19th Edition



A language of India

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

37,800,000 in India (2001 census). Total users in all countries: 39,519,400 (as L1: 39,445,300; as L2: 74,100).


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).


Northern Standard Bhojpuri (Basti, Gorakhpuri, Sarawaria), Western Standard Bhojpuri (Benarsi, Purbi), Southern Standard Bhojpuri (Kharwari), Bhojpuri Tharu, Madhesi, Domra, Musahari. 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;noun head final; gender (masculine/feminine for animate nouns); content q-word in situ; clause constituents indicated by both case-marking (3 cases) and word order; verbal affixation marks person, number and genders of subject and object; no ergativity; tense and aspect; non-tonal; 34 consonant and 6 vowel phonemes, about 4 diphthongs; stress on penultimate syllable.

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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