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Survey of Northern Pakistan: Languages of Hindko and Gujari Volume 3

Survey of Northern Pakistan: Languages of Hindko and Gujari Volume 3

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Published by: juliesheil on Jun 24, 2010
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Second-language proficiency in (Lahore) Panjabi was
investigated in a modest way by administering a Panjabi
Recorded Text Test to three small groups of subjects: eleven
Peshawar men18

and three Sherpur women. The scores of these

three groups are displayed in figure (3.9).


As is easily observed, the principal focus of this bilingualism study has
been Hazara Division, where the majority of Hindko speakers live. Other areas



(3.9) Scores of Subjects from Peshawar and Sherpur on
Panjabi Recorded Text Test

ave. s.d.

Peshawar men


91% 9.2

Sherpur women




ave. = average RTT score
s.d. = standard deviation

The comparatively high scores of the Sherpur women and
the Peshawar men indicate some comprehension of Panjabi. Two
young women from Sherpur each scored ninety percent on the
Panjabi RTT. One of these has passed matriculation and has
traveled to the Panjab. The other attended school for six years
and is now studying privately in order to pass matriculation; she

have been touched on, but less studied. This was the only bilingualism testing
done in the Peshawar vicinity. To complete the picture of multilingualism in
that cosmopolitan area, Pashto and Urdu bilingualism at least should also be

Some statements of Shackle can amplify the Peshawar picture and help
to demonstrate its importance in the total Hindko picture, as well as explain the
relatively high performance of Peshawar subjects on the Panjabi test.
“Pe. [Peshawari] is only to be understood as a member of this category
[urban languages]… [It] certainly demonstrates the magnetism of urban
languages, the process by which common features are passed along major lines
of communication and cause the language of one city to resemble that of
another while each is surrounded by markedly different rural dialects. The
frequently noted instances of agreement by Pe. and P. [Panjabi] are only to be
explained by the linkage of Peshawar along the line of the Grand Trunk Road
with Lahore and the towns of northern Panjab. The supposition is supported by
the instances that have been cited of the current intrusion of further P. features
into the speech of younger Pe.-speakers... Since Pe. is the last outpost of NIA to
the north-west, the pattern of influence is simpler than for most cities, from
which lines of communication radiate in all directions. Pe. is also of course
peculiar in being isolated in the non-IA linguistic territory of Pashto”

“The language of the city... has better [than Kohati] withstood the effects
of the creation of Pakistan in 1947, which led to the departure of non-Muslim
speakers of Pe. and their replacement by Pashto speakers… Although Pashto
has certainly gained ground at the expense of Pe. in recent years, it has been
well said of the latter that ‘it is only through this speech that you enter into the
real life of the city’… There can be few monolingual speakers… Command of
Pashto is increasingly general, while all educated speakers are increasingly
fluent in U. [Urdu]. The Pe. of younger speakers, especially those with higher
education, tends to contain a marked proportion of partially assimilated
elements, especially from U. and P. [Panjabi]” (1980:497).

Calvin R. Rensch


once lived in the Lahore area for six months. Surprisingly,
though, it was a woman above fifty who had four years of
education many years ago and who has never traveled even as far
as Mansehra who scored 100 percent on the Panjabi RTT. This
fragmentary evidence, including the rather low (less than 10)
standard deviations in the scores, seems to suggest that Hindko
has a fair amount of inherent intelligibility with Panjabi, based
on close genetic relationship, quite apart from any
comprehension derived from contact.



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