Gujarati (also sometimes spelled Gujerati, Gujarathi, Guzratee, Guujaratee, Gujrathi, and Gujerathi) is a modern IA (Indo-Aryan) language evolved from Sanskrit. The traditional practice is to differentiate the IA languages on the basis of three historical stages:
- Old IA (Vedic and Classical Sanskrit)
- Middle IA (various Prakrits and Apabhramshas)
- New IA (modern languages such as Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, etc.)
Another view postulates successive family tree splits, in which Gujarati is assumed to have separated from other IA languages in four stages:
- IA languages split into Northern, Eastern, and Western divisions based on the innovate characteristics such as plosives becoming voiced in the Northern (Skt. danta "tooth" > Punj. dānd) and dental and retroflex sibilants merging with the palatal in the Eastern (Skt. sandhya "evening" > Beng. śājh).
- Western, into Central and Southern.
- Central, in Gujarati/Rajasthani, Western Hindi, and Punjabi/Lahanda/Sindhi, on the basis of innovation of auxiliary verbs and postpositions in Gujarati/Rajasthani.
- Gujarati/Rajasthani into Gujarati and Rajasthani through development of such characteristics as auxiliary ch- and the possessive marker -n- during the 15th century.
The principal changes from Sanskrit are the following:Phonological
Loss of original phonemic length for vowels
Change of consonant clusters to geminate and then to single consonants (with compensatory vowel length)
Reduction in the number of compounds
Merger of the dual with plural
Replacement of case affixes by postpositions
Development of periphrastic tense/voice/mood constructions
More complex agreement system
Gujarati is then customarily divided into the following three historical stages:
A major phonological change was the deletion of final ə, such that the modern language has consonant-final words. Grammatically, a new plural marker of -o developed. In literature, the third quarter of the 19th century saw a series of milestones for Gujarati, which previously had had verse as its dominant mode of literary composition.The printing was introduced in Gujarati in 1812. The first printed book published was the Gujarati translation of Dabestan-e Mazaheb prepared and printed by Parsi priest Fardunjee Marzban in 1815.
1822, first Gujarati newspaper: Mumbai Samachar, the oldest newspaper in India still in circulation.
1840s, personal diary composition: Nityanondh, Durgaram Mehta.
1845, first modern Gujarati poem: Bapani Piparu (Father's Pipar Tree), Dalpatram
1851, first essay: Mandaḷī Maḷvāthi Thātā Lābh, Narmadashankar Dave
1866, first original novel: Karaṇ Ghelo, Nandshankar Mehta.
1866, first social novel: Sasu Vahu ni Ladai, Mahipatram Rupram Nilkanth
1866, first autobiography: Mārī Hakīkat, Narmadashankar Dave.
1900, first original short story: Shantidas, Ambalal Desai.
Of the approximately 46 million speakers of Gujarati in 1997, roughly 45.5 million resided in India, 150,000 in Uganda, 50,000 in Tanzania, 50,000 in Kenya and roughly 100,000 in Karachi, Pakistan, excluding several hundreds of thousands of Memonis who do not self-identify as Gujarati, but hail from a region within the state of Gujarat. However, Gujarati community leaders in Pakistan claim that there are 3 million Gujarati speakers in Karachi. There is a certain amount of Mauritian population and a large amount of Réunion Island people who are from Gujarati descent among which some of them still speak Gujarati.
A considerable Gujarati-speaking population exists in North America, most particularly in the New York City Metropolitan Area and in the Greater Toronto Area, which have over 100,000 speakers and over 75,000 speakers, respectively, but also throughout the major metropolitan areas of the United States and Canada. According to the 2011 census, Gujarati is the seventeenth most spoken language in the Greater Toronto Area, and the fourth most spoken South Asian language after Urdu, Punjabi and Tamil.
The UK has over 200,000 speakers, many of them situated in the London area, especially in North West London, but also in Birmingham, Manchester, and in Leicester, Coventry, Bradford and the former mill towns within Lancashire. A portion of these numbers consists of East African Gujaratis who, under increasing discrimination and policies of Africanisation in their newly independent resident countries (especially Uganda, where Idi Amin expelled 50,000 Asians), were left with uncertain futures and citizenships. Most, with British passports, settled in the UK. Gujarati is offered as a GCSE subject for students in the UK.
Besides being spoken by the Gujarati people, non-Gujarati residents of and migrants to the state of Gujarat also count as speakers, among them the Kutchis (as a literary language), the Parsis (adopted as a mother tongue), and Hindu Sindhi refugees from Pakistan. A distribution of the geographical area can be found in 'Linguistic Survey of India' by George A. Grierson.
Gujarati is one of the twenty-two recognized constitutional languages and fourteen regional languages of India. It is officially recognized in the state of Gujarat, India.
In A simplified grammar of the Gujarati language (1892) by William Tisdall, two major dialects of Gujarati are mentioned: a standard 'Hindu' dialect and a 'Parsi' dialect. However, Gujarati has undergone contemporary reclassification with respect to the widespread regional differences in vocabulary and phrasing; notwithstanding the number of poorly attested, dubiously cited dialects.Standard Gujarati: primarily spoken in the Saurashtra region, this forms something of a standardised variant of Gujarati across news, education and government.
Gamadia: spoken primarily in Ahmedabad and the surrounding regions.
Parsi: the aforementioned variety spoken by the Zoroastrian Parsi minority. This highly distinctive variety has been subject to considerable lexical influence by Avestan, the liturgical Zoroastrian language.
Khatiawari: spoken primarily in the Kathiawar region.
Kharwa, Kakari and Tarimuki are also often cited as additional varieties of Gujarati by Ethnologue.
Kutchi is often referred to as a dialect of Gujarati, but most linguists consider it closer to Sindhi. In addition, a mixture between Sindhi, Gujarati, and Kutchi called Memoni is related to Gujarati, albeit distantly..
Furthermore, words used by the native languages of areas where the Gujarati people have become a diaspora community, such as East Africa (Swahili), have become loanwords in local dialects of Gujarati.
Similar to other Nāgarī writing systems, the Gujarati script is an abugida. It is used to write the Gujarati and Kutchi languages. It is a variant of Devanāgarī script differentiated by the loss of the characteristic horizontal line running above the letters and by a small number of modifications in the remaining characters.
Gujarati and closely related languages, including Kutchi, can be written in the Arabic or Persian scripts. This is traditionally done by many in Gujarat's Kutch district.
These are the three general categories of words in modern Indo-Aryan: tatsam, tadbhav, and loanwords.
તદ્ભવ tadbhava, "of the nature of that". Gujarati is a modern Indo-Aryan language descended from Sanskrit (old Indo-Aryan), and this category pertains exactly to that: words of Sanskritic origin that have demonstratively undergone change over the ages, ending up characteristic of modern Indo-Aryan languages specifically as well as in general. Thus the "that" in "of the nature of that" refers to Sanskrit. They tend to be non-technical, everyday, crucial words; part of the spoken vernacular. Below is a table of a few Gujarati tadbhav words and their Old Indo-Aryan sources:
તત્સમ tatsama, "same as that". While Sanskrit eventually stopped being spoken vernacularly, in that it changed into Middle Indo-Aryan, it was nonetheless standardized and retained as a literary and liturgical language for long after. This category consists of these borrowed words of (more or less) pure Sanskrit character. They serve to enrich Gujarati and modern Indo-Aryan in its formal, technical, and religious vocabulary. They are recognizable by their Sanskrit inflections and markings; they are thus often treated as a separate grammatical category unto themselves.
Many old tatsam words have changed their meanings or have had their meanings adopted for modern times. પ્રસારણ prasāraṇ means "spreading", but now it is used for "broadcasting". In addition to this are neologisms, often being calques. An example is telephone, which is Greek for "far talk", translated as દુરભાષ durbhāṣ. Though most people just use ફોન phon and thus neo-Sanskrit has varying degrees of acceptance.
So, while having unique tadbhav sets, modern IA languages have a common, higher tatsam pool. Also, tatsams and their derived tadbhavs can also co-exist in a language; sometimes of no consequence and at other times with differences in meaning:
What remains are words of foreign origin (videśī), as well as words of local origin that cannot be pegged as belonging to any of the three prior categories (deśaj). The former consists mainly of Persian, Arabic, and English, with trace elements of Portuguese and Turkish. While the phenomenon of English loanwords is relatively new, Perso-Arabic has a longer history behind it. Both English and Perso-Arabic influences are quite nationwide phenomena, in a way paralleling tatsam as a common vocabulary set or bank. What's more is how, beyond a transposition into general Indo-Aryan, the Perso-Arabic set has also been assimilated in a manner characteristic and relevant to the specific Indo-Aryan language it is being used in, bringing to mind tadbhav.
India was ruled for many a century by Persian-speaking Muslims, amongst the most notable being the Turko-Afghan Delhi Sultanate, and the Turco-Mongol Mughal dynasty. As a consequence Indian languages were changed greatly, with the large scale entry of Persian and its many Arabic loans into the Gujarati lexicon. One fundamental adoption was Persian's conjunction "that", ke. Also, while tatsam or Sanskrit is etymologically continuous to Gujarati, it is essentially of a differing grammar (or language), and that in comparison while Perso-Arabic is etymologically foreign, it has been in certain instances and to varying degrees grammatically indigenized. Owing to centuries of situation and the end of Persian education and power, (1) Perso-Arabic loans are quite unlikely to be thought of or known as loans, and (2) more importantly, these loans have often been Gujarati-ized. dāvo – claim, fāydo – benefit, natījo – result, and hamlo – attack, all carry Gujarati's masculine gender marker, o. khānũ – compartment, has the neuter ũ. Aside from easy slotting with the auxiliary karvũ, a few words have made a complete transition of verbification: kabūlvũ – to admit (fault), kharīdvũ – to buy, kharǎcvũ – to spend (money), gujarvũ – to pass. The last three are definite part and parcel.
Below is a table displaying a number of these loans. Currently some of the etymologies are being referenced to an Urdu dictionary, so it should be noted that Gujarati's singular masculine o corresponds to Urdu ā, neuter ũ groups into ā as Urdu has no neuter gender, and Urdu's Persian z is not upheld in Gujarati and corresponds to j or jh. In contrast to modern Persian, the pronunciation of these loans into Gujarati and other Indo-Aryan languages, as well as that of Indian-recited Persian, seems to be in line with Persian spoken in Afghanistan and Central Asia, perhaps 500 years ago.
Lastly, Persian, being part of the Indo-Iranian language family as Sanskrit and Gujarati are, met up in some instances with its cognates:
Zoroastrian Persian refugees known as Parsis also speak an accordingly Persianized form of Gujarati.
With the end of Perso-Arabic inflow, English became the current foreign source of new vocabulary. English had and continues to have a considerable influence over Indian languages. Loanwords include new innovations and concepts, first introduced directly through British colonialism, and then streaming in on the basis of continued English language dominance in the post-colonial period. Besides the category of new ideas is the category of English words that already have Gujarati counterparts which end up replaced or existed alongside with. The major driving force behind this latter category has to be the continuing role of English in modern India as a language of education, prestige, and mobility. In this way, Indian speech can be sprinkled with English words and expressions, even switches to whole sentences. See Hinglish, Code-switching.
In matters of sound, English alveolar consonants map as retroflexes rather than dentals. Two new characters were created in Gujarati to represent English /æ/'s and /ɔ/'s. Levels of Gujarati-ization in sound vary. Some words don't go far beyond this basic transpositional rule, and sound much like their English source, while others differ in ways, one of those ways being the carrying of dentals. See Indian English.
As English loanwards are a relatively new phenomenon, they adhere to English grammar, as tatsam words adhere to Sanskrit. Though that isn't to say that the most basic changes have been underway: many English words are pluralized with Gujarati o over English "s". Also, with Gujarati having 3 genders, genderless English words must take one. Though often inexplicable, gender assignment may follow the same basis as it is expressed in Gujarati: vowel type, and the nature of word meaning.1 These English forms are often used (prominently by NRIs) for those family friends and elders that aren't actually uncles and aunts but are of the age.
The smaller foothold the Portuguese had in wider India had linguistic effects. Gujarati took up a number of words, while elsewhere the influence was great enough to the extent that creole languages came to be (see Portuguese India, Portuguese-based creole languages in India and Sri Lanka). Comparatively, the impact of Portuguese has been greater on coastal languages and their loans tend to be closer to the Portuguese originals. The source dialect of these loans imparts an earlier pronunciation of ch as an affricate instead of the current standard of [ʃ].1
Common occupational surname.
Gujarati is a head-final, or left-branching language. Adjectives precede nouns, direct objects come before verbs, and there are postpositions. The word order of Gujarati is SOV, and there are three genders and two numbers. There are no definite or indefinite articles. A verb is expressed with its verbal root followed by suffixes marking aspect and agreement in what is called a main form, with a possible proceeding auxiliary form derived from to be, marking tense and mood, and also showing agreement. Causatives (up to double) and passives have morphological basis'.Gujarati script —
Devanagari script –
jag prasiddh dāṇḍī kūch pachhī gāndhījīe ahī̃ āmbānā vrukṣh nīche khajūrī nā̃ chaṭiyā̃nī ek jhū̃pṛīmā̃ tā.14-4-1930 thī tā.4-5-1930 sudhī nivās karyo hato. dāṇḍīmā̃ chaṭhṭhī april e śharū karelī nimak kānūn bhaṅgnī laṛatne temṇe ahī̃thī veg āpī deśh vyāpī banāvī hatī. ahī̃thīj temṇe dharāsaṇānā mīṭhānā agaro taraph kūch karvāno potāno saṅkalp briṭiśh vāīsarôyne patra lakhīne jaṇāvyo hato.
tā.4thī me 1930nī rātnā bār vāgyā pachī ā sthaḷethī briṭiśh sarkāre temnī dharpakaṛ karī hatī.
Transcription (IPA) —
d͡ʒəɡ pɾəsɪd̪d̪ʱ ɖɑɳɖi kut͡ʃ pət͡ʃʰi ɡɑn̪d̪ʱid͡ʒie ə̤ȷ̃ ɑmbɑnɑ ʋɾʊkʃ nit͡ʃe kʰəd͡ʒuɾnɑ̃ t͡ʃʰəʈijɑ̃ni ek d͡ʒʱũpɽimɑ̃ t̪ɑ _________t̪ʰi t̪ɑ._______ sud̪ʱi niʋɑs kəɾjot̪o. ɖɑɳɖimɑ̃ t͡ʃʰəʈʰʈʰi epɾile ʃəɾu kəɾeli nimək kɑnun bʱəŋɡni ləɽət̪ne t̪ɛmɳe ə̤ȷ̃t̪ʰi ʋeɡ ɑpi deʃ ʋjɑpi bənɑʋit̪i. ə̤ȷ̃t̪ʰid͡ʒ t̪ɛmɳe d̪ʱəɾɑsəɽ̃ɑnɑ miʈʰɑnɑ əɡəɾo t̪əɾəf kut͡ʃ kəɾʋɑno pot̪ɑno səŋkəlp bɾiʈiʃ ʋɑjsəɾɔjne pət̪ɾə ləkʰine d͡ʒəɽ̃ɑʋjot̪o.
t̪ɑ.__t̪ʰi me ____ni ɾɑt̪nɑ bɑɾ ʋɑɡjɑ pət͡ʃʰi ɑ st̪ʰəɭet̪ʰi bɾiʈiʃ səɾkɑɾe t̪ɛmni d̪ʱəɾpəkəɽ kəɾit̪i.
Simple gloss —
world famous dandi march after gandhiji here mango's tree under palm date's bark's one hut-in date.14-4-1930-from date.4-5-1930 until residence done was. dandi-in sixth april-at started done salt law break's fight (-to) he here-from speed gave country wide made was. here
-from he dharasana's salt's mounds towards march doing's self's resolve british viceroy-to letter written-having notified was.
date.4-from May 1930's night's twelve struck after this place-at-from British government his arrest done was.
Transliteration and detailed gloss —
After the world-famous Dandi March Gandhiji resided here in a date palm bark hut underneath a/the mango tree, from 14-4-1930 to 4-5-1930. From here he gave speed to and spread country-wide the anti-Salt Law struggle, started in Dandi on 6 April. From here
, writing in a letter, he notified the British Viceroy of his resolve of marching towards the salt mounds of Dharasana.
The British government arrested him at this location, after twelve o'clock on the night of 4 May 1930.
Translation (provided at location) —
Here under the mango tree in the hut made of palm leaves (khajoori) Gandhiji stayed from 14-4-1930 to 4-5-1930 after the world famous Dandi march. From here he gave impetus to the civil disobedience movement for breaking the salt act started on 6 April at Dandi and turned it into a nationwide movement. It was also from this place that he wrote a letter to the British viceroy expressing his firm resolve to march to the salt works at Dharasana.
This is the place from where he was arrested by the British government after midnight on 4 May 1930.