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The Memon or Memoni language is the language of Memons historically associated with Kathiawar, in West India, a Memon subgroup. Many Memons have settled in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan since the independence in 1947.
The true origin of the language is still debated among the historians of the regions. However, it is common to believe that memoni language actually originated as a dialect of Sindhi language. Within the language itself, there are currently many different dialects, some having more influence of one language, and others having that of others. The language has not been organized greatly, hence, neither having its alphabetical system of reading and writing, nor having its literature and dictionary. This is one of the reasons the disorientation among the speakers themselves for deciding which words are better for what, as there is a wide variety of vocabulary available to
The Memon community is generally divided into three major subgroups:Kathiawadi Memons, Sindhi Memons (who speak the Sindhi language) and Kutchi Memons (who speak Kutchi) The first category (memons originating in Kathiwar) are simply called Memons, and they speak the Memon language, the subject of this article. These people are mostly Muslims (and mosly Sunni, Hanafi), who migrated from Sindh to Kathiwar several centuries ago. Sindhi and Kutchi are spoken by both Muslims and non-Muslims, in contrast to the Memon language, which is exclusively spoken by Memons of Kathiwadi origin, who are almost entirely Muslim..
In stress, intonation, and everyday speech, Memoni is very similar to Sindhi, but it borrowes extensively from Gujarati, Hindustani and lately English. Like most languages of the Indian subcontinent the sentence structure of Memoni generally follows subject–object–verb order. In Pakistan, Memoni has adopted many Urdu words and phrases. Even between different villages of Kathiwar, variations arose. For example, in Ranavav, the word for sugar is khand, while in Jodiya, it is chinni.
The most nouns has a grammatical gender, either masculine or feminine and often have singular and plural forms. The Memons borrow vast majorities of the nouns from Hindustani (mixture of Urdu & Hindi) languages and lately extensive use of English vocabulary.
|vegetables||bakaala (m)s/p/Sabji||bhaji||saag bhaji ( bhakalo )||Sabji||sabzi(f) sabzia|
|bed||Palang (m)||Palang (m)/ Khata (f)||Khatlo/Palang||Khatlo||chaarpaee (f)|
|mirror||aariso (m) aarisa (p) / Aaino||aarsi (f) / aaino (m)||aariso||aarisa (m)||aaena (m)||?|
|door||dervajo (m) dervajaa (p)||darwazo||darvajo||darwazo||dervaza (m) dervazey (p)|
|man||maru (m) maruu (p)||maanhu||maru||manas/purush||admi (m) admion (p)|
|boy||chhokro (m) chokraa (p)||chhokro (m) chokraa (p)||chhokro||choro/chokra||larka (m) larkay (p)|
|girl||chhokree (f) chokriun (p)||chhokree (f) chokriun (p)||chhokree||chokri (f) chokriun||lerki (f) lerkiain (p)|
|woman also wife||byree (f) byreeun (p)||mayee (f) mayuun (p)||bairi||bairi/patni/wavh||aurat (f) aurtein (p)|
The is no equivalency for the definite article ‘the’ and indefinite article ‘a’ is further inflected with masculine or feminine with its object.
The subject pronouns second person(s) ‘You’ is expressed two different ways; one is the polite form ‘aaen’ (cognate with ‘avheen’ in standard Sindhi) used for respect generally for a stranger, elderly and well respected persons including parents and relatives and the second ‘tu’ (the same as in standard Sindhi) is informal and used among close friends and when addressing subordinates. The object, possessive and reflexive pronouns are often inflected for masculine and feminine and must agree with its object.
See Urdu Pronouns
|You (polite) singular or |
|you (informal or intimate)||tu||tu/tun||tu||tu|
In most Indic languages the third person such as, he, she, it and they and the demonstrative pronouns this, these, that, those same pronouns are used and they are divided into two categories; one for a near object or person and the other for a far object or person.
|She, He, it, they, this, these (near)||ee / hee||hee||hee||aa|
|She, He, it, they, that, those (far)||ou / hoo||hou, hooa, hoo||hoo||pela|
No significant differences are among the object, possessive and reflexive pronouns. In addition these pronouns are further inflected for masculine and feminine and must agree to the object (noun, pronouns, adjective and adverbs).
The verbs generally conjugated (in form, according to many factors, including its tense, aspect, mood and voice. It also agree with the person, gender, and/or number of some of its arguments (subject, object, etc.). The verb generally appears at the end of the sentence.
Like English, the position of the adjectives nearly always appears immediately before the noun and they are modified and often inflected for masculine and feminine and must be agree to the noun that follows. The proposition generally comes after a noun or a verb.
In the past there was some attempt to write the Memoni dialect using Gujrati and later in Urdu script with little success. Lately some attempt has been made to write Memoni using Roman script.