A language of India

Alternate Names
Khadi Boli, Khari Boli

258,000,000 in India (2001 census). Population total all countries: 260,302,820.


Widespread in north India: Delhi; Uttar Pradesh; Uttarakhand; Rajasthan; Punjab; Madhya Pradesh; northern Bihar; Himachal Pradesh. Also in Australia, Bangladesh, Belize, Bhutan, Botswana, Canada, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Germany, Guyana, Kenya, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Sint Maarten, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Yemen, Zambia.

Language Maps
Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (1950, Constitution, Article 343), also statutory provincial language in Bihar State and 12 other jurisdictions.


Formal vocabulary borrowed from Sanskrit, de-Persianized, de-Arabicized. Literary Hindi, or Hindi-Urdu, has 4 varieties: Hindi (High Hindi, Nagari Hindi, Literary Hindi, standard Hindi); Urdu [urd]; Dakhini; Rekhta. Hindustani, though not listed separately in India, refers here to the unofficial lingua franca of northwest India. Has a lexical mixture in varying proportions of Hindi (vocabulary derived from Sanskrit) and Urdu (vocabulary derived from Persian or Arabic).


SOV; postpositions; noun head final; 11 noun classes or genders; content q-word in situ; 3 suffixes; clause constituents partially indicated by case-marking, postpositions, and word order; verbal affixation marks person, number, gender, and honorificity of subject; split ergativity; both tense and aspect; passives and voice; nontonal; 28 consonant and 10 vowel phonemes

Language Use

120,000,000 L2 speakers (Wiesenfeld 1999).

Language Development
Fully developed. Bible: 1818–2000.
Braille script. Devanagari script, primary usage. Newar (Prachalit Nepal) script, no longer in use, historic usage.
Other Comments

Hindi, Hindustani, Urdu could be considered co-dialects, but have important sociolinguistic differences. Hindu.

Also spoken in:

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