Work Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, University of North Dakota Session




This study presents descriptions of the phonology and morphology of the two major dialects of Gojri spoken in Pakistan, and compares them with the Gojri spoken in Punch District of Indian-administered Kashmir. In light of this comparative data and the implications for Gojri-to- Urdu literacy, it evaluates various orthographic conventions currently used by leading writers and institutions. It explores Urdu-based spellings which are linguistically sound and otherwise conducive to transitional literacy, and which lend themselves to orthographic standardization across the east-west dialect continuum. It also includes an extended treatment of the challenge of representing Gojri tone.

This study will provide a foundation for orthographic decisions that take cross- dialectical considerations and the reality of a broader Urdu print environment fully into account, potentially enabling Gujars to read the pronunciations of their own dialects from a single text type while maximizing the ease of transfer to and from Urdu. The research presented here will also make the dialects of Gojri spoken in Pakistan accessible to linguists and other scholars, and call attention to the significance of the Western dialect within the greater language community.

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