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Khari Boli

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Khari Boli

This article is about rural dialect outside Delhi. For the standard dialect, see Hindustani.
खड़ी बोली
کھڑی بولی
Pronunciation kʰəɽiː boːliː
Native to India
Region Delhi, Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh
Native speakers 240 million  (1991–1997)
Language family
Writing system Urdu Script, Devanagari script
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Linguist List
Linguasphere 59-AAF-qd
Areas (red) where Khariboli/Kauravi is the native language

Khariboli,[2] also known as Dehlavi, Kauravi, and Vernacular Hindustani, is a Western Hindi dialect spoken mainly in the rural surroundings of Delhi, the areas of Western Uttar Pradesh and the southern areas of Uttarakhand in India.[3][4]

It is also known as Khari Boli, Khadiboli, Khadi Boli, or simply Khari. Khariboli is the prestige dialect of Hindustani, of which Standard Hindi and Standard Urdu are standard registers and literary styles.[5] Standard Hindi and Urdu are the principal official languages of India and Pakistan respectively.[3][6] However, the term has been used for any literary dialect, including Braj Bhasa and Awadhi.

In academic literature, the term Kauravi (कौरवी) is sometimes applied to the specific Khari dialect spoken in the western parts of the Khari-speaking zone. Although Khariboli and Standard Hindustani differ dialectically, Standard Hindustani is sometimes also referred to as Khariboli and regarded as the literary form of that dialect.[7]

Khariboli is believed to have initially developed contemporaneously with the neighboring Awadhi and Braj dialects in the 900-1200 CE period. Khari contains some features, such as gemination, which give it a distinctive sound and differentiates it from standard Hindustani, Braj and Awadhi.

Geographical distribution

Khariboli is spoken in the rural surroundings of Delhi and northwestern Uttar Pradesh, as well as in some neighboring areas of Haryana and Uttarakhand.[4] The geography of this part of North India is traditionally described doabs.

In Uttar Pradesh, the following districts of the Yamuna-Ganges doab are Khari-speaking:

In Uttarakhand, the following districts of the Yamuna-Ganges doab are partially Khari-speaking:

In the trans-Ganges area, it is spoken in the following districts of Rohilkhand region in Uttar Pradesh:

In Haryana, the following district is partially Khari-speaking:

In Rajasthan,it is spoken in following districts:

Khariboli in Hindustani popular culture

Khariboli is often seen as rustic by speakers of Standard Hindustani, and elements of it were used in Hum Log, India's first television soap opera, where the main family was depicted as having roots in Western Uttar Pradesh.[8][9]

As the two main Hindustani dialects of Western Uttar Pradesh and the areas surrounding Delhi, Khariboli and Braj Bhasha are often compared. One hypothesis of how Khariboli came to be described as khari (standing) asserts that it refers to the "stiff and rustic uncouthness" of the dialect compared to the "mellifluousness and soft fluency" of Braj Bhasha.[10] On the other hand, Khariboli supporters sometimes pejoratively referred to Braj Bhasha and other dialects as "Pariboli" (पड़ी बोली, پڑی بولی, fallen/supine dialects).[10]

Kauravi and Sankrityayan's proposal

Although most linguists acknowledge that Modern Standard Hindustani descended from Khariboli, the precise mechanism of dialectical changes from Khari to the prestige dialect (such as the loss of gemination which is so prevalent in Khari) lacks consensus. There are also variations within Khari itself across the area in which it is spoken. In the mid-twentieth century, Indian scholar and nationalist, Rahul Sankrityayan, proposed a redrawing of the liguistic map of the Hindustani zone.[11] Drawing a distinction between the Khari of Delhi and the Khari of the extreme western parts of Western Uttar Pradesh, he advocated that the former retain the name Khariboli while the latter be renamed to Kauravi, after the Kuru Kingdom of ancient India.[11] Although the term Khariboli continues to be applied as it traditionally was, some linguists have accepted the term Kauravi as well, applying to the language spoken in the linguistic arc running from Saharanpur to Agra (i.e. the close east and north east of Delhi).[6] Sankrityayan postulated that this Kaurvi dialect was the parent of Delhi's specific Khari dialect.[11] Sankrityayan had also advocated that all Hindustani be standardised on the Devanagari script and Perso-Arabic entirely be abandoned.[11]

Other dialects of Hindustani

Khariboli is related to four standardised registers of Hindustani: Standard Hindi, Urdu, Dakhini and Rekhta. Standard Hindi (also High Hindi, Nagari Hindi) is used as the lingua franca of Northern India (the Hindi belt), Urdu is the lingua franca of Pakistan, Dakhini is the historical literary dialect of the Deccan region, and Rekhta the court register of Urdu used in medieval poetry. These standard registers together with Sansiboli form the Hindustani dialect group. This group together with Haryanvi, Kauravi, Braj Bhasha, Kanauji and Bundeli forms the Western Hindi dialect group.

Early influences

The area around Delhi has long been the center of power in northern India, and naturally, the Khari-boli dialect came to be regarded as urbane and of a higher standard than the other dialects of Hindi. This view gradually gained ground over the 19th century; before that period, other dialects such as Avadhi, Braj Bhasha and Sadhukaddi were the dialects preferred by littérateurs. Standard Hindi was first developed by the Turkish speakers of Khari boli who migrated from Delhi to the Awadh region—most notably Amir Khusrau, and mixed the roughness of the Khari boli with the relative softness of Awadhi to form a new language which they called "Hindvi." Hindvi later developed into Hindustani—which further diverged as Hindi and Urdu.

Although, as a dialect Khari boli belongs to upper Doab, however, Allahabad in lower Doab and Varanasi have been the literary centres of Khari boli in the form of standard Hindi.

Rise as the basis for Standard Hindustani

The earliest examples of Khariboli can be seen in the compositions of Amir Khusro (1253-1355).[12]

Before the rise of Khari boli, the literary dialects of Hindi were the ones adopted by the Bhakti saints: Braj Bhasha (Krishna devotees), Awadhi (adopted by the Rama devotees) and Maithili (Vaishnavites of Bihar).[12] However, after the Bhakti movement degenerated into ritualistic cults, these languages came to be regarded as rural and unrefined.[13] Khariboli, on the other hand, was spoken in the urban area surrounding the Mughal courts, where Persian was the official language. The Persian-influenced Khariboli thus gradually came to be regarded as a prestige dialect, although hardly any literary works had been written in Khariboli before the British period in India.[13]

The British administrators of India and the Christian missionaries played an important role in creation and promotion of the Khariboli-based Modern Standard Hindustani.[6] In 1800, the British East India Company established a college of higher education at Calcutta named the Fort William College. John Borthwick Gilchrist, a president of that college, encouraged his professors to write in their native tongue; some of the works thus produced were in the literary form of the Khariboli dialect. These books included Premsagar (Prem Sagur) by Lallu Lal,[14] Naasiketopaakhyan by Sadal Mishra; Sukhsagar by Sadasukhlal of Delhi and Rani Ketaki ki Kahani by Munshi Inshallah Khan. More developed forms of Khariboli can also be seen in some mediocre literature produced in early 18th century. Examples are Chand Chhand Varnan Ki Mahima by Gangabhatt, Yogavashishtha by Ramprasad Niranjani, Gora-Badal ki katha by Jatmal, Mandovar ka varnan by Anonymous, a translation of Ravishenacharya's Jain Padmapuran by Daulatram (dated 1824). With the government patronage and the literary popularity, the Khariboli flourished, even as the use of previously more literary tongues such as Awadhi, Braj and Maithili declined in the literary vehicles. The literary works in Khariboli gained momentum from the second half of the 19th century onwards.[12] Gradually, in the subsequent years, Khariboli became the basis for the standard Hindustani, which began to be taught in the schools and used in the government functions.[15]

Urdu, the heavily Persianised version of Khariboli, had replaced Persian as the literary language of the North India by the early 20th century. however, the association of Urdu with the Muslims prompted the Hindus to develop their own Sanskritised version of the dialect, leading to the formation of the Modern Standard Hindi.[15] After India became independent in 1947, the Khariboli-based dialect was officially recognized as the approved version of the Hindi language, which was declared as one of the official languages of the central government functioning.

See also


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