Punjabi Alphabet

What is the Punjab Region?

The Punjab region is a geopolitical and historical region of South Asia, which is a matter of some contention. The Punjab region comprises areas of eastern Pakistan, and also northwestern India. Due to the British separation of the Pakistani and Indian regions, this has been a hotly contested region both religiously and legally. There are many claims to this land due to its historical importance. The Punjab region initially grew out of the settlements along the proximity of five rivers which are an important route to the Near East. This has been as early as the ancient Indus Valley civilization, which was considered one of the cradles of civilization in 3000BC. It was and still is, known for its importance as a trade and agricultural center.

The Punjab region has experienced many invasions by foreign empires, including Persians, Macedonians, Scythians, Parthians, and Arabs. These various invasions have shaped the way that the region has developed, as they were constantly harassed by many different places until the 18th century. This promoted, especially for the men in the country, a lifestyle that championed warfare, patriotism, and honor in defending one's home and land.

What is the Punjabi Alphabet?

The Punjabi language and alphabet is an Indo-Aryan language that is spoken mainly by the people of the Punjab region, which is part of both India and Pakistan. There are over 113 million native speakers in the locals and the Diaspora, mainly in Canada, the UK, and the US. There are two primary scripts that the Punjabi language uses, depending on the region. After the partition of 1947, the alphabet changed to a more regional influence. In Pakistan, they use the Shamukhi alphabet, which is based on a Perso-Arabic script. In India, they elect to use the Gurmukhi alphabet, which is based on an Indian script. This makes the Punjabi alphabet extremely diverse, and many may not even be able to communicate with one another, especially with the written word.

It is an unusual language because of its use of lexical tones.

What is the History of the Punjabi Alphabet?

The etymology of the word Punjabi is the derivation of the Persian word for "Five-Waters", which are the five major eastern tributaries native to the Indus River. The Punjabi language developed from Prakrit languages and later was influenced by Sanskrit. Sanskrit was developed from 600 BC onwards to develop as the standard literary and legal language. Prakrit evolved into regional languages throughout different parts of India and Paishachi Prakrit was mostly spoken in the north and north-western regions.

Punjabi emerged as a degenerated form of Prakrit in the years around 600 AD, and eventually became a stabilized dialect by the 10th century. For its written form, the earliest writings in the Punjabi language were during the Nath Yogi era, which was dominant from the 9th to the 14th century. There are many Arabic and Persian influences in the Punjab region, which came from the Muslim conquests of the Indian subcontinent.