Hindustani

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Hindustani

Postby holdingfire20 » 2018-07-25, 3:35

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Re: Hindustani

Postby Vlürch » 2018-07-25, 17:59

There are apparently some differences in vocabulary (Urdu has more Persian and Arabic words while Hindi has more Sanskrit words), especially in formal writing, but IIRC there's barely any difference in that regard in everyday speech? At least Wikipedia implies there are also some minor differences in pronunciation, but nothing significant? Basically the same situation as Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin, I think?

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Re: Hindustani

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-26, 0:11

Yeah, it's really just a political difference. As a friend of mine said, "If I'm buying a tomato in Islamabad or I'm buying a tomato in New Delhi, I'm going to have the exact same conversation."

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Re: Hindustani

Postby linguoboy » 2018-07-26, 15:50

Interestingly, there's a similar split in Panjabi between varieties used primarily by Muslim speakers and in Pakistan and those used primarily by Sikhs and Hindus and in India. But no one seriously suggests that this is reason for splitting the language in two. That's probably at least somewhat due to the political situation: Panjabi is official in the Indian state of Punjab, where it has first language status, and a secondary official language of Delhi and Haryana. But despite being recognised as an official regional language of Pakistan, it gets almost nothing in terms of official support or use there.
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Re: Hindustani

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-07-27, 1:38

I think there are similar splits in a lot of South Asian languages (and not just with Muslims), the difference being that Pakistan is the only de facto country in the world that defines itself in opposition to India, and apparently that Urdu is the only language indigenous to any part of South Asia with any meaningfully official recognition in Pakistan. FWICT there seem to be similar splits at least in Bengali, Sindhi, and Gujarati. One of my dad's first cousins is a high-ranking official in Maharashtra who says that from a casual conversation in Marathi, he can tell not only what part of the state a person is from but also their religion and caste. There are also parts of India where people of different religions speak different languages entirely, even from different families (e.g. Gumperz and Wilson's article on Kupwad claims that the Muslims there speak Urdu whereas the Jains speak Kannada).

There is something at least a bit like this in Malayalam, too; some Muslims speak very differently from other Malayalees, and not just because they use more Arabic/Urdu loanwords. Movie songs in Malayalam deliberately exaggerate this effect, apparently in part(?) to appeal to people from different religious communities. For example, a song associated with the Muslim community might incorporate certain sound changes more often than they occur among actual Muslims, or a song associated with the Christian community might use "baptism time" [maːˈmoːd̪iːsaːkaːləm] to mean 'childhood' even though I've never heard any Christian use this term in my whole life and it sounds ridiculous. (Christian movie songs AFAIK are almost all religious as far as their lyrics go and are meant to show religious Christians that, contrary to what they seriously used to believe, women acting in movies are not all whores or whatever. Muslim movie songs AFAIK are all secular, and songs that have anything to do with Hinduism are usually songs that use religious references as a roundabout way of describing romantic feelings).

EDIT: OK, Muslim movie songs are almost all secular IME.

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Re: Hindustani

Postby eskandar » 2018-07-30, 23:43

The division of Hindustani into Hindi and Urdu, with separate identities for each, is older than the partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan and the subsequent political status of these languages. It goes back to the British engineering separate "Hindu" and "Muslim" identities in north India, where Urdu was supposed to be the language of Muslims--even at the expense of Punjabi, Bengali, etc. Muslim Punjabis bought into this idea in a big way, and from the 19th century until today have been perhaps the biggest patrons of Urdu. Muslim Bengalis did not take to this idea in the same way (thus 1971). Unlike Hindustani, Punjabi, Sindhi, and Gujarati, all of which generally written in Perso-Arabic script by Muslims and in Indic scripts by other religious communities, however, Bengali (which has the longest literary tradition of any of the aforementioned languages) has always been written in an Indic script, by Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

vijayjohn wrote:There are also parts of India where people of different religions speak different languages entirely, even from different families (e.g. Gumperz and Wilson's article on Kupwad claims that the Muslims there speak Urdu whereas the Jains speak Kannada).

Sure, look at Hyderabad, where Muslims are almost all L1 Urdu speakers whereas the local Hindu population (not counting recent migrants from elsewhere in India) speaks Telugu.
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Re: Hindustani

Postby Vlürch » 2018-08-01, 13:30

vijayjohn wrote:Gujarati

Yesterday, I looked up Urdu (ur) گھر on Wiktionary (even though I already knew what it means), which led me to the discovery that Gujarati Muslims have their own dialect/sociolect/???? that uses a variant of the Arabic script. Not that surprising, but pretty interesting; apparently /p/ has in some cases become /f/ or /l/ (!?) due to Arabic influence, etc. The Wikipedia article is kinda annoying with its mixing of IPA and non-IPA and contradicging itself (eg. is <ڑ> pronounced /ɽ/ or /r/?), but well.

I've been reading a lot about the Indo-ryan languages lately and something I keep coming across is that all ofthem have so many dialects and whatnot, and that their classification into subgroups is sometimes not certain as a result of just how much they've influenced each other and been influenced by other languages in the same ways. It's really itneresting, I wish I could really learn one of them; Urdu would probably be the easiest since it has so many resources and wouldn't require learning a new writing system, but the politics of Pakistan kinda ruin its appeal... :para:

...and then again, learning to read Devanagari would definitely be helpful in general, and there are almost certainly even more resources explicitly for Hindi. But is it even possible to learn all the complexities of Devanagari if you didn't grow up with it? I mean, all the rare and purely "hypothetical" syllables included, like ळॣं and whatnot?

Hopefully this doesn't count as derailing the thread.

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Re: Hindustani

Postby linguoboy » 2018-08-01, 20:21

Vlürch wrote:I've been reading a lot about the Indo-ryan languages lately and something I keep coming across is that all ofthem have so many dialects and whatnot, and that their classification into subgroups is sometimes not certain as a result of just how much they've influenced each other and been influenced by other languages in the same ways.

That's pretty much the norm outside of Europe and much of North America, where you still have real dialect continua. Europe is anomalous in the way that it has created a raft of "minority languages" with standardised forms and killed off most of its true local dialects.
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Re: Hindustani

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-08-02, 3:59

Vlürch wrote:\Gujarati Muslims have their own dialect/sociolect/???? that uses a variant of the Arabic script.

Well, it started out as the ritual language of a subgroup of Gujarati Muslims of Arab origin, so... :)
apparently /p/ has in some cases become /f/ or /l/ (!?) due to Arabic influence, etc.

I think the [l] thing may just be a mistake. /p/ also regularly changes to [f] in Divehi and Jeseri, also because of influence from Arabic.
The Wikipedia article is kinda annoying with its mixing of IPA and non-IPA and contradicging itself (eg. is <ڑ> pronounced /ɽ/ or /r/?), but well.

I'm pretty sure it's [ɽ].
It's really itneresting, I wish I could really learn one of them; Urdu would probably be the easiest since it has so many resources and wouldn't require learning a new writing system, but the politics of Pakistan kinda ruin its appeal... :para:

Well, Urdu is an official language in India, too! ;)
But is it even possible to learn all the complexities of Devanagari if you didn't grow up with it? I mean, all the rare and purely "hypothetical" syllables included, like ळॣं and whatnot?

I guess? :P

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Re: Hindustani

Postby mundiya » 2018-08-04, 18:31

Vlürch wrote:YUrdu would probably be the easiest since it has so many resources and wouldn't require learning a new writing system, but the politics of Pakistan kinda ruin its appeal... :para:


Urdu uses the Perso-Arabic script, so you would need to learn that if you don't know it already. To really get a good grasp of the language you would need to know its script.

But is it even possible to learn all the complexities of Devanagari if you didn't grow up with it? I mean, all the rare and purely "hypothetical" syllables included, like ळॣं and whatnot?


Devanagari is considered one of the easiest scripts to learn because of its phonetic nature. The exact alphabet characters you learn will depend on which language you're interested in, as there are additional or modified characters in some languages. There is no conjunct like ळॣं in Hindi.

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Re: Hindustani

Postby mundiya » 2018-08-04, 18:36

vijayjohn wrote:
Vlürch wrote:It's really itneresting, I wish I could really learn one of them; Urdu would probably be the easiest since it has so many resources and wouldn't require learning a new writing system, but the politics of Pakistan kinda ruin its appeal... :para:

Well, Urdu is an official language in India, too! ;)


I think he meant that Urdu's main area of use and cultivation is Pakistan, where as in India it's on a sharp decline.

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Re: Hindustani

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-08-05, 0:33

mundiya wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
Vlürch wrote:It's really itneresting, I wish I could really learn one of them; Urdu would probably be the easiest since it has so many resources and wouldn't require learning a new writing system, but the politics of Pakistan kinda ruin its appeal... :para:

Well, Urdu is an official language in India, too! ;)


I think he meant that Urdu's main area of use and cultivation is Pakistan

It has more speakers and more history in India than it's ever had in Pakistan. But granted, it is given a certain importance in a Pakistani context that it isn't in an Indian one; Urdu is a lingua franca throughout Pakistan but not throughout India.
in India it's on a sharp decline.

Or is it?

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Re: Hindustani

Postby mundiya » 2018-08-05, 2:02

vijayjohn wrote:
mundiya wrote:
vijayjohn wrote:
Vlürch wrote:It's really itneresting, I wish I could really learn one of them; Urdu would probably be the easiest since it has so many resources and wouldn't require learning a new writing system, but the politics of Pakistan kinda ruin its appeal... :para:

Well, Urdu is an official language in India, too! ;)


I think he meant that Urdu's main area of use and cultivation is Pakistan

It has more speakers and more history in India than it's ever had in Pakistan. But granted, it is given a certain importance in a Pakistani context that it isn't in an Indian one; Urdu is a lingua franca throughout Pakistan but not throughout India.

Focusing on "speakers" (i.e. native speakers) is misleading in the context of Urdu in Pakistan. Nearly the entire literate population (and many illiterates) in Pakistan knows Urdu. It's the primary written language of that country, the language of education, the lingua franca, and an important symbol of their national identity.

In India, hardly anyone except native Urdu speakers or Bollywood song writers uses Urdu, hardly anyone gets educated in it, and only a fraction of those who use it can read or write the language. The number of Urdu speakers is itself decreasing per the latest census data (51.5 million in 2001 vs. 50.7 million in 2011), despite India's population increasing by 181 million over that time span. Of course, this doesn't mean there is any major change as far as everyday spoken usage is concerned, since Hindi and Urdu are largely the same in that regard, but it does mean fewer people are identifying or comfortable with the Urdu language in India and thus its scope is limited. Even in Bollywood, the use of Urdu has decreased compared to a few decades ago: Bollywood cinema.

vijayjohn wrote:
mundiya wrote:in India it's on a sharp decline.

Or is it?

Besides the claim about Urdu not declining, there are also other factual errors in that blog. For example, the writer argues for "saal" and "bemisaal" as High Urdu even though they are commonly used everyday words in Hindi too, then he associates Kabir with Braj when Kabir actually used Sadhukkari, and then claims that "the use of the Devanagri script to write Khari Boli is quite recent". Both the Devanagari and Perso-Arabic scripts have been used to write Khariboli/Hindavi since at least the 16th century:
Bangha - The Emergence of Khari Boli Literature in North India.pdf
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Re: Hindustani

Postby Vlürch » 2018-08-06, 14:30

linguoboy wrote:That's pretty much the norm outside of Europe and much of North America, where you still have real dialect continua. Europe is anomalous in the way that it has created a raft of "minority languages" with standardised forms and killed off most of its true local dialects.

Don't the South Slavic languages still form a continuum, though? I still falsely remember that the languages/dialects of Italy would, too, but IpseDixit once said it was like that 70 years ago but not anymore... no idea where I got the idea that they would from and why it still sticks in my head as the first instinct, but well.
vijayjohn wrote:I think the [l] thing may just be a mistake.

I hope that's not the case because it'd be one of the weirdest sound changes ever, and weird sound changes are cool. :P
mundiya wrote:Urdu uses the Perso-Arabic script, so you would need to learn that if you don't know it already. To really get a good grasp of the language you would need to know its script.

Yeah, I can read the Perso-Arabic script (albeit much slower than Latin or Cyrillic). The fact that short vowels are generally not written of course means having to look up words a lot, but that seems much easier than learning an entirely new script whose characters I can't even tell apart from one another most of the time.
mundiya wrote:Devanagari is considered one of the easiest scripts to learn because of its phonetic nature.

Maybe, but it's completely new to me. I mean, there are a few syllables I can recognise, but unfortunately most of them just look the same to my eyes. I'm trying to get better at differentiating its letters, but it's hard.
mundiya wrote:There is no conjunct like ळॣं in Hindi.

I know, that's why I said "hypothetical".

Oh well, I'll try to learn both Hindi and Urdu. It shouldn't be hard considering the fact that they're basically the same, and maybe learning the Urdu equivalents of things first can ease me into Hindi, if that makes sense. (I keep typoing "Hindi" as "Hindu" because my mind is already on "Urdu", but I've caught it every time... I think. That'd be one of the most embarrassing typos ever... :para: )

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Re: Hindustani

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-08-06, 14:39

Vlürch wrote:Don't the South Slavic languages still form a continuum, though?

I think technically yes, but probably most of these are being killed off, too.

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Re: Hindustani

Postby Saim » 2018-08-06, 17:09

Slovene transitions into Kaikavian and Chakavian, and Serbo-Croatian (Shtokavian) transitions into Bulgarian and Macedonian, but Serbo-Croatian doesn't transition into any of the first three languages because the Shtokavian area spread relatively recently (17th century IIRC) due to westward migration. Before that most of Croatia was not Shtokavian-speaking outside of Slavonia and Dubrovnik, and the Shtokavian dialects themselves showed more regional variation than they do at present (or, say, in the early 20th century).

There are still young speakers of Kaikavian and Torlakian, not so much Chakavian.


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