Highlighting the Sound Shift in Punjabi Language: A Corpus-Based Descriptive Study

Linguistic Forum - A Journal of Linguistics 3 (1):1-5 (2021)
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Abstract

Punjabi language is most widely spoken language of Pakistan (Abbas, Chohan, Ahmed, & Kaleem, 2016). Punjabi is under developed language because of which, upcoming generations are shifting to other technically and digitally developed languages such as Urdu and English. In result of which, the sound shift is being observed in Punjabi language. Sounds which used to be present in the past in Punjabi language are found missing now. This leads to a problematic situation that this sound shift may result in language extinction and sound loss. This study is about the sound change and it has been studied in Punjabi language. On the basis of observation of speech in surrounding, researcher made a hypothesis that those speakers of Punjabi language who acquired Punjabi as L1 are able to produce few distinctive sounds that are not produced by the speakers who acquired Urdu as a mother tongue. For this purpose, a corpus of 2 million words was collected and the words including the sounds |n|ن and |l| ل were particularly shortlisted from the corpus. The speakers from both origins were asked to pronounce these words, the hypothesis was proved and, in result, variations in the pronunciation of sounds were observed. Sociolinguists and Phonologists need to heed on this issue to save Punjabi language from extinction.

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