258,000,000 in India (2001 census). Population total all countries: 260,333,620. L2 users: 120,000,000 in India (Wiesenfeld 1999).
Widespread in north India: Delhi; Uttar Pradesh; Uttarakhand; Rajasthan; Punjab; Madhya Pradesh; northern Bihar; Himachal Pradesh.
1 (National). Statutory national language (1950, Constitution, Article 343), also statutory provincial language in Bihar State and 12 other jurisdictions.
None known. 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.
Hindi, Hindustani, Urdu could be considered co-dialects, but have important sociolinguistic differences. Hindu.