Dogri language

Not to be confused with Dogrib language.
डोगरी ڈوگرى ḍogrī
Native to India, Pakistan
Region Jammu, Himachal Pradesh, Gurdaspur/Pathankot Punjab
Native speakers
4.0 million (1996 – 2001 census)[1]
Devanagari, Perso-Arabic script
Formerly Takri, Gurmukhi
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-2 doi
ISO 639-3 doiinclusive code
Individual codes:
dgo  Dogri proper
xnr  Kangri
Glottolog indo1311[2]
Dogri language test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator
Areas in India and Pakistan where Dogri and related dialects are spoken

Dogri (डोगरी or ڈوگرى) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about five million people[3] in India and Pakistan, chiefly in the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh, but also in northern Punjab, other parts of Jammu and Kashmir, and elsewhere.[4] Dogri speakers are called Dogras, and the Dogri-speaking region is called Duggar.[5] Although formerly treated as a Punjabi dialect, Dogri is now considered to be a member of the Western Pahari group of languages.[6] The language is referred to as Pahari (पहाड़ी or پہاڑی) in Pakistan. Unusually for an Indo-European language, Dogri is tonal,[7] a trait it shares with other Western Pahari languages and Punjabi.

Dogri has several varieties, all with greater than 80% lexical similarity (within Jammu and Kashmir).[8] Before the 1971 Census of India, Dogri was classified as one of the many varieties of Punjabi, such as Majhi or Doabi. Since the census, it has acquired an independent language status.[9]


Dogri was originally written using the Dogri script[10] which is very close to the Takri script, the language is now more commonly written in Devanagari in India, and in the Nasta'liq form of Perso-Arabic in Pakistan and Pakistani-administered Kashmir.

Some common words

Perso-Arabic Devanagari Transliteration (ISO-15919) English translation Comparative
آہ ऑह ôh Yes Aah/Ho (Nepali), Haan (Hindi, Urdu), Aa (Kashmiri), Haan/Aho (Punjabi) Ho (Pashto)
کنے कन्ने kanne With Sanga/ Sitya (Nepali), Saath (Hindi/Urdu), Sityə (Kashmiri), Naal (Punjabi)
نکے नुक्कां nukkāṃ Shoes Jootha (Nepali), Jootey (Hindi, Urdu), Nukke/Juttiaan (Punjabi), khor baan (kashmiri)
پت भित्त bhitta Door Dokha/ Dailo (Nepali), Darwaza (Persian/Hindi/Urdu/Punjabi/Kashmiri), Phaatak/Dvaar/Kiwaad (Hindi), Buha/Dar/Duar (Punjabi), Bar (Kashmiri)
کے केह् keh What Ke (Nepali), Kya (Hindi/Urdu/Kashmiri), Ki (Punjabi)
کى की Why Kina (Nepali), Kyun (Hindi/Urdu), Kyazi (Kashmiri), Kyon/Kahte/Kahnu (Punjabi)
دوانہ दोआना doāna Watermelon Kharbooja (Nepali), Tarbooz (Hindi/Urdu), Hindwana (Urdu/Persian), Hadwana/Mateera (Punjabi), Hyandwand (Kashmiri), Indwanna (Pashto)
دنيہ दुनिया duniyā World Duniya (Urdu/Nepali/Punjabi/Kashmiri/Persian/Arabic), Jag (Sanskrit/Hindi/Punjabi), Sansaar (Sanskrit/Nepali/Hindi/Punjabi/Kashmiri)


Western Pahari languages, Punjabi and Punjabi dialects are frequently tonal, which is very unusual for Indo-European languages (although Swedish and Norwegian are tonal also).[11] This tonality makes it difficult for speakers of other Indo-Aryan languages to gain facility in Dogri,[7] though native Punjabi speakers (especially speakers of Northern dialects such as Hindko and Mirpuri) may find it easier to make the transition. Some common examples are shown below.

Sentence Tone English translation
Kora ha. Equal It was a whip.
Kora ha. Falling-Rising It was a horse.
Kora ha. Rising It was bitter.
Das kīyān? Falling Why is it ten?
Das kīyān. Rising Tell me how (it happened).

Historical references

The Greek astrologer Pulomi, accompanying Alexander in his 323 B.C. campaign into the Indian subcontinent, referred to some inhabitants of Duggar as "a brave Dogra family living in the mountain ranges of Shivalik."[12] In the year 1317, Amir Khusro, the famous Hindi and Persian poet, referred to Duger (Dogri) while describing the languages and dialects of India as follows: "Sindhi-o-Lahori-o-Kashmiri-o-Duger."[13][14]

Theories on name origin

Intellectuals in the court of Maharaja Ranbir Singh s/o Gulab Singh of Jammu and Kashmir, described 'Duggar' as a distorted form of the word 'Dwigart,' which means "two troughs," a possible reference to the Mansar and Sruinsar Lakes.[15]

The linguist George Grierson connected the term 'Duggar' with the Rajasthani word 'Doonger,' which means 'hill,' and 'Dogra' with 'Dongar.'[15] This opinion has lacked support because of the inconsistency of the ostensible changes from Rajasthani to Dogri (essentially the question of how Doonger became Duggar while Donger became Dogra), and been contradicted by some scholars.[16]

Yet another proposal stems from the presence of the word 'Durger' in the Bhuri Singh Museum (in Chamba, Himachal Pradesh). The word Durger means 'invincible' in several Northern Indian languages, and could be an allusion to the ruggedness of the Duggar terrain and the historically militarized and autonomous Dogra societies. In Himachal, Dogri is majorly spoken in Hamirpur, Barsar, Una, Chintpurni, Kangra, and Bilaspur regions.

In 1976, the experts attending the Language Session of the 'All India Oriental Conference' held in Dharwar, Karnataka could not reach consensus on the 'Dwigart' and 'Durger' hypotheses, but did manage agreement on a Doonger-Duggar connection. In a subsequent 'All India Oriental Conference' held at Jaipur in 1982, the linguists agreed that the culture, language and history of Rajasthan and Duggar share some similarities. It was also suggested that the words 'Duggar' and 'Dogra' are common in some parts of Rajasthan. Specifically, it was asserted that areas with a large number of forts are called Duggar, and their inhabitants are accordingly known as Dogras. The land of Duggar also has a large number of forts, which may support the opinion above. An article by Dharam Chand Prashant in the literary magazine Shiraza Dogri suggested that "the opinion that the word 'Duggar' is a form of the word 'Duggarh' sounds appropriate."[17]

The Turkish Döğer is also the name of a Turkmen Oğuz tribe originating in Central Asia and also found amongst the Kurds. In Turkey one of the towns named after them can be written as Doker, Duger, Döker and Düğer.

Recent history

Further information: Punjabi dialects

In modern times, a notable Dogri translation (in the Takri script) of the Sanskrit classic mathematical opus Lilavati, by the noted mathematician Bhaskaracharya (b. 1114 AD), was published by the Vidya Vilas Press, Jammu in 1873.[18] As Sanskrit literacy remained confined to a few, the late Maharaja Ranbir Singh had the Lilavati translated into Dogri by Jyotshi Bisheshwar, then principal of Jammu Pathshala.[19]

Dogri has an established tradition of poetry, fiction and dramatic works. Recent poets range from the 18th-century Dogri poet Kavi Dattu (1725–1780) in Raja Ranjit Dev’s court to Professor Ram Nath Shastri and Mrs. Padma Sachdev. Kavi Dattu is highly regarded for his Barah Massa (Twelve Months), Kamal Netra (Lotus Eyes), Bhup Bijog and Bir Bilas.[20] Shiraza Dogri is a Dogri literary periodical issued by the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages, which is a notable publisher of modern Dogri literary work, another being the Dogri Sanstha. Popular recent songs include Pala Shpaiya Dogarya, Manney di Mauj and Shhori Deya. The noted Pakistani singer Malika Pukhraj had roots in the Duggar region,[21] and her renditions of several Dogri songs continue to be popular in the region. Some devotional songs, or bhajans, composed by Karan Singh have gained increasing popularity over time, including Kaun Kareyaan Teri Aarti.

Dogri programming features regularly on Radio Kashmir (a division of All India Radio), and Doordarshan (Indian state television) broadcasts in Jammu and Kashmir. However, Dogri does not have a dedicated state television channel yet, unlike Kashmiri (which has the Doordarshan Koshur channel, available on cable and satellite television throughout India).

Official recognition of the language has been gradual, but progressive. On 2 August 1969, the General Council of the Sahitya Academy, Delhi recognized Dogri as an "independent modern literary language" of India, based on the unanimous recommendation of a panel of linguists.[22] (Indian Express, New Delhi, 3 August 1969). Dogri is one of the state languages of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. On 22 December 2003, in a major milestone for the official status of the language, Dogri was recognized as a national language of India in the Indian constitution.[23][24] In Pakistan, the language (under the name "Pahari") continues to thrive, but is not known to have received official patronage to date. The Alami Pahari Adabi Sangat (Global Pahari Cultural Association) is a Pakistani organization dedicated to the advancement and progress of the language.[25]

In 2005, a collection of over 100 works of prose and poetry in Dogri published over the last 50 years was made accessible online at the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL), Mysore. This included works of eminent writer Dhinu Bhai Panth, Professor Madan Mohan Sharma, B.P. Sathai and Ram Nath Shastri.[26]

See also


  1. Dogri at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Dogri proper at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Kangri at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Indo-Aryan Northern zone – Western Pahari". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Sharma, Sita Ram (1992). Encyclopaedia of Teaching Languages in India, v. 20. Anmol Publications. p. 6.
  4. Billawaria, Anita K. (1978). History and Culture of Himalayan States, v.4. Light & Life Publishers.
  5. Narain, Lakshmi (1965). An Introduction to Dogri Folk Literature and Pahari Art. Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages.
  6. Masica, Colin P. (1993). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge University Press. p. 427. ISBN 0-521-29944-6.
  7. 1 2 Ghai, Ved Kumari (1991). Studies in Phonetics and Phonology: With Special Reference to Dogri. Ariana Publishing House. ISBN 81-85347-20-4. non-Dogri speakers, also trained phoneticians, tend to hear the difference as one of length only, perceiving the second syllable as stressed
  8. Brightbill, Jeremy D.; Turner, Scott B. (2007). "A Sociolinguistic Survey of the Dogri Language, Jammu and Kashmir" (PDF). SIL International. Retrieved 11 March 2016.
  9. "Social Mobilisation And Modern Society".
  10. Pandey, Anshuman (2015-11-04). "L2/15-234R: Proposal to encode the Dogra script in Unicode" (PDF).
  11. Gussenhoven, Carlos (2004). The Phonology of Tone and Intonation. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-01200-7.
  12. Shastri, Balkrishan (1981). Dogri in the family of world languages (Translated). Dogri Research Centre, Jammu University.
  13. Shastri, Ram Nath (1981). Dogri Prose Writing before Independence (Translated). Dogri Research Centre, Jammu University.
  14. Datta, Amaresh (1987). Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature. Sahitya Akademi.
  15. 1 2 Pathik, Jyoteeshwar (1980). Cultural Heritage of the Dogras. Light & Life Publishers.
  16. Bahri, Ujjal Singh (2001). Dogri: Phonology and Grammatical Sketch. Bahri Publications.
  17. Prashant, Dharam Chand (April–May 1991). "Duggar Shabad di Vayakha". Shiraza Dogri. Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Arts, Culture and Languages.
  18. Līlāvatī (Dogri translation). Jammu: Vidya Vilas. 1873. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  19. Sharma, B. P. Century Old Printed Dogri Literature. Jammu & Kashmir State Research Biannual.
  20. Jerath, Ashok (1988). Dogra Legends of Art & Culture. Indus Publishing. p. 236. ISBN 81-7387-082-9.
  21. Joseph, Suad; Najmabadi, Afsaneh (2003). Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures. Leiden: Brill. p. 75. ISBN 90-04-12821-2.
  22. Rao, S. (2004). Five Decades; the National Academy of Letters, India: a Short History of Sahitya Akademi. Sahitya Akademi.
  23. "Lok Sabha passes bill recognising Dogri, 3 other languages". Daily Excelsior. Jammu and Kashmir. 2003-12-23. Retrieved 2008-10-31. Dogri among other three languages has been included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution when Lok Sabha unanimously approved an amendment in the Constitution
  24. Tsui, Amy (2007). Language Policy, Culture, and Identity in Asian Contexts. Routledge. ISBN 0-8058-5694-3.
  25. "Alami Pahari Adabi Sangat (Global Pahari Cultural Association)". Retrieved 2008-10-31.
  26. "Finally, a boost: Dogri literature now a click away". Indian Express. May 19, 2005. Retrieved Feb 26, 2013.


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