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About the story
What’s with this “Wren” thing?
   The oldest extant version of the fable we are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology of Low Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”) collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read more ...



Most Siraiki people are Muslims
and live in the southern part of
Pakistan’s Punjab Province.

Language information: The Siraiki language is also known under the names Seraiki, Saraiki, Multani, Derawali, Riasiti and Bahawalpuri. Its core geographical area is the southern part of Pakistan’s Panjab (Punjab) Province and some northern parts of Sindh Province, an area (Siraikistan) for which a movement is seeking provincial- or state-level independence.
      Almost all ethnic Siraikis speak Siraiki as their native language, and almost all of them are Muslims and write their language with the Perso-Arabic-based Shahmukhi script that is used by Muslim speakers of neighboring languages as well (such as Urdu, Panjabi, Sindhi and Balochi).
      Siraiki speakers can be found in other countries as well, especially in India and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Siraiki is used as a foreign language by a good number of people of other ethnicities that have regular contacts with Siraikis. To write Siraiki, some of them as well as some native speakers, especially non-Muslim speakers, use the Devanagari script (which is used for instance for Hindi) or the Gurmukhi script (which is the primary script among non-Muslim speakers of Panjabi).
      Seraiki has a long and noted literary history. Especially noted is its poetic tradition.
      Being an Indo-Aryan language, Siraiki is more or less closely related to languages such as Sanskrit, Hindi, Urdu, Sindhi, Rajasthani, Gujarati, Marathi, Bengali and Nepali. It may be considered a link between Panjabi and Sindhi. There are some scholarly discussions considering it Sindhi with Panjabi influences or Panjabi with Sindhi influences.

Most languages of the Indian subcontinent have a dental and
a retroflex consonant series where European languages have
only one. Most Germanic and Slavonic languages have only
an alveolar series for t, d, n, r and l, most Romance and
Celtic languages only a dental one.

               Like closely related languages, Siraiki has two noteworthy phonological features: aspiration of both voiceless and voiced plosives and, probably owing to an ancient Munda or Dravidian substrate, a retroflex series of consonants. Furthermore, it has two contrastive series of consonants where European languages have only one. It has a dental series (in which the tip of the tongue touches the front teeth) and a retroflex series (in which the tip of the tongue is bend back or upward to touch an area behind the alveolar ridge). They lack a corresponding alveolar series, which is the default in Germanic languages. In rendering loanwords and names from ALL languages and dialects are beautiful, precious gifts. So cherish yours and others! Share them with the world!English and other Germanic languages, speakers of Siraiki and related languages thus must choose dental or retroflex substitution. Interestingly, they tend to choose the retroflex series since it sounds more closely related to them. This is why retroflexion is a striking characteristic of South Asian “accents” in English.
      Unlike other Indo-Aryan languages but like Sindhi, Siraiki has implosive consonants. (Technically speaking, these are plosives with a glottalic ingressive airstream mechanism.) This feature is widely believed to be due to substrates of Munda varieties that used to be spoken in the area before the arrival of Indo-European speakers.

Genealogy: Indo-European > Indo-Iranian > Indo-Aryan > Northwestern > Lahnda

Historical Lowlands language contacts: English

    Click to open the translation: [Siraiki] Click here for different versions. >

Author: Reinhard F. Hahn

© 2011, Lowlands-L · ISSN 189-5582 · LCSN 96-4226 · All international rights reserved.
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