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Language Spoken

Located in the western coast of India, Gujarat is known for its local language Gujarati. But there are other languages also which are spoken here in Gujarat like Sindhi, English, and Hindi. Gujarati is particularly known to be a language that belonged to Indo-Aryan era while is believed to have been descended from ancient language Sanskrit. There are some language scholars that say that this language is sub set of bigger Indo European family. This language is the main language of state Gujarat together with the Union territories of Daman and Diu, and Dadar and Nagar Haveli.

As native to Gujarat, Dadar and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, this Indo Aryan language is very famous. Belonging to the larger part of Indo European language family, Gujarati is derived from the old Gujarati language (1100-1500 AD) which forms an ancestor language of the contemporary Rajasthani and Gujarati languages. This language is also known as the chief language of Gujarat.

As per the Central Intelligence Agency, approximately 4.5% of the Indian populace speaks Gujarati and this amounts to approximately 54.6 million speakers of Gujarati language in India. There are nearly 65.5 million speakers of Gujarati language all across the world, which makes it rank at 26th number out of the most spoken native languages in the world. When compared with Sindhi and Romani, Gujarati is amongst the most western of the Indo Aryan languages. It is also said that Gujarati was the 1st language of Sardar Vallabhbahi Patel who is called the Iron Man of India and Mohan Das Karamchand Gandhi who is acknowledged as the Father of Nation. Some other prominent personalities who spoke this language included Swami Dayananda Sarawati, J.R.D Tata, Dhirubhai Ambani, Narsinh Mehta, Morarji Desai and Muhammad Ali Jinnah who is acknowledged as the Father of Nation of Pakistan.

Nearly 46 million people all across the world speak Gujarati. Ranked at 26th number, this native language is popular in entire world. Gujarati also acknowledged as one of the westernized Indo Aryan languages was the mother tongue of Mahatma Gandhi also called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi; Mohammad Ali Jinnah called the Father of Pakistan together with Sardar Vallabhai Patel known as the Iron Man of India.

Gujarati is the native and official language of Gujarat, which is located on the west coast of India, covering an area of 196, 024 km2. Within the Republic of nation, Gujarat shares its boundaries with Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan while also shares its boundaries with Pakistan from the northwest side. Some other languages that are commonly spoken here are Marathi, Hindi, and Marwari. As per the census 1991, it is said that 40,673,814 speakers, account for nearly 5% of the whole populace. This also includes the Gujaratis that live outside the state like in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra. The city Mumbai too has substantial populace of Gujaratis. The speakers of Gujarati also live in many other countries like Canada, United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Fiji, Singapore, and Pakistan.

Official Status

Gujarati is called the one of the 22 official languages and 14 regional languages of India. Gujarati is officially acknowledged in Gujarat, India.

Historical Stages of Gujarati


Old Gujarati

Also known as the ancestral language of Rajasthan and Gujarat, the Gurjars from the northern part of Gujarat and Western part of Rajasthan spoke old Gujarati language. Though most of the scholars name it old Gujarati, yet many of these prefer calling it old western Rajasthan. An eminent scholar and Jain monk, Hemachandra Suri composed the formal grammar of old Gujarati during the rule of Rajput King Siddharaj Jayasinh.

Middle Gujarati

This language was developed during the times of 1500 AD to 1800 AD. This language was a split off from Rajasthan while developed some prominent kinds of phonemes.

Modern Gujarati

This kind of language was originated during the 18th century while has been used since then. During the 3rd quarter of 19th century, prominent milestones were done for this language, which till then used to have verses as its primary mode of literary compositions.

  1. The initial 1840s experienced the 1st personal diary composition which is called Nityanondh.

  2. The year 1866 saw the 1st novel in Gujarati language “Karan Ghelo”

  3. In the similar year, an autobiography was released in Gujarati.

Of nearly 46 million Gujarati speakers, approximately 45.5 million live in India, while 10,000 in Pakistan, 50,000 in Kenya, 250,000 in Tanzania and 150,000 live in Uganda. One can also find a large section of Gujarati community speakers in Mumbai.

Out of the 22 official languages in India, Gujarati is one of the popular ones. If you are in Gujarat, you will find that even Gujaratis have array of dialects. Most of these have either been borrowed or are enriched by Hindi, English, Portuguese, Persian, and Arabic.

Tribal Languages of Gujarat


Language of Siddi Tribe

The language of Siddi tribe is basically a combination of both Siddi Marathi and Siddi Konkani. Few other languages which are popular are Gujarati and Kannada.

Language of Dhodia Tribes

The Dhodia tribe speaks Dhodia and Bhil Language. Few years ago, prosperity in the State of Gujarat allured people from different surrounding places.

Language of Kunbi Warli Tribe

The Warli and Kunbi tribe speaks Gujarati language.

Grammar

Known as left branching, Gujarati is a head final language. In this language, there are postpositions; direct objects are used ahead verbs while adjectives are used before nouns. The word order of Gujarati language is SOV while there are 3 genders and 2 numbers. This language has no indefinite or definite articles. A verb is expressed together with the verbal root which is followed by the suffixes which mark aspect and agreement known as the main form, together with a potential proceeding auxiliary form that is derived from to be, thereby marking mood and tense, reflecting agreement. Passives or causatives have morphological basis.

Influence on other Languages

Taken words by other languages, Gujarati might have exerted immense influence on Saurashtra, as it is this region of which the languages are named from while are speculated to have originated from Gujarati regions. The Divehi and Sinhala speakers might have moved from Gujarat, and this is backed by the Gujarati contribution in their particular genetics. Gujarati and Konkani have many similarities.

Writing System

Just as same to the Nagari writing system, the language Gujarati is an abugida. The language is used for writing Kutchi and Gujarati languages. It is also a variant of Devnagri script which is distinguished by the loss of attribute horizontal line running over the letters together with small number of alterations in the left over characters. Gujarati along with the other related languages encompassing Kutchi, can be composed in Persian and Arabic scripts. This is conventionally done by most of the Gujarat’s Kutch district.

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