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LAHNDA (properly Lahnda or Lahinda, western, or Lahnde-di boll, the language of the West), an Indo-Aryan language spoken in the western Punjab. In 1901 the number of speakers was 3,337,91 7. Its eastern boundary is very indefinite as the language gradually merges into the Panjabi immediately to the east, but it is conventionally taken as the river Chenab from the Kashmir frontier to the town of Ramnagar, and thence as a straight line to the south-west corner of the district of Montgomery. Lahnda is also spoken in the north of the state of Bahawalpur and of the province of Sind, in which latter locality it is known as Siraiki. Its western boundary is, roughly speaking, the river Indus, across which the language of the Afghan population is Pashto (Pushtu), while the Hindu settlers still speak Lahnda. In the Derajat, however, Lahnda is the principal language of all classes in the plains west of the river.

Lahnda is also known as Western Panjabi and as Jatki, or the language of the Jats, who form the bulk of the population whose mother-tongue it is. In the Derajat it is called Hindko or the language of Hindus. In 1819 the Serampur missionaries published a Lahnda version of the New Testament. They called the language Uchchi, from the important town of Uch near the confluence of the Jhelam and the Chenab. This name is commonly met with in old writings. It has numerous dialects, which fall into two main groups, a northern and a southern, the speakers of which are separated by the Salt Range. The principal varieties of the northern group are Hindki (the same in meaning as Hindko) and Pothwarl. In the southern group the most important are KhetranI, Multani, and the dialect of Shahpur. The language possesses no literature.

Lahnda belongs to the north-western group of the outer band of Indo-Aryan languages (q.v.), the other members being Kashmiri (q.v.) and Sindhi, with both of which it is closely connected. See SINDHI ; also HINDOSTANI. (G. A. GR.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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