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Memoni
ميمنی, મેમોની
Native toIndia, Pakistan
RegionKathiawar (Gujarat), Sindh
EthnicityMemon people
Native speakers

1.8 Million (2014)[1]
Arabic script, Gujarati script, Nastaliq script, Roman Memon[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3mby
Glottologmemo1238

Memoni (ميموني, મેમોની) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by Kathiawari Memons, from the Kathiawar region of Gujarat, India. Memon from Okha Port (Okhai Memon), Kutch (Kutchi Memon) and some other communities from Kathiawad (Khatri, Kathiwadi) also use Memoni at their homes.

The Kathiawari Memons are a sub-group of the Memon people, a Muslim community in India and Pakistan. After the partition of India in 1947, Memons of the Kathiawar region migrated to neighboring states, cities and towns within India, but a large number of Memons settled in Pakistan, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Malawi, Kenya, as well as the United States and Canada. Kathiawadi Memon can be divided in to sub group according to their former towns in district Kathiawad of Gujarat, India. Namely; 01. Bantva 02. Kutiyanah 03. Dhoraji 04. Jetpur 05. Gondal 06. Vanthli 07. Veraval 08. Jamnagar 09. Junagadh 10. Porbandar 11. Halari 12. Upleta

History

The origin of the Memoni language is still debated among the historians of the region. It has several different dialects and accents due to the influence of other languages in areas of settlement. Memoni is a mixture of Sindhi, Kutchi and Gujarati languages.[citation needed] Haji Mohammed Husein Abdel Kareem Nagani spent 40 years inventing a Memoni alphabet in order to bring the Memoni language up to the standard of other major languages in the world.[3]

The Memon community is generally divided into three major subgroups, Kathiawari Memons, who originated in the Kathiawar region (who speak Memoni), Sindhi Memons (who speak Sindhi) and Kutchi Memons (who speak Kutchi). The Memon people from Kathiawar were largely Muslims who followed Hanafi Islam.

Sindhi and Kutchi are spoken by both Muslims and non-Muslims, in contrast to the Memoni language, which is exclusively spoken by Memons of Kathiawar origin, who are almost entirely Muslims.

In stress, intonation, and everyday speech, Memoni is very similar to Sindhi or Kutchi, but it borrows extensively from Gujarati, Hindustani and Arabic. Like most languages of the Indian subcontinent, the sentence structure of Memoni generally follows subject–object–verb order.[4] Especially in Pakistan, Memoni language has adopted many Urdu words and phrases. Even between different villages of Kathiawar, variations have arisen.

Nouns

Most nouns have a grammatical gender, either masculine or feminine, and often have singular and plural forms. Vast majorities of nouns have been borrowed from Hindustani (umbrella term for Urdu and Hindi), and English vocabulary is extensively used.

Example

English Memoni Sindhi Kutchi Gujarati Hindi/Urdu
vegetables bakalo (m) bhaji saag bhaji (bhakalo) Shaak bhaji sabzi (f) sabzian
bed Palang (m) Palang (m)/ Khata (f) Khatlo/Palang Khatlo chaarpaee/Palang (f)
mirror aariso (m) aarisa (p) / Aaino aarsi (f) / aaino (m) aariso aarisa (m) aaena (m) ?
door dervazo (m) dervazaa (p) (Kamaar - room doors) darwazo/dar darvajo darwajo dervaza (m) dervazey (p)
man marhu (m) marhu (p) maanhu maru manas/purush admi (m) admion (p)
boy chhokro (m) chokraa (p) chhokro (m) chokraa (p) chhokro choro/chokra larka (m) larkey (p)
girl chhokree (f) chokriyun (p) chhokree (f) chokryiun (p) chhokree chokri (f) chokriun larki (f) larkian (p)
woman, wife bairee (f) bairiyun (p) mayee (f) mayuun (p) bairi bairi/patni/wavh aurat (f) auratayn (p) bivi/patni
food khaau Khado khana
fan pankho Pakho/pankho pankho Pankha

Articles and determiner

There is no equivalent for the definite article the, and the indefinite article a is further inflected as masculine or feminine with its object.

Pronouns

The second person nominative pronoun 'you' is expressed two different ways: the polite form aaen (cognate with avheen in standard Sindhi), generally used for respected strangers, the elderly, parents and older relatives, and the familiar form tu, used among close friends and when addressing subordinates. The accusative, possessive and reflexive pronouns are often inflected for masculine and feminine and their gender must agree with their referents.

See also: Urdu pronouns

Example

English Memoni Sindhi Kutchi Gujarati
I aaun aaun/Maan aaun hun
We asaan asaan/aseen/paan asaan/paan ame
You (polite) singular or

plural

aaen tawhan/awha/tawheen/awheen aaen tamey
you (informal or intimate) tu tu/tun tu tu

In most Indic languages regarding the third person such as, he, she, it and they and the demonstrative pronouns this, these, that, those, the same pronouns are used. They are divided into two categories, one for a near object or person and the other for a far object or person.

Example 2

English Memoni Sindhi Kutchi Gujrati
She, he, it, they, this, these (near) ee/hee hee/ehyo (m) hiye/ehya (f) hee aa
She, he, it, they, that, those (far) ou/hoo hoo/uhwo (m), hoowa/uhwa (f) hoo pela

No significant differences are made among the object, possessive and reflexive pronouns. In addition these pronouns are further inflected for masculine and feminine and must agree with the object (noun, pronouns, adjective and adverbs).

Verbs

Verbs are generally conjugated according to person, number, tense, aspect, mood and voice. They may also agree with the person gender, and/or number of some of their other arguments, including the object. The verb generally appears at the end of the sentence.

Adjectives

Like English, the position of the adjectives nearly always appears immediately before the noun and they are modified and often inflected for masculine and feminine and must agree with the noun that follows. The proposition generally comes after a noun or a verb.

Script

In the past[when?] there have been some attempts to write the Memoni dialect using the Gujarati, and later, Urdu, scripts with little success. Some attempts have been made to write Memoni using the Latin script.

References

  1. ^ Wajihuddin, Mohammed (February 14, 2014). "Memon association to congregate today". The Times of India. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  2. ^ "Memoni a new Language Born by Abdul Razzak ... - Memon Books".
  3. ^ Mussarat Khalil, Syed (25 May 2016). "MWS honors inventor of Memon language alphabets". Saudi Gazette.
  4. ^ Memoni Language Project

Reference: Origin of Memoni Language a Memoni Language Project by Siddique Katiya