of Medieval India".
20. ^ "Columbia University".
21. ^ "rediff.com, Movies: Exclusive!!! Aamir Khan on the sets of Lagaan". www.rediff.com.
Retrieved 16 September 2018.
22. ^ "'Lagaan: Just perfect' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 September
23. ^ "Making music, from Aamir to Dev D". www.rediff.com. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
24. ^ "Yudh review: Amitabh Bachchan's show limps back to sluggish pace - Hindustan
Times". 2 August 2014. Retrieved 16 September 2018.

 Saksena, Baburam (1937). Evolution of Awadhi : (a branch of Hindi). Allahabad: The
Indian Press.

External linksEdit
Awadhi language test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator

For a list of words relating to Awadhi, see the Awadhi language category of words in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

 Entry for Awadhi at SIL International

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Linguistic region within India where Hindi dialects are spoken

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Disambiguation page providing links to topics that could be referred to by the same search term

 Central Indo-Aryan languages

Central Indo-Aryan