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The purpose of this sociolinguistic survey was to assess the need for mother tongue language
development and literacy work in the Bagri language (ISO 639–3: bgq). Bagri is spoken in
Rajasthan, Punjab, and Haryana states in India and in Pakistan; this survey focused on Bagri
speech varieties in India. The fieldwork was conducted during October and November 2004.
The researchers used wordlist comparisons, Hindi Sentence Repetition Testing (SRT),
sociolinguistic questionnaires, informal interviews, and observations. The findings indicate that
the Bagri language shows strong vitality. Tested, self–reported, and observed levels of
proficiency in Hindi vary among Bagri speakers. In general, people who are less educated and
who live in more rural settings show lower levels of Hindi bilingual ability. The researchers
concluded that Bagri speakers would benefit from a vernacular language programme. Wordlist
comparisons showed fairly high lexical similarity percentages among Bagri speech varieties
across the entire language area in India. Dialect intelligibility testing is needed to further
clarify which Bagri variety might serve as a central variety. Pending completion of such testing,
language development could be started using one of the varieties from either the Ganganagar
or Hanumangarh districts of Rajasthan, where the majority of Bagri speakers in India are