Memoni Language Project Project commencement: June 2006Prepared by Siddique Katiya Montreal Canada Saturday, June 17, 2006Version v 1.1 last updatedResearch in Progress Interested people are encouraged to participate in this project.
Memoni Language Project Research in Progress
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MEMONI LANGUAGE PROJECT
Project Coordinator Siddique Katiya Montreal CanadaConsultation Abdur Razzaq Thaplawala Karachi Pakistan
Members of Memoni Orthography committee:Siddique Katiya Montreal Canadavacantvacantvacantvacan
The Memoni Language project proposed writing system in Latin (roman) script using modern English alphabet with 26 letters no glyph or diacritic (accent) marks for stress are considered. In each English letter may represent more than one sound and each sound (phoneme) may be written by more than one letter
Proposed method and Project Priorities:(1) Publication of standard Memoni Orthography of essential words(2) Publication of Memoni basic word dictionary including its meanings, word origin, comparison with Urdu, Guajarati and Sindhi wherever possible(3) Analysis of Memoni Grammar rules(4) Analysis of Memoni sentence structures Syntax
HOW CAN YOU PARTICIPATE IN THIS PROJECTEveryone is welcome to collaborate with this project; the major challenge to this project is the establishment of standard Memoni orthography of basic routine words in roman script.
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Language Code (mby) ISO/DIS 639-3 international standard (Draft International Standard)
Introduction of Memoni Language
Memoni is a unwritten (oral) language which is spoken by (in its different versions) by at least 2 to 5 million people. Technically the Memoni is a language of Memons who are a minor linguistics group, in Indian subcontinent that are identified as mainstream Sunni Muslims and their ancestry can be traced back to 15th century Sindh, Indus valley region in a province of present day Pakistan. There are several other groups such as some Ismaili and Khoja who also speak the similar language which is identify as kutchi language. It is quite possible that familiar version of Memoni may be spoken by some non-Muslim such as Hindus and Jains.
It is generally believe that Memoni is originated from Sindhi language. As Memons began to migrated to the neighbouring regions Kutch, Khatiwar and Gujrat around 15th Century A.D., their language evolved into a mixture of Sindhi and Khojki, a dialect of Gujarati spoken in Kutch. Memoni in sound (such as stress and intonation) is very much like that of Sindhi, but the vocabulary is closer to that of Gujarati and Urdu. At the same the Sindhi language also went through changes and most likely influenced by the Punjabi and Hindi (Rajasthani) languages. This is why there are significant difference in Memoni and Sindhi. The 17th century A.D. and onward, the Memons become very successful Muslim business community in Indian subcontinent and beyond. They used excessively the Guajarati language in their written and oral communication. Until 1970s Memons businesses in Pakistan kept their books, records and business documents in Guajarati. Toward the end of 20th century Memoni further under went some changes in Pakistan and elsewhere due to Urdu and English influences. Towards the end of 20th century, the Urdu has been widely accepted and used as a Islamic language by the Muslims in the Indian subcontinent and eventually the English will be replaced by either Gujarati or Urdu.
Memoni is falling into disuse and the younger generation is unlikely to learn it as their mother tongue for various reasons:
1. Non-existence of language learning tools especially disappearance of Gujarati in Pakistan2. Many second generation parents do not know their mother tongue themselves 3. Development of inferiority complex about their heritage by many Memons4. Fear of being discriminated or being ridiculed by some Urdu speaking
Memoni dictionary Project:
Urdu English dictionary is adapted from With acknowledgements to DINESH PRABHU (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Memoni is an oral language and there was no serious effort to preserve the language in writing in the past. The present day Memoni is not very rich in vocabulary, and has no more than 500 words of its own. When an oral communication gets some how technical, the Memon speaker tend to borrow other words from other languages. In Pakistan and India, the Memon more and more rely on mainstream Hindustani (Urdu/Hindi) language and some cases Guajarati and now English to communicate with each others.
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Memoni Grammar and Sentence Structure(note: more research is needed to support some of the comments)
As previously explained, the Memoni language is originate from an ancient Sindhi language which is belongs to an Indo-Iranian (North-Western Zone) family of languages. Like many Indian languages, Memoni nouns are either masculine or feminine and they could have singular and plural forms. Also adjective, adverbs must agree to its object and verbs ending inflected to agree with 1 st and 3rd
person female singular. The Memons borrow vast majorities of the nouns from Hindustani (mixture of Urdu & Hindi) languages. The Memoni language retains majority of its pronouns (a substitute of a noun), adjectives, adverbs and verb from its native language Sindhi.
awN I ; ayN you (polite form) ; tu you ; assN we ; ee He/ She / It ; ou they
Object Pronouns ( there are no equivalency in Memoni , same as subject pronouns sometime additional word added watay literally meaning near)
Possessive Pronouns and adjectives either masculine or femininemeNjo/ meNji mine ; aaNjo/ aaNji / tojo/ toji yours ; eeNjo/ eeNji (his hers, its) ; aasNjo / aasNji ours ; eeNayjo / eeNayji theirs
Reflexive Pronouns ????Myself, yourself , himself, herself, itself ,ourselves, yourselves, themselves
Demonstrative pronouns ,ee = this ; ou = thatInterrogative pronounsKuro what; ketya where, keday when;
Relative pronouns ??
AdjectivesAn adjective is a word that tells us more about a noun, pronouns and noun phrases. An adjective "qualifies" or "modifies" a noun (a big dog). Unlike English the adjectives in Memoni generally appear before a noun or verb and can either masculine, feminine or neutral (I like Pakistani food awN Pakistani khawa pasand keratoi (It is hard ee bahuj muskeel eye ). We can often use two or more adjectives together (a beautiful young Pakistani lady - akry bahuj Haseen jawaan Pakistani khaatun)
Determiners such as articles a, an, the , there are no equivalency in Memoni except that a is frequently use either akro or akry a man akro maru a woman akry chockery
Possessives: ???? see possessive pronounsmy, your, his, her, our, their
Other determiners Each (her ) , every ( her) either (koybe), neither (koybe na) any , some, no much, many; more, most little, less, least few, fewer, fewest what, whatever; which, whichever both, half, all several enough
Comparative Superlative Adjectives big, bigger biggest there are no equivalency in Memoni
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AdverbsAn adverb is a word that tells us more about a verb. An adverb "qualifies" or "modifies" a verb (The man ran quickly). But adverbs can also modify adjectives (flower is really beautiful - phool bahuj khubsurat eye ), or even other adverbs (It works very well - ee bahuj saro kum kerayto). Unlike in English the adverbs usually comes before a verb.
PrepositionA preposition is a word governing, relation to another word or element, as in and usually coming after a noun or pronoun and expressing example In Pakistan (Pakistan may)
ConjunctionsA conjunction is a word that "joins". A conjunction joins two parts of a sentence. Nay and ; mager but ; ya or ; na nor ; say for ; - yet; - so ; - although; keyUkay because ; - since; - unless
Verbs:Verbs are sometimes described as idea of action, idea of existence of state of being. The verbs also tell us what a subject does or are what they describe:Main Verbs per read, kha eat soom sleep , root word of a verb generally informal form of a 2 nd
Helping Verbs do give are have can must will
Tense is a form of a verb used to indicate the time - past, present and future, and sometimes the continuation or completeness, of an action in relation to the time of speaking. Simple, continuous and perfect tenses. Unlike in English Memon generally uses simple and continuous tenses and perfect continuous tens are rare. Memon also uses different technique with help of various words to described time and relation of action. In English regular verbs have only three forms (I do do, did) wheres Memonis verb are inflected a greater or lesser extent. Inflection is the process of adding inflectional morphemes (generally called verb ending ) to a word, which may indicate grammatical information (e.g., case, number, person, gender or word class, mood, tense, or aspect).
Present TenseawN kerato awN kerati I do; ayN kerota you do ; tu kerayto tu kerayti you do ; Past TenseawN kerio awN keri I di ; ayN keria You did tu keray You di; I did do, I didFuture TenseawN kernoI I will doFuture Continuous Tense none I will be doing
Present Continuous and Perfect Continuous TenseayN keri rehio yaN I am doing, I am doing tomorrow
Present Perfect TenseanY keri giniY I have done
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