Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies

Papers Contributed

Lahndā and Lahndī

George A. Grierson

In the Linguistic Survey of India the language spoken in the Western Panjāb is called Lahndā. Previously it had, in India, not been recognized as any independent form of speech, the many local dialects there spoken—Mūltānī, Sirāikī, Hindkī, Jaṭkī, and so on—being looked upon merely as so many dialects of Panjābī. Panjābīs themselves had no general name for this group as a separate entity. When they wished to express that idea they employed a periphrasis, such as Lahndē-dī bōlī, or “ the dialect of the West ”.

European scholars, however, had by that time long recognized the fact that a general name for the whole group was needed, and more than forty years ago one of the first describers of the language, Mr. Tisdall, named it “ the Lahindā ”, i.e. Lahndā, “ dialect.” I am not especially enamoured, myself, of this name, but as it had not been challenged for some thirty years, as it was not inconsistent with English idiom, and as no better name had been suggested, I employed it in the Survey.