India, Punjabi New Testament-Singh and Loehlin
Publisher: American New Testament Society - April 2005
About the Language:
Punjabi (پنجابی in Shahmukhi script), (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ in Gurmukhi script), (Pa?ābī in transliteration) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region (in Pakistan and India) and their diasporas. Speakers include adherents of the religions of Islam, Sikhism and Hinduism.
According to various sources, Punjabi has approximately 88 million native speakers, which makes it approximately the 11th most widely spoken language in the world. According to the Ethnologue 2005 estimate, there are 88 million native speakers of the Punjabi language. According to the 2002 Census of Pakistan, there are approximately 63 million native speakers of Punjabi in Pakistan, and according to the Census of India, there are over 29 million Punjabi speakers in India.
Along with Lahnda and Western Pahari languages, Punjabi is unusual among modern Indo-European languages in being a tonal language.
In his Linguistic Survey of India, the linguist George Abraham Grierson used the word "Punjabi" to refer to several languages spoken in the Punjab region: the term "Western Punjabi" (ISO 639-3 pnb) covered Saraiki, while the term "Eastern Punjabi" referred to the language based on Majhi dialect (ISO 639-3 pan). The term "Punjabi language" today generally refers to "Eastern Punjabi" i.e. the language based on the Majhi dialect of the historical region of Majha, which spans the Lahore, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Gujranwala, Sialkot and Narowal Districts of the Pakistani Province of Punjab and Amritsar District and Gurdaspur District of the Indian State of Punjab.
Punjabi is a significant language for the Sikhs, and Punjabi's population of speakers is one of the greatest of the Indian subcontinent and indeed the world. The majority of Punjabi speakers live in Pakistan, where they form about half of that country's population, but the language has no official status in Pakistan at all, and it is not much used as a written language there in comparison to Urdu.