Mahasu Pahari
Mahasui
𑚢𑚩𑚭𑚨𑚰𑚃, महासुई
Mahasui written in Tankri script and Bushahri script.[1]
Native toIndia
RegionHimachal Pradesh
EthnicityMahasu
Native speakers
1 million (2002)[2]
Tankri script, Devanagari[3]
Language codes
ISO 639-3bfz
Glottologmaha1287
ELPMahasu Pahari
 Baghati[4]

Mahasu Pahari (Takri: 𑚢𑚩𑚭𑚨𑚱 𑚞𑚩𑚭𑚪𑚯) is a Western Pahari (Himachali, Takri: 𑚩𑚮𑚢𑚭𑚏𑚥𑚯) language spoken in Himachal Pradesh. It is also known as Mahasui or Mahasuvi. The speaking population is about 1,000,000 (2001). It is more commonly spoken in the Himachal Pradesh, Shimla (Simla) and Solan districts. It is to be known that Shimla and Solan were parts of the old Mahasu district. Himachal Pradesh State on 1 September, 1972 reorganised the districts dissolving Mahasu district. The Solan district was carved out of Solan and Arki tehsils of the then Mahasu district and tehsils of Kandaghat and Nalagarh of the then Shimla District of Punjab.

Area

A sample for Mahasuvi language's Rohruri dialect

According to different locations, the language has developed several dialects. Lower Mahasu Pahari (Baghati, Baghliani, Kiunthali), Upper Mahasu Pahari (Rampuri, Rohruri, Nawari, Jubbali, Shimla Siraji, Sodochi). The Kiunthali variety appears to be understood by others, and their attitude toward it is favorable. Rampuri is also called Kochi; Rohruri is also called Soracholi and Sodochi spoken in Kotgarh. Intelligibility among dialects is above 85%. Lexical similarity is 74%–82% with upper dialects, and 74%–95% with lower dialects. The language is used in home and for religious purposes. It is understood and spoken from people of vital age group. The educated are more proficient in Hindi and English. It is considered to be highly endangered as the number of people speaking it is constantly going down. It is closely related to Sirmauri and to Jaunsari.

Script

The native script of the language is a variety of Takri Script. There are some written records of the language in Takri script and Nastaliq script but nowadays Devanagari script is usually used.

Specimen in Kochi spoken around Rampur Bushahr
Specimen in Kochi spoken around Rampur Bushahr

Phonology

Consonants

Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex Post-alv./
Palatal
Velar Glottal
Plosive /
Affricate
voiceless p t ts ʈ k
aspriated tsʰ ʈʰ (tʃʰ)
voiced b d dz ɖ ɡ
breathy
Fricative voiceless s ʃ ɦ
voiced z (ʒ)
Nasal m n ɳ (ŋ)
Lateral l ɭ
Trill/Tap r ɽ
Approximant ʋ (j) (w)

Vowels

Front Central Back
Close i iː u uː
Mid e eː (ə) o oː
Open-mid ɛ ɔ ɔː
Open ɑ ɑː
Nasal vowels
Front Back
short long
Close ĩ ũ ũː
Mid õ õː
Open-mid ɔ̃ ɔ̃ː
Open ɑ̃ ɑ̃ː

Status

The language is commonly called Pahari or Himachali. The language has no official status and is recorded as dialect of Hindi.[6] According to the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the language is of definitely endangered category, i.e. many Mahasui children are not learning Mahasui as their mother tongue any longer.[7] Earlier the language state patronage. Everything changed since independence, due to favoritism towards Hindi by the Indian Government.

The demand for the inclusion of 'Pahari (Himachali)' under the Eight Schedule of the Constitution, which is supposed to represent multiple Pahari languages of Himachal Pradesh, had been made in the year 2010 by the state's Vidhan Sabha.[8] There has been no positive progress on this matter since then even when small organisations strive to save the language and demand it.[9] Due to political interest, the language is currently recorded as a dialect of Hindi, even when having a poor mutual intelligibility with it.

References

  1. ^ Grierson, George Abraham. Linguistic Survey Of India, Volume 9.4. pp. 613–14.
  2. ^ Mahasu Pahari at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  3. ^ Grierson, George Abraham. Linguistic Survey Of India, Volume 9.4. pp. 383–84.
  4. ^ Endangered Languages Project data for Baghati.
  5. ^ Jouanne, Thomas (2014). A preliminary analysis of the phonological system of the Western Pahārī language of Kvār. University of Oslo.
  6. ^ "Indian Language Census" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Endangered Language (Mahasui)".
  8. ^ "Pahari Inclusion". Zee News.
  9. ^ "Pahari Inclusion". The Statesman.