|? • ?|
|Native to||India and Nepal|
|51 million, partial count (2011 census)|
(additional speakers counted under Hindi)
Official language in
|Fiji (as Fiji Hindi)|
Bhojpuri-speaking regions of India
Bhojpuri (; ? (help·info)) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken predominantly in the Bhojpur-Purvanchal region of India and the Terai region of Nepal. It is chiefly spoken in western Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh, and northwestern Jharkhand. Sociolinguistically, Bhojpuri is often considered one of several Hindi dialects. The language is a minority language in Fiji, Guyana, Mauritius, South Africa, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
Fiji Hindi, an official language of Fiji, is a variant of Awadhi and Bhojpuri. Caribbean Hindustani, another variant of Awadhi and Bhojpuri, is spoken by the Indo-Caribbean people. It has experienced lexical influence from Caribbean English in Trinidad and Tobago and in Guyana. In Suriname, languages that have lexically influenced it include Sranan Tongo Creole, Surinamese Dutch and English. Another dialect is spoken in Mauritius; its use is declining. As of 2000 , it is spoken by about 5% of the country's population.
The word Bhojpuri is derived from Bhojpur. After the conquest of Chero and Ujjainiya Rajputs in 12th century, the Ujjainiyas, who were the descendants of Raja Bhoj captured Shahabad and named their Capital Bhojpur (City of Raja Bhoj). The seat of their government were Bhojpur village which was near Dumraon in Buxar. Two villages named Chhotka Bhojpur and Barka Bhojpur still exist in Buxar, where the ruins of their Navratna Fortress still can be seen. Slowly the word Bhojpur became the synonyms of the Shahabad or Arrah region (Today's Bhojpur district, Buxar, Kaimur and Rohtas) and the adjective Bhojpuri or Bhojpuriya extended to mean the language or people of Bhojpur and even beyond it. Apart from Bhojpuri in the Eastern UP and Western Bihar, there were other names also for the language and people, at different places, the Bhojpuriya in Mughal armies were used to called Buxariya. In Bengal, they called Paschhimas (Westerners) and Bhojpuri people also called them Deshwali or Khoa, in upper provinces like Oudh they called Purabiya. Besides these, Banarasi, Chhaprahiya, and Bangarahi has also used for the language and People. Rahul Sankrityayan has suggested two names for it i.e. Mallika or Malli (due to ancient kingdom of Malla) and Kashiki (due to ancient Kashi). The Girmityas who were taken to British colonies called it Hindustani and it became Sarnami Hindustani in Suriname and Caribbean Hindustani in Caribbean.
Bhojpuri is a descendant of Magadhi Prakrit which started taking in shape during the reign of Vardhana dynasty. Babhaa, in his Harshacharita has mentioned two poets named Is?nchandra and Benibh?rata who used to write in local language instead of Prakrit and Sanskrit. The earliest form of Bhojpuri can be traced in the Siddha Sahitya and Charyapada as early as 8th century A.D.. Between 11th to 14th century A.D. the Folklores like Lorikayan, Sorathi Birjabhar etc. came in to existence. In 15th to 18th century, Kabir and other saints created many Bhajans in Bhojpuri.
Between 1838 and 1917, many Bhojpuriyas were taken to British colonies like Mauritius, Suriname and Caribbean islands were Bhojpuri language also went. Music traditions like Chutney music, Baithak Gana, Geet Gawanai took birth in those countries.
In 19th century, notable works like Devakshara Charita, Badmash Darpan were published. Bhikhari Thakur, in 20th century contributed significantly to Bhojpuri literature and theatre with his notable plays like Bidesiya, Beti Bechwa, Gabarghichor and novels like Bindia and Phulsunghi were published. In 1962, the first Bhojpuri film, Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo was released and became the founding stone of the Bhojpuri film industry.
The Bhojpuri-speaking region covers the area of 73,000 square kilometres approximately in India and Nepal and borders the Awadhi-speaking region to the west, the Nepali-speaking region to the north, the Magahi and Maithili-speaking regions to the east and the Magahi and Bagheli-speaking regions to the south. In Nepal, Bhojpuri is a major language. Bhojpuri-speaking Muslims live in Bangladesh. Their population is lower than that of Bhojpuri speakers in Mauritius, South Africa, Fiji and Caribbean nations.[clarification needed]
Bhojpuri is spoken by descendants of indentured labourers brought in the 19th and early 20th centuries for work in plantations in British colonies. These Bhojpuri speakers live in Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, Fiji, Jamaica, South Africa and other parts of the Caribbean.
Bhojpuri is an Indo-European language and belongs to the Eastern Indo-Aryan group of the Indo-Aryan languages. The Magahi and Maithili languages of Eastern Indo-Aryan group are closest living relatives of Bhojpuri, Bengali and Assamese are also closely related. Bhojpuri along with Magahi and Maithili, are grouped together as the Bihari languages. Together with the other branches of Eastern Indo-Aryan, the Bihari languages are considered to be direct descendants of the Magadhi Prakrit.
Bhojpuri is classified as a Eastern Indo-Aryan Language because it has similar inflexion system to the other languages of the same family such as Bengali, Maithili and Odia. For example, the pronunciation of the vowel a is broad in Eastern Indo-Aryan languages, and sounds like o in Bengali, on moving westwards it becomes less broad but still can be differentiated from the sharp cut a in Middle Indo-Aryan. In Bhojpuri, the clear cut a and the drawled a, which sounds like aw in the word awl are present and the contrast between the two gives a different tone to the language. This drawled a is represented by Avagraha (?), for instance, the word dekh'la', you see, is written as ?. Other property of Eastern Indo Aryan languages is that the adjectives doesn't change with the noun. For instance mo feminine form mo in Hindi but in Bhojpuri only mo? is used as in Bengali. The past and future tense in Bhojpuri is formed in same way as other Eastern Indo-Aryan Languages, by adding a suffix stating from -la and -ba respectively to the verb. Form example, I shall See, in Bengali is dekh-bo and in Bhojpuri is dekh-ab.
Some scholars has also divided the East Indo Aryan or Magadhan languages in to three sub-groups viz. Western, Central and Eastern. Bengali, Assamese, Odia belongs to Eastern Magadhan, Maithili and Magahi to Central and Bhojpuri to western. Bhojpuri is classified as Western Magadhan because it has some properties which are peculiar to itself and are not present in other Magadhan Languages. Some striking differences are:
Southern Standard Bhojpuri is prevalent in the Shahabad district (Buxar, Bhojpur, Rohtas, and Kaimur districts) and the Saran region (Saran, Siwan and Gopalganj districts) in Bihar, and the eastern Azamgarh (Ballia and Mau districts) and Varanasi (eastern part of Ghazipur district) regions in Uttar Pradesh. The dialect is also known as Kharwari. It can be further divided into Shahabadi, Chhaprahiya and Pachhimahi.
Northern Bhojpuri is common in the border areas of Tirhut division ( parts of west Champaran districts) in Bihar, and Gorakhpur division (Deoria, Kushinagar, Gorakhpur, and Maharajganj districts) and Basti division (Basti, Sidharthanagar, and Sant Kabir Nagar districts) in Uttar Pradesh. It is also spoken in Nepal.
Western Bhojpuri is prevalent in the areas of Varanasi (Varanasi, Chandauli, Jaunpur, and the western part of Ghazipur district), Azamgarh (Azamgarh district), and Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, Sant Ravidas Nagar, and Bhadohi districts) in Uttar Pradesh. Banarasi is a local name for Bhojpuri, named after Banaras.[clarification needed] Other names for Western Bhojpuri include Purbi and Benarsi.
Nagpuria Bhojpuri is the southernmost popular dialect, found in the Chota Nagpur Plateau of Jharkhand, particularly parts of Palamau and Ranchi. It has been influenced more by the Magahi language than by other dialects. It is sometimes referred to as Sadari.
A more specific classification recognises the dialects of Bhojpuri as Bhojpuri Tharu, Domra, Madhesi, Musahari, Northern Standard Bhojpuri (Basti, Gorakhpuri, Sarawaria), Southern Standard Bhojpuri (Kharwari), and Western Standard Bhojpuri (Benarsi, Purbi).
|Approximant||w ~ ?||l||j|
Among the seven languages which are sociolinguistically often counted as Hindi dialects (Haryanvi, Braj, Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Bundeli, Bagheli, and Kannauji), Bhojpuri has the most allophonic variations in vowels.
Bhojpuri has 6 vowel phonemes and 10 vocoids. The higher vowels are relatively tense, and the lower vowels are relatively lax. The language has 31 consonant phonemes and 34 contoids (6 bilabial, 4 apico-dental, 5 apico-alveolar, 7 retroflex, 6 alveo-palatal, 5 dorso-velar, and 1 glottal).
Linguist Robert L. Trammell published the phonology of Northern Standard Bhojpuri in 1971. According to him, the syllable system is peak type: every syllable has the vowel phoneme as the highest point of sonority. Codas may consist of one, two, or three consonants. Vowels occur as simple peaks or as peak nuclei in diphthongs. The intonation system involves 4 pitch levels and 3 terminal contours.
As per George Abraham Grierson, the grammar of Bhojpuri is more simple than other language of the same family. Nouns in Bhojpuri has three forms viz. short, long and reduntant. The adjectives of nouns do not change with genders. Plurals are made by adding either the suffix -na or ni with the nouns or adding the multitudes such as sabh (all) or l?g (people).
|Definition||Singular Form||Plural Form|
Except few instances the Verb forms of Bhojpuri depend only on the subject and the object has no affect on it. Unlike other Eastern Indo-Aryan languages, Bhojpuri has a different verb forms for present tense, which corresponds to the Future forms of Nepali. It is formed by adding the suffix -l? to the present subjunctive. Therefore for the verb to see the Bhojpuri verb is dekhe and the present form is dhekhel?, which is peculiar to itself and is not found in other languages of the same family like Magahi (dekhaït haï), Maithili (dekhaït achi) and Bengali (dekhech?). The Verbs forms of second person singular (dekh'be; you will see) is consider vulgar in Bhojpuri, plural form (dekhab') is used in general. When it is desired to show respect the first person singular form (dekhab; I will see) is used instead of second person plural (dekhab'). To show plural number the suffix -sa' or -ja is also used with the 2nd and third person forms, thus dekhe-la'-sa' is they see. The present perfect form is made by adding ha' to the past form. Thus, ham dekh'li (I saw) is the past from and it's present perfect form is ham dekh'li ha' (I have seen). Past perfect in regular verbs are made by adding the suffix -al to the verb (dekh - dekhal), but in some cases it has irregular forms like kar (kail), mar (mual) etc.
Numerals of Bhojpuri take the classifier g? and ?h?, which emphasizes the countability and totality both. To show inclusiveness and exclusiveness, Bhojpuri used the suffixes -o and -e as in ham ?mo kh?ïb (I will eat mangoes too) verses ham ?me kh?ïb (I will eat only mangoes). These suffixes can be added to any lexical category such as numerals, adjectives etc.
The auxiliaries in Bhojpuri are formed on five bases viz. ha, ho, hokh, b, rah. These also act as the Copula. The b form provides for the tenses and the hokh or ho form provides for the modes, where as rah is the past of other three.
Kaithi script was used for administrative purposes in the Mughal era for writing Bhojpuri, Awadhi, Maithili, Magahi, and Hindustani from at least the 16th century up to the first decade of the 20th century. Government gazetteers[who?] report that Kaithi was used in a few districts of Bihar throughout the 1960s. Bhojpuri residents of India who moved to British colonies in Africa, the Indian Ocean, and the Caribbean in the 19th and early 20th centuries used both Kaithi and Devanagari scripts.
By 1894 both Kaithi and Devanagari became common scripts to write official texts in Bihar. At present almost all Bhojpuri texts are written in Devanagari, even in islands outside of India where Bhojpuri is spoken. In Mauritius, Kaithi script was historically considered informal, and Devanagari was sometimes spelled as Devanagri. In modern Mauritius, the major script is Devanagari.
Bhojpuri syntax and vocabulary reflects a three-tier system of politeness. Any verb can be conjugated through these tiers. The verb to come in Bhojpuri is aana and the verb to speak is bolna. The imperatives come! and speak! can be conjugated in five ways, each marking subtle variation in politeness and propriety. These permutations exclude a host of auxiliary verbs and expressions, which can be added to verbs to add another degree of subtle variation. For extremely polite or formal situations, the pronoun is generally omitted.
|Casual and intimate||[tu]||[tu] b?l|
|Polite and intimate||[tum] ?v'||[tum] b?l'|
|Formal yet intimate||[rau'?] ñ||[rau'?] b?l?ñ|
|Polite and formal||[?pne] ñ||[?p] b?l?ñ|
|Extremely formal||?wal j?'e||b?lal j?'e|
Similarly, adjectives are marked for politeness and formality. The adjective your has several forms with different tones of politeness: tum (casual and intimate), "t?h?r" (polite and intimate), "t'h?r" (formal yet intimate), r?'ur (polite and formal) and ?pke (extremely formal). Although there are many tiers of politeness, Bhojpuri speakers mainly use the form tum to address a younger individual and aap for an individual who is older, or holds a higher position in workplace situations.
Greater official recognition of Bhojpuri, such as by inclusion in the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India, has been demanded.[by whom?] In 2018, Bhojpuri was given second-language status in Jharkhand state of India. It holds the status of a recognised national language in Nepal.
Bhojpuri is taught in matriculation and at the higher secondary level in the Bihar School Education Board and the Board of High School and Intermediate Education Uttar Pradesh. It is also taught in various universities in India, such as Veer Kunwar Singh University, Banaras Hindu University, Nalanda Open University, and Dr. Shakuntala Misra National Rehabilitation University.
Lorikayan, the story of Veer Lorik contains Bhojpuri folklore from Eastern Uttar Pradesh. Bhikhari Thakur's Bidesiya is a play, written as a book. Phool Daliya is a well-known book by Prasiddh Narayan Singh. It comprises poems of veer ras (A style of writing) on the theme of azaadi (Freedom) about his experiences in the Quit India movement and India's struggle with poverty after the country gained independence.
Many Bhojpuri magazines and papers are published in Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh. Several Bhojpuri newspapers are available locally in North India; they are not wealthy enough to be published online. Parichhan is a contemporary literary-cultural Maithili-Bhojpuri magazine, published by a Maithili-Bhojpuri academy and the government of Delhi, and edited by Parichay Das. The Sunday Indian, Bhojpuri is a regular national news magazine in Bhojpuri. Aakhar is a monthly online Bhojpuri literature magazine. Other media in Bhojpuri include Lok Lucknow, and the channels Mahuaa TV and Hamar TV. Bhojpuri Wikipedia was launched in 2003.
Bhojpuri vocabularies have almost over 90% lexicon similarity with Hindi based on Swadesh List. Also, some word (leaving out Persian/Arabic/Turkic loan words, which are evenly spread throughout Hindi belt) shows similarity with western Hindi languages like Braj Bhasha and Haryanvi as well Punjabi and Bengali. Here are some examples.
|To take out||Kadhna||Kadhna (Haryanvi, Rajasthani)|
|English||Bhojpuri (Latin script)||? ( ; Kaithi)||? ( ?; Devanagari)|
|Hello||Raam Raam / Parnaam||/||/|
|Welcome/Please come in||Aain na|
|How are you?||Ka haal ba? / kaisan hava?||/? ?||/ ? ?|
|I'm good. And you?||Hum theek baani. Aur rauwa?||/ ?||/ ?|
|What is your name?||Tohaar naav ka ha? / Raur naav ka ha?||? /? ?||? / ? ?|
|My name is ...||Hamar naav ... ha||? ? ...||? ? ... ?|
|What's up?||Kaa hot aa?|
|I love you||Hum tohse pyaar kare ni / Hum tohra se pyaar kare ni||/||/|
The following is Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in four languages:
? ? ? ? ? ? - ? ? ?
? ? ? ? ? ? - ? ? ? 
71. Bhojpuri Association of Singapore (www.BhojpuriSingapore.org)