A language of India

Alternate Names
Bajpuri, Bhojapuri, Bhozpuri, Deswali, Khotla, Piscimas, “Bihari” (pej.)
भोजपुरी‎ (Bhōjpurī)

50,600,000 in India (2011 census). Total users in all countries: 52,405,300 (as L1: 52,245,300; as L2: 160,000).


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

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%. Literature. Newspapers. Periodicals. Radio. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1998–2006.


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

Other Comments

Hindu, Muslim.

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