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Kannauji language

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Title: Kannauji language  
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Subject: Uttar Pradesh, Hindi literature, Mainpuri, Awadhi language, Hindi Belt, Kanyakubja Brahmins, Gangwar, Alha-Khand, Hindi (disambiguation)
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Kannauji language

Native to India
Native speakers
9.5 million  (2001)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 bjj
Glottolog kana1281[2]

Kannauji language is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in parts of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Kannauji is closely related to Hindustani, and some consider it to be a dialect of Hindustani, whereas others consider it a separate Western Hindi language.[3]

Although Kannauji shares many structural and functional differences from other dialects of Hindi but in Linguistic Survey of India it has been added as a variant of Vraj and Avadhi.

Kannauji has about 6 million speakers.

Kannauji has two dialects or variants of its own: Tirhari and Transitional Kannauji, which is between standard Kannauji and Awadhi.

Geographical distribution

Kannauji is not a standard dialect of Hindi and can be assumed to be the transitory phase between Braj Bhasha and Awadhi. Eastern parts are totally Awadhi while Western districts are Braj speaking. Kannauji is predominantly spoken around the historic town of Kannauj in the following districts of the Ganga-Yamuna Doab:

In the non-Doabi areas, it is spoken in Hardoi, western parts of Lakhimpur Kheri and Sitapur districts in Awadh and Shahjahanpur and Pilibhit of Rohilkhand.

A distribution of the geographical area can be found in volume 9 of 'Linguistic Survey of India' by George A. Grierson.

Works in Kannauji

Kannauji Grammar

There is no published grammar of Kannauji till date but some of the basic features of Kannauji, which can be observed easily, are as below-

  • Prodrop-

Kannauji is a Prodrop language. In such languages pronouns are dropped as per ease of the speaker. (This feature includes pronouns of WH category too.

For example- ka: tum huan jaiyo:

can also be said as- huan jaiyo:

Word formation processes in Kannauji

Word formation processes of kannauji are more or less like of Hindi but some processes of word formation of Kannauji are not found in Hindi. Here are the word formation processes of Kannaiji-

Borrowing words-

In borrowing something from other language is taken directly into a language. It is a very common and very productive process of word formation. On the lexical and semantic basis we can divide borrowing in two types-

Lexical Borrowing ( Loan words)

In Lexical borrowing a word is directly taken into a language from other language. Lexical Borrowing is a very common process in Kannauji.

Note- Sometimes a word is not borrowed as it is. Some phonetic changes are done into it to match the properties of target language. In other words we can say that the word is localized for ease of native speakers. For example-

Source word Language Adapted in Kannauji as
Computer English [kampu:tar]
Solution English [salu:san]
Problem English [pira:balam]

Semantic Borrowing ( Calque )

In semantic borrowing some concept from other language is taken into a language but the words used to express that concept are made in the target language. In other words we can say that in this type of borrowing concepts/words are localized.

For example-
Concept Word Adapted in Kannauji as
Computation Computation [sanganan]


Coining is a less frequent and a less productive word formation process. In coining meaning of a word is extended up to an extent that it starts being used as an category. Here are some examples of coining.

For example-


It was a product made by dabur for the first time. After that many other companies too launched their similar products. But name of chyawanpra:sh became so popular that now every such product is known as chyawanpra:sh.


When vaidyanaath launched its digestive tablets for the first time it named it pachmo:la: but this product became so popular that afterwards all such products are known as pachmo:la: .

Word formation by addition

In Kannauji new words are formed by inflection old words too. According to different properties this process is divided into two main types-


In inflection a new word is formed from an old word by adding something in it. It is the most common process of word formation which is used by every type of people in Kannauji. This process is category specific. In other words we can say that grammatical category of a word remains same even after inflection.

For example-


ladka + '-ini' = ladkini

(boy) (girl)

Here '–ini' is used to make a feminine form of the word ladka. Here is another example of inflection-

sangi + '-ini' = sangini (mate- male) (mate- female)


In derivation too new words are formed by old words using affixes. This too is a very common process like inflection. There are three types of affixation found in Kannauji.


In this type of affixation an affix is inserted initially in a word.

  • ‘ap-’

'ap-' + jash → apjash

(evil) (fame)

  • ‘par-’

'par-' + dosh → pardo:sh

(others) (defects)

‘ap’ and ‘par’ are prefixes here and new words are being formed here by adding them to two old words ‘jash’ and ‘dosh’.


In this type of affixation an affix is inserted word finally and this way new word is formed-

  • ‘-aevo’

a-dikha:na: + -aevo → dikhaevo


b-rakhna: + -aevo → rakhaevo


  • ‘-pan’

apna + -pan → apno:pan



In this type of affixation an affix inserted somewhere in the middle of the word.

  • ‘-la-’

dikh aevo: + -la- → dikhlaevo:

(showing)(making something show by some other person)

  • ‘-va-’

hasa evo: + -va- → hasavaevo:

(to make laugh)(causing people laugh by some other person)


Blending is the process in which parts of two words (which are already present in that language) are joined to make a new word.

choti: + bit͜ti: →chotit͜ti:

(small) (girl)

badi: + bit͜ti: →badit͜ti:

(big) (girl)

bade: + dad͜da: →badid͜da:

(big) (brother)


In compounding two words are stringed together to form a new word. This process is a common word formation process but it will be right to say that this type of formation process is used by educated persons not by grass roots.

For example-

guru+ghantal = gurughantal

═►Here gurughantal is made by stringing guru and ghantal and the meaning referred by the stringed word is reflected by both of the words. Although it is not necessary in every condition. For example

am͜ma aur dad͜da→ am͜ma: dad͜da:


Conversion is a very productive but less frequent process of word formation. In this process an existing word is start being used as another word ( having some similar properties).

To make it more clear we can say that in this process a word of some grammatical category starts being using as word of other grammatical category too.Here are some examples of conversion.

  1. wao: baura: hai (He is a moron)
  2. baurane: kahe: hau: dadda: ( Why are you behaving like a moron?)

═► Baura is an abstract noun. In sentence ‘1’ baura: is being used as an abstract noun but after conversion it started being used as a verb also, as in sentence ‘2’


In suppletion another relative form of a word is formed without any morpho-phonological similarities with the previous one. In other words we can say that we cannot relate these forms morphologically or phonologically.

For example-

ja:t and gao:

ja:t - ham ja:t hai

gao: - wao gao: hato

═► ‘ja:t’ is present participle for very ‘go’ whereas ‘gao:’ is the past participle form.


Reduplication is a very common process of word formation in Kannauji. Most of the reduplicated forms are made by adjectival and nominal words. This is not a productive type of word formation process instead it adds stylistic effect in conversation.

For example-


═►Here ghare is formed following the word ghare so it is an example of reduplication.

Eco formation

Eco formation too is a similar process like reduplication. In Eco formation a similar sounding word is made from nominal and adjectival. There is no logic behind why this formation is done but it increases the stylistic effectiveness of conversation.

For example-


═►Here wasla, a similar sounding word is formed after word tasla so it is an example of Eco formation process. Some other examples are-



Metaphoric expansion-

In metaphor a word is objected on another one because of some similarity. Similarly in metaphoric expansion a word is used in different situations and environments due to one similar quality. Or in sort we can say that meaning of a word is expanded metaphorically in this word formation process.

For example-

dama:d →sarka:r ko dama:d

═►dama:d is a person who is preferred very much in its in-laws family/house. So sarka:r ko dama:d is used to refer a person who is favored very much by government. This is example of Metaphoric expansion. Here is another example of Metaphoric expansion-

shekhchil͜li: →gao ke shekhchil͜li:

Onomatopoeic words

Onomatopoeic words are supposed as absolute or original words. These words sounds similarly like the actions and things they are related too.

For example-


It’s a sound made by friction of two heavy objects.


It sounds similar as of firing something. Here is another example -


Importance of word formation

Word formation processes are very necessary for developing a language otherwise it gets on being outdated day by day. In Kannauji too new types of word formation processes are getting place that’s why it is getting updated. It is the moral duty of speakers of a language to promote forming new words in their languages so that it may flourish further.


  1. ^ Kannauji at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Kanauji". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Kannauji


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