The Pronunciation of Persian-origin Words among the Punjabi Speakers of Pakistan

Dr. Aamir Zaheer,

Lecturer, Department of French, Faculty of Languages, National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Pakistan


Persian is a modern Iranian language which developed from Middle Western Iranian which itself developed from Old Iranian, whereas Punjabi is the language of the region called ‘Punjab’. It is a Persian word which literally means “the land of five rivers”. The Punjab was divided on the base of religion into Pakistan and India in 1947 during the partition of British India. The Punjabi is a Northwestern Indo-Aryan language which issued from Sanskrit language via Prakrit and Apabhramsh. It is the most spoken language in Pakistan. The Persian and Punjabi both languages belong to Indo-Iranian branch of Indo-European Language family. The Punjabi language possesses a large quantity of Persian words being used in this language since ancient times. This study investigates the pronunciation of these Persian origin words present in the Punjabi language. We recorded and transcribed - in International Phonetic Alphabet - a list of these most common Persian loanwords articulated by some of Punjabi speakers of Pakistan. We found a large difference between two pronunciations especially in vocalic category. We made the categories of these pronunciation differences in order to understand how the Persian pronunciation of Punjabi speakers of Pakistan differs from modern standard Persian spoken in Iran. This study will help us to understand the cultural and linguistic relations between Iran and Pakistan.

Keywords: Persian, Punjabi, Pakistan, Iran, Pronunciation

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