A language of India

Alternate Names
Bajpuri, Bhojapuri, Bhozpuri, Bihari, Deswali, Khotla, Piscimas

37,800,000 in India (2001 census). Population total all countries: 39,716,000.


Uttar Pradesh, Gorakhpur, Basti, Deoria, Azamgarh, Ghazipur, Varanasi, Mirzapur, and Ballia districts; Bihar, Champaran, Saran, and Shahabad districts; Jharkhand, Palamau and Ranchi districts; Assam; Delhi; Madhya Pradesh; West Bengal.

Language Status

4 (Educational).


Bhojpuri Tharu, Domra, Madhesi, Musahari, Northern Standard Bhojpuri (Basti, Gorakhpuri, Sarawaria), Southern Standard Bhojpuri (Kharwari), Western Standard Bhojpuri (Benarsi, Purbi). May be more than 1 language. Extent of dialect variation in India and Nepal not yet determined. The cover term “Bihari” (a pejorative alternate name for Bhojpuri) is also used for Maithili [mai], and Magahi [mag]. Bhojpuri Tharu dialect is spoken by Tharu caste in Nepal and India. Distinct from other Tharu languages.


SOV; postpositions; final noun head; 2 noun classes or genders; content q-word in situ; 1 prefix, up to 5 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by both case-marking and word order; verbal affixation marks person, number and genders of subject and object; no ergativity; both tense and aspect; nontonal; 34 consonant and 6 vowel phonemes, about 4 diphthongs.

Language Use

Used as L2 by Maithili [mai].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 5%–30%. Literacy rate in L2: 50%–75%. Poetry. Magazines. Newspapers. New media. Radio programs. Films. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1999–2006.

Devanagari script [Deva]. Kaithi script [Kthi].

Other Comments

Hindu, Muslim.

Also spoken in:

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