Sociolinguistic survey of selected Rajasthani speech varieties of Rajasthan, India, Volume 1: Preliminary overview

Statement of Responsibility:
Samuvel, Nelson, Marshall Joshua, Binoy Koshy, Binny Abraham; Juliana Kelsall, editor

The purpose of this survey was to gain a better understanding of the major present-day speech varieties of Rajasthani spoken in India, in order to assess potential needs for further language development. The speech varieties covered include Dhundari (ISO 639-3: dhd), Godwari (ISO 639-3: gdx), Hadothi (ISO 639-3: hoj), Marwari (ISO 639-3: rwr), Merwari (ISO 639-3: wry), Mewari (ISO 639-3: mtr), Mewati (ISO 639-3: wtm), and Shekhawati (ISO 639-3: swv). Background research was done during December 2001 and the fieldwork was carried out from January through May 2002. In this report, we summarise extensive background research and information from interviews with Rajasthani scholars and poets. We collected sociolinguistic data from speakers of several Rajasthani dialects using wordlists, Recorded Text Testing (RTT), questionnaires, and observations. Our findings were that the speakers of many Rajasthani varieties often perceive their varieties as related dialects, and also report that they can understand one another. However, the lexical similarity study done in this survey indicated that these dialects appeared to be fairly different from one another. The results of an RTT developed in Jodhpur Marwari (perceived as the central variety of Marwari) showed that this variety was not well understood by subjects from six test points representing six other major Rajasthani dialects. The vitality of present-day Rajasthani speech varieties in India appears fairly strong. Hindi is perceived as being valuable for education and economic advancement. However, observations and self-reported information collected during this survey indicate that, aside from those who are well educated, many speakers of Rajasthani dialects are probably not bilingual enough in Hindi to use complex written materials in that language.

108 pages
Language surveys
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