Lexical Variation among Punjabi Dialects as a Marker of Linguistic Boundaries in Pakistani Punjab

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Rabia Jamshaid

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to examine lexical variation among five Punjabi dialects (Majhi, Doabi, Saraiki, Potohari and Jangli) to find out how far lexical variation marks the existence of regional boundaries. This study examines ten Punjabi variants, five functional words (kiwain/ kidan/ kaistran ,tohada/ tussan da/ taira, hanji/ ahoo/ han, Jiwain/ jidan/ jaistran, bhawain/ chahay/ bhalay) and five content words (laal/ ratta/ suwa, biwi/ zanani/ sawani, niana/ baal/ bachajatak, chhaiti/ jaldi/ jhabday/ trikh, bohta/ baon/ ghana). The data was collected from 300 middle aged (30 to 50 years old) educated (primary to bachelor) and non-educated male and female respondents of five regions of Pakistani Punjab (Bahawal nager, Lahore, Faisalabad, Khewra and Multan). Chi square test of independence was used to measure the association between linguistic variable and social variable. The study reveals that lexical variation occurs between five specific Punjabi dialects. The respondents show heterogeneity in their linguistic behavior to maintain their identities. Lexical variation differentiates the resident of one region from another region and can mark the existence of regional boundaries.

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