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Punjabi(pŭnjä`bē), language belonging to the Indic group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. See Indo-IranianIndo-Iranian,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by more than a billion people, chiefly in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka (see The Indo-European Family of Languages, table).
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(also Panjabi), the language of the Punjabis, spoken in eastern Pakistan, northwestern India (primarily in the state of Punjab), and elsewhere in India. Punjabi has more than 21 million speakers in Pakistan and more than 15 million in India (1971, estimate), where it is an official language. Punjabi, one of the Indo-Aryan languages of the Indo-European language family, is divided into Maji, Doabi, Malwai, Powadi, Rathi, and Bhatiani dialects. It has four tones—level, rising, pharyngealized falling, and plain falling—to indicate meaning and grammatical function. Punjabi is an analytic and inflectional language. Grammatical features include a well-developed case system, the inflection of certain adjectives for gender only in the predicative function, and subject, indirect-object, and relational adverbial modifiers.
The oldest written work in Punjabi is the Adi-Granth (or Granth Sahib), the scriptures of Sikhism, dating to the 12th through 17th centuries. Punjabi is written in Gurmukhi, a phonetic and syllabic script that indicates tones. The script is derived from the Brahmi writing system.
REFERENCESSmirnov, Iu. A. “Obnaruzhenie chetvertogo tona ν iazyke pandzhabi i faringalizovannogo kharaktera drugogo, izvestnogo tona.” Uch. zap. Gos. in-ta mezhdunarodnykh otnoshenii, 1971, fasc. 7.
Gill, H. S., and H. A. Gleason. A Reference Grammar of Panjabi. Hartford, Conn., 1963.
Duni Chandra. Panjabi bhasha da wiakarana. Chandigarh .
Smirnov, U. A. The Composite Sentence: Main Problems. Chandigarh .
Panjabi Kosh, Patiala, vols. 1–4. [No place] 1955–67.
IU. A. SMIRNOV