Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 10 : 7 July 2010
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.



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Is It a Language Worth Researching?
Ethnographic Challenges in the Study of Pahari Language

Muhammad Gulfraz Abbasi, M. A., Ph.D. Scholar


Pahari, also called Dhundi-Pahari or Dhundi Kairali, is the indigenous language of the native population of Murree in the extreme north of the Punjab province, including some areas of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province ("Consensus reached," 2010). It is like other regional languages in Pakistan. It is an underdeveloped, unprivileged and ignored language which lacks proper orthography. A sociolinguistic study was conducted by the researcher to gauge the level of language shift and maintenance.

This paper does not directly deal with the results of the original research but with an intermediate issue of ethnographic difficulties faced by the researcher during the prolonged stay in the field for interviews and participant observation.

This study focuses on the reaction of the community members towards the idea of Pahari as a language as well as the emergent challenges during the presence of the researchers in the field.

The study concludes that Pahari needs to be maintained and sustained through the confidence building measures among the native speakers regarding the value and significance of their language.

Pahari as a Linguistic Group

Pahari, as its name suggests, is a language spoken by the natives of hills. Pahari is a general name for almost all the languages spoken from Nepal to Pakistan. This long path of Pahari languages contains many independent languages and dialects. Most often these languages are recognized by their specific geographical names or tribal names. Ethnologue Languages of the World 16th edition (Lewis, 2009) describes the Pahari in Pakistan and Pakistani part of Kashmir as Pahari-Potwari. This branch of Pahari has four major varieties in Pakistan.

These branches are:

1. Pahari of Murree Hills, Kotli Sattian, Gulyat and Circle Bakote, (also sometimes called Pahari-Potwari, Dhundi-kairali, Dhundi).

2. Pothohari spoken in Rawalpindi, Kahuta, Gojar Khan and Taxila.

3. Mirpuri

4. Poonchi of Muzaffarabad, Neelam Valley and Rawlakot (Abbasi & Asif, 2010)

Pahari Used as a Common Name

The Pahari variety under study is sometimes referred to as Dhundi-kairali or only Dhundi in the language surveys (see, e.g., Masica, 1991) because it is principally spoken by two ethnic groups 'Dhunds' and 'Kairals'. Dhunds are also called Abbasis.

This name Dhundi-kairali was first used by Grierson (LSI, VIII) which was later objected to, because most of the people did not know this name. According to Lothers and Lothers (2007), the speakers of this variety of Pahari did not usually identify themselves as speakers of Dhundi-kairali. Most of them were not even aware of such a name as Dhundi-Kairali. Therefore, the name Pahari (widely known and used by the community members), instead of Dhundi-kairali or Dhundi-Pahari (used in the books and language surveys only), is used in this paper to refer to this variety of language.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

EAT Expressions in Manipuri | Learning from Movies - 'Slumdog Millionaire' and Language Awareness | Maternal Interaction and Verbal Input in Normal and Hearing Impaired Children | Role of L2 Motivation and the Performance of Intermediate Students in the English (L2) Exams in Pakistan | Problems in Ph.D. English Degree Programme in Pakistan - The Issue of Quality Assurance | Using Technology in the English Language Classroom | Teaching Literature through Language - Some Considerations | e-Learning of Japanese Pictography - Some Perspectives | Is It a Language Worth Researching? Ethnographic Challenges in the Study of Pahari Language | Using a Reading Material for Interactive Reading | Importance of Task-Based Teaching in Second Language Acquisition - A Review | Skill Enhancement Techniques - The Necessary Tools for the Indian Management Students | African American Literature and Ishmael Reed's Novels - Hoodism | Instances of Code Switching in Indian Television Serials | The Role of Compounding in Technical English Prescribed for Engineering Students in Tamilnadu | Polite Request Strategies as Produced by Yemeni EFL Learners | Manju Kapoor's Difficult Daughters - A Saga of Feminist Autonomy and Separate Identity | Reflections on Partition Literature - A Comparative Analysis of Ice Candy Man and Train to Pakistan | Mother Tongue! The Neglected Resource for English Language Teaching And Learning | Breaking the Good Mother Myths - A Study of the Novels of Amy Tan | Effect of Teachers' Academic Qualification on Students' L2 Performance at the Secondary Level | What Is Most Important? Fluency or Accuracy? Is Learning a Second Language a Conscious Process? | Let Us Learn from Our Standard 1 Textbook, Again! - A Brief Note on the New Standard 1 Tamil Textbook in Tamilnadu | Eugene O' Neill's The Hairy Ape - An American Expressionistic Play | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF JULY 2010 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT | HOME PAGE of July 2010 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Muhammad Gulfraz Abbasi, M. A., Ph.D. Scholar
Bahauddin Zakariya University

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